Ignoratio Elenchi (irrelevant conclusion): the fallacy of proving a conclusion not pertinent and quite different from that which was intended or required.
Aristotle believed that an ignoratio elenchi is a mistake made by a questioner while attempting to falsify a respondent's argument. He called it an ignorance of what makes for a refutation. For Aristotle, ignoratio elenchi amounts to ignorance of logic.
…it should be the victim (via the rules of the property owner where he finds himself) that determines the penalty when he experiences/suffers because of a violation of the non-aggression principle
It should be kept in mind that this is where the discussion started. The topic is determination for penalties in a libertarian society. In case you missed it, I will repeat: the topic is determination for penalties in a libertarian society.
What happens when you know you are riding a losing horse? You change horses. What happens when you know you have presented an illogical argument? At least some people pretend it never happened, and merely attempt to subtly shift the conversation to a different topic – and then claim victory when they “prove” it!
I still check in on Wenzel, specifically to see where he is taking his Private Property Society. About a week ago, he declared progress in his ongoing debate with Walter Block. In this post, he describes private security and insurance agencies. He describes how these would be used to adjudicate disputes and determine penalties. He describes the situation well. Frankly, if he wrote this post in the first place a few weeks ago, I would have agreed heartily.
But it isn’t a few weeks ago. This was not the topic a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago he was advocating that the property owner had the sole right to determine the penalties for an NAP violation. When confronted with the property owner choosing death as the penalty for an apple-stealing child, he did not clarify his meaning; he did not state that he was misunderstood. He doubled-down.
This is no longer the subject, apparently. No mention of total sovereignty as judge, jury and executioner in this post. In case you are confused, please refer to the bolded sentence a few paragraphs up.
In any case, I have waited for Block’s reply. It has been a week. It normally never takes more than two or three days. Maybe I have missed it; if so, someone please let me know. I thought maybe Walter was sick, but have recently seen posts from him on other topics. Maybe Walter is as dumbstruck as I have been for the last week….
It gets better (or worse)…I now read this, in discussing the libertarian view on prohibition and prostitution:
First of all government interventions are not in any way a stool, they are always hammers (If not machine guns).
Second, the libertarian perspective does not state that any act must be allowed on any property. It is about respect for private property, which can include the banning of prostitution on a property by its owner.
At least that's the view of libertarians who subscribe to a Private Property Society perspective. Maybe Callahan is thinking of libertarians who believe in some sort of over-ruling body based on "culture" etc.
Do you think he is referring to me, as I have introduced the value of culture? Yet, why? On what basis is he dragging this comment about “culture” into this topic of prostitution and prohibition? My comments had nothing to do with these. My comments were specific regarding the individual victim solely determining punishment.
In case you are confused, please refer to the bolded sentence at the top of this post.
Wenzel isn’t the only one playing this game. As he often will do, Walter Block is offering responses to questions posed to him from various corners (NB: it is the questioner that is ignoratio, not Walter), for example:
In a private property society (PPS), the Castle Doctrine would be the rule- the owner would not be prohibited from acting with deadly force in protection of his property. This upsets some, who in the words of Robert Wenzel, “…do not truly understand the logical road such a view leads to and I am sure that many recoil… to the punch in the gut as to the true nature of PPS.” Discussions of proportionality answer the wrong question.
The referenced article is Wenzel’s response to me. I am the upset “some” in the question.
Please note, from the question: “the owner would not be prohibited from acting with deadly force in protection of his property.”
Regarding the topic to which Wenzel was commenting, did I write anything about being “prohibited from acting with deadly force in protection of his property”? No, I did not. If you are confused, please go to the top of the post and read again the bolded section. The topic was determination of punishment. The topic was not self-defense or defense of property.
Now for some wisdom. From the same Q&A, Walter offers:
In general, read this, THE best essay ever written on libertarian law (and on environmental issues too):
To what is Walter referring? Rothbard’s Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution. There is a section regarding the determination of penalties:
…punishment and defense of person or property are not the same, and must be treated differently. Punishment is an act of retribution after the crime has been committed and the criminal apprehended, tried, and convicted.
Perhaps some might do well to keep this in mind. Punishment and defense of person or property are not the same.
…there must be some rational standards of proof for libertarian principles to operate….From a libertarian point of view, then, proper procedure calls for rational proof about the guilt or innocence of persons charged with tort or crime.
“Rational standards”…“proper procedure”…“rational proof”…“charged with”…. I don’t read anything here about the individual being judge, jury, and executioner.
The presumption of every case, then, must be that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and the burden of proof must be squarely upon the plaintiff.
Wow! Not only is the victim not judge, jury and executioner – the burden of proof is on the victim! Of course, there is no burden if he only has to prove it to himself – but this would make a mockery of the term, would it not? For some reason, I don’t believe this is what Rothbard had in mind.
A more satisfactory criterion, however, is that the trier must be convinced of the defendant's guilt by “clear, strong, and convincing proof.”…Conviction of guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” appears to be the standard most consonant with libertarian principle.
It is the “trier” that must be convinced. Not the victim. There will be other people involved – not solely the victim.
Go back and look at the bolded sentence at the top of this post. Punishment and self-defense are two different things.
The remainder of this post may seem somewhat off topic. It is not.
A Discussion Worth Sharing
Well, at least I say it is…
I had a meaningful exchange with a regular reader and valued contributor. It was in response to my post, Musings on Anarchy. Apparently there was a time this individual felt strongly that the NAP was a very objective principle or perhaps that the application could always be objective (and I offer here only a portion of the discussion):
Nick Badalamenti February 15, 2016 at 9:05 AM
But the thing that has come out of this whole kerfluffle [being the Wenzel / bionic disagreement] for me personally has been that I'm far less sure of myself and the NAP (though still a believer) from an objective standpoint.
bionic mosquito February 15, 2016 at 6:01 PM
One reason I came out so strongly against Wenzel’s position is that I felt if he was correct in his view (correct meaning consistent with libertarian theory), then libertarian theory is a dead theory. Talk about raising doubts in my foundational political belief.
But as to being sure or not about the NAP – objectively, subjectively, whatever…and again, speaking just for me…
I remain a firm (and sure) believer and advocate because I don’t expect more from the NAP than what it offers. Don’t initiate aggression. What a wonderful political concept.
As we find, sometimes the application is difficult. But as a political theory, it is beautiful in its simplicity.
The progressives have found no substitute for virtue. They can offer only such morbid stopgaps as contraception, abortion, and euthanasia. The Dark Ages understood virtue built a civilization; the progressive age doesn’t understand virtue and is tearing down the civilization it inherited. Euthanasia is a fitting symbol: the last sacrament of a society that cannot aspire to heaven, but only to painless annihilation.
One need not believe in heaven or sacraments to accept the value in this statement. It is a statement applicable to all those who dismiss the value of culture in developing and sustaining a more libertarian world. Just because something is allowable in libertarian theory does not mean it is conducive to achieving and maintaining a libertarian world.
Does this mean libertarian theory is somehow faulty? Not to me. The NAP isn’t God, it isn’t even a god. It doesn’t hold the key to every door, the answer to every question. The NAP cannot define itself; the NAP cannot apply itself; the NAP cannot defend itself. The NAP doesn’t insist that it is defined, applied, or defended in exactly the same way in every situation, every time, everywhere on earth. I don’t expect it to deliver heaven on earth, a utopia – the NAP won’t even get very far without a lot of help
It is a political theory, nothing more. Don’t initiate aggression. It is beautiful in its simplicity. It can only fail those who expect miracles.