• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About nickcoons

Previous Fields

  • Full Name
    Nick Coons
  • Relationship status
  • Looking or Not Looking
    not looking
  1. I already know what I'm going to do about it, that's really outside the scope of this thread though. My purpose here is to make sure that I'm not missing something that might indicate that my anarchist position is incorrect.
  2. I think I've been pretty clear about my intentions.
  3. I believe this explains well what I've come to conclude about you. I believe that you are simply looking for someone who shares this opinion with you. That supporting the government as an Objectivist is contradictory. I'm not looking for people to agree with me for the sake of finding like opinions. All of my close friends already agree with me. I'm trying to understand how a philosophy like Objectivism, populated with very intelligent people that have a huge amount to offer, can go on for decades with this core contradiction slipping by seemingly unnoticed. What I've generally gotten in response are generally evasions (i.e. that I'm taking things out of context, that I'm rationalizing, etc) which don't actually address the question but instead criticize the way I'm asking the question. I'm not sure what the intention is behind these sorts of responses, other than perhaps what you alluded to, that people go to great lengths to not go through process of working out contradictions because they don't like where it takes them.
  4. This is the crux of my original post. My understanding of Rand's philosophy is that she was absolutely opposed to the initiation of force, yet you and I seem to agree that a state of any size is based on the legitimacy for some people to initiate force, and this is the contradiction that I'm trying to understand. I understand the differences about degrees, that's why I stated in the post to which you replied that in principle there is no difference. Certainly there is a difference in degrees. If I poke you lightly with a needle, or I stab you in the chest, the principle I may be operating on could be "it's okay to stick you with something sharp," so they are the same in principle, but I don't mean to discount the degree between the two. That may be, but reasons people choose to live in certain areas are not necessarily principle-based. I choose chocolate over vanilla not out of any principle, but because its preferable. The difference between the US and North Korea is much larger than chocolate and vanilla, so let's say chocolate and dirt. Again, no real principle that I know of behind that choice, I just don't care for the taste of dirt. Neither choosing where to live nor what to eat is a moral issue. Completely agreed.. I don't advocate abolishing the state in order to increase liberty. The state goes away, as an effect, as people have a rational grasp on reality. But in this thread I'm not trying to make an argument for abolishing the state, just trying to resolve the "support of a state" and "non-initiation of force" contradiction.
  5. And that's great. But by turning to the state as a solution, you're not preventing beatings, you're just advocating that others carry out the beatings, and not only pre-emptively on the ones who may beat you, but on everyone else as well. No, I'm not "advocating that others carry out the beatings, and not only pre-emptively on the ones who may beat you, but on everyone else as well." I specifically said, in the very post you quoted (italics included): "... finding ways to restrain them before the beating." In my messages to you, I'm operating under the assumption that you support a state of some sort. A state of some sort (even a Randian minimal state) requires the initiation of force in order to collect taxes to fund its operations (if it was funded through voluntary transactions like a business, then it would be a business, not a state). Those that don't pay their taxes will have violence thrust upon them -- If you support a state, then you support taxation; if you support taxation, then you support this, which is the reason for my prior statement. If you tell me that you are a mammal, then I can conclude that you are warm-blooded. You don't have to use the words "I am warm-blooded", it's a logical conclusion of something else you've said. Now, if you say that you support a state and you simultaneously do not support the initiation of force (like taxation), then you're holding two contradictory ideas at the same time, which is the crux of my original post that started this thread.
  6. This looks like it was a response to me, but it doesn't seem to address anything I've said, so I'm somewhat confused.
  7. Whether these remnants exist is not really relevant to the free-market anarchist position, since if they do exist, they will exist just as much within the state (and arguably more, since the state tends to attract certain people). Or, if these remnants exist, it further supports the free-market anarchist position since it's probably bad for people with these characteristics to have the legal ability to forcefully control other people through the power of the state.
  8. And that's great. But by turning to the state as a solution, you're not preventing beatings, you're just advocating that others carry out the beatings, and not only pre-emptively on the ones who may beat you, but on everyone else as well. Let's say that we have 26 people, A-Z. A wants to attack B, so B attacks A pre-emptively in order to prevent the attack. This itself may not be a bad thing, so long as B has reasonable evidence that A was planning to attack him. However, this is not what the state does. The state will first attack all of A-Z through taxation in order to fund it's ability to pre-emptively attack A and protect B. This means that C-Z, innocent bystanders, now become victims of an attack the would not have happened without the state.
  9. Of course, and this is something that the existence of a state makes far more common than in free-market anarchism, soooo... :-)
  10. In principle, yes, they are the same. The principle being that one group of people can legitimately initiate force against other people is shared in both cases. A constitutional republic simply has a bit more red tape before it can legally occur. I use "common sense", so to speak, to re-analyze my adherence to principles all the time to make sure they're valid. If I'm concerned about someone stockpiling weapons who claims to be acting under the guise of "peace and love", then I am far more concerned with the actions of the state than with any private individual, since the former is far more likely to occur than the latter.
  11. Okay, I understand your point. So I'll modify my question as follows: Is it moral for people who call themselves "government" to initiate the use of force against others when those others do not consent? This removes things like "boxing" from the context, since presumably boxers consent (and we would probably both agree that a boxing match where the boxers did not consent would be immoral).
  12. I don't know that this would make a difference, so perhaps you can give me an example of when it would be moral for certain people, and when it would be immoral for others. I know what I believe the answer is. I'm trying to determine whether or not you agree with that answer. Because if you don't, then I can't use it as a premise in an argument. If I make the following argument: - All cats are white. - Sam is a cat. - Therefore, Sam is white. It's logically valid, but you are only bound to the conclusion if you first accept the premise. If I think you accept the premise, but you don't, then I'm spinning my wheels making the argument. That's what I'm trying to avoid here.
  13. This is a very interesting discussion so far, but I'd like to try to keep to the original point as much as possible. I understand the various ways that the term "monopoly" is used in economics, so let me clarify. I am referring to the sort that is backed up by force. In order to simplify this, I'll take my argument one step at a time using the Socratic method, and then I might be better able to find out where my flaw is. So the first question is -- Is it moral for people who call themselves "government" to initiate the use of force against others?
  14. But this is the contradiction inherent in Rand's definition of government that I asked about in my original post. "Monopoly" implies coercion, because a monopoly must be coercively enforced if it is required that it remain a monopoly. That is, force must be initiated against anyone that tries to compete with the monopoly. If competition is allowed, then it's no longer a monopoly, and the contradiction falls away.
  15. Thanks for the response. Here are my thoughts. I don't find that argument particularly satisfying either. Objective morality implicitly to all people, everywhere, and at all times. It cannot logically be moral for one person to do something, and immoral for another person to do the exact same thing. That is, if it's moral for a government agent to forcefully take 40% of my income, then it is also moral for me to forcefully take 40% of his income. The NIOF principle is derivable as a pattern when giving moral claims the universality test. So whether a state exists or not, I have the right to not have force initiated against me. Since the state must implicitly break that principle (and even worse if it's under the guise of protecting the rights of individuals), I've always found the Objectivist explanation for the state an ex post facto justification, since the state must first initiate force for it to be considered a state, thereby nullifying its very intent. You brought up rationalism, so I'd like to ask a question about that as well. I've been accused a few times recently of being a rationalist. Never having heard that as an accusation before (I thought being rational was a good thing :-) ), I did some research on it and from what I've found it appears that a rationalist is someone who makes an argument purely through reason without reference to empiricism. Is that right? If so, I still don't see an issue with that, depending on the argument. For instance, I can confidently make the claim "absolute truth is valid", because its opposite (and only alternative) is "absolute truth is invalid", which is self-contradictory. I don't need empirical evidence to prove this claim. I almost get the impression that calling someone a rationalist is like making the Ellsworth Toohey "reason is limited" argument, which isn't very compelling because it too is self-contradictory.