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Author Topic: Seriously, though, how would a libertarian society address global warming?  (Read 27367 times)
FredericBastiat
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September 19, 2011, 09:04:58 PM
 #321

Smallpox isn't the same threat model as global warming. We can afford to do an imperfect job on global warming for a few years (either with or without regulation), but one slip-up with smallpox screws everyone. Doing research without proper containment procedures is aggression - like pointing a loaded gun at our heads while you clean the trigger.

I don't have any philosophers to back me up, but I'd probably pay towards a bounty to incinerate Frederic's hypothetical specimen, property rights be damned. Maybe I'll eat those words soon enough.  Grin

I like the comment about pointing a loaded gun while cleaning the trigger. That's an interesting theory. The real question is can you bridge the gap between intent to do harm and ignorant accidental potential harm?

Of course, it would seem reasonably actionable, assuming your bounty request was justified, to incinerate anybody's specimen regardless if a government facility owned it or I owned it. If you feel threatened, you're suggesting it doesn't really matter who has possession. I'm trying to take a fair, equitable and lawful stance regarding your concerns. Is that correct?

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September 19, 2011, 09:07:08 PM
 #322

Smallpox isn't the same threat model as global warming. We can afford to do an imperfect job on global warming for a few years (either with or without regulation), but one slip-up with smallpox screws everyone. Doing research without proper containment procedures is aggression - like pointing a loaded gun at our heads while you clean the trigger.

I don't have any philosophers to back me up, but I'd probably pay towards a bounty to incinerate Frederic's hypothetical specimen, property rights be damned. Maybe I'll eat those words soon enough.  Grin

I like the comment about pointing a loaded gun while cleaning the trigger. That's an interesting theory. The real question is can you bridge the gap between intent to do harm and ignorant accidental potential harm?

Of course, it would seem reasonably actionable, assuming your bounty request was justified, to incinerate anybody's specimen regardless if a government facility owned it or I owned it. If you feel threatened, you're suggesting it doesn't really matter who has possession. I'm trying to take a fair and equitable stance regarding your concerns. Is that correct?

No.  By the time everyone has possession, its too late.  At that point, its guaranteed that smallpox will recur and we have to die for your "right to own a smallpox virus"

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September 19, 2011, 09:15:44 PM
 #323

No.  By the time everyone has possession, its too late.  At that point, its guaranteed that smallpox will recur and we have to die for your "right to own a smallpox virus"

And yet there are many a sample of smallpox owned by various individuals all over the world. I'm not dead yet. I don't feel particularly threatened either. Your possession argument is getting thinner and thinner by the minute.

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September 19, 2011, 09:28:07 PM
 #324

No.  By the time everyone has possession, its too late.  At that point, its guaranteed that smallpox will recur and we have to die for your "right to own a smallpox virus"

And yet there are many a sample of smallpox owned by various individuals all over the world. I'm not dead yet. I don't feel particularly threatened either. Your possession argument is getting thinner and thinner by the minute.

Really?  Many examples?  Do tell me how many?

FredericBastiat
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September 19, 2011, 09:53:22 PM
 #325

Really?  Many examples?  Do tell me how many?

I don't have personal verifiable proof. Some research labs had samples up until 2002. There may not be any now. It has been proved that the virus could be synthesized from cow pox. Given enough technology, I'm sure it's possible to recreate it. I'm not suggesting it's a good idea, however.

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September 19, 2011, 09:56:33 PM
 #326

Really?  Many examples?  Do tell me how many?

I don't have personal verifiable proof. Some research labs had samples up until 2002. There may not be any now. It has been proved that the virus could be synthesized from cow pox. Given enough technology, I'm sure it's possible to recreate it. I'm not suggesting it's a good idea, however.

Hmmm. That would seem to contradict your suggestion that there are "many" samples knocking about.

Please, if you believe what you say, do a little googling,  Get back to me with the precise number.  It will take you less than a minute.

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September 19, 2011, 10:05:00 PM
 #327

Hmmm. That would seem to contradict your suggestion that there are "many" samples knocking about.

Please, if you believe what you say, do a little googling,  Get back to me with the precise number.  It will take you less than a minute.

I'll concede on the veracity of the number. I personally don't think the number is relevant to our argument. So while I might be numerically inaccurate, it does not follow that my entire premise is wrong. But whatever, the number is of little concern to me. I don't want to google it; and if you want to terminate our discussion because of it, I'm fine with that too.

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September 19, 2011, 10:09:02 PM
 #328

Hmmm. That would seem to contradict your suggestion that there are "many" samples knocking about.

Please, if you believe what you say, do a little googling,  Get back to me with the precise number.  It will take you less than a minute.

I'll concede on the veracity of the number. I personally don't think the number is relevant to our argument. So while I might be numerically inaccurate, it does not follow that my entire premise is wrong. But whatever, the number is of little concern to me. I don't want to google it; and if you want to terminate our discussion because of it, I'm fine with that too.

Actually it does mean your entire premise is wrong.  Right now, the debate is whether to destroy the remaining samples and thus ridding humanity of this curse forever. 

But you?  No.  You want every family to have a right to have their own vial of smallpox.

Please; I am looking for a rational argument to engage with and this shite is the what you come up with?  Either you have an idea for a better system in which case you offer it.  Or you don't in which case you shut up. 

I'm waiting.

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September 19, 2011, 10:34:48 PM
 #329

Actually it does mean your entire premise is wrong.  Right now, the debate is whether to destroy the remaining samples and thus ridding humanity of this curse forever. 

But you?  No.  You want every family to have a right to have their own vial of smallpox.

Please; I am looking for a rational argument to engage with and this shite is the what you come up with?  Either you have an idea for a better system in which case you offer it.  Or you don't in which case you shut up. 

I'm waiting.

I'm fine with eradicating the remaining samples of smallpox as long as its your sample you want to destroy. I for one would incinerate my sample of smallpox (if I had any) as I think owning such things serves little or any purpose of mine, at the moment.

I'm not a chemist or biologist, so I have no need of such things; and knowing that owning such things could bring accidental harm to others, I wouldn't want to be responsible for that possibility. But that's just me. Other people have their own reasoning. To each his own.

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September 19, 2011, 10:41:59 PM
 #330

Actually it does mean your entire premise is wrong.  Right now, the debate is whether to destroy the remaining samples and thus ridding humanity of this curse forever. 

But you?  No.  You want every family to have a right to have their own vial of smallpox.

Please; I am looking for a rational argument to engage with and this shite is the what you come up with?  Either you have an idea for a better system in which case you offer it.  Or you don't in which case you shut up. 

I'm waiting.

I'm fine with eradicating the remaining samples of smallpox as long as its your sample you want to destroy. I for one would incinerate my sample of smallpox (if I had any) as I think owning such things serves little or any purpose of mine, at the moment.

I'm not a chemist or biologist, so I have no need of such things; and knowing that owning such things could bring accidental harm to others, I wouldn't want to be responsible for that possibility. But that's just me. Other people have their own reasoning. To each his own.

No.  You are being obtuse or contrary.  We have spent 2 generations eraricating smallpox and you seriously think you can come along and invent a right to a small pox virus that means we have to accept it can spread again.  Who do you think you are?  I'm not religious but even God accepts that we can eradicate disease.  But not Fred; Fred wants to preserve his liberty to own the smallpox virus.

You position could be called absurd but Camus and 1000 existentialists would be libelled. 

Fred; please please please give us a rational reason to listen to your ideas.  So far, all I am seeing is childish "I wanna do what I wanna do" arguments.  If that's all you have got, fine.  But if you have some better reason for preserving smallpox, please, I am waiting.

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September 19, 2011, 10:46:22 PM
 #331

No.  You are being obtuse or contrary.  We have spent 2 generations eraricating smallpox and you seriously think you can come along and invent a right to a small pox virus that means we have to accept it can spread again.  Who do you think you are?  I'm not religious but even God accepts that we can eradicate disease.  But not Fred; Fred wants to preserve his liberty to own the smallpox virus.

You position could be called absurd but Camus and 1000 existentialists would be libelled. 

Fred; please please please give us a rational reason to listen to your ideas.  So far, all I am seeing is childish "I wanna do what I wanna do" arguments.  If that's all you have got, fine.  But if you have some better reason for preserving smallpox, please, I am waiting.

Research.

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September 19, 2011, 10:48:16 PM
 #332

No.  You are being obtuse or contrary.  We have spent 2 generations eraricating smallpox and you seriously think you can come along and invent a right to a small pox virus that means we have to accept it can spread again.  Who do you think you are?  I'm not religious but even God accepts that we can eradicate disease.  But not Fred; Fred wants to preserve his liberty to own the smallpox virus.

You position could be called absurd but Camus and 1000 existentialists would be libelled.  

Fred; please please please give us a rational reason to listen to your ideas.  So far, all I am seeing is childish "I wanna do what I wanna do" arguments.  If that's all you have got, fine.  But if you have some better reason for preserving smallpox, please, I am waiting.

Research.

What every family has its own vial of smallpox for research?  That's what every factory worker and waitress needs?  Is that your way of saying you can't think of a rational argument?

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September 19, 2011, 11:03:05 PM
 #333

What every family has its own vial of smallpox for research?  That's what every factory worker and waitress needs?  Is that your way of saying you can't think of a rational argument?

No, not everybody cares about smallpox research, anymore than they care about recycling research, or research in general. Just because everybody has an infinite number of rights, are they willing to exercise any or a portion of any of them, at any particular time, or at all for that matter.

Does everybody have to provide a rational reason for why they have what they have? And to whom do they answer for these things they own? And why should they believe that these persons are any better at knowing what to do with their stuff than the owner does? Who are these masters we must subject ourselves to?

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September 20, 2011, 12:01:31 AM
 #334

No.  You are being obtuse or contrary.  We have spent 2 generations eraricating smallpox and you seriously think you can come along and invent a right to a small pox virus that means we have to accept it can spread again.  Who do you think you are?  I'm not religious but even God accepts that we can eradicate disease.  But not Fred; Fred wants to preserve his liberty to own the smallpox virus.

You position could be called absurd but Camus and 1000 existentialists would be libelled. 

Fred; please please please give us a rational reason to listen to your ideas.  So far, all I am seeing is childish "I wanna do what I wanna do" arguments.  If that's all you have got, fine.  But if you have some better reason for preserving smallpox, please, I am waiting.

Research.

I'm sure I recommended Edward O. Wilson's book to you. It's funny you say research. Edward O. Wilson supports, as I do, the preservation of species as best as we are able, because of all the wonderful things we have yet to learn from each and every one of those species - stuff like biological mechanisms, community behavior, medicinal breakthroughs, etc. There are millions of species out there worth learning from in our future, if we'd make an effort to save them. The one organism that Edward O. Wilson said that he saw no reason to preserve was small pox.

Funny how your political stance is pretty much diametrically opposite his. Do you think you're wiser than he is?
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September 20, 2011, 12:13:26 AM
 #335


I like the comment about pointing a loaded gun while cleaning the trigger. That's an interesting theory. The real question is can you bridge the gap between intent to do harm and ignorant accidental potential harm?

Of course, it would seem reasonably actionable, assuming your bounty request was justified, to incinerate anybody's specimen regardless if a government facility owned it or I owned it. If you feel threatened, you're suggesting it doesn't really matter who has possession. I'm trying to take a fair, equitable and lawful stance regarding your concerns. Is that correct?

Correct. I don't care WHO is handling smallpox unsafely. However, I don't consider ignorance of the social norm to be any more excuse than ignorance of the law. If someone is going to mess around with Smallpox, they have a responsibility to inform themselves of how to properly contain it. Hopefully we would start with an angry email, but if I'm sure they've had their chance, I side with the angry mob.

I can't see how we would get past the angry mob stage, so every family owning Smallpox is a little too bizarre for me to imagine.

If I can feebly relate this to the topic: driving around unaware of the damage your pollution causes does not excuse it. Neither does denying that damage. I hold the ignorant morally accountable lest I encourage ignorance. I'm arguing for consequentialism: if ignorant accidental potential harm has the same consequences as wilful potential harm, they are morally equivalent.

But please correct me if this sounds wrong, I don't have much confidence in this reasoning.
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September 20, 2011, 12:18:43 AM
 #336


I like the comment about pointing a loaded gun while cleaning the trigger. That's an interesting theory. The real question is can you bridge the gap between intent to do harm and ignorant accidental potential harm?

Of course, it would seem reasonably actionable, assuming your bounty request was justified, to incinerate anybody's specimen regardless if a government facility owned it or I owned it. If you feel threatened, you're suggesting it doesn't really matter who has possession. I'm trying to take a fair, equitable and lawful stance regarding your concerns. Is that correct?

Correct. I don't care WHO is handling smallpox unsafely. However, I don't consider ignorance of the social norm to be any more excuse than ignorance of the law. If someone is going to mess around with Smallpox, they have a responsibility to inform themselves of how to properly contain it. Hopefully we would start with an angry email, but if I'm sure they've had their chance, I side with the angry mob.

I can't see how we would get past the angry mob stage, so every family owning Smallpox is a little too bizarre for me to imagine.

If I can feebly relate this to the topic: driving around unaware of the damage your pollution causes does not excuse it. Neither does denying that damage. I hold the ignorant morally accountable lest I encourage ignorance. I'm arguing for consequentialism: if ignorant accidental potential harm has the same consequences as wilful potential harm, they are morally equivalent.

But please correct me if this sounds wrong, I don't have much confidence in this reasoning.

I pretty much am in complete agreement with what you're saying. However, I recently made a rather lengthy reply to one of your posts, and perhaps it was because I misunderstood. Have you read it? Here is the post:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=25626.msg530155#msg530155
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September 20, 2011, 12:43:26 AM
 #337

I read it and understand your point, but I can't say I agree or disagree with your course of action. The problem might just be that we don't raise enough money to save these species, not that we need to start kicking down doors because it's cheaper. I didn't reply because you gave me a lot to think about.
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September 20, 2011, 01:00:27 AM
 #338

I read it and understand your point, but I can't say I agree or disagree with your course of action. The problem might just be that we don't raise enough money to save these species, not that we need to start kicking down doors because it's cheaper. I didn't reply because you gave me a lot to think about.

I'm not sure I proposed a specific and singular course of action, especially one that involves kicking down doors. Mostly, I'm presenting thought provoking information, partially in the form of questions, to get you thinking. The subject matter of some of those questions related to the why of a discrepancy between western slope Sierra Nevada amphibian extinctions vs. eastern slope Sierra Nevada extinctions, the Sumatran Rhino and how unregulated capitalism accelerates extinction, wolves and water quality, the informational content in a world full of biodiversity vs. a world stripped of biodiversity, edge effects and ecosystem fragmentation, how the economy has changed what the limiting factors are in the global fish haul, and the overkill hypothesis. I'm more than willing to discuss any of those.
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September 20, 2011, 01:48:25 AM
 #339

Three species have died a day on this planet since its early inception, independent of man's existence. One can hardly judge man's industrious nature as completely harmful just by a few changes done by our species. It's not to say other species can't cause just as much change to the environment.

I suggest we don't be so arrogant in our influence as a species. We will affect things but change isn't always a negative force against the world. Sometimes it just is.
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September 20, 2011, 02:00:35 AM
 #340

Three species have died a day on this planet since its early inception, independent of man's existence. One can hardly judge man's industrious nature as completely harmful just by a few changes done by our species. It's not to say other species can cause just as much change to the environment.

I appreciate your input when it isn't devoid of thoughtful content. This isn't one of those times. The offending statement:

One can hardly judge man's industrious nature as completely harmful just by a few changes done by our species.

To narrow it down further, the offending component of the above statement:

... just by a few changes done by our species.

Are you familiar with deforestation and the effects it has? Are you familiar with the extent of deforestation that has occurred on this planet in the past several hundred years? Are you familiar with the megafauna that existed in New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific Islands, North America and Europe prior to man's arrival? Are you familiar with the value of biodiversity, or is that just a term you hear thrown around usually coincident with conservation? Are you someone who likes to mostly argue monetary policy, yet fancies himself knowledgeable enough to address the issues of biodiversity?
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