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Re: [azsecularhumanists] Re: coercion

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  • thekoba@aztec.asu.edu
    ... Technically even being menaced by potential deadly force cannot force someone to do something he is determined not to do, but apart from that coercion and
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 13, 2003
      >
      >--- In azsecularhumanists@yahoogroups.com, thekoba@a... wrote:
      >> It is nonsense to talk of coercion as separate from force. The only
      >> way coercion is not initiation of force is if the coercion is in
      >response
      >> to another force.
      >
      >Once again we seem to have a disagreement as to definition of terms.
      >Here are the working definitions I was using in my previous messages.
      >
      >Coercion: The use or threat to use a position of superior strength
      >to apply pressure to another to act against their will. Coercive
      >pressure is based on a combination of economic, physical, knowledge,
      >authority, or any other factors which impart an unequal power
      >relationship between two individuals.
      >
      >Force: The use or threat to physically harm and/or compel another to
      >act against their will.
      >
      >Coercion is not synonymous with force, nor under libertarian
      >principles does coercion which is not force justify a response with
      >force.
      >
      >There are of course other uses of the term "force" that are not
      >physical. A "forceful argument" or "an economic force" are two
      >examples which do not fit my definition. However in the context of
      >libertarian principles the term "force" is understood to be physical
      >force only. There is also a tendency in libertarian circles to omit
      >mention of "fraud" when speaking of force, however it is also
      >implied. Thus, the use the term "force" is a shorthand for the more
      >precise "physical force and fraud".
      >
      >For clarity's sake, I will endeavor to use "physical force and fraud"
      >instead of just "force" as is a habit from many discussions with
      >fellow libertarians. If I use the term "force" alone and it is
      >unclear whether or not I intended "physical force and fraud", just
      >ask.
      >
      >--Jason Auvenshine

      Technically even being menaced by potential deadly force cannot force
      someone to do something he is determined not to do, but apart from
      that coercion and force are understood to be synonymous. In any case
      this Libertarian you quoted does seem to recognize this as synonymous,
      as he defines coercion as doing something that will make someone's
      life less pleasant if compliance is not forthcoming. If you only use
      "physical force or fraud", then apparently you don't see anything wrong
      with the situation of the boss using the threat of dismissal to get sex
      from an employee and you disagree with this other Libertarian that this
      is an ambiguous case.

      I don't find the distinction particularly meaningful. I recognize that
      there are varying degrees of coercion and/or force with varying severity
      of consequences, and some degree has to be used to have a functioning
      society. The concept of non-initiation of force, therefore, is at best
      self-deceiving and at worst intellectual dishonesty.

      --Kevin
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