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The Non-Aggression Principle Re-defined

No one has the right to initiate physical aggression against another person or their property, except when disciplining a child.

If you downvote this, please explain why you disagree with this formulation. It seems to be what the majority here believes.

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Right or Wrong is an opinion


It doesn't matter what happens really. We are all ants in a large galaxy. You have no idea what your children will turn out to be. You can treat them well and give them good education and they turn into Ted Bundy or you can beat them and they turn out to be Ron Paul. There is so many factors that will determine a direction.


missplaced comment

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke

Kids' brains aren't fully developed

Therefore, you can't reason with them. They haven't developed that faculty yet. Therefore, sometimes they need to be spoken to in a language they can comprehend.

allegory - ˈalɪg(ə)ri/ - noun - 1. a story, poem, or picture which can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.

Given the chance to teach your child a language,

Is there a reason you would choose to teach them the language of domination and force as opposed to reason and negotiation?

An Allegory

Into this world I came,
Knowing not a thing.

Loved by parents,
Who knew everything.

Old and aged I have become,
The cycle of knowledge nearly done.

Wiser am I now,
To know how little I know.

If my parents were as dumb as I am now,
Perhaps I could have learned why or how.

Which kid do you think will develop better reasoning skills?

Kids' brains aren't fully developed, therefore you can't reason with them. They haven't developed that faculty yet. Therefore, sometimes they need to be spoken to in a language they can comprehend.

A few points:

1. If the above is true... then one could also justify verbal abuse such as insulting the child, demeaning, yelling, cursing at the child, just outright treating the child as less than human; treating them like a dog basically.

2. Does the above FOSTER the child's ability to reason?

3. Does the above STRENGTHEN the child's reliance on "primitive forms of communication," ie the communication that some people accept when handling their dogs?

4. Could you possibly agree that choosing this method of communication with a very young child COULD DELAY the development of the child's ability to reason? Because difficult attempts to "find a
reasoning method that will work for a 2 year old" were avoided?

5. Stefan has cited studies that show that the "primitive part of the brain" that handles PRIMITIVE DECISIONS such as "fight or flight," as in "run and hide/avoid pain" ARE STRENGTHENED IN THE BRAIN of a heavily spanked/verbally abused child, and that the "reasoning part of the brain" that handles higher level decisions (reasoning) ARE WEAKENED. So it IS POSSIBLE that we are ACTUALLY HANDICAPPING a child's brain with our choice of using primitive communication. And as fully developed adults, we can read this literature and decide, we are not "limited" in brain functionality as you express children are above. So then what would be our excuse for literally "making our own children, our friends, less intelligent?"

6. The government could use the same reasoning ON CITIZENS: "The citizens can't possibly have all of the knowledge/forethought that our intelligence agencies have, we have to communicate with the citizens in a language that they can comprehend."

And this is where I say "accepting spanking/abuse from your elders STRENGTHENS the notion of GOVERNMENTAL/PARENTAL abusive (even if only slightly) authority as legitimate."

So we may be helping to INDOCTRINATE OUR KIDS as well when spanking/abusing them.



When it comes to our future, SPANKING IS A HUGE DEAL!

I am surprised the number of people here that justify spanking in one way or another. This is not an issue of "macho-ness" vs "femininity," or "being soft."

MOST OF US probably got spanked, and most of us would probably say "and I turned out okay," and I think we will all agree on this. THAT IS NOT THE MAIN ISSUE...

THE MAIN ISSUE is that WE HAVE AN INDOCTRINATED SOCIETY OF SHEEPLE. What is the MAJOR VIRUS that is corrupting the brain of the sheeple? That "authority is legitimate." So when the cops, military, politicians, or government VIOLATE YOUR RIGHTS (it is like a "slap on the wrist" or a "spanking" when the cops fine you, give you a ticket, or violate you in a "minor" way that doesn't disrupt your life to a MAJOR DEGREE), the sheeple say or think something to the effect of:

"well that's what it takes to get my silly butt to listen... I probably deserved it... I was probably a bad boy... I knew better... than to go 58 in 45..."


Huh? Sounds familiar? Where did that last statement come from? Why did that statement come out of the sheeple's mouth with SUCH EASE???? Hmmm *scratches head???





i don't think spanking violates the NAP but

rather the YAD principle. don't you have the right to do whatever you want on your own private property? stef seems to suggest that is the case. not sure how he squares the two (YAD?). anyone?

Official Daily Paul BTC address: 16oZXSGAcDrSbZeBnSu84w5UWwbLtZsBms
Rand Paul 2016

Stef and Walter Block Debate Spanking/NAP


Can't ask for more specific information than this.

The Response Stefan Needs To Make Is

if the guardian doesn't save the kid, the guardian is a criminal which verifies the higher moral obligation and duty of care. Intentionally allowing a kid to die would be a contradiction to any bundle of guardianship rights. There are two choices when faced with saving a stranger from jumping off a bridge but only one choice if it is your own kid. It is a valid response to, using Block's words, any proper theory of punishment. You're welcome Stefan. :)

I think people are overly focused on "saving the kid scenarios"

I am not criticizing you or anyone else that makes this argument.

But we must be realistic about HOW OFTEN these scenarios are occurring; in order to keep things in the correct context when trying to choose the correct philosophy.

In my opinion, you are not CONSTANTLY KEEPING YOUR KID FROM RUNNING INTO THE STREET OR TOUCHING A STOVE BURNER. And even when you are protecting your kid from such scenarios, DO YOU HIT THEM???? Or do you grab their hand and caution them? Or grab their body and caution them and explain the danger?

Why the automatic assumption that a kid that "if you see your kid running towards traffic or a stove burner, HIT THE KID!!!"???


LETS KEEP IT REAL: Most parents that do alot of spanking MAKE IT A HABIT of hitting their kids when:

1. The kid is being loud or annoying.
2. The parent is frustrated with the child or the situation.
3. The parent has told the child about this behavior repeatedly.
4. The kid won't give the parent "some peace."
5. The kid won't leave the parent or other family member alone.
6. The kid embarrasses the parent.

And the parent usually has some choice words to say to the kid in the process, yelling at the little boy or girl like they are "the naughty house pet" like when the stupid dog or cat won't leave your food alone or something.

So we should not give this "saving the kid from traffic" scenario MORE CREDIT than it deserves; it is a cop out.

In the video above

Block and Stefan agreed kids are treated differently than adults in libertarian law theory.

Stefan is arguing the standard for kids is higher. I am partially on Stefan's side of this aspect of the argument because when one is not at liberty to do as they please there logically exists a duty of care. On the other hand no one expects anyone to die for another providing a duty of care.

Block's counter was saving a kid from jumping off a bridge scenario. Block argues that if he saves his child from jumping off a bridge the standard is lower because he is not a criminal. But that is not an accurate representation of the whole picture. If you don't save the adult you are not a criminal. If you don't save the kid you may be a criminal. If you save the adult you may be a criminal. If you save the kid you are not a criminal. These four possibilities represent the concepts of rights and obligations, which I will get to in a minute.

Stefan said he needed to think about Block's argument and what I am articulating is the response he ought to make because it will lead to where he wants to go. The reason a guardian has a duty of care is consent but libertarians do not automatically extend that to abortion/parenthood based on some notion of implied consent. For example, the best Jan Helfeld could muster for a mugging scenario is implied risk. As Block pointed out, implied consent is not worth the paper it is not written on. Everything in life is a risk but implied consent is claiming one consents to all outcomes which is a real stretch to the very concept of consent.

Pro-lifers argue a fetus to have the same footing as an adult based on implied consent. If a fetus is on par with an adult then the non-aggression principle applies. If that is the case then kids are on par with adults and non-aggression applies to spanking. I am not seeing much consistency in the pro-lifer position.

One of three things is true. Either a child has less rights, more rights, or equal rights of an adult. I am personally of the opinion they have equal rights but a guardian has a higher obligation precisely because of express consent homesteading parenthood/guardian rights. If guardians have a higher obligation because some rights of the child have been transferred that would mean the child actually has less rights but those rights did not vanish as they are being held in trust by the guardian. The problem comes in when we ask where does a child consent to any particular guardian?

Consider the current legal structure:

Rights = Obligations
If Rights of one party increase then Obligations of another party decrease.
If Obligations of one party increase then Rights of another party decrease.

Therefore as a parent acquires a greater obligation part of the bundle of rights possessed by the child are transferred. The principle used for a child's consent is silence is acquiescence. If a child doesn't object then they consent. If that is the standard it should be easily understood how it applies to a fetus and abortion.

I have bitched about the whole notion of silence because when consent is presumed lacking a full and honest disclosure and when a full and honest disclosure can be reasonably provided it is unjust to presume silence is acquiescence.

If I am going to hold any opinion about a relationship between rights and obligations then I ought to be able to provide some explanation for:

Rights = Obligation
Rights > Obligation
Rights < Obligation

I can understand why the legal system uses a silence presumption. However there are implications for any other theory where rights trump obligations or obligations trump rights. Essentially this is what a contract does. A contract is a transfer of rights and obligations between parties by express consent. Where statists try to go is transferring rights and obligations between parties by implied consent which is something I oppose because its application is extremely unjust premised on silence is acquiescence as already mentioned.

One of the purposes of the Non-Aggression Principle as a theory of punishment is to provide clarity. I wholly agree with the Non-Aggression Principle when applied to criminal cases. The NAP completely eliminates throwing people in cages for victimless crime. If you do not initiate aggression you are not a criminal. However in my opinion the Non-Aggression principle can not solely arbitrate the civil side and contracts well. Contracts do involve rights and obligations by consent.

I am not for any concept of turning a civil or contract controversy into a criminal controversy because one does not pay. I have previously expressed an opinion I believe life is more valuable than property. This is a distinction criminal/civil makes, at least in theory maybe not so much in practice nowadays. If you initiate aggression your are a criminal. If you do not fulfill an obligation you are not a criminal unless you have caused physical harm. I think this saving a child on a bridge example is a good one to debate. Essentially we are talking about if one does not save a child, which is an obligation, they are a criminal. Why? Because of a liability for preventing physical harm which occurred when a guardian acquired some of the child's rights by their express consent homesteading.

Stefan pointed out if your kid is jumping off a bridge as a parent you are probably culpable in some way. On the other hand we hold it valid for an adult to commit suicide. Playing devil's advocate, as a guardian if I am in possession of some of the kid's rights why would it be wrong if I allow him to commit suicide? If an adult has a right to make that choice and as a guardian I am in possession of this kid's right then why would making that choice make me a criminal? For instance, a Jew or Muslim could argue God commands parents to stone evil children because parents do have possession of the kid's right to life. I can't think of an example at present but what if it is a scenario where a parent is not culpable in any way and allows the child to die?

There is still some really gray area. If a child dies from an obligation and the guardian is not a criminal then what happens? What if there are no other immediate family to bring a complaint? Is it a non-issue when no one has standing to bring a complaint? Systems fall apart when people perceive things not to be fair. People do not think about all of this kind of minutia so if these more complex scenarios can not be reduced to easy to understand principles which also account for reasons of any imperfections it won't be much different than what exists now. People will perceive it to be unfair when extraordinary situations arise. I do concede any libertarian system of justice would be far better than statist courts keeping Japanese Americans in internment camps because competition is a real check on hypocrisy and inconsistency.

In closing, a principal of non-aggression makes complete sense to me when applied to rights as criminal matters and a principal of do no harm makes complete sense to me when applied to obligations as civil matters.

1. Non-Aggression is illegitimate because it is a trespass against one's property rights derived from self ownership. (Criminal side of what exists now which includes implied consent for victimless crime)

2. Harm is illegitimate because it is a trespass against one's property rights derived from self ownership which are held in trust by anther in the form of an obligation acquired by express consent. (Civil side of what exists now which includes implied consent for civil obligations)

To me, the above is not where the real gray area is. What constitutes a legitimate complaint to warrant judicial action? In my personal opinion whatever constitutes a legitimate complaint ought be the foundation any libertarian theory of punishment should be built upon because a legitimate complaint is a necessary prerequisite for any judicial action.

I have somewhat diverted from the NAP in this comment to intentionally draw a comparison to what exists now because it is likely something people are more familiar with. I have also mixed in some personal opinion.

RE: "Most parents that do alot of spanking MAKE IT A HABIT of hitting their kids when:"

If Stefan establishes it is higher he will likely try to take the debate there and argue spanking is not legitimate. I can not say if I am in agreement or not because I would like to see where he takes it and the reasoning argued.

P.S. I agree with you spanking helps create an authority culture (ie. "SPANKING = THE SHEEPLE VIRUS", these are my kids and I will do whatever I dam well please because I am in charge).


Well you have certainly given this topic its due thought...

I am not as interested, willing, or capable of going quite that deep on this exact topic. But your above post was just epic, so well thought out; certainly worthy of reformulating to post as original content here on the DP or elsewhere.

But I am in total agreeance that (paraphrase) "if you can not boil it down to easy to explain and apply principles... then what is the point?"

I will be sure to share your thoughts with Stef someday when he brings this topic up again someday.

And I will chime in if I feel like digging into this exact argument.

Modern anarcho capitalism has become...

...a bunch of effeminate girly men like Molyneux/Kinsella/Tucker whining and crying about disciplining kids, lol.

Ventura 2012

So, a real man

beats kids without shedding a tear? Nice.

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu

A rhetorical strategy is to

A rhetorical strategy is to take a statement or event and twist it into a hyperbolic statement or event and use this to comment upon. Instead of disciplining a child it is now “beating” a child!

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke


Perhaps "beating" is extreme. But if you "spank" your wife (lol), the waitress, your buddies, or "slap" someone on any part of their body...

At least we still refer to it as "slapping a person" or "spanking a person" or "hitting a person with an open hand" or "hitting a person hard enough to make it sting." And if you "spank your child so softly that it doesn't even sting," it doesn't seem that it would get the "discipline" EFFECT that you are referring to.

To equate different terms for a very young person IS A RHETORICAL TACTIC, but it has been embedded in our lives and language because we have all become so accustomed to it. If you "abort" a 6 month fetus, I think many will go ahead and say "murder." Terms like "tax" (theft), and "discipline" (hitting), have become so embedded in our language, we mustn't just accept the status-quo.

HITTING is the action, DISCIPLINING is the desired EFFECT.

If you SHOOT A PERSON, but it was in order to SELF DEFEND, YOU STILL SHOT SOMEONE! At least stay intellectually honest and consistent enough to maintain the action; SHOOTING, and HITTING.

It is important to stay consistent and call a spade a spade; call things by their proper names.

Hello, I value clear thinking

I value clear thinking and making distinctions when applicable. Maybe you support obfuscation, but not me. Disciplining a child, through spanking, is not equivalent to beating a child. You even admit it to be extreme. Why you go on for another couple paragraphs to explain the intricacies of this, and other extraneous topics, is wanting on me. As for a calling a spade a spade, I wholly agree. This is why I objected to the above poster’s invidious use of the word beating for what it clearly is not.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke

I think I was clear

This is not such a serious topic that grown men need to be at odds over. This is a hard hurdle for people to get over, especially for us men, because we consider it a "macho" issue; "I ain't raising no sissy..."

I can sympathize with that position. I was spanked. I spanked. So I am not being self-righteous, I am just sharing what I have learned when studying this topic deeply. And I certainly don't want to make an enemy of you.


As to my original point.

The INTENDED OUTCOME is "discipline..." (and I sympathize and understand.)

The ACTION is "smacking a person" on part of their body.

I’m not quite sure why this

I’m not quite sure why this portion of the discussion has come to this. I wasn’t intending to have a discussion on the merits or demerits of spanking, on the intentions of spanking. I was merely showing that to conflate spanking with beating is nonsense. When I think of spanking, as I would assume most sensible people would, I envision a child’s tush being smacked. When I think of beating, as I would assume most sensible people would, I envision this, or to this effect.

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke


And I was pretty clear on that.

But there is NO DENYING that when smack a child, YOU ARE SMACKING; period. It is not a finger pointing contest or a blame game to make someone feel bad. I SPANKED my son; I WAS SPANKED. It didn't bother me to do it, and it didn't bother me to have it done to me. I have always considered it pretty inconsequential.

But now that I have studied it I have found that THE HARD WAY to discipline, is to try to reason with the child. MY GOAL as a parent is to give the kid skills that he/she can use and will make him/her stronger. And I feel that if I choose spanking, the "discipline" will be easy to implement, and the kid's brain WILL GAIN NOTHING from the action of a swat on the butt; but if IT TAKES ME AN HOUR to try and reason with the kid, IT IS HARDER TO IMPLEMENT, and the "discipline" effect MIGHT NOT HAPPEN AT ALL, and the kid may not "be able to reason" or come to reason during the conversation... But the kid will get to know his or her dad for an hour, and get to talk to his dad for an hour, and get a caring and listening hear for an hour, and learn how to talk for an hour, and learn how to handle conflicts by talking instead of hitting in some capacity...

I just think that if I choose the DIFFICULT method, the kid will have a higher possibility of coming out of the ordeal with more compassion, empathy, speaking skills, listening skills, possibly reasoning and thinking skills, conflict handling skills, problem solving skills, negotiation skills.

IT IS NOT GUARANTEED. But I find it to be more likely if I avoid swatting and stick to conversation, reason, and negotiation.

I may end up feeling more frustrated and worn out if I choose the hard way. But I feel I am serving the kid's best interest in developing skills.

And if I choose THE EASY WAY (swat), ALL OF THE ABOVE OPPORTUNITIES ARE LOST. There is no way that the sting on the kids butt is gonna make them more reasonable, empathetic, compassionate... and so on.

That is my take on Spanking vs Negotiation.

I know you said you weren't here to discuss the merit. But it is something that I have researched and discussed and am very passionate about. And want to share what I have considered with anyone reading this.

If I beat a kid and shed a

If I beat a kid and shed a tear its ok? lol.

Ventura 2012

denying the antecedent fallacy

try again

"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind." - Khalil Gibran
"The Perfect Man has no self; the Holy Man has no merit; the Sage has no fame." - Chuang Tzu


I mocked your irrelevant mention of "tears" for added effect. I never made a conclusion. Nice try though.

Ventura 2012

Nothing worse

than those who use "fallacy" as a rhetorical club.

Like the guy that literally

Like the guy that literally just listed 4 logical fallacies in response to your argument? WOW haha.

Ventura 2012

yeah, he just listed them

yeah, he just listed them like that proves anything. some people shouldn't be allowed to use the language of logic. it's like an ethics thing. it's an abuse of argumentative ethics to accuse people of fallacies without clarifying exactly how the fallacy was committed. it's almost better to avoid using the particular phrases of formal logical fallacies, since 90% of the time it's just a tactic to mislead the other readers. it's unfortunate how everything gets abused when there's not ethics.

All debated out.