Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Right-Libertarianism's Defects As A Morality

Dave on reddit gave an excellent explanation of Why So Many Programmers Are Right-Libertarians, bringing up many good points. It wasn't a complete explanation though, so I brought up the couple more points I could think of. I also took the opportunity to chronicle my own insights into moral theory while doing that. And since I've been putting off writing part 2 of Morality for so long, long enough that there's a part 3 planned now, I figured this would at least be something.

[Dave] missed the fact that right-libertarians are extremely superficial thinkers. If they were REALLY good at following logical implications all the way down the chain of reasoning then they would inevitably run into the fact that absolute property rights justify slavery. And from this single reductio ad absurdum the whole system that spawned this atrocity collapses.

Not that this is the only problem there since without a moral system to give it meaning, the term "coercion" is hollow. Is it coercion to stop someone from coercing you? If you say yes then you annihilate the concept of coercion. If you say no then you must define a morality that prioritizes interpersonal actions by different actors so as to answer which are less coercive than others'.

The right-libertarians' axiom of "I was there first" is ludicrous as a morality since it violates the second basic self-consistency check which every moral system must pass to merit the name. A moral system must not adjudicate different outcomes depending on point-of-view or order of events. A moral system is ONE system, one viewpoint, for ALL of the group.

(The second basic self-consistency check is really a lemma off of the first self-consistency check. Which itself is a theorem that stems pretty directly from the definition of a morality as the rules which a group should obey for the benefit of the group. The theorem is this: since the group is the entity that reasons about and applies the rules, there can't be an internal inconsistency in the application of the rules when the group applies the rules. The lemma just extends this to time order by noting that logic transcends time.)

To get back on topic, you also have to add in the fact that right-libertarians are incapable of creativity. Because if they were capable of creativity they would have an independent conception, one not arrived at by deductive reasoning, of social justice. And this conception of social justice would be in direct violent conflict with right-libertarian precepts on a constant basis.

There do exist perfectly logical and coherent systems but they aren't well-known so you essentially have to create them. That's what I ended up doing using possession as a basis and weaving human rights together with procedural freedom. I ended up having to recreate the whole foundation of human rights too.

The thing is, creation comes from creativity and that's something all but exceptional programmers lack. A person certainly doesn't demonstrate the least shred of creativity by parroting others' systems of thought whole.

I recommend you examine the philosophy and politics entries on my blog. Especially the one on morality.

I'll leave you with a little fact. What mathematics is to all the hard sciences, the language which underlies all the other fields and unifies them together. So too psychology is to all the social sciences. If you don't know psychology, and by and large economists don't, then you can say nothing about systems of human beings.

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