Re: Does a Woman Have a Right to an Abortion?
- Again I mostly agree. However you seem to equate faulty birth control
with getting hit by lightning. That may be so if you hold the end of a
lightning rod during a storm (or fly a kite with a key on it), but
unwanted children don't just happen, they require an active
participation on the part of their parents.
My issue is not with mistakes, but in the many objectivist writings
(Ayn Rand in particular) that ignore mistakes. While Ayn glosses over
the issue, she does seem to imply that neither Galt or Roak would
engage in sex if they weren't planning on being responsible for a child.
Logic cannot change reality, but incorrect logic can ignore it. Many
objectivist writings ignore obligation other than how it applies to
ones own self interest (obligation to follow correct logic). This
seems to be related to the concept that correctly applied logic will
not allow for an unchosen obligation (a mistake) to arise, including
an unwanted pregnancy.
If correct logic is always applied, mistakes will never happen. The
issue of obligation than reduces to correctly applying logic. This is
fine for making a point, but in reality this just doesn't happen. I
think the philosophy leaves gaps for less than perfect people.
--- In LU-OBJ@yahoogroups.com, Eric Lanser <eric.w.lanser@l...> wrote:
> Your latest reply brings up an issue to address which was also present
> in your first post.
> >Obligation seems to be a non-issue to the
> > objectivist, who always acts correctly (i.e. John Galt or Howard
> > Roak); but their perfect actions would never create an unwanted child.
> First off, obligation is wider than just 'making up for your mistakes.'
> Second, morality is the realm of the chosen. It applies to what is in
> your control. Morality has no impact on your getting hit by lighting
> (out of the blue). Unwanted children can easily fall into this
> category. Birth control is good these days, but not fail-safe.
writings>My issue is not with mistakes, but in the many objectivist
>(Ayn Rand in particular) that ignore mistakes. While Ayn glossesover
>the issue, she does seem to imply that neither Galt or Roakwould
>engage in sex if they weren't planning on being responsible for achild.This, I guarantee you, is not what AR has depicted in her novels. And, in any case, it is not true. Sex is a profound value independent of its (sometimes beneficial, sometimes tragic) capacity to produce children. To quote Ayn Rand, "Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals" (Ayn Rand Letter Nov-Dec 1975).>This seems to be related to the concept that correctly applied logic will
>not allow for an unchosen obligation (a mistake) toarise, including
>an unwanted pregnancy.
The point that there are no unchosen obligations is not arrived at by ignoring the possibility of mistakes. There are no unchosen obligations because, looking at the concept 'obligation' (which is not the same thing as 'duty'), there is no such thing as an unchosen one. Obligations are all conditional: If I want to achieve X, I must do Y. This is the pattern of obligation. 'Causality versus Duty,' in "Philosophy Who Needs It" presents this position.
happen.>If correct logic is always applied, mistakes will neverDepending on what you mean, this is either not true, or not directly in man's control. If you mean that when one uses logic he is guaranteed accuracy, this is wrong. There are many errors of application that are possible to man, not to mention errors of knowledge.If you mean that (given that one doesn't make any mistakes in applying logic and one has valid premises) mistakes will never happen then this *is* true. However, this is not in one's direct control. One can not hit a switch to be immune from errors of application or knowledge. John Galt will make mistakes, even errors of logic. What he will not do is fail to go by his best judgement. Nor will he fail to correct his errors if he realizes them. (Nor will he accept arbitrary claims that his conclusions are incorrect; evidence that he has committed an error of knowledge or an error in his reasoning has to be pointed out for him to doubt them.)Honest errors of knowledge are possible and this fact is acknowledged by Objectivism. One cannot side-step fallibility by claiming man has a method (logic) which makes him *immune* from error. The difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality is discussed in Galt's Speech:"Learn to distinguish the difference between errors of knowledge and breaches of morality. An error of knowledge is not a moral flaw, provided you are willing to correct it; only a mystic would judge human beings by the standard of an impossible, automatic omniscience. But a breach of morality is the conscious choice of an action you know to be evil, or a willful evasion of knowledge, a suspension of sight and of thought. That which you do not know, is not a moral charge against you; but that which you refuse to know, is an account of infamy growing in your soul. Make every allowance for errors of knowledge; do not forgive or accept any breach of morality." (Atlas Shrugged, 974).