Reason, Not Force, As The Basis of Human Interaction

by | Nov 20, 2008

In a recent lengthy discussion with a friend who is an Obama supporter, she wanted to focus upon economics. Her view was that top economists had endorsed Obama. Why was that not enough for me to support him? One, I refused to discuss economics. I explained to her that there are different schools of economics […]

In a recent lengthy discussion with a friend who is an Obama supporter, she wanted to focus upon economics. Her view was that top economists had endorsed Obama. Why was that not enough for me to support him?

One, I refused to discuss economics. I explained to her that there are different schools of economics and each is based upon different philosophical premises.

Two, I told her that no matter what issue or argument she would bring up, my answer would be exactly the same. I oppose the initiation of force against another human being.

And then I provided a list of examples: murder, rape, taxes, robbery, burglary, slavery and so on. I explained that the only proper way for human beings to interact is based upon reason, persuasion, logic, discussion, collaboration, and so on.

I didn’t budge from this stand because it provided the moral high ground. It also provided the platform for extending the conversation eventually into selfishness, rights, and capitalism.

The approach was successful in that she shifted focus from economics and began asking questions about rights. The conversation will continue. But I will be sure to use moral opposition to the initiation of force as “home base” — and more importantly the role of reason and persuasion as the proper means of interaction.

I think it is also the ideal response for shorter conversations or one- liners.

Q: Why do you oppose The Fairness Doctrine?

A: I think it is immoral for human beings to initiate force against another. The Fairness Doctrine limits or destroys, via a gun, another human being’s expression of their views.

Q: Why did you oppose John McCain?

A: McCain believes in initiating force against human beings. He wants to limit my speech. He was the sponsor of McCain-Feingold.

Q: What do you think of the bailout?

A: I oppose it for the same reason I oppose burglary, murder, and rape–because they are examples of the initiation of force. The government is forcing me to pay for the mistakes of others. It is no different than a robber taking my wallet at gunpoint.

Q: Don’t you think that Obama is going to give us a fresh start?

A: No, he advocates initiating force against his fellow man. That is not a fresh start. That is a regression back to caveman days.

Try it and see how it works. I would be interested in hearing from you about your experiences with this approach.

Andy Clarkson is a contributing writer to Capitalism Magazine and runs the blog the Charlotte Capitalist.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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