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Old 05-15-2010, 11:23 PM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
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Default Re: What are the philosophical merits of libertarianism? (jimM47 & hamandcheese)

Originally Posted by wreaver View Post
(Assuming by "direct coercion" you mean ""physical coercion"....) From my point of view, direct coercion isn't the only form of coercion that matters. But it is the only form of coercion that is a moral issue. (I.e., other forms of coercion are outside the realm of morality. And it is not legitimate to "deal with them" in immoral ways.)
Exactly. If you believe that only direct coercion is immoral than you have fallen for the trap my and Jim's posts have both warned you about. Based on the above quote, and the one where you reject social coercion as morally relevant, you should be able to be a statist and be morally consistent by your own standards. This is the whole point of my argument. You must yank in the chain of causality for it to make sense, and in doing so to remain consistent, one must start including non-state phenomena too.

In the situation you have described, "negative liberty" has in fact been increased.
How? If you already agree that most state 'coercion' is indirect, threat based, or the population simply self-regulates, conforming to the law, than why are anti-blasphemy laws bad, but cultural witch hunts aren't?

What do you mean by "we need"?
Jim made a comment that culture is more malleable. I was making the point that while bad laws may be more permanent than bad cultures, the same is true of good laws and cultures, and that sometimes its better when the rules are hard to change.

A few other other quick comments on things you said, wreaver, not directly tied to the diavlog:

But only pointing out that logical consistency is important to me
1. The logical consistency of a moral framework does not make the framework valid. An infinite number of ethical systems is possible on the basis of consistency. At best consistency is only a necessary property, not sufficient.

2. I would even question whether perfect logical consistency is even available to, let alone desirable for a system of ethics. Morality is inescapably linked to our innate moral sentiments preinstalled by evolution, and while we needn't submit ourselves to our intuitions, there is little reason to think our most fundamental intuitions have to be logically consistent. Psychology and morality alike have plenty of room for technical contradiction. In attempting to create a morality of pristine logical clarity you will build a morality that is highly artificial, probably too demanding to adhere too, and one that ignores important facets of the human condition.

3. You use the term extortionist to describe some members of the state negatively. How is extortion immoral in your framework? Extortion cannot violate anyones negative rights and it is specifically an indirect form of manipulation, which often utilizes omission and inaction.
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