Monday , March 18 2019

So dangerous!

Summary:
[embedded content] The commonsense theory of self-defense that everyone understands and accepts: “You may use proportional force if it is necessary to stop an attacker from severely harming your or violating your rights.” Everyone: “That sounds legit.” Me: “Add this clause: Even if the attacker is a government agent.” Lots of people: “Whoa! Hold on, cowboy! You mean to say you can use violence whenever you feel like it? That anyone can just decide at will that something is unjust and then start shooting?! OMG, chaos!” Me: “Wait, you understood that the commonsense theory of self-defense doesn’t say that. Why does this suddenly become a problem when you add ‘even if the attacker is a government agent’.” Others: “Uh, because motivated reasoning, bro.” Published on: December

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The commonsense theory of self-defense that everyone understands and accepts: “You may use proportional force if it is necessary to stop an attacker from severely harming your or violating your rights.”

Everyone: “That sounds legit.”

Me: “Add this clause: Even if the attacker is a government agent.”

Lots of people: “Whoa! Hold on, cowboy! You mean to say you can use violence whenever you feel like it? That anyone can just decide at will that something is unjust and then start shooting?! OMG, chaos!”

Me: “Wait, you understood that the commonsense theory of self-defense doesn’t say that. Why does this suddenly become a problem when you add ‘even if the attacker is a government agent’.”

Others: “Uh, because motivated reasoning, bro.”

Published on:
Author: Jason Brennan
Jason Brennan
Jason Brennan (Ph.D., 2007, University of Arizona) is Robert J. and Elizabeth Flanagan Family Chair and Associate Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business, and by courtesy, Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Georgetown University, and formerly Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Research, at Brown University. He specializes in political philosophy and applied ethics.

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