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Author Topic: Actual Problems with AnCap  (Read 4554 times)
TheButterZone
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September 22, 2012, 09:17:06 PM
 #41

We can't understand why you have such absolute certainty in your world that there is no way to kill a hostage-taker without killing their hostage, when it's already been explained that it is highly unlikely under any circumstance and specifically why.

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September 22, 2012, 09:39:45 PM
 #42

We can't understand why you have such absolute certainty in your world that there is no way to kill a hostage-taker without killing their hostage, when it's already been explained that it is highly unlikely under any circumstance and specifically why.
Okay, I give up. I could try to construct a more realistic hypothetical that asks the same question, maybe where you have a button you can push that blows them both up or something, but there doesn't seem to be any point. I'll prefer to try to understand people who are willing to make at least as much effort to help me understand them as I'm willing to make to try to understand them.

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September 22, 2012, 10:02:41 PM
 #43

@myrkul - So, if I understand correctly, the plan is basically to pretend that the nation-state doesn't exist and that everyone is acting as an individual?

More or less. What you maybe don't realize is that effectively, the nation-state doesn't exist. None of them do. It really is just individuals. "Just following orders" didn't work in Nuremberg, and it won't work here, either.

As to the negotiating to get the terrorist group out, that's what arbitration is for.

And the bomber and other judgment calls like that are things that the individuals doing the defending are going to have to decide for themselves... and live with the consequences of their actions, or inaction. For myself, I'd consider that first bomb justification to open fire. I'd also be talking to (or at least at) the crew, letting the know that we're peaceful, but that dropping any bombs will result in their destruction, and they should turn back.
That's a bit like saying "Bitcoins don't exist, they're just data on some hard drives."

The idea of the nation-state exists.  The aggregate behavior of the people who believe in the nation-state make it a tangible force.  You have a large group of people who will more-or-less abide by the decisions of a smaller group of decision makers.  Each individual in the state may be believed to be morally responsible for their own actions, but in practice the easiest way to stop the violence would be to change the minds of the decision makers, or remove them from power.

Earlier someone brought up the Iraq war as an example of a decentralized force defeating a larger, better equipped and organized force.  Like many forces in similar positions in history, they did this by fighting in pretty much the opposite manner than you are advocating.  

I really don't see how you can expect people to ignore the fact that the invaders are part of an organized, united force.  I suppose it's not that different from how law enforcement deals with gangs, but it still seems like kind of a disadvantage in a total war scenario.

While we're on the topic, what about land registry?  I asked this in another thread, but I never followed up on the answer I received, which is that it doesn't need to be a monopoly.  I don't see how it could not be.  Each bit of land can only be owned by one person, so all registries have to be in accord.

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September 22, 2012, 11:09:38 PM
 #44

We can't understand why you have such absolute certainty in your world that there is no way to kill a hostage-taker without killing their hostage, when it's already been explained that it is highly unlikely under any circumstance and specifically why.
Okay, I give up. I could try to construct a more realistic hypothetical that asks the same question, maybe where you have a button you can push that blows them both up or something, but there doesn't seem to be any point. I'll prefer to try to understand people who are willing to make at least as much effort to help me understand them as I'm willing to make to try to understand them.


https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=108263.msg1211708#msg1211708

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September 22, 2012, 11:32:48 PM
 #45

The idea of the nation-state exists.  The aggregate behavior of the people who believe in the nation-state make it a tangible force.  You have a large group of people who will more-or-less abide by the decisions of a smaller group of decision makers.  Each individual in the state may be believed to be morally responsible for their own actions, but in practice the easiest way to stop the violence would be to change the minds of the decision makers, or remove them from power.
True enough, the nation-state exists in that same place Santa Claus does... in the minds of those that believe. And to stop the "war," the best bet would be to get the decision makers to realize they're not going to win it without annihilating the population, so they'll leave. But in dealing with the soldiers, it's best to treat them like individuals and deal with their actions on a case-by case basis.

That's not to say they wouldn't be kicked out... if they took someone's land by force to set up their camp. You can find an interesting story about what might happen if a nation-state invaded an AnCap area here. It's sci-fi, but the only real sci-fi element is Vinge's "bobble" stasis fields, which don't play much role in the story.

While we're on the topic, what about land registry?  I asked this in another thread, but I never followed up on the answer I received, which is that it doesn't need to be a monopoly.  I don't see how it could not be.  Each bit of land can only be owned by one person, so all registries have to be in accord.
Indeed they would. Thus, they'd need to be in communication. It would be pretty simple to set up a federated network of registries.

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September 23, 2012, 01:18:24 AM
 #46

That addresses a different hypothetical (where you don't know if shooting will kill the hostage or not). I asked you to address my hypothetical and you refused. I'm not sure what you want me to do. I don't understand your position and you refused my attempt to clarify it.

In my hypothetical (you are nearly certain that shooting will kill both the madman and the hostage and that if you don't shoot, the hostage will live but 100 children will die), should you shoot through the hostage? And if so, are you liable to the hostage's family?

Although I think you and I may agree that you should and you are not liable, the madman is. I think it's Myrkul I disagree with. I believe his position is that if you shoot and kill the hostage, you are legally and morally responsible for that death.

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September 23, 2012, 01:20:59 AM
 #47

there is just no fundamental answer to this kind of question inside absolute ethics that, in all possible cases, accords with everybodies sense of "just" or "the right thing do to".
I agree, but that doesn't matter.

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forget the notion of "the right thing" and do what you consider best. if you can't stop yourself, bath in self-pity or self-righteousness according to the rules of your chosen ethic afterwards. but please do it silently.
The problem is that other people will also judge you and if they find you initiated force, they will hold you responsible. Although I do believe it's unreasonable to expect perfection out of people operating under unusual conditions caused by the coercive actions of others. If I point a gun at your head, it is not reasonable for others to hold your response to a standard of perfection on pain of legal liability. And if you are less than perfect, that is largely my fault for pointing the gun at you, not your for responding the best you could.

And I agree with you this is not utilitarianism. That the best one can do is pick the possible action that maximizes the good and minimizes the bad is independent of how you determine what is good and what is bad. Utilitarianism is about how you measure whether and to what extent something is good.

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September 23, 2012, 02:13:06 AM
 #48

In my hypothetical (you are nearly certain that shooting will kill both the madman and the hostage and that if you don't shoot, the hostage will live but 100 children will die), should you shoot through the hostage? And if so, are you liable to the hostage's family?

Although I think you and I may agree that you should and you are not liable, the madman is. I think it's Myrkul I disagree with. I believe his position is that if you shoot and kill the hostage, you are legally and morally responsible for that death.

Very well, let's assume I'm carrying a huge DE .50 cal pistol loaded with explosive rounds. Shooting the hostage will almost certainly kill them. Let's also assume that I have not practiced enough to hit the bad guy without hitting the hostage as well. My only choice, therefore is between killing the hostage or letting the children die.

The choice is clear, I take the shot. But since it was my decision to bring my biggest pistol with me today, and my choice to load it with explosive rounds, and my choice not to train enough to hit a head-sized target at that distance, and my finger that pulled the trigger, yes it most certainly is my responsibility that the hostage died. Now, the mitigating circumstances - the bus-load of kids, the terrorist holding them hostage, etc - will reduce the liability, but ultimately I pulled the trigger, and it's my responsibility. The family will understand, the "law," whether an arbiter or the state, will understand, and certainly everyone will agree I did the right thing. But that doesn't completely relieve me of responsibility. Guilt, yes. Not responsibility.

Own your actions. All of them.

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September 23, 2012, 03:03:16 AM
 #49

In my hypothetical (you are nearly certain that shooting will kill both the madman and the hostage and that if you don't shoot, the hostage will live but 100 children will die), should you shoot through the hostage? And if so, are you liable to the hostage's family?

Although I think you and I may agree that you should and you are not liable, the madman is. I think it's Myrkul I disagree with. I believe his position is that if you shoot and kill the hostage, you are legally and morally responsible for that death.

Very well, let's assume I'm carrying a huge DE .50 cal pistol loaded with explosive rounds. Shooting the hostage will almost certainly kill them. Let's also assume that I have not practiced enough to hit the bad guy without hitting the hostage as well. My only choice, therefore is between killing the hostage or letting the children die.

And in more concise terms presented above, that is why I called your hypothetical that of a fantasy world, JK. To my knowledge, explosive .50DE rounds do not exist, so please shift your knowledge of guns and ammunition away from video games and other fiction, JK. It is simply not possible in any hypothetical applied to reality to carry a handgun and ammunition that you would be "nearly certain" of killing the hostage that you shoot through. Exactly the opposite; I would be "nearly certain" of NOT killing the hostage in all possible hypothetical realities.

You may as well have hypothesized: if pigs suddenly started flying, would you suddenly view them as holy creatures despite your non-Jew/Muslim religion and regular diet of pork, and stop eating them henceforth? It's a hypothetical that I don't need to understand, or respect the creator of for anything other than comedy writing, because it is rooted in fantasy.

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September 23, 2012, 04:29:28 AM
 #50

The choice is clear, I take the shot. But since it was my decision to bring my biggest pistol with me today, and my choice to load it with explosive rounds, and my choice not to train enough to hit a head-sized target at that distance, and my finger that pulled the trigger, yes it most certainly is my responsibility that the hostage died.
I guess I'm not sure what you mean by "responsibility". I think it's silly to argue that you are in any sense "responsible" for the unforseeable consequences of actions you had every right to take.

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Now, the mitigating circumstances - the bus-load of kids, the terrorist holding them hostage, etc - will reduce the liability, but ultimately I pulled the trigger, and it's my responsibility.
Since pulling the trigger was the best posisble act under the circumstances, it would be a credit, not a responsibility. You could not conceivably have done better. Why is that not enough?

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The family will understand, the "law," whether an arbiter or the state, will understand, and certainly everyone will agree I did the right thing.
Exactly.

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But that doesn't completely relieve me of responsibility. Guilt, yes. Not responsibility.
If by responsibility, you mean the credit for doing the best possible thing, then I agree. If you mean something else, I don't.

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Own your actions. All of them.
Indeed.

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September 23, 2012, 05:29:38 AM
 #51

Now, the mitigating circumstances - the bus-load of kids, the terrorist holding them hostage, etc - will reduce the liability, but ultimately I pulled the trigger, and it's my responsibility.
Since pulling the trigger was the best possible act under the circumstances, it would be a credit, not a responsibility. You could not conceivably have done better. Why is that not enough?
Under those circumstances, I could indeed have done no better. But a good number of those circumstances were under my direct control. My choice of an elephant gun as my daily carry. My choice of explosive rounds as a defensive load. My choice of carrying a weapon I am not expert in. My choice of using that weapon to defend those kids. It would not be my fault that the hostage had died. It would still be my doing, and thus, my responsibility.

A much more likely situation is that the weapon is loaded with frangible rounds, a much more sensible defensive load. Of course, this still precludes shooting through the hostage, since frangible rounds have been known to break up from hitting much lighter cover. So it behooves you to know how to shoot well enough to shoot around cover. Or not get involved in hostage situations.

These are the things you have to think about before you strap on a weapon. It's not just a show-piece. It's not a toy. It's a very powerful tool. You need to know how, and even more importantly, when, to use that tool, and you need to accept - and expect - the consequences of that use.

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September 23, 2012, 05:47:05 AM
 #52

Under those circumstances, I could indeed have done no better. But a good number of those circumstances were under my direct control. My choice of an elephant gun as my daily carry. My choice of explosive rounds as a defensive load. My choice of carrying a weapon I am not expert in. My choice of using that weapon to defend those kids. It would not be my fault that the hostage had died. It would still be my doing, and thus, my responsibility.
Again, I utterly reject the notion that a person is responsible for the unforeseeable consequences of actions he had every right to take. If you choose to go to 7-11 to get a Slurpee and as a result of having to wait for you to pass, a car full of kids misses a traffic light and happens to be in the path of a drunk driver, you bear *no* responsibility for accident. None whatsoever. I utterly reject "but for" causation as a moral theory. Yes, had you not gone to 7-11, there would have bee no accident. But that is *not* a moral test.

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A much more likely situation is that the weapon is loaded with frangible rounds, a much more sensible defensive load. Of course, this still precludes shooting through the hostage, since frangible rounds have been known to break up from hitting much lighter cover. So it behooves you to know how to shoot well enough to shoot around cover. Or not get involved in hostage situations.
You can load your weapon with whatever rounds you like. If you want to load explosive rounds for target practice and that happens to be all you have when a need for defense comes up, so be it. Unless you have chosen to take on some defensive obligation, you have no obligation to be ready for effective defense. The person who chooses to place you in that situation by choosing to use force must take moral responsibility for the world as he finds it.

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These are the things you have to think about before you strap on a weapon. It's not just a show-piece. It's not a toy. It's a very powerful tool. You need to know how, and even more importantly, when, to use that tool, and you need to accept - and expect - the consequences of that use.
No. If you want to strap on a gun with explosive rounds, even if that's horrible for self-defense, you have the absolute right to do that. If that means you aren't prepared for optimal self-defense, then so be it. You have no obligation to attune your actions so that you can more effectively defend others. You can do what you want so long as you choose not to use force. And when you do need to pull your gun, the person who forced you to do that rolled the dice by doing so. All anyone has any right to expect from you is that you do your best, and so long as you do, the fallout is all on their tab.

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September 23, 2012, 06:20:42 AM
 #53

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These are the things you have to think about before you strap on a weapon. It's not just a show-piece. It's not a toy. It's a very powerful tool. You need to know how, and even more importantly, when, to use that tool, and you need to accept - and expect - the consequences of that use.
No. If you want to strap on a gun with explosive rounds, even if that's horrible for self-defense, you have the absolute right to do that. If that means you aren't prepared for optimal self-defense, then so be it. You have no obligation to attune your actions so that you can more effectively defend others. You can do what you want so long as you choose not to use force. And when you do need to pull your gun, the person who forced you to do that rolled the dice by doing so. All anyone has any right to expect from you is that you do your best, and so long as you do, the fallout is all on their tab.

And here is the core of our disagreement, Joel. You are responsible for your choices as well as your actions. Sure, going to the 7-11 doesn't make you responsible for the drunk driver slamming into the car full of kids, but if you load explosive rounds into a handcannon as your daily defense carry, yes, you're responsible for killing anyone you shoot with it.

Let me set a hypothetical for you, Joel: If I choose as my daily defense weapon a nuclear bomb, is it my responsibility for all the death and destruction caused when I use it, or does the responsibility fall to the punk mugger that I was trying to kill?

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September 23, 2012, 06:42:26 AM
 #54

Let me set a hypothetical for you, Joel: If I choose as my daily defense weapon a nuclear bomb, is it my responsibility for all the death and destruction caused when I use it, or does the responsibility fall to the punk mugger that I was trying to kill?
The responsibility falls on you because choosing to transport a nuclear bomb requires you to take extreme measures to ensure you don't place others at unreasonable risk. At a minimum, you would need controls to prevent a stressful situation, such as being mugged, from causing you to deploy the bomb in error. When the potential harm is so extremely great, the realm of possible accidental scenarios you are expected to foresee is much greater.

This is why we require people to put fences around swimming pools and guards around nuclear reactors.

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if you load explosive rounds into a handcannon as your daily defense carry, yes, you're responsible for killing anyone you shoot with it.
You are always responsible for everything you do. However, choosing to carry a gun with explosive rounds is well within your rights. It does not good to say "you have the right to do X, but if someone else's actions result in your doing X causing harm, you are responsible". This is functionally equivalent to "you have no right to do X".

Say I publish a cartoon mocking the prophet and it causes other people to attack an embassy and kill an ambassador, am I responsible? If so, doesn't that effectively mean that I have no right to publish such a cartoon?

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September 23, 2012, 07:16:45 AM
 #55

Tracer and incendiary ammo≠explosive.

Where the frack are these "explosive rounds" that everyone can load in pistols that exist in reality outside, maybe, a CAD program?

They're not here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raufoss_Mk_211
.50BMG (12.7×99mm NATO)≠.50AE, simply put: heavy rifle round vs pistol round.

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September 23, 2012, 07:35:00 AM
 #56

Where the frack are these "explosive rounds" that everyone can load in pistols that exist in reality outside, maybe, a CAD program?
You really don't like hypotheticals, do you? We're just using "explosive rounds" to mean something that can be used for self-defense but presents a greater risk of harm to innocent bystanders when used in that way. The idea is that you can defend yourself and minimize harm, but because of other bizarre previous choices you've made, you don't minimize the harm as much as you otherwise could have.

I would argue that unless you somehow have an obligation to minimize harm caused by your defense (as you would if you were hired to defend people or choose to carry nuclear weapons), you needn't structure your life to minimize the harm other people's choice to initiate force may cause. You are free to live your life as you please so long as you don't choose to initiate force, and if others choose to initiate force, your obligation is to do the best you can under those circumstances. If you cause harm by reasonably defending yourself given the circumstances under which you are threatened, the blame and liability goes to the one who chose to force you to defend yourself.

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September 23, 2012, 07:38:42 AM
 #57

if you load explosive rounds into a handcannon as your daily defense carry, yes, you're responsible for killing anyone you shoot with it.
You are always responsible for everything you do. However, choosing to carry a gun with explosive rounds is well within your rights. It does not good to say "you have the right to do X, but if someone else's actions result in your doing X causing harm, you are responsible". This is functionally equivalent to "you have no right to do X".

Say I publish a cartoon mocking the prophet and it causes other people to attack an embassy and kill an ambassador, am I responsible? If so, doesn't that effectively mean that I have no right to publish such a cartoon?

Choosing to carry a nuke is well within your rights as well. But you're responsible for what you do with it. If you kill someone because you chose to carry a nuke as your defense weapon, or if you chose to carry a handgun loaded with explosive rounds, then you're responsible for that action. Remember that the hostage taker did not cause the hostage to get shot. Pulling the trigger caused the hostage to get shot. Who pulled the trigger?

Publishing the cartoon didn't cause the embassy to get attacked, any more than the hostage taker caused the hostage to get shot. Once again, the guy behind the trigger has responsibility, even if someone told him to, still his responsibility.

Yeah, I know, consistency. It's a pain.

Tracer and incendiary ammo≠explosive.

Relax, man... I pulled the "explosive rounds" thing out of my ass to explain how I could guarantee killing both hostage and bad guy with one shot. Perhaps a better example would have been a grenade launcher... but who the hell brings a GL as their daily defense carry?

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September 23, 2012, 07:55:50 AM
 #58

Choosing to carry a nuke is well within your rights as well. But you're responsible for what you do with it. If you kill someone because you chose to carry a nuke as your defense weapon, or if you chose to carry a handgun loaded with explosive rounds, then you're responsible for that action.
This is a totally vacuous statement that doesn't address my criticism of your position.

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Remember that the hostage taker did not cause the hostage to get shot. Pulling the trigger caused the hostage to get shot. Who pulled the trigger?
The hostage taker did cause the hostage to get shot. Pulling the trigger also caused the hostage to get shot. The difference is that pulling the trigger was the best possible response.

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Publishing the cartoon didn't cause the embassy to get attacked, any more than the hostage taker caused the hostage to get shot. Once again, the guy behind the trigger has responsibility, even if someone told him to, still his responsibility.
If there's no liability or responsibility for publishing the cartoon, how can there be liability or responsibility for choosing to carry a weapon that's not suitable for safe defense?

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Yeah, I know, consistency. It's a pain.
With luck, you'll keep working on it.

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September 23, 2012, 08:22:42 AM
 #59

Yeah, I know, consistency. It's a pain.
With luck, you'll keep working on it.
Cute. With luck, you'll eventually see that I'm the one being consistent.

Publishing the cartoon didn't cause the embassy to get attacked, any more than the hostage taker caused the hostage to get shot. Once again, the guy behind the trigger has responsibility, even if someone told him to, still his responsibility.
If there's no liability or responsibility for publishing the cartoon, how can there be liability or responsibility for choosing to carry a weapon that's not suitable for safe defense?
It's not the carrying of the weapon. It's the use. Actions, not words, carry responsibility. You're perfectly within your rights to cart a grenade launcher around. If you try to use that to resolve a hostage crisis, though, you're going to have to explain why you chose to blow up the hostage along with the hostage taker. That's why you need to carry a weapon you can actually use... like a pistol.

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September 23, 2012, 09:11:12 AM
 #60

The benefit to carrying a grenade launcher is that not only do you blow up the hostage-taker, you also blow up yourself in the explosion (if you modify the M406 round to arm sooner than the default 30 meters - which you'd want to do for typical defensive confrontation range), so the death of the hostage and assigning blame thereof is really a moot point if you've suicided.

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