Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Are libertarians inherently thick?

This post has 146 Replies | 4 Followers

Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185
mikachusetts Posted: Thu, Mar 17 2011 2:07 PM

So the orthodox definition of libertarianism is something along the lines of "a political philosophy which holds that the use of force is only justifiable in defending persons and their property." From that one can flesh out the NAP and and private property and build the whole skeleton that is modern libertarianism.

Most scholars and advocates seem to subscribe to the view that libertarianism is ONLY a political philosophy and not a moral or ethical code (the thin position), but notably the left libertarians believe that there are additional aspects beyond political philosophy inherent in libertarianism (the thick position).

Here's the thing, if being a libertarian means holding libertarianism as a political philosphy, then there is nothing "unlibertarian" (in a formal sense) about stealing, murdering, etc.  As long as I think, "My actions are unjust, but I don't care" I am clearly a libertarian.

On the other hand, if being libertarian means that in addition to subscribing to libertarian beliefs one is duty bound to act accordingly, then is it fair to say that libertarianism is only a political philosophy and not a moral code?

What do you think?

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 90
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,008
Points 16,185

Well I do not know if what you said about left libs is entirely true.... after having a couple debates with Scott,  I know that he holds to the NAP and property rights. But he likes to add in other things on top of the NAP and property claiming that the NAP is a good principle but it isnt enough.

My Blog: http://www.anarchico.net/

Production is 'anarchistic' - Ludwig von Mises

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

Well I do not know if what you said about left libs is entirely true.... after having a couple debates with Scott,  I know that he holds to the NAP and property rights. But he likes to add in other things on top of the NAP and property claiming that the NAP is a good principle but it isnt enough.

Right, thats what I was trying to say about the left libs (sorry if I was unclear).  Its not a rejection of the those things outright, but rather the belief that there are other ethical aspects to libertarianism that are not covered by the NAP and property.

 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Thu, Mar 17 2011 3:09 PM

mikachusetts:

Here's the thing, if being a libertarian means holding libertarianism as a political philosphy, then there is nothing "unlibertarian" (in a formal sense) about stealing, murdering, etc.  As long as I think, "My actions are unjust, but I don't care" I am clearly a libertarian.

That holds for every political or ethical theory, libertarianism is no special application. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

Merlin:
mikachusetts:

Here's the thing, if being a libertarian means holding libertarianism as a political philosphy, then there is nothing "unlibertarian" (in a formal sense) about stealing, murdering, etc.  As long as I think, "My actions are unjust, but I don't care" I am clearly a libertarian.

That holds for every political or ethical theory, libertarianism is no special application. 

I agree.  So why is there a debate over whether specifically libertarians should accept government aid (for education or otherwise)?  If libertarians have no duty to act according to the NAP, the question ought to be a moot point.  The answer must be "Whether libertarians should accept government handouts is of no matter to libertarianism."

-But--if this answer is unsatisfactory, and I think it is to a lot of people, then they are really saying that libertarianism requires more than what it claims.

 

(I mostly think this is novel idea worth discussing, not a game-breaking insight).

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

mikachusetts:
I agree.  So why is there a debate over whether specifically libertarians should accept government aid (for education or otherwise)?  If libertarians have no duty to act according to the NAP, the question ought to be a moot point.

What is a libertarian?

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Ok, let's try again.

Let's assume a libertarian is someone who is into libertarianism.

And libertarianism is based on the notion of a private property order founded on the principle of non-aggression.

So from this we can deduce that a libertarian should probably be for (1) non-aggression and (2) private property.

Based on that, a libertarian can't still be a libertarian, and be for aggression or theft.

So remove all sorts of means and ends that require participation in theft or aggression from what a libertarian can do or support, and still be called a libertarian.

You follow me so far?

Everyone is thick.  But being libertarian means that your personal ethical preferences cannot be in contradiction to non-aggression/theft.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 50
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,209
Points 35,645
Merlin replied on Thu, Mar 17 2011 6:08 PM

 

It is at times such as these that I turn to Misesian utilitarism, and not to libertarianism as such. Here’s the tools. The ends are yours to decide. This could be all that any philosophy would hope to teach. 

The Regression theorem is a memetic equivalent of the Theory of Evolution. To say that the former precludes the free emergence of fiat currencies makes no more sense that to hold that the latter precludes the natural emergence of multicellular organisms.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Merlin, I absolutely agree.  And if your ends are libertarian, that is to pursue action which is not theft or aggression, then there are some things we can deduce as consistent means to achieve those ends.

I am not a Rothbardian, I don't believe in natural rights at all.  But Misesian Utilitarians seem to use their position very often to avoid making any statement about ethical or moral values.  And I am not afraid to do that.  I can stand up tall and say that I believe that murder is wrong.  I won't force you to agree, I can accept that you might like to mass murder.  I won't like it, I won't agree with it, but I realize that being against murder is MY VALUE and not yours.

Rothbardians in particular, but anyone subscribing to an objective set of ethics, cannot tolerate the notion of more than one set of ethical values.  I can.  I am not in denial about ethics being subjective, it just so happens that my ethics and the ethics of natural rights people generally coincide.  I properly know my values are subjective, they try to support their values with some objective reasoning.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,189
Points 22,990

Great posts on this thread.

^As for what a libertarian is, I would say most consistently it would be the NAP, because all ethics based libertarian arguments stem from it. But not all libertarians follow it  through and through
A lot of the libertarian left seem to suffer from an understanding of freedom. Many take the NAP as a definition then seem to add things on top of it, drawing in the idea of equality. This idea of "positive liberty". They miss the fact that freedom brings equality, and using force to bring it, or wishing it true through central planning doesn't make it appear.

What's worse is that they don't see freedom as a seperate idea from equality. That's why they don't think we are anarchists or libertarians. Of course not all of this post was directed the left libertarian free marketers, but more of the collectivist kind. Equality and freedom are correlated but because freedom brings equality, and not in the socialist sense that we are all poor.

Freedom has always been the only route to progress.

Post Neo-Left Libertarian Manifesto (PNL lib)
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 3,055
Points 41,895

Here's the thing, if being a libertarian means holding libertarianism as a political philosphy, then there is nothing "unlibertarian" (in a formal sense) about stealing, murdering, etc.  As long as I think, "My actions are unjust, but I don't care" I am clearly a libertarian.

What if you don't see it as unjust?

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 396
Points 6,715
Drew replied on Thu, Mar 17 2011 10:18 PM

You are not really stealing from anyone if they offer it to you. I personally don't really feel like taking money from the governement, that's not because "I'm a libertarian".

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 5:35 AM

"You are not really stealing from anyone if they offer it to you."

Pretty simple, aye? If you exchange goods with someone and it turns out the person was a thief & they were stolen goods... then unbeknownst to you, or even if you do know - you've semi supported crime (we'll just go ahead and assume the best case argument for the opposition here)... the thief got money for his transaction.

Yet when you deal with government - WHAT DO THEY GET? HOW DO THEY BENEFIT? The notion is yes - they get votes. Absolutely correct. But as a libertarian, you can choose NOT to give that too them.

And so Walter Block's article on the matter, makes complete sense. Great point. smiley

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 177
Points 2,860
Naevius replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 8:24 AM

And so Walter Block's article on the matter, makes complete sense. Great point. smiley

Could you link to this article, please?

Rothbardians in particular, but anyone subscribing to an objective set of ethics, cannot tolerate the notion of more than one set of ethical values.  I can.  I am not in denial about ethics being subjective, it just so happens that my ethics and the ethics of natural rights people generally coincide.  I properly know my values are subjective, they try to support their values with some objective reasoning.

You know, Libertystudent, this has been a question I've been meaning to ask of someone for a while, so I hope you don't mind if I ask it here: If there is no objective moral value, how do you validate using force against those who murder and steal if it's only your subjective moral value over another's? If it's because property rights and the non aggression principle cause the greatest good for the greatest number, why is this something that should be aimed for in the first place?

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 313
Points 6,560
Eric replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 9:08 AM

What one person considers aggression may not be aggression for another perosn. Lets say I don't recognize homesteading as a good claim for ownership of land and you do. Say I go and try to pick an apple from a tree on land you claim is yours, you try to stop me, and I resist. Then we each believe that the other person is the "Aggressor."

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 9:27 AM

"What is a libertarian?"

What Libertarianism Is - Stephan Kinsella.

But then I know you've read it, you're the one who made me aware of it lol.

"Everyone is thick. "

There is a distinction / difference between political philosophy & personal ethics.

"It is at times such as these that I turn to Misesian utilitarism, and not to libertarianism as such. Here’s the tools. The ends are yours to decide. This could be all that any philosophy would hope to teach. "

It's at times like these people need to go back to the basics.

"Libertarianism, then, is a philosophy seeking a policy. But what else can a libertarian philosophy say about strategy, about “policy”? In the first place, surely-again in Acton’s words-it must say that liberty is the “highest political end,” the overriding goal of libertarian philosophy. Highest political end, of course, does not mean “highest end” for man in general. Indeed, every individual has a variety of personal ends and differing hierarchies of importance for these goals on his personal scale of values. Political philosophy is that subset of ethical philosophy which deals specifically with politics, that is, the proper role of violence in human life (and hence the explication of such concepts as crime and property). Indeed, a libertarian world would beone in which every individual would at last be free to seek and pursue his own ends-to “pursue happiness,” in the felicitous Jeffersonian phrase." - TEOL, chp 30

If anyone is going to make wise cracks about "political" end, ya'll gonna have to do better than that.

This may help explain it further:

"How about Professor Block's second premise, that evil is only the initiation of violence? Here I think it is possible to partially reconcile the Block and Halliday positions. It is a question of what context we are dealing with. I would agree with Block that within the context of libertarian theory, evil must be confined to the initiation of violence. On the other hand, when we proceed from libertarianism to the question of wider social and personal ethics, then I would agree with Halliday that there are many other actions which should be considered as evil: lying, for example. or deliberately failing to fulfill one's best potential. But these are not matters about which liberty - the problem of the proper scope of violence - has anything to say. In short, qua libertarian there is nothing wrong or evil about breaking dates, being gratuitously nasty to one's associates, or generally behaving like a cad: here not only do I join Professor Block, but I would expect Mr. Halliday and all other libertarians to do the same. On the other hand, qua general ethicist, I would join Mr. Halliday in denouncing such behavior, while Professor Block would not."

.... From one of the oldschool journal articles. Block's recent response:
"Block: I'm shocked that I ever wrote it. I don't think I meant it. I agree, fully, with Murray."

"Rothbardians in particular, but anyone subscribing to an objective set of ethics, cannot tolerate the notion of more than one set of ethical values."

Ohhh, tolerance! Buzz word.

And states Hoppe (1997, 23):

"To maintain that no such thing as a rational ethic exists does not imply “tolerance” and “pluralism,” as champions of positivism such as Milton Friedman falsely claim, and moral absolutism does not imply “intolerance” and “dictatorship.” To the contrary, without absolute values “tolerance” and “pluralism” are just other arbitrary ideologies, and there is no reason to accept them rather than any others such as cannibalism and slavery. Only if absolute values, such as a human right of self-ownership exist, that is, only if “pluralism” or “tolerance” are not merely among a multitude of tolerable values, can pluralism and tolerance in fact be safeguarded.

~ 1997. “The Western State as a Paradigm: Learning from History.” in Paul Gottfried, ed., Politics and Regimes: Religion & Public Life, Vol. 30, Edison, NJ: Transaction Publishers; www.hanshoppe.com/wpcontent/uploads/publications/hoppe_western-state-paradigm-1997.pdf

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,939
Points 49,110
Conza88 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 9:32 AM

"Could you link to this article, please?"

Here we go. smiley

"What one person considers aggression may not be aggression for another perosn. Lets say I don't recognize homesteading as a good claim for ownership of land and you do. Say I go and try to pick an apple from a tree on land you claim is yours, you try to stop me, and I resist. Then we each believe that the other person is the "Aggressor."

Oh disagreement? Well well! Hehe.

"Ethics - the validity of the principle of self-ownership and original appropriation - is demonstrably not dependent and contingent upon agreement or contract; and the universality claim connected with Rothbard's libertarianism is not affected in the slightest by the circumstance that moral discussants may or may not always come to an agreement or contract. Ethics is the logical-praxeological presupposition - in Kantian terminology: die Bedingung der Moeglichkeit - rather than the result of agreement or contract. The principles of self-ownership and original appropriation make agreement and contract - including that of not agreeing and contracting - possible. Set in motion and stimulated by the universal experience of conflict, moral discussion and argument can discover, reconstruct, explicate, and formulate the principles of self-ownership and original appropriation, but their validity in no way depends on whether or not this is the case, and if so whether or not these formulations then find universal assent." - Hoppe, Intro to TEOL.
 

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Eric:
What one person considers aggression may not be aggression for another perosn.

We're talking about libertarians.

Eric:
Lets say I don't recognize homesteading as a good claim for ownership of land and you do. Say I go and try to pick an apple from a tree on land you claim is yours, you try to stop me, and I resist. Then we each believe that the other person is the "Aggressor."

Hence the need for some concept(s) of property rights, so we can determine mine and thine, because we both have concepts of mine and thine, the rest is up to abitration and negotiation.  Violence is rarely in both parties interest.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

Liberty Student:
Let's assume a libertarian is someone who is into libertarianism.

And libertarianism is based on the notion of a private property order founded on the principle of non-aggression.

So from this we can deduce that a libertarian should probably be for (1) non-aggression and (2) private property.

Based on that, a libertarian can't still be a libertarian, and be for aggression or theft.

So remove all sorts of means and ends that require participation in theft or aggression from what a libertarian can do or support, and still be called a libertarian.

You follow me so far?

Everyone is thick.  But being libertarian means that your personal ethical preferences cannot be in contradiction to non-aggression/theft.

I understand, but my point I think is in the looseness of what it means to "be for" this or that.  So certainly I agree when you say you can't be for aggression and be a libertarian; but it is most definately possible to act contrary to my own moral code.  I guess in a praxeological framework though, it wouldn't make sense to say that I wasn't for my action at the time I acted, at that time I was either abandoning my moral code -or- was unaware that my actions were contrary to my ethics (can that even be the case)? 

Caley McKibbin:
What if you don't see it as unjust?

Well I think it is within the role of libertarianism as a political philosophy to point out what is just or unjust.  So if you accept the base claim that aggression is unjust but think taxation is OK, you've missed a step in the logic somewhere.  But if you reject the foundations of libertarianism altogether and think taxation is just, you probably aren't fancying yourself a libertarian in the first place (unless you're Glenn Beck).

Liberty Student:
What is a libertarian?

Exactly!  If being a libertarian means acting according to your belief, what does it say about consitency?  How often do I have to act in-line with libertarianism to remain a libertarian?  Do I get 3 strikes?  Is it just mostly an effort thing?  This is silly, right?  The fact that libertarianism has nothing to say about these things implies to me that it has nothing to say about whether I should act in accordance with the political philosophy to which I subscribe!

(P.S:  Does anyone here abstain from murder and theft just because of an adherence to the NAP?  If you no longer believed in libertarianism as a political theory do you think your actions would change all that much? )

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 177
Points 2,860
Naevius replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 10:25 AM

Oh disagreement? Well well! Hehe.

"Ethics - the validity of the principle of self-ownership and original appropriation - is demonstrably not dependent and contingent upon agreement or contract; and the universality claim connected with Rothbard's libertarianism is not affected in the slightest by the circumstance that moral discussants may or may not always come to an agreement or contract. Ethics is the logical-praxeological presupposition - in Kantian terminology: die Bedingung der Moeglichkeit - rather than the result of agreement or contract. The principles of self-ownership and original appropriation make agreement and contract - including that of not agreeing and contracting - possible. Set in motion and stimulated by the universal experience of conflict, moral discussion and argument can discover, reconstruct, explicate, and formulate the principles of self-ownership and original appropriation, but their validity in no way depends on whether or not this is the case, and if so whether or not these formulations then find universal assent." - Hoppe, Intro to TEOL.

Thanks, Conza. That actually makes a lot more sense now. I think I'll have to go track down the book you quoted from and give it a read.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

mikachusetts:
I understand, but my point I think is in the looseness of what it means to "be for" this or that.  So certainly I agree when you say you can't be for aggression and be a libertarian; but it is most definately possible to act contrary to my own moral code.  I guess in a praxeological framework though, it wouldn't make sense to say that I wasn't for my action at the time I acted, at that time I was either abandoning my moral code -or- was unaware that my actions were contrary to my ethics (can that even be the case)?

You got it.

mikachusetts:
Liberty Student:
What is a libertarian?

Exactly!  If being a libertarian means acting according to your belief, what does it say about consitency?

Back to praxeology.

mikachusetts:
How often do I have to act in-line with libertarianism to remain a libertarian?  Do I get 3 strikes?  Is it just mostly an effort thing?  This is silly, right?

Absolutely silly.  An action is either consistent with libertarianism or it is not.  A libertarian is someone who tries to act consistently within libertarianism.

mikachusetts:
The fact that libertarianism has nothing to say about these things implies to me that it has nothing to say about whether I should act in accordance with the political philosophy to which I subscribe!

Because the word apple doesn't have anything to say about whether you should regard apples as apples, then  ....

mikachusetts:
(P.S:  Does anyone here abstain from murder and theft just because of an adherence to the NAP?  If you no longer believed in libertarianism as a political theory do you think your actions would change all that much? )

I was a libertarian before I knew what libertarianism was.  All of the hardcore sincere anarchists I know are the same way.  We got it, before we knew about it.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,417
Points 41,720
Moderator
Nielsio replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 12:08 PM

Why would a person want to be a libertarian if they're not willing to live by it themselves?

Wanting only OTHER people to be libertarian simply means you're not a libertarian yourself.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205
Micah71381 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 12:24 PM

As I stated in another thread, libertarianism is a political philosophy, not an ethical philosophy.  Wanting libertarianism is different from wanting to live by it yourself.

I want everyone else to behave a certain way so that things are better for me.  If that means I have to behave that same way in order for this society to function then I am willing to do that.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,417
Points 41,720
Moderator
Nielsio replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 12:33 PM

Micah71381:

As I stated in another thread, libertarianism is a political philosophy, not an ethical philosophy.  Wanting libertarianism is different from wanting to live by it yourself.

I want everyone else to behave a certain way so that things are better for me.  If that means I have to behave that same way in order for this society to function then I am willing to do that.

 

Are you saying you have a need to rape and steal and murder?

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205
Micah71381 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 12:35 PM

The NAP is an ethical philosophy.  You can subscribe to the NAP ethically and not to the libertarian political philosophy.  You can also subscribe to the libertarian political philosophy and not to the NAP ethical philosophy.  You can also subscribe to both at the same time.

Unfortunately, many people get ethical philosophies and political philosophies confused in conversation and try to apply libertarianism to ethics and the NAP to politics.  This is what leads to people saying, "you aren't libertarian if you accept government handouts".  What they really mean is, "you aren't a NAP believer if you accept government handouts".

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205
Micah71381 replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 12:41 PM

Nielsio:

Are you saying you have a need to rape and steal and murder?

No because I don't believe that would increase my net utility and even if it did, I do not believe the risk is worth the reward.

One does not have to be morally bound to avoid murder, rape, theft, etc.  There are economic reasons not to do such things.  It is opinion that economic barriers are more effective than moral barriers.  Looking at history we can see that traders generally prefer peace but people following a moral code tend to want war.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,417
Points 41,720
Moderator
Nielsio replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 12:49 PM

Micah71381:

Nielsio:

Are you saying you have a need to rape and steal and murder?

No because I don't believe that would increase my net utility and even if it did, I do not believe the risk is worth the reward.

 
I'm not asking you if you anticipate being better off, I'm asking you if you have need for it.
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

Thanks for the insight LS.

Ultimately, it is impossible to act contrary to one's values.  Although I can imagine situations where it might seem otherwise, I am ignoring fundamently what it means to act: the use of means to achieve ends.  The example of a libertarian thief who supports libertarianism as a political philosphy but not a moral code assumes that he actually supports the former.  However, it is inconceivable that someone could hold a given value (end) and act against it--he must be holding a different value.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

mikachusetts:
However, it is inconceivable that someone could hold a given value (end) and act against it--he must be holding a different value.

Bingo, which is why just because someone is a libertarian on the internet, doesn't mean they actually have libertarian values. I try to judge action by the means and ends, not the motives and propaganda.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Micah71381:
The NAP is an ethical philosophy.  You can subscribe to the NAP ethically and not to the libertarian political philosophy.

What is the libertarian political philosophy?

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

Micah71381:
Looking at history we can see that traders generally prefer peace but people following a moral code tend to want war.

Come on, this is just untrue.  "Traders who prefer peace" is an expressment of their own moral code:  voluntary exchange.  Your own utilitarian reasons for not raping and murdering constitutes a moral code.  Don't conflate all of morality with an objective morality imposed on the world. 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205

Nielsio:

Micah71381:

Nielsio:

Are you saying you have a need to rape and steal and murder?

No because I don't believe that would increase my net utility and even if it did, I do not believe the risk is worth the reward.

I'm not asking you if you anticipate being better off, I'm asking you if you have need for it.

I'm not sure where you are going with this or how it is relevant but I'll bite.  No, I have no need for raping or murdering.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205

mikachusetts:

Micah71381:
Looking at history we can see that traders generally prefer peace but people following a moral code tend to want war.

Come on, this is just untrue.  "Traders who prefer peace" is an expressment of their own moral code:  voluntary exchange.  Your own utilitarian reasons for not raping and murdering constitutes a moral code.  Don't conflate all of morality with an objective morality imposed on the world. 

Ah, I have run into this before.  You are misusing the word "moral".  As defined in several dictionaries it is dependant on a metaphysical belief in right/wrong.  The word is rooted in a belief in the unproveable, that there is an objective rigth/wrong.

What you are trying to get at is personal decision making processes commonly referred to as value judgments.  Value judgments are what all humans make.  Morality will influence value judgements in some people, but not in all people.  It is entirely possible for someone to have no belief in morality (moral nihilism).

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205

liberty student:

Micah71381:
The NAP is an ethical philosophy.  You can subscribe to the NAP ethically and not to the libertarian political philosophy.

What is the libertarian political philosophy?

According to merriam-webster a libertarian is:

 a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

Libertarianism being the political philosophy with a matching description:

 a political philosophy which upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

Note that this definition does not define why a person upholds those principles, just that they do.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Micah71381:
According to merriam-webster a libertarian is:

 a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

Libertarianism being the political philosophy with a matching description:

 a political philosophy which upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action

Note that this definition does not define why a person upholds those principles, just that they do.

I don't care why you hold those principles, only that you do.  So apply them consistently.  If you claim to be a libertarian, be consistent with libertarianism.  And that means non-aggression because aggression is not compatible with individual liberty.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 653
Points 13,185

Micah:
Ah, I have run into this before.  You are misusing the word "moral".

I am not. 

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

"enough about human rights. what about whale rights?" -moondog
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 447
Points 8,205

mikachusetts:

Micah:
Ah, I have run into this before.  You are misusing the word "moral".

I am not. 

Dictionary.com:

of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules ofright conduct or the distinction between right and wrong

founded on the fundamental principles of right conduct ratherthan on legalities, enactment, or custom

expressing or conveying truths or counsel as to rightconduct, as a speaker or a literary work

conforming to the rules of right conduct

Merriam-Webster:

of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior

expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior

conforming to a standard of right behavior

sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment

Notice how almost all definitions use the word "right"?

Right:

in accordance with what is good, proper, or just

You cannot define moral without defining good/proper/just/correct.  All of these are either subjective or you believe in an absolute to them which depends on a metaphysical belief system.

If I eat breakfast it's not because I believe it's 'right'.  I eat breakfast because I belive it will maximize my utility.  I don't avoid killing people beacuse I think it's 'right'.  I avoid killing people because I believe it will maximize my utility.  This is me making a value judgement, not making a moral decision.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 313
Points 6,560
Eric replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 2:45 PM

Oh disagreement? Well well! Hehe.

"Ethics - the validity of the principle of self-ownership and original appropriation - is demonstrably not dependent and contingent upon agreement or contract; and the universality claim connected with Rothbard's libertarianism is not affected in the slightest by the circumstance that moral discussants may or may not always come to an agreement or contract. Ethics is the logical-praxeological presupposition - in Kantian terminology: die Bedingung der Moeglichkeit - rather than the result of agreement or contract. The principles of self-ownership and original appropriation make agreement and contract - including that of not agreeing and contracting - possible. Set in motion and stimulated by the universal experience of conflict, moral discussion and argument can discover, reconstruct, explicate, and formulate the principles of self-ownership and original appropriation, but their validity in no way depends on whether or not this is the case, and if so whether or not these formulations then find universal assent." - Hoppe, Intro to TEOL.

This is because rothbard believed in natural rights. However, there are no such things as natural rights. The NAP does not make sense in the context of ethical relativism.

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 25 Contributor
Male
Posts 4,922
Points 79,590
Autolykos replied on Fri, Mar 18 2011 2:45 PM

I, for one, hold to libertarian political philosophy because I hold to libertarian moral philosophy.

The keyboard is mightier than the gun.

Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.

Voluntaryism Forum

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 11,343
Points 194,945
ForumsAdministrator
Moderator
SystemAdministrator

Eric:
This is because rothbard believed in natural rights. However, there are no such things as natural rights. The NAP does not make sense in the context of ethical relativism.

The NAP isn't dependent on natural rights.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
  • | Post Points: 20
Page 1 of 4 (147 items) 1 2 3 4 Next > | RSS