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Post 0

Thursday, December 2, 2004 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
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And how would you suggest we get out of this morass....... this is not the first, nor will it be the last of a good commentary on the  issue, yet those statist thugs are even more determined to enforce their anti - individualism than ever before, even less inclined to pay attention to mindful rebukes.

Post 1

Thursday, December 2, 2004 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
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And how would you suggest we get out of this morass....... this is not the first, nor will it be the last of a good commentary on the  issue, yet those statist thugs are even more determined to enforce their anti - individualism than ever before, even less inclined to pay attention to mindful rebukes.

Post 2

Thursday, December 2, 2004 - 9:20amSanction this postReply
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And how would you suggest we get out of this morass....... this is not the first, nor will it be the last of a good commentary on the  issue, yet those statist thugs are even more determined to enforce their anti - individualism than ever before, even less inclined to pay attention to mindful rebukes.

Post 3

Thursday, December 2, 2004 - 10:52amSanction this postReply
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Professor Machan-

Thank you very much for writing this piece.  I might argue a bit that marjuana use, while no, not heroic, can be a very useful tool for learning to shift one's perception, as very as a simple or complex means to pleasure which should be treated with respect and regard like pleasure in general.  But your overall point is well stated, particularly the implication- one close to my own heart- that there is something very wrong with the (unfortunately, strategically unavoidable) prevalant morality that marijuana might be excused to alleviate pain for others- but not to provide pleasure for oneself.  The same thing applies to all drugs; I am the first to defend not only marijuana but morphine (heroin) and cocaine as having potential uses, and I furthermore have a moderate though not uncritical regard for 'alternative' medicines in general.  But the moral presumptions that only pain, not pleasure, can justify drug use is not only irrational but simply a vicious hatred of human enjoyment- or an unthinking mouthing of bourgeois prejudice.

Thank you, greatly, for speaking out here for human happiness in true principle.  Objectivism needs more of this.

true regards,
                        v
                        *
Jeanie Ring   )O( 
 stand forth!


Post 4

Thursday, December 2, 2004 - 1:06pmSanction this postReply
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Great article Professor Machan, you are correct of course.

For those who may be interested, I have posted on SOLOHQ about the current Supreme Court case here. I gather the post may only been visible to members of the SOLO Law group. 


Post 5

Friday, December 3, 2004 - 2:48amSanction this postReply
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I agree, there can be beneficial results of consuming pot and even other "illicit" drugs but I was dealing with the issue of our rights, not whether we exercise them wisely or not.

Post 6

Tuesday, February 18 - 3:36pmSanction this postReply
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I have no interest whatsoever in the use of any of the recreational drugs and I have no medical need for any of them, but like Professor Machan says, that isn't the issue.  The government hasn't the right to tell us what we can or can not put in our bodies.

 

We once had prohibition of the use of alcohol - in the constitution no less - and that was repealed.  I understand that the repeal was proceeded by people refusing to abide by the law, and then by forms of state nullification.  I suspect that is what we will see for marijuana.  One state after another will legalize it... not just for medical usage, but as Colorado recently did, for any use.  And finally the Federal government will modify their laws to exclude any criminal mention of marijuana.

 

While that is a better state of affairs then we have now, it is still a far cry from recognizing that the government has no powers not granted by the constitution and that the moral right to use drugs is with the individual who owns their body.  Anything else is an implicit acknowledgement that the government is the owner of our bodies and just allows us to use them so long as we use them in ways they approve of enough to not outlaw.

 

Many on the far left recognize that the government has no right to regulate drug use, but have no problem with regulating health care.  Many on the religious right recognize that government shouldn't regulate health care but have no problem with regulating drug use.  Both share the same basic premise which is that some elite should be the moral authority over others, using force to impose their control over the bodies of others, and only differ in what body functions they "allow" the individual to exercise.



Post 7

Friday, February 28 - 9:15pmSanction this postReply
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The question must also be seem from the obverse perspective than that of personal rights: Do you oblige the governmet to set safety standards on products that, if not regulated, would clearly cause harm? 

 

How about alcohol? if incorectlly distilled, it can kill you. Wine, too, btw. How aboy the obligation to cite % ethyl?

 

Cannibis users have long denied the potential harm of its use. Moreover, their 'medicinal' and 'health benefit' speal sounds like nothing more than used car-lot tire kickery by a mechanically illiterate salesman.

 

Of course I'm for  de-criminalization. Legalization, however, only under highly circumspect conditions. For one, there's the purity issue or 'shit', for another, a clear pass on the cellular issue--damage by long-term use.

 

The rat & test tube evidence is rather clear. What's lacking are real-person studies because it's illegal in the first place....

 

Em



Post 8

Friday, February 28 - 9:25pmSanction this postReply
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Eva, How about you try to think like an Objectivist, post your best conclusion on what we might respond with to your questions.



Post 9

Saturday, March 1 - 6:47amSanction this postReply
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A freely elected, democratic government has been mandated to test for product safety. Cannibis fails all known resting. It therefore takes cannibis off the market.

 

A rather childish form of 'individualism' offers a hopeless obiter dictate as a reponse.

 

* The testing done by hippies living in the woods with lit degrees from Dust Bunny U claim that the product is safe.

 * We don't like the government's right to tell us that we can't sell any dangerous product of our own choosing.

 

I'm for decriminalization of possession. What BATF claims, however, is somewhat true. Possessing lots of cannibis is prima facie intent to sell...

 

On a more abstract note ( which certain fisslies cannot understand!), individual rights always need to be redressed against the laws which, by having elected a government in the first place, we accept.

 

In other words, yes, certain laws are clearly unfair and unjust. But it's incumbent upon an individual to demonstrate unfairness. In this case, pro-cannibis fails miserably.

 

EM

 

 

 

 

 



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Post 10

Saturday, March 1 - 9:53amSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

On a more abstract note ( which certain fisslies cannot understand!), individual rights always need to be redressed against the laws which, by having elected a government in the first place, we accept.

No, you have it totally backwards.  The laws must be made to conform to individual rights, whose protection is the only proper purpose of the law.  Your worship of unfettered democracy, this embarrassing need to bow before the majority as if right would always be a matter of counting heads is something you don't seem to be able to get past.  I fear your thinking will always be warped in this fashion.

----------

 

This is a forum of people who are Objectivists.  Why do you want to come here to argue that we should adopt other views?  The people here, for the most part, understand that products that purposefully and intentionally harm others fall under the fraud or initiation of force aspect of individual rights and such sales would be criminal acts.  But, if they aren't intended to harm the purchasers, but do, then the recourse would be civil court.

 

People here don't tend to want the government to step in and tell them what they can or cannot buy or sell or manufacture or grow.  You most certainly are NOT a libertarian unless you subscribe to the theory that words are whatever you want them to be at the moment.

----------

In other words, yes, certain laws are clearly unfair and unjust. But it's incumbent upon an individual to demonstrate unfairness. In this case, pro-cannibis fails miserably.

No, it is encumbent on politicians to not pass unfair law... laws that are outside of the power the constitution granted, and outside of any common sense understanding of liberty and freedom.  Your idea of "unfair and unjust" is that an elite in Washington decide what is best for us, and as long as a majority voted for them, then whatever they pass is fair and just.  How is that different from Progressivism?  If they passed a law that said it was okay to rape 20 year old college students, that would most certainly be unfair and unjust, but would it be incumbent upon an individual to demonstrate unfairness?  I shouldn't have to say it, but I will.  An objectively derived moral code is the only answer to the many confusions you so frequently bring to your posts.  Without it, you will be lost trying to hold together a relationship between concepts like "fair and just" and laws and what government should and shouldn't do.



Post 11

Saturday, March 1 - 11:58amSanction this postReply
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If you want to rule as puppet master, and manipulate the strings that pull the mob towards accomplishing your goals...  then you can never acknowledge Austrian economics and the importance of making negative rights the foundation of government.  Otherwise you will no longer be able to maintain the appearance of beleiving your own propoganda, due to the inherent hypocracy.



Post 12

Saturday, March 1 - 9:41pmSanction this postReply
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Wolfer,

 

Yes, laws should be made to conform to one an individual feels that 'individual rights' should be because everyone wants to have his/her own way.

 

Yet the reality--present, past, future, everywhere-- is that the society at large decides what's 'individual' and what's not. In a democracy, we all get to decide via representation.

 

So your on-line hissyfit only makes things worse. That's because what you're not doing is participating in any kind of open debate with others.

 

Moreover, as a political ally in the cause to get taxes lowered, you're worse than useless. Even if you lived in Atlanta, i would not bring you to a tax-forum debate because you'd embarrass me: everything disagreeable would be labeled 'socialist'.

 

Newsflash: Although I think Rand's ideas are interesting, six billion people out there not named 'Wolfer' also cherish their own particular version of individual rights. I would also guesstimate that half of those do a better job of explaining than you.

 

In other words, no one is really interested in reducto ad absurdam arguments that compare unfriendly tax rates to legally permitting rape. But that's the best you have; how juvenile.

 

EM

 

 

 

 



Post 13

Saturday, March 1 - 11:11pmSanction this postReply
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Says the wanna be puppet master.



Post 14

Sunday, March 2 - 8:40amSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

...laws should be made to conform to one an individual feels that 'individual rights' should be because everyone wants to have his/her own way.

You either don't understand, or don't agree that there are such things as individual rights. As I've said before, without an understanding that an objective, universal moral code can be discovered and that elements of it will provide a basis for a moral government, you will never be able to escape from your self-adopted trap of society makes 'right' and majority equals moral. It is no wonder that you became so incensed with Fred's gang rape metaphor.  It instantly ruins what little there is to your intellectual understanding of what government is really about.
-----------

 

Instead of an intelligent argument you say the following:
- I'm just having a hissyfit
- I'm not participating in any kind of open debate
- I'm worthless as a political ally in the cause to get taxes lowered
- Individual rights are subjective, everyone has their own version, and most of them do a better job of explaining theirs than I do
- My arguments are absurd and I am juvenile

 

And absolutely no evidence, no reasoning is presented, just ugly ad hominem attacks. I'd make some comment at this point about who is the juvenile, but, wait.... you are the one who was a teenager last year.
------------

 

Given that you are okay with the government doing whatever the majority wants, then you will be okay with higher taxes if that is the way they vote. Why not? You have no moral basis for your politics, that I've seen, except that a majority rules.



Post 15

Sunday, March 2 - 1:16pmSanction this postReply
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Wolfer,

 

If there's a universal moral code out there which is both applicable and unambiguous regarding understanding of specific action, then it's yet to be discovered.

 

What we have are general principles, such as Kant's Categorical, Maimonides' 'owing', Aristotle's 'Virtue', Gert's lack or doing wrong, etc. No real recipe.

 

So kindly state yours, please.

 

>>>>As I've said before, without an understanding that an objective, universal moral code can be discovered and that elements of it will provide a basis for a moral government, you will never be able to escape from your self-adopted trap of society makes 'right' and majority equals moral. >>>>

 

 

If a moral code is discovered (a moron!?), then you're correct in saying that it will provide a firm basis for a moral government.

Yet the issue today is precisely that society makes 'right' without any firm moral compass.

 

 Majority never equaled moral to anyone. This is the world's oldest straw dog.

 

And yes, you tend to get pissy at the notion that there is not, as we speak, a workable moral law that can serve as a recipe for a moral government. Moreover, a prerequisite for talking morals with others is an acceptance that there will be disagreemnt. Compromise is just what you have to do.

 

Eva

 

 



Post 16

Sunday, March 2 - 6:38pmSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

 

You can continue to believe that there are no universal values. Or you can say that they have yet to be discovered (but I doubt that anyone would believe that you are sitting there, open-mindedly waiting and hoping that such will be discovered). You can find nits to pick and points to ignore on any and all attempts to point out what universal values are already clear. All of these tactics work well for progressives.

 

You say that society makes right but put 'right' in single quotes. I take it you don't believe that there is such a thing as an ethical right... apart from subjective beliefs.  Again, another reason that you get your knickers in such a twist when anyone points out that a majority vote will not make gang rape right.

 

I'm not the one getting pissy at the notion of a workable moral law that can serve as a recipe for a moral government.  I have such a recipe and I'm quite happy with it. You are the one who gets all pissy at the idea that I could believe in such a thing. And you fall back on claims that society makes 'right' and that that a majority vote should be accepted. Then you get all pissy anew over the issue of gang rape.

 

You say that a prerequisite for talking morals with others is an acceptance that compromise is what you have to do. So, if you are the lone female who is about to be gang raped by a majority who say there is nothing immoral with 'a little bit of fun' and that there aren't any universal moral principles anyway, and why are you getting all pissy, what do you do?  Do you compromise and say it is okay if only half of them get a turn?

 

You see, I think morality is universal and absolute and there should be no compromise on basic principles and that you are the sole property owner of your body and that's something I'd fight quite ferociously to defend. But then you said you wouldn't even want me to be with you when arguing before the Atlanta City Council on tax issues, you don't believe in property rights, individual rights, moral principles, universal morality, etc., etc.



Post 17

Sunday, March 2 - 7:38pmSanction this postReply
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Wolfer,

 

>>>>and that you are the sole property owner of your body and that's something I'd fight quite ferociously to defend>>>

 

Of course. The oldest rhetorical trick in the world is to pair an accepted truism with a second idea that lacks substance.

I believe my grandpa calls this 'checkering', after Nixon.

 

 

>>>> I think morality is universal and absolute and there should be no compromise on basic principles

 

Yes, I know. You haven't explaind what, exactly, these universals are.

 

EM



Post 18

Sunday, March 2 - 7:49pmSanction this postReply
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Matthews,

 

I wrote that you are the sole property owner of your body - a universal moral principle.  You called it rhetorical trick and then, in the next sentence, said I haven't yet explained what any of these principles are!!!!!

 

You are opposed to gang rape aren't you?  If so, on what principle?



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