MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Human Respect in One Lesson

Posted by M. C. on March 1, 2022

Theft and violence always lead to…

We call this exception agency delegation. Agents undertake actions on our behalf. In this case, someone else steals, and perhaps we benefit from it. But because we didn’t directly undertake the action, we can pretend we’re not culpable. It can even mean that if someone else initiates violence, and I cheer it, I’m still a good person because I didn’t actually commit the act.

The Exit Network

Theft and violence always reduce happiness, harmony, and prosperity. Always.

That’s a principle. Whenever we can repeatedly observe a cause and effect relationship in nature and state it as a testable formula, we have a principle. It’s like gravity. You can threaten to drop a bowling ball from the 20th story of a building, and before you do it, we can not only predict that it will fall to the ground but also tell you how fast the ball will fall.

Theft and violence always reduce happiness, harmony, and prosperity. Always.

How do we know?

Everyone is always pursuing happiness. Our actions are designed to make us happier.

Some actions are for immediate gratification, such as enjoying an ice cream cone, and some acts are for long-term gains, like going to college. Happier now or happier later, either way, we’re pursuing happiness.

Pursuing happiness sometimes involves competing values. Life can be hard. Sometimes we choose a harder thing, something we don’t really want to do because we prize something else even more. We might even make sacrifices, perhaps caring for a family member who doesn’t appreciate it, because we’d be even less happy if we didn’t live by our values. Indeed, sometimes we only have bad options, yet we choose the one we believe will deliver the most relative happiness.

No matter what happens, we want to maximize our happiness. It’s a fundamental drive.

Many people walking on a city street, with sunlight bursting through a tree
Everyone is pursuing happiness

The statement, “everyone is always pursuing happiness,” is an axiom. An axiom is a self-evident fact. It doesn’t require a fancy defense. Is there anything you just read that isn’t self-evident?

There are two other axioms of human nature that we can add to the fact that everyone has a fundamental drive to be happy. The experience of…

  • Physical harm always decreases a person’s happiness.
  • Theft or property damage always decreases the owner’s happiness.

In other words, a mugging comes as a surprise. No one would walk (with normal obliviousness) down the path where the assault and battery were to occur, if they knew in advance it was coming. So those are obvious statements. Indeed, they are both axioms.

But if we want a better world, where you, me, and others around us can experience well-being and even flourish, it should provoke a question…

WHY would they avoid that path?

Because it would diminish their happiness!

Theft and violence always reduce happiness. Always.

Well, not just happiness. Let’s be more precise. People tend to think of happiness as an emotion. Call it joy or a sense of flourishing. But it takes two other primary forms.

We want the resources necessary to provide for our needs and our wants. We call that prosperity, and we each get to define it for ourselves. Human wants vary tremendously. We may want more possessions, to provide for our family, to have the ability to share or give gifts, to pursue hobbies and avocations, or something else.

On top of that, vandalism, mugging, rape, and murder are disturbances of the peace. We call these acts crime, and the persons experiencing these acts, victims. Victims want to be free of crime. We all want to live our lives in harmony.

Put that all together, and now we have the complete picture, and we can derive a principle.

Theft and violence always reduce happiness, harmony, and prosperity. Always.

Now…

Do you consider yourself a good person?

See the rest here

Be seeing you

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