Conan the Cruel?

When the feds ban films of animal cruelty

Credit: Conan the BarbarianCredit: Conan the Barbarian

Does Conan the Barbarian have serious artistic value? That’s one of the intriguing questions raised by a case the Supreme Court heard in October.

Because Conan includes footage of horses tripped by wires, it is arguably covered by a federal ban on depictions of animal cruelty. If so, Amazon is committing a felony by selling it, unless the online retailer could convince a jury that the 1982 epic—in which a bare-chested, codpiece-wearing future governor of California declares that the best thing in life is “to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women”— has “serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.”

Defending the ban against an “endless stream of fanciful hypotheticals” involving videos of hunting, bullfighting, and all manner of hostile interactions between animals, Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the justices they needn’t worry about a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech because the government uses the law judiciously. But when Justice Sonia Sotomayor pressed him to explain the legal distinction between the dog fight videos that earned Virginia pit bull enthusiast Robert Stevens a three-year prison sentence and the much gorier but explicitly negative treatment of dog fighting in the 2006 documentary Off the Chain, Katyal allowed that “the line will sometimes be difficult to draw.”

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  • Untermensch||

    But it's OK. Our wise overlords will use their insight, sharper than a piercing sword, to divide the goats from the sheep and make sure only the bad guys go to jail.

  • thumb's up||

    Happy New Year.

    Nothing has changed.

  • ||

    I thought Conan the Barbarian was a documentary.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    No, it's a historically accurate biopic.

  • Kolohe||

    Bio-pec

  • ||

    Bad Kolohe! BAD!

  • ||

    It does have a fictionalized depiction of the old man in the mountain...and it is my understanding the guy actually existed.

  • ||

    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Snap it!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Snap it!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Snap it!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Not a speck of cereal!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Nothing but the
    best for my dog!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Come on!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Come on, Frenchie)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Little paws sticking up!)
    THE POODLE BITES!
    (Little curly hairs!)
    THE POODLE CHEWS IT!
    (Little curly hairs!)

  • Suki||

    Does Conan the Barbarian have serious artistic value?

    Yes duh.

  • ||

    If we're going to arrest people for their thoughts and I wasn't dead already, I might be arrested for this too!

    The monster,
    Which the peasants in this area call FRUNOBULAX
    (Apparently a very large poodle dog)
    Has just been seen approaching The Power Plant
    Bullets can't stop it
    Rockets can't stop it
    We may have to use NUCLEAR FORCE!

    HERE COMES THAT POODLE DOG!
    BIG AS A BLIMP WITH A RHINESTONE COLLAR
    SNAPPIN' OFF THE TREES
    LIKE THEY WAS BONSAI'D ORNAMENTS ON A DRY-WOBBLE LANDSCAPE
    KEEP IT AWAY! DON'T LET THE POODLE BITE ME!
    WE CAN'T LET IT REPRODUCE! OH!
    SOMEBODY GET OUT THE PANTS!

    The National Guard has formed up at the base of the mountain
    And is attempting to lure the enormous poodle towards the cave
    Where they hope to destroy it with napalm
    A thousand of the troopers are now lined up and are calling to the monster . . .
    Here Fido
    Here Fido
    Here Fido

    GOT A GREAT BIG SLIMEY THING
    GOT A GREAT BIG HEAVY THING
    GOT A GREAT BIG POODLE THING
    GOT A GREAT BIG HAIRY THING

    GOT A GREAT BIG SLIMEY THING
    GOT A GREAT BIG HEAVY THING
    GOT A GREAT BIG POODLE THING
    GOT A GREAT BIG HAIRY THING

    I don;t know what I was thinking when I was alive, cuae I really hate the fucking democrats now for they are the fucking brain police! I used to make fun of Ronnie Raygun, Tricky Dick and TV preachers, but they were so obviously full of shit that we can easily contain and ignore them. These Democrats, however, are some real Stalinist fucks. Fuck PETA, fuck the Democrats.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Sidebar:

    Zappa's wife supported Al Gore in the 2000 election, odd considering how Gore and his wife had been Frank's adversaries during the PMRC hearings.

    Personally, I have refused to buy any new Zappa material; I buy it second-hand off eBay or used-CD stores. I will not give that family one dime for their betrayal of Frank.

    You're right, though... a pox on Rs and Ds is in order.

  • hmm||

    You buy CDs? Do you get those with your 8 track tapes?

    (that was a bit of sarcasm and a poke at the old)

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I shoulda said "albums", as there are new vinyl offerings now and then - I bought a turntable not long ago to play my old LPs. Love the pop and hiss.

  • TP||

    Is that a real poncho, or a Sears poncho?

  • OMG||

    Doesn't this legislation basically put Animal Planet and the discovery channel out of business? Oh, wait, I see ... shit has artistic merit when the kill is shown in slow mo (did Conan use that trick?)

  • Fluffy||

    I think we need Joe for this one.

    Because the difference between a video where dog fights are shown for entertainment and a video where dog fights are shown to be condemned in the context of a documentary is authorial intent. [Someone who gets their jollies by watching animal cruelty can watch either.]

    But according to Joe, authors don't get to declare their intent. So that would mean that the documentarian should NOT have an out under the law, because he doesn't get to say his intent was not to entertain if I assert, with or without foundation or support, that his work violates the law.

  • ||

    If you allow author's intent to be a defense, every accused will claim benign intent and you won't be able to convict anyone. Imagine how that would work if we applied it to kiddie porn.

    I do think this law is silly, since animal cruelty is a much less serious offense than child sexual abuse. It should be sufficient to prosecute animal cruelty itself and not attack it indirectly by disrupting the market for "crush videos".

  • ||

    Exactly, and maybe it's just me, but is tripping a horse really what people mean by "animal cruelty"? No doubt it would be if it killed the horse or broke a leg, but it seems silly to me to put a common movie stunt into the same category as actual sadistic acts toward animals.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    Using that line of reasoning, the horse-punching scene in Blazing Saddles would be sufficient to forbid the entire movie unless that scene were removed.

  • Timmy||

    He's silly. Tulpa's a tickle monster!

  • Some dude||

    Wait, what? There is a federal ban on depictions of animal cruelty?

  • Some dude||

    If humans are animals, are slasher pics banned?

  • Earth Liberation Front||

    Humans ARE animals. Less than animals, actually. So it's okay to blow up their homes and Hummer dealerships.

  • Joseph Merrick||

    I'm not an animallll...!!!

  • Barack Obama||

    The first of many federal bans to come. I have spoken, heed My Words. It's for your own good.

  • Tony||

    sigh Isn't he dreeeeaaaamy?

  • secret ballot||

    winner

  • PETA||

    Only animals are worthy of protection. Humans are a blight upon Gaia, and deserve nothing.

  • Chad||

    That's what I've been saying!

  • MNG||

    You don't have to think animals are deserving of more or equal moral weight as humans to think they deserve some protections from cruel treatment. As Jesse Walker has said iirc they certainly seem to fall somewhere between humans and inanimate objects on the moral weight scale.

    You don't have to be a member of PETA to think the government should do something about crush videos.

  • ||

    And you don't have to support laws against depictions of animal cruelty to support laws against animal cruelty itself.

  • MNG||

    Agreed.

  • anarch||

    You can't say that here.

  • ||

    As a sometimes called right wing extremist, I just had to chime in and say that I totally agree with you on this one.

  • Some dude||

    So is this why Rorschach took a meat cleaver to some dude's head instead of chopping up a dog? Because that was so much more less offensive.

  • Frank Carbonni||

    Uh, he did kill the dogs in the movie as well.

  • qwerty||

    That's exactly what I was thinking. Exactly who's rights are being violated when animal cruelty is being "depicted"? The funny thing is that it is legal to depict cruelty to humans. Another reason to hate animal-rights fanatics.

    If I were on the Supreme Court, I would rule that regulating animal treatment is not an enumerated power of Congress, and strike down the entire law.

  • Silentz||

    But it's in movies. That means it falls under Interstate Commerce. Or General Welfare. Or some such nonsense.

  • ||

    You know, this is a good time to pimp Cannibal Holocaust.

  • ||

    Artistic indeed!
    To quote an indy filmmaker at an expo, "I have watched this so you don't have to."

  • Joel Hodgson||

    I made an entire career out of that on Mystery Science Theater 3000...

  • Franklin Harris||

    Cannibal Holocaust is tame compared to Eaten Alive and Cannibal Ferox.

  • Br'er Rabbit||

    Both directed by Umberto Lenzi.
    The man who invented the Fast Zombie.

  • Cold Fusion Reader||

    And let's not forget its companion piece, Jungle Holocaust, featuring animals eating each other and humans hunting, killing, and skinning a crocodile on camera!

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    So, now movies depicting fictional animal cruelty are going to be an underground commodity, like early Traci Lords movies. Just great.

  • ||

    I know Traci Lords did specialize in mineshaft porn, but that was spread out pretty evenly throughout the duration of her career.

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    She was underage early in her career.

  • ||

    oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    What is "mineshaft porn"?

    Just curious, y'know. Accumulation of knowledge, and so forth.

  • Answer Man||

    I think that's where you drill an empty shaft for gold.

  • MNG||

    This is an interesting case of the unintended consequences of a well intentioned law, a libertarian staple. I guess the logic of banning this kind of thing is like the logic of banning child porn, but that logic can go some strange places (I'm thinking of the ban on "computer-simulated" child porn). I think most long time posters know how I feel about animal cruelty laws, but it seems to me that it would be better to stick to punishing actual acts of animal cruelty rather than "depictions."

    I wonder if the unintended consequences could be eliminated with a careful mens rea requirement?

  • MNG||

    It seems to me part of the problem is the word "serious." I guess I have trouble saying Conan has "serious" artistic value, but it surely is different than the "crush" videos that this law was intended to deal with.

    I remember this Nick Cage film about movies shot of women being tortured and killed. How could the making and distribution of such films (apart from the torturing and killing of the subject of the films) be made illegal without making all "depictions" of such things illegal (which would include the very Cage film I'm thinking of ironically)? Whatever the answer is to that question strikes me as perhaps the correct way to right this law.

  • robc||

    I think you could ban that in the same way you could ban only real child porn without banning simulated child porn. However, once again, it runs into the artistic intent problem, in that we have seen the problems with say, parents getting arrested because of the photos of their kids in the bathtub or whatever.

  • ||

    One could argue that this law also bans depictions of human cruelty, since humans are animals.

  • MNG||

    "write this law"-whoops

  • ||

    You know, I think Conan is a quite well-done film. Some like to discount it for the subject matter and because the Governator is in it.

  • Solanum||

    Agreed. Conan the Destroyer, on the other hand...

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    I can top that:

    Red Sonja

  • HeadTater||

    Well, I guess I'll never be able to watch Blazing Saddles again.

    Depicts the harm to an animal in your movie and you are a felon (unless it has some kind of "redeeming quality" as defined by the government and animal rights activists). Depict the harm of humans and it's no big deal. I guess our Beloved Leaders care more about perceived violence animals than they do their own constituents.

  • ||

    Humans are animals... So I guess no more violent movies.

  • SIV||

    Considering how many movies feature horse-tripping(nearly all Westerns for decades) the government would be more likely to ban Cockfighter

  • ||

    The really ironic thing about this is that in the director's cut of Conan that came out a few years ago, Milius and Schwarzenegger discussed the complaints about the horse scene in the film and all the animal rights protests about it. Milius noted that in the scene the horse was actually unharmed, but the rider who got thrown was seriously injured...which didn't phase the animal rights activists at all. All they cared about was the horse, which (again) wasn't actually harmed during the filming.

    It's kind of disgusting how frequently politicians listen to and draft legislation for complete idiots...like animal rights advocates.

  • MNG||

    I'm betting the stunt man knowingly consented to and was paid to take the fall.

    And again, you don't have to be an "animal rights advocate" to support legislation to combat animal cruelty. It strikes me that only a "complete idiot" would think we should have the same protections for animate life forms as we do inanimate property.

    Of course such legislation should be carefully written and take other valuable things (like speech) into account.

  • QWERTY||

    I'm betting the stunt man knowingly consented to and was paid to take the fall.

    As did the owner of the un-harmed horse.I think the horse owner is more concerned about his animal's welfare than some bureaucrat in Washington and a bunch of animal rights freaks.

  • qwerty||

    +1

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Hey, wait just a minute here...

  • qwerty||

    I have no idea who QWERTY is. Maybe my big brother.

    qwerty

  • ||

    Pretty much. When I had a dog, I know I cared a hell of a lot more about his welfare than any animal rights activist did. And he wasn't even a source of revenue for me like the horse was. He did do a very cute routine when he wanted a Schnausage, though. :)

  • ||

    "And again, you don't have to be an "animal rights advocate" to support legislation to combat animal cruelty"

    Actually, yes you do. The only justificiation for the state overriding the horse owner's property rights is by granting the horse rights as a sentient being. And I reject the idea that animals have rights.

    Of course, if the horse disagrees with my position, however, I am fully in favor of his right to personally hire an attorney to represent himself in a court of law. Or to argue his case here on this message thread.

  • ||

    I should also probably clarify what I mean when I say animals don't have rights. I mean that "rights" are a creation of human society, applicable only to and recognized only by human beings. Animals, while sentient beings, have no comprehension of rights, are unable to exercise the tools we use to enforce said rights and will likely never develop the capacity to do either. Also, the mistreatment of animals (no matter how personally abhorrent we find it) does not in any way open the gate to violating or abridging the rights of human beings when it occurs. Granting rights to animals, however, would very quickly lead to abridging or violating human rights.

  • ||

    Blazing Saddles shold be banned because it's Raaaaaaaacist!!!

  • ||

    It's racist for you to depict the name of such a racist movie in your post.

  • ||

    u

  • LarryA||

    Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the justices they needn’t worry about a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech because the government uses the law judiciously.

    Cite?

    If so, Amazon is committing a felony by selling it, unless the online retailer could convince a jury that the 1982 epic—in which a bare-chested, codpiece-wearing future governor of California declares that the best thing in life is “to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of their women”— has “serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.”

    How about serious legal value as an example of free speech? You know, that First Amendment stuff?

  • Old Mexican||

    Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal told the justices they needn’t worry about a chilling effect on constitutionally protected speech because the government uses the law judiciously.

    I can't believe the Deputy Solicitor General said that with a straight face. If he did, then he is the biggest boob in the world if he believes what he says, or the biggest hypocrite.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    You don't have to think animals are deserving of more or equal moral weight as humans to think they deserve some protections from cruel treatment.

    Under what argument, MNG? Either they deserve the same rights as humans, and thus are deserving of being treated like humans, or they do NOT have rights and thus no argument exists to "protect" animals from cruelty.

    The other problem I have with these moralistic judgments about animals and their treatment almost always favor the cuddly, fuzzy animals over flies or cockroaches, animals themselves. There is a hint of hypocrisy and question-begging in these arguments for protecting animals from humans.

  • MNG||

    "Either they deserve the same rights as humans, and thus are deserving of being treated like humans, or they do NOT have rights and thus no argument exists to "protect" animals from cruelty."

    Surely a Logic Master such as yourself has heard of a false dilemma right OM?

    And for the hundredth time you clearly don't understand the concept of begging the question. Please request a refund from your community college Critical Thinking instructor and do yourself a favor and stop throwing that term around. Really dude, I'd doing you a favor in urging you to stop...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Surely a Logic Master such as yourself has heard of a false dilemma right OM?

    Well, MNG, the problem is that you are the one stretching the meaning of "rights". Humans have rights by virtue of being free, rational thinking beings. Animals are not.

    And for the hundredth time you clearly don't understand the concept of begging the question.

    I didn't say you were begging the question here, MNG, only that you were wrong. And also, you were proven wrong on the other post, by assuming that YOUR interpretation of "deserving" is universal (which begs the question). So now you're just being a sourpuss.

  • MNG||

    You don't know the difference between an implied premise and question begging dude.

    Really, get that refund!

  • Old Mexican||

    Really, MNG, stop being such a sourpuss. You're embarrassing yourself.

  • MNG||

    Nothing sour about it, in fact it's actually a bit fun to point out your ignorance for all to see!

  • MNG||

    I mean, when someone starts their post with a blatant fallacy of false dilemma and then pontificates on the fallacy question begging, well, then the title Logic Master must be bestowed! It's the law in Common Law jurisdictions you know...

  • MNG||

    When someone says "Inherited wealth is not deserved" that's certainly not "begging the question." Begging the question would be if someone said "unearned wealth is not deserved" because "unearned" essentially means "not deserved." See, this is why another term for question begging is circular argument.

    Your ignorant self thinks that it's question begging because the the person hasn't given the implied major premise, which would be something like "wealth that is gotten by gift is not deserved" (then minor premise, "inherited wealth is gotten by gift" with conclusion "inherited wealth is not deserved).

    You just don't know what you're talking about.

    Get that refund.

  • MNG||

    Haha, I see even you have some dim concept you don't know WTF you were talking about.

    Pathetic dude, you're pathetic. This is a waste of time here...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    When someone says "Inherited wealth is not deserved" that's certainly not "begging the question."

    Of course it is not - what you wrote above is just a conclusion. May I remind you that your argument back then was:

    Inherited wealth is not deserved,
    Undeserving wealth SHOULD be taxed,
    Ergo,
    Inherited wealth should be taxed.

    The argument YOU made is circular, it BEGS THE QUESTION, as the conclusion assumes the premise is valid. Just because you think inheritances are "undeserving" does not mean they should be TAXED. You have not shown any rational proof to show that inherited wealth is "undeserving", you simply assumed it is valid.

    I simply expected you to see the fallacy, but seems that you didn't. I am sorry I had to spell it out to you.

    Sourpuss.

  • MNG||

    Inherited wealth is not deserved means the same thing as inherited wealth should be taxed?

    Because that's the only way there was a begging of the question.

    How can you not see that? Can you please define what begging the question means on the planet you live on?

  • Old Mexican||

    Inherited wealth is not deserved means the same thing as inherited wealth should be taxed?

    Don't look at ME - that was YOUR argument!

  • MNG||

    See, you can't answer. My agument, even as set out by yourself, does not engage in circularity at all, the statement "Inherited wealth is not deserved" does not mean the same thing as "inherited wealth should be taxed."

  • MNG||

    "it BEGS THE QUESTION, as the conclusion assumes the premise is valid."

    Here is your problem. You think one or more of my premises is not true. That is not the same as begging the question you know.

  • MNG||

    Think about it, if your begging the question was what you think it was then every argument that was valid but not sound (where the conclusion is indeed warranted from the premises but in which a premise is not true) would be begging the question.

  • MNG||

    I gotta go, but look, the next time I give this extensive of a logic lesson I'm going to have to charge tuition.

  • ||

    You're right about it not being circular logic/begging the question, but so what? You still have to show why undeserved wealth should be taxed. Why does the government own a fraction of wealth that is given to you by someone else?

  • ||

    "Here is your problem. You think one or more of my premises is not true."
    Nope.
    The problem here is that you haven't proven the premise to be true before you *assume* it to be so in your argument.
    It's not up to the other party to prove the premise false; it's up to you to prove it true before you beg the question.

  • MNG||

    You're even wrong about what my argument was. I looked it up, here it is from my 8:49 post here: http://reason.com/blog/2009/12.....n-new-year


    "here I'm positing as a major premise: things earned through work are deserved, minor premise: inherited gifts are not earned through work; conclusion; therefore inheritance is not deserved."

    So I had provided an argument for the very premise you say I assumed...Looks like you can add bad memory to your faulty grasp of logic...

  • Mr. ?||

    Animals cannot have the same rights as humans. Period.

  • MNG||

    They don't have to have the same rights, or really any "rights" at all to have some protections. Consider small children: they don't have a lot of rights (we don't let them vote, contract or go where they want), but surely they should be protected from cruelty, right?

  • Mr. ?||

    You're still equating animals and humans, MNG. Even as you type "they don't have to have the same rights", you're still putting them on almost if not equal ground. You may not be aware you're doing so.

  • MNG||

    And hopefully without inducing the usual dozen post frenzy of half-witted attempts at the use of logic on your part I'll my restate my oft-stated position on animal welfare: Whatever criteria or quality you might think gives humans "rights" or moral consideration, whether it be rationality, autonomy, capacity for feeling pain/pleasure, etc., it's clear that animals have less of it than humans (hence less consideration or "rights") but more of it than inanimate objects (hence more consideration or rights). Even retards know that animals are different than inanimate objects. Why would they have the same amount of moral consideration then?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Whatever criteria or quality you might think gives humans "rights" or moral consideration, whether it be rationality, autonomy, capacity for feeling pain/pleasure, etc., it's clear that animals have less of it than humans (hence less consideration or "rights") but more of it than inanimate objects (hence more consideration or rights).

    "Autonomy" and "Capability of feeling pain/pleasure" are not considerations to determine rights, MNG. Robots have autonomy, and they can be made to feel "pain".

    Unless you can show that animals are rational and free (meaning, they can act with purpose, and not bound by instinct), then you could have an argument. Cna you show this?

    Even retards know that animals are different than inanimate objects.

    There is no need to assert that the distinction exists, MNG, there is no danger of confusion. Only paranoids insist on an non existing danger.

    Why would they have the same amount of moral consideration then?

    Only those things that are someone's property receive a moral consideration.

  • MNG||

    Your building a tower of Babel of retardisms here:

    "Robots have autonomy, and they can be made to feel "pain"." WTF?

    "Only those things that are someone's property receive a moral consideration"
    Double WTF? People are not property, so they don't receive moral consideration?

    Dude, you keep digging that hole and you're going to get authentic Chinese food soon...

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    "Only those things that are someone's property receive a moral consideration"
    Double WTF? People are not property, so they don't receive moral consideration?

    Read more carefully - Humans are NOT things.

    Sourpuss.

  • MNG||

    Maybe they're "autonomous pain feeling robots," huh?

    Jesus, did your mom do drugs while she was pregnant with you?

  • Old Mexican||

    Sourpuss.

  • MNG||

    No really OM, we'd like to hear about your "autonomous pain feeling" robot!

    You should look up the words autonomous, pain and feeling before you make yourself look even sillier here...

  • Old Mexican||

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp.....129a7.html

    http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalo.....;tid=10485

  • Old Mexican||

    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/
    nb20071129a7.html

  • MNG||

    "The robot, which imitates a patient reacting to pain"

    Imitate.

    Fail buddy, big fat fail.

  • Old Mexican||

    Sourpuss. That's why I placed "pain" in quotes, to indicate that such cannot be a criteria for determining if a being has rights or not. Robots can be made to "feel pain", and they can be autonomous, at least as autonomous as an ant, so why would ANY of these criteria be considered for determining rights?

  • Old Mexican||

    You should read more Marvin Minksy books...

  • ||

    MUNG, my friend, there is no "scale" of rights. You either have rights or you don't. You are either capable of living by reason, or you are not. Animals do not have the ability to comprehend rights, let alone respect rights. Once animals are given rights, will they cease being animals and respect the rights of other animals? No, they will continue to kill each other. If you can't respect rights, you can't have rights. This is the entire basis for our criminal justice system, and it applies to animals just as well. The concept of rights is a two way street.

  • MNG||

    So your criteria for rights is that the being be "capable of living by reason?" So infants have no rights then?

    BTW-I don't need to show animals have rights like humans (they certainly don't imo), or even that they have any "rights" at all, I just need to show they warrant some moral consideration higher than inanimate objects and hence deserve some basic protections. That strikes me as easy.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG:

    So your criteria for rights is that the being be "capable of living by reason?" So infants have no rights then?

    Yes, they have rights as they are human and they own their own bodies, even if they do not have reason YET. However, they cannot exercise those rights until they have learned to reason. No animal can do this, infants or not.

    BTW-I don't need to show animals have rights like humans (they certainly don't imo), [...] I just need to show they warrant some moral consideration higher than inanimate objects

    You haven't shown that they deserve a higher moral consideration than inanimate objects, MNG, that's the problem. You have assumed so far that such a thing is greatly understood (as you accuse people of not seeing this as being "retards") but your assertions have lacked evidence.

    What moral considerations CAN be given and SHOULD be given is the same for any private property - you cannot steal it, you cannot damage it. What people do with their own property (even their animals) is entirely their choice. People will treat their animals as they VALUE them - either greatly or not. I do not value animals that way, and I don't keep pets for that reason (I have tried fish and I simply don't value them enough to become an ichthyologist.)

    The sense of moral outrage YOU may feel against people that, in YOUR VERY OWN JUDGMENT, mistreat their animals, comes entirely from your own subjective valuation. But subjectivity makes for VERY BAD LAWS.

  • ||

    I would like to add that not only will infants have reason when they grow up, but they also contain the inherent ability to live by reason. If they didn't, then you could teach an animal reason the same way you "teach" an infant. But you can't, because animals do not have the inherent ability. It is the inherent ability, that gives infants human rights.

    As I said before, there is no moral scale in which you get a certain amount of rights depending on various factors. You either have the ability to respect rights or you don't. And animals don't have it.

  • Robert||

    All natural rights theory leads to nuttiness like this. As soon as you think rights are something that already exist to be discovered, rather than things to be invented for our benefit, you run into dilemmas like this. What remains is to design rights to make the most sense to cover situations like the ones discussed here.

    Law exists to serve, not to be serrved.

  • ||

    Not sure about that, but 'animal rights theory' produces nuttiness by the bushel.
    Bacteria are animals; does that mean antibiotics should be illegal?

  • Extreme Vegan||

    If you've never heard the tiny, almost-imperceptible screams of baby carrots as they are torn from the bosom of Mother Earth... you'd think twice about eating anything.

  • ||

    Breatharianism is soooo appealing, but can you hear the screams of the oxygen molecules as they are sucked to their deaths?

  • MNG||

    Every theory of animal rights I've ever read doesn't just say "animals get rights, period." They start by identifying the quality that grants rights (rationality, ability to feel pain, etc.,) and then they note that there is a sliding scale of that quality in nature. Bacteria has virtually none of the quality and deserve virtually no moral consideration, chimps have a lot of it and deserve a lot of protection, humans have the most and deserve the most. Even people like Peter Singer, who is on the extreme of animal rights, has this position.

  • ||

    Qualities do not grant rights. We do not, nor should we, assign rights based on how rational or how sentient one is. Rights are not a commodity to be earned. They are the result of a social contract. One's ability to enter the social contract is the only qualifier for rights.

    Nor can something have more rights than another. All true rights stem from the same agreement of non-coercive force. You either have them or you don't.

  • Robert||

    And you don't think rationality and sentience are determinants of one's ability to enter into contracts???!

  • ||

    Sigh... I've already explained this, but here goes:

    Either one can enter into the agreement of non-coercion or not. In order to do this, one must be able to understand the concept of respecting rights, of right and wrong. Until animals can do this, they can't have rights.

  • ||

    Mexicans Suck!

  • crom||

    Conan the Barbarian is actually a very good movie.

    And the soundtrack is amazing...

  • Old Mexican||

    Because Conan includes footage of horses tripped by wires, it is arguably covered by a federal ban on depictions of animal cruelty.

    The law obviously being vaguely written, relying on lawyerisms and other obfuscations to basically ban anything an unscrupulous Attorney General can think of.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I'm betting the stunt man knowingly consented to and was paid to take the fall.

    And the horse was private property. What is the point?

    And again, you don't have to be an "animal rights advocate" to support legislation to combat animal cruelty.

    You cannot legislate in favor of combating cruelty against animals if there is no argument behind it. This is why the PETA people are being logically consistent in their assertion that animals have the same rights as humans (it just so happens that PETA members totally misinterpret the meaning of rights.)

    Instead, a person that advocates for combating cruelty against animals while at the same time not espousing the notion that animals have rights is committing a fallacy called Argumentum ad Misericordiam or an appeal to pity.

    It strikes me that only a "complete idiot" would think we should have the same protections for animate life forms as we do inanimate property.

    Well, cattle rustling is still called "stealing", is it not?

    Of course such legislation should be carefully written and take other valuable things (like speech) into account.

    . . . with beautiful ponies and unicorns roaming the streets . . .

  • MNG||

    "And the horse was private property"

    Yeah, and so is your couch, but like I said even a retard can see a horse is very different than the couch. Calling it "private property" doesn't make the differences go away or make them meaningless.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Yeah, and so is your couch, but like I said even a retard can see a horse is very different than the couch.

    Of course they are different things, MNG. But if I bought the couch and the horse, they are BOTH my property. I am asking is what are you trying to imply with your statement that the stuntman consented to make the scene? What's so relevant about that?

  • QWERTY (uppercase)||

    Many older couches are stuffed and/or covered with horsehair so they are,in a significant way,similar. That is in addition to both things being property that may be acquired, transfered and disposed of.

    Animal rights freaks have,through state force, successfully limited the many uses of horse property.You have to ship them outside the country to slaughter them for food for example.
    While the government spends 100s of millions of dollars to eradicate so-called "invasive species" from public lands,invasive horses are permitted to destroy native species and their habitat.This isn't because horses have "rights", they have no more "rights" than a tapeworm.As MNG correctly points out, even "retards" recognize a difference between a sofa and a horse.Being of a diminished mental capacity,they have a harder time distinguishing the difference between a human and a horse and imbue the equine with "rights".

  • MNG||

    So since the retard can tell the horse is not the same as the human on one end or the couch on another then perhaps they have some level of moral consideration or rights that are, like they are, between the two extremes.

    Like I said from the beginning Mr. Reading Comprehension!

  • FrenchHash||

    MNG-

    You are resorting to a purely emotional, subjective argument. You like animals, I like animals, thats all well and good. But its not an excuse for batshit laws like these.

  • MNG||

    The horse was forced into being harmed, the dude got harmed as part of a compensated voluntary choice, hence the greater outrage for the former. In legal terms the latter "assumed the risk."

    Do I have to get out puppets for this?

  • MNG||

    You might say the animal advocates who were outraged by the horse's harm but not the stuntman's harm (assuming there even were such people who, knowing of both, cared more for the former), were just being good libertarians since they knew the stuntman had voluntarily assumed the risk!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    The horse was forced into being harmed, the dude got harmed as part of a compensated voluntary choice

    You're begging the question, MNG (again). The horse was NOT forced to do anything (saying he was "forced" implies he had rational choices). He could not know the consequences of his rider's actions.

  • MNG||

    Er, if the horse could not know the consequences of his action then he did not voluntarily run into the tripwire. Dude, you are actually beating yourself!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Er, if the horse could not know the consequences of his action then he did not voluntarily run into the tripwire.

    Indeed, but you're missing the point - he could NOT know about the wire. He can only be FORCED if he KNOWS. You're just assuming he was forced in other to argue that cruelty was committed.

    And please don't ask me to read what Begging the Question means. I have read it many times while arguing with Creationists, back in the day. I don't need a marxoid ideologue to tell me about logic.

  • FrenchHash||

    Maybe we should outlaw the killing of all animals, huh? Because killing is hurting. hurting is CRUEL. Face it MNG Animals do not have the same rights as humans, period.

  • MNG||

    Will you please read something about wtf begging the question is? Most people do that before they try to use it in arguments...

  • ||

    Hey Dumb Fucking Mexican,

    Have you ever ridden a horse? They stop at jumps and let the rider go flying, because they absolutely do understand the consequences of the rider's actions.

    There are no natural rights. There are only rights that have been invented.

    I propose no rights for Mexicans, because they smell funny and are troglodytic.

    Fuck Mexicans!

  • Mr. ?||

    Are you seriously putting horses and humans on equal, ehm, footing?

  • Barak Hussein Obama||

    Of course! If I have my way they'll have the right to vote for me just like everybody else.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Bill Williams,

    Have you ever ridden a horse? They stop at jumps and let the rider go flying, because they absolutely do understand the consequences of the rider's actions.

    And Mr. Ed told you that, right?

    There are no natural rights. There are only rights that have been invented.

    Interesting you say such a thing, that people are free to invent a right they already have (like the freedom to "invent" rights.)

    That tells me that at least one right (to be free) comes naturally.

  • ||

    You can only have rights if you are capable of respecting the rights of others. Can animals do this?

  • R E S P E C T||

    You can only have rights if you are capable of respecting the rights of others. Can animals do this?...Can babies do this? Can mentally challenged or disturbed do this?

  • ||

    As humans they have the inherent capability to do so. Babies will eventually grow up to be humans that are capable of respecting rights. I would argue that most mentally challenged and disturbed people are still capable of respecting rights. If they weren't, they would be placed in an asylum. We don't allow mentally deficient people to commit crimes.

  • ||

    Uh, are they going to Obama for swatting that fly?

  • The Libertarian Guy||

    If they were intellectually honest, they would.

  • ||

    But they won't because they'll "use[s] the law judiciously..."

  • ||

    I came here to post this, ha ha. Especially because of the look Obama had on his face right after- he meant to inflict cruelty on that poor, helpess fly which he murdered in cold blood, on tape.

  • ||

    Are you taking horse stimulants, MNG? You've posted about 40 times so far!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: dbcooper,

    MNG took Sourpuss Pil ls...

  • ||

    No Rights for Mexicans!

    Mexicans go home!

  • ||

    Bill,

    Now we have you aas ingnorantpuss joining sourpuss. Since Tony had one of the best lines in this write up, I'll just have to say STFU Bill.

  • ||

    You fool, if Mexicans are sent home, the rich white people in California will have to invent "terminator" like cuborgs to work their fields and clean their toilets. Black people are legal and Asians are too smart for field work.

    "I'll be BACK - to fix your desayuno after I do the laundry, amigo"

  • ||

    I meant cyborg.

    Or possibly cyborgo

  • QWERTY (uppercase)||

    MNG is taking horse stimulants like Catherine the Great

  • ||

    All I got to say is you shouldn't be surprised at the stupid f***ing shit the leviathan will try to do. This didn't surprise me one bit.

  • ||

    So is Janet Napalitano going to confiscate my Conan DVD?

  • d||

    But when Justice Sonia Sotomayor pressed him to explain the legal distinction between the dog fight videos that earned Virginia pit bull enthusiast Robert Stevens a three-year prison sentence and the much gorier but explicitly negative treatment of dog fighting in the 2006 documentary Off the Chain, Katyal allowed that “the line will sometimes be difficult to draw.”

    I'm starting to like Sotomayor. She seems more skeptical than, say, Scalia, about "new professionalism" and "judicious application" of laws on the part of the gov't. And that kind of skepticism is a very good thing to have in one of the 9 seats.

  • Al Harron||

    "It seems to me part of the problem is the word "serious." I guess I have trouble saying Conan has "serious" artistic value"

    You might, but the general consensus of critics doesn't. Conan the Barbarian has a 76% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 19 out of 25 giving it a "fresh" rating. Plenty of critics note the thematic and philosophical elements of the film, even if a few consider it little more than a sword-and-sandal flick.

    Thus, Conan the Barbarian is certainly of "serious artistic value" if we're going by professional critical reviews.

    Also, I might be mistaken, but the screenshot you use in the article does not illustrate one of the debated scenes of wire-tripping: According to Milius, that particular stunt was a rubber horse. A very realistic one at that.

  • Old Mexican||

    Old Mexican|1.1.10 @ 10:17PM|#

    Re: Bill Williams,

    Have you ever ridden a horse? They stop at jumps and let the rider go flying, because they absolutely do understand the consequences of the rider's actions.

    And Mr. Ed told you that, right?

    There are no natural rights. There are only rights that have been invented.


    Interesting you say such a thing, that people are free to invent a right they already have (like the freedom to "invent" rights.)

    That tells me that at least one right (to be free) comes naturally.
  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    You might say the animal advocates who were outraged by the horse's harm but not the stuntman's harm[...], were just being good libertarians since they knew the stuntman had voluntarily assumed the risk!

    What was so libertarian about worrying what other people do with their own property?

  • MNG||

    I was referring to the supposed lack of concern about the rider who voluntarily participated in the stunt.

  • ||

    As part of my job in a neurobiology laboratory, I have to kill mice (Ironically, the only reason I have to kill mice is because animal cruelty laws prevent the lab from keeping more than a certain amount of mice, so I have to kill some whenever I need room for new ones). Some weeks, I have to kill over a hundred mice. How do I live with myself as I watch each one die from CO2 poisoning in the "euthenasia" chamber? It's quite simple:

    I know that I am not doing anything wrong by killing these animals, because they do not have rights.

    I will repeat my argument about why animals don't have rights in case anyone missed it:

    "MUNG, my friend, there is no "scale" of rights. You either have rights or you don't. You are either capable of living by reason, or you are not. Animals do not have the ability to comprehend rights, let alone respect rights. Once animals are given rights, will they cease being animals and respect the rights of other animals? No, they will continue to kill each other. If you can't respect rights, you can't have rights. This is the entire basis for our criminal justice system, and it applies to animals just as well. The concept of rights is a two way street."

    Basically, you can't have rights if you can't respect the rights of others. What truly seperates humans from other animals is that we live under a moral code based on reason. Humans must respect the rights of other humans. If they do not, they lose their rights. What animal rights activists want to do is force humans to treat animals as humans with rights. However, this is not feasible unless animals can reciprocate this respect. Since they cannot, they do not have rights.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller,"As part of my job in a neurobiology laboratory, I have to kill mice...euthenasia (sic)chamber...If you can't respect rights, you can't have rights" Glad to hear you teach in a university and not in a pre-school or special needs class. Johnny you bit Tom and since you aren't capable of respecting rights, off to the gas chamber.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    Heller,"As part of my job in a neurobiology laboratory, I have to kill mice [...]If you can't respect rights, you can't have rights"

    Glad to hear you teach in a university and not in a pre-school or special needs class.

    You're misrepresenting Heller's argument. Natural law is based on negative rights, that is, restrictions on our acts when it comes to other people. These restrictions have to be learned. The fact that we CAN learn them and REASON according to them separates us from mere animals, who could not be less concerned about such things, being trapped in the confines of instinct.

    Since babies and children CAN learn these restrictions and live according to them, they do comply with Heller's aphorism. Even then, WE as adults and reasoning living beings STILL HAVE to respect the rights of babies and children, for they possess their bodies and their lives, not US.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Old Mexican, maximization of individual liberty does not take into account centuries of the development of man. Why does any man, woman or child have rights to begin with? Certainly early man had no cognizance of any rights other than his own instinct for survival. Yet we did develop societies(independently from one another) based on the right of protection and the increase probability of long-term survival. Naturally, those rights have broadened as we have become more aware and now include animals to a certain extent. We live in a society that recognizes animals has pets and we base bestowed rights for that reason. In societies were desert people required animals for survival they base their protection of animals on a more natural law for the benefit of their very survival.

  • ||

    Modern human rights are part of a social contract that basically says, "I won't hurt you if you don't hurt me." It is the basis of civilization.

    The social contract never "broadened." It has been the same since it began. Any perceived additions are merely positive rights that cannot be part of the social contract. Your assumption that we now recognize animals as part of the social contract is just plain wrong. When animals evolve to a state of intelligence that can comprehend and honor the social contract, I will treat them with as much respect as humans.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller,"I won't hurt you if you don't hurt me." It is the basis of civilization. It is more complex than the basic need for protection. The fact that civilizations developed independently from each other with basically the same concepts of sharing, protection,leadership etc. is the proof that there is more to human rights than a social contract.

  • ||

    Anything outside the social contract is a "positive right," and therefore not a true right at all. Positive rights create an obligational imbalance; in order to give you what your positive right says you deserve, someone else must be obligated to give you that thing. The only right that is not obligationally imbalanced is the right of non-coercion. The only obligation necessary to maintain this right is literally to do nothing, to not harm others. I'm sure there are many texts on the fallacy of positive rights that can explain this much better than I can.

    You cite sharing as an example of a basic of society. This is a perfect example of the fallacy of positive rights. Do you believe that people have an obligation to share their wealth with you? If they do, how will you make sure that they do share with you? Note that you cannot use force since this would contradict the right of non-coercion. By creating an obligational imbalance, positive rights will always contradict the right of non-coercion.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller, my earlier post talk about how we have evolved from libertarian:"Certainly early man had no cognizance of any rights other than his own instinct for survival." Why do you think societies developed if not for positive rights? "By creating an obligational imbalance, positive rights will always contradict the right of non-coercion." As societies grew undoubtedly there were obligational imbalances such as too many children but the practice continued because as a society it was understood to be more efficient to survival. Positive rights trumped hunger and thirst.

  • ||

    Now you're just confusing yourself. Societies developed through technological and economic innovation and invention. Nothing ever "developes" as a result of positive rights, because it is a zero sum game. Their is no such thing as a free lunch. As to the second part, I don't see how "too many children" is an obligational imbalance, or that it has anything to do with positive rights. Are you saying their is a positive right to have lots of children? Because that's not a positive right, it's a freedom that naturally results from non-coercion. You don't need a right to do something that no one is stopping you from doing. A positive right would be something like, "I have the right to food that I have not earned in order to feed my extra children."

  • ||

    disregard my spelling of "there" please.

  • R E S P E C T||

    "Societies developed through technological and economic innovation and invention." Initially early man did not decide to stay in groups for the development of technology. They clearly had an emotional need to form groups and societies. Why do you think students go home for Christmas? Innovation and invention are by-products of society but are not the root cause. the idea of "too many children" or too many sickly people are complications that were present since the beginning. It is interesting that these obligations did not tear apart groups and yet people who were young and healthy stayed with societies and embraced the concept of the welfare of the group.

  • ||

    "Initially early man did not decide to stay in groups for the development of technology. They clearly had an emotional need to form groups and societies. Why do you think students go home for Christmas? Innovation and invention are by-products of society but are not the root cause."

    An emotional need, or a realization that life was easier living in proximity to other productive individuals? Whatever you believe about man's emotional "needs," the fact is that societies developed as a result of productivity and voluntary agreement between individuals. That agreement states that each man should be free to live as he/she sees fit. Freedom creates productivity which creates an incentive to live in close proximity.

  • ||

    "the idea of "too many children" or too many sickly people are complications that were present since the beginning. It is interesting that these obligations did not tear apart groups and yet people who were young and healthy stayed with societies and embraced the concept of the welfare of the group."

    What obligations? I have no obligation to care after your children. They are solely the responsibility of those who brought them into being, their parents. This still has absolutely nothing to do with positive rights or how societies developed "as a result of positive rights," as you falsely assert.

  • R E S P E C T||

    heller,"What obligations?" I am speaking of early man who was probably the most libertarian of all time. No government, no society and total freedom. He chose to form societies and chose a role to benefit the whole of society. Someone in your position was most likely used for protection and hunting in their newly formed societies. "An emotional need, or a realization that life was easier living in proximity to other productive individuals?" I would argue an emotional need because of the nature of inequality in groups. Not everyone could contribute their full share. Could the elderly work as much as it would have required to prepare and cook food? To repair clothing? The fact that this society was the originator of our own indicates that the young, strong and capable never left.

  • ||

    If man "chose a role," then I don't see how the society you are talking about has positive rights. If no one was forced to do anything, if they all did it because of some internal emotional reason, then your society is still "libertarian." The point at which individuals were forced to do and give certain things for the good of the society is the point at which inequality was created. The individual or group that has the power to coerce others is the true problem within society.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller,"If man "chose a role," then I don't see how the society you are talking about has positive rights." Of course there had to be uneven distribution of labor from the beginning and by your own definition not a libertarian society. Do you think the babies and elderly could hunt wild animals? Man did not choose a role but it was assigned to him by nature. What he did select was society over libertarianism.

  • ||

    I don't care about an uneven distribution of labor. That has nothing to do with coercion. I'm talking about the uneven distribution of power. There was no authority in early society that FORCED people to take care of babies and the elderly. These things were done voluntarily.

    "Man did not choose a role but it was assigned to him by nature. What he did select was society over libertarianism."

    This is a false dilemna. There is no choice between society and libertarianism. The two can be compatable and were compatable. As long as there was no authority that forced people to do things against their will, society was "libertarian."

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller, Early man did not have a democracy. Leadership did emerge and thus the power to make decisions for other people. Nature was the impetus for leadership selection but the point is that those who were the "soldiers" still stayed.

  • ||

    A democracy is still an imbalance of power, as the majority would have power over the minority. You don't seem to understand that society can, and did, exist without a coercive authority. What is your justification for the use of coercive force instead of individual free will, besides the fact that it has existed for thousands of years? I also have said before that if these "soldiers" decided to stay of their own free will, then they were not coerced. Which one is it?

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller, "You don't seem to understand that society can, and did, exist without a coercive authority." Where? Do you have any examples of prosperous libertarian societies?
    "..."soldiers" decided to stay of their own free will, then they were not coerced." That is my point. They left a libertarian life and accepted and chose a life with less freedom. The question to ponder is why?

  • ||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-primitivism

    "That is my point. They left a libertarian life and accepted and chose a life with less freedom. The question to ponder is why?"

    If they weren't being coerced then how is their life less free or less libertarian? If they made their life choices according to their own free will then how are they not free?

  • ||

    Apparently, you don't understand that a society without coercion is a completely free society.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller,"If they made their life choices according to their own free will then how are they not free?" They are less free as defined in a libertarian world because they had to take care of the society as a whole. The weak, the children and the less productive included. I saved your wikipedia link but the sourcing on it looks prejudicial.

  • ||

    "They are less free as defined in a libertarian world because they had to take care of the society as a whole."

    You're just completely wrong on this one. They didn't HAVE to do anything, they chose to do it. The libertarian definition of freedom is non-coercion. Ask any libertarian here.

    "I saved your wikipedia link but the sourcing on it looks prejudicial."

    You might also want to study primitive societies such as the Bushmen, Tiv and the Piaroa.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    Old Mexican, maximization of individual liberty does not take into account centuries of the development of man.

    This is irrelevant. Maximization of individual liberty is the goal; who cares what it took to reach it?

    Why does any man, woman or child have rights to begin with? Certainly early man had no cognizance of any rights other than his own instinct for survival.

    Humans have rights by virtue of their capacity to reason - it is reasonable to treat others and their property in the same way you would want to be treated. If this idea was discovered millenia ago by Man, it would only be evidence of human's conversion towards reason.

    Naturally, those rights have broadened as we have become more aware and now include animals to a certain extent.

    Rights do not evolve, they have been the same always - we have a right to keep our lives, our freedom and our property, nothing more. The so-called "rights" you believe exist for animals are nothing more than legislated impositions, but not TRUE rights.

    We live in a society that recognizes animals has pets and we base bestowed rights for that reason.

    People keep all sorts of pets, yet I have not seen rights bestowed to spiders and leeches. Again, those are not rights, but legislated moralisms which end up being violations of other people's property rights.

    In societies were desert people required animals for survival they base their protection of animals on a more natural law for the benefit of their very survival.

    Not only they. Ranchers brand their cattle and turkey breeders have them in pens to avoid either losing them or having them stolen. Ranchers, breeders and Berbers are simply exercising their right to private property. You are simply seeing it as something else, naively.

  • Robert||

    Rights do not evolve, they have been the same always - we have a right to keep our lives, our freedom and our property, nothing more. The so-called "rights" you believe exist for animals are nothing more than legislated impositions, but not TRUE rights.


    So you believe that at one particular instant, a human was born from non-human parents, and at that instant, "true rights" came into existence? Of course the human's parents had no rights, because they weren't human.

    Or does this work only if humans came into existence by means other than evolution from non-humans?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Robert,

    So you believe that at one particular instant, a human was born from non-human parents, and at that instant, "true rights" came into existence?

    No, Robert. What happened is that humans, one day, REASONED, and discovered rights.

    Maybe you would like to believe that the laws of physics also evolved as man evolved?

    Of course the human's parents had no rights, because they weren't human.

    Nice strawman. Fallacious, but nice.

  • Robert||

    But wait -- your use of the word "discovered" means they already had those rights. So when did they come into existence? With the first human being? What characteristic put that entity over the top into humanness? Presumably there had to have been entities which were very, very similar to each other, but some with rights and some without, because of whatever last little trait some had that others were missing...and it was all-or-nothing, according to your theory. So of course the triggering trait could not have been a matter of degree, but a yes-or-no.

    Don't you think you have things a little screwed around, thinking of human laws as like pre-existing laws of physics, rather than inventions? Doesn't it make much more sense for rights to have been invented than discovered? Because inventions can run with the culture, while your supposed pre-existing rights could run only with genetics -- and that really does mean, no matter how you belittle the problem -- that there would have been families some of whose members had rights and others not, because not all had whatever genes must fit your criteria of human. You seem to believe humanity itself evolved gradually, and yet that rights did not, and that only their acknowledgment, not their existence, would run with the culture.

  • ||

    Rights came into existence when human beings use their faculty of reason to realize that not using coercive force on each other was good.

  • Robert||

    Yeah, that's what I say -- smart beings (people) invented them. But the Old Mexican seems to think they existed fully formed and were merely discovered.

  • ||

    "No, Robert. What happened is that humans, one day, REASONED, and discovered rights."

    OM never said they existed fully formed, you inferred that only from the word "discovered."

  • ||

    Well I don't teach, I'm actually an undergraduate researcher. But I'll take that as a compliment, I guess. Johnny will eventually grow up to be someone who doesn't bite people. If he doesn't, he will be put in jail.

  • TB||

    And yet no one is prosecuted for letting a post-stroke Dick Clark countdown to the new year on national television. How cruel.

  • Robert||

    Captioned with the sound off (as the TV was set at the party where I was), he looked excellent.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    "You can only have rights if you are capable of respecting the rights of others. Can animals do this?"

    ...Can babies do this? Can mentally challenged or disturbed do this?

    Babies don't have the reason (yet) to either respect or not respect the rights of others. Mentally retarded people still understand enough about boundaries and self-ownership to possess property and respect other people's property. As for mentally disturbed people, you will have to define what you are talking about, since there are very different types of mental disturbances or illnesses.

  • ||

    Also, crazy people get locked away all the time for violating the social contract. They, like all other humans, are capable of both honoring and breaking the social contract.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Any contract is an agreement and therefore your assertion of a social contract is not a valid argument for those who are not mentally capable and will never be able to agree or not to agree to honoring it. Either those people have rights for other reasons or they do not warrant them. You can't have it both ways.

  • ||

    This is not a paper contract or a legal contract; no one "agrees" to it. It is explicitly understood by all civilized humans that certain actions towards their fellow men are wrong. Calling this a contract is just a way of explaining the agreement that is understood between all men.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    AKA as a social suggestment? Cut yourself with your sword yet?

  • ||

    It's not even a suggestment. Listen, no one forces you to be part of the contract. You can leave the contract anytime you want... Beat someone up, steal their wallet. But once you leave the contract, society will do just as badly to you as you do to it, and it will be perfectly justified in doing so.

  • rather crazy that Libertarian||

    Mmm. Peter North spooge.

  • ||

    The fact that humans are capable of understanding reasoned concepts automatically means that they are entered into the contract. Can a mentally retarded person understand the concept of right and wrong? If yes, then he/she has "agreed" to the social contract and has rights. If no, then that person would not be allowed to interact with society, just as criminals are not.

  • ||

    Also, I already posted the answer to this problem below:

    "Do we allow mentally challenged/ill people to walk around committing crimes? Obviously we don't. If a mentally deficient person violates someone's rights, his/her rights are taken away, just like any other person. Obviously there are many mentally deficient people who do understand the concept of actions that are wrong and actions that are right. Under the premise that humans in general have the inherent ability to understand and comply with the social contract. Until a human goes against the social contract, there is no reason to assume they do not. Animals on the other hand, do not have this ability. NO animals have this ability, because they act according to instinct, not according to reason."

    I suggest you move on to a different point, the "babies and retards are like animals" argument is getting quite stale.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller, my earlier post talked about how we have evolved from libertarian man:"Certainly early man had no cognizance of any rights other than his own instinct for survival." Why do you think societies developed if not for positive rights? "By creating an obligational imbalance, positive rights will always contradict the right of non-coercion." As societies grew, undoubtedly there were obligational imbalances such as too many children but the practice continued because as a society it was understood to be more efficient to survival. Positive rights trumped hunger and thirst.

  • ||

    I don't know why you posted this as a reply to two of my comments but ok, here's my reply posted for the second time:

    Now you're just confusing yourself. Societies developed through technological and economic innovation and invention. Nothing ever "developes" as a result of positive rights, because it is a zero sum game. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

    As to the second part, I don't see how "too many children" is an obligational imbalance, or that it has anything to do with positive rights. Are you saying there is a positive right to have lots of children? Because that's not a positive right, it's a freedom that naturally results from non-coercion. You don't need a right to do something that no one is stopping you from doing. A positive right would be something like, "I have the right to food that I have not earned in order to feed my extra children."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    Why do you think societies developed if not for positive rights?

    That wasn't the reason. Societies grew from the voluntary, mutually advantageous, cooperation networks that appeared after humans learned division of labor. "Positive" rights actually lead to chaos and disruption, since they impose an undue obligation on a person to provide a service or good to another person. A thief may believe he has a right to own the property of the victim he's robbing - i.e. a Positive right. Negative rights impose a restriction on a person concerning another person's life or property, as in "Do not kill", "Do no harm", "Do not steal", "Do not defraud."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG:

    So your criteria for rights is that the being be "capable of living by reason?" So infants have no rights then?

    Yes, they have rights as they are human and they own their own bodies, even if they do not have reason YET. However, they cannot exercise those rights until they have learned to reason. No animal can do this, infants or not.

    BTW-I don't need to show animals have rights like humans (they certainly don't IMO), [...] I just need to show they warrant some moral consideration higher than inanimate objects.

    You haven't shown that they deserve a higher moral consideration than inanimate objects, MNG, that's the problem. You have assumed so far that such a thing is greatly understood (as you accuse people of not seeing this as being "retards") but your assertions have lacked evidence.

    What moral considerations CAN be given and SHOULD be given is the same for any private property - you cannot steal it, you cannot damage it. What people do with their own property (even their animals) is entirely their choice. People will treat their animals as they VALUE them - either greatly or not. I do not value animals that way, and I don't keep pets for that reason (I have tried fish and I simply don't value them enough to become an ichthyologist.)

    The sense of moral outrage YOU may feel against people that, in YOUR VERY OWN JUDGMENT, mistreat their animals, comes entirely from your own subjective valuation. But subjectivity makes for VERY BAD LAWS.

  • FrenchHash||

    Funny there's no law that restricts depictions of cruelty to humans in movies. Oh shit, I gave Janet an idea.

  • ||

    If we can't watch animal cruelty because animals have rights, then obviously we can't watch cruelty to humans.

  • Mephistefales||

    "But subjectivity makes for VERY BAD LAWS."
    But subjective legislation makes my thingie tingle, and I like it.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Old Mexican, "Mentally retarded people still understand enough about boundaries and self-ownership to possess property and respect other people's property...mentally disturbed people" I think your exposure to people who are mentally challenged/mentally ill may be as limited as your experience with animals. Many of these people do not and will never have the possibility of understanding their rights or anyone else's. Under your premise, they do not derive any protection or rights.

  • ||

    Do we allow mentally challenged/ill people to walk around committing crimes? Obviously we don't. If a mentally deficient person violates someone's rights, his/her rights are taken away, just like any other person. Obviously there are many mentally deficient people who do understand the concept of actions that are wrong and actions that are right. Under the premise that humans in general have the inherent ability to understand and comply with the social contract. Until a human goes against the social contract, there is no reason to assume they do not. Animals on the other hand, do not have this ability. NO animals have this ability, because they act according to instinct, not according to reason.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    I think your exposure to people who are mentally challenged/mentally ill may be as limited as your experience with animals.

    Do not presume to know the scope of my exposure to mentally challenged people or animals, Respect. Mentally challenged people HAVE shown respect for other people's rights - few go out to kill, rape or steal in the same numbers as perfectly normal people. To do EVIL is still a CHOICE. What I infer from your comments is a underestimation by you of mentally challenged people, for reasons I can only speculate . . .

    Animals do not choose. They are purely driven by instinct.

    Many of these people do not and will never have the possibility of understanding their rights or anyone else's.

    Well, may depend on what you call "rights". They would certainly not understand their right to "free healthcare", but I would not hold this against them since healthcare is not a right, but a product.

    Under your premise, they do not derive any protection or rights.

    This is false, and it is not a premise, but prerequisites. Mentally Challenged people own their bodies, make choices and act (with purpose). Besides this, they are still Homo Sapiens and still protected by their parents and siblings, as they would with a child.

  • RESPECT||

    Old Mexican,"Do not presume to know the scope of my exposure to...animals" I would call this statement evidence: "People will treat their animals as they VALUE them ...I do not value animals that way, and I don't keep pets for that reason (I have tried fish and I simply don't value them enough to become an ichthyologist.)"

    "To do EVIL is still a CHOICE. What I infer from your comments is a underestimation by you of mentally challenged people, for reasons I can only speculate . . ." Speculate away but not all crimes are evil because that suggests intent. My whole point is that many who commit crimes are not cognizant of private property, rights etc. There is a difference between I stole that toy and I took it because it was shiny.

    "Animals do not choose. They are purely driven by instinct." Yes that is true for the most part but I have been around animals for all of my life and sometimes what an animal does has no rational instinctual behavior behind it. This is not evidential in flies or cockroaches. Man has had a parasitic relationship with animals based on man's survival since the beginning of time. We can still see the origins of that need when we look at the Maasai tribe and their use of the cow. What is fascinating is that they do not base their respect on ownership as a rancher or farmer would but as an understating that all cows need to be saved from the mud pit or the consequences of inaction will hurt everyone's survival.

    "Mentally Challenged people own their bodies, make choices and act (with purpose). Besides this, they are still Homo Sapiens and still protected by their parents and siblings, as they would with a child." Sadly, not always the case.

    Lastly, healthcare is a right and the practice of it is the product and as such it is a separate issue.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    If you want to infer anything from a humorous comment i made about fish, go ahead - it's your funeral.

    Speculate away but not all crimes are evil because that suggests intent.

    To commit a CRIME implies action, intent, Robert. Accidents are surely NOT crimes. Animals do not commit crimes when they kick or bite.

    My whole point is that many who commit crimes are not cognizant of private property, rights etc.

    If they COMMITTED a crime, then they are cognizant of other people's rights.

    There is a difference between I stole that toy and I took it because it was shiny.

    Makes me wonder if you would see the same difference if it was your car that was taken and the guy said "it was pretty." Don't commit a fallacy of composition.

    Yes that is true for the most part [that animals do not choose] but I have been around animals for all of my life and sometimes what an animal does has no rational instinctual behavior behind it.

    Doing something by instinct precludes rationality - you're committing a contradiction of terms. A more likely explanation for what you see is your own anthropomorphizing of the animals' behavior.

    Man has had a parasitic [what?] relationship with animals based on man's survival since the beginning of time.

    You do not understand what "parasitism" entails. There are many more cows and chickens NOW that have ever been before - no parasite known to biologists acts that way.

    We can still see the origins of that need when we look at the Masai tribe and their use of the cow. What is fascinating is that they do not base their respect on ownership as a rancher or farmer would but as an understating that all cows need to be saved from the mud pit or the consequences of inaction will hurt everyone's survival.

    Really? Because I take a good care of my car, because if it breaks, it places my ability to go to work at risk and thus my family at risk. It is clear the Masai act as OWNERS of their cows, just as I act as the owner of MY car.

    Lastly, healthcare is a right and the practice of it is the product and as such it is a separate issue.

    How can they be separate, numbskull? Without doctors, there is no care, as without mechanics, there is no automobile service. Of course BOTH are services, provided by people with skills, THEIR skills - you cannot have a RIGHT to something you do NOT HAVE.

  • RESPECT||

    Old Mexican, "To commit a CRIME implies action, intent, Robert." Not valid even in a legal parameter and my name is not Robert. "Accidents are surely NOT crimes." Yes, they can be in legal terms. If they COMMITTED a crime, then they are cognizant of other people's rights" Wrong, t is called the mental incapacity defense.
    "instinct precludes rationality - you're committing a contradiction of terms. A more likely explanation for what you see is your own anthropomorphizing of the animals' behavior." I can only say you may be right but I once had a chicken (who was tricked into hatching duck eggs) take on a very human concept of accepting things it could not change. To see a mother chicken have a heart attack the first time her "chicks" instinctively headed for the water. She later accepted this behavior and would participate by walking in it. Believe me a chicken has total instinctual fear of water and what she did had no rational instinctual behavior behind it.
    "parasitic [what?] relationship with animals...There are many more cows and chickens NOW that have ever been before - no parasite known to biologists acts that way." This is an explanation of the RELATIONSHIP. It is confusing for people who live in a our society to understand that ownership is not always a concept or even a word in their vocabularies. History.com/expedition can give you a better understanding of the difference between owning a car and "ownership" of animals.
    "Without doctors, there is no care, as without mechanics, there is no automobile service. Of course BOTH are services, provided by people with skills, THEIR skills - you cannot have a RIGHT to something you do NOT HAVE"
    The right is to be treated and not the process of the treatment but I think what you sincerely have a problem with is the payment of the health care. I just do not agree with the libertarian idea of too bad you are sick and tough luck.
    "numbskull?" I am guessing you are over fifty and I will venture to add never had a dog in childhood too.

  • ||

    "Yes, they can be in legal terms."

    It's good that we're arguing about ideas and not about the law then...

    "the difference between owning a car and "ownership" of animals."

    We don't acknowledge that there is a difference.

    "The right is to be treated and not the process of the treatment"

    The "right to be treated," as I have explained before, is a positive right. In order to get treatment, someone has to be forced to give it to you. This contradicts the right of non-coercion. If you didn't need to force anyone to give you treatment (i.e. they voluntarily chose to give you treatment) you wouldn't need to have a RIGHT to treatment would you? POSITIVE RIGHTS ARE NOT RIGHTS.

    "but I think what you sincerely have a problem with is the payment of the health care. I just do not agree with the libertarian idea of too bad you are sick and tough luck."

    That's exactly where the problem lies. Someone has to be forced to pay for your healthcare. You might disagree with our ideas, but that means that you are agreeing to the use of coercive force. It also means that you believe the ends (healthcare) justify the means (coercive force).

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller, I would like to clarify if you are also "Old Mexican" before I rebut your argument. I need to know for the context of my reply

  • ||

    I'm not.

  • R E S P E C T||

    I didn't think so because you write like a young man (not critical, my daughter is a grad student) and he reasons like an old one. The law argument was a response to his narrow definition of crime:"If they COMMITTED a crime, then they are cognizant of other people's rights."
    We do acknowledge that there is a difference between ownership of animals and a car. It is your problem if you abuse your car and you do not lose ownership of your property. There are legal consequences if you abuse your animal including right of ownership.
    "The "right to be treated," as I have explained before, is a positive right. In order to get treatment, someone has to be forced to give it to you" I am not forcing anyone to treat patients without compensation. Doctors are free to make whatever deal they can with insurance companies and can refuse medicaid or any other insurance they dislike. I understand fully that libertarians are against public healthcare but the positive right argument runs thin.

  • ||

    "We do acknowledge that there is a difference between ownership of animals and a car."

    No, you acknowledge that. And I'm saying you're wrong. Animals have no more rights than a car does, as I have explained a dozen times in a dozen ways.

    "I am not forcing anyone to treat patients without compensation."

    I never said "you can't force people to do things without paying them," I said you can't force people to do things. End of sentence. Either you are forcing someone to do something (which is wrong), or they are doing it of their own free will (and then you don't need a right to that thing, do you?). The positive right argument is still as strong as ever. Show me a positive right that does not require the use of force and I will claim you the victor of this entire argument.

  • ||

    I know that you understand that libertarians are against public healthcare, but I don't think you fully understand why.

  • R E S P E C T||

    "The "right to be treated,"...positive right....someone has to be forced... contradicts the right of non-coercion." I don't agree with your premise that the right to be treated involves force. I maintain the right is separate from the process. How could that be? Can you not treat yourself? Are you engaging in coercion when you study a condition/diagnose it/treat it? Is it force when you visit a doctor and pay for his advertized medical expertise? I know the positive right argument is a way of cutting off logic at the pass but if the reasoning were sound it would not be used.

  • ||

    "Can you not treat yourself?"

    You already have the right to treat yourself as long as you are not using coercive force on anyone else. You can do anything you want under the libertarian system as long as it is not coercive.

    By stating treatment as a positive right, you invite the argument that since I have the right to treatment, it must be given to me either regardless of the will of the treatment-giver or regarless of the will of the person who's money is being taken to pay for the treatment. If you were arguing for the "right" of self treatment, I would not have anything to disagree with you about. But you are arguing for public healthcare, which necessitates the forced theft of taxpayers' wealth.

  • R E S P E C T||

    The crux of the matter. You don't want public healthcare and I see a need for it.

  • ||

    No, the crux of the matter is that you believe coercive force is justified by its ends and I believe coercive force can never be justified. I would love to have public healthcare if you could find a way to provide it without using force. But the fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. The wealth has to come from someone, and if no one is donating it it has to be taken.

  • ||

    No mention of the part where a drunken Conan punches a camel right in the face?! That was one of the funniest parts!

    Anyway...

    Is it art? Of course it is. If it's produced with the intention of being appreciated, it's art, and there isn't much more to say about it other than the critique of it. Even something like footage of real dog fighting is art. Hey, if two people beating the hell out of each other can be called martial ARTS... I rest my case. And so long as it's animals or consenting adults or fictional representation of anything, it can be expressed through whatever means the producer wishes. If one doesn't like it, then they're free to criticize it as harshly as their heart desires.

    Banning something on the grounds that it merely offends only leaves us with limited expression and values, subject to the whim of the ruling authority.

  • GSP fan||

    I can't wait until they get around to complaining about those two jackasses that Patton shot and had dumped off a bridge. Maybe he shot the wrong jackasses.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RESPECT,

    Old Mexican, maximization of individual liberty does not take into account centuries of the development of man.

    This is irrelevant. Maximization of individual liberty is the goal; who cares what it took to reach it?

    Why does any man, woman or child have rights to begin with? Certainly early man had no cognizance of any rights other than his own instinct for survival.

    Humans have rights by virtue of their capacity to reason - it is reasonable to treat others and their property in the same way you would want to be treated. If this idea was discovered millenia ago by Man, it would only be evidence of human's conversion towards reason.

    Naturally, those rights have broadened as we have become more aware and now include animals to a certain extent.

    Rights do not evolve, they have been the same always - we have a right to keep our lives, our freedom and our property, nothing more. The so-called "rights" you believe exist for animals are nothing more than legislated impositions and violations on people's private propertry, but not TRUE rights.

    We live in a society that recognizes animals has pets and we base bestowed rights for that reason.

    People keep all sorts of pets, yet I have not seen rights bestowed to spiders and leeches. Again, those are not rights, but legislated moralisms which end up being violations of other people's property rights.

    In societies were desert people required animals for survival they base their protection of animals on a more natural law for the benefit of their very survival.

    Not only they. Ranchers brand their cattle and turkey breeders have them in pens to avoid either losing them or having them stolen. Ranchers, breeders and Berbers are simply exercising their right to private property. You are simply seeing it as something else, naively.

  • RESPECT||

    Old Mexican,"This is irrelevant. Maximization of individual liberty is the goal; who cares what it took to reach it?" This takes me back to hear you think so little about your goals. Do you come to your libertarian views by faith?

    "Humans have rights by virtue of their capacity to reason - it is reasonable to treat others and their property in the same way you would want to be treated. If this idea was discovered millenia ago by Man, it would only be evidence of human's conversion towards reason." This concept is as old as man but only after he came to live in societies and moved beyond hunger and thirst has his underlying method of survival.

    "Rights do not evolve, they have been the same always - we have a right to keep our lives, our freedom and our property, nothing more. The so-called "rights" you believe exist for animals are nothing more than legislated impositions and violations on people's private propertry, but not TRUE rights."...We live in a society that recognizes animals has pets and we base bestowed rights for that reason.People keep all sorts of pets, yet I have not seen rights bestowed to spiders and leeches. Again, those are not rights, but legislated moralisms which end up being violations of other people's property rights...those are not rights, but legislated moralisms which end up being violations of other people's property rights...You are simply seeing it as something else, naively." I will take evidence from centuries of interaction between man and animals as evidence of the reality of bestowed rights over your limited interaction with a fish.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Respect,

    This takes me back to hear you think so little about your goals. Do you come to your libertarian views by faith?

    I think very highly of MY goal - which is to maximize people's freedom. That is the highest ethic there could be. And no, my views do not come by faith but by reason - wouldn't you like to be free?

    This concept is as old as man but only after he came to live in societies and moved beyond hunger and thirst has his underlying method of survival.

    You do not know that for a fact, first, and second, it defies logic to believe people first joined societies and THEN lived up to the voluntary relationships possible with respect of rights. Either voluntary relationships existed first and THEN societies, or societies first and then rights - how could the latter be possible?

    I will take evidence from centuries of interaction between man and animals as evidence of the reality of bestowed rights over your limited interaction with a fish.

    Again, you're making the case from false premises. How can you know what past relationships have been between man and animals to accept bestowed rights on animals? And how do you know or be sure you are not confusing "rights" bestowed to animals with the subjective valuation people have for THEIR animals? I can perfectly say my animals have the same rights than my children and act in that way - would that mean then that the animals HAVE those rights? Does that mean then that these can suddenly be imposed by LAW on other people's animals?

  • RESPECT||

    Old Mexican, I asked you if you came to your libertarian views by faith because you said "who cares what it took to reach it?" If you do not base your philosophy on logic, then I cannot surmise anything other than faith.

    I love your chicken and egg argument but we agree that early man was in a society at one point and he was free to leave and be as libertarian as he chose right? No government to stop him from doing his own thing? What we know for a fact,(since early man)that societies continued to develop independently from each other and they continue till today.

    "I can perfectly say my animals have the same rights than my children and act in that way - would that mean then that the animals HAVE those rights? Does that mean then that these can suddenly be imposed by LAW on other people's animals?" I think you are neglecting the notion of degree of rights. Animals by law have the right not to be abused but yet child abuse can be defined as not educating a child. We recognize our dominion over animals but afford them limited rights.

  • ||

    "If you do not base your philosophy on logic, then I cannot surmise anything other than faith."

    This would be a great argument if you actually showed that libertarian philosophy is not based on logic, or if you could show that it is based on faith. So far you have done neither.

    "but we agree that early man was in a society at one point and he was free to leave and be as libertarian as he chose right? No government to stop him from doing his own thing? What we know for a fact,(since early man)that societies continued to develop independently from each other and they continue till today."

    Why do you have to leave society to be libertarian? Man's natural state is to be free. You can be perfectly free while living in a society, which is merely a group of people that agree to live in close proximity and respect each other's rights. In order to not be free, the society would have to introduce some coercive force on individuals, such as positive rights and taxes. Are you denying that a society could exist without such things?

    "I think you are neglecting the notion of degree of rights. Animals by law have the right not to be abused but yet child abuse can be defined as not educating a child. We recognize our dominion over animals but afford them limited rights."

    As I have said before, there is no "degree" or scale of rights. You either have them or you don't. The laws and definitions that you speak of are not objective truths. Not educating a child is not abuse. Animals do not have the right not to be abused. Animals cannot have limited rights.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller, the context of the logic vs. faith argument was based on the OM reply: "This is irrelevant. Maximization of individual liberty is the goal; who cares what it took to reach it?" It is one thing to say an argument is based on logic but it is the duty of the author to prove it.
    The question is not "Why do you have to leave society to be libertarian?" but why they entered in such an agreement in the first place? "You can be perfectly free while living in a society, which is merely a group of people that agree to live in close proximity and respect each other's rights." That is a libertarian definition for a society that you want to exist but never has. Could it exist? Maybe but early man decided to live in a society were he existed in a state of unfair division of labor and decided it was worth the cost. I have evidence that these societies existed and were successful. Do you have any examples of prosperous libertarian societies?
    "The laws and definitions that you speak of are not objective truths. Not educating a child is not abuse. Animals do not have the right not to be abused. Animals cannot have limited rights."This argument denies centuries of the experiences and beliefs of man. I always side with history over opinion.

  • ||

    "It is one thing to say an argument is based on logic but it is the duty of the author to prove it."

    OM and I have already given a logical argument. Please point out something that you think is illogical or based on faith so that I can refute it. What do you find illogical about OM's reply?

    "That is a libertarian definition for a society that you want to exist but never has. Could it exist? Maybe but early man decided to live in a society were he existed in a state of unfair division of labor and decided it was worth the cost. I have evidence that these societies existed and were successful. Do you have any examples of prosperous libertarian societies?"

    That's ridiculous, the first societies must have been anarchic in nature. If you don't count these as societies, you are just begging the question by saying that societies have to have an imbalanced power structure. Saying that only authoritarian societies have existed is hardly an argument for why authoritarianism is good.

    "This argument denies centuries of the experiences and beliefs of man. I always side with history over opinion."

    History can't tell us what is right and what is wrong, it can only tell us what has existed and what hasn't. Slavery has existed for thousands of years. Can its existence tell us anything about how right it is? The same can be said for authoritarianism.

  • R E S P E C T||

    Heller,"What do you find illogical about OM's reply?". I had posted:
    "Old Mexican, maximization of individual liberty does not take into account centuries of the development of man."
    OM's reply:
    "This is irrelevant. Maximization of individual liberty is the goal; who cares what it took to reach it?"
    Try using that argument in school!

    "the first societies must have been anarchic in nature...imbalanced power structure....only authoritarian societies have existed is hardly an argument for why authoritarianism is good." A society could not thrive and exist If there was a preponderate element of anarchy. Leadership does not mean authoritarianism. Imbalance of power structure was due to ability and not due to power grabs.

    "Slavery has existed for thousands of years. Can its existence tell us anything about how right it is? The same can be said for authoritarianism." We know throughout history slavery was found to be repugnant and men spoke out against it. We do not condone slavery but pockets still exist today. We do accept societies with government leadership and the majority of people repeatedly choose this system by voting.

  • ||

    "Try using that argument in school!"

    From what you've shown, the argument that OM is making is basically, "why does it matter what happened historically to bring us to the goal if the goal is inherently logical and good regardless?" I have also used this argument. You still haven't explained why you think this is illogical.

    "A society could not thrive and exist If there was a preponderate element of anarchy."

    Society cannot exist without coercive force? Why not?

    "Leadership does not mean authoritarianism. Imbalance of power structure was due to ability and not due to power grabs."

    When one person gains coercive power over another, becoming an authority, this is basic authoritarianism. Obviously you and I disagree on the meaning of power. Simply having an ability that someone else does not have does not give you power. The fact that I am a scientist and you are a farmer gives neither of us power over another. Power only can come from the use of coercive force. Until I coerce you, you are operating totally under your own free will.

    "We know throughout history slavery was found to be repugnant and men spoke out against it. We do not condone slavery but pockets still exist today. We do accept societies with government leadership and the majority of people repeatedly choose this system by voting."

    Man has accepted for thousands of years the use of slaves, and the use of authoritarian governments, and many other things. And there will always be opposition to every view held by the majority, including slavery and governments. Who is to say that one hundred years from now, slavery will not be the norm? Or that governments will not be in favor? What do these historical facts tell us about the morality of slavery or the morality of coercive force? Nothing. It is completely illogical to argue the merit of political systems through what has existed and what has not.

  • Robert||

    Modern human rights are part of a social contract that basically says, "I won't hurt you if you don't hurt me." It is the basis of civilization.

    The social contract never "broadened." It has been the same since it began.


    Of course it broadened as society itself did. At first the offer extended only to a few intimates, and did not apply to strangers. Later it was broadened to people who looked more or less alike. And so on.

  • ||

    It never only applied to "a few intimates," it has always applied to all human beings. Those who denied that certain human beings deserved to be part of the contract were simply wrong.

  • Robert||

    What you wrote above makes no sense in the context of contract. A contract applies only to those who are offered and accept it. There's no "wrong" about it; a contract can be written with whatever terms one wants, and agreed on by whomever wants. How the fuck would you know that the person who devised "I won't hurt you if you don't hurt me" meant it to apply to everyone in the world?

  • ||

    It's not literally a contract. It's called a contract so that it can be explained to people like you. No one "devised" the right of non-coercion, it is an understanding between all humans. It applies to anyone who can understand and follow it.

  • Robert||

    No, if it's as you say then it's called a "contract" so you can equivocate about it, to obfuscate what you mean, not explain it. Otherwise you would simply not have responded to the term here.

  • ||

    I'm not equivocating, I've clearly explained multiple times what the social contract is and means here. If you want to talk about what you think I mean when I use the word contract, instead of arguing against what I've actually written, go ahead.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    "here I'm positing as a major premise: things earned through work are deserved, minor premise: inherited gifts are not earned through work; conclusion; therefore inheritance is not deserved."

    So I had provided an argument for the very premise you say I assumed...Looks like you can add bad memory to your faulty grasp of logic...

    MNG, I indicated it to you many times already - you're begging the question. You assume the conclusion from the premise. The key word is "deserved". You accepted the term "deserved" as meaning "earned through work".

    if you don't like the term "Begging the Question", then I can tell you that you're committing a fallacy of equivocation. Would you prefer to be told your fallacy is different, and claim victory?

  • ||

    Old Mexican, in logical argument the conclusion must follow from the premises. If you are trying to say that his premises are wrong even though the conclusion follows from the premises, then his argument is valid but unsound. An argument that is valid (its conclusion follows from its premises) is not "begging the question."

  • ||

    For example:

    Socrates is a man
    All men are immortal
    Therefore Socrates is immortal

    This is not "begging the question," this argument is valid but unsound.

  • Old Mexican||

    Heller,

    His argument goes,

    A is B is B
    C is not A
    So C is not B

    The fallacy resides on his use of redundancy, since "earned" is synonymous with "deserved". He then assumes that inherited wealth is not earned by simply not stating it in the premise, making "inherited wealth" implicitly "unearned" - how can he know that? There he is Begging the Question.

  • ||

    I think you've pointed out simplicity in his argument, not redundancy or begging the question. Stating that two words mean the same thing is not necessarily a redundancy. This premise obviously has a rhetorical purpose, as the statement "inheritance is not deserved" is not immediately synonomous to "inheritance is not earned."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Respect,

    Old Mexican, "To commit a CRIME implies action, intent, Robert." Not valid even in a legal parameter and my name is not Robert.

    Sorry, Respect. The concept of "CRIME" implies intent, an act. Otherwise we would call it an accident. Whatever legalisms exist, they are not valid for philosophical discourse.

    Yes, they can be in legal terms.

    It is irrelevant what they are considered in "legal terms", since we are not discussing legislation nor legalisms.

    Wrong, [i]t is called the mental incapacity defense.

    Respect, again, legalisms are no relevant for philosophical discussions on ethics or morality. I can argue that I was crazy when I butchered my wife, and use that as a defense, but in no way does that mean that the concept of "CRIME" suddenly changes to suit anybody's expediency.

    I can only say you may be right but I once had a chicken (who was tricked into hatching duck eggs) take on a very human concept of accepting things it could not change.

    You're jesting.

    This is an explanation of the RELATIONSHIP.

    You're equivocating, Respect. Parasitism is A relationship. What I am explaining is that the human relationship between humans and their animals is NOT parasitic, since parasites do not increase the host's species.

    It is confusing for people who live in a our society to understand that ownership is not always a concept or even a word in their vocabularies.

    That does not matter - it matters that they ACT as owners. Concepts (ideas) do not need to be worded for them to be understood.

    History.com/expedition can give you a better understanding of the difference between owning a car and "ownership" of animals.

    Direct links, please. I refrain myself to go on fishing expeditions just for your sake.


    The right is to be treated

    No, Respect - the caregiver is NOT a slave. You do NOT have a right to be taken care of by a care giver!

    but I think what you sincerely have a problem with is the payment of the health care.

    If you mean in general, I still don't see where the problem lies. An auto mechanic has a right to offer his wares for a fee, so why would a health care giver not have the same right is beyond me - and beyond logic.

    I just do not agree with the libertarian idea of too bad you are sick and tough luck.

    I am sorry you do not agree with it, but certainly things that do not belong to you are not YOURS for the taking. That's just the result of people exercising their right to KEEP their PROPERTY.


    "numbskull?" I am guessing you are over fifty and I will venture to add never had a dog in childhood too.

    I am 41, had 5 dogs in my youth at different times (loved them all) and consider them my property since I held them behind a fence.

    I do not value animals the same way after I matured and learned more about economics - that's why I mentioned the fish, which was my most recent foray into animal ownership. Again, I had neither the time nor the patience to be an impromptu ichthyologist. so I simply got rid of them - they were mine to dispose of them as I saw fit.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Respect,

    Old Mexican, I asked you if you came to your libertarian views by faith because you said "who cares what it took to reach it?" If you do not base your philosophy on logic, then I cannot surmise anything other than faith.

    My view is strictly founded on reason - wouldn't you like to be free? If you do, then freedom maximization would be your goal. If you DON'T like to be free, then enslavement would be your goal.

    [B]ut we agree that early man was in a society at one point and he was free to leave and be as libertarian as he chose right? No government to stop him from doing his own thing?

    Quite possibly.

    What we know for a fact,(since early man)that societies continued to develop independently from each other and they continue till today.

    I do not see your point.

    I think you are neglecting the notion of degree of rights.

    You believe you own rights are a matter of degree, Respect? Who or what determines that degree?

    Animals by law have the right not to be abused but yet child abuse can be defined as not educating a child.

    By law people could be made to have a car in each garage. it is one thing that things are mandated by decree, quite another that the arguments behind such mandates are valid.


    We recognize our dominion over animals but afford them limited rights.

    Well, who's "we"? I certainly do NOT recognize any extraordinary rights on animals that do not belong to ME.

  • ||

    WTF does it mean to "have" natural rights? How do rights exist in nature? The universe doesn't give a fuck about us, so we have a sort of social contract where we try to respect each other for our own good, but that's all man-made. Why can't some of that respect apply to animals? It's just as unnatural as human rights.

  • ||

    But it's not man-made in the sense that someone invented it. It naturally occurred as an understanding between reasoned human beings. Rights can't apply to animals, because animals do not have the faculties of reason to comprehend or respect rights.

  • Robert||

    Rights are just as much an invention as is language. It doesn't have to be invented all at once by a single inventor, nor does it even have to be understood in toto by each of those who participate in inventing it over time. Animals who had no part in the invention of language can learn it and benefit from it; seems the same could apply to at least some of rights.

  • ||

    When you teach an animal the concept of rights, I will treat it as nicely as my mother.

  • ||

    Don't you mean it was invented as an understanding between reasoned human beings?
    I don't think I see anything natural about it. It seems to me to be the greatest invention of all, but what do you mean by "natural"? Inevitable? Correct?

  • ||

    Fine it was an inevitable result of reason. Whichever way you want to put it.

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