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Fnord
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11 Nov 2022, 12:46 am

There is a problem with developing any form of "Moral Law": exceptions.

• "Do Not Murder"?  What about those who kill in self-defense?

• "Do Not Steal"?  What about those who have no other means to provide food or medicine for themselves?

• "Do Not Lie"?  What about "white lies"?  What about "state secrets"?  What about politicians?

It seems that for every "moral law" -- secular or otherwise -- there is at least one exception.


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11 Nov 2022, 1:23 am

Fnord wrote:
There is a problem with developing any form of "Moral Law": exceptions.

• "Do Not Murder"?  What about those who kill in self-defense?

• "Do Not Steal"?  What about those who have no other means to provide food or medicine for themselves?

• "Do Not Lie"?  What about "white lies"?  What about "state secrets"?  What about politicians?

It seems that for every "moral law" -- secular or otherwise -- there is at least one exception.


I've never heard of killing in self-defense described as murder.

Though murder is one of those things that every society in existence prohibits. The definition might vary, but no society that allows people to kill members of their own group without good reason will survive for long. I suppose that's a pragmatic basis for morality: those without some level of it, will fall apart and die off. As societies grow more developed, we start seeing morality applied to those outside of the group, as well.



cubedemon6073
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12 Nov 2022, 12:14 am

Fnord wrote:
There is a problem with developing any form of "Moral Law": exceptions.

• "Do Not Murder"?  What about those who kill in self-defense?

• "Do Not Steal"?  What about those who have no other means to provide food or medicine for themselves?

• "Do Not Lie"?  What about "white lies"?  What about "state secrets"?  What about politicians?

It seems that for every "moral law" -- secular or otherwise -- there is at least one exception.


Yup, exactly!! !!

How do the absolute moral codes like the Bible handle exceptions. How do those who rail against postmodernism and moral relativism deal with exceptions and/or conflicts within their moral codes?

I believe there is the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace heated 7 times higher then normal to burn four people because they refused to worship the statue of Nebuchadnezzar because it would go against the commandment of "You shall have no other God's before me."

They were disobeying a command to not disobey authority figures yet if they obeyed this command by Nebuchadnezzar they would be disobeying God.

Romans 13
1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2
Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
3
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
4
For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

I do wish Christian Conservatives who bash moral relativism and postmodernism would actually explain things like this.



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12 Nov 2022, 12:24 pm

cubedemon6073 wrote:
Romans 13
1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Yes my gut tells me Paul is plain wrong about that, in the light of some of the unjust dictators we've seen. The best defense I can imagine so far for his words is that he may have been referring only to the local authorities at the time - unfortunately he wastes a lot of his epistle repeating the same thing over and over without clarifying it at all. I don't know how he got away with such a sloppy job, but maybe in those days people would have just known what he meant from first-hand knowledge of the context he failed to be explicit about.

Luckily there seems to be a loophole (or contradiction) in the same epistle:
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
So it would seem that victimless crimes are OK. I've long thought so, and I'm an atheist.

However, some theists take the view that the thing to do is to disobey when you feel the law is wrong but to submit to the punishment:

https://www.bibleref.com/Romans/13/Roma ... er-13.html
What do you do when a human government tells you to do something that contradicts God's commands? Or when the government is not acting fairly, or morally, or in good faith? In that case, a believer must defy ungodly commands and willingly face the consequences (Acts 5:27–29). Paul's instruction here speaks of subjection and submission, but not necessarily of obedience.

According to the stories, Gandhi did something like that. Personally I think there's a time and place for being a martyr, and I wouldn't feel guilty about evading punishment for a victimless crime. I'm somewhat self-serving and although I'd like to leave the world a better place, I think it's important to get bang for buck, so for example I wouldn't subject myself to great hardship for the faint chance of a meagre improvement in the world, but I'd quite likely accept a small hardship in order to make a big improvement.



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12 Nov 2022, 12:37 pm

cubedemon6073 wrote:
Fnord wrote:
There is a problem with developing any form of "Moral Law": exceptions.

• "Do Not Murder"?  What about those who kill in self-defense?

• "Do Not Steal"?  What about those who have no other means to provide food or medicine for themselves?

• "Do Not Lie"?  What about "white lies"?  What about "state secrets"?  What about politicians?

It seems that for every "moral law" -- secular or otherwise -- there is at least one exception.


Yup, exactly!! ! !

How do the absolute moral codes like the Bible handle exceptions. How do those who rail against postmodernism and moral relativism deal with exceptions and/or conflicts within their moral codes?

I believe there is the story of Nebuchadnezzar and the fiery furnace heated 7 times higher then normal to burn four people because they refused to worship the statue of Nebuchadnezzar because it would go against the commandment of "You shall have no other God's before me."

They were disobeying a command to not disobey authority figures yet if they obeyed this command by Nebuchadnezzar they would be disobeying God.

Romans 13
1
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
2
Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
3
For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.
4
For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
5
Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

I do wish Christian Conservatives who bash moral relativism and postmodernism would actually explain things like this.

Ok, your typical Christian these days won’t be able to explain it. The sort of standard answer is that it is generally assumed that authorities follow the will of God, meaning that they are acting consistently with Christian values. In Paul’s day, this wasn’t necessarily true. Rebelling against authorities would cause trouble, which would go against the image Christians intended to portray. The fiery furnace story is consistent with Paul’s view. Rather than try to escape, protest, start a rebellion, etc., the Jews handed themselves over to the authorities and entered the furnace without resistance. Passive resistance, responding to hate with love, satyagraha, etc. has been used to great effect throughout history in religious and social movements. Jesus did not hide, fight, or resist. Neither did Ghandi or King. Christianity changed the world. Ghandi brought an entire empire to its knees. King turned the entire American justice system upside down. And by doing what? Literally NOTHING. By forcing governments and institutions to physically pick them up and move them, exposing to the whole world the corruption and inequities of the system. By showing the world that their governments had made life unlivable for minorities. This wasn’t the goal of Christianity, of course, but Christians were able to leverage existing government institutions to spread the gospel. While I do greatly admire what the Jews accomplished at Masada, that event also highlights a number of things the Jews got wrong.

Even Atlas Shrugged has examples of this. Hank Reardon recognized that the government needed his cooperation more than he needed them. So rather than play into their hands by admitting guilt for breaking the law, Reardon simply refused to publicly acknowledge the authority of the court. John Galt allowed himself to be captured and let corrupt authorities expose themselves for who they were. At one point, Galt is being tortured. When the torture machine breaks down, he even tells them what’s wrong with it and what needs to be fixed. And everyone who follows John Galt simply vanishes rather than allow their work to be used to prop up a failing government. Ultimately collectivist world governments collapse when institutions have nothing left to cannibalize. For Objectivists, the equivalent of satyagraha is the non-aggression principle, or the non-initiation of force.

And that’s what I believe in. The initiation of force is an admission of failure, that institutions cannot achieve their goals anywhere else besides at the end of a gun.

That’s the “standard” answer, which isn’t WRONG exactly, but I have a different take on it.

I believe what’s best is what benefits the individual the most. Does submitting to government authority most often result in a benefit to the individual? USUALLY, yes, this is true. When a government is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, this is true. The role of government is to protect individuals by providing the rule of law. When the individual is protected, he is free to achieve, which means the government benefits from the combined strength of individuals, and more individuals reap the benefits. It’s a symbiotic relationship in which individuals and the government draw strength from each other. Do you want religious freedom? Easy. The government promises not to interfere with religion as long as religious groups make good on their promise not to disrupt the work of individuals or make trouble for the government. The government will protect religious people while at the same not establishing a national religion. Simple. Easy.

Everyone can live free and happy, obeying laws that do not interfere with their way of life. Everything is fine until someone does something that harms someone else. Say you’re a farmer and your neighbor does chemical manufacturing. Your cattle die because your neighbor dumps waste in the river. So the government might pass a law that forbids dumping chemicals in rivers.

But what ends up happening is governments tend to pass laws that favor one industry over another for the sake of strengthening their hold on power. As of right now, fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine are the best and most convenient means of transportation. But government policies over the last century favoring three industries—fossil fuel, iron/metal, and automobiles—have severely limited the innovation of better technologies that might separate automobiles from dependency on fossil fuels. How does the government respond? By implement policies that drive up fuel prices (but increasing profits), forcing job cuts, and propping up renewable energy programs mismanaged by incompetent and greedy executives. In other words, leveraging government power to solve a problem caused by government policies by implementing more government policies. By doing so, this hurts the individual and kills innovation.

Laws have become less about maintaining an orderly society and protecting individuals and more about controlling the individual by making it impossible to avoid breaking the law. When doing what you do to earn a living, you sometimes have to choose between breaking one law or another. When politics swings in your favor, you can regularly break one law and nobody ever notices. Everyone else is breaking the same law, anyway. But when a different political party takes power, now you can be sued or sent to prison. The government creates situations in which doing the right thing becomes a federal offense and encourages doing bad things. Gun control laws make it illegal to defend yourself. So if someone breaks into your house and points a gun at you or your family, you’ll go to prison if you shoot the armed robber. Gun laws in reality only protect those with evil intentions. You could say that only rational people are allowed to have guns, but how do you pass a mental health eval? Does being a Trump supporter mean you’re mentally ill? Or if Republicans are ever in power, does being a liberal make you mentally ill? You see, blindly submitting to an inconsistent authority or institution will ultimately result in harmful consequences regardless of what your personal beliefs are.

And that’s why I see even Biblical commands to be conditional—ALWAYS follow those commands on the condition that those commands result in your best interest.

The best interest of the Christian is in spreading the gospel and building God’s kingdom. A large number of Old Testament laws are irrelevant because they weren’t written for Christians. Mixing dairy and meat is a mark of Hebrew identity, as are most all dietary laws. Christians are permitted to eat whatever they want. Animal sacrifices were fulfilled on the cross, so Christians do not practice this. Sacrifices are ONLY allowed in the Temple, which hasn’t stood in nearly 2000 years. It is impossible for Jews to obey even their own laws. And even some of the laws of Moses were never intended to be permanent but could change with the needs of the Hebrew nation.

The command to not murder, as an example, is pretty ironclad. There’s no wiggle room for murder. Murder is only one form of killing. Not all killing is murder. For killing to be murder it must meet certain definitions. In American law, motive or intent must be established, along with opportunity and other evidence that the accused committed the crime. Americans do not like murder prosecutions because of the rigors of murder trials. Plea deals are common to avoid the death penalty. Not guilty pleas in the face of overwhelming evidence tend to uncover more than what’s in the best interest of the murderer and makes the death penalty easier to justify. But it’s also more work for the state and a cause for emotional and mental anguish of prosecutors, defense, judges, witnesses, jurors, and the public. Sweeping it under the rug on lesser charges may not serve the best interests of the victim, survivors, or the public, but it at least offers compassion to the guilty even it’s not deserved. Mercy and compassion are never worth anything until you are the one in need of it. As long as everyone is afforded the same justice and mercy across the board, this system works better than anything in the history of the world. But if you find that apples-to-apples comparisons show that one race consistently faces heavier penalties for identical crimes and circumstances, the justice system might need a little work.

The proper role of government means that a police force provides for the defense of individuals. Apart from police, individuals must rely on themselves for their defense. And so when criminals initiate force, they take their lives in their own hands by starting a war with a homeowner. And since we have the right to defend our own lives, criminals put their own lives at risk once they initiate force. Self-defense cannot qualify as murder because a person defending himself had no premeditated intent to kill his attacker, was not seeking an opportunity to kill the attacker in advance, and evidence will show that killing an intruder could not have been planned. In no way does self defense meet the definition of murder except that someone got himself killed.

Depending on circumstances, something like that might go down as manslaughter or negligent homicide at worst. And that’s where it gets nitpicky. An attacker shot in the chest was facing his victim and killed while he was a threat. An attacker shot in the back was not a threat at the time and might have tried to escape. Someone killed at night has unknown intentions, so the worst can be assumed. Someone attacking during the day, though, might be more nuanced. If he’s just robbing your house, a verbal warning might be enough to get rid of him. If he runs away, let him go. If he attacks, well…you did what you could. If he dies, that’s on him. People must feel free to do what benefits them best without fear of violence. If someone initiates violence, people must feel free to respond in kind for their own sake. There is no rule of law where there are no consequences for bad behavior. Stripping crimes of consequences rewards criminals. Controlling how people may defend themselves and leaving them vulnerable rewards criminal behavior.

And that’s why I say that with all things, even killing another person, something is acceptable as long as it results in the rational, best, self interest of the individual. The initiation of force invites retaliation. It’s not a good idea to point guns at people to get what you want. You risk a gun pointed back at you and take your life in your own hands.

Stealing is objectively evil not simply because you are taking what you did not work for, but because your creative effort did not go into taking possession of it, you destroy the value of it. The victim is at a loss, but the thief gains nothing. Theft is irrational, always. And so the destruction of value which extends to the money you get for selling stolen property affects ALL individuals, not solely the individual victim. The loss of the value of money harms all productive individuals. Theft is objectively evil because it is destructive to the value of individual creative work.

Things like adultery are tricky in objective terms. Objectivism emphasizes the rights of the individual, so who you sleep with and why are your business, not your lover or spouse. Why would a commandment to not commit adultery be objective? Well, I don’t find Ayn Rand’s personal life to fully exemplify the ideal is romantic relationships, but it’s worth mentioning. Rand was married to Frank O’Connor who she would describe as her ideal man. But she also had a long-standing relationship with Nate Branden. I believe that was in view of his psychological application of objectivist principles, his views on self-esteem, and his extensive promotion of objectivism. There was a strong spiritual element to their relationship, I believe, and it clearly worked in both their interests. But their relationship ended and came out that Branden had an affair with another woman. Rand felt that Branden’s irrationality and dishonesty were enough to disown him.

I don’t really know how I feel about it.

But I do take the position that it is immoral to sleep with someone you don’t love. And by immoral I mean objectively immoral. You compromise your own value by settling for anything less than your ideal. Beethoven, in my view, is an objective hero for a number of reasons—his unwavering, uncompromising confidence in human potential, his lifelong commitment to excellence, and his refusal to settle for less than his ideal in romantic relationships. He never married, never had children, but expressed romantic interest in one or more unavailable women he never names. For Beethoven, life was best fulfilled committed to a high ideal rather than settling for anything less.

Adultery represents settling one way or another. You settle for second-hand sex because your wife doesn’t satisfy you. Or you only marry for convenience or obligation. Marriage should be about achieving the ideal and mutual interest. Very often it isn’t. So if you’re seeking physical intimacy outside marriage, you married the wrong person. You are objectively immoral because you sacrificing your own values and your happiness. When it comes to choosing a spouse, there is no reason to make yourself miserable.

Do not envy? Makes sense objectively. Envy is hatred for the achievements of others. It is irrational. It is objectively immoral. There’s nothing left to say on that topic.

Greed? Greed is the irrational desire for things you neither create, nor earn, nor deserve. Greedy people have no values—they don’t believe in working for things, therefore nothing they desire has any real value. It’s hard to describe greed without making comparisons to mental illness.

So…final thoughts here—Biblical commandments are never intended to come into conflict. You can remove context from whatever you want to mean whatever you want it to mean to suit your purpose. But rather than trying to explore context, for the purpose of this discussion, I find it better to weigh Biblical commands against reason and reality. There is no contradiction here, no conflict at all. Biblical commandments presuppose reality and rational thought. If you think you’ve found a contradiction, check your premises. At least one of them is wrong.



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12 Nov 2022, 1:03 pm

ToughDiamond wrote:
Personally I think there's a time and place for being a martyr, and I wouldn't feel guilty about evading punishment for a victimless crime. I'm somewhat self-serving and although I'd like to leave the world a better place, I think it's important to get bang for buck, so for example I wouldn't subject myself to great hardship for the faint chance of a meagre improvement in the world, but I'd quite likely accept a small hardship in order to make a big improvement.

That’s not unlike how I feel about it.

There’s a time/place for being a martyr. I agree with that. But I disagree with the Christian tendency to want to rush out to become one. On the other hand, lot of the ineffectiveness I see in businesses, governments, and political parties is caused by a paralyzing fear of creating martyrs.



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12 Nov 2022, 2:39 pm

I think it is important to point out that there were prehistoric religions, as well as those that have survived today. Hinduism which is older than Christianity has customs dating back over 4,000 years and some of the prehistoric religions are the foundation for which newer religions based themselves upon.

Religions are arguably moral compasses for people in less civilized ages. Nowadays with the surveillance state, there is always the threat of prison for criminal behavior and there is a good chance you'll get caught for crimes committed. In prehistoric times and in the times of Jesus & the stone ages, the discovery ages, the medieval and the colonial ages and so on, it was a lot easier to commit crimes and get away with them.

Religion was a kind of karma back then that people were afraid of. "God sees all", even where there are no human witnesses etc.



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12 Nov 2022, 11:08 pm

AngelRho wrote:

Stealing is objectively evil not simply because you are taking what you did not work for, but because your creative effort did not go into taking possession of it, you destroy the value of it. The victim is at a loss, but the thief gains nothing. Theft is irrational, always. And so the destruction of value which extends to the money you get for selling stolen property affects ALL individuals, not solely the individual victim. The loss of the value of money harms all productive individuals. Theft is objectively evil because it is destructive to the value of individual creative work.



So... Killing can ne justified and is not necessarily "murder", the bad kind of killing.
But stealing is always bad, because the resale value drops.
Which presupposes two things: that I'm stealimg for the resale value, and that the resale value actually drops.
So, when I steal bread because I'm hungry, that's not vovered by this set of morals, and when I steal money - a fungible item whose value is not deyermined by the work that went into its production - it's fine?

No wonder Ayn Rand stopped writing and picked up stamp collecting...


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13 Nov 2022, 12:28 am

AngelRho wrote:

Stealing is objectively evil not simply because you are taking what you did not work for, but because your creative effort did not go into taking possession of it, you destroy the value of it. The victim is at a loss, but the thief gains nothing. Theft is irrational, always. And so the destruction of value which extends to the money you get for selling stolen property affects ALL individuals, not solely the individual victim. The loss of the value of money harms all productive individuals. Theft is objectively evil because it is destructive to the value of individual creative work.


Not to defend theft (it can be quite a terrible crime), but some thieves are actually quite creative in how they get their ill-gotten gains. Creativity used for evil purposes, yes, but still a form of ingenuity. As an example, I've learned that some criminals set up fake ATM readers to get card and PIN numbers. It's evil, but it is pretty clever. Someone had to be creative to come up with that.

Theft is wrong because it is taking something that does not belong to you without the consent of the owner. We would not be able to function if everyone did this, and society would fall apart. Hence it needs to be discouraged and punished.



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13 Nov 2022, 6:34 am

Minder wrote:
AngelRho wrote:

Stealing is objectively evil not simply because you are taking what you did not work for, but because your creative effort did not go into taking possession of it, you destroy the value of it. The victim is at a loss, but the thief gains nothing. Theft is irrational, always. And so the destruction of value which extends to the money you get for selling stolen property affects ALL individuals, not solely the individual victim. The loss of the value of money harms all productive individuals. Theft is objectively evil because it is destructive to the value of individual creative work.


Not to defend theft (it can be quite a terrible crime), but some thieves are actually quite creative in how they get their ill-gotten gains. Creativity used for evil purposes, yes, but still a form of ingenuity. As an example, I've learned that some criminals set up fake ATM readers to get card and PIN numbers. It's evil, but it is pretty clever. Someone had to be creative to come up with that.

Theft is wrong because it is taking something that does not belong to you without the consent of the owner. We would not be able to function if everyone did this, and society would fall apart. Hence it needs to be discouraged and punished.

If someone is so clever and creative, why steal? Why not put ingenuity and creative energy into something that generates value rather than destroying it?



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13 Nov 2022, 7:08 am

shlaifu wrote:
AngelRho wrote:

Stealing is objectively evil not simply because you are taking what you did not work for, but because your creative effort did not go into taking possession of it, you destroy the value of it. The victim is at a loss, but the thief gains nothing. Theft is irrational, always. And so the destruction of value which extends to the money you get for selling stolen property affects ALL individuals, not solely the individual victim. The loss of the value of money harms all productive individuals. Theft is objectively evil because it is destructive to the value of individual creative work.



So... Killing can ne justified and is not necessarily "murder", the bad kind of killing.
But stealing is always bad, because the resale value drops.
Which presupposes two things: that I'm stealimg for the resale value, and that the resale value actually drops.
So, when I steal bread because I'm hungry, that's not vovered by this set of morals, and when I steal money - a fungible item whose value is not deyermined by the work that went into its production - it's fine?

No wonder Ayn Rand stopped writing and picked up stamp collecting...

It has nothing to do with resale value. Stolen items are not created by thieves. They are not bought by money thieves made by their own creative effort. The items themselves possess no value.

Anything worth having is worth working for. I think it would be fun to own a Rolls-Royce. If I were earning enough money to justify buying one, I probably would. But as it is I don’t. And with my income, there are lots of things that are worth more to me than having a Rolls, like paying for a house and feeding my family. If I were to steal a Rolls, it amounts to taking something I have no interest in building or working for.

It is irrational to desire that which has no worth. Stealing is immoral that reason among others. It has to be protected against because 1) it destroys the value of the stolen item, 2) it destroys the value of money gained from selling worthless, stolen property, 3) it directly harms the individual victim of theft, 4) it harms all individuals when money is devalued.

Recovery of stolen assets, OTOH, is plenty acceptable—robbing thieves, basically. Repossession and bounty hunting are noble professions in my opinion because it is restorative justice and holds criminals accountable when governments lack the means and ability to do it themselves.

In Objectivism, collectivist governments are viewed as thieves. Government takes a Robin Hood role by taking from the rich and redistributing wealth to the needy. Towards the end of her life, Ayn Rand initially refused to accept social security and Medicare on the basis of it being stolen money. She only accepted welfare benefits once she understood that money had already been taken in taxes she’s payed. Basically, they government was just giving back what was already rightfully hers in the first place. The irrationality of it is not lost on the Objectivist. If you’re just going to give it back, why take it in the first place? Why not give individuals the power to protect retirement money or invest it more efficiently? If they refuse to prepare for end of life concerns, that’s their fault. In any case, taking what is not yours is objectively immoral.



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13 Nov 2022, 7:20 am

Fnord wrote:
There is a problem with developing any form of "Moral Law": exceptions.

• "Do Not Murder"?  What about those who kill in self-defense?

• "Do Not Steal"?  What about those who have no other means to provide food or medicine for themselves?

Why would someone have no means to provide for themselves? There are reasons, so I think it’s important to consider things like that before you punish thieves.

Even the Bible mentions these kinds of exceptions. It’s not that you let a man go unpunished for stealing bread when his children are starving to death. That’s more a commentary on what kind of society has plenty to eat but lets orphans and widows starve to death. If people resort to theft for survival, you have to ask yourself if the reason you suffered a loss was because you refuse to be a decent human being.

Objectivists see the inherent value of all individuals. It is in an objectivist’s self-interest to invest in the potential of other people, including those who have fallen on hard times but willing to make themselves valuable.



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13 Nov 2022, 11:07 am

AngelRho wrote:
Minder wrote:
AngelRho wrote:

Stealing is objectively evil not simply because you are taking what you did not work for, but because your creative effort did not go into taking possession of it, you destroy the value of it. The victim is at a loss, but the thief gains nothing. Theft is irrational, always. And so the destruction of value which extends to the money you get for selling stolen property affects ALL individuals, not solely the individual victim. The loss of the value of money harms all productive individuals. Theft is objectively evil because it is destructive to the value of individual creative work.


Not to defend theft (it can be quite a terrible crime), but some thieves are actually quite creative in how they get their ill-gotten gains. Creativity used for evil purposes, yes, but still a form of ingenuity. As an example, I've learned that some criminals set up fake ATM readers to get card and PIN numbers. It's evil, but it is pretty clever. Someone had to be creative to come up with that.

Theft is wrong because it is taking something that does not belong to you without the consent of the owner. We would not be able to function if everyone did this, and society would fall apart. Hence it needs to be discouraged and punished.

If someone is so clever and creative, why steal? Why not put ingenuity and creative energy into something that generates value rather than destroying it?


Who knows? Maybe they didn't have parents who raised them right. Maybe they're trying to make a statement. Maybe they're bad people.

But they're still creative.



cubedemon6073
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14 Nov 2022, 1:00 am

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Objectivists see the inherent value of all individuals. It is in an objectivist’s self-interest to invest in the potential of other people, including those who have fallen on hard times but willing to make themselves valuable.


I actually agree with you on this one.

I do have what others may consider an unusual opinion. The reason that welfare/socialism/etc exists is because there is enough of a demand for it. I think if conservatives took more time to help people who truthfully need help as in autistics who have difficulty with interviews amongst other things the demand for these things would be reduced. And, I think if employers were willing to either pay more to lower income workers or help uplift them to higher on the ladder I think you could reduce the demand for welfare/socialism, etc.

In other words, love your neighbor so not only they benefit but you benefit as well.



AngelRho
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14 Nov 2022, 4:48 am

cubedemon6073 wrote:
Quote:
Objectivists see the inherent value of all individuals. It is in an objectivist’s self-interest to invest in the potential of other people, including those who have fallen on hard times but willing to make themselves valuable.


I actually agree with you on this one.

I do have what others may consider an unusual opinion. The reason that welfare/socialism/etc exists is because there is enough of a demand for it. I think if conservatives took more time to help people who truthfully need help as in autistics who have difficulty with interviews amongst other things the demand for these things would be reduced. And, I think if employers were willing to either pay more to lower income workers or help uplift them to higher on the ladder I think you could reduce the demand for welfare/socialism, etc.

In other words, love your neighbor so not only they benefit but you benefit as well.

Individuals don’t benefit that way, though. For charity to be most effective, individuals must want to give and must do so in their own terms. Government welfare programs take money from people unwilling to give and distribute it to others they feel don’t need or deserve it. Nobody benefits. Taxpayers feel their money is wasted when they are capable of making better decisions, and recipients are discouraged from self-improvement. Welfare programs often pay better than entry-level jobs. Why work?

Minimum wage requires employers to pay better than what the job is worth. Higher minimum wage means employers are unable to hire as many employees as they would otherwise, and fewer employees have to shoulder more responsibility, which means lower quality of work for more expensive products.

Undocumented workers, otoh, will accept lower pay and longer hours, perform better because they are often supporting families back home where cost of living is significantly lower. Republicans will complain that they are taking American jobs, but…honestly, how many Americans exactly will take those kinds of jobs? Everyone benefits. Employers get cheap labor befitting the job, employees are able to earn when jobs are otherwise scarce.



cubedemon6073
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14 Nov 2022, 6:33 am

AngelRho wrote:
cubedemon6073 wrote:
Quote:
Objectivists see the inherent value of all individuals. It is in an objectivist’s self-interest to invest in the potential of other people, including those who have fallen on hard times but willing to make themselves valuable.


I actually agree with you on this one.

I do have what others may consider an unusual opinion. The reason that welfare/socialism/etc exists is because there is enough of a demand for it. I think if conservatives took more time to help people who truthfully need help as in autistics who have difficulty with interviews amongst other things the demand for these things would be reduced. And, I think if employers were willing to either pay more to lower income workers or help uplift them to higher on the ladder I think you could reduce the demand for welfare/socialism, etc.

In other words, love your neighbor so not only they benefit but you benefit as well.

Individuals don’t benefit that way, though. For charity to be most effective, individuals must want to give and must do so in their own terms. Government welfare programs take money from people unwilling to give and distribute it to others they feel don’t need or deserve it. Nobody benefits. Taxpayers feel their money is wasted when they are capable of making better decisions, and recipients are discouraged from self-improvement. Welfare programs often pay better than entry-level jobs. Why work?

Minimum wage requires employers to pay better than what the job is worth. Higher minimum wage means employers are unable to hire as many employees as they would otherwise, and fewer employees have to shoulder more responsibility, which means lower quality of work for more expensive products.

Undocumented workers, otoh, will accept lower pay and longer hours, perform better because they are often supporting families back home where cost of living is significantly lower. Republicans will complain that they are taking American jobs, but…honestly, how many Americans exactly will take those kinds of jobs? Everyone benefits. Employers get cheap labor befitting the job, employees are able to earn when jobs are otherwise scarce.


I'm not sure if you understood me or not. Here are examples as to what I'm getting at.

1. Maybe an individual conservative person could take on an autistic person and help them get employed to where they're not a burden on the tax payer. Help them with interview skills. Explain the personality tests to them. Explain other things what a positivity vs negativity. For me, it took me a long time to realize for people were not talking about mathematics and boolean logic when it came to positivity and negativity but emotions. I didn't realize this for a long time. Conservatives take time to mentor folks. This is one example.

2. Another example conservatives as individuals could do. Bring in a mentally ill person and take care of them or get them to a state in which they can be taught to fish and teach them how to fish.

3. Instead of attacking abortion rights if the individual conservative truthfully feels strongly that abortion is murder then offer to adopt the child. Pay the mother a lump sum of money to adopt the child. My in-laws are taking care of a person with both low functioning autism and cebreal palsy. Are individual conservatives willing to take in a crack baby?

These are the kind of things I'm talking about and a lot more as well. I'm not talking about welfare and government programs. I'm not talking about anyone giving to charity.



These are things individual conservatives can do.