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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: MAM on August 30, 2013, 11:18:48 PM



Title: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 30, 2013, 11:18:48 PM
I've noticed a propensity for minarchists and even anarchists to claim that rights are inalienable given to us by magic. Even if you want to say that rights are magic and we always have them even if they aren't recognized and/or are violated, what bearing does that have on reality?

Personally I don't think rights are magic, they're useful concepts but they don't exist, and the reality is if you can't defend yourself sufficiently to insure them (as yet we can't) you don't have them.

Lots of people whine about "rights" and police brutality and I wonder if this kind of activism actually accomplishes anything. Thoughts?


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 02:37:13 AM
    Hey, I’m new here. I pretty much just made an account to reply to this. I’m interested in this subject and if a conversation is going to happen, I wanted to add my two cents. Excuse my verbose nature, and I apologize if this isn't well or clearly written. It’s late, I’m exhausted, and I’m sick, so my brain isn't operating at 100% right now.
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    1. You are correct in that rights bear no physical “reality”; they aren't miniature shields or anything of the sort. We speak of rights as objects, and therefore we expect them to present themselves as such in reality. This is a fault of language. It seems the poorly articulated conclusion of most natural rights theorists (or at least my interpretation of them) is that rights are moral claims, and nothing more. However, the claims associated with rights can be derived logically by observing nature and how man interacts with it (and with each other).
    As reasoning beings, our conduct derives from values we determine after gathering data from our surroundings via observation. Rights are nothing more than what can be logically deduced to be the best value code in that it maximizes “prosperity” (loaded term; sorry). I won’t sit here and rehash any of the natural-rights arguments that you can find in anarchist/libertarian books, as I'm sure you've read them, but simply put, a “right” is a term we use to describe a moral code that, if followed, provides individuals with the greatest betterment. The right to property, for example, does not imply that there is some magical force in your property that makes it “yours,” or that prevents theft.  It simply indicates that the only logical, moral conduct by dictate of nature is to respect and honor your property claim, and that to do otherwise is naturally immoral. That's the extent of the meaning of "rights."
    When a person proclaims, “I have rights!” What (s)he is saying is, “I am a reasoning being, and based upon that fact and upon the arguments derived from the nature of man and his surroundings, the action you are committing against me is immoral.” But that’s a bit lengthy, so we’ve injected this concept of fundamental immorality to the word “rights.” You are correct in your analysis that without defense, there is no way to stop violations/aggression. This does not negate the fact that the action is immoral, however, which is why we claim that rights exist even when unprotected. This is also why so many cling to government – they fear that without a guaranteed source of “free” security, they will have NO security and therefore be open to immoral aggression. The implications of your analysis are also correct. Talk of rights (morality) in the face of tyranny will not destroy tyranny. The tyrants are still immoral, so rights are still existent as a strictly moral code, but talk of rights/morality will not stop the wrongdoer, and will be no more life-saving than shouting “I can fly!” before jumping off a cliff.
    However, widespread recognition of the morality derived from nature could lead to statelessness. Just because the concept of rights doesn’t inherently defend you from immediate harm, it can indirectly do so through education, and is therefore terribly valuable in discussion with others.

    2. “The reality is if you can't defend yourself sufficiently to insure them… you don't have them.” Because rights are not physical, they cannot be had or possessed, so in a way, you are absolutely correct. All this talk of giving or taking rights is unhelpful; rights are not objects or magic fairy dust. Right is a fancy word for “moral code.” No one has rights. You don’t own a moral code, or give it as a Christmas gift. Regardless of whether I can defend myself, if a man sexually assaults me, he has committed an immoral act. That is ALL I mean when I speak of rights – that an immoral “line,” a line based on the observation of nature and the application of logic to those observations, has been crossed. There is nothing magical about that notion.

    3. “Lots of people whine about "rights" and police brutality and I wonder if this kind of activism actually accomplishes anything. Thoughts?” The fact that the hatred of police brutality is so widespread is probably a good thing (though "whining" rarely helps anyone). So much of the state’s violence is not recognized as violence by the public, which is why police brutality is unique: people can see it for precisely what it is – an overreach of authority. Awareness of the obvious aggression of the state can only help our cause, so I don't mind the attention it gets, if that's what you're asking.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 02:42:22 AM
I suppose I could have shortened that greatly by simply saying I both agree and disagree.

I disagree in asserting that rights DO exist, because rights are just moral claims, and moral claims exist. But I agree strongly that, ultimately, that doesn't amount to anything beyond a claim (meaning shouting about it is sort of a moot point) unless you are capable of defending it.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: albert h n on August 31, 2013, 08:02:34 AM
I like arguing economics because it is more of a science and there are ways to judge accuracy. It is supposed to be value free and not to require ethical judgments.

Philosophy is not like that. There is no Supreme encyclopedia in the sky that lists the right philosophy or the wrong philosophy and there is no celestial supreme court of philosophers. Therefore philosophical arguments can go on forever and every argument in a sense can be the right argument.
So when it comes to "natural rights" that is how the conversations will go.

But "natural law" is the concept that reasonable beings can use their reason and come to some conclusions that certain things are just plain true for everybody based on what we know now.

So, long ago it was believed that the King or Pharaoh was a god and above the law and all citizens were his property.
Since then man's reason has evolved to recognize that no man can be another man's property and that what's his is his. (long arguments continue about property)
But pretty much everybody having done a little research would agree from the day you are born, your neighbor or your president does not have the right to come confiscate your fingers or your organs.
(and it does not matter if that baby agrees or understands it.)
Such ethical judgements, you are correct, fall in the field of morality- but the utterly accepted ones, the universal ones can be called rights (just a vocabulary term)
Some are inalienable because NO current or future state has the right to take them away.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: KaFunf on August 31, 2013, 09:21:15 AM
"their is no Supreme encyclopedia in the sky" I like that.

I look at it from the point of view that life is "sacred".
I am alive and my being is independent from everything else and I own that. I also own whatever I create from that provided I don't fuck with anybody else's persuit of their happiness. I like to think that life is the inalienable cohesion that connects everybody equally to everybody else. All of mankind is different with various strengths and weakness determined by our genetics. So some may reach their goals faster then others because they have been born with greater potential to do so. Is inalienable rights some magical thing impressed upon our consciousness by birth? Rationally no. Are inalienable rights given when we write them down and bestow them as some kind of privilege? I don't like that either.  We can get a piece of paper to give us title to property but we don't need one for ourselves.

I imagine my views can be blown up a number of different ways but that OK as the topic is something I'm still banging round my head so is oPen to modification.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 01:23:30 PM
"But "natural law" is the concept that reasonable beings can use their reason and come to some conclusions that certain things are just plain true for everybody based on what we know now... Such ethical judgements, you are correct, fall in the field of morality- but the utterly accepted ones, the universal ones can be called rights (just a vocabulary term)"

I like how you said this. It is a much clearer manner of articulating what I was trying to say. I feel like a lot of people get confused because they expect rights to be "something," but they aren't; they are just naturally-deduced moral judgments.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 01:27:41 PM
"But "natural law" is the concept that reasonable beings can use their reason and come to some conclusions that certain things are just plain true for everybody based on what we know now... Such ethical judgements, you are correct, fall in the field of morality- but the utterly accepted ones, the universal ones can be called rights (just a vocabulary term)"

I like how you said this. It is a much clearer manner of articulating what I was trying to say. I feel like a lot of people get confused because they expect rights to be "something," but they aren't; they are just naturally-deduced moral judgments.

There are no universally agreed upon "rights"... I think the case can be made that the idea of negative rights are based on private property (meaning without property the other rights don't exist) yet property is a contested issue.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 01:41:11 PM
"There are no universally agreed upon "rights"... I think the case can be made that the idea of negative rights are based on private property (meaning without property the other rights don't exist) yet property is a contested issue."

No, there is no necessarily agreed-upon definition of morality. But to say that because not everyone agrees on the best code one doesn't exist is akin to saying that just because a group of students all give different answers on a test, there is no best answer. The idea is that whether you agree with it or not, there is a certain manner of conduct that is best for our species, and we call this code of conduct "rights," and that code is derived from observing the natural world.

"Property" is no more a contested issue than any OTHER issue concerning morality, once you get outside anarchist thought. That again does not negate what natural rights theorists are trying to claim - that the best system is to respect negative rights associated with the definition of private property that makes the most logical sense after observing nature.

Whether it is universally agreed upon is irrelevant to whether it is universally applicable for our species.



Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 01:57:05 PM
If people are individuals which they are there is no such thing as a universally applicable code of mores. For example there is strong evidence to suggest that prehistoric man was polyamorous yet most people have the idea that monogamy is the way to go.

Prehistoric hunter gatherers the world over were egalitarian anti proprietarians. Hunter gatherer tribes today are the same way.

I agree that a thing doesn't need to be agreed upon to be true. But morality isn't an objective thing. It's a common thing to see libertarians argue that it is. But it isn't. Things like a^2+b^2=c^2 or the Law of Sines, or Gravity are objective. Unless you're going to be basing your morality on mathematics something I don't think is possible it isn't objective.

If we are to observe the world around us and come to conclusion based upon that; which do we watch the bonobos or the chimpanzees?


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 02:25:32 PM
Woah, you are misunderstanding me here!

If people are individuals which they are there is no such thing as a universally applicable code of mores. For example there is strong evidence to suggest that prehistoric man was polyamorous yet most people have the idea that monogamy is the way to go.

The “universal” moral claims I am talking about DO NOT include “personal preferences” such as monogamy, polygamy, etc. There are indeed cultural aspects to morality that vary, or even vary by individual. This cannot be denied. What I am saying is this: whatever your moral code, there is one underpinning of morality (don't harm or steal) that makes the most sense for the species homo sapiens to follow. The fact that people don’t see it, misunderstand it, or try to add irrelevant things like "monogamy" or "polygamy" to it does nothing to negate its existence. How many people you marry is irrelevant to aggression or natural morality.

Prehistoric hunter gatherers the world over were egalitarian anti proprietarians. Hunter gatherer tribes today are the same way.

Not sure why this is relevant. The “universal” moral I’m talking about is don’t commit acts of aggression. You can be “egalitarian” and “anti-proprietarian” and still understand this.

I agree that a thing doesn't need to be agreed upon to be true. But morality isn't an objective thing. It's a common thing to see libertarians argue that it is. But it isn't. Things like a^2+b^2=c^2 or the Law of Sines, or Gravity are objective. Unless you're going to be basing your morality on mathematics something I don't think is possible it isn't objective. 

Again, you are stuck thinking about morality in confused ways. Maybe you are struggling to separate the “religious” connotations from the word? Morality is just a code of conduct that works best for our species, and it CAN be determined by observation, just as we can determine from observation that the earth is round. The fact that we come to conclusions about it by looking at the nature of man, we can deduce that so long as man acts under that nature, this moral code will always be the best one. The point of natural rights is that, across the spectrum, one set of principles always seems to apply (pertaining to aggression against person and property). Now, more can be tacked onto that. As a result of cultural or religious influences, people can add stuff like, “it is wrong to marry 20 people,” etc., but that has nothing to do with the objective aspects of morality, because stuff like that can't be objectively determined, and therefore has no real place among natural rights.

If we are to observe the world around us and come to conclusion based upon that; which do we watch the bonobos or the chimpanzees? What are you talking about? We observe neither, seeing as we are neither bonobos NOR chimpanzees. We are human beings – a distinct species. We observe other human beings, and how we interact with our environment.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 02:33:10 PM
The crux of our misunderstanding comes down to this: I assert that by looking at human nature in conjunction with the environment, there is a moral code of conduct that will work "best," and should always apply (and that is what I refer to when I use the word rights). I think regardless of who you are or when you were born, murdering an innocent is always morally wrong. You, on the other hand, assert that no such code exists. Because we are operating from different basic assumptions, I fear we are not going to come to a real conclusion concerning this topic.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 02:39:41 PM
But I am interested in asking: my reasons for opposing the state are obviously moral in nature. What are yours? I'd be interested to hear about them.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 03:52:57 PM
But I am interested in asking: my reasons for opposing the state are obviously moral in nature. What are yours? I'd be interested to hear about them.

The pillar of my ethics is the NAP. I oppose the State for a variety of reasons. 1. I don't think that murdering people is a moral act (people disagree obviously) 2. I'm not a fan of inefficiency, and I'm not a fan of being told what to do. 3. Power corrupts so no one should have it legitimately.

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We observe neither, seeing as we are neither bonobos NOR chimpanzees. We are human beings – a distinct species. We observe other human beings, and how we interact with our environment.
So then do we observe Amazonian tribes (some of which have had close to 0 contact with modern man, and I'm sure that there are tribes in existence that we don't know about). Or do we observe Western culture?

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What I am saying is this: whatever your moral code, there is one underpinning of morality (don't harm or steal) that makes the most sense for the species homo sapiens to follow
What exactly do base this assertion on? If you don't have property theft isn't a thing. Violence is inefficient but some people think that killing others is a moral act. I mean there are philosophies dedicated to subjugating people and whilst I find these philosophies abhorrent and hideous these philosophies currently dominate the globe. How can it be claimed that the NAP is the best moral code when clearly adherents to the NAP are few and far between... I'm not saying it isn't the best merely that the claim that it is, is unsubstantiated.

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The crux of our misunderstanding comes down to this: I assert that by looking at human nature in conjunction with the environment, there is a moral code of conduct that will work "best," and should always apply (and that is what I refer to when I use the word rights).
What does "best" mean? It seems like that depends on your goals. We probably have similar goals, but that hardly applies to the rest of humanity.

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I think regardless of who you are or when you were born, murdering an innocent is always morally wrong.
Have you heard of the Vikings? Their culture was based around pillaging people. Your claim here is incorrect.

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Maybe you are struggling to separate the “religious” connotations from the word?
Religious, Randian, it doesn't matter.
 
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Not sure why this is relevant. The “universal” moral I’m talking about is don’t commit acts of aggression. You can be “egalitarian” and “anti-proprietarian” and still understand this.
If people don't agree on property they're going to disagree about what qualifies as aggression. In fact the primary divide between capitalist and socialist anarchists is property. Of course this disagreement can be traced back to the negative vs positive rights debate.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 03:57:52 PM
Chimps and Bonobos are within a couple percent of humanity genetically. There is debate about whether or not they should belong to our genus i.e. Homo or if we should belong to theirs i.e Pan or if it should stay the same.

The point is that they are close to our genetic make up so it's possible that by observing them we can acquire clues to our past.



Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: KaFunf on August 31, 2013, 04:51:53 PM
Personally I don't think rights are magic, they're useful concepts but they don't exist, and the reality is if you can't defend yourself sufficiently to insure them (as yet we can't) you don't have them.

I think it is true that with the existence of the State their is no way to be truly free regardless of what you think your rights are.

I live my life doing what I want which entails working around state laws. I have no problem breaking the law if it betters my life. At the same time their is some risk in that and working outside the system limits things like credit.   

Lots of people whine about "rights" and police brutality and I wonder if this kind of activism actually accomplishes anything. Thoughts?

I think anything that questions the states monopoly of violence is a good thing. People twenty years ago trusted the police. Not so much today. Antonio's Peaceful Street project that films cops and hold them accountable to the public is a good thing.

College degrees bestow "honors, rights and privileges" on those whose education is acquired and accredited through the State. The State claims the power to interpret honor, rights and privileges through our constitution. Eliminating the State returns "honor, rights and privileges' back to the individual and to the community.

My ethics are a combination of Humanism and natural law. I don't think it's possible to have a moral objective "foundation" to build an inalienable rights argument upon since all interpretations will be subjective to the individual. But I like NAP and the idea of inalienable rights and weave those things into my world view.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 08:22:40 PM
Sorry again for the length! I'm just very interested in this topic, so I get carried away.

The pillar of my ethics is the NAP. I oppose the State for a variety of reasons. 1. I don't think that murdering people is a moral act (people disagree obviously)… 3. Power corrupts so no one should have it legitimately.

It seems strange for you to criticize the state on grounds of the moral matters of the NAP/murder if you do not think there is an objective component to morality, because someone else could argue that the morality of the state/statists is simply different from yours. If so, you have to answer what makes your morality superior, and why others should abandon theirs and follow yours. Then we are back into the realm of natural rights philosophies, for if one moral philosophy can be superior to another (and why?), the superior philosophy should rationally be followed, and the inferior abandoned. If one moral philosophy cannot be superior to another, then claiming everyone should arbitrarily drop his or her philosophy in favor of yours is like saying "strawberries are superior to grapes because I say so, so we should get rid of strawberries". Words like “corrupt” and “legitimacy” (when referring to power) are loaded with moral connotations, making them subject to the same issue.

2. I'm not a fan of inefficiency, and I'm not a fan of being told what to do.

Government inefficiency is a valid concern, and of course I agree. And I don't think any of us here like being told what to do by some arbitrary authority  ;)

So then do we observe Amazonian tribes (some of which have had close to 0 contact with modern man, and I'm sure that there are tribes in existence that we don't know about). Or do we observe Western culture?

You observe all cultures. Restricting it to just Amazons or just Westerns would be a bad sampling of humanity, don’t you think? This is what allows us to see the basics of human response in a variety of environments – in essence, seeing a variety of human cultures is what will allow us to better understand and question what it is to be human. All data is equally valuable in this situation, just like lab data. Multiple, competing moral systems must exist, and we must be able to observe them and question them all in order to make more accurate analyses.

What exactly do base this assertion on? If you don't have property theft isn't a thing.

You are correct; when I added theft to that list, it was so I could be clear that theft is included in groups where private property claims are made. In a hunter-gatherer society without property, theft would be meaningless. In such societies, the reason property doesn’t exist (which is actually a bit iffy – most still have concepts of personal possessions, they just don’t have a robust system of private property) is because, being nomadic, private property is more trouble than it's worth.

Violence is inefficient but some people think that killing others is a moral act. I mean there are philosophies dedicated to subjugating people and whilst I find these philosophies abhorrent and hideous these philosophies currently dominate the globe.

I said it before. If every student gives a different answer on a test, it DOES NOT MEAN there is no answer to the question. It just means some of those people didn’t study hard enough. If people in a society still don’t see that violence (or states, or central planning, or legislation against victimless “crimes,” or any other bad idea) is costly and inefficient, just like the children in the example, they are just not studying well enough.

How can it be claimed that the NAP is the best moral code when clearly adherents to the NAP are few and far between... I'm not saying it isn't the best merely that the claim that it is, is unsubstantiated.

It's ironic because this is such a staple argument used against anarchy ("If anarchy is the best system, then why aren't more people anarchists?") You’ve admitted in a past post that you don’t believe popular support for an idea validates or invalidates it, so why are you switching that now? The rarity of the NAP simply means people can be dumb, nothing more, nothing less. The claim that the NAP is unsubstantiated ignores where the NAP came from, and the centuries worth of work by those who have tried to show logically why it works – these people aren’t just saying it willy-nilly because they feel like it. The trouble is that by the time philosophy into the nature of morality and rights took off, the state already existed and was hard at work warping ideas.

Besides, every time I ask a state-supporter if they agree with the NAP they say yes – they just don’t understand that they are violating it by supporting the state. Much of this isn’t a matter of disagreement, but of cognitive disconnect based on fear and indoctrination (for instance, the classic “I get that taxation could be immoral, but who would build the roads/make the laws/provide substandard one-size-fits-all public education?). In fact, most people refer to the state/taxation as a “necessary evil,” meaning that they understand the immorality behind the institution – they just have trouble imagining how anything else could actually work, which is why we need to do a better job talking to people with these sorts of concerns.

What does "best" mean? It seems like that depends on your goals. We probably have similar goals, but that hardly applies to the rest of humanity.

By best I just meant the system that will create the greatest prosperity for the individuals involved. Human beings are ultimately selfish creatures. Everyone’s goal is self-betterment in its various forms. While individual goals will vary (person A may be more interested in emotional well-being than monetary) the NAP is the most logical means of arriving at them, for it creates a path in which you don’t have to deal with the inefficiencies and negative, costly results of extended violence to obtain all of your desires. Of course this all would require a much longer discussion in its own right.

Have you heard of the Vikings? Their culture was based around pillaging people. Your claim here is incorrect.

You really aren’t understanding this. My claim is that the Vikings would be among the many people around the world who were logically incorrect (or irrational) in their moral conclusions. The fact that other cultures and individuals have followed different, and sometimes abhorrent, moral codes is a result of human fallibility, likely as a result of not seriously questioning the philosophy behind morality. One more time: like a student who gave an incorrect answer on a test, this does not mean the test doesn’t have a correct answer. The student (in this case the Vikings, or any other morally abhorrent culture or practice) just gave an irrational answer.
 
If people don't agree on property they're going to disagree about what qualifies as aggression. In fact the primary divide between capitalist and socialist anarchists is property. Of course this disagreement can be traced back to the negative vs positive rights debate.

Absolutely. Of course there will be disagreements about what constitutes aggression, just as there are disagreements about what constitutes moral behavior. One more time (hopefully the last time I have to say this): people come to incorrect conclusions all the time about all sort of things. Philosophical examination of concerns such as property/morality allows us to put moral/property claims to the test and determine which are rational and which are not, and which are beneficial and which are not. This is the task of the natural rights theorist. People who support the NAP do so under the claim that it is a rational moral system. Seeing as many people are ill-versed in philosophy and have variable intelligence, disagreements will arise not because there isn’t a superior definition of how one ought to behave and how one ought to treat property claims, but because people are fallible.

Your repeated suggestion seems to be that because people have historically practiced various moral systems, that must mean there is no superior moral system could possibly exist. But why should this be so? As far as I’m concerned, the reason why people have practiced various moralities  is the same reason why historically, people thought ridiculous things about philosophy and science - it takes time for us to gain and understand knowledge, and access to knowledge across cultural boundaries has historically been more limited than it is now. In short, you can’t expect everyone to get it right, and doing so is where we are disconnecting.

Chimps and Bonobos are within a couple percent of humanity genetically. There is debate about whether or not they should belong to our genus i.e. Homo or if we should belong to theirs i.e Pan or if it should stay the same. The point is that they are close to our genetic makeup so it's possible that by observing them we can acquire clues to our past.

The way other species behave, while scientifically valuable (and I recognize the value; I am a biology student/researcher) should not be used to advise human behavior. We are distinctly different in our reasoning abilities than chimpanzees/bonobos (when chimps figure out how to split an atom or discuss philosophy, I’ll consider taking their advice). While studying them is valuable for numerous reasons, it only informs so much, and there comes a point when you have to deal with humans as what they are: human, and not chimps. If there weren't differences between us we would be the same thing. We aren't, meaning there are differences, and those differences are extremely important.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Nameless on August 31, 2013, 08:41:22 PM
I'm a bit concerned that this conversation isn't progressing... In each of your responses, you've presented variants of the same rebuttal - "but X disagrees with that morality/property claim" - but don't seem to see why I find this irrelevant. I am notoriously bad at making and articulating my point, so I'm sure the fault here is mine.

Regardless, we have a fundamental divide on what morality is and where it comes from, and I am fairly certain neither of us will change our minds because of one random forum conversation. At the end of the day, we both have a common enemy and seem to operate under the same moral code (even if we don't agree on why we hold that code), so this may be a situation in which "agree to disagree" is the best option.  :)


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 09:27:10 PM
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It seems strange for you to criticize the state on grounds of the moral matters of the NAP/murder if you do not think there is an objective component to morality, because someone else could argue that the morality of the state/statists is simply different from yours

Just because there isn't an objective morality doesn't mean I lack moral character. Other people argue all the time for Statist bullshit. I call statism evil and by my definitions it is. That doesn't make my definitions objectively correct.

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Government inefficiency is a valid concern
All bureaucracies are inefficient firms included.

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You observe all cultures. Restricting it to just Amazons or just Westerns would be a bad sampling of humanity, don’t you think?
I concur, the reason I keep brining it up is that it seems like you've narrowed what you're willing to consider to the industrialized West.


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Multiple, competing moral systems must exist, and we must be able to observe them and question them all in order to make more accurate analyses.
I believe that there will be multiple moral systems practiced in a stateless society. Of course that's speculation. But it makes sense that the religious assholes would live in communities full of other religious assholes and that these assholes might make homosexuality illegal and they may even punish it with death. I wouldn't live in such a community but that doesn't mean that it wouldn't exist. I seriously doubt anarchy will be an all or nothing event for the globe.




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If every student gives a different answer on a test, it DOES NOT MEAN there is no answer to the question.
People are wrong all the time, just because there's a question doesn't mean it has one answer.

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You’ve admitted in a past post that you don’t believe popular support for an idea validates or invalidates it, so why are you switching that now?
To point out that there is alot of dissent over this kind of thing.


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Besides, every time I ask a state-supporter if they agree with the NAP they say yes – they just don’t understand that they are violating it by supporting the state.
Have you heard people advocating glassing the middle east? I have, anyone who thinks that's consistent with the NAP is too stupid to be worth talking to. So there seem to be two options here, either these people don't agree with the NAP or they're stupid beyond hope. I suspect that reality holds a little of column A and a little of column B.


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In fact, most people refer to the state/taxation as a “necessary evil,” meaning that they understand the immorality behind the institution – they just have trouble imagining how anything else could actually work, which is why we need to do a better job talking to people with these sorts of concerns.
They also like to refer to their favourite candidate as "the lesser of two evils" and then extrapolate that this makes them somehow not evil. People are stupid and you can't convince them of anything. I'm still removing the shackles put on my mind by religion and the State and I'm still finding assumptions that I hold to be true to be unfounded and these assumptions that I'm shaking have been pointed out to me by people before. People have to want to change, and I don't think many do.

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By best I just meant the system that will create the greatest prosperity for the individuals involved
That is my criterion for "best" as well. I agree that given this goal the NAP is the way to go to achieve. But not everyone holds this criterion with any regard. There are those that want to be the boss of others and to them the NAP is not central to their ethics. Some people are just evil, and evil people rarely consider themselves such.

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My claim is that the Vikings would be among the many people around the world who were logically incorrect
This supposes that the Vikings had the same goals as you and I. I don't think they did. They're religion dictated that they had to die in battle to go to the gods.

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the NAP is the most logical means of arriving at them, for it creates a path in which you don’t have to deal with the inefficiencies and negative, costly results of extended violence to obtain all of your desires. Of course this all would require a much longer discussion in its own right.
I agree that the NAP provides an egalitarian playing field by which we can all strive to improve ourselves. But I don't think everyone wants to improve themselves and some people just want to be parasites.

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but because people are fallible.
They are, and I have my reasons for believing what I do. The NAP is the best option for me, my goals, and how I want to live my life. But I just don't care about what other people do, I used to but I was angry all the time... I gave up trying to save them from themselves. I too think the NAP is the best option, that doesn't mean it is. I'm just as fallible as the next asshole.

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We are distinctly different in our reasoning abilities than chimpanzees/bonobos (when chimps figure out how to split an atom or discuss philosophy, I’ll consider taking their advice).
That's what people keep saying but seeing how homo sapien sapien continues to display large amounts of ineptitude I'm questioning whether or not this is true.


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While studying them is valuable for numerous reasons, it only informs so much, and there comes a point when you have to deal with humans as what they are: human, and not chimps.
I don't think the distinction is as large as people think. We claim to be intelligent because we've developed extraordinary efficient ways to kill each other. I don't think that's smart I think that's broken. There's been alot of good too, but a good deed doesn't wash out a bad one nor a bad a good.

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I'm a bit concerned that this conversation isn't progressing... In each of your responses, you've presented variants of the same rebuttal - "but X disagrees with that morality/property claim" - but don't seem to see why I find this irrelevant.
I think I'm gaining a better understanding of where you come from. It reminds me of Ayn Rand which is where I got my start. I don't think one forum conversation is going to change my mind either, I once thought morality an objective thing I didn't change over night.

I find your claim that the variance is irrelevant, irrelevant do to the fact that goals vary from person to person, and ethics can only be rooted in a goal. When goals vary ethics vary. Given our goals the logical ethics system is one based upon the NAP. But even that isn't a thing that's universal. There are those who arrived at market anarchism, voluntarism, anarcho capitalism (whatever you want to call it) with out thinking of the ethics of it. They're utilitarians. 




Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 09:37:39 PM
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You observe all cultures. Restricting it to just Amazons or just Westerns would be a bad sampling of humanity, don’t you think?
I concur, the reason I keep brining it up is that it seems like you've narrowed what you're willing to consider to the industrialized West.

Of course I could be projecting my flaws onto you...


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on August 31, 2013, 10:30:13 PM
Oh and I don't care about the length of your posts, you know what you want to say and it takes as long as it takes to say it. All a lengthy response indicates is that you care enough to put some thought into the subject.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: victim77 on September 03, 2013, 12:25:59 AM
Have you heard of the Vikings? Their culture was based around pillaging people. Your claim here is incorrect.
I disagree, in the vikings' heads i'm sure they justified it in some way or another, probably by dehumanizing their pillagees. There doesn't seem to be an entire culture that believes in killing for the sake of killing. Only a select few do, and they in turn twist a justification to their madness to create popular support. Terrorism, racism, xenophobia, you name it.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: MAM on September 03, 2013, 01:08:38 AM
Have you heard of the Vikings? Their culture was based around pillaging people. Your claim here is incorrect.
I disagree, in the vikings' heads i'm sure they justified it in some way or another, probably by dehumanizing their pillagees. There doesn't seem to be an entire culture that believes in killing for the sake of killing. Only a select few do, and they in turn twist a justification to their madness to create popular support. Terrorism, racism, xenophobia, you name it.

Their culture lives for war in the name of their religion. To go to Valhalla one had to die in battle. I don't think they're mutually exclusive things. In fact rationalization may be necessary to facilitate a war. That doesn't change what they were.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: KaFunf on September 04, 2013, 12:45:54 AM
John Taylor was a Mormon elder back in early LDS history. His view of "Inalienable Rights" is a theistic one.
 
"they existed before any constitutions were framed or any laws made" I like that but were back to magic again.

Abrahamic religions are geocentric in that we are "made in the image of god" and everything revolves around that. Mr. Taylor draws his idea of Inalienable Right from his understanding of god.  But what if we took god out of the equation and replaced it with mans image and framed it within NAP. By secularizing it do we get rid of the magic? lol

"There are certain principles that are inherent in man, that belong to man, and that were enunciated in an early day, before the United States government was formed, and they are principles that rightfully belong to all men everywhere. They are described in the Declaration of Independence as inalienable rights, one of which is that men have a right to live; another is that they have a right to pursue happiness; and another is that they have a right to be free and no man has authority to deprive them of those God-given rights, and none but tyrants would do it. "These principles, I say, are inalienable in man; they belong to him; they existed before any constitutions were framed or any laws made. Men have in various ages striven to strip their fellow-men of these rights, and dispossess them of them. And hence the wars, the bloodshed and carnage that have spread over the earth. We, therefore, are not indebted to the United States for these rights; we were free as men born into the world, having the right to do as we please, to act as we please, as long as we do not transgress constitutional law nor violate the rights of others... "Another thing God expects us to do, and that is to maintain the principle of human rights... We owe it to all liberty-loving men, to stand up for human rights and to protect human freedom, and in the name of God we will do it, and let the congregation say Amen." - John Taylor, 1882, Journal of Discourses, Volume 23, p. 263



Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: PaulWakfer on September 07, 2013, 07:44:24 PM
Personally I don't think rights are magic, they're useful concepts but they don't exist.
All useful concepts relate to things that exist. You are correct in stating that what is generally meant by "rights" (excluding contract rights) does not exist in reality. It is a pseudo-concept just like god or the tooth-fairy and is just as harmful to logical pro-human thought. For more detail including a replacement see Social Meta-Needs: A New Basis for Optimal Interaction (http://selfsip.org/fundamentals/socialmetaneeds.html) Warning this treatise is not an easy read! If the solution to the self-ordering of a society of total liberty, maximum possible freedom (they are distinct) and therefore optimal lifetime happiness were that simple then it would have been discovered by others long ago.


Title: Re: Inalienable Rights
Post by: Victor on September 08, 2013, 12:13:41 PM
This question is mainly for Nameless, but I'd be curious to hear anyone else's answer as well. How are you getting over the is-ought gap? You seem to be arguing from a Consequentialist viewpoint, saying that a principle is objectively superior morally if it will have "beneficial" results when followed. But as MAM pointed out, different people have different goals, and whether an action is beneficial to someone or not would seem to rely on what goals they have.