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Author Topic: Hardcore libertarians: explain your anti-IP-rights position to me.  (Read 5544 times)
JoelKatz
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July 01, 2011, 12:26:10 AM
 #101

Trespassing is well covered. There's no real damages, though.
Exactly. You need three elements:

1) A wrongful act, that is, one that violates a right.

2) A harm, that is, provable damages.

3) A connection between the wrongful act and the harm.

Trespassing on property is a wrongful act. Physical damage to property is a harm. Property rights and not just the right not to have your property harmed, they're a right to not have your property trespassed on or messed with without your consent. Physical damage to property is not the only harm that can result from a trespass.

There are tons of exceptions to these rules though, there have to be or you get very seriously crazy result in weird cases. Some of those exceptions are absolutely required to have a sensible legal system and some of them are judgment calls that reasonable people can disagree on. For example, I could see a Libertarian society making an exception to the requirement of provable harm in the case where the wrongful act is a trespass that violates a significant privacy right.

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JoelKatz
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July 01, 2011, 12:29:08 AM
 #102

In that case you are violating another person's intellectual property by living in a house, because tenths of thousands of years ago he or she built the first house and you haven't gotten permission from that person or descendants to copy his or her invention. Why do you not respect this person's "natural" intellectual property rights when you expect other people to respect yours?
All rights have contours. These are not the contours of intellectual property rights. Even the right to life and to be left alone has contours. For example, say you're on the way to the hospital. I stop by moving in front of you to you to ask you what time it is. Suppose it could be proven that my stopping you delayed your arrival at the hospital and caused your death. Well, tough. This type of 'minimal invasion' simply doesn't violate the right.

You surely have a right not to have someone shine a million watt spotlight in your window at night. But if my flashlight brushes across your window, there is no violation of your rights. Again, that type of minimal invasion simply doesn't violate the right.

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July 01, 2011, 12:58:34 AM
 #103

So if I break into your house (without damaging anything), go through all your stuff, and put everything back the way it was, that doesn't violate any of your property rights? [...] I sneak into a private museum without paying the required fee. Nothing wrong with that?
My right to control the configuration of my property includes keeping you out of my house, just like it includes keeping your paint off of my Rembrandt. Again, this derives from the nature of physical space: the house can't contain everyone and everything all at once, so someone has to decide what goes inside, and that person is the owner. Same goes for the museum.

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Say I shine a flashlight in your window. That might or might not violate your rights, most people would say it doesn't. Say I shine a flashlight in your window and ruin some film that you had developing. The ruining of the film is the damage you suffered, actionable if and only if shining the flashlight in your window violated your rights.
Are you saying you're entitled to ruin all my film unless I agree to outlaw shining flashlights through windows?

What's the purpose of this Rube Goldberg system of rights and wrongs? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to say that what happens to me and my property as a result of your act is what determines whether I've been wronged?

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You seem to have this backwards. If my violation of your rights damages your property, that's actionable. But damaging your property alone is not a violation of your rights. You have no right not to have another's actions damage your property.
I beg to differ. If what you call "property rights" don't even fulfill the basic requirement of stopping someone else from breaking my stuff, then they're so watered down as to be worthless.

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Otherwise, if I drove my car down my driveway and created vibrations that ruined your glass structure, that'd be actionable even though driving my car down my driveway is something I'm supposed to have the right to do.
Sometimes one person's rights conflict with another person's rights, but we don't need to demolish those rights in order to resolve the conflict.

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Say you and I both have a shot at a particular client. It's near certain the client will pick you or me. I disconnect a wire in your car. Your car doesn't start. But there's no damage, reconnecting the wire costs nothing. If you miss the meeting and lose your chance at the client, is that actionable? I violated your property rights not by damaging your car but by trespassing on it. The damages aren't the physical changes to the car but the meeting you missed. I violated your rights, you have damages fairly attributable to that violation.
A meeting with a potential client has no tangible value, even if I wish to have his money and I'm "near certain" my wish will come true. It's not mine yet.

That doesn't mean there's no damage from your act, though. Clearly reconnecting the wire cost something, otherwise I would've reconnected it in zero seconds and gotten to the meeting on time. It cost me the time it took to diagnose the problem and reconnect the wire, and we can assign a value to that time.
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July 01, 2011, 01:17:47 AM
 #104

Are you saying you're entitled to ruin all my film unless I agree to outlaw shining flashlights through windows?
Yes, exactly. It cannot be the case that I have the right to shine a flashlight in your window and you can still sue me if I do so and damage your film. If it's my right to shine a flashlight in your window, it's your obligation to protect your property from a flashlight.

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What's the purpose of this Rube Goldberg system of rights and wrongs? Wouldn't it make a lot more sense to say that what happens to me and my property as a result of your act is what determines whether I've been wronged?
It won't work, rights would hopelessly conflict. How can I have a right to drive my car down my driveway if you can sue me if my doing so knocks down your fragile glass structure?

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You seem to have this backwards. If my violation of your rights damages your property, that's actionable. But damaging your property alone is not a violation of your rights. You have no right not to have another's actions damage your property.
I beg to differ. If what you call "property rights" don't even fulfill the basic requirement of stopping someone else from breaking my stuff, then they're so watered down as to be worthless.
Your scheme will cause hopeless conflicts. How can you have the right not to have vibrations damage your fragile glass structure and me have the right to drive my car onto my driveway?

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Otherwise, if I drove my car down my driveway and created vibrations that ruined your glass structure, that'd be actionable even though driving my car down my driveway is something I'm supposed to have the right to do.
Sometimes one person's rights conflict with another person's rights, but we don't need to demolish those rights in order to resolve the conflict.
You seem to be recognizing as rights things that simply are not rights. There is no right not to suffer damages. Life is damage.

Nobody would want to live in your world. A person doing normal activities that they have every right to do could wind up liable for massive damages even though they didn't violate the rights of others one bit. Say I build a car that blows up if anyone utters the word "cheese". Does this mean nobody can ever utter the word "cheese"? Does this mean there's some rights conflict? No, it doesn't. There's no right not to have your car blow up. The right is about a zone of exclusivity, not about freedom from adverse consequences from the rightful actions of others.

Say my house is in danger of falling down. I ask you to fix it and you refuse. Say then my house falls down. Why didn't your not fixing my house violate my right not to have my house damaged? There has to be (with a very few special expections) a wrongful act, an act that violates the right.

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Say you and I both have a shot at a particular client. It's near certain the client will pick you or me. I disconnect a wire in your car. Your car doesn't start. But there's no damage, reconnecting the wire costs nothing. If you miss the meeting and lose your chance at the client, is that actionable? I violated your property rights not by damaging your car but by trespassing on it. The damages aren't the physical changes to the car but the meeting you missed. I violated your rights, you have damages fairly attributable to that violation.
A meeting with a potential client has no tangible value, even if I wish to have his money and I'm "near certain" my wish will come true. It's not mine yet.

That doesn't mean there's no damage from your act, though. Clearly reconnecting the wire cost something, otherwise I would've reconnected it in zero seconds and gotten to the meeting on time. It cost me the time it took to diagnose the problem and reconnect the wire, and we can assign a value to that time.
You're disputing the hypothetical rather than addressing it. The hypothetical is that no physical damage to your car takes place but you can prove you missed the meeting and suffered damages.

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July 01, 2011, 03:03:42 AM
 #105

Yes, exactly. It cannot be the case that I have the right to shine a flashlight in your window and you can still sue me if I do so and damage your film. If it's my right to shine a flashlight in your window, it's your obligation to protect your property from a flashlight.
Let's do a simple substitution to illustrate how absurd this is.

"It cannot be the case that I have the right to swing a baseball bat in the park and you can still sue me if I do so and damage your face. If it's my right to swing a baseball bat in the park, it's your obligation to protect your body from a baseball bat."

Your right to swing a baseball bat is, of course, not absolute. In general you have the right to swing your bat, but my right not to have my face bashed in takes precedence. That places an implicit limit on your right to swing.

Likewise, in general you have the right to shine your flashlight, but my right not to have my property damaged takes precedence. That places an implicit limit on your right to shine it, but the limit doesn't have to be as broadly drawn as you've proposed: we don't have to ban you from shining the flashlight through all windows with no regard to what's on the other side.

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It won't work, rights would hopelessly conflict. How can I have a right to drive my car down my driveway if you can sue me if my doing so knocks down your fragile glass structure?
Yes, rights do conflict, which is why we've come up with ways to resolve those conflicts.

Your right to drive your car in your driveway is not absolute. Suppose I'm standing in your driveway, with your permission, when suddenly you decide it's time to drive your car down the driveway. You run me over and I sue you. You'll quickly find that my right not to be run over takes precedence over your right to drive.

My right to have my fragile glass structure remain intact is not absolute either. Your right to drive in your driveway takes precedence, assuming reasonable circumstances (driving at a normal speed, in a vehicle that produces typical levels of vibration, with no malicious intent, etc.).

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Say my house is in danger of falling down. I ask you to fix it and you refuse. Say then my house falls down. Why didn't your not fixing my house violate my right not to have my house damaged?
Because I'm not the one who damaged your house. Refusing to fix your house is different from knocking it down. The culprit you're looking for might be an earthquake, a strong wind, or termites, but it isn't me or anyone else who simply declined to take action to stop an event they had no preexisting obligation to stop.

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You're disputing the hypothetical rather than addressing it. The hypothetical is that no physical damage to your car takes place but you can prove you missed the meeting and suffered damages.
No, I'm addressing it by pointing out that you're misinterpreting the events in the hypothetical. There was physical damage to the car: you rearranged its parts against my wishes. It wasn't permanent, but if it caused me to miss the meeting, then it must have taken some time to repair, and that time is the only tangible damage I've suffered.

If you believe there's some way your sabotage could have caused me to miss the meeting without costing me any time, would you mind spelling it out? I don't see how I can respond to the hypothetical if there's important context missing.
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July 01, 2011, 03:22:14 AM
 #106

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Your right to drive your car in your driveway is not absolute.
That's because there is no such right. The right is strictly a negative right, the right not to have anyone interfere with my car or my driveway.

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Suppose I'm standing in your driveway, with your permission, when suddenly you decide it's time to drive your car down the driveway. You run me over and I sue you. You'll quickly find that my right not to be run over takes precedence over your right to drive.
That's only because you've mis-stated the right as a positive right. The right is not to have anyone interfere with my property without my permission. Since you have permission, you aren't in any way affecting my rights. Rights are not yokes that tie us down and prevent us from doing things. They are spheres of moral authority over which none may intrude.

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My right to have my fragile glass structure remain intact is not absolute either.
Only because there is no such right at all. Imagine you have two glass structures, substantially identical. There are two people and one of them hits each of your glass structures with a hammer, intending to damage it. Assuming neither structure breaks, have they violated your property rights?

The property right is a zone of authority. It's your property, so you say what happens to it. If someone violates this right, and you suffer damage as a result, that damage is recoverable in court. The damage could be physical damage to the property, it could be loss of use of the property, or it could be anything else so long as it's a real damage and it's fairly attributable to the action that violated that right.

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July 01, 2011, 10:03:18 AM
 #107

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Your right to drive your car in your driveway is not absolute.
That's because there is no such right. The right is strictly a negative right, the right not to have anyone interfere with my car or my driveway.
Yes, the right to do something is equivalent to the right not to have anyone stop you from doing it.

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My right to have my fragile glass structure remain intact is not absolute either.
Only because there is no such right at all. Imagine you have two glass structures, substantially identical. There are two people and one of them hits each of your glass structures with a hammer, intending to damage it. Assuming neither structure breaks, have they violated your property rights?
They're attempting to violate my property rights by carrying out an act that's intended to do so and has a high chance of succeeding. I've suffered no actual damages, but I think that's close enough to be considered a violation: I have the right not to be subject to serious attempts to violate my rights.

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The property right is a zone of authority. It's your property, so you say what happens to it. If someone violates this right, and you suffer damage as a result, that damage is recoverable in court. The damage could be physical damage to the property, it could be loss of use of the property, or it could be anything else so long as it's a real damage and it's fairly attributable to the action that violated that right.
Well, I have a hard time imagining a real damage you could suffer that wouldn't involve damaging, moving, or rearranging the property. But I don't think I can object to this argument unless you're going to say that loss of potential revenue counts as a "real damage".
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July 01, 2011, 10:12:39 AM
 #108

Well, I have a hard time imagining a real damage you could suffer that wouldn't involve damaging, moving, or rearranging the property. But I don't think I can object to this argument unless you're going to say that loss of potential revenue counts as a "real damage".
Requiring certainty is kind of absurd. Even if I blow up your car, it could have blown up by itself a few minutes later.

One school of thought is that you have to prove the loss was more likely than not, and if so, you're entitled to the entire amount. (The 51% rule.) This seems pretty unreasonable to me.

Yet another is that you're entitled to the expected lost value. So if I deprive you of a 35% chance to make $15,000, your recovery is $5,250, the fair market value of a 35% chance of making $15,000.

Another is that you're never entitled to recovery for low probability losses, but you're entitled for the full recovery once a loss is at least somewhat probable. This means that if you have a lottery ticket whose numbers you haven't recorded, no recovery is possible if I rip it up, even though you just paid $1 for that ticket.

My own sense is that the "fair market value" of the loss comes the closest to what is actually fair. So if I can prove that you deprived me of a 1% chance at $1,000,000, I'm entitled to a $10,000 recovery.

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July 01, 2011, 07:37:08 PM
 #109

I simply don't understand this. What or whom grants me the right not to have someone shine a million watt spotlight in my window at night, but doesn't grant me the right to not have a flashlight brush across my window? And why is it like this?
It's a consequence of the differences in the situations. It's not granted by anyone or anything, it's a logical consequence of the arrangements. It's like how the sky looks blue and the grass looks green. It's a directly-perceivable consequence of their differing natures, readily apparent both to people who understand what colors and how they work and to people who have no idea what colors are or how they work. Just as nature included in us a mechanism for the perception of colors, nature included in us a mechanism for the perception of rights.

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July 01, 2011, 07:56:13 PM
 #110

 Coming in late to this thread, but here's a perfect example of how IP laws and strict copyright can stifle creativity.

 http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110506/15124514188/when-copyright-contracts-can-get-way-art.shtml

 Long story short -

 Museum hires artist to create art for exhibit, artist agrees but has stipulations, museum agrees, artist creates said art, museum requests unlimited revisions and produces a contract to be signed, artist declines, weeks of negotiation follow, museum caves to original terms of oral agreement, everyone is happy, museum decides to not use the art, artist releases art anyway because of Free License.


 In other words, after creating the art and after negotiation, the museum decided to not use her art.  If it had been under traditional copyright, the museum would own those images.  But because they decided not to use them in the exhibit, they would never have seen the light of day.  As a result of the artist wanting a Free License, she was able to release the images, free, to the public.


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July 01, 2011, 08:13:44 PM
 #111

Coming in late to this thread, but here's a perfect example of how IP laws and strict copyright can stifle creativity.

 http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110506/15124514188/when-copyright-contracts-can-get-way-art.shtml

 Long story short -

 Museum hires artist to create art for exhibit, artist agrees but has stipulations, museum agrees, artist creates said art, museum requests unlimited revisions and produces a contract to be signed, artist declines, weeks of negotiation follow, museum caves to original terms of oral agreement, everyone is happy, museum decides to not use the art, artist releases art anyway because of Free License.


 In other words, after creating the art and after negotiation, the museum decided to not use her art.  If it had been under traditional copyright, the museum would own those images.  But because they decided not to use them in the exhibit, they would never have seen the light of day.  As a result of the artist wanting a Free License, she was able to release the images, free, to the public.



Thanks for sharing that article.  An interesting read.  It's amazing how many corporate types and lawers are completely confused and taken off-balance when they come across the notion of free licenses.

As a musician myself, I share many of the sympathies with this artist as well about how copyright and contracts get in the way of art.

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July 01, 2011, 08:20:55 PM
 #112

Disclaimer: I'm generalizing the anti-IP-rights position to all hardcore libertarians because I've seen several who hold this position. If you believe anti-IP-right are not consistent with what it actually means to be a libertarian, then correct me. I still want to know what people who do hold this position think, though.



I think you are wrong in this conclusion.  Some libertarians with libertarian leanings are also among the most ardent defenders of IP rights.   The question really is if you think ip exists.  If you do, then you feel that it should be protected from theft and bad faith contracts like any other property.   If you don't then you don't think a framework should exist to protect it.   Like with abortion there is a core belief at a different level then the politics itself that can have people of pretty much all political beliefs on both sides of these issues.

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July 01, 2011, 11:11:04 PM
 #113

Red and blue are labels we assign to different radio frequency ranges that exist in Nature.
Yes, we know that now because we understand the physical nature of light. But we were able to use colors long before we understood that.

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Radio frequencies can be measured and thus can be proven to exist in Nature.
They can be measured now, but we used them long before we knew how to measure them. As for us being able to prove they exist in nature, we used them validly for a very long time when the only way to prove they existed in nature was to point at something and say "Look! See the color?". We can do all the things for rights that we did for colors before we understood their physical nature. And we used colors validly.

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How do you measure what or whom grants me the right not to have someone shine a million watt spotlight in my window at night and what or whom doesn't grant me the right to not have a flashlight brush across my window? You can't because those are abstract ideas that exist only in our minds and not in Nature.
People made that exact same argument about colors before we understood their physical nature. "If someone says the sky and grass are the same color, how can you prove them wrong? Colors exist only in the mind, so you can't use them."

We don't know how to measure rights yet, just as we once didn't know how to measure colors. But we can use them because we perceive them directly, just as we did with colors. If someone says "I believe I have a right to torture children for pleasure" or "The grass and the sky look the same color to me (under ordinary conditions)", all we can say is that they are either lying or somehow their perceptual mechanism is broken. It is impossible to convince a person that he does not see what he knows he does see.

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July 01, 2011, 11:56:09 PM
 #114

Requiring certainty is kind of absurd. Even if I blow up your car, it could have blown up by itself a few minutes later.
Sure, and in that case you wouldn't have been liable... but that's not what happened, so you are. If you think it's unfair to be blamed for causing an explosion that might have happened anyway, there's an easy way to avoid that: don't blow stuff up.

Adjusting damages based on wild speculation about what might have happened is just desperate wishful thinking.

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My own sense is that the "fair market value" of the loss comes the closest to what is actually fair. So if I can prove that you deprived me of a 1% chance at $1,000,000, I'm entitled to a $10,000 recovery.
Such proof would be impossible for anything like a client meeting or a job interview, of course: they're not basing their decision on a coin toss. I can only see this working in a narrow set of cases, involving something with a known probability structure that can't be replaced, like a ticket for a discontinued lottery.

We don't know how to measure rights yet, just as we once didn't know how to measure colors. But we can use them because we perceive them directly, just as we did with colors. If someone says "I believe I have a right to torture children for pleasure" or "The grass and the sky look the same color to me (under ordinary conditions)", all we can say is that they are either lying or somehow their perceptual mechanism is broken. It is impossible to convince a person that he does not see what he knows he does see.
If there were billions of people who interpreted colors differently, who didn't see some color differences we did and saw others we didn't, we could hardly call their perception "broken". At best we could call it different.

Likewise, it's awfully presumptuous to claim that you just happen to have perfect perception of rights when you're surrounded by people who perceive them differently. If anyone's perception is broken, what makes you so sure it's not yours?
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July 02, 2011, 12:00:04 AM
 #115

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But we can use them because we perceive them directly, just as we did with colors. If someone says "I believe I have a right to torture children for pleasure" or "The grass and the sky look the same color to me (under ordinary conditions)", all we can say is that they are either lying or somehow their perceptual mechanism is broken. It is impossible to convince a person that he does not see what he knows he does see.

Wait, I'm supposed to somehow "perceive rights directly"? What?

My understanding is that when I say "you have a right to not get beaten up by your neighbors", I mean "we live in a society where we generally agree that we would like to not get beaten up and we also have the primal ability to empathize with other human beings, so our laws (both written laws and unwritten moral codes) tell us that we should not beat you up or else the rest of society will punish us." It seems like you're claiming these rights somehow exist intrinsically and that we only discovered them. That makes absolutely no sense to me.
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July 02, 2011, 12:06:20 AM
 #116

Wait, I'm supposed to somehow "perceive rights directly"? What?
Yes, exactly. You are supposed to directly perceive that children have a right not to be tortured for pleasure just as you perceive directly that the sky is blue. If you say you do not, you are lying or broken. I do. The vast majority of other people do. If you don't, something's wrong with you. We don't know what yet -- perhaps you are "rights blind".

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My understanding is that when I say "you have a right to not get beaten up by your neighbors", I mean "we live in a society where we generally agree that we would like to not get beaten up and we also have the primal ability to empathize with other human beings, so our laws (both written laws and unwritten moral codes) tell us that we should not beat you up or else the rest of society will punish us." It seems like you're claiming these rights somehow exist intrinsically and that we only discovered them. That makes absolutely no sense to me.
No, that's not what I'm claiming. A painting of the sky is just as blue as the sky, even though someone made the painting blue. And no matter what we agreed or what our society said or did, it would be just as obvious to a normal human being that children have a right not to be tortured for pleasure. (Though I can imagine no situations where this wouldn't be the case, I can't be 100% sure no such situations exist. I have seen none and cannot imagine any. But who knows.) We don't fully understand the source of this right yet, but that it exists is a directly-observable fact. Anyone with normal "rights vision" can see it.

I'm being somewhat whimsical, but my point is quite serious. The vast majority of normal human beings (perhaps sociopaths can't) can directly perceive that other human beings have rights. You can make an argument that some of the rights we think we see are somehow illusory, just as our color vision can be fooled by many optical illusions. But you can't deny that we see what we see. Any arguments that claim we don't will simply be laughed at. Just as you would laugh at me if I tried to convince you that the sky and the grass actually look the same color to you.

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July 02, 2011, 12:17:47 AM
 #117

Wait, I'm supposed to somehow "perceive rights directly"? What?
Yes, exactly. You are supposed to directly perceive that children have a right not to be tortured for pleasure just as you perceive directly that the sky is blue. If you say you do not, you are lying or broken. I do. The vast majority of other people do. If you don't, something's wrong with you. We don't know what yet -- perhaps you are "rights blind".

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My understanding is that when I say "you have a right to not get beaten up by your neighbors", I mean "we live in a society where we generally agree that we would like to not get beaten up and we also have the primal ability to empathize with other human beings, so our laws (both written laws and unwritten moral codes) tell us that we should not beat you up or else the rest of society will punish us." It seems like you're claiming these rights somehow exist intrinsically and that we only discovered them. That makes absolutely no sense to me.
No, that's not what I'm claiming. A painting of the sky is just as blue as the sky, even though someone made the painting blue. And no matter what we agreed or what our society said or did, it would be just as obvious to a normal human being that children have a right not to be tortured for pleasure. (Though I can imagine no situations where this wouldn't be the case, I can't be 100% sure no such situations exist. I have seen none and cannot imagine any. But who knows.) We don't fully understand the source of this right yet, but that it exists is a directly-observable fact. Anyone with normal "rights vision" can see it.

I'm being somewhat whimsical, but my point is quite serious. The vast majority of normal human beings (perhaps sociopaths can't) can directly perceive that other human beings have rights. You can make an argument that some of the rights we think we see are somehow illusory, just as our color vision can be fooled by many optical illusions. But you can't deny that we see what we see. Any arguments that claim we don't will simply be laughed at. Just as you would laugh at me if I tried to convince you that the sky and the grass actually look the same color to you.

I think that it must take a really sick fuck to torture children for fun. I also would like to live in a society where children are not tortured for fun and where people who want to would be rehabilitated appropriately. I think children everywhere would agree with me. Therefore it is my opinion that we should make a legal social contract among all the people in this country to not torture children. We'll call this social contract a "right". We invented this right, and since most of us agree that it's a good one, we might even call it a more fundamental right. This right is particularly easy to "perceive" because most people come with the ability to empathize as a natural socio-biological mechanism for group preservation.

But you're claiming that ALL rights should be "perceivable" as clearly as this one, as if they exist in nature and we can observe them. I do not see how you could support in the face of evidence to the contrary in the form of contradictory social norms and moral codes in different parts of the world (for example: oppressive moral codes in some middle eastern countries. Are you claiming that ALL of those people [who were born and raised to believe in a certain set of morals] have a broken "rights perception"?).
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July 02, 2011, 01:05:49 AM
 #118

I think that it must take a really sick fuck to torture children for fun.
Right, that's because you know children have the right not to be tortured for fun. You are not lying or broken.

Quote
I also would like to live in a society where children are not tortured for fun and where people who want to would be rehabilitated appropriately. I think children everywhere would agree with me. Therefore it is my opinion that we should make a legal social contract among all the people in this country to not torture children.
Exactly. You know that this is the right thing to do.

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We'll call this social contract a "right". We invented this right, and since most of us agree that it's a good one, we might even call it a more fundamental right. This right is particularly easy to "perceive" because most people come with the ability to empathize as a natural socio-biological mechanism for group preservation.
Oh, you're just using the word "right" to refer to something different from me. Our disagreement is purely verbal. When I say "right", I mean the *reason* we agree to structure society in this way. When you say "right", you mean the *fact* that we agreed to structure society this way. We have no real disagreement then. We both accept that both of these things exist.

Quote
But you're claiming that ALL rights should be "perceivable" as clearly as this one, as if they exist in nature and we can observe them. I do not see how you could support in the face of evidence to the contrary in the form of contradictory social norms and moral codes in different parts of the world (for example: oppressive moral codes in some middle eastern countries. Are you claiming that ALL of those people [who were born and raised to believe in a certain set of morals] have a broken "rights perception"?).
Does the sky *always* look blue? Does the ground *always* look green? No, it's not that people in other societies have different right perception, it's that they are looking at different things. Just as color is a complex result of the interaction of the light landing on an object, the surface composition of that object, the position of the observer, and so on, so rights (and the perception of them) are also the result of the interaction of many things.

Just as we understood that color has something to do with the interaction of light and the thing the light bounces off of long before we understood it in detail, we understand that rights are the result of the interaction between human beings and their environment. Change the environment, and the rights change. I can't imagine any environment in which children would not have the right not to be tortured for pleasure, just as I can't imagine any way complete darkness could look yellow, but I can't prove it's impossible.

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July 02, 2011, 01:12:39 AM
 #119

I think that it must take a really sick fuck to torture children for fun.
Right, that's because you know children have the right not to be tortured for fun. You are not lying or broken.

To be fair, Toast might be both. In fact, the statement you quoted precludes all options but Both or Neither. Just sayin'. Wink




No, I don't think Toast is a child molester. Just pointing out an assumption. Carry on.

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July 02, 2011, 01:23:59 AM
 #120

To be fair, Toast might be both. In fact, the statement you quoted precludes all options but Both or Neither. Just sayin'. Wink
Not to imply that this applies to Toast, who I'm sure is a wonderful human being, but many people who are broken also have learned to lie about it. Many sociopaths learn to act like normal people by pretending to be the way they're supposed to be.

I amend my previous statement:
"You are not lying xor broken."

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