Comment: I'm going to slightly tweak

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I'm going to slightly tweak

I'm going to slightly tweak the quote.

"...The conditions on which all of our social cooperation and lawful behavior rest [is] their utility to us as individuals and small units [therefore, not rights, ethics, or other objective, universal or natural basis].... [These] are not guaranteed conditions. They are just conditions, not laws."

Maybe this re-phrasing will give you a better feeling for the statement, and see how it is not at all a tautology. I am saying that social cooperation and respect for others' person and property -- including the conception of rights in society -- are conditional. Not natural, immutable, inalienable, eternal, god-given.

The scenario I outlined was constructed to show that in the absence of specific conditions -- those in which it serves the advantage of all to refrain from using force and fraud, doing so would not only be disadvantageous but in fact suicidal and murderous toward one's own children. To act in accord with NAP in such conditions would be harmful to oneself and ones loved ones. Therefore, it is conditional, not natural.

The scenario was very basic: resources sufficient to maintain only one out of ten people. Respecting either "rights" or "laws" or other normative moral behaviors, operating in normal conditions, would not lead to one's advantage or the mutual utility of all. Only those who used fraud and force to get that 10% for themselves and their families could survive.

This should show clearly that human nature and human interests in such special conditions would opt for violence. And it would be hard to argue morally with doing so, because morality has to come in second place to existence for most people. Without such basic survival instinct or preference, our species probably wouldn't be here.

To argue that most people would continue to refrain from force or fraud when force and fraud alone could provide survival for a fraction of people would be to gravely misjudge human nature.

To say that despite this, they OUGHT to choose death in order to refrain from force or fraud, and sacrifice their children, is to unmask your morality as favoring death as a positive goal. To say morality comes before survival would be a bold leap into moral chaos. Denying one's own needs to feed others, the life of an ascetic, not defending one's self, would all seem to follow from such a moral claim.

Once you accept that people will generally choose violence, force and fraud over death, you realize that social cooperation in the legal and market order derives from utility, not immutable human nature, reason, or moral law independent of condition, circumstance, time or place.

Cooperation over violent conflict springs from utility, and expanded via the selection of cultures that have used such modes of behavior most successfully. Not because there are immutable, God-given rights, or rights inherently recognized by human nature from reasoning them out. Not because reason discovered moral principles.

If you still cannot see the point here, I won't go on further, and will allow you the last word.