During the recent Baltimore protests which reeked of George Soros‘ usual nefarious escapades, and which occasionally resulted in a number of businesses being looted and burned – and also cop cars being suspiciously burned – which also sparked solidarity protests as far as Ferguson, Oakland, Denver, Minneapolis, Washington DC, New York City, and Seattle, twitter feeds were soaked with comments like “stores can be re-built but Freddie Gray’s spine can never be rebuilt”. Variations of this argument appeared to dominate the twitter-sphere.
In light of this, what can those who use this fallacious argument say when faced with this IJ Review video featuring an interview with a Baltimore pizza shop owner, Essam el Ghannam, who mentioned that a 14 year old girl tried to light him and his vehicle on fire in Baltimore amid the riots? That’s right, teenagers tried to murder an innocent man in one of the most torturous and brutal ways imaginable, by dousing him with lighter fluid and attempting to ignite the flame.
The video shows his burnt and looted store, Papa Palace, which the man has owned and operated for 8 years. He said that at the time that this occurred, he was watching his 12-year old niece and had to rush her to safety.
What was this teenager thinking? Judging from Ghannam’s reaction, it’s likely she simply wasn’t thinking.
Leonard Peikoff defines “thinking” as identifying. He points out that when you ask yourself “where” an event is happening you are actually asking about the identity of the location – “what is the location”.
When you ask “when” an event is happening you aim to identify the time at which the event occurred – “what is the time interval during which this event occurred”, and so on.
Hence, thinking is the act of identifying. It’s all about the “what”, at the end of the day.
“Objectivism holds that value is objective (not intrinsic or subjective); value is based on and derives from the facts of reality (it does not derive from mystic authority or from whim, personal or social). Reality, we hold — along with the decision to remain in it, i.e., to stay alive — dictates and demands an entire code of values. Unlike the lower species, man does not pursue the proper values automatically; he must discover and choose them; but this does not imply subjectivism. Every proper value-judgment is the identification of a fact: a given object or action advances man’s life (it is good): or it threatens man’s life (it is bad or an evil). The good, therefore, is a species of the true; it is a form of recognizing reality. The evil is a species of the false; it is a form of contradicting reality. Or: values are a type of facts; they are facts considered in relation to the choice to live.
[…] Just as there can be no dichotomy between mind and body, so there can be none between the true and the good. Even in regard to metaphysically given facts, cognition and evaluation cannot be sundered. Cognition apart from evaluation is purposeless; it becomes the arbitrary desire for “pure knowledge” as an end in itself. Evaluation apart from cognition is non-objective; it becomes the whim of pursuing an “I wish” not based on any “It is.”
Many seem to mistakenly agree that 2 wrongs make a right. Unfortunately, reality is not merely a product of what we want. It’s not that convenient. Not for you, not for me, and not for those teenagers either. The fact is that one either understands and respects property rights or one does not. We can’t move the goalposts. We can’t have something be wrong one day and then suddenly be right the next.
Have you ever taken a close look at your language? Do you realize that when you got an answer correct in math class when you were growing up your teacher replied with the phrase “that’s right”? Do you think it’s just a coincidence that a synonym for “accurate” is the same exact word used to describe virtuous moral acts and human “rights“? Might that hint that one is not functioning accurately if one is not doing the right thing?
In the same way that 2+2 always equals 4, your basic human rights will not change tomorrow, or the next day. Specific words are supposed to mean specific things. They don’t exist for nothing. All words consist of specific sounds and/or visual symbols that pertain to those sounds. That’s why we use them and don’t simply bark random noise at each other (except for maybe in cryptographic situations where the intention is to hide the meaning of the communication itself from any possible outside participants for various legitimate purposes, including but not limited to maintaining privacy). 2+2 will not equal 5 tomorrow or the next day…
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