Sunday, April 17, 2016

Non-Aggression and Self-Refutation

Non-Aggression and Self-Refutation - George J. Dance, Nolan Chart:

"J.H. Bennett argues that the Non-Aggression Principle, used as a basis for law, is self-refuting, and believers in it must therefore be pacifists. How sound is his argument? 

April 13, 2016 -  "The Non-Aggression Principle, or NAP — the principle that it is morally wrong, and should be legally prohibited, for any person or group to initiate force against any other person or group — has long been central to libertarian political thought. As the Libertarian Party was founded as a political vehicle for libertarian ideas, it is not surprising that NAP also plays a central role in the party’s basic documents.....

"As libertarianism and the Libertarian Party have grown over the years, so has the opposition to both. It is not surprising, then, to find more non-libertarians and anti-libertarians challenging NAP. What is surprising is to find libertarians, and Libertarian Party members, challenging NAP. At least I was surprised to recently read an interview in which Austin Petersen — not merely a Libertarian Party member, but one running for the Party’s presidential nomination — did just that....

"Where did Petersen get such a strange (to my mind) idea of NAP? Fortunately he has a website, The Libertarian Republic; going there, I was able to find an article there by him with the promising title, “The Non Aggression Principle (NAP) Is Pacifist Anarchism, and Should be Scrapped”.... [That]  brought me to a 25-page scholarly article, by J.H. Bennett of Canada’s Simon Fraser University, that indeed argues that “that for adherents of the non-aggression principle, the only consistent position is strict pacifism.”

"Given Petersen’s unqualified endorsement, we must assume that this is his argument as well. So, while the following are Bennett’s arguments rather than Petersen’s, one has to treat them as the same. If Bennett’s argument succeeds, Petersen’s succeeds; and if Bennett’s argument fails, Petersen’s fails."

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