A brief quiz:
- Can putting 100 pounds of rock on one end of a seesaw lift a full can on the other end weighing 150 pounds?
- What if what the can contains is 150 pounds of sand?
- What if the can contains 150 pounds of guacamole instead?
- What if the can contains 150 pounds of cheeseburgers?
- What if it contains 150 pounds of pangolins?
Have you started to notice a pattern? Are you tempted to end this line of questioning by saying this?: “The answer is the same, as long as the can contains 150 pounds of anything; it doesn’t matter what it is 150 pounds of!” If so, good for you. You are capable of grasping a simple principle (in this case, what an irrelevant variable is).
Now let’s try something else:
- Is it morally justified to initiate violence against an individual who has not defrauded, attacked, or threatened to attack someone else’s person or property?
- What if the person is someone you don’t know?
- What if the person has dark skin?
- What if the person is gay?
- What if the person doesn’t speak your language?
- What if the person was born in Syria?
- What if the person doesn’t have a piece of paper saying that they have the politicians’ permission to step over a national border?
Are you tempted to say this?: “The details don’t matter; it’s not okay to initiate violence against any individual who hasn’t committed or threatened harm against another.” If so, congratulations. You’re a voluntaryist. If not, then there’s a high likelihood that you are a hypocritical, unprincipled statist control freak (who may or may not be masquerading as a voluntaryist).