Objectivists = Cannibals?

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Objectivists = Cannibals?

Postby JustinFelux » Tue Sep 17, 2002 1:07 am

Objectivism = Cannibalism

by Justin Felux

Sometimes when I am looking to amuse myself, I read Objectivist websites. While doing so earlier today I uncovered the shocking ulterior motives of the Objectivist movement. Here is the quote from one website that brought me to this epiphany:

"The fetus has the capacity to become a human being in time, but a potentiality is not an actuality (a fetus is not a human being). Rights only belong to man. [sic] Forcing a woman against her will is a violation of her right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Neither do animals have any right. Animals are not rational beings but act on instinct and automatic sensory-perceptual association. In short, animals lack what is necessary to a moral being : volition. No animal can have reason because animals cannot form concepts, which is the most important constituant of reason. We must respect the freedom of other beings for a selfish reason : to benefit from their rational actions. But a man gains nothing by respecting the inexistant right of animals, for animals are not rational beings. Perhaps a foetus and an animal can feel pain. But that is besides [sic] the point. The source of rights, as we have seen, is not the capacity for pain, but the capacity to think."

Most of this pargraph is plagarized from Leonard Peikoff, but that doesn't matter. And it's untrue that animals don't have volition, but that doesn't matter either. The thing that made me realize what the Objectivists are really up to is the juxtaposition of the rights (or the lack thereof) of the fetus with the rights (ditto) of animals. If it is really the "capacity to think" or to be "rational" that gives a living thing rights, then not only do fetuses have no rights, but neither do newborn babies, senile people, schizophrenics, people who are asleep, in a coma, or otherwise unconscious, people with severe brain damage, and so on. These people have no rights, just like animals and plants and other living things who do not have the capacity to "think".

This got me thinking: Why would Objectivists want to apply the same standards with regards to rights to babies as they do to chickens and potatoes? Or, to give a more illuminating set of examples, why would Objectivists want to apply the same standards with regards to rights to bread, lettuce, mustard, tomatoes, BABIES, cheese, onions, mayonnaise, and bread? There can only be one logical answer. Objectivists want to be able to order Baby McNuggets with their Happy Meals. As sickening as it may sound, Objectivists are cannibals, hell-bent on taking away the rights of the more defenseless humans on the planet so that they can devour them all in some kind of disgusting, cannibalistic, Rand-cult feast. And you know, from the looks of most of the pictures of Objectivists I've seen, I would say they've already started raiding day care centers all around the nation. If any of you have children, <i>keep them away from Objectivists</i>. That is all.
And there is just no way you can disagree with that.
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Postby JP » Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:47 pm

Haha, interesting train of thought. :D

With regards to the "abortion" issue though, while I disagree with the Objectivist notion of "being rational" as the key to deciding whether a being is entitled to any rights (if indeed that is the perspective of Objectivists) I still believes that in the majority of cases, abortions are justified.

I'm not "pro-abortion" mind (and I doubt that anyone is) I simply believe that the decision as to whether abortion is the appropriate course of action lays squarely in the hands of the mother, and not in the hands of psuedo-moralists. The point at which the decision is no longer in the mothers hands is not when the offspring becomes conscious (which would be to condone infanticide) but rather when the offspring is no longer dependant on the mother.

So long as the fetus relies on the mother to survive, it is more like another organ in the body of the female rather than a seperate entity, and, as such, it is up to the female as to whether it should be permitted to gestate there. You may argue that even babies are entirely dependant on their mother once they are born (as they require to be fed, protected, have their nappies changed etc) but, at this stage, it is not so much dependant on the mother as it is on another human being. It would be immoral to kill a baby, then, because, even if the mother does not wish to care for it, it is capable of surviving independantly of the mother, in the care of another human being.

So, for me then, this is where the line between the rights of the mother and the rights of the child is drawn.
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
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Postby JP » Sun Sep 22, 2002 8:48 pm

Anyway, quite aside from "my opinion", your articles seem original, well written and well thought out.

Have you considered submitting them for the main page?
The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.
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Postby Marshall McDaniel » Mon Nov 25, 2002 8:32 pm

----- The original founder of Objectivism (Ayn Rand) was only talking about first-trimester abortions. I believe that even most bioethicists of today would agree that during that time a fetus can not feel pain. So whether you take the Utilitarian, or Objectivist stance, The mother should have the right to decide (on first trimester abortions).
----- As far as the stand on animals is concerned (especially the un-stated premise that we may treat them as we like), however, i believe that the article you quoted is true to the original philosophy and not guilty of any apostasy by its author. Utilitarians would disagree with it and i do too.
----- Therefore i submit that objectivists are not cannibals, however, if you want to say that their views lack sympathy and compassion, i am in full agreement.
"..All life is the struggle, the effort to be itself. The difficulties I meet with in order to realise my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilise my activities, my capacities.."GASSET"..For enjoyment and innocence are the most modest things: neither want to be looked for. One should have them-but one should look rather for guilt and pain!.."NIETZSCHE"..The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.." CAMUS
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Postby Qzxtvbzr » Mon Nov 25, 2002 10:42 pm

Okay, I stopped reading after the abortion thing since that whole deal really cooks my grits (haha, well I am from the South). Okay, EVERY HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED. Now, I don't know what all the exact emdical statistics are but after a few weeks after conception, the fetus shows brain-wave activity and a heartbeat. The question that I took up was waht about before that. Here's waht I came up with: The baby is not a part of the mother. It is dependant on the mother from conception, but it is an seperate organism altogether. An organism with a soul which is what separates us from the animals, as I stated in a post originally by h2o:
I would start by saying our souls, which are what set us above the animals. This is why human life is valued above animal life. Next comes our ability to choose and know. All creatures can choose, only humans can know. We have the ability to think things through. Our rationality separates us from the animals.

It is not the "Woman's Right". No one has the right to end another human life.
>> I'm not attacking you, Justin, I'm attacking these misguided objectivist thinkers. Haha, could they possibly the radical left wing of objectivism? :wink:
Now let me say I am very big on the whole potentiality/actuality thing, since I have strong objectivist influences, but these guys got it wrong. The fetus is in potentiality, everyone is in potentiality until we die, and even then we decompose etc. The fetus is human. Potentiality is the ability to change, but something does not become another thing. An apple can change but not into a pear. The fetus is human, it developes into a child and into a grown human. It doesn't become human.
No paragraph breaks in your post? tl;dr.
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Postby Marshall McDaniel » Tue Nov 26, 2002 7:49 am

EVERY HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED


----- In whose eyes? ours? Gods? Let's say that you are a child born with spina bifida (a congenital birth defect in which the spine is exposed) in the 1980's before medical advances. You are wracked by constant pain, your brain hardly functions because of the fluid that collects. You will live a few short painful years. Is this a sacred life? An omniscient God would know this is happening. an omnibenevolent God would not want this to occur. Why would an omnipotent God allow this to happen?

I would start by saying our souls, which are what set us above the animals. This is why human life is valued above animal life. Next comes our ability to choose and know. All creatures can choose, only humans can know. We have the ability to think things through. Our rationality separates us from the animals.


----- I submit that man is an animal, albeit a clever one. You can regard man as superior because you are a man (or woman). but this is tantamount to saying it's right because it's me. I see examples of this everywhere: misguided nationalism, racism, fundamentalism, etc. The slippery slope to solipsism starts to rear its ugly head. You have to appeal to universal concepts like Love, Knowledge, reason, the golden rule.
----- You can regard man as superior because he is endowed with a soul. Evidence about souls is sparse in our modern world however. You can't weigh it, measure it, take it out and play with it, etc.
----- You can regard man as superior because of his rationality, but where is the line that separates us from the animals? Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and Orangutangs. These are smart animals that have learned sign language, used primitive tools, exist in social groups.

-----HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE: imagine that an alien race has descended upon earth and that they are vastly superior in intelligence. Would it be ok for our new-found friends to eat us?

How you answer this question should be consistent with how you treat animals.

[/quote]
"..All life is the struggle, the effort to be itself. The difficulties I meet with in order to realise my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilise my activities, my capacities.."GASSET"..For enjoyment and innocence are the most modest things: neither want to be looked for. One should have them-but one should look rather for guilt and pain!.."NIETZSCHE"..The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.." CAMUS
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Postby Marshall McDaniel » Thu Nov 28, 2002 1:34 am

----- For more information about souls see the thread "after the fat lady sings".
--
----- I like the statement "all life is sacred." better than "all human life is sacred." but this is more of a Buddhist or Jainist concept. I find it difficult to believe that our species represents a privileged form of life in any other perspective other than our own.
"..All life is the struggle, the effort to be itself. The difficulties I meet with in order to realise my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilise my activities, my capacities.."GASSET"..For enjoyment and innocence are the most modest things: neither want to be looked for. One should have them-but one should look rather for guilt and pain!.."NIETZSCHE"..The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart.." CAMUS
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