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Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.

Reblogged:Muslim Ban, Terrorism Ban: What’s the Difference?

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President Donald Trump Friday signed an executive action that instituted new vetting procedures “to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.”

“We don’t want them here,” Trump said in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon before signing the order. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas.

“We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people.

“We will never forget the lessons of 9/11 nor the heroes who lost their lives at the Pentagon,” Trump said. “They were the best of us.”

Of course, the critics are predictably calling this “racist” and unfair. But the last time I checked, race is an unchosen fact of one’s genetic makeup. Religious and ideological choices are not.

You can be Muslim, and you can change your mind. You can also be a Communist, a Nazi, or a lover of freedom and liberty and change your mind. You can be a Democrat and decide you’re a Republican, and you can be a Republican and decide you’re a Democrat. Either can become Independent.

No, the government a free country should not care what your religious or ideological positions are—unless those positions are known to advocate overthrow of that free country’s government and/or the destruction of innocent people. Islam’s leaders routinely stand behind such actions, and in virtually every known incident of terrorism Islam is the energizing force.

I’m sick to death of hearing about “peaceful” Muslims. My own ideological positions include the idea that the initiation of force—whether by government or private entities—is always wrong. I consider myself a Jeffersonian advocate of individual rights. If someone with these same Jeffersonian positions went out and started chopping off heads, blowing up buildings and threatening to undermine a civilized population’s way of life, you’d better believe I would do everything in my power to condemn those actions. Instead, most Muslims remain silent, even in places like America where they’re free to speak their minds.

If progressives and others are so concerned about the feelings and rights of Muslims, they ought to put their energy (along with George Soros’ money) into encouraging these supposedly peace-loving and freedom-loving Muslims into opposing everything the terrorists acting in their name have been doing for decades or longer.

Critics of President Trump also claim it’s wrong to single out people trying to enter the country because of their ideology. But why is that automatically and always wrong? If they subscribe to an ideology which seeks to undermine and/or overthrow the very country they’re entering, then why shouldn’t that country’s government try to protect the innocent from them? Calling this “racism” would be like calling the police racist for trying to arrest and prosecute people of a particular gang or crime organization known to be dedicated to illegal, violent or activities otherwise legitimately labeled as criminal.

Things have reached a state of irrationality so deep, and so widespread, with the self-annihilating political correctness soaking our culture that it’s now considered insanely extreme for a President of the United States merely to state the obvious and do what any rational government would do under the same circumstances. Shame on America for permitting itself to get to this point. But cheers to Americans who have finally said, “enough is enough.”

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The post Muslim Ban, Terrorism Ban: What’s the Difference? appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center.

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3 hours ago, Michael J. Hurd Ph.D. said:

You can be Muslim, and you can change your mind. You can also be a Communist, a Nazi, or a lover of freedom and liberty and change your mind. You can be a Democrat and decide you’re a Republican, and you can be a Republican and decide you’re a Democrat. Either can become Independent.

I guess we need a Communist ban, too.

But -individuals- are judged. Being Muslim is not sufficient evidence of supporting terrorism at all. Besides, refugees largely would not leave their country unless they were against terrorism...

Hurd's reasoning is being racist by implicitly presuming all Syrians are Muslim.

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From "The Objectivist Ethics":

Quote

Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. The ethical principle involved is simple and clear-cut: it is the difference between murder and self-defense.

I have come to believe that this is the single most difficult of Rand's statements for many Objectivists to hold consistently. (There are even times and places where Rand herself contradicts it, imo.)

Yet I take it literally and at its word. Physical force is moral (and of right) only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use.

Perhaps it could be argued that "Muslims have initiated force," therefore retaliatory force against Muslims is appropriate? After all, Hurd titled his blog "Muslim Ban, Terrorism Ban: What's the Difference?" So maybe we're justified in treating all Muslims as terrorists? But this is a deeply collectivist notion. Individuals are responsible for their own actions, and if Hurd went out and gunned down some group of Muslim teenagers (holding them accountable for the terrorist actions of other Muslims), I, as a "fellow Objectivist," could not rightly be held to blame for it.

And if its further unclear as to Rand's sentiment, the parallel language from Galt's speech is even clearer on this point:

Quote

It is only as retaliation that force may be used and only against the man who starts its use.

In the name of security, a person could want to raise walls and demand that all foreigners keep out. Certainly that's the case being made today. (Whether this actually results in an improved security is itself up for debate, and I do not believe it will.) But this argument cannot be made in the name of "individual rights." For even those Muslims growing up in Syria have individual rights -- including the right to travel, to move, to seek their fortune and pursue their happiness all the way to the United States of America -- unless and until they initiate the use of force against another man.

To treat them as though they are terrorists, though they have not done anything individually to warrant it, to initiate the use of force against them (which is exactly what we're doing), is a heavy blow against individual rights.

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1 hour ago, Eiuol said:

I guess we need a Communist ban, too.

But -individuals- are judged. Being Muslim is not sufficient evidence of supporting terrorism at all. Besides, refugees largely would not leave their country unless they were against terrorism...

Hurd's reasoning is being racist by implicitly presuming all Syrians are Muslim.

A communist ban would be good, too. And "refugees" could easily be terrorists trying to sneak in to another country under a pretense. They've done this before.

 

1 hour ago, DonAthos said:

the right to travel, to move, to seek their fortune and pursue their happiness all the way to the United States of America -- unless and until they initiate the use of force against another man.

There is no such right. If we as country say they aren't allowed, it would be an initiation of force for them to come here against our will.

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1 minute ago, epistemologue said:

And "refugees" could easily be terrorists trying to sneak in to another country under a pretense. They've done this before.

Some, sure. Most aren't. It doesn't follow that a 120 day refugee ban is therefore the most rational action. Some Communists indeed advocate violence, but some of them are no threat at all.

"If we as country say they aren't allowed, it would be an initiation of force for them to come here against our will."

So? There is no "we" as to who is allowed onto someone else's property. It isn't a collective property, so all that makes sense is to ask how to best identify threats. A religion test is not the best way.

And even then, other Muslim-majority countries are unaffected, e.g. Saudi Arabia.

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1 minute ago, Eiuol said:

So? There is no "we"

Yes, there is. As citizens, we are all voluntarily a part of this particular governmental system, which decides these matters according to the rules we agreed on in the constitution.

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5 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

As citizens, we are all voluntarily a part of this particular governmental system, which decides these matters according to the rules we agreed on in the constitution.

That's a social contract argument, it's not an individual rights argument.

There's no immigration policy or rule in the Constitution anyway.

EDIT: More specifically, I am saying this is un-Constitutional and against the Constitution's intent.

Edited by Eiuol

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23 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

If we as country say they aren't allowed, it would be an initiation of force for them to come here against our will.

Au contraire, "we as [a] country" do not have the right to tell someone that they cannot "come here" against "our" will. That is the initiation of force.

If I own property on the American side of some border, and I wish to allow someone from the other side of that border to come onto my property, you do not have the right to restrict either his right to travel or my right to dispose of my property in that fashion.

But I've recently argued this same point extensively in this thread. If you'd like to argue this further, perhaps you could draw on the existing conversation there?

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Colleagues, I suggest that two radically different issues are raised here. One is the broader question of when would it be proper to exclude an individual for holding bad ideas – as discussed in this thread. The other pertains to what Trump actually ordered (not the speech part, but the law part). It's hard to tell what the order actually means – primarily it is an order to study the question. However, it does contain concrete prohibitions, one of which is a bit strange (it refers people from "such countries", which are not actually identified under the law, and the law refers to humanitarian waiver of the exclusion of aliens using fraudulent documents). The second concrete prohibition is that all Syrian nationals (including lawful permanent residents) are barred from entry into the US, meaning that if you are here, Syrian, and not a citizen, you may nor re-enter. A possible exception would be Kurds, because under Syrian law (and I can't verify if this is still the law in Syria, but it was a dozen years ago), Kurds residing in Syria are not Syrian citizens, thus would not be Syrian nationals. However, the administration probably will not apply Syria's interpretation of "Syrian national".

The ban on Syrians is free of religious conditions; IMO Hurd missed the boat in implying that there is anything at all good about the order. The last time I checked, nationality, in Syria, is an unchosen fact of the race of one's parents.

 

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2 hours ago, epistemologue said:

Yes, there is. As citizens, we are all voluntarily a part of this particular governmental system, which decides these matters according to the rules we agreed on in the constitution.

We what? When the hell did I agree to any of this?

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With a judge ruling against one aspect of Trump's order, we've seen another reaction to his action. I assume he'll react back: I figure he'll be tweeting that the judge is making law and that's why we need a SCOTUS judge in the mold of Scalia. On this ban, he could double down by saying that if he's not allowed to send these people home, he will house them in the concentration camps that are currently run by the Immigration services.

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23 hours ago, epistemologue said:

There is no such right. If we as country say they aren't allowed, it would be an initiation of force for them to come here against our will.

This statement is the essence of collectivism.

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39 minutes ago, Nicky said:

This statement is the essence of collectivism.

And then the essence of statist tyranny enacted in the name of democratic will. The essence of everything that Rand fought so hard against.

Who needs Galt's generator when Rand is spinning so fast in her grave.

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On 1/28/2017 at 1:39 PM, epistemologue said:

And "refugees" could easily be terrorists trying to sneak in to another country under a pretense.

Just to add something, refugees are vetted, it's not as if no one checks. A terrorist would get caught. It's not as though refugees are let in without question. An ad hoc temporary blanket ban is pointless, at best a waste of money.

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On 1/28/2017 at 1:53 PM, Eiuol said:

Some Communists indeed advocate violence, but some of them are no threat at all.

Communism is a criminal conspiracy.

After her testimony before the House Un-American Activities (HUAC) Committee in 1947, Ayn Rand writes in her journal (pp. 381–382),

Quote

"The whole conception of civil rights (of free speech, free assembly, free political organization) applies to and belongs in the realm of ideas—that is, a realm which precludes the use of physical violence. These rights are based on and pertain to the peaceful activity of spreading or preaching ideas, of dealing with men by intellectual persuasion. Therefore, one cannot invoke these rights to protect an organization such as the Communist Party, which not merely preaches, but actually engages in acts of violence, murder, sabotage, and spying in the interests of a foreign government. This takes the Communist Party out of the realm of civil law and puts it into the realm of criminal law. And the fact that Communists are directed and financed by a foreign power puts them into the realm of treason and military law."

http://www.ronpisaturo.com/blog/2015/12/29/it-is-the-submission-that-causes-the-violence/

Edited by epistemologue

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36 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

Communism is a criminal conspiracy.

After her testimony before the House Un-American Activities (HUAC) Committee in 1947, Ayn Rand writes in her journal (pp. 381–382),

Quote

"The whole conception of civil rights (of free speech, free assembly, free political organization) applies to and belongs in the realm of ideas—that is, a realm which precludes the use of physical violence. These rights are based on and pertain to the peaceful activity of spreading or preaching ideas, of dealing with men by intellectual persuasion. Therefore, one cannot invoke these rights to protect an organization such as the Communist Party, which not merely preaches, but actually engages in acts of violence, murder, sabotage, and spying in the interests of a foreign government. This takes the Communist Party out of the realm of civil law and puts it into the realm of criminal law. And the fact that Communists are directed and financed by a foreign power puts them into the realm of treason and military law."

http://www.ronpisaturo.com/blog/2015/12/29/it-is-the-submission-that-causes-the-violence/

There may be at a given place or time a Communist Party of which this is true (just like a specific street gang). But it would be a mistake to conflate all communists with said Communist Party.

When I worked retail, at my first (real) job, I had an employee who was an avowed communist. In college, my senior faculty adviser was a communist. Yet there is no case (that I can see) to be made that they had initiated the use of force or otherwise somehow forfeited their individual rights.

But let's be clear: are you saying that they had?

It would be one thing to say that members of Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS or etc., had, on the strength of their association alone, committed some crime. But if I advocated that all Muslims should be thrown into prison -- for the "crime" of being Muslim -- would you say that was just?

Edited by DonAthos

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2 hours ago, epistemologue said:

Communism is a criminal conspiracy.

Only as far as being a "card carrying" Communist party member, but just saying "I'm a Communist" means little. That's my point. It's straightforward enough to see if a person funds or provides material support of a specific organization.

"I'm a Muslim" doesn't mean there is any harmful intent. That's what matters here. There is ALREADY a plan in place to find terrorists and it seems to work. The problem with Hurd is that he's demonstrably ignorant of history, and sees no -difference- between a Muslim and a Muslim terrorist.

It's funny that Hurd mentioned Jeffersonians, because they supported the French Revolution, just not the bloodiness. Many Muslims would be similar: wanting to spread God's word (as many Christians do), just not by any coercive measures. If we listened to Hurd, all those Jeffersonians should be held as threats to national security, regardless of claiming to be peaceful.

In fact, the Federalists did just that, essentially: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_and_Sedition_Acts

 

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Immigration policy, like taxation, is not an initiation of force.

If you are a citizen, then you are agreeing to follow the laws as they are written, including following the immigration policy, or paying your taxes. This is a consensual agreement. If you no longer consent, then you can renounce your citizenship.

Complaining that taxation is theft is like complaining that Netflix keeps charging your credit card every month. Just declaring "I don't consent!" doesn't mean you aren't consenting for Netflix to take your money. You have to actually unsubscribe in order to revoke your consent.

The same goes with immigration policy. This is the law, and as citizens we are bound, by a voluntary contract, to follow it. There is no initiation of force involved.

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17 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

Immigration policy, like taxation, is not an initiation of force

Taxation can be, insofar as I -can't- unsubscribe unless I also renounce my property, which makes it coercive. I'd also be thrown in jail if I don't flee my property. If I can stay put, then it's not coercive. Similarly immigration policies are fine, some aren't, e.g. those that dictate how to use my property. The only thing I should not be allowed to do with my property is to initiate force, harbor terrorists, etc.

On top of that, in this case, there is no agreement as to the -way- immigration should be done. It's not in the Constitution, which is the thing I personally consent to. Here, it is not in line with the intent of the Constitution. I didn't say NO policy is rational, I'm saying this one isn't. Yes, it isn't up to me to decide at my will, to cherry pick the laws to follow. At the same time, one should question the Constitutionality of the law sometimes, which is the point of judicial review by the Supreme Court.

Neither of us are Constitutional lawyers, so if you know precedent for this type of policy or prior rulings on related laws, that would help.

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1 hour ago, epistemologue said:

Immigration policy, like taxation, is not an initiation of force.

If you are a citizen, then you are agreeing to follow the laws as they are written, including following the immigration policy, or paying your taxes. This is a consensual agreement. If you no longer consent, then you can renounce your citizenship.

Complaining that taxation is theft is like complaining that Netflix keeps charging your credit card every month. Just declaring "I don't consent!" doesn't mean you aren't consenting for Netflix to take your money. You have to actually unsubscribe in order to revoke your consent.

The same goes with immigration policy. This is the law, and as citizens we are bound, by a voluntary contract, to follow it. There is no initiation of force involved.

No, no, no, and no to each of those four paragraphs. They're simply assertions that are false and for which you do not even attempt to offer an argument.

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Louie, I've never heard of "renouncing your property" because you are renouncing citizenship. Also this is a nonsensical argument, that you've agreed to the constitution but not to the immigration laws - the constitution is the agreement which defines how laws are created, interpreted, and enforced, that's the whole point of it.

softwareNerd, perhaps you can explain why you believe I've made assertions that are false. My argument is that citizenship is voluntary in the United States, and therefore so are things like taxation and immigration policy, and so this idea that immigration laws are an initiation of force is wrong. This is a sound argument as far as I know; the premises are true and the conclusion logically follows.

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31 minutes ago, epistemologue said:

Also this is a nonsensical argument, that you've agreed to the constitution but not to the immigration laws

I didn't say that, I'm saying -this Order- is un-Constitutional. I haven't made an argument about disobeying/ignoring laws right now. I'm saying that people consent, to the extent that consent applies, to laws generated through Constitutional standards, not just the rules for passing laws. How to oppose un-Constitutional laws is another issue.

My property is mine prior to and separate from a government. A government protects and guarantees my property. Renouncing my property is tantamount to renouncing my rights. But that's really only an anti-tax argument. If I'm able to be let alone, then there's  no issue.

Edited by Eiuol

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