Friday, December 6, 2013

Gene Callahan: If You Believe the Non-Agression Principle is at the Bedrock of Libertarianism Then You Are Brainwashed

That's the only conclusion that can be reached between this exchange between 'Philosophy Lines' and Gene Callahan, at the post: Aaron Ross Powell Defends the Posting of 'Basic Income' Article at

Can you please defend the claim that Matt's article supports aggression rather than just asserting it, since he would obviously disagree. Presumably you are taken by principles such as the NAP and self-ownership which are unfortunately fallacious and rest on faulty argumentation. Matt is moved to libertarianism for other normative considerations. You have to acknowledge this.

PhilosophyLives, there is no sense arguing with the brainwashed.


  1. I just lost all respect for Callahan.

  2. "That's the only conclusion that can be reached between this exchange between 'Philosophy Lines' and Gene Callahan . . "

    Non sequitur. It does not follow that Callahan thinks that those who "believe" NAP is the bedrock of libertarianism are brainwashed. One could rightly reach the conclusion that Callahan is arguing that Philosophy Lines should not expect to receive a valid defense of NAP in this forum rather than just assertion.

    In the meantime, I think that NAP is a bedrock principle of libertarian thinking. Whether it should be or is a bedrock principle generally, that is an open question and it is one that Philosophy Lines is trying to seek an answer.

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  4. Typical Callahan. The guy is a true creep. Get on his bad side and he'll call you mentally retarded:

  5. It is true. The NAP isn't hasn't been around as long as libertarianism in general. You're just redefining terms. The same thing you hate when the left does it, with words like "liberal".

    1. Uhm...the NAP has pretty much been around since forever. The whole "don't kill" and "don't steal" and all that is embedded in the NAP.

      Or do you think it took until 19-20th centuries for the human race to figure out that random killing, raping, stealing and defrauding is a bad thing?

    2. I guess we couldn't consider any of the Founding Fathers to be libertarians, since they believed in a limited government. Fools they all were! You're much more intelligent.

    3. "Fools they all were!"

      They did the best they could in the time at which they lived. There was a time that men didn't understand that bacteria could kill them, or that the Earth was a miniscule planet swimming in an infinite universe.

      Some of these men made decisions or proposed philosophies at the time which their experiences/knowledge naturally limited as a result. None of these mean were "fools", but the fact is that human progress is often built on the knowledge of those before us and is often limited as such.

      Your sarcastic statement isn't taking that into consideration. The Founders did the best they could with the times they lived in, that doesn't mean what they did can't or shouldn't be improved upon.

      So in answer to your comment, most Founders violated the NAP(which wasn't really a quantified philosophy at the time) at some point of time or another, but were at least moving in the right direction. They might be considered quasi "libertarian" and given the benefit of the doubt in the context of their times, but by strict definition of libertarian being defined as adhering to the NAP and respect for property rights, you are correct that they wouldn't be libertarians.

    4. Again, you're just redefining libertarianism. Or maybe the issue is that libertarianism never had a true definition to begin with, and my idea of it is different than yours.

  6. "PhilosophyLives, there is no sense arguing with the brainwashed."

    This is an empirical question that is patently false. People are reasoned out of bad beliefs on a daily basis. Look at the people that escape cults or even some mainstream religions due to reasoned argument.

    It is actually a thinly disguised excuse to avoid having to do work, i.e. make an argument.