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  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago
    Never Volunteer
    Page Paul Hein
    I do not consent to government. As a sovereign my word is the rebuttal. What is it precisely you would have me do? And can you clarify what you mean by member-only benefits? Could mean a lot of things.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    I think even committed statists would do well to evict the state from their marriages. What do you have in mind with individual secession?
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Have a good Thanksgiving yourself Suverans2. By the way, I have no problem with Micha, he's a good guy and we've had many enjoyable debates. Neither my wife or I are the least bit troubled by those who think we're not married. The don't really have a say in the matter.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day AtlasAikido, Thank you for the quote, and contrary to what I am about to write, I do like it and have saved it. The first portion of the first sentence shows us how little the author understands what natural law, or law of nature, as opposed to the laws of nature, are, a confusion of terms all too common. 3. Law of nature, is a rule of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings...existing prior to any positive precept. Thus it is a law of nature, that one man should not injure another, and murder and fraud would be crimes, independent of any prohibition from a supreme power. 6. Physical laws, or laws of nature. The invariable tendency or determination of any species of matter to a particular form with definite properties, and the determination of a body to certain motions, changes, and relations, which uniformly take place in the same circumstances, is called a physical law. Earlier I wrote, and it bears repeating, IMO: One the saddest things I see is that some people who argue against the "Natural Law" apparently don't have a true understanding of what the Natural Law of Man is. "The natural law is defined by Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, "honorary 'professor of ethics and the law of nature' at the University of Geneva", to be “a rule which so necessarily agrees with the nature and state of man that, without observing its maxims, the peace and happiness of society can never be preserved.” And he says “that these are called “natural laws” because a knowledge of them may be attained merely by the light of reason, from the fact of their essential agreeableness with the constitution of human nature..." ~ A Dictionary of the Law (Black's 1st c. 1891), page 694 So, as you can readily see, to say, "Natural law does apply to human relationships", is a silly statement, it shows us that the author really doesn't understand what the "natural law of the human world" is. I should have also said, in my original posting of the above, "and even some proponents of the Natural Law apparently don't have a true understanding of what the Natural Law of Man is."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago
    Never Volunteer
    Page Paul Hein
    “We the People” are not who we think they are. “The popular leaders, who in all ages have called themselves “the people.” ~ Blackstone's Commentaries 438/Ballentines Dictionary "...if that were true Reid would be right because in consenting to government you'd be consenting to those taxes - making them voluntary." So, if you are not "consenting to government", why not formally rebut the presumption that you are, why not secede, i.e. formally withdraw from membership in the group (body politic/political corporation), and quit taking all member-only benefits?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    In the article you posted the link for, we read, "The Sovereign Individual argues instead, that one must simply evict the state from one’s own marriage." The only way this can really be done is to "evict" ourselves from membership in the state - individual secession, (not expatriation). Anything less is just a "placebo", that makes us feel better, but does nothing to really cure what's wrong.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Happy Thanksgiving, John. A big thumbs up to everything you wrote here. And, if you don't already have them, here are a few Maxims of Law you can lay on the Micha Ghertner's of the world, not that you need them, but because common sense doesn't suffice for them. Matrimonia debent esse libera. Marriages ought to be free. Consensus non concubitus facit nuptiam. Consent, not lying together, constitutes marriage. Conjunctio mariti et faeminae est de jure naturae. The union of a man and a woman is of the law of nature. The union of PERSONS, who are cattle, i.e. chattel property, on the other hand, is quite another matter.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    "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 What he said, what I've been saying; people confuse the law of nature, i.e. the "natural law of the human world" with the laws of nature, i.e. physics, quite commonly, and, I suppose, quite understandably. "There is nothing mysterious about the natural law of the human world. To repeat, it is the order of natural persons -- human beings that are capable of rational, purposive action, speech and thought." ~ Natural Law by Frank van Dun, Ph.D., Dr.Jur. - Senior lecturer Philosophy of Law.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    Delete double post.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    "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 Absolutely, positively, correct!!
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Per, "In fact, this is what my wife and I planned to do from the very beginning. We were not to get married. As anti-statists and atheists, why would we ask for permission? " Did it occur to you to get married without permission? I often see this surprising view from AnCaps, that marriage is defined by state permission. When I tell anarchists that I did not ask the state permission to marry my wife and therefore do not have any of their pieces of paper certifying our marriage, the most common response is: You're not really married. Really? It's like the government said you need permission to take a piss, but I tell an anarchist I just took a piss without permission and he responds: You really didn't piss. It's a silly view. Marriage existed in America long before government declared a legal monopoly on it. Government doesn't produce marriages, it just perverts them. You certainly *can* marry without state permission. Our service was modeled after the wedding of Lazarus and Dora Long: --- Lazarus: I take thee, Dora, to be my wife, to love and protect and cherish—and never to leave you… so long as we both shall live. Don’t sniffle! Lean over here and kiss me instead. We’re married. Dora: I was not either sniffling! Are we really married?” Lazarus: We are. Oh, you can have any wedding ceremony you want. Later. --- See? No state required. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. I'm not saying at all that an anarchist can't go through with the paperwork if that proves useful, but that has nothing to do with being married. To identify marriage with state permission should be scandalous among anarchists. I wrote a lot more on the same subject: http://web.archive.org/web/20071117144856/http://www.no-treason.com/arch... Ha! I just noticed that Micha Ghertner posted in this thread. Micha is an anarchist who told me I wasn't really married.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    "How can you presume to know the subject of someone's mind--a dead man's no less--without citing something specific that they have written on that subject?" " I did quote Spooner at length demonstrating he would think this supposed covenant was idle wind because it adds nothing to anyone's moral obligations. "I have explained how that transfer of consequences occurs and how one man can commit more evil than he can possibly be made to repay. And I have explained the solution. " That's not what you said in the staement I originally disputed and it's certainly not what the Tannehills said in the passage you quoted. "If you are in outrage that "Justice"--a man made concept is indeed not a natural law and that it was unclear or misleading. Get to the point. That's your argument? Got it! I am not going to throw the Tannehill's seminal work out the window because of that one mis-cue." Who asked you to throw away anything? It would be nice, for you I think, if you could admit when you've said something mistaken and someone's called you on it. Really, it feels good to fold a losing hand once you get the hang of it. But it's no skin off my nose.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    First things first: "How can you presume to say somebody--Spooner a dead man--would not sign something that he has not read (the Covenant of Unanimous Consent)? How can you presume to know the subject of someone's mind--a dead man's no less--without citing something specific that they have written on that subject?" Answer the question that was already posed to you regarding your claims. You skipped right over that! Secondly: Regarding that an individual must suffer inescapable consequences. Now what was the context and circumstances of that statement? There were several qualifiers that I provided. The paras are about natural consequences. I have explained how that transfer of consequences occurs and how one man can commit more evil than he can possibly be made to repay. And I have explained the solution. If you are in outrage that "Justice"--a man made concept is indeed not a natural law and that it was unclear or misleading. Get to the point. That's your argument? Got it! I am not going to throw the Tannehill's seminal work out the window because of that one mis-cue. It is the only one you have and it is NO longer something hidden *AND it does not pertain to what they wrote*. Apparently you are not sure what it is yourself. I have provided it for you. I am interested in freedom and liberty and not repeating the mistakes of the past. Perhaps you should look to that.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago
    Never Volunteer
    Page Paul Hein
    "And we know from the Preamble of that document that “We, the people . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution.” So it’s “We the people” who delegate the power." You shouldn't believe everything you read. The first three words of the Constitution are a lie, the document wasn't authored or signed by the people. You know very well you didn't sign it. It's true that Reid is being more consistent than most of his detractors on this. While they scoff at the idea that taxes are voluntary most of them still say that this government exercises just powers derived from consent. But if that were true Reid would be right because in consenting to government you'd be consenting to those taxes - making them voluntary. What the scoffing shows is that most people know in their gut that consent is absent, but thinking about that carefully would make them realize their government is not morally legitimate.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago Page tzo
    "No matter how cleverly a man schemes, he will suffer if he insists on acting in a manner which contradicts the nature of human existence. The consequences may not be immediate or readily apparent but they are inescapable." There you go - you claim an agressing individual must suffer inescapable consequences. Let's look at Bill Clinton. Forget the sex scandal. As every President does, Clinton violated rights daily, acting "in a manner which contradicts the nature of human existence", as the Tannehills would have it. Will he be hounded to his grave for these crimes? Will he be impoverished? Do you suppose he feels guilty about governing? Do you think he gets less women on the side because of his crimes? Is he less poplular at parties? Please explain how Clinton's crimes will lead to his inescapable suffering.
  • John T. Kennedy's picture
    John T. Kennedy 3 years 18 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    It's not immoral to call such an agency a government, it misunderstands the essential character of government. You can call a jelly donut a government if you like, but then the assertion "all governments are filled with jelly" won't advance a political discussion much. You could call McDonalds a government, they even have elections like a government along with a charter and bylaws. Is McDonalds a government? You pointed out that we may already legally hire bodyguards and contract for services through a private protection/security company whose function is to protect it's clients natural rights and nothing more. That seems to fit your description of a moral government just fine, so why don't you recognize such a private security firm as a government? Who is the firm governing? If you think about it I think you'll realize you already know there is a difference between such a firm and a government, even if you don't quite recognize what the difference is yet.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 18 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. But this is the *full para that pertains*. Here is the quote from "The Market For Liberty Chapter 12 Legislation and Objective Law" P118: "Natural law does apply to human relationships, and it is just as objective, universal, and inescapable in this area as in any other. The proof of this is that actions have consequences....in the area of human interaction as surely as in the area of human medicine. A man who swallows poison will become ill even if he has complete confidence the poison is nothing more than vitamins pills. A man who aggresses against others will be distrusted, avoided, and probably made to repay his victims (if some government forces do not interfere). A man who cheats his customers will be driven out of business by his more reputable competitors. The consequences of breaking the natural law cannot be avoided. No matter how cleverly a man schemes, he will suffer if he insists on acting in a manner which contradicts the nature of human existence. The consequences may not be immediate or readily apparent but they are inescapable."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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 18 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).