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Author Topic: Any pro-NAP and anti-NAP members want to try a debate... with a difference?  (Read 4519 times)
fergalish
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July 07, 2012, 09:46:45 PM
 #1

Well, I happened to be debating religion, atheism, agnosticism with a religious friend a while ago.  I remembered something I learned in debating classes a while ago which is, in a real debate, you do not necessarily hold the views you are debating for.  So I challenged my friend to swap sides and debate the pro-atheism case while I debated pro-religion. It was very interesting, and both of us learned something.

So I propose that the pro-NAP members elect one (or at most two) representatives who will debate AGAINST NAP, while the anti-NAP people will choose one or two representatives who will debate FOR NAP.  All chosen debaters of the discussion will be honor-bound to debate as effectively, elegantly, persuasively AND correctly as they can and NEVER NEVER within that thread post any message against their assigned side of the debate.

I personally would love to hold the honor of being one of the anti-NAP reps (and therefore debating pro-NAP), but I'm only intermittently online and there are many far better anti-NAPsters than me on this forum.

This raises a question for Theymos - is it possible for SMF to restrict a thread to just certain members?  It would be most unfortunate if something enlightening came of the discussion but the message got lost in the noise. If not we'll just have to precede each message with a header that goes something like: "Please do not reply here - to discuss this thread please post here [link to another discussion thread]" and ask the mods to remove any unwanted posts.

What do ye think?  Is it a good idea?
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myrkul
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July 07, 2012, 10:21:51 PM
 #2

What do ye think?  Is it a good idea?

Hmm. I think what you are asking is somewhat not what you want...

Should we debate pro-and-con on The Golden Rule? Or would you rather discuss how Christianity has diverged from it's teachings?

The Non-Aggression Principle is just that, a principle. In theory, no different from The Golden Rule. What you want to debate, I think is the consequences of a society based on that principle, not the principle itself. You do, I hope, agree that striking someone without provocation is wrong?

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fergalish
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July 07, 2012, 11:01:44 PM
 #3

The Non-Aggression Principle is just that, a principle. In theory, no different from The Golden Rule. What you want to debate, I think is the consequences of a society based on that principle, not the principle itself. You do, I hope, agree that striking someone without provocation is wrong?
Yes, you are correct, I wish to see a debate about the merits or drawbacks of a society which uses only the NAP as a guiding principle.  I do not wish to debate the NAP in this thread, merely talk about a NAP debate.  Like a meta-NAP thread.  Let's talk about talking about the NAP.
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July 07, 2012, 11:34:25 PM
 #4

We need to define "NAP society" first. We can't work on the premise that 100% of people follow NAP absolutely, otherwise there is no debate, we live in a perfect world already ;-)

So let's say, for the sake of debate, that between %50 and 99% of people adhere to the NAP.

Are we going to discuss an established NAP society or how one might emerge from the current statism paradigm, once the majority accept NAP?

Important points of discussion could be:
  • Who will build the roads?
  • How will it defend against external threat?
  • What about monopolies taking over the world?
  • "power vacuum" - a new state will emerge as soon as it's dissolved.
  • Resource scarcity.
  • Environmental issues.
  • Dispute resolution.
FirstAscent
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July 08, 2012, 02:41:46 AM
 #5

We need to define "NAP society" first. We can't work on the premise that 100% of people follow NAP absolutely, otherwise there is no debate, we live in a perfect world already ;-)

So let's say, for the sake of debate, that between %50 and 99% of people adhere to the NAP.

Are we going to discuss an established NAP society or how one might emerge from the current statism paradigm, once the majority accept NAP?

Important points of discussion could be:
  • Who will build the roads?
  • How will it defend against external threat?
  • What about monopolies taking over the world?
  • "power vacuum" - a new state will emerge as soon as it's dissolved.
  • Resource scarcity.
  • Environmental issues.
  • Dispute resolution.

I'd actually be interested in debating just one or two of those in depth without the flipped sides.
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July 08, 2012, 07:12:50 AM
 #6

We need to define "NAP society" first. We can't work on the premise that 100% of people follow NAP absolutely, otherwise there is no debate, we live in a perfect world already ;-)

So let's say, for the sake of debate, that between %50 and 99% of people adhere to the NAP.

Are we going to discuss an established NAP society or how one might emerge from the current statism paradigm, once the majority accept NAP?

Important points of discussion could be:
  • Who will build the roads?
  • How will it defend against external threat?
  • What about monopolies taking over the world?
  • "power vacuum" - a new state will emerge as soon as it's dissolved.
  • Resource scarcity.
  • Environmental issues.
  • Dispute resolution.

I'd actually be interested in debating just one or two of those in depth without the flipped sides.

The idea is that you flip sides to get out of your comfort zone.  I like it.

Back on topic, in the Machinery of Freedom, Friendman shows the Iceland example of how anarchic societies break down.  An outside power interferes sponsoring one faction, that becomes overwhelmingly strong and eventually becomes the state.  We've seen anarchy in Somalia break down exactly the same way after what appeared to be several decent years.  What would you call that topic?  "Foreign Interference" perhaps ?

asdf
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July 08, 2012, 07:19:11 AM
 #7

We need to define "NAP society" first. We can't work on the premise that 100% of people follow NAP absolutely, otherwise there is no debate, we live in a perfect world already ;-)

So let's say, for the sake of debate, that between %50 and 99% of people adhere to the NAP.

Are we going to discuss an established NAP society or how one might emerge from the current statism paradigm, once the majority accept NAP?

Important points of discussion could be:
  • Who will build the roads?
  • How will it defend against external threat?
  • What about monopolies taking over the world?
  • "power vacuum" - a new state will emerge as soon as it's dissolved.
  • Resource scarcity.
  • Environmental issues.
  • Dispute resolution.

I'd actually be interested in debating just one or two of those in depth without the flipped sides.

The idea is that you flip sides to get out of your comfort zone.  I like it.

Back on topic, in the Machinery of Freedom, Friendman shows the Iceland example of how anarchic societies break down.  An outside power interferes sponsoring one faction, that becomes overwhelmingly strong and eventually becomes the state.  We've seen anarchy in Somalia break down exactly the same way after what appeared to be several decent years.  What would you call that topic?  "Foreign Interference" perhaps ?

I think that would come under "How will it defend against external threat?", though, a special case.

Should pick one or two and start a separate thread for each?
fergalish
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July 09, 2012, 12:55:14 AM
 #8

Do any pro/anti NAPsters wish to propose themselves as the rep?

We need to define "NAP society" first. <snip> So let's say, for the sake of debate, that between %50 and 99% of people adhere to the NAP. Are we going to discuss an established NAP society or how one might emerge from the current statism paradigm, once the majority accept NAP?
Good points. I suppose the ideal situation would be to discuss how a NAP society might best function long after the transition had taken place. Assuming we actually got that far, we could then move to establish how best to achieve a smooth transition.  If both sides pick good debaters, then I would guess that we won't even get that far, as a good anti-NAP debater actually debating pro-NAP should be indistinguishable from a bona-fide pro-NAP debater, and vice-versa.  Therefore the debate should seem identical to the extant NAP debates which, unless I'm mistaken, have never ended with a bilateral consensus.
fergalish
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July 09, 2012, 06:44:24 PM
 #9

I PM'd theymos to ask about restricting posting rights in a thread.  He replied with this thread about "local rules".  To put it simply, any OP can give instructions to the moderators.  I've never seen this feature in use, so I guess the OP must simply write "Local Rules: 1. ... 2. ..." in the thread's first post (and have clear unambiguous rules).

All we need now are our debaters who are willing to swap sides.  Is there enough interest in this?
myrkul
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July 09, 2012, 08:15:42 PM
 #10

All we need now are our debaters who are willing to swap sides.  Is there enough interest in this?

It's been tried, and Hawker switched sides rather admirably... but nobody picked up the "Government is good for the environment" side of things. I can't speak for anyone else, But for me, it was because I am unwilling to present arguments I know are flawed, and FirstAscent has been unable to elucidate his points without lapsing into trolling or shouting at us that we should go buy a book. I think he works for a publishing house.

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July 09, 2012, 09:29:46 PM
 #11

No thanks.  I can't step inside what I know the truth not to be and argue topics as character actor as if the results of such beliefs are as irrelevant as a high-school debate class.  These ideas drastically influence the world we live in and will pass on to the next generation and therefore should be regarded a little more seriously.  Moreover, if the person holding something to be true hasn't considered the oppositions proposition true then they shouldn't be debating anything - so perhaps those that realize this applies to them should take up such a challenge!


The NAP, in the other thread and when I was discussing it, was considered from the aspect of definition first - that is, what does NAP even mean?  And not the simple words of it, but rather it's application and thought-process behind it as a universal moral principle.  Words are cheap and words not intended to mean anything, but instead set off on a course where the results of thinking about those words will result in contradictions is the very intention of sophistic ideology.  If the words of what is supposedly a moral tenant of an ideology (and the central tenant according to M. Rothbard!) fail to mean anything directly, or fail to mean anything by their meaning something different to everyone, then that principle should be discarded as useless in determining morality.  The NAP already fails this first test.  How are we (those that are not "Pro NAP" or "NAPsters") supposed to be arguing for the NAP when we can't even define what the NAP universally means to all of us?  The NAP, like Self Ownership, and like the entirety of Libertarianism is a moving target and attempting to go to the next step (debate) prior to definition will never address this problem.

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

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July 09, 2012, 09:44:21 PM
 #12

...attempting to go to the next step (debate) prior to definition will never address this problem.

I have found a solid, logical, and internally consistent definition of the NAP. would you like a link to it?

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July 09, 2012, 11:48:57 PM
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...attempting to go to the next step (debate) prior to definition will never address this problem.

I have found a solid, logical, and internally consistent definition of the NAP. would you like a link to it?

Yes please!  How have we been using the flawed and worthless version of NAP all this time?!

And it better not be the same attempted axiom with a few exceptions.  Statements that are supposed to be universal statements of moral truths shouldn't require a laundry list of exceptions after them.


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

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myrkul
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July 10, 2012, 12:01:31 AM
 #14

...attempting to go to the next step (debate) prior to definition will never address this problem.

I have found a solid, logical, and internally consistent definition of the NAP. would you like a link to it?

Yes please!  How have we been using the flawed and worthless version of NAP all this time?!

Here you go: The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP)

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fergalish
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July 10, 2012, 05:32:16 PM
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All we need now are our debaters who are willing to swap sides.  Is there enough interest in this?

It's been tried, and Hawker switched sides rather admirably... but nobody picked up the "Government is good for the environment" side of things. I can't speak for anyone else, But for me, it was because I am unwilling to present arguments I know are flawed, and FirstAscent has been unable to elucidate his points without lapsing into trolling or shouting at us that we should go buy a book. I think he works for a publishing house.

In which thread was it tried?  Can you link please?


No thanks.  I can't step inside what I know the truth not to be and argue topics as character actor as if the results of such beliefs are as irrelevant as a high-school debate class.  These ideas drastically influence the world we live in and will pass on to the next generation and therefore should be regarded a little more seriously.  Moreover, if the person holding something to be true hasn't considered the oppositions proposition true then they shouldn't be debating anything - so perhaps those that realize this applies to them should take up such a challenge!

The point of switching side is more than just an academic exercise - it's definitely more relevant than a high school debate, but that the origin.  If you, an anti-NAPster, try to debate pro-NAP, then you will have to conduct a lot of research to see why and where the anti-NAP argument fails.  Likewise a pro-NAPster will have to dig into the details of why the proNAP argument fails because he is debating anti-NAP.

It's like Hawker says - it gets you out of your comfort zone.  It's too easy to reject other people's challenges to your beliefs and opinions, but when you yourself make the challenge, it's not so easy.
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July 10, 2012, 05:53:01 PM
 #16

All we need now are our debaters who are willing to swap sides.  Is there enough interest in this?

It's been tried, and Hawker switched sides rather admirably... but nobody picked up the "Government is good for the environment" side of things. I can't speak for anyone else, But for me, it was because I am unwilling to present arguments I know are flawed, and FirstAscent has been unable to elucidate his points without lapsing into trolling or shouting at us that we should go buy a book. I think he works for a publishing house.

In which thread was it tried?  Can you link please?

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=92238.0

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July 10, 2012, 06:49:11 PM
 #17

How can anybody take a side?
It's angels on the head of a pin.
Has no one here heard of DNA? Genetics? Survival of the fittest?
NAP will help me survive? anti-nap?
Maybe if I just ignore you all I will survive anyway? - lions I'm sure are ignoring this and still surviving, despite being somewhat aggressive.

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July 10, 2012, 07:03:46 PM
 #18

How can anybody take a side?
It's angels on the head of a pin.
Has no one here heard of DNA? Genetics? Survival of the fittest?
NAP will help me survive? anti-nap?
Maybe if I just ignore you all I will survive anyway? - lions I'm sure are ignoring this and still surviving, despite being somewhat aggressive.

NAP actually is a survival trait.

Look at it this way:

We start with two pairs of people who disagree with one another, we'll call them A and B, and C and D. A and B do not believe in the NAP. They have no problem initiating violence. C and D do follow NAP, and do not view initiating violence to be a good idea. A and B solve their differences violently, and only one survives. C and D solve their differences peacefully, and both survive.

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July 10, 2012, 07:17:28 PM
 #19

How can anybody take a side?
It's angels on the head of a pin.
Has no one here heard of DNA? Genetics? Survival of the fittest?
NAP will help me survive? anti-nap?
Maybe if I just ignore you all I will survive anyway? - lions I'm sure are ignoring this and still surviving, despite being somewhat aggressive.

NAP actually is a survival trait.

Look at it this way:

We start with two pairs of people who disagree with one another, we'll call them A and B, and C and D. A and B do not believe in the NAP. They have no problem initiating violence. C and D do follow NAP, and do not view initiating violence to be a good idea. A and B solve their differences violently, and only one survives. C and D solve their differences peacefully, and both survive.

But survival is dependent on situation. You believe in NAP, but you are in Rwanda  and in order to survive you have to take part in genocide. So you take part in genocide. NAP (or anti-NAP) is ideology that ignores context.
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July 10, 2012, 07:33:59 PM
 #20

But survival is dependent on situation. You believe in NAP, but you are in Rwanda  and in order to survive you have to take part in genocide. So you take part in genocide. NAP is ideology that ignores context.

What you have there is a "lifeboat scenario." The vast majority of life is not lived in a lifeboat. I would argue, as well, that you've presented a false dichotomy. There are more options than "take part in genocide" and "die." For instance, just off the top of my head, there is "attempt to prevent genocide" or "leave Rwanda", both of which would be in line with NAP.

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