Human Rights

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Danoff

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Two scenarios for Self - Driving cars:

1) Four people are traveling at 50mph across a bridge over a deep ravine in a self-driving car. Up ahead, at the end of the bridge where there is an intersection, the light suddenly turns red and pedestrians begin to cross the street since they expect that the car will stop. The self-driving car tries to put on its brakes but finds out that the car's brakes have failed. Up ahead, there are now 22 pedestrians in the crosswalk (20 pedestrians directly ahead, and 2 pedestrians in the crosswalk on the other side of the road).

A) Should the self-driving car continue driving straight-ahead without any course corrections and run over the 20 pedestrians who are in the crosswalk (killing most of them), and then coast to a stop?

B) Should the self-driving car steer over to the other side of the road and run over the 2 pedestrians who are there (killing both of them), and then coast to a stop?

C) Should the self-driving car make a hard right turn (or a left-turn in some jurisdictions)(so the car doesn't hit any of the pedestrians) and drive off the bridge and into the ravine most likely killing all the passengers?

2) One person is traveling at 50mph across a bridge over a deep ravine in a self-driving car. Up ahead, at the end of the bridge where there is an intersection, the light suddenly turns red and pedestrians begin to cross the street since they expect that the car will stop. The self-driving car tries to put on its brakes but finds out that the car's brakes have failed. Up ahead, there are now 22 pedestrians in the crosswalk (20 pedestrians directly ahead, and 2 pedestrians in the crosswalk on the other side of the road).

A) Should the self-driving car continue driving straight-ahead without any course corrections and run over the 20 pedestrians who are in the crosswalk (killing most of them), and then coast to a stop?

B) Should the self-driving car steer over to the other side of the road and run over the 2 pedestrians who are there (killing both of them), and then coast to a stop?

C) Should the self-driving car make a hard right turn (or a left-turn in some jurisdictions)(so the car doesn't hit any of the pedestrians) and drive off the bridge and into the ravine most likely killing the one person in the car?

If you were driving the car in the above situations, would you steer the car in the same manner as you would expect the car's computer would?

To rephrase the question slightly... the question is, should the self-driving car continue on its path killing lots of people, divert to kill fewer people, or divert to kill the passengers. These are the only scenarios. The car has no moral choice here, it's a box of metal, plastic, and bolts. The passengers are similarly amoral, since they don't control the car. The person who controls the car in this scenario is the person who programmed the car in the first place. So what is the moral programming?

The car is on a trajectory headed for an intersection. This is not the programmer's choice, it's just the scenario that the program is faced with. The programmer can insert logic that would have the car intentionally divert from its given trajectory onto a trajectory that it knows will kill people, or the programmer can choose not to do that. Choosing not to divert its course if the diversion would kill people is not a choice to kill the people in its path, it's a choice NOT to decide to kill people by your own actions. The path it's on is an accident (failure of the brakes).

The only scenario in which the programmer chooses not to kill people is the one where the car does not intentionally put itself on a course to kill people. As such, the only moral choice for the programmer is choice A in both cases. This is true regardless of whether you're at the wheel or programming the car.

In scenario 2, if you're the one driving (not in a self-driving car), then you can send your car off the cliff and take your own life (and only your life) to save the others.
 
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TenEightyOne
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To rephrase the question slightly... the question is, should the self-driving car continue on its path killing lots of people, divert to kill fewer people, or divert to kill the passengers. These are the only scenarios.

The scenarios posed in the question are not the only available ones. For those to occur other scenarios featuring further intervention by the car- or traffic systems have to be excluded.

Will there be fatal accidents involving (and caused by) driverless cars? Certainly. Will the number of such accidents equal or surpass the number caused by driver error? I very much doubt it.
 

Ealirendur

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So, the Self-Driving Trolley Problem. The question would become, how Utilitarian is the programming team? Unless they feel extremely strongly, or have these scenarios backed in detail by a legal team or actual precedent/regulation, the real-world answer will be simple - protect the passengers at all costs, as one or more of them will be the owner, or the responsibility of the owner(s) - the customers. Society or government would have to intervene to pressure the utilitarian solutions, should they be desired.

In the actual event, upon the brake failure, I would imagine sounding the horn, perhaps an alarm, and flashing the headlights would be relatively effective at scattering the pedestrians, and any probabilistically safe stopping or evasive manoeuvres would be performed (in an electric vehicle, reverse might even be an option).

Note that ideally, the vehicle's systems will know exactly when the light will be red, and so may already have adjusted its approach plan. Likewise, it should be aware of the position and velocity vectors of nearby vehicles, and any alerts or deviations from the norm from them - true benefits of self-driving vehicles will only come when it's a full-on co-operative network, IMHO.
 
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I choose scenario 0 where no-one is allowed to use autonomous vehicles. Once hackers are able to breach your car's firewall, your life is basically at their mercy. Soon, car-hacking murders will be a reality on the news. Anyone from high-profile individuals to the most unimportant nobody can be assassinated with the press of a button.
 

Ealirendur

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I choose scenario 0 where no-one is allowed to use autonomous vehicles. Once hackers are able to breach your car's firewall, your life is basically at their mercy. Soon, car-hacking murders will be a reality on the news. Anyone from high-profile individuals to the most unimportant nobody can be assassinated with the press of a button.

Such scenarios are likely anyway, with or without self-driving vehicles, until secure design becomes the norm - that is, when the cost risks attached become too great not to properly isolate the car control systems - they already aren't, in many current vehicles. We could even see a new type of ransomware :crazy:

It's likely that manufacturers of self-driving cars will consider themselves exposed to far more bad publicity risks, and may actually have better design practices as a result. They will be largely confined to well-resourced and technically adept companies to begin with, in any case. I guess we'll find out - unfortunately, security is almost always considered secondary to functionality and delivery date, but I'm afraid the horse has already partly bolted as far as hackable car control systems are concerned.
 

Danoff

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The scenarios posed in the question are not the only available ones. For those to occur other scenarios featuring further intervention by the car- or traffic systems have to be excluded.

Will there be fatal accidents involving (and caused by) driverless cars? Certainly. Will the number of such accidents equal or surpass the number caused by driver error? I very much doubt it.

I choose scenario 0 where no-one is allowed to use autonomous vehicles. Once hackers are able to breach your car's firewall, your life is basically at their mercy. Soon, car-hacking murders will be a reality on the news. Anyone from high-profile individuals to the most unimportant nobody can be assassinated with the press of a button.

No dodging, the question is a thought experiment.

5+-+Trinity.png
 

niky

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As others have stated, a truly intelligent car would already know it's coming up to an intersection and would adjust its path accordingly.

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As a human driver, I already check my brakes long before I reach minimum emergency braking distance, and I use pulse-and-glide driving, which involves getting up to speed and gliding down to a target speed in areas where I know I will have to slow down.

A proper pulse and glide means you will decelerate to a gentle stop at the pedestrian crosswalk without the use of the brakes.

Then there's engine braking (a much more useful technique with hybrids or electrics than with gasoline cars), running the car along the guard rail, using emergency signaling devices (lights, horn, sirens) to alert pedestrians the car has now become dangerous, etcetera.

-

Otherwise, @Danoff has the correct answer.

It's all about assumed risk. If you are in a self-driving car, you are assuming that the car will not actively try to kill you.

If you are standing on the sidewalk, rather than walking in the middle of the street, you are actively avoiding the risk of having a car hit you.

If you are crossing the street, even at a green pedestrian light, you are assuming the risk of being hit by a car. Even with automated cars, the risk is still there.

And there is always the possibility of the car destroying itself (through aggressive engine braking, engaging reverse gears, deployment of road anchors, locking the wheels, deflating the wheels, etcetera) to save everyone. An intelligent car is not a trolley, and has many more tools at its disposal.
 

Ealirendur

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@niky, I obviously don't disagree with the meaning of your post, but I personally wouldn't use the term "intelligent" for the sort of self-driving/autonomous cars that are likely to be produced. Otherwise, we might have to argue about the car's rights :lol:
 

niky

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@niky, I obviously don't disagree with the meaning of your post, but I personally wouldn't use the term "intelligent" for the sort of self-driving/autonomous cars that are likely to be produced. Otherwise, we might have to argue about the car's rights :lol:

Intelligent can mean many things. A robot car can be extremely intelligent without being self-aware (sentient) or conscious.

It's outside the realm of this thread (well... not completely... I do recall we discussed why humans have human rights in the first few dozen pages, and how those rights still remain human rights even if said humans are of low intelligence and are low functioning), and honestly, we're probably decades away from needing to tackle that question.

That said, it will probably take more than the famous "Turing Test" to figure out if an AI is smart enough to ethically require protection from humans.
 

Ealirendur

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Intelligent can mean many things. A robot car can be extremely intelligent without being self-aware (sentient) or conscious.

It's outside the realm of this thread (well... not completely... I do recall we discussed why humans have human rights in the first few dozen pages, and how those rights still remain human rights even if said humans are of low intelligence and are low functioning), and honestly, we're probably decades away from needing to tackle that question.

That said, it will probably take more than the famous "Turing Test" to figure out if an AI is smart enough to ethically require protection from humans.

I'm very aware, and I made that comment with the history of the thread in mind. Intelligent is a loaded term, however, and can easily be misinterpreted in this context (even though it does not, as you say, necessarily connote self-awareness).

The logic and AI functions employed by self-driving cars won't need anything on the order of the Turing test; all the AI functions employed, if any, will be fairly simple, highly task oriented and compartmentalized; pattern recognition, graph solution (scheduling/travelling salesman type things, routing around traffic) - nothing as complex as AlphaGo, which is highly specialized, but has more freedom in its problem domain. The issues presented as far as the type of thought experiment won't even use AI - much more likely to be either direct imperative logic, or fuzzy logic based on probabilities.

It's fairly likely we won't accord human rights to another competitive species unless a) they are capable of actively asserting and defending them, or b) they are claimed as "children", which in the case of strong AI, may well wind up being the case.
 
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I reckon humans should be able to dress as they please without any guidelines (minus Uniforms as people need to know where you work or what school you are from when on duty etc.). Exception to this would be any sort of Nudity, or if a shirt/pants contained offensive material (and "looks inappropriate for the occasion" doesn't count as offensive clothing).

We should also have the right to act as we please as long as it isn't offensive or harassing anybody. Example is if a cosplayer showed up in public and started performing as the character, that is fine but if that cosplayer kept putting somebody in an uncomfortable position that is stepping over the line and I would consider it harassment.

Also we should have the right to love whoever we want and yes, this is going to sound controversial but I don't see the problem with Incest if the relatives really love each other, let them be together if it is what they really want.
 

BobK

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Exception to this would be any sort of Nudity
Why? If someone feels more comfortable in the buff, what's the issue?

Also we should have the right to love whoever we want and yes, this is going to sound controversial but I don't see the problem with Incest if the relatives really love each other, let them be together if it is what they really want.
Agreed. What two (or more) consenting adults do in private is their business, not mine. Doesn't matter what gender(s), race(es), ethnicitiy(ies), or consanguinity is/are involved.
 
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Off topic but:

I choose scenario 0 where no-one is allowed to use autonomous vehicles. Once hackers are able to breach your car's firewall, your life is basically at their mercy. Soon, car-hacking murders will be a reality on the news. Anyone from high-profile individuals to the most unimportant nobody can be assassinated with the press of a button.

Doesn't have to be autonomous - a car with an IP address will probably do. Or if you'll allow that the hacking doesn't have to be remote, any car with an ECU..........

Car security is certainly an issue that needs to be dealt with but it's one for the whole industry - otherwise you'll have to think about banning a lot more cars than just the self-driving ones. :)
 

Johnnypenso

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I reckon humans should be able to dress as they please without any guidelines (minus Uniforms as people need to know where you work or what school you are from when on duty etc.). Exception to this would be any sort of Nudity, or if a shirt/pants contained offensive material (and "looks inappropriate for the occasion" doesn't count as offensive clothing).

We should also have the right to act as we please as long as it isn't offensive or harassing anybody. Example is if a cosplayer showed up in public and started performing as the character, that is fine but if that cosplayer kept putting somebody in an uncomfortable position that is stepping over the line and I would consider it harassment.

Also we should have the right to love whoever we want and yes, this is going to sound controversial but I don't see the problem with Incest if the relatives really love each other, let them be together if it is what they really want.
It's been legal in Canada for either sex to be topless in public for 10 years or more. Your odds of seeing a woman in public without her top on are about the same now as they were before the law changed - as close to zero as you can imagine.:lol:

The problem with putting the "uncomfortable position" caveat is that it leaves the door open for people to cry offense at anything they don't like which means in essence there is no freedom to dress and act the way you want in public.
 
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Crying Offense would of course have to be check on. If all you are doing is watching someone act the way you don't like, then calling offense would be redundant, it only comes to be if they actually make physical contact with you or actually attempt to harass you and seeing someone act "weird" isn't harassment.

As for clothes, well I already mentioned about how quickly I changed what I said about nudity but honestly, nearly every single type of clothing isn't really offensive unless if the writing or pictures on the shirt revolve around bullying which people rarely do.
 

niky

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It's been legal in Canada for either sex to be topless in public for 10 years or more. Your odds of seeing a woman in public without her top on are about the same now as they were before the law changed - as close to zero as you can imagine.:lol:

The problem with putting the "uncomfortable position" caveat is that it leaves the door open for people to cry offense at anything they don't like which means in essence there is no freedom to dress and act the way you want in public.

Honestly, nobody should have any say about how anyone else can dress. I can think of hygenic reasons to keep genitals and poopholes covered, but everything else should be fair game.

Of course, this should also be paired with laws allowing businesses a "No shirt, no shoes, no service" clause.
 

Danoff

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Some rights are bestowed by law

Those are legal rights, not to be confused with human rights.

or, in other doctrines, by a concept of "natural rights" - I think it's the latter that you're getting at. Natural rights are still a human conception and groups that uphold the philosophy (e.g. Libertarians) apply them as a series of non-jurisprudent "rules" or "laws.

Everything abstract that you can list is a human conception. Those things can also exist in nature independent of conception. For example, the concept of spacetime is a human conception, and it exists in nature independently of human conception. In this case, human rights are one possible basis for laws.

Rights only exist in law - with no redress to judgement there is no recognition of the existence or violation of a right (outside the arbitrary "nature" concept).

There, I said it.

Rights only have meaning when they are trampled. Imagine for a moment that I started naming rights that you have that cannot be violated. While you exist, you have a right to exist in a gravitational field. You have a right to travel slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. You have a right to move forward in time.

None of those have any meaning. Now imagine someone invented a time machine that enabled you to travel backward in time. Now suddenly if someone takes you back in time against your will they have violated your rights. It is precisely because that right isn't inherently protected that it matters.

There does not need to be an appeal to authority or judgement to recognize the existence or violation of rights. A person who is being attacked can recognize it immediately themselves.
 
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TenEightyOne
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Those are legal rights, not to be confused with human rights.

There are no rights until somebody else recognises or challenges them, and "humans" are not a biological distinction of sufficient importance to be presumed to have developed a distinct raft of rights in the short time they've existed.

Everything abstract that you can list is a human conception.

"Play" is a subjective abstraction yet animals WILL engage in it without any human input. Everything labelled abstract is labelled by humans for sure.

Rights only have meaning when they are trampled.

"Trampled" is strong and subjective but I otherwise agree.

Imagine for a moment that I started naming rights that you have that cannot be violated. While you exist, you have a right to exist in a gravitational field. You have a right to travel slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. You have a right to move forward in time.

None of those have any meaning.

Absolutely, they're ridiculous. Some human interpretations of humanly-established rights have been ridiculous though, we should never underestimate the power of human ridiculousness.

Now imagine someone invented a time machine that enabled you to travel backward in time. Now suddenly if someone takes you back in time against your will they have violated your rights. It is precisely because that right isn't inherently protected that it matters.

There does not need to be an appeal to authority or judgement to recognize the existence or violation of rights.

There are two main problems with that; firstly nobody haswill invented a time machine now or in the future (outside the scope here) and secondly the right against being forcibly transported against one's will is already legislated and recognised. You don't need the specifics of "by time machine" or "in a red truck" to enhance it. Challenges to that right have been complex, of course, particularly in the forced migration of settlements for authority-perceived safety grounds. Also out of scope, I suspect.

There does not need to be an appeal to authority or judgement to recognize the existence or violation of rights. A person who is being attacked can recognize it immediately themselves.

What you're talking about there is offense, I agree that everybody knows if they feel "hard done to" or that they or an investment they have made is "offended". That's meaningless until you're able to gain redress. So you shoot the burglar and take your VCR back out of his hands.

There are no rights in play until habeus corpus, that's the point where the appointed legislature recognises that rights were challenged by either side and makes a judgement as to who was the naughtiest.

Being able to recognise offense against oneself is not proof that rights exist in any context.
 

Danoff

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There are no rights until somebody else recognises or challenges them, and "humans" are not a biological distinction of sufficient importance to be presumed to have developed a distinct raft of rights in the short time they've existed.

They are, because humans are the only animal that can understand rights (that we know of).


"Play" is a subjective abstraction yet animals WILL engage in it without any human input. Everything labelled abstract is labelled by humans for sure.

It's still a human abstraction. We describe that behavior as "play" and differentiate it from other behavior.

There are two main problems with that; firstly nobody haswill invented a time machine now or in the future (outside the scope here)

Surely it occurred to you that I'm aware of that, and used it as an example precisely because it is ridiculous and illustrates a point right?

and secondly the right against being forcibly transported against one's will is already legislated and recognised.

I'm also aware of that one (I'm sure that occurred to you), and used it as an example because it illustrates a point.

What you're talking about there is offense, I agree that everybody knows if they feel "hard done to" or that they or an investment they have made is "offended". That's meaningless until you're able to gain redress. So you shoot the burglar and take your VCR back out of his hands.

It's not meaningless. You're defining meaning such that it can only have meaning if it gets "fixed" or some action is taken to rectify the situation and then pointing to the tautology as evidence. You can take meaning in an abstraction. For example, if someone steals your property and are never found, you can take meaning in knowing that they were unjustified in doing so. You do not need to entertain notions that perhaps that person was entitled to your property, or earned it, or deserved it in some fashion. Meaning can exist in just knowing that it was unjust... objectively. It's not a matter of just feeling angry about it, you can understand the nature and logical implications of their actions and yours - that understanding holds meaning even if it is never acted upon.

There are no rights in play until habeus corpus, that's the point where the appointed legislature recognises that rights were challenged by either side and makes a judgement as to who was the naughtiest.

Being able to recognise offense against oneself is not proof that rights exist in any context.

It's not pointed to as proof. It's pointed to as defeating the notion that rights do not matter until they're acted on by some legislative authority.
 

Danoff

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Very recently it came to my attention that immigration is a human rights issue. Call me dumb, but this concept never occurred to me. If a citizen of mexico wants to come live in the US, and he does so without initiating force against another human being (such as via trespass on private property), then that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. There is no basis upon which to declare this illegal. I can see some pragmatic considerations where a government may want the opportunity to gather evidence as to whether this person intends to commit rights violations, or has a history of doing so in their country of origin, but, fundamentally, no government can deny someone with human rights from entering peacefully into their country without initiating force against that person and thereby violating their rights.
 

PeterJB

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Does seem kinda unfair if they can just waltz in whilst everyone has to go through vetting and visa applications, etc., though.
 
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Does seem kinda unfair if they can just waltz in whilst everyone has to go through vetting and visa applications, etc., though.

Huh - who's "they"?

Very recently it came to my attention that immigration is a human rights issue. Call me dumb, but this concept never occurred to me. If a citizen of mexico wants to come live in the US, and he does so without initiating force against another human being (such as via trespass on private property), then that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. There is no basis upon which to declare this illegal.

The recognition of sovereign territory rights in the name of large groups of people in international law (countries) allows each large group of people (in an ideal democracy, which no country will admit to being without) to define entry and/or exit requirements.

Altruistically I can see your point but, given that rights have to be collectively recognised to exist in anything other than theory, sovereign law allows this modification of right. Nearly all forward thinking countries allow purer human rights exceptions to that sovereign law in their immigration protocols.
 

Danoff

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Does seem kinda unfair if they can just waltz in whilst everyone has to go through vetting and visa applications, etc., though.

I'm not suggesting that there can't be a process. It would be totally unfair if someone could just hide their former life of horrible misdeeds by going to a new country who had no idea about their background. I have no problem with requiring a background check to enter a country, and for the country to assess whether there was evidence that the person had malicious intent (either to participate in mass immigration for the purpose of conquering the country with a covert army, or simply to perform terrorism, or to hide a past life of crime). So yes, a "vetting" process of sorts. But a quota? Requirements for wealth or education? These are not valid reasons to use force to block someone from entry.

And furthermore, a violent or lawless situation in the country from which the person is running (mexico, syria) should be dramatic evidence to support the conclusion that the person is not coming to be violent, but coming to escape violence. It opens the door for refugee policies that are supported by rational reason rather than (also important) purely humanitarian reasons.
 

Danoff

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The recognition of sovereign territory rights in the name of large groups of people in international law (countries) allows each large group of people (in an ideal democracy, which no country will admit to being without) to define entry and/or exit requirements.

Altruistically I can see your point but, given that rights have to be collectively recognised to exist in anything other than theory, sovereign law allows this modification of right. Nearly all forward thinking countries allow purer human rights exceptions to that sovereign law in their immigration protocols.

I don't agree that rights have to be collectively recognized to exist in anything other than theory. We've been down that road of course.

I agree that large groups of people think they can use force against those who have done no one any harm. They do it all the time, in various fashions. Marijuana (and other drug) laws, laws against prostitution or gambling, taxes, especially unequal application of taxes, etc. Get enough people together and they think they can push the minority around. But just as in each of those cases, if someone who has done no harm, and for which no evidence exists that the person will do harm, comes walking into someone else's country, and they point a gun and tell them to get out, it is the person pointing the gun who is guilty of violating rights.
 

Dotini

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I don't agree that rights have to be collectively recognized to exist in anything other than theory. We've been down that road of course.

I agree that large groups of people think they can use force against those who have done no one any harm. They do it all the time, in various fashions. Marijuana (and other drug) laws, laws against prostitution or gambling, taxes, especially unequal application of taxes, etc. Get enough people together and they think they can push the minority around. But just as in each of those cases, if someone who has done no harm, and for which no evidence exists that the person will do harm, comes walking into someone else's country, and they point a gun and tell them to get out, it is the person pointing the gun who is guilty of violating rights.
I don't agree with any of this. Any. But I won't go out of my way to argue, criticize or give offense. Just saying I personally hold differing views. My version of libertarianism must be different than his.
 

Danoff

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I don't agree with any of this. Any. But I won't go out of my way to argue, criticize or give offense. Just saying I personally hold differing views. My version of libertarianism must be different than his.

This is a discussion forum. Don't feel obligated to avoid discussion... especially if you're going to drop an opinion.