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Moral Theory of Non-aggression

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Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2016, 09:31:56 PM »
 

Mike26

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"People have long used punishment as an excuse to violate others in order to control them. When someone seeks punishment, they are not seeking justice. Punishment is merely violence with a bad excuse. The threat of punishment is governments’ primary motivator. Governments cannot threaten us with justice. The purpose of punishment is to induce suffering so the threat of suffering can be used to control us."

Adam Kokesh in his book Freedom

 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2016, 11:21:17 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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Yes, those seeking power exploit legitimate needs in order to gain that power.  However, that does not refute anything I said.

Say that you're living in a completely free society where people generally try to adhere to the NAP as closely as possible.  One day, a cold-blooded murder is committed and the victim was unable to successfully defend him or herself.  What happens next?

One day, a drunk driver hits another car with a family in it, kills the father and one of the kids, the other kid is paralyzed from the waist down, and the other father (it's a gay family) loses an eye.  All video evidence shows that it was the drunk driver's fault, by any objective standard.  The drunk driver refuses to voluntarily help the survivors in any way.  What happens next?
« Last Edit: June 21, 2016, 11:37:33 PM by Magnaniman »
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2016, 09:29:51 AM »
 

FreedomIsOurDestiny

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Yes, those seeking power exploit legitimate needs in order to gain that power.  However, that does not refute anything I said.

Say that you're living in a completely free society where people generally try to adhere to the NAP as closely as possible.  One day, a cold-blooded murder is committed and the victim was unable to successfully defend him or herself.  What happens next?

One day, a drunk driver hits another car with a family in it, kills the father and one of the kids, the other kid is paralyzed from the waist down, and the other father (it's a gay family) loses an eye.  All video evidence shows that it was the drunk driver's fault, by any objective standard.  The drunk driver refuses to voluntarily help the survivors in any way.  What happens next?

I love the questions you pose and points you bring up.  It really gets me to step back and think critically.  At this stage in our evolution I do not think we have the wisdom to be able to answer that.  I believe we will gain that wisdom allowing us to handle these situations according to NAP.  Anything that we say now would be more theory.  This doesn't mean I am copping out, I will offer a theory and accept that it may be flawed.

The victim's rights were infringed upon, and as such has the right to be made whole.  Violence and incarceration would not make the victim whole, it would just create another victim.  Since these offenders are not voluntarily following with the appropriate actions to make their victims whole, they are still infringing on the victim's rights.  The victim(s) are justified in taking action to be made whole and/or compensated.  The next step would be to determine what would be proper compensation to the victim. 

I think this would be the stage where the two hypotheticals would begin.  The local community would be very aware of what had happened and cease trade and communication with and deny right of passage on their property to the offender.  This would not be obligated, but in not doing so may be deemed a violation of the victim's rights, thus bringing a potential claim against them.  Essentially, the offender would be ostracized and any attempt to leave their property would be considered an act of aggression.  Of course, if the offender is totally self sufficient, it could remain at this state for the rest of their life.  Total social isolation is crippling to a human and I don't see that happening, but if it did the victim or victim's heirs would still have the right to compensation which would come from the property left behind by the offender. 

That was very difficult to write because there are so many possibilities in regards to different courses of action the involved parties could take, but at every point the NAP would need to be adhered to.  Anytime that principle is violated, a victim would have a claim to be made whole.  By claiming the right to own yourself, you must respect that right in everyone else in order for the first clause to be true.
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

― Mark Twain
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2016, 12:12:50 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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Yes, these are very difficult questions to answer.  It's all well and good to talk about how things might work when everything is operating perfectly, but the real test comes when dealing with non-ideal situations.

Really, though, this is an extreme tangent.  I've been trying to make the point that people are responsible for their actions, both good, like in the case of acquiring property, and bad, such as harming someone else.  You simply cannot allow people to freely benefit from all of the positive aspects of personal independence while not holding them accountable for the negative repercussions of their actions as well.  Of course, this was all to make the point that having children, which is an act that makes someone helpless, creates an obligation to those children on the grounds that you are responsible for their helpless state.  Apparently, though, I have to prove that personal accountability is a necessary aspect of personal freedom and that some degree of enforcement is necessary for those that refuse accountability for their actions.

When someone breaches a contract and refuses to abide by the terms stipulated in the event of a breach, it can be pretty simple.  Like Freedestiny said, others may continue to do business with the breacher or not, depending on whether they thought the contract was fair to begin with.  Perhaps they'll continue to do business with that person, but add a premium that will go towards compensating the victim of the breach.  Easy.  There are lots of measures that can be taken.

It becomes more difficult when talking about about more egregious offenses.  Some of the same types of measures that work with contract violations might work in some cases, but, in others, they simply won't work.  In the case of murder, refusing to take action afterwards just encourages vigilantism and more murder.  Person A murders someone, most of the rest of the community feels that the NAP prevents them from taking action, so Person B, the victim's sister, murders Person A.  Since the community doesn't do anything about murder, nothing happens to her, either.  So Person C, Person A's uncle, murders Person B...  and so it goes.

There must be a mechanism for dealing with egregious violations of the NAP, most especially when the violation is carried out successfully and your community is dealing with the aftermath.  Every community might choose to deal with them in different ways, but the fact remains that they must be dealt with or you will be fostering an environment conducive to cyclical systems of reprisal violence.  It would be akin to South Park where people just scream "It's coming right for me!" before they kill whomever they please.

EDIT:  I have some ideas here, but, first, we need to agree that they are necessary.  If I don't have everyone on board, I can come up with more, increasingly heinous situations...

EDIT 2:  I don't think that creating an embargo around a murder's house, waiting for him to try to leave so that you can shoot him is very constructive.  If that's the plan, you might as well just shoot him in the first place and save everyone some time.  Coming up with some ridiculous justification so that you can try to frame a reprisal killing as self defense is entirely self-defeating and wastes resources.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 12:24:55 PM by Magnaniman »
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2016, 10:56:47 AM »
 

FreedomIsOurDestiny

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Regarding edit 2, I agree that if the goal were to just shoot him why not just do it at the onset - which would be an obvious violation of nap.  I think it would be a good exercise to address each hypothetical in order to create a guidebook to help people follow in the future, which would be added to as actual cases are recorded (as factually possible). There are so many variables involved including who the actors in the original act were, as well as the extended community.  The embargo may only be for a temporary house arrest situation to get an active dispute resolution team in place.  Retribution can be forced property seizure and the murderer may be deemed to dangerous for society.

Essentially, we would need to attempt to put together hypothetical guidelines to help each other apply to the numerous situations that could potentially rise, which would probably be multiple sources.  I do feel that when people collaborate when all have a strong conviction to following NAP, group think will not devolve to lynching, but rather find a reasonable resolution to any problem that arises.
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

― Mark Twain
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2016, 05:19:59 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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The problem I'm pointing out is the difficulty of finding ways to deal with people that refuse to live by the NAP when you are restricting your own actions by it.  If someone messes up and takes responsibility for their actions, there's no problem.  However, dealing with, say, a serial killer or serial rapist is something fundamentally different.  That's not the sort of person that you can just leave alone to live freely in your midst.

Calling in a "dispute resolution team" to solve the issue is not an answer.  What would they actually do?  If they're expected to make decisions and do things that other people aren't free to do, they're no different than police.

The way I see it, there are three general ways that communities can deal with violations of the NAP.  The first is forgiveness, the preferred method that would be used most often.  In the case that a person understands that they did something wrong and works to make amends, they should be welcomed back into the community.  The omission of forgiveness is the fundamental problem with our current system of crime punishment.  It's a permanent mark that creates an oftentimes insurmountable hurdle into reintegration of offenders, which creates resentment and and inability to participate in healthy interactions which drives a person back into destructive behaviors.  With forgiveness, we open a path to healing, reform, and, perhaps, honest compensation for the wrongs committed.

Second is sanctions of some sort.  In the case that a person refuses to admit fault, but their violations are minor, sanctions can be used as a sort of material peer pressure to induce compensation.  This can include embargoes, increased fees for goods/services rendered, or other passive aggressive non-aggressive methods.  For whatever reason, this seems to be the preferred method of NAP proponents for any and all offenses.  For society to function in a healthy manner, this should be an alternative option for repeated violations or more egregious violations in which the perpetrator does not take responsibility, not a go-to solution for everything.  It creates resentment and desperation, which, as I said before, increases the likelihood of further violations.  I cannot stress the importance of forgiveness enough in dealing with most problems.

Last is removal of the perpetrator from the community.  This would be used in the case of a person who refuses to live by the NAP, violates it flagrantly, and whose continued presence or existence is a clear danger to other individuals.  Make no mistake, "removal" means either exile or death.  Imprisonment is just a form of slavery, so it's not an option.  Obviously, any way you carry this out, it is a violation of the NAP.  However, it is completely necessary for the sustainability of any society.  This should be a measure of last resort, but to deny it completely and simply wait for an opportunity for self defense, hoping that it will be successful, is insane.  In a best case scenario, the outcome is the same as just executing someone, while in a worst case scenario, there are more victims and a greater potential exists for the dissolution of the community because, obviously, it doesn't protect people from violent murderers, rapists, et al.

So, while I don't recommend violating the NAP to enforce the NAP on a regular basis, in some situations it is necessary for personal survival and survival of the community.  Waiting to witness a violation of the NAP by a person who is known to violate the NAP, merely so you can frame punishment as self defense is, like I said, self-defeating and wasteful.  Some concession to necessity must be made within our understanding of the NAP so that it can actually flourish as a way of life, otherwise, we are putting ourselves at a severe disadvantage when dealing with those who mean us harm.  There are some very difficult distinctions to make, but we need to figure them out, or this idea will simply fail and people will, again, clamor for the false platitudes of rulership.
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #21 on: June 23, 2016, 07:38:26 PM »
 

FreedomIsOurDestiny

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Very well thought out, Magnaniman.  I agree with each step and agree that forgiveness will be the cornerstone in dealing with violations of NAP.  A dispute resolution team would serve as consultants to the parties involved.  If the offender is not going to make amends they could provide possible courses of action and make a determination on the chosen course of action by the community.  No one would be granted privileges beyond what NAP would provide to anyone.   

I don't see the forced removal of a serial killer, which may very well end up in death during the exile, would violate NAP.  If someone or even a group of people were killing community members they would be terrorizing the remaining citizens.  Causing anyone to live in fear of their life is a violation of NAP and self defense would apply in this case.  Even though a physical act of aggression may not be happening at the moment, creating and sustaining these conditions is still an act of aggression. 

I am still learning the philosophy, but it was like an epiphany when it fully made sense to me.  I have been applying the principles in my interactions with everyone.  I have noticed that I haven't held any judgments against others making these interactions much more pleasant.  I was watching Game of Thrones and watched the violence of an army battle with sadness and disgust wheras I would have seen it as tense and exhilarating before.  The shift in conscious is profound to say the least. 
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

― Mark Twain
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2016, 08:50:46 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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Thank you!  Your questions, comments, and suggestions are definitely helping me express these ideas.

You have an interesting way of framing this dilemma within the NAP:  "Causing anyone to live in fear of their life is a violation of NAP."

I can see potential for abuse there, though.  Fear is not something you can control or verify when it exists in others.  Oftentimes, people are afraid of harmless things, like spiders.  I think some clarification is in order.

I would cite, perhaps a history of NAP violations, but a particularly flagrant violation might fit the bill as well...  As I said, there are some difficult distinctions to make here, but, as you pointed out, it's going to depend upon the determination of the community in which the violation took place.  Really, though, that ultimately boils down to a group of people sitting in judgement over another, with that person's freedom to come and go as they please, or even their very life, at stake.  This does still feel like a violation of the NAP or, at least, of the concept of self ownership.
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2016, 11:10:46 PM »
 

Mike26

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I'm loving the suggested steps with forgiveness and mercy being the cornerstone, not justice. With the extreme cases, how about an "Australia- exile" concept? The resolution teams provide basic survival skills to the offender, and exile him/ her to an island with the tools they need for survival. This could be a colony of exiles eventually if there are enough offenders, and they would be free to live as they please on their island. Thoughts?
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2016, 04:02:36 AM »
 

FreedomIsOurDestiny

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Likewise, Magnaniman  :D.  To narrow down the definition of causing fear: the threat of violence against someone or a group of people.  This could include verbal threats as well as repeated acts of aggression.  Justice would be the basis for determining the next steps.  A serial killer would be handled different than a burglar which would be handled differently than a rapist. 

Hi Mike.  I don't see an island exile as viable considering it would need to be uninhabited at the start.  Maybe there are some livable, uninhabited islands left.  I also don't see the benefit for anyone, including the offenders, to isolate them all together.  If an individual clearly can't live amongst other humans peacefully, why would we expect that they could accomplish that together?  My initial thoughts would be to send them to an "institution" (for lack of a better word) to live with people that specialize in working with someone like this.  There would probably only be 1 violent offender there at a time.  The conditions would have to be such that they are allowed to move about the property freely, but at the same time not allowed to leave which still feels like incarceration to me. 

“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

― Mark Twain
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2016, 09:07:51 PM »
 

Owl

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I've reconsidered calling dependent children the property of their parents, even if only from a philosophical perspective. The fact they are human beings mean they cannot be the property of any other human being without violating the moral theory above and the NAP. Thank you for driving that point home.

However, because the child's existence is the consequence of the parents' actions and because it is completely dependent on others for survival, I'll just say that the parents are obligated to provide for the child in order to avoid causing harm.
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2016, 05:16:12 AM »
 

FreedomIsOurDestiny

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However, because the child's existence is the consequence of the parents' actions and because it is completely dependent on others for survival, I'll just say that the parents are obligated to provide for the child in order to avoid causing harm.

I would say that the parents have an obligation, but not that they have to provide for the child, but rather they need to assure that the child will be provided for.  I might even go a step further to say it's the obligation of all in contact with that child to make sure their needs are being met and rights upheld. 
“It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

― Mark Twain
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #27 on: June 25, 2016, 02:25:51 PM »
 

SurfManDan280

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However, because the child's existence is the consequence of the parents' actions and because it is completely dependent on others for survival, I'll just say that the parents are obligated to provide for the child in order to avoid causing harm.

I would say that the parents have an obligation, but not that they have to provide for the child, but rather they need to assure that the child will be provided for.  I might even go a step further to say it's the obligation of all in contact with that child to make sure their needs are being met and rights upheld.

I second your sentiments, Freedom. I feel parents have a responsibility to ensure that the child IS cared for, not that they necessarily need to provide the care. This would allow for things like adoption and foster care. It takes a village to raise a child and every person that a child comes into contact with has an impression on their lives. I think that a non-violent community upholding the NAP would be the best society to raise a child in, and most members of that society would be happy to help provide resources for children.
 

Re: Moral Theory of Non-aggression
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2016, 12:51:12 AM »
 

Magnaniman

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Now that we all seem to be more or less in agreement, let me stir the pot a bit...

Not to make anyone second guess themselves, but the goal of parenting, it seems to me, is to help a person learn to be a person.  If you have a child that is hellbent on sticking his or her hand into a fire or coins into electrical sockets, how do you handle it?  In some cases, of course, you can let them learn the hard way, but in others there must be some measure of discipline.  For a child's well-being, there needs to be some aspects of decision-making that are outside of the child's control.  This, of course, is most evident with infants, but as a person gets older, it becomes much more questionable.

Every culture I can think of has rites of passage and societal recognition of adulthood.  I think that's an important aspect of life that we've all but lost.  Frankly, using the ages of 18 or 21 is just crazy.  People are capable of decision-making and self-determination much earlier than that.  In fact, I think it damages us to be denied the right to choose for ourselves after we are capable of it; we're creating a bunch of lifelong children.  Look at colleges; they're full of 20-somethings that are referred to and treated like children.  It's awful.

For quite some time, I've said, "If you raise a child, when you're done, you still have a child."  Growing up is all about learning to take responsibility for yourself and being denied that opportunity may be the worst crime that is being perpetrated by our culture.  I think that we can help people to develop and take responsibility by publicly recognizing their accomplishments and growth.

Any ideas of what milestones and rites of passage you guys would like to see in a perfect society?