Monday, September 2, 2013

The Non-Aggression Principle

''The Non-Aggression Principle"
by George J. Dance
Nolan Chart, September 1, 2013

"Where libertarians are united is in the realm of ethics: that is, of interpersonal morality, or how we treat one another. What unites them is agreement on a single deontic moral rule, or principle, called the Non-Aggression Principle:
The non-aggression principle (or NAP ...) is a moral stance which asserts that aggression is inherently illegitimate.... Aggression, for the purposes of NAP, is defined as the initiation or threatening of violence against a person or legitimately owned property of another.
"Or in the classic formulation given by atheist libertarian Ayn Rand in her 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged:
Whatever may be open to disagreement, there is one act of evil that may not, the act that no man may commit against others and no man may sanction or forgive. So long as men desire to live together, no man may initiate — do you hear me? no man may start — the use of physical force against others.
"Libertarians use that principle axiomatically, to derive the ethical rules (or maxims) that restrain their conduct: Don’t kill. Don’t hurt. Don'r rape. Don’t enslave. Don’t steal. Don’t lie or cheat. From such maxims derive the notion of human rights. If it is wrong (for any person A) to kill a another person (B), then B has a right to life (with respect to A). If it is wrong for A to enslave B, then B has a right to liberty against A. If it is wrong for A to steal from B, then B has property rights against A."

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