Sunday, 26 December 2010

Deontological disputes

I was listening to a podcast of a Walter Block article, tidying up the libertarian backroom, in which he gave the excerpt below, from 'Dr Strangelove' as a case in point:

In the clip we see a clear violation of the non-aggression principle, so axiomatic to libertarianism. However in the circumstances not an unreasonable act. Considering the fate of the world is hanging in the balance, robbing the coke machine is a minor matter. But in setting principles for action, we must be careful not to allow some kind of 'greater good' defence to override and nullify the non-aggression principle. As I understand it, Block's solution to the dilemma is that the individual should, when absolutely necessary, violate the non-aggression principle but must face the consequences of punishment, indeed, as a libertarian, should see the punishment as just.


JJ said...

It depends what is meant by 'when absolutely necessary', others may not agree on when that might be.

Trooper Thompson said...

Not at all, because no matter whether it was necessary or not (a subjective matter certainly), you still face the punishment for the act of aggression. Therefore, perhaps incidently, you are more likely to apply a strict moral rule on the act in question.