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Six Reasons Libertarians Reject the NAP

Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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1/4/2014 4:42:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Non-aggression principle: the moral stance which asserts that the initiation of aggression is inherently illegitimate.

1. Prohibits All Pollution
2. Prohibits Small Harms for Large Benefits
3. All-or-Nothing Attitude Toward Risk
4. No Prohibition of Fraud
5. Parasitic on a Theory of Property
6. What About the Children???

For moar: http://www.libertarianism.org...
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Wallstreetatheist
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1/5/2014 12:54:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/4/2014 11:30:12 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
You're slowly coming to terms with what it is you're backing, I'm thinking. Good to see.

All of the above are poor arguments. I was just throwing this out there to watch other libertarians tear it apart, but no one uses this site anymore.
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Korashk
Posts: 4,597
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1/5/2014 3:18:56 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/4/2014 4:42:15 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Non-aggression principle: the moral stance which asserts that the initiation of aggression is inherently illegitimate.

1. Prohibits All Pollution

In principle, yes. However its unlikely that people would be willing to sue companies out of business for polluting, sure, some would sue but it would be like when people sue tobacco companies. If nobody cares that you're doing it then it doesn't violate the NAP.

2. Prohibits Small Harms for Large Benefits

Don't see a problem here.

3. All-or-Nothing Attitude Toward Risk

I'd argue that his point is flawed. There's a categorical difference between pointing a loaded revolver at someone then pulling the trigger, and driving a car. There's risk and then there's risk.

4. No Prohibition of Fraud

Blatantly false. The NAP doesn't only apply to physical violence, it applies to all violence. Even if one argues that violence can only be physical it's just semantics.

5. Parasitic on a Theory of Property

This point is incoherent and a strawman.

6. What About the Children???

This is one of those unfortunate facets that every ideology has, although the point isn't hard-lined into the NAP. There's plenty of debate on the topic.

For moar: http://www.libertarianism.org...
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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1/5/2014 6:04:19 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Libertarians would do good to reject any school of thought that defines itself according to dogmatic and rigid standards.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
FREEDO
Posts: 21,057
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1/5/2014 6:07:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/5/2014 12:54:41 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
but no one uses this site anymore.

Last I checked, DDO is literally 3 times the size it was when I first joined and it's still growing.
GRAND POOBAH OF DDO

fnord
Citrakayah
Posts: 1,500
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1/5/2014 12:40:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Gee, and for a second I thought you'd embraced rationality at last.

At 1/5/2014 3:18:56 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 1/4/2014 4:42:15 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
Non-aggression principle: the moral stance which asserts that the initiation of aggression is inherently illegitimate.

1. Prohibits All Pollution

In principle, yes. However its unlikely that people would be willing to sue companies out of business for polluting, sure, some would sue but it would be like when people sue tobacco companies. If nobody cares that you're doing it then it doesn't violate the NAP.

Sure it does.

2. Prohibits Small Harms for Large Benefits

Don't see a problem here.

That's too bad.

3. All-or-Nothing Attitude Toward Risk

I'd argue that his point is flawed. There's a categorical difference between pointing a loaded revolver at someone then pulling the trigger, and driving a car. There's risk and then there's risk.

Okay, what's the difference?
AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/5/2014 12:49:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/5/2014 12:54:41 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 1/4/2014 11:30:12 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
You're slowly coming to terms with what it is you're backing, I'm thinking. Good to see.

All of the above are poor arguments. I was just throwing this out there to watch other libertarians tear it apart, but no one uses this site anymore.

Only poor?
Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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1/5/2014 2:42:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/5/2014 12:49:11 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 1/5/2014 12:54:41 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
At 1/4/2014 11:30:12 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
You're slowly coming to terms with what it is you're backing, I'm thinking. Good to see.

All of the above are poor arguments. I was just throwing this out there to watch other libertarians tear it apart, but no one uses this site anymore.

Only poor?

1) No, the NAP does not prohibit all pollution. It only prohibits pollution that violates others" property rights (as determined by some property conventions.) Furthermore, there is a well-known ambiguity between whether aggression is forbidden or allowed with compensation, again a matter of property convention (and not a high level principle like the NAP.)

2) Same objections, with one more. The claim that "prohibition on aggression is absolute" is mistaken. Besides the compensation point above, some of us formulate the NAP in a non-absolute manner. My formulation is: In a civilized moral environment, one should not aggress. My formulation notes that the NAP only applies to situations where survival is not an issue (no "lifeboat situations.") This is not original - Rand and Rothbard also made this point. The "absolute" charge is essentially a straw man, though I admit that L. Neil Smith"s (and some others) formulation are open to this charge.

3) This point is frivolous. No NAPster ever has claimed that imposing a risk (one bullet in a six-shooter aimed at someone"s head) is not a threat of force. Duh! The only question here is a threshold question, which of course applies to the application of ANY moral principle.

4) Another straw man. As far back as the 19th century, libertarians like Herbert Spencer were framing fraud as a force substitute, or "indirect force," and justifying it as part of NAP (or LEF.)

5) The point here, that the NAP requires an underlying theory of property to apply, is correct. The evaluation, that somehow this weakens the NAP, is false. Again, the fact that a general moral principle needs to be operationalized before it can be applied is unremarkable. It is true for most moral principles. It is true for utilitarianism for example.

6) Yet another straw man. No serious NAPster ever said that the NAP was the only ethical principle. Not only is it inapplicable to survival situations as already noted, it also does not apply to self-improvement ("actualization.") It doesn"t tell you who to date or what career to pursue. Obviously. As Walter Block and Roderick Long have noted, it only pertains to the question of when interpersonal force is justified - to enforceable law. The vast majority of human decisions have nothing to do with the NAP.
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AnDoctuir
Posts: 11,060
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1/5/2014 3:53:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I really don't understand how this is a serious political philosophy. It amounts to nothing more than reinvigorating a power struggle. At least the NAP is to introduce some magical change.
AnDoctuir
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1/5/2014 3:55:51 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/5/2014 3:53:46 PM, AnDoctuir wrote:
I really don't understand how this is a serious political philosophy. It amounts to nothing more than reinvigorating a power struggle. At least the NAP is to introduce some magical change.

Well, I do. It's to do with people being mad with god/government, and being largely irrational. I just can't seem to sell myself to such self-delusion.
Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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1/5/2014 5:48:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/5/2014 3:57:24 PM, darkkermit wrote:
These reasons are why I rejected the NAP along time ago. Although I don't know If I'm a libertarian anymore.

Why would you reject the NAP for such poor reasons?
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Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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1/7/2014 3:23:36 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/4/2014 4:42:15 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
1. Prohibits All Pollution
Can't sue me for something you do yourself. So you can only sue for pollution qualitatively different from what you participate in. With a functional compensatory justice system, this'll work out fine.
2. Prohibits Small Harms for Large Benefits
We don't live in the universe where pricking fingers feeds children, especially without unintended consequences.
3. All-or-Nothing Attitude Toward Risk
Given how this is worded in the link... response is see 1.
4. No Prohibition of Fraud
By offering something into my property by your words and then physically withholding it, you aggress.
5. Parasitic on a Theory of Property
Why not say "dependent" on one?
6. What About the Children???
"Or, at least, it implies that it would be wrong for others to, say, trespass on your property in order to give the child you"re deliberately starving a piece of bread. "
They don't have to, the child isn't their property, they have to allow the child to walk away from said property to your bread charity. They can say "And don't come back" if they like.
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.