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Suppose, for example, that you are an professional online poker player. It is in your interest to have online poker legalized in your country -- it will increase the number of recreational players and, thus, your profits.

Is it proper, then, to heavily financially back a pro-statist "progressive" like Harry Reid just because he has shown interest in legalizing poker and has the political power to do so?

asked Mar 11 '11 at 21:59

Cherman's gravatar image

Cherman
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edited Jan 05 '14 at 14:10

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦
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This question (pertaining to politics and government) appears to proceed from an erroneous view of Objectivist ethics.

Suppose, for example, that you are [a] professional online poker player. It is in your interest to have online poker legalized in your country -- it will increase the number of recreational players and, thus, your profits.

This mis-states the Objectivist view of ethics. One does not reach political judgments on the basis of what is in one's own narrow interests. Political principles in Objectivism are based on broad ethical principles -- in this case, the ethics of physical force. Objectivism advocates legalized gambling, not because it serves the interests of those who choose to be professional gamblers, but because gambling does not entail the use of physical force. To initiate physical force against gamblers (or anyone else) is a major ethical evil that ought to be ended, in the Objectivist view. Objectivism opposes gambling laws because Objectivism opposes initiation of physical force.

This, incidentally, leaves entirely open the question of the purely ethical status of gambling. On the level of ethics, Objectivism generally does not endorse gambling as a rational endeavor, particularly not as a profession, though it may be relatively harmless as self-disciplined recreation.

As for supporting or opposing a particular politician, it depends on the total context of what the politician stands for, and the balance or imbalance of the good versus the bad in his views.

answered Mar 12 '11 at 23:54

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦
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Suppose, for example, that candidate A is in favor of legalizing online poker but not drugs, and candidate B in favor of drugs, prostitution, and live casinos, but NOT online poker. What then?

(Mar 13 '11 at 00:57) Cherman Cherman's gravatar image

I would try to discern which candidate will do the most to protect individual rights -- or the least to undermine them. It's not a simple process of specific positions on narrow issues, but of the total picture or context of what each candidate really stands for. Some very big indicators could be the candidate's stand on issues like abortion and freedom of speech.

(Mar 13 '11 at 14:34) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

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Asked: Mar 11 '11 at 21:59

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Last updated: Jan 05 '14 at 14:10