Non-aggression Principle (and other dogmas)

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PsYcHo
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Re: Non-aggression Principle (and other dogmas)

Post by PsYcHo » Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am

Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:07 pm
Thanks for the reply.
PsYcHo wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:46 pm
Now if someone say, stole your television, and you see them running down the street with it, that is a different story, and one which many Libertarians debate themselves.
This was where my concern lay with my question. If the thief were to violate my private property, does this completely void NAP? Even if his intent were clearly to steal my TV or wallet, could I kill him?
How would you clearly determine this persons intent?

You have the absolute right to ask the masked intruder who forcefully broke into your home what their intention is. It's your home, do as you wish.

But I will say, if a masked intruder breaks into my home, I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are just a poor misguided person who just needs a hug and only wants to steal my tv to feed their starving children. I'm going to assume they are violent because they are wearing a mask, and forced themselves into my home, and I will shoot them many times with a large caliber weapon.

The NAP is about NOT USING VIOLENCE. Wearing a mask and breaking into someone's home is pretty fucking violent if you ask me.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:07 pm
Additionally, I don’t see at the violation of property as “inherently wrong” since society is literally predicated on taxation. Taxation allows for our government to enforce the law and build public facilities and programs that benefit greater society. Why condemn this act as inherently wrong when it leads to a functional society?
PsYcHo pinches nose and sighs...

There is a valid discussion to be had about property rights that is a matter of contention among Libertarians, but we'll set that aside for now. ;)

Taxation, however, is a simpler matter.

It is theft from an individual. Many people try to rationalize it because so many worthy causes are funded with tax money, but to put it in it's simplest terms--

To get tax money, you force people to pay. This is different from requiring money to say, travel on a private road, or enter a certain area. If someone doesn't pay their taxes, they can be put in a cage by men with guns. There is a chance that they will be murdered by violent persons in this cage, but that's o.k. :ugeek: Society couldn't function without forcing people upon threat of death to give tribute to those in power with the most guns, right?
Alcohol may have been a factor.

Taxation is theft.

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Post by Lay Vegan » Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:55 am

PsYcHo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am
How would you clearly determine this persons intent?
The intruder could vocalize his intention, or it can assumed if he’s collecting valuables.
PsYcHo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am
You have the absolute right to ask the masked intruder who forcefully broke into your home what their intention is. It's your home, do as you wish.
This doesn't answer my question. If his motives are unclear, then it would be reasonable to assume the worst (he’s there to murder you).
PsYcHo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am
But I will say, if a masked intruder breaks into my home, I'm not going to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are just a poor misguided person who just needs a hug and only wants to steal my tv to feed their starving children. I'm going to assume they are violent because they are wearing a mask, and forced themselves into my home, and I will shoot them many times with a large caliber weapon.
I would probably react similarly. Rather, I would attempt to completely incapacitate him to protect myself. Taking a blunt object to his skull to knock him out clean, using potent pepper spray on him, or shooting him in his feet and hands. But again, this doesn’t answer my question.
Lay Vegan wrote:This was where my concern lay with my question. If the thief were to violate my private property, does this completely void NAP? Even if his intent were clearly to steal my TV or wallet, could I kill him?
Here’s another way to ask this question; does invasion of private property justify murder? If a hooded person breaks into my store and begins swiping food products off of the shelves, can I shoot and kill him? Let’s say he sees me, then turns and runs toward the direction of the door; can I still shoot and kill him?

NAP doesn’t seem to stop at violence, it also condemns any act of forcible interference, that includes taxation and violation of property rights. If you want to single out physical violence, that’s fine, but it wouldn’t be useful to consider the others acts of “aggression.” Otherwise, any act of forcible interference would completely void NAP and justify murder. :shock:
PsYcHo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am
There is a valid discussion to be had about property rights that is a matter of contention among Libertarians, but we'll set that aside for now. ;)
Well I think that discussion would be best had here, since that’s one of my biggest criticisms of libertarianism and NAP. And given that you're the only outspoken libertarian on the forum, this may be the only chance for someone to address mkm's point.
PsYcHo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am
It is theft from an individual. Many people try to rationalize it because so many worthy causes are funded with tax money, but to put it in it's simplest terms--

To get tax money, you force people to pay. This is different from requiring money to say, travel on a private road, or enter a certain area. If someone doesn't pay their taxes, they can be put in a cage by men with guns. There is a chance that they will be murdered by violent persons in this cage, but that's o.k. :ugeek: Society couldn't function without forcing people upon threat of death to give tribute to those in power with the most guns, right?

More importantly, it is justified theft.

As sarcastic as your are being in the second part, you are totally correct. Not only is society predicated on taxation (it is necessary to fund the most basic social services) it also seems to bring about largely good consequences. There are certainly cases where excessive taxation fails to deliver optimal economic outcomes, as in the case with communism or even socialism, but there’s no doubt that taxation pays for vital and essential common goods (law enforcement, the court system, the fire department, public roads/transportation etc.), that keep society prosperous. Both economists and historians doubt that the private model is practical for larger-scale government management. Taxation is not only an efficient means to pay for the things that benefit all of us, it can also be useful tool to regulate corporations who may engage in practices that infringe on our well-being/rights. This would be the benefit of levying carbon or methane taxes. And why all high-income societies implement some form of taxation. Libertarians’ failure to grasp this is precisely why I don’t see this ideology as rational.

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Post by PsYcHo » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:14 pm

Lay Vegan wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:55 am
More importantly, it is justified theft.
I am only available to debate for a short while (for reasons), but please bring up the other points again and I will address them as time allows.

This is the simplest reason for Libertarians existing.

You clearly agree with me that - Taxation is theft.

However, you attempt to justify this obvious theft by citing examples of good uses of the theft money.

From my perspective, it seems you are willing to justify an immoral action because it has benefits to society. Thus the problem we have.

You seem to be willing to justify an obvious injustice against an individual for the "greater good".

I am unwilling to perpetrate an injustice against an individual; because it is immoral.

To advocate forcing people, at the threat of death (fail to pay taxes, eventually men with guns will force you into the cage, etc..) to pay taxes doesn't make you a good person, despite how many "good" things come from your forcible theft.

It's really easy to suggest that "it's okay to steal from people because it does good for others", but it is a bit harder to actually reach into your own pocket and donate the money for the causes you wish to help.

If your ideology involves using force against non-violent people for any reason, you are not a good person, despite how many ways you try to justify it.

edit- because type doesn't convey tone very well, I just want to clarify that this is meant in a civil debate way, though it may come off as a bit harsh.
Alcohol may have been a factor.

Taxation is theft.

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Post by PsYcHo » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:37 pm

Lay Vegan wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:55 am
PsYcHo wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:17 am
There is a valid discussion to be had about property rights that is a matter of contention among Libertarians, but we'll set that aside for now. ;)
Well I think that discussion would be best had here, since that’s one of my biggest criticisms of libertarianism and NAP. And given that you're the only outspoken libertarian on the forum, this may be the only chance for someone to address mkm's point.
I think I addressed the matter of taxation as best I could, but this (above) is a matter that is not as agreed upon in Libertarian circles.

To use your example of walking in on someone stealing your belongings, then running for the door- Would you be in the right to kill them? (According to the NAP)

I would have to say yes....but...

The intruder clearly violated the NAP by breaking into your house and stealing your belongings. In our society now, we give police authority to track this person down, and use armed force to bring him to a court, and will punish him by throwing him in a cage. If this criminal who ran from you, in an attempt to escape capture, used force against the police, they would be able to kill him. (Or in some instances, even if he complied they might kill him; another discussion to be had ;) )

He was the original aggressor, and he violated your personal space with ill intent. But now I explain the"but......" of my previous statement .

You would be in your rights to kill the intruder, but you don't have to. And for me, if he (or she) is fleeing from me, I don't think that it would be moral to kill them.

The NAP gives you freedom to choose.

In our current system, a crime such as selling loose cigarettes (no victim) could get you "justifiably" killed, so my preferred system isn't perfect, but I believe it has a hell of a lot more actual freedom than the one so many people celebrate today.
Alcohol may have been a factor.

Taxation is theft.

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Post by PsYcHo » Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm

Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:07 pm


Also, @mkm brought up an interesting point here;
mkm wrote:I think you can disprove hard propertarianism in libertarian framework, if we assume that for example the rule self-ownership is a part of it. If Bob and Alice use their resources and parts of their bodies to make a baby, then it should be their baby, but on the other hand the baby own itself, and the ownership is exclusive by definition.
So I think it basically even must be pragmatic, as you say.
Sorry if I'm throwing too much at you. :D You seem to be the token libertarian on the forum. :lol:
This is an interesting point, and as I am not the "spokesperson" of Libertarians (By definition, we are loosely grouped :D ), I can only offer my own opinion on it.

From my perspective, and only by MORAL reasons, (not Legal ones),-

Yes, two people created a baby from their own selves.

However, one of the most basic premises of Libertariansim is INDIVIDUAL rights.

Once that fetus became capable of sentience, ( a debated subject among groups, but for this purpose I'll suggest just past three months from conception), that fetus becomes an individual capable of feeling pain, and by the NAP protected from harm.

For me personally, I don't believe it is moral to abort a fetus over three months. HOWEVER.....-

I don't have a uterus.

I'd like to hear from those who do on this point.

But I am for a small enough government to fit all the names of those involved on a postage stamp. So to have a government agency to police people who would abort an almost half developed human wouldn't be feasible for my "ideal" government.

Many Libertarians are philosophically "Pro-Life", but legally "Pro-Choice".

confusing yes, but less so than our current government, IMO :lol:
Alcohol may have been a factor.

Taxation is theft.

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Post by Lay Vegan » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:21 am

PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
edit- because type doesn't convey tone very well, I just want to clarify that this is meant in a civil debate way, though it may come off as a bit harsh.
Let’s clear this up immediately; I’m a pragmatist, not an ideologue. I care about real-world consequences, not strict ideolgical appeals.

As a hard-core utilitarian who’s admitted that grossly violating the rights of 1 person to save 100 people would be a justifiable action, I’ve been frequently accused of being “psychotic” and "evil" (it's almost always meaningless conjecture). Don't worry about hurting my feelings. :D

If you haven’t noticed by the ongoing debate between mkm and me in this very thread, I’m a moral consequentialist. No, I don’t subscribe to the idea that moral actions like theft are good or bad in themselves. While some actions typically lead to harm, it isn't useful to reject them when they can bring about greater overall pleasure. And it is this distinction that renders NAP incompatable with my ethics. To me, NAP is no different from intersectionality, deontology or religion; it’s just another dogma that creates and enforces rules arbitrarily (although oftentimes with good intentions). Hence, the title of this thread.
PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
However, you attempt to justify this obvious theft by citing examples of good uses of the theft money.
You clearly didn’t read the remainder of my post;
Lay Vegan wrote:There are certainly cases where excessive taxation fails to deliver optimal economic outcomes, as in the case with communism or even socialism, but there’s no doubt that taxation pays for vital and essential common goods (law enforcement, the court system, the fire department, public roads/transportation etc.), that keep society prosperous. Both economists and historians doubt that the private model is practical for larger-scale government management. Taxation is not only an efficient means to pay for the things that benefit all of us, it can also be useful tool to regulate corporations who may engage in practices that infringe on our well-being/rights. This would be the benefit of levying carbon or methane taxes.
No larger prosperous society has been able to function without some form of compulsory taxation. This isn’t to say that smaller communal groups can’t care for each other, but that larger communities require taxation to help the government common goods (public roads, law enforcement). I’m sure this where the ideologues come and in and assert that private organizations can fund these programs just as efficiently as the government (despite the fact that no impactful society has been able to function like this) but this system often proves to be inferior, resulting in numerous free riders who choose not to (or are incapable) of paying their fair share for their service, leading to diminished supply and eventually market failure. Common goods like public libraries, law enforcement, court systems, clean water infrastructure etc. are not exempt.

Here I briefly explained why private roads (while sometimes useful) are usually just lawsuits waiting to happen, due to the nature of the free-rider problem, and inability to equally distribute the cost of maintenance and upkeep. Scale this up to the national level and you’ve got a pretty dyfunctional society.

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3984&start=20

PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
From my perspective, it seems you are willing to justify an immoral action because it has benefits to society. Thus the problem we have.
:lol: :lol: Did you miss this statement?
Lay Vegan wrote: I would like to clarify that it is NAP's incompatibility with consequentialist ethics, concerned with harm and well-being, that makes it so difficult for me to subscribe to such a principle.


I’m justifying taxation "theft" because it leads to comparatively better society than a tax-less society than cannot provide public education, clean water, public transpiration, and court systems.
PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
You seem to be willing to justify an obvious injustice against an individual for the "greater good".
Okay so you ARE reading my posts :) :)

Are you familiar with ethical theories? You’re somewhere close to the mark, but there’s much better way to understand consequencialist ethics. We hold that normative properties rely on the consequences of actions, not actions in themselves. ie,morality is all about producing the right kinds of overall consequences. I’m an ends-justify-the-means kind of guy. Although compulsory taxation may be theft (and may not be considered ideal for many individuals), it is shown empirically to be the most efficient means for the management of larger economic societies. Taxation facilities a cohesive society, and provides us with services that benefit all of us. Yes, the overall economic and social consequences of a functioning society justify the theft of individual citizens to pay for public services that benefit everyone.

Consequentialism: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cons ... 4348059e23
PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
I think I addressed the matter of taxation as best I could, but this (above) is a matter that is not as agreed upon in Libertarian circles.
Then the inclusion of property violation within NAP is useless.
PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
To use your example of walking in on someone stealing your belongings, then running for the door- Would you be in the right to kill them? (According to the NAP)

I would have to say yes....but...

You would be in your rights to kill the intruder, but you don't have to. And for me, if he (or she) is fleeing from me, I don't think that it would be moral to kill them.
Then your personal opinion contradicts NAP. Remember, ANY forcible act of interference completely voids it, making ANY retaliation (through any means) ethically justifiable.

However, could you elaborate on why you don’t think theft necessarily justifies murder?
PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
Once that fetus became capable of sentience, ( a debated subject among groups, but for this purpose I'll suggest just past three months from conception), that fetus becomes an individual capable of feeling pain, and by the NAP protected from harm.
This is a completely rational viewpoint (and I agree) :) But I’d argue that abortion violates NAP. Unless you’re willing to bite the bullet and deny the notion of self-ownership, your framework crumbles pretty fast on this point. If fetuses (or late-term babies) possess self-ownership, then killing it, which goes against its biological interests, would certainly be an act of aggression and a violation NAP. However, *banning* abortion could also be deemed an act aggression over the mother's sense of autonomy, and also a violation of NAP.

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Post by mkm » Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:32 am

@Lay Vegan
Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:26 pm
You don’t need to consider the situation to decide not to lie. There is only one way not lot lie, that is, by not doing it. And again, you’re not supposed to consider the situational context, since moral laws are to be obeyed in ALL situations and across ALL contexts. If not, then Kant would probably assert that it would result in a “contradiction.”

This article has a pretty in-depth break down of the Categorical Imperative, and goes over universalizable maxims.

http://alexanderpruss.com/1308/Kant1.html
Ok one could always stay silent and that way dodge the risk of telling a lie. In all other cases one has to digest the question, consider what is it about and give truthful answer. And answers to some questions are contextual by "nature". Probably the only legit maxims would be these prescribing automated responses like "always say yes".

Let's say that people come in two colors: bla... erm, blue and green. Is a rule of treating blues one way, and greens in the other, but consistently, a proper maxim?
Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:26 pm
Because it maximizes well-being.
Which is not defined well enough to compare one's well being with someone else's. Why do you think it's just a game of numbers?
Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:26 pm
Ideally, no I wouldn’t want to have to be sacrificed, but I couldn’t deny that 19 people experiencing well-being would result in a better world than only 1 person experiencing well-being.

This is only a hypothetical. I’m using this scenario to explain why your proposed maxim isn’t compatible within Kantian ethics.
I have a lot of "what ifs" as you can imagine ;) I see that deontology has holes, but fail to see that consequentialism is the answer, and your example could be as well the argument against it.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:26 pm
:lol: :lol: I mention Kant because he’s the one of the only deontologists I’ve formally studied (I don’t have a super extensive background in philosophy). He’s a pretty central figure in academia, and probably the biggest influencer of deontological moral theory.
I get it, but I guess we can explore the topic beyond Kant, can't we?

@PsYcHo
PsYcHo wrote:
Fri Jul 06, 2018 11:04 pm
This is an interesting point, and as I am not the "spokesperson" of Libertarians (By definition, we are loosely grouped :D ), I can only offer my own opinion on it.

From my perspective, and only by MORAL reasons, (not Legal ones),-

Yes, two people created a baby from their own selves.

However, one of the most basic premises of Libertariansim is INDIVIDUAL rights.

Once that fetus became capable of sentience, ( a debated subject among groups, but for this purpose I'll suggest just past three months from conception), that fetus becomes an individual capable of feeling pain, and by the NAP protected from harm.
Granting individual rights to baby violates individual rights of its parents. We could say that baby unintentionally stole their resources the moment it became sentient.

And 0.02$ on taxes and theft. Let's say that someone appears in the libertarian world, where all resources are are already in someone possession, in particular every step you make is a violation of someone's property. That someone or organized group of land possessors ask you to leave or pay a tribute, but since there is no place to go without trespassing, you are actually forced to pay. Is it theft? What is the "libertarian" solution in that situation?

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