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  1. Mathematical proof for UPB

    "Example 3. Propositions p and p′ can't be both true is equivalent with p ∩ p = ∅. " Is is that a typo? Should be Example 3. Propositions p and p′ can't be both true is equivalent with p ∩ p' = ∅.
  2. Anarcho capitalism is not anarchy?

    At first I was just nodding my head. But I kept thinking about it. The scientific method depends on empirical experiments, induction, which is just history on a small scale. Hypothesis, test, generalization. Physical experiments are not like social experiments, that's for sure. But theories are intended to universalize from history. Not this one in particular, however. Anyhow, theyre saying (ironically) "We homesteaded that word, you can't use it!" To which, I think the proper response is probably "Too late!"
  3. Anarcho capitalism is not anarchy?

    Here's an anarchist FAQ that hates anarcho-capitalism so much they have two separate long sections proving that ancaps are not anarchists: http://anarchism.pageabode.com/afaq/secFcon.html The issues for the authors of the FAQ seem to be hierarchy (it is always bad, can't be voluntary, might as well be rape) and socialism (which they define either as worker ownership of the means of production or worker ownership of their entire output, I'm not remembering). They claim that the individualist anarchists, such as Spooner and Benjamin Tucker, were socialists and opposed rent, interest, and wage labor. According to them, anarchists must be socialists (using that definition of socialism). This is an historical issue for them, not definitional or etymological. Proudhon was the first to embrace the epithet "anarchist" and he and all subsequent anarchists (until Rothbard) would agree on this, again according to the FAQ's authors. This seems sort of plausible in light of the fact that Spooner was a member of the first international. But it still has a funny smell. Here's s quote I found in Wikipedia, from Voltairine de Cleyre, who I think everyone agrees was an anarchist: "[The anarchist individualists] are firm in the idea that the system of employer and employed, buying and selling, banking, and all the other essential institutions of Commercialism, centred upon private property, are in themselves good, and are rendered vicious merely by the interference of the State." Wikipedia cites [Anarchism. Originally published in Free Society, 13 October 1901. Published in Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre, edited by Sharon Presley, SUNY Press 2005, p. 224.]
  4. The topic of this thread is UPB ethics and aesthetics. Thank you for giving me your non-UPB derivation of morality, based on the foundation of self-ownership. I think I understand it, as it is admirably brief and clear. Since you seem to wish to avoid UPB, maybe you should start ignoring this thread? I will answer your other questions in the context of my quest to understand UPB, so be forewarned. When I mentioned moral prohibitions, I was thinking of UPB. For instance, "don't murder." I consider this to be a prohibition. It describes an action that a moral agent may not legitimately take. No enforcement mechanism, formal or informal, is necessarily implied. Another example: I have been in restrooms or gas stations where a sign was posted that said "smoking is prohibited on these premises." In that case, it was not a moral prohibition. Perhaps it was a legal prohibition, or simply a policy of the property owner. Presumably in that case the cops might have been called to enforce it if I had violated the prohibition too flagrantly, I am not sure. No. Maybe square4 would like to take a shot. I wanted to know why (I think) Stef would categorize it as aesthetic, and I did not understand how it flunked his version of universality. Apparently, you were not referring to his version of universality? I want to understand how UPB deals properly with his case, which seems unusual. If UPB says land must be treated the same as other ordinary objects, I'd like to see where that principle came from. It doesn't move. Land ownership has lots of little quirks from common law practice and from the odd nature of land, which I would know all about if I was a lawyer. Perhaps most of these are warpage cause by the state, but probably not all. Have you ever bought land? It's different. You can dig up all the rocks and soil on your land, until you have a mine shaft, but your land is still there. You can dig so deep that it turns into a volcano, and it's still your land. This seems unusual to me. If I take a car apart and sell the parts, I don't have a car any more. And mineral rights. If there is oil under my property, that complicates matters in a way not possible with refrigerators.Land is different from my body because my body is different from all other sorts of property, in that I cannot legitimately sell my body, at least, not the same way I can sell anything else and just cease any connection to my former property. If I sell my body, my consciousness must either go with my body or cease. That is not the case when I sell my land.
  5. I still managed to misinterpret you. Fair enough. Well, the different strategies accomplish different goals. I think it would be valuable for me to understand UPB so that if I fully agree, I can explain it to others, if I have minor disagreements I could make helpful suggestions to fix the problems I found, or if I thought it was a hopeless failure, I could make that clear and start looking for other options. Stef has enough credibility that I was not willing to dismiss him out of hand, but not so much credibility that I am willing to just take his word for it. I want to figure it out. No. I'm not sure how to make it more clear. Each of the moral propositions that pass the UPB tests prohibits some behavior. Stef is careful to avoid committing to any specific enforcement mechanism, punishment, etc., other than to defend the idea of self-defense. Or at least, that is how I am remembering it. According to UPB, murder is prohibited to moral agents. Right? If you are saying, every sort of moral prohibition can be interpreted as a violation of a property right, I agree. If you are saying, everyone knows this, and agrees that property rights are morally justified and they are willing to think of morality in these terms, I do not agree. I am not willing to just ignore those who consider the ordinary conception of property rights to be flawed and in need of justification, I want to give them a convincing answer. So a universalizable proposition might not qualify for the ethics category, but if it cannot be universalized, it definitely fails to qualify. That is clear. So, apparently UPB concludes that you own the effects of your actions, period, full stop, no exceptions? Is this one of the axioms derived from pure argument? Where did it come from?On page 76 Stef wrote: He makes a conclusion, but leaves out the explanation. Also, he is using "own" in an unusual way. By committing murder or theft, we now "own" something, but what we own is not a physical object in reality, not the body of our victim or the loot in our bag, but responsibility for an historical truth. So if I smash a hole in your wall, I don't own the hole that I have made, in the sense that I can control it or sell it. I own the hole in the metaphysical sense that I am responsible for it, not that I possess or control it legitimately. So the hole is an effect of my actions that I *do not* own in the strictly commonplace sense of ownership. So, why shouldn't owning too much land also qualify as an exception to his principle? Does this break universality? I've been interpreting Stef's (rather strong) version of universality to mean the proposition must apply to all moral agents, at all times, in all places, but not necessarily in all circumstances. (It is the difference in circumstances that differentiates between murder and killing in self-defense, for instance.) So square4 can claim that his proposition applies to all persons, all places, all times, what is the problem?Why shouldn't we treat land differently from other property, since in many ways it actually is different? Or perhaps we could also prohibit ownership of "too much" of anything? That seems a bit ridiculous, but which principle of UPB prevents it, which test does it fail? So in various places, Stef draws the line between ethics and aesthetics using enforceability, use of violence, and avoidability. Does that mean they all agree on where the line is drawn, in all cases?
  6. Thanks for answering. Last time I called in my connection went flakey and it wasted Stef's time and mine. That's kind of an excuse. Conversing with Stef on air makes me tense.
  7. I like this, but UPB is supposed to use logic to justify property along with prohibitions against murder, etc., not use property to justify prohibitions against murder, etc. So this explains the conclusions of UPB, but doesn't quite do what Stef wants UPB to do. So whether or not we categorize it as ethics or aesthetics, it flunks universality. Yeah, I quoted some of that in the original post, and reviewed pg 48-52 before that. Maybe it's something in my history. Maybe I'm just not that intelligent. Maybe I am so accustomed to a certain way of thinking, that it's hard to think differently."Non-violent actions by their very nature are avoidable." Venn diagram, small circle (non-violence) inside large circle (avoidable)."Ethics is the subset of UPB which deals with inflicted behaviour, or the use of violence." Does the "or" indicate that inflicted behavior and violence are different and are to be combined (ethics = inflicted behavior + violence, inflicted != violence), or is it a rhetorical flourish, clarifying that (inflicted behavior = violence)?"In general, we will use the term aesthetics to refer to non-enforceable preferences – universal orpersonal – while ethics or morality will refer to enforceable preferences." Are "non-enforceable preferences" preferences that can be realized without force, or preferences you are prohibited from enforcing?"It is universally preferable (i.e. required) to use the scientific method to validate physical theories, but we cannot use force to inflict the scientific method on those who do not use it, since not using the scientific method is not a violent action." Implying that we can inflict something (presumably restitution, or punishment, or at least self-defense/enforcement) on people who use violence, right?
  8. I like your statement, but did you base it on something from the UPB book, or is this something else? And now we need to distinguish between objective and subjective. Is it universlaizability? Stef pointed out several examples of APAs (aesthetically positive actions, but basically means universalizable aesthetics, e.g. "Be on time"). The objectivity Stef is trying for consists of facts implied logically from logic itself, plus norms and principles implied by the act of arguing. Is this answer based on the UPB book, or are you rolling your own? It's not that I don't care what you think, but that I've been trying to figure out UPB, and I want to know whether I'm getting the Stef-approved version or a hybrid. There is a confusing discussion of self-defense on page 87, but I don't think I can squeeze out an interpretation that matches what you wrote. I'm trying to get people to help me understand the book, which I find confusing. Do you have an answer to my question about why we categorize square4’s proposition as aesthetics, or do you just want to shame me?I think I can answer why we categorize "don't murder" as ethics. If someone shoots me, I can't choose to avoid it. (I might survive the attempted murder by running away if I am lucky, but somehow that isn't the kind of avoidance that matters.) And we categorize "don't be late" as APA because if someone inflicts their lateness on me, I can just stop associating with that person. Am I on the right track? But I do not have a good grip on the principle, so that I can confidently tell square4 why his proposal doesn't qualify as ethics.
  9. Seems to me there is a bit of overlap, since I can run away from all the above. So we moved from trying to understand the distinction between ethics and aesthetics to trying to understand the distinction between defense and whatever that other stuff is that is not defense but protects me from the crashing bore.Do you agree with me that Square4's proposal is aesthetics? Can you explain why it is not ethics?
  10. I might be able to avoid a robbery or murder attempt without using violence, but that doesn't mean we should categorize robbery or murder as aesthetics. Is it proportionality? I don't remember Stef discussing it this way, but his ethical violations all have in common the possibility of defensive violence. Is that somehow the real criterion, that if violence is an appropriate proportionate response to the violation, the rule is part of ethics, if the violation does not justify a violent response, it is aesthetics? This makes some sense, but in this context it seems like begging the question, since UPB is supposed to justify all this, not depend on some prior moral concept about proportionality of responses. hmmm...
  11. I'd love to read your version. The two examples you give are not close to the boundary between morality and aesthetics. Can you think of examples that illustrate bindingness more clearly? "Binding" is not immediately more clear than "avoidable", at least for me. When I think of examples of using that word, I think of binding promises, which are enforcible by a court, or at least backed up by some serious consequence. Stef uses it differently in his book, from context he seems to mean something like "undeniable" or "logically required."This discussion comes from a thread where Square4 is arguing for a moral proposition about not owning or controlling more than a proportionate area of land, and I objected that I thought his proposition qualifies as aesthetics, not ethics, but I was not able to explain clearly because, well, I am not sure I understand how Stef draws that line. I think I can predict the result in that case, but I can't explain how we would determine whether some proposition is ethics or aesthetics. What is it about Square4's proposal that is avoidable or not inflicted or not binding or whatever? What does it mean in the context of his proposal "it is not UPB to own/control more than a proportionate amount of land?" Yeah, Stef mentions stuff like that in the book, but I never figured out how he wants to deal with it. He mentions several examples, like if someone invites you to stand next to a cliff so he can push you off, or someone who lives thousands of miles away threatening to kill you if you come close, or a guy who leaves his wallet on a park bench, etc. So, if I am at a party and someone is boring me with a shaggy dog story, and I say "you're boring, go away" but he just keeps on yammering, should we categorize that as ethics, because I said "no" but he didn't stop? I am tantalizingly close to understanding what you wrote, but can't quite get there. If it has to do with internal inconsistency, why not just go ahead and use the UPB tests to reject it on those grounds, rather than categorizing it as aesthetics and rejecting it without even bothering to do the tests? Some Aesthetic propositions also can be universalized, but because of avoidability or inflictedness, they do not get treated as part of morality. Violating them is annoying, but not evil.If "nothing is inflicted" is the critical fact, Stef should have talked about that more. And I'm not sure it is much clearer to me, as some violations of APA or even my personal preferences seem like "inflictions" to me, although I can usually avoid them by running away. Of course, I can run away from robbers just like I can run away from social torture, the difference being a robber might injure me for running away, while a bore usually would not. Your distinction is admirably clear, concrete, and credible. Unfortunately, it does not match up with what Stef wrote in the UPB book. Also, given his purpose in writing the book, he could not use property rights to define a critical distinction that he later uses as part of his argument to justify property rights. That would be "begging the question."
  12. In UPB, the line between ethics and aesthetics is important, but for me it is hard to understand. Violence, consent, and maybe other factors combine into avoidability? Two issues are unclear. How precisely do we draw the line between ethics and aesthetics? And how does this distinction connect to the derivation of UPB? Pages 48-52 discuss this topic, but I have read it many times and still feel confused. Can someone help me make sense of this? Stef's discussion of avoidance seems to go to great length to show that the line is fuzzy, there are cases where someone is the victim of violence but they could have reasonably avoided it. He gives concrete examples, but does not explain where the line is drawn, or why. I could understand more easily if the line involved consent or violence. Consent mostly works, as if you don't consent to something in the category of aesthetics, you can opt out. You can't opt out of violence if you are the victim of assault, robbery, etc. OTOH, I can easily imagine someone trying to elevate aesthetics to ethics, just by shrieking "I do not consent to this bridge party!" Violence also works, except it is a bit vague in cases of sneak-thievery or fraud, where deception replaces physical violence.In any case, whichever concept we use to distinguish between ethics and aesthetics, what is the justification? How does it connect to the derivation of UPB from the prerequisite norms and concepts of debate? If we select one of these concepts without reference to the derivation, that would be begging the question. Is nonviolence a normative prerequisite of argument, and how does that translate into "violence is categorized as ethics?"
  13. I am assuming your communist is one lone dissenter in an ancap society. So is he so principled that he would rather start a violent revolution (by himself) than pay for something, or is he just so stupid he can't understand the concept of buying land? Perhaps it would be contradictory for me to pay the USG to allow me to secede, but I would do it if I thought they would really stick to the bargain. Is the point really so obscure? In ancapistan, the communist can do most of the things he can do currently (rebel, persuade, emigrate, or put up with the pain, minus one option, bribe a congressman) plus one additional option, which is, he could buy his way out. If he wants to start a commune, he could buy some land, and the ancaps will leave him alone after that. Don't you think Marx would have been happy to use some of Engels's money to buy a little communist utopia? Buy the land and "liberate" it. Out-produce the capitalists, recruit all their workers, buy more land. Lather, rinse, repeat until you have achieved world revolution without spilling a drop of blood. Or until it all falls apart. Nope.
  14. Am I "people" in this case?I think when it actually came down to it, neighbours would know about each other and work something out. The first time they encountered each other, there would be strife, dispute. Maybe they would seek arbitration, or maybe they'd fight it out. Eventually they'd find some workable compromise. Should we, sitting in our armchairs, necessarily be able to predict what solution would satisfy them? I am reminded of a fascinating book by Robert Ellickson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Ellickson) titled "Order without Law: How Neighbors Settle Disputes". The author went out and compared the armchair predictions of economists to the actual experience of disputes between cattle ranchers and farmers in a particular place. If I remember correctly (it's been a while), he found that the law on the books specified one thing, but that what actually happened in most cases was different, that an informal system had been worked out. Elinor Ostrom is famous for studying similar things, informal means of managing common resources (like fisheries), but I've never laid hands on her book, so I'm pretty ignorant about the details. That's pretty unsatisfying to us system builders and universal moralists, and I have digressed from the point of your question. Let me see if I can find my way back. Here's the difference I see. Most statists you describe haven't thought about it, and might reject the "rulers own you and your output" premise underlying their claims if it is pointed out to them. The ancaps you're talking to have thought about private property, and they're pretty certain that private property is non-negotiable and fundamental. Their utopia is set up in a certain way, and people who have incompatible ideologies need to figure out what's up. They also are more flexible than the statists, in that your communist is able to buy some land and start a commune and no one will come on his land and try to stop him. And if communism is really superior, it can spread and take over. The statists are not offering any such olive branch/booby prize. So, if it's an ancap society, I'd explain to them that their beliefs are incompatible with the way things run around here, and he needs to save up some money or borrow some or get a rich benefactor and buy some land to start a different society. Or leave, or persuade everyone, or adapt. I'd say, check the dictionary, I don't think "consensus" means what you think it does. If the consent of the governed concerns you, you need a reasonable method that dissenters can use to opt out or secede. This question does not seem serious. If the question is, how do we justify property rights in land, Stef and a lot of the people on this forum would point at UPB. I would point to the fact that "drawing some lines" is less confusing than having no lines whatever, and in fact every society is going to "draw some lines" somehow. In every society, someone will decide where the lines are and what happens within these lines or those, it's just a question of "who decides?" and "how does it change?" The communist you describe also draws lines, he just has a different rule for what entitles him to change the lines or change who is in charge within a set of lines. He just doesn't want to call it private property, to emphasize some minor differences. My opinion is, this is just confusing. If property is theft, then possession is theft, unless you twist the ordinary meaning of these words into something much more difficult for a normal person to understand. It is jargon to be invoked while giving the secret handshake to fellow cultists, not helpful for communicating clearly.In my ideal world, people with different ideas about how to run society could run experiments and those that attracted attention by making people more happy, creative, and productive would expand, and those that starved people or made them miserable would contract. People would choose from different options and try to innovate new options. And I am not sure the process would ever end. This is all too consequentialist to get approval from Stef, I think.

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