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Author Topic: What's so special about the NAP?  (Read 18523 times)
fergalish
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July 11, 2012, 10:37:43 AM
 #521

For example, you could say "Guns are illegal - the only people who should have guns are those who wish to do harm".  Then, at least, those 1000 opinions will start to converge. The gray area would start to shrink.

As would they if you said "the possession of a gun does not constitute a threat. Pointing it at someone does". You're setting their expectations, either way. You're defining "reasonable."
YES YES YES. That is PRECISELY what I'm doing.  But I'm doing it in a way (calling it "law") such that it's the same for everyone. We don't have 1000 definitions of "reasonable", we just have one. Everyone knows what to expect. There will always be a gray area but ideally we collectively define it to be as small as possible. It's a bit like a libertarian society where all the members agree to one definition of "reasonable", only you call it the law, and make it obligatory.
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July 11, 2012, 01:36:51 PM
 #522

Prevent redheads from contracting freely for their services? No, why should it? Oh, you mean the actual payment of less for a redhead's services than for a blonde or brunette. The Non-Aggression Principle only puts forth that the initiation of force is wrong, and leaves everything else up to the individuals involved. Just as the shopkeeper is free to turn away the redhead for being a redhead, so too is the redhead free to turn down a contract offering him less than what he feels he is worth.
So, if history is correct, your libertarian dream will have the same sort of racial social problems that have plagued societies all over the world. And indeed, will endorse them as an expression of the "free market".

Well, let's do a hypothetical. You see a violent mugging, so you act to stop it.
<snip>
Given that, C's actions would be considered honorable, and the protection agency (which likely would have been the one conducting this investigation) would not act against him.
So, as if it wasn't already complicated enough, we now have three parties. A, his defense contractor and preferred court of arbitration, B, his defense contractor and preferred court of arbitration and C, his defense contractor and preferred court of arbitration. Are there any further complications we should know about before signing up to the NAP? I'd like to point out that you're using "we" (boldface above) in the same way you did before - and that has not yet been defined to my satisfaction. The mere fact that you use the word "we" suggests your vision of libertarianism is ego-centric.
You seem to be concluding that B's defense contractor will not actually come to his defense. How will its other clients react to this, do you think?

Because I ignored something for the sake of brevity does not mean that I did not refute it, simply that I chose not to. I answered one question from each paragraph. Tell me, do you have auto insurance? Health insurance? Is it because the state requires you to, or because it is cheaper than paying for your repairs at time of delivery?
I have auto insurance because it's obligatory. I don't have health insurance 'cos it's not necessary.  You still haven't refuted the argument. Please do so, or acknowledge that buying auto insurance is economically irrational in a libertarian world. Then address my concerns of previous posts regarding the societal ills brought about by hit-n-run drivers.


It would behoove a person to carefully weigh the consequences of their actions prior to doing something they might regret, then, hmm? Tell me, what do your police do when confronted with an armed criminal? It seems to me that you've created a bit of a "kingdom of the blind" type situation, where even a one-eyed man has a tremendous advantage... I mean, what happens if you get invaded? not even your police will be able to fight back effectively.
I'm not a policeman, so I don't know. They tread carefully and with tact, I suppose. In any case, it works. My country came pretty high on the recent Global Peace Index.  The function of police is not to repel invasions, but to keep the peace. There is a standing army which exists to repel invasions. It is very small so I don't think it would repel a determined or well-equipped invader, but I guess that safety from invasions has been established through international diplomacy. I don't understand your "kingdom of the blind".


1. No more, and potentially less, than in any other system, for in a society where aggression is never OK, evidence of aggression should be as abhorrent as the sight of an assault rifle is to you.
2. Well, he's free to conduct is business as he sees fit, but keep in mind that if it comes to light that he knowingly helped cover up a hit-and-run, he'll be liable for part of the damages (which are now higher, due to the cost of the investigation). Have you ever heard of the concept of "accessory after the fact"?
3. No, I was not, or if I was, I don't recall it. Could you point me in the right direction?
1. In the current system the elimination of slavery is (or at least, should be) carried out by a police force in cooperation with a social security system. No kindness necessary - just an impartial system with rules and regulations. You seem to be suggesting that in order to stop slavery, like your solution to racism, all we need is slavers to stop enslaving people. Simple... or naive?
2. Why should he be liable for the damages? He did no violence. Accessory after the fact is a legal construct in the current system, and, personally, I think it is "good". Will there be a similar obligatory construct under the NAP?
3. Let me find the ref... here. It's a *really* long discussion but, somehow, the NAPsters were arguing that anyone should be free to carry a fully functional nuclear bomb with them, anywhere, anytime. However, a raindrop triggered nuclear device? Well, somehow, that crossed the line, even if it might have a legitimate use.

I'm trying to find the time to read UPB; but I think I can already tell when my opinion will differ from the author's - I'm pretty sure that soon he will imply that, once regulations and majority-endorsed government violence is removed, people will suddenly, magically, start being nice to one another.
No, he never said that.
Does he imply it? I shall read on.
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July 11, 2012, 01:50:55 PM
 #523

So, if history is correct, your libertarian dream will have the same sort of racial social problems that have plagued societies all over the world. And indeed, will endorse them as an expression of the "free market".
There's no magic wand to make these kinds of problems go away. The question is really just what tends to make them better and what tends to make them worse. Any society will largely avoid these problems if the vast majority of people want them solved and no society will avoid these problems if the vast majority don't recognize them or don't want them solved.

Racism costs money though. If you don't hire a Chinese person because you hate Chinese people, even if the best person for the job happens to be Chinese, you suffer some loss. If you don't let black people eat at your diner because you want to cater to racist customers who don't want to eat with black people, that gives you a more limited customer base than if your customers weren't racist. (That's not to say that nobody benefits from it, of course. But overall, we're poorer for it.)

I think the bigger problem to worry about in the Libertarian dream is that people who disagree over issues like this will ostracize each other. For example, people who see racism as a horrible evil may not just refuse to do business with the diner that doesn't let black people eat there but also with people who eat at that diner, people who supply food to that diner, people who repair the roof at that diner, and so on. It wouldn't be a very pleasant society where your roof needs fixing and you have to choose one of two roofers to do it, either of which will get you ostracized with a different, but significant, group.

But, again, everyone has a strong incentive to see that this doesn't happen. I have no problem being confident that they'll find a solution. (It's the same way I don't worry that all the grocery stores near me will close or raise their prices absurdly and I'll starve. That seems silly, but if the government ran all the grocery stores, this is what some people would argue to say the free market can't handle it. That's what they say about roads.)

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July 11, 2012, 02:25:41 PM
 #524

Any society will largely avoid these problems if the vast majority of people want them solved and no society will avoid these problems if the vast majority don't recognize them or don't want them solved.
You seem to be agreeing that ending racism in a libertarian society 'merely' requires that racists stop being racist.

Racism costs money though.
I disagree. Racism saves money. If you could just convince society that all the redheads are somehow less capable, then you can pay them less. Oh wait, you don't actually need to convince anyone - there is already plenty of racism. But you already agree with me:
(That's not to say that nobody benefits from it, of course. But overall, we're poorer for it.)

I think the bigger problem to worry about in the Libertarian dream is that people who disagree over issues like this will ostracize each other. For example, people who see racism as a horrible evil may not just refuse to do business with the diner that doesn't let black people eat there but also with people who eat at that diner, people who supply food to that diner, people who repair the roof at that diner, and so on. It wouldn't be a very pleasant society where your roof needs fixing and you have to choose one of two roofers to do it, either of which will get you ostracized with a different, but significant, group.
Agreed. Racism is a terrible evil that tends to divide society.

But, again, everyone has a strong incentive to see that this doesn't happen.
Everyone? You're contradicting yourself:
(That's not to say that nobody benefits from it, of course. But overall, we're poorer for it.)
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July 11, 2012, 02:56:00 PM
 #525

Any society will largely avoid these problems if the vast majority of people want them solved and no society will avoid these problems if the vast majority don't recognize them or don't want them solved.
You seem to be agreeing that ending racism in a libertarian society 'merely' requires that racists stop being racist.
The only way to end racism is to end racists. If you know of another way, I'd love to hear it.

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Racism costs money though.
I disagree. Racism saves money. If you could just convince society that all the redheads are somehow less capable, then you can pay them less. Oh wait, you don't actually need to convince anyone - there is already plenty of racism. But you already agree with me:
(That's not to say that nobody benefits from it, of course. But overall, we're poorer for it.)
Exactly. It is possible to profit from racism, but that profit is inefficient profit. It doesn't come from providing any value but from deception that uses resources inefficiently. Society as a whole is poorer for it. Ironically, most of the harm falls on the people *not* discriminated against. (In this case, the non-redheads not hired suffer more than the redheads who are hired.)

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But, again, everyone has a strong incentive to see that this doesn't happen.
Everyone? You're contradicting yourself:
(That's not to say that nobody benefits from it, of course. But overall, we're poorer for it.)
By "everyone" I don't mean literally every single person on every single issue at every single time. Other than perhaps someone who hopes to be a leader of a racist organization, there aren't any significant groups that benefit from racism.

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July 11, 2012, 04:32:48 PM
 #526

The only way to end racism is to end racists. If you know of another way, I'd love to hear it.
Put them all in prison? Impractical, but at least not absurd. Racists tend not to voluntarily stop being racist and in fact tend to oppose any attempts to make them do so.

Other than perhaps someone who hopes to be a leader of a racist organization, there aren't any significant groups that benefit from racism.
How about Iraqi Sunni and Shi'a? How about whites and blacks in the US? Or in Africa?  How about the exploitation of indigenous South American, Australian, Indian, Chinese (etc) peoples during the age of European conquistadors? If groups don't benefit from racism, how come racist groups have survived, no, thrived? Again I think the history books tell a very different story to what you're saying.
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July 11, 2012, 04:41:13 PM
 #527


I think Joel has done a fine job of discussing racism and its consequences. I'll skip that.

Well, let's do a hypothetical. You see a violent mugging, so you act to stop it.
<snip>
Given that, C's actions would be considered honorable, and the protection agency (which likely would have been the one conducting this investigation) would not act against him.
So, as if it wasn't already complicated enough, we now have three parties. A, his defense contractor and preferred court of arbitration, B, his defense contractor and preferred court of arbitration and C, his defense contractor and preferred court of arbitration. Are there any further complications we should know about before signing up to the NAP? I'd like to point out that you're using "we" (boldface above) in the same way you did before - and that has not yet been defined to my satisfaction. The mere fact that you use the word "we" suggests your vision of libertarianism is ego-centric.
You seem to be concluding that B's defense contractor will not actually come to his defense. How will its other clients react to this, do you think?

Again, "we", as I use it above, refers to the people doing the deciding. Since there is no monopoly on justice, I doubt I will ever define that to your satisfaction. As I have stated, the people in the incident either specify (long) before the incident who will decide any disputes, whether by, as David Friedman suggests, choosing defense agencies that prefer to deal with a specific arbiter, or, as Konkin suggests, a direct submission to arbitration, or they will decide after the fact, in the manner I proposed for the football game.

As to B's defense agency not coming to his defense, what do you suppose the investigation was? Perhaps you have a concept of defense agencies as similar to street gangs. If so, you've got it wrong. Defense does not mean revenge no matter what, it means protecting their client's rights. If their client was in fact violating someone else's rights, then attacking that other person for defending himself, or the third party for acting in their defense, would be a further violation of their rights, not defense.

Because I ignored something for the sake of brevity does not mean that I did not refute it, simply that I chose not to. I answered one question from each paragraph. Tell me, do you have auto insurance? Health insurance? Is it because the state requires you to, or because it is cheaper than paying for your repairs at time of delivery?
I have auto insurance because it's obligatory. I don't have health insurance 'cos it's not necessary.  You still haven't refuted the argument. Please do so, or acknowledge that buying auto insurance is economically irrational in a libertarian world. Then address my concerns of previous posts regarding the societal ills brought about by hit-n-run drivers.

If you cannot see that paying a small amount each month, and avoiding paying a large repair bill is economically rational, I don't believe we can have any further discussion, because any discussion requires that we share the same reality. As for the "societal ills", I'm afraid those are too far back for me to get to from here, if you would restate or quote them, I would appreciate it.

It would behoove a person to carefully weigh the consequences of their actions prior to doing something they might regret, then, hmm? Tell me, what do your police do when confronted with an armed criminal? It seems to me that you've created a bit of a "kingdom of the blind" type situation, where even a one-eyed man has a tremendous advantage... I mean, what happens if you get invaded? not even your police will be able to fight back effectively.
I'm not a policeman, so I don't know. They tread carefully and with tact, I suppose. In any case, it works. My country came pretty high on the recent Global Peace Index.  The function of police is not to repel invasions, but to keep the peace. There is a standing army which exists to repel invasions. It is very small so I don't think it would repel a determined or well-equipped invader, but I guess that safety from invasions has been established through international diplomacy. I don't understand your "kingdom of the blind".

There is a saying, which goes, "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." In this context, I am comparing your disarmed populace (and even your police!) to the blind people, and the armed criminal to the one-eyed man. It seems to me that even a semi-automatic pistol would give, say, a bank robber, a tremendous advantage, for so long as he had ammunition, he could simply shoot anyone who attempted to stop him, with little or no fear that they would be able to harm him in return.

As to the standing army, In strategic terms, that is known as a "shell defense", while an armed populace is a "defense in depth." Look up those terms, and see which one is more effective in repelling an invasion. That your country is still independent is due, I think, entirely to it's diplomatic corps. They are to be commended.

1. No more, and potentially less, than in any other system, for in a society where aggression is never OK, evidence of aggression should be as abhorrent as the sight of an assault rifle is to you.
2. Well, he's free to conduct is business as he sees fit, but keep in mind that if it comes to light that he knowingly helped cover up a hit-and-run, he'll be liable for part of the damages (which are now higher, due to the cost of the investigation). Have you ever heard of the concept of "accessory after the fact"?
3. No, I was not, or if I was, I don't recall it. Could you point me in the right direction?
1. In the current system the elimination of slavery is (or at least, should be) carried out by a police force in cooperation with a social security system. No kindness necessary - just an impartial system with rules and regulations. You seem to be suggesting that in order to stop slavery, like your solution to racism, all we need is slavers to stop enslaving people. Simple... or naive?
2. Why should he be liable for the damages? He did no violence. Accessory after the fact is a legal construct in the current system, and, personally, I think it is "good". Will there be a similar obligatory construct under the NAP?
3. Let me find the ref... here. It's a *really* long discussion but, somehow, the NAPsters were arguing that anyone should be free to carry a fully functional nuclear bomb with them, anywhere, anytime. However, a raindrop triggered nuclear device? Well, somehow, that crossed the line, even if it might have a legitimate use.

1. Like racism, the only way to completely stop slavery is for people to stop enslaving others. Laws do not stop bad people from doing bad things.
2. No, he himself did not do any harm, but he covered up the harm, making the job of the investigators more difficult, and thus more costly. He would be liable for at least that increased cost.
3. I think it comes down to the fact that triggering the device required no action on the part of the owner. Rain being a natural occurrence that you can reasonably predict to have a chance of happening on any one day, I myself would not go out with a rain-triggered weapon of any kind, nuke or handgun, or anything in between. Let me ask you this: If you are not comfortable with "people" holding nuclear weapons, or any weapons, why are you OK with government and soldiers holding them? After all, they're just people.

I'm trying to find the time to read UPB; but I think I can already tell when my opinion will differ from the author's - I'm pretty sure that soon he will imply that, once regulations and majority-endorsed government violence is removed, people will suddenly, magically, start being nice to one another.
No, he never said that.
Does he imply it? I shall read on.
No, in fact, he rather implies the opposite, that following the logic of UPB, government can be seen to be the greatest perpetrator of societal wrongs.

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July 11, 2012, 06:53:28 PM
 #528

The only way to end racism is to end racists. If you know of another way, I'd love to hear it.
Put them all in prison? Impractical, but at least not absurd. Racists tend not to voluntarily stop being racist and in fact tend to oppose any attempts to make them do so.
Putting racists in prison wouldn't end racism. They'd be just as racist in prison. Unless you think harsh penalties for racism will discourage it, in which case you'll be ending racists.

Quote
Other than perhaps someone who hopes to be a leader of a racist organization, there aren't any significant groups that benefit from racism.
How about Iraqi Sunni and Shi'a? How about whites and blacks in the US? Or in Africa?  How about the exploitation of indigenous South American, Australian, Indian, Chinese (etc) peoples during the age of European conquistadors? If groups don't benefit from racism, how come racist groups have survived, no, thrived? Again I think the history books tell a very different story to what you're saying.
Other than groups like the KKK whose primary purpose is racism, they've survived and thrived despite their racism. The United States is poorer today than it would have been had racism ended 50 years ago. And we'd all be richer still if racism had ended 200 years ago.

Say you are white. As far as your personal welfare is concerned, you should be indifferent as to whether some benefit goes to another white person or a black person. In either case, you don't get it. So, let's say there's a job that you're not personally interested in. You personally benefit the most if the job goes to the person who can give the best value for the price in that particular job position, because that enriches all of society. Even if the employer advantages a white person like you over a black person, that is still a net loss to the employer and thus a net loss to you.

Or say you're a man. Think about the companies your retirement funds are invested in. Do you really want them hiring less-qualified men over more-qualified women? Does that somehow benefit you? Does that benefit those companies?

Racism is not just evil, it's a self-destructive evil. The greatest weapon against racism is pointing this out. My grandfather played an important role in ending overtly racist pay scales in the tool and die industry in the South. The main way he did it was by pointing out to labor leaders that if companies could pay a black man less than a white man, they would prefer to hire black men. He pointed out to white people that the victims of racism are equally the group *not* discriminated against.

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July 11, 2012, 08:33:10 PM
 #529

I think Joel has done a fine job of discussing racism and its consequences. I'll skip that.
Yes, I think we can finish the racism and slavery discussions. In NAPland, racism will be stopped by racists voluntarily not carrying out any racist act which damages the target of the racism. Likewise, slavery will be stopped by slavers voluntarily stopping to enslave people. Alternatively, any other completely independent but wealthy or powerful person or entity can, out of human compassion and with no expectation of gain and therefore operating outside the economics of the free market, intervene to put a stop to the situation.

As to B's defense agency not coming to his defense, what do you suppose the investigation was? Perhaps you have a concept of defense agencies as similar to street gangs. If so, you've got it wrong. Defense does not mean revenge no matter what, it means protecting their client's rights. If their client was in fact violating someone else's rights, then attacking that other person for defending himself, or the third party for acting in their defense, would be a further violation of their rights, not defense.
Very honorable indeed. Requires defense agencies to put honor before profit.

If you cannot see that paying a small amount each month, and avoiding paying a large repair bill is economically rational, I don't believe we can have any further discussion, because any discussion requires that we share the same reality. As for the "societal ills", I'm afraid those are too far back for me to get to from here, if you would restate or quote them, I would appreciate it.
Well, personally, I'm a nice guy (of course). But there are plenty of people who already do hit-n-runs. If the likelihood of not being caught were to increase, then so would the hit-n-runs. For these people, no insurance is necessary. On the other hand there will be the careful drivers who will think they couldn't possibly cause an accident, therefore, don't need insurance 'cos the other party's insurance will have to pay anyway.

There is a saying, which goes, "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." In this context, I am comparing your disarmed populace (and even your police!) to the blind people, and the armed criminal to the one-eyed man. It seems to me that even a semi-automatic pistol would give, say, a bank robber, a tremendous advantage, for so long as he had ammunition, he could simply shoot anyone who attempted to stop him, with little or no fear that they would be able to harm him in return.
That my country might be this 'kingdom of the blind' would initially seem so. Nonetheless, it is a remarkably peaceful country. Much more so than the U.S. where handguns proliferate. I was hoping you would bring up the example of an armed man in a unarmed society. That's exactly representative of what happened recently in Norway, where one man with a gun wrought enormous damage. Try to find out if Norway is higher or lower than the U.S. on that global peace index. Try to calculate the homicide or violent crimes rate (per thousand population). Please report back with your findings and draw conclusions about whether they are consistent with your ideals or not.

As to the standing army, In strategic terms, that is known as a "shell defense", while an armed populace is a "defense in depth." Look up those terms, and see which one is more effective in repelling an invasion. That your country is still independent is due, I think, entirely to it's diplomatic corps. They are to be commended.
I agree - the diplomats *are* to be commended though also, for other reasons, condemned. I consider myself fortunate to have a reasonably democratic government in place, with the power to negotiate international treaties and agreements on behalf of its people.


2. No, [shady repair man] himself did not do any harm, but he covered up the harm, making the job of the investigators more difficult, and thus more costly. He would be liable for at least that increased cost.
Under the terms of which contract exactly would he be liable?

3. I think it comes down to the fact that triggering the device required no action on the part of the owner. Rain being a natural occurrence that you can reasonably predict to have a chance of happening on any one day, I myself would not go out with a rain-triggered weapon of any kind, nuke or handgun, or anything in between. Let me ask you this: If you are not comfortable with "people" holding nuclear weapons, or any weapons, why are you OK with government and soldiers holding them? After all, they're just people.
The raindrop triggered nuke was just an exercise in absurdity, and the discussion (at least, my part in it) culminated in Moonshadow falling into the trap and attempting a "non arbitrary" definition of "acceptable weaponry". Under the NAP, no such definition is possible because there will always be someone who disagrees and therefore you could potentially feel threatened by any person you happen to meet when, in fact, no threat is intended; you (Myrkul) have acknowledged this. Anyone attempting such a definition, therefore, could not live comfortably under the NAP.
In short, though you say everyone can be happy under your version of the NAP (howsoever you interpret it), it seems that *you* would be the happiest of all.
My opinion of armed soldiers and armed govt is irrelevant and even the fact that you are asking me this suggests *you* think *I* am thinking egocentrically and that I think the world should be as *I* say. You are projecting your thought process onto me.
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July 11, 2012, 08:48:52 PM
 #530

Yes, I think we can finish the racism and slavery discussions. In NAPland, racism will be stopped by racists voluntarily not carrying out any racist act which damages the target of the racism. Likewise, slavery will be stopped by slavers voluntarily stopping to enslave people. Alternatively, any other completely independent but wealthy or powerful person or entity can, out of human compassion and with no expectation of gain and therefore operating outside the economics of the free market, intervene to put a stop to the situation.
I don't think it's helpful to bundle things that violate the NAP (such as slavery or racist use of force) with things that don't violate the NAP (such as a private firm with racist hiring practices absent any contractual agreement to refrain from such practices) when talking about how a society based on the NAP would work.

The former may, and should be, responded to by force. And the NAP doesn't prohibit anyone from using force against the former.

The latter does not justify forceful retaliation. It's the equivalent of being a jerk. One has a right to be a jerk. However, there can (and should) be non-coercive consequences for being a jerk. And that include social and business ostracism, among other things.

The point of the NAP is not that people who use force will voluntarily stop using force. The point of the NAP is to clarify which uses of force are legitimate and which are not. The use of force in response to illegitimate uses of force is absolutely permitted by the NAP. The whole point of the NAP is to reduce illegitimate use of force by identifying the dividing line between legitimate and illegitimate force as clearly as possible.

The only reason, IMO, that the NAP fails to do that is due to its dependence on an agreed theory of property rights in order to work. If I eat a banana, that's not illegitimate use of force if it's my banana. It is if it's yours.

People who value freedom should no more desire the right to coerce racist restaurant owners to admit blacks than they should desire to force blacks to eat in restaurants owned by racist owners. The freedom to refuse to deal with racists is the flipside of the freedom to be a racist. Of course, one is using a freedom for what people should consider good and one is using it for what people consider evil, but that is the point of freedom.

And I think you'll find you can't really draw a principled dividing line. Say I'm a vegetarian because I think eating meat is cruel. As a result, I don't eat at places like McDonald's and Burger King. Try to come up with a fundamental, principled distinction between this and a restaurant that doesn't hire blacks because the owner thinks they're more likely to steal. I don't think you can do it.

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July 11, 2012, 09:28:05 PM
 #531

As to B's defense agency not coming to his defense, what do you suppose the investigation was? Perhaps you have a concept of defense agencies as similar to street gangs. If so, you've got it wrong. Defense does not mean revenge no matter what, it means protecting their client's rights. If their client was in fact violating someone else's rights, then attacking that other person for defending himself, or the third party for acting in their defense, would be a further violation of their rights, not defense.
Very honorable indeed. Requires defense agencies to put honor before profit.
Not at all. Think about it. If a defense agency goes on the attack, it has, as I said, violated the other person's rights. It has damaged them. They now have a valid reason to demand damages. Even discounting the cost of the attack operation itself (which would certainly be resisted, and thus costly), how do you suppose the shareholders and customers would view the news that C has just won an arbitration against the agency?
If you cannot see that paying a small amount each month, and avoiding paying a large repair bill is economically rational, I don't believe we can have any further discussion, because any discussion requires that we share the same reality. As for the "societal ills", I'm afraid those are too far back for me to get to from here, if you would restate or quote them, I would appreciate it.
Well, personally, I'm a nice guy (of course). But there are plenty of people who already do hit-n-runs. If the likelihood of not being caught were to increase, then so would the hit-n-runs. For these people, no insurance is necessary. On the other hand there will be the careful drivers who will think they couldn't possibly cause an accident, therefore, don't need insurance 'cos the other party's insurance will have to pay anyway.
Car insurance covers more than accidents. Or rather, two-car or car/pedestrian accidents. Car insurance also covers tree branches, vehicular fires, mechanical defect, and any number of other unforeseen incidents. Who do you blame if wind blows down a tree branch and squashes your car? There is no "other party", especially if it's your tree.
There is a saying, which goes, "In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king." In this context, I am comparing your disarmed populace (and even your police!) to the blind people, and the armed criminal to the one-eyed man. It seems to me that even a semi-automatic pistol would give, say, a bank robber, a tremendous advantage, for so long as he had ammunition, he could simply shoot anyone who attempted to stop him, with little or no fear that they would be able to harm him in return.
That my country might be this 'kingdom of the blind' would initially seem so. Nonetheless, it is a remarkably peaceful country. Much more so than the U.S. where handguns proliferate. I was hoping you would bring up the example of an armed man in a unarmed society. That's exactly representative of what happened recently in Norway, where one man with a gun wrought enormous damage. Try to find out if Norway is higher or lower than the U.S. on that global peace index. Try to calculate the homicide or violent crimes rate (per thousand population). Please report back with your findings and draw conclusions about whether they are consistent with your ideals or not.
That Norway is a more peaceful place than the US is not up for debate. The reasoning, however, might have more to do with other factors in the culture than gun ownership, though. In response, I suggest you look up the crime rate in cities like Chicago, where gun laws are very strict, and compare them to the crime rate in Kennesaw, Georgia. On a national scale, perhaps looking into Switzerland might be enlightening.

When you're done with that, Imagine what would have happened had the incident with Anders Breivik happened in Switzerland.
2. No, [shady repair man] himself did not do any harm, but he covered up the harm, making the job of the investigators more difficult, and thus more costly. He would be liable for at least that increased cost.
Under the terms of which contract exactly would he be liable?
Most likely, the one he signed with either his defense agency or a general submission to arbitration.
3. I think it comes down to the fact that triggering the device required no action on the part of the owner. Rain being a natural occurrence that you can reasonably predict to have a chance of happening on any one day, I myself would not go out with a rain-triggered weapon of any kind, nuke or handgun, or anything in between. Let me ask you this: If you are not comfortable with "people" holding nuclear weapons, or any weapons, why are you OK with government and soldiers holding them? After all, they're just people.
The raindrop triggered nuke was just an exercise in absurdity, and the discussion (at least, my part in it) culminated in Moonshadow falling into the trap and attempting a "non arbitrary" definition of "acceptable weaponry". Under the NAP, no such definition is possible because there will always be someone who disagrees and therefore you could potentially feel threatened by any person you happen to meet when, in fact, no threat is intended; you (Myrkul) have acknowledged this. Anyone attempting such a definition, therefore, could not live comfortably under the NAP. In short, though you say everyone can be happy under your version of the NAP (howsoever you interpret it), it seems that *you* would be the happiest of all.
Under the non-aggression principle, a definition of acceptable weaponry is easy: If it doesn't hurt people arbitrarily, it's fine. How will this develop? Simple. A weapon that hurts people arbitrarily will harm someone arbitrarily, either its user (in which case he would cease to carry it), or someone else (in which case the restitution cost would make it costly to carry).

In simple terms, a slung assault rifle, or a holstered pistol, or a disarmed nuke is hurting nobody.
My opinion of armed soldiers and armed govt is irrelevant and even the fact that you are asking me this suggests *you* think *I* am thinking egocentrically and that I think the world should be as *I* say. You are projecting your thought process onto me.

The thought processes required to make this statement honestly baffle me, especially since you make it while trying to convince me that my opinions are wrong.


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