Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Objectivism Digest, Vol 13, Issue 8

Expand Messages
  • objectivism@bomis.com
    Send Objectivism mailing list submissions to objectivism@wetheliving.com To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 8, 2004
      Send Objectivism mailing list submissions to

      To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
      or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to

      You can reach the person managing the list at

      When replying, please edit your Subject line so it is more specific
      than "Re: Contents of Objectivism digest..."

      Today's Topics:

      1. Re: Objectivism's concept of free will (Weingarten)
      2. Re: First thoughts about extending one's freedom of will:whim
      versus value (Rafael Eilon)
      3. Defense + Farewell (Amy L. Hayden)
      4. Re: Objectivism's concept of free will (William Dwyer)
      5. Re: Re: Procedural Rights (merjet)


      Message: 1
      Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2004 13:28:03 -0400
      From: Weingarten <allen23@...>
      Subject: Re: OWL: Objectivism's concept of free will
      To: Objectivism@...
      Message-ID: <ECDEE4C4-88B8-11D8-9AAE-000393BCF68C@...>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed

      Bill Dwyer writes in response to my claim of a-priori knowledge �Well,
      I must say that ~I~ do not know from within that I could choose either
      alternative (under the same conditions). If I did, I wouldn't be a
      determinist! Therefore, on that basis alone, what Allen says is false.�
      He does not appear to understand the nature of an a-priori argument,
      but thinks of it in terms of the very sophisticated arguments that I
      denied were appropriate. Perhaps I was unclear as to the difference
      between the self-evident (or a-priori) perspective and sophisticated
      argumentation. Let us consider something that any teenager recognizes
      as self-evident, namely that he can choose whether to raise his right
      hand or his left hand. If you said to him that it is already
      determined, he would look at you askance. Yet a sophisticated argument
      could lead him to conclude that everything is already determined. His
      belief that he can choose to raise either hand is self-evident, even if
      by sophisticated argument he might be dissuaded. The teenager�s belief
      did not stem from analysis, but was taken as given.

      Since some might not understand this distinction between knowing from
      within and by argument, let me elaborate. In a science fiction show,
      the protagonist is beset by impossible situations wherein everything
      that should hold fails. Resolution occurs only after a scientist
      explains that the man is an android, created a year before, with
      implanted brain cells that caused him to believe that he was a certain
      man. (A similar theme occurred in an Arnold Schwarzenneger film, where
      he had been brainwashed into believing he had a different identity.)
      The man knew from within (self-evidently, a-priori) who he was, but
      argument proved him mistaken. Another example is that each of us has a
      sense of simultaneity, where everything can be associated with a given
      instant of time. Yet Einstein proved by argument that what was
      self-evident was mistaken.

      Consequently, someone could counter an a-priori position by claiming it
      to be inferior to an argument. Another approach would be to claim that
      he believes from within that he has no choice, but must do what fate
      has decreed. These constitute rebuttals to an a-priori position.
      However, it is not a sound rebuttal to state what we all know, namely
      that some people believe otherwise, by argument. Finally, to illustrate
      the self-evident, we know from within that we have intentions, where
      intentions are understood to mean changing things from what they would
      have been. (It is senseless to say that one can have an intention to
      make something happen that is already guaranteed.) Sophisticated
      arguments can deny the necessity of someone attempting to make things
      other than they are guaranteed to be. Nonetheless, it is self-evident
      (a-priori) and known from within, that each of us intends to make
      things different from how they would otherwise have turned out.

      Now although I aver that sophisticated argument is not responsive to
      the a-priori position, I question the soundness of that argument. Mr.
      Dwyer�s position implies that he never had a choice about anything (for
      all was determined). For absent free will, nothing could cause
      different outcomes. Yet, what meaning is there to his arguments if
      every aspect of existence is already guaranteed? Clearly he has the
      intention to convince others. *Yet there can be no meaning to an
      intention if something is already determined.* (For example, can anyone
      intend to change the orbit of the sun?)

      If Mr. Dwyer believes he has no choice, he needn�t give any argument,
      or intend anything, since whatever will be will be. Now he says that he
      knows he has a choice, but only after weighing the alternatives. But
      since he cannot choose whether or not to weigh the alternatives, or to
      change their consequence, the outcome was already determined. In other
      words, *what he calls a �choice� could only have turned out one way*.

      The only way to respect Mr. Dwyer�s argument is to view it as an
      intention to change another�s perspective. Yet the determinist argument
      necessitates that the outcome is already fixed, so that there cannot be
      any intention in the sense of changing what would have been. The
      argument is contradictory, for it presupposes intention in order to
      deny that there can be any intention.

      Yet again, *at issue is not the argument but its presupposition*. One
      would not present an argument without a sense that it could make a
      difference. Thus Mr. Dwyer does know, from within, that he could choose
      to argue or not. Otherwise, consider this scenario. Someone sees a baby
      crawling into the street, and watches as a car runs over the toddler.
      When asked why he didn�t bring the child to the sidewalk, he responds
      �the outcome was determined�. Similarly, no critique or recommendation
      of any human action would be warranted.

      I accept by evidence that some things are determined. *What proof would
      Mr. Dwyer accept that some things can be chosen one way or the other
      (under the same circumstances)?* He would not accept as proof that in a
      chess game, I can always decide on a next move, regardless of whether
      my method of evaluation results in a tie. Similarly, given a choice of
      which way to bet, with 50:50 odds, I can still make a choice. Yet
      again, he would not accept this as proof. The issue then is whether
      there is anything that one could say or do that would count as proof.
      Mr. Dwyer�s position will not meet the falsifiability criteria, if he
      cannot posit what evidence would demonstrate that choice is possible.



      Message: 2
      Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 12:11:37 -0700 (PDT)
      From: Rafael Eilon <r_eilon@...>
      Subject: Re: OWL: First thoughts about extending one's freedom of
      will:whim versus value
      To: objectivism@...
      Message-ID: <20040407191137.13247.qmail@...>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

      Mike Rael (4/7) holds that the extent of conscious calculation,
      planning, and executive control involved in human (or other) action is
      a measure of the freedom of the will, on a continuous scale. (I hope my
      complete rephrasing of Mike's position is excused). Similar positions
      have been voiced by Lissa Fischer and Merlin Jetton. Neil Goodell seems
      less decided, but is apparently in transition towards a similar kind of
      concept. (Robert Dean also raised pertinent questions, but I could not
      quite make out his position).

      William Dwyer and George H. Smith, even though they seem to be in
      disagreement with each other, both subscribe to an entirely different
      -- and, I should claim, gratuitous -- concept of freedom of the will.
      In this view, freedom consists of the absence of "necessitating"
      antecedent causes. The disagreement between William and George relates
      to the question whether such "freedom" exists: while William contends
      (correctly) that it does not, because _everything_ is necessitated by
      antecedent causes, George contends that human consciousness somehow, at
      some special moments, escapes this law and "chooses" to act _without_
      necessitating antecedent causes -- which, in this view, is what sets it

      I have written about this topic several times in the past, and I am not
      going to repeat myself ad nauseam; but there's a sincere request that I
      would like to address to both William and George, and to all those who
      still subscribe to a concept of free will similar to theirs:

      _The concept of freedom is too important; please do not waste it on
      meaningless sophistries, or you would miss its true meaning and make it

      Freedom means control, and control means causation; so freedom
      consists, as Mike correctly observes, of certain kinds of causation;
      not of being exempt from causation.

      I know that Branden and Peikoff have held that free will is itself a
      special type of causation which involves an outcome which is not
      necessitated by antecedent factors; but since this view is erroneous
      and illogical, I am urging all Objectivists to abandon it, completely
      and resolutely. There is no such thing as causation without
      necessitating antecedent factors, simply because causation, by
      definition, _means_ being necessitated by antecedent factors. To claim
      that there is another kind of causation constitutes an attack on the
      concept of causation, which renders it meaningless.

      The proof of the fact that the outcome of any process has been
      necessitated by its antecedent factors is in the fact that that outcome
      becomes a reality; no other proof is necessary. Freedom consists in
      certain kinds of antecedent factors which originate within the valuing,
      planning, trained-to-achieve-by-a-course-of-action, self.

      That such a concept of freedom is compatible with a deterministic view
      of physical reality is one of the most important arguments in its

      Best regards,


      Do you Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! Small Business $15K Web Design Giveaway


      Message: 3
      Date: Wed, 07 Apr 2004 23:09:58 -0500
      From: "Amy L. Hayden" <radical_mama@...>
      Subject: OWL: Defense + Farewell
      To: OWL <objectivism@...>
      Message-ID: <4074D096.1060704@...>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed

      Jimmy Wales [4/2] said "This rumor about Jamie Lee Curtis might be
      appropriate to repeat in a drunken late night dorm room, or a Women's
      Studies class, but not in a serious discussion:
      http://www.snopes.com/movies/actors/jamie.htm. Essentially, there is not
      one shred of credible evidence that this is true. And yet Amy has
      reported it as a fact."

      Yes, I did report it as fact ... it was something said to me by someone
      whom I trusted. If trusting my friends is my worst vice, then so be it.

      Nonetheless, the Snopes site addresses the claim that Curtis is a
      hermaphrodite (which is not the claim I made) and leaves it ambiguous as
      to whether she has AIS. In fact, the "argument" Snopes offers in the
      end for the falsity of the claim is that Curtis' body is too good
      looking, something that even the most skillful logician would have a
      difficult time supporting logically. [Otherwise, a man who was able to
      pass as a really attractive woman could actually *be considered" a
      woman, with no questions asked, because asking the questions would make
      men who found "her" attractive too uncomfortable.]

      In any case, the correction is noted ... although I disagree that my
      claim is as ludicrous as you have made it out to be. In fact, AIS is a
      well documented condition (see
      http://www.isna.org/drupal/node/view/187), along with other intersex
      conditions (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersexual), and while the
      particular case I referenced may not exist, it is not false that AIS is
      a confounding situation for advocates of a male-female binary
      construction of biological sex. The point of my bringing up Jamie Lee
      Curtis wasn't to spread gossip; it was to illustrate that there are
      people we consider to be women who are really men. Whether she
      illustrates the case or not, there are other women who do ... and so my
      being mistaken is irrelevant in the point I was trying to make.

      In his same post, Jimmy notes that the numbers I quoted in terms of
      intersexed individuals are "highly suspect, see:
      http://isna.org/drupal/node/view/91". Well, I did see that site ... and
      what Fausto Sterling did was add up all the rates of the anomalies and
      translated that into a percentage of the population. I think perhaps
      Jimmy has failed in figuring out *how* Fausto-Sterling came up with her
      numbers ... but, of course, that isn't my fault and is out of my control.

      Furthermore, on the Wikipedia site about intersexuality referenced
      above, it is clearly stated that up to 1 percent of live births "exhibit
      some degree of sexual ambiguity", which does *not* include births which
      include conditions that are not immediately discernable, such as AIS.

      Continuing on with Jimmy's post, he says "the 2 percent number
      is generally attributed to Anne Fausto-Sterling, a "Biology and Gender
      Studies" professor at Brown University, perhaps best known for her
      former advocacy of a theory that there are 5 sexes: male, female, merm,
      ferm, and herm. So, consider the source."

      I fail to see how ad hominem attacks on a professor with nearly 35 years
      of professional credibility has absolutely anything to do with the issue
      at hand. Has Jimmy read Fausto-Sterling's book? Has he examined her
      research that has been published in countless peer-reviewed
      journals? Because Jimmy references only Snopes and another Web site, I
      suspect he is going on rumor, innuendo and book reviews (at best) to
      come to his conclusions. I do not maintain that one must always read
      original sources in order to assess their credibility, but in this case
      there is reason to actually evaluate the material at hand before
      dismissing it with a logically flawed attack. But then again, Rand did
      that all the time, so perhaps it's part of the Objectivist tradition.

      That being said, I am saying farewell to the OWL list. The longer I
      stay here -- and it's been about four years now -- the more I am amazed
      at what's allowed to be sent out to the list ... as if sarcasm, vitriol,
      being mean, bitterness, and plain pessimism are part of intellectual
      discourse, much less that centered around Objectivist values and virtues.

      Phil Coates often wonders where all the young intellectuals go ... well,
      I suspect they go someplace where people don't rake them over the coals
      for making honest mistakes and they can actually engage in challenging
      intellectual discourse rather than having to deal with ad hominem
      attacks and accusations of lying.

      Amy L. Hayden


      Message: 4
      Date: Wed, 7 Apr 2004 22:53:10 -0700
      From: "William Dwyer" <wswdwyer@...>
      Subject: OWL: Re: Objectivism's concept of free will
      To: <Objectivism@...>
      Message-ID: <000901c41d2d$c8fd3df0$6501a8c0@billd>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

      George Smith (4/6) wrote, "For Bill, deciding that A is preferable to
      B is equivalent to choosing A -- for in his scheme, if one prefers A
      but does not choose A, then one did not *really* prefer A."

      I have no idea what it could mean to say that one "prefers A, but does
      not choose A." If you are free to choose A (if no one is stopping
      you) and you prefer to choose A, then why would you not choose A?

      George continues, "It is therefore quite true, according to this
      equivocation [what equivocation??], that under the "same conditions,"
      which includes the choosing of A [but it doesn't include the choosing
      of A!], that we could not have acted otherwise than to choose A. In
      other words, if the actual choice of A is included in what we mean by
      the "same conditions" [it isn't!], then to deny Bill's truism would be
      to uphold the contradictory proposition: "Under the same conditions,
      including the choice of A, I could choose non-A."

      This is not my argument. I am not including the choice of A in the
      conditions under which one chooses A. There is a difference between
      the choice and the conditions under which one makes the choice.

      George continues, "The only way out of Bill's useless tautology [??]
      is to recognize that preferences (subjective valuations) are not the
      same thing as choices."

      Of course, they are not the same thing; I never said they were. A
      preference is not the choice; it is what motivates the choice.

      George wrote: "We subjectively value many things that we don't choose
      to act upon."

      By "value" in this context I meant "prefer in relation to the

      George continued: "...Indeed, it is precisely because of these
      sometimes conflicting values that we must *deliberate* and weigh
      various alternatives before making a choice."

      Precisely! And it is from the ~weighing~ of these alternative values
      that we determine our ~highest~ value, on the basis of which we then
      make our choice. If, in fact, this process of weighing did NOT give
      us the highest value, then it would not constitute a process of
      "weighing" -- of assessing the relative value of the alternatives
      confronting us.

      And if, after weighing these various alternative values and deciding
      which is the most valuable, we could then choose a different
      alternative -- one that we valued less -- there would be no point in
      weighing them in the first place. The idea that we can choose
      something other than our highest value belies the very ~purpose~ of

      George asks, "How does the determinist define the "strongest motive"
      (or any similar term)? More often than not among determinists, the
      "strongest motive" turns out to be any motive that prevails, i.e., the
      one that actually motivates a given action. And in this case we have
      yet another tautology masquerading as an argument for determinism."

      It's a tautology only in the sense that to deny it is a
      self-contradiction. If in a particular situation we are free to
      choose either A or non-A, then one of two possibilities obtains.
      Either we have a motive for choosing A over non-A, or we don't.

      If we don't, then our choice is unmotivated, which doesn't make sense,
      because intentional actions require a motive; they require some reason
      for taking the action -- some value that we are seeking to gain or

      If, on the other hand, we do have a motive for choosing A over non-A,
      then we must also have a motive for choosing non-A over A, if we are
      to be able to choose the latter as well as the former. But this
      doesn't make sense either, because it implies the presence of
      contradictory motives. It implies that we can be motivated to choose
      A over non-A and ~simultaneously~ motivated to choose non-A over A --
      which is impossible.

      Therefore, insofar as a free choice is unmotivated, it is arbitrary
      and purposeless; and insofar as it is motivated, it is


      George writes, "In the real world of choosing, in contrast to circular
      arguments of determinists, the choice itself is an essential element
      of the actuating motive."

      On the contrary, the choice and the motive for the choice are two
      different things. A motive is ~why~ you make the choice -- why you
      choose the action. For example, a man drinks a glass of water,
      because he is thirsty. The action he chooses is drinking the glass of
      water; the motive is to satisfy his thirst.

      George continues, "It is not as if we are presented with a "strongest
      motive" which we are then determined to choose. Rather, we deliberate
      among different alternatives and then make a choice...,"

      It's not as if we're determined ~to choose~ the strongest motive.
      Rather, it's the strongest motive that determines our choice. But
      this is not incompatible with deliberation. On the contrary, we
      deliberate in order to ascertain our highest value, which having
      ascertained, we are motivated to choose.

      George writes: "Hence if we take the phrase "same conditions" in the
      only reasonable sense, as referring to a hypothetical situation in
      which we are confronted once again with the same *alternatives,* the
      question becomes: Is it possible to make a different choice when
      confronted with identical alternatives?. To this I would reply, Yes."

      But the phrase "same conditions" does not refer simply "to a
      hypothetical situation in which we are confronted once again with the
      same alternatives." Being confronted with the same alternatives is
      only PART of the conditions. The phrase "same conditions" refers to
      ALL of the conditions under which one makes the choice (which, of
      course, do not include the choice itself.)

      I agree that it is possible to make a different choice when confronted
      with identical alternatives, provided that the other conditions under
      which one makes the choice are different. But if they ~are~
      different, then to say that one can make a different choice when
      confronted with identical alternatives is scarcely an affirmation of
      free will. What the determinist denies is that one can make different
      choices when confronted with identical ~conditions~, NOT when
      confronted with identical ~alternatives~.

      George wrote: "[Free will] does not imply, for example, that our
      choices are unmotivated. Rather, it simply means that motives per se
      are not necessitating causes. If they were, this would mean that we
      would have acted on every motive we have ever experienced, which is
      clearly absurd."

      George is dropping context. No determinist is saying that because the
      defendant had a motive to murder the victim, he MUST have murdered the
      victim -- that he must have acted on that motive. The term "motive"
      in ~that~ context refers simply to a reason that COULD provide the
      impetus for an action if certain other conditions were met. The sense
      in which I am using the term "motive" is in reference to the purpose
      or goal of one's action -- to that for the sake of which the action is

      George wrote: "The free-will advocate would maintain that our power of
      'selective attention' (as William James and many other volitionists
      have called it) must be volitionally exercised before evaluations can
      even come into play. Does this mean that our choice to think or focus
      is somehow unmotivated? No, of course not. It simply means that this
      choice is not necessitated by antecedent causes."

      But if selective attention must be volitionally exercised before
      evaluations can even come into play, then it must be exercised prior
      to any value judgments, in which case, it can no longer be regarded as
      a choice. George makes the same error as Leonard Peikoff does.
      According to Peikoff: "The decision to perceive reality must precede
      value judgments. Otherwise, values have no source in one's cognition
      of reality and thus become delusions."

      This is silly. The choice to "perceive reality" or to engage in a
      process of evaluation pertains to a particular ~kind~ of cognitive
      act, not to cognition as such. As I noted earlier, if Peikoff's claim
      were true, then "the decision to perceive reality" could not be judged
      as a moral imperative, in which case, one could not be held morally
      responsible for making it. Prior to value judgments, there is no way
      for a person to ~know~ that he ought to perceive reality. Nor could
      such an act even be viewed as a 'choice' or 'decision,' since that
      would imply a conscious recognition of alternatives and a prior
      evaluation of their relative merits."

      George goes on to quote Nathaniel Branden to the effect that there are
      indeed motives for non-focusing, but that these are "not causal
      imperatives; they are feelings which a man may choose to treat as

      But what is the motive for treating them as decisive ~versus~ ignoring
      them? To this, the answer must be that there is none; otherwise the
      choice would not be free.

      I wrote: "Observe that what is self-evident here is not the ability
      to choose either alternative under ~the same~ conditions, but the
      ability to choose either alternative when and if I PREFER to choose
      it. In other words, if I should prefer to choose A instead of B, or B
      instead of A, there is nothing preventing me from choosing it. But
      when I choose A instead of B, I could not have chosen B instead."

      George replied, "To say that I can choose A only if I prefer to choose
      A adds nothing to this discussion, since it doesn't address the
      question: "How are our preferences formed?"

      They are formed in many different ways, among which is the thinking
      that we have done or failed to do. But that thinking or non-thinking
      is itself determined by our preferences.

      George continued, "If all the determinist wishes to say is that our
      choices somehow reflect our preferences, and that given the
      *identical* preferences (including a preference for a given choice),
      identical choices will follow -- then I daresay that no volitionist in
      the history of philosophy (or at least none that I can think of) would
      dispute this trivial claim."

      Really? Then why did George say that "preferences (subjective
      valuations) are not the same thing as choices"? Why did he say that
      "We subjectively value [i.e., prefer] many things that we don't choose
      to act upon" -- if he believes that "given the *identical* preferences
      (including a preference for a given choice), identical choices will

      He continues, "But the relevant point, of course, is whether a
      rational agent can form different preferences, and therefore make
      different choices, when confronted with the same *alternatives.*"

      Sure, he can, if the conditions are different -- e.g., if he has
      different knowledge, understanding, dispositions, desires, etc.

      I wrote, "Not only is free will not experienced directly; it cannot be
      experienced directly, because in order to do so, one would have to
      experience the ability to choose differently under the same
      conditions, which is impossible to experience, because the conditions
      (both internal and external) are never precisely the same on any
      subsequent occasion. At the very least, one will have changed

      George replied, "This observation counts as much against the
      determinist as it does against the volitionist. It means that the
      determinist has ruled out any empirical confirmation of his theory."

      Not true, for even if it were possible to recreate the identical
      conditions, determinism could not be ~confirmed~ through this kind of
      empirical observation; it could only be ~refuted~. For even if on
      every subsequent recreation, the subject were to make the same choice,
      this would still not ~confirm~ determinism, since it could be argued
      that he made the same choice volitionally -- that he COULD have chosen

      George continued, "It should be mentioned, however, that even purely
      physical experiments are not, and cannot be, repeated under
      *precisely* identical conditions. Rather, the scientist distinguishes
      between relevant and irrelevant variables."

      True, but the doctrine of free will does not say simply that we can
      choose differently under relevantly similar conditions (whatever
      exactly that is supposed to mean in this context.) It says that we
      can choose differently under ~exactly~ the same conditions, because it
      says that we can make either of two different choices ~at the same
      time~. In order to prove this claim, one ~would~ have to reconstruct
      exactly the same conditions and observe the performance of a different

      George wrote: "Similar reasoning may be applied to the realm of human
      action. All of us have confronted similar alternatives that we deem
      the "same," because we regard their differences as nonessential to our
      subsequent deliberation and choice. And we have all made *different*
      choices under these 'same' conditions."

      But why would we undertake subsequent deliberation with regard to
      similar alternatives whose relative values (or preferences) had
      previously been determined, if not to ascertain whether or not there
      were any differences in those values? And if we ended up making
      different choices as a result of our deliberation, then that would
      mean that the conditions were ~not~ relevantly the same after all,
      because our preferences were different.

      Besides, if a scientist observes different behaviors under what appear
      to be relevantly similar conditions, he typically infers that there
      must be some unobserved factor or condition that is different and
      would, if discovered, account for or explain the difference in

      I wrote: "...values always suffice to render a decision, because one
      necessarily decides between alternatives on the basis of that which
      one values; if one didn't value the alternative that one is choosing,
      then there would be no ~point~ in choosing it."

      George replied: "This is clearly false. Values are *not* sufficient
      to render a decision. For example, I value many past events, such as
      the outcome of the American Revolution, but I am unable to make any
      decisions or choices in regard to that outcome, because nothing I can
      possibly do will influence the outcome (the victory of the Americans)
      of something that has already happened."

      What I meant is that if one values choosing A over B, then one's value
      is sufficient to render a decision ~if nothing else is preventing the
      choice~. In other words, I was making the point that one couldn't
      value A over non-A, yet choose non-A over A.

      George continued: "Bill's statement, literally construed, would mean
      that we 'always' act on every value we have. This is so obviously
      wrong as to require no further comment."

      I think it's important to construe people's statements within context.
      Nothing is easier than to give an irrelevant or unsympathetic
      interpretation as the basis for a quick dismissal of a person's
      remarks. Obviously, I wasn't using the term "value" in the sense in
      which George is construing it.

      -- Bill


      Message: 5
      Date: Thu, 8 Apr 2004 09:02:07 -0500
      From: "merjet" <merjet@...>
      Subject: OWL: Re: Re: Procedural Rights
      To: <objectivism@...>
      Message-ID: <000901c41d72$17149a80$de41a243@merlin>
      Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

      Tim Starr wrote in part:
      >You are making a disanalogy. An analogous situation
      >under a minarchy with trial by jury is one in which
      >there is no mutual consent to abide by the outcome of
      >that trial.

      Wrong. That was precisely the situation I posited.

      > under a minarchy with trial by jury is one in which
      > there is no mutual consent to abide by the outcome of
      > that trial. In that case, there will still be a state
      > of war between the State and the loser of the dispute.
      > Minarchist trial by jury is not a war-free solution,

      If citizen X brings suit against citizen Y and it goes
      to court, it is a dispute between two citizens. It is
      hardly a "war between the State and the loser
      of the dispute." The State is judge or "referee",
      not combatant. If there is a jury, it is even less
      in the hands of the State.

      How often has Tim seen trials by jury result in a
      war? I have not witnessed any in my area of the

      Is Tim implying that under A-C a murderer must
      agree to abide by the outcome of a trial in order
      to be tried?

      > Furthermore, trial by jury is not consistent with
      > minarchist theory, as it substitutes the judgement of
      > a random representative sample of the population for
      > that of the State, thus violating the State's monopoly
      > on dispute-adjudication.

      Says who? I suggest Tim consider the ideas of the
      minarchist Thomas Jefferson. Trial by jury is quite
      consistent with minarchy. It is another way to limit the
      power of the State. Tim's claim flies in the face of reality
      -- there are trials by jury and arbitration agencies in the

      >It is a vestige of medieval legal polycentrism which is
      >inconsistent with State monopoly, no matter how much
      >minarchists feel attached to it and try to claim it as their
      >own . . .

      How ironic! Tim Starr despises a govt monopoly on
      retaliatory force yet demands a monopoly for trial by
      jury for A-C.

      Tim implies that trial by jury is "A-C's own" looks like
      assertion w/o evidence to me. And Tim has yet to explain
      how trials by jury will arise under A-C when a disputant
      is uncooperative. I repeat Tim's reply as follows:

      >Then the party that is clearly in the right will
      >have lots of allies, and the party that is clearly in the
      >wrong will have few, and the party in the right will
      >be most likely to win the war.

      The picture Tim tries to paint is becoming clearer. A trial
      by jury in which govt has a role is war-like. But a trial by
      jury under A-C is just dandy. "Defense agencies" will be
      run only by angels but govt must be run by mortals.

      Merlin Jetton



      End of Objectivism Digest, Vol 13, Issue 8
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.