The Instigator
Ragnar_Rahl
Con (against)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
johngalt
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points

Appropriating as your username the full name of a fictional person with whom you obviously disagree.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,253 times Debate No: 648
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (12)

 

Ragnar_Rahl

Con

John Galt, the main character of Atlas Shrugged, was a man who would brook no compromise on the question of his life and his liberty. The essence of his code of action consisted of the following oath: "I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another to live for mine."

As a consequence, he respected property rights to the extent of abandoning the first version of his proudest invention because he didn't own the material it was made out of- yet you would presume to expropriate the material a flag is made out of and the decision of the owner as to what is to be done with it, by means of passing a law against flag burning.

You would presume to expropriate the property of every producer in the name of providing for a collective retirement plan called "Social Security."

You would presume to force women to live for the sake of another, and another that isn't even conscious yet at that.

You would presume to hold above reason the Christian faith, which demands that man live for the sake of his fellows.

What business have you naming yourself John Galt?
johngalt

Pro

First off maybe I misinterpreted the reason why John Galt abandoned the generator, but as I understood it he gave it up because he didn't want the looters to have it. He wanted to bring them down and it would have taken longer if they had the generator. And I don't think that a law should be passed to not allow people to burn their flags. My own personal view is that burning an American flag is a horrible act, but I don't want to force anyone either way.

As far as social security goes, you got me. I was flying through the survey thing and just checked it. I am going to change it right now.

With the abortion thing, my own personal belief is that it is wrong. If a woman gets pregnant it is because of her own actions (The only exceptions are rape and incest) and her and her mate have to deal with the consequences. Would you argue the same point if it were a child that was already born, and then the parents decided that they did not want to take care of it anymore? Should that child live for itself?

As for my Christian faith, I do not ask others to live for me and I do not live for them. It is my individual choice to believe what I believe, which I do not feel is incompatible with the ideas presented in Atlas Shrugged.

I may not be as strictly dedicated to the ideals of Atlas Shrugged as you understand them, but I believe that I should earn my own way, keep what I earn, and use it to make myself happy. As you know in Atlas Shrugged, to sacrifice is a terrible thing. I do not feel that my belief in God, my decision to not burn the American flag, and my and my future spouse's decision to not have an abortion are sacrifices because they are what will satisfy my happiness. I like to view man as a heroic being, and that is why I chose John Galt as my user name. (Also……I just really like the book!)
Debate Round No. 1
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

John Galt didn't have to abandon the generator to avoid the looters having it. Indeed, by abandoning it he left it in the possession of the looters (i.e. the communist heirs of Twentieth Century Motors), knowing they would be unable to use it. The reason he didn't announce the invention to the world was of course the one you describe, but not the reason he left the motor behind.

If you hang your mouse over the question of "flag burning," it says specifically that the matter is whether it should be legally possible to burn the flag (i.e. an against position implies you favor a law forbidding it).

I'll abandon the social security matter.

I would argue the same point regarding an already-born child (unless there were a specific contract forbidding the matter; I'm not yet certain at what point a contract can be implied but certainly not at conception, because not only rape, but also fraudulent or failed birth control lead to no reasonable expectation of conception and thus no reasonable consequence. I'm not sure, by the way why you'd count non-rape incest as "not the consequence of your actions.") The relevant question here, however, is what John Galt would argue, and "I swear by my life and love of it that I will NEVER LIVE FOR THE SAKE OF ANOTHER MAN (implicitly woman, child, fetus, etc.)" makes quite clear his position on that issue. Or you could ask the author, who invented him, if she weren't dead she'd tell ya :D.

What kind of Christianity are you advocating exactly that doesn't involve sacrifice? Christ kind of walked pretty willingly onto the cross, explicitly to save OTHERS from their sins. Or you can look at Galt's own condemnation the christian ethics:

"Damnation is the start of your morality, destruction is its purpose, means and end. Your code begins by damning man as evil, then demands that he practice a good which it defines as impossible for him to practice. It demands, as his first proof of virtue, that he accepts his own depravity without proof. It demands that he start, not with a standard of value, but with a standard of evil, which is himself, by means of which he is then to define the good: the good is that which he is not.

It does not matter who then becomes the profiteer on his renounced glory and tormented soul, a mystic God with some incomprehensible design or any passer-by whose rotting sores are held as some explicable claim upon him - it does not matter, the good is not for him to understand, his duty is to crawl through years of penance, atoning for the guilt of his existence to any stray collector of unintelligible debts, his only concept of a value is a zero: the good is that which is non-man.

The name of this monstrous absurdity is Original Sin. A sin without volition is a slap at morality and an insolent contradiction in terms: that which is outside the possibility of choice is outside the province of morality. If man is evil by birth, he has no will, no power to change it; if he has no will, he can be neither good nor evil; a robot is amoral. To hold, as man's sin, a fact not open to his choice is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. Yet that is the root of your code.

Do not hide behind the cowardly evasion that man is born with free will, but with a 'tendency' to evil. A free will saddled with a tendency is like a game with loaded dice. It forces man to struggle through the effort of playing, to bear responsibility and pay for the game, but the decision is weighted in favor of a tendency that he had no power to escape. If the tendency is of his choice, he cannot possess it at birth; if it is not of his choice, his will is not free.

What is the nature of the guilt that your teachers call his Original Sin? What are the evils man acquired when he fell from a state they consider perfection? Their myth declares that he ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge - he acquired a mind and became a rational being. It was the knowledge of good and evil - he became a moral being. He was sentenced to earn his bread by his labor - he became a productive being. He was sentenced to experience desire - he acquired the capacity of sexual enjoyment. The evils for which they damn him are reason, morality, creativeness, joy - all the cardinal values of his existence. It is not his vices that their myth of man's fall is designed to explain and condemn, it is not his errors that they hold as his guilt, but the essence of his nature as man. Whatever he was - that robot in the Garden of Eden, who existed without mind, without values, without labor, without love - he was not man.

Man's fall, according to your teachers, was that he gained the virtues required to live. These virtues, by their standard, are his Sin. His evil, they charge, is that he's man. His guilt, they charge, is that he lives. They call it a morality of mercy and a doctrine of love for man."

Add to this Galt's absolute reason-only epistemology and explanation of how you're "personal choice" is not an excuse for theology: "Reason does not work automatically; thinking is not a mechanical process; the connections of logic are not made by instinct. The function of your stomach, lungs or heart is automatic; the function of your mind is not. In any hour and issue of your life, you are free to think or to evade that effort. But you are not free to escape from your nature, from the fact that reason is your means of survival,"
and he would thus definitely disagree with your notion that your belief in God is "not a sacrifice."

You might not be strictly dedicated but you agree somewhat- fine. But the proper John Galt was the essence of strict dedication to an ideal. You wanna mix Objectivism and Christianity? Call yourself Jesus Galt, the contradiction will then be your problem and no one else's.
johngalt

Pro

I didn't realize that about the flag burning so that issue is resolved as well.

However I believe that my belief that God created the world is not one that I base on emotion or feelings. My reasoning is that there are to many things in this world that cannot be explained beyond any doubt by any theory. Whether my belief and reasoning is correct or yours is correct is not something that can really be debated because nobody knows for certain if god exists. Therefore I will respectfully concede this debate. Thank you for helping me straighten out some of these issues.
Debate Round No. 2
Ragnar_Rahl

Con

Regarding clsmooths method of helping you out:

I am most assuredly not a pro-welfare statist, regardless of my positions on war and the step of school vouchers toward eliminating public schools (the fact that public-school advocates are afraid of vouchers destroying their programs is very helpful in this judgment, as well as the fact that NO OTHER VIABlE PLANS have been brought to my attention.). As for Galt's position, see the position of the author who regarded him as the ideal man, and thus obviously agreed with him- Rand specifically stated that vouchers (discounts on taxes for those not using public schools, not giveaways of money) were for her like me the first step toward abolition.

However, it is a moot point, I did not use the name John Galt :D

To state "it can't be resolved because it isn't really known" regarding God isn't in tune with the nature of the god usually described, who as an omnipotent being would have to be able to create something more powerful than himself despite the fact that nothing more powerful than himself is possible, and is thus self-contradictory, enough for the matter to be established as a known.

Arguments from ignorance are not reason, they are a fallacy :D.

But since you seem to want to concede...
johngalt

Pro

I cannot prove without question that God exists, and you cannot prove without question that God does not exist. That is why I don't think it can be resolved.

I guess that my reasoning is this…. Being that I "buy in" to the idea that there is a God and that he created the earth, for me to go to heaven there are certain things that I believe I need to do or not do. It is my interest and my interest alone for me to go to heaven. I do not live for the sake of others or ask others to live for me. If I do something to help another, it isn't that I am sacrificing for the other person. I am doing it for me to get what I value. Therefore, it is not a sacrifice. I don't think that there is a contradiction between the main ideas presented in Atlas Shrugged and being a Christian. I believe that it all depends on what the individual values.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
No, he absolutely would not have been for vouchers, because he would have been against any and all compromises. Vouchers are a redistributionist welfare program. The question was actually for your opponent, another pro-welfare/pro-warfare statist.
Posted by johngalt 9 years ago
johngalt
I believe that he would have been completely against government funded education in the first place. However to answer the question if there HAD to be govt funded education, he would have wanted the individual to have the most say over his or her money, and therefore would have been for vouchers.
Posted by clsmooth 9 years ago
clsmooth
What would John Galt's position on vouchers have been?
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