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Libertarians: Taxes and the social contract

Kleptin
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10/30/2011 10:16:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'd like to offer a new take on the whole social contract/taxes issue. Bear with me, and please critique!

There are no such things as natural rights.

Your rights only exist when you are part of society, and are determined by that society. Prior to that, you have no right to life, liberty, property, or any other right people usually consider "natural rights".

A society can consist of as little as one other person, and can be as encompassing as "all human beings".

As such, you can be forced to "sign" a social contract, even against your will, simply by the act of being brought into existence and raised by a member of a society. Their rights and their dues cover you, and both rights and dues eventually transition from your parents to you as the society that owns the contract sees fit.

This means that taxation is justified. The debt you owe to society is a legitimate debt, and one that must be repaid. It remains outside the realm of what we consider to be individual rights because it is the reason why you have them in the first place.

Thoughts o.O?
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/30/2011 10:26:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
What kind of debt do you believe is owed?
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Kleptin
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10/30/2011 10:33:29 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
People who are part of a society receive rights. When someone threatens those rights, they have the power of society to protect them. They have access to the products of people who paid societal debt before them, such as technology, paved roads, access to easy methods of obtaining things necessary for life, security from the forces of nature and wild beasts, etc.

Basically, all the perks of civilization that make life as one knows it possible, all represented by what is paid in taxes.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
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10/30/2011 10:53:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/30/2011 10:35:17 PM, mongeese wrote:
Are there any acts of a government by the majority, under this theory, that would not be justified?

Let me illustrate it the way it appears in my head first, otherwise, I'll seem to be talking gibberish :P

There isn't just one social contract. There are many. Possibly an infinite number. Each social circle has a social contract. These circles can overlap slightly, they can be circles within circles.

Government is just a more physical manifestation of a certain social circle, and depending on the government, there are different debts and different benefits.

For most governments, even though the contract you signed was forced, the contract has given you rights in exchange for your agreement to abide by those terms. When the rights in the contract are violated, so long as you uphold your dues, you can seek out authority to restore justice.

Justice is determined by the contract, thus, by society.

For a democratic government, one of the special rights in the contract is the right to exercise your share of control over your share of society.

If part of the contract stipulates that what is decided by the majority will be applied to all, then it is part of the contract and you have no say in the matter, besides your innate power to combat it through exercising the same power available to you.

Here's the question you want answered: Depending on the type of government, If enough people in your social circle deem you unworthy of your rights, they are justified in stripping every single one of those rights from you, including the right to life.

We luckily live in a society in which precautions have been implemented to protect the minority from tyranny by the majority. We have decided to add ADDITIONAL rights that essentially prevent the contracts of individual people from varying too much due to the influence of others. This is not true in all social circles.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/30/2011 11:36:00 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/30/2011 10:16:30 PM, Kleptin wrote:
I'd like to offer a new take on the whole social contract/taxes issue.
Nothing new about it.

There are no such things as natural rights.
Depends what you mean by natural.


Your rights only exist when you are part of society
If by society you mean "The number of rational animals capable of interacting with you is at least one." Even then, it's questionable, facts about what would be proper between rational animals are still true in the absence of another rational animal, there's just no way to follow or violate that propriety. 2 apples +2 apples is four apples, and 2 scekrkas + 2 scekrkas is four scekrkas, the fact that apples exist and scekrkas do not irrelevant to that equation.

and are determined by that society.
They are determined by what you are-- a rational creature who chooses to live-- what they are, a rational creature who chooses to live-- and the reciprocal needs created by those facts.

As such, you can be forced to "sign" a social contract, even against your will, simply by the act of being brought into existence and raised by a member of a society.
This does not follow from the given premises, and itself leads to the logical conclusion that you are eternal property of your parents to rape and torture and dispose of as they please. It is also a contradiction, to call something a "Contract" is to say that it was not done against the will of a participant.

Their rights and their dues cover you
How can that even mean anything?

and both rights and dues eventually transition from your parents to you as the society that owns the contract sees fit.
That's not compatible with what "Rights" mean. We already have a word for custom, use that. To say a "Right" exists is to say that there is a limit on interaction between beings of a certain class or of a certain set of classes that is inherently proper.


This means that taxation is justified. The debt you owe to society is a legitimate debt
This is undemonstrated by the premises.

It remains outside the realm of what we consider to be individual rights because it is the reason why you have them in the first place.
The reason you have the rights is what you are and what the people supposed to observe those rights are, not any willful act, certainly not some "Debt" to some vague "Society."
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/30/2011 11:43:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
In other words, we were bought before we were even born.

Fantastic.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Mirza
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10/30/2011 11:59:10 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
The debt you owe to a society is a moral, immaterial one. Taxation is not the best way to pay such a debt, nor is there any good reason to pick this arbitrary method over any other one.

You're saying that I necessarily owe something to my society. What if my success is based on things I did that counters the values of a society? Think a bit about that my friend.
Mirza
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10/31/2011 12:03:01 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Oh, and in this globalized world, my knowledge comes from quite a few spots on the atlas, and if I achieve success through this knowledge, I think I owe quite a few societies some bucks! Moreover, why on earth should I thank say, a horribly greedy, money-sucking society (i.e., a socialist one) which takes about 50% of my earned material success to spend on whatever it wants to? To hell with this theory.
Kleptin
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10/31/2011 12:16:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Oh look, it's the nitpick XD

At 10/30/2011 11:36:00 PM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Nothing new about it.

I amend my statement to replace the word "new" with "less popular", nitpick.

Depends what you mean by natural.

No. The phrase "natural rights" is common enough for it to be used as a phrase, and it shall be defined as follows:

"That phrase, you know, that people are always using? You know what I mean. Natural rights. Life, liberty, property, all that jazz".

If you don't accept the above definition, then please ignore my argument in its entirety.

facts about what would be proper between rational animals are still true in the absence of another rational animal, there's just no way to follow or violate that propriety. 2 apples +2 apples is four apples, and 2 scekrkas + 2 scekrkas is four scekrkas, the fact that apples exist and scekrkas do not irrelevant to that equation.

Rights are not facts. Rights are agreements. As with the words "partnership", "union", or "agreement", individuals retain the CAPACITY to form those. However, these things do not actually exist until another individual is present. Individuals retain the CAPACITY to have rights, but it is not until they come into contact with another individual do the rights actually exist.

They are determined by what you are-- a rational creature who chooses to live-- what they are, a rational creature who chooses to live-- and the reciprocal needs created by those facts.

A rational creature can choose to live without any rights. Usually not for very long.

This does not follow from the given premises, and itself leads to the logical conclusion that you are eternal property of your parents to rape and torture and dispose of as they please. It is also a contradiction, to call something a "Contract" is to say that it was not done against the will of a participant.

You are correct, it does not follow because I forgot something. There is also no such thing as justice outside a society. Now it follows through. And yes, they do lead to the logical conclusion that you are the eternal property of your parents to rape and torture and dispose of. So long as you remain dependent on them for life and there is no other part of the contract that says society protects you from that. As for the semantics issue, I don't care what you call it, because I don't rely on an equivocation for a conclusion, so it is irrelevant except that you dislike it.

But to appease you, "Social contract" as a phrase will be defined as "Whatever that group of people wants you to do, and what they offer to do for you". With no implications of willfulness.

How can that even mean anything?

Your parents were contracted and pay their dues to society. Part of the contract includes provisions in the event that they produce new people. The provisions assume that this new person will eventually be contracted. Before the child can even HOPE to contribute to society, it is already given societal resources. When the child reaches what society determines as adulthood or working status, it pays taxes and the relationship between the society and the child cuts out the parents as the middleman.

That's not compatible with what "Rights" mean. We already have a word for custom, use that. To say a "Right" exists is to say that there is a limit on interaction between beings of a certain class or of a certain set of classes that is inherently proper.

No. I'll use the word "right" how I so choose. I deem it to be appropriate and easily understandable by others. You may choose not to take part in this discussion if you have a big issue with my terminology.

This is undemonstrated by the premises.

As with above, my apologies. I also submit that there is no such thing as justice outside of a society. What is just is determined by what your contracting society determines as just, and what it will enforce as just.

The reason you have the rights is what you are and what the people supposed to observe those rights are, not any willful act, certainly not some "Debt" to some vague "Society."

No, and this is demonstrated by the fact that there are no rights where there is no society. Demonstrate to me how we can show that rights objectively exist with a single man on an island by himself and I will concede this argument in its entirety. If you continue to state this as fact without providing that proof, I then direct you to proving the existence of God instead.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
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10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/30/2011 11:59:10 PM, Mirza wrote:
The debt you owe to a society is a moral, immaterial one. Taxation is not the best way to pay such a debt, nor is there any good reason to pick this arbitrary method over any other one.

Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality? Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.

You're saying that I necessarily owe something to my society. What if my success is based on things I did that counters the values of a society? Think a bit about that my friend.

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
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10/31/2011 12:26:04 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:03:01 AM, Mirza wrote:
Oh, and in this globalized world, my knowledge comes from quite a few spots on the atlas, and if I achieve success through this knowledge, I think I owe quite a few societies some bucks! Moreover, why on earth should I thank say, a horribly greedy, money-sucking society (i.e., a socialist one) which takes about 50% of my earned material success to spend on whatever it wants to? To hell with this theory.

What capacity would you have to obtain this knowledge if you lived alone on an island all your life? There is a price to pay for everything, a debt you owe for everything. Everything that is civilization. As for your material success, how much of that would have been possible if it weren't for your ability to speak your native language? Understand mathematics? What if you only had about an hour a day since the age of 4 to devote to thinking about something other than food and water?

My friend, you think far too highly of yourself and your success, and you take on far too much credit where it is due to others.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/31/2011 12:30:49 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/30/2011 11:43:47 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
In other words, we were bought before we were even born.

Fantastic.

It's far better than the alternative. Its just that we've gotten so arrogant, we take so many things for granted, we have such huge unjustifiable senses of entitlement, we fail to see that.

Taxes are the price we pay to live lives outside of hunting and gathering. It is just a modern representation of something innate. Even nomadic pre-homo sapiens species had a sense of social duty, to hunt and gather to provide for the whole instead of the individual.

To argue that bullsh*t about "I never signed this social contract" is ludicrous. When you deny taxes, you deny your own biology.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
CosmicAlfonzo
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10/31/2011 12:35:16 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:30:49 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 10/30/2011 11:43:47 PM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
In other words, we were bought before we were even born.

Fantastic.

It's far better than the alternative. Its just that we've gotten so arrogant, we take so many things for granted, we have such huge unjustifiable senses of entitlement, we fail to see that.

Taxes are the price we pay to live lives outside of hunting and gathering. It is just a modern representation of something innate. Even nomadic pre-homo sapiens species had a sense of social duty, to hunt and gather to provide for the whole instead of the individual.

To argue that bullsh*t about "I never signed this social contract" is ludicrous. When you deny taxes, you deny your own biology.

There are ways to to give back to the community without supporting an institution that you consider to be both incompetent and undesirable.
Official "High Priest of Secular Affairs and Transient Distributor of Sonic Apple Seeds relating to the Reptilian Division of Paperwork Immoliation" of The FREEDO Bureaucracy, a DDO branch of the Erisian Front, a subdivision of the Discordian Back, a Limb of the Illuminatian Cosmic Utensil Corp
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/31/2011 12:46:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:16:41 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Depends what you mean by natural.

No. The phrase "natural rights" is common enough for it to be used as a phrase
Do you mean an idiom?

and it shall be defined as follows:

"That phrase, you know, that people are always using? You know what I mean. Natural rights. Life, liberty, property, all that jazz".
That's a list, not a definition.


If you don't accept the above definition, then please ignore my argument in its entirety.
Why?

Rest of post left unaddressed because I am curious about your request.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Mirza
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10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality?
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.
Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.
Mirza
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10/31/2011 12:50:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:26:04 AM, Kleptin wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:03:01 AM, Mirza wrote:
Oh, and in this globalized world, my knowledge comes from quite a few spots on the atlas, and if I achieve success through this knowledge, I think I owe quite a few societies some bucks! Moreover, why on earth should I thank say, a horribly greedy, money-sucking society (i.e., a socialist one) which takes about 50% of my earned material success to spend on whatever it wants to? To hell with this theory.

What capacity would you have to obtain this knowledge if you lived alone on an island all your life? There is a price to pay for everything, a debt you owe for everything. Everything that is civilization. As for your material success, how much of that would have been possible if it weren't for your ability to speak your native language? Understand mathematics? What if you only had about an hour a day since the age of 4 to devote to thinking about something other than food and water?
You don't understand. Even if my success could be based on what other people did to me, that does not makes something arbitrary and specific like taxation fair. Understand? Furthermore, what other people did to me in order for me to become successful is something they did voluntarily. Thus I owe a moral debt, which I too should pay off voluntarily.

Taxes are not voluntary. Taxes are too high. And charity is better.

My friend, you think far too highly of yourself and your success, and you take on far too much credit where it is due to others.
You understand that I am talking hypothetically, right? I guess not.
Uiae
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10/31/2011 12:55:57 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality?
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.
Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.

However the point is that this free-speech supporter would never have gotten to that point in life without those social contracts. From birth this person is protected by the social contract from being tortured, killed, raped, and generally being harmed. While the social contract may be what he considers unjust, he still has some form of debt to repay for what he received as a child. Even if that means changing the social contract.
All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. ~Voltaire
Mirza
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10/31/2011 1:00:01 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:55:57 AM, Uiae wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality?
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.
Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.

However the point is that this free-speech supporter would never have gotten to that point in life without those social contracts. From birth this person is protected by the social contract from being tortured, killed, raped, and generally being harmed.
Thus what you owe is not to torture, kill, rape, and generally harm. Where do you get to the arbitrary taxation? Where's the bridge? I can't see it.

While the social contract may be what he considers unjust, he still has some form of debt to repay for what he received as a child. Even if that means changing the social contract.
But you see, the topic is "taxes" not "moral debt" which is what you're talking about.
Ragnar_Rahl
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10/31/2011 1:02:33 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Also, if your position is that "Natural rights" are life liberty and property simultaneous with "Natural rights" don't exist: your position is that life, liberty, and property don't exist.

Are you serious?
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Uiae
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10/31/2011 1:11:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 1:00:01 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:55:57 AM, Uiae wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality?
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.
Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.

However the point is that this free-speech supporter would never have gotten to that point in life without those social contracts. From birth this person is protected by the social contract from being tortured, killed, raped, and generally being harmed.
Thus what you owe is not to torture, kill, rape, and generally harm. Where do you get to the arbitrary taxation? Where's the bridge? I can't see it.

While the social contract may be what he considers unjust, he still has some form of debt to repay for what he received as a child. Even if that means changing the social contract.
But you see, the topic is "taxes" not "moral debt" which is what you're talking about.

However there is no moral debt, society has performed a service and continues to perform a service to you. You are paying for this service in taxation, donation implies a lack of debt to the donated. It seems only just that one should pay for services rendered, do you not agree?
All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. ~Voltaire
Mirza
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10/31/2011 1:19:12 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 1:11:55 AM, Uiae wrote:
At 10/31/2011 1:00:01 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:55:57 AM, Uiae wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality?
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.
Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.

However the point is that this free-speech supporter would never have gotten to that point in life without those social contracts. From birth this person is protected by the social contract from being tortured, killed, raped, and generally being harmed.
Thus what you owe is not to torture, kill, rape, and generally harm. Where do you get to the arbitrary taxation? Where's the bridge? I can't see it.

While the social contract may be what he considers unjust, he still has some form of debt to repay for what he received as a child. Even if that means changing the social contract.
But you see, the topic is "taxes" not "moral debt" which is what you're talking about.

However there is no moral debt, society has performed a service and continues to perform a service to you. You are paying for this service in taxation, donation implies a lack of debt to the donated. It seems only just that one should pay for services rendered, do you not agree?
If there is no moral debt, then there is no debt at all. What philosophical concept do you use to support "debt"? Moreover, I can agree that you have a debt to your society. But why is taxation the way to pay it off? If high taxation is immoral, then surely you cannot pay a debt justly through taxes. And what if your society requires you to personally torture prisoners for their crimes as a sign of you loathing their acts? Does the social contract really justify such enforced acts? No. Another thing: who is the society? The government?
Uiae
Posts: 9
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10/31/2011 1:26:05 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 1:19:12 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 1:11:55 AM, Uiae wrote:
At 10/31/2011 1:00:01 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:55:57 AM, Uiae wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
At 10/31/2011 12:21:23 AM, Kleptin wrote:
Aside from the fact that society needs to support itself with physical things and not just morality?
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

Society makes life convenient for you with physical resources. It is appropriate to pay society back with physical resources or representations thereof.
Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

I did think about that, but I want to be clear with you in case I misunderstood. Can you make up three fictional stories of three successful men that illustrate your point?
I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.

However the point is that this free-speech supporter would never have gotten to that point in life without those social contracts. From birth this person is protected by the social contract from being tortured, killed, raped, and generally being harmed.
Thus what you owe is not to torture, kill, rape, and generally harm. Where do you get to the arbitrary taxation? Where's the bridge? I can't see it.

While the social contract may be what he considers unjust, he still has some form of debt to repay for what he received as a child. Even if that means changing the social contract.
But you see, the topic is "taxes" not "moral debt" which is what you're talking about.

However there is no moral debt, society has performed a service and continues to perform a service to you. You are paying for this service in taxation, donation implies a lack of debt to the donated. It seems only just that one should pay for services rendered, do you not agree?
If there is no moral debt, then there is no debt at all. What philosophical concept do you use to support "debt"? Moreover, I can agree that you have a debt to your society. But why is taxation the way to pay it off? If high taxation is immoral, then surely you cannot pay a debt justly through taxes. And what if your society requires you to personally torture prisoners for their crimes as a sign of you loathing their acts? Does the social contract really justify such enforced acts? No. Another thing: who is the society? The government?

It is not a moral debt but a debt of services rendered. The group which you have signed a moral contract with provides you those services as per the agreement. You therefore must pay for those services. In this particular case we are speaking of governments, however other groups provide services and expect services in return. These are not moral debts they are simply requesting that they be given justice. You agreed to the terms, and now you must complete you end of the deal. As for your hypothetical situation of torture, you are dealing with a contract which may be considered to be unjust. If it is in the interest of the many other social contracts you have, then that one may be needed to be changed. However your comparison of taxation to torture is despicable.
All murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets. ~Voltaire
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/31/2011 10:21:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:35:16 AM, CosmicAlfonzo wrote:
There are ways to to give back to the community without supporting an institution that you consider to be both incompetent and undesirable.

Theoretically, yes. You can exist within society by paying minimal or almost no taxes. However, taxes are the most efficient method of representing what you owe to society. It's not perfect, but it is the most efficient. If you support a different way, you can exercise your contracted portion of societal power and see if other people agree with you. That's why tax regulations are fluctuating all the time, and why some organizations are tax exempt.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
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10/31/2011 10:24:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:46:07 AM, Ragnar_Rahl wrote:
Do you mean an idiom?

No, I mean a phrase. This is the last response I shall give on this point.

That's a list, not a definition.

The definition is what is contained within the quotes. This is the last response I shall give on this point.

Why?

I don't need to explain myself. If and when you accept those terms, please feel free to address the rest of my argument. You are extremely intelligent and I am positive you can continue this discussion by just accepting the limitations I have given you. This is the last response I shall give on this point.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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10/31/2011 10:31:38 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
You are extremely intelligent and I am positive you can continue this discussion by just accepting the limitations I have given you.
That's an obvious contradiction in light of what those limitations are and what their implications are, as I've outlined.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
Kleptin
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10/31/2011 10:33:50 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:47:29 AM, Mirza wrote:
Why should the support be enforced? If I give charity, does it mean that I can force those who benefit from it to pay me back? I didn't consent to becoming what "the society has made me," therefore I have the right to back out of the social system.

You're not thinking in the right direction. You had no rights prior to signing that contract, so you could be forced into signing it. After it had been signed, you were given rights by society. At that point, you would be protected from other individuals forcing other contracts on you.

Sure, who says it should be enforced? Who said I should pay back through ridiculously high taxes? Why can I not give charity the way I want to?

You can, and you would get tax deductions. However, be assured that the more money you make, the more likely that you are drawing from the benefits of being in a society. You can theoretically live such that you pay almost no money in taxes, but you will also get no money in return. This is fair.

I don't have to. The point is simple: you're not necessarily the product of the society you happened to grow up in, and your success might be based on things you did that went against the values of that society. E.g., a free speech supporter being successful (because he gets e.g., material support by other people) by launching campaigns against the dictatorship he lives in. That's a direct counter to what his society stands for, and he becomes successful by going against it.

You see? I am glad that you provided the story because without it, I would have misinterpreted what you meant by "success". Wouldn't that have led to a mess?

There's no such thing as "countering what your society stands for" because you represent a portion of your society. Remember, it is part of the contract for you to change your contractual obligations so long as other people support a mass change, isn't it?

You are doing a service to society by being the voice that changes it. You are still serving society and you get resources for doing it, it seems fair. You would generate donations, but keep in mind that you always owe a debt. A debt for being in a society that allows you to protest. That allows you to live safely among other people who will donate to you. The very fact that you can communicate with these people and live a life devoted to something other than hunting and gathering is a debt.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
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10/31/2011 10:39:39 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:50:26 AM, Mirza wrote:
You don't understand. Even if my success could be based on what other people did to me, that does not makes something arbitrary and specific like taxation fair. Understand?

I think I addressed this point by reiterating that you have no rights prior to signing a social contract. You have no right to life, liberty, or property until you sign that social contract. To talk of fairness prior to the signing of the contract is absurd since there is no such thing as fairness until you sign that contract.

Furthermore, what other people did to me in order for me to become successful is something they did voluntarily. Thus I owe a moral debt, which I too should pay off voluntarily.

Taxes are not voluntary. Taxes are too high. And charity is better.

The percentage of your success you owe to voluntary donations is minimal compared to the more indirect debt you owe to society in general. The very existence and infrastructure of civilization is a debt you have to pay.

Taxes represent the fees for those debts.

You understand that I am talking hypothetically, right? I guess not.

You may be talking hypothetically, but I am not. If you entertain ideas of the inequity of taxes, then you indeed take too much credit for whatever success you have. Imagine how different your productivity would be without a civilization to sustain you, protect you, for you to draw comfort and peace from.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/31/2011 10:40:43 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 12:55:57 AM, Uiae wrote:
However the point is that this free-speech supporter would never have gotten to that point in life without those social contracts. From birth this person is protected by the social contract from being tortured, killed, raped, and generally being harmed. While the social contract may be what he considers unjust, he still has some form of debt to repay for what he received as a child. Even if that means changing the social contract.

Precisely. This is exactly my point.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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10/31/2011 10:43:28 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 10/31/2011 1:00:01 AM, Mirza wrote:
Thus what you owe is not to torture, kill, rape, and generally harm. Where do you get to the arbitrary taxation? Where's the bridge? I can't see it.

Wrong. What you owe is contribution to society so that it can maintain what it needs to protect others from torturing, killing, raping, and harming others. Your debt for not having your rights violated is to provide for the system that protects those rights, NOT to simply respect the rights of others. That is lazy thinking.

But you see, the topic is "taxes" not "moral debt" which is what you're talking about.

They are one and the same. It's just that your perception of what it means to repay the debt is like paying ten cents for an ipad.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.