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Author Topic: What's so special about the NAP?  (Read 18493 times)
niemivh
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July 02, 2012, 09:57:48 PM
 #221


In this NAP-induced mindset, the public good is never considered, the survival of the society is never considered, the future projection of the society is never considered, the greater potential that can exist is never considered, the level of individual equality of the system is never considered, the external threats to the system cannot be addressed; and why when these ideologies have seized power they system collapses and destroys itself in short order.  And, unfortunately, we are well on our way in this collapse for this very reason.

I've read your posts a few times by now.  And, while I get that you are dissatisfied with the NAP, I still can't seem to determine the 'basis' of your complaint.
You don't like the NAP.  That's clear.  But why?  What does it matter to you?  You don't like being restricted to non-aggression?  You feel there are instances in which you should initiate force against others who have not caused you harm?  You think NAP adherents should not be able to defend themselves?  You think they should join you in aggressing against others?  You think the NAP is inadequately equipped to protect individual freedoms, and you have a better method?  Fine.  Name some examples.

Why do I 'not like' the NAP, you ask?  Because the NAP is used to preach some type of Libertarian utopia that has never been seen on land or sea or in the fossil record and upon cursory and deeper analysis to the society governed by NAP one (who is literate in civics) realizes how deranged and ridiculous it is as a sole governing and moral philosophy.  That is why.


You mean like when the forefathers set out to found a nation that was ruled by its people rather than by some arbitrary oppressive royal regiem, a nation that hadn't even entered the imagination of anyone on earth? What idiots they must have been, since we certainly haven't got there yet?

I find your lack of imagination disturbing!  Angry


Ha, I think nothing could be said to describe myself that could possibly be any more inaccurate than "a lack of imagination".  Sorry sir, I'm unlike anyone you've ever met, and your attempts to shoehorn me into some standard arch-type that you've encountered before is going to lead you to nothing but erroneous conclusions.

And I find your seeming lack of self-education unsurprising.  Par for the course, after all.



I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 02, 2012, 10:01:40 PM
 #222

Hmmm.  There is a real America.  Go out and try to get people to vote to change those things; it won't happen because Americans are violently anti-drug.  Heck you guys even have towns where alcohol isn't allowed.

Do tell me, if you will, how I am supposed to get such measures on the ballot in the first place? Not every state has ballot initiatives. So in order to get those measures passed, I would need to get lawmakers elected that will pass them. The reason the government will not offer to its citizens the opportunity to dissolve it should be obvious, but I'll explain anyway.

Fist of all, the US government is not a direct democracy. It is a representative democracy. This means that the people don't make the decisions themselves, but rather, elect representatives to do the deciding. This is, of course, a paid position, the best part of which being that if you would like a raise, you can simply vote yourself one. Of course, you need to get most of the other representatives to agree with you that they would also like a raise, but that's usually not a problem. So, there's that. You would need to convince the representatives to vote themselves out of a job... not a likely proposition.

So on the one hand, it would never get on the ballot because it's not something the people would be given a direct choice about in the first place, and on the other, it would never get passed in Congress because the congresscritters would never fire themselves.


Just reminding everyone that I was illustrating that the fallacies of Direct Democracy and NAPtopia were both based on similar implicit fallacies, and here's you proving me right by defending Direct Democracy.

 Wink

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July 02, 2012, 10:11:38 PM
 #223

So on the one hand, it would never get on the ballot because it's not something the people would be given a direct choice about in the first place, and on the other, it would never get passed in Congress because the congresscritters would never fire themselves.


Just reminding everyone that I was illustrating that the fallacies of Direct Democracy and NAPtopia were both based on similar implicit fallacies, and here's you proving me right by defending Direct Democracy.

 Wink

You are mistaken. I was not defending direct democracies. Direct democracies are the worst kind of democracies. They inevitably devolve into totalitarian regimes, as first one majority oppresses the minority on one issue, then a different majority oppresses the minority on another issue, and so on.

Actually, that's how it works in all democracies, but direct democracies remove all the factors that slow that process.

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July 02, 2012, 11:57:36 PM
 #224


Why do I 'not like' the NAP, you ask?  Because the NAP is used to preach some type of Libertarian utopia that has never been seen on land or sea or in the fossil record and upon cursory and deeper analysis to the society governed by NAP one (who is literate in civics) realizes how deranged and ridiculous it is as a sole governing and moral philosophy.  That is why.

As far as I can tell, the only people in this thread who have claimed that NAP should be the "sole" moral philosophy are those who oppose it and those who fail to understand it.  The rest of us recognize that non-aggression is merely the basis of any consistent, and just, moral code.


More vague rhetoric.  Would you like to come down into the land of policy with me from your high perch and actually talk about specifics and laws?  Also, implicit in that argument is that there is no such thing quantifiable as the "Public Good", do you disagree?


And how do you have modern debt relationships without, yes, a monopoly of power that enforces the same rules and promotes a reasonably fair '3rd-party' that is relatively indifferent to the proceedings but is acting in the universally established methods and rules for governing said situation?

The "modern" derivatives market, which is completely unregulated, managed to create $600 trillion in liabilities with no governing authority whatsoever.  I submit that as evidence of the possibility for debt relationships to exist without government monopolies.

Source?  Where do you get that information?  All these derivatives contracts are just that, a contract, so where you are referencing this from is a mystery.  Plus, how much do you actually know about derivatives and modern finance?  A statement like that has me wondering what the hell you're talking about because it is basically the opposite of reality as I know it, and I make it a point to know a lot about what I’m talking about before I ever ‘open my mouth’, so to speak.  All the major derivatives traders are engaged in fraud, larceny and insider-trading to the "Nth" degree all backstopped by the PPT and the 0% lending Fed which is the only thing that gives the major derivatives banks a patina of solvency, from otherwise they would be bankrupt.  I'd actually like to discuss derivatives with you, because I've had extensive conversations with those in finance (hedge funds and other private equity firms), and what you're saying above looks like something read on Mises.org forums and simply reposted it here without any knowledge of what the hell is ACTUALLY going on in the world.  Am I wrong?  Please elaborate.

The world, actually the universe, exists in a constant state of flux.  Things change and will forever always change as far as we know.  Humanity can either react to the change (your seemingly preferred method), let’s call this the reactive approach.  Or humanity can be proactive and governed by wisdom, that is by the people that have the foresight to see these things coming and can steer the civilization away from said catastrophes and toward higher states of existence.

The NAP does not prevent individuals, and society by extension, from being proactive, or from following the wise who see change coming.  Though I can see how you may have gotten this impression by generalizing the views of some Libertarians.  I'm just going to defend non-aggression here, not market anarchy.

 Then please do.  Please defend NAP.  What does NAP mean to you and why does it mean something different to each person who starts from its premise and tries to work out an actual concrete moral, legal, social or economic frameworks?  Is your interpretation of these frameworks the RIGHT version?  If so, why?  Why is it that you think everyone in an attempt to derive some type of actual concrete understanding of NAP, starting from NAP’s single sentence, will very promptly arrive at completely different conclusions than others attempting to do the same?  Do you think that that is purely accidental, or intentional from NAP’s creators and its other baggage ideological cousins?

In terms of existential threats: presently we are seeing an economic meltdown that has the potential to be more disastrous than the Great Depression.  We see an incredible escalation of NATO aggression against Russia that is rapidly heating up in the thermonuclear armament sphere.  We have a worldwide decaying UK/US (‘special relationship’) empire that is frantically trying to maintain their oligarchical privilege (which all you are unknowingly defending with your crackpot ideology) and threatening a thermonuclear WWIII of mass extinction on the planet.  And these are just some of our problems.

Frankly I assumed you would choose a more realistic threat than this.  Do you recognize the irony that, thanks to a minor application of the NAP known as mutually-assured destruction, neither the US nor Russia will even remotely approach thermonuclear confrontation?  Nuclear war is a complete canard.  Neither Putin nor Obama are irrational actors.  Not even Dick Cheney was insane enough to broach this.

The economic meltdown is a disaster, true, but it is a contrived disaster which is being deliberately exacerbated by the FED, just like the Great Depression.  And, yes, the solution to this problem lies with the masses, with projects like Bitcoin and others.  The solution to poor (or in this case malicious) leadership is not different leadership, it's less leadership.

Makes me wonder if you know anything about game theory, or even current events.  The nuclear war "game" is something like a "game of chicken".  How long can one side build up their armaments or their defenses or antagonize the other party until there is a thermonuclear confrontation?  Why is NATO building up armaments if they have no intention of using them?  I don't want to find out the answers to either one of these questions.  This could be much like WWI, where after the treaties were locked in place, and the military escalation started, war was a forgone conclusion. 

For the current events side there has been a numerous amount of escalation in this sphere.  This isn't something I'm just pulling out of my ass, this is an observation of real world events that I know nobody enjoys hearing.  I'm not saying a war is inevitable and that the sky is falling, I'll leave the apocalyptic rhetoric to the Libertarians as they are like ‘pigs in the mud’ with such talk.  I'm simply saying that if one is concerned with objective reality then it is an unavoidable conclusion that there is a rapid nuclear escalation going on right now.  If there was no intent to ever use, then why would there be escalation?  This escalation is due to our collectively insane ruling elites and their collapsing empire.  Seeing as we are dealing with 'collective insanity' and 'imperialism', things which are completely irrational yet readily exist, how does this mean that nuclear war is an impossibility?  It's not, it's just that you don't like considering things that are horrible and potentially tragic.  Heck, neither do I, but there they are, just the same.

As for specifics, you had Medvedev putting Russian systems on combat alert prior to leaving office, the nuclear 'umbrella' of NATO which could only be targeted at Russia activated and the recent test launching of 2 ICBMs over the Caspian Sea by Russia including the Topol ICBM.  You Putin saying that Russia would not permit imperialist NATO from carving up Syria and yet NATO is still driving to do just that.

Is your method to just ignore this or… what?

By saying that these problems should be left to “the people”, as such, is saying the emergent behavior of the people is to take action and if the society (“the people”) do not take action then they (“the people”) are to blame for their problems; this is the doctrine of “Collective Guilt” – and I must admit, it’s a brilliant way to try and shirk your responsibility.

Look, I have no responsibility to hand-hold every mouth-breathing moron into making the correct decisions in life.  The most I can do is point out the correct path, and to insulate myself from the consequences of their not taking it.  The choice is up to them.

You accuse adherents of non-aggression of protecting "oligarchs", and then promote this "heroic leader" garbage?  You should consider yourself lucky if aristocrats choose to lead by example rather than simply marching the poor lemmings off to an early demise as they have done repeatedly throughout history.  Is that the "responsibility" you think is being shirked?

And it's not "collective guilt" for individuals to be collectively responsible for their individual choices.  It's just reality.  If you want to change that reality, you won't do it through heroic republicanism and convoluted legalism.  Clearly all that does is make us all collectively responsible for an ever-increasing prison population.  You'll do it by promoting basic property rights, individual responsibility and non-aggression.
Ah, Choice.  The mystery box within the mystery box.  The black hole of argumentation.

Libertarianism, intentionally, breeds social callousness.  It creates the illusion of alienation and isolation.  I know that I am not completely separate from you; I know, that I you are sick that it affects me; I know, that if you are a fool it affects me.

From your writing I can tell that you want to sound knowledgeable, but then you start writing in directions to which you know nearly nothing and have to reign yourself back within the safe confines of your ideology and rhetoric.  You make gestures to ideas, you supplant an argument that should be filled with actors with shadows.  There isn't anything on this I can 'attack' because there is no apparent substance behind the kabuki theater that is your mind's conception of these ideas.  Either that, or you are very lazy - which doesn't seem likely as you took time out of your life to write this response (which I do appreciate your effort).  Sorry if that is insulting, that’s just what I’m sensing for you never ‘dig into’ your arguments, just skim across them until you realize that if you stopped (to analyze) you’d sink.

We live in a world with thermonuclear weapons, with the technology to destroy us all, return to a new Dark Age or to usher in a new Renaissance all within our lifetimes.  The choice is all yours; the defeat has the potential to be absolute, but so does the victory.

I'm glad you bring this up.  Because I think it's also important to point out that we live in a world in which individuals can obtain thermonuclear weapons, and the technology to destroy us all.

As a result, I would proffer that the rational choice for those who wish to guide civilization away from ruin, would be to tone down the grandiose collectivist navel-gazing, and consider adopting a more strictly moral philosophy that accounts for this fact.

More Hayekisms.  Oh boy, what can be said in response to something so intentionally vague?

I'm mentioning our thermonuclear predicament because this is a reality of where we are.  We have had, and will continue to have, the power to destroy ourselves as human beings.  What should be done about this?  A moral reform is long overdue, what do you proscribe for this world in which our power is so great that we can obliterate ourselves and our planet?  A bronze-age moral code and a primitive mass of sophistical ideology?  Boy, we are doomed if that is the best that we can offer the next generation (assuming there will be one).



In addition, your allusion to Occam is misguided, simply because something is complex doesn’t imply inconsistency.

I was alluding to Gödel. 

Godel is the boss, but I was talking about your insinuation that complex systems are false simply because they are complex, in regard to my arguments.  No, my arguments are false or true based on their merits, not their complexity.

These are the types of fears inherent in the NAPtopians, that by somehow atomizing the society, which is the logical result of the NAP, then they will arrive at a place where moral decisions are no longer relevant and no longer required simply by virtue of their existence.  The great burden of being human will be lifted from their shoulders.  This is another allure of the NAP.

Yes, and the fact that you don't believe this is possible tells me that you don't fully understand the concept of non-aggression.

Furthermore, that you can only seem to define morality in terms of "justice", and justice in terms of "nebulous ethereal feelings", tells me that you don't really have any better alternative either.

You are choosing your arguments and avoiding much of what I said, because it is impossible for you to answer from within the shoebox that is Libertarianism.

So please enlighten me sensei, with regards to your mastery of "non-aggression".  The NAP is simple yet it is complex; it’s both, but only when you want either property to be manifested.  If it is a simple line then how can I not understand it?  Yet, when I argue the implications of that simple line, then I also do not understand it.  Of course, it really isn't something to be understood or clarified, just something endlessly repeated until your mind calcifies around it into a hardened, indigestible lump by which you will then move around in your mind like a poker 'chit', an ideological coin, if you will.  Such is ideology, such is sophistry.  You aren't meant to ever breakdown the central tenants or shibboleths of any ideology, you are supposed to accept them on faith (in theory and practice, and practice is where we run into the most problems) and then weave them into beautiful tapestries of rhetoric and prose.

Also, do you put forth that there is a rigorous, deterministic methodology for Justice?  If not, then what do you propose?  Are you unknowingly putting forth utilitarian arguments?

I'm simply saying that the property for Justice, in the physical, is impossible to quantify within the specific confines of our physical existence.  It, like mathematics, language, morality, and music actually have a principle behind them by which the physical expression is not fully inclusive of said property.  I think we fundamentally have some epistemological disagreements that may need to be resolved for this conversation to make sense.

Was the mention of Hammurabi's Code some type of attempt at intellectual name dropping?

This was to give you a "right wing" option.  Since I'm not up to snuff on neo-conservative political philosophy, unfortunately it was the best I could do.

Well thanks for the honesty.  And I don’t think the Neo-Cons could have anything worthy of the title “philosophy”.

  Cheesy

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July 03, 2012, 09:36:48 AM
 #225


In this NAP-induced mindset, the public good is never considered, the survival of the society is never considered, the future projection of the society is never considered, the greater potential that can exist is never considered, the level of individual equality of the system is never considered, the external threats to the system cannot be addressed; and why when these ideologies have seized power they system collapses and destroys itself in short order.  And, unfortunately, we are well on our way in this collapse for this very reason.

I've read your posts a few times by now.  And, while I get that you are dissatisfied with the NAP, I still can't seem to determine the 'basis' of your complaint.
You don't like the NAP.  That's clear.  But why?  What does it matter to you?  You don't like being restricted to non-aggression?  You feel there are instances in which you should initiate force against others who have not caused you harm?  You think NAP adherents should not be able to defend themselves?  You think they should join you in aggressing against others?  You think the NAP is inadequately equipped to protect individual freedoms, and you have a better method?  Fine.  Name some examples.

Why do I 'not like' the NAP, you ask?  Because the NAP is used to preach some type of Libertarian utopia that has never been seen on land or sea or in the fossil record and upon cursory and deeper analysis to the society governed by NAP one (who is literate in civics) realizes how deranged and ridiculous it is as a sole governing and moral philosophy.  That is why.


You mean like when the forefathers set out to found a nation that was ruled by its people rather than by some arbitrary oppressive royal regiem, a nation that hadn't even entered the imagination of anyone on earth? What idiots they must have been, since we certainly haven't got there yet?

I find your lack of imagination disturbing!  Angry


Ha, I think nothing could be said to describe myself that could possibly be any more inaccurate than "a lack of imagination".  Sorry sir, I'm unlike anyone you've ever met, and your attempts to shoehorn me into some standard arch-type that you've encountered before is going to lead you to nothing but erroneous conclusions.

And I find your seeming lack of self-education unsurprising.  Par for the course, after all.


Your argument that since such a Libertarian idea hasn't been seen before means it's probably not a good idea is piss poor as such an imaginative person as yourself must inevitably admit.

We all make bad arguments at times what defines a person is whether they can admit it to themselves or not.

There is no need for a shoehorn in this case however I will concede that my statement is an over generalization of a person I don't know, I do hope that you eventually realize why I made it.

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July 03, 2012, 09:45:37 AM
 #226

Guys, its about ideas here.  For personal arguments, you really can't beat 4chan.

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July 03, 2012, 04:27:18 PM
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If you haven't yet, you must watch :
The Machinery Of Freedom by David Friedman (Illustrated summary) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jTYkdEU_B4o#

This is getting cross-posted in the other threads. If you doubt the fairness of NAP and market anarchy, This will be a good use of 23 of your minutes.

That video was bat-shit insane.  I've printed and plan on reading the book however since you recommended it.  Probably have it read in a week or so.

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 03, 2012, 04:32:35 PM
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If you haven't yet, you must watch :
The Machinery Of Freedom by David Friedman (Illustrated summary) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jTYkdEU_B4o#

This is getting cross-posted in the other threads. If you doubt the fairness of NAP and market anarchy, This will be a good use of 23 of your minutes.

That video was bat-shit insane.  I've printed and plan on reading the book however since you recommended it.  Probably have it read in a week or so.

I read and reviewed it: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=90846.msg1004021#msg1004021

myrkul no longer agrees with the book.  In fact, it refutes the NAP so I have no idea why he recommends it.  The only parts he likes are that racial discrimination should be legal again and that there should be a right to lynch people.

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July 03, 2012, 08:45:02 PM
 #229


myrkul no longer agrees with the book.  In fact, it refutes the NAP so I have no idea why he recommends it.  The only parts he likes are that racial discrimination should be legal again and that there should be a right to lynch people.

You are dangerously close to being dumped in the ignore bin with FirstAscent. If you continue to distort my position, that's where you will go.

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July 03, 2012, 09:03:18 PM
 #230


myrkul no longer agrees with the book.  In fact, it refutes the NAP so I have no idea why he recommends it.  The only parts he likes are that racial discrimination should be legal again and that there should be a right to lynch people.

You are dangerously close to being dumped in the ignore bin with FirstAscent. If you continue to distort my position, that's where you will go.

Feel free to correct me; part of your post history on racial discrimination is here:
...snip...

Now that you have failed to explain why you believe that some behaviors are an acceptable basis for discrimination, and others are not, allow me to explain why I defend all discrimination:

The store owner owns his property. It is his store. It is his goods that he sells there. If he chooses not to sell them to someone, for whatever reason, that is his choice. Forcing him to do so against his wishes is a violation of his property rights.

Part of your post history on lynching is here:
A system where a mob can hang a man without a jury trial is a system where mobs will hang men without jury trials.  If the mobs are of different races or religion, they will argue its self-defence.  The question is whether the NAP forbids it?  If not, its a lot less benign that I thought.  

In a case of irrefutable proof (man murders someone in broad daylight, gets 6 or seven holes punched in him by the people in the street) I'd say justice done. But in a case where there is even a shred of doubt, arbitration remains the way to go. "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," as it were.

There is no way around the fact that you want both racial discrimination and lynching to be legal.  

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July 03, 2012, 09:52:29 PM
 #231


Part of your post history on lynching is here:
A system where a mob can hang a man without a jury trial is a system where mobs will hang men without jury trials.  If the mobs are of different races or religion, they will argue its self-defence.  The question is whether the NAP forbids it?  If not, its a lot less benign that I thought. 

In a case of irrefutable proof (man murders someone in broad daylight, gets 6 or seven holes punched in him by the people in the street) I'd say justice done. But in a case where there is even a shred of doubt, arbitration remains the way to go. "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," as it were.

There is no way around the fact that you want both racial discrimination and lynching to be legal. 

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Quote
lynch
verb (used with object)
to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.

Would you call lynching the case where a man is walking through a shopping mall, killing people, and one or more of the patrons of that establishment kill him to stop him?
Would you call lynching the case where someone is being murdered in broad daylight and the murderer is killed by the passerby?

If so, you are wrong. Lynching requires "without legal authority" Since each person has the right to defend his or another's life, that is legal authority.

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July 03, 2012, 11:33:27 PM
 #232

 Smiley

It looks like I scared Ben away.  That's too bad, our conversation was starting to potentially actually go somewhere substantive.  Hopefully he's writing an in-depth response.

 Tongue

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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July 03, 2012, 11:50:13 PM
 #233

Please defend NAP

There are two arguments:

1. Violating the NAP has bad consequences.

2. Violating the NAP is immoral.

Since I'm not a consequentialist, I don't find the consequentialist argument convincing one way or the other.

As for the argument from morality, all moral claims are opinions. They are preferences, nothing more. You can't say my opinion is wrong any more than I can say yours is wrong. That's because opinions aren't the kinds of things that can be right or wrong. That being said, I reject any opinion that violating the NAP is moral, outside of immediate life threatening situations when your actions don't threaten the life of another person and you also compensate the victim. If you are literally about to starve to death, steal some bread but be prepared to work it off. I doubt you'll have to steal though because I'll be glad to give you some of my bread. However, if you are dying because of liver failure, don't take my liver.

If you reject my opinion like I reject the opinions of those that wish to violate the NAP, we have irreconcilable differences. We can either try to coexist peacefully or we can go to war. There's nothing more to it than that.
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July 04, 2012, 06:38:03 AM
 #234


Part of your post history on lynching is here:
A system where a mob can hang a man without a jury trial is a system where mobs will hang men without jury trials.  If the mobs are of different races or religion, they will argue its self-defence.  The question is whether the NAP forbids it?  If not, its a lot less benign that I thought.  

In a case of irrefutable proof (man murders someone in broad daylight, gets 6 or seven holes punched in him by the people in the street) I'd say justice done. But in a case where there is even a shred of doubt, arbitration remains the way to go. "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer," as it were.

There is no way around the fact that you want both racial discrimination and lynching to be legal.  

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Quote
lynch
verb (used with object)
to put to death, especially by hanging, by mob action and without legal authority.

Would you call lynching the case where a man is walking through a shopping mall, killing people, and one or more of the patrons of that establishment kill him to stop him?
Would you call lynching the case where someone is being murdered in broad daylight and the murderer is killed by the passerby?

If so, you are wrong. Lynching requires "without legal authority" Since each person has the right to defend his or another's life, that is legal authority.

You really do exactly what Friedman complains about don't you: "When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence."  Stop doing that - playing with definitions to avoid people seeing where you stand is weak-minded.

Please Google "define: lynch" and the first hit is Verb:   (of a mob) Kill (someone), esp. by hanging, for an alleged offense with or without a legal trial.

That's exactly what you want to allow. The fact is that you do want to allow racial discrimination and lynching in your ideal society.  


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July 04, 2012, 07:13:37 AM
 #235

That's exactly what you want to allow. The fact is that you do want to allow racial discrimination and lynching in your ideal society. 

Since I can't seem to convince you otherwise (I suspect the difficulty lies in our differing definition of "lynch"), I'm just going have to to let you keep your misconceptions. I'll not argue this point any further.

I will, however, point out that you are using that quote out of context (one of the advantages of using digital books is that I can easily copy and paste large swathes of text):

Quote
Suppose you happen to know that everyone in the world is going to die tomorrow (by some natural catastrophe, say the earth colliding with a large asteroid), unless you prevent it. Further suppose that the only way to prevent it involves stealing a piece of equipment worth a hundred dollars from someone who, in your opinion, rightfully owns it. Your choice is simple: violate libertarian principles by stealing something or let everyone die.

What do you do? You cannot justify stealing as a way of minimizing total coercion. Being killed by an asteroid is not coercion, since it is not done by a person. After the asteroid strikes there will be no more coercion ever again, since there will be no one left to either coerce or be coerced.

Speaking for myself, the answer is that I steal. When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence. One example might be the reply that, since the person you are stealing from will himself be killed if you do not take the device, he would be in favor of your taking it, so you are not really stealing — you are using the device in the way he would want you to if he knew what you know. Another response might be that you should not steal the equipment because your belief that doing so will save the world may be wrong.
All such evasions are futile.

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July 04, 2012, 09:35:00 AM
 #236

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When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence.

Lets agree not to do that.  If you are for allowing racial discrimination and you are for allowing people to be killed by mobs without the benefit of a trial, its very clear what type of society you are comfortable with.  I don't think you like the bad consequences of your ideas but you can't use semantics to hide them.

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July 04, 2012, 09:42:10 AM
 #237

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When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence.

Lets agree not to do that.  If you are for allowing racial discrimination and you are for allowing people to be killed by mobs without the benefit of a trial, its very clear what type of society you are comfortable with. 

I support property rights and the right of private citizens to defend themselves and others. Make of that what you will. Using inflammatory language doesn't suddenly make my position evil. As I said, I'm done arguing this with you. Continue, and I will cease discussing anything with you.

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July 04, 2012, 09:49:07 AM
 #238

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When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence.

Lets agree not to do that.  If you are for allowing racial discrimination and you are for allowing people to be killed by mobs without the benefit of a trial, its very clear what type of society you are comfortable with. 

I support property rights and the right of private citizens to defend themselves and others. Make of that what you will. Using inflammatory language doesn't suddenly make my position evil. As I said, I'm done arguing this with you. Continue, and I will cease discussing anything with you.

Your proposal is a return to the good old days of legal racial discrimination and to allowing lynching.  That is evil - no inflammatory language is needed.

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July 04, 2012, 09:52:21 AM
 #239

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When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence.

Lets agree not to do that.  If you are for allowing racial discrimination and you are for allowing people to be killed by mobs without the benefit of a trial, its very clear what type of society you are comfortable with. 

I support property rights and the right of private citizens to defend themselves and others. Make of that what you will. Using inflammatory language doesn't suddenly make my position evil. As I said, I'm done arguing this with you. Continue, and I will cease discussing anything with you.

Your proposal is a return to the good old days of legal racial discrimination and to allowing lynching.  That is evil - no inflammatory language is needed.

Inflammatory language highlighted for your reading pleasure. Good bye, Hawker.

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July 04, 2012, 10:01:18 AM
 #240

Quote
When I put such questions to other libertarians, one common response is a frantic attempt to reinterpret the problem out of existence.

Lets agree not to do that.  If you are for allowing racial discrimination and you are for allowing people to be killed by mobs without the benefit of a trial, its very clear what type of society you are comfortable with. 

I support property rights and the right of private citizens to defend themselves and others. Make of that what you will. Using inflammatory language doesn't suddenly make my position evil. As I said, I'm done arguing this with you. Continue, and I will cease discussing anything with you.

Your proposal is a return to the good old days of legal racial discrimination and to allowing lynching.  That is evil - no inflammatory language is needed.

Inflammatory language highlighted for your reading pleasure. Good bye, Hawker.

Racial discrimination and lynching are what you want to allow.  That is a simple matter of fact supported by your posting history.

If that is inflammatory to you, perhaps you need to re-think what you stand for?

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