09 Mar 2014

Judge Not

Religious 54 Comments

Here’s a quintessentially Christian command (Mt 7: 1-3):

7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

It is perhaps a cliche that, say, an extreme homophobe (apologies to Gene Callahan for using that odd term) is a closet homosexual. Whether that is true, I know in my own life I have definitely found that the people who annoy me the most are the ones doing what I, deep down, detest in myself. (This is very close to, but not the same thing as, being jealous of somebody who is infringing on your turf.)

To give a quick example, for the longest time I could not STAND Neil deGrasse Tyson. “Oh look at me, I’m just the whole package aren’t I? I’m all academic with degrees and such, but I can break it down for the layperson and be really cool too. Yeah yeah yeah gimme a break buddy, just stick to your geeky academic stuff.” I hope I don’t need to spell out why such a reaction is rather…ironic.

In contrast, I was never outraged by (say) bank robbers, since that’s not something that my conscience deep down is worried that I might be doing.

Anyway, I think it’s a very useful exercise for you to pull up the two or three people who really annoy you, and represent everything you detest about the modern world…then consider if they are a percentage point away from how you operate.

P.S. If you are tempted to bring up Krugman in the comments, go ahead. But just so you know, I’m parsecs ahead of you.

P.P.S. Yes I used “parsecs” to show off my mad science skillz.

54 Responses to “Judge Not”

  1. joe says:

    I’m annoyed by people who do not want to discuss this Walter Block quote on abortion.

    WALTER BLOCK ON ABORTION, page 14 “Defending the Undefendable”
    Abortion is another case in point. Although inroads have finally been made, abortion is limited by obstructive rules. Both outright prohibition of abortion and abortion under present controls deny the great moral principle of self-ownership. Thus, they are throwbacks to slavery, a situation essentially defined by the barriers put up between people and their right of self-ownership. If a woman owns her body then she owns her womb, and she alone has the complete and sole right to determine whether to have a child or not.

    • Ken B says:

      That argument irks me from most people because they do not mean it, or do not accept all the consequences. Block does.

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        What makes you think they don’t mean it? Do you think liberals don’t believe in self-ownership? Believing in self-ownership doesn’t commit you to libertarianism, does it?

        • Ken B says:

          Because they support drug laws, or object to prostitution, or do not support a woman’s right to sell herself into slavery or support bans on amnioscentesis used in sex selection or want to ban smoking or would place restrictions on drinking while pregnant or would support mandatory evacuations. If you support ANY restriction on what you can do with your own body you do NOT espouse this principle as stated. But Block does.
          And I have never met anyone other than an anarchist who does mean it.

      • guest says:

        I wonder what Block would say to this:

        You invite someone onto your property and you both eventually reach one end of it – which ends at a cliff.

        You decide that you want that person off of your property NOW.

        Would Block justify pushing the former guest off the cliff – not killing him, just pushing him – since he is all of a sudden violating your property rights?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      joe, I think you mean you are annoyed by people who do discuss it, but don’t come to the same conclusions as you, and you treat that as them not discussing “the real issue here.”

      I’ll discuss it with you if you want, but I can’t promise you that you’ll agree, or like it.

      • Keshav Srinivasan says:

        Major_Freedom, are you pro-life?

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Could you define pro-life? Not everyone means the same thing. I might be saying yes to something that you aren’t meaning to say.

          • Keshav Srinivasan says:

            Well, for starters, under what circumstances is abortion immoral? And under what circumstances is abortion a violation of the Rothbardian non-aggression principle?

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Well, for starters then…

              I don’t think it’s ever immoral to choose to remove anything from your own body, even if that something is another human being.

              I also don’t it is immoral to choose to not help others eat food or drink water.

              • Keshav Srinivasan says:

                Wait a minute, do you agree with Rothbard that it’s OK if you starve your child? I assumed that you didn’t, because most Rothbardians I’ve encountered don’t.

                In any case, if the abortion involves not removal, but rather destruction, then under what circumstances do you think it’s immoral, and under what circumstances do you think it’s a violation of the non-aggression principle.

              • Hank says:

                Its very easy to mis-characterize Rothbard’s view. Per David Gordon:

                “That is nonsense. To starve someone who cannot leave is to murder him. You don’t have to touch somebody to kill him: there isn’t a special libertarian concept of murder, different from the ordinary one. Neither is it the case that you are free to violate people’s rights, so long as you do so on your property. Rothbardian libertarianism is not the doctrine that each person is an absolute despot over his own property. ”

                and

                “My view of the starving child case differs from Rothbard’s, but I don’t think it follows from his holding that a parent has no duty to feed his child that the parent may prevent someone else from doing so, e.g., by forbidding him entry into his house. The parent’s lack of a positive obligation to feed the child does not entail the parent’s right to ensure that the child die.”

              • Ken B says:

                As I recall Keshav, when I asked MF that he did agree with Rothbard. My scenario was leaving an infant in a cabin and denying anyone else access.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Keshav:

                “Wait a minute, do you agree with Rothbard that it’s OK if you starve your child?”

                I think it is immoral to point a gun at someone forcing them to force feed anyone, children included.

                “In any case, if the abortion involves not removal, but rather destruction, then under what circumstances do you think it’s immoral, and under what circumstances do you think it’s a violation of the non-aggression principle.”

                I hold it’s not immoral for a person to evict their fetus.

              • Keshav Srinivasan says:

                “I think it is immoral to point a gun at someone forcing them to force feed anyone, children included.” Well, do you think it’s immoral for a parent to stop other people from entering his house to feed his child?

                “I hold it’s not immoral for a person to evict their fetus.” But that’s not what I asked you. I asked, if there were an abortion procedure that did not involve eviction of the fetus from the womb, but instead involved the destruction of the fetus inside the womb without removing it, then under what circumstances would it be immoral to do so, and under what circumstances would it be a violation of the non-aggression principle?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Keshav:

                “Well, do you think it’s immoral for a parent to stop other people from entering his house to feed his child?”

                I think it’s immoral for a person to imprison any non-violent people against their will, children included.

                I think it’s immoral to violate someone’s property rights by invasion, and I think it’s immoral to point a gun at them to stop them from stopping you force feeding anyone, children included.

              • Keshav Srinivasan says:

                “I think it’s immoral for a person to imprison any non-violent people against their will, children included.
                I think it’s immoral to violate someone’s property rights by invasion, and I think it’s immoral to point a gun at them to stop them from stopping you force feeding anyone, children included.” Well, no one’s talking about taking a child against its will, or force-feeding a child. Suppose you have a new-born baby, which is fine with either being where it is or being taken somewhere else. The only thing it wants is to eat. If a parent locks it up, is someone justified in breaking into the parent’s house and feeding the child?

                And you didn’t answer my other question: if an abortion procedure killed a fetus and kept it in the womb, under what circumstances would it be justified?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Keshav:

                “Well, no one’s talking about taking a child against its will, or force-feeding a child.”

                Do you believe it is moral to invade a parent’s home and force feed their child if the parent isn’t?

                “Suppose you have a new-born baby, which is fine with either being where it is or being taken somewhere else. The only thing it wants is to eat. If a parent locks it up, is someone justified in breaking into the parent’s house and feeding the child?”

                I think no. For what if they defend their home? What if they do not obey you even if you threaten them with a gun? What if they are willing to use a gun themselves?

                You’d have to be willing to kill them.

                Is it justified for you to initiate force against someone’s person or property to feed yourself? If not, why would it be justified if you’re a newborn and someone else kills to help you?

                If killing people to feed babies is justified, why not killing people to feed children, young adults, and adults? Are they not people too? If killing is justified to feed only helpless people, then that would mean different ethics for different people.

                I would also consider it immoral for you or anyone else to steal from me so that you can buy a gun to stop that parent.

                “if an abortion procedure killed a fetus and kept it in the womb, under what circumstances would it be justified?”

                I think it is moral for a person to do anything they want to their bodies, which of course includes certain volumes of space within their bodies.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Keshav:

                When I said “For what if they defend their home?”, I wasn’t explaining to you the deduction for why I think it is not justified, but rather, to make sure you realize the implication of believing it is morally justified.

                I think everyone has a right to use force against another who initiates force against their person or property.

                Small consolation for newborns for sure, but I am taking the idea that I am not justified in harming others to save myself from a thug, and apply it to everyone else, babies included.

                A baby is like a helpless adult. Is it justified to kill someone who won’t feed a helpless adult? I think not.

              • guest says:

                Keshav,

                Just so you know, MF isn’t being difficult just for kicks.

                Some horrendous, though well-meaning, policy prescriptions have been enacted as a result of a failure to consistently respect property rights.

                It may be of some consulation to you (us) that, since the Non-Aggression Principle is based on the moral claims that 1) man has rights, and 2) it is wrong to violate those rights, it must ultimately be grounded in a worldview which acknowledges the existence of a god.

                So, the Evictionist can’t dismiss the pro-life position merely on the grounds that it is merely a moral preference; Because so is the Non-Aggression Principle.

                Having said that, I acknowledge the difficulty in countering Evictionism without appealing to religion (beyond that which is required for man to possess individual rights).

              • Major_Freedom says:

                guest:

                It is not true that recognizing individual rights requires a world with a God.

            • Hank says:

              As far as I understand, Rothbard views abortion as permissible under the contention that the mother is exercising her right to defend against trespassing on ones property, given that her body is her property, the baby is a trespasser, and abortion being the only available option of doing this.

              This means that if there was another way to get rid of the baby without killing it, then it would be immoral to engage in killing the baby.

              • Jason Bonner says:

                How can the baby be considered a trespasser unless their was forcible intercourse? If there was consensual intercourse then you bare responsibility to the outcomes of such an action. Claiming a “trespasser” emerged is an incredibly irresponsible characterization of the possibility. It’s not like it was the “trespassers” fault that they’re “trespassing”. It’s the fault of the breeders. How is this characterization even logical?

              • Hank says:

                “If there was consensual intercourse then you bare responsibility to the outcomes of such an action.”

                Not always. The person in question may not understand how all that stuff works. If they don’t, then to them the baby just “appeared”.

                I think Rothbard would agree that if the person was aware of the biological consequences, then that person must be held liable. I could be obviously be wrong.

              • Harold says:

                To clarify this situation, what if the mother simply changes her mind? She wanted a baby, but now she is pregnant she realises it is harder than it looked. Is the baby invited guest? I read from the above argument that the Rothbardian mother has the right absolutely to evict the baby at any time. If the baby is sufficiently developed to survive outside the womb, then others may wish to look after the child.

              • Hank says:

                I started to write a reply but it got out of hand, so I just published it on my blog instead.

                http://hanktheblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/parellels-to-abortion/

        • Bala says:

          Keshav,

          An important part of this discussion is also pro-Whose life?

  2. Major_Freedom says:

    I detest those who introduce detest for my liberty.

    Using your recommendation of “look within”, then that might suggest I detest people who do what I detest in myself…which would be an urge, or act, to violate other people’s liberty.

    I admit that I have occasionally had those urges throughout my life, and yes, I have detested having those urges. I once punched a kid in the 5th grade, and I once stole a candy bar from a convenience store before then. I still remember those choices and feel guilty. Maybe that is why I detest those who detest my liberty. I don’t know.

    But now I know I no longer have those urges. I realize all those urges were a product of my own flawed and absent ideas. It is not a coincidence that becoming more logical and educated helped me become more reasonable and peaceful.

    Now if I can only find a way to conclusively refute Stirner intellectually, instead of rejecting it due to an utter incompatibility with my own moral convictions…in this sense I can understand how Keynesians and Monetarists might feel towards Austrians.

    You’re right Murphy, this is a useful exercise. Might even be what we all ought to do, even do do whether we consciously know it or not: Self-reflection.

    • James says:

      What’s interesting is that just about anyone would readily agree that self reflection is something everyone ought to practice, but some (though none who have already commented) will fail to reach this obvious conclusion when the practice is brought it up in reference to a religion they don’t share.

  3. Jason Bonner says:

    The reason I dislike Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t because of the reasons you submitted, but because he comes across as a total D-bag. Case in point from 4hrs ago via his twitter: “What would aliens say if told that Earthlings shift clocks by an hour to fool themselves into thinking there’s more sunlight?”

    • Major_Freedom says:

      That is a d-bag comment. That isn’t why daylight savings were implemented. They were implemented because of accommodating farmers who can only work during the day, and politically imposing that convenience on the rest of the country.

      Of course, this is a stupid reason as well, because if farming were that important to the rest of the country, then individuals in the rest of the country can just start work an hour earlier or later on their own recognizance, to match up their work hours with the farmer’s work hours.

      Of course, right now it’s likely just being done out of habit, but still…if you’re going to call people stupid, at least don’t be stupid.

      • Gamble says:

        dlight savings is just to remind us who is control. Same reason America has National holidays.

      • Andrew' says:

        Here is the question: How long after no one knows why we do it will we still be doing it.

        Let’s call that the disappointment quotient.

    • Ken B says:

      He’s Robin Williams level smug, and completely a creature of the conventional wisdom of his class.

  4. andrew' says:

    Block is wrong. It’s okay to be wrong.

    I’ve never see. Joe discuss anything.

    It is not okay to be like Joe.

    • andrew' says:

      Actually I just remembered that Block is now correct. This outdated passage is wrong. For those interested in more than trolling a-holier-than-thouness.

      • Andrew' says:

        Look up “walter block evictionism”

        I still think he’s not quite there yet, but he is advancing thought on this light years beyond Joe, and parsecs beyond any political football politicians.

  5. martin says:
  6. Andrew' says:

    My problem with NDT is that now that he is in media he has to fill bandwidth that he doesn’t have to within his actual expertise.

  7. Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

    I intentionally model my behavior after people who annoy me, because I figure they must be really effective at making their arguments in order to annoy me in the first place.

  8. Innocent says:

    It is so easy to see the faults of others but not our own. What this is really meant to do is allow us to recognize that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We should ‘Mind our Business’ rather than the business of others in most affairs. HOWEVER, this does not mean that if your eye is clear, which can happen over time as you work on yourself, that you cannot then help another pluck the mote from their eye. It simply means attempt to do so with no hypocrisy. Was Christ not critical of those around him and expressing the mistakes they are making. Even here he is letting others know the correct path to take. But he did so with love and compassion and understanding that people fail. Often.

    Be willing to confront your own short comings. You will have many of them. But do not be afraid of them rather embrace those weaknesses and God will make them your strengths. It is the lack of introspection, the lack of meditation, the lack of acknowledgement of our own fallacious reasoning that drags us down.

    Now as to Krugman. I believe in the long run that the systems that he would have us put into place will create over time increased instability from an economic perspective. That is not to say that the systems he suggest will not work for a LONG time ( heck a century or more possibly ) before collapse occurs. The real question is can ANY system survive that long? Even Rome decayed and fell.

    My critic of Krugman has to do with the MORALE system of banking and Government. Not the economic system, which I believe ALL economic systems have value ( until they ultimately implode/explode ) what it does to people within the systems bothers me more than the type of system used.

    Economics is about the study of how people behave. It can be a tool to control others. It can be a tool to subjugate other. It can be a tool that is as powerful as the whip and set of chains ever could be. I dislike what Krugman says because I see the counting house and the Slave block in his understanding. It is not a freedom that is offered it is servitude.

    I do not believe Krugman sees these items. I do not hate him for his beliefs. But it does mean I am wary of them. I do not see how in the long run what he wants to accomplish as anything ‘good’ because it takes people away from wealth creation practices. Which I am certain many people would argue with me on. Yet it is how I interpolate what he says. My understanding can be wrong. I hope it is.

    Do I have a beam in my own eye, possibly. I hope not.

  9. RPLong says:

    I still don’t understand the appeal of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. I guess he is sort of like Bill Nye the Science Guy, but for educated adults?

    I looked up his CV, and he has not actually published all that much. He has done hardly any academic work; most of his professional accomplishments have been in government and advocacy.

    • Gamble says:

      TV show last night had too many commercials compared to knowledge and of course, described everything from a non intelligent, non God point of view.

      It all just happened.

      Which leads me to ask, why did it stop? How did we get to such an awesome place and then it just stopped at perfection?

    • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

      “I guess he is sort of like Bill Nye the Science Guy, but for educated adults?”

      Not a bad comparison. Not sure how he was selected to become it, but it seems that reasonably educated people all need to have at least one scientist guy they can name-drop at parties to prove how reasonably educated they are. Tyson has become that guy.

      • RPLong says:

        LOL

      • Ken B says:

        Seriously? Not sure how he was elected by the well-educated self-regarding in contemporary America?
        I guess I am more cynical than you or Ryan.

  10. Gamble says:

    This thread and the Biblical passages from Bob are a great synopsis of why I am a Christian Libertarian.

    Live and let live. Non Aggression Principle. Free markets.

  11. Ken B says:

    “Boy! That fool William F Buckley! He accuses us libertarians of standing on the sidelines discussing minutia, playing no part in the rollback of communism, or the spread of the free market around the world. What a doorknob! As if that were Liberty! Good thing at least we understand what Liberty is all about! Now as I was saying on the key issue of when you or cannot starve your baby …”

    • Hank says:

      “us libertarians”?

      Ken, I didn’t know you were a libertarian! :) When did you become convinced?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      That genius protector of and fighter for individual liberty who only shouts the slogans and becomes embarrassed at the first sign of critical analysis! It is sooooo effective when these freedom lovers are exposed as hypocrites and holding flawed convictions.

      Good thing we have the oh so consistent Obama who is the most popular liberal President in history, and has done wonders for the strength of the liberal movement.

      Now, as I was saying before being rudely interrupted by the shallow children…

    • Hank says:

      I would like to note how when you say “starving your baby” it’s as if the person is making a positive action. When a parent starves there baby its the negation of an action, and there are very good reasons why the law should not punish the negation of a positive action.

      • Harold says:

        And some damn good ones why they should.

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