The Instigator
Tim_Spin
Pro (for)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Ore_Ele
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

That Hoppe's argumentation ethics is a justified theory of rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Ore_Ele
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/10/2011 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,266 times Debate No: 17860
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (14)
Votes (3)

 

Tim_Spin

Pro

Rules/ Clarifications

1. Drops will count as concessions.

2. Semantic or abusive arguments will not be counted.

3. Burden of proof will be shared.

4. New arguments brought in the last round will not be counted.

5. R1 is for acceptance and clarifications. Argumentation begins in R2.

Definitions

Argumentation ethics is "a form of discourse ethics that attempts to establish normative or ethical truths by examining the presuppositions of discourse"[1]

Hoppe's version in particular argues "that an individual cannot consistently logically deny, in the course of argumentation, any of those things which the argument, or discourse, presupposes".[1]

In Hoppe's argumentation ethics, he argues that the three things necessarily presupposed are the non-aggression axiom, complete self-ownership, and the existence of private property.

Non-aggression axiom: an ethical stance which asserts that "aggression" is inherently illegitimate. "Aggression" is defined as the "initiation" of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property.[2]

Self ownership: the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to be the exclusive controller of his own body and life.[3]

Private property: the right of persons and firms to obtain, own, control, employ, dispose of, and bequeath land, capital, and other forms of property.[4]

Justified: To demonstrate or prove to be just, right, or valid[5]

[1] http://wiki.mises.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Ore_Ele

Con

Since R1 is for acceptance and clarification only. I'll start by saying, I accept this debate (obviously since I hit the "accept debate" button), and I'll clarify that I intend to argue that the NAP (or NAA, though the same thing), complete self-ownership, and/or the existence of private property are not necessarily presupposed in argumentation. And if they are not presuppsed, then they cannot assume to be just.

Since no arguing is to be done in R1, I'll pass to my opponent for his opening argument in R2.
Debate Round No. 1
Tim_Spin

Pro

I will here outline basic Hoppean argumentation ethics and the reasoning behind the justice of the NAP, self ownership, and private property. Later rounds will be devoted to my opponent's objections and my defense of the arguments and their conclusions.

The basic concept of Hoppean argumentation ethics is that A) Nothing can be justified if not through argumentation(whether empirical, a priori, ext.), B) Argumentation presupposes libertarian ethics and property rights(non-aggression, self ownership, private property), and C) To deny libertarian rights is to fall into a performative contradiction. An example of which would be the statement "I am dead." The very act of making the statement contradicts the intent of the statement. By even claiming to be dead, one proves the opposite.

Argumentation is necessary for justification

My first point will be to prove point A, the only things that can be justified are justified through argumentation. That is, if one wants to justify a point, let's take for example that the sky looks blue, he must engage in some form of argumentation in order to show why his belief is justified. To show the truth behind this, one can simply look at the opposite conclusion that not everything needs to be justified through argumentation. But by the very act of making this claim and trying to persuade other's of that point, one is proving the point. It is contradictory to argue to justify the point that one need not argue to justify.

P1: One need not engage in argumentation to justify a point.- Opposite charge

P2: P1 necessarily presupposes it's recipracol claim.
Arguing to prove that arguing is not needed to prove results in performative contradiction. One presupposes the opposite conclusion by their claim.

C: Argumentation is necessary for justification.

Argumentation presupposes libertarian ethics and property rights.

This will be the major focus of the debate. My intent is to show that argumentation presupposes that one owns themselves, that aggression is unjustifiable, and that private property is justified.

Non-aggression principle

For discourse to truly be argumentation, a necessary prerequisite is for people arguing to be relatively free in their actions. Not to say that there cannot be rules or structures for a debate, but obviously if one person has a gun and the other is tied to a chair on fear of death, true exchange cannot take place. So we can prove that argumentation presupposes free discourse and prohibits any actions that would detract from this. Examples of such actions would be anything aggressive i.e. fraud, threats, or physical battery. Nothing inherently aggressive can be justified during argumentation.

But then an opponent of argumentation ethics could point out that even if non-aggression can be presupposed during argumentation, that does not mean that it is presupposed to be true any and everywhere at all times. However, if we refer to my original point, we can see that only argumentation can justify a concept of action and so therefore, non-aggression is a pre-requisite for anything to be justified.

Private Property

For one to argue against anyone's ability to use resources is again to engage in performative contradiction. For the act of claiming so is also an act of using a scarce resource(mouth, vocal cords, lungs). It is impossible to engage in argumentation without using scarce resources(one's body). So we can prove that some justification is needed for property rights, whether they be unowned, collectively owned, or privately owned.

The first option, that certain or all things should be unowned runs into it's own problems. For something to be unowned, potential land claimers or homesteaders must be stopped from trying to take ownership of the land which at the very least implies either partial or full ownership. Non-ownership simply runs into the same obstacles as collective and private ownership in that there is still needed justification for not allowing others to take possession and how this at least partially implies private or collective ownership.

Next is collective ownership. Collective ownership runs into problems of it's own. For things to be collectively owned, usually the democratic process is used to make decisions. But just as with non-ownership, collective ownership implies private ownership in that to even request permission to use another resource is to imply that one's body is private. Also ,both non-ownership and collective ownership not only assume private property but argumentation itself, disproves no-ownership and collective ownership altogether.

Homestead principle, self ownership

Hoppean argumentation ethics brings justification for self ownership by drawing upon the non-aggression axiom and private property. For how do we apply private property to others or ourselves. The Hoppean answer is the homestead principle as the only ownership theory in line with other presuppositions of discourse. For to argue, one must be alive and able to use certain scarce resources such as food or shelter.

Of course claiming could also be used to acquire property. However, just like non-ownership and collective ownership, claiming presupposes ownership already(namely that of the mouth, vocal cords, or anything else needed to claim something. Claiming as a justified method for appropriating property has no starting point to justify it's principles, one must make some sort of argument for claiming as an appropriation while blatantly ignoring the need for owning one's mouth or body before claiming other resources.

The homestead principle, on the contrary allows one to appropriate resources they "mix their labor with" as Locke said without presupposing any ownership. They originally homestead their bodies by being the original owners. Collective and non ownership were shown to assume prroperty while claiming property makes the same mistake. That will be it for now. I will expand on the points my opponent finds fault with (as I'm sure he will) based on which points focuses most on. With that in mind, I will now pass the debate on back to my opponent.
Ore_Ele

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for his round. I will go ahead and dive right into this. Hoppe, and my opponent, makes several logical errors in coming to this conclusion.

First is an unsupported generalization. In part A ("Nothing can be justified if not through argumentation"), he says that by the fact that having an argument that not everything needs to be justified through argumentation, you are arguing and so proving yourself wrong. This is false because arguing that point is not everything, it is only one thing. Expanding a conclusion for one thing, to everything is a logical fallacy. We can see this is invalid by simply arguing about the laws of physics. "Gravity pulls mass towards mass." To justify this, I do not need to argue, nor do anything. Such a statement is true and justified even if I never say a word. The same can be true of arguing with presuppositions. "You can read," does not need to be argued because the very fact that you read it so your brain could process it and then argue against it proves that you can read. Therefore, to justify "you can read," no argumentation needs to be done. These are just some examples where things can be justified without argumentation.

Second, we have a non sequitur. Regarding presupposing "free in their actions," my opponent says that if you have a gun to your head, you cannot engage in argumentation. This doesn't make sense. Just because there is a gun to your head does not mean you are physically unable to think logically or reasonably, it simply means that you have a massive bias to say what the other person wants to hear. If we apply my opponent's logic, we would have to say that argumentation presupposes a lack of bias. We can see this to be false because someone can have a bias (like a nuclear engineer in need of work) yet still argue and justify the object that they are bias in favor of (the benefits of constructing of a nuclear power plant). The reason this is true is because you are always physically capable to overpowering any bias if you choose to (if a crazy guy points a gun at your head and says "do you still think I'm crazy?!" you can say "yes").

My opponent again commits a non sequitur in saying, "For one to argue against anyone's ability to use resources is again to engage in performative contradiction. For the act of claiming so is also an act of using a scarce resource (mouth, vocal cords, lungs)," when talking about property rights (private-ownership). My opponent equates "use" with "ownership," which is categorically false. I am currently using a computer, but that, in no way, shows that I am the owner of the computer. Simply because I use my vocal cords, my mouth, and my lungs to talk, does not mean I "own" those. Such an argument is naturally contradictory when applied to argumentation ethics, even if we assumed it to be correct. A dog is unable to engage in argumentation, and so, unable to justify its own self-ownership through the presuppositions of argumentation. But that dog does use its vocal cords and its body, and so one would have to argue that it owns itself (the same would apply to all living animals that use their own bodies). So the same belief system is saying that every animal both owns itself and does not own itself. This can be argued to be expanded to plants, as they are using their leaves (and so own their leaves), as well as their roots and all their other parts. I can then suppose that my opponent, unless a natural fruitavore (one who only eats fruits, after they have naturally fallen from the tree), has eaten either a plant or animal some time in his life, and so is in violation of his own beliefs (nothing wrong with being in violation of your own beliefs, it is possible).

So far, it has been shown that it is possible for things to be justified without argumentation, and that use =/= ownership. While I would naturally argue for a state of non-ownership (but rather a right to use, rather than a right to own), that is not really relevant to this debate.

For now, I will pass this back to my opponent,

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Tim_Spin

Pro

Tim_Spin forfeited this round.
Ore_Ele

Con

I will have to pass this back to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
Tim_Spin

Pro

Tim_Spin forfeited this round.
Ore_Ele

Con

Just gonna go ahead and end this now.
Debate Round No. 4
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tim_Spin 5 years ago
Tim_Spin
O'reilly, sorry about the forfeits. Ive been in my phone and haven't been able to post an argument. If you would like we can re-do this some other time.
Posted by Kinesis 5 years ago
Kinesis
That's basically what I think. Just because I don't believe something absurd like moral facts somehow exist floating around independently of people doesn't mean there aren't morally right and wrong ways to behave.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
"I believe that subjective morals exist, as created by individuals."

We come to find our own morals, just like we come to find our own political beliefs. Just because I don't believe that morals universally exist outside of the human mind, doesn't mean I don't believe different sets of subjective morals aren't superior to others (there was a lot of negatives in that line).
Posted by Tim_Spin 5 years ago
Tim_Spin
O'reilly, if you're a moral nihilist, how have you come to your political opinions that involve an intrinsic moral element(gay marriage, abortion, euthanasia)?
Posted by Tim_Spin 5 years ago
Tim_Spin
...few minutes...
Posted by Tim_Spin 5 years ago
Tim_Spin
I'll be posting my argument tonight.
Posted by Tim_Spin 5 years ago
Tim_Spin
I'll have my round up in around a day. Glad to be debating you O'reilly.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Then I suppose you could say I'm an objective moral nihilist.
Posted by TheAtheistAllegiance 5 years ago
TheAtheistAllegiance
Yeah, I meant objective morality.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
That just reminds me that I forgot to define "presuppose," though I don't think it will matter.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Tim_SpinOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: For now, I will give Con a point for conduct. Might come back to this to read in more detail
Vote Placed by bluesteel 5 years ago
bluesteel
Tim_SpinOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Tim starts off with what seems like a good summary of Hoppe, but Ore_Ele offers a bruising rejoinder. I especially liked the refutations about how "you can read" doesn't need to be justified, how we can use vocal cords without owning them, and how we can still argue under coercion, just with bias, and bias does not preclude argumentation (ahh, Fox news...). Conduct for forfeit, but I would have liked to see how tim was going to respond.
Vote Placed by CD-Host 5 years ago
CD-Host
Tim_SpinOre_EleTied
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Total points awarded:24 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's R1 was a terrific set of definitions and rules. Pro's R2 summary was a terrific summary. I'll award sources on that. Ore_Ele did a great job in pointing out what the points of attack were going to be for con and the debate was off to a great start prior to forfeit. Forfeit leads to the award on convincing and conduct.