Open letter to Walter Block and fellow libertarians…
I just finished watching this You-tube video where you discussed various concerns in the matter of applying the non-aggression principle to matters like privatizing the ocean, negative homesteading, theft and restitution, and the like:
That Q&A session helped go a long way to clearing up the issues that have been trying to get clarification ever since I saw Walter Block’s idea of “evictionism” as a libertarian resolution to the two sides among libertarians on the issue of abortion.
This writing addresses the application of the principle of non-aggression to babies, abortion, and “eviction”. In another I will take up the issue of restitution.
The biological purpose of the sperm (and the ovum too) is to seek out the counterpart and join. The instant they join, they no longer exist as such. What does come into being, or what they become if you prefer to say it that way, is a new human being, complete with a new and presumably unique DNA configuration. DNA is the way we now universally distinguish unique human beings, and in the case of twins you might add a gram of epigenetics.
Send the Mom’s DNA, Dad’s DNA, and the baby’s DNA, to a lab and they’ll tell you it is THREE different people, NOT two, and they’ll give you percentages on parentage. At least.
Based on a You-tube discussion that Walter Block participated in, I’ll be posting a response to this (and another couple of issues) on my blog at http://www.trutherator.wordpress.com
Two people participate in the conception event, with only one exception in history that I know of, whether it’s in intercourse, sperm donation, whatever.
I think Walter Block has used the NAP to defend “voluntary slavery”. I would not call that slavery, but servanthood.
In any case, when you voluntarily engage in the human action that carries the possibility of procreation, whether you consider it a “risk” or not, you take on the responsibility for those actions. It’s a contract with the forthcoming baby that results, and it is an obligation incurred with the other human being in a “natural” sense just as much as a signed contract to work the rest of your life for someone. More, actually, due to the fact that the totality of the future life of that child is derivative of the act of sex.
This holds whether or not you used birth control methods. Abortifacients that are fraudulently marketed and propagandized as “birth control” do not count, including the “morning-after pill”.
When you actively cut off the ONLY source of sustenance that a “neighbor” has access to, through no fault of his own, this is an aggressive act.
Therefore the parents, mother AND father, like Christopher Cantwell points out here
, BOTH have implicitly and inexorably contracted with the child that may result from the union of sperm and ovum in the act of conception.
The exception to this of course is rape. In my opinion, execution for a rapist may be justified, but failing that, at the least, he is obligated to any child that results from the act. For the life of the child into adulthood*. What’s more he has obligated himself to the care of the mother WITH the child in any manner required by the mother, if she becomes pregnant.
You conceived it, you bought it. Mother AND father. Too many men to say which one and no DNA? No way to say who is Daddy because you slept around? In that case, you made your bed, and you now sleep in it.
(I define adulthood in a natural sense; it is until the “reasonable man” would say the child is able to take care of himself as an individual member of society. “Reasonable man” is a term Block has used. In practice, within a libertarian society, it would probably derive from cultural imperatives affecting the “libertarian courts”.)
As to the mother that becomes pregnant as a result of a rape, this is a case where Walter Block’s discussion of “negative homesteading” helps sort it out. He explains with an example. Two people, A and B, are walking together when lightning suddenly aims its bolt at one of A. But A has a device that deflects the bolt to the other guy.
In that case, A is the victim of “negative homesteading”. That would be an event with adverse effect to the passive recipient of the event, where the victim did not cause the event. But A commits murder if he uses the deflector device to bounce the deadly bolt upon B resulting in the death of B, even at the expense of the death of A himself.
Just as without state interference there would in all likelihood be no lack of adoptive parents for orphans, we already have literally millions of men in all cultures who have joined with a mother and her children.
This principle would apply to the baby in the womb as a result of rape.
Psalm 139: 3 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
As usual, there is a “natural logic” to all the things that God expects of us that atheists can miss. But good reasoning can take you to the same conclusions without recourse to God, except for the most important one of all. That’s the one that makes the rest of it easier, including the non-aggression principle.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be asscarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.