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Author Topic: Natural law and morals  (Read 3980 times)

feralfae

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Re: Natural law and morals
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2008, 10:06 AM NHFT »

Thank you gu3st,
I would agree that if the principle, or concept, of absolute non-aggression were accepted as the "Prime Directive" for all humans in our interactions with each other, we would have taken a giant step forward in the evolutionary process of humans.  If that same non-aggression principle can be expanded to include non-coercion, i.e., no initiation of force or fraud, then we humans would be on a very good path indeed. 

I suppose I would continue to call, as I always have in my discussions with others, this particular Prime Directive (of non-coercion) an ethical directive, but I understand the definition of the word morals as it is used within the context of this discussion.

When I had this very discussion a few years ago whilst a simple and very poor doctoral fellow, we agreed on the meaning and called it ethics, and I introduced the term Prime Directive, which comes from the commentary on the Talmud as well as from Star Wars, and seems entirely appropriate to describe the non-coercive principle as well as those other principles articulated in two earlier works which both had much to observe on human nature.  But, for purposes of this discussion on this thread, the word morals seems to be the commonly accepted term.
ff
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John Edward Mercier

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Re: Natural law and morals
« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2008, 12:44 PM NHFT »

Maximum Perceived Value most likely would be inherent to all living things... but most noticeable in organisms that have more complex interactions, as its a base function not particular to higher thought.

Cases in point from the forum...
Parking and not paying the meter... reason the authority claiming right to the space is perceived to have stolen the property. No question of the ethics involved in using a property perceived to be stolen... only that which is negative to the user.
Roads have fallen under the same failure in ethical rational.
Nearly forgot... Bike Paths. The user doesn't pay... the money is transferred to the construction/maintenance through government with no thought as to how it came to be.

This is where the maximum perceived value to the individual is justified by defining the other party is being unethical, while determining their actions to be ethical.

Though I can't be sure that other species rational ethics in their transactions, obviously it seem to be of high importance to humans... more likely stemming from being a complex social species.
For NAP to apply a paradigm shift would need to occur that I believe to be beyond the scope of the species at this time. Mostly due to materialism.
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Natural law and morals
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2008, 03:22 PM NHFT »

Quote from: J'raxis
If ethics is simply being used to mean things that one believes are right to do, but don’t permit the use of force to enforce, then yes. They’d be subordinate to morality, in that you can’t hold an ethical value that could conflict with a moral value: To wit, you couldn’t believe in an ethic that permitted a violation of the NAP. Any other ethics are permissible. But ethics are really just a subset of personal preferences (or values if you wish to call them that) in my way of looking at things.

I see. Hm now I am again reminded of the critique that holding non-coercion as a sole moral standard could make one appear to be fine with many of the other things people consider to be wrong. But then.. it's just a matter of a definition. What others might see as other morals you see as ethics.

Indeed. There are a few other things that I would consider to be “wrong,” in the sense that they would make me criticize someone, and most likely disassociate myself from them if they refused to alter their ways. But there is nothing other than aggression that I would consider worthy of using force against them to make them change.

Although, I should point out that there are very few things that actually fall in that category for me. I don’t really care if people coöperate or compete—I like working with coöperative people, but I approve of and admire successfully competitive people. I don’t care one whit about people’s sexual preferences, regardless of race, religion, gender, number, species, marital status, blood relation, age, or anything else. If it’s consensual, so be it. I don’t care what people eat, be it unusual animals (e.g., dog, cat, rat, insects), or even human. For that last part, if it’s consensual, so be it. I take other people’s freedom of choice and their freedom to consent seriously—no matter how outlandish it may seem to some people. (In fact, one thing I do consider to be wrong is judging or condemning people for consensual behavior.)
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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Natural law and morals
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2008, 03:24 PM NHFT »

I would agree that if the principle, or concept, of absolute non-aggression were accepted as the "Prime Directive" for all humans in our interactions with each other, …

I like that. The Prime Directive basically says “don’t interfere with other cultures,” and that’s a good way of thinking of the Non-Aggression Principle:—

Don’t interfere with other people’s freedom.
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memenode

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Re: Natural law and morals
« Reply #49 on: April 29, 2008, 01:45 PM NHFT »

I love the "prime directive" label for our non-aggression/non-coercion principle as well, partly due to being a big Star Trek fan. ;)

Although, I gotta mention.. as I discovered the voluntaryist ideas I became more critical of even Star Trek itself, since it portrays a Federation which is led by the government and contains a de-facto ruling elite. In some TNG episodes there are clearly signs of political pull being used to accomplish certain things and even people forced to alter their lives because of some political decision "for the greater good" even though they did nothing wrong.

But I might talk more about this in a separate topic..

Quote from: John Edward Mercier
Maximum Perceived Value most likely would be inherent to all living things... but most noticeable in organisms that have more complex interactions, as its a base function not particular to higher thought.

I agree. It's a very basic, almost instinctual principle. I think, however, it is all the more important to recognize it for those who are capable of reasoning (humans) since otherwise we don't see the inherent function of a free market. If we begin to understand that we are always pursuing greater value, no matter how it's perceived, putting two people together automatically creates a free market as both, in their different value pursuits will seek to trade with the other. I mean, from lack of understanding that basic principle people are more likely to perceive free markets without government to be inherently violent and chaotic.. as if most people would perceive mental distress, risk of being ostracised and fear of retribution to be their maximum value. That doesn't quite compute.

Quote from: John Edward Mercier
Nearly forgot... Bike Paths. The user doesn't pay... the money is transferred to the construction/maintenance through government with no thought as to how it came to be.

I'm not sure to what exactly you're referring to, but I assume it has to do with people missing to perceive their own unethical behavior and factor it in their value judgment. And that's a fair conclusion, though it can't be applied to everyone at all times. I did consider the issue of not paying taxes yet using roads etc. in order to see whether I would be doing something unethical in that situation, and I would concede to paying for that particular service I use, but NOT to a full blown tax charging me for things I NEVER use. I eventually concluded that my forced paying of the VAT to the government (Value Added Tax) more than covers for the "cost" of my occasional use of the pavements.

And indeed, I still see their taxation as utterly unethical. It is not about charging for the services I use, or else I'd be getting an offer where I could pick and choose which services I need and how much they cost and then pay directly for them. And even then, if it'd be a coercive monopoly, they'd be in the wrong.

Quote from: John Edward Mercier
For NAP to apply a paradigm shift would need to occur that I believe to be beyond the scope of the species at this time. Mostly due to materialism.

Well, every now and then I encounter an argument to that effect - "humans are not ready". All I can say is fair enough, if you believe so. I for one believe that if  those who apparently are ready and already have adopted this paradigm said that other humans aren't ready so why bother.. then humanity will never be ready.

So true or not, I choose to not make that assertion into an obstacle. There are quite a few people on this forum, in NH and elsewhere who apparently are ready and they are human - that's cue enough for me. The movement must go on.

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J’raxis 270145

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Re: Natural law and morals
« Reply #50 on: April 29, 2008, 04:54 PM NHFT »

I love the "prime directive" label for our non-aggression/non-coercion principle as well, partly due to being a big Star Trek fan. ;)

Although, I gotta mention.. as I discovered the voluntaryist ideas I became more critical of even Star Trek itself, since it portrays a Federation which is led by the government and contains a de-facto ruling elite. In some TNG episodes there are clearly signs of political pull being used to accomplish certain things and even people forced to alter their lives because of some political decision "for the greater good" even though they did nothing wrong.

They seemed to have this weird amalgamation of libertarianism and socialism in their own system. (Of course, with things like their pattern replicators, you really don’t have economic scarcity for consumer goods, so there wouldn’t be much use for capitalism anyway.) A lot of the original sociopolitical message and ideals seemed to be lost after Roddenberry died and the show was taken over by others who didn’t really “get” it. The wars and political intrigues, that CIA-like black ops organization, even minor stuff like mention of “illicit” substances, all started with DS9, and with Voyager they took on this very maternalistic and almost imperialistic attitude (remember this episode?).

But I might talk more about this in a separate topic..

Caleb can come along and split it off if he wants to. He likes doing that. ;)
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