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The Opposition
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The Psychopath and Libertarianism
May 15th, 2018 at 1:30am
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One fine day, we encounter a pair of little wooden boys. One of them is famous for having been endowed with a conscience. The other never got such a privilege.

Psychopath: What are you doing, Pinocchio? Downloading music without paying for it is illegal.
Pinocchio: Jiminy Cricket says it's okay. Isn't that right?
Jiminy Cricket: It's not actually hurting anybody. Not that I know what that glowing box is or what it does, but there's no way pressing a couple buttons could be wrong, unless it hurts someone somehow, and Pinocchio has told me it doesn't. And he can't lie, soooo...
Psychopath: So the law can be wrong?
Pinocchio: Sure. Laws against stuff that doesn't hurt anybody are wrong.
Jiminy Cricket: That's the Non-Aggression Principle, Pinocchio!
Pinocchio: Right!
Psychopath: By anybody, you mean people, right?
Jiminy Cricket: Now hold on there; my Pinocchio has a soul. He's got free will, and that makes him as good as a person.
Psychopath: But not animals?
Pinocchio: Well... no. My father Geppetto has to eat something. We had duck for dinner the other night.
Psychopath: Oh. Alright. I'm going to torture this duck to death, then.
Jiminy Cricket: Pinocchio, call the police.

This serves to illustrate that the psychopath is at a huge disadvantage the moment people start coming up with reasons (illegitimate or otherwise) that they can break the law. The psychopath can't come up with these reasons because he doesn't really comprehend morality to begin with. He can regurgitate justifications, and probably better elucidate them than the people who made them up to begin with, but deep down, he doesn't think any of the laws make sense.

For every law you can think of, I can give you a good example of someone whose moral foundation allows them to break it, even the law against murder (honour killings, cough cough).

Once the idea is discarded that the law should be followed by all as a common ground, the psychopath actually trying to be moral for intellectual reasons has nothing to go on.

This is entirely aside from the fact that people don't really believe in their exceptions anyway; they're just excuses to get ahead by finding acceptable ways to bend and break rules others must follow, which I'm trying to demonstrate with this scenario: When justifying why he should be allowed to break a rule, he declares principles (the moral go-to) but he doesn't really believe in them. No one does. They simply rely on their consciences to make sure they fall within moral norms, and they will very quickly discard their so-called principles and eagerly enforce those moral norms.

It's almost like it's about gaining advantage, and the only difference between the person with a conscience and the psychopath is that the former believes his own lies.

I find it particularly amusing that libertarians don't even notice that every time they talk about more rights, and more freedoms, they focus on how these goodies will help them and hurt others.

I instinctively focus on how these goodies will hurt me and help others, probably because I'm not biased and I didn't discover all these goodies while I happened to be thinking of how I could advantage myself over others.

http://www.libertariansforum.com/cgi-bin/freedom/YaBB.pl?num=1514523068/0

See the difference? For someone who's naturally libertarian, rights are great, because they allow you to do stuff, like speak freely.

For someone who's simply adopting libertarianism because it's morally correct, rights represent a pure imposition and no bonus goodies. They don't expand what I'm allowed to do - they limit it.
  

Making Sci-Fi great again since 2063.

Not taking Jeff seriously until he admits this is animal abuse (which he says should be illegal): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE-IT7_CaE4
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Jeff
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #1 - May 15th, 2018 at 9:13am
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The Opposition wrote on May 15th, 2018 at 1:30am:
I find it particularly amusing that libertarians don't even notice that every time they talk about more rights, and more freedoms, they focus on how these goodies will help them and hurt others.

After all this time, you still haven't grasped even the most basic idea of Rights and Liberty, or anything at all about libertarian theory.

Let's start with "Rights are naturally occurring in every human. They may be infringed or denied, but everybody has them in equal measure at birth."

If you can grasp that, you will understand that talking about "more rights" is absurd. Everybody is born with all the Rights there are. There can't be "more Rights", only Rights denied.

Unless and until you act on your psychopathic ideas and violate the rights of others, you have exactly the same rights as anyone else
  
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SkyChief
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #2 - May 15th, 2018 at 11:29am
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The Opposition wrote on May 15th, 2018 at 1:30am:
For someone who's simply adopting libertarianism because it's morally correct, rights represent a pure imposition and no bonus goodies. They don't expand what I'm allowed to do - they limit it.


I object to the analogy of Jiminy Cricket and the libertarian.

Libertarians recognize and respect the property (real and intellectual) of others.  It is wrong to take or molest the property of others - that's a part of the NAP.  Taking property without permission is theft.  It is aggression.

Jiminy Cricket ignores this fundamental libertarian axiom.
  
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Jeff
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #3 - May 15th, 2018 at 4:59pm
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SkyChief wrote on May 15th, 2018 at 11:29am:
Jiminy Cricket ignores this fundamental libertarian axiom.
Not in the story I remember...

Who made up this new story? The lizard?

It's off it's meds you know...
  
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The Opposition
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #4 - May 15th, 2018 at 11:32pm
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SkyChief wrote on May 15th, 2018 at 11:29am:
I object to the analogy of Jiminy Cricket and the libertarian.

Libertarians recognize and respect the property (real and intellectual) of others.  It is wrong to take or molest the property of others - that's a part of the NAP.  Taking property without permission is theft.  It is aggression.

Jiminy Cricket ignores this fundamental libertarian axiom.


I meant that to illustrate that peoples' consciences often manipulate them into wilful ignorance, or at least don't fully think things through and stick to the simplistic (Don't hurt anyone!) when it comes to what they're allowed to do, but pick at every grain of sand when someone else wants to do something.

Also, remember that not every libertarian equates illegal downloading with theft.

I used this controversial example deliberately. I could have easily used a clear-cut one.

The trouble is, nobody's philosophy is clear-cut on everything, and this is (at least subconsciously) intentional. A few things are clear-cut, and the rest will be ill-defined muck, meant for the user to wade around in and pull up shiny trinkets while somehow denying those trinkets to others.
  

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Not taking Jeff seriously until he admits this is animal abuse (which he says should be illegal): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE-IT7_CaE4
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Jeff
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #5 - May 16th, 2018 at 8:07am
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The Opposition wrote on May 15th, 2018 at 11:32pm:
The trouble is, nobody's philosophy is clear-cut on everything, and this is (at least subconsciously) intentional. A few things are clear-cut, and the rest will be ill-defined muck, meant for the user to wade around in and pull up shiny trinkets while somehow denying those trinkets to others.
The philosophy can be very clear cut. "Stealing is wrong" is clear cut. It becomes murky in some instances where it's not completely clear that the action is really theft.

That's where the common law comes into play. A general law prohibiting theft gives rise to a disagreement and the disagreement is taken before a jury and judge who will examine the particulars of the case and look at precedents from the past that might help make the case more clear.

Imagine you wrote a really good poem and hoped to profit from selling it (You even copyright it!). You post it on a website you started so that people can read a bit of it, and then, if they pay you $5.00, can download the entire poem.

I download it (after paying you $5.00) and then post it on my website Free Modern Poetry.org and allow anyone to download it for free (as long as they become a member of my site first, which only cost's $1.00).

People stop buying your poem.

Do you have a complaint or not? I bought a copy of your poem, that makes that copy mine and I can give it away if I want to, right?
  
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The Opposition
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #6 - May 17th, 2018 at 2:46am
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Jeff wrote on May 16th, 2018 at 8:07am:
The philosophy can be very clear cut. "Stealing is wrong" is clear cut. It becomes murky in some instances where it's not completely clear that the action is really theft.

That's where the common law comes into play. A general law prohibiting theft gives rise to a disagreement and the disagreement is taken before a jury and judge who will examine the particulars of the case and look at precedents from the past that might help make the case more clear.

Imagine you wrote a really good poem and hoped to profit from selling it (You even copyright it!). You post it on a website you started so that people can read a bit of it, and then, if they pay you $5.00, can download the entire poem.

I download it (after paying you $5.00) and then post it on my website Free Modern Poetry.org and allow anyone to download it for free (as long as they become a member of my site first, which only cost's $1.00).

People stop buying your poem.

Do you have a complaint or not? I bought a copy of your poem, that makes that copy mine and I can give it away if I want to, right?


The fact that this is a good question is my entire point.

I could have easily made the example about something clearer. I didn't, to illustrate the fact that moral philosophies are always created murky around the edges, and people always muck around those mucky edges to justify what they want to do and justify stopping what the other guy wants to do. I don't think this is a coincidence.

And in addition to those mucky edges, we also have blatant hypocrisy which I also illustrated.

(In answer to your question, no, I don't think I have a complaint unless I made you sign a contract that you wouldn't share it, in which case I do. I could have easily made it a part of the terms of the contract to buy a copy of the poem in the first place. But this deserves its own topic.)
  

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Not taking Jeff seriously until he admits this is animal abuse (which he says should be illegal): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE-IT7_CaE4
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Jeff
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #7 - May 17th, 2018 at 8:13am
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The Opposition wrote on May 17th, 2018 at 2:46am:
I didn't, to illustrate the fact that moral philosophies are always created murky around the edges...
I guess you missed that I disagree with this contention. "Thou Shall Not Steal" is very clear. So is "It's wrong to initiate aggression".

When they become "murky" is when people disagree about who actually owns what is claimed to have been stolen or what sort of actions actually constitute aggression.
  
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Jeff
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #8 - May 17th, 2018 at 8:17am
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The Opposition wrote on May 17th, 2018 at 2:46am:
(In answer to your question, no, I don't think I have a complaint unless I made you sign a contract that you wouldn't share it, in which case I do. I could have easily made it a part of the terms of the contract to buy a copy of the poem in the first place. But this deserves its own topic.)
I believe there is (or should be) an implicit assumption that buying a copy of your poem does not include buying the ownership rights to the poem itself, which remain with you. It's your poem because you created it. It's my copy because I bought it.

Copyright law is full of vindications of that position.
  
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The Opposition
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Re: The Psychopath and Libertarianism
Reply #9 - May 17th, 2018 at 11:42pm
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Jeff wrote on May 17th, 2018 at 8:13am:
I guess you missed that I disagree with this contention. "Thou Shall Not Steal" is very clear. So is "It's wrong to initiate aggression".


Neither of these things are clear. The fact that you have to resort to citing current US law to vindicate your position on copyrights just proves this.

Are you forgetting the thread that went on for over a hundred pages, with the winner (Alan) stating that his position had been, all along, that there were good arguments on both sides?

http://www.libertariansforum.com/cgi-bin/freedom/YaBB.pl?num=1430619314/0

133 pages. And you say the fact that downloading an MP3 without paying for it theft is clear?

Nonsense, pure and simple.
  

Making Sci-Fi great again since 2063.

Not taking Jeff seriously until he admits this is animal abuse (which he says should be illegal): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WE-IT7_CaE4
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