It's the 4th of july and...

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frogbyte
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Post by frogbyte » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:39 am

So you agree that the point at which a child becomes a legal person is a matter of opinion. Then for a libertarian that believes that point is prior to birth, what would the appropriate policy response be?

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Ironman
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Post by Ironman » Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:04 pm

frogbyte wrote:So you agree that the point at which a child becomes a legal person is a matter of opinion. Then for a libertarian that believes that point is prior to birth, what would the appropriate policy response be?
The appropriate response is to insure that sex ed is comprehensive. You don't seem to be able to grasp the fact that libertarianism is basically "anarchy light".

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:16 am

Let's stay focused on one question at a time though.

For a libertarian that believes the point at which a child becomes a legal person is prior to birth, what would the appropriate policy response be? Legal or illegal abortion?

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Ironman
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Post by Ironman » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:32 am

frogbyte wrote:Let's stay focused on one question at a time though.

For a libertarian that believes the point at which a child becomes a legal person is prior to birth, what would the appropriate policy response be? Legal or illegal abortion?
One question at a time?? But there is only one question. I've answered it more than once. I guess it's just not sinking in..... Let me answer your question one more time and try as hard as I can to make it completely unmistakably clear.


It would be legal abortion. Meaning that act would be lawful, something you can do, unrestricted, unhindered, allowed...... If you are still unsure what I mean, please insert any of the words I used here.

http://thesaurus.com

If you don't know or fully understand the meaning of any of those words please insert the word in question here.

http://dictionary.reference.com/

If you're not sure about the words in the definition..... well just find your nearest grownup........

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Post by frogbyte » Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:22 am

As far as I see that's the first time you've actually answered "legal". Now we've finally pinned down the logical point where the disconnect is.

So, would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (unborn) to be killed, but a born legal person not be?

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Post by Ironman » Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:20 am

frogbyte wrote:As far as I see that's the first time you've actually answered "legal". Now we've finally pinned down the logical point where the disconnect is.

So, would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (unborn) to be killed, but a born legal person not be?
You are assuming legal personhood for the unborn despite the fact that just a few days ago, you said it was a matter of opinion. In fact it was the premise of your argument at the time.

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Post by frogbyte » Fri Aug 20, 2010 10:33 am

No, I'm not assuming at all that everyone agrees on it. It is a perfectly reasonably matter to debate what rights the unborn are entitled to. But we're talking about a hypothetical libertarian that does believe that. Restated more explicitly:

Given that libertarian X believes a child becomes a legal person is prior to birth, should X allow one class of legal person (unborn) to be killed, but a born legal person not be?

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Post by Ironman » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:16 pm

You're missing the point. Yes he believes that, but he knows it's very much a matter of opinion, frequently based on the person's religion.

You are using the word "legal". It's not a legal thing, it's a matter of opinion. So there still would be no law.

Now if the person was authoritarian leaning as the vast majority of Republicans are, or more in the middle of the totalitarian-anarchy axis, then it's a whole different story.

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Post by frogbyte » Mon Aug 23, 2010 11:49 am

Forget religion - again, pretend the entire planet is atheist if that helps.

In the opinion of a libertarian, murder should be outlawed. Some people may disagree. Does that mean the libertarian should make murder legal, since there are some with differing opinions?

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Post by Ironman » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:56 am

frogbyte wrote:Forget religion - again, pretend the entire planet is atheist if that helps.

In the opinion of a libertarian, murder should be outlawed. Some people may disagree. Does that mean the libertarian should make murder legal, since there are some with differing opinions?
There aren't differences in opinion on murder. Personhood isn't in question there. In your last two or three posts you are assuming your premise. You can't understand the definition of the word because you have already assumed the answer.


We don't even have to speak hypothetically. There ARE libertarians, who hold that opinion. They themselves would never get an abortion and/or be party to it. However they do not favor criminalization.

I think some drugs are quite destructive. I still don't favor criminalization. I don't think abortion is such a great thing. I still don't favor criminalization. I think we should do all we can to reduce unintended pregnancies.

I don't own a gun, I don't really care much about it. I still don't favor tighter restrictions on mentally stable, law abiding, adults. Quite the contrary actually.



Hard-line enforcement of your personal opinions is the antithesis of libertarianism by definition. However, I think it's a "chicken and egg" sort of thing. If you understand that, then you are probably a libertarian. If you are not a libertarian, chances are, you are not going to understand that. It's a way of thinking about things, a sort of philosophical point of view.

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Post by callipygian50 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:45 am

frogbyte wrote:So, would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (unborn) to be killed, but a born legal person not be?
Gosh this is a weird repetitious question and I should probably just stay out of it. But maybe we should just expand the list of hypothetical questions:

Would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (those over 18) to vote, but an prohibit some other classes of legal persons (those under 18, legal permanent residents, tourists and illegal aliens-- whose residency is illegal, but whose actually person-hood is entirely legal)?

Would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (those over 18) to enter contracts, but forbid this to another class legal person (those under 18 )?


Would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (those over 18) to get married while prohibiting another class of persons from marrying (those under 14)?

Would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (adult non-felons) to own guns, but prohibit ownership to another class (felons, 2 year olds)?

Would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (parents of a child) decide on medical treatments for another class (their own child)?

Would a libertarian allow one class of legal person (parents of a particular child) to decide on the religious education of a particular child while prohibiting others (neighbors) from deciding this?

Finally, what, precisely is does the phrase "legal person" even mean? The word "person" exists outside the legal framework, and we can all argue about what makes something a "person". But if we start adding adjective like "legal" we need to turn to what the law seems to do. It seems to me we enact laws that give people or entities (i.e. corporations) who meet certain requirement certain legal benefits: Voting, entering contracts, right to reside in the country. It seems to me one could refer to these people or corporations as "legal persons" with respect to those specific legal benefits, and, provided we stick to a discussion of that specific legal benefit, no one is going to get confused. But referring to someone as a "legal person" in a conversation about entering a contract, or permission to reside in the US doesn't suddenly make them a "legal person" with respect to any and all other benefits (e.g. voting, gun ownership, drinking liquor.)

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Post by Rucifer » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:24 pm

You guys have heard of the movie idiocracy right? People so stupid that society falls apart? Well what we have here is the opposite- people so intelligent that they're spending hours and hours and threads and threads to argue about libertarianism.

I remember back when I was involved with Ryan A on a different thread arguing, he was stating that there isn't much difference between intelligence and wisdom. Well, I think these thread's prove it- froggy and ironman are obviously both intelligent, but the wisdom of not arguing this topic seems to be eluding them. It will never end it seems.

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Post by Jebus » Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:49 pm

Ohhh, Rucifer is a genious!

When ever I argue with someone, which is rare. I stop and think of something else to talk about and in seconds we forget about the whole thing and move on :wink:

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Post by frogbyte » Fri Aug 27, 2010 11:32 am

Ironman wrote:We don't even have to speak hypothetically. There ARE libertarians, who hold that opinion. They themselves would never get an abortion and/or be party to it. However they do not favor criminalization.
Agreed, and it's perfectly reasonable for a libertarian to not criminalize abortion. I also think it's perfectly reasonable for a libertarian to criminalize abortion.

I'm still not clear on whether you agree or not, because you keep dodging that part of the question.

callipygian50, you've gone off on a tangent regarding competence for entering into contracts, which isn't really relevant.

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Post by callipygian50 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:10 pm

frogbyte wrote:callipygian50, you've gone off on a tangent regarding competence for entering into contracts, which isn't really relevant.
I don't think any of the analogies I list are tangents. I agree I have shifted from abortion, to other rights. I did so to focus on the structure of your argument-by-question (which appears to contain a logical fallacy.)

You seem to be wanting to make an argument by asking a question. The question you pose appears to attempt to show that libertarians thinking abortion should be legal exhibits some logical inconsistency. However, there is no logical inconsistency.


The various analogies I discussed were brought up to mimic the pattern of your question. The obvious answer to the questions ought to show you two things:
1) This idea if someone is a legal person in sense "X", do they get automatically gain unrelated right "Y". No one thinks this position is inconsistent. (Examples include contracts, right to drink, right to vote, right to reside in the country etc.)

2) Any "inconsistency" one might see in (1) above seems to arise only when someone edits out the question in a way that leaves "legal person" ill-defined. So, by editing out the text "in sense X" and asking whether a person should have right "Y", you end up with what amounts to a rather silly question. No one can really answer it because "legal person" has no specific meaning and can't tell us anything about the full collection of rights a person ought to have.

As it happens, by failing to define "legal person", your question (and implied argument) is the sort that leads to the logical fallacy called "equivocation". A good discussion is here:

http://www.fallacyfiles.org/equivoqu.html

"Equivocation is the type of ambiguity which occurs when a single word or phrase is ambiguous, and this ambiguity is not grammatical but lexical. So, when a phrase equivocates, it is not due to grammar, but to the phrase as a whole having two distinct meanings. "

To avoid ambiguity and equivocation, you need to specifically define "legal person" based on some collection of rights. If you do that, I think you'll discover if you specifically define what you mean when you say "legal person" while asking your question, it will either

a) Be obvious you are asking a circular question (as ironman said) or

b) It's perfectly logical for someone (including a libertarian) to think a fetus is a "legal person" by some definition and think abortion is legal.

So, yes. I discussed contracts. But the structure of your argument by question should work for other rights. It doesn't. And the reason it doesn't is that you aren't defining important terms, and the ambiguity in your question results in equivocation.

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