Rights and Morality: The Primethic Decision

Gary Lloyd (tmethod@gatecom.com)
Wed, 24 Sep 1997 21:43:06 -0400 (EDT)

Virtually all human beings would instinctively agree that defense against
aggression is not wrong. This is evidenced by the fact that the contrary
instinct, i.e. defense is immoral, would be anti-survival.

Still, this could mean that defense is either moral or amoral. In non-human
context, we would probably deem defense to be *amoral*. In human context,
however, it is in the interests of the vast majority to make a personal
moral choice to the effect that proportionate defense against aggression is
*moral* and thus aggressive behavior which elicits a defensive response is

I call this choice the "primethic" decision.

The primethic decision establishes the basis for both "rights" and
"morality" since to deem defense against aggression, in the human context,
to be *amoral* is to deny the *existance* of both rights and morality. If
defense against aggression is amoral, then aggression which elicits a
defensive response must necessarily be amoral. The personal moral choice to
be made, then, is *rights/morality* or *no-rights/amorality*.

If these, in fact, are the only two choices, then my proportionate defense
against aggression is, from my point of view, moral, and from the
aggressor's point of view, either moral or amoral. Either way, such defense
*imposes* nothing on the aggressor. That is to say, proportionate defense is
not, even from the aggressor's point of view, an immoral aggression.

When the boot of government is on your neck,
it doesn't matter if it's left or right.