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Morally Innocent?
Posted by: Dale Franks on Thursday, January 17, 2008

I probably shouldn't do this. But, sometimes, I just can't help myself, because certain things get up my nose. And one of those things is that so many of the ACs who've kited in here over the last few weeks haven't just been sympathetic to Steven Rhett, the man I voted to convict on drug importation charges; some of them have been positively glowing in their admiration of this "peaceful trader" who is a "hero of capitalism". Most commonly they've referred to him as "morally innocent".

Now, you know, that's an interesting term. It's interesting in a couple of ways.

First, it's interesting because usually someone is morally innocent because they did not perform an overt act. An innocent person is usually caught up in circumstances beyond their control. They do not contribute to their own difficulty.

But, of course, Mr. Rhett did commit an overt act. Knowing that the importation of drugs was illegal, he nevertheless intentionally acted in defiance of that law, and was caught red-handed. At best, he is morally neutral, because he consented, by his own choice, to undertake the known risk of discovery.

But, that doesn't go quite far enough. Because Mr. Rhett is morally complicit in quite a few less savory acts as well.

For instance, over the last decade or so, how many people do you suppose drug lords have killed, both in the United States, and in other countries? Hundreds? Thousands? How many women have been forced into prostitution? How many young girls have been picked off the streets to satisfy some drug lord's passing sexual fancy? How many dirt farmers have been enslaved and forced to grow cocaine or marijuana by the narcotrafficos? Just as a guesstimate, how many rights violations do you suppose have been personally committed by drug traffickers?

None of those crimes was committed by governments. No, they were committed by "peaceful" traders, and "heroes of capitalism" like Mr. Rhett. The money for every ounce of that 1,117 pounds of marijuana that Mr. Rhett imported was, in some way, helping to fund the murder or enslavement of truly morally innocent people, at the hands of private interests.

Mr. Rhett chose, in other words, to directly involve himself in a trade that routinely causes the death, enslavement, or some similar coercion of thousands of people on a daily basis. Moreover, Mr. Rhett must have known that he was complicit in those depredations, in that the money for that marijuana funded them, directly, or indirectly.

Sure, the fact that drugs are illegal makes them very lucrative. And, yes that leads to a rise in the power and brutality of organized crime. Illegal markets are usually very violent ones.

But whatever responsibility the state may have in creating the conditions under which the market in illegal drugs operate, the participants in that trade bear direct, personal responsibility for the depredations they choose to commit. Every of those persons are also moral actors, are they not? They choose to use coercion—and use it quite liberally—to advance their own ends.

Mr. Rhett, then, is personally responsible for freely undertaking to act in support of—indeed, to actively fund—that violence and coercion.

So, Billy Beck, you want me to tell you by what right I voted to convict Mr. Rhett? Well, I'll tell you. It was the right to use retaliatory force to punish him for participation in, and actively funding, the routine violations of the rights of life and property of thousands of people.

And it goes far beyond Mr. Rhett. Because many of us are apparently keen to buy his product, and similar ones. And every time you shell out 20 bucks for a little chronic, you're helping to pay for the murder, rape, and enslavement of human beings.

I'll go even further than that. If you're arguing that Mr. Rhett was justified in participating in this illegal activity, then you are, by implication, justifying the rights violations that the traffickers deliberately perform in order to participate in the trade. You can't bifurcate out Mr. Rhett's illegal activity from the money he knowingly provides to directly fund those rights violations.

I mean, after all, isn't that part of your whole "reasoning from first principles" deal? The examination of the ultimate results of the individual's actions?

Maybe Mr. Rhett didn't hurt anyone himself. And maybe you aren't hurting anyone by sucking on a big spliff on a Saturday night. You aren't personally doing anything bad at all. You're just knowingly paying someone else to do it for you.

I guess that makes you "morally innocent".
 
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If you have some specific proof of anybody killed by "drug lord" Stephen Rhrett, why didn’t you convict him on that, Franks?

By your logic, every pot smoker in the country could be tried as an accessory to murder.

Not even a "nice try" Franks.

DALE: Why would that trial need to be held? We’re talking moral responsibility now, aren’t we? Funny how when we’re talking about legal stuff, you jump in with the moral argument. Now that we’re talking moral stuff, you’re harping on legality.

That’s interesting.


But, hey - as long as we’re indulging in this kind of thing, we can easily show that the murders associated with the drug trade are due to people like you making the drug trade illegal. You don’t see too many beer companies shooting it out over territory, do you. But you did when there was Prohibition.

Therefore, by your own crap logic, Franks, you are the one responsible for all those murders and you are the one who should be locked in a cage.

But I wouldn’t accept that, as I am not a amoral statist like you.

DALE: Well, that’s a lot of nice strawmen, but the issue is really simpler than that. If you buy products from a person who you know will use that money to kill a rival, are you completely morally innocent? If you give money to an al-Qaida "charity", are you morally innocent knowing that the money funds terrorism?
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
And there’s another problem with your too-clever-by-half stab at self-justification, Mr. Franks. You are, "by implication", are asking us to believe that you had been on the jury and Mr. Rhett had been, instead of a smuggler, the owner-operator of a grow-house and had no connection whatsoever with murders or rapes either domestic or foreign, that then your dormant conscience would have awakened from it’s slumber and then you would have concluded that Rhett was morally innocent and that then you would have voted to aquit.

Well, I don’t buy that. You came up with this flimsy stuff about Rhett’s nebulous connections to human rights violations after the fact, to justify what you did to him. You couldn’t have cared less about human rights violations - any human rights violations. You did what you did because you like being on the side of Authority, and you enjoy that. You enjoyed evey minute of what you did to Steven Rhett, and you looked him in the eye as you did it.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
After the flame war, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m glad Dale addressed this. I was wondering how many times we were going to hear this fellow was "morally innocent" to buttress the vitriol. And oh, look, in the first comment to this post, more of the same. But I won’t do that, because I’m not a butthead pickleface like John Sabotta.

Dang! It’s so easy to slip up!
 
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
Well, he didn’t address it, and neither did you, "Linus".

But it’s interesting to see that the Franks/McQuain committment to "civility" only runs one way.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
Sadly, the flamewar was a demonstration of the reason why groups such as the Libertarian Party can never manage to accomplish much of anything before devolving into a shouting match that would make a roiling furball of Code Pinkos and Bush supporters stop and blush.

While I disagree with the drug laws in place at both the state level and the federal level, that doesn’t mean I have any sympathy for the people who willingly assist the drug cartels and gangs who account for the bulk of the drug trade. There’s a big difference between peddling a dimebag your friend grew in the woods and being the middleman for half a ton of pot grown by a drug gang. The man knowingly assisted criminals and murderers, and for that I’m happy to see him sit in the federal pen for a while.
 
Written By: InebriatedArsonist
URL: http://
One of the reasons libertarians (and I) support the abolition of drug laws is that when you have prohibition, you hand entire industries over to criminals. I think society would be better served if honest businessmen were running the recreational chemical industry.

That said, the recreational drug business is currently run by criminals, and one would have to be monumentally naive to believe that when these folks violate the drug prohibition, they take ANY care not to violate other laws.

Part of the problem with the drug laws and enforcement in this country is that far too many people like this Rhett person get off scot-free, while those lesser resources and a different skin color get maxed out in prison. I WANT to see rich white kids go to prison for drug offenses, because until we see that, perhaps quite a lot of it, people are going to continue believing that liberty is not being violated, at least not for anyone of consequence.

Finally, anyone entering into the illicit drug business does so with the same considerations that anyone makes when engaging in commerce, risk vs reward. The profitability of the drug business is very high, because the risks are high. Rhett clearly accepted this risk, and almost certainly accepted the reward. Just because what he did shouldn’t be illegal, does not mean that it can’t be illegal. This is not the kind of law that warrants Nuremberg trials, it’s just bad law that should be changed. But people that ignore these laws can do so at their peril, and may find themselves with sh*te on their shoes.

These laws don’t need to be repealed to protect criminals like Steven Rhett, they need to be changed to get criminals like Steven Rhett out of this business, and let honest business people engage in honest trade.

If you libertopians think for one second that Steven Rhett is a morally innocent peaceful man engaging in legitimate commerce who wasn’t hurting anybody, you are painfully myopic. If this were a legal enterprise, the profit margins would certainly not be enough to entice a criminal like Mr. Rhett to participate.

I have to say that I really enjoyed watching all these an-cap lunatics throw themselves over the cliffs of absurdity on this one. If a party that respects liberty is every going to gain traction in this country, they are going to have to do without these nutjobs.

Cap


 
Written By: Captin_Sarcastic
URL: http://
By your logic, every pot smoker in the country could be tried as an accessory to murder.
He was addressing the "moral innocence" of drug users, not the legal innocence.

You remember, don’t you? That is one of the main argument being made against Franks — that even though Rhrett DID commit a federal crime, he shouldn’t be convicted because he is morally innocent in trying to import a product across a national border.

As I said before, I suspect most of the ACs continue to overtly support the "illegitimate" system by paying the federal taxes that supported the trial. They are not morally innocent in the caging of Rhrett. They helped.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Also, no AC has ever answered my question about whether the government should ban a product made from an endangered species.

Would it be OK for the government to ban the importation of ivory made from the recent kill of an elephant since no one is harmed by the importation?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I’ll go even further than that. If you’re arguing that Mr. Rhett was justified in participating in this illegal activity, then you are, by implication, justifying the rights violations that the traffickers deliberately perform in order to participate in the trade. You can’t bifurcate out Mr. Rhett’s illegal activity from the money he knowingly provides to directly fund those rights violations.
I suspect most of the ACs continue to overtly support the "illegitimate" system by paying the federal taxes that supported the trial. They are not morally innocent in the caging of Rhrett. They helped.
I agree with you, JWG.

Ahh, collective guilt.

What Mr. Franks and Mr. Beck don’t realize is that they’re arguing religion: both of them see guilt in participating in what they view as criminal syndicates.

Aren’t these really two sides of the same coin?: Guilt for participating in the
"Criminal Syndicate" known as the State, and guilt for participating in the "Criminal Syndicates" of the Drug Trade?

A pox on both your houses.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
You aren’t personally doing anything bad at all. You’re just knowingly paying someone else to do it for you.
The layers of irony in this statement are like the many faces of the enneract. It’s baffling. You claim you punished him for what others did. That’s rotten enough, but anyone who looks over the original post knows it’s also a lie.
 
Written By: Brian N.
URL: http://
First, it’s interesting because usually someone is morally innocent because they did not perform an overt act. An innocent person is usually caught up in circumstances beyond their control. They do not contribute to their own difficulty.

YOUR overt act, YOUR moral guilt, Mr Franks.



 
Written By: Hugo Williams
URL: http://
While I disagree with the drug laws in place at both the state level and the federal level, that doesn’t mean I have any sympathy for the people who willingly assist the drug cartels and gangs who account for the bulk of the drug trade. There’s a big difference between peddling a dimebag your friend grew in the woods and being the middleman for half a ton of pot grown by a drug gang. The man knowingly assisted criminals and murderers, and for that I’m happy to see him sit in the federal pen for a while.
Exactly. The man isn’t some sort of hero or innocent victim of the system. He’s a person who chose to put himself at risk in order to realize a high profit on the black market. And he got caught. Sympathy is wasted on him.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Wasted, that is, unless you have a political agenda to push which needs the help.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
You claim you punished him for what others did. That’s rotten enough, but anyone who looks over the original post knows it’s also a lie.
Not really. He claimed that he punished him for his contribution to a criminal syndicate.

Kind of like how the ACers want to push moral guilt on the rest of us for supporting the "Illegitimate System".
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
And maybe you aren’t hurting anyone by sucking on a big spliff drinking taxed liquor on a Saturday night. You aren’t personally doing anything bad at all. You’re just knowingly paying someone else to do it for you.

You guys have fun arguing which is the Holier-Than-Thou Most-Moral-of-Them-All Pope of Libertarianism.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
While I disagree with the drug laws in place at both the state level and the federal level, that doesn’t mean I have any sympathy for the people who willingly assist the drug cartels and gangs who account for the bulk of the drug trade.
Exactly.

I also don’t have sympathy for agents of the government who wrongfully raid a place during their prosecution of the "war on drugs." I think they should be punished as well.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
To say that he’s "morally innocent", first, you’d have to know his motives and frame of mind in doing what he did. I don’t know for sure, but I seriously doubt that Mr.Rhett was smuggling drugs because of his deeply held belief that drug laws were immoral and he had a right, nay, a duty! to strike a blow against the statist dogs running this fair country.

Leaving aside the question of whether what he did was wrong, if he himself thought it was wrong, but did it anyway, for the filthy lucre, he’s not "morally innocent." As an analogy, if you are at a party, and creep into the room where the coats are and steal a wallet, and then later, upon examination of the wallet, find that, crap! it’s your wallet, well, legally, it’s not wrong to take your own wallet, morally, it’s not wrong to take your own wallet, unless you thought it was someone else’s wallet. If we’re talking "morals", intent matters, right?

Those claiming he is "morally innocent" are seriously overstepping their bounds, or they are being extremely imprecise with language.
 
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
Hi Brian, it’s me again.
The layers of irony in this statement are like the many faces of the enneract.
I know what AN enneract is, but what is THE enneract? Is that a multi-sided die that you and your an-cap friends use in your Libertopia Fantasy Role-Playing game? Does it determine how many hit points your character has?

"Yes, Jeff, you monster. I’ll have you know that I’m a +5 Rugged Individualist with 642 HP and a Flannel Shirt of Invisibility."
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
While I might be persuaded that Mr. Rhett bears some moral culpability based on what kind of organization he worked for, I don’t find this very persuasive...
For instance, over the last decade or so, how many people do you suppose drug lords have killed, both in the United States, and in other countries? Hundreds? Thousands? How many women have been forced into prostitution? How many young girls have been picked off the streets to satisfy some drug lord’s passing sexual fancy? How many dirt farmers have been enslaved and forced to grow cocaine or marijuana by the narcotrafficos? Just as a guesstimate, how many rights violations do you suppose have been personally committed by drug traffickers?
It seems to me that the government bears far more moral culpability for this than does a street level seller. They are responsible for their own choices, not necessarily the environment created by the government.

If, of course, Mr. Rhett participated directly in kidnappings or killings, that’s different. But it just doesn’t follow that Mr. Rhett is morally guilty because people who profit from his industry do bad things. If he is morally responsible for that, then gas station owners are morally responsible for the Saudi regime, people who use gasoline are morally responsible for Islamist tyranny and people who buy Chinese products are morally responsible for the Chinese Communist human rights abuses.

DALE: Ah, but the thing is, Jon, you can’t have it both ways. Tou can’t be guilty for supporting a corrupt system of rights violators when the violators are the state, yet innocent when the rights violators are private interests.

Either its a principle with a universal application, or it isn’t. The culpability has to run both ways.

DALE, AGAIN: The other problem I see here is that oil is a necessity. I mean, we couldn’t have the society we have now without it. The use of oil money to fund terrorism really began after we constructed that society, too. So, does the issue of necessity make a difference, since we have no choice but buy oil, or go back to subsistence farming, and burning wood or peat for fuel?
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
If you have some specific proof of anybody killed by "drug lord" Stephen Rhrett, why didn’t you convict him on that, Franks?
Because the trial was on other charges.


DUH.

I now sit back and watch as THIS thread speeds towards 200 comments as well
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
But it just doesn’t follow that Mr. Rhett is morally guilty because people who profit from his industry do bad things. If he is morally responsible for that, then gas station owners are morally responsible for the Saudi regime, people who use gasoline are morally responsible for Islamist tyranny and people who buy Chinese products are morally responsible for the Chinese Communist human rights abuses.
While I agree, I find it interesting that many of those arguing against Rhett’s conviction are using precisely that argument against those who’ve supported the system (to any degree) which has perpetrated this supposed "moral outrage".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Dale you are just a glutton for punishment aren’t you OR you’re just lazy and have found a way to get lots of postings with minimal effort....

"Flannel Shirt of Invisibility" and the "Pony Tail of Non-Conformity" (which gives the player a +2 on any rolls involving cooperation with other Players and NPC’s....)
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I am taking a deep breath before delving into this disgusting pit. I have an intimate acquaintance with this whole process and would like to call out just one piece of it. And you must forgive me if I am a bit old school in my quoting. The words count more than the formatting.

"And every time you shell out 20 bucks for a little chronic, you’re helping to pay for the murder, rape, and enslavement of human beings."

And you, Sir, took the governments gun in your own hand and pulled the trigger - that same gun of coercion that you have likely railed against in the past. You, yourself, have declared this man fit and deserving of rape, incarceration (and an enslavement you cannot fathom)and possible murder.

As said, intimate knowledge. Why was he literally "scared sh!tless?" Because he will not likely survive the 10 years. Too, you are happily supporting the worst of systems - most prisons are private, now. The graft is amazing. Do you know why Mexican inmates were put in the same rec field as blacks? Because sentences were extended, making a bottom line so much larger and predictable.

This monstrosity that starts on the street and extends through the courts and to the prisons is foul all the way through and the ONLY cleansing agent is you, us. The people who have this as their last and only way to make clear what is right and what is wrong.

Now, you may feel it was right to do what you did. But the very least you can do is ADMIT that you picked up that gun and shot it. That you sentenced that man to 10 years of rape, to at least a dozen beatings, and the appalling need to decide on which group of inmates will offer the fewest of those, thereby forcing him to rape and beat the other group.

Dear God, you cannot know what you have done. Not and be so cavalier. You should at the least be willing to envision every day this man being sodomized, this man getting a sock of D batteries against his head. You aren’t sentencing him to 10 years of reading and sleeping, Sir. I beg that you bear this in mind. As I did. As I shall each day of my own life for what I did.
 
Written By: LauraN
URL: http://
"An innocent person is usually caught up in circumstances beyond their control. They do not contribute to their own difficulty."
The reflexive cry of the square-frame Republican: "He got arrested, so he must have done something wrong!" The premise here is that you’re "innocent" so long as you obey. There are profound implications in this for both rulers (for whom this is no political or ethical constraint on the caprice of power) and ruled (whose lives, in such political conditions and always more so as they naturally progress, become directed not by the ethics of the individuals living them but by the unilateral threats of government). Ceteris paribum, I might be academically curious to know exactly how many people here would actually want to live lives like that, but this is not that circumstance and I think I already have a pretty good look at the problem.

As for the rest of it: Franks’ manifest ignorance of the destructive effects of Prohibition is appalling, but not surprising.

DALE: But that isn’t really the issue, is it, Billy? If you willingly give financial support to an organization that you know engages in regular rights violations, are you morally innocent?

You certainly don’t make the argument that you are when the organization is a government.

I stipulate explicitly that the illegal market exists solely because of government policy. But, does that excuse the immoral, rights-denying acts personally committed by the participants in that market? Does it excuse the act of funding their activities?

What’s the difference between:

1) I didn’t personally shove Jews into "showers". I just paid my taxes like a good German?

and

2) I didn’t personally kill that Columbian coffee farmer and take his land for coca production. I just purchased some of the cocaine that was grown there by the people that did.

Which of these two statements typifies moral innocence, and why?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The layers of irony in this statement are like the many faces of the enneract. It’s baffling. You claim you punished him for what others did. That’s rotten enough, but anyone who looks over the original post knows it’s also a lie.
Uh, Brian, I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. He’s simply pointing out that the dude wasn’t morally innocent.

And he’s correct.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Franks:
"We’re talking moral responsibility now, aren’t we? Funny how when we’re talking about legal stuff, you jump in with the moral argument. Now that we’re talking moral stuff, you’re harping on legality."
Have you people ever stopped once to think about the implications of severing law from morality?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Have you people ever stopped once to think about the implications of severing law from morality?
Who’s morality?

Lots of places around the world we can point to where the laws carry the weight of the local moralities. I’m pretty sure we don’t want to live in any of them either.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Wow, who knew that Franks instituted an entire system with one guilty vote.

Laura - you are making an amazing amount of smoke in the predictions that this guy is positively, absolutely, destined for rape, etc.
That’s been a common theme in the arguments, seems to be quite a fixation in fact.

I’m also trying to figure out in the new Libertarian society if everything is judge based on morality, acutal harm, or what?
Should be intensely interesting as we watch everyone’s version of morality come into play shouldn’t it.

But then, as Kyle pointed out, folks like us are too dim to understand it all, and folks like him aren’t here to actually try and convince anyone their ideas are worth snot-all.
Why they ARE here, well, it doesn’t appear they mean to accomplish anything, other than to sling their versions of morality all over the walls.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Have you people ever stopped once to think about the implications of severing law from morality?
Sure; we might actually be able to talk about by which metric we can measure government action rather than having the Natural Rights Church (Reformed) trying to spread its faith.

Where Dale fails, to me, is that he caused more harm than good. That’s a metric.

OR....
Who’s morality?
Yeah, really? Who’s morality?
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
"If you willingly give financial support to an organization that you know engages in regular rights violations, are you morally innocent?"
At the very least, Franks and even if it would please some to say only the very least about me, I would never willingly walk into a court in a case like this and convict that man. It would have cost you nothing in the world to have kept that mess off your own hands. And if you want to run that crummy little "holier-than-thou" screech on me over these facts, then have at it because it’s true: I’m not like you. In any case, this whole line is obvious nonsense. You call it an "organization". It is no more so an "organization" than the mass of people who purchase firearms, some of whom are rational and peaceful people and some of whom are not. It is a fact that people active in proscribed drug markets are just as exactly disorganized according to the principle you’re holding out as gun dealers or anyone else, and to tag all of them with "rights violations" is an attempt to argue from delusion instead of facts.
"I stipulate explicitly that the illegal market exists solely because of government policy. But, does that excuse the immoral, rights-denying acts personally committed by the participants in that market?"
Look, Franks: a drug-buy is one thing. A robbery or murder is something categorically different. You don’t get to transpose the two on your whims.
"[...]

Which of these two statements typifies moral innocence, and why?"
One obvious and crucial difference is in the fact that the drug dealer doesn’t presume to act for everyone whether they approve or not, like the state does.

DALE: Oh. So you’re NOT going to answer the question then.

That’s OK. I didn’t think you would. After all, the implications of an honest answer would be disturbing.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
He’s simply pointing out that the dude wasn’t morally innocent.

And slipping in a nice convenient context switch in the process. When he’s talking the legality, his context is only the most immediate facts of the border stop and the jury’s instructions from the judge. But when it’s moral innocence, the context is Rhett’s entire life and the entirety of the US and world’s legal, social, and moral systems, down to the social dynamics that led to men scratching stick figures on cave walls 2 million years ago.

This is just compounding Dale’s crime.

In the context in which he was legally guilty, Rhett was morally innocent. In the slightly larger context in which Dale could have legitimately and completely within the system either disqualified himself or nullified, Rhett was still morally innocent. In the context in which he may or may not be morally guilty, he has not been found, let alone been meaningfully accused of being, legally guilty.


 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
It is important, Looker, because it’s a fact. It is part and parcel of the sentence and one should not be allowed to dismiss it as something ethereal. If one is not aware of the racial segregation and sexual assaults in prison you are either a fool or you do not care. Either is fine but don’t dare pretend it isn’t happening.
 
Written By: LauraN
URL: http://
"Who’s morality?"
Aside from the grammar, that’s a very good question. I’m not going to help you through it except for this: I never see you people asking this question at the top of a discussion like this when someone like Franks is in the driver’s seat.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Kyle

Under what moral code was he morally innocent?

(No snark, that’s the crux of the matter here as I see it)
Who’s morality?"
Aside from the grammar, that’s a very good question. I’m not going to help you through it except for this: I never see you people asking this question at the top of a discussion like this when someone like Franks is in the driver’s seat.
Thanks for playing grammar cop. But if you don’t want to answer the question, and would rather make a snarky comment, stop commenting on the subject.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
There’s a lot less "snark" in it than you think, but you’re going to have to think about it in order to get it.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
So your argument is that because someone who did business with Mr. Rhett may have done business with someone who may have done business with someone who harmed another person, Mr. Rhett bears moral culpability for any such harm and deserves to be locked up for a decade? Are you sure you’ve thought such logic through to its conclusion?

By your own admission, the drug war created the situation that makes violence a fact of life in this particular market. Its completely obvious and predictable result was murder and mayhem. So does anyone who does business with the US government also deserve a decade behind bars? Maybe anyone who ever voted for a drug warrior should get sent to lockdown as well. And let’s not forget jurors who prolong the drug war by dutifully convicting defendants for possessing certain substances the drug warriors don’t want you to have. By taking the overt action of finding drug suspects guilty, aren’t they willfully prolonging the drug war, and the violence and death you concede that it causes? Better stick them in a cell, too.
 
Written By: CTD
URL: http://
Ps., "shark": your question to Kyle is enormously important. It goes to something that very few people ever think about.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Under what moral code was he morally innocent?

Wrong question. You don’t get to pick moral codes like flavors of ice cream. Better to ask: "is the moral code under which he is morally innocent the right one, or is the moral code under which he is morally guilty the right one?"

I’d be thrilled to see anybody here exhibit the bare minimum of competence needed to ask, let alone answer, that question.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
This is just compounding Dale’s crime.

"Crime" being a legal, rather than moral, concept.

Of course, you have to ask, if Dale committed a "moral crime", against whom did he commit it?
You don’t get to pick moral codes like flavors of ice cream.
Says who, and why not?
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
You don’t see too many beer companies shooting it out over territory, do you. But you did when there was Prohibition.
Ahh, now this is an argument I can support.

But see, it bring society’s preferences and utility into the argument, something some folks seem to have absolutely no will to discuss.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
Laura is making an important point.

Let’s try it like this: how many people here would be willing to explicitly sentence someone like Rhett to regular beatings with a sock full of batteries and regular rapes in the prison laundry?

You know what? I don’t think there is any way to know the real truth at the bottoms of some peoples’ hearts around here.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
This is just compounding Dale’s crime.

"Crime" being a legal, rather than moral, concept.


Kudos for ignoring the point while posing as a reasonable debater. It makes you look like you’re willing to engage, thoughtful and serious, while in actuality acting like a dishonest coward. Solid move, mate.

There, now you can retreat to the safety of looking down your nose at my manners.

Billy:
I don’t think there is any way to know the real truth at the bottoms of some peoples’ hearts around here.

Well, except for Dale’s.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
It’s true, I hesitate to pander to your cheap utilitarianism, Ms. Pseudo-Randian.

It really wouldn’t matter what the social costs or benefits of Prohibition. It was unjust because there was no right - no natural right, whatever that scrap of paper worshipped as the "Constitution" may say - to impose it.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
"Says who, and why not?"
The salient example of whim-based morality in the twentieth century was posed by Ribbentrop and Molotov in August 1939 and then Hitler and Stalin in June 1941.

Figure it out.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Wrong question. You don’t get to pick moral codes like flavors of ice cream. Better to ask: "is the moral code under which he is morally innocent the right one, or is the moral code under which he is morally guilty the right one?"
Well, if this going to degenerate into an argument over the one true correct morality, lets just scuttle this right now and save us all the trouble.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Kyle: yes. We have a pretty good look at that one.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Well, if this going to degenerate into an argument over the one true correct morality, lets just scuttle this right now and save us all the trouble."
How in the world would you suppose that "legality" is going to resolve what are after all political questions with moral foundations, without reference to morality?

Can’t you see the basic problem in this?

Look: just because it’s difficult, that doesn’t make it any less crucial.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Well, if this going to degenerate into an argument over the one true correct morality, lets just scuttle this right now and save us all the trouble.

Well, lamprey, I’d be happy if it could just be elevated to an argument over whether or not either moral code is true or not, let alone "the one".
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
It was unjust because there was no right - no natural right, whatever that scrap of paper worshipped as the "Constitution" may say - to impose it.
Oh dear, and we’re back to the religion again.

you’re disdainful of the notion that someone worships the Constitution and then turn around and ask us to worship your moral code.

you almost made it, too.

So, Mr. Sabotta, I suppose that you’re saying that in all categories of human action, rights are never to be violated.

You could even say it’s imperative.

Chew on that.
The salient example of whim-based morality in the twentieth century was posed by Ribbentrop and Molotov in August 1939 and then Hitler and Stalin in June 1941.
Define "whim".
Well, if this going to degenerate into an argument over the one true correct morality...
Doesn’t it always? Because moral arguments are cheap and easy and, as saliently proven above, require no data. See, to Mr. Sabotta, nothing matters but his morality, come hell or high water. What he fails to see is that if people believe his morality will actually bring them hell, well, then it’s really not in their self-interest to support it, now is it?

But like I said, data-based arguments are tough.
There, now you can retreat to the safety of looking down your nose at my manners.
You assume that’s what I am going to do. I see the good here, you’re just adhering to your faith a la Kant.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
The word "morality" terrifies these people.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
"Oh. So you’re NOT going to answer the question then."
I did, Franks. You’re going to have to understand it. Nobody can do that for you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
This is just compounding Dale’s crime.
Dale committed no crime, except in your little fantasy world, where drug smugglers are the forces of good, and those who send them to prison are on the side of evil.

 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Come on commenter’s, we aren’t even meeting the MINIMUM standards of intellectual/moral rigour here...let’s don’t let Billy and Kyle down.

Well Billy here’s my answer, the collective morality of the society acting thru it’s agent the state. MOST of us believe that drug dealing is wrong and that drug use bad, if not wrong...ergo "we" have decided, thru innumerable elections and other actions to enforce drug laws AND TO CONTINUE TO ENFORCE THEM for the last 40 years, Republican or Democrats in control, Nixon OR Carter. So I guess it’s OUR morality we are applying here. Now you might well respond it’s "YOURS" not "MINE" and to one extent you’re right, but in another regard you’re wrong. It is "YOURS" to the extent that you live here and are a member of the society. So it’s yours and mine morality we’re enforcing sending Mr. Pot Boy off to the Hoose-Gow...

Oh and LindaN...nice argument thru emotion there. So, because bad things CAN happen in prison, this guy should be let go free? So if he’d murdered someone, and I mean not John Wayne Gacy or Timothy McVey murdered, but general run of the mill murdered someone (in my state the average SERVED sentence for murder is 7 year, Medium Security) we should exonerate that guy, TOO? I mean after all he MIGHT get raped in prison, or is your concern only for drug runners, and it’s OK if Murderers get the granulated soap in the shower routine? AND, didn’t this fellow have some obligation to think about the consequences of his actions, "Gee, I get caught I MIGHT get raped in Prison. Whoooo-Boy that’s it, I’m not running that dope!" He didn’t worry about it before committing the crime, so why should I worry about it after the fact?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"Well, if this going to degenerate into an argument over the one true correct morality, lets just scuttle this right now and save us all the trouble."
How in the world would you suppose that "legality" is going to resolve what are after all political questions with moral foundations, without reference to morality?

Can’t you see the basic problem in this?

Look: just because it’s difficult, that doesn’t make it any less crucial.
That’s fine, but as per Kyle, there’s one "right" morality and one "wrong" morality.

That’s going to lead to less of a discussion than another flamewar.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
That’s going to lead to less of a discussion than another flamewar.

Is that a promise? You do have a choice in the matter.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"Define ’whim’."
In the current context (hey... posing as a "Randian", you do understand that all knowledge is contextual, right?), I’m essentially talking about utilitarianism, which is nothing but the sanction to just make it up as one goes along.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Franks,

If the defendant had grown the marijuana himself, transported it over the border himself, and sold it an to individual users, would you have voted to convict?
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
In the current context (hey... posing as a "Randian", you do understand that all knowledge is contextual, right?), I’m essentially talking about utilitarianism, which is nothing but the sanction to just make it up as one goes along.
Of course I know that knowledge is contextual.

What, do you believe, made Nazism a utilitarian-based system? I’ve always understood it to have had a strong morality-based element.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
I know this isn’t the best source, but I’ve got work to do...
In The Ethics of Liberty, Murray Rothbard argues that 100 percent self-ownership is the only principle compatible with a moral code that applies to every person - a "universal ethic" - and that it is a natural law by being what is naturally best for man.
And if this is the definition of a "Universal Ethic" then it is internally inconsistent.

Since it says both:
A universal ethic is an ethic that applies universally to humanity. It thus transcends culture and personal whim. The criteria for a universal ethic is that it is universal to humanity, it comprehensively applies to all acts, its content is non-arbitrary, and it is logically consistent.
And...
The characteristics of the universal ethic depends upon the wishes of the group of people to whom it applies.
***

And the big problem I find is that I’ve yet to see a practical way proposed of getting from here (reality) to some Utopian land where there are only moral laws, and no statutes.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"Well Billy here’s my answer, the collective morality of the society..."
Whatever else might be said about you, Joe, you’re at home with "minimums".

Bruce: how the hell do you watch something like that without barfing all over your desk?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
It was unjust because there was no right - no natural right, whatever that scrap of paper worshipped as the "Constitution" may say - to impose it.
And here we have the religion of "natural rights." Tell me, where do your mythical natural rights come from? Did slaves throughout history have a natural right to liberty? How about Jews in Nazi Germany? I suppose they had a natural right to life? Oh, I know. Those rights really existed but the evil state was supressing them. Show me where natural rights exist in the absence of a government system.

You have the right to spout your nonsense online precisely because you live under the U.S. Constitution that you deride as a "scrap of paper," not because of some philosphical concepts that would otherwise have no meaning — except as debating points about the way things ought to be.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Dale Franks, I have a question for you. You stated this in the original document and it’s been bothering me for days now.


When we came back in this morning, all of us had come to the conclusion that there were simply too many coincidences in timing, vehicle registrations, obtaining ID, obtaining vehicles, "accidents", etc., to make it believable that Mr. Rhett was an innocent patsy. There were certainly others involved, but too many things were happening with and around Mr. Rhett in the first three weeks of September to beleive he was unaware of them.

Unless you left out information in your post, then I see a whole lot of resonable doubt. Here are a few questions I have:

1. Did Rhett leave his truck and trailer for more than 5 mins. while he was across the boarder?

2. What happened to the female passenger? Who was she to him?

3. Who was the truck registered to? Any relationship to Rhett at all?

4. Who was the trailer registered to? Did that person know the previous owner?

Here’s just one more thought.

Could that stuff already have been in that trailer with the Feds hot on the trail, the owner sold it to whomever it was registered to at the time Rhett was to make a trip over the boarder and they knew he would take the heat for it on his way back into the Good Old US, now leaving them free and clear of what may have gone down for them?
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
I thought Billy’s response was an excellent one, illustrative and clear, about what I’d expect from Billy.



 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"What, do you believe, made Nazism a utilitarian-based system?"
I did not say that. I referred explicitly to a "salient example". This was a specifically delimited context that had nothing to do with the general Nazi moral "system".

I can lead you through these things by your nose if you insist, because you’re not very careful in your thinking about what I write, but you should understand that my attitude is naturally going to suffer from the boredom of it. You’re not very good at this. Any of it. And you can mark this as one of my character faults: I have very little patience with people who pose the way you do and can’t actually handle the action.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Bruce: how the hell do you watch something like that without barfing all over your desk?
It’s called the free exchange of ideas, even if I don’t agree with them, don’t subscribe to them or mostly find them silly. "Allowing" them gives those who don’t agree, don’t subscribe too them or do find them silly to challenge them.

It is a comment section - something some folks only have an acquaintance with on other people’s blogs.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I didn’t ask about "allowing" it, Bruce.

I wondered what you thought of it. Lately, I have damned good reasons to wonder.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I wondered what you thought of it. Lately, I have damned good reasons to wonder.
I just told you what I thought of it.

To quote you, "figure it out".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Billy you asked, "Who’se moralty" you got your anwer..sure it’s not the answer you LIKE, but it’s an answer. Your problem is that your "morality" isn’t in the majority and therefore doesn’t guide the body politic. And given your personality I doubt it’ll make a lot of inroads either...but that’s just a personal observation.

You seem awfully determined to impose YOUR morality on the rest of us too...really dude, it’s your maorlity, squat in your shack or mansion with it, stop foisting it on me....let me have MY liberty, dude....who knows mayahp even Mr. Rhett agrees with Dale’s morality? No one’s bothered to ask him have they? Everyone is too busy making him a martyr, to actually DO anything for him... mayhap he’d tell you and Kyle to STFU, he knew it was a crime, he knew the risks, and he lost, this time...and he doesn’t need someone’s sympathy and doesn’t consider himself a "victim" of anything or anyone?

You worry about Billy, don’t worry about Dale or Mr. Rhett, isn’t that the essence of An-Cap philosophy? Let Rhett speak for Rhett.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I have, Bruce.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
A universal ethic is an ethic that applies universally to humanity. It thus transcends culture and personal whim. The criteria for a universal ethic is that it is universal to humanity, it comprehensively applies to all acts, its content is non-arbitrary, and it is logically consistent.

And...

The characteristics of the universal ethic depends upon the wishes of the group of people to whom it applies.


You can’t have both logically consistent and "transcending personal whim", and dependent upon wishes.

And the big problem I find is that I’ve yet to see a practical way proposed of getting from here (reality) to some Utopian land where there are only moral laws, and no statutes.

Why do you have to throw in the gratuitous "utopia" reference? Are you so terrified, as Sabotta said, of morality, that you can only deal with it when relegated to fantasy? Do you really believe that morality must necessarily conflict with, or be outside of, reality?
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
I have, Bruce.
Good.

Then we don’t need to hear anymore about that, do we?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
So I guess it’s OUR morality we are applying here. Now you might well respond it’s "YOURS" not "MINE" and to one extent you’re right, but in another regard you’re wrong. It is "YOURS" to the extent that you live here and are a member of the society. So it’s yours and mine morality we’re enforcing sending Mr. Pot Boy off to the Hoose-Gow...
And there it is. Since Billy, Kyle, et al cannot enforce THEIR morality, that’s what’s really sticking in their craw. Well, the numbers, and the law, supports our morality.

What’s that you say? "Tyranny of the Majority?"

Oh, so we should replace that with what - the "Tyranny of the Minority?"

Lemme know how that works out for you.
Laura is making an important point.

Let’s try it like this: how many people here would be willing to explicitly sentence someone like Rhett to regular beatings with a sock full of batteries and regular rapes in the prison laundry?
No, she’s not. And neither are you. Unless you can somehow point me to the section of the criminal code that prescribes a punishment of "regular beatings with a sock full of batteries and regular rapes in the prison laundry." Which also implies that it is someone’s sanctioned DUTY to rape and beat people with battery-filled socks. But I’ll go ahead and set my Reality Decoder Ring to "Billy Beck" and answer your question anyway.

I would say: It would depend on what he was convicted of.

If he was one of the D.C. snipers, I would be entirely comfortable sentencing him to the above punishment. If he was a child molester, sign him up.

For drug smuggling, he would be strapped down and forced to watch Leo Buscaglia videos.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
jwg,

"As I said before, I suspect most of the ACs continue to overtly support the "illegitimate" system by paying the federal taxes that supported the trial. They are not morally innocent in the caging of Rhrett. They helped."

If someone mugs you, are you responsible for what they then do with your money?

"Also, no AC has ever answered my question about whether the government should ban a product made from an endangered species.

Would it be OK for the government to ban the importation of ivory made from the recent kill of an elephant since no one is harmed by the importation?


No, it wouldn’t be OK. Anarcho-capitalists obviously hold that government shouldn’t do anything.
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
Damn you, Joe. You made Coke Zero come out of my nose.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
"you got your anwer..sure it’s not the answer you LIKE, but it’s an answer."
If I asked a retard where the sun comes up and he tells me, "Behind the dresser in my bedroom," that’s "an answer", too, but it is no more ridiculous than your assertion of "collective morality".
"You seem awfully determined to impose YOUR morality on the rest of us too..."
You don’t know what you’re talking about. You idiots could all go vote yourselves straight to hell on the A-train if only you would agree that you have no right to force me or anyone else to ride with you. I’m not the one running around using the state to imprison innocent people, or explicitly condoning it, and you have no standing to moan about anyone "impos[ing]" anything at all.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Then we don’t need to hear anymore about that, do we?"
We’re not going to hear anything about it from you. That’s for sure.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
It’s called the free exchange of ideas, even if I don’t agree with them, don’t subscribe to them or mostly find them silly. "Allowing" them gives those who don’t agree, don’t subscribe too them or do find them silly to challenge them.

I just told you what I thought of it.


Shorter McQ: It’s a valid process and an "interesting exercise". Judgement is irrelevant. Thought is futile.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
Sorry - this was the comment that did it, Joe.
I thought Billy’s response was an excellent one, illustrative and clear, about what I’d expect from Billy.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
The relational dynamics here are fascinating.

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool...

What’s it gonna be boy, yes or no...

Rhett is a POS criminal and his forfeiture of his liberty is NOT why drug laws should be repealed. People like him only get into that business BECAUSE it’s illegal. He would have been last person engaged in lawful commerce of recreational drugs if they were legal,, he would have been in some other illegal venture because he is a lazy POS criminal, looking for the quick hit.

Drug laws harm all of the people who could be lawfully engaged in honest commerce in this 20 billion dollar industry.

Steven Rhett as a hero to the An-Cap’s is no different that Paris Hilton wearing a Che Guevera shirt, they have only the slightest clue what this person is about.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
1) I didn’t personally shove Jews into "showers". I just paid my taxes like a good German?

and

2) I didn’t personally kill that Columbian coffee farmer and take his land for coca production. I just purchased some of the cocaine that was grown there by the people that did.

Which of these two statements typifies moral innocence, and why?
Neither, it’s just a matter of degree. By purchasing the cocaine you are further removed from the harm created than the German whose taxes finance the Nazi government. But you are part of the market for the drug cartel’s product, and therefore in a tiny, far-removed way, contributing to whatever harm it inflicts.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Uh, Brian, I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. He’s simply pointing out that the dude wasn’t morally innocent.
He said that was his reason for convicting him. Anyone who goes back into the original post can see that’s obviously not the case.
...the collective morality of the society acting thru it’s agent the state.
This statement is fallacious. That there is dispute on not only what that morality is, or ought to be, but that such a morality does or even can exist, as well as the conceptual-realist fallacy at the heart of the statement ’society acting’, and the attendant criminality involved in the cynical invocation of such by some here and many a morality cop elsewhere serves to demonstrate the point.
 
Written By: Brian N.
URL: http://
The truly vile David C. upbraids me for daring to imagine that morality can be separated from power.
"And here we have the religion of "natural rights." Tell me, where do your mythical natural rights come from? Did slaves throughout history have a natural right to liberty? How about Jews in Nazi Germany? I suppose they had a natural right to life?"
I suppose Mr. C. would have enjoyed being a brownshirt, especially since there would have been lots of scraps of paper with words on them (just like the Constitution) empowering him to indulge in the robbery and murder of innocent people. Except to Mr. C. they wouldn’t be innocent, because there was a scrap of paper telling him that German Jews couldn’t be innocent. (He’d also have the 1934 equivilent of Dale Franks standing around telling him that even a seemingly harmless Jew was aiding the international Jewish conspiracy, just by being a Jew.)

The problem with Mr C’s religion of power worship (and power is exactly what he worships, since I doubt he’d even remain faithful to the Constitution if someone came along with more force at their disposal) is that it so easily gets turned against you. The cheap pragmatists who embrace it often find themselves at the mercy of more clever pragmatists, as in Billy Beck’s example of the Ribbentrop/Molotov Pact leading inexorably and by the same non-morality, to Operation Barbarossa.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
You don’t know what you’re talking about. You idiots could all go vote yourselves straight to hell on the A-train if only you would agree that you have no right to force me or anyone else to ride with you. I’m not the one running around using the state to imprison innocent people, or explicitly condoning it, and you have no standing to moan about anyone "impos[ing]" anything at all.
But we LIKE our system. You want to abolish that system. How is that not imposing your morality on the rest of us if you get your way?

Which you never will, because it is not possible.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
I have very little patience with people who pose the way you do and can’t actually handle the action.
well, best you be off, then. Expect to be bored, although I fail to see where that’s my fault, as opposed to attributing it to your latent misanthropy.
You idiots could all go vote yourselves straight to hell on the A-train if only you would agree that you have no right to force me or anyone else to ride with you.
Great!

Now all you have to do is get everybody else to agree.

Best you get started. Highly recommend a new marketing strategy.

 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
But we LIKE our system.
Fine, then.

I don’t. Why do you have to impose it on me, and where do you get the right?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
John Sabotta
The truly vile David C. upbraids me for daring to imagine that morality can be separated from power.
Really? Is that what I said? It appears we have another person with reading comprehension problems. And I’m "vile" because I disagree with your utopian fantasy religion? Ok.

As for the rest of your rant about me, please seek professional help.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
"Now all you have to do is get everybody else to agree."
...to not unilaterally apply the force of government against me? There is something very plainly wrong about people — so-called Americans — who will not grasp the basic ethics and politics of this on their own powers.

Tell me something: what is the agreement of a retard worth, exactly?

{spit}
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Great!

Now all you have to do is get everybody else to agree.

Best you get started. Highly recommend a new marketing strategy.
That’s not the only problem. Trying to convert a nation of 300 million is over-ambitious, in my view. Start smaller!

The Lakota Sioux have just established a brand new nation! They even have a website! And forming a new country is a lot of work. They probably could some philisophical help as to how to organize their affairs. So why don’t you mosey on over there and help them out? It’s a lot less people to convince, and they hate the United States even more than you do, so it’s like a perfect ready-made audience.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
You can’t have both logically consistent and "transcending personal whim", and dependent upon wishes.

Which is why I noted it, and why I said it wasn’t the best source.

Why do you have to throw in the gratuitous "utopia" reference? Are you so terrified, as Sabotta said, of morality, that you can only deal with it when relegated to fantasy? Do you really believe that morality must necessarily conflict with, or be outside of, reality?

Oh, come on, use Becks Razor, and divorce your feelings about the way I presented the argument, and answer the argument.

We live daily with our own morality, if we bother to think about it.

Why turn this into an interrogation about me, when you could address the question implicit in the problem I find with these types of arguments. How do we get from here to there?
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The layers of irony in this statement are like the many faces of the enneract. It’s baffling. You claim you punished him for what others did. That’s rotten enough, but anyone who looks over the original post knows it’s also a lie.
Uh, Brian, I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. He’s simply pointing out that the dude wasn’t morally innocent.

And he’s correct.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Which is why I noted it, and why I said it wasn’t the best source.

You’re right. I missed that you said it was inconsistent. But given that, I don’t get what it is supposed to add.

answer the argument.

"Utopian" is an argument, or at least an assertion that preempts any discussion of how to get there. If it’s utopian, there is no getting there and the larger question is moot. This: "Do you really believe that morality must necessarily conflict with, or be outside of, reality?" addressed that directly.

 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
To the people who are comparing Americans who live by and under laws that are objectionable at best to Germans who acquiesced to Nazi policies... You are disgusting putrid worthless human beings.

To compare actual innocence, like that of Anne Frank, who’s only crime was her ethnicity, to a POS criminal like this Rhett person is vile and offensive. Anne Frank was not seeking a quick buck, Anne Frank was not violating an objectionable law out of choice and desire for a profit. Anne Frank was outlawed, her very existence was outlawed for the crime of being a living Jew in Germany.

With respect to the conviction of this criminal, who made a choice to accept the risk because of the reward, to say that Dale Franks vote to convict is in ANY way comparable to acquiescing to Nazi genocide is so foul as to in itself warrant thousands of posts on the self righteous smug blogs of you An-Caps.

Perhaps those who respect the sacrifices of the holocaust might flood your blogs with genuine outrage, drowning your feigned ourtage over this POS criminal scum that is exactly where he belongs.

You make me sick.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Get in the fight, Keith. "We" (your word) could make a damned good start with you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
To the people who are comparing Americans who live by and under laws that are objectionable at best to Germans who acquiesced to Nazi policies... You are disgusting putrid worthless human beings.

The people who are claiming that that is the comparison are lying.

Anne Frank was not seeking a quick buck, Anne Frank was not violating an objectionable law out of choice and desire for a profit.

Psst, comrade, not so loud.


 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"Anne Frank was not seeking a quick buck, Anne Frank was not violating an objectionable law out of choice and desire for a profit."
Let’s get this straight: Steven Rhett deserved to go to prison because he was interested to trade values with others for money.

That’s the whole objection here. And if anyone is interested to set that up as a principle (the concept goes out to anyone who can understand its purpose) then they should stop to consider what they do for money and how easily it might be proscribed by arbitrary government diktat.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
...to not unilaterally apply the force of government against me? There is something very plainly wrong about people — so-called Americans — who will not grasp the basic ethics and politics of this on their own powers.
Right. Obviously we don’t understand, because if only we understood, THEN WE WOULD FEEL EXACTLY AS YOU DO.

That’s the problem with you fanatics - you are by definition incapable of realizing that you are fanatics.

BTW, did you just e-spit in scorn? Wow.

Just, wow.
I don’t. Why do you have to impose it on me, and where do you get the right?
Boy, you’re really gonna like this answer. It is a NATURAL RIGHT for men to organize their society in the manner they see fit. Through citizen ship, which is your birthright in this country, you have the opportunity to influence the direction of that society through elections, courts, legislation - hell, you can even run for office and be in charge. Just because you have been ineffective in promoting the adoption of your ideals does not make the system invalid, illegitimate, illegal, or immoral.

If you are unwilling to make the effort (and bitching about it on a comment thread is not real-world effort) to change the system, then all of your posturing here just proves what I believe to be true about most "true libertarians." You’re just a bunch of misanthropes posing as political idealists.

But if you do decide you have some balls, here’s the door.


 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
We’re not going to hear anything about it from you. That’s for sure.
Why would I want to involve myself in this morass?

Especially when most of the responses to anything actually contributed consist of little more than the usual helping of moral preening with a dollop of smug superiority. And then, of course, there’s the cryptic avoidance of any question in response to the assertions made.

Why are you here, Billy? You and the rest haven’t had an opportunity to have you say over the last three days?

It is eminently clear you aren’t here to discuss anything or go into any detail about what you believe and why?

This V.4 of the "same old thing" and, unsurprisingly, given the participants, it has already devolved into an everyday circle jerk in which the usual suspects shoot snarky little coded one-liners out there while avoiding saying anything or answering any questions which might actually lead to discussion and debate about their ideas vs. others.

Nope - it’s all about laying back and taking shots at other people’s ideas while not risking yours.

I mean, look at this mindreader:
Shorter McQ: It’s a valid process and an "interesting exercise". Judgement is irrelevant. Thought is futile.
From a guy who admits he has no idea of what goes on daily on this blog or in its comment section (since he’s admitted he’s rarely if ever been here). Apparently he hasn’t the intellectual gumption to find out whether he’s actually right or wrong or to question what I meant by what I said.

And naturally, to make his point, he has to ignore the rest of the comment about commenters who disagree challenging - you know, actually discussing and debating - the concepts and premises with which they don’t agree, and that leading to - gasp - judgments about their validity or lack thereof. But I’d guess he’d scream "context" if anyone did that sort of hatchet job on something he wrote.

I’d guess, however, it plays much better to the swarm when you do it like that. And, of course, it would help validate the preconceived notions arrived at elsewhere during discussions within the echo chamber. Most importantly, of course, it argues persuasively for an open mind.

Why in the freakin’ world would I want anything to do with that sort of a circus or the clowns running it?

So, you boys enjoy the center ring and I’ll monitor the show. Get outside the parameters of the ring I layed out yesterday, and you’ll be looking for a new place to swarm.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Since all I got was an insane rant last time, I’ll try again. Where do natural rights come from?

1. Nature? Really, can we study them scientifically?

2. God? Which one? What if I don’t believe in God?

3. How are they quantified? How many are there? When do we get them, at birth, conception, or somewhere in between?

4. Who decides what a natural right is? What if my definition of a right differs from yours?

5. If they are natural and always exist, why does it appear that they actually don’t exist, except in a minority of places for a tiny fraction of history?

6. Where do natural rights exist — in reality, not just in theory — in the absence of a government system that operates as if some of them do exist?
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Why do you have to impose it on me, and where do you get the right?
Who’s imposing?

GUILT NOW, GUILT FOREVER!
to not unilaterally apply the force of government against me? There is something very plainly wrong about people — so-called Americans — who will not grasp the basic ethics and politics of this on their own powers.
Ah, the "no true Scotsman American fallacy"

And what in the world was "unilateral" about the application?
what is the agreement of a retard worth, exactly?
yeah, you do have to wonder if there’s some form of masochism on my part when I argue with you, but that’s my choice.
This V.4 of the "same old thing" and, unsurprisingly, given the participants, it has already devolved into an everyday circle jerk in which the usual suspects shoot snarky little coded one-liners out there while avoiding saying anything or answering any questions which might actually lead to discussion and debate about their ideas vs. others.
McQ for the win. Let me know if you roll into Ohio sometime, sir. I’m buying.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
That’s the problem with you fanatics - you are by definition incapable of realizing that you are fanatics.
Exactly. They respond no differently than a religious fanatic does when confronted by an atheist. Their worldview and various preconceptions couldn’t possibly be incorrect, and if you dare challenge them you are not only an blind fool but also evil.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Let’s get this straight: Steven Rhett deserved to go to prison because he was interested to trade values with others for money.
Rhett deserved to go to prison because the trade value he was exploiting was inflated precisely BECAUSE it was trade which carried a penalty of imprisonment.

You want to give him a pass on the risk side of the transacational equation, a pass on a risk that Rhett assumed.

Let me ask you this Billy Beck. Seeing as how Rhett was engaged in a high risk, high profit trade, if there were no laws against importation, and the margins were commensurate with legal trade, do you think for a moment that Rhett would be engaged in the legal importation of marijuana or would he have been engaged in something else that was easy and highly profitable, and illegal?

Rhett is a criminal, he was in this business because the margins in crime are higher.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"Perhaps those who respect the sacrifices of the holocaust might flood your blogs with genuine outrage, drowning your feigned ourtage over this POS criminal scum that is exactly where he belongs.
e
You make me sick."

Spare us your pseudo-outrage,"Captain Sarcastic." The real point is that people who claim that no one has any rights except insofar as they are granted by a scrap of paper will change their moral beliefs and their actions if they are justified by a different scrap of paper. If you believe David C. when he says no one has any natural rights then you also must accept that his view of what the rights of others are is solely dependent on what regime he lives under and what scraps of paper that regime has empowered as rules.

Therefore, here and now, under a Constitution, David C. accepts the Bill of Rights (although I suspect not very enthusiastically). In 1934, if he were a German, he’d be a Nazi. Before the Civil War, he’d be turning in runaway slaves. And so on. He needs someone in authority to tell him what scrap of paper his morality is written down on, and he proceeds from there.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
McQ:
to make his point, he has to ignore the rest of the comment about commenters who disagree challenging - you know, actually discussing and debating - the concepts and premises with which they don’t agree, and that leading to - gasp - judgments about their validity or lack thereof.

Billy asked your opinion about specific content, and your reply to what you "thought" of it was entirely about the process, abstracting away the content and your opinion of it entirely. My point stands, based on your statement, that either you had no thoughts about the content, or that your evaluation of the content rested entirely of an evaluation of the process into which that content was inserted (which, BTW, was the nature of Dale’s failure).

Again now, you look to satisfy an inquiry into your concrete evaluation by pointing out that evaluations are occurring in the abstract. It doesn’t take a mind reader, just a reader of English.

 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
Since all I got was an insane rant last time, I’ll try again. Where do natural rights come from?

You missed the prerequisite question: what are rights? Several of your proposed answers to your question indicate that you haven’t thought much about this question.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"Why would I want to involve myself in this morass?"
Right now? I can’t imagine. You see, my problem is in counting on you for the man that I’ve always thought you were.

I’m starting to see my problem very clearly.
"It is eminently clear you aren’t here to discuss anything or go into any detail about what you believe and why?"
You could go read what I’ve written and stop acting like Scott Erb. And you know it.
"This V.4 of the ’same old thing’ and, unsurprisingly, given the participants, it has already devolved into an everyday circle jerk in which the usual suspects shoot snarky little coded one-liners out there while avoiding saying anything or answering any questions which might actually lead to discussion and debate about their ideas vs. others."
Oh, yeah? Listen: when someone comes around with, say, that "collective morality" jazz, there is a hell of a lot more in it than "snarky little coded one-liners". And I’ve said exactly what needs to be said to it, unless you could do better, and I have no doubt that you could, but you don’t. And you know what? I could use the help. Get off your ass and lead a little bit. Aside from all that, I’ve written plenty in all this that’s a lot more than you say it is, and again: you know it. You know it better than almost anyone else.
"From a guy who admits he has no idea of what goes on daily on this blog or in its comment section (since he’s admitted he’s rarely if ever been here)."
Kyle Bennett has been paying close-enough attention to this and he spiked you cold with his remark.
"Get outside the parameters of the ring I layed out yesterday, and you’ll be looking for a new place to swarm."
What’s the matter, Bruce? Panic setting in?

I told you to ban me.

Whatever else, understand this: this is heartbreaking to watch. Nobody should suspect that I’m enjoying this. It’s one of the worst things I ever saw online, which it wouldn’t be if not for you sitting in the middle of it.

I told you yesterday: I can not-care with the best of them. But my values die hard, and you’ve been one of them for a long time. This really hurts.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The people who are claiming that that is the comparison are lying.
Everyone, and this includes almost the entire swarm, who has called Dale a "Good German", or has compared the law he convicted this Rhett person of to Nazi laws, or slavery laws.

This offense is so vile, if an honorable man had committed same, he probably could not tolerate his own continued existence.

You want to sees an example of the comparison... no sooner asked than answered...
Therefore, here and now, under a Constitution, David C. accepts the Bill of Rights (although I suspect not very enthusiastically). In 1934, if he were a German, he’d be a Nazi. Before the Civil War, he’d be turning in runaway slaves. And so on. He needs someone in authority to tell him what scrap of paper his morality is written down on, and he proceeds from there.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
To the wise *ss who made the comment of jumping into help the Lakota set up their shop....Do you understand their lawlessness? Right now entering a Reservation could mean death? Especially to anyone other than a Lakota? Nice try with that one. You should go try to have a friendly chat with them. I could give you directions to Lower Brule, Fort Thompson or Rose Bud, take your pick. I spent every freaking summer on one of them while I was growing up. I just looked, Jeff you wrote that one. Nice!
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
do you think for a moment that Rhett would be engaged in the legal importation of marijuana or would he have been engaged in something else that was easy and highly profitable, and illegal?
oh dear. You don’t understand the idea of "people respond to incentives", do you?

Now who has a black-and-white view of people?

According to you, Rhett was born evil, and evil he will have forever been, so we it’s OK if we throw him in jail.

That doesn’t follow either.

And on the other side:
The real point is that people who claim that no one has any rights except insofar as they are granted by a scrap of paper will change their moral beliefs and their actions if they are justified by a different scrap of paper.
Swing and a miss! The argument is that the meaningful exercise of the rights is contingent on that ’scrap of paper’. An argument you haven’t seen fit to address, conveniently enough.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
What’s the matter, Bruce? Panic setting in?
Actually, it’s called disgust, Billy.
I told you to ban me.
I prefer you continue to make friends and influence people here - just like Erb. They need to see all sides.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
John Sabotta,

I see you answered none of my questions.
Therefore, here and now, under a Constitution, David C. accepts the Bill of Rights (although I suspect not very enthusiastically).
Actually, I’m the one who respects the Constitution and recognizes that without it we would not enjoy the same rights, whereas you are the one spitting on it.

I wrote above:
hey respond no differently than a religious fanatic does when confronted by an atheist. Their worldview and various preconceptions couldn’t possibly be incorrect, and if you dare challenge them you are not only an blind fool but also evil.


And you write:
In 1934, if he were a German, he’d be a Nazi. Before the Civil War, he’d be turning in runaway slaves. And so on. He needs someone in authority to tell him what scrap of paper his morality is written down on, and he proceeds from there.
Thank you for illustrating my point. You know absolutely nothing about me, but because I disagree with your philosophical preconceptions, you see me as not just wrong, but evil. Whereas I simply see you as a fool, living in your own little fantasy world. Oh, and most likely mentally disturbed.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
"Actually, it’s called disgust, Billy."
Believe me: I’m hip. I got there before you did.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Bruce, how in this world could you find the words of someone you were allies with for 18 yrs. *disgusting*. You know full well what he means in what he’s written here and yet you chose to ignore it. For what? What influenced you into changing your belief system? What I find disgusting is that you should have much to add to this and yet you aren’t. You can ban me if you wish, it’s no skin off my nose here.
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
You’re right. I missed that you said it was inconsistent. But given that, I don’t get what it is supposed to add.

Trying to find some common understanding of which some are taking for granted.
"Utopian" is an argument, or at least an assertion that preempts any discussion of how to get there. If it’s utopian, there is no getting there and the larger question is moot. This: "Do you really believe that morality must necessarily conflict with, or be outside of, reality?" addressed that directly.
As well as being fictional, utopian also means an ideal society. I would assume that since you wish to live in a society where natural law reigns, and statutory law is minimal or non-existent, that you would find such a society ideal. Or at least better then where we are now.

At the very least you have an ideal of what society ought to look like, and so should have some course of action in mind to lead our current society towards that society.

So, the question still stands, how to get from here to there.
Get in the fight, Keith. "We" (your word) could make a damned good start with you.
Well, until "someone" has a good plan, I’ll keep my head down and mostly out of the "fight." Mostly I just want to be left alone, and since I pay my taxes, and do my best to stay out of trouble, I am.

BTW don’t know if you got the email I sent recommending this book. A good piece of fiction, with an interesting thought experiment that goes toward the nature of this argument, ie could it work, and how it could work, though not how to get there from here.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Bruce, how in this world could you find the words of someone you were allies with for 18 yrs. *disgusting*. You know full well what he means in what he’s written here and yet you chose to ignore it. For what? What influenced you into changing your belief system? What I find disgusting is that you should have much to add to this and yet you aren’t. You can ban me if you wish, it’s no skin off my nose here.
Cindy - take your assumptions and stick them in your ear. You have no idea of what you’re talking about and most rational people choose to keep quiet when that’s the case.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"The argument is that the meaningful exercise of the rights is contingent on that ’scrap of paper’."
That argument dismisses rights in favor of a piece of paper.

The euphemism ("meaningful") does not mean anything.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Why do you have to impose it on me, and where do you get the right?
head due south, or, alternately, head due north - feel free to stop, or not, when you cross the US border in either direction. Then we won’t be imposing anything on you.
Until such time as you do that, you, like the rest of us, are bound by the contract you undertake by continuing to live here.

Libertarian fantasy world - aside!

Now, feel free to not instruct us some more, Billy, Kyle, John.
You’re certainly making sure a very limited subset of like minded folks who sound like they think the world revolves around them will be interested in your fantasys of life in the new world.

Note, I carefully didn’t use ’utopia’ because, well, you at least admit it might have some problems in your new society where each man’s morality rules. Blindly certain the problems won’t be very big, but yeah, you’ll have some problems so I won’t go calling it ’utopia’.

Billy’s one line zingers, Kyle’s arrogance, yes, I would certainly want to have you guys as neighbors in future world, except for the fact I’d be concerned "I was not worthy" and would soon find myself on the wrong end of your moral code.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Bruce, Thanks for that. I’ll file it away for future reference.
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
Captain, that is not an example of the comparison you were claiming, and I really doubt you could find one in all these threads. Try to understand, when someone says that:

"your action has already led to bad result ’a’ due to principle ’x’, and principle ’x’ leads to bad result ’b’ when people pursue it consistently, so you shouldn’t pursue principle ’x’ if you don’t want to suffer bad result ’b’"

...they are differentiating between ’a’ and ’b’.

I know that’s probably too abstract for the thimblefull of gray cells you’re carrying around, so let me put it in widdle kiddie terms for you.

Saying: "Johnny, if you keep running around with scissors, you might eventually poke your eyes out." is not saying that running around with scissors is the same as being blind.

The validity of the syllogism (x->a, x->b, etc.) is certainly up for debate, but your particular criticism of an implication you made up out of whole cloth, and that is in fact false, is asinine.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"head due south, or, alternately, head due north - feel free to stop, or not, when you cross the US border in either direction."
Listen, kid: you didn’t address the question, and I didn’t take that crap from Spiro Agnew. You count for a lot less.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Bruce, Thanks for that. I’ll file it away for future reference.
You’re more than welcome. And "filing away" works both ways, Cindy.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
That argument dismisses rights in favor of a piece of paper.
You must have missed "question begging" day in Fallacies 101.
The euphemism ("meaningful") does not mean anything.
The religionist strikes again.

OHM.

As has been pointed out, we already live in an anarchistic system. The competing force-providers are called "States"

 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
I’m quite well aware of that. However, who are you to judge my rationality?
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
"The argument is that the meaningful exercise of the rights is contingent on that ’scrap of paper’."
The scrap of paper isn’t needed to exercise rights, it’s needed to define and protect those rights.

**********

Here’s a question:

Is it ok by natural law for one person to use force to protect or defend another person who’s rights and/or life are being harmed by a third person?

Say that a person is being held against their will, and force is required to free them. It is moral to use force to free them. And I would presume it should be the minimum amount of force. And any redress of said slavery, should be a matter settled between the slave and former master
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Let’s get this straight: Steven Rhett deserved to go to prison because he was interested to trade values with others for money.
You’re making an assumption; that such trade was/is moral.
I don’t. Why do you have to impose it on me, and where do you get the right?
Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is forcing you to live inside it.

You’re only a short hop from the border, yet you’ve never taken that route. Apparently, you’re benefiting from the culture here enough that you’re reluctant to leave. Where then is the imposition? Is it they on you, or the reverse?

The reason you stay is because, like it or not this country and this culture and it’s morals, provides you the best opportunity. Like it or not, by that token, you have already benefitted by that culture you refuse to take part of. Yet, consider that given you’ve already bennefitted from it, you are already taking part in it. Explain the morality in that.







 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
What’s the matter, Bruce? Panic setting in?
Looks like you’re the one who’s panicking, Billy. It’s been hilarious watching everyone on the an-cap blogs fawn all over you. "Billy’s the f*cking MAN. Has been since Usenet, dude."

Now here’s someone who has even more e-credibility than you refusing to toe your fanatical line. And it’s making you look bad, isn’t it, Billy? You’ve said here and on your blog that you are going to wash your hands of McQ. Actually, you posted that you had! Yesterday! You had just got off the phone with him and "that’s done."

So why are you still here? I’ll let YOU tell me why...
I told you to ban me.
Because the only way for you to save face is for you to have McQ ban you, just like he did Richard Nikoley. Who, by the way, is milking it for every bit of mileage he can. F*cking pathetic.

Can’t slink away from the argument, and can’t go back to face your friends unless you tell them McQ threw you out, can you?


 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
oh dear. You don’t understand the idea of "people respond to incentives", do you?
Of course I do, that’s my point. The placement of the risk of imprisonment on this type of commerce created an inflated profit margin incentive for those would assume that risk.
Now who has a black-and-white view of people?
Not people, actions. This action IS black and white. Assumption of risk for an inflated profit.
According to you, Rhett was born evil, and evil he will have forever been, so we it’s OK if we throw him in jail.
No, I don’t equate crime with evil, that are not mutually inclusive. I do equate laziness with crime, and Rhett is quite obviously lazy. He was transporting over 1000 pounds of MJ, with a street value of $4,000,000. His cost was certainly a tiny fraction of that. There are thousands of ways to become a millionaire that do not include the risk of imprisonment, but they require more work, more creativity, more competition, and more risk to the initial investment capital. My point is that someone who chooses this manner of making money does so because of the perceived risk reward, and if it were not present in this transaction (as would be ther case if this were legal trade) he would not have been engaged in it, but rather would have engaged in some other form of quickbuck scheme.
That doesn’t follow either.
Yes, it follows perfectly.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Further comments.

Out.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
That argument dismisses rights in favor of a piece of paper.
No it doesn’t. The argument is that rights are mere philosphical concepts until they are given reality by that piece of paper. Without it, they are just talking points.

I can say there should be fusion-powered cars. And I can argue that we’d all be better off having them. But until someone builds one, it’s just an idea, not reality.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
Moral innocence cannot be determined by pure reason or argumentation. It is a socially constructed concept. One can have one’s own subjective views, but as long as there are other people in the world with different assumptions and core beliefs, one can’t stomp his feet and say "no, I’m right and anyone who doesn’t do as I would is wrong." Well, one can say that, but nobody has any need to agree. I have my own personal beliefs about ethics and morals, and will act on them and try to persuade others to follow them. But if they have different views, they will act differently. Hence, unless one lives in their own world, moral innocence in terms of a legal or social case is by definition a socially constructed notion.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
To the wise *ss who made the comment of jumping into help the Lakota set up their shop....Do you understand their lawlessness? Right now entering a Reservation could mean death?
Sounds like your libertarian paradise. Send me a postcard.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
I’m quite well aware of that. However, who are you to judge my rationality?
I believe I used the qualifier "most". Where I come from that doesn’t mean ’all’. You may include yourself or not at your option.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why would I want to involve myself in this morass?
You can’t, really. If you honestly engaged, you’d end up having to unbolt that "neolibertarian" tag from everything it’s been fraudulently attached to all these years around here, and replace it with something more apropo.

And that’s not to say that you’d be any closer to understanding the difference between right and wrong, only that you’d be representing yourself more honestly.
 
Written By: MikeSoja
URL: http://www.kayak2u.com/blog/
"Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, is forcing you to live inside it."
Tell me something, Eric. Why is it that you never attempt this argument by explicitly claiming the whole country as yours, which is the only condition that would render you the authority to make it?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Captain, that is not an example of the comparison you were claiming
Saying a thing is not so does not stop it from being so.

You and your ilk have been consistently saying that for Dale not to deny the drug prohibition law is the same as not denying the Nazi policies were he a German in the 1930’s.

THAT is a vile comparison.

People have a choice as to whether they engage in this commerce, and as much as I disgree with the laws, and would vote immediately to abolish them, the laws and policies you are comparing them to are not laws that afforded people a choice. Germans did not get to choose whether they were Jews, and blacks in America did not get to choose if they were black.

Your abundance of grey matter appears to have squeezed out your ability to see what is right in front of you as you favor abstract over the real.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Erb,

"It is a socially constructed concept. "

Is that objectively true?
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
As well as being fictional, utopian also means an ideal society. I would assume that since you wish to live in a society where natural law reigns, and statutory law is minimal or non-existent, that you would find such a society ideal. Or at least better then where we are now.

At least better, yes. Perfection is not possible, so the concrete instantiation of an "ideal society" is not a valid goal.

At the very least you have an ideal of what society ought to look like,

That’s the important point, you have to know which direction "better" is in in order to move that way.

and so should have some course of action in mind to lead our current society towards that society.

So, the question still stands, how to get from here to there.


I have ideas, nothing so firm as a plan.

I’d share them here, but, even though they don’t involve violence or the like, I would expect people like Dale to actively interfere. For instance, if I said I was going to start a massive ad campaign to convince people to not vote, Dale would probably try to get me sent to Gitmo, so long as he could decide with correct due process that I technically stepped over the hopelessly undefined lines of McCain-Feingold, or that I didn’t have my 527 paperwork filled out in triplicate.

That’s only partially tongue in cheek, but it speaks to the purpose I have here, that people like Anti-Randian have been demanding I tell them.

 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
The Maine Mosquito:
"Moral innocence cannot be determined by pure reason or argumentation. It is a socially constructed concept."
There you have it. A real socialist steps in and draws the line.

Look what some of you people are crawling around with.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Going back to the "morally innocent" question, someone asked
Who’s[sic] morality?
Well, the answer should clearly be "Mr.Rhett’s morality." And my guess, (although we don’t know for sure) is that what he did was wrong, even by his own moral lights. Just because some of you AC’s would have smuggled drugs, just because you think the drug laws are immoral, and have no hold on you, and were smuggling them to make a civil disobedience point, your morality has no hold on him. Like I said earlier, if he himself thought it was was wrong, but he did it anyway, he’s not "morally innocent", regardless of your belief on the morality of it. Who are you to impose your morality on Mr. Rhett?

Obviously, the same situation is not applicable to "even a seemingly harmless Jew was aiding the international Jewish conspiracy, just by being a Jew".

 
Written By: Linus
URL: http://
Tell me something, Eric. Why is it that you never attempt this argument by explicitly claiming the whole country as yours, which is the only condition that would render you the authority to make it?
So, there are guards at the border, and walls designed to keep you in? You’re overstepping.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
sounds like your libertarian paradise. Send me a postcard.


Not a problem. I can walk in anytime without a threat.

 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
To the wise *ss who made the comment of jumping into help the Lakota set up their shop....Do you understand their lawlessness?
Then the An-Caps should fit in quite nicely there...that is their goal a "lawless society" merely one of contactual obligation between individuals. Now if the Red Skins lynch the Pale Skins out of general principle, misplaced genocidal rage, or the fact that they really, REALLY don’t like being condescended to by a bunch of scrawny, over-educated white boys, that’s Billy and Kyle’s problem(s) not ours. In fact, I shall not lift a finger to save them nor to avenge them! After all who am I to impose MY morality on the Lakota...Billy’s kith and kin will have to seek private redress, as is the An-Cap way. They could go to a private court of law and get a finding in their favour. They could hire "thief takers" to penetrate the Lakota lands and bring the malefactors to this court. They could hire mercenaries to avenge the deaths, whatever they chose to do.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Apparently, you’re benefiting from the culture here enough that you’re reluctant to leave. Where then is the imposition?
Where is the imposition?

Taxes

Regulations

Fees

Laws which prevent one person from freely engaging in trade, or association with another person or group of people. (Employment being a form of trade.)

Laws which take from one group of people and benefit another group of people.

One question, is how much of this imposition one is able to bear, and how arbitrary this imposition can be.

I’m in the middle. I don’t believe AC is a viable method of governing our society. Mostly because there are to many leeches, and predators in society already. So, for me at least, the question is how do we make the current system less of an imposition. And I believe that is a pragmatic path to take. Least until something better comes along.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"The argument is that rights are mere philosphical concepts until they are given reality by that piece of paper."
The essential thrust of this is that concepts have no reference to reality.

The immediate political implications are ghastly enough. The larger epistemic implications are literally out of this world.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Joe,

Do you understand the history of which you are speaking? It’s the whole idea of do unto others. They follow this as well. Come in as a friend and you are treated as such. Morality also comes into play. The concept of live and let live. People as individual. Respect for others beliefs. Do you really want to get into this whole thing?
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
For all the vomit about "responsibility," the other side can’t pass the simple test of taking the responsibility to respect the free choices of others in their self-ownership, as long as they don’t commit force and fraud against others.

The collectivist-subjectivist argument is, of course, a fundamental -denial- of individual responsibility and an utter mockery of the concept.
 
Written By: E. Brown
URL: http://
the An-Caps should fit in quite nicely there...that is their goal a "lawless society" merely one of contactual obligation between individuals.

If only it were so... but it’s not. The government that actually controls that territory has not renounced the treaties with the US, has not given up it’s control, has not renounced taxes, and has not abandoned its jurisdictional claims. A splinter group has done that, to no actual effect so far.

But it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.


 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"So, there are guards at the border, and walls designed to keep you in?"
That question is absurd precisely because it has nothing to do with the original authority to order people either way, Eric. Answer the question that I actually asked you.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
which is the only condition that would render you the authority to make it?
Try not to steal the concept of ownership, please.
you have to know which direction "better" is in in order to move that way.
OK. What if a person believes that God told him which way to go, and that direction just happened to agree with your direction?

I sense you wouldn’t even grant a person like that the time of day.

 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
Thank you Kyle.
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
I’m in the middle. I don’t believe AC is a viable method of governing our society
That it most assuredly is not. But then again regardless of which direction you chose, to avoid imposing change, you’ll have to go about changing minds, so that people are on board. It’s exactly as I said at my own place this morning:

If our libertarian purist friends feel drug laws are unnecessary, then work through the system to change that problem. That is a process that involves changing minds. That also takes time.

Now; that they seem to have some problems with the mind-changing process would seem unquestionable. Then again, looking at the exchange of insults at this place (And the links that sprang up from in iin the last 48 hrs....), one can easily develop a full appreciation as to why. But as I’ve said in these spaces previously, shortcutting that mind changing process doesn’t help us toward the goal. If government at some level... any level... is necessary, one cannot simply ignore it on the basis of a disagreement with one law or another. Because if that’s done as a matter of routine, government becomes impotent and unable to perform its function in those areas where it is necessary.

And that assumes the purist argument that drug laws are unnecessary. That is an argument, which I do not share. Nor do the majority of the American people. Like it or not, those are the minds you’re going to have to change, if you want to get where you claim you like to be. If the goal is to keep that necessary evil in check, then minds are going to have to be changed and educated for the purpose.

The process I saw going on this last week doesn’t even approach that standard.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"Try not to steal the concept of ownership, please."
It’s the Love It Or Leave It Crowd who’re doing that, Remo. It’s not their country to be ordering about like that.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The essential thrust of this is that concepts have no reference to reality.
How so? Our rights as Americans are real. They started as concepts and became real. That appears to be a strong reference between concept and reality.

In Cuba, most of our rights are just concepts without reality. If the Cuban state is replaced by a government similar to that of the U.S., those rights will change from conceptual to real.

 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
That question is absurd precisely because it has nothing to do with the original authority to order people either way, Eric. Answer the question that I actually asked you.
The question is absurd because it’s as I stated, nobody’s keeping you here, Billy. You can choose to leave at any time, correct? Yes, or no?

I’m not demanding you love it or leave it, that’s not my point. THe point I’m making is you’ve chosen to stay, and asking why.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Do you understand the history of which you are speaking? It’s the whole idea of do unto others. They follow this as well. Come in as a friend and you are treated as such. Morality also comes into play. The concept of live and let live. People as individual. Respect for others beliefs. Do you really want to get into this whole thing?
That won’t even be necessary. Like I said - it is your libertarian paradise. So why aren’t you there yet? I bet you can even grow your own pot. You’ve just said that you’re practically one of them. Kinda like Ward Churchill.

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
"If our libertarian purist friends feel drug laws are unnecessary, then work through the system to change that problem."
Rubbish. "The system" didn’t work through me in order to manufacture this problem in the first place. I see no reason why it deserves more respect.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I’m in the middle. I don’t believe AC is a viable method of governing our society. Mostly because there are to many leeches, and predators in society already. So, for me at least, the question is how do we make the current system less of an imposition. And I believe that is a pragmatic path to take. Least until something better comes along.

I disagree with nearly all of this. But, given the remarks you immediately preceded it with, I think it’s the first honest disagreement I’ve encountered in all of these threads, and that’s worth something.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"I’m not demanding you love it or leave it, that’s not my point.
Very well, then. That makes you different from some of these creeps, and I would thank you to keep that position explicitly clear of every turn of this particular subject.
"THe point I’m making is you’ve chosen to stay, and asking why."
For all kinds of reasons, Eric, mostly involving history, now. This country is the only one in all of human history where individual rights were set out — quite imperfectly as the constitution proves every day now, but nonetheless — as principles of the polity. It’s going to hell on a rocket-sled, but it’s all that’s left. This is it. This fight; this place, right now.

I’m an American, Eric. I’m not going anywhere.

You know this.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Do you understand the history of which you are speaking? It’s the whole idea of do unto others. They follow this as well. Come in as a friend and you are treated as such. Morality also comes into play. The concept of live and let live. People as individual. Respect for others beliefs. Do you really want to get into this whole thing?
What about An-Cap’s? I am NOT UNFAMILIAR with the philosophy. I’ve read Rothbard. What you, if you’re an An-Cap can’t seemingly grasp, and others have been trying, sporacically to point out, that you may have theoretical "Natural Rights". Rights to Life, and therefore Property, but that human history SHOWS that your rights mean NOTHING in the face of mass lawlessness or evil and that only by banding together can your rights have any PRACTICAL meaning, whatever their philosophic merits.

So yes I understand An-Cap’s and the move to "anarchy", the International System is "anarchic" I’m not sure I’d want to live in it, though. Others keep pointing out that Anarchy SOUNDS nice, but all too often becomes CHAOS. An-Caps seem to believe that the if one denies ANARCHY then one is only about six degrees of separation from Dachau, another point of contention.

Bottom-Line: Yes, Cindy I am WELL aware of the Anarchist philosophy, I am well aware fo the under-pinnings of Nazi’ism, and the under-pinnings of Marxist-Leninism. Because I am not unfamiliar with these ideas, I can say I ahve arrived at my Utilitarian-Libertarian-Conservative PoV thru a process of reflection. I know what Billy and Kyle INTEND, I just know that theirs is pipe dream, one that if implemented would destroy millions and END Freedom, though they can not see it. OR WILL NOT realize it.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Rubbish. "The system" didn’t work through me in order to manufacture this problem in the first place. I see no reason why it deserves more respect.
And there you have the problem. You don’t see it.
I mean, if we have to get your approval for everything does that by the same token mean that you have to get everyone else’s approval before you impose your ideal on them?

I mean, doesn’t that work both ways?

Oh... I seeeeee. (Amused stare)

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
For all kinds of reasons, Eric, mostly involving history, now. This country is the only one in all of human history where individual rights were set out — quite imperfectly as the constitution proves every day now, but nonetheless — as principles of the polity. It’s going to hell on a rocket-sled, but it’s all that’s left. This is it. This fight; this place, right now.

I’m an American, Eric. I’m not going anywhere.

You know this.
Call me the devil’s advocate, then.
So if what you say is true, then how is it working through the system you ahve to get to where you want to be is somehow beneath you?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
If only it were so... but it’s not. The government that actually controls that territory has not renounced the treaties with the US, has not given up it’s control, has not renounced taxes, and has not abandoned its jurisdictional claims. A splinter group has done that, to no actual effect so far.

But it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on.

I see Kyle, after the Lakota have done the heavy lifting you might turn up to live there? So you are a parasite on this society, and wish to free load on their efforts....not exactly Jeffersonian, Madisonian, Washingtonian, Hamiltonian, or Franklin-like are you? Do you only go with sure things?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
It’s the Love It Or Leave It Crowd who’re doing that, Remo.
We could argue this "If a tree falls in a forest..." question all day and get nowhere.

And, oh look, that is what is being done right now.
I’m an American, Eric.
Another stolen concept.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
This country is the only one in all of human history where individual rights were set out — quite imperfectly as the constitution proves every day now, but nonetheless — as principles of the polity.
I agree with you 100% on this point. Which is one of the many reasons I do not believe in natural rights. This country is a framework which gives individual rights reality. Tear down the framework and we won’t have more rights, we’ll have few or none.
 
Written By: David C.
URL: http://
If only it were so... but it’s not. The government that actually controls that territory has not renounced the treaties with the US, has not given up it’s control, has not renounced taxes, and has not abandoned its jurisdictional claims. A splinter group has done that, to no actual effect so far.
Hey, an ineffectual fringe group - see, I told you it was your libertarian paradise! I will even send you a case of Mardi Gras beads so you can buy yourself a nice teepee when you get there, Kyle. If you make Cindy your squaw, the locals shouldn’t give you any trouble.
Rubbish. "The system" didn’t work through me in order to manufacture this problem in the first place. I see no reason why it deserves more respect.
More misanthropic whining masquerading as libertarian purity. Must every policy decision be "Billy Beck Approved" for it to have the stamp of moral legitimacy?
I’m an American, Eric. I’m not going anywhere.
So if McQ refuses to ban you, and the Dark Forces refuse to strip you of your citizenship, then I guess we just have to sit here and listen to your grumbling.

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
I’m an American, Eric. I’m not going anywhere.
no you’re NOT you’re "Billy Beck". "American" is a collective term, not one fit for an individual. "American" is a collective term for a group of folks sharing an ideology and an ALLEGIANCE to the place and policies of that place. being an "American" is the anti-thesis of the An-Cap, Beck...you are Billy Beck, you believe certain things, you live a certain place, but you can not really say you’re an "American" can you? How colllectivist of you!?!?! I demand that McQ spit you out of his philosophic craw right now or forever lose the name, "Libertarian"!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"How so? Our rights as Americans are real."
I think this might be breaking news to you, but take a deep breath and try to face it: the human beings who lived under millenia of the rule of kings all had rights, too. Pay close attention: understanding that is how we know the difference now between living under kings and living as free people. Their rights were violated, from birth to death, for untold generations. It would be Alice-In-Wonderland absurdity to speak of the violation of something that did not exist.

And that is not to mention the daily absurdity now of observing rights violations under this piece of paper that you say is protecting peoples’ rights.

This "rights from a piece of paper" gag is stark bloody nonsense. It is one step removed from the commie Erb’s "social construction", which is some of the most ridiculous horsesh|t ever posted anywhere on the internet.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
OK. What if a person believes that God told him which way to go, and that direction just happened to agree with your direction?

I sense you wouldn’t even grant a person like that the time of day.


If that was his only reason, I wouldn’t trust him to the extent that anything important depended on his being consistent, but I wouldn’t kick him in the balls, either. And he might make for interesting conversation along the trip. Did I ever tell you guys about the time I got stuck on a long-haul job with a Jehova’s Witness? He started the trip with his usual door-to-door spiel to a supposedly captive audience, but by the end of it, he was desperate to get out of the car and away from my hounding him (you can only imagine). It’s one of the most interesting and enjoyable road trips I’ve ever taken.

But then again regardless of which direction you chose, to avoid imposing change, you’ll have to go about changing minds, so that people are on board.

Why? Y’all’s collectivist outlook prevents you from seeing alternatives in who the change can be applied to, other than all of society or a lone wolf.

It’s about who, not how many, and it’s about changing circumstances, not minds. You guys that don’t agree with me, don’t come with, simple as that. You can’t seem to get it through your heads that I’ve decided to do it without you, that my participation here has other purposes than that of convincing you.

I think that’s where the accusations of rudeness come in, it’s disregard that’s the one attitude people can’t stomach.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
"I mean, if we have to get your approval for everything..."
You don’t. You need my approval for what you have in mind for my life. And that’s what makes me different from you. I’m not interested in running your life, and demanding that you keep your mitts off mine is not that.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
It would be Alice-In-Wonderland absurdity to speak of the violation of something that did not exist.
Their "rights" may or may not have existed...if we can find no EMPIRICAL evidence of their existence, can they truly be said to exist? We only say they exist, because TODAY we view the world differently and had the capacity to order the world and it’s society in a manner that allows us to operate and believe in certain ways. in RETROSPECT we can speak of the serf’s rights and their violations, but unitl the serfs "Stood up" in Mao’s words, did their right’s come into existence, and until a system of stable governance was/is created to sustain those rights those rights have only an ephemaral meaning. Does an electron exist before the neutron decays into a proton and an electron? How can it? It can not be observed. It has only a theoretical existence and it is foolsih to think otherwise.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
You need my approval for what you have in mind for my life. And that’s what makes me different from you. I’m not interested in running your life, and demanding that you keep your mitts off mine is not that.
Sure yuo are, you want to end jailing people bring in 450 kilograms of dope into the US, something I agree with. You want to substitute YOUR policy preference for mine...what’s the difference? The only real difference is you don’t ahve the votes in Congress to achieve your ends, so you spend your days grumbling on the Internet about the Rocket-Sled to Hades....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"The system" didn’t work through me in order to manufacture this problem in the first place. I see no reason why it deserves more respect.
I’m curious to know:

If the government made its operating terms explicit and mailed you a contract, with the understanding that you can’t stay if you don’t sign it, would that make you happy?
You need my approval for what you have in mind for my life.
Blaming the victim again, eh? I don’t have anything in mind for your life, Sonny Jim. Unless, of course, you’re claiming that me having the "wrong morality" makes me complicit in your supposed slavery.

In which case, best you come kill me then.
I think that’s where the accusations of rudeness come in, it’s disregard that’s the one attitude people can’t stomach.
Think a little much of ourselves, do we? Stop package-dealing; rude is rude. Disregard is a different animal entirely.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
"So if what you say is true, then how is it working through the system you ahve to get to where you want to be is somehow beneath you?"
I don’t expect you to ask my permission through this "system" of yours to pursue the peaceful conduct of your private affairs. On the very same principle of individual authority and responsibility, I am not remotely interested in submitting my affairs to your approval, through your "system" or otherwise.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Do those of you defenders of the State (social contract theorists, law & order advocates, etc.) see the principle that binds these two statements together:

1.) "Hence, unless one lives in their own world, moral innocence in terms of a legal or social case is by definition a socially constructed notion." - Scott Erb

2.) "The argument is that rights are mere philosphical concepts until they are given reality by that piece of paper." - David C.

Are you comfortable with your principles comporting so intimately with Dr. Erb’s?
 
Written By: coolpapa
URL: http://
I don’t have anything in mind for your life,

Really? Who you gonna vote for this fall?
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
Dale,

"The other problem I see here is that oil is a necessity. I mean, we couldn’t have the society we have now without it. The use of oil money to fund terrorism really began after we constructed that society, too. So, does the issue of necessity make a difference, since we have no choice but buy oil, or go back to subsistence farming, and burning wood or peat for fuel?"

Okay, so for the sake of argument, do you only use gas for necessities?

Or would you use gas for recreational and other discretionary activiities also, knowing that (by your lights) you were funding terrorism?

Do you really believe that you are volunatarily funding terrorism when you drive to a resaurant instead of having your meal at home?
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
"’American’ is a collective term, not one fit for an individual."
Write that one down, kids. He really means it.

A fainter heart might declare, "We’re all done here." We’re not.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
It’s about who, not how many, and it’s about changing circumstances, not minds. You guys that don’t agree with me, don’t come with, simple as that. You can’t seem to get it through your heads that I’ve decided to do it without you, that my participation here has other purposes than that of convincing you.
Wooooowwwww... Kyle’s MAKING MOVES, man. He’s here doing sh*t you DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. Because the An-Cap train is rolling, baby. And you’re about to get rolled over. Because f*ck changing minds, HE’S CHANGING THE CIRCUMSTANCES.

How high are you right now, Kyle? Not too high to display your usual arrogance, I see.
I think that’s where the accusations of rudeness come in, it’s disregard that’s the one attitude people can’t stomach.
That’s what you idiots can’t understand - It isn’t possible to be RUDE to you, because that would imply some type of intellectual equivalency. For him to be RUDE to you would be paying you a COMPLIMENT. He DISREGARDS you.

You are like the buzzing of flies to Lord Vigo.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
"Sure yuo are, you want to end jailing people bring in 450 kilograms of dope into the US, something I agree with."
Shut up, you reeling little jackass. If it were up to you to get up off your hind-legs and do something like that on your own, you wouldn’t survive the day.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I don’t expect you to ask my permission through this "system" of yours
Of course you do. Look (up) at what happens when we fall outside your approval.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"If the government made its operating terms explicit and mailed you a contract, with the understanding that you can’t stay if you don’t sign it, would that make you happy?"
I would promptly dare you to come make me.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I disagree with nearly all of this. But, given the remarks you immediately preceded it with, I think it’s the first honest disagreement I’ve encountered in all of these threads, and that’s worth something.
I’m not unsympathetic to the argument, but as I’ve said, I’m looking for a pragmatic direction. Something that will take the academic discussion to a course of action.
This country is a framework which gives individual rights reality.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are meant to PROTECT are god given rights.

Hence why the Declaration of Independence says:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed
"We" instituted a government to protect our rights. Rights which everyone ought to have.

It is the current abuse of our rights that many people complain about, and wish to see changed. No knock raids on the wrong house. SWAT teams called out to get a child to medical care. The seizure of assets before a conviction in a court of law.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Are you comfortable with your principles comporting so intimately with Dr. Erb’s?
Adolf Hitler went to Peace Conferences, spoke of the need for Peace, urged Europeans to band together and to fight Communism, NATO did the same thing(s)...should I be uncomfortable with that too? McVey used ammoniaum nitrate, I doo too, should I be uncomfortable with that. John Wayne Gacy was a party clown, so are members of my family should I be uncomfortable with that as well?

Your argument is not a strong one...when I or others start talking about the Dictatorship of the Proletariate or then need for Foucaultian analysis, you can make that argument.

In fact, I would argue that what you are saying is, "I got NOTHING, so let me trot out anything at this point?"

Stalin used shoe laces, I hope your shoes have Velcroe closures, otherwise are you comfortable with STALINIST shoe accessories? Hitler used a belt, I hope you use suspenders. Pol Pot ate rice, I hope you never touch the stuff....I could go on.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Don’t forget "dialectic", Joe.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Really? Who you gonna vote for this fall?
Nobody.

Although let’s say I did vote for someone. Then what? Everybody who votes is complicit in your slavery?

You got a lot of killing to do, tiny stuff.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
"Look (up) at what happens when we fall outside your approval."
Approval of what Eric? Exactly what? Look at what you’re asking me to approve.

You wouldn’t approve it if these principles turned up in action on your doorstep. If I got a gang together and voted to go force you to live your life the way we ordered it, you wouldn’t even be a man if you didn’t meet us with rifle-fire on sight. And your defense would not be offense. This is the thing that you keep turning around.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Shut up, you reeling little jackass. If it were up to you to get up off your hind-legs and do something like that on your own, you wouldn’t survive the day.
EXCELLENTLY reasoned, a superb response...couched with intellectual rigour...I see now how much I missed not being a aprt of USENET, where I am informed you were "Da Man." I can see now how much I missed by being absent thru those Glory Days. I take it the age has affected your reasoning or is it that USENET was jsut populated by terse rude folks who really couldn’t be bothered to make an argument?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe, I have a question. If I participate in Mardi Gras, even though it is for my own enjoyment, does the fact that a million others are doing the same thing make me a collectivist?
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
I’m looking for a pragmatic direction. Something that will take the academic discussion to a course of action.

That’s fine, except that given our disagreement on the academic discussion, we won’t be able to agree on much in the way of pragmatic directions. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at concrete actions pursuant to a political libertarian ideal, and cannot find any that don’t ultimately lead anywhere other than where the whole place is going anyway.

I’m glad you’re looking, but I have no help to offer for the direction you want to go.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
And even in An-Cap land I could use the DEA, billy...I COULD make my own bread, but generally don’t and I can’t make my own automobile...so by your argument UNLESS I am out roudning up the dope smugglers on my own, I am somwhow not a real man or does the concept of "Division of Labour" escape you?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
You wouldn’t approve it if these principles turned up in action on your doorstep.
Then again, I’m not selling drugs, or shipping them. Let’s explore that, fr just a moment. What purpose do you suppose such laws exist for?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
OK. What if a person believes that God told him which way to go, and that direction just happened to agree with your direction?

I sense you wouldn’t even grant a person like that the time of day.
...says Pseudo Randian.

Well, it wold be possible to live peaceably in the same country as such a person. Tragically, I am beginning to wonder if this is true of the likes of Dale Franks and his supporters

I hope I am mistaken.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: http://
Nobody.

Good. It’s a start.

Although let’s say I did vote for someone. Then what?

Then it would imply that you did have something in mind for my life, even if it was only to give me unasked permission to live freely.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
Joe, I have a question. If I participate in Mardi Gras, even though it is for my own enjoyment, does the fact that a million others are doing the same thing make me a collectivist?
Yes you incompetent PIPSQUEAK it makes you a collectivist...real men don’t hang out with beads...and funny cakes....they are rugged individuals, out using the products of DARPANET to insult their intellectual and moral inferiors! On a good day they get banned from a couple of web sites.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Hey Billy,

Hugs, not drugs, man.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Well, it wold be possible to live peaceably in the same country as such a person. Tragically, I am beginning to wonder if this is true of the likes of Dale Franks and his supporters
Well YEAH, because Dale, and Jeff and I are are compiling....(cue ominous music) a LIST of people on this site we don’t like and one day you shall ALL disappear into the Nacht und Nebel...BAWAHAHAHAHAHA

Now you’re starting to sound like one of the DU/Kossac crazeeees.....Any Black Helicopters out there near you? Got the tin-foil ready?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well, it wold be possible to live peaceably in the same country as such a person. Tragically, I am beginning to wonder if this is true of the likes of Dale Franks and his supporters

I hope I am mistaken.
Why take the chance, John? Beat the rush and move to the Republic of Lakota with Cindy and Kyle.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
"Moral innocence cannot be determined by pure reason or argumentation. It is a socially constructed concept."

There you have it. A real socialist steps in and draws the line.
Except, of course, you can’t prove me wrong, Billy. That’s why you use the style you do, if you had to actually prove your position with reason you can’t. You know that. So it’s hand waving, tough talk and bravado...but no substance. You are emotionally tied to your particular whim, and seem to think that anyone who acts on different beliefs is somehow bad. That is on its face absurd.

You also apparently have the belief that acknowledge the social construction of intersubjective reality is somehow socialist. It’s not, not by any stretch of the word. It’s recognizing that humans exist as social creatures interacting with others. And you have no capacity to dictate to others how they should act — you are not qualified to deny the freedom of others to choose their moral beliefs. Even if you think you are, as you see, others will utterly ignore you and you’re left stomping your feet and expressing outrage that the world doesn’t conform to your whims.

My own view: I’m actually rather a moral absolutist in my own belief system, and very distrustful of centralized power. That’s why I’m anti-militarist as well as opposed to big, powerful governments. I also have a strong spiritual aspect to my belief system, and find the idea that reason and materialism can explain reality to be, literally, incredible. Yet, I do not hold it against others if they hold different beliefs, though depending on how others act, I may end up having to act on my moral beliefs (e.g., save someone from a murderer, etc.)

It seems like it’s a bit childish for people to say "I’ve figured it out and anyone who doesn’t think like me is bad." And since you don’t even take the effort to try to prove your position, it seems even irrational. A grown up approach is to recognize that others have the same capacity you do: to determine their own beliefs, and to act on them.

I’m more of an individualist than you are, Billy — I accept that individuals can think differently than I do without having to condemn them, and assert that they should all follow one particular moral belief system. You want that kind of collective acceptance of what you hold true. Your very position is an internal contradiction.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Why take the chance, John? Beat the rush and move to the Republic of Lakota with Cindy and Kyle.



Jeff, Kyle isn’t going...it’s only an "intersting idea" right now...I think that means until the luxury condo’s and Evian is in place I’m not going...and Cindy worries that it is a lawless place...obviously she values her SECURITY over her FREEDOM, and like the puling serf-ette she is, she shall receive NEITHER!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe projecting:

"I got NOTHING, so let me trot out anything at this point?"

All your arguments were nothing, so you proceeded to trot them out without understanding the implications of your answer:

You are quite comfortable with comporting with Dr. Erb when he says the dictates of "society" take precedence over your own understanding of what constitutes morality or rights.
 
Written By: coolpapa
URL: http://
...says Pseudo Randian.
A guy can’t even ask a question ’round here without people divining their intent.

That’s kind of...pseudo-intellectual of you, Mr. Sabotta.
Then it would imply that you did have something in mind for my life, even if it was only to give me unasked permission to live freely.
I suppose that then would imply that every person who votes is therefore complicit in a "moral crime".

Agree or disagree?
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
I’m more of an individualist than you are, Billy — I accept that individuals can think differently than I do without having to condemn them, and assert that they should all follow one particular moral belief system. You want that kind of collective acceptance of what you hold true. Your very position is an internal contradiction.
pwned by Erb.

And they said that Dale should be too ashamed to go on living.
Joe projecting:

"I got NOTHING, so let me trot out anything at this point?"

All your arguments were nothing, so you proceeded to trot them out without understanding the implications of your answer:
AAHhhhhh... the old I’m Rubber and You’re Glue fallacy. Haven’t seen that one in a while.

 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
You are quite comfortable with comporting with Dr. Erb when he says the dictates of "society" take precedence over your own understanding of what constitutes morality or rights.

Well in the grand sweep of history, if Erb wins, then I was wrong and no one will care what my view of my rights were, dude. The only way my rights and my morals count is if we triumph...normally, 99.9% of the time that is thru discussion, debate, and voting, BTW. But in the end, if Erb "wins" I was wrong...worry God measures the "Objective Truth" but in this World, the Big Battalions win...

And it WAS a lame argument. Are you comfortable siding with Erb? Yeah I am...I oppose the Death Penalty too, and I really didn’t like or agree with Thrugood Marshall, but on the Death Penalty we agreed. Should I have changed my opionion on the Death Penalty? Should I have said, NO, Justice Marshall’s Opinion does not count, because he and I differ on HOW we arrived at our conclusions?

That’s a Billy Beck approach, Thrugood got there wrong, so Thurgood is an idiot and I need to trash Thurgood...me I’m glad I got a SCOTUS opinion that put a crimp in the Death Penalty...
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"It is a socially constructed concept. "

Is that objectively true?
No, it’s my working theory of reality. There may be an objective morality, but so far no one has proven one to exist, there are different perspectives. I have my own personal beliefs, which I hold and act upon, but which I cannot prove true. Moral innocence in a social setting seems to me, given the evidence, to be something that is intersubjective, the result of social interactions, persausions, and cultural development. Thus it changes over time. What I see some of you doing is taking your subjective belief system, building an argument to justify it, and then positing it as THE objective belief system. It’s not a compelling argument, at least as I’ve seen it attempted.
You are quite comfortable with comporting with Dr. Erb when he says the dictates of "society" take precedence over your own understanding of what constitutes morality or rights.
Coolpapa, that is NOT what I say, read again what I posted on the thread 7653 (and more or less repeated above):

BTW, all that said my own view is that one should follow ones’ subjective belief system if the law demands someone do something one considers immoral. I would therefore not vote to convict someone of drug use, and I would probably not be put on a jury because I’d make clear that I will not be part of imprisoning someone for something I don’t think a crime. But hey, that’s just me, and I’m not under a delusion that my beliefs somehow should take precedence of Dale’s or anyone else’s — this is a personal call for each individual to make, based on his or her own moral judgement, and they might choose legal positivism or some other measure. We’re free to do that — free to determine our own moral systems and act on them, limited only by the consequences of our actions, our capacities and of course the fact others have that same freedom.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Well, it wold be possible to live peaceably in the same country as such a person. Tragically, I am beginning to wonder if this is true of the likes of Dale Franks and his supporters
My, you are projecting a great deal of evil upon people with whom you disagree. Don’t you think that’s a little over-the-top? Has Dale ever threatened you? Have his supporters?

From what I’ve seen of this debate (and, frankly, it’s too tedious to slog through all 600 or so posts), Dale and his supporters are quite willing to concede that others might disagree with them, and let it go at that. But the folks opposing Dale, by and large, have been petulant, condescending, bellicose, and unyielding. All because Dale found someone guilty of breaking a law that his opposition doesn’t think should be on the books.

Pardon me if I don’t take Dale’s opposition seriously; the way-out-of-proportion response would make for a good satirical film, but in real life, it’s just sad to see.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
"Then again, I’m not selling drugs, or shipping them."
Right now, in The Vampire State, if you were selling guns, you might understand the problem.

Principles, Eric.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
pwned by Erb.

That’s my second nomination for what to replace "Free Markets - Free People" with. It’s certainly a more accurate description of the site.

The previous one, in case you are keeping a scorecard, is:

"We don’t deal in moral truth here".


 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
That’s fine, except that given our disagreement on the academic discussion, we won’t be able to agree on much in the way of pragmatic directions.

Well, except for the difference that I think we can work through the current framework, and you don’t, what disagreement do we really have. I certainly believe in a live and let live philosophy. I do think some form of government is needed to protect liberty, and rights. I also think it should be the minimum amount required.

I’ve spent a lot of time looking at concrete actions pursuant to a political libertarian ideal, and cannot find any that don’t ultimately lead anywhere other than where the whole place is going anyway.

And that’s why many have decided to do the best with where we are and what we have. It may not be the ideal solution, and it may not be a solution at all. But the options for effective action seem limited.

****

And since this is bound to be shut down over the weekend (and I don’t have internet access at home,) let me just say that the name calling and some of the rhetoric does make this seem like a fight between 14 year olds. And that goes for all sides of the issue. I really don’t care about "he started it," it’s quite immature. I’ve tried not to offend anyone with name calling or my arguments. If I did offend anyone, I apologize.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Right now, in The Vampire State, if you were selling guns, you might understand the problem.
That makes no sense, Billy. Guns don’t work against vampires. You need wooden stakes or holy water. No one here has come out in favor of banning stakes or holy water, so why don’t you get off his case?
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://
Doktor Professerboy
"I accept that individuals can think differently than I do without having to condemn them, and assert that they should all follow one particular moral belief system."
"You can all go vote yourselves straight to hell."

How many times are you people going to ignore the plainly stated facts?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"Free Markets - Free People"
Well, the point is, our markets are freer then some, and less then others, and certainly not perfectly free. Just as we are freer then some, less then others, and certainly not perfectly free.

Trying to make the markets and people freer then they are now is a pragmatic choice.

Trying to make markets and people perfectly free, seems damn near impossible.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Erb,

"No, it’s my working theory of reality."

So you don’t think your assertions are any more objectively valid than the assertions yuu criticize?
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
"Well, the point is, our markets are freer then some, and less then others, and certainly not perfectly free. Just as we are freer then some, less then others, and certainly not perfectly free."
Believe me: I completely understand why that wouldn’t work on the masthead. For one thing, it wouldn’t have a hope in the world of fooling anyone.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
We don’t deal in moral truth here.
Kyle, you have an opinion about moral truth. You have no standing to assert it as THE truth and expect others, who may have different opinions, assumptions, and values to agree. Do you consider yourself infallible? You seem to be following a secular religion. There may well be a moral truth. But that doesn’t mean your opinion is that moral truth.

Keith, wanting to be ’more free’ raises a fundamental issue about defining freedom. To me, the real issue is power — do people have unjust power over the actions and choices of other people? Governments are the most likely to abuse power and deny freedom, but absent governments private actors (e.g., mafias, large corporate entities) are just as likely to. And even people like Adam Smith and Hayek recognized that rule of law is necessary for markets to function.

So yeah, it’s pragmatic and messy, and that’s why it’s good that we have disagreements, that allows people to explore different possibilities. And it’s in the real world that the results can be measured — not in the world of theory or philosophy. Communism failed not because the theory was disproven, but it lead to horrendous real world results (tens of millions dead, economies dysfunctional, the human spirit beaten down by demands for conformity). Perhaps that’s the problem with this kind of debate, it’s about the philosophy, not about the pragmatics.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Joe:

"And it was a LAME argument."

Thank you for that honest admission.

Joe again:

"Are you (I think you meant "Am I", ed.) comfortable siding with Erb? Yeah I am..."

Another honest admission. Thanks again. Look, I am not saying that you have to agree with someone 100%, and I don’t think that is Billy Beck’s "approach" either. He can speak for himself. However, some principles are more fundamental than others. When you side with Erb over as fundamental a principle as "socially-constructed" morality/rights trump individual morality/rights, I think you are firmly outside the tradition of our "Founding Fathers" and "America" historically.
 
Written By: coolpapa
URL: http://
I suppose that then would imply that every person who votes is therefore complicit in a "moral crime".

Agree or disagree?
Kyle, the question awaits your encyclical feedback.
For one thing, it wouldn’t have a hope in the world of fooling anyone.
This lack of nuance is interesting. I bet you don’t even watch color television.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
Well, except for the difference that I think we can work through the current framework, and you don’t, what disagreement do we really have.

That’s enough to eliminate just about all common cause, in terms of concrete action. We may want to go the same place, but I’m pretty sure the bridge is out on your suggested road.

let me just say that the name calling and some of the rhetoric does make this seem like a fight between 14 year olds. And that goes for all sides of the issue.

Well, you’ve argued honestly, and so you haven’t earned any of it. I much prefer it that way.


 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog

So you don’t think your assertions are any more objectively valid than the assertions yuu criticize?
I believe I’m making the right call, but I also acknowledge I could be wrong, and thus am opinion to arguments that might cause me to change my mind. I also make the idea that I might be wrong one that forces me not to expect others to think like me or act on my beliefs, even if I think they are valid. I know that I cannot make any real claims to objective validity because this issue seems to be, from what I’ve seen, not subject to objective proof.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Erb:

"Communism failed not because the theory was disproven, but it lead to horrendous real world results (tens of millions dead, economies dysfunctional, the human spirit beaten down by demands for conformity)."

Um, Doctor, that’s the very definition of "disproving a theory".
 
Written By: coolpapa
URL: http://
Kyle, you have an opinion about moral truth.

You know, I have a habit here of just reading the comments, and looking at the name of the commenter afterwards. But I can always pick out Erb’s horked up phlegm from the first line. When I read an opening line and think "Erb", I skip down to the tagline, and sure enough, it’s him. So I move on the next comment.

Just from the tone of voice in that one sentence, I knew who it was. Ellesworth, you can count on the fact that I haven’t read more than the first sentence of one of your comments all week.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
Jeff, Kyle isn’t going...it’s only an "intersting idea" right now...I think that means until the luxury condo’s and Evian is in place I’m not going...and Cindy worries that it is a lawless place...obviously she values her SECURITY over her FREEDOM, and like the puling serf-ette she is, she shall receive NEITHER!


Don’t put words in my mouth or rather in my fingers. I just was too lazy to explain that for people other than myself, there are dangers, because our gov. hasn’t gotten out of their business and there is a lot of unrest on the Reservations. Freedom comes in when I don’t have to worry about the govnment chipping away at it piece by piece and being told what I can an can’t do with my property. Right now I sit on a piece of property with restrictions. I lived here for 3 yrs before finding this tid bit out and then found out it wasn’t mentioned or in paper work due to the fact of sloppy filing on the twps part. Go figure. At any rate, it’s my life and not yours to worry about. If I’m not happy that’s my business not yours.
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
Keith, wanting to be ’more free’ raises a fundamental issue about defining freedom. To me, the real issue is power — do people have unjust power over the actions and choices of other people? Governments are the most likely to abuse power and deny freedom, but absent governments private actors (e.g., mafias, large corporate entities) are just as likely to. And even people like Adam Smith and Hayek recognized that rule of law is necessary for markets to function.

So yeah, it’s pragmatic and messy, and that’s why it’s good that we have disagreements, that allows people to explore different possibilities. And it’s in the real world that the results can be measured — not in the world of theory or philosophy. Communism failed not because the theory was disproven, but it lead to horrendous real world results (tens of millions dead, economies dysfunctional, the human spirit beaten down by demands for conformity).
Well, that’s why it’s easy to detail the impositions codified in statutes, on us as individuals by society. They are impositions because they carry the force of law, ie the force of state imposed violence, on us.
Perhaps that’s the problem with this kind of debate, it’s about the philosophy, not about the pragmatics.
That’s why I tend to stay away from these sorts of debates and worry about the pragmatics. I want to see real, measurable change for the better.

We may want to go the same place, but I’m pretty sure the bridge is out on your suggested road.

I’ve already said that my path may not work, and if I saw a better path I’d take it. Traveling down my path gives me something to do, until that better path reveals itself.
Well, you’ve argued honestly, and so you haven’t earned any of it. I much prefer it that way.
Thank you.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Then on what possible basis could there ever be any hope of conviction, Erb?

The windsock outside? Your wet thumb in the air?

Here’s a fact, squish-boy: very few people have ever been the moral coward that you are. Real grown-ups know how to make their way through this stuff without pleading their own incompetence as a standard.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Boy, someone better tell New Hampshire the "live free or die" motto needs to go away if "Free Markets, Free People" has to come down.

I mean, sounded like an ideal to me, not a, had-to-be-fact-right-now!
You know, a goal worth convincing people of trying to achieve.

As opposed to a set of non-rules that people who allegedly couldn’t care less are busy beating people over the head with.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Erb,

"I believe I’m making the right call..."

So you believe you are objectively right about the nature of morality?
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
Is that objectively true?
Nothing is objectively true. Not even that nothing is objectively true. The color green may be blue on alternate sundays for some.
Except, of course, you can’t prove me wrong, Billy.
[...]
My own view: I’m actually rather a moral absolutist in my own belief system, and very distrustful of centralized power. That’s why I’m anti-militarist as well as opposed to big, powerful governments. I also have a strong spiritual aspect to my belief system, and find the idea that reason and materialism can explain reality to be, literally, incredible. Yet, I do not hold it against others if they hold different beliefs, though depending on how others act, I may end up having to act on my moral beliefs (e.g., save someone from a murderer, etc.)
Why don’t you start quoting L.A. Rollins? It should be good for a laugh. Whatever half-assed nonsense you’re going to assert, ’rather a moral absolutist’ and such like, there’s no possibility of a rational person not laughing at an apparent joke, or else realizing what contemptuous garbage you’re spewing...

You remind me of Bill Lumberg with your malformed, half-assed language and your perpetually unfinished statements. "I think I’ll need you to come in...do you think you could?..." without recognizing the hard and fast reality implicitly groped for in those statements.
It’s recognizing that humans exist as social creatures interacting with others. And you have no capacity to dictate to others how they should act — you are not qualified to deny the freedom of others to choose their moral beliefs.
For example, if someone were to stick you up in the street, you would have no capacity to dictate, in act or in speech, nor would you be qualified to deny the mugger his freedom to choose his moral beliefs. In this case, the moral belief that what he wants is always rightly his, and if he has to kill you to get it, he will. Likewise, if you survived the experience and decided that you didn’t like muggers and decided to shoot every guy in the street strong enough to mug you (after all, it’s a moral belief, no one has the right to be able to mug you!) none of them would be qualified to deny you such freedom.
 
Written By: Brian N.
URL: http://
That’s enough to eliminate just about all common cause, in terms of concrete action.
Since you haven’t seen fit to actually elucidate what "concrete action" you’re planning and why it works better than the alternatives, why should anyone want to join you anyway?

Come on, Kyle...what’s behind the curtain?
Doctor, that’s the very definition of "disproving a theory".
Is it so bad that we ask you for the same standard of evidence re: your theories?

That is, historical examples, please.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
We may want to go the same place, but I’m pretty sure the bridge is out on your suggested road.

I’ve already said that my path may not work, and if I saw a better path I’d take it. Traveling down my path gives me something to do, until that better path reveals itself.


I know. I’m just saying, we won’t be making a convoy out of it. My way is not marked on the map, so I understand your hesitation. Your bridge may be out; there might not even be a bridge my way. I’ll try to scatter breadcrumbs.

 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
Ayn_Randian:

"Is it so bad that we ask you for the same standard of evidence re: your theories?"

What theories have I posited?
 
Written By: coolpapa
URL: http://
My way is not marked on the map, so I understand your hesitation. Your bridge may be out; there might not even be a bridge my way. I’ll try to scatter breadcrumbs.
Translation: uhh, who the hell knows what this esoteric foolishness means?

Ever notice once you ask for some kind of standard of evidence in reference to Kyle’s methods, he stops talking reasonably and starts in with the Jim Jones stuff?

There’s no substance; just window-dressing. Poseur du jour.

Telling, that.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
I know. I’m just saying, we won’t be making a convoy out of it. My way is not marked on the map, so I understand your hesitation. Your bridge may be out; there might not even be a bridge my way. I’ll try to scatter readcrumbs.
Just give me the red pill, and show me the matrix.

Peace all...
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
But it sounds all cool and yoda-like doesn’t it?

He just hasn’t said - "no, no, you are too old to begin the training" yet to confirm his true identity.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Then on what possible basis could there ever be any hope of conviction, Erb?
Therein lies our disagreement, Billy: I can have conviction without being able to prove it or demand that others share my conviction. You don’t need to somehow think you have the one Truth before you can have conviction!

And John, no I don’t think I have the objective moral truth. I believe I’m probably wrong on a lot of points, which is why I want to learn other perspectives and be critical of my own. Yet, until someone convinces me that I’m in error, I will act with conviction on that which I currently hold as my moral beliefs — I can’t do otherwise.

Brian, I have the capacity to act on my beliefs, as does the mugger. In fact, governments and rule of law have been created by people acting on their belief that mugging is wrong. That’s why politics is all around us, we have different beliefs and convictions, and yet we have to share a world. And, even if we can agree that the mugger is wrong, that doesn’t mean your particular beliefs are right. Don’t you see — it really appears that a number of you are unable to accept the possibility you might be wrong. You appear to believe you are infallible! The way you use ridicule to hide the fact you’re not engaging other points of view is transparent — it’s as if you’re afraid of a reasoned, temperate debate. That’s typical of what’s been labeled the "true believer" syndrome.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Right now, in The Vampire State, if you were selling guns, you might understand the problem.
No, I wouldn’t, and you don’t either, if you think the two are at all alike... both from a moral standpoint and from a legal one.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"puling serf-ette" (Jeez, I’ve never been called a whiner, usually it’s another word to which I respond with "and you say that like it’s a bad thing" interesting, whiner...)

Signing off. Have a good weekend.
 
Written By: Cindy
URL: http://
Poseur du jour.

I’m content with that assessment from you.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
I like this - you’re not here to convince anyone.
Wow.

Because, you know, as ’intellectually cool’ as you are, and as bread-crumby, "think and you will understand", "seek and ye shall find" ish you are, if you ever have any hope of seeing your ideals come to fruition you’re going to have to convince poor dumb ignorant slobs, like me, that you aren’t talking out the wrong end of your anatomy.

You know, like Karl Marx was.

No one is going to bother to follow your bread crumbs, because getting insulted at the end of the trail is not a worthwhile goal.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I know. I’m just saying, we won’t be making a convoy out of it. My way is not marked on the map, so I understand your hesitation. Your bridge may be out; there might not even be a bridge my way. I’ll try to scatter breadcrumbs.
And despite your bravado and arrogance, when you’re lost and struggling, realizing you made some real wrong turns, we’ll still help you out.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I think we’re done here.

The religionists have taken their drubbing yet again.

That’s gotta hurt; I know Billy’s life pretty much revolves around these obscure little debates. Winning them is all he has.

Like the McQ said: This ain’t your daddy’s USENET. Your intimidation and bluster don’t fly here, Sonny Jim.

FWIW, I’ll take a thinker over a zealot any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

V for Victory.

Out!
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
if you ever have any hope of seeing your ideals come to fruition you’re going to have to convince poor dumb ignorant slobs, like me,

Why don’t you state, clearly, what you think the ideals I want to see come to fruition are, and what you think fruition would look like, then, if you get that anything close to right, you can state how it requires your cooperation.

But if you do, keep it to yourself, I don’t care.

No one is going to bother to follow your bread crumbs, because getting insulted at the end of the trail is not a worthwhile goal.


You’ll notice that the guy I said that to has not been insulted. You may want to ask yourself why.

 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
FWIW, I’ll take a thinker over a zealot any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

I can’t imagine how you would be able to tell the difference, and I shudder to think what your criteria would be.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
No one is going to bother to follow your bread crumbs, because getting insulted at the end of the trail is not a worthwhile goal.
You’ll notice that the guy I said that to has not been insulted. You may want to ask yourself why
.
Good luck finding Galt’s Gulch, Kyle! Just think how awesome it’s gonna be the first time you hook up the magical motor to power your new home in Shangri-La, where you can sit back and watch America collapse without your productivity to sustain it.

Don’t bother with the breadcrumbs - you’re probably going to want a snack for when you get there.
 
Written By: Jeff
URL: http://repatriate.blogspot.com
Why don’t you state, clearly, what you think the ideals I want to see come to fruition are, and what you think fruition would look like, then, if you get that anything close to right, you can state how it requires your cooperation.


Yeah, that’ll work, I passed mind reading 101 in college you see.
No, seriously, I have not a clue what your ideals would be, and since you’ve been all ’bread-crumby’ about actually explaining them to anyone I doubt anyone else but your tiny elite circle of buddies does, or ever will.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say inside your tiny elite circle of buddies when the rubber met the road, you’d quickly find out you all really have your own direction and your tiny elite circle would get smaller and smaller until it was down to you, the rugged individual.
You’ll notice that the guy I said that to has not been insulted. You may want to ask yourself why.
Nah, frankly it was just a point to try and show you’re not going to get any recruits (not that you care, of course). See, I don’t do the bread crumb thing and get all mysterious when I’m trying to get a point across.

I can see where you’ve ’attempted’ to insult, that doesn’t mean you succeeded, but it also doesn’t mean you didn’t try.
Your words are the only coin you have here, and you’ve chosen to paint the plug nickles gold and try to pass them off as good stuff.

You don’t need me or most of the rest of us to get where you’re going.
That’s fine, it just means you’re going nowhere.
Enjoy the view dude.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Because, you know, as ’intellectually cool’ as you are, and as bread-crumby, "think and you will understand", "seek and ye shall find" ish you are, if you ever have any hope of seeing your ideals come to fruition you’re going to have to convince poor dumb ignorant slobs, like me, that you aren’t talking out the wrong end of your anatomy.

You know, like Karl Marx was.
And even Karl was able to convince enough folks to his way of thinking...

What does that tell you about THEM?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
It means they’re going to pass on into the infinite and will have hardly changed a thing.
Standing on the shoulders of giants so they could piss into the wind.
But man, they’ll have had some great ideas!

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Why don’t you state, clearly, what you think the ideals I want to see come to fruition are, and what you think fruition would look like, then, if you get that anything close to right, you can state how it requires your cooperation.
Or, YOU could try and tell us yourself, instead of acting like an asshat.

Seriously, don’t YOU know what it is you want? If you do know, why are you so utterly incapable of putting it into words?

Are you and the rest of you that dim-witted?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
"I can have conviction without being able to prove it..."
I know, Erb. I’ve seen you do it for over a decade.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"And John, no I don’t think I have the objective moral truth. I believe I’m probably wrong on a lot of points,...

Then what did you mean when you thought you were making the right call? In what sense other than objective might your call be right?
 
Written By: John T. Kennedy
URL: http://www.no-treason.com
"I know Billy’s life pretty much revolves around these obscure little debates. Winning them is all he has."
I leave for Tokyo next Wednesday, punk. What will you be doing?

Shoot me your address and I’ll send you a post card. I’ve impressed twits like you before, and it’s easy.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I leave for Tokyo next Wednesday, punk. What will you be doing?

Shoot me your address and I’ll send you a post card. I’ve impressed twits like you before, and it’s easy.
Will you be staying there, since the US is so horrid?

And maybe your friends are greatly impressed with your travels, but I’m pretty sure normal folks ain’t.

Well, normal folks who aren’t overly impressed with over-inflated egos possessed by people who decry a system they obviously prosper under.

Fly safe!
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Gee...this is still going huh?

WOW.

Well, enjoy your weekends everyone
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
You too, Shark.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Billy, in an era of globalization traveling to another country isn’t exactly impressive. It’s pretty common.

But do you really think you have to have certainty in order to have conviction? Do you honestly think you have found THE truth? Do you think it’s impossible you might be wrong, are you infallible?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Billy, in an era of globalization traveling to another country isn’t exactly impressive."
Who said it was? The point is about that idiot’s "snark", which is sometimes a matter that gathers a lot of attention around here, and sometimes it isn’t. In any case what he said is nothing but bullsh|t. It has nothing to do with any of this and it’s not even true.
"But do you really think you have to have certainty in order to have conviction?"
That’s a very interesting question.

You should take it up with Steven Rhett.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
I leave for Tokyo next Wednesday, punk. What will you be doing?
Hanging out in Baghdad. I’m an Officer in the United States Army.

Does this mean you actually paid The System for a passport, Billy?

My-oh-my.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
"But do you really think you have to have certainty in order to have conviction?"
And the Anarchrist responds: "[T]ake it up with Steven Rhett."

He was asking you. Apparently reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit.
 
Written By: Ayn_Randian
URL: http://
Heh, and who knew, they’re not stopping him from leaving.
Go figure.
Someone should notify the authorities they’ve f’d up again and let another one escape our statist nation.

He’ll probably drive on a public road to the public airport in the process, all the while wondering what right ’we’ have to demand he, rugged individual who asks nothing of society, drive on the right hand side of the road.

Sorry, when I see the AnCaps go it on their own without the rest of us as a support system they hate, then I’ll buy their jive.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Wow! 257 comments. Take a day off and you really fall behind in your reading. I could spend a couple of hours and read all those comments, but I think I’ll pass. Judging from the previous posts I doubt I missed anything worthwhile or even faintly amusing.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Good luck finding Galt’s Gulch, Kyle!

Hey, Jeff, that was fiction, didn’t you notice.

looker:
I have not a clue what your ideals would be,

Then how can you be so certain they require convincing people like you to go along with them?

I don’t do the bread crumb thing and get all mysterious

It’s not very mysterious. We were using roads as a metaphor for trying different approaches. I said that my way isn’t on the map, i.e., I don’t know exactly where it goes and what it looks like. All I have is a compass - i.e., I know what direction I want to go in. Then I said I’d leave breadcrumbs, in other words, I’d let him know if I figured out anything.

See, it’s not that hard to work in the abstract. Give it a try sometime, you might find you start understanding adult things like literature and movies and music.

You don’t need me or most of the rest of us to get where you’re going.
That’s fine, it just means you’re going nowhere.


And you think I’m arrogant? Where ever you are is not only "the place to be", but it’s the only place that exists?

Scott:
If you do know, why are you so utterly incapable of putting it into words?

I can put it into words, it’s monkey-grunt that I’m not fluent in.

Steve:
Hanging out in Baghdad. I’m an Officer in the United States Army.

Good for you. Seriously. As far as I am concerned, that much about you deserves respect and will remain off-limits for any snark from me. Stay safe.

Anybody wants to use that as ammunition against me, go right ahead. I can value what he does and that he does it without violating my principles, and I don’t have to justify it to you.
 
Written By: Kyle Bennett
URL: http://www.humanadvancement.net/blog
I can put it into words, it’s monkey-grunt that I’m not fluent in.
So you can’t even try, which means you can’t.

Way to fail at your own viewpoint.
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Wow! 257 comments. Take a day off and you really fall behind in your reading. I could spend a couple of hours and read all those comments, but I think I’ll pass. Judging from the previous posts I doubt I missed anything worthwhile or even faintly amusing.
Yup - pretty much a re-run.

Good call on your part.

And with that, and no new recent comments, I think we’ll close this puppy up.

If Dale wants to reopen it, since it is his post, I’m sure he’ll let everyone know.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog

 
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