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"Natural rights"

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alsdjfalsdjfos Posted: Tue, Aug 28 2012 12:53 PM

What a retard could possibly believe that nature somehow magically grants individuals with certain rights? And that it somehow sets certain laws?

Does nature magically create a giant reactionary mud monster who smashes any reform in the natural law according to these people? Do they suffer from a mental disorder?

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I think it comes from the fact that man is NATURALLY born with free will. And maybe chill out with the term "retard." it doesn't help your case at all.

The only one worth following is the one who leads... not the one who pulls; for it is not the direction that condemns the puller, it is the rope that he holds.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Aug 28 2012 1:25 PM

Straw... man?

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Straw... man?

"Rights in the sense of "inalienable rights" refers to "things people SHOULD be allowed to do."

Is that what you say?

austro-libertarians disagree:-

>One common, flip criticism by opponents of natural law is: who is to establish the alleged truths about man? The answer is not who but what: man's reason. Man's reason is objective, i.e., it can be employed by all men to yield truths about the world.

http://mises.org/daily/2426

a natural right, to them, is something that is objectively good and moral.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Aug 28 2012 3:39 PM

The way you presented it it sounded like Mother Nature herself comes down and gives us her 10 commandments and that is what natural rights are. I don't think modern libertarians agree with that (though you will see that in the writings of Bastiat and some other earlier proto-libertarians.)

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David B replied on Tue, Aug 28 2012 4:06 PM

Rights are a social construction not a construction of reality minus man in society.

Rights can only be conceived as resolving conflict over use of scarce means.

Rights result in "legitimate use claims", and are enforced through social action.

 

There are two types of use, direct and indirect.  Direct use is controlled directly via the mind, and indirect use is through the direct use of the body.  The physical body in that it can't be controlled by another human mind through direct use, but can only be used by another mind through indirect use, is inalienable from the inhabiting mind.  One human mind cannot currently (or perhaps ever) gain direct use control of another human body.

This is the basis for the concept of self-ownership.  In terms of efficiency I can get more from you in terms of achieving my own ends, by interacting with you socially (meaning imputing to you the cateogries of human action).  And even more from you by treating you cooperatively instead of adversarially.  Rights come from social norms and laws of a social group.  They define acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior and by doing so lower the costs of acceptable behavior and raise the costs of unacceptable behavior.

That's the pragmatic and "necessary cause" chain for rights.  Doesn't make them absolutely "Right" it makes them rights.

Natural Property Rights are the evolutionarily produced fair standard that has lead to the highest level of technological innovation, economic wealth, physical living conditions, and political freedom in man's history.

Feel free to offer something better if you've got it.  Grant me the right to remain skeptical that you can do so.

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David B replied on Tue, Aug 28 2012 4:12 PM

And yes, I view this as a legitimate response to the question "Why are Natural Rights the Right Rights?"  By acknowledging that if man is subjective there is no external authority, there is only the cold hard reality that judges the consequences of the actions man chooses, the effects he creates, the knowledge that informs him about the world, and the technological solutions he embraces to solve the problems he encounters in attempting to do whatever it is he tries to do.

They aren't Absolutely Right, else they wouldn't have evolved over time from one thing into another thing.  But there are underlying principles which change the battlefield and help provide the proper negative feedback loops such that man can continually move forward and upward, instead of devolving and self-destructing.

You cannot escape the Economic and Political side effects of the Rights you choose.

 

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So you agree that there's nothing natural about them, they're simply what you'd personally like to be implemented.

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 8:41 PM

Doesn't your act of argumentation imply that you recognize both your own self ownership and my self ownership. Otherwise, why are you trying to convince me? This proves the natural right of self ownership.

I am sure others make this case better than I.

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Clayton replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 8:54 PM

@OP: Cool your jets... and welcome to the forums

1) No Austrian, not even Rothbard and Hoppe, espouses the scholastic conception of natural rights, unmodified

2) Rothbard/Hoppe/et. al. derive natural law, not natural rights*, and infer ethics from these natural laws. I disagree with Rothbard/et. al. on whether we can derive the contents of natural law from a priori reflection alone but I am in agreement with the overarching conception that a generic sense of "ought" can be derived from purely value-free facts of human nature. Even though that makes me a retard, according to you, I welcome a debate with you which should be an easy win for you since I'm so retarded.

3) Some of the contents of natural law can be derived from evolutionary psychology, that is, from the facts of human nature that evolutionary psychology uncovers. While this is not even close to a complete set of laws sufficient to construct even a basic ethical stance, it points the way toward a general methodology for grounding ethics in rational, scientific investigation rather than mere opinion (however, it is my view that opinion is an inescapable component of any complete ethical stance).

4) Most Austrians do not subscribe to natural law theory, even in the Rothbardian/Hoppean conception. There is a wide variety of ethical stances in Austrian circles though I suspect the majority of Austrian economists simply refrain from speaking to ethics altogether since it's not their area of expertise.

Clayton -

Natural rights follow from natural law but the distinction is important because natural law is a broader concept than natural rights.

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2) Rothbard/Hoppe/et. al. derive natural law, not natural rights*, and infer ethics from these natural laws. I disagree with Rothbard/et. al. on whether we can derive the contents of natural law from a priori reflection alone but I am in agreement with the overarching conception that a generic sense of "ought" can be derived from purely value-free facts of human nature. Even though that makes me a retard, according to you, I welcome a debate with you which should be an easy win for you since I'm so retarded.

edit, forgive the lowercase:

i, personally, recognise your self ownership only arbitrarily, not by virtue of supposed natural rights i don't think exist. i might arbitrarily not recognise it under different circumstances (such as having been born into a slave society)

if the rights commonly accepted at any one time ("evolutionarily produced") happened to include a right to own another person, as in slave and feudal societies, there might not be a right to self ownership, or it might be restricted by birth etc. hence for natural rights to be truly natural, emanating from man's reason as rothbard said in the above book, they can't stem from what is commonly accepted to be rights.
since we can't derive an ought from an is (hume's guillotine), "natural rights" can't contain any moral imperatives. questions of "should" go out of the window and we are left only with predictions of human behaviour, which unfortunately is not what a "right" actually means in common parlance. praxeology ultimately has no applicability to actual human existance (which we could have predicted given that it took, in programming terms, a static class rather than an object, which can't be interacted with directly, only instantiated)

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 9:07 PM

 

From Hans-Hermann Hoppe's Economic Science and the Austrian Method.

 

Mises not only recognizes that epistemology indirectly rests on our reflective knowledge of action and can thereby claim to state something a priori true about reality but that economics does so too and does so in a much more direct way. Economic propositions flow directly from our reflectively gained knowledge of action; and the status of these  propositions as a priori true statements about something real is derived from our understanding of what Mises terms "the axiom of action."

 

This axiom, the proposition that humans act, fulfills the requirements precisely for a true synthetic a priori proposition. It cannot be denied that this proposition is true, since the denial would have to be categorized as an action—and so the truth of the statement literally cannot be undone. And the axiom is also not derived from observation—there are only bodily movements to be observed but no such things as actions—but stems instead from reflective understanding.

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Sorry, but that statement does not address the point in the OP or even the issue of natural law.

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Malachi replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 9:10 PM
Good job, you have realised that there is a subjective element inherent to human thought.

so in other words, laws of physics arent actual written laws that particles refrain from violating, they are just ways of describing what particles appear to do from the perspective of an observer.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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Good job, you have realised that there is a subjective element inherent to human thought.

One common, flip criticism by opponents of natural law is: who is to establish the alleged truths about man? The answer is not who but what: man's reason. Man's reason is objective, i.e., it can be employed by all men to yield truths about the world.

http://mises.org/daily/2426

A natural right, to Mises.org economists, is something that is objectively good and moral. Any other opinion is a statist one.

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 9:16 PM

Maybe my last post was tangential. This is more apt and refers to my first (and hertofore ignored) post.

Argumentation ethicsHans-Hermann Hoppe's "Argumentation Ethics" (1988) is a foundational defense of libertarian rights. Argumentation Ethics relies on the work of philosophers Jürgen Habermasand Karl-Otto Apel's concept of Discourse Ethics, and further on the deontological ethics of economistMurry Rothbard. Hoppe asserts that since verbal argumentation aims to resolve conflicts in a non-violent way, only the Non-aggression principle is consistent with that aim and therefore only it can be justified without contradiction. Hoppe's approach is a praxeological examination of the act of discourse.

http://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Argumentation_ethics
 

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Clayton replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 9:21 PM

hume's guillotine

OK, let's slow down with the guillotine. While it is true that we can't derive ought from is - flatly stated - the matter deserves more careful consideration. Is there really nothing that "what is" tells us about what we ought to do? Clearly, what is informs what we ought to do once we have fixed an end. For example if your end is to land a man on the moon, then you ought to study rocket science. The difficulty with a flatly stated ought is that it neglects the "if", that is, it does not account for individual valuation and ends.

But to say that there is no correlation between is and ought is the same thing as to say that humans have no nature, that is, no propensity to have these rather than those ends. This is simply false. There is such a thing as human nature - versus dog nature or bird nature - and one consequence of this is that there are human ends. Hence, we can say things like "if you are a human being, then you ought to _______" because there are statements which satisfy this conditional!

Clayton -

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the existence of a human nature is a question either based on empiricism (and i know austro-libertarianism rejects that) or on an assumption (stemming from the action axiom). if you're making the assumption human nature exists, someone else can equally validly make the assumption that they're the only human and have a right to own the rest of us automatons as slaves.

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 9:55 PM

"someone else can equally validly make the assumption that they're the only human and have a right to own the rest of us automatons as slaves."

But that does not invalidate the axiom that "humans act". 

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But that does not invalidate the axiom that "humans act".

that doesn't address my point

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 10:04 PM

Well if you are going to require that I adress your points, I will require the same.

Doesn't your act of argumentation imply that you recognize both your own self ownership and my self ownership. Otherwise, why are you trying to convince me? This proves the natural right of self ownership. 

The existance of some other human and his belief in being the only human in the universe is irrelivant. You have already proven that you believe we are both self owners.

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Doesn't your act of argumentation imply that you recognize both your own self ownership and my self ownership.

no

Otherwise, why are you trying to convince me?

because i can

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 10:09 PM

So if I am not a self owner, who owns me? And why aren't you trying to convince them rather than me?

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So if I am not a self owner, who owns me?

that would require empirical observation, depending on definitions

And why aren't you trying to convince them rather than me?

maybe i should

 

>Doesn't your act of argumentation imply that you recognize both your own self ownership and my self ownership. Otherwise, why are you trying to convince me? This proves the natural right of self ownership.

as i said, as far as i am concerned i only arbitrarily recognise your self-ownership - in another time and place, i might not have
this only "proves" (if we are accepting a wide array of other assumptions, such as that we can learn things about the universe) that both of use consider the other to have self-ownership. where that self-ownership stems from has not been proven, since it could be a product of social circumstance rather than nebulous objective truths.
 

>The existance of some other human and his belief in being the only human in the universe is irrelivant. You have already proven that you believe we are both self owners.

since this hasn't been proven, the automaton assumption is relevant as it is just as valid as the human nature assumption, the learning about the universe assumption, and the i'm-not-a-brain-in-a-jar assumption etc etc
the pragmatic approach to the difficulty of choosing which assumptions to discard is to use empiricism. hence austro-libertarianism, to have applicability in the real world, must empirically prove a human nature.

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 10:20 PM

Cop out. You just said that I am not a selfowner even while you imply it through your actions. Ive got points on the board, you don't, not until you can back up your position. So who owns me, and on what basis?

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Cop out. You just said that I am not a selfowner even while you imply it through your actions.

no i don't. you're evading the argument.

Ive got points on the board, you don't, not until you can back up your position.

you're avoiding responding to my post.

So who owns me, and on what basis?

we're getting to that.

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 10:27 PM

I think you are stuck on the word empiricism. I don't know why.  As I understand it, Austrians reject empiricism in order to make predictions. The issue of rights has nothing to do with predictions at all. So maybe you can explain how using empiricism to justify rights is a problem for you.

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I think you are stuck on the word empiricism. I don't know why.  As I understand it, Austrians reject empiricism in order to make predictions. The issue of rights has nothing to do with predictions at all. So maybe you can explain how using empiricism to justify rights is a problem for you.

i could, but i don't disagree or see a need to. you have to define what you mean.

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for example, using conventional austrolibertarian definitions, i choose (usually implicitly, only explicitly now because our attention is being drawn to the subject) to recognise your self-ownership because i have been raised and socialised in an environment where that right is bestowed on everyone through an arbitrary political, social and moral order.

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austro-libertarians have nothing to do with empiricism in the justification of rights, it is true, but only because they base their argument around an assumption (of human nature) rather than proof of that nature

 

BET YOU DIDNT LEARN THAT SHIT IN YOUTUBE MISES.ORG ECON 101

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 10:37 PM

Why aren't you arguing that empiricism is required to know that argumentation has taken place? Without empiricism, there is no possibility of knowledge. I am confused what you are trying to say about the difference between empiricism and any other method.

 

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>You just said that I am not a selfowner

when i said "it depends" i meant that it depends on circumstances of time and space (if we lived in a slave society and you had been arbitrarily designated "slave" by the political, social and moral order, i would say no, you're not a self-owner, whereas in the present order i say yes, you are)

 

ill be back in a sec

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>Why aren't you arguing that empiricism is required to know that argumentation has taken place? Without empiricism, there is no possibility of knowledge. I am confused what you are trying to say about the difference between empiricism and any other method.

why is the burden of proof upon me to show we both exist? why can't it be an unprovable assumption which we accept on pragmatic grounds? i certainly accept the assumption when i go about my day to day life, i bet you do too
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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 10:52 PM

Fine, argumentation is the pragmatic basis for natural rights. It is both unproveable and unfalsifiable, as are all other ideas, ever.

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Fine, argumentation is the pragmatic basis for natural rights. It is both unproveable and unfalsifiable, as are all other ideas, ever.

so nature isn't the basis for natural rights?

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>Fine, argumentation is the pragmatic basis for natural rights. It is both unproveable and unfalsifiable, as are all other ideas, ever.
having made the assumption that we can learn things about the universe, things become provable. the three basic assumptions everyone makes outside of a lunatique asylum are 1. i exist 2. the universe exists 3. it is possible to learn things about the universe. rejecting these assumptions is called solipsism, an epistemological and metaphysical dead end which humans can't operate in.
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Clayton replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 11:06 PM

the existence of a human nature is a question either based on empiricism (and i know austro-libertarianism rejects that)

Austrianism does not reject empirical evidence - empiricism doesn't mean "accepts empirical evidence", it means "rejects all metaphysical positions as equally meaningless." And, yes, the action axiom is a metaphysical position, so Austrianism is incompatible with empiricism.

or on an assumption (stemming from the action axiom). if you're making the assumption human nature exists, someone else can equally validly make the assumption that they're the only human and have a right to own the rest of us automatons as slaves.

An appeal to solipsism is hardly a slam-dunk-with-hang-time argument, so don't get too smug just yet (after all, I can reject that someone else's assumption and re-substitute my own... all humans act... it's a fool's game).

The action axiom isn't something that Austrians are interested in persuading people to agree to. If you reject the action axiom, then Austrianism doesn't really have anything to say to you because any Austrian argument stats with the action axiom. So, you're free to reject it, of course, but in that case you cannot criticize Austrianism on its own grounds.

In my opinion, trying to make the case that human beings do not act purposefully is a rather tall order... but to each his own.

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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 11:07 PM

But those are assumptions about nature. How is that anything other than making nature the basis?

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>Austrianism does not reject empirical evidence - empiricism doesn't mean "accepts empirical evidence", it means "rejects all metaphysical positions as equally meaningless." And, yes, the action axiom is a metaphysical position, so Austrianism is incompatible with empiricism.
and hence falls victim to occam's razor since it makes one more assumption than everyone else
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dude6935 replied on Wed, Aug 29 2012 11:33 PM

Isn't that a circular dependency?

In other words, if your idea relies on Occam's razor, in addition to other assumptions, then it is no longer the simpler idea.

 

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