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Objectivism Digest, Vol 12, Issue 1

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  • objectivism@bomis.com
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    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2004
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      Today's Topics:

      1. animal "altruism" (was: Value and Life, Ethics and
      Metaphysics) (Josh Jaffe)
      2. An argument for anti discrimination laws. (Jerry)
      3. The Nature of Politics (David S. Boyer)


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------

      Message: 1
      Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 10:23:54 -0800
      From: Josh Jaffe <josh@...>
      Subject: OWL: animal "altruism" (was: Value and Life, Ethics and
      Metaphysics)
      To: objectivism@...
      Message-ID: <5.2.1.1.2.20040301102246.027084b0@localhost>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed

      David Boyer quotes Neil Goodell as stating that:
      "... A parent animal may sacrifice
      its life to protect its young, and it does so because that is a value
      its nature has imbued to it. (Clearly not all animals do this, some even
      deliberately kill their young if resources are scarce; our understanding
      of the calculus for the genetics involved is decades away at best.) "

      The calculus for the genetics involved in this topic is covered at length
      in the book _The_Selfish_Gene_ by Richard Dawkins. This book was first
      published in 1976, nearly three decades away I guess you could say. ;)

      -- Josh



      ------------------------------

      Message: 2
      Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 18:09:13 -0800 (PST)
      From: Jerry <eyeseared@...>
      Subject: OWL: An argument for anti discrimination laws.
      To: objectivism@...
      Message-ID: <20040302020913.59198.qmail@...>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

      Objectivist reject the use of physical force to another person (unless of coarse in protection of himself). here is what a friend of mine is arguing to me in order to convince me that anti discrimination laws are ok.

      "We have growing evidence that this is a naive view of harm. We now have evidence from neurological studies that psychological feelings of being harmed or experiencing pleasure cause physical changes in the brain. So when someone faces a psychological blow -- for instance, being denied service at a restaurant because of the color of his or her skin -- that person is experiencing a physical change in the brain, an activation of receptors for pain. It is like having a bruise on the brain. So we can argue that psychological pain is the same as physical harm.

      If this claim can be well-established, would the Objectivist/Libertarian abandon the stance that being rejected accommodations or service by a private concern does not constitute "harm," and then accept that legislation can be passed to outlaw such discrimination without compromising objectivist ideals?"

      I would appreciate any comments you may have. thank you.


      ---------------------------------
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      ------------------------------

      Message: 3
      Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 23:55:04 -0500
      From: "David S. Boyer" <mangr3n@...>
      Subject: OWL: The Nature of Politics
      To: objectivism@...
      Message-ID: <404413A8.4050006@...>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

      Everyone talks about rights, but I wonder what do people mean? I argued
      before that I didn't understand how rights had been demonstrated to be
      existents.

      I believe that I can conjure a metaphysical basis for a science of
      politics and for the existence of the concept of rights, but I don't
      believe it's quite what you might expect.

      We know that conscious entities exist in the world. We know that living
      human beings compete for the use of resources in the world. The fact
      that two thinking concious beings can form different plans for the use
      of some specific configuration of matter is not a metaphysical issue.
      However, when the two beings act upon said unique matter THEN you
      encounter a metaphysical conflict. Both acts cannot coexist.

      The field of politics arises out of this metaphysical conflict. When
      two men disagree about the manner in which some specific physical object
      is to be used, whose act occurs?

      Here comes the political concept of right. Which man has the "right",
      to perform his chosen act with or on the disputed physical matter. This
      is the domain of politics. This is a problem which demands a resolution.

      The man who has the right, could be termed the "owner", and the
      configuration of matter to which the "owner" has the "right" of use
      could be termed "property".

      Here I believe you have a defensible basis for constructing political
      theories, about the assignment of ownership, what existents can be
      "owners" (conscious beings), what existents may take the role of
      "property", how does a valid claim of ownership arise, etc.

      Would anyone care to comment on this basis for discussing any political
      theory?

      --
      David S. Boyer
      703.926.3950
      david.boyer@...



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      End of Objectivism Digest, Vol 12, Issue 1
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