Re: PHIL: Extropy, Boundaries and Suicide

Bobby Martin (
Sun, 01 Mar 1998 16:15:25 PST wrote:
>The answer lies not in conundrums of causation, but in an analysis of
duty and
>costs. Every action has consequences, intended and unintended,
>and surprising, proximate and attenuated. While I have a duty to not
>upon another, I also have a duty to protect myself from the unexpected,
>unintended and the attenuated results of others' actions. This duty is
>price of life in society. As it happens, in most instances protecting
>from such things is far less expensive than protecting others from the
>unlikely and distant results of my own actions. Through reasonable
>insurance and other financial and social risk-shifting devices, I
create a
>buffer zone of protection around myself that makes life with others

In my opinion, this is exactly where the line between acceptable and
unacceptable behavior must be drawn. If it would cost me less to have
prevented your actions from infringing on my rights than it would have
cost you to monitor your actions for their effects on my rights, it is
my responsibility to protect myself. Otherwise, you have acted
irresponsibly and should be required by some outside entity (a policing
corporation, government, etc.) to make restitution. Note that intention
is not a consideration, ignorance or stupidity is no excuse, IMO.

In this way a community can decide on a list of rights (the larger the
community, the smaller and more basic the list, with communities within
communities being a possibility) and individuals within the community
can be maximally productive while their rights are protected. An
economic niche in such a society would exist for companies that
identified which communities had rights that were unacceptable to you
("Don't go to the U.S., they tax all of your income there!") and which
communities were ideal. Another niche would exist for advising people
on what precautions they should take to protect the rights of others -
companies could follow court cases (or whatever the mechanism for
determination of fault is in these kinds of imaginary communities) and
advise & assist in behaviors that prevent culpable rights infringement.

As a related topic, I see a lot of talk on this list about how
geographical location is totally unimportant to Extropians, but I
haven't seen anyone demonstrate how I can guarantee my ability to travel
from place to place without travelling through an area in which the
contractual rights are unacceptable to me.

For example, if I belong to some entity (corporation, government,
whatever) that guarantees my right to all of my property (no involuntary
taxes or tariffs), and this entity is not tied to some relatively large
geographical area, how can I walk down the street in front of my house
with a guarantee that my neighbor doesn't belong to a group that has an
import tax on what I'm carrying when I walk onto his property?

Is there some basic libertarian fact that addresses these kinds of
issues? Also, I don't want a community of complete freedom or one
completely free of coercion; I want some rights protected and that
necessarily infringes on the right to complete freedom. It also
requires coercion to protect those rights. Is this issue addressed in

Bobby Martin

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