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Let's assume for a moment that morality is a system of values that a group of individuals (i.e., society) must generally follow in order to live. Let's also assume that the closer individuals get to following these values, the better-off they are (e.g., happier, more successful, more productive, healthier) and, likewise, the further they get from these values, the worse-off they are. The important question is then: what are the values that we must follow, even if we don't achieve the ideal, in order to be better-off? The logical follow-up question would be: is there one, core principle from which all other values are derived; a core principle that, without it, would reduce the benefit of all other values? Is Stefan Molyneux of Freedomain Radio correct that the non-aggression principle must be at the center of any discussion about morality?

FTV: "Once the Earth was thought to be the center of the universe, with the planets and stars and the sun revolving around it. As observations improved though, weird complications began to mess up this model, particularly the orbit of Mars... In a vain attempt to solve this problem, horrendously complicated circles within circles were created, tangling up the mathematics in an increasing kaleidoscope of endless overcomplexity. A few brave thinkers, and brave they had to be in those days, tried putting the sun at the center of the solar system. Ah, then everything fell into place at once. The crazy mess of the Ptolemaic system of circles within circles and equations piled upon equations evaporated in a moment. Only a few equations were now needed for perfect accuracy...

"Systems based on fundamental falsehoods always get more and more complicated as endless corrections and adjustments pile on in order to make them look more right... The central tenet of all systems of human morality is the non-aggression principle. We all learn it as children. Don't hit. Don't push. Don't hurt. Don't steal. We learn that violence and bullying and threats are wrong, immoral, and only make whatever problem you're trying to solve worse. That's the rule we're taught when we're kids, and it's a good rule. Solid, logical, empirical. But then, when we get older, if we have the courage to see, we understand that this is not how adult society is run at all... using violence to get what you want is the foundation of the society we live in. So which is it: is violence good or bad? Our statist system has become so ridiculously complicated because it has, like the Earth-centered model of the solar system, a fundamental error right down at the root of it. This error is the belief that violence is the best way to solve complex social problems. The delusion that if you point enough guns at enough people, run up enough debt using the unborn as your collateral, kidnap and enslave enough free souls, that the world will just get better and better and better. How's that working out for us? The tax code, aggressions against free trade and personal consumption, the endless, multiplying laws governing every aspect of our waking lives... these are like the circles within circles of the Earth-centered model of the solar system... When you recognize that increasing complications reveal core errors at the root of a false system, you will see that the non-aggression principle needs to move to the center of our virtues, of our morals, or our society as a whole. Like the sun itself, it needs to be fixed at the center of everything we do...

"When the sun was moved to the center of the solar system, it was disorienting at the time... When we place the non-aggression principle where it should be, at the center of morality and society, beliefs we have held for tens of thousands of years suddenly evaporate... The myth of the social contract is revealed as a gun to the necks of the unborn."

The Sunset of the State


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Aug 21, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=300

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