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  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 8 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Ah, now I understand, We can "morally" create a government 'whose' sole duty is to "govern defensively, as Thomas Jefferson reportedly, and presumably, wrote", a government which only protects it members natural rights, and nothing more...but it is "immoral" for us to call it a government; we must call it an "agency".
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 8 weeks ago Page tzo
    Above para should read "Consequences ARE INescapable. but they are transferable from perpetrator to victim and govt action is one major organized method--capable of multiplying the effects and spreading the consequences to large numbers of people--witness the bank bailouts transferred to the tax payers".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    It started to play, stopped at the same place near the beginning every time, couldn't get it to play any further.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "I personally identify much more with other anarchists than with minarchists. Of course, there are differences (leftist anarchists’ utter ignorance of what the market is and how it works, is an obvious issue), but the fact is that in a stateless society, our differences do not matter much – we agree that nobody has the right to force their own way of life down other people’s throats. This is unfortunately not the case for minarchists, who by definition support throat-shoving of specific ideals as a means toward their end." Per seems to think that market anarchism will arise from and be sustained by moral and philosophical agreement. I think that's flat wrong. Markets will gain ascendency if and when people become too expensive to govern, regardless of their moral and political views. If you made freely available a device that protected individuals and property from physical attack, all government would be finished and market anarchy would prevail regardless of anyone's moral views or political philosophy. If you could provide a device that could teleport people and property very cheaply across borders, governments would lose the power inherent in a territorial monopoly and they'd effectively become private agencies competing for business, again regardless of philosophy. I think the real path to market anarchy is through the production of goods and services that make people progressively more expensive to govern, and all the talk about morality, political philosophy, movements and alliances is mostly irrelevant to the project.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Let me offer a possibly defensible form of minarchism. Suppose you understand that the actions needed to implement a minarchy are morally indefensible, yet believe that anarchy will lead to far greater violations of rights. Suppose that while refusing to perform any of the rights violating actions necessary to sustain a minarchy one still preferred to live under a minarchy than under anarchy? Would that preference for minarchy make one a type of minarchist?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    "We can't "morally" create a government 'whose' the sole duty is to "govern defensively, as Thomas Jefferson reportedly, and presumably, wrote", a government which only protects it members natural rights, and nothing more? Why would that be "immoral", for heaven's sake? " An agency which only protected rights and never violated them is possible and moral, but it would not be a government. "I thought that both individuals and groups hired private body guards all the time. Are you saying that's illegal (if you are a citizen)?" I'm saying that the government reserves complete authority over what private body guards may legally do. If someone swipes your plasma TV and puts it in his house your private security forces can't enter against his will and retrieve it, only police can. The morality of the act is the same for either agency, but the state enforces a monopoly on the legal right to do it. If the government stopped preventing non-agressing private agencies from competing in the production of *all* rights protecting services it would cease to be a government since it would be morally, legally, and functionally indistinguishable from private protection agencies. If it continues to impose a monopoly by force it remains a government, and obviously violates natural rights.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    G'day John, We can't "morally" create a government 'whose' the sole duty is to "govern defensively, as Thomas Jefferson reportedly, and presumably, wrote", a government which only protects it members natural rights, and nothing more? Why would that be "immoral", for heaven's sake? I can see it being "illegal", because your government doesn't like competition, but I can't see it being "immoral", i.e. being against the natural law, the law of free unincorporated men. You wrote: "But try making such a contract. A government will tell you that you may not generally contract to defend your natural rights by force, nor even do it on your own. You are not allowed to do the job claimed by the government monopoly police, nor hire anyone else to do it." I thought that both individuals and groups hired private body guards all the time. Are you saying that's illegal (if you are a citizen)? It certainly isn't unlawful for non-members, i.e. non-citizens, i.e. free men.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Let me paraphrase part of a letter from Roy Childs to Ayn Rand : http://www.isil.org/ayn-rand/childs-open-letter.html The quickest way of showing why government must either initiate force or cease being a government is the following: Suppose that I were distraught with the service of the government in my society. Suppose that I judged, being as rational as I possibly could, that I could secure the protection of my contracts and the retrieval of stolen goods at a cheaper price and with more efficiency. Suppose I either decide to set up an institution to attain these ends, or patronize one which a friend or a business colleague has established. Now, if he succeeds in setting up the agency, which provides all the services of government, and restricts his more efficient activities to the use of retaliation against aggressors, there are only two alternatives as far as the pre-existing "government" is concerned: (a) It can use force or the threat of it against the new institution, in order to keep its monopoly status in the given territory, thus initiating the use of threat of physical force against one who has not himself initiated force. Obviously, then, if it should choose this alternative, it would have initiated force. Q.E.D. Or: (b) It can refrain from initiating force, and allow the new institution to carry on its activities without interference. If it did this, then the pre-exisiting "government" would become a truly marketplace institution, and not a "government" at all. There would be competing agencies of protection, defense and retaliation – in short, free market anarchism.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    No, you can't morally do it. You may indeed contract with people to declare and defend natural rights, but that is no more a government than McDonalds. But try making such a contract. A government will tell you that you may not generally contract to defend your natural rights by force, nor even do it on your own. You are not allowed to do the job claimed by the government monopoly police, nor hire anyone else to do it. If you don't like McDonalds food you can patronize the Burger King next door or start your own restaurant. If you don't like the rights protection you're getting for your government monopoly you can vote every few years. It is clearly immoral for governments to prevent competition in rights defense, but if they didn't do it they wouldn't be governments any more, they'd just be private contracts.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    Sure, you may call me John. Or Kennedy, or JTK. People call me horrible things. "It is the fact that you have a "just claim" to action A, which makes it moral for you to do A, and which makes it immoral for anyone to prevent you from doing A." No, I actually see that exactly the opposite way around: It's the fact of the immorality of interfering with you that give you a just claim. The morality comes first and the just claim denotes a certain situation.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    You cannot govern defensively, as Thomas Jefferson reportedly, and presumably, wrote? "Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him . . . and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right." ~ Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Francis Gilmer (c.1816) Notwithstanding that he perhaps should have wrote, "...to declare and [defend] only our natural rights..."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day John T. Kennedy, May I call you John? You wrote: "I would say you have a right to do A if it would not be moral for anyone to prevent you from doing A. In that formulation the primacy is with the immorality of interfering with others and and the word "right" is a placeholder for that content. But it is definitely eiser[sic] to speak in positive terms like "just claim" and I think tey[sic] amount to much the same thing." Indeed they are the same thing. We see this by simply substituting "just claim" for the word "right", when used as a noun. "I would say you have a [just claim] to do A if it would not be moral for anyone to prevent you from doing A." It is the fact that you have a "just claim" to action A, which makes it moral for you to do A, and which makes it immoral for anyone to prevent you from doing A. When I discovered this simple truth, it was like a bright light coming on. That, and the fact that all "rights" are "entitlements" of membership in a group and conformity to its laws, are the two most important things I have learned about "rights". http://www.thoughts.com/IndividualSecession101/what-are-rights-anyway I will not respond to the remainder of what you have written here until pondering it for a time. Your assessment could be right, and may be the very reason that Thomas Jefferson reportedly wrote this, "Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him . . . and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right. (Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Francis Gilmer [c.1816]) Notwithstanding that he may have used the word "society", where he actually meant "body politic", or "political corporation". This confusion was, and is, very common. Thank you.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    "No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another" And you cannot govern without committing aggression. If you and I contract by consent the who governs who? Can you explain how American government, for instance, could arise by consent? Do you think it did?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "By the way, did you know that Noah Webster, in the only dictionary he personally edited, used "just claim" for "right", when used as a noun, at definitions numbers 5, 6, 7, & 10? At, 8 he uses "That which justly belongs to one." And, at 9 he uses "Property..."" No, I did not know that. I recognize natural rights as essentially negative in character, and "just claim" has a positive ring to it. Well, even "right" has a positive ring to it. I would say you have a right to do A if it would not be moral for anyone to prevent you from doing A. In that formulation the primacy is with the immorality of interfering with others and and the word "right" is a placeholder for that content. But it is definitely eiser to speak in positive terms like "just claim" and I think tey amount to much the same thing. This brings up one interesting point with the definition of a "just claim" though. When you start with the idea of a man in isolation, as tzo did, what is a just claim? There is no one to make a claim against, no one to hear a claim, and no way that injustice can be done. For other purposes the definition will suffice. "Very good, natural rights it is, then. So, what you are saying is that a man cannot, of his own authority, voluntarily consent to alienate himself from any of his natural rights, even temporarily, is that correct?" Correct, that is my claim. "If so, let's start with the natural right of justly acquired property. Are you saying that a free man cannot alienate himself from, let us say, his natural right to his motorcycle which he paid cash for, and for which he has the signed and notarized Manufacturer's Statement of Origin?" He can alienate himself from his motorcycle, but not his right to property. They are not the same thing. "Are you saying that he cannot, of his own authority, voluntarily consent to donate any portion of his justly acquired property to his favorite charity, thus alienating himself from the natural right to that portion of his property? " No, his right to own property is separate from his property rights in particular things. He can trasfer the latter but not the former. "Let us now look at the natural right of liberty. Are saying is that a free man, who has a natural right to his liberty, cannot alienate himself from that right simply by voluntarily consenting to enslave himself to another man, or group of men, for either a limited period of time, or even for the duration of his life, if he so desires?" I am definitely saying a man cannot sell himself into slavery since his natural rights are indivisible from himself. Suppose you sign a supposed slavery contract and agree do whatever your master orders you to do for the rest of your life. In return, he pays for your wife's lifesaving medical treatment. That was the deal. Now he orders you to shoot your wife. Oops. What is your moral responsibility? To fulfill your contract? You have blundered into a supposed contract you cannot morally honor. Even though you signed it would still be wrong to compel you to perform immoral acts. Which is the same as saying you still have a right to disobey, indeed responsibility to do so. You are a moral agent by nature and you cannot legitimately contract to be anything else. I'm saying a slavery agreement cannot be a just claim. This is why in contract law you are not allowed to compel specific performance. Even though Michael Jordan signed a $30 million dollar contract with you to play basketball, you cannot physically compel him to take the court. You can seek money damages for breach of contract if he refuses to play, but you can't force him to play basketball because he retains his inalienable rights to dispose of his life and liberty. "And lastly, there's the natural right to life. Are you saying that a free man cannot alienate himself from his natural right to life, by, for example, voluntarily sacrificing his life so that another might live?" Again there is a difference between a man's life and his right to life. A man may choose to die, or put himself in great danger, but as long as he lives he retains his right to life. Wherever and whenever he exists, that right exists.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    "Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their power; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights . . . and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him . . . and the idea is quite unfounded, that on entering into society we give up any natural right." ~ Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Francis Gilmer (c.1816)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    Part 1 Very good, "just claim" it is then. By the way, did you know that Noah Webster, in the only dictionary he personally edited, used "just claim" for "right", when used as a noun, at definitions numbers 5, 6, 7, & 10? At, 8 he uses "That which justly belongs to one." And, at 9 he uses "Property..." Part 2 Very good, natural rights it is, then. So, what you are saying is that a man cannot, of his own authority, voluntarily consent to alienate himself from any of his natural rights, even temporarily, is that correct? A'LIENATE, v.t. [L. alieno.] 1. To transfer title, property or right to another; as, to alienate lands, or sovereignty. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language If so, let's start with the natural right of justly acquired property. Are you saying that a free man cannot alienate himself from, let us say, his natural right to his motorcycle which he paid cash for, and for which he has the signed and notarized Manufacturer's Statement of Origin? Are you saying that he cannot, of his own authority, voluntarily consent to donate any portion of his justly acquired property to his favorite charity, thus alienating himself from the natural right to that portion of his property? Let us now look at the natural right of liberty. Are saying is that a free man, who has a natural right to his liberty, cannot alienate himself from that right simply by voluntarily consenting to enslave himself to another man, or group of men, for either a limited period of time, or even for the duration of his life, if he so desires? And lastly, there's the natural right to life. Are you saying that a free man cannot alienate himself from his natural right to life, by, for example, voluntarily sacrificing his life so that another might live?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "First, can we agree that a "right" is a "just claim"? For instance, I have a right to my life, liberty and justly acquired property. That means that I have a "just claim" to these thing. If we can't agree on the basic definition of "a right" then there is no need for us to go on." I will accept that definition. By that definition tzo's argument fails since ability is not a just claim. "Second, you state that a "man cannot be alienated from his rights even by his own authority"; would you be referring here, to his natural rights, his civil/political rights, his religious rights, his rights as a member of K-Mart's workforce, or his rights as a member of a motorcycle gang?" His natural rights.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "First, can we agree that a "right" is a "just claim"? For instance, I have a right to my life, liberty and justly acquired property. That means that I have a "just claim" to these thing. If we can't agree on the basic definition of "a right" then there is no need for us to go on." I will accept that definition. By that definition tzo's argument fails since ability is not a just claim. "Second, you state that a "man cannot be alienated from his rights even by his own authority"; would you be referring here, to his natural rights, his civil/political rights, his religious rights, his rights as a member of K-Mart's workforce, or his rights as a member of a motorcycle gang?" His natural rights.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "I do, in fact, mean that right and ability are the same thing for the isolated human." The only way you can justify the substitution required to get Theorem A is to say the words "right" and "ability" mean the same thing. This isn't true, even in isolation. In isolation does a person have the right to do a triple backflip? The answer is self evident: yes, of course. But does the same person have the ability to do a triple back flip? That's an empirical question, and the answer is not self evident. "If A and B both have the exact same set of rights, defined as the freedom to perform whatever act their abilities allow, and this is in fact how all men start out life, then positing that All Men Are Created Unequal (in this regard) would not follow. Hence, I chose to make the claim that All Men Are Created Equal (with regard to rights)." Here again you define rights as not being identical to abilities. You define people as being born with identical rights even when they are obviously born with differing abilities. Thus your substitution of the word "right" for the word "ability" to arrive at Theorem A is clearly invalid. And argument you just gave there is that since all men have equal rights then they are all created equal, meaning they have equal rights. This is called assuming one's conclusion. No, see you made All Men Are Created Equal an axiom, admitting it doesn't follow from anything in your argument. So the question remains why prefer that axiom over All Men Are Created Unequal? Because it leads to an undesired conclusion?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    First, can we agree that a "right" is a "just claim"? For instance, I have a right to my life, liberty and justly acquired property. That means that I have a "just claim" to these thing. If we can't agree on the basic definition of "a right" then there is no need for us to go on. "Define your terms, you will permit me again to say, or we shall never understand one another...” ~ Voltaire Second, you state that a "man cannot be alienated from his rights even by his own authority"; would you be referring here, to his natural rights, his civil/political rights, his religious rights, his rights as a member of K-Mart's workforce, or his rights as a member of a motorcycle gang?
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    I do, in fact, mean that right and ability are the same thing for the isolated human. Rights become a subset of abilities when other human beings are affected by actions. Also: Tigers are not moral agents, which I didn't think necessary to mention. If A and B both have the exact same set of rights, defined as the freedom to perform whatever act their abilities allow, and this is in fact how all men start out life, then positing that All Men Are Created Unequal (in this regard) would not follow. Hence, I chose to make the claim that All Men Are Created Equal (with regard to rights).
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    Jefferson's formulation is excellent except for one fatal flaw. Just powers are derived from consent, but "consent of the governed" is a contradictions in terms. If you and I agree to cooperate to protect each other's natural rights that agreement can produce just powers by consent. but the relationship is a private contract, not a government. Where there is consent there is no need for government, contract suffices. Where there is govenment you can be certain that consent of all relevant parties has not been obtained. When President, Jefferson did not have the consent of all Americans to wield power on their behalf. McDonalds has a complex operating structure in principle based entirely on consent. Just powers are derived form this consent. A manager has the just power to hire or fire based on his agreement with the company. Shareholders have the just power to hire or fire upper management, or to buy and sell shares of the company according to the rules which have been produced by consent. Is McDonalds a government though? No. Let's say instead of producing food McDonalds produced protection of natural rights. It could still derive just powers form consent, but it still wouldn't be a government. It would just be a private company baset on contract, the way it is now. Government by it's nature always asserts a monoply on force, by force. Obviously there is no need to enforce a monopoly where consent exists.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    tzo, I see what you're trying to do here of course, but this formulation needs a lot of work. For instance, there is nothing in your argument which explains why the moral result would be different if Alpha was a man and Beta was a tiger. The All Men Are Created Equal axiom is really pulled out of a hat here with no good reason given why it should be adopted, as opposed to, for instance, an axiom that All Men Are Created Unequal. I find problems with your argument at almost every point. For example: "I will begin by proposing the existence of Human Alpha, the sole inhabitant of the planet. Then Axiom A is, as they say, axiomatic: Alpha has the ability to do absolutely anything he is able to do. Starting with this axiom,I will begin by proposing the existence of Human Alpha, the sole inhabitant of the planet. Then Axiom A is, as they say, axiomatic: Alpha has the ability to do absolutely anything he is able to do. Starting with this axiom, I propose to define the concept of a “right” as being a derivative of this axiomatic human “ability.” So the derivative Theorem A reads: Alpha has the right to do whatever he is able to do." In this step it is unclear what it means for "right" to be be a derivative of "ability". To say one has the ability to do what one is able to do is a tautology and thus necessarily true. But logically there is no reason to accept Theorem A as true unless "right" and "ability" are the same thing. Otherwise Theorem A does not follow. And clearly you don't mean right and ability are the same thing.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    A man cannot be alienated from his rights even by his own individual authority - they are indivisible from his nature, which means they are indivisible from him. Where he goes, they go, and vice versa.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    So you are asserting judgement in an after-life? I understand why people find that comforting. We are so offended by crimes that it seems intolerable that the scales of justice should not always be balanced in the end. I think this yearning for justice explains why people assert any number of inescapable mechanisms for justice: judgement and an after-life, karma, or more secular versions such as the one debated in this thread. But our yearning doesn't make it so.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    G'day John T. Kennedy, You asked, "I'd like to hear how any government can act as a government at all without violating basic rights." The answer is, by being restricted, by its author(s)/members to its sole lawful function, which is that of protecting the natural, and therefore un- or in-alien-able[1], rights of its members, and nothing more. The only lawful author-ity that a de jure government can have is that which is delegated to it by its authors, and its authors cannot delegate author-ity to it, which said authors do not lawfully possess, individually, in the first place. This is the Foundational Stone that is missing, as far as I know, from all the man-made governments on Earth. Thomas Jefferson, among others, understood this principle, I believe, since he wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that [is to say] they are endowed by their Creator [or by nature] with certain unalienable Rights... — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed". Hope that answered your question. ________________________________________________________________________________ [1] "...innate, inalienable human rights cannot be lost due to circumstance" ~ tzo Nor can a man be alienated from them by positive law, i.e. by human laws. Why are our natural rights sometimes referred to as our "inalienable rights", or "unalienable rights"? "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments’ rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws..." ~ John Adams Because a man cannot be "alienated" from his natural rights "by human laws", but rather only by his own individual authority, either by express or tacit consent or by forfeiture (a form of implied consent).
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "...innate, inalienable human rights cannot be lost due to circumstance" Nor can a man be alienated from them by positive law, i.e. by human laws. Why are our natural rights sometimes referred to as our "inalienable rights", or "unalienable rights"? "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments’ rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws..." ~ John Adams Because a man cannot be "alienated" from his natural rights "by human laws", but rather only by his own individual authority, either by express or tacit consent or by forfeiture (a form of implied consent).
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day Geoffrey Transom, I also find it very telling when someone jumps on the God-thing, while, most times missing, entirely, the more important things, which, in this case, (and in my opinion), was the last paragraph. "Question for you nay-sayers; bees and ants and lions and wolves, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, each have their own peculiar "natural law" for survival of the individual, as well as the group, so how is it that you "believe" that man is somehow mysteriously exempt from the "natural law of the human world", as Frank van Dun, Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), Dr.Jur. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) - Senior lecturer Philosophy of Law, (someone obviously far less intelligent, or thoughtful, than yourselves), for clarification, called it?" [Emphasis added]
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day tzo, You posted this September 26? How did I miss it? Anyway, BRAVO!! Absolutely love your finale!! And to those who attempt to destroy the truth, they are on a mission impossible and cannot succeed no matter how many of them get together to sign the death certificate. "The natural law always buries its undertakers." ~ Étienne Gilson You wrote: "By initiating violence, the aggressor is subject to violent retribution." Even more, if I may, my friend, "By initiating violence, the aggressor subjects HIMSELF to violent retribution." (Fraud is merely another form of theft.) Thank you, once again, for expounding on an extremely important concept without the use of ten-cent words and phrases or psycho-babble. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." ~ Albert Einstein
  • Guest's picture
    txabier7 (not verified) 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    Hi john: I do not agree with you that some criminals escape the consequences of their crimes. For me it is clear that we are in this life by the way, but that does not end here, and therefore we are to ascend and to descend, which is what we do when we cause harm to our fellow men. That is the inescapable consequence for every human being hurtful, knowing that he is doing.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Anything man does is part of nature. Including things contrary to his nature" How can part of nature be contrary to nature?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    Now you write: "Consequences are not inescapable. but they are transferable from perpetrator to victim and govt action is one major organized method--capable of multiplying the effects and spreading the consequences to large numbers of people--witness the bank bailouts transferred to the tax payers." And here is your original statement which I have been disputing all along: "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 govt forces do not interfere. It may not be immediate or readily apparent but it is inescapable." Do you concede that your original statement said consequences to an individual aggressor were inescapable, like the consequences of eating poison? Do you concede that your original statement was incorrect?
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Man is part of nature. He is subject to natural law. Anything man does is part of nature. Including things contrary to his nature [well being]." Animals commit actions that may lead to their death but are not known to deliberately commit suicide. Man is capable of doing just that. His volition that is part of his nature makes it possible for him to commit suicide. (Man is distinguished from animals by his faculty of reason and volition).
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Of course, neither I nor Spooner have any obligation to something that neither of us signed. But I did sign the Covenant voluntarily. Since you did not sign the Covenant I do not expect you to be bound by it." How are you bound by this supposed Covenant? Can you cite one thing it morally constrains you from doing that you were not already morally constrained from doing before signing? You've signed the document and I have not. You say you are bound by it and I am not. Can you cite any difference in our moral obligations or responsibilities to anyone based on the fact that you've signed and I have not?
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    If I have not made the case for inescapable consequences it is because there is book that addresses this issue in a much more complete manner. I prefer to not retype the book here. "The free market is a product of the working of natural laws in the area of human relationships, specifically economic relationships". Consequences are not inescapable. but they are transferable from perpetrator to victim and govt action is one major organized method--capable of multiplying the effects and spreading the consequences to large numbers of people--witness the bank bailouts transferred to the tax payers.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago
    Sorry, Wendy and Lew
    Page John deLaubenfels
    "Let's dispose of the notion, popular with Stephan Kinsella and his hangers-on, that goes like this: Copies of an electronic work are almost effortless to make; therefore they're worth nothing, and nobody need feel bad for taking one and flipping off the original author." Interestingly, has claimed protection of his IP on his web site. http://web.archive.org/web/20061121090001/http://www.no-treason.com/arch... http://web.archive.org/web/20061121052303/http://www.no-treason.com/arch... Even more interesting, as a lawyer it appears he has threatened legal violence on behalf of Lew Rockwell to secure Lew's IP rights. http://web.archive.org/web/20061121073431/http://www.no-treason.com/arch... Oh and I just took a look at the web site for the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, of which Kinsella is the director. http://c4sif.org/about/ The Center actively opposes IP yet oddly reserves some IP rights under it's Creative Commons license.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    You are right it is not appeal to authority. It is an appeal to ignorance. You deliberately refuse to read the book by your own admission but pretend to know what it says.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    Re: "Spooner is dead." and I'm [John] aware of that, but you cited him anyway. You pretended you knew what Spooner would think about the Covenant. You never explained why he would think that. Whereas I made reference to what Spooner actually wrote. Re: "What specific things did he write that are contrary to the Covenant?" Of course, neither I nor Spooner have any obligation to something that neither of us signed. But I did sign the Covenant voluntarily. Since you did not sign the Covenant I do not expect you to be bound by it. Not only did he not sign the Constituion but would not because he considered it the product of "the senseless work of ignorant or thoughtless men". That has nothing to do with the Covenant. As for me I do not presume to know whether he would have approved the Covenant or not. Re: Spooner would *never* say that Natural Law, the entire subject of Smith's supposed agreement, was not binding upon him because he had not signed it. How can you presume to say somebody would not sign something? How can you presume to know the subject of someones mind without citing something specific that they have written on that subject?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "If the consequences may not be immediately visible on the aggressor they certainly are on the victims." But of course that's nothing like the consequences to the individual of eating poison, is it? Here was your original statement I disputed: "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 govt forces do not interfere. It may not be immediate or readily apparent but it is inescapable." You were clearly speaking of inescapable consequences to the aggressor. That is precisely what I have contested all along. You can't defend your original assertion by writing as if I contested something else.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Regarding Mao and Stalin etc as being exempt from natural laws." No, no, no, that's not my claim. What I've disputed is your assertion of inescapable consequences for the individual. Casino's reap their profits based on the Law of Large Numbers which says that the average of the results obtained from a large number of bets should be close to the expected value. Of course the bets are designed so that the expected value favors the house. You can bank on this law, and Casino's do, but it does not not impose inescapable consequences on the individual. Some individuals come out ahead after betting against the house. Some come out ahead after placing many bets. Likewise some moral criminals escape consequences of their crimes in a way they could not escape the consequences for eating poison (your simile). "Man is part of nature. He is subject to natural law. Anything man does is part of nature. Including things contrary to his nature." This becomes an exercise in confusing different meanings of nature and natural law. If man's nature is defined as what he can do then obviously nothing he does is contrary to his nature. Physics is natural law and I doubt that anything we observe contradicts physics, so physics is inescapable. But this is not what is meant by Natural Law when speaking of morality.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "If an evil person starts a forest fire, the sensible thing for a man of reason is to recognize the law of nature and protect himself from the consequences of that action (i.e. protect himself from the fire). " Evil people who start forest fires tend to do that too. "The world is on fire." Well that doesn't sound good for anybody, including the man of reason.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "What negative moral responsibilities does John refer to?" Concisely, the responsibility to refrain from aggression: the NAP. It's not subject to agreement - everyone is morally constrained by the NAP regardless of agreement. "Spooner is dead." I'm aware of that, but you cited him anyway. "What specific things did he write that are contrary to the Covenant?" Spooner wrote: "“Lawmakers, as they call themselves, can add nothing to it, nor take anything from it. Therefore all their laws, as they call them, — that is, all the laws of their own making, — have no color of authority or obligation. It is a falsehood to call them laws; for there is nothing in them that either creates men’s duties or rights, or enlightens them as to their duties or rights. There is consequently nothing binding or obligatory about them. And nobody is bound to take the least notice of them, unless it be to trample them under foot, as usurpations. If they command men to do justice, they add nothing to men’s obligation to do it, or to any man’s right to enforce it. They are therefore mere idle wind, such as would be commands to consider the day as day, and the night as night. If they command or license any man to do injustice, they are criminal on their face. If they command any man to do anything which justice does not require him to do, they are simple, naked usurpations and tyrannies. If they forbid any man to do anything, which justice could permit him to do, they are criminal invasions of his natural and rightful liberty. In whatever light, therefore, they are viewed, they are utterly destitute of everything like authority or obligation. They are all necessarily either the impudent, fraudulent, and criminal usurpations of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, or the senseless work of ignorant or thoughtless men, who do not know, or certainly do not realize, what they are doing. “ From: http://lysanderspooner.org/node/62 This was addressing legislation but it applies well to this supposed covenant. After all, legislation is supposed to be binding as a consequence of agreement. Spooner would say that a supposed agreement to do what you are already morally bound to do as "mere idle wind" and "the senseless work of ignorant or thoughtless men, who do not know, or certainly do not realize, what they are doing". "Spooner objected to the Constitution because he did not sign it. His objection was anything he did not sign he had no obligation to." That wasn't his only objection, not by a country mile! You can find a more comprehensive list of his objection here: http://jim.com/treason.htm Spooner would *never* say that Natural Law, the entire subject of Smith's supposed agreement, was not binding upon him because he had not signed it. "The Covenant is something *I* signed if I agree with it and overcomes that. " There are different senses of the word "agree". You and I may agree that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Upon this matter then we may be said to be in agreement. We may even sign declarations that we recognize that the Earth revolves around the Sun. But none of this would constitute an agreement in the sense of a covenant or a contract, none of it would impose the slightest obligation upon either of us. A proper contract or covenant produces new obligations that have been agreed upon. So when you style the NAP as a covenant it strongly implies that principles therein are the product of agreement. But they are not the product of agreement, so this is a terrible idea.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    If an evil person starts a forest fire, the sensible thing for a man of reason is to recognize the law of nature and protect himself from the consequences of that action (i.e. protect himself from the fire). The world is on fire.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    Natural law has consequences. It will either be paid by the perpetrator or his victims. Regarding Mao and Stalin etc as being exempt from natural laws. Not so. Even if Stalin personally escaped some of the consequences they were never the less transferred to others. His victims were not necessarily innocent. Man is part of nature. He is subject to natural law. Anything man does is part of nature. Including things contrary to his nature. An animal cannot do anything against his own nature without suffering the consequences which is usually pain or death.. A man who does something against his nature will suffer consequences. ( a rabid dog can only infect those who he comes into contact with) Man being a higher level animal the consequences of what he does may affect other animals. (Man can infect inflict consequences on people who do not even know of his existence.) Illustration of this is. Man is capable of creating and exploding small bomb, medium sized bomb and atomic bomb. Consequences of each, effect people within the radius of the bomb explosion. Same is true with Govt. As a rabid dog will effect many victims before his death so it is with an evil human being, effect more than just himself. The person who does not kill a rabid dog allows evil by inaction to multiply. Man is capable of more evil than one man can pay the price. The consequences of that evil are inescapable in that they are propagated and spread out to those who sanction victim hood... People who allow mad dogs or tyrants to exist become victims themselves of their own refusal to deal with reality in a sensible and rational manner. If you allow a tyrant to exist then by natural law you will suffer the consequences of such. Some of us are protecting ourselves as best as we can.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    John: You [AtlasAikido] 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 [AtlasAikido] never said there was a perfect system nor a utopia..." If the consequences may not be immediately visible on the aggressor they certainly are on the victims. Again: 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!!* Again: 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 charge.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Put the ball back in his court. *Ask him--as an individual--what he would do*. " without roping me into his solution as an involuntary slave." 99% will respond that they are perfectly comfortable doing what you characterize as roping you into their solution as an involuntary slave. They'll say they're not making you an involuntary slave because you're free to leave. "Natural law never went away those who ignore it will (are) continuing to experience the consequence as witnessed the slow motion collapse of all the western financial systems." Yes, but unfortunately those who do *not* ignore it *also* continue to experience the very same consequences. Recognizing Natural Law and acting in accordance with it does not profit the individual in this respect. Since it does not profit the individual in this respect the consequences you cite offer negligible incentive for those who are biased against Natural Law to overcome their bias.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Put the ball back in his court. *Ask him--as an individual--what he would do*. " without roping me into his solution as an involuntary slave. John asked the question of Suverans2. "I'm very comfortable with natural law, as were the American Founders but how do you propose to bring it back in fashion?" Natural law never went away those who ignore it will (are) continuing to experience the consequence as witnessed the slow motion collapse of all the western financial systems.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    What negative moral responsibilities does John refer to? Spooner is dead. What specific things did he write that are contrary to the Covenant? I can't speak for Spooner only quote what he has written. Spooner objected to the Constitution because he did not sign it. His objection was anything he did not sign he had no obligation to. The Covenant is something *I* signed if I agree with it and overcomes that. When I signed it no one viewed it the way John portrays nor anyone I know. Spooner himself objected to something he not sign. And signatories do not necessarily expect others to be bound by something they did not sign.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    "Whether rights are violated or not does not matter in our view of what must be." I am baffled by this statement that stands completely unsupported in this article. Any action which doesn't violate rights is morally permissible. Any action which violates rights is not morally permissible. That certainly matters in my view of what ought to be. I've read Nozick's argument for a voluntary government and find that it simply fails and all such arguments fail in principle.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 9 weeks ago Page tzo
    "In addition: In a revolution of the individual, “we” questions should not be answered. " I hear you. "Put the ball back in their court. *Ask them what they would do*. " Odd, that sounds like a prescription for what *we* should do. "Human interaction is purely voluntary." It ought to be. If you're really saying it already is then I guess you think we already have a voluntary society. "I know there is one crucial step that has to be taken before humans are physically free, and that step is to be mentally free. If it will be their decision in a voluntary society, it must be their decision now." Yet sadly 99%+ have chosen otherwise. So now what?