[DISCUSS] The Origins of Moral Standards: Part 1

moralsI’ve been contemplating this post for quite a few weeks, having my own discussions with my fiance and a couple other friends who are willing to have open discussions on such things with me. The premise of this post is the following question: What is the source of morality?  Now, most of you will have already read my little poem on my philosophical principle of the Facets of Morality which constitute the moral standard of the world we live in today. I’ve mentioned that these facets suggested in this poem (social, familial, spiritual, and personal) may not be the only facets, and if anyone has any ideas of other aspects of human life which would contribute to moral standards which are not covered in these four, I’d love to hear what they are and how they contribute to the overall picture of morality… but I digress.

The prominent argument against my facets theory is that there is an outside entity (typically a god) which is the source of morality. The argument is that there are aspects of morality which are (or at least are assumed to be or are claimed should be) universal to all people, and that the source of those universal standards is this outside entity. This theory (again, only typically) also greatly suggests that such an outside entity has determined these parameters of morality as rules of conduct, which are punishable according to that entity. Essentially, this entity becomes the judge, jury, and executioner, as it were, when we commit immoral acts. This judgment and possible punishment is left until after our lives are over, a final judgment after death. Other entity theories suggest that the moral and immoral acts of one’s life determine the next life, that the source of moral standard is still outwardly determined and imposed upon us, and that rewards and punishments exist, and continually occur in a cycle. Only by escaping the cycle of moral and immoral acts and finally balancing one’s acts into only the amoral can one exit this cycle.

The main point of these entity theories is that morality is something beyond man, something which governs man and holds man accountable to a higher power. Morality is also defined as absolute according to this entity theory, as the overarching purpose of this entity is not only the origin of morality, but the origin of man and governor of man’s fate. In this, one must assume there is a higher power to conduct this moral determination upon us, as well as create us under this moral code, which can cause a point of contention toward the entity theory as well as within it. Different concepts of the origin entity develop different principles of morality, different finite lines for where one crosses from moral to immoral acts, and each following of a particular entity, in assuming that morality is absolute, is left to demand their supremacy in moral conduct. To look at the entity theory of morality objectively is essentially to look into a moral soup of chaos, where all those involved assume a posture of moral righteousness against all others, with no baseline to determine who is closer or farther from the real defining line of morality, or the real defining authoritative entity behind that moral code.

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Another disconcerting aspect of some versions of entity theory is that the entity itself is not bound by its own moral code. Take the Judaic/Christian God. In the Old Testament [Genesis 22] God orders his first servant and follower, the man Abraham, to take his only son, Issac, to a mount and sacrifice him like a ram in the name of God, to show Abraham’s love and devotion to God. In the story, Abraham obliges God, takes his son to the place of sacrifice, binds Issac, and raises his knife to kill his only son. God stops him just in time, saying essentially that this was a test of Abraham’s devotion, and that Abraham had passed. The concern in this story is that, had God not stopped Abraham, he would have slain his son with no hesitation. The moral implications of even the possibility of this act are very debatable. The universal moral code of the God of the Bible specifically deems murder as wrong [Exodus 20:13, the sixth of the Ten Commandments]. However, human sacrifice certainly constitutes as murder, the killing of another human being. So where is the line truly drawn? If a man can claim his originating entity of morality has commanded him to go against that same universal moral standard, does that make his action moral, or amoral? Is he still punished for committing an immoral act by that entity, despite being commanded by that same entity to commit the immoral act in the first place? With so many origin entities, this becomes a huge concern, in which any man can claim his entity commanded him to perform an immoral act, and he will do it without concern for the breach of moral conduct among his fellow man. The origin entity becomes a justification for immoral acts in the name of that same entity which established the moral code he is breaking.

Alternative issues with the entity theory is that of escaping the moral code all together. In the cyclica3goddesseslionl model of entity-based morality, there are consequences to both moral and immoral action. Additionally, the moral code is not only held over humans. It seems that, in some interpretations of the reincarnate cycle theory, that in all stages of reincarnation, one can build up karma by performing moral or immoral deeds. This suggests that, if murder is considered immoral, then to be reincarnated as a predator is to be forced to build bad karma. Now some models suggest that instinctive acts of survival are exceptions, but again, if there are arguments for both sides, which can be considered ‘right’ and therefore the correct model of morality to follow? In the end, if you are not willing to dismiss all other possibilities and take it only upon faith that one specific theory on entity morality is truth, then the entity theory cannot be considered reliable as a basis of moral conduct in society.

(continued here)

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52 thoughts on “[DISCUSS] The Origins of Moral Standards: Part 1

  1. What is the source of morality?

    Indisputably and demonstrably, the source of morality is biology. Once this is better understood, then all the facets you mention can be shown to play various parts. We then arrive at appreciating why no outside agency is required or wanted and that knowledge is an excellent substitute for creating various local renditions of a causal agency of Oogity Boogity busy performing acts of POOF!ism to suitably ‘explain’ complex behaviours that we then describe as ‘moral’.

  2. Great post! I will not say too much since you imply more is to come. As an evolved species, we must all remember that moral absolutes (if such a thing exists, I can really only think of one possibly) is germane only to our species and not necessarily to others. As we are a social species, certain moral rules may apply to us that do not apply to other species. As society changes and evolves, morality often does as well. And we have of course seen this to be the case. We rationalize killing today as we have throughout history. Few conservatives or liberals would say that there is no cause in which they wouldn’t be willing to kill, even if it’s just self-defense. Slavery was once morally justifiable, as was rape. One of the few commonalities across time and cultures is the harm of children. This however doesn’t need to be seen as some God given absolute though to recognize that harming children would represent a very tangible threat to the survival of our species. Now, abortion could be seen as harm to children. This might be why, from an instinctual level many people oppose abortion, but anthropological studies show that abandoning young children when there was a defect, or when resources were extremely low such that the survival of the group was at stake by having an extra mouth to feed. These would have represented extremely desperate times, but mothers may have more children, but if the entire group suffers this was less permissible. This is perhaps also why abortion rates are lowest in countries that provide adequate health care to mothers, quality sex educations, and adequate contraception, so that mothers are not put into a position where they feel that they do not have the resources to care for their child. Moral struggles exist all the time and the one which is permissible is often the one which will make us feel less anxious about the consequences. Consider a situation where parents tell their child not to cheat on an exam in school, but also put extreme amount of pressure on the child to do well in school. Show great disappointment perhaps even anger when the child fails to do well. So an exam comes along in which they don’t know the answers. Which moral path do they take. The one of not cheating, or the one which angers their parents? The point is that a moral absolute is a hard thing to achieve on even a personal level. Experience in the end teaches one how to avoid those crossroads in the future perhaps. Maybe the child actually figures out a way to reason with the parents, perhaps the child studies so hard that they never put themselves in that dilemma again. Of course the stress of studying can have other physical effects, but at least no moral struggles.

    There is also a really good youtube channel called qualiasoup and a great series on morality without god that you might be interested in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7xt5LtgsxQ

  3. I’ll have to admit that I was only able to skim this post on my phone while I waited for my family to join me for dinner, but I’m fascinated by your facets theory, because I think you are fundamentally right.
    And here’s what I believe is the best reason the whole entity theory is a bunch of nonsense — how do you explain atheists (such as myself) who believe in morals, acting morally, and expect a moral code to attach to our human existence?

  4. The purpose of morality, from the perspective of the parasitic ruling classes, is to create universal moral rules, and then to declare yourself exempt from those same universal moral rules.

    Thus it is immoral to steal, which is why our rulers must steal half our wages at gunpoint each week. It is immoral to murder which is why our rulers must murder millions every year in wars of empire. It is immoral to initiate force against others to achieve your goals, which is why our rulers must initiate force to achieve every goal they have (and so on).

    This double standard morality – which is the ONLY moral scheme humanity has ever lived under – is, in reality, little more than a devastatingly effective and efficient strategy for *resource acquisition*. Rather than openly steal half of the productivity of the population and risk their moral condemnation and being chased down the street with a rake for attempted theft, you somehow convince everyone that (for you alone) this act of theft is morally acceptable.

    top tips:

    1. call it something other than theft, like say…. ‘taxation’
    2. provide some crappy ‘free’ services with some of this stolen money. Even though it’s their money they will start to view you as some kind of generous benefactor
    3. train everyone in indoctrination camps which you run that to NOT hand over this wealth (or to disobey the rulers in any other way) is immoral of them. About 15,000 hours of indoctrination starting at age of four should be sufficient

    And there you have it. Pure genius. And pure evil of course.

    Good is evil

    • “This double standard morality – which is the ONLY moral scheme humanity has ever lived under”

      This is untrue as even hunter gatherer tribes have morality and by necessity have to be more egalitarian for their survival. Morality is not defined only by ruling classes, it is part of every society, on national to community scales. Perhaps you are referring to “law” as opposed to morality.

      If taxation is theft, can you explain how a large society/country could function without taxation? Sure we can argue about corruption when it comes to how tax money is used, but can you explain how roads would be built, schooling would be provided, protection services, etc would exist without taxes?

      • “..This is untrue as even hunter gatherer tribes have morality and by necessity have to be more egalitarian for their survival….”

        Yes, my bad, I really meant double standard morality has been applied throughout all modern, complex societies (ie ones ruled by kings, governments, priests etc).

        Hunter gatherers tend to roam the land freely and do not generally produce more than they consume. And so with so little property or wealth in circulation there is little incentive for double standard morality to arise, and little to be gained by imposing it.

        “…If taxation is theft, can you explain how a large society/country could function without taxation? …”

        Let’s first define taxation. Taxation is confiscation of wealth by force. If you refuse to pay taxes men in blue costumes will eventually drag you away at gunpoint and put you in a cage. If you resist or attempt to defend yourself (or escape the cage) you will be shot.

        Now let’s define theft. Theft is the confiscation of wealth by force or fraud (deception).

        Therefore taxation is theft by definition. If you regard theft as immoral (and most people do) then taxation is immoral. So the immorality of taxation is not debatable. The only thing which is debatable is whether or not such immoral behaviour should be imposed or not. But even this is not really debatable because those who advocate taxation are – by definition – advocating violent coercion. And violent coercion is the antithesis of debating.

        In moral terms, you coming round my house in person and pointing a gun at me and demanding half my wages is no different from you getting a third party (such as a street gang, mafia or government) to point the gun at me ON YOUR BEHALF (as your elected representative). Therefore you cannot advocate taxation and also claim to be debating the issue. By advocating taxation you are literally threatening me (albeit via a third party acting on your behalf) and that is not debating.

        I don’t believe you really do advocate taxation (theft), you only think you do. Forgetting government, are YOU willing to leave me in peace and let me pay only for those things which I want to use, or are you going to threaten me guns, tasers, clubs, cages and even lethal force to coerce me into paying for things which I morally object to and wish to have nothing to do with? Remember advocating taxation is not an ‘idea’ or a ‘position’ or a ‘concept’ – it is quite literally the threat of violence against other human beings.

        That is the moral argument… now to the practical argument.

        Theft is NOT required for a large society or country to function. In fact theft hinders the proper (and moral) functioning of any society. Taxation (legalised theft) PREVENTS me from funding things I would like to fund and FORCES me to fund things I object to funding. In our daily lives we all understand that forcing people to fund things at gunpoint is a recipe for disaster. If my accountant can legally take money out of my bank account and spent it however he/she wishes that is going to be a recipe for disaster, agreed?

        If charities can legally extract money from everyone’s bank accounts at will are they going to use that money to help to poor, or to give themselves fancy new offices, massive expense accounts, week long all expenses paid conferences on ‘ending poverty’ staying in five star hotels and a load of new unnecessary departments providing pointless jobs for all of their friends?

        If a restaurant chain has a violently imposed monopoly on providing food for a whole city is that restaurant chain going to be offering as much variety and quality as a free market with lots of competing restaurants all trying to attract your custom?….. or is it going to just cut corners and dish up any old slop because, hey, everyone is getting paid regardless.

        What about schools? When the school system is violently monopolised by governments and funded through taxation failing schools have more money thrown at them. Even if the school is so bad it is driving children to bullying, suicide or mental illness so bad it requires permanent lifelong medication it still remains open for business and has MORE stolen money thrown at it.

        In a free market (ie no guns) the moment any school starts to fail it starts to go out of business because in a free market everyone is free to send their children to better schools, and NOT send them to crappy schools. It’s no coincidence that schools have remained unchanged since the moment the government took them over by force. The only difference is the black board is now a whiteboard.

        If the government had violently monopolised the provision of phones 50 years ago and forced us to fund phones by taxation, giving us in return ‘free state phone care’ do you think we would have the innovation in phone technology and low prices we have today thanks to the (relatively) free market?

        I suspect we would all be still using analog rotary dial phones, or at best those chunky portable ones from the 80’s. And because the money to pay for them was taken from us at gunpoint the government would probably have spent the revenue on wars and bigger government, instead of investing in phone technology. And it would also have used that guaranteed revenue stream (taxation) as collateral to take out massive loans to pay for even more wars and even bigger government. And these debts would have become unsustainable and the government would now be raising ‘phone tax’ while cutting back on the phone service it provides and laying off staff.

        This is the reality of tax funded services. ‘Tax funded’ just means funded through ‘threat of violence’. And as we all know whenever something is funded by guns it is always a recipe for disaster.

        Now….. if roads, hospitals, police etc are as important to us as phones are then obviously we are quite capable of funding them by ourselves WITHOUT anybody pointing guns at us and threatening to put us in a cage. After all, we all manage to supply ourselves with phones don’t we?

        Do you honestly think if the government did not point guns at us we would not be able to fund roads, or hospitals or police or schools for our children? What would we do …. revert to horse and cart and witch doctors ….. or just roll onto our backs and slowly starve to death? LOL 😉

        Did you know none of income tax is used to fund ANY public services? All of it goes to pay the interest on debts, mostly to pay for wars. Taxation is basically a way for the ruling classes to parasite off the rest of the population, not least through the business of war (which is simply a business opportunity to them). Without taxation and government debt (ie deferred taxation) there could be no wars. It’s mathematically impossible.

        Imagine a world without wars. Could we bring ourselves to fund essential services by ourselves (the way we pay for phones, cable TV, or the internet)….. if only to end all wars? Is that really too much to hope for?

        “…. sure we can argue about corruption when it comes to how tax money is used, but can you explain how roads would be built, schooling would be provided, protection services, etc would exist without taxes?….”

        If this is a concern for you then that implies you value these things, am I right? If you value these things then it follows you would be prepared to pay for them too, right? I mean if you value being able to drive 50 miles to work instead of having to walk then you’ll presumably be willing to pay a contribution for the maintenance of a private road between you and your place of work. This could easily be achieved using toll gates or easier still GPS tracking on your car. You could get a n itemised ‘road bill’, similar to an itemised ‘phone bill’. Makes sense?

        Same goes for, say, police. In a free market police forces could compete to provide the best, fastest, safest, friendliest police protection service around. And you could choose to use the service provider which best suited your needs. If your service provider starts beating up blacks or failing to solve crimes then you are free to sue them for breach of contract (yes a CONTRACT! Yay!) …. or you can just migrate to a better service provider and let the old one go out of business, as it would in a free market.

        The thing is you know all of this already. We ALL do. It’s not rocket science. It’s basic common sense.

        The fallacy is to assume incorrectly that if government provides X then if government ever stopped providing X, then X would no longer be provided.

        That’s nonsense. If people really want goods and services then they are obviously prepared to pay for them, in which case they will be provided by other people wanting to make a living providing those goods and services in return for money.

        Taxation is just a form of property violation. Stealing someone’s money is no different to stealing someone’s kidney or violating someone’s vagina. In all cases these property violations can benefit other people in society. The money can go to help a single mum on welfare, the kidney can help someone get off dialysis and the vagina can provide sex to a lonely man who can’t get a girlfriend (perhaps he is disfigured or just shy).

        Despite the hypothetical good which can result from all of these property violations, NONE of them can be justified morally or practically.

        Forcing people to give up their earnings (their labour), their kidney or their vagina turns them into slaves. It’s as simple as that 🙂

        • I’m afraid I can’t subscribe to your views and don’t find the concept of taxation “as simple as that”.

          First let’s deal with your initial premise which is the basis of your views. That taxation is theft and thus is immoral. First of all I don’t always find theft to be immoral. A truly hungry man who steals bread, even if by force is not immoral. He’s simply making decisions based on his biological need to eat. But of course that is an extreme case. The reason why you equivocate theft and taxation is because you appear to be against paying taxes. I however am not. So I would pay taxes knowing that it is a necessary part of society. In my views, not paying taxes is the immoral act and thus the government is only punishing you for doing something that is immoral that impacts the equality of the people in the society. Murder is also immoral and the government also will come at gunpoint and arrest you for that as well.

          Taxation comes in many forms. In our society it is wealth, but let us look at a simpler society. Perhaps a hunter gatherer tribe. Even one that is rather sedentary because they live in a tropical climate. Doesn’t really matter. The fact is that everybody who can contribute must contribute. Everybody has different roles to play likely. One person might be especially adept and making spears, a few might be good at cooking, some hunting, etc. All of these people do things for other people because in turn people do things for them. This is taxation. Taxation in the idealistic sense that you are talking about where people recognize their moral obligation to help others, because they receive help in return. Now if one person said…”you know what I’m only cooking enough food for myself…or I’m only going to make my spear for hunting?” This is somebody who now refuses to pay taxes. Someone who chooses to be selfish within the society. You don’t think tribes have punishments for this type of behavior? Of course they do. People who don’t contribute in a group that has to work everyday to survive, can’t afford to feed too many mouths that don’t contribute anything. Maybe initially they just decide to teach him a little lesson. Let him do it on his own but still be in the tribe though nobody really communicates with him. Eventually he’ll have a bad day and maybe not get enough food and need some. Eventually something will befall him where he needs some help. What then? And even if he doesn’t, his unwillingness to be part of the group makes him an outcast perhaps the social loneliness will get to him. What’s clear is that surviving on your own is much more difficult than surviving in a group, and so there is a benefit to contributing to the group even if you get no immediate return. So punishing those for not contributing to their society as a whole is nothing new, nor is it immoral, nor is it theft.

          Your comment about schools and how the school system is broken does not correlate directly to government being the problem, only our government being the problem. Their are plenty of public school systems in other countries that provide better schooling and equal schooling to children. A completely tax free society is a surefire way to increase the disparity amongst schools. Yes of course you get some pretty good schools out of it, but you also get schools who would close down, schools that would price people out of being able to afford it. Perhaps weaker schools would open who would lower tuition costs to poorer children could attend. Disparity between education would increase leading to a society which has even more income inequality than we do now. The fact that we do have inequality even now is to the shame of OUR government not government in general. In many ways the inequality is a result of a kind of market place, where funding is limited and schools are all competing for funding which rewards schools in which students do better, thus leading to possible grade inflation, and if it doesn’t allows good schools to get better while quality goes down at schools with lesser funding. In addition their is no sharing of best practices, because there is no incentive to share best practice when making a neighboring school better decreases your funding and reduces your ability to run your programs effectively and reduces your ability to retain good teachers.

          The tax free society you describe is incredibly utopian. In this society everybody does the moral thing. This assumes that we all agree on what is moral. Living in a large nation, I would be expected to contribute to all sorts of things that didn’t effect me. How many people would actually contribute to all the disaster relief required when it happened in another part of the nation? What about the maintenance of roads that you don’t drive on? That are expensive to maintain because of weather and their remote location? What about the preservation of animals I don’t particularly care about, in regions that I don’t plan on visiting? What about contributing to protection services in a neighborhood where we’ve never had crime and all of a sudden I feel like I don’t have to contribute this year, we’re doing great? What about spending money on defense in times of peace. Well we haven’t been attacked for 10 years, I think this country is fine. I don’t think we need that many armed forces anymore. Who cares about the maintenance required on military equipment that exists. Or why should I support the government buying new fancier guns, when I think with better foreign policy we could avoid being attacked all together? The most conscientious of us might contribute to all these things recognizing that the strength of society in general increases our quality of life, but we would likely spend a good portion of our day paying a few dollars in contribution to all these different things, trying to sort out new ones we care about, wondering about old ones and saying, do I really need to keep supporting that new police building that was built? And what is the punishment for me refusing to contribute to someone else’s road, even in the same community, but one that I don’t plan on using? I guess private companies could take over roads, charging me automatically as a I pass certain points. That might work, but do I have any assurance that the company won’t become corrupt who runs the roads? They keep hiking up the prices, using a little bit of their profits to make sure that there is no oversight into their practices and I’m in the same mess I was stuck in before with taxation. Because a road is a road, you can’t just have a competing company build a new road right next it. In fact much of that practice happens now with corporations. Corporations and government can be corrupt, and in this country they work together which adds to the problem. And what if I decide, I am not going to pay for police protection services (because I want to protect myself), but everybody else in my neighborhood does? I’m probably safe, because a criminal might now know I am not protected. If they did and I am not home someday, somebody comes and vandalizes my home, robs me. The property value of all the houses goes down in the neighborhood. My neighbors would really want me to pay for protection because my actions impact their wealth as well.

          The society you describe is as utopian as me saying well the government should always be acting in the best interest of its people. We can talk about ways to improve how tax money is used, reforming the tax code, reforming government etc. Just because something is not working now, doesn’t mean it can be gotten rid of all together. There are many models of government that are working better than ours right now. And there is no existing country that doesn’t have taxation to some degree.

          • “..A truly hungry man who steals bread, even if by force is not immoral. He’s simply making decisions based on his biological need to eat..”

            Yes a starving man is an extreme case (as you acknowledge). Most people would be happy to give a starving man a loaf of bread, so there’s really no need for him to steal one. Taxation does not go towards starving people, 100% of income tax goes towards paying interest on war loans to private bankers who are the richest people on earth (not least as a result of taxation). Taxation therefore PREVENTS people from giving money to the poor, or better yet giving the poor jobs to help them get out of poverty. Every dollar stolen at gunpoint by the state could have gone towards new businesses, new jobs, more investment etc. And the money spent on welfare only encourages more poverty. Poverty in the US was being eliminated year on year in the US until the very year that welfare was introduced. It has risen every since – and when (not if) the government debts become too big and the economy finally collapses all those poor people will be left high and dry, and they will riot and turn to crime just to survive . It won’t be pretty!

            “…The reason why you equivocate theft and taxation is because you appear to be against paying taxes….”

            I am against THEFT. Taxation is a form of theft, therefore I am against taxation because it is theft. I am happy to pay for services that is use. Paying for stuff and having your property stolen are completely different things. In fact I wish to be ALLOWED to pay for services that I use. Taxation prevents this by forcing me to fund bigger government, endless wars, more weapons etc instead of funding things that I want – and that includes charitable causes.

            “..In my views, not paying taxes is the immoral act…”

            Not paying for services that you use is immoral, but that is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about not being FORCED AT GUNPOINT to give half my earnings to banksters and the military industrial complex. As I’ve pointed out already none of your income tax goes towards public services.

            “..The fact is that everybody who can contribute must contribute…”

            ‘Contribute’ means “to give (something, esp. money) in order to help achieve or provide something” Giving is not the same as having your property stolen. Having your property stolen PREVENTS you from being able to give, to contribute.

            “…All of these people do things for other people because in turn people do things for them. This is taxation….”

            No, that is voluntary trade and/ or voluntary division of labour. Taxation means a group of people pointing guns at everyone and stealing their property.

            “….Now if one person said…”you know what I’m only cooking enough food for myself…or I’m only going to make my spear for hunting?” This is somebody who now refuses to pay taxes. ..”

            No. Taxation is property stolen at gunpoint by violent rulers. If the tribe had a violent ruler who demanded to be given one spear out of every two spears that people made, and this guy refused to go along with it THAT would be refusing to pay taxes.

            As I’ve already said, not paying taxes has NOTHING to do with not wanting to ‘pay your way’ in society or contribute. If you don’t pay your phone bill you will soon have your service cut off. And that is only fair because you have stopped contributing to the service you are using. That’s why we use CONTRACTS. They are agreements were we promise to pay X and the other person promises to provide Y in return. CONTRACTS ensure both parties stick to their side of the bargain. So there’s really no need for taxation, is there? People can just pay for the public services they use – like we already do with phones, buses, the internet, gym membership, netflix, air travel, holidays, hotels, woodwork courses, dance classes, aromatherapy treatments and car hire.

            “….So punishing those for not contributing to their society as a whole is nothing new, nor is it immoral, nor is it theft….”

            Paying taxation is not ‘contributing to society’ it is having your property stolen at gunpoint and most of it given to bankers and arms manufacturers. Taxation PREVENTS people from contributing to society. There is only so much wealth being generated and if half of it is stolen and given to the ‘elite’ classes that wealth is not able to be invested back into ordinary society. We are a zillion times more productive today thanks to modern technology, yet most people still struggle to survive and put food on the table, and millions of people are literally starving. This is because taxation is ALWAYS increased as our productivity increases over time, so that the general population only ever has enough wealth to survive (barely). The ruling classes cream off all ‘excess’ wealth and spend it on themselves (building empires etc) or just make sure it is wasted on wars (which are only profitable for them) so that the general population is kept in a state of permanent stress trying to make ends meet. Otherwise if we were allowed to become more wealthy we would all have lots of free time and we would use it (among other things) to educate ourselves and then we’d realise all governments are immoral and unnecessary.

            It has been calculated that if taxation levels had just been kept steady, rather than increasing, the average working class family would now be earning $200,000+ a year.

            “…A completely tax free society is a surefire way to increase the disparity amongst schools…”

            Yes and no. It would result in a much bigger CHOICE of schools, ranging from vocational style to ‘brain surgery’ levels of education. In a free market the very concept of a ‘school’ would change and all sorts of different ways to learn would be tried out. Schools are basically prison camps. It is totally unnatural and unhealthy for children to be segregated by age and stuck in classrooms for hours on end every day. In a free market much education could be done at home, or in completely different environments to prison like schools. Not everybody wants the same level of education. Some people have a passion for woodwork, or acting or animals or the environment or science. The one-size-fits-all model is stupid. So yes, i agree there would be more variation between education services… just as there is lots of variation between different kinds of computers and phones…. But the free market ALWAYS ensures the public (including the poor) get the BEST quality for the CHEAPEST price.

            “…The fact that we do have inequality even now is to the shame of OUR government not government in general…”

            The problem is that currently schools are (1) funded at gunpoint and (2) controlled by the government who have a vested interest in indoctrinating the population and dumbing them down. That is why all state controlled schools in the western world have adopted the evil Prussian Schooling system.

            “…The tax free society you describe is incredibly utopian…”

            No it is not. Allowing a small group of people to LEGALLY commit theft, murder, assault, kidnapping, torture, fraud and somehow expect they won’t take the ball and run with it is incredibly utopian.

            You agree and that is why you would never allow anyone to take control of your bank cards, or your front door key. You would never hire someone without the security of a contract, and you would call the police if someone stole $10,000 from you, even if they promised to give some of it to a deserving charity.

            A stateless society is the ONLY society that takes into account people’s potential for immoral behaviour. It is the only society which ensures evil people can never get anywhere, much less take control of HALF OF THE WEALTH PRODUCED BY A WHOLE COUNTRY EACH WEEK.

            “…This assumes that we all agree on what is moral…”

            You (or anybody else) is free to argue why theft and the initiation of force is morally acceptable. But remember if you argue that they are morally acceptable you cannot then complain if someone mugs you, rapes you, steals your car, moves into your house or hits you over the head with a spade. Assuming you object to people behaving in this way, then you already agree that this is immoral behaviour.

            “…Living in a large nation, I would be expected to contribute to all sorts of things that didn’t effect me….”

            Roads, disaster relief, environmental causes etc can all be paid for without guns being pointed at anyone. The only things which would NOT end up getting funding is wasteful, immoral, pointless and destructive things. If people WANT roads or disaster relief funds or a clean environment they will be happy to pay for these things. If people DON’T WANT inefficient bureaucracy, massive stockpiles of pointless weapons, Orwellian surveillance infrastructure, 750 overseas military bases etc nobody is going to force them to pay for these things.

            “…do I really need to keep supporting that new police building that was built? And what is the punishment for me refusing to contribute to someone else’s road, even in the same community, but one that I don’t plan on using? I guess private companies could take over roads, charging me automatically as a I pass certain points. That might work, but do I have any assurance that the company won’t become corrupt who runs the roads? They keep hiking up the prices, using a little bit of their profits to make sure that there is no oversight into their practices and I’m in the same mess I was stuck in before with taxation. …”

            These are all valid questions. And the fact that you are imagining paying for these things voluntarily means you are suddenly concerned about wear your money is going……. whether these things are necessary or not….. or whether your money is going to fall into the hands of corrupt people. This is good – you’re starting to take responsibility. Can you feel how much more efficient, less corrupt, more moral and more sensible society would be if we all funded everything voluntarily…… like the adults that we are?

            Remember you won’t have to figure all the details out yourself. Everyone would naturally work together to expose service providers who are overcharging, or providing a crappy service. Again, use the phone analogy….. you don’t have to personally test every phone, or go through each contract in detail. Public opinion (consumer trends) will let you know which deal is best, or which deal suits you the best….. or which deals to avoid like the plague.

            Suppose there are five competing police services in your area. Each one wants you to be their customer, so THEY will decide what buildings, cars and so on need to be bought….. and they will just offer you a level of service for a price and you either sign up to go with them or not. It needn’t tae more than a couple of hours year to sort out…… and without the burden of taxation we’d all be able to afford to work 3 day weeks anyway. 🙂

            “….Because a road is a road, you can’t just have a competing company build a new road right next it…”

            Why on earth would they do that? It would make no business sense. We already know how free markets operate. Phone companies SHARE networks and protocols. Train companies agree to all use the same gauge tracks. Competing photocopier companies generally agree to use the same size paper. Software developers use the same programming language. In a free market the most successful goods and service providers are those which make life easier for the consumer, not harder.

            “…And what if I decide, I am not going to pay for police protection services (because I want to protect myself), but everybody else in my neighborhood does?…..My neighbors would really want me to pay for protection because my actions impact their wealth as well…”

            I have no idea….. these are all concerns which the free market would address. Perhaps police protection would include the house either side of you (seeing as how that affects your safety and the value of your house). Perhaps the street would all chip in to buy your protection for you, if only to safeguard the price of their houses (which is far more than the split cost of your protection policy). Perhaps if you wanted to insure your property and belongings the insurance company would insist you had adequate police protection (but maybe you would not choose to have insurance). Perhaps a condition of buying/ renting the house would be to use a certain local police force, and you’d pay a fixed rate, like how people pay a fixed fee for the maintenance and shared facilities of an apartment block. Who knows? There are a zillion ways to do it.

            To be honest, if you’re prepared to defend your own property (ie your a gun owner, or you have a big dog) then that’s more of a deterrent to a thief…… assuming they even know what your situation is, which is extremely unlikely.

            “…The society you describe is as utopian as me saying well the government should always be acting in the best interest of its people…”

            As I explained it is the OPPOSITE of utopian. A free stateless society is the ONLY society which takes into account people’s potential to be immoral and protects society from such people by NOT giving them ridiculous rights, such as the legal right to steal and coerce! I mean come on….. get real!

            The whole point is that NOBODY or NO GROUP can ever ‘act in the best interest of its people’. People have different needs and wants. The ONLY way to cater to the needs and wants of millions of people is to allow millions of people to decide for themselves. It is the most efficient, the most accurate and the most moral way to organise society. If government took over the provision of mobile phones, how would they ensure each person got the right mobile phone to suit their needs, wants and budget? They couldn’t – it would be impossible. The only way to do it is to allow each person to choose their own phone. Violent coercive centralises authorities are the worst possible means to get anything useful done – and the most immoral too.

            “…We can talk about ways to improve how tax money is used..”

            And it would be a waste of time because once governments have our money we have no more control over how it is spent! Slaves can talk about ways to improve slavery, but as long as they are slaves it’s just empty talk isn’t it?

            Taxation IS slavery. All taxpayers are a slave. You are forced at gunpoint to work for your slave masters ploughing the fields for three days out of every week. If you refuse to work for your slave masters they will put you in a cage. If you resist they will shoot you. Now, imagine your slave masters allow you to choose your own preferred job, instead of having to plough the fields, and whatever ob you choose they will just take three day’s pay from you at gunpoint each week. That’s still being a slave. Taxation means for three days a week we are all forced at gunpoint to work for our slave masters, the government. Slave masters have always provided minimal care for their slaves (food, shelter, healthcare etc) otherwise their slaves would just die and stop producing wealth for their masters. The fact that government provides crappy public services does not mean we are not slaves!

            Now, in a free society you could – if you really wanted to – agree to give up you property rights to some kind of statist commune. You could sign a contract surrendering your rights to some group, and giving them the legal right to own half your labour, and push you around as they saw fit – just like governments do today. And you could sign a contract which allowed them to control by force your children’s education, your healthcare, your pension, your protection, your legal rights…… everything! So in a free society you could still choose to live as a slave if you really couldn’t cope with being a grown up…….. but the difference is that you would NOT be able to ‘vote’ to force this masochistic lifestyle choice onto anyone else.

            If we lived in a free society, would you really CHOOSE to give up all those wonderful rights and freedoms, to live as a slave who’s life is controlled by a sadistic, authoritarian, patriarchal cult?

            • Can we all assume then, Spin, that you do not pay your taxes? You seem adamant about tax-paying being a form of theft, so I would assume you refuse.

              It seems to me you have a grudge not against taxes but against the government and what it chooses to do with those taxes. We pay for many things as citizens of a country. We pay for public eduction, for public recreational facilities and locations, for defense against those who would want to invade our land and force us under a different, more restrictive form of government, etc. No, the payback to us is not always immediate or apparent, and yes, if we vote in corrupt or opposing politicians who do not properly represent our views (to which point I would say no current politician does as such, and that is certainly call for a public uprising to cleanse the system of corruption), but the fact is we do get a return on our taxes, on our investment toward the country. Your choice in not wanting to contribute to that investment is to leave and find a country in which you can willingly, without grudge, contribute to the society of that country nominally. No large-scale society can live without a give and take of money in and out of the governmental system. If you don’t want taxes, you’re going to have to find a piece of land not owned by a current government and declare that land under your own title of country so you can live by your own rules. And even then, you will need to earn money to trade with the other countries in order to sustain yourself.

              Bottom line is the systems surrounding and collecting the taxes may be corrupt, but the taxes themselves are a voluntary act of the people to contribute to the society which allows them peace and prosperity. It’s not theft, it’s just large-scale money trade for large-scale products and services.

              • “..Can we all assume then, Spin, that you do not pay your taxes? …”

                I always pay taxes in the same way that I always give money to a street mugger. In both cases threats of violence are made against me ….. and I surrender to those threats, and hand over whatever money is demanded from me. That is WHY governments and street muggers make threats of violence to begin with. Rather than offer their services in a free market place and then invite me to enter into a CONTRACT with them, they point a gun at me and say “pay up or else!”

                Nobody would CHOOSE to pay for things like the war on drugs if they were given a choice. I mean suppose you weren’t a big fan of weed and weed smokers. Are you really going to cancel that holiday, scrap your home extension plans or go without toilet paper just so you can build a cage, buy some guns and then go around looking for weed smokers and kidnapping them and putting them inside a cage (and having to provide them with clothes, food, medical care etc)? And even if you could afford to do this you would probably choose not to because kidnapping people who are just minding their own business and doing no harm to anyone is immoral. And even if you didn’t care that it was immoral you would probably be concerned that kidnapping people would make their families and friends angry and they might come after you (and rightly so!)

                The billions of dollars of STOLEN MONEY spent on the war on drugs is (a) stolen money (b) money which deserves to be spent by the people who earned it (c) could be being used to do actual good in society. Once taxation is in pace the government will keep making up new things to spend it on and new excuses to increase taxes. The war on drugs is basically a vast business operation for government and their friends in the prison industrial complex. The usual formula is for people in government to be enticed into passing new laws which will direct billions of stolen tax money towards certain businesses (Monsanto, prison corporations, military industrial corporations etc). Then those politicians leave office and as a reward for passing those laws they are given top positions in those same corporations which are now making huge profits thanks to new government legislation. It’s a revolving door of never ending exploitation – and it’s ONLY made possible because people like you have been brainwashed into thinking the general public needs to have their wages stolen at gunpoint to pay for roads and sports centres.

                So I pay taxes because I the government threatens me with being put inside a cage! Threats of violence are what immoral people use to get moral people to participate in immoral activities. Do you object to rape on moral grounds? (I’m assuming yes). Does that mean you can avoid being raped if a rapist puts a gun to your head? No.

                Sex which you cannot peacefully negotiate your way out if is called ‘rape’. And confiscation of your property which you cannot peacefully negotiate your way out of is called ‘theft’. You cannot peacefully negotiate your way out of paying taxes. Therefore taxation is theft.

                “…You seem adamant about tax-paying being a form of theft, so I would assume you refuse….”

                Sex which you cannot peacefully negotiate your way out if is called ‘rape’. And confiscation of your property which you cannot peacefully negotiate your way out of is called ‘theft’. You cannot peacefully negotiate your way out of paying taxes. Therefore taxation is theft. This is not my opinion, it is an objective truth.

                Taxation is a form of violent and coercive theft… and I surrender to the threats of violence made against me by government, just as I would surrender to a rapist who threatens me, or a street mugger who threatens me.

                “…It seems to me you have a grudge not against taxes but against the government and what it chooses to do with those taxes….”

                I do not have a ‘grudge’, I have a rational, intellectual and moral objection, not just to violent theft, but also to the things my stolen money is used to fund – such as murdering millions of people in Iraq, or depriving a child of his father for 10 years because that father had the ‘wrong’ kind of vegetation in his pocket.

                ‘Taxation’ is immoral because it is theft. How that stolen money is spent by government after they have stolen it is a separate issue. If you were mugged in the street you would not wait to see how your mugger spent your stolen money before deciding whether or not that theft was immoral.

                “…We pay for public eduction, for public recreational facilities and locations…”

                We also pay for mobile phones, internet, gym membership, cable TV and veterinary care for our pets. None of these things require anyone to take our money by force. Why should schools or recreational facilities by paid for at gunpoint?

                Suppose you want to have an iPhone. Obviously apple can’t just make iPhones for you, they need to have enough customers to be a viable business. Does that mean you have the right to ‘vote’ for apple to FORCE me and everyone else to pay for an iPhone, even if we don’t want one? This is the ‘logic’ behind taxation.

                It’s true that if apple lose too many customers they will stop making iPhones and you will have to switch to another phone provider. But that does not mean you (or apple) can justify pointing guns at people to force them to pay for apple products and services.

                If apple just got customers by pointing guns at people they would no longer have to compete in the free peaceful market of phones and other gizmos. Naturally the quality of apple products would start to go down and the costs would start to go up. Pretty soon apple employees would become like government employees….. apathetic, lazy, uninspired, lacking drive or spark. This is because they no longer have to compete. Their wages are paid for by threats of violence, guaranteeing their income even if they make crappy new phones or treat their customers like dirt.

                Do you get it now? Using violence to pay for things is immoral AND it leads to crappy, overpriced services. That is why if you hire a gardener you do not give him a gun and say “Here’s a gun, just point it at me whenever you want more money. And if your gardening is shit or too expensive I will write “I demand change” on a piece of cardboard and I will start marching up and down the garden path. But if you find that too annoying, here’s a club and a taser for you to use on me.

                OK, we would never do that. Instead we would draw up a proper grown up contract with the gardener. And we would only pay them after they had done the work they had been hired to do.

                “….for defense against those who would want to invade our land…”

                Without a system of taxation in place there really is no incentive for anyone to ‘invade’ and ‘take over’ a country. Tyrants do not take over countries, they take over COERCIVE GOVERNMENTS. If there is no coercive government already in place there is nothing to take over. Invading a country with a coercive government already in place is like invading a farm where all the animals are already domesticated and in stalls…… Invading a stateless society would be more like invading an African savannah full of wild animals. Great. You’ve invaded. Now what?! Now you have to go up to each lion, tiger, buffalo and elephant and convince each one to become your slave. Good luck with that!

                Or… if that analogy doesn’t work for you, just imagine knocking on the door of every household in the country and threatening them until they hand over $100. Again, good luck with that!

                “…if we vote in corrupt or opposing politicians..”

                You do not vote for politicians, you vote for politicians to violently coerce and steal from the public on your behalf, as your ‘representatives’. A street gang or mafia steals, coerces and murders because THEY want to. But in a democracy the elected representatives steal, coerce and murder because the people who voted for them want them to behave that way (we know this because they voted for it).

                Whether or not they are also ‘corrupt’ on the side is irrelevant. A ‘corrupt politician’ is like a ‘corrupt rapist’.

                “…but the fact is we do get a return on our taxes, on our investment toward the country…”

                100% of your income tax goes to banksters. Only a tiny fraction of the money stolen from taxation overall goes towards public services. And all of those public services are either crappy, inefficient and overpriced OR harmful and destructive. The state controlled education system is HARMFUL to children.

                Anyway theft is theft! This is the logic of your argument…… A street gang robs you of $100. Then they buy you a $10 sandwich and a $5 coffee from a cafe owned by their cousin. And that makes everything OK.

                “…Your choice in not wanting to contribute to that investment is to leave and find a country in which you can willingly, without grudge, contribute to the society of that country nominally….”

                Calling the street gang “thieves” and condemning the theft is somehow the same as not ever paying for sandwiches or coffee, and demanding to be given free sandwiches and coffee for life.

                “…No large-scale society can live without a give and take of money in and out of the governmental system…”

                No large scale society can live without thieves stealing our money, keeping most of it for themselves and spending a tiny proportion of it buying us lunch from a vender that they choose. This is called ‘give and take’. The idea that we might one day be allowed to buy our own meals is ludicrous and ‘utopian’.

                “…If you don’t want taxes, you’re going to have to find a piece of land not owned by a current government and declare that land under your own title of country so you can live by your own rules….”

                If you don’t like having your hard earned cash stolen at gunpoint you’re going to have to find piece of land where there are no street gangs and declare that land to be a crime free zone where theft is not tolerated.

                “..And even then, you will need to earn money to trade with the other countries in order to sustain yourself…”

                Needing to earn a living means accepting being robbed and trading with criminals.

                “…Bottom line is the systems surrounding and collecting the taxes may be corrupt, but the taxes themselves are a voluntary act of the people to contribute to the society which allows them peace and prosperity….”

                Violent theft may be immoral , but handing over $100 to the thieves pointing a gun in your face is a voluntary act to contribute to society which stops the thieves pulling the trigger, and also keeps their cousins disgusting cafe in business.

                “…It’s not theft, it’s just large-scale money trade for large-scale products and services….”

                Being robbed of $100 at gunpoint is not theft, it’s trade because they bought you a sandwich and a coffee, remember? ‘Trade’ means being forced at gunpoint to pay for things in the same way that ‘lovemaking’ means being forced at gunpoint to have sex. If you object then YOU are the villain.

              • Ypu always have the choice to fight for what you believe in, Spin. You can always make a case to the courts that your taxes are being so wrongfully soent that you want a refund. You can always present an alternative kind of government system which either exists without taxes or is so beneficial that people would voluntarily contribute money to it. If you want to complain about it as theft and write a novel-length complaint, make it fruitful and send it to the White House through a lawyer. Or go found your own government that has no tax system and see how long it lasts.

                Your issue is not with taxes, but with those who implement and use those taxes. Your issue is not with being stolen from, but the person who stole from you, and it’s not the acting of being raped, but the rapist which you must take issue with. So if you have a probelm with taxes, address it for what your problem is with, the government that exists on taxes. And then.provide a functioning, large-scale alternative to the problem. Make a solution.

  5. Rana,

    When you speak of God being “Judge, jury, and executioner”, are you saying you have a problem with that? Are you saying that God, eternally existent, and creator of all that is, needs the counsel of others in order to make a right judgment? Are you saying that God is somehow unfair by not involving others? Who, but God, knows ever fact, every thought and intent of the heart, and has both perfectly broad and perfectly detailed perspective? Who, but the Creator, has the right of ultimate judgment? Are you saying that God will abuse his power? Who, but God, is so secure in his power, and who, but God, is self-sufficient and therefore incorruptible in judgment? What will you bribe, intimidate, or entice God with? Who is there but God that is capable of such complete impartiality?

    In regard to Abraham and God asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac, and then intervening, I would ask you a few questions. What makes murder wrong? What makes stealing wrong? Is it not that the life or possessions of another is not ours to take? (And I would include suicide as immoral also, in that our life is not our own, but belongs to God) If I spend a thousand dollars of your money without your permission, I have wronged you. If I spend a thousand of my own money, it is none of anyone’s business – unless, of course, they also have a right to that money (my wife, for instance) God, as Creator, has every right to ask for a human sacrifice. But as with Abraham, he shows that he does not desire such a thing – but rather a heart that gives all, even as God, the only true giver, gives all and delights in doing so. (When we give, we only give what we have received. God truly gives what is His own) True love gives with abandon.

    Notice also that God is about more than disseminating information. When God wishes to make a point in a world of idolatry that at that time included child sacrifice, God makes a very powerful point – one that teaches not only the head, but the heart. God’s bringing Abraham to the brink of sacrificing his own son – the son of the promise, no less, made several very powerful statements:
    * God has a right to us and everything about us
    * God is not interested in our sacrifices (What do they do for Him?) He is interested in us, and in our hearts.
    * The issue is not God’s need for a sacrifice, but our own, fallen tendency to place the gift above the giver, making an idol of it. Jesus said, “It is the Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom”. God doesn’t need it. God doesn’t need anything that He created. We do. But the moment we begin to exalt the creation above the creator, the creation becomes out of order, and begins to corrupt and corrupt us. Some idols are things that are inherently bad, or inherently lies. Others are good things that are out of place in our hearts. This can be food (and how many people have a destructive relationship with food?), sex, possessions, relationships (not all relationships are healthy), work (workaholics, etc.). Even family can be idolatrous, in that we can relate to it in destructive ways (possessiveness, etc.) I have found in my own life that God seeks to remove things permanently from my life that are not good and never will be. But He also has either removed good things that were out of place in my heart, or called me to lay them down, only to restore them later, less the bondage of my formerly improper relationship to them.
    * God meets mankind where he is at, and does not attempt to deal with EVERYTHING at one time. Mankind is full of blood and strife, which came in immediately after the fall – so God meets him in warfare. The Bible is a chronology of God’s dealing and making Himself known to man, beginning with where man was at, not where God is at, and with the New Testament revealing a more grown-up understanding of what God began with inculcating us with the law, etc . People protest that the New Testament does not decisively deal with slavery. God is more concerned about the enslavement of our hearts, and shows us that when a person is free at a heart level, no one can enslave him, and when one is enslaved by lusts, greed, hatred, etc., no amount of money, privilege, or freedom will make him free. God will deal with all slavery and injustice in His time, but in the meantime, is focused more on the bondage within our own hearts.

    How about the issue where we do have a sense of morality? We are created in God’s image, and are therefore capable of affirming God’s morality as we see and learn it. We are also fallen, which gives us a strange mixture, enabling us to be so focused on self that we cannot properly judge what is moral and what is not in every situation, because we are blinded by self-interest. We were never meant to be separate from God, with that separateness comes fear, wanting to control things and lack. In this condition we steal, kill, connive, threaten, whine, and manipulate to get what God had intended to always be available to us. God, the source of all things, has designed us to be in continual fellowship with Him, the kind that we are not worried about tomorrow, about next year’s provision, etc., because we are ever in the presence of the One who loves us perfectly, and has perfect power to provide. Though we can affirm morality, even our sense of morality was never meant to be separate from God. We have incomplete knowledge and understanding. Without God, we don’t truly even know HOW to love our brother. Have you ever had someone try to help you, who was a complete burden and only made things worse? We need God – not here and there, but in every aspect of our lives.
    RT

    • Thunder,

      I believe I’ve outlined this before that I don’t believe a creator of love would have reason to judge its creations for acting in the way it created them to act in the first place. The jury and executioner aspects must follow the judgment, and if there is no judgment because there is no want to judge or reason to judge, then the rest of the point is moot. So yes, I do take issue with the idea that a creator creates a being of flaws and judges that creation on its flaws, and would go so far as to extend ‘execution’ of punishment on those creations.

      To the initial address you make regarding Abraham: “What makes murder wrong? What makes stealing wrong? Is it not that the life or possessions of another is not ours to take?” Your questions are slightly premature, and your answers to your own questions (“God, the only true giver”) are again restricted to the assumption that your God is the correct God and that you fully comprehend and understand God’s relationship with us as ‘His own’ creations. You will see in my next post that I propose all perspectives of morality to be based on the natural instincts of survival of either the individual or the community or species as a whole. Your view suggests that we are nothing but God’s toys, to demand of as He sees fit. Whether God chooses to actually demand anything of us is, again, a moot point. You still suggest that God has the right to demand that we dismiss our morality for the sake of His wants and needs. We must be His obedient servants, His dolls to command, and it matters not what our moral standard is. He not only makes our rules, but has the authority to demand we break them. If society followed this kind of model, we’d all be able to eventually justify any wrongdoing we saw fit to commit. The same can be said with, “God told me to do it.” I said it in our last discussion. You are allowing the justification of murder and all other immoral acts the moment you claim that God has the right to command you to do whatever He wants. It’s terrifying to think that people feel they can justify their actions in this way, and even more so that you affirm this for yourself, yet have no hesitations regarding the social implications of your stance.

  6. I would think that it is as plain as could be that we humans are the source of our own morality and as we evolve so does our morality right along with us. Where once it was considered perfectly normal to keep slaves (right up until the mid 1860’s in the US) we have evolved beyond that hideous practice. Where we once thought that human sacrifice was a perfectly reasonable way to make the sun shine, we’ve abandoned that stupid practice. It’s been a very long, very slow, very painful trial and error process that will continue until our species no longer exists. Anyone that believes that we get our morality from a god that has instilled it in us since the birth of our species, has a great deal of explaining to do.

    • Like I told Tildeb, don’t get ahead of me! XD I’m getting there, I swear. I’ve been really busy with a LOT of drama and headache the beginning of this year. I’m finally settling down a bit, so I should be able to get the next post up this weekend.

  7. “…Ypu always have the choice to fight for what you believe in, Spin…”

    I know. And I’ve laid out my case for the immorality AND the harm caused by this system of violent and coercive rule and property theft.

    “…You can always make a case to the courts that your taxes are being so wrongfully soent that you want a refund. ..”

    Yes ant that would be pointless. The only people worth making a case to is the general public, because the whole immoral system is supported by the general public. The general public already understands and accepts that theft and coercion is totally immoral and socially unacceptable. To move to a free society all we need to do is extend that same value system to the people in government, who are just ordinary people after all…. they’re not gods!

    “…You can always present an alternative kind of government system which either exists without taxes or is so beneficial that people would voluntarily contribute money to it…..”

    That is effectively what I am doing. I am telling you I would like to pay only for the services I wish to use, and not be forced to pay for murdering Iraqi children or imprisoning weed smokers (etc). I would like to be able to enter into proper CONTRACTS with government so they are legally bound to provide the services they offer and I can sue them if they fail to provide these services – just as I can sue apple or anyone else if they fail to provide services I purchased from them.

    “…If you want to complain about it as theft and write a novel-length complaint, make it fruitful and send it to the White House through a lawyer. Or go found your own government that has no tax system and see how long it lasts….”

    If I formed my own community which was self supporting, and totally detached from government would you leave us in peace or would you come knocking on our gates armed with guns demanding we keep paying for things you want but are not prepared to pay for yourself? Would you vote for a political party to threaten us with guns and steal our money ON YOUR BEHALF? If the answer to both these questions is “No I would leave you in peace to get on with your life” then we have reached a peaceful conclusion. I am not threatening you with violence or stealing your stuff, and you are not threatening me with violence or stealing my stuff. Now I just need to reach the same peaceful agreement with everyone else and we’re good to go 🙂

    “Your issue is not with taxes, but with those who implement and use those taxes….”

    That’s the same thing. ‘Taxes’ is just the name we use to describe people demanding my earnings at gunpoint.

    “… Your issue is not with being stolen from, but the person who stole from you, and it’s not the acting of being raped, but the rapist which you must take issue with…”

    Again it amounts to the same thing. ‘Rape’ is just a word for the crime of being raped by a rapist. A ‘rapist’ is a word to describe someone who forces you to have sex against your will.

    “…. So if you have a probelm with taxes, address it for what your problem is with, the government that exists on taxes…..”

    A government is representative of the will of voters. Therefore because we live in a democracy my issue is with the voters who vote for government to point guns at me on THEIR BEHALF in order to steal my earnings. The government only points guns at me and steals my earnings because people like you (assuming you vote) ask them to behave this way.

    “….And then.provide a functioning, large-scale alternative to the problem. Make a solution…”

    In order for me to get busy making my solution I need to be able to spend my own money on free market alternatives to state run services. Which means you need to put the gun down 🙂

    • Bottom line of your entire argument is that you don’t have the balls to fight for what you believe in. You have complained this entire time, and offered no solution. The slightest hint of solution you have presented is that all governments be abolished and we live specifically as individuals. No trade, no business, just you as an individual hunting and gathering only for your own mouth. Anything more than that becomes a community, which must have some kind of order, and that order will always be corrupt, and therefore always be immoral. So basically, we go back to the stone ages and farther back, or we live in a society based on immoral principles, all the way down to the most minute community. Man is corrupt. That is our nature. It’s sad but true, and if you want to get to the root of your issue here, that is it. So you can either find an island with a coconut tree and self-sustain until you die, get over it and live in society despite the corruption, or actually work the system that’s in place to implement your own idea of what the ideal society would be. You must choose, and at this point it seems you’ve chosen number two, but with a whole lot of bitching on the side.

      • “…Bottom line of your entire argument is that you don’t have the balls to fight for what you believe in…”

        The only way to fight for a more moral and civilised world is to try and persuade other people to behave in a more moral and civilised way. It’s incredibly frustrating because it takes so long! 😦

        It takes literally centuries to convince people to not keep slaves, not to persecute other races and religions, not rape children, not to mistreat horses and dogs etc etc.

        Imagine going back in time and trying to convince ordinary people that black slavery was (a) immoral and (b) not necessary. Even though people were mostly quite nice and friendly and they grasped the concept of moral behaviour they would have treated you as insane for proposing slavery should be ended. Here’s a list of some of the excuses they;d have given to you for not ending slavery…

        “We can’t end slavery because how else would the cotton get picked?”
        “We can’t end slavery because slaves don’t own houses so they would all become homeless if we set them free”
        “We can’t end slavery because slaves are uneducated and so they couldn’t get jobs if we set them free”
        “We can’t end slavery because salves are lesser humans who a good for nothing else, if they were better they wouldn’t have allowed themselves to become slaves”
        “Slavery isn’t really slavery because they get free shelter and food – so it’s give and take”
        “Slavery isn’t really slavery because with no education and no money they couldn’t get a proper job anyway, so we are helping them by giving them a way to earn a living”
        “without slavery there would be no social order”
        …. and so on.

        These are the same kinds of excuses you have given me for why we must have violent and coercive rulers who steal have our wages each week. They are not valid arguments, they are just lame excuses for not doing the right thing.

        “…You have complained this entire time, and offered no solution….”

        I have explained why I object to immoral behaviour like coercion, violence theft. That’s a little more than just ‘complaining’ about it. I complain about things like the weather or a late train, whereas I object to murder, rape, assault etc. See the difference?

        And I HAVE offered a solution. The solution is to apply the same moral rules to people in government that we apply to people next dorr, or people in the street or people in the next town. After all, people in government are just people. They are not gods or kings or aliens or super heros – they are not even super villains. They are just people, in the same way that slaves are just people, men and women are just people and even children are just people. Seeing as how we are all people it makes sense that we should apply moral principles equally to everyone.

        Throughout history we already gradually applied basic moral rules equally to more and more groups of people (blacks, women, children, gays etc) and – as I’m sure you agree – society is all the better for it. So the next step is to apply those same rules to the people in government so that they too have equal rights as the rest of us.

        Do you agree that is a good idea?

        “…which must have some kind of order, and that order will always be corrupt..”

        Why? There is nothing about social order that requires anybody to be corrupt – what a strange thing to say! Government is the opposite of social order because the people in government claim the right to coerce and steal from everybody which makes them violent rulers. Social order would be where everybody agreed that coercion, violence and theft was not allowed. Of course some people might still try to break those rules but everyone would immediately agree they had done a bad thing and that they should be dealt with accordingly (ie forced to return the stolen property, pay damages etc). This is already how society works, and it’s a good way to organise society. So it makes sense to include the people in government too. If they steal or murder or coerce people we should treat them the same as if anyone else acts that way. Does that sounds like a good idea to you? If not why not?

        “..Man is corrupt. That is our nature. ..”

        I disagree I think man (and woman) are as virtuous as they are allowed to be. We are a product of our upbringing and our environment. If you bombard a population with clever propaganda you end up with Nazi Germany. If they had been raised with compassion and given a decent education (without all that propaganda) they’d never have let Hitler tell them what to do. They’d have just ignored him.

        Anyway, even if you are right and people are indeed corrupt that is the best argument for NOT letting people have power over other people, NOT surrendering half our wages to them, NOT letting them amass huge armies and weapons using money borrowed in the names of our children and grandchildren and NOT letting them take over the running of the economy and the educating of our children.

        If people are inherently corrupt then creating these positions of immense power, control and wealth it will only attract the most corrupt among the already corrupt population to take control of those positions and use them to do unimaginably evil things ….. which is EXACTLY what has always happened throughout history.

        So you are arguing against having coercive governments as well 🙂

        “…So you can either find an island with a coconut tree and self-sustain until you die, get over it and live in society despite the corruption, or actually work the system that’s in place to implement your own idea of what the ideal society would be. ..”

        You’re basically saying slavery can never be gotten rid of, so you either go and live on an island and die, or you try to tweak slavery to make the conditions a bit better for the slaves (a more varied menu, a bit less whipping etc).

        This is why it takes centuries for humans to get rid of immoral and barbaric practices. It should be a ‘no brainer’ to not let people violently rule other people – just as it should have been a no brainer to end slavery or human sacrifice or torturing heretics – but in ever generation and every age the world is full of people like you will fight to the bitter end to keep things the way they are.

        Can’t you just consider the possibility that maybe… just maybe …. we might one day be able to all agree that everyone has equal rights? Is that really too much to ask for? Is that something worth fighting against?

  8. Spin,

    So you think that the solution to the “immorality” caused by taxation (theft according to you) is to have complete anarchy? No more taxation and no more government and suddenly all this “immorality” just goes away?
    How did a discussion about the source of morality morph into taxation=theft anyways?

    • Ashley, I have no clue how this became a discussion of taxation is theft. I believe Spin was trying to say that all societies are purely based on immoral acts and attitudes, and his beef with taxes was his sticking point.

    • “…So you think that the solution to the “immorality” caused by taxation (theft according to you) is to have complete anarchy?..”

      OK, let me try to explain. Moral standards are a way of judging human behaviour. The way it works is you start off defining some kind of moral principle or moral rule or moral standard, such as…….. “Taking someone else’s property by force or by fraud (deception) is immoral”

      Now we can discuss if we agree or disagree with this moral rule or not. If you disagree that theft is immoral then you can claim the right to steal other people’s stuff….. but in claiming the right to steal you cannot object to other people stealing your stuff. That would be a contradiction. For a rule to be a rule it cannot have contradictions.

      If you claim that theft is immoral then you can’t claim the right to go around stealing other people’s stuff….. but you can claim the right to own your property and not have other people steal it from you.

      I think it’s fair to say everybody agrees theft is immoral. And that means we all agree that nobody has the right to steal other people’s stuff. If anybody tries to claim theft is moral they MUST accept that other people stealing their stuff is moral, in which case they have effectively given up all property rights – and so they cannot claim the right to other people’s property! It’s like a short circuit.

      Some people might still commit theft, but all thieves are acutely aware they are *violating* the moral rule against stealing, which means they recognise that moral rule against stealing DOES exist and IS valid…. they are just hoping to not get caught violating it, that’s all.

      So once a moral rule is established and agreed using logic we can compare any behaviour to that moral rule to see if that behaviour qualifies as moral or immoral. And we can formalise those moral rules into ‘laws’.

      But what always tends to happen is that one group sets itself up as ‘enforcer’ of moral rules, and they abuse their position and start acting as if the moral rules they enforce don’t apply to them.

      There is absolutely no reason why people enforcing moral rules need to be exempt from those moral rules. For example if a group forms to protect society from rapists there is no reason why they should be exempt from moral rules against rape. In other words there is no reason why they should be allowed to commit rape and get away with it. Committing rape has NOTHING to do with enforcing moral rules against rape (like, obviously!)

      If you start with a moral rules and work everything out from that starting point everything is very easy to understand. But if you start with the idea of a group who have ‘moral authority’ (like say a church or a government) and imagine that everything they do MUST be moral automatically then that’s where confusion arises.

      In reality governments DO NOT enforce moral rules, governments enforce a monopoly on the legal right to VIOLATE moral rules. They stop everyone else from stealing, murdering, assaulting, coercing, torturing, counterfeiting and kidnapping so that they can enjoy the monopolistic right to profit from doing all of those things!

      Obviously, in order to enforce their monopoly on, say, theft, they must stop (or at least deter) everyone else from stealing . But that does NOT means they are enforcing moral rules against theft. A moral rule against stealing means NOBODY has the right to steal…….. it does not mean nobody *except the people government* has the right to steal.

      In a statist society there are no rules, there are only rulers. A rule means a condition which applies universally (ie to everyone). If we started applying moral rules to everyone then we would naturally end up in a state of anarchy. Anarchy just means NO RULERS. It does not mean people looting and setting fire to cats.

      Most of our lives are already lived in a state of anarchy. No rulers dictate where you go on holiday, who you marry, what job you do, what movies you watch, what friends you have, what clothes you wear. Anything we do which is based on voluntary, peaceful actions with no rulers is, by definition, anarchic.

      We all value the anarchy we have…. and we have all been trained by rulers to fear the anarchy we have not yet achieved….. such as the right to actually own and keep ALL of the earnings we make without them being stolen by
      violent rulers.

      • Spin,

        Your entire premise falls apart from the outset. Taxation is NOT theft no matter how many ways you want to spin it. Is it a perfect system? Of course not. Is it free from corruption and croynism? Absoutely not. But my money is not stolen from me. My tax dollars are used to benefit me greatly. Tax dollars are used to provide me with roads, health care, libraries, education, law enforcement (civil and criminal), fire department and much more than I could name here. It’s called socialism, not theft. Learn the difference between the two.
        Now, somehow you think you’d be able to set up a anarchist society (with no rulers) with no taxation that would be better than the socialist democracies we have in North America that would be free from corruption and croynism? I’ll just say that I am extremely skeptical that your tax-free society would be the utopian paradise that you envision and leave it at that.

        • “…Taxation is NOT theft no matter how many ways you want to spin it. ..”

          That is not an argument. That is an assertion without an argument. If taxation is not theft then please explain how come. What is your argument? Here is my argument.

          1. Theft is defined as taking someone else’s property by force or fraud.
          2. The money I earn is my property because I own myself. I own my labour. I own the fruits of my labour.
          3. The money I earn is taken from me by force by the government. The force is demonstrated whenever someone stops paying taxes. They are put in a cage. Resistance or attempts at self defence will result in being shot.
          4. Taxation is having my property being taken from me by force. Theft is having my property taken from me by force. Therefore taxation is an example of theft.

          Can you refute the logic of this argument?

          “…But my money is not stolen from me..”

          Technically it is. Even if you agree/ acquiesce to being taxed the fact remains that you had no choice in the matter, and if you ever decide you don’t want to be taxed force will be used against you.

          Also you cannot claim tax is not theft for me, since I object to it. Suppose we are neighbours. ‘John’ pays us both a visit one evening. He has a gun. He tells us he is going to have sex with us whether we consent to it or not. You happen to find John attractive and you consent. I do not consent, but he has sex with me anyway using the gun as a threat to stop me from resisting. The next day you claim you were not raped by John….. can you also claim I was not raped by John? Can you claim John is not a rapist?

          “…My tax dollars are used to benefit me greatly…”

          This is irrelevant to the moral issue. Theft is immoral whether or not you benefitted from it, or think you benefitted from it. Going back to the rape analogy…. maybe John gave you mind blowing sex. But from my point of view he raped me. So if you are going to defend John you are defending a rapist.

          FYI 100% of your income tax goes to pay interest on private bank loans taken out by government. There is no reason for a government to take out loans at interest from private banks. Every western government has put everyone into trillions of dollars of debt. The economy is collapsing. It is a giant black hole. Governments have spent everybody’s entire life earnings a hundred times over on wars and weapons and big government and bank bailouts and funding terrorists and tinpot dictators and building 750 overseas military bases and thousands of other things which you would never have chosen to spend your money on given the choice.

          Government’s create no actual wealth of their own. Therefore they cannot provide any services. Everything must be paid for by the general public. If I steal $500 from you and buy you lunch I have not ‘provided’ you with a free meal. I have got YOU to provide me with $450. As with your weekly disposable income there is only so much money but an infinite number of things to spend it on. Thanks to taxation and government debt the collective wealth of the last century has all been spend on weapons and lavish lifestyles for the ruling classes. Every child born in the US is now born in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars – all thanks to selfish voters allowing government to take out huge loans in the names of the unborn. None of this could have happened if we did not have taxation.

          “..Tax dollars are used to provide me with roads, health care, libraries, education, law enforcement (civil and criminal), fire department and much more than I could name here….”

          Why do you only mention nice things? Why not mention the genocide in Iraq – all paid for by tax dollars? If there was no taxation would you CHOOSE to pay for roads, health care, libraries, education, law enforcement (civil and criminal), fire department etc….. of course you would, just like you CHOOSE to pay for a mobile phone, internet connection, car and car insurance, shoes and toothpaste. Whatever we value, we are prepared to pay for.

          Without taxation, would you have CHOSEN to buy a weapons and murder and maim innocent families in Iraq and cover their country in radiation?

          The fact that you obviously seem to care only about roads, health care, libraries etc and not genocide suggests the world would be better off without taxation – wouldn’t you say?

          “..It’s called socialism, not theft.”

          Socialism is totally dependent on theft. Socialism is the forced redistribution of property.

          “…Now, somehow you think you’d be able to set up a anarchist society (with no rulers) with no taxation that would be better than the socialist democracies we have in North America that would be free from corruption and croynism?…”

          It wouldn’t necessarily be free from corruption. But the would-be tyrants in an anarchic society would NOT have
          violent control over

          1. half the population’s earnings
          2. all the weapons in the world
          3. the education system which moulds the world view of the next generation
          4. the money supply
          5. the future wealth of the unborn via government debt which is basically deferred taxation (ie theft through time and space)
          6. control over the media
          7. the ability to bail out corrupt banks to the tune of billions with stolen money, thus encouraging insane banking practices
          8. control over energy production and energy / fuel prices
          9. the ability to fund / not fund specific areas of research
          10. the LEGAL right to steal, coerce, murder, assault, kidnap, torture and counterfeit
          11. a monopoly over the court system

          All of these rights and privileges are enjoyed by the tyrants of all statist societies. SOmehow, imagining you can give one group all that power, money and weaponry and expect they won;t take the ball and run with it….despite history books and the nightly news being full of tyrants doing just that ….. now that’s a utopian fantasy.

          Would-be tyrants in an anarchic society would have a hard time accomplishing any crime bigger than small scale stuff. And the risks of being caught and exposed would be far greater in a voluntary free society. Beat up an old lady or run a fraudulent business and you’d be economically and socially ostracised. Nobody would choose to do business with you. You’d be f-cked!

          But in a statist society if you spill a zillion tons of oil in the gulf, murder a million people in a war of aggression or gamble everyone’s money away as head of a bank you are quite safe. The government will protect you and bail you out.

          “… I am extremely skeptical that your tax-free society would be the utopian paradise that you envision and leave it at that….”

          Once again you have not made an argument. I’m not asking you to accept what I am saying on faith……. if you have specific arguments as to WHY you think it is acceptable or necessary to have violent, coercive thieving rulers or WHY you think a free, non coercive society would not work please make those arguments.

          If the government all fell off a cliff tomorrow, would YOU be prepared (in a moral sense) to come round to my house and force me at gunpoint to fund things I objected to and did not wish to participate in? I’ll tell you right now that I WILL surrender to your threats of violence, just as I surrender the government’s threats of violence, or a street mugger’s threats of violence.

          Personally I believe (I hope) your moral values would prevent you from coercing me, or stealing my earnings. Taxation is not some abstract idea. Without the government to do your dirty work for you you would have to come round my house and point a gun at me in front of my children. And if I politely and peacefully declined to fund your weapons program, overseas military base or bankster bailout you would have to drag me away in front of my children and put me in a cage, leaving my family to fend for themselves.

          If you;re not prepared to treat me that way, you should not be ‘voting’ for people in government to treat me that way.

          That is the reality of taxation. That is the stark moral truth of it.

          • SPin,

            Well for starters sir, YOU”RE the one making the assertion (that taxes = theft) NOT ME. You’re the one that got the burden of proof, not me. That’s logic in case you didn’t know. It’s called the burden of proof. The money you earn is not “taken by force” by your government. You choose to live in the country that you do and abide by their laws – that you pay taxes. If you don’t want to pay taxes, move to a lawless part of the world and your problem will be solved. I’m not sure which country you live in, but it can’t possibly be here in North America because I’ve never had someone come to my house and “steal” tax money from me at gunpoint. And neither have you.
            I don’t know what it is you’re smoking but can I have some?

            • “..The money you earn is not “taken by force” by your government…”

              If your statement is correct then, logically, I am free to keep the money I earn. But this is not that case. If I keep the money I earn I will be put in side a cage by people from the government. If I resist being kidnapped I will be shot. So you are wrong. The money I earn IS taken from me by force. It is absurd to claim otherwise.

              The fact that you claim otherwise proves that you DO understand that what the government does is immoral, otherwise you would just say “Sure the government steals your money at gunpoint, but there’s nothing wrong with stealing things at gunpoint”.

              When people use euphemisms and skirt round the issue it usually means they are trying to disguise immoral behaviour. I didn’t steal your bike, I was just ‘borrowing’ it. I didn’t punch you in the face, you ‘bumped into my fist’. The government doesn’t steal our earnings at gunpoint, you ‘chose’ to pay it when you ‘chose’ to be born here.

              “…You choose to live in the country that you do and abide by their laws..”

              1. Nobody chooses where they are born, that’s an absurd statement.
              2. You claim people must obey whatever the people in government tell them to do, rather than do what is moral (and refuse to do what is immoral). So you are placing the people in a government ABOVE morality. You are literally saying people must obey people in government EVEN IF they are being immoral, demanding immoral things and giving immoral orders. That is attitude is precisely what has led to every war and every atrocity of the last century. People in Germany also placed their government ABOVE moral rules. They actually believed it was immoral to disobey the people in government EVEN IF the people in government were asking them to do immoral things like murder millions of jews. The same is true of the people who obeyed Bush and Blair when they said “Go and murder millions of Iraqi’s” Everyone knows murder is immoral, but millions of people believed to disobey the government’s order to commit murder was MORE immoral than actually committing murder itself. Placing people in government ABOVE morality is insane, and always leads to murder, persecution, violence, theft, destruction and social and economic breakdown.
              3. Placing moral rules ABOVE people in government is the only rational and sane way of dealing with moral issues, and protecting society from immoral people (psychopaths).

              “… I’ve never had someone come to my house and “steal” tax money from me at gunpoint…”

              That’s presumably because you’ve never resisted the theft before. Try resisting the theft and see what happens then. If my neighbour comes round to my house and takes money out of my purse and I do not protest or resist there is no need for her to pull out a gun and make any threats whatsoever. It’s only if I object to her behaviour or try to hang onto my property that the theft is revealed.

              Seriously, what do you think happens if you decide to stop funding the war in Iraq, or the war on drugs or the war on poverty or any of the other destructive and immoral wars? Do you think the government won’t start threatening to put you in cage? Have you ever asked people who stopped funding government policies what happened to them? Have you even given it five minutes thought ever in your life? Did government schools never teach you what happens if you refuse to fund even one single thing that government demands you fund?

              “..I don’t know what it is you’re smoking but can I have some?…”

              Are you implying that I am hallucinating the current laws concerning taxation, and that in reality I am free to keep all of my earnings (my property)? I don’t understand what you mean. Please explain.

          • SFD, you are granted access to the public domain in exchange for your tacit approval by taxation. Without accepting this responsibility, you aren’t a citizen and so you have stolen public property every time you use these goods and services. Did you purchase your health care? Did you purchase all the transportation routes you’ve used? Did you purchase all the schools and pay for all the training that professionals you’ve utilized in your life have been granted by the public domain? Did you pay your fair share for your defense? For the protection offered you by the courts and their officers? For the fire protection you receive that keeps your insurance rates so much lower? You’ve been stealing all your life by drinking water processed by public expenditure, infrastructure paid for by the public, for the power and utilities you receive, the maintenance for this public infrastructure, and so on. According to your argument, you are a thief of the public purse and wish to break your tacit acceptance of the public burden through taxation. That means giving up your citizenship. Are you prepared for the consequences of being a citizen of no country and refusing to use any and all public domain services and facilities it provides in exchange for your taxation?

            Your viewpoint is grossly myopic, shortsighted, and stupidly greedy. You only see what you assume is theft of your income without realizing just how much of your life is owed – yes, owed – to the public domain for your health and welfare. You didn’t have to beg for it, nor organize it; all of this was done by your ancestors and you have inherited this version of the product. You don’t like it? Tough. You know your only other option. So take your moral high road and stop stealing what you do not own or join the rest of humanity and try to make beneficial changes to the public good through representational legislation.

            • “…you are granted access to the public domain in exchange for your tacit approval by taxation….”

              Incorrect. I am being held hostage by government (and their legion of voters) who do not allow me to spend my own money on things that I choose. Having half my earnings stolen from me at gunpoint and given directly to private bankers is not what I would call “granted access to the public domain”. 100% of income tax goes to service debts with private bankers.

              You cannot claim I am stealing things which have been monopolised by government and forced onto me at gunpoint. I am quite happy to pay for the goods and services I use. I am quite happy to be denied goods and services which I refuse to pay for. This is how ordinary society already operates. And it works very well. If I want food I go out an buy food. If I want an ipad I buy an ipad. If I refuse to pay for an ipad apple will not give me an ipad. If I try to force other people to buy me an ipad at gunpoint, I will be regarded as a thief and an extortionist.

              Roads, healthcare, schools etc were all being provided without guns until government came along and violently took them over. I don’t object to government providing service and I don’t object to paying for the services they provide – I object to not being allowed to choose alternatives. If government services are so great why doesn’t government allow other service providers to compete with government? We both know the answer. If private enterprise was allowed to compete with government to provide schools, police, transport, defence etc then everybody would abandon government services and start using the more cheap, efficient, friendly, customer focused, non violent, CONTRACT BASED, services offered by the free market. And government would wither and die. And everybody would be much happier, less stressed and a lot more wealthy, while the ruling class would suddenly find themselves having to actually EARN a living by providing goods and services of VALUE that people were prepared to pay for, rather than just pointing guns at everyone and demanding half of everyone’s wages.

              If the ‘government’ are such a wonderful bunch of service providers, why are they so afraid to put down the guns and give us the freedom to leave them and use other service providers? If apple suddenly started forcing everyone to pay for apple products and services (they might call it ‘iTax’) that would be immoral and annoying, agreed? The result would inevitably be a lowering of quality and raising of prices because apple no longer had to compete in the free market for our money by offering the most attractive good and services they can deliver.

              And some people would say “Yes but just by living in this country you agree to pay iTax, and anyway people need computers so we have to pay it, and we get ‘free’ products and services in return so it’s not really theft, and if you don;t like it you can go and live on an island and eat a coconut and then die of scurvy…” And we’d all find these people really, really annoying.

              We all know the way to have the highest quality and lowest cost and greatest choice of goods and services is to allow the free market to provide them and that means no guns and no theft. The same applies for services like education or police or even defence. There is simply no rational, practical or moral justification for having ANY goods and services violently monopolised and funded by theft.

              “…According to your argument, you are a thief of the public purse and wish to break your tacit acceptance of the public burden through taxation…”

              Nope. I just want to be treated like an adult and allowed to choose how I spend my own money. I am not asking to be given things for free, or to be able to use services without paying for them. Wanting the right to CHOOSE to buy Sony, apple or Dell products without anybody pointing guns at me is NOT the same as going around stealing computers is it? Wanting to have the right to CHOOSE who educates my children or who defends my property or who protects my legal rights is NOT The same as demanding these services be provided for me for free. That is a completely ludicrous and dishonest association to make.

              Everything we value about modern society is based on freedom of choice and voluntary peaceful relationships and transactions. So it is totally contradictory and schizophrenic for you to argue against freedom of choice and voluntary peaceful relationships and transactions. If I were inclined to make snide remarks I would say “Go and live in the old Soviet Union or China or ancient Rome if you want everything to be ‘provided’ for you by a giant authoritarian socialist / fascist Big Government – and leave us adults alone to get on with out lives in peace”

              “..Are you prepared for the consequences of being a citizen of no country and refusing to use any and all public domain services and facilities it provides in exchange for your taxation?..”

              I am prepared to pay for whatever I use or consume – be it a meal at a restaurant, a starbucks coffee, an ipad, a car, transport infrastructure, police, legal services, shoes, insurance, water, coke, electricity, nail files, blu tack, internet, schools for my children, ham, cheese or parks. You keep equating wanting the right to CHOOSE which services and products I pay for with stealing those products and services. That is a dishonest claim. I am not claiming the right to have ‘free stuff’, I am claiming the right to not be forced at gunpoint to pay for things I object to and do not wish to have anything to do with.

              The fact that you are resorting to dishonest arguments and twisted logic suggests you have no valid arguments to support the violent and coercive behaviour of governments. Wanting government to allow for choice by putting down their guns) and wanting government to use proper CONTRACTS (like every other service provider does in the free market) are not unreasonable demands. You would never buy or insure a car without a proper legal contract. You would not tolerate apple trying to monopolise the computer and gizmo market by force and impose an iTax onto you. You cannot justify government behaving in this way either….. and that is why you keep trying to twist everything I say to make ME appear to be demanding something immoral or outlandish….. you are trying to provoke me into self attacking by taunting me. If you stopped doing this you would have to admit that freedom of choice, a free non coercive market and proper two way contracts are all things you value and demand in your daily interactions at work and as a consumer … and it makes total sense that a government (which is basically just a collection of service providers) also allow others to compete with them in providing services in a free market, do not point guns at us and steal our money and instead provide us with proper two way contracts for the services they provide, so if they fail to deliver the services they offer we can sue them.

              “…Your viewpoint is grossly myopic, shortsighted, and stupidly greedy….”

              I am not the one asking government to provide me with services and ‘free stuff’ to be paid for by future generations. To me that is the ultimate in shortsighted greedy immoral behaviour. Government’s cannot justify their existence in the modern age, and so they have resorted to BRIBING pepople like you into suppoting government with more and more like you with ‘free stuff’ which they have no money to pay for (having spent it all on war, big government, bank bailouts, a surveillance police state etc)…. so in order to pay for all of these BRIBES to keep the voting public on side they take out huge loans which future generations will be forced to pay back (with interest) at gunpoint.

              How dare you force MY children and MY grandchildren to pay for all the ‘free stuff’ that you demand off government! How dare you steal from my children!

              “…You only see what you assume is theft of your income without realizing just how much of your life is owed – yes, owed – to the public domain for your health and welfare….”

              More emotional attacks. 100% of my income tax goes to private banks. You are trying to equate theft with care. This is a really bad argument. Without taxation our standard of living would now be beyond our imagination. Think how much more productive and efficient we are today compared to a century ago. Why are most people still struggling to pay the rent and put food on the table? The answer is that all of that ‘excess’ wealth has been creamed off the population via ever-increasing levels of tax. There is only so much money being generated and if most of it is being stolen and spent on big government, wars on X, wars of empire , military industrial technology and overseas military bases it’s inevitable that the standard of living for the population is going to drop. Working class people would be earning at least $200,000 had taxes just remained at their post war level. That’s enough to pay for a very healthy lifestyle. And with that much money floating about even among the ‘poor’ think how much crime would be reduced.

              100 % of income tax goes directly to private banks. That means every person currently in employment is forced AT GUNPOINT to work for two to three days a week directly for the banks. It doesn’t matter if they are rounded up and put into work camps or allowed to work in an office only to have half their earnings stolen at the end of each week. The end result is the same. All of the labour and productivity of the entire working population of the United States of America from Monday through to Wednesday or Thursday every single week is owned by private banks. That is slavery my friend. And that is the reality of taxation and living in a society which is ruled by force.

              And for daring to point this fact out and daring to morally object to it you accuse ME of stealing. You accuse ME of trying to exploit society. You accuse ME of being immoral. Ok, so that’s obviously ridiculous… but it’s also very sad. I think you just can’t bring your self to admit how immoral – how utterly monstrous – the system is and how much you have been lied to and deceived by government schools, politicians and the media who all told you you were free and government was there to look after you like some benevolent paternal figure. Every society which has been totally shafted by its violent ruling class struggles to comprehend they are being shafted at all. Chinese peasants in communist China believed they were the richest, freest, most privileged people on earth because that’s what their government told them. These are people so poor they were perpetually starving and were forced to fertilise their crops with their own excrement.

              “…You don’t like it? Tough. You know your only other option. So take your moral high road and stop stealing what you do not own or join the rest of humanity and try to make beneficial changes to the public good through representational legislation….”

              More emotional blocking. You cannot support a fundamentally immoral system and expect society to become more moral at the end. If you keep supporting a fundamentally immoral system society will just keep getting more immoral and more dysfunctional. If you think you can reform government (even though they claim the legal right to coerce and steal from everybody), why don’t you start with a less ambitious task. Try reforming a local mafia gang. Try ‘voting’ for different members of that gang to be in charge and keep doing that until you have transformed them into non-violent people who respect other people’s property rights. When you have achieved this goal you can get to work on government.

              Statism is 5000 years old. It has always been a bloodbath of tyranny and oppression – because it is fundamentally based on legalised violence and theft in the hands of a few. As technology has increased, productivity has increased and the violence and destruction inflicted by governments has also increased. The last century has demonstrated what governments + modern technology is capable of doing to the world.

              With 750 military bases around the globe, never ending wars which slaughter millions and devastate the environment, a collapsing economy trillions in debt, trillions more in unfunded liabilities, a rapidly escalating police state rivalling (or even surpassing) that of Nazi germany and the absolute devastation wrought onto children via government schools based on the Prussian System which now forcibly drug children just to stop them from committing suicide…. bearing these things in mind all I ask is that you consider carefully your continued support for violent rulers who have the legal right to coerce and steal at will, and that you consider your support of these people with an open mind and as much rationality and moral clarity as you can manage.

              Do you really support that kind of behaviour?

              And when you attempt to justify it is that really you talking, or are you just repeating propaganda soundbites that don’t really make any sense when examined rationally?

              Every immoral and destructive regime can be justified because theft and violence can always be justified both morally and practically, and throughout history they were all justified by the general population. A tyrannical regime can only exist as AFTER of the public has been trained how to justify it.

              You have two kidneys. Some people are dying of kidney failure. By refusing to donate one of your kidneys you are killing that person. Therefore I have the right to use force against you to take one of your kidneys and give it to that person who needs it more than you do. If you don’t like it you can always go and live on an island with no food or healthcare.

              You see? I have just provided moral and practical justification for stealing your kidney by force. My justification for stealing your kidney was very similar to your justification for stealing my earnings.

              This is why morality must include the concept of universality, otherwise it can (and will) be used to justify ANYTHING.

              • Spin,

                “Are you implying that I am hallucinating the current laws concerning taxation, and that in reality I am free to keep all of my earnings (my property)? I don’t understand what you mean. Please explain”
                I’ve read through some of your earlier posts and couldn’t bring myself to read though the last novel you posted. I mean to say that yes, you are either hallucinating and/or are on some kind of mind-altering drug if you think that “half my earnings [are] stolen from me at gunpoint and given directly to private bankers”. And the solution is still simple. Move into a lawless part of the world and the “stealing” will stop. What are you waiting for? You’re not being held hostage by any goverment (unless you live in China or North Korea?). You’re free to come and go as you please and free to renounce your citizenship any time you like.
                And I take back my earlier statement. Whatever it is that you’re smoking (or otherwise injesting) I’d rather not have any of, lest I turn into a babbling, foaming anarchist and conspiracy theorist.

              • So just to get this straight.

                1. You believe you are free to spend 100% of your earnings as you see fit.
                2. You believe government will never threaten you with kidnapping and imprisonment in order to get you to fund things they want you to.
                3. You believe government agents would not shoot you if you tried to defend your property from a government agent seeking to take it from you by force.
                4. You believe it’s possible to move to another country and transfer your wealth there without the government claiming ownership of a proportion of it

                All of these beliefs are provably false. I suggest you consult the law books and court cases re: taxes and what happens to people who refuse to pay taxes. you might also like to study the case of the facebook founder ( I forget his name) and see what happened when he tried to leave the US and take his money with him.

                Depicting reality as conspiracy theory is not a valid argument. A ‘conspiracy’ means a secret plan to commit an unlawful or immoral act. There is nothing secret about taxation or the force used to obtain it. And the taxation is certainly not a ‘theory’ either., it’s very tangible and real.

                You accuse me of being on drugs, yet you are the one making no sense.

                Defining moral rules and then comparing them to the behaviour of people in real life is not ‘babbling’ either. Morality IS SUPPOSED TO BE APPLIED TO REAL LIFE, it is not supposed to be some abstract hypothetical subject only to be discussed on blogs and at dinner parties. Moral standards are what determine if people are raped, if whole populations are persecuted or murdered, if people are persecuted, if atrocities are allowed to go unpunished. Moral standards decide if people live or die…. enjoy a happy life or suffer in agony.

                Morality is arguably the most important subject we can discuss. Calling it ‘babbling’ is an insult to all the people who have devoted their lives to bringing morality to bear on the world, and thus drag us out of the dark ages.

                I suspect you are only pretending to not have read my comment because I have exposed you as a moral hypocrite. It’s tough, I know. I can empathise with the discomfort that causes because we are all propagandised into being moral hypocrites from the day we go to school or start watching TV. Self analysis is always painful, but it’s not that bad as long as you don’t have an over inflated ego.

                The fact of the mater is that the entire statist system DEPENDS on everyone being a complete moral hypocrite. See also: slavery, racism, wife beating, child abuse etc. They ALL depend on moral hypocrisy.

                That is why the solution to most of the world’s ills is to start applying morality as it should be applied…… ie universally, and consistency! In doing so we expose moral hypocrites. ie people like yourself who claim to be moral, but are actually the furthest thing from it.

                Like all moral hypocrites you put up a smokescreen of emotion and non-issues to try and divert and distract the attention away from your immoral behaviour and you try to cloak your immoral behaviour in euphemisms and double speak. Again, I have empathy with that because we’ve all been trained to be that way by the ruling class who REQUIRE us to be as immoral as they are so we don’t withdraw our support for them (and our taxes).

                As for anarchy….. all the freedoms we enjoy in modern society are examples of anarchy in action …. the freedom to marry who we want to, wear what we want to, travel where we want to, free speech, being able to choose a career or start up your own business. These are all examples of anarchic behaviour and anarchic interactions.

                If these things were violently controlled by an authority they would stop being anarchic and start being oppression. Anarchy just means freedom from coercive rulers. It has nothing to do with smashing things up or breaking rules.In fact anarchy is the inevitable result of HAVING rules in society. The rules “Nobody is allowed to steal” and “Nobody is allowed to initiate force” lead naturally to a state of anarchy. That does not mean nobody every will steal or initiate force, it just means nobody has the moral or legal RIGHT to steal or initiate force.

                To argue against anarchy means you are claiming somebody, or some group, DOES have the moral and legal right to steal and initiate force.

                So if you oppose anarchy then you oppose freedom and you support the violation of basic moral rules against theft and the initiation of force.

                You seem to be opposing anarchy and supporting ever-more coercive rule by force… while simultaneously claiming to want freedom and a moral society. This is a HUGE contradiction.

                Sadly that is what propaganda does to people, as history shows over and over and over again. Every generation in every culture thought they weren’t affected by propaganda…… as is the nature of propaganda.

              • It’s not your money, SFD. You don’t own it. Your labour doesn’t create it. Stop accepting it and nobody will ‘steal’ some of it from you. See how simple that is? Stand your ground, man, and demand another form of compensation. Hey, that;’s what free market economies are all about, right? Choice. So go ahead. Make the choice or quite your bellyaching.

                You are operating under all kinds of assumptions that simply aren’t supported by reality. For example, you claim, “We all know the way to have the highest quality and lowest cost and greatest choice of goods and services is to allow the free market to provide them.” We all know this, do we? Wrong. You simply believe this propaganda.

                Yes, business does business better than government does business (for profit). But you have bought – hook, line and sinker – the Randian notion that therefore business does government better than government does government. In every example where business has tried to provide equivalent public services (funded by the public), business has failed to yield equivalent or superior results. About half of all start up businesses simply fail (local, state, and federal government doesn’t have this luxury). We see the same failing results in publicly funded private education, publicly funded private prisons, publicly funded private toll highways, publicly funded private security, publicly funded private mail, and so on. Business has no record of success governing anything or producing superior cost-effective public programs and services better than government. It does have a stellar record at costing each of us much more for equivalent or inferior services when we add the profit goal under which business does business. For this claim, we have ample evidence.

                If you want a peaceful, prosperous society, then we have compelling evidence that less economic disparity fosters these goals. That means redistribution of wealth, and the only organ that can accomplish this task is responsible government who rules by the representation of the governed and that provides a broad and meaningful social safety net. Again, look to reality to see if this claim has merit: we find the lowest rates of all kinds of anti-social behaviour correlated are in those countries with the least income disparity… countries you would consider the greatest of thieves like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The correlation stays solid right through the G20. When we expand beyond this list we find that the lower the regulation and taxation on business – what you presume should provide the foundation for ‘ highest quality and lowest cost and greatest choice of goods and services’ – the higher the rates of social disharmony and domestic violence.

                Nobody likes taxes. But the scope of public expenditures based on their collection plays a pivotal role shaping the kind of society that produces the most opportunities, health, and welfare for the greatest number of people. Because we have to live with other people, finding and enforcing this equilibrium is very important. You may not wish to pay for disaster relief or Old Age Security or public schooling or the space program, but without the organ of government to collect public money to fund these agencies, your life would be far less peaceful and far less prosperous, far less technologically advanced. Your standard of living has only partly to do with how much money you earn and to a greater extent to do with government regulation and enforcement of public common law – one of which is to extract money from individuals that you deem to be theft. The uncosted benefits you accrue from this ‘thievery’ far, far outweigh the harm you deem they cause. But you don’t live in a social setting that supports your assumption because all the evidence adduced from reality is that such a setting is, in fact, inferior and does not produce what you assume it does: it reduces peace, reduces prosperity, and creates vast class disparities.

              • Spin,

                You caught me. I’m an immoral hypocrit. I really do believe that taxation is really theft and if we all just became anarchists, completely did away with government and let the free market and big business rule, all the immorality in the world would just melt away and everything would perfect. The things that governments do (like building societal infrascructure for example) would be much more efficient and less expensive if left to private companies. You go buddy.

              • So you’re suggesting here that if an aspect of moral conduct is not universally accepted by every human being on the planet, then everyone is immoral? The immoral people who don’t recognize what is and is not objectively moral and those who allow objectively immoral behavior to persist? Then how can morality actually exist at all? There is NOTHING on this planet which all people can agree is moral or immoral, and even if so, there are people who are willing to commit immoral acts, regardless of their immorality (such as Thunder being willing to dismiss the immorality of murder if God told him to murder his son). So why care? Why even ponder the thought of morality if it is impossible for man to objectively agree upon any aspect of it?

                And I must ask, I do believe at some point you pointed out that we (myself, Ashley, and Tildeb) are immoral people for paying taxes willingly. So how are you any better? You claim to know the truth about the immorality of tax-paying. You whine and complain about it, about governments that instate it, and the people who willingly accept it. But here you are, living in a tax-paying land, saying that you pay taxes, just not willingly. What does your willingness have to do with the moral implications of taxes? You have the RIGHT and FREE ABILITY to leave this country, to revoke your citizenship and get out. Revoking your citizenship removes all ‘guns’ of obligation from you. Move and find a piece of land where you can live without taxes. Oh, but wait, you make the excuse that even if you did that, a government would come and forcefully take you over, right? But that has NOTHING to do with your ability to leave. It has nothing to do with your ability to be proactive about your claim that taxes are immoral.

                It seems to me that your continuous complaining about the tax system will amount to nothing if you don’t stand up and speak out. You compared (and I can’t believe you’d think these are valid comparisons, but we’re going with it anyway) racism and slavery to tax-paying. You know what ended slavery? Brave, proactive people who were willing to DIE for their stance that slavery was immoral. You know what ended mass-supported racism and racist governmental controls in this country? Brave, proactive people who were willing to DIE for their stance that racism is immoral. You whine and complain, but you don’t have the balls or the care to be BRAVE, and stand up for what you believe in. You don’t have the guts to DIE fighting against a system you believe in immoral. If you’re not willing to do that, to actually WORK toward a better, moral way of life, no matter how hopeless it may seem, then 1) it will never change, and 2) you are no better than those who pay taxes willingly. Identifying that rape is wrong doesn’t make you a good person when you walk past a woman being raped in an alley and you don’t do anything about it. If taxation is immoral, then the way you are acting is no different.

        • This is exactly why I stopped having a discussion with him Ashley. I was surprised to see so much more “spinning” from him on this topic. Logical argumentation goes from premise to conclusion. But entire frameworks of logic can be built off of a faulty premise. His initial premise that taxation is immoral is assertion that is neither provable nor is it correct. That each individual in a society should contribute to the society beyond taking care of their individual needs is something that is part of every society. That contribute may come in the form of taxes, or it may come in the form of goods and services. Doesn’t matter. To not contribute to a society that one benefits from is the immoral act, and that society should punish someone for not contributing should not be considered immoral. Any of his further arguments really have no merit as he is basing his views on originally faulty premises. At best his views can be seen as a thought experiment, but they have no practical value. I think you or Rana said at some point, the idea that any money we make is “our own” is also a faulty premise. My parents paid for my education, and were able to save based on tax breaks that they benefitted from on their income level. I went to a university subsidized by the Federal Government and Provincial Government in Canada. I had my graduate school paid for by a grant from Navy for my Masters, and the Air Force for my Ph.D. when I came to the states. Sure I worked hard as well, but many people work hard in this world and don’t have the opportunities I do because of the help given to me by my parents, my teachers, and society at large. My privileged life now is built on the foundation of the hard work of others before me, so what I make is clearly not entirely my own, and I owe society, as well as I owe my own child now to give him a life with plenty of advantages. It’s not the perfect pay it forward system, but if it’s not immoral, it is at the very least unethical for me not continue paying it forward.

          • Hey Swarn,

            Didn’t notice that post there. I guess my head was spinning reading through all the “spinning” posts. LOL
            This guy is nothing more than a greedy, tea-partier, pay-your-own-way, crack pot anarchist who’s pissed that he doesn’t get to keep all of his paycheck because some of it is taken for taxes while being completely oblivious to the goods and serives he uses every single day as a result of those taxes, and that if it wasn’t for our government and the taxes being used for public good, we’d be so worse off, it would be hard to imagine.

  9. “…So you’re suggesting here that if an aspect of moral conduct is not universally accepted by every human being on the planet, then everyone is immoral?..”

    No. I’m saying that if we are going to even bother talking about moral rules (or any other rules) we must apply those moral rules universally…. otherwise what’s the point? A system of moral rules is a bit like a system of numbers. What is the point of having a system of numbers if we don’t apply the units universally? Three must always mean three (not four, not twenty, not seven). Every day of the week three must always mean three, and every person must accept the value of three – otherwise having numbers is pointless.

    Imagine getting a job and negotiating a salary of $3,000 a month. When pay day comes your employer gives you $1,000. When you complain he says, “I call that amount of money ‘$3,000’. If you disagree with my definition of $3,000 that’s your problem, not mine”.

    Not having fixed, constant and universal definitions and rules for numbers allows evil people to twist numbers to mean whatever they want to suit their evil agendas. And the same is true of morality. Not having fixed, constant and universal definitions and rules for morality allows evil people to twist morality to mean whatever they want to suit their evil agendas.

    Having a fixed, clearly defined and universal number system does not prevent your boss from paying you $1000 instead of the agreed $3000. But it prevents him from being able to CLAIM he paid you $3000.

    Likewise, having a fixed, clearly defined and universal moral system does not prevent someone from committing theft, or murder or fraud or whatever. But it does prevent them from being able to CLAIM their actions are somehow moral.

    “…Then how can morality actually exist at all?…”

    Morality doesn’t ‘exist’ as such. Morality only exists as an idea, or an AGREEMENT….. just as ‘numbers’ only exist as an idea or an AGREEMENT. If there are four beans on a table there is no ‘number four’ hanging over the top of them. “Four beans” is just a more convenient way of saying “bean + bean + bean + bean”. If someone is doing something immoral the word ‘immoral’ does not hang above them. “Immoral’ is just a way of classifying and talking about certain types of human interaction. The same is true of colours. “Brown” is just an agreement to all say “brown” when we detect a certain frequency of light.

    All of these abstract terms only have value if their meaning remains fixed, constant and universal.

    “…There is NOTHING on this planet which all people can agree is moral or immoral….”

    Well, it’s true that people can CLAIM such-and-such behaviour is moral or immoral. But that’s true of ANYTHING. I can claim 7 is really 5. You can claim red is really blue. John can claim New York City is on the West coast. Mary can claim taking someone else’s property is moral.

    And that is why the most important part is not what people CLAIM is a moral rule, but what happens when we CONSISTENTLY AND UNIVERSAL LY APPLY a moral rule. Take Mary’s claim that taking someone else’s property by force is moral. If we consistently and universally apply that moral rule we must accept that it’s moral for anybody to take anybody else’s stuff. So let’s now test if that’s what Mary really believes by attempting to take her property by force. Oh look, Mary is complaining that we’ve stolen her stuff (what a surprise!). Now she’s saying we have no right to take her stuff, and that we are behaving immorally. So she’s just invalidated her own claim. She obviously doesn’t think it’s morally acceptable to take someone else’s property by force after all.

    This is how we test moral claims. We universalise them. If you claim rape is morally justified, you cannot object to being raped. But even if you DON’T object to being raped (because you are some kind of weirdo) your claim is still invalid, because rape MEANS non consensual sex by force. Therefore logically you cannot (voluntarily of your own free will) agree to being raped – if you agree to it then it’s not rape, by definition.

    So the moral rule ‘rape is morally acceptable’ cannot be universalised. Two people cannot agree to rape each other. The moment they agree it is no longer rape. Therefore rape cannot be moral behaviour. Rape has to be immoral (the same logic works for things like murder, theft etc).

    “..And I must ask, I do believe at some point you pointed out that we (myself, Ashley, and Tildeb) are immoral people for paying taxes willingly….”

    Funding things willingly is not immoral. If you simply paid government for the services they provide which you use that would be fine. But taxation is more complicated than that. Taxation just means property which is stolen by force from anybody who does no agree to hand it over without making a fuss. And so by agreeing to pay it you are legitimising a system which points guns at other people. And if you ‘vote’ you are literally demanding the people in government point guns at everyone else and steal their stuff ON YOUR BEHALF.

    Imagine we all live in the same street and ‘John’ goes from house to house every night to have sex with each one of us. If you consent (because you enjoy sex with him) then he does not really need to rape you, even though he is quite prepared the moment you withdraw consent. And he does rape anybody else in the street who does not consent to having sex with him. So if you are aware of what John does, would you agree that although you have the right to have sex with John, it’s kind of sick if you kept on having sex with him night after night KNOWING full well that he rapes everyone who does not consent to sex with him?

    In this analogy I am one of John’s rape victims (I do not consent to sex with him, so he forces me to have sex with him) and you are telling me *I* am wrong to complain about John and label him a rapist because *you* appreciate and enjoy having sex with him. But rape (like theft) should always be determined by the victim’s non consent, not by the approval of onlookers. If I do not consent to sex with John, and he forces sex onto me then that HAS to be rape. The fact that YOU consent to sex with John does not mean you can also give John MY consent on MY behalf. That is basically what ‘voting’ is. If the majority of the street voted for John to continue (because they enjoyed sex with him) they would effectively be providing John with the consent of everyone else on the street. But we cannot give other people’s consent. They can only give consent themselves.

    The same is just as true of when it comes to other forms of property. You cannot ‘vote’ to give MY consent to government or Apple or Sony or anyone else for them to take my property. That is a right you do not have. It is immoral.

    “…You claim to know the truth about the immorality of tax-paying…”

    Yes. I have presented several logical arguments for the immorality of taxation. And you have not managed to refute any one of them yet.

    “…You whine and complain about it, about governments that instate it, and the people who willingly accept it…”

    I object to it. Just as I object to being raped or mugged in the street. What argument are you trying to make here?

    “..But here you are, living in a tax-paying land, saying that you pay taxes, just not willingly. What does your willingness have to do with the moral implications of taxes?..”

    I pay taxes reluctantly, under duress. I surrender to the threats of violence made against me by government, acting on the behalf of the voting public, who have en masse given MY consent to government to have my property taken from me. I am outnumbered and outgunned. Naturally I surrender, the alternative is to be caged or shot.

    African slaves generally accepted being slaves. Their surrender to the whip and the hangman’s noose was not consent to being enslaved, it was acquiescence. Rape victims also often submit without protest.

    “..You have the RIGHT and FREE ABILITY to leave this country, to revoke your citizenship and get out….”

    That is not a moral defence. That is an example of using coercion as a way to subdue protest in the face of immoral behaviour. That’s like saying “If you don’t like John raping you every night, you have the RIGHT and FREE ABILITY to move to a different street”.

    I have protested about immoral behaviour and rather than address that immoral behaviour you have threatened me with another immoral behaviour – that of being driven out of my own home/ street/ country. Faced with this awful prospect you hope I will accept the lesser of two evils, that of being taxed by force (or raped every night). You are like a parent beating her child and saying if you don’t like it you can always spend the night outdoors in the freezing cold.

    Government is just a reflection of the family, and as a general rule the most avid supporters of government violence were beaten and abused by their parents at a young age. The same is true of people in government. Being beaten as a child leads to lack of empathy and eventually sociopathy. In adults this manifests an obsession with ‘violent coercive authority’ which in turn leads to governments and their voters.

    “…You know what ended slavery? Brave, proactive people who were willing to DIE for their stance that slavery was immoral. …You whine and complain, but you don’t have the balls or the care to be BRAVE, and stand up for what you believe in. You don’t have the guts to DIE fighting against a system you believe in immoral…”

    The danger of making such arguments is that they can always be applied back at you. There is far more risk associated with not paying taxes than with paying them. Currently, if you support the system of taxation (as you do) that is a zero risk stance. In fact you are well protected by a million guns if you support taxation.

    So let’s level the playing field. Let’s put our money (and our moral values) where our mouth is – shall we?

    The government announces that while it will still offer it’s services as per usual it will no longer participate in the collection of funds (taxes) to pay for those services. It is now up to each member of the public to raise money for their own government services (that is if they actually want those services), or they can get their services elsewhere or simply do without.

    Naturally because we are the general public all the normal rules apply, and anybody caught trying to raise money using force, fraud, violence, coercion, theft or blackmail will be treated as accordingly (as a criminal). And of course everybody has the normal rights to protect themselves from such people. If you start knocking on people’s doors brandishing a gun and demanding money “or else”, then you can reasonably expect to be met with equal force, as is their right to use to defend their person and property.

    So the question is this…. What would you do now? You have a couple of options. You can go around making all the arguments you’ve already made about why people SHOULD pay for all the government services YOU want them to pay for. And if your arguments are convincing enough they will agree with you and pay for them. So far, so good.

    But what if people say “Hell, I’m not paying for that war, that war on drugs, that pointless government department, that destructive government policy, that expensive research facility, that expensive military base etc etc” WHat happens now? You’ve used up all of your arguments. Do you accept their right to spend their money as they see fit, and walk away leaving them in peace? ….. or do you decide you know best and pull a gun on them saying “Pay up or else!”….?

    1. Are YOU willing to put YOUR life on the line to ensure all the government’s ‘wars on X’, departments, policies and weapons programs are funded?

    2. Are you willing to point guns at people to force them to fund these things?

    3. And if people (men, women, old ladies, single mums, the disabled, gays, straights, drug addicts, abuse victims, shy people, violent people, extremely violent people) still refuse to pay up, are you willing to pull the trigger, taser them, drag them away from their families and put them in cages (which you also will have to pay for)?

    “….you don’t have the balls or the care to be BRAVE, and stand up for what you believe in…..”

    Stand up to the guns of the government? No, I am not brave (or foolish) enough to do that. And I also believe I can do more good advocating peaceful behaviour from outside of a cage. Also, refusing to pay taxation and being put inside a cage would make me a burden on the state (on taxpayers) and only increase the amount of money government would steal from my children in the future to service its debts.

    Now what about you?

    You’ve made it clear that you believe people should be FORCED to pay for ALL government services, even the blatantly immoral and destructive ones, and always without a contract. But it costs you NOTHING to take this stance, so how do we know if you REALLY believe this? Let’s imagine government stood aside and said “OK now YOU must collect the taxes which YOU voted to be collected BY FORCE from everybody around you – here’s a gun, now off you go!”

    Would you do it? Would you take the gun and start demanding half of everyone’s wages whether they object to it or not?

    If you answer “no” then you do not really support taxation (violent theft) after all. And so we agree 🙂

    If you answer “no” then you have agreed to stop voting and stop supporting government’s policy of using coercion and violence to obtain funding. Because it’s not something you are prepared to do, so you cannot ask others to do it on your behalf.

    If you answer “yes” the you have admitted being a terrorist (defined in my dictionary as “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”).

    If you answer “yes’ then you are telling ME and MY FAMILY that you are perfectly prepared and willing to point a gun at us to take our property by force. This qualifies as actual threat of violence made against us by you.

    • I really want to know where you are getting the ‘pulling a gun’ thing from. I have NEVER heard of a person being shot by government or law enforcement officials for not paying their taxes. Jail time? Yes. Jail is punishment for breaking the law, and it is the law to contribute to the publicly-owned land and services which you use every day, organized and implemented by the government. No one puts a gun to your head and demands it of you. It is an obligation for living in the country. If you fail to uphold your obligation as presented to your through your citizenship, you are punished. Your contract to which you are obliged to this is your citizenship. If you don’t want to uphold your obligation, then tear up your citizenship and leave your contract to this country and its government. Why you have to make jail time sound like a threat on your life, I cannot understand.

      The novel you’ve written this time comes down to a question: “You’ve made it clear that you believe people should be FORCED to pay for ALL government services, even the blatantly immoral and destructive ones, and always without a contract. But it costs you NOTHING to take this stance, so how do we know if you REALLY believe this? Let’s imagine government stood aside and said “OK now YOU must collect the taxes which YOU voted to be collected BY FORCE from everybody around you – here’s a gun, now off you go!” Would you do it? Would you take the gun and start demanding half of everyone’s wages whether they object to it or not?”

      First, I have NOT made it ‘clear’ that people should be forced to do anything. I’ve said that it is my opinion that taxes are an obligation of the people of a country toward the government, which is a collective representation of the people and the representative of ownership of the entire country in place of the people at large. The government is a collection of businesses in my opinion: the business of national defense, the business of public property maintenance, the business of customer support (for communities such as the poor, the elderly, etc.), and the list goes on. We are obligated to fund these public businesses which the government implements at the request and need of the people, because any one of us, at any moment, may or will need those businesses’ services in our lifetime. Since the government represents the people, the people can make a concerted effort to change the government to what they want, adding or removing businesses or aspects of businesses as the people can agree need to be changed. If the government gets too big, and begins to misuse tax money, it is the responsibility of the people to reorganize government in a way which more properly represents them and will reprioritize the businesses of government to better reflect the wants of the people. The government should NEVER have the ability to ‘point guns’ at the people. It is the people with the guns in their hands which they can point at the government, because the government is the servant of the people.

      In this, no, if put in the position of a ‘tax collector’ in our time, I would not go demanding money from the people that they did not want to put toward improper government funding. I would go with the people and demand that the government change. At the moment, as a tax paying citizen, I don’t see enough problems to warrant a complete upheaval of government, but that is a personal view on the situation of our country. The point is, if I felt 1) that we were truly being wronged by government, and 2) that the people would agree and join in the fight, I would work as a citizen of this country to make the government which represents me ACTUALLY represent my views. I do that slightly now, by voting for third-party candidates during elections who are not rich tycoons of politics, but down-to-earth intelligent people with the wants of the people at large in mind.

      So this brings us right back to where we were. No, I would not ‘point guns’ at the people, I would encourage the people to realize that the guns are in THEIR hands, not government, and get the government to do what it is really there for, represent the people. Yes, I would be willing to stand against the government, as it is my right as a citizen to demand my views be represented and, if agreed upon, ACTED upon by government. If i felt truly wronged, I would risk my life to make sure no one else was wronged in the future by such a government.

      But what would you do? Just what you have said: “Stand up to the guns of the government? No, I am not brave (or foolish) enough to do that. And I also believe I can do more good advocating peaceful behaviour from outside of a cage. Also, refusing to pay taxation and being put inside a cage would make me a burden on the state (on taxpayers) and only increase the amount of money government would steal from my children in the future to service its debts.” You spinelessly whine about a problem and make no effort to change it. The only ‘gun’ being pointed at you is the one you hold in your own hand, sir. You OWN your government. If the government is asking anything of you which you do not agree with, or forcing anything on you, like the obligation of your tax payments which you deem are being used unacceptably, then it is up to YOU to do something about it. But, like I’ve already said and you’ve already agreed with, you don’t have the guts.

      • “…I have NEVER heard of a person being shot by government or law enforcement officials for not paying their taxes. Jail time? ….”

        This is because the prospect of being shot is so dreadful just about everyone surrenders to the threat and reluctantly pays, or surrenders and reluctantly goes meekly into their cage.

        You also rarely hear about people being shot for resisting rape. If a gun is put to your head by a rapist (or even the threat of a gun which may not even exist in reality) most people will surrender to the rapist, rather than risk being shot. Being raped is not as bad as being shot, so most people settle for the least worse scenario. Paying taxes is not as bad as being shot, so most people settle for the least worse scenario.

        “..No one puts a gun to your head and demands it of you. …”

        Yes they do. If you remove the guns, tasers and the clubs from the equation all you have is some men dressed in matching blue costumes ordering you to do something. Woopee do.

        “..The government is a collection of businesses in my opinion..”

        Businesses do not have the legal right to steal your property or initiate force against other people. The government has the legal right to steal and initiate force against everyone. So your opinion is provably wrong.

        “…If you fail to uphold your obligation as presented to your through your citizenship, you are punished. …”

        This is true. And we can observe that the legal obligation to obey the government is based around threats of force. Fail to obey government and they will come after you with guns, clubs, tasers and cages.

        But I am pointing out another type of obligation …. our obligation to adhere to ‘moral standards’ or ‘moral principles’ or “moral rules’. And as I demonstrated in an earlier comment, moral principles are derived using logic, reason, evidence, rationality (not guns or threats of punishment). So adhering to moral principles is really just another way of saying adhering to rationality (or just ‘ being sane’).

        Our lengthy arguments 🙂 seem to be based around the following question: “Should we feel more obligated to obey government’s laws or should we feel more obligated to adhere to moral principles/ rationality?”

        Or we could rephrase is as ” When obligations to obey government and obligations to adhere to morality/ rationality clash with each other, which obligation should trump the other?”

        I am arguing that our obligation to adhere to morality/ rationality should ALWAYS trump any legal or emotional (sentimental) obligation to obey a government (or any other group of people claiming the right to rule over us).

        You seem to be arguing the opposite… that we are more obliged to obey government’s laws, than we are obliged to adhere to moral principles.

        Is that a fair summary of our positions in this debate?

        Germans were legally obligated, as citizens of Germany, to turn in Jews to be put in prison camps and gassed. They were legally obligated to fund the Nazi war machine. They were legally obligated to invade Europe. Refusing to fulfil these obligations meant being ‘punished’ ……. rounded up and put in prison, or simply shot on the spot for breaking the law ie disobeying their government.

        In addition they were also constantly reminded by German government’s propaganda department that they were, as German citizens, obligated to obey government due to the notion of ‘patriotism’. The German propaganda department’s defined ‘Patriotism’ as the obligation to obey the government unquestioningly as a result of feeling sentimental about the place where you were born and grew up.

        This legal and ‘patriotic’ obligation is how Hitler, Bush and Blair and every other war criminal was able to convince and coerced whole populations into funding, supporting and carrying out their evil, genocidal war mongering, empire building ambitions.

        In every case had the majority of the population placed their obligation to adhere to moral principles ABOVE their obligation to obey government laws these wars, persecutions and other atrocities would not, and could not have happened.

        I would argue that the idea that we should place legal and ‘patriotic’ obligation to government laws ABOVE our obligation to adhere to basic morality (our obligation to not do evil!) is the most dangerous and destructive idea on the planet.

        I would argue that logic AND evidence is totally with me on this one. All the most evil and destructive events in history (and happening today) are the result of the general population placing obligation to authority ABOVE obligation to morality.

        You keep promoting this idea that obligation to governments should always supersede obligation to moral principles. But so often (as shown by history) all this obligation amounts to is someone in a fancy building, or standing on a fancy podium saying “Go and murder/ persecute / invade/ bomb the crap out of these people” and you saying “Um…. OK”

        Do you really believe we are more obligated to obey government law’s than to adhere to moral principles? Or do you agree with me that moral principles should always supersede government laws when the two are in conflict?

        “…Why you have to make jail time sound like a threat on your life, I cannot understand…”

        Well, I could point out that being put in a jail means losing your job, being torn away from your family and friends and most probably being repeatedly raped. That alone represents ‘loosing one’s life’ is a sense. But that was not my argument.

        My argument was that if you RESIST being kidnapped and put in jail you will be shot. What part about that don’t you understand?

        If you stop paying taxes and they eventually come to kidnap you and put you in jail. Now, what do you think happens if you resist? Do you think the men in blue costumes will just turn to each other and say “Look out she’s got a gun and she clearly doesn’t want to fund this war…. I say we all go home and leave her alone …. agreed? … OK let’s go”

        This is not what happens. If you try to resist being kidnapped and put in a cage they will escalate their aggression, if you try to defend yourself from that aggression they will escalate it even more. If you try to defend yourself from that aggression they will escalate their aggression even more. Eventually you defending your property will turn into a shoot out – and they have a lot more guns than you and so inevitably you will be murdered in a hail of gunfire.

        “…First, I have NOT made it ‘clear’ that people should be forced to do anything. I’ve said that it is my opinion that taxes are an obligation of the people of a country toward the government, which is a collective representation of the people and the representative of ownership of the entire country in place of the people at large. ..”

        A government is a group of people within a defined area who claim the legal right to initiate force (assault, murder, kidnapping, theft, torture etc) against everyone else to achieve their objectives. If you don’t believe people can claim that right, then you do not support statism, you oppose it.

        What you seem to be trying to do is resolve the glaring conflict between your own personal moral standards in your own life (I’m guessing you DON’T generally coerce, assault, murder or steal) and the moral standards of the people in government (who DO coerce, assault, murder and steal on a daily basis). If you don’t find a way to resolve this conflict you will have to admit to being an anarchist! LOL 🙂

        “..The government is a collection of businesses in my opinion..”

        So you are trying to argue that government is really just like any other business providing a service, even though they do not use contracts, they do not give us a choice, they force impose all their ‘services’ onto us by force, they extract money from us at gunpoint, they take out loans in the names of future generations, they control all the important areas on society, the have monopolised the economy by force, they have taken over the running of healthcare, education, transport, energy, defence, agriculture, science etc by force, and they have started hundreds of wars, murdered millions of people , destroyed the environment with radiation, bombs and pollution, done everything in their power to keep most of the world in a state of poverty, conflict and social dysfunction and set up hundreds of overseas military bases all around the world.

        These are not things we usually associate with ‘businesses’. A business cannot force us to fund it or use its services. That alone means government is not a business.

        If ‘government’ offered its services like a business (or rather a whole a collection of them) then I would have no objection to that. That would mean, for example, they build a school and open for business. If we like the school we can sign a contract with them agreeing to pay them so much per year in return for a certain level of service. The contract will state that if either side does not fulfil their side of the contract the contract is void, and the other party can sue, claim insurance or whatever (as per the contract).

        If government schools operated in this way they would have no way to provide a crappy, harmful, overpriced, inefficient, brain and soul destroying education service and still remain in business. Everyone would just choose a better, cheaper, more pleasant school.

        In ordinary society we already have a system where we can choose to purchase goods and services if they are attractive to us, and we are obliged to pay for them, either up front or over time ….. and they are obliged to provide the goods and service they have sold to us – as advertised. It’s called the free market and it is based around voluntary peaceful transactions using two way contracts. There is no rational reason why ‘government’ shouldn’t also provide its services in this way too, also using two way contracts.

        ‘Government’ really just means ‘those businesses which still refuse to use contracts,still refuse to transact peacefully, and still use violence and theft to make a profit like we were still living in the dark ages’. That’s all a ‘government’ is…. a violent cabal of thieves, thugs and fraudsters. And all this is so obvious that is shouldn’t need pointing out.

        “…Since the government represents the people…”

        No, it CLAIMS to represent ‘the people’ in order to trick people like you into supporting it. I am a person. I do not want to fund the war in Iraq, the various ‘wars on X’, a whole bunch of useless or destructive government departments, the interest on loans I never took out, the crappy and harmful education system (etc etc). Does the government represent me ad my wishes? No. Therefore it does not represent ‘the people’.

        There is no such thing as ‘the people’ anyway. Everyone has different needs and wants. Representing ANYONE without their expressed permission is FRAUD.

        “…At the moment, as a tax paying citizen, I don’t see enough problems to warrant a complete upheaval of government…:

        That is not a moral argument (in case you thought it was). At the current stage of the cycle you are still relatively well off, secure and comfortable. All around you is bloodshed chaos, destruction, and misery – all paid for by YOUR taxes. The government hides their evil from you as best it can. How many of the million dead Iraqi men, women and children that your tax money funded the murder of have you ever seen on the TV news? Eventually the government will turn on its own population, as all empire do when they start to crumble. But of course by then it will be too late.

        All violent empires go through several stages. We are somewhere between stages 6 and 7.

        1. Start off small and unobtrusive just taking care of basic administration and minimal public services – with very little taxation imposed . This allows everyone to live relatively free lives and this results in huge productivity and wealth.
        2. The government now starts raising taxes, and because everyone is being so productive and generating so much wealth nobody really minds.
        3. The government uses this extra tax money to increase in size and take control of more and more areas in society, all the while increasing taxes to do so. Again nobody really minds.
        4. Now the government starts taking out massive bank loans using the (now huge) tax revenue as collateral. It uses this borrowed money as a way to effectively tax future generations in the present (seeing as how they are the ones who will be forced to pay back the loans). With this money the government grows even more and starts wars with other countries to spread its empire and make huge profits on weapons manufacture.
        5. Government and its debts keep growing. The population is exhausted, demoralised and traumatised by wars and starts to view government as bad. So the government emphasises or even deliberately stirs up social issues at home, helping to divide the population along race, gender, sexuality, class etc. It then goes to each group and promises to help them, thus ensuring continued support and ‘votes’.
        6. Society and the fake economy starts to collapse.People start getting angry now. So government uses the idea of outside threats (global terrorism, global warming etc) to scare the population into line and justify the government creating a police state to protect themselves in preparation for the inevitable total economic collapse.
        7. The economy finally collapses under the strain of too much debt and money printing. It is a blood bath. The massive uneducated, underclass which government has created suddenly finds the teat of welfare has run dry. They riot. The middle class end up out of work and their state retirement fund as been spent a dozen times over. Public services run out of money. Fascism reigns as the ruling class and the wealthy join forces even more to protect their wealth and power. The empire shrinks. Nobody learns their lesson. The cycle starts over again.

        “..No, I would not ‘point guns’ at the people, I would encourage the people to realize that the guns are in THEIR hands, not government, and get the government to do what it is really there for, represent the people…”

        Great, then you are an anarchist after all. A government which genuinely represents the will of the people is basically all anarchy is. And by representing the will of the people it obviously cannot initiate force AGAINST the will of the people. So that means no more taxation, no more arbitrary ‘laws’ and no more wars. If I want to fund a, b and c but not x, y and z the government will respect my wishes and represent those wishes, just like any other service provider in the free market already does. Nobody will point guns at anybody and force them to do anything immoral.

        “…If the government is asking anything of you which you do not agree with, or forcing anything on you, like the obligation of your tax payments which you deem are being used unacceptably, then it is up to YOU to do something about it….”

        I agree. and I am trying to do something about it. I am asking for your help.

        If I was being raped in an alley by a rapist threatening me with a gun or mugged by a street mugger threatening me with a gun, I would call out for help. Wouldn’t you?

        I’m not expecting you to necessarily fight the attacker yourself. I know I can’t stand up to anyone with a gun (be they a rapist, a mugger or an agent of the state), so it would be unfair (and pointless) for me to expect you to stand up to my aggressor on my behalf. But the least you could do is have some empathy, express a bit of moral condemnation and perhaps spread the news that someone was being aggressed against by a violent bully. At the end of the day the only defence we have against violent bullies (be they rapists or political tyrants) is social moral condemnation and the collective actions (or inaction) that result from that moral condemnation.

        “…You spinelessly whine about a problem and make no effort to change it….. you don’t have the guts….”

        No…. I just don’t have any moral support.

        • Okay, I’ve read back through your arguments a few times, weeding through the exposes, and I will say you do make a reasonably solid argument for your point. HOWEVER, the matter of the fact is that you are not willing to stand up for what you believe in. You say you want and need ‘moral support,’ but what are you doing to earn that support for your cause? You argue your point. Fine. And perhaps some people will at least partially agree with your stance. But people (such as myself) have their own interpretation of moral constructs and what constitutes moral and immoral situations on minute levels. This is my argument for faceted morality. There is socially accepted morality, then morality inspired and enforced by spiritual conditions or beliefs, then family-instilled morals, then personal morals which are a compound of all the preceeding moralities. In turn, personal moralities can combine and influence the higher, communal moralities depending on the conviction of those with personal moral standards they believe should be the social norm. Yes, there is the possibility of universal moral standards (which I will present in my next post as instinctual morality), such as theft and murder being wrong. We can all agree that theft is wrong (again, I will present that this is a survival instinct for the species, and so universal on a natural level), but we can argue about what constitutes theft and what constitutes as excusable theft. Even if people agree with you that theft is wrong and that taxation, in the most basic of terms, is theft, you must still show people that this form of theft is damaging to them, their persons, and their survival as human beings. Right now, the taxation of the people is the SURVIVAL of the people, not the detriment to the species which would demand reaction on a survival, instinctual basis. Until you can prove that paying taxes is a threat to the people’s survival, you can never get the majority to agree with your personal moral values against taxation.
          The social moral standard regarding taxes is that there’s nothing immoral about them at all, but there is immoral practice in how those taxes are used. You argue that it is the system which relies on taxes which is immoral, because it relies on the immoral act of taxation in the first place. From your perspective, you pay taxes reluctantly, because you find taxation wrong. You also blame those who pay taxes for encouraging the system to continue. Your personal morality is at conflict with the social morality. So what do you need to do? Change the social majority to agree with your moral construct. How do you do that? You state your case, and state it in a persuasive way which portrays taxation as a threat to the survival of the people. I’m telling you here and now that you are not persuasive in your argument here. Let’s even overlook the fact that you cannot directly connect taxation with a threat to the survival of the population, at least not at this stage of the game. You argue against a system which you refuse to fight against if there is the risk of physical harm. If people join your cause, no matter how many you have on your side, if you, their leader, are not willing to sacrifice for the cause, then what point is it for anyone else to do the same? Let alone that, your argument insults, demeans, and practically threatens those who may not dare to agree with you (claiming that your opposition ‘holds guns’ to your head is not necessarily a proper way to convince those of a different mind set that you’re the person to support). From the beginning, you make the stance of, “If you’re not with me, you’re against me,” without even arguing half of your point, let alone giving your opposition incentive to join you. Your incentive becomes a threat, which repels more than invites people to your cause. And when that threat becomes empty (aka ‘I still pay my taxes, just reluctantly, and I’m not willing to risk my life for this immoral injustice I see around me every day’), then your entire purpose of gaining moral support dies.
          You have a reasonable argument for your own moral standard. But you have no way of gaining support if you cannot make your point seem like a threat to the survival of the people, and if you continue to threaten the people you are trying to convince before they even know what you’re point is.

          • I appreciate you reading my comments and trying to see this from my perspective. Most people totally freak out if you try to apply morality to the real world 🙂

            “..HOWEVER, the matter of the fact is that you are not willing to stand up for what you believe in…”

            I not sure I understand what you mean. Can you explain how you would define ‘standing up for what I believe in’ in this case? Isn’t the whole point of using violence to create a situation where standing up to it is NOT possible (ie it is futile)?

            Throughout history people have stood up to violent oppressors and been immediately struck down (murdered, imprisoned, tortures, hanged, beaten etc). But generally they only did it to expose the violence of the oppressors in broad daylight in order to expose the IMMORALITY of these tyrants …. tyrants who otherwise hid their immorality behind relentless propaganda and waving to the public, holding babies and smiling like saints (as they still do today). The point of standing up to tyrants was NOT to try to over throw them, but to demonstrate that regime’s true colours, so that that regime’s supporters might re-evalutate their moral position and perhaps stop supporting such brutal and immoral hierarchies.

            But these days we have the internet. We can achieve exactly the same effect by carefully and methodically explaining what would happen IF we decided to stop funding the government’s wars, or stop participating in their violently monopolised economic system or whatever. Black people had to take to the streets because they had no other way to get their voice heard and make their point. The beauty of the internet is that we can expose the immorality of the state without needing to take to the streets, without needing to hurt ourselves, or the police (who are humans being too!), or police horses (I like horses) and without costing the taxpayer even more money to pay all that police overtime, all those plastic bullets and sonic weaponry, all those court fees and all that jail food and electricity.

            Now, thanks to the internet anybody with half a brain can be shown exactly how and why taxation is a forceful violation of one’s property, just as rape is a forceful violation of one’s person. What you seem to be doing is demanding I go and demonstrate this in the real world before you acknowledge the moral point I am making. To me that comes across like a sort of passive-aggressive tactic for avoiding the moral issue – which is supposed to be the central issue here.

            I oppose rape on moral grounds, just as I oppose theft on moral grounds (both are essentially violations of one’s property, seeing as how we own our bodies). So let’s apply your logic to this scenario…… suppose I was raped at gunpoint every night by my neighbour. Would you also criticise me for not ‘standing up for what I believe in’ and for not being true to my moral principles? If I came to you as a friend (or as a stranger) would you tell me I should fight my rapist, even though we both know full well that I would just get beaten up into a semi-consciousness state and then raped anyway (or maybe just murdered)?

            If someone refuses to fund government wars, government education, government debt etc etc they will be kidnapped at gunpoint and put in the cage (where they will probably be raped too). If they resist being kidnapped they will be shot. Are you seriously saying you want people to actually demonstrate this in front of you before you accept this is the case?

            “..You say you want and need ‘moral support,’ but what are you doing to earn that support for your cause?..”

            What would you like me to do? If explaining how immoral the system is is not enough, what WOULD earn your moral support?

            “…Yes, there is the possibility of universal moral standards…such as theft and murder being wrong. We can all agree that theft is wrong.”

            The point of universal morality is not that everyone agrees to it. The point is that whatever moral stance you decide to take you must apply it universally. For example, if you claim other people do not have the moral right to steal from you then you cannot simultaneously claim you have the moral right to steal from other people. And vice versa.

            You cannot logically claim rape is immoral, while asserting the right to commit rape yourself.
            You cannot logically claim violent coercion is immoral, while asserting the right to violently coerce others yourself.
            You cannot logically claim theft is immoral, while asserting the right to steal from others yourself.

            What I object to is moral inconsistency (hypocrisy) of the individual …… Ie people who say “Nobody has the moral right to rape ME, but I can rape other people and that’s morally acceptable …… in fact, when I do it it’s not rape”

            I am not so much arguing that you should not support government’s coercion, violence, taxation etc ……. I am really arguing that you already don’t support it….. you only think you do. I we were sitting together in a cafe and we each had our week’s earnings on the table I sincerely doubt you would pull a gun on me and force me to hand over half of it to you so you could decide how it was spent. That is all ‘taxation’ is. You might argue passionately why I should spend it on this or that, and I might be convinced by your arguments. But ‘taxation’ is not about arguing or debating, it is about taking someone’s property BY FORCE, which is the opposite of arguing and debating.

            If you don’t make a habit of FORCING other people to give you their stuff and obey your commands then that kind of suggests you don’t agree with using coercion and violence to get your way. That is why I do not believe you really support statism/ democracy/ taxation – all of which are 100% dependent on theft and the initiation of force.

            “…we can argue about what constitutes theft and what constitutes as excusable theft…”

            Nope, sorry, that makes no sense. If theft is genuinely ‘excusable’ then there is no need to steal. I think we can all agree that the genuinely starving man can be excused for stealing a loaf of bread. But if we would excuse his theft that means there is no need for him to steal, because he can just ask and it will be given to him.

            If the causes which theft (taxation) are spent on justify that theft, then there is no need for that theft to be committed in the first place. A cause is either justified or it is not. If it is justified that is the same as saying we are willing to support that cause. Theft is ONLY ever needed to obtain property AGAINST the owner’s wishes (ie the owner of the property does NOT consider it justified). Therefore ‘excusable theft’ is as meaningless as ‘excusable rape’ .. it does not exist. It is a contradiction in terms.

            “..Even if people agree with you that theft is wrong and that taxation, in the most basic of terms, is theft, you must still show people that this form of theft is damaging to them, their persons, and their survival as human beings. ..”

            Why? This is supposed to be about morality, not making evil people like you!

            That’s like saying the rape victim must be able to prove rape is damaging to the rapist. The family trapped in the burning house must convince the arsonists that arson is damaging to THEIR houses. This is a very weird argument!

            Taxation is the violent redistribution of wealth. Naturally when wealth is redistributed violently a lot of people benefit greatly from being given other people’s money! The people who benefit the most are not the poor and the needy but the bankers, the military industrial complex, tinpot dictators, the vast parasitic borg that is public sector workers and civil servants, mega corporations, contractors who can bribe government to get lucrative contracts to build vastly overpriced stuff that nobody actually wants. Crappy teachers, bureaucrats, professors, council workers, DVLA, military, weapons manufactures, government favoured infrastructure contractors, government administration etc. They all get jobs for life and a a guaranteed income pension etc. They usually do one (or all) of the following: sit on their asses most of the time, do no good for society, and often a lot of harm.

            Ultimately taxation is sucking the economy into a black hole and causing the destruction of civilisation and the environment AND THAT BENEFITS NOBODY….. but in the short term taxation benefits millions of people and gives them effectively a free ride in life. I mean it’s stolen money for goodness sake! It’s loot! Of course it’s going to benefit a lot of people and they will fight to keep this system going.

            A lot of these people could never earn that kind of money and have that kind of job security in the free (ie non violent) market. In the free market people have to provide something of real VALUE to society in order to earn a decent living.

            “..Right now, the taxation of the people is the SURVIVAL of the people..”

            Sure. If we all stopped paying tax tomorrow society would collapse. People on welfare would starve. But that’s not a moral argument. That’s like saying if we ended slavery the slaves would be homeless, unemployed and the cotton would not get picked. It would be chaos!!!! BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER! The most important thing is to do what is right. Once that decision is made the rest works itself out. We invented machines to pick the cotton and black people found homes to live in and jobs to go to. Was the transition easy? No. Should we have kept slavery going? Of course not.

            If we agreed to stop supporting this system of theft and violence we’d find a way to transition to a peaceful society without people starving or going without. For example we could gradually insist government used contracts for their services. That would gradually turn government into a collection of ordinary businesses operating in the free market – a market which could be gradually opened up to other private businesses who are able to compete for our custom, and our money. Before you know it you end up with a free society 🙂

            “…You argue that it is the system which relies on taxes which is immoral, because it relies on the immoral act of taxation in the first place…”

            A ‘system’ cannot act. Only people can act. Therefore a ‘system’ cannot act morally or immorally, only people can. In a moral sense there is no ‘system’ of taxation, there are only PEOPLE stealing other people’s property using force. Calling it ‘taxation’ doesn’t change the basic reality of the situation.

            We do not call bank robbery or house burglaries a ‘system’ and we do not decide how moral/ immoral these crimes are based on how the stolen money is spent. Instead we (1) recognise the concept of property (2) recognise that property has been stolen and (3) call that ‘theft’ and (4) classify theft as immoral…. always.

            Even if the thieves keeps half of their stolen cash for themselves and give the other half to the poor or to hospitals we understand it’s still robbery and it’s still immoral. Bank robbers, burglars and governments and their voters all do the same thing. They steal the property of others, they keep a proportion of it for themselves and they redistribute the rest. Working class theives with lots of stolen cash will spend a lot of it in their neighbourhoods, thus stimulating local businesses. Thus they (like governments) are helping to redistribute wealth…. sometimes to worthy causes but more often not. This does not make their theft morally acceptable, does it?

            “…From your perspective, you pay taxes reluctantly, because you find taxation wrong….”

            Correct. And so what is your perspective? If you believe I have property rights (I own myself, the effects of my actions and my property) then you must, logically, also find taxation wrong because it violates my property rights. If you do NOT believe I have property rights then, by definition, you’re saying I am sub-human relative to the people in government, and relative to ‘voters’ who support government…. including yourself presumably.

            That’s no different to a white person claiming they have more rights over the labour of black people than they have. To make the scenarios identical we just need to pay black slaves a wage and then steal half that wage back off them at the end of the week! And instead of providing them with shelter, food, clothes and other free stuff we let them keep half their wages their wages so they can buy these things for themselves. Taxation is really just another form of slavery. But it is more clever because it encourages the slaves to support it, by encouraging the slaves to fight over the breadcrumbs their slave masters throw back at them.

            “I think the breadcrumbs should be spent on better roads”
            “I think the breadcrumbs should be spent on cleaner parks”
            ….. and so on.

            But at the end of the day taxation = terrorism so there can logically be no debating the issue… to explain…… If you say you support taxation you are NOT saying you believe I SHOULD hand over my property to government, instead you are saying you want me to be FORCED to hand over my property to government. To support taxation means you have already asserted a greater claim over my property then I have. This is just like whites who claimed a greater ownership of the labour of black people than they had! Advocates of slavery did not ‘argue’ that black people ‘should’ work for whites. They said “Work for us or we will put you in a cage”. In the exact same way advocates of statism/ democracy/ taxation do not argue that I ‘should’ pay taxes to government. They say “Pay up or we will put you in a cage”.

            Do you see how it is literally impossible to ‘argue’ or ‘debate’ for taxation? In order to argue or debate you must respect the other person’s point of view….. you can use any tactic you want to try and change that person’s point of view, but the moment you pull out a gun and say “Do as I say – or else!” it is no longer a debate, it is just a form of terrorism.

            But by advocating taxation you are literally telling me you want me FORCED to pay taxes regardless of my moral or practical objections to it. So by definition, it is not a debate. It is just terrorism. A man in a nightclub can argue why a girl should go back to his place and spend the night with him. He can beg and plead her to come home with him. He can tell her the sex will be amazing, or he can tell her he is a virgin with three weeks to live and that he deserves to get laid before he dies and that she must take pity on him. He can make any argument he wants……. but the moment he threatens her with force it is no longer a debate, it is just a form of violent coercion AKA terrorism.

            It doesn’t matter if the issue is our money, our bodies, our sexual organs, our hard labour, our kidneys or our ipads. These are all things that we own. To take any one of these things from someone by force is theft. And to force people to give up any of these things on a regular basis is slavery.

            “….you cannot directly connect taxation with a threat to the survival of the population, at least not at this stage of the game….”

            Yes you can. Taxation is directly responsible for…

            1. All wars. Without taxation there can be no wars. It’s mathematically impossible. So taxation has directly caused the murder of MILLIONS of people in the last few decades alone. War is literally an effect of taxation.
            2. Trillions in government debt + interest which is sucking the wealth from the general population into the hands of the banking elite, thus increasing the rich/ poor divide and lowering everyone’s standard of living and life expectancy (100% of income tax goes to service these loans, which means the wealth you generate at work between Monday and Wednesday is all flushed down the toilet as far as you are concerned)
            3. Collapsing economies – taxation flushes the vast majority of our wealth (our productivity) down the toilet as far as the general population is concerned
            4. the TRILLION DOLLAR military industrial complex is entirely a product of taxation (do you remember the 2.3 TRILLION in taxes that Rumsfeld announced ‘missing’ from the Pentagon. He announced this *rather conveniently* on September the 10th 2001 so you probably never heard about it – look it up if you want)
            5. Consumer madness and environmental damage. Taxation and government violence in general means we are forced to accept a fake mickey mouse economy based on fake money created as debt and invented out of thin air (basically a giant ponzi scheme). This debt based economy requires constant economic growth just to stop from collapsing. The only thing of any ACTUAL VALUE is earths resources, which have to be consumed at a ridiculous rate just to offset the inevitable economic collapse caused by creating all money as debt. In a free society money would keep its value, people could save, living standards would rise, and the environment could be saved from destruction.

            So yes taxation is massively destructive. We would all be unbelievably well off with unbelievably high living standards without taxation.

            All ruling classes try to make sure the enslaved taxpaying population are at least allowed to live well enough to keep going to work each day (ro earn money to pay taxes). Farmers also make sure their animals have enough shelter and food to remain productive too. That is why the ruling classes do all their raping and pillaging overseas (funded by your tax money). But eventually they always run out of brown people to oppress and exploit and they ALWAYS turn on their own people in the last stages of the empire (as it starts to collapse). Study history. The Orwellian police state being constructed in all western nations is preparation for the collapse of the economy which is when the western governments will stop even pretending to care about their own populations. Again, study history.

            “…If people join your cause, no matter how many you have on your side, if you, their leader, are not willing to sacrifice for the cause, then what point is it for anyone else to do the same?..”

            You are stuck in the statist mindset of leaders/ followers…. parents/ children….. win/ lose…. power / submission….. tyrant/ slave.

            There is no need for leaders or revolutions or pitchforks. To desire such things is to remain in the mindset of the slave/ tyrant. A teenager does not become an adult by ‘overthrowing’ his parents. He does not fight for freedom by slamming doors, or staying out late, or shouting “It’s soooo unfair!”. A rebellious teenager is no different to a meek and obedient teenager – both define their identity by their parents authority, either accepting it or opposing it.

            When the teenager is grown up enough to move out, get a job and become self supporting there is suddenly no more need for ‘rebellion’. Once the teenager has become a self supporting adult who takes responsibility for his/ her life there is no longer any conflict with the parents. No need for a revolution – it has already happened. Becoming an adult means you no longer define your self through your parents.

            No longer defining your own identity on your parents’ (or government’s) authority IS the revolution.

            As long as we continue to define ourselves and our society according to the government (ie our strict abusive dysfunctional parents) we will remain like children or rebellious teenagers. If we ever decide to grow up and become adults there will no longer be any need to overthrow any government. A government is simply the EFFECT of a population who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions, like proper adults. It’s a cliche but the only government that exists is in our collective imaginations. The only thing which exists is people. And people are just people….. unless we start hallucinating that they are ‘gods’ or ‘presidents’ or ‘priests’ or ‘cult leaders’ who somehow have the right to steal our stuff and order us about.

            “….Let alone that, your argument insults, demeans, and practically threatens those who may not dare to agree with you . …”

            I oppose theft and violent coercion. Anybody who uses or benefits from theft and violent coercion naturally finds this stance a threat to their immoral lifestyle. Of course they do! Opposing slavery is annoying for slave owners. Fighting for women’s rights is annoying for people who want to keep women as second class citizens. Fighting for animal rights is annoying for people who like to kick dogs or work horses to death.

            So what exactly is your point? Should we not say things which might upset these people?

            “…claiming that your opposition ‘holds guns’ to your head is not necessarily a proper way to convince those of a different mind set that you’re the person to support..”

            I’m not asking anyone to support me. I’m simply advocating consistent, universal morality and pointing out IN-consistent and NON-universal morality where I see it in society. I’m making the moral (and the practical) case for higher, and more consistent moral standards.

            Saying “rape, theft, murder and assault are immoral and people shouldn’t behave that way” is not the same as saying “I am your leader, everyone must follow me” ……. How can you equate the two?

            “..From the beginning, you make the stance of, “If you’re not with me, you’re against me,”..”

            No, I made the point that you either embrace or reject theft and violent coercion. If you reject theft and violent coercion then by definition you reject taxation…. and vice versa. This has nothing to do with me.

            “…Your incentive becomes a threat, which repels more than invites people to your cause. ..”

            What? How is making rational arguments a threat? Sure, it’s a threat to *irrationality*. But that’s like saying 2+2=4 is a threat to people who think 2+2=5.

            “…And when that threat becomes empty (aka ‘I still pay my taxes, just reluctantly, and I’m not willing to risk my life for this immoral injustice I see around me every day’), then your entire purpose of gaining moral support dies….”

            Throughout history people have always advocated higher and more consistent (more logical) moral standards. For example, in the recent past a few people argued that we should regard black people as full human beings, and women too. Most of the population called them crazy at the time. A few saw them as a threat. Some people argued that blacks were savages who just wanted to rape white women, and it would be dangerous to give them full human rights. The rest of the population just made loads of pathetic, irrational excuses to carry on having immoral (irrational) standards and behaving immorally.

            Then, after generations of making excuses, people finally started to accept the more rational arguments and society moved up one notch on the moral scale. Slavery was abolished. Yay! And later, women got equal legal rights in society. Yay!

            Every age has its moral issue of the day. Each step up the ladder of moral progress takes us face to face with the next moral issue. In this age the moral issue we are faced with is the issue of centralised violent coercive governments who violate our property rights.

            And just as with slavery or women’s rights there are millions of people defending government’s immoral behaviour, and making pathetic, irrational excuses for it. And there are plenty of people heavily invested in the status quo. And then there are millions of people who are just afraid of change and will say ANYTHING to avoid confronting the immorality of having society ruled by governments.

            “…You have a reasonable argument for your own moral standard….”

            I know. And what about YOUR moral standard? Do you even have an argument, or are you just going to use force against me instead of making an argument? Remember, initiating force against someone is NOT an argument, it is just a form of terrorism… a way to avoid debating the subject at all.

            “…But you have no way of gaining support if you cannot make your point seem like a threat to the survival of the people, and if you continue to threaten the people you are trying to convince before they even know what you’re point is….”

            As I have already pointed out, arguing that murder is immoral is a threat to the lifestyle of murderers. Arguing that rape is immoral is a threat to the lifestyle of rapists. Arguing that theft is immoral is a threat to the lifestyle of a thieves.

            The WHOLE POINT of morality is to establish a set of rules for what IS and what IS NOT acceptable behaviour in society. Therefore a moral rule is always going to be very annoying to anybody who benefits from immoral behaviour. So morality cannot possibly be about trying to win over these people.

            Thieves, murderers, rapists, fraudsters, bullies, thugs and terrorists will ALWAYS oppose moral standards that classify their activities as immoral. Do you think it is possible to live in a civilised world while simultaneously pandering to their wishes?

            The problem is that immoral people always seem to have lots and lots of guns. And having moral standards puts you at odds with them and their activities. That is why moral progress can ONLY ever occur when enough people agree to certain moral rules, thus outnumbering the tiny minority in society who want free reign to act immorally. Thieves, rapists, murderers, fraudsters etc are already greatly outnumbered and that is why they do not really have much of an impact on society. It’s very hard to be a thief or a rapist because everyone agrees these things are immoral. If enough people recognised government as a group of people who just steal and violently coerce their lives would also be made just as difficult.

            It is not a case of ‘overthrowing’ government, or even of raising our moral standards……. it is just a case of treating the people in government as normal human beings, and applying all the established moral rules that already apply in ordinary society, to them as well.

            There is no rational argument for not doing this.

            • I’m not saying this to be an ass, but I seriously wish you’d learn to make a concise argument that doesn’t repeat 50 times, and take up half the webpage. You could have said the above in about 3 paragraphs, without repeating yourself. But I digress.
              First, I was reading your other posts, I simply saw the same message over and over, and after explaining why I don’t agree once, I wasn’t planning on dwelling on information I had already known and disagreed with.
              Second, let’s get into what you’ve responded here.
              “But these days we have the internet.” You are DRASTICALLY misinterpreting the internet’s ability to spread your word with people actually reading and caring about it. Just because you have the guts to type out your views on a screen doesn’t show conviction or true action on your part to do anything about what you type. All the people who agree with you are the same. Typing that you agree will accomplish nothing. Even if you get the entire country to agree with you on the screen, if none of you actually stand up and DO something, you will accomplish nothing. You basically have the Anonymous Theory lodged in your head. Anon. accomplishes many things, yes. But they DO things to accomplish their aims. They have leaders, but those leaders are faceless, practically nameless, and only lead for one action of the group, and then disperse for the next leader to go after the next goal. Every revolution of any country this world has ever seen has either been led by a leader, or has been finalized by a leader. If you cannot act, and all your followers are non-active just like you, and no one is willing to be the figurehead of your purpose, then you will never accomplish anything. Also, just because you can SAY what would happen if you didn’t do this or did do that, is not going to convince people over a screen. You see how Ashley reacts to you? It’s because there are thousands, if not millions of people on the internet screaming conspiracy theories of all kinds everywhere on here. Most people have learned to ignore them. Your cries here are no different, because you have no physical proof. You are not willing to demonstrate your claims, and so they remain just claims.
              I’ll go back to my point that this view is your PERSONAL moral interpretation of taxation, that it is theft of the people, by the people, and supposedly for the people. Many people do not view their financial obligation to their government as theft. If the person is giving money to the government, if they willingly present their money to the government with no consideration of denying said exchange, then to the person giving the money, it is not theft. Theft must be a forceful taking from someone who denies giving. Yes, from your argument you could say that the government demands money from the people. But if the people are willing to give it (not because of that force, but because they feel it is right and obligatory) then it is not theft. You can argue that it is FOR YOU, because you don’t want to do it. But for me, it is not theft. I am paying for goods and services provided to me by the government, under the contract of my citizenship. If I still get my goods and services, and the ‘company’ of the government uses some of what I pay toward their own devices, it’s still no different than any company with some corrupt issues internally. I’ve explained all this before. It is not an issue with taxation itself ( aka “Taxation is directly responsible for…”), it is the people who receive those taxes who are the issue.
              “The point of universal morality is not that everyone agrees to it. The point is that whatever moral stance you decide to take you must apply it universally.”
              To this, I disagree. Someone who is completely against murder may be presented with the situation of being murdered, and may be presented during that time of danger the opportunity to save themselves by protecting themselves to the point of killing the other person. If it is evident that the intended murderer is not going to relent, there is no hope of another party coming in to subdue the murderer, and the person being threatened can save themselves, should they follow their moral code and not kill, and therefore be killed, or should they react in a way which saves them? If a person is against theft, but is starving to death, along with their children, and has the opportunity to steal food enough to survive for another day or two, should they just starve or should they survive and steal? I argue (and I’ve said this will be the point of my next blog post, if I ever get the time to finish it) that survival is the instinct from which morality derives in the first place, and so survival of the individual, the society, or the species can cause exception in terms of the moral code itself. If you are against murder, you must not only be against war, but capital punishment, self-defense, suicide, and abortion (although people would certainly want to debate the human-state of an embryo, but that’s a completely different subject). If put in a position of self-defense, though, would your reaction be to follow your moral code, or your instincts of survival? And would society, your peers, and you be able to at least lessen the punishment to you for killing in self-defense? Morality is not and cannot be a universal construct on all grounds. Why? Because we are human. We have different emotional levels toward different aspects of moral and immoral life. We have different interpretations of what morality means, where it comes from, and how definite it is over mankind.
              “I’m not asking anyone to support me.”
              Yes, you are. The end of your last comment: “I agree. and I am trying to do something about it. I am asking for your help.” What else is that but a request for support for your moral cause? You need more voices than your own, and I’ve outlined how you will never gain other voices to your cause when you put them down for not thinking the way you do. You say, “No, I made the point that you either embrace or reject theft and violent coercion. If you reject theft and violent coercion then by definition you reject taxation…” But I have already demonstrated how people can either 1) not believe the taxation is theft, because they are ready and willing to pay their taxes for the goods and services the government provides, or 2) they may agree with your assertion of taxation being theft at the core, but there is survival-justification in allowing the theft/taxation of the people to continue. Without presenting your view 1) with physical evidence to prove your point that taxation is the real threat to the people’s survival (which I note you cannot, because all of your numbered points above are not the fault of the taxes, but the fault, again, of the people using the taxes) and 2) with the idea that those you are talking to could agree with you once you’ve completed explaining your point (which I have already explained you have not and apparently cannot because of you stance of universal moral code), you will never accomplish anything in your ranting here.
              “The WHOLE POINT of morality is to establish a set of rules for what IS and what IS NOT acceptable behavior in society.”
              I agree, but the more detailed you get into the specific situations which are moral and immoral (the two biggest issues now being abortion and homosexuality), the more debate and conflict you will have. Why? Faceted morality. The universal constructs of murder is immoral, theft is immoral, etc., are all broad and have a purpose, that purpose (in my opinion) being survival of the individual or the species as a whole. Different facets of morality (social, familial, spiritual, personal) will have different stances on the specifics, including differing definitions of those immoral acts and differing points of exception to the moral rule. In the end, social morality is what governs us. Personal, familial, and spiritual morality determine the social morals of a society in the more detailed areas. Your personal morality dictates to you that taxation is theft because you personally are reluctant to pay them, making the threat of jail a force on you to give money to the government when you don’t want to. If you were willing to pay your taxes, it wouldn’t be theft, because of your willingness to pay for the services and goods you receive from the government, and the threat of jail would be a moot point because you have no interest in denying your taxes from them. You make taxation theft by your reaction to it. I do not find taxes to be theft because I am satisfied with my services and goods from the government, and so I continue to pay willingly. I am also willing to change the governing bodies who use those taxes in order to better my services and goods received if they fall sub-par to what I expect, because the issue is not my paying of taxes, but what the government does with my taxes.
              So basically, we’re never going to agree on this. Your personal moral standard about theft has different parameters toward other aspects of your life than my personal moral standard has. So in the end, your insistence that taxation is theft will never convince me. Take that as you will. You can call me terrible things like an immoral person, etc. (as you already have) and it will do nothing but convince me more that your moral standard isn’t for me, and possibly convince others who read this blog to disagree with you on their own moral principles, such as it being immoral to judge others for what they do when you do them as well. You say that morals must be universal, and that taxation is theft, and therefore since theft is immoral, then taxation is immoral. And yet, once again I will point out, here you are paying taxes, but reluctantly. You are fueling this immoral situation just like everyone else. Again, unless you’re willing to stand up for what you claim is immoral and not pay taxes and accept what may come, in order to demonstrate your point, you will get nowhere in terms of ‘help’ and ‘support’ for your cause.
              With that, I’m done. If you want to write another anarchist novel, go for it. You have nothing else to say (evident in how much you have repeated yourself and forced me to do the same), and neither do I. I have another post to write. Cheers.

              • “…I’m not saying this to be an ass, but I seriously wish you’d learn to make a concise argument that doesn’t repeat 50 times, and take up half the webpage. ..”

                No you’re right, that last comment was way to long. Sorry! 🙂

                The ‘problem’ is that my arguments are all based on such a simple observation: that human beings cannot logically have (or be granted) inherent rights which other humans do not have.

                That fact alone should be enough to end the debate. That fact proves that coercive governments, kings and whites slave masters are all non-legitimate ways to behave because they all claim to have more inherent rights than everybody else, which is absurd. All of these examples of coercive rule should be able to be exposed as fraudulent and dispensed with in a matter of minutes. But it seems we humans just love to cling to our irrational superstitions and belief systems – even when they harm us. Even as they threaten to destroy civilisation and the planet.

                “…Even if you get the entire country to agree with you on the screen, if none of you actually stand up and DO something, you will accomplish nothing. You basically have the Anonymous Theory lodged in your head…”

                You forget that *I* am not the one pushing an ideology. *I* am not the one trying to justify pointing guns at other people and stealing their stuff. *I* am not the one claiming to have more inherent rights over other people.

                You might as well tell me I need to go out into the world and practice ‘not being a racist’ before my arguments against racism can mean anything. Or worse, demand I go out and deliberately make myself a target of racist attacks by provoking racist by calling them out on their immoral behaviour.

                The fact of the matter is that many hundreds of thousands of people DO put their money where their mouth is on this issue by no longer choosing to socialise with people who advocate violent coercive rule…… just as they also choose not to hang out with self confessed Nazi enthusiasts, wife beaters, animal abusers and child rapists.

                Suppose there is an overt racist or misogynist where you work. You will probably be civil to him during work, and let him have his obnoxious views because, hey, it’s work and we’ve all got to get the job done without adding to the stress of the workplace environment. But if you and your work colleagues decide to go paint-balling at the weekend, or go to a bar after work on Friday the chances are you are not going to invite this douche bag along with you.

                This is going to be the situation ardent statists increasingly find themselves in, as more and more people reject the very idea of coercive and violent rule on moral grounds. The number of people rejecting statism and embracing equal human rights instead is rising exponentially. And social ostracism is a logical extension of morality. Once you accept X as immoral, then you really don’t want to hang around people who support or participate in X. It’s only natural.

                Your average racist just says obnoxious things and usually doesn’t act out their racism. They rarely start pointing guns at their target race or start funding racist organisations. This is not the case with your average statist (‘voter’). These people DO advocate violence against everyone else – they literally ‘vote’ for guns to be pointed at me and for my property to be stolen from me.

                Of course a lot of people have never given their support for coercive rulers much thought. But once I’ve presented them with the moral case for not violently coercing other people and stealing their property via ‘government’, if they still refuse to reject that violence and theft you can bet I won’t be choosing to hang around them any longer. A lot of people now feel this way. Sure, I’ll be civil. I’ll even be nice. But I’m not going to invite them around to dinner, just as I wouldn’t invite a paid up member of the KKK round to dinner.

                We are always progressing towards a more moral society (painfully slowly, admittedly). And along the way various immoral groups have always ended up being gradually socially ostracised as more and more people reject their immoral behaviour. If you openly support the enslavement of African Americans today you’re going to have a pretty non existent social life. The same will soon be true of statists as well. It’s called ‘moral progress’.

                “…Also, just because you can SAY what would happen if you didn’t do this or did do that, is not going to convince people over a screen. ..It’s because there are thousands, if not millions of people on the internet screaming conspiracy theories of all kinds everywhere on here. …..”

                Not understanding a moral argument because it’s conveyed over the internet is a terrible excuse. You might as well say I used the wrong font! LOL

                The way taxation is collected and what it’s spent on is not some great secret – it’s certainly not a ‘conspiracy theory’ !!? If you (or Ashley or anyone else) doubts what I’m saying is true you can ring up your local government and ask them (1) how is taxation collected (2) what happens if you don’t pay it (3) what it’s spent on …. they will back up everything I’ve said. The only difference is that they won’t define it as immoral.

                People who seriously claim taxation does not exist are in the same category as people who claim the moon does not exist or that WW2 never happened – these types of people are so far gone it’s pointless trying to have a rational conversation with them. That is why I stopped responding to Ashley.

                And if someone can’t morally judge behaviour described in detail via the internet, and if they need to have that behaviour literally acted out in front of them with real people, real guns, real violence and real blood on the floor then they are, by definition, mentally retarded. That implies they also cannot judge the moral behaviour of characters in books or in newspaper reports or in movies. Again, it’s pointless to try to have conversations with these people because they are either retarded (I mean literally retarded, not just as an insult) or else they are being disingenuous.

                “……..“I’m not asking anyone to support me.” Yes, you are…..”

                I meant financially. I’m not asking for a third party (a ‘mafia’, a ‘street gang’ or a ‘government’) to steal other people’s property and give it to me – minus their cut. That is all taxation is when you get right down to it. If you got rid of ‘government’ but kept taxation then all the ‘voters’ would have to buy guns and build giant cages and then go collecting their taxes door to door, throwing people who refused to pay in the giant cages. That is all taxation IS.

                “…Many people do not view their financial obligation to their government as theft…”

                And I have absolutely no problem with these people handing their property over to government. I understand that I have no right to interfere because it’s THEIR PROPERTY to do with as they see fit. My issue is not THEM paying taxes. My issue is when they demand (ie ‘vote’ for) the people in government steal MY PROPERTY by force ON THEIR BEHALF.

                Again, this is so simple it shouldn’t need explaining any further. Assuming we have equal human rights, then your property is yours to do with as you like, and my property is mine to do with as I like. An ordinary thief might steal my property, but he will never claim he had the moral right to do it. He knows it is wrong which is why he tries to not get caught. If he is caught he will not claim MY property was really HIS property by rights. He will know that he did wrong. Taxation is like theft – it is taking property by force – but the difference is that you claim you have the MORAL RIGHT to take my property from me by force. That means you are literally claiming to have more rights over my property than I have! This means you are claiming to be ‘superior’ to me….. to have more inherent rights than I do – just like a slave owner or a white supremacist.

                “…I have already demonstrated how people can either 1) not believe the taxation is theft….”

                Fine. Pay it. I have no issue with that. But that doesn’t give you the right to force ME to pay it too (for the reasons stated above). I believe macs are better than PCs. This does not give me the right to force you to buy mac instead of PCs. I consent to sex with John. This does not mean I can also give John YOUR consent for him to have sex with YOU. Again, this should not even need explaining.

                “……. or 2) they may agree with your assertion of taxation being theft at the core, but there is survival-justification in allowing the theft/taxation of the people to continue….”

                That is an opinion. Just as it is my opinion is that taxation is incredibly harmful and destructive (as well as being immoral in principle). I have reason and evidence to back up my opinion. Without taxation there can be no wars. It is mathematically impossible! That is a good reason to begin with. But regardless, I respect your opinion, and I respect your wishes to pay taxes if you want to. Now, do you in return respect my opinion, and my wishes to spend MY earnings in ways that I believe are most ethical and practical? Or are you going to ask government to confiscate my wealth by force, at gunpoint on your behalf? If you choose the second option then as far as you are concerned there is no debate, you are only pretending to debate this issue because you are going to resort to violence to take my stuff regardless.

                A fairer system would be where we both respect each other and allow each other to spend our own money on whatever services and products that we choose. This is already how we behave when it comes to things like phone services, computers, internet services, holidays, shoes, food, cars, sausages, skiing equipment, insurance, private security and personal trainers. What are your thoughts on this way of organising society? Seems good to me.

                How would you feel if one day me and some other people ‘voted’ for a coercive agency to confiscate your income and in return ‘provide’ you with their own brand of phone services, computers, internet services, holidays, shoes, food, cars, sausages, skiing equipment, insurance, private security and personal trainers… regardless of whether or not you wanted their services or not. Even if their brand of services was really crappy and you’d prefer to go back to your favourite free market alternatives, you still had to fund them, otherwise they would put you in a cage. Oh yeah, and they spend most of your money on wars, weapons, luxury offices, all expenses paid conferences etc and they also take out huge loans in your name too and when the debts get too big they just cut back on the services they provide even more….. how would you feel about that? That is how I feel about ‘taxation’.

                And if you complained to me and everyone else who ‘voted’ for this new system can you guess what we would say? 😉 ….. “Well, WE don’t mind paying, so YOU shouldn’t mind paying either”. (annoying isn’t it)

                “…Your personal morality dictates to you that taxation is theft because you personally are reluctant to pay them…”

                No. Taxation is immoral to ANYBODY who considers property theft by force to be immoral. You cannot have your cake and eat it. You cannot condemn theft as immoral and then claim certain ‘types’ of theft are moral at the same time. The whole point of moral rules is that they are supposed to be RULES (ie they apply universally).

                A rule with an exception is not a rule!

                “Nobody is allowed to commit rape” is a rule
                “Nobody except me is allowed to commit rape” is not a rule, it is a command

                “Nobody is allowed to take someone else’s property by force” is a rule
                “Nobody except me is allowed to take someone else’s property by force” is not a rule, it is a command

                Government (and its voters) are not people who enforce rules. They are people who issue commands… commands backed up with force which they call ‘laws’. If you don’t obey their commands they put you in a cage.

                “…If you were willing to pay your taxes, it wouldn’t be theft, because of your willingness to pay for the services and goods you receive from the government, and the threat of jail would be a moot point because you have no interest in denying your taxes from them….”

                Yes I agree. Except that you are still supporting a violent and coercive system which steals from other people, and if you ‘vote’ you are demanding the people in government steal form other people on your behalf, as your elected representatives. So all voters are thieves and terrorists by definition….. unless they claim the government is acting against their wishes – in which case they’ve just admitted government is a terrorist organisation and that ‘democracy’ is a total sham. Either way the whole system is immoral.

                “…You make taxation theft by your reaction to it….”

                Yes, absolutely. Taxation is just like rape in this respect. If you say “yes” to a man’s proposition of sex it is consensual sex. If you say “no” and he goes ahead and has sex with you anyway then it’s rape.

                “…If you were willing to pay your taxes, it wouldn’t be theft..”

                Technically no. However that is like saying, “If you were willing to consent to sex with a rapist, it wouldn’t be rape”. The fact remains that the government is prepared to use force to violate your property and collect taxes, just as the rapist is prepared to use force to violate your body and have sex with you. If you ‘consent’ to a rapist he is still a rapist, even if he didn’t technically need to rape you – he was certainly prepared to. If you consent to ‘taxation’ the government are still thieves, even if they didn’t technically need to steal from you – they were certainly prepared to.

                “…..I do not find taxes to be theft because I am satisfied with my services and goods from the government…”

                That’s only a fraction of the whole issue. What about the fact that a lot of your tax money is spent on immoral things like genocide, torture and unnecessary environmental damage? Do you take responsibility for these things? After all, you seem to be claiming you are spending your money on those immoral and destructive things of your own free will. You should therefore, logically, be held to account for the murders and destruction you are CHOOSING to pay for.

                If you claim government (not you) is carrying out all those immoral and destructive actions then you have just contradicted your claim that you are funding these things of your own free will.

                So which is it?

                “…And yet, once again I will point out, here you are paying taxes, but reluctantly. You are fueling this immoral situation just like everyone else…”

                Is a reluctant rape victim fuelling rape? Is a reluctant family who got burgled by armed thugs fuelling burglary? Is a reluctant victim of a violent street mugging fuelling street crime? Like all of these people, I pay taxes under duress because threats of violence are made against me.

                Most rapes are committed with a lot less coercion than government uses to collect taxes. Would you ever tell a rape victim that s/he was ‘fuelling rape’? Seems a bit harsh to me!

                When all is said and done this whole debate really comes down to the choice between…..

                (a) admitting that human beings cannot have more inherent rights than other human beings, thus rule-by-force (including violating property rights) cannot be justified logically or morally (same thing)
                (b) providing valid proof that some human beings can indeed have more inherent rights than other human beings, such as the right to confiscate other people’s property by force and get away with it

                Another way of saying it is that this whole debate boils down to this central question. Do I support equality or inequality?

                Equality can only be supported through peaceful, rational philosophical debates – using abstract tools like ‘morality’. You can defend equality, but you cannot impose it.

                Inequality can never be defended, it can only ever be imposed through coercion and force – using concrete tools like ‘guns’ and ‘cages’. Inequality literally can never be debated, because ‘debating’ means to give two different viewpoints equal respect and standing …. which is the opposite of inequality. You cannot pull a gun out during a debate and point it at the other side and say “My argument wins”. If you do that it is no longer debating. Inequality can only ever be imposed using coercion and violence.

                The only thing worse than being ruled by force is being shamed and socially ostracised for supporting such an immoral system (ie not being invited to a party when everyone else is). And that is how society will eventually become a free, prosperous, compassionate and peaceful place 🙂

              • No you’re right, that last comment was way to long. Sorry! 🙂

                And this one isn’t?
                You’re not sorry or this one would be shorter.

              • I said I was sorry at the start, when my comment was still short. I hoped to do just a quick short reply, but there was so many points in Rana’s previous comment I wanted to reply to.

                I did my best.

                It is thinner, does that not count for anything? 🙂

      • Rana,

        Sounds like you’re talking to a hardcore anti-tax, anti-government anarchist nutjob. A tea partier with a twist. “Only pay for what you use! To hell with everyone else!” If only we could adopt that approach to “morality” then everything would be fine. Univeral health care? Why the hell would you want that? Let everyone pay their own way. We all know HMO’s are where it’s at.

        • This is just a collection of euphemisms and ad hominem attacks against me. There is not one single argument or fact in your comment.

          ‘Hardcore’ … Yes I certainly do object to theft and violence all of the time, without making exceptions for anyone. I guess people who object to rape all of the time are also ‘hardcore’. Is that a bad thing?

          ‘Anti -tax’… I simply oppose violence and theft. I do not oppose paying for services which you use. I also oppose reckless and aggressive drivers. Does that makes me ‘anti-drivers’ or ‘anti-transport’?

          “.anti-government’…. I am not ‘anti-government’. I simply object when *anybody* initiates force or steals. Whether or not they happen to work in government is irrelevant. Government does not exist (it cannot act), only people exist (only people can act). If I object to a jazz pianist mugging me in the street I am objecting to the fact that he is a thief, not the fact that he is a jazz pianist. But by your logic I would be ‘anti-jazz pianists’.

          “.. anarchist.”…. anarchy just means equal rights. That’s all it means. Nobody can present a rational argument AGAINST equal rights, so they have to call it ‘anarchy’ and pretend it means smashing windows or setting fire to buildings. If you support equal rights then you are an ‘anarchist’ by definition.

          “… nutjob..”… this is just what people say when they don’t have an argument.

          “…To hell with everyone else!…” …… now you’re trying to equate rejecting coercion and violence with not caring about other people. This makes no sense. I would like to help poor people but I can’t because a significant proportion of my income is stolen from me by the people in government who use my money to buy weapons to blow to legs of Iraqi children. Do you think I should be allowed to use that money to do good rather than evil? If so you object to government theft just like I do …. .which apparently makes you a hardcore anti-tax, anti-government anarchist nutjob, just like me 🙂

          “…Univeral health care?…”… this is a euphemism for stealing everyone’s property and forcing them to fund a healthcare system which is not controlled by them. It is not even universal. Obama has been busy passing laws allowing various groups (who bribe and lobby hims) to opt out.

          The more public services are socialised the worse society gets. Look at communist Russia. Everything was ‘free’, everything was ‘provided by the state’ and yet they were all starving to death. Only when they got rid of that system and got a degree of free market choice back again did living standards improve.

          If government took over the provision of mobile phones – AKA “universal phone care” (sounds nice doesn’t it?) – forcing everyone to pay a ‘phone tax’ to pay for it, do you think cost, innovation, choice and customer focus would improve or get worse over time?

          I think government would spend most of the ‘phone tax’ which is supposed to pay for ‘universal phone care’ on bigger government and more wars…. letting the public suffer with an ever-narrowing selection of crappy phones, gradually increasing their cost while cutting back on the phone services it offers. I think this because that’s what government has ALWAYS DONE with every other service it has violently taken over. Just look at education. Quality has plummeted, innovation has completely stopped and costs have skyrocketed since government violently took over education. Healthcare is destined to become as dysfunctional and as expensive as education.

          The reason why you have to depict my objections to theft and violence as being the insane rantings of a ‘nutjob’ is because there is no simply rational argument anyone can make in favour of theft and violent coercion. If there was then government itself would have no problem calling what it does theft and violent coercion. It wouldn’t need to hide behind euphemisms like ‘taxation’, ‘universal health care’, ‘free schools’, ‘public servants’, ‘national debt’ or ‘government regulation’.

          Just to admit the glaringly obvious truth – that ‘governments’ are just a bunch of people who use theft, violence and coercion to achieve their aims – is to lose the argument immediately. The moment we admitted that blacks are full status human beings any arguments for slavery were already lost. The moment we admitted that women are full status human beings any argument for legal inequalities between men and women in society were already lost.

          The moment we admit the people in government are full status human beings the argument for them having the legal right to steal and violently coerce other human being will also be immediately lost.

          At some point we are going to have to admit the fact that the people in government are just PEOPLE – with the same human rights to the rest of us, no more and no less. My question is why wait any longer before admitting this? The world will only keep getting worse until we admit that all humans are born equal and no-one has the right to violently rule over anyone else.

          Your euphemisms (‘anti-government’) and ad hominem attacks (‘nutjob’) are just your way of putting off that realisation.

          • Spin,

            You’re a delusional crackpot who lives in his own little fantasy world where you imagine that the taxes that you pay are being “violently extracted” from you at gunpoint, “education has been violently taken over by government” and that you have no choice but to play along. Maybe we should have legally binding opinion polls to decide how and what government spends every single cent on? Do we need 100% unanimity or does it have to be a simple majority? Now THAT would be efficient.
            And yet, even though you honestly believe that your taxes are violently extracted from you at gun point, and the government is really just a group of big bad violent coercisive thugs that have the entire country under their thumb, you continue to live where you do. That makes you either a masochist and/or a complete idiot.
            You’re on the wrong website. You want totalanarchistcrakpots.com or anti-governmentdelusionalnutjobs.com or something like that.

            • “..You’re a delusional crackpot who lives in his own little fantasy world where you imagine that the taxes that you pay are being “violently extracted” from you at gunpoint..”

              Again that’s not an argument. Please PROVE to me that I am allowed to spend my earnings on the things I choose WITHOUT the state eventually pointing a gun at me. How about you start by giving me an example of just one person who is allowed to do this.

              “education has been violently taken over by government” – Are you denying government controls education in every western nation? Are you denying they force everyone to fund it regardless of whether they even have children or send them to a private school? Are you denying that those private schools are also forced to teach the basic government controlled syllabus? Are you denying the government controlled education is based on the Prussian System?….. if so then by all means, make your case.

              “..Maybe we should have legally binding opinion polls to decide how and what government spends every single cent on? ..”

              Why not just ‘vote’ for the kind of education you and your child wants by simply purchasing education services you desire from the free market of education service providers? What is wrong with this approach? It’s how we ‘vote’ for what cars, phones, computers, internet services we want. No guns are required. Choice and quality is maximised and everyone is happy.

              What is your problem with this system?

              Please explain (1) what benefit there would be (2) what moral justification there would be for government to violently take over the mobile phones industry and force us to pay a ‘phone tax’ in return for ‘universal free phone care”?

              We know quality, choice, and affordability would all suffer. We know they would use the ‘phone tax’ money on other things not related to phones. We know people who don’t even want phones would be forced to pay phone tax or get put inside a cage. There is no practical or moral way to justify this kind of coercive and violent system for ANY service, including education and healthcare.

              “..Do we need 100% unanimity or does it have to be a simple majority?..”

              This question exposes the ridiculousness of state controlled services. In the free market there is no need for 100% or even majority agreement on anything. Everyone just purchases the goods and services they want and leaves everyone else in peace. Who knows what kind of phone/ healthcare / education is best for society? It’s a stupid question with no answer. We’re all different. We all have different needs and wants.

              We might as well let a central authority decide who we should date or marry. And let’s pay them more of our wages so they can provide us with ‘free’ state controlled dinner dates and marriage ceremonies. And let’s justify it be observing that not everyone can find a girlfriend or boyfriend. This is no less absurd and dangerous than state controlled schools or healthcare. When people are coerced into marrying or having sex (and paying for the privilege) we call it forced marriage and sex slavery. And this is an accurate description. When children are coerced into enduring 15,000 hours of Prussan schooling this is also a form of slavery.

              “…even though you honestly believe that your taxes are violently extracted from you at gun point…’

              It’s not a belief. Taxes ARE violently extracted at gunpoint. Try not paying them and then you will discover how true this is.

              “…and the government is really just a group of big bad violent coercisive thugs..”

              Yes. If you define stealing and the initiation of force as bad (immoral) then the government is just the name for a group of people who steal and initiate force which is immoral. Again, you’re not able to refute this logic. Just asserting that ‘facts’ are ‘opinions’ is not an argument.

              I could say “Yeah, well you seem so sure the earth is a sphere but that’s just your opinion. And believing the earth is a sphere makes you a complete idiot” This is not an argument. It’s just fluff.

              “…That makes you either a masochist and/or a complete idiot…”

              1. In what way does objecting to coercion , theft and violence make me a masochist or an idiot?
              2. And in what way does recognising all humans are born equal make me a masochist or an idiot?

              Can you explain what you mean by that, with facts and reasoned arguments?

              We know that no very long ago a lot of people believed that blacks were sub-human and that women were sub-human and that this meant neither groups deserved equal rights. Are you suggesting the people who objected to this belief (often quite vocally) were wrong to raise their objections and present their rational / moral arguments?

              Are you saying they should have kept their mouths shut, packed up their bags and left the country…. leaving the country still under the violent and coercive control of those bullies who believed blacks and women were inferior and should be treated as such?

              That is the implication of what you are saying.

              • Spin,

                No sir, YOU’RE the one that has to prove to ME, that “the government has violently taken over education”, (whatever the fuck that means) that “the government violents extracts taxes from me at gunpoint”, that “universal health care is a euphamism for stealing everyone’s property” or any other idiotic nonsense you’ve posted here. You post a series of fantastically wild assertions, assume they’re true (or that they ever remotely reflex reality) and then insist that its my (or Rana’s or anyone else’s) duty to disprove your nonsese. You’ve got it exactly BACKWARDS. And no matter how much you believe it, anarchy DOES NOT mean “equal rights for every one”. Equlality means equal rights for everyone. Anarchy means the absence of any form of political authority, political disorder and confusion, or absence of any cohseive principle. Farlex online dictionay will clear that right up for you.
                “Yes. If you define stealing and the initiation of force as bad (immoral) then the government is just the name for a group of people who steal and initiate force which is immoral. Again, you’re not able to refute this logic.”
                This is not logic, it’s stupidity. You wouldn’t know what logic was if it came up and slapped you in the face.
                “1. In what way does objecting to coercion , theft and violence make me a masochist or an idiot?
                2. And in what way does recognising all humans are born equal make me a masochist or an idiot?”
                You keep subjecting yourself to this perceived tyranny and injustice, when you’re free to get up and leave any time you like and free yourself from it. That makes you an idiot and/or a masochist. I think it’s option 1 personally.
                One can’t help but think that if the government had a better health care system in place, you’d be getting the help you need in the form of the instutionalization and/or medication that you appear to so desperately need.
                I wonder what it must be like to get out of bed every morning and actually believe that you live in Oceania with the Inner Party and Big Brother controlling every aspect of your life.

  10. Pingback: [DISCUSS] The Origins of Moral Standards: Part 2 | Virginia the Viruliferous

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