Gladstonian liberalism is the answer

I’m not sure I know the question to which Cosmopolitanism Is the Answer, but whatever the question, it is the wrong answer for me. As it happens, these are things I have lately been thinking about myself having come across another article looking at these same issues but from a very different perspective. And while it is difficult to sort through the various labels one can put on one’s personal ideology, the closest I have been able to come up with for myself is “Gladstonian liberal” which is quite different from “classical liberal”. So let me take you to an article about the naming of things where “classical liberal” is the equivalent of insane while “conservative” represents prudential common sense.

The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivated—for bad reasons as well as good ones—to fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in “depreciating” national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.

Here is the definition of “Gladstonian liberal” from Wikipedia which seems accurate enough for me and is utterly distinct from the “classical” variety as defined above.

Gladstonian liberalism is a political doctrine named after the British Victorian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, William Ewart Gladstone. Gladstonian liberalism consisted of limited government expenditure and low taxation whilst making sure government had balanced budgets and the classical liberal [that phrase again] stress on self-help and freedom of choice. Gladstonian liberalism also emphasised free trade, little government intervention in the economy and equality of opportunity through institutional reform. It is referred to as laissez-faire or classical liberalism in the UK and is often compared to Thatcherism.

It is also the essence of the economics and political philosophy of John Stuart Mill. See his Principles of Political Economy and On Liberty where these things are spelled out.

Personal freedom and personal responsibility within a society of limited government, tolerance and open enquiry guided by an all pervading Judeo-Christian ethic are the core values of Gladstonian liberalism. And to go back to Wikipedia, here is the approach to foreign policy.

In foreign policy, Gladstone was in general against foreign entanglements, but he did not resist the realities of imperialism. For example, he approved of the occupation of Egypt by British forces in 1882. His goal was to create a European order based on co-operation rather than conflict and on mutual trust instead of rivalry and suspicion; the rule of law was to supplant the reign of force and self-interest. This Gladstonian concept of a harmonious Concert of Europe was opposed to and ultimately defeated by a Bismarckian system of manipulated alliances and antagonisms.

Let me therefore go to the last para of the first article discussed above for an interesting and enlightening comparison.

Brexit and Mr. Trump’s rise are the direct result of a quarter-century of classical-liberal hegemony over the parties of the right. Neither Mr. Trump nor the Brexiteers were necessarily seeking a conservative revival. But in placing a renewed nationalism at the center of their politics, they shattered classical liberalism’s grip, paving the way for a return to empiricist conservatism. Once you start trying to understand politics by learning from experience rather than by deducing your views from 17th-century rationalist dogma, you never know what you may end up discovering.

Labels do often get in the way but the core principles should be clear. In the modern world a “Gladstonian liberal” is best described as a conservative. But whatever you want to call the ideology, it is all that at present stands between us and the annihilation of Western civilisation and our way of life.

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225 Responses to Gladstonian liberalism is the answer

  1. Tom

    Once you start trying to understand politics by learning from experience rather than by deducing your views from 17th-century rationalist dogma, you never know what you may end up discovering.

    That is the essence of the Trump doctrine: figuring out what is doable now using American exceptionalism as the philosophical anchor. You can’t understand Trump from an ideological barricade, which is why so many people who fancy themselves as conservatives and/or libertarians are having such trouble: they’re locked into not only ideology, but pre-conceived notions of how a president they would support should behave. In other words, they are cultural snobs wearing metaphorical bow ties. Like Henry Ergas. For them, Trump is too coarse and blue-collar.

    Trump’s presidency is about actually creating wealth for citizens who have been starved of it — a problem largely caused by Big Government. Just look at the effect that rolling back regulation and the promise of tax cuts has had on Wall Street.

    That is why the Marxist left — which is now 90% of the Democratic Party — hates everything Trump says: he really is transferring power from the state to the citizenry, whereas, for the DNC — as it would have been under a Crooked Hillary presidency — the state must be all-powerful and citizenry is a series of interest groups attached to the state teat.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed.

    Which pretty much demonstrates that George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld are liberals in the American sense, ie of the centre left. I’ve long believed that the reason for their invasion of Iraq was to attempt a domino effect on the MENA whereby Iraq would be democratised like post-war Japan and the adjacent countries one by one would then likewise democratise under pressure from their populations, and thus the problem which caused 9/11 would be solved once and for all.

    Unfortunately the pressure from the MENA populations became the Arab Spring which was the opposite of democratisation as the tenets of political Islam were re-established.

    My personal view is that nationalism acts like the compartments of a ship. When an iceberg is hit the compartments allow the flood to be contained. In a politically globalized world there is danger that a toxic ideology will flood open societies and drown them: socialism, islam and environmentalism being three examples. I’m sure there will be more. The human race is endlessly inventive of bad ideas.

  3. Perfidious Albino

    Thanks Steve and +1

    Without wanting to sound trite, in documenting (with references!) your own self-discovery here on the Cat, you help the time poor like me clarify our own thinking.

  4. sfw

    Great post, the mess we are in is a direct result of the elites assuming that all cultures are equally valid and that people are fungible. Anyone not blinded by ideology can see what a load of crap that view is, however the elites and rulers have been captured by it for the past 50 years. Unfortunately the normal average people of the world are the ones who have paid the price.

  5. H B Bear

    Whatever you call it, it is losing the battle of ideas.

  6. Pyrmonter

    Describing Clarke’s or Brown’s fiscal policies, still less the social welfare policies pursued since Wilson, as “classically liberal” does violence to the term on a par with the Marxist SJws and their “words are violence”; its Orwellian

  7. Myrddin Seren

    Great post, the mess we are in is a direct result of the elites assuming that all cultures are equally valid and that people are fungible.

    The ‘Protected Classes’ are called that not just because they tend to enjoy tax-payer funded employment security.

    That also increasingly operate in a bubble disconnected from real world experience – including security guards, high walls, alarms and ‘bollards of peace’.

    It is easy to make grand assumptions about how the Proles might behave sitting behind the cloistered walls of a college, think tank or government department while everyone twirls their bow ties.

    The real world experience of the bulk of Proles outside the Protected Zone begs to differ.

  8. Rafe

    This is Dan Klein on the semantic history of liberalism, deploring the hijacking of the term by socialists in the 20th century.

  9. Rafe

    I found that Klein piece in search of a couple of his papers to send to Steve.

    http://econjwatch.org/articles/model-building-versus-theorizing-the-paucity-of-theory-in-the-journal-of-economic-theory

    This is a survey of political leanings of the faculty in a number of universities in California.

    http://www.criticalreview.com/2004/pdfs/cardiff_klein.pdf

  10. Steve Kates;
    Very interesting piece of work.
    The paragraph about:

    Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

    has really helped my thinking about how the Left thinks of people.
    People are not economic units – they cannot be plugged into different systems willy nilly. They are not faceless proles – they are individuals.
    Thank you.

  11. Tel

    Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed.

    But we did establish democracy in Iraq!

    The Shiites are the majority, and the Shiites took power. That’s exactly and precisely the definition of democracy… rule by majority.

    I think perhaps the confusion is not caused by the classical-liberal foolishness, but by a strange idea that democracy somehow also implies some kind of value system… even more strangely a Western Christian value system. Why would anyone think that?!?

  12. Rafe

    Tel that is one of the definitions of democracy, certainly the most common one and also the most dangerous.

    For Karl Popper democracy is simply a system where the government/rulers can be dismissed or turned over without violence. That may be regarded as a modest aim but in the light of history it is a remarkable achievement where it exists.

    Closely related is the aim of a avoiding tyranny and protecting individuals who are not a part of a ruling majority. So-called democracies in triabal states does not work because it just means the tyranny of the biggest tribe. You could say we are going that way.

    Another principle, mnimising suffering instead of trying to make everyone happy. Given that, things like saying Sorry to groups, the Republic and SSM don’t quality to get onto even a long list of things to do.

    Also having a system that minimises the amount of damage that a bad or incompetent government can do (Hume’s idea). Murphy’s Law rules, what can go wrong, will go wrong. That points to the minimum state.

  13. iampeter

    The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy.

    This is true but I don’t think you’ve stated the classic liberal position on any issue correctly.
    To a classic liberal the function of government is to protect individual rights and nothing else, so “establishing democracy” in another country is simply not a function of government and classic liberals don’t consider that “doable”.

    Also classic liberals don’t conflate immigration, refugees, law & order, domestic and foreign policy into one big confusing mess as Conservatives seem to have done and categorically failed on all fronts because of a lack of clear understanding of any of these issues.

    Classic liberals also don’t fear immigrants from backwards parts of the world because unlike Conservatives they have an actual idea of Western Civilization to offer them, not just more of the same religious, traditionalist collectivism that they were fleeing from in the first place. We know our ideas are superior while Conservatives don’t have any ideas to begin with, just random appeals to supernatural or traditional authority and other nonsense that makes them pretty similar to the very people they don’t think they can integrate.

    In short, a classic liberal government is one that would decisively name and destroy state sponsors of terror, bringing the phenomena of terrorism to an end and not have bloated welfare and regulatory states that are built on the self-sacrificial ethics of that Judeao-Christian ethic Conservatives mistakenly believe the West is about and so wouldn’t be encouraging the wrong types of people to immigrate in the first place, much less have any issues integrating those that do come over into our culture.

    This entire massive issue of “immigrants from the middle east” is only a “thing” as a massive evasion exercise on the part of the Conservative movement which simply has no ideas with which to grasp anything that’s going on or to offer any solutions.

  14. Fisky

    Unfortunately, most classical liberals supported chancellor Merkel’s open borders policies, which have caused crime and welfare spending to skyrocket. They love their Mutti Merkel!

  15. Thanx Steve +1

    iampeter
    #2557273, posted on November 18, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    This entire massive issue of “immigrants from the middle east” is only a “thing” as a massive evasion exercise on the part of the Conservative movement which simply has no ideas with which to grasp anything that’s going on or to offer any solutions.

    We grasp what’s going on and we offer solutions.
    What’s going on is a massive exercise in deconstructing and reconstructing the World order, first by freeing the movement of money and now by freeing up the movement of people.
    Our solution is to be selective in the movement of people by making sure those who arrive will be a net benefit.

  16. Fisky
    #2557282, posted on November 18, 2017 at 12:20 pm
    They love their Mutti Merkel!

    Did you mean MUFTI Merkel?
    Either works just as well.

  17. Bruce of Newcastle

    That’s exactly and precisely the definition of democracy… rule by majority.

    Tel – Only half the definition. The other half is the existence of a Loyal Opposition.
    There is no such thing in MENA lands because by definition the opposition must be heretical.

  18. Boambee John

    Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

    After how many centuries, three, four, African-Americans are still largely unassimilated into American society. Chronic mutual hatred and violence seem to be permanently entrenched.

  19. J.H.

    Yep. I agree. If liberalism does not acknowledge and maintain the Judeo-Christian ethics,morals and traditions of Western Culture…. Then it isn’t really “liberal”.

    Call it “Gladstonian” if you must, as opposed to “Classical”…. As long as we get the Socialists talking about liberalism in any form, we are inhabiting their minds…. and that is a good start. 🙂

  20. Tel

    Classic liberals also don’t fear immigrants from backwards parts of the world because unlike Conservatives they have an actual idea of Western Civilization to offer them, not just more of the same religious, traditionalist collectivism that they were fleeing from in the first place.

    Works fine if you have a method of separating those who are genuinely interested in adopting the values system that built Western Civilization, from those who expect to keep their previous culture from these “backwards parts of the world” without any consideration of where they are going (and oh the free hand outs are also nice).

    So do you have such a method? What would you suggest?

  21. Rafe

    After how many centuries, three, four, African-Americans are still largely unassimilated into American society. Chronic mutual hatred and violence seem to be permanently entrenched.

    The real damage was done by the President Johnson “Great Society” welfare handouts which made bread-winning fathers unnecessary in poor households. The A-As were making good progress in wages after the war and there was an emerging black middleclass which would have been a bridge to the white middleclass.

    Welfare destroyed the black family in a way that even slavery did not.

    On top of welfare was the resurgent left in wake of the Vietnam drama and they recruited blacks as pawns in their game, as they have recruited and exploited every other supposedly disadvantaged group.

  22. Boambee John

    Rafe

    Agree, the left poison everything they touch.

  23. one old bruce

    Rafe. Funny how the same patterns occur among African diaspora, former slaves, in former British colonies:

    “There are about 70,000 fewer fathers than mothers in Trinidad and Tobago.
    The most likely explanation, however, is that many men—based on the 2000 census, about 50,000 males—have fathered children with more than one woman.
    That’s one out of every five Trini fathers. ”

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/More_moms_than_dads-124143539.html

    http://newsday.co.tt/2017/10/30/murders-rise-to-405/

    “Trinidad and TobagoExercise a high degree of caution”
    http://smartraveller.gov.au/Countries/americas/caribbean/Pages/trinidad_and_tobago.aspx

    I have family there. The Indians arrived to replace the liberated slaves, worked hard to build capital by their farming skills. Meanwhile the former slaves generally either live from one day to the next, saving nothing, or get government jobs with good pensions and milk it for all they’re worth. A race of entrepreneurs versus a race of communistic sheep, share the island in about equal numbers. Over a century and a half, the only assimilation is downward when young Indians adopt the gangsta lifestyle. There is no hope based on equality.

  24. Mater

    So do you have such a method? What would you suggest?

    Vet their Facebook page! 😉

  25. .

    Yep. I agree. If liberalism does not acknowledge and maintain the Judeo-Christian ethics,morals and traditions of Western Culture…. Then it isn’t really “liberal”.

    It does by definition. William Belsham defined “libertarian” in word first in a metaphysical debate against strict determinists (“necessitarians”) whilst defending free will, he was born into a family of parsons and he was a whig.

  26. .

    Then again, it (liberalism, classical liberalism, libertarianism) can totally reject religion from an Objectivist point of view. Apart from left wing trolling about her atheism, Ayn Rand and her acolytes were/are friendly to Judeo Christian ethics for the most part and never felt a need to engage in dishonest historical revisionism (outside of awful internal spats).

    Rand herself disliked libertarianism as a movement though.

  27. mh

    The real damage was done by the President Johnson “Great Society” welfare handouts which made bread-winning fathers unnecessary in poor households. The A-As were making good progress in wages after the war and there was an emerging black middleclass which would have been a bridge to the white middleclass.

    The damage was deliberate Rafe.
    LBJ:

    I’ll have them n___s voting Democratic for two hundred years.

  28. hzhousewife

    Welfare destroyed the black family in a way that even slavery did not.

    Welfare destroys families of all kinds.

  29. BorisG

    For Karl Popper democracy is simply a system where the government/rulers can be dismissed or turned over without violence. That may be regarded as a modest aim but in the light of history it is a remarkable achievement where it exists.

    Peoples Republic of China then?

  30. Mr Anderson

    I agree with iampeter

    I don’t think that “classical liberals”, or even libertarians for that matter, are for open borders per se. What’s most important for them are things such as the NAP (Non-aggression principle), property rights, freedom of speech, low/no taxation. Unfettered immigration such as that in the EU results in severe infringments on those rights, especially freedom of speech and taxation (Exhib 1 – Germany).

    What is being termed classical liberal sounds more like American liberal, which to be sure was (on the part of American liberals) a deliberate act of of portrayal.

  31. BorisG

    I don’t think that “classical liberals”, or even libertarians for that matter, are for open borders per se.

    You are probably not intimately familiar with the “classical liberal”, or libertarian movement in Australia. They are actually split on this issue, but the majority position is that free immigration is good. You can see on this site the views of dot and Sinc to name a couple. If you ask them about German experience, they will say that the problems are because of welfare, not because of immigration per se.

    However impeter is right that democratisation of the world is not part of their platform, and many of them (such as John Humphreys) were opposed to the Iraq War on the cost/benefit analysis.

  32. .

    I don’t think that “classical liberals”, or even libertarians for that matter, are for open borders per se.

    Correct. The US and Canada have an open border and virtually no issues yet the Israeli Wall has saved many lives and even blunted the provocations for all out war that the Islamists want.

  33. BorisG

    dot, has your position changed over the years? You used to be the most vocal proponent of open borders, and not just between US and Canada.

  34. .

    I don’t think I have Boris.

    I can’t remember saying Israel ought to do otherwise though.

  35. .

    Boris

    Remember when I said, “12,000 extra refugees is actually nothing compared to what we already take in and waste money on anyway…”

    That caused all sorts of conniptions because I refused to incant “every Muslim is a potential terrorist”, because I reject feminist (Marxist) logic.

  36. Fisky

    I agree with iampeter

    I don’t think that “classical liberals”, or even libertarians for that matter, are for open borders per se.

    Very sorry to have to break this to you, Mr Anderson, but Iampeter is an open borders supporter. He believes that all borders are immoral.

    Sadly, this is a mainstream position within the leftist “libertarian” movement. Just look at Pyrmonter, another Merkelian “libertarian” who loves bringing in millions of Muslim refugees.

  37. BorisG

    Iampeter is an open borders supporter

    Well his own comment suggests otherwise.

  38. classical_hero

    Tel, I think we call it extreme vetting

  39. iampeter

    What’s going on is a massive exercise in deconstructing and reconstructing the World order, first by freeing the movement of money and now by freeing up the movement of people.
    Our solution is to be selective in the movement of people by making sure those who arrive will be a net benefit.

    I get that this or some variant of it is the general position of Conservatives today, but what you don’t get is that it makes you a complete leftist. Only a central-planning, collectivist could’ve written something like this. This is what I mean when I say conservatives don’t really have any ideas, as you guys just sound like leftists without even realizing it.

    So do you have such a method? What would you suggest?

    What I’m suggesting is that classic liberals don’t believe that it is a function of government to determine or enforce any kind of value system on anyone. The governments only job is to protect individual rights. I mean if we had a government doing as you suggest, what would we do with the 40% of Australians who think the state should be involved in marriage? Deport them to the Middle East where they belong?

    “Immigration” simply is not the cause or solution of any problems, but is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt.

    If you want an end to terrorism then you should support the foreign policy and military action required to destroy state sponsors of terror.
    If you want an end to freeloaders coming into the country, then you should oppose the welfare and regulatory state.
    etc.

    Conservatives don’t have any clear positions on any of these issues and rather than facing up to their complete lack of ideology are erecting straw-men like “open borders” to knock down and to keep pretending they are having political discourse when they are really avoiding serious politics like the plague, because they don’t know anything about it.

  40. Aristogeiton

    [A] quarter-century of classical-liberal hegemony over the parties of the right

    I wish.

  41. Rafe Champion

    For Karl Popper democracy is simply a system where the government/rulers can be dismissed or turned over without violence. That may be regarded as a modest aim but in the light of history it is a remarkable achievement where it exists.

    Peoples Republic of China then?

    Boris, your point is….?

  42. .

    [A] quarter-century of classical-liberal hegemony over the parties of the right

    Sounds great. Must have been when Loki usurped Asgard.

  43. iampeter
    #2557770, posted on November 19, 2017 at 7:22 am

    What’s going on is a massive exercise in deconstructing and reconstructing the World order, first by freeing the movement of money and now by freeing up the movement of people.
    Our solution is to be selective in the movement of people by making sure those who arrive will be a net benefit.

    I get that this or some variant of it is the general position of Conservatives today, but what you don’t get is that it makes you a complete leftist. Only a central-planning, collectivist could’ve written something like this. This is what I mean when I say conservatives don’t really have any ideas, as you guys just sound like leftists without even realizing it.

    Having a cogent immigration policy is now leftist and collectivist, and all because you said so.

  44. iampeter

    Having a cogent immigration policy is now leftist and collectivist, and all because you said so.

    Not because I said so, but because what you put forward was a leftist and collectivist immigration policy.

    To be right wing is to advocate for a rights protecting government, not rights violating and collectivist, regulation of “movement of people” by having some central committee determine their “net benefit”.
    Do you really not see how collectivist and therefore left wing that is?

    It’s like if you had said “nationalizing businesses is a cogent economics policy but I guess it makes me a leftist because you said so.”

    No, it makes you a leftist because you are espousing leftist ideas.

  45. mh

    iampeter:

    In short, a classic liberal government is one that would decisively name and destroy state sponsors of terror, bringing the phenomena of terrorism to an end

    Day 1 of classic liberal government: End terror
    Day2 …..

  46. Fisky

    Not because I said so, but because what you put forward was a leftist and collectivist immigration policy.

    But I think as a Merkelian libertarian, your immigration policy is the most left-wing of all, Iampeter.

  47. iampeter

    But I think as a Merkelian libertarian, your immigration policy is the most left-wing of all, Iampeter.

    But you don’t know what “left wing” means, or “right wing” or anything at all about politics.

    As you said in another thread a while back “yes, I do know what politics is – it’s what people can grab at any given time, using whatever justification suits. No one cares about your “rights”. They are meaningless.”

    It’s no different to what any power-lusting, totalitarian and leftist believes, just without any coherent ideology. You just have no idea what you’re saying.

    So it doesn’t really matter what you “think”, since you don’t know anything about the topics that are under discussion here.

  48. Fisky

    It’s quite telling how Iampeter is trying to change the subject, now that his desire for bringing in millions of Muslim migrants has been exposed. Beep boop!

  49. mh

    BILLIONAIRE retailer Gerry Harvey has predicted Australia will become an “Asian country” with a population of 100 million in the next century, saying there is “not a chance in hell” immigration can be dialled back.

    I wonder what type of liberal Gerry is? Australia has control of it’s borders, yet it is “inevitable” that we will have 100 million mostly Asian people living here.

  50. His arguments really are terrible. Terrible. He really thinks foreigners have the right to enter our territory whether we like it or not and that any principled opposition to this constitutes collectivism! Beep boop.

  51. hzhousewife

    One million newbies a year, every year, for one hundred years eh? That’s a lot of Centrelink staff !!

  52. Fisky

    Gerry Harvey wants to ban the internet while opening the borders. His business is failing horribly!

  53. Mater

    BorisG
    #2557723, posted on November 19, 2017 at 3:25 am

    Iampeter is an open borders supporter

    Well his own comment suggests otherwise.

    Really?

    iampeter
    #2309070, posted on February 26, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    So the right to immigrate to any country you chose, is now an inalienable right?

    Well yea. “Rights” are the freedom to think and act. That includes immigrating to where you’ve decided to immigrate.

    Unless someone has violated individual rights (ie is a criminal) the state has no rights to restrict them. Unless of course you don’t support an individual rights-protecting government.

  54. mh

    His arguments really are terrible. Terrible. He really thinks foreigners have the right to enter our territory whether we like it or not and that any principled opposition to this constitutes collectivism! Beep boop.

    Are you referring to iampeter or Gerry Harvey?

  55. Combine Dave

    Fisky
    #2558087, posted on November 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm
    Gerry Harvey wants to ban the internet while opening the borders. His business is failing horribly!

    This is diametrically opposed to the national interest and the well-being of the Australian people.

    Probably already part of the Turnbull Coalition Teams policy platform!

  56. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    In short, a classic liberal government is one that would decisively name and destroy state sponsors of terror, bringing the phenomena of terrorism to an end

    This is one of the more hilarious things ever typed.

    What would you do about cancer and heart disease?

  57. Combine Dave

    BILLIONAIRE retailer Gerry Harvey has predicted Australia will become an “Asian country” with a population of 100 million in the next century, saying there is “not a chance in hell” immigration can be dialled back.

    I wonder what type of liberal Gerry is? Australia has control of it’s borders, yet it is “inevitable” that we will have 100 million mostly Asian people living here.

    As you’re probably already aware of from context he means Asian in the vote people, Islamist sense.

  58. mh

    Former, mh.

    In that case, I will say Gerry Harvey’s arguments are terrible. Terrible.

    Mr Harvey said immigration and population growth were impossible to control.
    “The problem is you can’t control it,” he said. “The rest of the world at some stage is not going to let you control it. Sometimes when you smell the inevitable you’ve got to go along with it.

    “You’re going to come under immense pressure, it may be like boat people coming in huge numbers. It’s a utopian idea that some people have, in a lot of ways I can see the worth of it, but will you ever be able to hold it to some number under 25 to 30 million? Not a chance in hell.
    “It was obvious to me [since] university. Australia is going to become an Asian country, 100 per cent for sure. It’s just a matter of when. You might have close to four billion Asians in the world, where do you think they’re going to live?”

    Asia?
    And the reason that immigration levels jumped up to 300,000 per year is because Prime Minister Kevin Rudd decided. There was nothing inevitable, it was Australian government policy.

  59. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Gerry Harvey wants to ban the internet while opening the borders. His business is failing horribly!

    Gerry was warning Amazon not to start trading before Xmas the other day!

    The AFR did a wonderful piece on his failing business recently. Poor old Harvey Norman will be closed inside 5 years.

  60. Combine Dave

    To be right wing is to advocate for a rights protecting government, not rights violating and collectivist, regulation of “movement of people” by having some central committee determine their “net benefit”.

    This is 100% true.

    The last thing Australia needs is a central bureaucracy (likely made up of ALP fellow travellers and open borders loons) deciding who can enter Australia, opening the gates to ‘veterans’ of the Syrian civil war.

    Instead the decision on who may enter should be determined by the democratic and free Australian people.

    It’s the only true libertarian way.

    Let’s see what they want.

    The people have spoken
    .

  61. mh

    Instead the decision on who may enter should be determined by the democratic and free Australian people.

    It’s the only true libertarian way.

    Let’s see what they want.

    The people have spoken.

    I think you have just lost iampeter!

  62. JC

    Gerry was warning Amazon not to start trading before Xmas the other day!

    The AFR did a wonderful piece on his failing business recently. Poor old Harvey Norman will be closed inside 5 years.

    Last time I went into his store was about 7 years ago and a vowed I would never do it again, especially after the arsehole began peddling GST on privately imported goods. The stores are run like you would think government stores in the Soviet Union were. You go though all this rigmarole of paperwork, payment etc before you can buy something.

    The up market stores (Space) through which he sells high quality imported European furniture are are about 50% over the vig and you can buy the same stuff from grey market suppliers. He tried to sue one grey market supplier about 10 years ago and lost the case 🙂 The prick.

    To top it off his ads have now become even more annoying that Frank Walker from National Times. He keeps advertising how beautiful the Springcvale stores is… the most beautiful in the country, he reckons. This stupid fucking ad has been playing over and over again on he radio for the past three years. No doubt he’s hit the sound waves because dickweed is worried about Amazon moving in. Fuck Harvey and fuck his stores. Hope they all go bust.

  63. .

    AMZN is going to give Australian retail and customer service the rocket up its arse it needs.

    Dave – I take poll nos at face value, but Salt and Birrell? If you want pure democracy then you want gay marriage too, with no reservations.

  64. You guys just don’t know how sweet Amazon is until you’ve lived in somewhere like NYC. Two-day free delivery. Oh my.

  65. Combine Dave

    AMZN is going to give Australian retail and customer service the rocket up its arse it needs.

    Dave – I take poll nos at face value, but Salt and Birrell? If you want pure democracy then you want gay marriage too, with no reservations

    If Turnbull were to introduce SSM, an Islamist travel ban, and reintroduce capital punishment as the people desire, his re-election would be assured!

  66. iampeter

    It’s quite telling how Iampeter is trying to change the subject, now that his desire for bringing in millions of Muslim migrants has been exposed. Beep boop!

    What do you mean “change the subject”? I’m responding directly to your post where you’ve made an unsupported assertion as usual (i.e. called me a leftist but didn’t explain why you think that). In response I pointed out that you, in fact, are the leftist by providing one of your quotes which is no different to what many lefties believe. That’s not “changing the subject”, that’s just wiping the floor with you as usual because you know nothing about politics but spend plenty of time on a political blog for some reason.

    His arguments really are terrible. Terrible. He really thinks foreigners have the right to enter our territory whether we like it or not and that any principled opposition to this constitutes collectivism! Beep boop.

    Well as one of those whose arguments amount to “beep boop” after one or two posts, you would know all about “terrible arguments” I guess.

    It’s interesting that the Cat has a much older crowd than your typical leftist university group, but said crowd knows far less about politics or even how the world works and resorts to ad hominems quicker than clueless teenagers too.

    It’s pretty embarrassing and endlessly funny.

  67. iampeter

    This is one of the more hilarious things ever typed.
    What would you do about cancer and heart disease?

    I know rite!

    If only we had SMART people like you during WW2 to stop Churchill and FDR from such crazy ideas as defeating enemies that had declared war on us.

    LOL!

  68. Infidel Tiger

    So tell us who you would take out and how you would do it?

  69. .

    If Turnbull were to introduce SSM, an Islamist travel ban, and reintroduce capital punishment as the people desire, his re-election would be assured!

    Didn’t work for Hewson…poor guy went nuts!

  70. Fisky

    What do you mean “change the subject”? I’m responding directly to your post where you’ve made an unsupported assertion as usual (i.e. called me a leftist but didn’t explain why you think that).

    But I did explain why you are a Leftist – you support the same open borders policies that Leftists are trying to impose, and you accuse open borders opponents of racism. This is exactly the Leftist playbook.

    Also your bait-and-switch on SSM is another sign that you are a Leftist “libertarian”.

  71. Combine Dave

    This is one of the more hilarious things ever typed.
    What would you do about cancer and heart disease?

    I know rite!

    If only we had SMART people like you during WW2 to stop Churchill and FDR from such crazy ideas as defeating enemies that had declared war on us.

    LOL!

    Regime changing war in the middle east coupled with a welcome refugees open border policy?

    What could go wrong?

  72. iampeter

    But I did explain why you are a Leftist – you support the same open borders policies that Leftists are trying to impose, and you accuse open borders opponents of racism. This is exactly the Leftist playbook.

    Also your bait-and-switch on SSM is another sign that you are a Leftist “libertarian”.

    I support individual rights and a rights protecting government, that makes me right wing, not left.

    Your beliefs that politics is about competing gangs, trying to get whatever they can by whatever means necessary, makes you a pretty full-on leftist and one of the viler, more nihilistic types too.

  73. Combine Dave

    If Turnbull were to introduce SSM, an Islamist travel ban, and reintroduce capital punishment as the people desire, his re-election would be assured!

    Didn’t work for Hewson…poor guy went nuts!

    That is the fate of all liberal cucks.

    Turnbull will reach this point shortly.

  74. Fisky

    I support individual rights and a rights protecting government, that makes me right wing, not left.

    I see. And it is a sheer coincidence that the phony “rights” you are most passionate about line up 100% with Leftist agenda. You don’t fool anyone, Iampeter!

  75. iampeter

    It lines up 0% with the leftist agenda. You’re using words like “leftist” but you don’t know what they mean.

    You’re the leftist, but you don’t understand what you’re saying so you’re oblivious to it.

  76. Fisky

    But Iampeter, you might have noticed that the Left are at least as passionate about open borders and gay marriage as you are. The only difference is the Left have an actual strategy for pushing these causes, and people like you are ancillary to that strategy – useful idiots!

  77. iampeter

    But Iampeter, you might have noticed that the Left are at least as passionate about open borders and gay marriage as you are. The only difference is the Left have an actual strategy for pushing these causes, and people like you are ancillary to that strategy – useful idiots!

    You’re wrong and on multiple levels too.
    Anti-immigrant policies originate with the labor movement.
    Labor party has also historically being anti-SSM.
    Having said that, “the left” is not one monolithic entity and is full of those competing gangs you love so much.
    Some leftists (labor) oppose open borders.
    Some leftists (multiculturalists) support open border.
    Some leftists (SJW’s) support SSM while other leftists and labor voters as we saw from the stats clearly don’t.
    What makes them “leftist” is the fact that they are collectivist and so are you.
    Except you’re the very worst kind.
    Unlike the examples above who are wrong and should be opposed at least they have some end goal they are trying to achieve but you believe in nothing. You have no ideas, no ideology and no principles. In your own words you literally view politics as competing gangs and everything else be damned.
    You haven’t the slightest idea what it means to be an individualist and actual right winger.

    It’s hard to put into words your sheer ignorance.

    It is you who is the quintessential “useful idiot”, advancing the cause of leftism while all the while utterly oblivious to it because you know absolutely nothing about politics.

  78. Infidel Tiger

    It is you who is the quintessential “useful idiot”, advancing the cause of leftism while all the while utterly oblivious to it because you know absolutely nothing about politics.

    Tell us how you are going to roll back the welfare state, political genius?

    Tell us as simply as you can how you will defeat terrorism?

    All this stuff sounds a doddle. Take as long as you want to answer. I’m sure it is somewhere in the text book.

  79. Fisky

    You’re wrong and on multiple levels too.
    Anti-immigrant policies originate with the labor movement.

    That labour movement was long usurped by Leftist SJWs like you, Iampeter, who want to bring in millions of welfare dependent Muslims with the specific purpose of electing Labor governments forever. Very strange for a “libertarian” to be helping them Iampeter!

  80. Empire

    iampeter

    Serious question: do you support a complete repeal of all the laws in Australia that restrict and regulate the ownership of firearms?

  81. iampeter

    Tell us how you are going to roll back the welfare state, political genius?
    Tell us as simply as you can how you will defeat terrorism?

    Wait, do you oppose repealing the welfare state and defeating terrorism?
    Conservatives talking politics at The Cat: “durr repeal welfare? Defeat terrorists, wha…? You mean dere is something other than rights violating, big government that we never talk about? Nah, you leftist!”

    That labour movement was long usurped by Leftist SJWs like you, Iampeter, who want to bring in millions of welfare dependent Muslims with the specific purpose of electing Labor governments forever. Very strange for a “libertarian” to be helping them Iampeter!

    Dude, nothing you say makes any sense to those of us who know the basics because you don’t know what any of the words you’re using mean. Just go back to posting “beep boop!” before you hurt yourself by thinking too hard.

    Serious question: do you support a complete repeal of all the laws in Australia that restrict and regulate the ownership of firearms?

    Serious answer: Yes. Owning a firearm is not a rights violation and so there should be no role for the government.

  82. iampeter

    I would also add Empire, it was the Conservative Howard government in Australia that actually instigated a forced gun buy back in 1996.

    But apparently they’re not leftists.

  83. iampeter

    Oh and they did that by a medicare levi.

    I.e. they forced us to pay for buying our own guns away from us.

    They’re not leftists though!

  84. Infidel Tiger

    Wait, do you oppose repealing the welfare state and defeating terrorism?
    Conservatives talking politics at The Cat: “durr repeal welfare? Defeat terrorists, wha…? You mean dere is something other than rights violating, big government that we never talk about? Nah, you leftist!”

    C’mon. Explain how you would do it. Walk us through this step by step.

    Life isnt one of your sacred textbooks, dude. You are cliche spouting ponce.

  85. Infidel Tiger

    But apparently they’re not leftists.

    Howard was an appalling big government leftist.

  86. .

    Sinclair ought to do a series on dismantling the welfare state in the Australian context.

    People lacking economic literacy would fail to appreciate how socialism robs the indigent of jobs and squeezes their cost of living.

    Given the numbers in Parliament, it would be a lot easier than most people may think.

    I’m sure I’ve seen a few think tanks give some thought to it here and there.

    We shouldn’t be too hard on anyone with such an idea; “Oh that’s not the real world”, well neither is government, the real world is downstream of its actions and influence.

  87. Infidel Tiger

    Everyone of sound mind wants to get rid of welfare, but how are you going to do it?

    Half the population rely on it for their next meal. You can clip the edges but that bloated genie ain’t getting back in the bottle without a civil war.

  88. Fisky

    There is no prospect of abolishing the welfare state. None. Certainly not in a democracy like this one.

  89. Infidel Tiger

    Tony Abbott was kicked out of office for proposing a $6 copayment and now we are talking about getting rid of unemployment benefits, DSP, the aged pension and Medicare as if it just requires a bill the Senate will agree on.

  90. JC

    Infidel Tiger
    #2558668, posted on November 20, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Everyone of sound mind wants to get rid of welfare, but how are you going to do it?

    Half the population rely on it for their next meal. You can clip the edges but that bloated genie ain’t getting back in the bottle without a civil war.
    Fisky
    #2558670, posted on November 20, 2017 at 12:04 am

    There is no prospect of abolishing the welfare state. None. Certainly not in a democracy like this one.

    Greece is reversing lots of their welfare. I think, it was Fisk that proposed the Right run up deficits Everest high until the left can’t spend money anymore. It’s not a bad idea, but I also think you should run them up to promote some sort of currency crisis and then we could cut back. The Right’s deficits should be spent on project though – not recurring welfare bullshit.

  91. .

    Maybe you are right Fisk but our democracy is inclined to systemic conservatism.

    If you or another Cat were elected British PM in 1979 with a sizeable majority in the commons – well, where would you stop? The Lords can only really delay bills and they have five-year Parliamentary terms.

  92. Fisky

    Right. Back to the country we were actually discussing, which is Australia – no, there is no prospect of abolishing the welfare state. It’s not going to happen.

  93. JC

    There are also other ways to skin a cat. The young’s huge grip is that they can’t access affordable housing and they really do have a point. Pit the young against the older folk on this very issue. Run a large part of the campaign on promising to lower the cost of housing. Once they see you are doing that a decent portion of the young will vote for you, I think. They will also like to see welfare trimmed once they have a mortgage.

  94. Fisky

    Greece is reversing lots of their welfare. I think, it was Fisk that proposed the Right run up deficits Everest high until the left can’t spend money anymore. It’s not a bad idea, but I also think you should run them up to promote some sort of currency crisis and then we could cut back. The Right’s deficits should be spent on project though – not recurring welfare bullshit.

    Greece doesn’t have a choice in the matter – they’ve lost their wealth and economic sovereignty.

  95. Fisky

    The other good thing about running up massive deficits and blowing them on infrastructure, is it will force the RBA to jack up interest rates, which might prick the housing bubble and cause an overdue crash.

  96. JC

    Greece doesn’t have a choice in the matter – they’ve lost their wealth and economic sovereignty.

    They don’t have a choice because they had a crisis, as the debt level got to big and the bond market closed up for them. We would not have the same crisis, but it would be felt on the currency side with the Aussie being sold to bargain basement levels and our import prices would spike much higher.

  97. Fisky

    Our interest bill might be a worry too. But anyways, that’s Labor’s problem to solve in government. Cutting personal taxes to almost nothing while blowing an extra hundred billion a year on bridges, that’s the kind of political circuit breaker we need.

  98. JC

    Cutting personal taxes to almost nothing while blowing an extra hundred billion a year on bridges, that’s the kind of political circuit breaker we need.

    The tax angle works too. Couple that with an undertaking to lower the cost of housing to manageable levels. Threaten the states with serious financial reprecussions if they don’t reduce code and taxes on house buying and construction. Talk about it like it was a state of emergency. The youngins would like that I think.

  99. .

    It is a terrible idea because your political opponents lack full rationality. The ALP would double down on it and engage in QE to fund it. Cue “modern monetary theory” and here we come the Australian peso and total collapse of the banking sector, depositors funds and your currency. The Greens are growing more influential and there is a high probability that future ALP governments will be ALP-GRN alliances.

    MMT is the black death of economic theories and the left love it. It is more popular the more lunar the lefty.

    The only ALP Treasurer I know of that paid off public debt was Michael Egan.

  100. BorisG

    Last time I went into his store was about 7 years ago and a vowed I would never do it again,

    I often buy electronics form HN. Maybe slightly more expensive than online (if at all) but less hassle. and you see what you buy.

    Service in our Malaga store is fine.

  101. Well as one of those whose arguments amount to “beep boop” after one or two posts, you would know all about “terrible arguments” I guess.

    It’s interesting that the Cat has a much older crowd than your typical leftist university group, but said crowd knows far less about politics or even how the world works and resorts to ad hominems quicker than clueless teenagers too.

    Iampeter, the tragedy is that, not only are you clueless about the how the world works, you are entirely clueless about political philosophy. You are a know-thing with a political pamphlet in your vest pocket and everything you say is simply a response from the pamphlet. You have no capacity to work through a problem beginning from first principles, and no ability to revise those principles if they lead to absurd conclusions. You are an ideologue without the faintest awareness that you are one, and therefore, painfully unaware of the limits of your ideology. BTW, you have business accusing people of spouting ad hominens when you are accusing people of Leftism or collectivism.

  102. BorisG

    what you guys on both sides lack is respect. My political position is closer to Iampter’s but unlike him I respect conservatives and leftists alike. I have conservative friends and leftist friends and happen to respect them, while trying gently to inform them of the classical liberal position.

  103. Boris, stop being a terrible bore. I have plenty of time for philosophical or political opponents, and I gave Iampeter plenty of opportunity to rise to the occasion, but he is completely deaf to his interlocutors.

  104. iampeter

    Everyone of sound mind wants to get rid of welfare, but how are you going to do it?

    Half the population rely on it for their next meal. You can clip the edges but that bloated genie ain’t getting back in the bottle without a civil war.

    I guess it’s all over then. Why do you spend so much time and get so worked up on a political blog since you don’t believe in anything that is different to leftists anyway?

    Also your question is kinda hilarious. Have you tried applying it to other areas outside of politics to see how silly you sound? Let’s try that…

    “Everyone in their sound mind wants to support their family, not abuse their kids or sleep around with randoms, but HOW DOES ONE DO THAT?!”
    Or
    “C’mon explain how you would lead a gainfully employed life instead of a life of petty crime to feed your drug habit. Walk us through this STEP BY STEP!!!”
    Or
    “Tell us as simply as you can, how you propose to not lie cheat and steal as a means of living your life but be an honest and productive member of society instead. All this sounds A DODDLE! I’m sure its in a textbook SOMEWHERE!”

    You keep talking about fundamental right-wing positions as if they are a fantasy, but why is that? Is it because you don’t know enough to be able to coherently support them?

    The answer to your question is: any number of “hows” are there for discussion, but if you are talking about anything other than fighting for a rights protecting government, then whatever you are talking about is either not politics or not right-wing politics.

  105. iampeter

    Boris, stop being a terrible bore. I have plenty of time for philosophical or political opponents, and I gave Iampeter plenty of opportunity to rise to the occasion, but he is completely deaf to his interlocutors.

    LOL shuddup Dover. You don’t know anything about philosophy or politics and so aren’t in a position to “have plenty of time” for anyone. Also “no u!” is not a response.

    Your silliness is making me choke on my morning coffee, please stop.

  106. Combine Dave

    Fisky
    #2558536, posted on November 19, 2017 at 9:03 pm
    You’re wrong and on multiple levels too.
    Anti-immigrant policies originate with the labor movement.

    That labour movement was long usurped by Leftist SJWs like you, Iampeter, who want to bring in millions of welfare dependent Muslims with the specific purpose of electing Labor governments forever. Very strange for a “libertarian” to be helping them Iampeter

    Actually on this specific point you’re both right.

    That’s why we have such gems as the ALP resolving to halve immigration (from the skilled and investor intakes) while also simultaneously promising to triple the refugee intake.

    Keeps both the ‘they took our jerbs’ and refugees welcome crowd happy and ensure a steady stream of future ALP voters.

    (Bob Carr was out spruiking this for weeks but other fellow travellers are on board now)

    Cognitive dissonance?

  107. a rights protecting government

    Do you have a coherent theory of rights? What are they grounded in?

  108. A Lurker

    I wonder if the supporters of open borders apply their ideology and worldview to their own property? Do they have an unfenced yard and maintain an open and unlocked door and windows to their house? Do they leave their keys in their unlocked car?

    Of course not, because supposedly they believe in private property rights and it would be unwise and foolish to allow unrestricted entry to one’s property, after all anyone could wander in and pinch your best silverware, wreck the joint, or even worse, claim your house as their home, and change the locks on you.

    One could argue that restricting entry into a nation’s borders is the same as restricting entry into a private residence. All citizens possess a type of ownership of their own country, after all it is their home, and keeping the door locked against casual entry is eminently sensible for both country and home alike.

  109. iampeter

    what you guys on both sides lack is respect. My political position is closer to Iampter’s but unlike him I respect conservatives and leftists alike. I have conservative friends and leftist friends and happen to respect them, while trying gently to inform them of the classical liberal position.

    The thing is I understand respecting leftists, because as wrong as they might be at least the smarter ones have a coherent ideology and are trying to achieve some kind of outcome, even if we disagree with it.
    Conservatives on the other hand, have no principles, no coherent political ideology and no endgame.
    When was the last time you read a smarter Conservative like Mark Steyn or Ben Shapiro write about individual rights or rights protecting government or even mention capitalism? And when they do mention capitalism its very halfhearted and unpersuasive because its impossible to make a proper case for it without reference to rights and rights protecting government, which are concepts they don’t grasp.

    Because of this, they always end up implementing the leftist agenda and often unintentionally sound like the very socialists they claim to be opposing.

    Then factor in the more crazier, religious/traditionalists wing of the Conservative movement and you can imagine how many otherwise good people are pushed into the arms of the “the left”, terrified of the prospect that Conservatism represents an alternative. For example, I think this is why Silicon Valley is so overwhelmingly Democrat. If you don’t know anything about politics and you look at these two movements, both of them are big government and left wing that want to regulate you, but one sides presidential candidates don’t believe in evolution to a man. Holy smokes.

    So I think not only do Conservatives not have a coherent enough set of ideas to be in politics in the first place, they do enormous damage to the political discourse overall and deserve absolutely no respect.

    Conservatives are to politics what Keynesian’s are to economics or what alchemists are to chemistry, they are just incompetent, have zero grasp of the fundamentals and have no business talking about the subject.

  110. Empire GTHO Phase III

    I would also add Empire, it was the Conservative Howard government in Australia that actually instigated a forced gun buy back in 1996.

    But apparently they’re not leftists.

    Gee, I didn’t know that. Thanks for learning me.

    I’ve been laying the boots in to the Chief Library Monitor on this blog for years because I don’t like his eyebrows.

  111. Empire GTHO Phase III

    LOL shuddup Dover. You don’t know anything about philosophy or politics and so aren’t in a position to “have plenty of time” for anyone. Also “no u!” is not a response.

    Your silliness is making me choke on my morning coffee, please stop.

    This could get entertaining.

  112. iampeter launches into a spittle-flecked diatribe about conservatives because he has no coherent theory of ‘rights’ or what they might be grounded in. I would have thought it was a fairly straightforward request to ask of someone that purports to be principled and in position of a coherent ideology to simply let us know what these rights are grounded in, but alas, no.

  113. .

    No dover, his criticisms are valid. They are not “spittle-flecked” and you should lay off the hyperbole.

    If he doesn’t have a theory of rights, so what? Utilitarianism is good enough. You don’t need to have a theory of rights to argue you have rights at all. Would you want an appeals court stripping your rights away because the prosecution knew more about Alenikoff, Goldstein or Bentham?

    The proportion of the population who could robustly argue a thesis over what rights they have and please religious conservatives and libertarians let alone any other less compatible ideology could fill up a comments section on a less popular post on this blog.

    Utilitarianism is good enough. Voting conservative has been counterproductive for at least 40 years in this country.

  114. Dot, he doesn’t need you to chaperon him. Utilitarianism is certainly not good enough, certainly not for Bentham who called rights ‘nonsense on stilts’, nor for contemporary utilitarians like Singer who considers them nothing more than a ‘convenient political shorthand’.

    If he doesn’t want answer the grounding question he can answer why citizens are not permitted to bar entry to foreigners if they so chose. Or what possible right of entry can they have to a foreign country? He’s never answered either but waxes lyrical that both positions amount to collectivism.

  115. Infidel Tiger

    Iampeter should be banned for refusing to answer questions.

    He is no better than Srr.

  116. Tel

    If only we had SMART people like you during WW2 to stop Churchill and FDR from such crazy ideas as defeating enemies that had declared war on us.

    Just a reminder, it was Chamberlain who formally declared war on Germany, not the other way around.

    That said, Germany did break the treaty, so they probably had reasons to EXPECT a declaration of war, but the actual declaration came from the UK.

  117. Mater

    Iampeter,
    Whilst some of the ’causes’ of the left could be considered worthy and noble (Eg. World peace), their great weakness is that their utopian dreams (and the manner in which they plan to achieve them) almost always fail to consider human nature. So instead of adjusting their idealogy and methods to account for this, they attempt to alter and/or control the human element. Terrible outcomes are generally the result.
    I don’t believe you to be of the left, but perhaps you suffer a similar issue.
    Honest question. What if it was absolutely evident that blocking immigration/refugees was the only effective way to protect the rights of the Australia population (safety, property, etc). You know, borders-not-bollards type of thing. Would it change your view on open borders?

  118. mh

    Interesting thoughts from conservative Pat Buchanan on the crown prince of Saudi Arabia

    Reining in the Rogue Royal of Arabia

  119. Fisky

    So instead of adjusting their idealogy and methods to account for this, they attempt to alter and/or control the human element. Terrible outcomes are generally the result.

    The libertarian movement suffers from the same character flaw as the Left. When their ideology fails, they blame reality, rather than adjusting their ideology.

    It’s sort of why libertarianism must be understood as auxiliary to the Left – wheeled out when the Left needs them, but then promptly put back in their box.

  120. iampeter

    Iampeter should be banned for refusing to answer questions.

    He is no better than Srr.

    Nah, you’re not getting it.
    The answer to “how” we get rid of welfare is: “who cares”. We’re not debating some technical disagreement about this or that piece of legislation, we’re talking about what a government should and should not do and why. This topic is called “politics”.

    But as I said a few times, reading Conservatives has left you utterly unequipped for that sort of conversation and you have no clear position as to what a government should or shouldn’t do and why.

    The fact that you are blown away by the suggestion that we shouldn’t have a welfare state or that we should be destroying state sponsors of terror and that someone actually thinks that this should be what constitutes political discourse is a show stopping problem.

    You need to get a political ideology first, which Conservatism can’t provide you with, only THEN do you need to worry about the how’s of government.

    A lack of coherent ideology is why Conservatives can’t oppose the left and unintentionally advance the lefts agenda.

  121. .

    It’s sort of why libertarianism must be understood as auxiliary to the Left – wheeled out when the Left needs them, but then promptly put back in their box.

    This from a guy who thinks John Howard was the best of all possible worlds.

  122. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    Nah, you’re not getting it.
    The answer to “how” we get rid of welfare is: “who cares”. We’re not debating some technical disagreement about this or that piece of legislation, we’re talking about what a government should and should not do and why. This topic is called “politics”.

    Bwahaha!

    You’re an autistic clown.

  123. iampeter

    Lol, you’re a grown man who knows nothing about politics but spends his time spewing ad hominems across multiple accounts on political blogs for some reason.

    What a weirdo.

  124. You need to get a political ideology first, which Conservatism can’t provide you with, only THEN do you need to worry about the how’s of government.

    A lack of coherent ideology is why Conservatives can’t oppose the left and unintentionally advance the lefts agenda.

    Can you explain to us what grounds rights in your ideology? This would seem to be a straightforward question for a political ideology that has rights at its centre.

  125. Fisky

    Dover, Iampeter has said that we get our inalienable rights from the state, not from God.

    So he’s a statist in other words.

  126. Dover, Iampeter has said that we get our inalienable rights from the state, not from God.

    So he’s a statist in other words.

    Wait, what!?! He said that our rights are grounded in the state. How could they be inalienable? Does he even understand what that word means? I can understand why he doesn’t want to discuss this embarrassing situation.

  127. iampeter

    Wait, what!?! He said that our rights are grounded in the state. How could they be inalienable? Does he even understand what that word means?”

    LOL, no one said rights come from the state, Fisk is just trolling.
    Rights are a political concept that recognizes individuals need to be free to think and act if they are to live proper lives among other individuals. Rights are a “concept” in politics, like arithmetic is a concept in math or thermodynamics is a concept in physics, etc. They don’t “come from” anywhere, they are conceived using your reason and “grounded in” supporting and observable facts of reality, like any other concept that isn’t insane.

    Fisk, saying “rights come from god” is the same thing as saying “rights come from the state”, except you’ve replaced appealing to an earthly authority with an appeal to a supernatural one instead. But it’s still an appeal to authority, you dummy.

    This is what I mean when I say that because Conservatives have zero grasp of even basic political concepts like “rights”, is why you guys always end up sound like leftists without realizing it.

  128. Iampeter

    Also Fisk, as someone who has previously said “no one gives a damn about your rights” it’s a pretty phony piety to be now saying “rights come from god”.

    You are so empty and pathetic.

  129. Rights are a political concept that recognizes individuals need to be free to think and act if they are to live proper lives among other individuals. Rights are a “concept” in politics, like arithmetic is a concept in math or thermodynamics is a concept in physics, etc. They don’t “come from” anywhere, they are conceived using your reason and “grounded in” supporting and observable facts of reality, like any other concept that isn’t insane.

    You are saying two contradictory things here, that ‘rights’ come from no where, and the rights are grounded in reality, which is certainly somewhere. If it’s the latter than rights are grounded in human nature, which is what you mean when you talk about ‘thinking’ and ‘acting’ and living ‘proper’ lives. If it’s the former, we’ve simply made them up, and the state simply enforces them.

    Fisk, saying “rights come from god” is the same thing as saying “rights come from the state”, except you’ve replaced appealing to an earthly authority with an appeal to a supernatural one instead. But it’s still an appeal to authority, you dummy.

    No, it isn’t, because the author of human nature is ultimately, God, which is why every coherent proponent of natural rights, including Locke and the authors of the Declaration of Independence, assert that rights are an endowment from God, and that they are inalienable in virtue of them being inseparable from being human.

    This is what I mean when I say that because Conservatives have zero grasp of even basic political concepts like “rights”, is why you guys always end up sound like leftists without realizing it.

    As I demonstrated above, you do not even recognize that rights in your own tradition issue from God, ultimately, as the author of human nature. That is a sad indictment upon your current state of education.

  130. iampeter

    You can believe rights come from god if you want, it just doesn’t change anything about rights and so doesn’t need to be brought up. If you’re religious, you’ll believe everything “comes from” god, ranging from maths and physics to linguistics and quantam mechanics, but you don’t ever hear anyone bringing god into conversations about any other concepts, it just keeps coming up re rights.
    The reason for this is that Conservatives don’t really understand what rights are (not necessarily saying that’s you Dover), don’t know how to support them via reason and don’t really support a rights protecting government anyway. Fisk (“no one gives a damn about your rights”) is a good example of that type of Conservatives.

    So if you want to talk about politics you don’t need to bring religion into it just like you don’t bring it into maths or physics or any other concepts. It doesn’t change anything about the concepts.

    Having said all that, believing that rights come from god would make you categorically wrong and undermine your support for rights anyway. This is due to what “rights” are and what “religion” is.

    Rights are your freedom to think and act, which you need to do if you’re going to live a proper human life. This is of importance to those of us who value life on this earth above any other consideration. As such individual rights are a profoundly secular value.

    If you are religious, life on this earth is not your primary concern. Instead its all about the afterlife or just obedience of god, depending on your particular religion. What do you need rights for?
    If you’re religious, you don’t really need to think in order to take action too much, you have pope’s and scripture and whoever you think you hear when you pray, that provide direction for you in lieu of your independent mind. So, what do you need rights for?

    This is why religious societies are not free societies and are theocracies. You don’t need freedom if you have religion. These are mutual exclusive approaches to life on earth.

    Or put another way: your right to be religious must be protected in a free country with a rights respecting government, but support for a rights respecting government cannot be derived from religion.

  131. .

    Peter I think you’re showing a bit of bias here.

  132. Fisky

    LOL, no one said rights come from the state, Fisk is just trolling.

    Iampeter, it is a matter of fact that you have previously admitted that we get our rights from the state. You are therefore a statist, Iampeter.

  133. Tel

    Rights are your freedom to think and act, which you need to do if you’re going to live a proper human life.

    So I could use these rights to decide to be selective about who I associate with? Perhaps wanting to live with a group of people selected by some kind of criteria… like ummm, how they behave for example… or what they believe, given as how this would affect how they behave.

  134. Tel

    You don’t need freedom if you have religion.

    So you believe that you get to decide who needs freedom, and who does not? Is that also one of your rights?

    I guess other people also get to decide how much freedom you need, unless there’s something making you special.

  135. .

    Unless someone has violated individual rights (ie is a criminal) the state has no rights to restrict them. Unless of course you don’t support an individual rights-protecting government.

    Come on Fisk. If you want to be Gotham’s better class of troll, please do better with the source material.

  136. .

    Tel
    #2561046, posted on November 21, 2017 at 4:26 pm
    You don’t need freedom if you have religion.

    So you believe that you get to decide who needs freedom, and who does not? Is that also one of your rights?

    I guess other people also get to decide how much freedom you need, unless there’s something making you special.

    Seriously Tel? You’re just throwing rocks at a junkyard dog now. Equivocating “don’t need” with “do not have” or “do not deserve” is very sloppy.

  137. Fisky

    But it’s true isn’t it. Iampeter has no one else to appeal to in protecting his rights but the state. What a dumb position!

  138. You can believe rights come from god if you want, it just doesn’t change anything about rights and so doesn’t need to be brought up. If you’re religious, you’ll believe everything “comes from” god, ranging from maths and physics to linguistics and quantam mechanics, but you don’t ever hear anyone bringing god into conversations about any other concepts, it just keeps coming up re rights.
    The reason for this is that Conservatives don’t really understand what rights are

    iampeter thinks Locke and the Founding Fathers didn’t know what rights are.

    Having said all that, believing that rights come from god would make you categorically wrong and undermine your support for rights anyway. This is due to what “rights” are and what “religion” is.

    Rights are your freedom to think and act, which you need to do if you’re going to live a proper human life. This is of importance to those of us who value life on this earth above any other consideration. As such individual rights are a profoundly secular value.

    Not at all. I said that rights ‘ultimately’ come from God because they are founded in our nature as human beings. But you can always talk about human nature, our need for various human goods in order to flourish as human beings, and how rights enable us to pursue those goods, etc, however, again, God is the author of that nature, and therefore, rights, ultimately derive from this.

    If you are religious, life on this earth is not your primary concern. Instead its all about the afterlife or just obedience of god, depending on your particular religion. What do you need rights for?

    This is an exceptionally dumb and embarrassing historical analysis because a theory of rights only emerges under Christendom and by Christian writers. No other society, secular or religious, ever came close to a theory of rights grounded in human nature, that was owed to each and every human being. You cannot sustain rights as something grounded in reality, that is, human nature, without God, which is why contemporary utilitarians only retain them as useful fictions.

    If you’re religious, you don’t really need to think in order to take action too much, you have pope’s and scripture and whoever you think you hear when you pray, that provide direction for you in lieu of your independent mind. So, what do you need rights for?

    Have you read any Augustine or Aquinas? Does Augustine’s Confessions and City of God or Aquinas’s Summa Contra Gentiles and Summa Theologiae strike you as the works of men that ‘didn’t need to think’ or lacked an ‘independent’ mind? Stop making such stupid sophomoric statements, ffs.

  139. Fisky

    Iampeter believes that pre-Christian Rome was an atheistic civilisation that adhered to a classical liberal ideology. Yes, that’s the level of crankery here.

  140. Tel

    Seriously Tel? You’re just throwing rocks at a junkyard dog now. Equivocating “don’t need” with “do not have” or “do not deserve” is very sloppy.

    When someone says “You don’t need XYZ” then I can have a fairly reasonable expectation that they intend to take XYZ off me at the first possible opportunity. Yes, I’ve dealt with statists before, but so have you so you should also know how this game gets played.

    At any rate, a person telling other people what they need and what they don’t need has already demonstrated they are not willing to even consider individual preferences, and that’s a pretty dodgy way to start talking about liberty.

  141. .

    It is good to see we both want high standards…

  142. iampeter

    iampeter thinks Locke and the Founding Fathers didn’t know what rights are.

    It’s the exact other way around. The Founders understood what rights were, which is why they never mention “god” in any founding documents or the federalist papers and the only time religion is mentioned is to explicitly state that it is excluded from politics. There is also the deistic mention of a “creator” in the declaration, which wasn’t there in some of the earlier drafts anyway. We also know religion played zero role in the writing of the declaration anyway, from Thomas Jeffersons writings, especially the letter to Henry Lee which talks about a lot of his thoughts and inspiration at the time and you’ll note there is no mention of religion.
    Not to mention that there are volumes of other writings and notes from that time period and the only thing conspicuous about religion is its almost total absence.
    I’m not saying these guys were atheists or anything, but they were way more secular and knew what they were talking about then today’s Conservatives.

    Also they were NOT Conservatives. The Founders were complete radicals in the classic liberal mold.

    Essentially Conservatives who wrap themselves in the founding documents, have zero understanding of them on any level, except for that word “creator” which is the only thing they want to or can talk about.

    Not at all. I said that rights ‘ultimately’ come from God because they are founded in our nature as human beings.

    Then it sounds like you’re deistic in which case there’s no need to mention god unless we’re talking about religion, which we’re not.

    This is an exceptionally dumb and embarrassing historical analysis because a theory of rights only emerges under Christendom and by Christian writers.

    It’s not a “historical analysis” of any kind, its a basic review of what it means to be religious. Something I note religious people in the West do not understand. Thank god for that. If you guys were serious about religion everything would resemble Syria.

    Stop making such stupid sophomoric statements, ffs.

    This is called “projecting”.

  143. Infidel Tiger 2.0 (Premium Content Subscribers Only)

    “God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” 1781, Query XVIII of his Notes on that State of Virginia.

    “My views…are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others…” April 21, 1803 in a letter to Dr. Benjamin.

    “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

    “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus….I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.”

    – Thomas Jefferson.

    “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” [1778 to the General Assembly of the State of Virginia]

    “Religion is the basis and Foundation of Government.” June 20, 1785

    – James Madison

    The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were. . . . the general principles of Christianity. . . . I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature. (taken from a letter to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813)

    – John Adams.

  144. JC

    It’s the exact other way around. The Founders understood what rights were, which is why they never mention “god” in any founding documents or the federalist papers and the only time religion is mentioned is to explicitly state that it is excluded from politics.

    Bill of Rights certainly did mention The Creator.

    We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness—That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent …

    But I’m guessing that’s not important, right?

    Natural rights spring from God according to the early framers. Its right there, in the fucking header.

  145. .

    They don’t have to though, JC.

  146. Fisky

    That’s right dotty, we can get our rights from the STATE instead!

  147. Essentially Conservatives who wrap themselves in the founding documents, have zero understanding of them on any level, except for that word “creator” which is the only thing they want to or can talk about.

    IT simply had to quote Jefferson, Madison, and Adams to expose your monumental error.

    Then it sounds like you’re deistic in which case there’s no need to mention god unless we’re talking about religion, which we’re not.

    Oh dear. You use words like ‘theist’ or ‘deist’ without the slightest appreciation of them. Further, you still do not recognize that you cannot use ‘proper’ as in “proper human life” without there being something proper to a human being that arises out of what a human being is according to its nature. Such a position is compatible with theism or ‘deism’, but not with atheism. No atheist can argue that there is a mode of life ‘proper’ to human beings, goods which he should be directed towards, like knowledge and understanding, or goods to be preserved, like life and health.

    That’s right dotty, we can get our rights from the STATE instead!

    Fisk is right to press this point, rights are either an endowment from God that inheres in what a human being is, where the state simply acknowledges these rights and in the words of the Declaration secures, or, rights are simply created by the state and society and are entirely conventional, changing according to the whims and interests of that particular society.

  148. iampeter

    IT simply had to quote Jefferson, Madison, and Adams to expose your monumental error.

    What “monumental error” did he expose? I said the founders weren’t atheists but that religion simply didn’t play any role in American founding and referenced supporting material, specifically the founding documents themselves and Jefferson’s Henry Lee letter as an example. There are plenty of others for those looking for an honest understanding, instead of trying to fit history to their pre-conceived notions.

    Also the Madison quote is an old fake one that’s being doing the rounds for ages, the Notes on the State of Virginia is taken out of context, he was talking about the crimes of slavery not American founding ideas and the other Jefferson quote might be right, we know he even made his own bible by cutting out all the supernatural stuff and leaving Jesus’ teachings. That’s not a very religious person and doesn’t change the fact that Jesus never gets mentioned when he talks about the Declaration anyway.

    Such a position is compatible with theism or ‘deism’, but not with atheism.

    It’s the other way around. Arguing on the basis of nature by appeal to the supernatural undermines your arguments on the basis of nature. It’s also an appeal to authority.
    It’s like this: if you have a rational argument on your position, then lets hear it. The moment you need to bring god up, you no longer have a rational argument and have lost whatever debate you were in. Unless you’re specifically discussing religion, which we are not, there is no need to bring god up, over and over and over.
    This brings me back to my overall point in this thread about the lack of ideology in the Conservative movement, the lack of ability to even talk about politics and the constant derailing to bizarre and irrelevant religious points that no one is really debating. E.g. I said “gee wizz we need a rights protecting government” and the response I get is “rights come from god!!!!”. Um no, that doesn’t make sense but also, so what? You don’t what rights are or how to discuss them (I’m using “you” generally, not necessarily you Dover).
    You guys always turn political conversations into religious conversations because you don’t know how to hold a political conversation.

    Fisk is right to press this point, rights are either an endowment from God that inheres in what a human being is

    Except Fisk has rejected the need for rights or a rights protecting government so god only knows what point he is trying to make. He is basically the Alex Jones of the Cat, just spouting inane confusing gibberish that contradicts his previous inane confusing gibberish.

  149. iampeter

    Hmm, won’t let me post for some reason.
    Anyway, my overall point is no response to my last post addresses in my last post. You can be religious if you want, you just don’t need to bring it up in political discussions, unless of course you don’t know how to have political discussions, which was my message all along in this thread and it has been eloquently confirmed.

  150. Your last comment makes no sense at all.

  151. iampeter

    I had a bigger response but it vanished and when I tried posting it again it said “duplicate post detected”.

    Basically what I’m saying is that feel free to start talking about politics at any time you like. My theme throughout the entire thread has been Conservatives don’t really know how to do that.

    Endless posts talking about rights coming from god and the religiosity of founding fathers are both wrong in many ways and also not examples of “talking politics”, which proves my point.

  152. Basically what I’m saying is that feel free to start talking about politics at any time you like. My theme throughout the entire thread has been Conservatives don’t really know how to do that.

    Oakeshott and Scruton seem to be able to talk about politics without talking about God, the former more so than the latter. Even Aquinas in the Summa does that also to a great extent. Nevertheless, rights, if they are not merely conventional, do seem to require God, ultimately. Once that is admitted, you can just talk about human nature, the goods attached to that, and work from there to ‘rights’, which is pretty much what Locke and the Founding Fathers did. Admitting that God is the ultimate source of rights, etc. is just talking politics because the subject isn’t God, but the political order proper to man as man.

  153. Iampeter

    Nevertheless, rights, if they are not merely conventional, do seem to require God, ultimately.

    Nothing “requires god”. That’s like saying rationality requires irrationality. No it doesn’t. It’s just a contradiction.

    You are free to believe in god and have that as the basis for all your beliefs if you like, but it will always undermine them because any rational position you try to take is undercut by irrational fundamentals.

    In any case, even if you believe rights come from god the question of what your positions are in politics isn’t answered. It just doesn’t have anything to do with politics.

    It’s like if we were discussing what car I should buy next and you just keep going back to the idea that the concept of “automotive transportation” comes from god and couldn’t talk about anything else.

    It wouldn’t be a very useful conversation.

  154. Nothing “requires god”. That’s like saying rationality requires irrationality. No it doesn’t. It’s just a contradiction.

    How is it like saying that? Unless you can demonstrate that the ends to which we are directed by our nature as human beings, does not, ultimately, require God, you are just blowing smoke.

    You are free to believe in god and have that as the basis for all your beliefs if you like, but it will always undermine them because any rational position you try to take is undercut by irrational fundamentals.

    What ‘irrational fundamentals’? You’ve simply assumed that belief in God is irrational even in situations where we have good reasons for concluding that God alone can ground rights in any real sense. No God, then ‘rights’ are Bentham’s ‘nonsense on stilts’ or Singer’s ‘convenient political shorthand’.

    In any case, even if you believe rights come from god the question of what your positions are in politics isn’t answered. It just doesn’t have anything to do with politics.

    But I wasn’t providing a particular position, I was asking you what grounded rights in your lights, and you gave an answer that was contradictory. As I said earlier and above, God is simply the ground of those rights, ultimately; having admitted that you can then talk “about human nature, the goods attached to that, and work from there to ‘rights’, which is pretty much what Locke and the Founding Fathers did.” To then say that God “doesn’t have anything to do with politics” when He is the ground of those rights you think governments are obligated to secure makes absolutely no sense.

  155. .

    The proposition that you can only derive your rights either from God or the State and there is no other choice is false.

  156. Iampeter

    Belief in religious assertions is the belief that cannot be verified by supportable evidence and so it is taken on faith.

    When you say rights are “grounded by god” or something, you are saying that you have no rational or reality based case for rights and the concept must be taken on faith. This is irrational. This destroys your credibility even if you had a proper position on rights (which I don’t know, because you can’t state it lol).

    But I wasn’t providing a particular position, I was asking you what grounded rights in your lights, and you gave an answer that was contradictory.

    But this is my point. Political conversations with Conservatives go like this:
    Me: Hai guys we should support rights protecting government otherwise we’re just collectivists and leftists
    Conservative: Rights come from god!
    Me: Um…that doesn’t make any sense, but OK, I was asking what you’re position is on a government with respect to rights.
    Conservative: Declaration mentions a creator!
    Me: Yea…and no other religious mention, anyway back to what I was saying about proper function of government…
    Conservative: RELIGION!!!!!
    Me: you don’t know anything about politics do you?

    This is what I meant when I said that contrary to the political positions of classic liberals, which you might agree or disagree with, conservatives don’t seem to have any political positions at all or really know how to even talk about politics.

    This isn’t even to pick on posters here, it’s consistent with the smartest Conservative writers and thinkers.

    This is a serious problem for a supposedly “political movement”.

  157. Iampeter

    The proposition that you can only derive your rights either from God or the State and there is no other choice is false.

    Exactly.

    Rights are either a fact of reality or not.
    State vs religion as a source of rights is a false dichotomy. It’s asking you to decide if they come from an earthly authority or a supernatural one, so it’s not a choice at all.

  158. The proposition that you can only derive your rights either from God or the State and there is no other choice is false.

    Not at all. There are customary rights, which derive from usage, such as that of an easement, and there are contractual rights, which derive from an agreement between parties, but the rights we are talking about are not those sort of rights, they are rights held in virtue of being a human being. Now, there is no other way of grounding such rights than through God, ultimately. All the state can do with respect to rights not of this sort, is authorize rights that are conventional, as opposed to natural, because natural rights do not need the warrant of the state, obviously.

  159. .

    Now, there is no other way of grounding such rights than through God, ultimately.

    No. That is simply your belief and I respect that. Telling me “God or the State” is terribly insulting.

  160. Belief in religious assertions is the belief that cannot be verified by supportable evidence and so it is taken on faith.

    When you say rights are “grounded by god” or something, you are saying that you have no rational or reality based case for rights and the concept must be taken on faith. This is irrational. This destroys your credibility even if you had a proper position on rights (which I don’t know, because you can’t state it lol).

    Where, for instance, in an argument that natural rights, ultimately, require God, is someone make an unsubstantiated assertion? On faith? If you don’t think that God exists, and its demonstrated that natural rights does require God, the only possible conclusion is that natural rights don’t exist.

    But this is my point. Political conversations with Conservatives go like this:
    Me: Hai guys we should support rights protecting government otherwise we’re just collectivists and leftists
    Conservative: Rights come from god!
    Me: Um…that doesn’t make any sense, but OK, I was asking what you’re position is on a government with respect to rights.
    Conservative: Declaration mentions a creator!
    Me: Yea…and no other religious mention, anyway back to what I was saying about proper function of government…
    Conservative: RELIGION!!!!!
    Me: you don’t know anything about politics do you?

    Not at all. I asked what grounded rights, having got no answer from you to an earlier question about how people that were not even citizens of this country some how had a right of entry, which you never answered. The question about grounding is important because it is relevant to the question about what a government could or could not be permitted to do. If nothing grounded rights in reality, than governments would be permitted to do whatever they pleased or were permitted to do and for whatever reason so long as it was not too unconventional. Nothing you’ve said above or before shows you have any understanding of this fact.

    This is what I meant when I said that contrary to the political positions of classic liberals, which you might agree or disagree with, conservatives don’t seem to have any political positions at all or really know how to even talk about politics.

    This isn’t even to pick on posters here, it’s consistent with the smartest Conservative writers and thinkers.

    Amazing, iampeter thinks writers like Burke, Oakeshott, and Scruton not only don’t know how to talk about politics, but that they have no political positions too! Just amazing.

  161. No. That is simply your belief and I respect that. Telling me “God or the State” is terribly insulting.

    Well, show us how rights are grounded in reality without God.

  162. .

    You haven’t shown anything more than a belief Dover. My proposition may be nothing more than belief either.

    I don’t think I need to reinvent Ayn Rand’s philosophy, as an example; to give an example where one already exists.

  163. That could be said about any proposition, dot, but just how does Rand, for example, propose to achieve that?

  164. I’ve briefly skimmed some stuff on Rand and she reads like part-Aristotelian, part-Nietszchean, but I can’t see how you get human rights out of egoism. The latter confounds the former. Poor thing was in the end a child of her times.

  165. Iampeter

    Where, for instance, in an argument that natural rights, ultimately, require God, is someone make an unsubstantiated assertion? On faith?

    Yea the “god” part. God is a random, unsubstantiated assertion.

    If you don’t think that God exists, and its demonstrated that natural rights does require God, the only possible conclusion is that natural rights don’t exist.

    So what you’re saying here is that you either can’t make a rational, reality based case for rights or rights don’t exist. That means politically you can only be a collectivist/leftist.

    Not at all. I asked what grounded rights, having got no answer from you to an earlier question about how people that were not even citizens of this country some how had a right of entry, which you never answered.

    I thought I answered that. Rights are grounded in reality. But applying rights has nothing to do with that. To give you an example re immigration:
    Individual rights is the political concept that recognizes the need for individuals to be free to think and act if they are going to live proper, human lives, living among other individuals. To that end, supporters of individual rights, implement rights-protecting government that only has the function of preventing rights violations. Rights can only be violated through force or fraud. Since merely immigrating from one country to another country is not a rights violation, it cannot be illegal or regulated. There is simply no role for the state.

    Now you can agree with this or you can disagree with this, but note the absence of appeals to any kind of authority on this earth or in any other dimensions. This is an example of a “political position”.

    If nothing grounded rights in reality, than governments would be permitted to do whatever they pleased or were permitted to do and for whatever reason so long as it was not too unconventional. Nothing you’ve said above or before shows you have any understanding of this fact.

    I’m not sure what you mean here. I’m the one arguing that rights should be grounded in reality while you’re arguing that they should be anchored in god.

  166. Iampeter

    I’ve briefly skimmed some stuff on Rand and she reads like part-Aristotelian, part-Nietszchean, but I can’t see how you get human rights out of egoism. The latter confounds the former. Poor thing was in the end a child of her times.

    I always shake my head when someone who claims to take philosophy seriously “briefly skimmed” Rand and then dismissed her as some mere “child of her times”.

    If you are interested in philosophy you owe it to yourself to do a lot more than skim.

  167. Yea the “god” part. God is a random, unsubstantiated assertion.

    It is not random or unsubstantiated if the argument requires it. Only your own prejudices suggest that.

    So what you’re saying here is that you either can’t make a rational, reality based case for rights or rights don’t exist. That means politically you can only be a collectivist/leftist.

    Firstly, where do I say that? And secondly, how could that possibly mean I’m a collectivist?

    I thought I answered that. Rights are grounded in reality.

    Just how are rights grounded in reality? You’ve given no explanation how this is possible without God and/or formal/ final causes.

    To give you an example re immigration:
    Individual rights is the political concept that recognizes the need for individuals to be free to think and act if they are going to live proper, human lives, living among other individuals. To that end, supporters of individual rights, implement rights-protecting government that only has the function of preventing rights violations. Rights can only be violated through force or fraud. Since merely immigrating from one country to another country is not a rights violation, it cannot be illegal or regulated. There is simply no role for the state.

    Firstly, whatever could you mean by ‘proper’? That will be important because what constitutes a ‘right’ seems to hinge on what is ‘proper’. Secondly, foreigners have no right of entry to Australia. So an immigrant that enters without a VISA or overstays their VISA commits a rights-violation (of citizens and other lawful temporary and permanent residents). To show the opposite, you would have to deny the territorial integrity of sovereign states to determine the laws in their jurisdiction. This is analogous to arguing that a private owner has no right to deny entry to others to his property, which is absurd.

    I’m not sure what you mean here. I’m the one arguing that rights should be grounded in reality while you’re arguing that they should be anchored in god.

    You really have no familiarity with natural law/ rights arguments, do you? You don’t even know what you are denying. If you are going to talk about what is proper to the human being, you are going to have to explain this by reference to formal and final causes, which is what Aristotelians do. However, formal and final causes themselves, ultimately, point to God. Nevertheless, I’m quite content to talk about rights arising out of our nature as human beings, directed to certain goods (knowledge, family life, and the like) as a matter of obligation, and how rights help us pursue these goods and fulfill these obligations unmolested, and leaving the question of their ultimate ground to one side, but I would still like to read just how you think rights are grounded in reality.

    I always shake my head when someone who claims to take philosophy seriously “briefly skimmed” Rand and then dismissed her as some mere “child of her times”.

    If you are interested in philosophy you owe it to yourself to do a lot more than skim.

    Are you an Objectivist?

  168. iampeter

    It is not random or unsubstantiated if the argument requires it. Only your own prejudices suggest that.

    It’s not because my argument requires it, it’s just a statement of self-evident fact.
    All that religion is amounts to random unsupported assertions that violate the basic rules of reality. As such there is no reason to accept anything from religion and you have to do so on faith instead. Doing something there is no reason to do is irrational (as opposed to doing things for a reason, which would be rational).

    Firstly, where do I say that? And secondly, how could that possibly mean I’m a collectivist?

    You say it in the sentence I quote:

    If you don’t think that God exists, and its demonstrated that natural rights does require God, the only possible conclusion is that natural rights don’t exist.

    Why this makes you a collectivist is that at its simplest the political spectrum is individualism vs collectivism. Since you don’t think individual rights exist or can’t be justified without appealing to something that doesn’t exist, you’re obviously not an individualist, which means by necessity you are a collectivist. If you’re not one then you’re the other, basically.

    Just how are rights grounded in reality? You’ve given no explanation how this is possible without God and/or formal/ final causes.

    The source of rights is the Law of Identity which states that A is A. Or in our case a man is a man. It’s observable that for man to live a proper life among other men he has to be free to think and act (exercise his rights) free from coercion.
    In a nutshell, that’s how rights are grounded in reality.

    Firstly, whatever could you mean by ‘proper’? That will be important because what constitutes a ‘right’ seems to hinge on what is ‘proper’.

    Proper in this context means the type of life an individual would lead when free from coercion.

    If you are going to talk about what is proper to the human being, you are going to have to explain this by reference to formal and final causes, which is what Aristotelians do.

    What is proper to a human being is thinking and acting for the purpose of living. This is a conclusion drawn from the Law of Identity (again).

    Secondly, foreigners have no right of entry to Australia.

    But if you support a rights protecting government and the action of merely “entry to Australia” doesn’t violate anyone’s rights on what grounds can the government take action?

    To show the opposite, you would have to deny the territorial integrity of sovereign states to determine the laws in their jurisdiction.

    Territorial integrity and sovereign states only matter if the states in question protect individual rights. State’s and “territorial integrity” have no function beyond rights protection to a classic liberal.

    This is analogous to arguing that a private owner has no right to deny entry to others to his property, which is absurd.

    So the analogy I would draw is:
    If someone breaks into your house, you call the police and they should be carted away because your rights were violated. Whether they are citizens or immigrants doesn’t change anything.
    On the other hand, if someone buys a house on your street and moves in then no rights are violated and you have nothing to call the police about. Whether they are citizens or immigrants doesn’t change anything.

    In short, the whole “issue” of immigration is not really an issue. It’s just the “blame the other” shtick that populists use to rile up the mob and is as old as civilization, but still seems to work.

    Are you an Objectivist?

    Yea, absolutely. I mean, IMO there’s nothing else to be.

    Objectivism finishes what Aristotle started and what was resumed during the Enlightenment. It’s a comprehensive philosophy for life on earth.

  169. Fisky

    Yea, absolutely. I mean, IMO there’s nothing else to be.

    Oh dear. Iampeter has now openly admitted to being an acolyte of Ayn Rand, a Social Security pensioner.

    They sure don’t make “individualists” like they used to!

  170. It’s not because my argument requires it, it’s just a statement of self-evident fact.
    All that religion is amounts to random unsupported assertions that violate the basic rules of reality. As such there is no reason to accept anything from religion and you have to do so on faith instead. Doing something there is no reason to do is irrational (as opposed to doing things for a reason, which would be rational).

    How wonderfully circular, iampeter doesn’t need to present an argument to support his assertion because his assertion is self-evident!

    You say it in the sentence I quote

    No, I don’t. All I say in that quote is that natural rights ultimately depend upon God so if you deny the latter the former cannot stand. I no where in effect say “you either can’t make a rational, reality based case for rights or rights don’t exist.”

    Why this makes you a collectivist is that at its simplest the political spectrum is individualism vs collectivism. Since you don’t think individual rights exist or can’t be justified without appealing to something that doesn’t exist, you’re obviously not an individualist, which means by necessity you are a collectivist. If you’re not one then you’re the other, basically.

    How does it follow that I’m a ‘collectivist’ simply because I believe rights arise out of human nature, that is ultimately grounded in God, only because you disagree with such a grounding? Do you not see the absurdity of your conclusion?

    The source of rights is the Law of Identity which states that A is A. Or in our case a man is a man. It’s observable that for man to live a proper life among other men he has to be free to think and act (exercise his rights) free from coercion

    Proper in this context means the type of life an individual would lead when free from coercion.

    What is proper to a human being is thinking and acting for the purpose of living. This is a conclusion drawn from the Law of Identity (again)..

    Why does man need to be free to think and act? What goods are these thoughts and actions ‘properly’ directed towards? You need to flesh this out. Conversely, if there are thoughts and actions ‘proper’ to man there must also be thoughts and actions that are improper to man and therefore thoughts and acts that a man has no right to think or do even if he is free to think or do them. Moreover, you need to explain how a metaphysics that lacks formal and final causes can sustain the claim that there is a mode of life proper to man as man.

    But if you support a rights protecting government and the action of merely “entry to Australia” doesn’t violate anyone’s rights on what grounds can the government take action?

    It does violate their rights. Citizens have authorized their public authority (the Commonwealth) to regulate temporary and permanent entry to Australia. People entering this territorial jurisdiction without declaring their intent, contrary to law, are violating those citizen’s right to govern themselves.

    On the other hand, if someone buys a house on your street and moves in then no rights are violated and you have nothing to call the police about. Whether they are citizens or immigrants doesn’t change anything.

    But they are not ‘buying a house on the street’, they are squatting on property they have not paid for and had no permission to enter, and when exposed, they are pretending to enjoy a right of possession. Your analogy is a manifest failure.

  171. iampeter

    How wonderfully circular, iampeter doesn’t need to present an argument to support his assertion because his assertion is self-evident!

    Look you quote Aristotle so you should know what an axiom is. That’s the level required to disprove religion. It’s completely self-evident. Having said that, you are free to believe otherwise, I don’t care, it has nothing to do with politics, you don’t need to keep bringing anything religious up.
    I think because like most Conservatives, you don’t really know how to talk politics so conversations that are supposed to be about political issues always turn into conversations of you trying to get someone to admit god exists. It’s just weird.

    All I say in that quote is that natural rights ultimately depend upon God so if you deny the latter the former cannot stand. I no where in effect say “you either can’t make a rational, reality based case for rights or rights don’t exist.”

    That’s exactly what you’re saying the moment “god” comes up.

    How does it follow that I’m a ‘collectivist’ simply because I believe rights arise out of human nature, that is ultimately grounded in God, only because you disagree with such a grounding?

    Because you can’t argue for or about individual rights without bringing religion up. If you truly understood and supported the concept you wouldn’t need to bring god into it and if you don’t understand or support individual rights, by default, you are a collectivist.

    Why does man need to be free to think and act?

    Because of his nature as is evident through observation.

    Conversely, if there are thoughts and actions ‘proper’ to man there must also be thoughts and actions that are improper to man and therefore thoughts and acts that a man has no right to think or do even if he is free to think or do them.

    There are no thoughts that a man has no rights to think of in a free country, only rights violating actions he is not free to undertake.

    Moreover, you need to explain how a metaphysics that lacks formal and final causes can sustain the claim that there is a mode of life proper to man as man.

    Causality is a corollary of the Law of Identity and is funnily enough, called the Law of Causality. Taken together what they tell us about man is: man is a thinking and acting being and in order to live he has to think and act.

    It does violate their rights. Citizens have authorized their public authority (the Commonwealth) to regulate temporary and permanent entry to Australia.

    The act of immigrating somewhere cannot violate anyone’s rights. Only the acts of force or fraud can do that. It’s similar to someone moving into your street. Laws that prevent this are rights violating laws and are illegitimate and classic liberals are against laws like that.

    But they are not ‘buying a house on the street’, they are squatting on property they have not paid for

    I’m talking about immigrants who are you talking about?

  172. Mater

    The act of immigrating somewhere cannot violate anyone’s rights.

    If they were living in complete isolation. They don’t. They use property which has been developed and paid for by others – in this case citizens of the nation. Ie. Utilities, roads, police and military protection, etc. Consequently, the citizens have a right to choose who does and doesn’t use said property.

  173. .

    The act of immigrating somewhere cannot violate anyone’s rights.

    Neither do rules of entry.

  174. Look you quote Aristotle so you should know what an axiom is. That’s the level required to disprove religion. It’s completely self-evident. Having said that, you are free to believe otherwise, I don’t care, it has nothing to do with politics, you don’t need to keep bringing anything religious up.

    Firstly, there is nothing self-evident about the existence or non-existence of God, so you simply can’t as Rand seems to do, just say that X is ‘self-evident’ because you are too intellectual lazy to argue for your assertion. Secondly, it’s also strange that you should say whatever you have given that Aristotle himself argued for the existence of an Unmoved Mover, so it can’t be ‘self-evidently’ false given that the thesis, either way, is contentious.

    That’s exactly what you’re saying the moment “god” comes up.

    Not at all. You are simply asserting what is not ‘self-evident’ and thinking that if you fancy it up with the word ‘axiomatic’ or ‘self-evident’ that saves you from have to argue the point.

    Because you can’t argue for or about individual rights without bringing religion up. If you truly understood and supported the concept you wouldn’t need to bring god into it and if you don’t understand or support individual rights, by default, you are a collectivist.

    I haven’t brought ‘religion’ up, and it doesn’t follow even if God, ultimately, does come up that one is in virtue of this a collectivist. According to your definition, Locke, the Founding Fathers, etc. are all collectivists because God ultimately grounds their theory of natural rights, which is absurd.

    Because of his nature as is evident through observation.

    There are no thoughts that a man has no rights to think of in a free country, only rights violating actions he is not free to undertake.

    The first is so general a claim it’s vacuous.. But even if you grant it for arguments sake, how does it rule out the second claim, acts that purportedly violate someone’s rights? If man is free to think and act because it is in his nature do to so, why cannot he think and act in ways that may violate another thoughts and acts? Unless there is some good/s to which these thoughts and acts are directed, how are we even able to determine this or that specific right which we are obliged to acknowledge and respect?

    Causality is a corollary of the Law of Identity and is funnily enough, called the Law of Causality. Taken together what they tell us about man is: man is a thinking and acting being and in order to live he has to think and act.

    Not at all. All the law of identity and the law of causality do is tell us that man cannot be other than man (the former doesn’t tell us what this entails) and the latter implies only that he must act in order to sustain himself in existence or in order to change his circumstance. But none of this suggests a mode of life ‘proper’ to man, certainly not in fully-fledged Aristotelian sense. Certainly, if you had a metaphysic that included formal and final causes you could be able to argue using these two laws and experience that man is directed to pursue certain goods, and so on from there to his having certain natural rights in virtue of this, but I don’t think you have, or it isn’t evident just yet.

    The act of immigrating somewhere cannot violate anyone’s rights. Only the acts of force or fraud can do that. It’s similar to someone moving into your street. Laws that prevent this are rights violating laws and are illegitimate and classic liberals are against laws like that.

    But the act of immigrating does when they do so illegally. Someone, unlawfully, immigrating to a country that has decide to regulate immigration is violating the rights of the citizens of that territorial jurisdiction, just as the squator violates the rights of a private property owner. People do not simply have a right to enter any country they please just as people simply to do not enjoy a right to enter whatever property they please on my street without the owner’s permission. BTW, I don’t think this is absolutely the case, for example, I think a person imminently in danger may certainly seek safety in the nearest neighboring country, temporarily, just as someone fleeing a murder is entitled to enter another’s private property in search of safety, again, temporarily, but this right ceases as soon as the danger passes.

    I’m talking about immigrants who are you talking about?

    I’m talking about illegal immigrants, or are you denying any difference between legal and illegal immigration?

  175. Iampeter

    If they were living in complete isolation. They don’t. They use property which has been developed and paid for by others – in this case citizens of the nation. Ie. Utilities, roads, police and military protection, etc. Consequently, the citizens have a right to choose who does and doesn’t use said property.

    Doesn’t anyone who buys a house on your street and moves in. Are you saying people are moving into your street, stealing a house and then receiving welfare checks by defrauding the system?
    I’m not sure what you’re trying to describe.

    The act of immigrating somewhere cannot violate anyone’s rights.

    Neither do rules of entry.

    OK so what rules of entry would you propose we impose on someone moving into your street?
    Who gets to ask them?
    By what rights do they have to answer them?

    I can understand if we declare war on a totalitarian enemy and for the duration of the conflict we want to lock down the border to stop spies/enemy agents from getting in, or establishing a military foothold, etc. But in the normal, day-to-day context, there’s no grounds for wartime government action.

  176. Iampeter

    Firstly, there is nothing self-evident about the existence or non-existence of God, so you simply can’t as Rand seems to do, just say that X is ‘self-evident’ because you are too intellectual lazy to argue for your assertion.

    Well I think the fact that god doesn’t exist is absolutely self evident. You believe in “facts” rights? Well the most obvious types of facts are “self evident” ones. These are facts that are so obvious that you can figure them out just by looking and no more further information is possible or required. They are irreducible primaries called axioms. There’s only a few of them, but things like Primacy of Existence, Law of Identity and Law of Causality if accepted, means accepting no gods, demons, heavens, hell’s, or anything supernatural.

    So yea, contrary to popular belief disproving religion isn’t a difficult task, its the first thing a thinking mind does.

    But for the record – I don’t care what you believe – disagree with this if you want. I don’t know why you keep bringing god up or what on earth that could have to do with whatever position you have on immigration or something.

    I haven’t brought ‘religion’ up,

    From pretty much your very first point you’ve been trying to argue rights are grounded in god for some reason. ALL you’ve done is bring religion into what was a political discussion up until that point.

    According to your definition, Locke, the Founding Fathers, etc. are all collectivists because God ultimately grounds their theory of natural rights, which is absurd.

    I’d say while these guys were all giants for their time, they made enormous mistakes and contradictions (Aristotles prime mover is a good example). We can forgive the people that first went down these intellectual roads their mistakes. It’s harder to forgive these kinds of obvious contradictions and mistakes to people in the 21st century, however.

    The first is so general a claim it’s vacuous.

    It’s a statement of self-evident fact. You can verify it for yourself by just using your eyes and a tiny bit of thinking.

    But even if you grant it for arguments sake, how does it rule out the second claim, acts that purportedly violate someone’s rights?

    Because if you have the right to violate someones rights, on what grounds then can you argue your rights can’t be violated by someone else?

    If man is free to think and act because it is in his nature do to so, why cannot he think and act in ways that may violate another thoughts and acts?

    Well he can, but my point is that if a man takes an action that violates someones rights then the government steps in. That’s the definition of a crime and preventing rights violations(crimes) is the only reason to have government.
    So applying that to the issue of immigration, since an act of merely immigrating somewhere, doesn’t violate anyone’s rights so there’s no role for government.

    But none of this suggests a mode of life ‘proper’ to man, certainly not in fully-fledged Aristotelian sense.

    Like I said, “proper” in this context means consistent with mans nature as a thinking and acting being. Aristotle called man “the rational being”, meaning man thinks and acts in order to live. This is at the metaphysical level.
    I’m not talking about “proper” in the sense of “right” or “wrong” actions, that’s a moral discussion which is separate from metaphysical question you were asking.

    I’m talking about illegal immigrants, or are you denying any difference between legal and illegal immigration?

    But what I’m saying is that a classic liberal only believes that rights violating actions should be “illegal” and since “immigrating” somewhere is not a rights violation, how can you even have the term “illegal immigrant”?

  177. Mater

    Doesn’t anyone who buys a house on your street and moves in.

    No. They are either citizens or have been given permission by the citizenry. They haven’t just exercised their ‘inalienable ‘ right to move from Sudan to Rural Victoria.

  178. Well I think the fact that god doesn’t exist is absolutely self evident. You believe in “facts” rights? Well the most obvious types of facts are “self evident” ones. These are facts that are so obvious that you can figure them out just by looking and no more further information is possible or required. They are irreducible primaries called axioms. There’s only a few of them, but things like Primacy of Existence, Law of Identity and Law of Causality if accepted, means accepting no gods, demons, heavens, hell’s, or anything supernatural.

    Again, no, there is nothing ‘self-evident’ about the claim that ‘God does not exist’, and nothing is gained by the adding the qualifier ‘absolutely’ in front of ‘self-evident’ as nothing can be relatively self-evident. The fact that many intelligent people throughout history, from Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine, Aquinas, Maimonides, Avicenna, Averroes, Leibniz, Clarke, and so on, have not only believed in but given a variety of reasons for the necessary existence of God suggests conclusively that your claim is ‘self-evident’ is completely false.

    So yea, contrary to popular belief disproving religion isn’t a difficult task, its the first thing a thinking mind does.

    But you haven’t provided any reasons, you’ve simply claim that religion or God is ‘self-evidently’ false which makes it unnecessary for you to provide any proof. That is simply intellectually lazy.

    From pretty much your very first point you’ve been trying to argue rights are grounded in god for some reason. ALL you’ve done is bring religion into what was a political discussion up until that point.

    No, I said that God is, ultimately, required. Nothing about that means bringing up religion, it simply brings in metaphysics.

    I’d say while these guys were all giants for their time, they made enormous mistakes and contradictions (Aristotles prime mover is a good example). We can forgive the people that first went down these intellectual roads their mistakes. It’s harder to forgive these kinds of obvious contradictions and mistakes to people in the 21st century, however.

    Why would you forgive an ‘obvious’ contradictions? But the fact is there is no obvious contradiction, you are merely assert this without any warrant.

    Because if you have the right to violate someones rights, on what grounds then can you argue your rights can’t be violated by someone else?

    I’m not suggesting you have any such right to violate anything, I’m querying the claim that simply because I am a being which thinks and acts means that I have a right to do think and act.

    So applying that to the issue of immigration, since an act of merely immigrating somewhere, doesn’t violate anyone’s rights so there’s no role for government.

    But there are already people living in that territory that have organized themselves politically and established a public authority, annexed to which is the power of determining who can enter that territory, temporarily or permanently. So there is no mere act of immigrating into that territory, there is the act of either immigrating lawfully or unlawfully.

    Like I said, “proper” in this context means consistent with mans nature as a thinking and acting being. Aristotle called man “the rational being”, meaning man thinks and acts in order to live. This is at the metaphysical level.
    I’m not talking about “proper” in the sense of “right” or “wrong” actions, that’s a moral discussion which is separate from metaphysical question you were asking.

    But it’s not separate and Aristotle meant much more out of the fact of thinking and acting, he said that man’s thoughts and actions was directed towards the pursuit of certain human goods, where the goods were ordered hierarchically, and consequently, so were the thoughts and acts proper to man as man.

    But what I’m saying is that a classic liberal only believes that rights violating actions should be “illegal” and since “immigrating” somewhere is not a rights violation, how can you even have the term “illegal immigrant”?

    We have a political grouping here that govern themselves, having instituted a public authority, and decided that they will regulate entry, whether temporary or permanent, in their territorial jurisdiction. So if we have someone entering that territory without the requisite permissions s/he is clearly violating that territory’s citizens right of self-government. That is a rights-violation.

  179. .

    OK so what rules of entry would you propose we impose on someone moving into your street?
    Who gets to ask them?
    By what rights do they have to answer them?

    It doesn’t matter. If I own it I can say no. It doesn’t matter if my utility function is at odds with Objectivist or any other philosophy. If I can’t say no, I don’t own it.

    The issue with immigration is public ownership. There is no way to exactly relate general election votes with the issue, let alone net taxpayers to votes, let alone prior or future taxes (intergenerational equity).

  180. mh

    iampeter … or are you Malcolm Sedgman?

  181. Iampeter

    But you haven’t provided any reasons, you’ve simply claim that religion or God is ‘self-evidently’ false

    I don’t need to provide any evidence to reject religion, which is just a collection of random assertions that violate the axioms. I can just reject it out of hand. The onus is on you to prove your assertions which of course can’t be done. I.e. if religion is real then it wouldn’t be religion, therefore you can’t prove religion is real. Therefore, it’s axiomatic/self-evident that religion isn’t real.
    Anyway, you believe in god while I don’t and I’m not trying to convert you.
    I’m saying the entire discussion about “grounding rights in god” has nothing to with politics.

    But it’s not separate and Aristotle meant much more out of the fact of thinking and acting, he said that man’s thoughts and actions was directed towards the pursuit of certain human goods, where the goods were ordered hierarchically, and consequently, so were the thoughts and acts proper to man as man.

    Your question was about how rights were grounded in reality and I answered by explaining that rights come from the metaphysical fact (the axiom) that man is a thinking and acting being. That’s it. That’s how rights are grounded in reality.

    We have a political grouping here that govern themselves, having instituted a public authority, and decided that they will regulate entry, whether temporary or permanent, in their territorial jurisdiction. So if we have someone entering that territory without the requisite permissions s/he is clearly violating that territory’s citizens right of self-government. That is a rights-violation.

    Right but what separates those of us on the right from those of you on the left is that we only want the action of violating rights to be “unlawful” and nothing else. Laws that make actions that don’t violate rights illegal (like immigration laws) are the rights violations and should be repealed.

    Basically the term “illegal immigrant” is like a category error.

  182. I don’t need to provide any evidence to reject religion, which is just a collection of random assertions that violate the axioms. I can just reject it out of hand.

    I never said anything about evidence, I said you can’t simply say that God ‘self-evidently’ doesn’t exist. There is no self-evidence about the matter at all. Which is buttressed by the simple fact that there are multiple arguments for the existence of God, made by first-rate philosophers from Plato to the present. If you think you can claim’self-evidence in the face of that fact you simply don’t know what it requires.

    Your question was about how rights were grounded in reality and I answered by explaining that rights come from the metaphysical fact (the axiom) that man is a thinking and acting being. That’s it. That’s how rights are grounded in reality.

    That doesn’t rise to the level of an explanation at all. You are simply declaring that ‘the axiom’ ground rights without explaining how it does so.

    Right but what separates those of us on the right from those of you on the left is that we only want the action of violating rights to be “unlawful” and nothing else. Laws that make actions that don’t violate rights illegal (like immigration laws) are the rights violations and should be repealed.

    Basically the term “illegal immigrant” is like a category error.

    Stop muddying the waters with this left-right rubbish. If people are free to govern themselves, then they are quite free to regulate who and under what terms, foreigners are allowed to enter their territorial jurisdiction. This is no different to excluding foreigners from enjoying a right to vote in local elections. If you’re here arguing that there could never be an illegal immigrant, then there could never being illegal voting either, which is simply absurd.

  183. iampeter

    I never said anything about evidence, I said you can’t simply say that God ‘self-evidently’ doesn’t exist.

    But I can and I did. Here is the relevant quote exercising the basic thinking required to disprove religion:
    if religion is real then it wouldn’t be religion, therefore you can’t prove religion is real. Therefore, it’s axiomatic/self-evident that religion isn’t real.

    It’s really that simple.

    That doesn’t rise to the level of an explanation at all. You are simply declaring that ‘the axiom’ ground rights without explaining how it does so.

    I’ve explained that “rights” are the political concept that recognizes the need to be free to think and act (which is self-evidently how humans live) in a social context.
    There’s no further information possible to provide on this, its observable and you can verify it yourself.

    Stop muddying the waters with this left-right rubbish. If people are free to govern themselves, then they are quite free to regulate who and under what terms, foreigners are allowed to enter their territorial jurisdiction. This is no different to excluding foreigners from enjoying a right to vote in local elections. If you’re here arguing that there could never be an illegal immigrant, then there could never being illegal voting either, which is simply absurd.

    Yes, what I am saying is “there could never be an illegal immigrant”. Not to a classic liberal who supports a rights protecting government. The act of immigration is simply not a rights violation.

  184. But I can and I did. Here is the relevant quote exercising the basic thinking required to disprove religion:
    if religion is real then it wouldn’t be religion, therefore you can’t prove religion is real. Therefore, it’s axiomatic/self-evident that religion isn’t real.

    It’s really that simple.

    This is just dumb because it is among other things circular and question-begging. If you can’t see that there is no point continuing on this point.

    I’ve explained that “rights” are the political concept that recognizes the need to be free to think and act (which is self-evidently how humans live) in a social context.
    There’s no further information possible to provide on this, its observable and you can verify it yourself.

    Is this really how Objectivists roll? They simply present assertions as ‘self-evident’ truths.

    Yes, what I am saying is “there could never be an illegal immigrant”. Not to a classic liberal who supports a rights protecting government. The act of immigration is simply not a rights violation.

    So a self-governing people have no right to exclude potential members from their political association? Don’t they manage that association, including the territory that political association is sovereign over, just as a private property owner manages his property and is free to decide who enters it and what occurs upon it? Now, rather than just asserting that existing members don’t have a right to exclude potential members from their association, tell me how a non-member ignoring the member’s decision is not a rights-violation? Merely asserting it will not do.

  185. iampeter

    This is just dumb because it is among other things circular and question-begging.

    It’s just “self evident” but you want to evade it and are doing mental gymnastics to that end. It’s up to you though.

    Is this really how Objectivists roll? They simply present assertions as ‘self-evident’ truths.

    What? Make observable statements of fact? We’re not discussing very complex stuff here. This is the level of political discourse today where basic, self-evident and observable concepts are in dispute. I’m not trying to be a smart-ass but just think about what’s being said:
    You can observe that a human lives by thinking and acting, yes?
    You can observe that if another human puts a gun to your head, he is preventing you from doing so, yes?
    You can therefore observe that if more than one human is going to live among each other, each individual must have his “rights” to think and act protected.
    You have now observed the concept of “rights”.

    No gods. No demons. No flying spaghetti monsters. Just basic, observable facts.

    So a self-governing people have no right to exclude potential members from their political association?Don’t they manage that association, including the territory that political association is sovereign over, just as a private property owner manages his property and is free to decide who enters it and what occurs upon it?

    The government’s job is to protect rights, which makes things like private property ownership possible in the first place, but the government itself does not “own” the country. It’s our servant.

    Now, rather than just asserting that existing members don’t have a right to exclude potential members from their association, tell me how a non-member ignoring the member’s decision is not a rights-violation?

    This doesn’t describe immigration.
    Immigration is having someone move into a house down the street from you, except this person came from somewhere outside of your governments jurisdiction. This is not your business or the business of the state during the normal course of things (ie peacetime). No permission from you or anyone else is needed for this in a free country, because this act doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. Making this act illegal on the other hand would itself be a rights violation, because it would be forcibly preventing an individual from pursuing his life.

  186. .

    The government’s job is to protect rights, which makes things like private property ownership possible in the first place, but the government itself does not “own” the country.

    Small point:

    http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/bhobbs/Umbeck%201977%20A%20Theory%20of%20Property%20Rights%20with%20Application%20to%20the%20California%20Gold%20Rush.pdf

    Umbeck, J., 1977. The California Gold Rush: A Study of Emerging Property Rights. Explorations
    in Economic History 14, 197-226.

    An example of property rights emerging as a necessity of efficiency and trade. Virtually no government interference.

  187. It’s just “self evident” but you want to evade it and are doing mental gymnastics to that end.

    No. You begged the question in your last failed attempt as your conclusion was implied in a premise. Rookie philosophical mistake.

    You can observe that a human lives by thinking and acting, yes?
    You can observe that if another human puts a gun to your head, he is preventing you from doing so, yes?
    You can therefore observe that if more than one human is going to live among each other, each individual must have his “rights” to think and act protected.
    You have now observed the concept of “rights”.

    The problem is with your third premise. You ‘poof’ rights into existence out of thin air. You need some intermediate premises such as, that thinking and acting are necessary for human beings to pursue certain goods (knowledge, family life, etc. ) that are proper to man as man, and that the pursuit of these goods is good for man. That because these goods are good for man, you can then argue that any laws or acts that impede the pursuit of these goods constitute a wrong. Or to put it another way, that you have a right to pursue these goods, the good of knowledge, entails a right of assembly, speech, education, and the like, because it is good for man as man to do so. Your third premise, by the way, is not an observation but a deduction. However, what you have given above is a contract theory of rights where rights are created by an agreement between those seeking to live together and only applies to those party to that agreement.

    The government’s job is to protect rights, which makes things like private property ownership possible in the first place, but the government itself does not “own” the country. It’s our servant.

    I never said the government “own” the country, I said a self-governing people have sovereignty over their territory which includes a right to regulate entry whether temporarily or permanently in that jurisdiction. Foreigners do not enjoy a right of entry into a foreign jurisdiction. You have given no reason for thinking that they do.

    This doesn’t describe immigration.
    Immigration is having someone move into a house down the street from you, except this person came from somewhere outside of your governments jurisdiction. This is not your business or the business of the state during the normal course of things (ie peacetime). No permission from you or anyone else is needed for this in a free country, because this act doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. Making this act illegal on the other hand would itself be a rights violation, because it would be forcibly preventing an individual from pursuing his life.

    It perfectly describes illegal immigration. Illegal immigration is not someone moving into a house down my street having paid the previous owner and finalized the necessary paperwork, it is someone moving into my neighbor’s house and squatting in a spare bedroom, or spending a few paid nights, but then failing to leave. But you want to ignore the rights violation entailed by claiming that this doesn’t violate the rights of my neighbor, and even worse, by asserting that preventing the squatting or forcibly removing an over-stayer is itself the rights violation! Incredible.

  188. iampeter

    No. You begged the question in your last failed attempt as your conclusion was implied in a premise. Rookie philosophical mistake.

    No, I gave a statement of fact, but because religion has melted your brain you don’t believe in facts. The biggest criticism I would have is your inability to think clearly about even fundamentals, but this is all too common today.
    Begging the question is what you have been doing all thread, for example when you say something like “if rights aren’t grounded in god and it’s proven they need to be grounded in god and if god isn’t real, then rights aren’t real”.
    It’s also your favorite criticism to throw out when you’ve been presented with logic you don’t want to accept so you attack it as a logically fallacy you yourself have been committing.

    You ‘poof’ rights into existence out of thin air. You need some intermediate premises such as, that thinking and acting are necessary for human beings to pursue certain goods (knowledge, family life, etc. ) that are proper to man as man, and that the pursuit of these goods is good for man.

    I do the exact opposite of that and demonstrate how I arrive at it with observable facts. But these facts are very basic, so its close to air for your I suppose. Or put another way, you can’t seem to grasp basic facts of reality so to you everything is just “air”.

    I never said the government “own” the country, I said a self-governing people have sovereignty over their territory which includes a right to regulate entry whether temporarily or permanently in that jurisdiction. Foreigners do not enjoy a right of entry into a foreign jurisdiction. You have given no reason for thinking that they do.

    What are you trying to describe the function of in this paragraph? A government? A mob?
    Whatever it is, it doesn’t protect rights and is therefore a collectivist and leftist system that you are advocating for.

    It perfectly describes illegal immigration…

    But you haven’t established what constitutes “illegal” in your world. You just keep saying nonsensical words like “illegal immigrant”.

    Look here is the formula for making a political point:
    I believe the function of government is X, because Y, so applying this to the issue of Z, my position is…

    Why don’t you just use that to articulate what you’re position is on the issue of immigration?

  189. No, I gave a statement of fact, but because religion has melted your brain you don’t believe in facts. The biggest criticism I would have is your inability to think clearly about even fundamentals, but this is all too common today.
    Begging the question is what you have been doing all thread, for example when you say something like “if rights aren’t grounded in god and it’s proven they need to be grounded in god and if god isn’t real, then rights aren’t real”.
    It’s also your favorite criticism to throw out when you’ve been presented with logic you don’t want to accept so you attack it as a logically fallacy you yourself have been committing.

    No, no, you didn’t state a fact, you simply asserted that your thesis was a fact, and then you tried to argue your thesis by including your conclusion in your first premise. The rest of what you say above is nonsense, typical of philosophical rookie.

    I do the exact opposite of that and demonstrate how I arrive at it with observable facts. But these facts are very basic, so its close to air for your I suppose. Or put another way, you can’t seem to grasp basic facts of reality so to you everything is just “air”.

    No, no, again, you seem impervious to reason. You just make bald assertions, think you can pretty them up by saying they are ‘axiomatic’, ‘observable facts’, ‘self-evident’ and the like.

    What are you trying to describe the function of in this paragraph? A government? A mob?
    Whatever it is, it doesn’t protect rights and is therefore a collectivist and leftist system that you are advocating for.

    You’re just engaging in bald self-assertion and theatrical pearl-clutching, and, sadly, you think this is entirely appropriate in an argument.

    But you haven’t established what constitutes “illegal” in your world. You just keep saying nonsensical words like “illegal immigrant”.

    But I have established what is illegal, entry into the territorial jurisdiction of a self-governing people, of which you are not a part, without their permission, is illegal.

  190. iampeter

    You’re just engaging in bald self-assertion

    So let me get this straight: when I say “rights are grounded in the self-evident fact of man being a thinking and acting being” I’m making a “bald self-assertion, that requires much more evidence before you will even think about accepting it.
    But when you say “rights come from god”, whatever that even means, you think that’s a statement of a fact? Or a logical argument on your part?

    You’re just engaging in bald self-assertion and theatrical pearl-clutching, and, sadly, you think this is entirely appropriate in an argument.

    But this is exactly what you have been doing since the very beginning. You haven’t articulated any argument at all and don’t seem to know how. All you’ve done is brought religion into the discussion for some reason and keep stating immigration should be illegal but can’t explain why.

    But I have established what is illegal, entry into the territorial jurisdiction of a self-governing people, of which you are not a part, without their permission, is illegal.

    All you’ve done is said something should be illegal. What I’m asking is: “why do you think it should be illegal”? What do you think the purpose of government is? Can you actually articulate a single political position?

    That’s why I gave you that helpful formula to follow.

  191. So let me get this straight: when I say “rights are grounded in the self-evident fact of man being a thinking and acting being” I’m making a “bald self-assertion, that requires much more evidence before you will even think about accepting it.

    It doesn’t require more evidence, it requires an argument that moves from the observation that man is a creature with intellect and will to the conclusion that he is in virtue of this a creature that enjoys certain rights. That is why I continually point towards man being a creature that is directed towards certain goods, that it is good for him to pursue those ends, and that any impediments to that pursuit are wrongs, and so on because they are the necessary intermediate steps from the first premise to the relevant conclusion.

    But when you say “rights come from god”, whatever that even means, you think that’s a statement of a fact? Or a logical argument on your part?

    If you paid attention, when I made that statement, I qualified it with ‘ultimately’, and I added that there were a number of intermediate steps from the observation that man was a creature with intellect and will, directed towards certain goods, and that his pursuit of these goods was itself good because it fulfilled his nature as a human being, and so on, ‘ultimately’, to God.

    But this is exactly what you have been doing since the very beginning. You haven’t articulated any argument at all and don’t seem to know how. All you’ve done is brought religion into the discussion for some reason and keep stating immigration should be illegal but can’t explain why.

    Not at all. I’ve never said that immigration should be illegal, I’ve said that a self-governing people gets to decide who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. It is entirely within their purview to have whatever immigration they please.

    All you’ve done is said something should be illegal. What I’m asking is: “why do you think it should be illegal”? What do you think the purpose of government is? Can you actually articulate a single political position?

    I haven’t anywhere said something should be illegal. I stated that, as I do again above, that it is entirely within the purview of a self-governing people to decide who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. That is a political position. Plainly. I don’t need to specify a particular immigration policy, it is enough to say what I do above.

  192. iampeter

    It doesn’t require more evidence, it requires an argument that moves from the observation that man is a creature with intellect and will to the conclusion that he is in virtue of this a creature that enjoys certain rights. That is why I continually point towards man being a creature that is directed towards certain goods, that it is good for him to pursue those ends, and that any impediments to that pursuit are wrongs, and so on because they are the necessary intermediate steps from the first premise to the relevant conclusion.

    So it sounds like you get what I’m saying, is this just a long way of saying you agree that rights are grounded in man as a thinking and acting being?
    Otherwise I don’t know what you mean by this paragraph.

    If you paid attention, when I made that statement, I qualified it with ‘ultimately’,

    None of that changes the fact that suggesting anything “comes from god” is both a “bald self-assertion” and makes no sense. It’s the baldest of all assertions, in fact since the idea of the supernatural violates basic laws of reality is observably not real.

    Not at all. I’ve never said that immigration should be illegal, I’ve said that a self-governing people gets to decide who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. It is entirely within their purview to have whatever immigration they please.

    OK, so by “self government people”, do you mean the government?
    And are you saying you believe that something other than protecting rights is within the purview of the government?

  193. So it sounds like you get what I’m saying, is this just a long way of saying you agree that rights are grounded in man as a thinking and acting being?
    Otherwise I don’t know what you mean by this paragraph.

    This is the only way of getting to rights from the first premise.

    None of that changes the fact that suggesting anything “comes from god” is both a “bald self-assertion” and makes no sense.

    It’s not a bald assertion if it is the conclusion of an argument.

    It’s the baldest of all assertions, in fact since the idea of the supernatural violates basic laws of reality is observably not real.

    That is a bald assertion.

    OK, so by “self government people”, do you mean the government?

    I said self-governing.

    And are you saying you believe that something other than protecting rights is within the purview of the government?

    In the above, no, but that may be the case in certain specific circumstances.

  194. iampeter

    It’s not a bald assertion if it is the conclusion of an argument.

    If you’ve brough “god” into an argument, you have no argument. No beginning or conclusion. And you can’t hammer anyone about “more evidence” or to clarify their arguments either, since by bringing god up you don’t value logic, clarity or evidence.

    That is a bald assertion.

    No, the idea of “god” is a bald assertion, rejecting random assertions that violate the laws of reality is good, clear thinking.

    I said self-governing.

    Yea and I don’t know what that means? No government? Anarchy?
    My question is: what do you think is the function of government and why? Then you can apply this to specific issues, like immigration.

  195. If you’ve brough “god” into an argument, you have no argument. No beginning or conclusion. And you can’t hammer anyone about “more evidence” or to clarify their arguments either, since by bringing god up you don’t value logic, clarity or evidence.

    More bald assertions.

    No, the idea of “god” is a bald assertion, rejecting random assertions that violate the laws of reality is good, clear thinking.

    Not if it appears as the conclusion of an argument. To presume otherwise is to beg the question.

    Yea and I don’t know what that means? No government? Anarchy?

    It means a parliamentary system of government of some sort.

    My question is: what do you think is the function of government and why? Then you can apply this to specific issues, like immigration.

    I don’t need to answer that question in order to determine that a self-governing people can authorize the public authority to regulate who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. Nothing about a non-citizen’s thinking and acting requires it to occur in the relevant jurisdiction so they could have no right to enter it.

  196. iampeter

    More bald assertions.

    I’ve made zero “bald assertions”, just statements of self-evident fact.

    Not if it appears as the conclusion of an argument. To presume otherwise is to beg the question.

    God or anything to do with religion are random assertions that violate basic rules of reality. It shouldn’t appear in any debate.
    To suggest it has anything to do with concluding an argument without which you can’t argue or something in the first place, is itself the act of “begging the question”. You’re the only one who has done this all thread.

    I don’t need to answer that question in order to determine that a self-governing people can authorize the public authority to regulate who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. Nothing about a non-citizen’s thinking and acting requires it to occur in the relevant jurisdiction so they could have no right to enter it.

    Right, so at last we get to what amounts as your political position.
    In short, you can’t state what a government should or shouldn’t do and why, but irrespective of that you’ve somehow concluded that immigration should be regulated, for no reason you can clearly state because you don’t know what or why a government should be doing to begin with.

  197. I’ve made zero “bald assertions”, just statements of self-evident fact.

    LOL. No.

    God or anything to do with religion are random assertions that violate basic rules of reality. It shouldn’t appear in any debate.

    Again, more bald assertions.

    To suggest it has anything to do with concluding an argument without which you can’t argue or something in the first place, is itself the act of “begging the question”. You’re the only one who has done this all thread.

    A conclusion cannot beg the question. Dear oh dear.

    Right, so at last we get to what amounts as your political position.
    In short, you can’t state what a government should or shouldn’t do and why, but irrespective of that you’ve somehow concluded that immigration should be regulated, for no reason you can clearly state because you don’t know what or why a government should be doing to begin with.

    You’re babbling now because you have no rebuttal to the claim that a self-governing people are entitled to regulate who can and cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. Sad.

  198. iampeter

    Again, more bald assertions.

    Lol no, other way around.
    It’s like I’ve said: “water is wet”
    And you’ve said: “water comes from god”
    My statement is a self evident fact. Your statement is a random assertion, that is not even relevant to
    boot. I.e. water “coming from god” would have nothing to do with the statement that is, in fact, wet.
    Only you have engaged in “bald” assertions, except I wouldn’t use the word “bald” to describe them.

    A conclusion cannot beg the question. Dear oh dear.

    But you can’t even discuss rights without first trying to convince me of god. From the very beginning you started by trying to anchor them in god. You have literally being begging the question of “rights” all thread.
    Once again, only you have engaged in this fallacy.

    You’re babbling now because you have no rebuttal to the claim that a self-governing people are entitled to regulate who can and cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction. Sad.

    I’ve given a clear explanation of what rights are, why that’s important, what the state’s role should be with respect to rights and why. I’ve then applied that to the issue of immigration.
    You might disagree with my position, but you sure as hell can’t call it babble.

    You on the other hand can’t articulate a single position, without resorting to random assertion or appeals to the supernatural. I mean question about why/why not immigration turned into you trying to prove god exists, lol what-the-actual-f#ck?.

    Or in other words, once again, only you have engaged in babbling.

    Basically you’ve grown tired of running around in circles, have absolutely zero arguments and are now resorting to projecting onto me what you’ve done all thread.

    Sad indeed.
    And sadly typical for Conservative “political discourse”.

  199. Lol no, other way around.
    It’s like I’ve said: “water is wet”
    And you’ve said: “water comes from god”
    My statement is a self evident fact. Your statement is a random assertion, that is not even relevant to
    boot. I.e. water “coming from god” would have nothing to do with the statement that is, in fact, wet.
    Only you have engaged in “bald” assertions, except I wouldn’t use the word “bald” to describe them.

    LOL. What a desperate attempt at an analogy.

    But you can’t even discuss rights without first trying to convince me of god. From the very beginning you started by trying to anchor them in god. You have literally being begging the question of “rights” all thread.
    Once again, only you have engaged in this fallacy.

    I don’t have to convince you of God to discuss rights. As I said above, if by rights you mean something more than whatever this or that society says they are, you have to ground them in human nature, and that ultimately, requires God. You, however, immediately clutch your pearls at the mention of God, even when used in such a manner.

    I’ve given a clear explanation of what rights are, why that’s important, what the state’s role should be with respect to rights and why. I’ve then applied that to the issue of immigration.
    You might disagree with my position, but you sure as hell can’t call it babble.

    It’s babble because you’re not engaging at all in an argument. You are simply rehearsing lines that are irrelevant to what I’ve raised.

    You on the other hand can’t articulate a single position, without resorting to random assertion or appeals to the supernatural. I mean question about why/why not immigration turned into you trying to prove god exists, lol what-the-actual-f#ck?.

    I articulated a position re immigration above without any random assertions, to human nature, etc. and all you’ve done is stamp your feet like a 13 year old girl. That is because you have absolutely no rebuttal to any of it and why your last response was, again, nothing more than hissy fit and pearl-clutching show.

  200. .

    Peter

    Let’s have that retraction about the state necessarily being the source of property rights re: Umbeck.

    GO!!!

  201. OneWorldGovernment

    iampeter
    #2564348, posted on November 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

    Again, more bald assertions.

    Lol no, other way around.

    go for it iampeter

  202. iampeter

    As I said above, if by rights you mean something more than whatever this or that society says they are, you have to ground them in human nature, and that ultimately, requires God.

    Yes and this is a textbook example of begging the question lol.
    This is on the level of when earlier in the thread you said “I’m not bringing religion into the discussion, I’m bringing God into discussion!” lol

    So in summary here is my position: As a classic liberal I support a rights protecting government, so only rights violations through force or fraud should be illegal. So, since immigration is not a rights violation, it shouldn’t be illegal nor is there any role for the government to play.

    I’m not actually clear if you agree or disagree with me because you can’t seem to say anything clearly or articulate any positions at all, but from what I can gather your position amounts to (with no reference to the concepts of “government” or “rights” in a political discussion: “self-governing people” (whatever that is) can authorize the public authority (whatever that is) to regulate who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction (why?).
    Also god. (why did this even come up lol?)

    I mean…there’s no words. You’re a grown fucking man. What the actual-fuck is this shit?

  203. .

    Peter

    Let’s have that retraction about property rights now.

    I have given you a reference, let us not see that you have flat learning curves.

    —————————————–

    So in summary here is my position: As a classic liberal I support a rights protecting government, so only rights violations through force or fraud should be illegal. So, since immigration is not a rights violation, it shouldn’t be illegal nor is there any role for the government to play.

    That is correct. The underlying assumptions, however, are that we minimise publicly owned goods and spaces and eliminate welfare or restrict it to citizens only. People don’t get it, despite it being straight out of Hans Herman Hoppe’s work. It is not surprising given that abolishing compulsory schooling is quite a controversial topic on this blog.

    If a reversion goes back to “the real world” then you know they are begging the question. Philosophically, you are correct.

  204. iampeter

    Peter

    Let’s have that retraction about property rights now.

    I have given you a reference, let us not see that you have flat learning curves.

    Dude, I don’t know what you’re asking.

  205. .

    Posted yesterday:

    The government’s job is to protect rights, which makes things like private property ownership possible in the first place, but the government itself does not “own” the country.

    Small point:

    http://itech.fgcu.edu/faculty/bhobbs/Umbeck%201977%20A%20Theory%20of%20Property%20Rights%20with%20Application%20to%20the%20California%20Gold%20Rush.pdf

    Umbeck, J., 1977. The California Gold Rush: A Study of Emerging Property Rights. Explorations
    in Economic History 14, 197-226.

    An example of property rights emerging as a necessity of efficiency and trade. Virtually no government interference.

  206. Yes and this is a textbook example of begging the question lol.
    This is on the level of when earlier in the thread you said “I’m not bringing religion into the discussion, I’m bringing God into discussion!” lol

    You have no idea what ‘begging the question’ involves and you think that a philosophical argument whose conclusion ultimately requires a necessary being ‘is bringing religion’ into a discussion. This would be like me saying that your earlier reference to the principle of causality ‘brought science into the discussion when it does nothing of the sort.

    So in summary here is my position: As a classic liberal I support a rights protecting government, so only rights violations through force or fraud should be illegal. So, since immigration is not a rights violation, it shouldn’t be illegal nor is there any role for the government to play.

    Immigrating to a country without the requisite permissions or overstaying those permissions constitutes fraud. The only way you can deny any fraud is by arguing that a self-governing community has no right to regulate who can enter either temporarily or permanently their territorial jurisdiction.

    I’m not actually clear if you agree or disagree with me because you can’t seem to say anything clearly or articulate any positions at all, but from what I can gather your position amounts to (with no reference to the concepts of “government” or “rights” in a political discussion: “self-governing people” (whatever that is) can authorize the public authority (whatever that is) to regulate who can and who cannot temporarily or permanently enter their jurisdiction (why?).

    Oh, you can’t understand a simple sentence and have never heard those phrases? Heavens. Re the why, why not? People don’t enjoy an unconditional right to enter private property, similarly, they don’t enjoy a right to enter a territorial jurisdiction of which they are not a member without the permission of the relevant public authority.

    I mean…there’s no words. You’re a grown fucking man. What the actual-fuck is this shit?

    You’re not fooling anyone.

  207. .

    Goddamnit Peter, you ought to read Umbeck and clarify your position.

  208. iampeter

    “a philosophical argument whose conclusion ultimately requires a necessary being ” IS begging the question.

    Also bringing god into a discussion about immigration laws IS bringing religion into the discussion for some reason.

    I pretty much called it earlier in the thread when I said:

    LOL shuddup Dover. You don’t know anything about philosophy or politics and so aren’t in a position to “have plenty of time” for anyone.

    The rest of our exchange has eloquently proved me correct.

  209. .

    Peter

    Please clarify your position in light of Umbeck’s observations of the Californian gold fields.

  210. “a philosophical argument whose conclusion ultimately requires a necessary being ” IS begging the question.

    You cannot ‘beg the question’ in the conclusion. Here is an example of begging the question, you are probably familiar with it because they are your own words:

    if religion is real then it wouldn’t be religion, therefore you can’t prove religion is real. Therefore, it’s axiomatic/self-evident that religion isn’t real.

    Your first premise assumes the conclusion and it’s so glaring a mistake, that, well, the less said the better. I won’t tell anyone.

    Also bringing god into a discussion about immigration laws IS bringing religion into the discussion for some reason.

    I did not do that, the only time I brought up God was many replies in to the question I asked of you, “Do you have a coherent theory of rights? What are they grounded in?” which you spent a lot of time avoiding. Now I know why.
    And now you are using God, the irony, to avoid rebutting my claim that “Immigrating to a country without the requisite permissions or overstaying those permissions constitutes fraud. The only way you can deny any fraud is by arguing that a self-governing community has no right to regulate who can enter either temporarily or permanently their territorial jurisdiction” beyond saying, Why? to which I answered, “Why not? People don’t enjoy an unconditional right to enter private property, similarly, they don’t enjoy a right to enter a territorial jurisdiction of which they are not a member without the permission of the relevant public authority.

    Any failure on your part to actually answer these response indicates that either you, in particular, or Objectivism, in toto, is simply a dead letter as a political ideology, let alone as a political philosophy.

  211. iampeter

    if religion is real then it wouldn’t be religion, therefore you can’t prove religion is real. Therefore, it’s axiomatic/self-evident that religion isn’t real.

    Your first premise assumes the conclusion and it’s so glaring a mistake, that, well, the less said the better. I won’t tell anyone.

    The whole point of that sentence was demonstrating the circular nature of religious assertions (i.e. religion is one big begging the question/logical fallacy exercise.

    There’s no failure on my part other than engaging with an absolute imbecile in a political discussion.

  212. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Here we are deep in the fifth set and it looks like we may see a break of serve shortly.

  213. The whole point of that sentence was demonstrating the circular nature of religious assertions (i.e. religion is one big begging the question/logical fallacy exercise.

    You’re flapping about like a fish on a pier now, iampater. That sentence of yours,

    if religion is real then it wouldn’t be religion, therefore you can’t prove religion is real. Therefore, it’s axiomatic/self-evident that religion isn’t real,

    is not a religious assertion, that, I, or, any sane, rational person made, it is your feeble and failed attempt to prove your idiotic thesis by means of an idiotic syllogism.

    There’s no failure on my part other than engaging with an absolute imbecile in a political discussion.

    No, no, that failure is mine, I readily admit that, but it served to demonstrate that Objectivism, as a political ideology, let alone as a political philosophy, is a dead letter, and that you are, as evidenced above, one of its worst proponents. Asked to provide a simple rebuttal you turned tail and ran. For shame.

  214. Tel

    is not a religious assertion, that, I, or, any sane, rational person made, it is your feeble and failed attempt to prove your idiotic thesis by means of an idiotic syllogism.

    What he is trying to say (kind of badly) is that if God was directly observable in an unequivocal manner then empiricism would be fully sufficient. Since God is not directly observable it then leads to either [1] belief for its own sake or [2] rejection of God based on the axiom that nonobservable things can be safely and efficiently ignored, should God at a future time decide to become observable we can go back to the original point that empiricism would once more be fully sufficient.

    iampeter silently abandons option [1] based on his own opinion, which is a reasonable thing for each individual to decide for him/her self, but if you are going to make that assumption better to explain it openly.

    That of course ignores indirectly observable things, and empiricism does not provide strict rules about that, it largely comes down to how deeply indirect you are willing to accept an observation. Can an observation of an organized system be used to infer an intelligent designer? My answer would be “no” but there’s a lot more work required to fully answer that.

  215. What he is trying to say (kind of badly) is that if God was directly observable in an unequivocal manner then empiricism would be fully sufficient.

    Tel, a lot of things are not directly observable in an unequivocal manner. You have set a very high standard which isn’t applied to anything else. Many scientific theories involve attempts to explain things that are not directly observable, and they are often wrong even where the things is dirctly observable because what they are attempting to explain is not ‘unequivocal’, which explains the problem of underdetermination, and the use of tools like Occam’s Razor to get around it.

    That empiricism cannot help us with respect to arguments for God’s existence tells us only that we are dealing with something where scientific methods are not fit for purpose, as they aren’t in other areas, such as the presentation of a philosophical defense of empiricism. And if that is admitted you have to judge the arguments for God’s existence, philosophically, just as you would a defense of empiricism.

    Nevertheless, I would actually prefer to read a rebuttal to this: “Immigrating to a country without the requisite permissions or overstaying those permissions constitutes fraud. The only way you can deny any fraud is by arguing that a self-governing community has no right to regulate who can enter either temporarily or permanently their territorial jurisdiction” beyond saying, Why? to which I answered, “Why not? People don’t enjoy an unconditional right to enter private property, similarly, they don’t enjoy a right to enter a territorial jurisdiction of which they are not a member without the permission of the relevant public authority.”
    iampeter? iampeter?

  216. Tel

    Tel, a lot of things are not directly observable in an unequivocal manner. You have set a very high standard which isn’t applied to anything else.

    Yes I mentioned already that the boundary of indirectly observable things and non-observable things gets a bit arbitrary at some point. For example the use of statistics as a method of observing small differences in populations is highly questionable (especially when social scientists get their hands on those statistics).

    That empiricism cannot help us with respect to arguments for God’s existence tells us only that we are dealing with something where scientific methods are not fit for purpose, as they aren’t in other areas, such as the presentation of a philosophical defense of empiricism.

    That’s a question of definitions. Empiricism has been successful on it’s own terms … we can empirically observe the material technological gains that have come out of empiricism. If the definition of “fit for purpose” is whether empiricism gives a clear answer regarding God then I already gave you the empirical answer — God should be ignored for reasons of efficiency. You don’t like the answer, which is your choice, but you are defining “fit for purpose” based on whether you like the answer you get back.

    I will grant you that religion has also been successful on it’s own terms (although no religion can convincingly prove the others are wrong, each creates its own frame of reference), and one could argue that religion might have been a first step towards empiricism (although both empiricism and religion are very old so they mostly grew up together). Religious people deliberately choose not to ignore God, and have built a whole intellectual construct around the idea of reasoning about non-observable entities and what such entities would want you to do with your life, even when you can’t ask them. Fair enough, but none of this is interesting to the empiricist, other than to look at the overall end-result (in physical terms) of various schools of religious thought. The empiricist would look at religion from the perspective of behaviour, not from the perspective of God.

  217. Yes I mentioned already that the boundary of indirectly observable things and non-observable things gets a bit arbitrary at some point.

    You are already dealing with undetermination when dealing with directly observable things, and this only increases with indirectly observable things.

    That’s a question of definitions. Empiricism has been successful on it’s own terms … we can empirically observe the material technological gains that have come out of empiricism.

    No, no, you’re missing the point. You want to excuse the philosophical pedigree of empiricism by arguing from the success, not of empiricism as a philosophical enterprise, were it has largely failed in the face of several lacunae, like consciousness, rationality, and so on, but on the clear success of science in explicating the material world. But the empiricist, ought, in the face of this failure, admit that empiricist claims about the world may not be as exhaustive as they once thought; a failure which in now way affects the success of the scientific enterprise, since its success is independent of the philosophic claims of empiricism.

    I will grant you that religion has also been successful on it’s own terms (although no religion can convincingly prove the others are wrong, each creates its own frame of reference),…Fair enough, but none of this is interesting to the empiricist, other than to look at the overall end-result (in physical terms) of various schools of religious thought. The empiricist would look at religion from the perspective of behaviour, not from the perspective of God.

    This doesn’t make sense. All you’ve done is suggest that an empirical ‘frame of reference’ excludes non-observable entities, but this in no way suggests that non-observable entities are not real features of the world. Further, universals, numbers, and propositions are not strictly speaking ‘observable’, are you saying that the do not exist, or that they are only do so in the mind?

  218. Empire

    iampeter? iampeter?

    The physio is working his hammy. The match ref tells me he’ll be back on the court in two shakes.

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