Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

Poll

Are you more of a libertine or a responsibilitarian?

Libertine: "If I want to do something, it's right to do it, so long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights."
Virtue libertarian: "Beyond not violating others' rights, people also have responsibilities and obligations that may override pure self-interest."

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 9   Go Down

Author Topic: Libertine or virtue libertarian?  (Read 27520 times)

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Libertine or virtue libertarian?
« on: July 09, 2010, 06:08:27 pm »

I'm trying to frame these options as neutrally as possible, so that it's not the equivalent of a "push poll." Which option fits you better?

Libertines believe that libertarianism is a complete theory of the good. In other words, whatever you do is fine, so long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights. A friend of mine calls this "smoke 'em if you got 'em" libertarianism. This point of view is consistent with "enlightened self-interest," that is, that you should pursue your own interests, but with an eye to the long run. However, libertines don't believe that they ought to consider the interests of others or the "greater good," beyond not violating other people's rights.

Virtue libertarians (or "Responsibilitarians") think that people have obligations that go beyond not violating other people's rights. A responsibilitarian would likely think that drugs should be legal, but also that we should avoid drug abuse drug use that limits one's ability to lead a fulfilled, rational life. Another term for this philosophy is "fusionism," coined by Frank Meyer, who thought that a free society also had to be a virtuous society (a "fusion" of liberty and virtue).
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 03:41:08 pm by JasonPSorens »
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Uncle Walt

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 291
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2010, 06:16:04 pm »

I don't know about the part of "exercising responsibilities for ourselves and others."

I agree we need to exercise responsibility for our own actions ... but not for others.
How can you let others be free, if you take responsibility for them?
Logged

"Hagrid"

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1657
  • We don't need 20K... we just need you to move now.
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2010, 06:19:26 pm »

Walt, think 'ethics' and/or 'morals' in the sense that just because you _can_ do something doesn't mean you _should_ do something.

Just because you can observe someone stealing, and not get involved, doesn't mean that you _shouldn't_ get involved.

"With great power comes great responsibility" as Spiderman put it.

(and folks can easily guess what I voted now)

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2010, 06:27:36 pm »

I don't know about the part of "exercising responsibilities for ourselves and others."

I agree we need to exercise responsibility for our own actions ... but not for others.
How can you let others be free, if you take responsibility for them?

Well, here are some possibilities of issues where taking responsibilities for others might come in, without "rights" or force being an issue...

1) Deciding whether or not to play very loud music out a window close to a neighbor.
2) Deciding whether or not to rescue someone who's drowning & can easily be saved.
3) Deciding whether or not to help out needy families that you know.
4) Deciding whether or not to flip someone off in traffic.
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

John Edward Mercier

  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6534
  • Native
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2010, 06:43:18 pm »

I'm trying to frame these options as neutrally as possible, so that it's not the equivalent of a "push poll." Which option fits you better?

Libertines believe that libertarianism is a complete theory of the good. In other words, whatever you do is fine, so long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights. A friend of mine calls this "smoke 'em if you got 'em" libertarianism.

"Responsibilitarians" think that people have obligations that go beyond not violating other people's rights. A responsibilitarian would likely think that drugs should be legal, but also that we should avoid drug abuse. Another term for this philosophy is "fusionism," coined by Frank Meyer, who thought that a free society also had to be a virtuous society (a "fusion" of liberty and virtue).
But wouldn't that be acting for oneself... not others?
Logged

Stoker

  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 51
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2010, 06:57:34 pm »

I'm trying to frame these options as neutrally as possible, so that it's not the equivalent of a "push poll." Which option fits you better?

Libertines believe that libertarianism is a complete theory of the good. In other words, whatever you do is fine, so long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights. A friend of mine calls this "smoke 'em if you got 'em" libertarianism.

"Responsibilitarians" think that people have obligations that go beyond not violating other people's rights. A responsibilitarian would likely think that drugs should be legal, but also that we should avoid drug abuse. Another term for this philosophy is "fusionism," coined by Frank Meyer, who thought that a free society also had to be a virtuous society (a "fusion" of liberty and virtue).

What is "good"? Who decides? What are "rights"? Who gets to decide what they are and to whom they apply? Who decides whether or not you have harmed somebody else? Is shooting a rabbit to feed yourself ok? Would not this deprive another of something to eat?If your neighbor is hungry is it your responsibility to feed him ? Who decides? What about the rabbit? Does it have rights? Some say that they do, others say they do not.What if you accidentally introduce the Plague into your community as a result of bringing this rabbit home? What is virtue? Who decides what is virtuous, the Catholic Church? Islamic fundamentalists? Satanists? Eugenicists? Hedonists? Buddhists?  Overpopulation Alarmists? A Satanic Eugenicist Overpopulation Alarmist would think it virtuous to slit your whole families throats in a Satanic ritual, thereby appeasing Satan, eliminating a weak link in the genetic chain, and reducing population, all in one fell swoop. A Hedonist would think it is virtuous to eat all of our foodstocks and now and save none for an emergency because we could all die tomorrow and to not eat it would be a waste, and  a Pragmatist would think this to be insanity and clearly could cause starvation at some point. If the planet is truly overpopulated, would it be your responsibility to commit suicide so that the human race as a whole could survive? How about "just" not having children to reduce population? Is this your responsibility?

Without defining these things no sensible decision can be arrived upon.
Logged

JasonPSorens

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5725
  • Neohantonum liberissimum erit.
    • My Homepage
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2010, 07:23:44 pm »

I'm trying to frame these options as neutrally as possible, so that it's not the equivalent of a "push poll." Which option fits you better?

Libertines believe that libertarianism is a complete theory of the good. In other words, whatever you do is fine, so long as it doesn't violate anyone else's rights. A friend of mine calls this "smoke 'em if you got 'em" libertarianism.

"Responsibilitarians" think that people have obligations that go beyond not violating other people's rights. A responsibilitarian would likely think that drugs should be legal, but also that we should avoid drug abuse. Another term for this philosophy is "fusionism," coined by Frank Meyer, who thought that a free society also had to be a virtuous society (a "fusion" of liberty and virtue).
But wouldn't that be acting for oneself... not others?

Some people believe that they have responsibilities to act in a certain way toward others... Even if those responsibilities are not "rights" that can be legally enforced.
Logged
"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

Dave Mincin

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2099
  • I'm a llama!
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2010, 07:51:42 pm »

Count me as a "Responsibilitarians"   Thinking at times we don't really a have choice but do what duty dictates!
Logged
Please join us!
http://www.nhliberty.org/ New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.

" A leader knows that if he is generous with his time, his people will be generous with their effort."

Plug>>>>Realtor Lovejoy Real Estate!

Dave Mincin

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2099
  • I'm a llama!
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2010, 08:07:22 pm »

Hey Jason...easy questions! :)

1) Deciding whether or not to play very loud music out a window close to a neighbor.

Not, that is disrespectful.  If you want respect you must give it!

2) Deciding whether or not to rescue someone who's drowning & can easily be saved.

Save them...What kind of person would let someone drown?

3) Deciding whether or not to help out needy families that you know.

Help them...Isn't that part of being family or friend?

4) Deciding whether or not to flip someone off in traffic.

Not!  Need I say more? ::)
Logged
Please join us!
http://www.nhliberty.org/ New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.

" A leader knows that if he is generous with his time, his people will be generous with their effort."

Plug>>>>Realtor Lovejoy Real Estate!

Stoker

  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 51
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 08:14:15 pm »

Count me as a "Responsibilitarians"   Thinking at times we don't really a have choice but do what duty dictates!

Interesting. What exactly is "duty" and who defines what "your" duty is? Do you? Does your Government? Does your religious leader? Does an unknown entity that communicates with you through a tinfoil hat? If you decide what your duty is, do we all get to do this? What if your neighbor honestly thinks that the earth is hopelessly overpopulated and that it is thereby logically and morally his duty to reduce the population, starting with killing you and your family? If your Government decides what your duty is, does that make it "ok" to "just follow orders" if that means slaughtering other people who have done you no harm? This would make the SS guards who gassed millions of "Undesirables" virtuous and responsible, and those that later hanged them for their actions (us) murderers. If you are a religious person and  your leader issues a "fatwa" to kill your neighbors who are of a different religion, is this your duty?
Logged

dude6935

  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 510
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2010, 08:39:00 pm »

What happens if I don't save a person from drowning? Do I get put in jail?

What if I try to save a person from drowning and I drown myself?

Law is not required to make people help each other 99.9% of the time.

But, if a person falls down your stairs and you watch them die without calling an ambulance, that should be (and is) illegal.
Logged

Friday

  • First 1000
  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 464
  • I'm a browncoat!
    • Shire Liberty News
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2010, 09:06:54 pm »

Jason, I *think* I understand where you're coming from, but have to disagree with the wording of your poll as being neutral.  I just looked up libertine on dictionary.com, just to be sure I didn't somehow have the wrong idea about what it means.  The first definition is as follows:

a  person  who  is  morally  or  sexually  unrestrained,  esp.  a  dissolute  man;  a  profligate;  rake. 

A person can qualify as libertine by that definition, while still not engaging in any of the example unfriendly behaviors you listed:

Well, here are some possibilities of issues where taking responsibilities for others might come in, without "rights" or force being an issue...

1) Deciding whether or not to play very loud music out a window close to a neighbor.
2) Deciding whether or not to rescue someone who's drowning & can easily be saved.
3) Deciding whether or not to help out needy families that you know.
4) Deciding whether or not to flip someone off in traffic.

I think people can be libertine and still be responsible people and good neighbors.  (And yes, I AM reading another Heinlein novel right now, so sue me.   :P )

Perhaps better adjectives would be narcissistic;  Dionysian;  improvident.
Logged
Shire Liberty News - spotlighting activism in New Hampshire: the frontier of freedom
http://www.shirelibertynews.com

"Hagrid"

  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1657
  • We don't need 20K... we just need you to move now.
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2010, 09:54:59 pm »

Jason, I *think* I understand where you're coming from, but have to disagree with the wording of your poll as being neutral.  I just looked up libertine on dictionary.com, just to be sure I didn't somehow have the wrong idea about what it means.  The first definition is as follows:

a  person  who  is  morally  or  sexually  unrestrained,  esp.  a  dissolute  man;  a  profligate;  rake. 


You've fallen into the same trap that Ian did on FTL when he looked it up in response to Neal A's phone call (Neal used the word, in part due to a conversation he was privy to involving Jason and myself) last week.  Modern usage (and most dictionaries) have skewed the word to mean a more sexual definition most of the time... In part because of how society has moralized sex more than any other area.

Look at wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertine_(disambiguation):  A libertine is one free from the restraint of social norms and religious morals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertine:  A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behavior sanctioned by the larger society. The philosophy gained new-found adherents in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, particularly in France and Britain. Notable among these were John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and the Marquis de Sade. "Libertine", like many words, is an evolving one, defined today as "a dissolute person; usually a person who is morally unrestrained"
 And then later on the page, it links to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egoist_anarchism  (so clearly there is a parallel here, which is what Jason was going for...)



Quote
A person can qualify as libertine by that definition, while still not engaging in any of the example unfriendly behaviors you listed:
I think people can be libertine and still be responsible people and good neighbors.  (And yes, I AM reading another Heinlein novel right now, so sue me.   :P )
Perhaps better adjectives would be narcissistic;  Dionysian;  improvident.

I'd argue narcissistic has way more bad connotations (it's considered a mental illness in extreme forms), Dionysian is even closer to the Hedonist end of the spectrum, and improvident is a negative prefixed word so it's defined as being _not_ provident.

Libertine by the above, even by part of the definition you listed, is about _morals_, ethics, etc.  In other words, someone who rejects a moral standard of anyone else but himself.

Heinlein, by the way, as a related note, WROTE about Libertines such as Lazarus Long and Valentine Michael Smith, but most of his characters were very morally bound to a strong code of ethics (and Laz Long spends an entire novel and several lifetimes breaking free of his early embedded moralities)  So was Heinlein himself a Libertine or a Responsibilitarian?  I think based on his essays, and his political changes over the years, he was a Responsibilitarian who wanted to shake it off in his old age.
 

BikerBill

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 34
    • Adventures in the Free State
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2010, 09:57:41 pm »

Jason, I *think* I understand where you're coming from, but have to disagree with the wording of your poll as being neutral.  I just looked up libertine on dictionary.com, just to be sure I didn't somehow have the wrong idea about what it means.  The first definition is as follows:

a  person  who  is  morally  or  sexually  unrestrained,  esp.  a  dissolute  man;  a  profligate;  rake. 

A person can qualify as libertine by that definition, while still not engaging in any of the example unfriendly behaviors you listed:

As can a rapist.

"Libertine" (uninhibited, bordering on sociopathic, in my mind) is a very loaded word, IMHO, at least today, and I suspect the majority of the "politically unsophisticated" most opposed to "libertarians" are so because they confuse the two.
Logged

Denis Goddard

  • First 1000
  • FSP Participant
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2045
  • Free the Mallocs!
    • Free State Blogs
Re: Libertine or "responsibilitarian"?
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2010, 09:59:23 pm »

*burp*
Is this the dope-smokin' thread? And where's the loose women? I heard this FSP was a big party, man... where's the drunk chicks?!?!
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 ... 9   Go Up