Re: Rights and Morality: The Primethic Decision

Gary Lloyd (
Wed, 1 Oct 1997 20:34:37 -0400 (EDT)

At 09:17 PM 9/30/97 -0700, Ken Wiebe wrote:
>At 06:14 PM 9/30/97 -0400, Gary Lloyd wrote:
>>At 11:28 PM 9/29/97 -0700, Ken Wiebe wrote:
>>>At 09:25 PM 9/29/97 -0400, Gary Lloyd wrote:
>>>>At 06:05 PM 9/28/97 -0700, Ken Wiebe wrote:
>>>>>At 12:13 PM 9/28/97 -0400, Gary Lloyd wrote:
>>>>>Because agression, by definition, is immoral.
>>>>Is aggression by animals immoral?
>>>Animals do not engage in aggression. Violence, yes. I believe that
>>>attributing 'aggression' to animals is an instance of anthropomorphism,
>>>roughly in the same category as Walt Disney cartoons featuring mice that
>>By your definition.
>Without some common agreement on a precise definition of the word
>"aggression", we won't get very far in any discussion of morals, ethics,
>law, rights, libertarianism, or anything else that is dependent on those
>Similarly, if you wish to rely on something called "primethic" as the
>foundation of morality etc., then you should probably provide a precise
>definition. All the criticism you've supplied regarding my useage of the
>word "aggression" applies to your use of the word "primethic", plus the
>fact that "primethic" is a made-up word with no common-useage whatsoever.
>Anyhow, I've provided a definition. Now it's your turn.

OK, fair enough. Here are my definitions:

***"Defense" is an individual's proportionate resistance to a threat of
subjectively valued loss of life, liberty, or possessions, while
"aggression" is another individual's deliberate attempt to cause such loss.***

Note that my definitions describe objectively observable phenomena.

My criticism is not so much of your definitions as your tendency to regard
them as proof of your arguments. Why is aggression immoral? Your usual
response is to say that it is immoral by definition. Even if your definition
were standard, it still doesn't answer the question.

I suspect you are trying to avoid the unavoidable, so let me answer the
question for you. Aggression, *in your opinion*, is immoral, because you
have made the primethic decision. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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