Re: Extropians and animal rights

Michael S. Lorrey (
Mon, 11 Jan 1999 10:10:33 -0500 wrote:

> Turmadrog, Renegade Balseraph of Technology <> wrote:
> > On Sat, 09 Jan 1999, Samael tempted me with this question:
> > >The majority of extropians on this list are in favour of perfect human
> > >inviolability (ie people never have the right to affect another person
> > >without their permission - except in self defence).
> >
> > Yes, I'd agree with that.
> As would I, of course -- but the Devil is in the details. That is, as
> David Friedman points out, the tricky part is defining what counts
> as "to affect another person." Friedman takes (what I believe is)
> an intuitionistic approach, and suggests that the threshold falls
> somewhere between shining a flashlight at them and shining a
> laser beam, but that's an awful lot of room.

Not necessarily. While it is now a crime to shine a laser beam at a person (given that lasers are used also for aiming firearms, thus playing a laser beam on someone is a threat, tantamount to assault with a deadly weapon), there are significant amounts of property rights cases where property owners are protected from neighbors who use too bright or too many broad beam spotlights at night. There is a case progressing right now a couple miles north of me in Hanover, NH where Dartmouth College wants to put 80 foot high towers with spotlights over one of its soccer fields and be able to keep them on until after 11 pm.

Similarly, noise pollution cases abound in the case books. If there weren't a law here in NH that grandfathered all outdoor firearms ranges from noise control regs, the gun club which I sit on the board of directors of would have been shut down long ago by city folks who moved up here to properties near our club without doing due diligence as to the existence of our club and the noise we produce. Even then, we still get letters from the City Council whenever some flatlander claims in a complaint that we were firing off automatic weapons at 5 am, even though that is outside the hours that we permit our members to use the facilities at, and ignoring that it is always other neighbors of theirs doing the shooting on their own property.

Mike Lorrey