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Estoppel - Argumentation Ethics - Aggression

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nskinsella replied on Mon, Dec 14 2009 10:48 AM

Update: Another interesting thread is the anti-state.com forum The Great Hoppe Debate, which discussed Defending Argumentation Ethics: Reply to Murphy & Callahan; see also Hülsmann on Argumentation Ethics; Revisiting Argumentation Ethics, Mises and Argumentation Ethics.

Stephan Kinsella nskinsella@gmail.com www.StephanKinsella.com

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Angurse replied on Mon, Dec 14 2009 1:00 PM

AJ:
The estoppel theory assumes all argumentation concerning punishment must be based on objective ethics.

Why? Couldn't it just be a basis of some common law?

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AJ has that objective/subjective, monopoly/not-monopoly so stuck in his mind i don't think he has been able to understand the strawman and red herrings it ensues.

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AJ replied on Mon, Dec 14 2009 11:50 PM

nskinsella:

AJ:

  1. The estoppel theory assumes all argumentation concerning punishment must be based on objective ethics. Why?
  2. A murderer could easily "argue" against the death penalty on utilitarian grounds, just as anyone could.
  3. He just (perhaps) cannot consistently say, "You objectively ought not hang me!" But so what?

Re 1: can you explain what you mean? I do not recall having said or implied that "all argumentation concerning punishment must be based on objective ethics".

Your argument states, [emphasis mine] "It makes no sense for him to object to punishment, because this requires that he maintain that the infliction of force is wrong, which is contradictory because he intentionally initiated force himself."

The notions of object (verb) and wrong apparently mean "object on the basis of objective ethical principles" and "objectively wrong," respectively. If this were not the case, the above statement, "It makes no sense for him to..." wouldn't hold.

In particular:

AJ:
A murderer could easily "argue" against the death penalty on utilitarian grounds, just as anyone could.

Why does it "make no sense for him to object to punishment" in this way? Your argument seems to implicitly assume that neither a subjective objection, nor one based on consequences, really count as an objection. Hence it seems, to be clear, that you're in fact talking about the concept of objective ethical objection.

nskinsella:
re 3: so then the people desiring to hang him feel justified in proceeding, since he has failed to mount a coherent objection to their prima facie case that they may treat him as he treated his victim.

To summarize, we posit that the man cannot consistently say, "You objectively ought not hang me!" You conclude, "so then the people desiring to hang him feel justified in proceeding." It seems clear, then, that justified here in fact means objectively justified. You go on to state, "he has failed to mount a coherent objection..." It seems clear, again, that objection means objection on the basis of objective ethical principles.

The argument then carries no force for anyone who rejects the concept of objective ethics (as being incoherent, flawed, etc.). Perhaps that was your intention (i.e., anyone who doesn't feel ethics are objective need not be considered), but I feel this needs to be pointed out. I also wonder why, in the first place, you presuppose objective ethics as a meaningful concept.

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AJ replied on Tue, Dec 15 2009 12:14 AM

Re: Hoppe's argumentation ethics, I still haven't seen a convincing response to this:

 

Hoppe, writing at http://www.hanshoppe.com/wp-content/uploads/publications/econ-ethics-appx.pdf:

Arguing is an activity and requires a person's exclusive control over scarce resources (one's brain, vocal chords, etc.).

So far so good.

Hoppe:
More specifically, as long as there is argumentation, there is a mutual recognition of each other's exclusive control over such resources.

Here Hoppe can charitably be interpreted in one of two ways:

  • Interpretation 1: Recognition = acknowledgment of the fact of "each other's exclusive control over such resources."
  • Interpretation 2: Recognition = acknowledgment of each other's right of exclusive control over such resources.

Hoppe:
It is this which explains the unique feature of communication: that while one may disagree about what has been said, it is still possible to independently agree at least on the fact that there is disagreement.

Note that this implies Interpretation (1) above, and does not imply Interpretation (2). So far he consistently means (1); no equivocation yet.

Hoppe:
(Lomasky does not seem to dispute this. He claims, however, that it merely proves the fact of mutually exclusive domains of control, not the right of self-ownership. He errs: Whatever - such as the law of contradiction, for instance - must be presupposed insofar as one argues, cannot be meaningfully disputed, because it is the very precondition of meaningful doubt, and hence must be regarded as indisputable, or a priori valid.

This still implies Interpretation (1), and not (2), because at best only the fact of "each other's exclusive control over such resources" need be presupposed, and only that fact cannot be meaningfully disputed. One could of course meaningfully dispute the right of exclusive control without pressupposing such a right. All that is actually required is presupposition of the fact, not the right. Lomasky may be wrong (or not), but in any case Hoppe must still intend Interpretation (1) here if Hoppe is to be interpreted charitably.

Note that switching to Interpretation (2) without explicit reference to that switch would be a bald equivocation. So far, Hoppe is in the clear.

Hoppe:
In the same vein, the fact of self-ownership is a praxeological precondition of argumentation. Anyone trying to prove or disprove anything must in fact be a self-owner.

If his argument is to coherently follow from what he wrote above, Hoppe must here define "the fact of self-ownership" as "the fact of 'each other's exclusive control over such resources'." And he must define "self-owner" as "one who has 'exclusive control over such resources'."

Hoppe still clearly means Interpretation (1) above. Still no equivocation.

Hoppe:
It is a self-contradictory absurdity then to ask for any further-reaching justification for this fact. Required, of necessity, by all meaningful argumentation, self-ownership is an absolutely and ultimately justified fact.)

From above, all Hoppe is saying here is, "each other's exclusive control over such resources" is an absolutely and ultimately justified fact. But the dear reader will note that this statement - taken at face value - does not imply Hoppe's argumentation ethics (right to exclusive control), only argumentation facts (fact of exclusive control).

No, for Hoppe's purposes, the sentence will have to carry the implication that "the right of self-ownership is an absolutely and ultimately justified fact."

Unfortunately, Hoppe can only achieve this by equivocating between Interpretation (1) and Interpretation (2).

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Hoppe:
(Lomasky does not seem to dispute this. He claims, however, that it merely proves the fact of mutually exclusive domains of control, not the right of self-ownership. He errs: Whatever - such as the law of contradiction, for instance - must be presupposed insofar as one argues, cannot be meaningfully disputed, because it is the very precondition of meaningful doubt, and hence must be regarded as indisputable, or a priori valid.

Hoppe is arguing that the right of self ownership cannot be meaningfully disputed. I think that is the only way to read this, not interpretation 1.

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Angurse replied on Tue, Dec 15 2009 1:28 PM

AJ:

Your argument states, [emphasis mine] "It makes no sense for him to object to punishment, because this requires that he maintain that the infliction of force is wrong, which is contradictory because he intentionally initiated force himself."

The notions of object (verb) and wrong apparently mean "object on the basis of objective ethical principles" and "objectively wrong," respectively. If this were not the case, the above statement, "It makes no sense for him to..." wouldn't hold.

Not to speak for Kinsella's approach theory of estoppel, but I don't think your critique is that damning.

In a situation where there were were no rules at all - no wrong, no right - you would have absolutely no ground to complain at all... about anything..ever. So in a situation where right and wrong are artificially constructed or arrived at, someone who ignored said contract could be treated quite fairly...as being in the first situation. In a non-objectionable state of nature.

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AJ replied on Wed, Dec 16 2009 12:21 PM

Angurse:
In a situation where there were were no rules at all - no wrong, no right - you would have absolutely no ground to complain at all... about anything..ever.

This is circular.

Also note that what I wrote wasn't meant to be "damning" but simply to demonstrate the underlying assumption of objective ethics in Kinsella's argument.

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Angurse replied on Wed, Dec 16 2009 3:52 PM

AJ:
This is circular.

Without rules how can one object?

AJ:

Also note that what I wrote wasn't meant to be "damning" but simply to demonstrate the underlying assumption of objective ethics in Kinsella's argument.

I have yet to see it.

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Juan replied on Wed, Dec 16 2009 5:54 PM
This is circular.
Can you please define the words :

1) this
2) is
3) circular

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Stephen replied on Wed, Dec 16 2009 10:55 PM

AJ:

Angurse:
In a situation where there were were no rules at all - no wrong, no right - you would have absolutely no ground to complain at all... about anything..ever.

This is circular.

Also note that what I wrote wasn't meant to be "damning" but simply to demonstrate the underlying assumption of objective ethics in Kinsella's argument.

Hey AJ

There is an underlying assumption of objective meaning in the words you are using. I haven't seen you demonstrate it though. Can you do that for us please, in a way that is non-circular?

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AJ replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 3:53 AM

Angurse:

AJ:
This is circular.

Without rules how can one object?

You implied rules meant right and wrong, which implies that the concept of objection (or as you said, "ground to complain") is about right and wrong. I am asking why, but you are essentially saying, "Because."

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AJ replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 3:55 AM

Stephen:
There is an underlying assumption of objective meaning in the words you are using. I haven't seen you demonstrate it though. Can you do that for us please, in a way that is non-circular?

Conflating objective factual meaning with objective ethical meaning is a red herring.

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AJ, and you going on and on about objective/subjective is a red herring.  logical fallacy of tu quoque

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Stephen replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:34 AM

AJ:

Stephen:
There is an underlying assumption of objective meaning in the words you are using. I haven't seen you demonstrate it though. Can you do that for us please, in a way that is non-circular?

Conflating objective factual meaning with objective ethical meaning is a red herring.

No AJ,

Your main criticism is that Kinsella is assuming that ethics are objective without demonstrating it, even though he has already pointed out that one must assume a framework of interpersonally meaningful rights framework, to even argue over rights. So, I'm just applying your argument, more generally, to your argument. Can you prove that the words you are using, to criticize Kinsella, have an objective meaning?

Can you give an actual answer this time. k thanx.

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Stephen:

No AJ,

Your main criticism is that Kinsella is assuming that ethics are objective without demonstrating it, even though he has already pointed out that one must assume a framework of interpersonally meaningful rights framework, to even argue over rights. So, I'm just applying your argument, more generally, to your argument. Can you prove that the words you are using, to criticize Kinsella, have an objective meaning?

Can you give an actual answer this time. k thanx.

I'm not sure thats fair, to prove his words have objective meaning, he would have to show that other people can understand his words the same way. A proof that involves other people like that is sorta mean to ask for :)

 

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wilderness replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 10:32 AM

Stephen:

Your main criticism is that Kinsella is assuming that ethics are objective without demonstrating it, even though he has already pointed out that one must assume a framework of interpersonally meaningful rights framework, to even argue over rights. So, I'm just applying your argument, more generally, to your argument. Can you prove that the words you are using, to criticize Kinsella, have an objective meaning?

good point. so my tu quoque was in haste.  i apologize.  it's more of AJ's alone straw man that i got caught up in.

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wilderness replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 10:35 AM

twistedbydsign99:

I'm not sure thats fair, to prove his words have objective meaning, he would have to show that other people can understand his words the same way. A proof that involves other people like that is sorta mean to ask for :)

I wouldn't say it's mean.  It's how any dialogue happens in the first place.  If what AJ is saying has no meaning for anybody else, then AJ isn't saying anything of value to anybody else.  It's a valid inquiry.

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AJ replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 3:37 PM

Stephen:
Your main criticism is that Kinsella is assuming that ethics are objective without demonstrating it, even though he has already pointed out that one must assume a framework of interpersonally meaningful rights framework, to even argue over rights. So, I'm just applying your argument, more generally, to your argument. Can you prove that the words you are using, to criticize Kinsella, have an objective meaning?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I never said Kinsella's words don't have objective meaning, and never asked him to prove they do, so why ask me to prove my words have objective meaning?

What I did say was, he presupposes objective ethics as a meaningful concept. If you accept objective ethics and see it as a meaningful concept, how can you see that as a criticism? It seems to me you would say, "Yes, he does, and you should, too." And maybe, "Here's why:" In other words, you could lament the fact that I don't see the meaning of this concept, and you could try to convince me. But I have not attempted to disprove objective ethics. I have simply pointed this out and asked why.

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i don't see any meaning/value in what you, AJ, say.

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Angurse replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 4:09 PM

AJ:
You implied rules meant right and wrong, which implies that the concept of objection (or as you said, "ground to complain") is about right and wrong. I am asking why, but you are essentially saying, "Because."

Thats the point. Objection is implied within the rules. Rules are guides/principles that govern behaviour -  a manner of defining whats right and wrong -  Again I ask, how exactly can one complain (raise a formal objection) without first referring to the rules?

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AJ replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 4:43 PM

I think by using the word "formal" before objection you may be trying to emphasize that the definition of objection has to be about right and wrong (maybe objective right and wrong). It's this curious definitional structure that I'm trying to understand the reason for.

Again, I'm basically saying, why define objection in this way? What is wrong with an objection based on consequences (for example)?

Maybe I can save time by pointing out that if the answer is, "An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection," then it starts to seem as if this whole notion of estopping oneself from objecting is conceived in a very narrow context of what constitutes an objection. And to that, I would again want to ask why.

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Angurse replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:02 PM

AJ:
I think by using the word "formal" before objective you may be trying to emphasize that the definition of objection has to be about right and wrong (maybe objective right and wrong). It's this curious definitional structure that I'm trying to understand the reason for.

I'm using "formal" to make the type of complaint consistent with the theory. For instance, if you were currently at the gallows and you exclaimed that you ought not to be hanged because "dying looks like a drag" that could be considered a colloquial objection, but it isn't an actual (formal) objection as it only contains a personal bias and ignores the legality (and morality) of what is transpiring (which is the purpose of estoppel).

AJ:
Maybe I can save time by pointing out that if the answer is, "An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection," then it starts to seem as if this whole notion of estopping oneself from objecting is conceived in a very narrow context of what constitutes an objection. And to that, I would again want to ask why.

As estoppel is a legal (narrow) doctrine, why shouldn't it use specialised (narrow) terms and concepts? Nobody is saying that you cannot claim that you shouldn't be hanged because, say, you'll "make an ugly corpse." Simply, that you cannot object on within terms of the rules (right/wrong).

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AJ replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 5:11 PM

I thought it was an ethical doctrine, like Hoppe's AE. (I realize estoppel in its common meaning originated as a purely legal concept...) Edit to your edit: If it's about right and wrong, isn't it ethical, not legal? We may end up having to define these terms more precisely.

Otherwise it seems we're perilously close to legal central planning (never mind that the other way would be akin to ethical central planning, but at least I've heard the argument against that: natural rights).

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Angurse replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 6:38 PM

AJ:
I thought it was an ethical doctrine, like Hoppe's AE. (I realize estoppel in its common meaning originated as a purely legal concept...) Edit to your edit: If it's about right and wrong, isn't it ethical, not legal? We may end up having to define these terms more precisely.

No. The original point of contention I made was that it, at the very least, could be a legal doctrine. But Legal doctrines still cover ethical subjects such as murder.

AJ:
Otherwise it seems we're perilously close to legal central planning (never mind that the other way would be akin to ethical central planning, but at least I've heard the argument against that: natural rights).

Again, as I said before, it could just be a common law system. Common law isn't centrally planned.

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AJ replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 7:00 PM

Angurse:
No. The original point of contention I made was that it, at the very least, could be a legal doctrine. But Legal doctrines still cover ethical subjects such as murder.

Ah, I see - so we're not talking about Kinsella's position per se. Now if it's a legal doctrine, I gather you agree that someone could object to the whole system (noting of course that that wouldn't carry any legal force as an objection)? If your answer is yes there, then we may be in agreement. And I concur it could still cover ethical subjects like murder, but it seems the estoppel argument then wouldn't strictly be saying anything ethical about those subjects, but only saying something legal about them.

Angurse:
Again, as I said before, it could just be a common law system. Common law isn't centrally planned.

Fair enough. But just to be clear, doesn't that relegate the (legal) estoppel theory to the status of either "suggestion" or "prediction" for common law?

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:03 PM

AJ:
"Here's why:"

Can you explain to me why the individual should behave morally?

AJ:
But I have not attempted to disprove objective ethics.

Because you can't. Or can you? - Fancy giving it a shot?

Also do you believe in absolute truth?

AJ:
An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection

Who determines whether the consequences are good or bad? What does that have to do with justice and the law?

Are you able to explain why an individual should behave morally? What are your objections to stealing, murder, rape?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Stephen replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:10 PM

AJ:

Stephen:
Your main criticism is that Kinsella is assuming that ethics are objective without demonstrating it, even though he has already pointed out that one must assume a framework of interpersonally meaningful rights framework, to even argue over rights. So, I'm just applying your argument, more generally, to your argument. Can you prove that the words you are using, to criticize Kinsella, have an objective meaning?

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I never said Kinsella's words don't have objective meaning, and never asked him to prove they do, so why ask me to prove my words have objective meaning?

What I did say was, he presupposes objective ethics as a meaningful concept. If you accept objective ethics and see it as a meaningful concept, how can you see that as a criticism? It seems to me you would say, "Yes, he does, and you should, too." And maybe, "Here's why:" In other words, you could lament the fact that I don't see the meaning of this concept, and you could try to convince me. But I have not attempted to disprove objective ethics. I have simply pointed this out and asked why.

K, fine. I'll bite.

Objectivity and subjectivity arise insofar as statements are agent relative (applying to some) and agent neutral (applying to all). Ethical statements are imperative/normative instead of descriptive or causal/logical. Because certain rules/modes/conventions must be followed for someone to even demand that someone else follow a certain rule or convention, those rules/modes/conventions are agent neutral and objective a priori.

Now, can you give me an answer to my question?

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Stephen replied on Thu, Dec 17 2009 9:20 PM

AJ:

I think by using the word "formal" before objection you may be trying to emphasize that the definition of objection has to be about right and wrong (maybe objective right and wrong). It's this curious definitional structure that I'm trying to understand the reason for.

Again, I'm basically saying, why define objection in this way? What is wrong with an objection based on consequences (for example)?

Maybe I can save time by pointing out that if the answer is, "An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection," then it starts to seem as if this whole notion of estopping oneself from objecting is conceived in a very narrow context of what constitutes an objection. And to that, I would again want to ask why.

An objection is an imperative statement. You're demand that a person not act in a certain manner.

An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection, at least within Kinsella's context. Appealing to consequences is also appealling to the preference of the individual about to enguage in the action that you prefer them not to. It is an attempt to show them that they are in error and that the end result of the action, contrary to their beliefs, will result in a state of affairs which would reduce their present state of satisefaction relative to a state of affairs in which they abstained. It is a desciptive argument, not an imperative one.

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Angurse replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 12:27 AM

Yes AJ,

As I've already said, I'm not speaking for Kinsella:

Angurse:
Not to speak for Kinsella's approach theory of estoppel...

I've just been showing how the Estoppel Theory can be applied without it having to be based of objective ethics. I actually think that one of the major benefits behind the estoppel theory is that it doesn't say anything about ethics, which is a far cry from being based on them. I think the estoppel theory of Kinsella draws the same approach as Hoppe's AE, from what I've read he proposes it as a legal theory of punishment, not necessarily a strict ethical theory. (To be fair, I haven't read in detail much about Kinsella's Estoppel or Hoppe's AE)

AJ:
Fair enough. But just to be clear, doesn't that relegate the (legal) estoppel theory to the status of either "suggestion" or "prediction" for common law?

Sure. Is there a problem with making suggestions?

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AJ replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 6:52 AM

Conza88:
Can you explain to me why the individual should behave morally?

Unlike Kinsella, I'm not proposing any moral, ethical, or legal standards. Why would I be interested in this question?

Conza88:

AJ:
But I have not attempted to disprove objective ethics.

Because you can't. Or can you? - Fancy giving it a shot?

I would love to give it a shot, if anyone could define it as a meaningful concept.

Conza88:
Also do you believe in absolute truth?

For example? If you mean, do I believe statements like, "Something can't be both green and not green at the same time," then definitely yes.

Conza88:
Who determines whether the consequences are good or bad?

If I say, "If you hang me, you'll feel guilty" (for instance), and the listener agrees and decides that he doesn't want to feel guilty, he may refrain. The net consequences would be "good or bad," meaning here desirable or undesirable for him.

Conza88:
What does that have to do with justice and the law?

Depends on a lot of things - how we define justice, what the legal system is, what we deem to be the purview of a legal system, etc. In the end, people who make the law will decide to make it to suit whatever interests they have, even if their interests are - for example - to implement Kinsella's estoppel.

Conza88:
Are you able to explain why an individual should behave morally? What are your objections to stealing, murder, rape?

I don't see any role for ethical central planning or central judgment. My personal objections matter only insofar as I personally get to decide the law, no? My personal "objections" to such acts would just consist of explanations as to why those things are contrary to my interests as well as what I can only presume to be the interests of others (can't say for sure because I'm not them). If I can get people to see why doing such things is not in their interests, and why punishing those things is in their interest, that seems to me the most likely way to convince them to refrain from and/or punish such acts.

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AJ replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 7:07 AM

Stephen:
Objectivity and subjectivity arise insofar as statements are agent relative (applying to some) and agent neutral (applying to all). Ethical statements are imperative/normative instead of descriptive or causal/logical. Because certain rules/modes/conventions must be followed for someone to even demand that someone else follow a certain rule or convention, those rules/modes/conventions are agent neutral and objective a priori.

Thank you for the clear statement. I do see what you mean. However, this seems to apply only, as you say, to those who wish to "demand that someone else follow a certain rule or convention." There are two modes of arguing on one's own behalf that make sense to me: 1. Trying to convince others that their self-interests may align with mine (ex: "Don't hang me or this bad thing may result for you"), and 2. Working within others' moral or legal frameworks to convince them that their law or their morality is consistent with some result that I want.  What you seem to be getting at with "demand that someone else follow a certain rule or convention" just seems a subset of mode 1. To put a finer point on it, I don't see the purpose of trying to convince others to follow an entire rule or convention when all you really need or want is for others to give you a specific result (which could be the product of a theoretically infinite set of possible rules or conventions that happen to agree on that result).

Stephen:
Now, can you give me an answer to my question?

The one about proving my words have objective meaning? I already covered that one - if it's a different one let me know.

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AJ replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 7:12 AM

Stephen:

An objection is an imperative statement. You're demand that a person not act in a certain manner.

An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection, at least within Kinsella's context. Appealing to consequences is also appealling to the preference of the individual about to enguage in the action that you prefer them not to. It is an attempt to show them that they are in error and that the end result of the action, contrary to their beliefs, will result in a state of affairs which would reduce their present state of satisefaction relative to a state of affairs in which they abstained. It is a desciptive argument, not an imperative one.

I agree with this. From that angle, I guess my point would be, again not be blunt, but so what? What do I lose by not being able to make an imperative statement? (Or not being able to consistently make an imperative statement.) What negative consequence do I experience?

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AJ replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 7:16 AM

Angurse:
Angurse:
Not to speak for Kinsella's approach theory of estoppel...

Sorry that I missed that.

Angurse:
I actually think that one of the major benefits behind the estoppel theory is that it doesn't say anything about ethics, which is a far cry from being based on them.

OK, so I'm saying that if it's a legal doctrine, I gather you agree that someone could object to the whole system (noting of course that that wouldn't carry any legal force as an objection)? If yes, we agree.

Angurse:

AJ:
Fair enough. But just to be clear, doesn't that relegate the (legal) estoppel theory to the status of either "suggestion" or "prediction" for common law?

Sure. Is there a problem with making suggestions?

Not at all Yes

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Angurse replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 7:41 AM

AJ:

OK, so I'm saying that if it's a legal doctrine, I gather you agree that someone could object to the whole system (noting of course that that wouldn't carry any legal force as an objection)? If yes, we agree.

Of course.

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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Angurse:

AJ:

OK, so I'm saying that if it's a legal doctrine, I gather you agree that someone could object to the whole system (noting of course that that wouldn't carry any legal force as an objection)? If yes, we agree.

Of course.

See AJ.  This is why the subjective/objective is a red herring.  Thanks Angurse for guiding him through this.

AJ.  If you agree with Conza that rape is wrong, because it is your personal objection - then - no point in arguing with Conza seeing that you both agree on that issue.  Unless of course you don't object to rape.

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AJ replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 7:53 AM

I do expect we all agree, in the end. It's just the words that need clarifying. [Edit: This comment was meant in the deepest sense, not an off-hand or surface-level observation.]

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AJ:
I do expect we all agree, in the end. It's just the words that need clarifying.

No.  It's not the words that need clarified.  It's that you need to understand that Conza is talking about the same thing you are.  Don't you see the irony.  you go on and on about how you don't like words but then you nit-pick and focus on words - WHEN - you even admit you are talking about the same thing as Conza.  You are stuck and waste energy on divide and conquer - when - you are dividing and conquering the very thing you agree with.

edit: ALL posts are hopefully of the deepest sense.  None more necessarily special than any other.

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Stephen replied on Fri, Dec 18 2009 10:29 AM

AJ:

Stephen:

An objection is an imperative statement. You're demand that a person not act in a certain manner.

An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection, at least within Kinsella's context. Appealing to consequences is also appealling to the preference of the individual about to enguage in the action that you prefer them not to. It is an attempt to show them that they are in error and that the end result of the action, contrary to their beliefs, will result in a state of affairs which would reduce their present state of satisefaction relative to a state of affairs in which they abstained. It is a desciptive argument, not an imperative one.

I agree with this. From that angle, I guess my point would be, again not be blunt, but so what? What do I lose by not being able to make an imperative statement? (Or not being able to consistently make an imperative statement.) What negative consequence do I experience?

You're unable to justify yourself. Something which normal civilized people care about. Something which you care about as well, as is illistrated by your attacks on objective ethical theories.

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Stephen:

An objection is an imperative statement. You're demand that a person not act in a certain manner.

An objection based on consequences isn't a real objection, at least within Kinsella's context. Appealing to consequences is also appealling to the preference of the individual about to enguage in the action that you prefer them not to. It is an attempt to show them that they are in error and that the end result of the action, contrary to their beliefs, will result in a state of affairs which would reduce their present state of satisefaction relative to a state of affairs in which they abstained. It is a desciptive argument, not an imperative one.

Since I'm a consequentialist I have to respond to this :) Couldn't it be that the appeal to consequence is an appeal to the other persons preference? Like "I know you really prefer libertarianism, so don't you think that causing force to be initiated would be immoral?" In other words one could object that the consequences would show a self contradiction.

 

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