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  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Hi suverans2, This whole religion thing reminds me of those who resolved to AVOID the water until he had learned to swim. If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery they may indeed wait for ever. I live with individuals in an UNfree world. Most of them like me were born into slavery and most will die slaves and we have many who still think as slaves here on this thread. There are some who I can have relationships with and do, in a division of labor society now remnant. Can I have a relationship with someone whilst they sort there mind out? Yes I can. This Objectivist thing that one cannot have an inter-relationship with those--religious etc--until they have their mind so-called straightened out from first causes and principles is false. I care about how I act and how you act. That's it. I know how I am going to act and announce that via the Covenant and so forth. I do not know how you are going to act.The Covenant solves this issue and others (within human reason). But it brings things into first contact, direct alternatives etc... I have found those who embrace religion--or no religion--who will sign it. And those who have embraced Govt religion (your words perhaps) or Govt superstition (my words), and those who will not embrace it. One person's love of the "We" or Govt did not manifest until much later. But it is the reason he would not sign it. He was in this case a racist but did not want to show it. Covenant is a great way to work things out...see things...identify consequences. Superstition encompasses religion. And it is practiced by many atheists and Objectivists! The Most Dangerous Superstition [is Govt] Larken Rose makes this connection. You could think of it as a religion and speak write of it that way but I have met religious people and I am sure you have too who are much like tanhadron. I think *tanhadron, exhibits/evidenced tolerance of others, composure, benevolence and lots of practical sense that too many so called non-religious folk do not manifest. I think it is because he has NOT bought into the Government Superstition although he may believe in a religion/higher power and call it something other than nature. But the Covenant would be a good place to start to make it explicit with him and me. Best regards my Dear Friend and good day to you!
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    @Suverans2 "Not sure I understand the difference between Superstition and Religion..." The difference is the degree of success in marketing.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    I didn't switch any discussion here to religion, I responded to comments about religion. You can look it up. However, response to an article about Natural Law I see nothing wrong with exploring the supposed foundations of such law. Surely you can't think that when Natural Law is asserted we are bound to simply accept it without argument? One supposed source of Natural Law is God, and in exploring that possibility I see nothing wrong with disputing the existence of God. But I'm glad to see that thread police are keeping an eye on things.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I didn't "like" this, John T. Kennedy, because I think you are right. A vast majority of individuals have become so dependent on government that they no longer have any confidence in their own power to solve problems. And, I believe history also proves out what you wrote.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'Day AtlasAikido, Not sure I understand the difference between Superstition and Religion, especially after reading this, "Quick definition" from WordNet (superstition) ▸ noun: an irrational belief arising from ignorance or fear". Sounds like a good definition of Religion, as well. And, I'm sure everyone here will understand why I particularly like this definition of Superstition from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; "A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance."
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    There are many people who want different government, far less than 1% desire no government. As the economy breaks down people will call for more government.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    I wasn't accusing you of not being true to yourself, John T. Kennedy, merely trying to condense what AtlasAikido had just posted. Sorry for the confusion. I try to speak only for myself, because I can't change the world, I can only change my world. And, I truly believe, after much study, that, as self-owners, we have the natural right to choose our jurisdiction, when we are willing to assume responsibility for our own survival, (though we may not be consciously aware that we are choosing). Albeit ignorantly, virtually all of us choose to be members of one man-made jurisdiction, or another. I say "choose", because experience has shown that even when it is made known to men that they (individually) have a choice, that each of us has the innate authority to withdraw from membership in a corporate body, instead of choosing to do so, we make excuses why we can't. This not to say that it will be easy explaining that we have chosen to be under the natural law (of man), instead of the arbitrary and capricious laws of man-made religions and governments.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    That is normally so. But, these are not normal times. An awful lot of people are already losing their faith in government, and that trend will continue as government is seen as more incompetent and unreasonable, and as it ruins the economy. But you are making my point, really. That's why I say "stop evangelizing freedom". We don't have to convert people into freedom lovers. We just need to get them to tolerate freedom lovers, a much smaller job. Most people are naturally tolerant. It takes a lot of indoctrination to make them act otherwise (e.g. in the voting booth), and that indoctrination is pretty fragile these days.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Meaning no disrespect, John T. Kennedy; being "comfortable with natural law", and actively choosing it as our own, as I am sure you are aware, are two entirely different animals.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "I never said there was a perfect system nor a utopia..." You said the consequences of aggression were inescapable, like the consequences of eating poison. This is the assertion I've contested, because it's pretty obviously not true. "I never said there was a perfect system..." Inescapable moral consequences would comprise a perfect system in a very real sense. "It is sad that you have come this far and show all the hall marks evidenced here of appeal to authority and social metaphysics." Where have I appealed to authority?
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    I care not what a person's religion is or faith. Only the interpersonal relationship I and that person have as it relates to the four precepts and specifically the fifth as it relates to religion in the Covenant Of Unanimous Consent . Equality of Liberty FIFTH, that we shall maintain these Principles without Respect to any person's Race, Nationality, Gender, sexual Preference, Age, or System of Beliefs, and hold that any Entity or Association, however constituted, acting to contravene them by initiation of Force -- or Threat of same -- shall have forfeited its Right to exist; There are Atheists who still believe in govt and religionists who do not. It makes more sense to use the statement Govt Superstition than Govt Religion.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Govt introduces chaos where there is none. This simple point seems to allude you. Perhaps your time would be better served reading what you clearly are out of touch with. And this includes your inability to read what is in front of you: I never said there was a perfect system nor a utopia but I do point to one that is far superior than what we have--a free market system and I supply reasons. You started off with Stalin, and Mao and now you're onto Churchill and Eisenhower. Again Govt introduces chaos where there is none! Frankly you could have read the parts that you are clearly out of touch with the first time I brought it up. John, I am not Morpheus and you are clearly not Neo. Apparently you have a problem opening a book let alone a door to self-knowledge. I am so impressed that you know Murphy --too bad that's as far as it goes because I see no similarity other than you are friends. It is sad that you have come this far and show all the hall marks evidenced here of appeal to authority and social metaphysics.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    I am true my myself. I've discovered that it doesn't change the world. I do not aggress against other individuals yet I observe that aggression remains almost universally popular, even among people who know me well. So?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "If you mean karma as a euphemism for the consequences of natural laws? Not sure why you use karma when talking about natural laws (laws of identity and causality)?" I use the word karma because you're asserting that the free market is an inescapable mechanism for balancing the scales of justice, functionally the same as the Indian concept of karma or the christian concept of judgement/afterlife. Free markets are wonderful but they are not a perfect mechanism for balancing the scales of justice. "The whole point is the difference between market freedom and government slavery. Is individual consequences interfered with in the case of government? Clearly yes to your point with Stalin and Mao. I pointed out that only govt and a belief in govt could make that possible. Although Stalin and Mao were clearly unfree. And that I do not doubt they suffered the personal consequences of being psychopaths even though they may not have seen themselves as such." Forget Stalin and Mao for a moment and consider Western heroes such as Eisenhower and Churchill. Or any popular president will do, say Teddy Roosevelt or Ronald Reagan. All of these men are moral criminals yet they have public honors heaped upon them and hardly anyone considers them psychopaths. Do you suppose these people lived in shame or fear as a result of their moral crimes? History seems to show that they were prod of many of these crimes and revered for them. To say that this is only so because government interferes with your inescapable moral mechanism is only to admit the mechanism is not inescapable, which is my point. But put government aside. Suppose a man's son needs an expensive operation to save his life. The man cannot afford it. He robs a bank to pay for it. Because he is smart and or lucky he gets away with the robbery leaving no clues, pays for the operation and his son lives. Now the man may feel guilty about robbing the bank and he may feel some apprehension that he could someday be caught, but there is no reason in principle why he cannot happily bear those costs in return for his son's life. He committed a moral crime and yet may still profit from it. Where is the inescapable justice? "Perhaps you don't read online pdfs. There is also a free audio at Mises.org for "Market For Liberty" and Robert Murphy wrote "Chaos Theory" which is also free." I'm fully aware of the literature. I'm aware of the Tannehills, but have not read them. I may read them someday but I'm pretty sure I know the gist of what's in it. I've known Bob Murphy for ten years, in fact he was a contributor to my web site: http://web.archive.org/web/20050817134418/http://www.no-treason.com/Murphy/
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    To add and clarify: Even a person with a normally calibrated moral compass (a non-sociopath) often *cannot see through clouds of propaganda that have been spewed over police officers and politicians and soldiers*. The answer is, quite simply, that the defense of people’s lives and property is a job just like any other, and it ought to be provided on the free market just like every other good and service by people who are held to exactly the same moral standards as the rest of the civilized world. The uneasiness that the *normal person* feels when confronted with the existence of a group of fat blue-polyester-clad thugs who are not bound by normal moral standards is completely understandable and justified. There is no need for these thugs at all, and there is definitely no justification for exempting them from the moral standards we hold every other person to! --The provision of bread and chairs and computers does not require exempting anyone from moral standards, or empowering them to beat people up and order them around. All that is required is to open the door to competition, and people fall over backwards trying to please customers in their quest to make money. The same is just as true of defense services, which can and ought to be opened to competition between private providers so that consumers of these services can choose what kinds of defense services they want to purchase. In that case, the providers of the services can be held to exactly the same moral standards as everyone else. Their sole purpose would be to protect their customers’ lives and property – not to enforce arbitrary and unjust rules (laws) written by rich politicians on unwilling strangers. See: The Horrific Life of the Police Officer http://www.lewrockwell.com/crovelli/crovelli58.1.html
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    And strayed right back on topic I see with a piece on custom/common law, statute law etc
  • Chaeros Galt's picture
    Chaeros Galt 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Excellent answer, by far the best ando most concise, accordin to my understanding!!! Thanks Suverans2
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day Sam, To take what you 'said' one step further, Statism IS a religion! "…in modern society, with its religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity, it would be much harder for any single group to demand allegiance — except for the state, which remains the one universally accepted god." ~ Roderick T. Long, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill http://anarchyinyourhead.com/comics/2009-08-10-ticket_for_swearing.png
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day AtlasAikido, Actually, what I said as, "we stray", meaning I too was guilty of straying.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day John T. Kennedy, I think what AtlasAikido was saying is, fashion be damned, be true to yourself, "be the change you wish to see in the world". Those with ears to hear, and eyes to see, will hearken and understand.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    The following gets one out of the "We" and into the "I" (See a prior post). And it gets one out of caring if someone is Buddist or Catholic or atheist. agnostic, deist, religionist etc etc.... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Covenant of Unanimous Consent....A Proposal... ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ... Galt’s Oath and the libertarian Non Aggression Principle (NAP/ZAP) are moral/ethical principles. The Covenant of Unanimous Consent is a political statement of *interpersonal relationships* based on those moral principles. The Covenant satisfies the objections noted by Lysander Spooner. Instead of being a document that describes how the government shall act, and a document YOU did not sign, the Covenant is a document that describes how YOU will act and is a document that YOU voluntarily sign, if you agree. Those who do not sign (the “dissenters” mentioned by Ayn Rand above) are not punished, they are simply and clearly warned what to expect if they violate the rights of Signatories. (Unlike the U.S. Constitution--which was created by a committee of Lawyers to replace the (much better) Articles of Confederation, while both Jefferson and Adams were in Europe--the Covenant actually FULFILLS the promise of individual freedom in Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. The Covenant is simple, rational, personal, easy to understand and even short enough to memorize). Excerpts: How the Covenant of Unanimous Consent fulfills the promise of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence: http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2006/tle381-20060820-04.html While I do agree with Nathanial Branden's First Causes--that he wrote and which Rand edited on infinite regress and reversing existence with causality regarding the question of the existence of a big ghost in heaven--It is a non-issue if one shows them self to be a signatory of the Covenant.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Regarding 'This has been advocated by religionists who claim "As ye sow, so shall ye reap"; by Ayn Rand who claims that rationality provides survival; by Intelligent Designers who refer to teleological explanations; and by others such as poets'. I am not focused on "what a so called stellar list of authorities" Allen refers to. It does not matter. If an atheist. agnostic, religionist poet said it. But I will answer in this way: For years men with plans to improve society--atheist. agnostic, deist, religionist, poets--have debated the merits and demerits of various kinds and amounts of govt, and they have argued long and and heatedly over how much freedom was desirable or necessary to provide the needs of man's life. *But very few of them tried to clearly identify the Nature of government, the Nature of freedom, and even the Nature of man*. Consequently their social schemes have not been in accordance with reality and their "solutions" to human ills have been little more than erudite fantasies. Neither the futile and shop worn panaceas of The Establishment nor the "God and country" fervor of the Right, nor the angry peace marches of the Left can build a better society *if men do not have a clear, reality based, non-contradictory idea of what a better society is. If we don't know where we are going we won't get there*. It is the aim of the following book to show where we are (or should be) going. Here is a book review Freedom, Naturally Mises Daily: Thursday, May 26, 2011 by Joel Bowman http://mises.org/daily/5305/ Freedom-Naturally
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    It is true that the advocacy of changing the world is governed by statism. Yet there is a more fundamental consideration, namely whether existence is unfair or benign. Generally, statists claim that the world is unfair, because of a disparity of incomes. We rarely hear of the increased quality and equality of life that occurs under a free market. Even more fundamental is the concept of "spontaneous order" where allowing liberty provides more benefits that could ever occur by planned governance. This has been advocated by religionists who claim "As ye sow, so shall ye reap"; AND by Ayn Rand who claims that rationality provides survival; AND by Intelligent Designers who refer to teleological explanations; and by others such as poets. I suggest the following way to start, with the defense of capitalism: What is fairer than a mutually accepted trade between two people (whether of produce, land or labor)? Could it be fairer if a third party coerced one of them to accept less than he wants? Similarly, given many traders, what could be fairer than the overall process that results from supply & demand? Here too, each person retains the choice of what he will trade for what. Capitalism thus provides rewards based on contribution to production, as determined by the consumer. It is true that liberty guarantees inequality. Consequently it is not wrong that with the division of labor, there is ever greater inequality of monetary outcomes, since some parties can now contribute to the gain of an ever increasing number of consumers. What is more important is that quality-of-life is not measured monetarily. When there is less death at childbirth, reduction of pain from disease, the elimination of starvation, and more entertainment, travel, availability of information, communication, etc., then the quality-of-life differentiation between rich & poor becomes smaller. Some regret that rich people often have rich children, while overlooking that often a family goes from rags to riches, or riches to rags. Yet would we want it otherwise, when conscientious parents bequeath more to their children than do the indolent? Why would we discourage those who work to make a better life for their children? Some people say they would prefer a lower standard of living, for the sake of greater equality. Yet I deny that in reality they would prefer the life of the colonists, where the wealthy had no running water, used outhouses, and took a month to cross the ocean. In those days the rich had perhaps 100 times the wealth of the poor, as contrasted with say 100,000 times the rich have today. Yet a starving man then had more to envy when he saw a wealthy man having a full meal, that anyone today can get at McDonalds. Would you prefer greater monetary equality by leaving everyone with half of what he receives, or greater equality of life by leaving everyone with twice of what he receives? A comment at http://mises.org/daily/5787/How-I-Learned-to-Love-the-State Allen Weingarten · 1 day ago
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    I'd like to add a thought from Tzo's essay, in light of Delmar England's quoted observations: Government has discovered that by molding (double meaning intended) the minds of its citizenry, it can fabricate an invisible holding cell wherein the unaware citizen believes all sorts of contradictions that effectively keeps him trapped within a prison he cannot see and cannot believe exists because he knows perfectly well that he is free. Among conservative groups we often hear the "separation of church and state" chant. Never happen. Agents of state from the beginning of time have depended upon leaders of "the church" (from the gigantic "mother" in the Vatican to the tiny protestant groups up and down the street -- and that takes in just the professing Chr-stian entities) to promulgate -- enforce -- their dictates. And vice versa. Church and State are inextricably yoked. You'll see state agents scurrying to and fro threatening and creating illusions of enforcing laws and edicts prohibiting religious icons in "public" places in these upcoming political holidays (and they ARE political, mind you). But separation of church and state is a contradiction in terms when you think about it. Oxymoronic. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    John T. Kennedy said: Scare quotes often confuse me. Is there a difference between 1) knowing right from wrong, and 2) knowing "right" from "wrong"? Sam: You asked this several days ago, but I've been gone. I'll use (overuse?) scare quotes to (in this case) distance myself from coming across as determining what might be right or wrong for you or others in the group. If you are rude or unkind I might avoid interacting with you, but I don't presume to tell you what's "right" or "wrong". I think it fits with the topic as it has strayed from Natural Law and into religiosity vs atheism because it is in line with assessing "just what is 'natural law'" (There are those scare quotes again!) I know that I must have a supply of oxygen to survive even the next minute or two. I have faith that sufficient oxygen will be present. I do have CO and smoke detectors installed just in case. I want to be prepared in case G-d wants to get me. Just kidding. Faith and religion are two entirely separate matters. I do not know Who or What the Designer (or the Sustainer) of photosynthesis is. Or why S/He consistently and loyally assures me and those I love an adequate supply (of oxygen). All I know is it's seen me through over 75 years since I parted the womb. I often wonder how the hell oxygen finds its way up to this frozen wasteland (Ioway) from now to March or April, when all you can see around here is ice and snow, but it does. And that's all I need to know. I have faith it will see me through the night. Delmar England has this to say about his early religious learning (about 10 or so paragraphs down from the opening statement of his essay): The most disturbing of all these religious teachings is the “explanation” as to how all this comes about. It was believed and taught there is an omni god who created all and can change reality at will. This directly contradicts the idea of immutable natural law of insentient nature. The religious scene set acquiring “truth” on a different plane by a different method: “Revealed truth” known only by “communication with God.” What is described above is mind divided against itself. At such an early age, I understood little, but still could not reconcile the opposites. I could not “respect” these beliefs and not question. By much mental effort over a very long period of time, I came to know much of what was and is going on. To put in capsule form what underlies all the effects, this is the situation: With the insertion of the omni god idea, reality is mentally reversed. At the same time immutable natural laws which do exist are dismissed as absolutes by the omni will concept, by the same omni will idea, there is inserted the idea of philosophical absolutes which do not exist. Of all the realizations, the most critical was and is understanding a mind divided against itself and how it adversely affects all areas of an individual’s life from global warfare through the most personal matters. Sam
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    If you mean karma as a euphemism for the consequences of natural laws? Not sure why you use karma when talking about natural laws (laws of identity and causality)? Too much of a floating abstraction (sky wizard stuff for me and I am not casting aspersions).... But if one is unfamiliar with natural law then I could see how one could think of karma as separate from the other. I hold them as the same thing--I could be persuaded not to--but I try not to use that term unless talking with someone who uses it. LOL It is precisely because of self interest (rational), competition and productive trade and its consequences that a free market works so well--in accordance with reality. So? *It would seem John, something is off with your assertion*. Free markets require and make it possible for inescapable individual consequences (Integrity and Justice) to manifest without being obscured. (But then that is what the book gets into and more--objectivity of laws of supply and demand--and hopefully as a *market* anarchist you are reading a seminal work by laissez-faire free market anarchists Linda and Morris Tannehill....) The whole point is the difference between market freedom and government slavery. Is individual consequences interfered with in the case of government? Clearly yes to your point with Stalin and Mao. I pointed out that only govt and a belief in govt could make that possible. "No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck." [Frederick Douglass] My advice: Treat everyone as if he owns himself. Because he does. Don't advocate that he be forced, "legally" or otherwise, to do ANYTHING, except for refraining from infringing on someone else's self-ownership. And if you do advocate using NON-DEFENSE FORCE, *don't pretend to believe in freedom*; and when you then find such *unjustified force aimed at YOU*, you damn well deserve it. Oh yes I also covered the issue of: Not envisioning a "Utopia" in which no man tries to victimize another. Nor am I proposing a "Perfect" society (what ever that is)...in a prior post but I do show the basics of why laissez faire's--such as self correcting mechanism makes it superior.... Perhaps you don't read online pdfs. There is also a free audio at Mises.org for "Market For Liberty" and Robert Murphy wrote "Chaos Theory" which is also free.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    John seems to have MISSED the CONTEXT of “There is NO ‘we’" to fashion. when he continues to imply and insist that “we” is too important to discard and proposes you or I bring it back in fashion. Perhaps the CONTEXT should be made EXPLICIT. To make the context EXPLICIT: When it comes to FREEDOM, there is no “WE” "to bring back in fashion". There really is only ONE person that you are capable of freeing and that is yourself. A person with the attitude of a slave cannot be free anywhere. THE CONTEXT of the statement is that when it comes to solving problems without using the Collective, the Government, the State (the WE), a person must adopt the ATTITUDE of an individual instead of a collective, one must think for himself/herself. For an example of switching from “WE” to “I”, Ayn Rand’s book “Anthem” comes to mind. Another example that springs to my mind is when the Lone Ranger says to Tonto “We are surrounded by hostile Indians. We are in real trouble.” and Tonto replies “What you mean ‘WE’, white man?” To elaborate on that example: Someone says that the State solution to such and such problem isn’t working, we are in real trouble, what are we going to do about it. The essay “Freedom Has No ‘System” very nicely answers with the equivalent of “What do you mean ‘WE’, Statist?” Such an approach puts the burden of freeing oneself onto the Statist. It UNDERSCORES the fact that the Statist has NOT bothered to think of solutions that do NOT involve enslaving other people. As pointed out in the article: “…[watch] my fellow humans squirm when asked to think like a free people…”. “The men who came west were individualists, accustomed to handling their own affairs and settling their own disputes, and they did not invite interference from the law.” [i.e. government...] –Louis L’Amour – First historical note in “Bowdrie”
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Yes, you are right Suverans2 private messages is not working.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    John you seem more curious about red herrings than the subject of this thread. I think Suverans2 makes a good point when he points out that you have strayed and I will add further. John you appear to have SWITCHED subjects and inveigled your own religion / aetheist /agnostic issues where it does not belong or *appear* to fit.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    I'm very comfortable with natural law, as were the American Founders but how do you propose to bring it back in fashion?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Private messages don't seem to be working.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "...we stray ever farther from the topic, [which is] "There's the law, then there's The Law"... This is, arguably, the most important topic there is for free men and women, or men and women who are truly desiring to be free. We can understand this just by the highlighted portions of these two lead-ins. "The natural law is, in essence, a profoundly “radical” ethic, for it holds the existing status quo, which might grossly violate natural law, up to the unsparing and unyielding light of reason. In the realm of politics or State action, the natural law presents man with a set of norms which may well be radically critical of existing positive law imposed by the State. At this point, we need only stress that the very existence of a natural law discoverable by reason is a potentially powerful threat to the status quo and a standing reproach to the reign of blindly traditional custom [common law] or the arbitrary will of the State apparatus [statute law] In fact, the legal principles of any society can be established in three alternate ways: ...by slavish conformity to custom [common law], by arbitrary whim [statute law], or by use of man’s reason [natural law]". ~ Murray N. Rothbard http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/one.asp http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/two.asp http://mises.org/rothbard/ethics/three.asp ___________________________________________________________________________________________ "...we need to promote the idea of natural law, that an act is lawful or criminal on its own merits, and not because of the decree of some group of rulers. The idea of natural law is more important than the specifics of its content, because once this idea is accepted, the state and its statutes are no longer relevant when discussing the lawfulness of an act." ~ Rule-of-law Anarchism: A Strategy for Destroying the State's Legitimacy by Kevin S. Van Horn Let us take those two, most important points, out of context, so that we may see them more clearly. "...the very existence of a natural law discoverable by reason is a potentially powerful threat to the status quo..." "...once this idea is accepted, the state and its statutes are no longer relevant..." Is it any fricken wonder, then, that Frank van Dun, Ph.D., Dr.Jur. - Senior lecturer Philosophy of Law, writes in his treatise, NATURAL LAW, "Nowadays, the study of natural law virtually has been banned from the training of lawyers. What remains of it in the academic curriculum of most law schools is no more than a little bit of 'intellectual history', which is devoted mainly to the works of a handful of ancient, medieval and early modern writers and philosophers. Often, students get the impression that natural law is something that can be found only in books (in the same way that statutory law, the verdicts of courts and international treaties are mere texts). They are led to believe that the natural law is nothing but a collection of theories of natural law. It is not. Nor, of course, is the physical universe nothing but a collection of theories of physics. The practice of natural law also has been eliminated almost completely by the legal profession. Very often, the study and the practice of natural law are scorned, if not ridiculed. The reasons for this desultory attitude towards natural law are many. One reason is ideological. Many people subscribe to an ideology that is virulently anti-human. They do not think that there is anything respectable about human beings as they are. Usually, they combine this belief with the idea that 'human nature can and should be changed' so as to make it conform to their own ideal of Man. Thus, they claim that men and women should be taught or forced not to respect the order of [the] human world but to respect instead the imaginary 'normative order' that the ideologues prefer. They should be forced or taught not to respect one another for the human beings they are but only the ideal 'new man' that they should become. ...they generally have tended to redefine the word 'law' so that it now is virtually synonymous with politically imposed or sanctioned social regulation." We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "John if you are a so called market anarchist you are witnessed as taking far too much stock in "prudent criminals". As if free markets can never prevail in the law and defense. And again the book covers this specific issue! Perhaps you will address this?" Seems to me there is a clear difference between free markets prevailing in general and an inescapable individual karma. The former does not require the latter.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    John if you are a so called market anarchist you are witnessed as taking far too much stock in "prudent criminals". As if free markets can never prevail in the law and defense. And again the book covers this specific issue! Perhaps you will address this? As much as some try to hide it, the truth of the state is *continuously being uncovered*. So the foundation continues to crumble, not stand. No, the future is not too bright for government and "prudent criminals"--and those who put too much stock in evil and not enough in the good--it is brightening for liberty which is to my knowledge due to natural laws and natural justice. They cannot apparently be by-passed. Raise up free markets. Raise up the spontaneous order of the market. Raise up the agora. Not to smash the state, but to obviate it. Not to make it the victim, and encourage its supporters to give it more power, but to show it as the bully it is. Show the surplus order of the state for what it is, so that people choose to abandon it for something better. Apparently this does not stand for John. In fact a would be "prudent" tyrant's customers--in a free market--would be an obstacle to him....He could not extract taxes from them, as govt does, he could not even force them to buy his service at all.... ...Govt employees are legally protected from suffering personal consequences as a result of all but the most blatant acts of the aggressive acts which they perpetrate "in the line of duty". Such functionaries as police officials, judges and revenue agents can initiate force with immunity by taking protection under such cliches as "I don't write The Law; I just enforce it" or "that's a matter for a jury to decide" or "this statute was passed by duly elected reps of the people". But employees of a free market defense company would have no such legal immunity from retaliatory force; they would have to assume responsibility for their actions... ...It is also worth noting that much of the success of organized crime in our present society is due to alliances which *crime bosses* are able to make with govt officials in nearly all levels. From the $50 payoff to the local cop to the $10,000 contribution to a senator's campaign fund organized crime regularly protects itself by buying off govt opposition. ...In a laissez-faire society aggressors would not only be scattered but weak and unorganized they would find it next to impossible to buy off free market protection and arbitration agencies. Customers of a defense company don't have to keep patronizing it if they find out its employees have been accepting payoffs from aggressors.. They are free to do what citizens can never do--find some other agency to protect them. A free market agency could not afford to have under-world connections even with the small and unimportant underworld of a free market...When the news media revealed its shady dealings its customers would desert it... ...Furthermore customers of a free market defense company are not imbued with a citizen's patriotic fervor and obedience and thus are much harder to lure into foolish collectivist endeavors (such as national unity). Free men don't leap like fools and sheep to defend a flag or sacrifice themselves for the cause of politicians ("prudent criminals"). These are some of the many ways a free market system differs fundamentally and completely from a govt system of any sort and so called prudent criminals. ....While it is generally recognized that man's physical and even his mental nature are subject to the rule of natural law it is just as generally assumed that in the area of morality, and specifically moral human relationships, is completely outside the scope of natural law. This assumption is held tacitly, rather than identified and defended, simply because it can't be defended. It is completely foolish to assert that man is a being with a specific nature and therefore subject to the rules of principles derived from that nature in all areas...except when he deals with other men. Do men men cease to have a specific nature when they come into relationship with other men? Of course not!
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "What the Tannehill's and I am proposing is a system for dealing with such which is far superior to the past and present govermental ones--*a system which makes the violation of human liberty far more difficult...." I've been a market anarchist for more than a decade so maybe you're making some false assumptions in addressing this to me. "John, your concern regarding Stalin and Mao being--so called--exempt from Justice is precisely due to Government and the point I hopefully have addressed here." No, my point still stands. It will always be possible for some prudent criminals to thrive. The type of inescapable individual karma you're asserting is a comforting fiction.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    Not a criticism but with all due respect perhaps John you missed the meaning of this point I made: "A man who swallows poison even if he has complete confidence it is vitamins will become ill. A man who aggresses against others will be distrusted, avoided, and probably made to repay his victims *If some Government forces do not interfere. It may not be immediate or readily apparent but it is inescapable*. I point out and repeat with emphasis added AND with an example to your specific point *Interesting enough government tries to dissolve these natural laws or ignore cause and effect and can obscure consequences Particularly Bad Ones but not for long....[Example Only Governments can make it possible for Stalins. Mao's and thugs to be protected and served (in what appears abeyance of natural laws)]*.... This book I recommend is a book about an idea--the discovery of *what kind of society man needs in order to function efficiently and happily*.... Not envisioning a "Utopia" in which no man tries to victimize another. As long as men are human, they will be free to choose to act in an irrational and immoral manner against their fellows and there will always be some who act as brutes, inflicting their will on others by force. What the Tannehill's and I am proposing is a system for dealing with such which is far superior to the past and present govermental ones--*a system which makes the violation of human liberty far more difficult and less rewarding for all who want to live as brutes and downright impossible for those who want to be politicians!!* Nor am I proposing a "Perfect" society (what ever that is).. Men are fallible so mistakes will always be made and there will never be a society of total equity. Under the present and past governmental systems however, blunders and aggressive intrusions into the lives of peaceful individuals tend to feed on themselves and to grow automatically so that what starts off as a small injustice (small tax, regulation, bureau etc ) inevitably becomes *a Colossus with Monsters* in time. In a truly free society, blunders and aggression will tend to be self-correcting, because men who are *free to choose* will not have to deal with individuals and firms which are stupid, offensive or dangerous to those who they do business with (Back to my original point at the beginning of this post). The society proposed is based on fundamental principles: No man or group of men--including any group of men calling themselves "the government" Stalin, Mao etc is morally entitled to initiate (start) the use of physical of force, the threat of force, or any substitute for force (fraud) against another man or group......(NAP--the Non-Aggression Principle) Read on....Dear Reader, Chapter One....The Market for Liberty: Is Government Really Necessary? http://mises.org/resources/6058 John, your concern regarding Stalin and Mao being--so called--exempt from Justice is precisely due to Government and the point I hopefully have addressed here. It is only one of many many in the book. Cheers
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    But most would vote vote to have someone else put a gun to my head to extract money to reopen the government schools. You can't reason many people out of statism.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "The 19 consisted of one Lebanese, one Egyptian, one from United Arab Emirates, and all the rest Saudis." Yes, and what I've contested is the assertion in the article is that such people are no position to do me real harm. Well I wasn't in the World Trade Center on 9/11 but I had been working there a few months earlier. And on the morning or 9/11 my wife was flying from the east coast to the west coast on a flight with exactly the profile of the hijacked planes. So like I said, these people do pose some real danger to me and mine and it's reasonable to consider them enemies.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    The 19 consisted of one Lebanese, one Egyptian, one from United Arab Emirates, and all the rest Saudis. We did not invade any of these countries, strangely. If you play at Empire, you would be naive to expect no consequences at all from it. Our ruling class does not care about the 3000 dead Americans, other than as tools to advance their interests. That's all we ever are to them.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Ask your neighbor, "What if the government ran out of tax dollars and had to shut down the government schools? Would you come over, put a gun to my head and take the money to school your kids privately?" I'd be willing to bet he would say "No."
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "I am not agnostic about Thor, I have concluded, for myself, that he does not exist." Okay, but earlier you wrote: "I call atheism a "belief-system", since it is far more rational to be agnostic, since there is not a preponderance of proof "for" or "against" there being a "first cause", as Thomas Paine so thoughtfully put it in his treatise, Age of Reason." So what do you consider the preponderance of evidence against the existence of Thor?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Perhaps it is different in the US than in most places. For example, I was in a homeschool support group with some atheists, some general Christians (not sure their exact faith), a Muslim and a Mormon. It was simply unremarkable, no religious conflict at all. I spend a lot of time in Wyoming enjoying the company of my neighbor, an old cowboy with whom I have almost nothing in common. He is a devout Christian. I'll even go along and say "amen" after he prays over breakfast. Why not, since he is cooking for me! I am ignorant of Manchester United and such things. Keep in mind a lot of the criminal behavior that has increased to epidemic proportions in England is simply impossible in most parts of the US, since the criminals would end up being shot.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "As Ricky would say, "You've got some 'splainin to do, Lucy." Agreed, but the concept of God does nothing to advance the explanation. Either the Universe sprang into being uncaused or it exists as an infinite regression of causes. Both alternatives confound intuition, but one must be right because the universe indisputably exists. For God there are three possibilities: Either he sprang into existence uncaused or he exists as an infinite regression of causes or else he simply does not exist. While the universe indisputably exists that's certainly not true of God.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Speaking of "realistic", you might want to check this out, John T. Kennedy. http://www.ae911truth.org/
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day GeoffreyTransom, Thank you for the reply. Don't know if you noticed, but I made no mention of the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Koran, or any other "revealed" religion's tome. The only thing I did make mention of, by name, is Age of Reason, by Thomas Paine. If you haven't read it, here is a link to it, so that you can. In it you may find a God more to your liking. P.S. For future accuracy, you might be interested to know that Sarai was not, in the blood-sense of the word, Abram's, (there was no letter V in the ancient Ibriy (Hebrew) alephbet), "half-sister". Abram reportedly said "yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife", based on the following concept, brother. A careful reading of Genesis 11:31 will prove this out. Malachi 2:10 Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother... It's that or Abram flat out lied, which wouldn't surprise me in the least, since lying is how Yacob (no J or V in the ancient Ibriy) stole his brother's paternal blessing.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "it makes no sense to speak of 'my "efficiency"' when efficiency is defined as that which results in an intertemporally stable Nash equilibrium." I've never seen efficiency so defined. Efficiency is a far more fundamental economic concept than a Nash equilibrium. Take the Prisoner's Dilemma. The efficient outcome occurs when both parties cooperate, but both parties cooperating is certainly not a Nash equilibrium. And that's just a very simple case.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day John T. Kennedy, Thank you, "men interacting" is fine with me. And thank you; for what it's worth, I agree "right and wrong is not properly defined by what is best for the group". Right and wrong are discovered, by each of us, by what we would not like done to us, or have forced upon us, by other men, without our consent, which, coincidentally, is what is best for the group. "The only idea man can affix to the name of God is that of a first cause, the cause of all things. And incomprehensible and difficult as it is for a man to conceive what a first cause is, he arrives at the belief of it from the tenfold greater difficulty of disbelieving it." ~ Thomas Paine I am not agnostic about Thor, I have concluded, for myself, that he does not exist. And, neither am I agnostic about the Big Bang Theory. "According to the standard theory, our universe sprang into existence as "singularity" around 13.7 billion years ago. What is a "singularity" and where does it come from? Well, to be honest, we don't know for sure." "...sprang into existence..."??? Now, there's a scientific explanation, if I've ever seen one. "Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe." As Ricky would say, "You've got some 'splainin to do, Lucy." But, we stray ever farther from the topic, "There's the law, then there's The Law", and for that I apologize.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    @Suverans2 I'm still curious, are you agnostic about Thor the Norse god of thunder or are you persuaded he does not exist?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "If you would be so kind to give us your definition of "society", please." Men interacting. "Also, you said "society is not the standard". Not sure I understand what you mean by that." I'm saying that right and wrong is not properly defined by what is best for the group. "And, you are certainly free to conclude (believe) that there was, or is, no "first cause", no Santa, no Odin, no Brhama, and/or no Zeus, if you like, but I think you will agree, it serves no useful purpose to make a mockery of those who come to the opposite conclusions (beliefs) on any, or all, of these things. " I don't think it serves a libertarian purpose, but I think religion is irrational and thus a legitimate target of criticism and even satire. It's not something I spend much time doing. "Thomas Paine, is a prime example of one of those who came to the opposite conclusion (belief), he wrote, "incomprehensible and difficult as it is for a man to conceive what a first cause is, he arrives at the belief of it from the tenfold greater difficulty of disbelieving it". " I think there is difficulty in wrapping one's head around the idea of a first cause and also the idea of an infinite regress of causes so I don't have a settled opinion on which condition exists. But I see no reason why a first cause would be God. I think the Big Bang is a plausible first cause, and there is evidence for the Big Bang. Yes, the idea that the Big Bang was uncaused is counterintuitive, but that is not a conceptual difficulty that God escapes.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 2 years 35 weeks ago Page tzo
    "John, Not sure how you can know this about someone's personal life?" This is supposed to be a criticism of my analysis, but not your's? No doubt Stalin had things to fear, but his innocent victims weren't exactly free form that.