Origins of the Non-Aggression PrincipleSubmitted by jruss133 on Tue, 01/07/2014 - 18:52
"Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm." Proverbs 3:30
Does anyone here know of an older or better statement of the non-aggression principle than this one by Solomon(around 950BC)? Assuming this is where history first records the principle, then let's have a closer look at what it meant to those people at that time.
Solomon was king in Israel. But in Israel, the NAP was not construed to prohibit the driving out of certain native inhabitants. The "harm" that gave rise to "cause" in this case was guaranteed by the creator himself.
"But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them." Numbers 33:55-56
Other apparent examples of indirect "harms" that gave "cause" in Israel include:
Blasphemy (Numbers 24:16)
Sabbath breaking (Numbers 15:32-36)
Worshiping false gods (Deuteronomy 13:12-18)
Then there are the sex crimes including incest, bestiality, and homosexuality.
These laws were in force when Solomon wrote that famous line, "Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm."
These laws, their indirect "harms," and the "cause" they describe serve as evidence, strong or weak, of state interest in prohibiting that conduct. This sort of law was affirmed, passing "rational basis" review and serving a legitimate state interest to promote morality(Bowers v Hardwick), until 2003. That has now been overruled(see Lawrence v Texas, 2003). "(T)he protected right of homosexual adults to engage in intimate, consensual conduct... has been accepted as an integral part of human freedom in many other countries. There has been no showing that in this country the governmental interest in circumscribing personal choice is somehow more legitimate or urgent... The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual."
By the way, Ron Paul introduced legislation(We the People Act) that would nullify Lawrence by removing the question from the supreme court entirely and sending it back to the states. It did not pass, but I digress.
So what do you think? Is there a legitimate state interest to justify the laws cited(Blasphemy, Sabbath breaking, Worshiping false gods, Homosexuality, Bestiality, Incest)? Why? Or why not?
"Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm." Proverbs 3:29-30