Re: ExI = Truth First ?

Daniel Fabulich (
Sun, 17 May 1998 00:08:22 -0400 (EDT)

On Sat, 16 May 1998, Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Unfortunately, I must seriously disagree with you, as treating truth
> subjectively is the first step toward the destruction of the concept of
> contract law.

I must wholeheartedly agree with you, this is an excellent point.

> In any libertarian type society, where there is no
> overarching sovereign authority to enforce the public will and contracts
> amongst individuals, on individuals, individuals must rely on and protect
> in their daily lives the concepts of integrity, honesty, and truth to
> ensure that the contracts they make between sovereign individuals are
> honored. THis is the essential key to keep a libertarian society from
> devolving into chaotic anarchy/civil terror. I think that demanding that
> truth for a given be at least agreed to by two soveregn individuals,
> otherwize a contract has no meaning, if it means two different things to
> two different people.

I would agree. However, I look at it from a different slant. SINCE
contract law is good for our long-term utility, we should agree on
objective truth. Strict utilitarianism demands it.

> Being strictly utilitarian with regard to truth means
> one is merely an opportunist, with no regard for others and with no greater
> purpose other than for one's immediate short term profit.

This is where I must disagree. I feel like most people are responding to
egoism, the philosophy which states that an action is right if and only if
it maximizes the agent's utility, rather than utilitarianism, which states
that an action is right if and only if it maximizes utility for the
greatest number.

>From this perspective, we can see that while the EGOIST might act in this
way, (though they might take a little more care for their LONG term
profit, rather than short term profit,) the utilitarian would not.

> Libertarians know that a stable libertarian society requires that most, if
> not all members must have a distinct sense that integrity and honesty
> amongst members of the community is most beneficial to every individuals
> long term self interest.

I agree. This is why I am a libertarian: because it is the direct logical
conclusion of utilitarianism.

With regard to your point about authoritarianism, I'm sure most liberal
proponents of this form of subjective truth claim to be moving towards
ANARCHO-socialism, or "true" Communism, rather than authoritarian
socialism; I am not so certain that they are completely wrong. Any
thoughts on this matter would be appreciated.