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Another version of "shouting fire" in a theater

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Eugene Posted: Tue, Jan 10 2012 1:48 PM

This is a question to those who, like me, believe that only physical harm should be considered a crime, so for example paying a hitman should not be a crime.

The question is this: let's say I tell my girlfriend, who of course trusts me, that in order to make a surprise for her, she will have to close her eyes and walk where I tell her to. Then I tell her to walk straight into a highway thus killing her.

Am I liable for murder? If only physical actions matter, then how can I be liable? 

Thank you.

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This is a question to those who, like me, believe that only physical harm should be considered a crime, so for example paying a hitman should not be a crime.

Does this mean that Mao was innocent? What about a general who orders a villiage to be massacered?

'' The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Stephen Hawking

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Eugene replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 2:10 PM

Yes, that means Mao was innocent. But that's not the question.

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That's like saying it was "gravity's fault" if you drop a piano on someone's head and kill them.  You don't nessecarily blame the immediate cause of the harm if the circumstances around it prove otherwise.  Your scenerio is pretty clearly fraud.  Your GF would have no reasonable expectation under the law that you were trying to kill her.

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Yes, you are liable for killing her.

 But this is not a "yelling 'fire' in a crowded theater" scenario.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Eugene replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 2:27 PM

My reasoning is as follows:

People are very different, with different morality and values. In order to have maximum freedom for everyone to act according with their own values, you need to separate property so that one person will be able to isolated himself completely from others if he wanted to.

When you invade someone's property because he said something that you, using your values, construed as immoral or endandering (like cross this street), you make a kind of collectivistic judgement about common values. I want to avoid that. 


If people will have to be afraid for saying things, that will hurt freedom and will prevents clear isolation via property rights.

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Eugene replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 2:28 PM

Can you explain?

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Why don't we try solving real problems instead? I think you've lost focus of what law and liability is.

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She performed an action on the condition that you would surprise her, not that you would kill her.

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 2:51 PM

I'd say killing her was quite the surprise!

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Oh but he could say the "surprise" is her getting killed.  But he's also be wrong in saying this clears him of liability.  There are reasonable, common-law standards and definitions that would likely be used in a private-law society.  The same way that when you sell somebody a product labled "milk", they don't expect it to be 50% vegetable oil, or even 10% or 1%, and selling such a product labled as "milk" would constitute an act of fraud.

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To her? You think that she is conscious of the surprise?

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Where in the timeline was she aware of the surprise; during or after her death?

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 3:24 PM

I'd say killing her was quite the surprise!

In case someone missed that, I requote it :P

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Wouuld suprising people by putting cyanide in their food be okay?

'' The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Stephen Hawking

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 3:32 PM

Not if she's dead (and maybe right before she dies).  Look, Eugene keeps making these goofy threads, so they deserve goofy responses.  A lot of these questions can be answered by reading What Law Is by Clayton.  I'll post an excerpt that I think is particularly relevant:

What Law Is by Clayton:

 

So what is the law? Law is the alternative to violent conflict when conflict-avoidance strategies (such as property lines) have failed to avoid conflict. In terms of rights in property, law is the production of new, stipulated property-lines which resolve real conflicts without further violence.

This definition immediately raises the question of how disputes can be resolved between asymmetrically powerful parties. In modern law systems, the aggressor (accused) has an incentive to resolve the conflict with his victim by means of law because the state will immediately retaliate against the accused for failure to comply with a court trial. In other words, the state offers the options of non-violent dispute resolution or immediate, overwhelming retaliatory violence (appear in court or be arrested or possibly even killed for failure to comply). In a stateless society, it appears that an aggressor would have no incentive to seek non-violent resolution of a dispute with his victim. After all, an aggressor usually will not attack unless he reasonably believes he can get away with the attack in the first place. That is, he has already calculated that he can win a martial contest with the victim.

Therefore, the victim must be able to present a sufficient threat to the accused in order to motivate the aggressor to come to court. That is, both parties must have an incentive to seek a peaceful settlement of the matter. Law and security, then, are inseparable. You cannot have real rights without the capacity to present a real threat to aggressors who refuse peaceful settlement of disputes. In other words, if you steal my television, and I send you a notice saying, “You must appear in court regarding the matter of the theft of my television,” I must also be able to take forcible action in the event you refuse to settle the matter through non-violent means. Otherwise, you will simply ignore my summons.

So far, I have not mentioned the non-aggression principle. In the characterization of rights and law that I have presented so far, what is called the "non-aggression principle" follows from the simple fact that prior success in redrawing the boundaries of property does not constitute a valid verbal argument for the property lines remaining unchanged. If I steal your purse and you bring me to court, simply noting that I won the physical contest for your purse does not constitute a valid verbal argument for the purse remaining in my possession. It is, in fact, a circular argument. The point in contention is whether the outcome of that physical contest should remain unchanged. If I refuse to defend my actions or if I am unable to defend my actions in court (using reason, ethics and accepted principles of law), the ultimate recourse is a new martial contest. In other words, rejecting the non-aggression principle is no different than saying “I don’t care to settle this through non-violent means, let’s just settle this matter through martial contest.” Note that this argument is inspired by Hoppe’s argumentation ethics which is essentially a presuppositional approach to the non-aggression principle. However, I find Hoppe’s attempt to elevate the NAP to an axiom to be deficient because it is not useful to real parties to a real legal dispute, as noted above.

Clearly, Eugene's dead girlfriend (EDG) cannot press charges against Eugene, so where is the conflict?  It is with whoever has a conflict with Eugene over this, most likely EDG's family, but it could be anybody.  Eugene's question just misses the whole point:

Eugene:

Am I liable for murder? If only physical actions matter, then how can I be liable? 

If Eugene kills his girlfiend, and there is some other person in the world that gives a damn (sopinwtgad), there is a conflict.  Period.  We cannot know how an anarchic society would resolve the conflict.  If Eugene and sopinwtgad cannot resolve the dispute, there will be open conflict.  If sopinwtgad wants Eugene dead for his transgression against EDG, then there will be open conflict until one or the other dies. I mean really, what kind of question is this...If I kill my girlfriend through especially crafty means, will someone else care if I killed her?

 

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 5:17 PM

I think Eugene just really wants to take someone out O.o

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Eugene replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 10:59 PM

I am not disputing the fact that in a free society conflicts will be resolved according to people's wishes and ethics. Instead it is the ethics I argue about, and the principles which will guide me personally when going to an arbitrator.

There are a lot of ways to punish a person without invading his property. You can useuse santions against him or ostracize him completely. So I'm sure immoral people will get what they deserve. I only question our rights to invade the property of people just for saying words. It only makes sense that property invasion would only be used as a retaliation against other property invasion. Yet what property invasion was in my case of lying to my girlfriend? Obviously it was terribly immoral, but was there property invasion that would justify property invasion?

You can argue that there was property invasion because the girl ended up dead, but I did not directly cause it. I only led her to believe something that was untrue, I lied. I think that invading property for lying is not good indicator of freedom.

 

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gotlucky replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 11:10 PM

Look, Eugene, the whole reason of going to an arbitrator is to resolve a dispute.  If someone else defrauded your girlfriend and she died as a result, it is up to you if you want to do nothing.  But in this case, EDG's father has a dispute with you, and if you don't resolve it, you both will be in open conflict.

Eugene:

Yet what property invasion was in my case of lying to my girlfriend? Obviously it was terribly immoral, but was there property invasion that would justify property invasion?

If you can't see why it is against the NAP to defraud people, then there really isn't much to say.

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MaikU replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 4:11 AM

gotlucky:

I'd say killing her was quite the surprise!

 

hah

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Eugene replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 12:02 PM

Defrauding has nothing to do with it. There is no contract here with conditional transition of property. There is no exchang of property at all. Its lie, but not a fraud. Don't overextend this term.

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Autolykos replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 12:06 PM

The self-ownership and non-aggression principles in no way equate to "contractarianism".

I'll post more in this thread later.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

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Bert replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 12:41 PM

Eugene, if I tell you to walk in the middle of a field where there's a large red X painted for a "surprise", and you do walk out into the X not realizing I placed a land mine there and it kills you, am I to blame for you blowing up even though I set the whole thing up, but did not physically put you there?

If anyone has seen the Saw movies, in a legal since Jigsaw the murderer for anyone who died in those situations.  It couldn't hold up in court that it was the victims fault they couldn't cut the key out their own body to undo the trap on them in time before it killed them, prior to the situation the actual murderer set up the situation.

According to scenario asking your girlfriend to walk out in traffic is stupid, for both her and you, and clearly those acts sort of filter out the people who cannot manage real life, so an affect of that is you'd go to prison and your girlfriend is dead and society is made better.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Eugene replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 12:49 PM

I'd like to note that I do not think you shouldn't be liable, I just explore this possibility.

What bothers me is that there are cases in which it is not so clear whether there was a crime or not. For example if you pursuade your friend to jump from the 20th floor with the intention to kill him, are you liable? I'm not sure. He is the idiot who jumped, so how are you to blame? Obviously you were a lot smarter because you used very sophisticated argumentation and he is very gullible. But are you a murderer? I doubt it.

 

It is very different in cases where you actually physically harm someone. No one can argue you were not a criminal in this case.

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Bert replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 12:55 PM

Uh, yeah, you are a murderer, you know that the person is gullible and you can make a good arguement, so you convince him to jump from the 20th floor, and would you?  No, because you know it only leads to death, so why convince your friend to do it?  Only reasoning is to kill him.  Don't try to argue out of being a murderer because how you view the act of killing someone is different.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Eugene replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 1:00 PM

But what if you were only 30% sure he would jump, or 5%, or 1%? Are you half a murderer then?

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Bert replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 1:04 PM

Then both of you are idiots.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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gotlucky replied on Wed, Jan 11 2012 1:17 PM

Bert:

Then both of you are idiots.

/Thread

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Eugene replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 1:59 PM

Autolykos, Clayton, Wheylos, others, what do you think of this?

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MaikU replied on Thu, Jan 12 2012 3:42 PM

I think you're idiot if you keep creating threads like these. It's even worse than Holocaust denialism (these can be pretty fun threads).

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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