James Chillemi from Liberty Hangout recently wrote an article entitled “The NAP is Incomplete” wherein he makes the case for why the NAP is both insufficient as an all encompassing moral principle as well as a legal one. That is, he asserts that some acts which don’t involve NAP violations may still be criminal, and that it may be just to violate the NAP in pursuit of justice.
It is the intention of this article to identify the false premises and errors made in James’ analysis. Just to preface, I love the work that Justin Moldow and James Chillemi create in general; this is simply a friendly and informal rebuttal.
Before we begin, allow me to briefly define the NAP: the principle that condemns as criminal the act of initiating uninvited physical interference with the persons or property of others, or threats thereof.
The NAP is incomplete. There I said it. There are five reasons that I believe, as a student of Anarcho-Capitalism, that the Rothbardian interpretation of the Non-Aggression principle is not enough to form a free society around. The Non-Aggression principle is an underdeveloped view of moral philosophy.
First off, the NAP is not purported to be an all-encompassing moral principle. It is instead a legal principle, and as such covers a far more narrow scope than that of morality in general. Rothbard never suggested otherwise. It’s true that some novice Voluntaryists/AnCaps do make this mistake, but this is due to an unrefined understanding of the philosophy. Thus, the NAP only indicates the legal status of an action — not necessarily the moral status of one. When we say an act violates the NAP or is criminal, what this means is that the use of physical force or threats thereof would be justified in response to said act of aggression. We can imagine immoral acts which would not warrant such a response. Virtually all of us have moral codes which extend beyond the NAP, so to attack the NAP as being an insufficient moral principle is to attack a strawman.
For instance, if a guy cheats on his girl friend, or talks crap about his friends behind their backs, then these acts may be immoral, yet they are not NAP violations or criminal, i.e., they don’t warrant physical/legal reprisal. Remember, libertarianism is a legal/political philosophy which is simply used to identify the proper method of resource allocation (in this case via original appropriation or voluntary exchange) and from that to determine which types of actions are consistent with, or in violation of, private property rights. It is not a philosophy which seeks to exhaustively identify an entire moral code, but rather the more narrow legal one.
1) The Non-Aggression principle does not take into account intent and is useless in mitigating aggressions committed accidentally or with good intentions.
This is a false understanding. Torts due to negligence do, in fact, fall under the broad umbrella of the NAP. The following is a relevant excerpt from my book A Spontaneous Order:
Kinsella’s interpretation of torts creates a justification for punishment in the event of a ‘partially intentional’ property rights violation. Moreover, it demonstrates why an ‘eye for an eye’ punishment is inappropriate when applied to such cases where negligence is the cause of a property rights violation. For instance, if Peter were to, with full intention, run over and kill Bill, then executing Peter would be a justifiable punishment due to its symmetry with the crime. However, if Peter were to run over and kill Bill due to negligence, then executing Peter as punishment would be unjustified. This is because the act of executing Peter is not symmetrical with Peter’s act of involuntary manslaughter. Action is defined as the deliberate use of means aimed at achieving a certain end(s). An action aimed towards execution is not commensurate with an action aimed away from killing that yields this unfortunate result nonetheless.
Though Peter’s action was not explicitly aimed at killing Bill, his act is still considered “partially intentional” towards this end as it did involve the deliberate use of means to achieve an end which necessarily put Bill at risk (otherwise Bill could not have been killed as a result of the action). Thus, it would be more appropriate to reduce Peter’s punishment, to a level commensurate with the degree of risk he placed on Bill’s life. If Peter’s act placed Bill’s life at a 25% chance of being extinguished, then Peter’s punishment should at least be reduced 75% with respect to the ultimate penalty of execution. How one’s level of intentionality is to be determined, the percentage of risk his actions placed on others assessed, and what punishments correspond with negligence related reductions cannot be known for certain in advance, and, as such, would be determined by arbitration, available evidence, and case precedent.
Of course, there are other mitigating factors to consider where Peter could run over and kill Bill, but he might be held less liable, or not be held liable at all. For instance, if Bill jumped in front of Peter’s car, then Peter would likely not be held legally liable as Bill would be assessed as the cause of his own death. Alternatively, if Charlie ran Peter off the road, causing Peter to run over and kill Bill, then Charlie would be held liable for Bill’s death, not Peter despite the fact that he was the one who ran Bill down. Finally, should Peter have suffered from an unforeseeable seizure while driving that caused him to swerve and crush Bill, then he should not be held liable, as this would be the result of Peter’s completely unintentional behavior as opposed to his “actions” (intentional behavior). Thus, one’s criminal or tortious liability is contingent upon whether or not his actions are judged to be the cause of a property rights violation.
Because acts of negligence may result in violations of the persons and property of others, they would absolutely be considered NAP violations.
2) Crimes of omission would not be crimes by simply using non-aggression as the only axiom to determine legality.
This is not quite true either. For instance, if you created a contract with someone saying, “I hereby transfer title of X amount of money to you in the case of Y,” and Y occurs, yet you fail to transfer X, then you would be violating the NAP due to your failure to hand over X amount of money. Your refusal to hand over said money would be an uninvited physical interference with someone else’s property (his money) and thus be considered aggression, as defined in the NAP. This would constitute a so-called “crime of omission.”
3) Aggression against peaceful people would still have to be used to by private dispute resolution organizations and/or their collaborative police forces in a free society.
This is absolutely false, yet I’ll hold off on addressing this until he provides an example later in the article.
4) Using Aggression to combat non-aggression can still be moral, even if its not legal.
This might be true1, yet it holds no relevance to the NAP or libertarianism. Again, the false assumption here is that the NAP is touted as an all-encompassing moral principle; it is not. It is instead a more narrow legal principle. See above for a more elaborate explanation.
5) The Non Aggression Principle makes no mention on the idea of proportionality.
This is true, yet proportionality does fall under the broad umbrella of the NAP. The NAP simply says that force may justifiably be used in response to acts which involve uninvited initiations of physical interference with the persons or property of others, or threats thereof. The NAP also doesn’t specify which specific levels of punishments should be doled out for every particular type of crime… but this in no way impacts the validity or universality of the NAP. The NAP is only used to determine whether an act is criminal or justified. This in no way preclude
s the idea of proportionality in any way. Further, it would be a strawman to say that we can’t necessarily conclude which level of punishment is appropriate from the knowledge that a particular act is an NAP violation, alone. No NAP advocate to my knowledge has ever made such a claim. (Although, who knows, maybe there are some crazies like Cantwell who would seek capital punishment for every kind of NAP violation!) I cover proportionality in my book as well.
However, I also tend to have an ontological difference of opinion regarding objective morality with Dr. Rothbard. As a libertarian and a believer in natural law, I believe there are certain positive moral obligations that ought to be enforced in society. Putting someone in a vulnerable situation and not seeing them out should be seen as a crime, and it does not necessarily have to be aggression.
Again, the NAP is not intended to be an exhaustive moral code, but rather the most fundamental legal principle — the line which separates a criminal act from a non-criminal one, not necessarily that which separates a moral act from an immoral one. See above for a more elaborate explanation. There are some positive obligations in the world but there are no inherent positive obligations. Inherent positive obligations are tantamount to positive rights and libertarians are diametrically opposed to positive rights.
However, a positive obligation may occur, if say, I push someone in a lake against his will. I am at this point legally obliged to rescue him. If he drowns I will be liable for his murder, not simply for pushing him. However this positive obligation only came about because I first employed aggression against this individual which put him in said position. Positive obligations may only be established via contract or aggression. Such positive obligations are absolutely consistent with the NAP.
For example, I believe that leaving your 6-month old child in a house alone while you go on vacation is an immoral act and should be punished in a free society. I also believe that starving and beating puppies in your basement should be a crime, and in a free society I would push for judges and private law companies that recognized this.
I agree that leaving a 6-month old in a house alone while you go on vacation is immoral. However, starving and beating puppies is not a crime, because puppies have no legal rights. Again we must be careful not to conflate the narrow scope of legality with the broad scope of morality. Not feeding one’s child or beating one’s puppies may absolutely have consequences — however (absent a contract specifying otherwise), those consequences cannot justly involve physical force against the person or property of the perpetrator2.
Of course, certain neighborhoods may have stipulations to being part of their community, such as, “In the case you are found to have starved your children or beaten your pets, you thereby transfer title over your house to the HOA,” etc. In such cases one’s ownership of a house would be to some degree partial, as it would be contingent on maintaining a certain behavioral code or subjecting oneself to random inspection, etc. The point is, we don’t need to venture outside the NAP to address such complex social problems. Once we do, we embark down the path to statism. For a much more elaborate presentation of how the legal system may function in an Anarcho-Capitalist society please read the chapter “Law & Order” in my book A Spontaneous Order.
To define the terms, aggression itself is defined as ‘hostile or violent behavior or attitudes toward another’. Deciphering the NAP as a statute, this means that all negligence is no longer a crime. This means liability is only placed on those who are proactively violent.
This is false. See above for a more elaborate explanation as to why acts of negligence which result in property violations do fall under the umbrella of the NAP.
As a law student, the first thing they teach you in American Criminal Law is that there are two types of crime 1) crimes of aggression; and 2) crimes of omission. Most legal systems in the developed world follow this doctrine.
I address these above as well. The NAP does cover “crimes of omission,” but only when they entail aggression as defined by the NAP. The fact that most legal systems in the developed world follow this doctrine says nothing of the validity of these principles. This is very close to an appeal to authority.
This is why I propose an amendment to the NAP, known as the NOP (Non-Omission Principle *hereby trademarked*). This would mean that there are certain positive moral obligations that should be enforced in society, and to neglect to fulfill these duties would constitute a crime.
Not sure if this trademark claim is serious, however, if it is I will direct readers to my chapter on “Property” in my book A Spontaneous Order which explains why so-called intellectual “property” is not logically compatible with legitimate property, i.e. private property in scarce goods. I address the positive obligations critique above.
You’re walking into a restaurant. The restaurant owner hasn’t done an inspection on his ceiling in over 10 years and knows the tiles are a little wobbly. One of the tiles falls, striking your daughter in the head and killing her. Is the restaurant owner not liable for what happened? Did he not owe a duty to his customers to provide a safe environment? Do you have to form a contract with every restaurant you go into providing that the environment will not kill you?
No, he is not, barring a contract stating otherwise. You enter someone else’s property at your own risk. Now, there are certain things which are implicitly communicated to a patron when you invite him in — namely, that you will not aggress against him or his property. However, inviting him in certainly does not entail that the customer will face no potential hazards from the state of the property itself, whether this is a wet floor or a loose tile. To assert otherwise would be a ridiculous stretch3. Finally, the utilitarian response is that the owner has a natural incentive to provide a safe environment. If customers are being injured due to the hazardous environment of his store, then the business owner will soon lose business and eventually go bankrupt, lest he improve the upkeep of his shop. This is how the market regulates itself. Scarcely anyone wants to go in a shop unless he has some assurances it is safe.
Or, perhaps, many shop owners would be willing to have their business inspected by a third party safety certifying agency. If they receive a safety certification, this will assure future customers they are entering a safe environment… and those without such a certification would likely be seen as dubious or suspect to prospective customers. Again, there are limitless possibilities to addressing such issues, sans inappropriate legal obligations.
Or take a more extreme example. The doctrine of collateral damage. Interpreting the NAP as axiomatic, your mens rea (intent) no longer matters. All crimes become strict liability crimes (meaning the circumstances don’t matter, you’re liable no matter what). Imagine this: You step into a convenience store. As you grab an Arizona Iced tea out of the fridge, a burglar holds up the clerk with a .45 magnum handgun. Being an avid marksman and a concealed carry holder you find it necessary to step in and attempt to stop the robber. As you draw your weapon, the burglar turns and fires a shot at you. You react in a blur by firing back. You miss the robber and hit the clerk between the eyes.
This is also not technically correct. See discussion above on negligence. Only actions, a.k.a. “deliberate behavior” can be considered criminal — not completely unintentional behavior like having an unforeseeable seizure and running someone off the road, etc (however, if someone has a history of seizures then he may be held liable as his act was at least partially intentional, since he knew he may very well have a seizure when he decided to drive). Again, you would be held liable for killing the clerk, though of course not fully liable as you would had you with full intention murdered the guy. Again, see my discussion above on acts of negligence above. All of this is consistent with the NAP.
According to the Rothbardian interpretation of the NAP, you just committed murder. It does not matter that you meant to help the clerk. It does not matter that your intention was pure. All that matters is your action, namely a bullet delivered to the cranium of the victim. The examples of pure intent and accident like this could go on and on.
This is another common mistake. Even though his aim wasn’t to kill the clerk, his deliberate action did put the clerk at some risk (otherwise the clerk could not have been killed). Thus the degree of risk he put the clerk at by his action is the degree to which he will be held liable for his accidental death. See the discussion above on negligence for further elaboration.
The government is abolished tomorrow. As a result, several dispute resolution organizations (private courts) spring up to help people resolve arguments. Legatus Legal Service represents Bob, and Bob has agreed to take all his disputes to Legatus and have them adjudicate for him. Justice Inc. represents Sal, and Sal has decided to let Justice Inc. solve all his disputes. Each company has their own police force to enforce their laws. As economics would dictate and because violence would be too costly and nobody would want to work for them, Legatus Legal Service and Justice Inc. come to an agreement that they will allow Justice Inc. to resolve any of the disputes between the clients of both parties.
Sal brings an action against Bob, claiming that Bob stole his TV. Bob denies all wrongdoing and claims that he did not take anything from Sal. Bob claims Sal is just jealous because he’s a libertarian with the coolest Rothbard mug on the block. Justice Inc. serves Bob a subpoena that says he must show up for adjudication proceedings in order to resolve this dispute. Bob, who doesn’t believe he has done anything wrong declines to show up for such proceedings. Justice Inc. then shows up at his house after 6 months of Bob avoiding contact with Sal. Justice Inc.’s officers then tell Bob he must come with them. They have done extensive research on the case and have determined that Bob is the most likely suspect. When Bob answers the door he shouts “Fuck the Police!” The officers, wielding a warrant from Justice Inc., grab Bob and place him in handcuffs. They place him in the back of the car and drive him to the courthouse.
The court goes through the trial and determines that it was Sal’s neighbor, Andy, who actually stole his TV. Bob then brings an action against Justice, Inc. for battery. The question is, were the cops acting illegally by forcibly bringing Bob in? The Justice Inc. cops violated the Non-Aggression Principle, but without force, how would they have ever adjudicated the matter? Getting rid of a monopoly of force, does not rid the world of force or using said force justifiably against peaceful people.
The cops were absolutely acting in violation of the NAP, or criminally, by taking Bob in against his will prior to being tried or convicted. For some odd reason, Chillemi failed to recognized that Bob can be tried in absentia if he refuses to attend the proceedings. He does not need to be forced to attend. The following is a relevant excerpt from A Spontaneous Order:
Terry would be encouraged to participate in such arbitration, to make his voice publicly and explicitly heard, so as to make the ruling more legitimate. If Terry refuses to participate, Shield may offer alternative arbitration agencies to handle the case in the hopes that Terry would reconsider. In the case that Terry adamantly refuses to go to any arbitration, Shield may proceed with arbitration without him and he would be tried in absentia. Shield is willing to go through all this trouble to encourage Terry’s participation, because it would bolster the legitimacy of any subsequent ruling on the case. Shield will also be incentivized to offer Terry arbitration through agencies which have a reputation for impartiality, fairness, and expertise in the matter concerned for similar legitimacy considerations. In the event the trusted arbitrator concludes that Terry is not guilty, Shield will compensate him for his troubles associated with these false allegations. It is this prospect of reputational damage and financial loss which incentivizes the DIAs not to accuse people of crimes without substantial corroborating evidence.
Thus, we don’t need to violate the NAP to handle such sticky situations.
Law in a privatized society wont necessarily be moral simply because a monopoly on the commodity is abolished. People will vote with their dollars to fund the services they most agree with. Each city, state, and community would most likely have its own rules and regulations and the corresponding services that enforce them. Advocating each community follow the same moral code is not only improbable but historically utopian.
It’s not utopian to enforce the NAP on a large population. For example, prohibitions of theft and murder are nearly universal. It would, however, be utopian for one to think the entire world would follow the same broad moral code, but the NAP does in no way attempt to do this. It is, instead, a very narrow legal principle. However, there will be differences in the content of law in different areas of the country, but none of these differences need to fall outside the NAP. For instance, there may be more fleshed-out rules concerning water usage in a desert climate than a lush one, etc. The more fleshed-out rules, however, need not be in conflict with private property or the NAP. So, yes, legal principles would come about organically.
Further, it is possible that certain arbitration agencies would utilize standards whose enforcement would entail NAP violations — but this in no way impacts the validity of the NAP as the most fundamental libertarian legal principle (technically, the private property ethic is the most fundamental libertarian legal principle, but the NAP is extrapolated directly from this) — it simply recognizes the possibility that some legal institutions may act in variance with it. But so what? The point is, incentives would be aligned such that prevailing legal systems would tend to comport with private property and the NAP. Here is another relevant quote from A Spontaneous Order :
Additionally, the DIAs will want to adopt policies which are most economically able to prevent conflict to ensure the greatest amount of profit. Thus, promoting the principles of peace and respect for private property will be very important. A society flourishing in peace and productivity will encourage two profitable effects: 1) Higher productivity implies there is simply more value for insurance and defense agencies to defend, growing their coverage, and; 2) Peace and prosperity implies fewer people are resorting to criminal and aggressive behavior. As such, any arbitration agency which frequently rules counter to the norm of private property would likely run out of business. There would be no legitimate defense agency willing to abide by terms contrary to respect for private property. Those norms which contradict that of private property only serve to generate conflict. Thus, the market’s pursuit for an efficient and equitable legal system will likely produce one which is consistent with private property and the non-aggression principle. It is no coincidence, then, that the most efficient legal system will be the one that is most just.
The next excerpt from James’ articles reads:
Following this train of thought, another reason I disagree with the strict Rothbardian interpretation of the NAP is because of the ontological differences in views of morality that I have with many strict non aggressionists. Imagine this: You’re standing on line for the movies. You’re with your 91-year-old grandmother. A drunk 27-year-old in front of you turns and tells your grandmother that she’s,“too old to see ‘Hangover 9’” and should “go home, you old b****”. Being from the Bronx, New York, my entire family, neighborhood, and community would see something wrong if I did not defend my grandmother and her honor by punching this dude in the face. Am I arguing that my action should be legal, obviously not. However, the objective version of morality held by most Rothbardians fits only those who are wholly detached from reality.
This is a rather silly example. I agree that the douchebag talking to James’ grandma is acting immorally, but it is a greater offense to commit aggression as a response to an unsavory, yet non-aggressive, act. Of course, most would probably look the other way in such cases (including myself), but this does not alter the fact that such an act would be criminal on the part of James. I really don’t see how this is an indictment of the NAP. Once again, James is operating on the false premise that the NAP is supposed to be an all-encompassing moral principle, when in fact it is a more narrow legal principle. See above for a more elaborate response.
Moreover, I urge to take it a step further and imagine this: Harley is newly ordained college graduate. Harley gets a job at Prime consulting. Prime consulting is known to hire ex-football players because they have bigger personalities and tend to make more sales. Harley never played sports because he was far too overweight. Harley had been diagnosed with depression and a hypo-thyroid disorder that caused him to gain weight dramatically. Every day at work his co-workers would make fun of him and call him all types of disgusting names. Harley responded by going home at night and crying himself to sleep and eating copious amounts of ice cream. One particular co- worker, Lucius, is extremely rough on Harley. He calls him all sorts of names and tells him that nobody loves him. Lucius tells Harley that “he’d probably be better off if he just offed himself”. Harley goes home that night and has a nervous breakdown. Weeks later after relentless bullying, Harley sticks a shotgun into his mouth and pulls the trigger. Is Lucius not liable at all for the death of Harley? Was Lucius not a proximate cause of Harley’s death? Was the relentless bullying not immoral? Should the emotional distress inflicted on Harley be held without penalty in a free society? Emotional trauma can be much more damaging than physical aggression.
I’m shocked to see James take this position. Is Lucius a major douchebag? Yes. Is he morally liable? I’d say yes, to a substantial degree. But should he be held legally liable for Harley’s suicide? Absolutely not! He neither used nor threatened to use physical force against Harley, so doing this to Lucius would be unjust. Remember: legal liability entails that physical force or threats thereof can be justifiably used against the person or property of the perpetrator. Of course we could employ any level of social/economic ostracism against Lucius, but using aggression against someone in response to an unsavory, yet non-aggressive, act is always aggression. Aggression is always unjustified. This is why we oppose the State: because its very existence is contingent upon continual private property/NAP violations.
Lastly, we come to the doctrine of Proportionality. The NAP specifies that the only use of force that is justified is force in self-defense. However, it makes no mention of how much force can used. For example, imagine this: You are going boating for Memorial Day weekend. You get into your boat with your five best friends and head deep into the Atlantic Ocean. As you get out to a good anchor spot, you realize there is a stowaway on board. Someone who had tried to rob your boat the night before had got stuck in the bathroom because the lock was defective (if it had been you that got stuck in the bathroom in a Rothbardian society you have no recourse because the lock company did not aggress against you, but I digress). You order them off your property at once. The only problem is your [sic] 50 miles from shore. If they were to leave your property it would mean certain death. By enforcing your property rights, you are actually becoming the aggressor, however you claim it was simply defense of your property. If the intruder is ordered into the ocean, is this not murder? The NAP makes no mention of how much force can be used when defending property or self. If someone smacks you, can you shoot them? If someone steals an apple off the tree in your yard, can you chop their arms off with a samurai sword? The Rothbardian Non-aggression statute makes no mention of the proportion of defense you can use. Once again, it is here we see the NAP as an underdeveloped view of morality and are reminded of the need to take this principle farther.
First off, the NAP permits force to be used to punish perpetrators of aggression in addition to using force in defense of one’s body or property. The fact is, there is no legal limitation on the amount of force one may use in defense of his property, that is, to repel a property violator, as one’s property is actively being violated. Of course, perceived excess uses of defensive force may have severe social/economic consequences. However, there are limitations to how much force one may use to punish an aggressor. This is perfectly compatible with the NAP. Another relevant quote from A Spontaneous Order:
There is an important distinction between defense and punishment. The former has to do with what is justified in the defense of one’s person or property as it is being violated, while the latter has to do with applying punishment after the fact when the perpetrator is no longer actively violating property rights. One may justifiably use as much force as necessary to stop a person who is actively committing aggression, no matter how trivial the violation may seem. For instance, if someone were to trespass on another’s property and refuse to leave despite the owner’s requests, then the owner would be justified in using any level of force against this trespasser to defend his property. Though, technically, the owner would be justified in killing this trespasser, this does not mean that doing so would be without consequence. The consequences may include an increase in the owner’s defense/insurance premiums, and he may face some degree of social ostracism for the perceived excessive use of force (if someone commits a justified act, this merely entails that a violent response to said act would be unjustified or criminal). Anyone may ostracize anyone else for whatever reason they deem appropriate, such as killing trespassers. Thus, harsh behavior may be tempered by social/economic pressures.
James Chillemi then concludes:
This article was not meant to attack Murray Rothbard. This article is not to attack Anarcho Capitalists. This article is not to belittle the utility or morality of peaceful voluntary interaction. Yes, teach the NAP to your children. Use the NAP in your everyday life. Be peaceful and defend yourself and your property. But when it comes to forming society around only one principle or law, you’ve completely lost me.
This is yet another strawman. Just because some claim the NAP is the most fundamental legal principle in an AnCap/libertarian society, it does not follow that said people are saying it is the only principle society could be formed around. There may be many moral principles that also guide such a society that go beyond the NAP. What makes a society free is that its multitude of guiding principles simply do not conflict with the NAP. Finally, many laws may be derived from the NAP. The NAP is simply the metric used to determine whether an act is criminal. Thus, there will still be many laws which prohibit theft, murder, rape, assault, fraud, etc. as they all entail NAP violations.
Many criminal acts do not violate the NAP. Many breaches of contracts do not violate the NAP.
If an act does not constitute an NAP violation, it may be immoral, but it is certainly not a crime. What makes a contract legitimately enforceable is that any breech thereof would entail an NAP violation. For more on this, read my chapter on “Contracts” in A Spontaneous Order.
Many acts of negligence do not violate the NAP.
I addressed this above.
The point of this article is to take the libertarian out of the ignorant slumber that one principle can mitigate all the ills of society.
Strawman argument. The NAP is not claimed to mitigate “all the ills of society” — it is an action norm used to serve as the legal basis for arbitrating between disputes over scarce resources, whether they involve one’s person or external property. Basically, it is a principle used to mitigate violent interpersonal conflict… this is a more narrow aim than that of mitigating “all the ills of society.” This is why libertarianism is a legal/political philosophy as opposed to a broader and more encompassing moral philosophy.
The purpose of this article is to show that the dogmatic NAP is not the end all, be all.
It is not claimed that the NAP is the “end all, be all” (whatever this means).
Expound upon principles and thoroughly think through the concepts we have come to blindly accept. The alternative is stagnation and something we should never accept.
On this James Chillemi and I absolutely agree! In fact he and I probably agree on 95% of topics. I encourage you guys to continue supporting Liberty Hangout and to maintain your intellectual integrity! We should hold each other to a high intellectual standard — so, instead of looking at these discussions as “in-fighting,” I would encourage you to view them more like training.
- For instance, it may be true that it would be moral to steal food for your starving family if all other options have been exhausted, or medicine if your child is dying, or break into a cabin in the wintry woods if nobody is inside to welcome you from the deathly cold — truly exigent circumstances. But even this is a matter to hold under further debate. ↩