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The Opposition
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My Top Three Questions
Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm
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My top three questions about libertarianism, posted in a new thread because all my questions have supposedly been answered thousands of times before.

All three come with an implicit "and the arguments for that answer". Every last time I've accepted an answer on say-so, it's usually refuted easily by the next poster the instant I accept it.

1. Which rights are absolute (can't be legitimately abridged or removed from a person without that person having committed a rights violation first) and what are the qualifications for obtaining those rights? If your answer is none are absolute, then are there any principles that are absolute? If your answer is still no, how do you justify a statement like, "The government may not take my guns."? Is at least the [negative!] right to life absolute, here meaning that no person may be gunned down without at least having violated the rights of others first?

2. Is it legitimate to prohibit actions merely because they risk others? If so, how do you determine which risks are acceptable and which are unacceptable? What criteria would be used? If libertarians determine that a risk is unacceptable, is there a way to dispute it? If so, what kind of evidence would be needed? Where is the burden of proof? Is it on the person who suggests a risk reaches unacceptable levels and is aggression, or is it on the person who believes the risk is not, in itself, aggression?

3. In a libertarian society, since no two libertarians agree on what is aggression, would there be a preset mechanism for determining if someone has aggressed, and would the interpretation that would be used against a person (you aggressed because you did X, and X is aggression) be mandated to be available to that person before he acts? Would there be some mechanism for consistency or would people be routinely punished for acts they had no way of knowing were wrong? If so, what would that mechanism be? Basically, would there be laws, or would each act be judged individually? If the latter, by whom would the act be judged and why?
  

This moral relativism of yours is exactly what lets government take this freedom, then that freedom, until we have lost them all.
-SnarkySack
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yamcha
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #1 - Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:25pm
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Thanks and I will try to answer them later.  Please don't reply to this thread for at least a week and just let people answer as they please.  Watch their arguments if they do and then decide if the answers are here or not.

Good for you oppo.
  
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yamcha
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #2 - Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:39pm
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm:
My top three questions about libertarianism, posted in a new thread because all my questions have supposedly been answered thousands of times before.

All three come with an implicit "and the arguments for that answer". Every last time I've accepted an answer on say-so, it's usually refuted easily by the next poster the instant I accept it.

1. Which rights are absolute (can't be legitimately abridged or removed from a person without that person having committed a rights violation first) and what are the qualifications for obtaining those rights? If your answer is none are absolute, then are there any principles that are absolute? If your answer is still no, how do you justify a statement like, "The government may not take my guns."? Is at least the [negative!] right to life absolute, here meaning that no person may be gunned down without at least having violated the rights of others first?

I don't think any rights are absolute that can't be demanded or defended without the use of fatal force.

All your rights die when you die, obviously.


2. Is it legitimate to prohibit actions merely because they risk others? If so, how do you determine which risks are acceptable and which are unacceptable? What criteria would be used? If libertarians determine that a risk is unacceptable, is there a way to dispute it? If so, what kind of evidence would be needed? Where is the burden of proof? Is it on the person who suggests a risk reaches unacceptable levels and is aggression, or is it on the person who believes the risk is not, in itself, aggression?

As in what is right and wrong?  I think it depends on if you believe in being governed or not.  But I guess in the end, it comes down to might makes right.

3. In a libertarian society, since no two libertarians agree on what is aggression, would there be a preset mechanism for determining if someone has aggressed, and would the interpretation that would be used against a person (you aggressed because you did X, and X is aggression) be mandated to be available to that person before he acts? Would there be some mechanism for consistency or would people be routinely punished for acts they had no way of knowing were wrong? If so, what would that mechanism be? Basically, would there be laws, or would each act be judged individually? If the latter, by whom would the act be judged and why?

This can't be known since there has never been a libertarian society and no successful or failed model to go by.  You will probably have to create the answer for yourself on this one.
« Last Edit: Oct 27th, 2019 at 11:58am by yamcha »  
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Jeff
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #3 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 8:17am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm:
My top three questions about libertarianism, posted in a new thread because all my questions have supposedly been answered thousands of times before.

All three come with an implicit "and the arguments for that answer". Every last time I've accepted an answer on say-so, it's usually refuted easily by the next poster the instant I accept it.

1. Which rights are absolute (can't be legitimately abridged or removed from a person without that person having committed a rights violation first) and what are the qualifications for obtaining those rights? If your answer is none are absolute, then are there any principles that are absolute? If your answer is still no, how do you justify a statement like, "The government may not take my guns."? Is at least the [negative!] right to life absolute, here meaning that no person may be gunned down without at least having violated the rights of others first?

2. Is it legitimate to prohibit actions merely because they risk others? If so, how do you determine which risks are acceptable and which are unacceptable? What criteria would be used? If libertarians determine that a risk is unacceptable, is there a way to dispute it? If so, what kind of evidence would be needed? Where is the burden of proof? Is it on the person who suggests a risk reaches unacceptable levels and is aggression, or is it on the person who believes the risk is not, in itself, aggression?

3. In a libertarian society, since no two libertarians agree on what is aggression, would there be a preset mechanism for determining if someone has aggressed, and would the interpretation that would be used against a person (you aggressed because you did X, and X is aggression) be mandated to be available to that person before he acts? Would there be some mechanism for consistency or would people be routinely punished for acts they had no way of knowing were wrong? If so, what would that mechanism be? Basically, would there be laws, or would each act be judged individually? If the latter, by whom would the act be judged and why?
1) None. 2) Yes. 3) No.

I don't have any new or different arguments for any of them, so take it as implicit that I already answered these questions, and my arguments haven't changed.

Note 1): Some rights are absolute when viewed as a restraint on government action. The government is absolutely prohibited from even infringing my freedom of speech, or freedom of religion, but individuals, like the owner of this forum, can prohibit me entirely from exercising those rights on this forum.

Note 3): Violating anyone's rights is almost certainly going to be wrong. Don't hit the other kids, don't take their toys, try not to accidentally hit the other kids or run over their dolls with your Big Wheel., i.e. try to be considerate of others. Smiley
  

"Free hate speech"
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kaz
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #4 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 9:42am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm:
Which rights are absolute


No rights are absolute in the stupid hyperbolic sense that you take absolute where you argue things like that I can't shove you out of the doorway to take my bleeding child to the hospital because you refuse to move and it would be "aggression" to move you by force.  And no, you can't go to your neighbors and shoot them because they are mowing their lawn with the mower they took out of your yard.   

Because you insist on "absolute" being that hyperbolic meaning, you leave all rights behind.  Libertarian requires a brain, and you want libertarian to be an out from thinking.  A big reason your arguments always fail.

Opposition:  I want a rule where I don't have to think! 

There isn't one.  Life is hard and it's gray

The Opposition wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm:
2. Is it legitimate to prohibit actions merely because they risk others? If so, how do you determine which risks are acceptable and which are unacceptable?


The issue with the tiger wasn't risk to others.  It was animal cruelty and your inability to care for an exotic animal adequately.

But the answer is whether you are aggressing on positive or negative rights.  If you're shooting into a crowd, yes, we can stop you.   You're aggressing on our negative rights.  If you don't want to sell a negro a Twinky, he needs to go next door to your competitor and buy one.  He doesn't have a legitimate positive right to force you to sell him a Twinky even if he is a protected class.  No positive rights are legitimate

The Opposition wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm:
3. In a libertarian society, since no two libertarians agree on what is aggression, would there be a preset mechanism for determining if someone has aggressed


There are no absolutes.  See the first point.  And positive and negative rights determine that, see the second point.  And local governments can set things like community decency standards.  Your neighbors do have a right to say you have to wear pants in public and you can't post child porn in the streets.  Deal with it.  However, the Feds are to stay out of it.

Wasn't that hard.  Your problem is you view there are two absolute (yes, in the hyperbolic sense you use the term absolute) standards for libertarian.  Rothbard and Jeff.  And they almost never agree on anything.  You also don't like thinking and want black and white rules.

Rothbard is an anarchist and Jeff is at best a big government libertarian.  Of course they don't agree
  

Contest winner:  I predicted Kaz' meltdown
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kaz
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #5 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 10:00am
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yamcha wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:39pm:
This can't be known since there has never been a libertarian society and no successful or failed model to go by.  You will probably have to create the answer for yourself on this one.


The United States's success was driven by our very libertarian government as constructed with our very libertarian Constitution.  It wasn't perfect, but it was the closest humans have come.

It took a while, but the beginning of the end was the tyrant Lincoln who conquered Americans who no longer consented.  Consent is the libertarian basis for legitimate government.   It didn't end right away.  But it really started to unravel with the Sherman anti-trust act, the income tax and direct election of Senators.  FDR then pretty much ended it with the era of unlimited government and the end of State rights
  

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yamcha
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #6 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 10:35am
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kaz wrote on Oct 27th, 2019 at 10:00am:
The United States's success was driven by our very libertarian government as constructed with our very libertarian Constitution.  It wasn't perfect, but it was the closest humans have come.

It took a while, but the beginning of the end was the tyrant Lincoln who conquered Americans who no longer consented.  Consent is the libertarian basis for legitimate government.   It didn't end right away.  But it really started to unravel with the Sherman anti-trust act, the income tax and direct election of Senators.  FDR then pretty much ended it with the era of unlimited government and the end of State rights


I agree with everything.  However, the first part...

It worked so well because the only people with voting rights were rich White males who owned land.  This is quite significant to me and I still believe that only property owners should be allowed to vote.  I wrote something about that too:

yamcha wrote on Jul 7th, 2019 at 11:44pm:
Does this make sense to you?  Or do you think democracy is an antiquated concept and should be replaced perhaps?

Only people who are invested in a piece of the nation to be allowed to have a vote on national policy, laws and regulations?   As a renter, it would give me in a lot of incentive to work my way up to property owner.

Let's say they there was a proposition on your state ballot that if passed would require anyone who owned a property to rent out one of the rooms to low-income or minority tenant for very cheap or free. Who do you think would vote yes? The property owner or the one with nothing to his name?  Those who don't usually even vote would come out in droves to get this proposition passed. The majority being disenfranchised in this case is the whole point. Good things are hard to get.

This is my proposal:

1. Only property owners who own the ground land get to vote. This is important because merely owning a flat in a high rise doesn't cut it. You don't actually own the land and that building can come down any time without your consent.

2. In order to vote you will have to own a certain amount of square footage minimum. I propose a 1-acre minimum. This way some guy can't just buy a property the square footage of an outhouse in the back of an alley and start voting for propositions that will get him in a bigger house for free.

3. The more acreage you own the more votes you are allocated. So if you lets say you own 3.4 acres then you are allotted 3 votes etc. Only the ground space you own is counted so if you buy 2 acres of land and build a 10 story apartment building, you do not get 20 votes, you get 2 votes.

This is how a publicly run corporation works in a free market and I think it is the fairest way. People who own land will vote for policies that make their land prosperous and if everyone with land voted this way then we all would be living on a great land, renters included.

It's about skin in the game.


  
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kaz
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #7 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 10:39am
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yamcha wrote on Oct 27th, 2019 at 10:35am:
I agree with everything.  However, the first part...

It worked so well because the only people with voting rights were rich White males who owned land.  This is quite significant to me and I still believe that only property owners should be allowed to vote.  I wrote something about that too:




When Jimmy Carter was President, you could buy a square inch of land in Plains, Georgia.  That would make you a land owner.

I have a variation of that.  If you're getting a Federal government check of other people's money without working for it, you can't vote in the year you get that check.

That would include all Federal welfare recipients, including social security.  It would not include government employees, they would be allowed to vote.

It would also include anyone who receives earmark spending because earmarks are by definition not competitive.  If government buys your products in a competitive market, that's fine
  

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Little Biq Man
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #8 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 11:23am
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The Opposition wrote on Oct 26th, 2019 at 10:17pm:
My top three questions about libertarianism, posted in a new thread because all my questions have supposedly been answered thousands of times before.

All three come with an implicit "and the arguments for that answer". Every last time I've accepted an answer on say-so, it's usually refuted easily by the next poster the instant I accept it.

1. Which rights are absolute (can't be legitimately abridged or removed from a person without that person having committed a rights violation first) and what are the qualifications for obtaining those rights? If your answer is none are absolute, then are there any principles that are absolute? If your answer is still no, how do you justify a statement like, "The government may not take my guns."? Is at least the [negative!] right to life absolute, here meaning that no person may be gunned down without at least having violated the rights of others first?


All rights are absolute.  If a purported right is deemed not absolute by the person who claims to name a right, that person is committing a logical fallacy.  Take a hypothetical person who claims to strongly believe in property rights, but that they are not absolute because no right is absolute.  His true belief is:  "you have property privilege subject to the vote of your local community if they have a really, really important use for your property, or to the decisions of the central government if they need your property to defend themselves against foreign aggression."

So, he does believe in absolute rights, but for the collective, not the individual.  For that second purpose, defense of the central government, he literally believes that no one has any rights whatsoever.  They can be subjected by the central government to involuntary servitude, forced to commit murder and deprived of all property and their lives. 

Quote:
2. Is it legitimate to prohibit actions merely because they risk others?


The intuitive answer is yes.  But:

Quote:
If so, how do you determine which risks are acceptable and which are unacceptable? What criteria would be used? If libertarians determine that a risk is unacceptable, is there a way to dispute it? If so, what kind of evidence would be needed? Where is the burden of proof? Is it on the person who suggests a risk reaches unacceptable levels and is aggression, or is it on the person who believes the risk is not, in itself, aggression?


cannot be answered based on any articulable principle.  Any laws limiting "risk" to an individual or group stemming from the actions of another individual or group would almost by definition be based on the emotion of fear and that assumes that the motivations for prohibitions are honest.  Attempts to limit risk by restricting behavior are easy vehicles for enforcement of the morality of one group over another.

Quote:
 

3. In a libertarian society, since no two libertarians agree on what is aggression, would there be a preset mechanism for determining if someone has aggressed, and would the interpretation that would be used against a person (you aggressed because you did X, and X is aggression) be mandated to be available to that person before he acts? Would there be some mechanism for consistency or would people be routinely punished for acts they had no way of knowing were wrong? If so, what would that mechanism be? Basically, would there be laws, or would each act be judged individually? If the latter, by whom would the act be judged and why?


In an ideal libertarian society, there would be universal agreement on what constitutes aggression.  This will never happen, because you are right, no two libertarians agree.  So we should work toward a more libertarian society while continuing to discuss and debate about the meaning of libertarianism.
  
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kaz
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Re: My Top Three Questions
Reply #9 - Oct 27th, 2019 at 11:39am
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Little Biq Man wrote on Oct 27th, 2019 at 11:23am:
All rights are absolute


So if you find a cop on your property rinsing his muddy shoes off with your hose and your water, you can shoot him because rights are "absolute."

If your child is bleeding to death and I refuse to move out of the only doorway so you can take them to the hospital, you can't move me because rights are "absolute."

We can't have roads, a military, police, recognition of property rights because we can't tax for anything because rights are "absolute."

You and opposition are in serious need of a dictionary.  Since you're both too cheap to buy one yourself, maybe you can go halvsies on one.  Or hey, you're on the Internet.  Maybe you can start Googling words for free!

Don't forget to Google what a "statist" is either
  

Contest winner:  I predicted Kaz' meltdown
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