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Suppose two people agree to fight until one of them is dead. Others pay to watch them fight (maybe some in a stadium and others at home watching pay-per-view television.)

Sign me up! I've always thought we were missing gladiator-like combat in our society.

So it is possible that one could recruit two people to take part in a legal fight to the death, assuming that such a fight were legal and the winner would receive lots of money.

I don't see why not. The right to one's own life means that one may dispose of one's life if one so chooses and however one chooses, so long as it does not conflict with the rights of others; thus, MAY THE FIGHTING BEGIN!

A few years back, there was an event called the U.F.C. (The Ultimate Fighting Championship) which still exists today, but in a watered down form. Two fighters would go against each other untill one of them came out victorious. There were basically no rules, and, if I remember correctly, the only attack a fighter could not do was eye gouging and biting; everything else was legal (even neutering blows to the testicles). There was a referee to stop the fight if things got bad or if an opponent was knocked unconscious; however, if you've seem any of the UFC footage, you'll notice that it's no joke and one could easily die in the ring.

Anyways...we were so close!! :D

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Blood sports are not about people paying other people to kill them. It is about people killing other people in order to GET money. There IS a difference, and a VITAL one.

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Even a severly injured person can walk away from a boxing match and pursue values

Yeah, just ask Muhamad Ahli.

The reason, by the way, that it should be illegal is that the participants are clearly expecting to get money for killing someone.

This has absolutely no bearing on the matter.

If you want a situation with an ESSENTIAL similarity, try ASSASSINATION, not suicide.

What is the essential similarity b/t assassination and gladiatory--the fact that one man is killing another? It can't be, since both men have agreed to participate. This is nothing like an assassination: the assassinated didn't agree upon being the prey.

There is no conceivable justification for this activity; saying that all the participants did so "voluntarily" is unessential, for as I pointed out they were not and would not be volunteering to die

You're right. They aren't volunteering to die, no more so than any American solider. They are volunteering to engage in combat, with the known and possibly probable risk of death.

If you're worried about violations of "rights", simply ask the would-be killers if they would do it without the purse. Probably the response you would get in today's degenerate culture is that they're in it "for the thrill, for honor, for glory . . ." etc. etc. ad nauseum. Which means that they're in it because they ENJOY KILLING PEOPLE.

What does this have to do w/ a violation of rights? You're context dropping. You're forgetting that the men have agreed to risks their lives' in whatever way they see fit for whatever benefits may be rewarded to them if they win.

Gladiatory may be disgusting, revolting, and "irrational" in a sense that the risk of participation definitely outweighs any type of benefit, be it monetary or something else. But nevertheless, the battle and the circumstances were agreed upon by both participants, each of who has a right to his own life.

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Is it agreed that if the killing involved in the death-sport was immoral then it would also be illegal? Ie. is the test of whether a killing is murder or not the question of whether the killing is immoral or not?

That seems to hold true for all the examples given so far of suicide, assisted suicide, assassination, plus any that I can think of, self-defence, police, military/war, etc..

If you don't accept this, then the rest of this is not going to be very valuable to you.

Assumption: Immoral killing is definitely illegal.

So, the question boils down to whether a death-sport killing is immoral or not. The answer seems self-evident to me, but let's investigate it a bit more..

Unless you allow some method of tapping out of the death-match, something which I realise would essentially invalidate the sport, then you can never guarantee a moral killing. In fact, you virtually guarantee an immoral one.

The concept of "fight-to-the-death" implies that there is no other way out of the fight, other than death to one (or both) participants. In other words, after the contracts were signed, some person, through some sort of force, has removed the freedom of choice from both participants when they stepped into the ring, or at some arbitrary point of no return. So what happened to the freedom of choice? What if one man goes past the point of no return, then changes his mind, wants to assert his right to life? You point to the contract and tell him to get back to fighting? What if one man knocks the other unconscious but then refuses to kill him, you put a gun to his head and tell him to finish him off?

The problem is that a contract can always be torn up, it is never binding to the death. If one party wants out or breaches the contract, then both parties exercise the contractual remedies for a breach of contract, and part ways. With both men engaged in a death-match, there is no room for this eventuality. So, why is this so important, well without the victim's permission being intact at the time of the killing, the killing is immoral.

If at some point, the eventual victim decides that actually they want to live, they change their mind. Then you have a situation where one man is killing another who does not want to be killed. And the only reason you have to justify that killing was that a contract had been signed, and yet you denied the man all avenues for cancelling that contract.

This would be akin to someone engaging the services of an assisted suicide doctor on Monday, signing all the paperwork, then on Friday the doctor turns up and the patient has had a change of heart and is telling the doctor not to do it. The doctor proceeds anyway saying that the contract was signed on Monday, and refusing the patient access or means of cancelling that contract.

As if that wasn't bad enough, this has all ignored the intent of the eventual killer, which has an impact on the morality of the killing. As he's pounding the unconscious head into anything hard he can find in an attempt to finally wrestle the stubborn strangehold of life from the body of his victim, he needs to be either fearing for his life, or confident that the man he's pulverising would still choose to honour the contract if he was conscious or could speak. If he doubts the victim's mindset then the killing is also an immoral one.

So, at best (for the supporters) an immoral killing is possible but I think it's more likely that the immoral killing is probable. Certainly you can never guarantee it's a moral killing, so the sport is illegal if immoral killing is illegal.

[Edit: removed some earlier and redundant comments about signing away protections under the law which were silly]

Edited by smathy

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You're right.  They aren't volunteering to die, no more so than any American solider.  They are volunteering to engage in combat, with the known and possibly probable risk of death.

The stipulation was that the men WOULD fight to the death. One of them is not the winner until the other one IS dead. I stipulated that if there is only a RISK of death, not a CERTAINTY, then there is nothing to be said about the activity.

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A man cannot “waive” a right...

I believe that was the point I was attempting to make. Such a waiver could not be considered valid.

Consider the situation after the fact: the victor has been arrested, and you're the prosecutor, attempting to decide whether murder charges should be filed. He claims that he did not violate the other man's rights, because he's got this agreement that both men signed beforehand. But since we agree that the right to life cannot be waived, that agreement could not be considered a valid defense.

The only other conceivable defense would be that the act was committed in self-defense, but that doesn't hold much water either. It would have been self-defense never to have entered into such an agreement in the first place. If you want to use the "initiation of force" principle, force was initiated by a volitional act of both parties. As such, neither can claim self-defense.

The comparison of this situation to assisted suicide is completely specious. In the case of assisted suicide, the person who dies wants to die. In this case, neither combatant wants to die; they want to kill the other.

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If you think it is legitimate for the police to break up a barroom brawl, with a crowd of spectators cheering the particpants, can you fail to understand the underlying connection?  It is the same thing.  No doubt those two enraged bulls "agreed" to beat the life out of each other.  I think they would benefit from sleeping it off in the drunk tank.

But the reason the cops can (and should) break up the barroom brawl is both because it is occurring on someone else's property, who likely doesn't want the fight to occur, and because on the absence of evidence to the contrary, it is reasonable to assume that one person involved does not want to fight, but is forced to (or intoxicated). Rather than contrasting a barroom brawl with gladiator sports, contrast it to a boxing match: the match clearly has the owner's approval and is voluntary on the part of both participants, and thus the police do not interfere.

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I believe that was the point I was attempting to make.  Such a waiver could not be considered valid.

By agreeing to risk your life, you do not waive your right to your life; you exercise it.

Your life is yours; you can do with it whatever you want to. Risking your life is just as rightful as risking your wealth; risking your life for a stupid gladiator game should be just as legal as risking your life's savings for a foolish investment. The government should not be anyone's nanny.

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By agreeing to risk your life, you do not waive your right to your life; you exercise it.

Your life is yours; you can do with it whatever you want to. Risking your life is just as rightful as risking your wealth; risking your life for a stupid gladiator game should be just as legal as risking your life's savings for a foolish investment.

How many times do I have to say this? No one is waiving their right to life. I agree entirely with that. I'm arguing that the attempt to waive such right, which is implicit in the agreement of the combatants to a match, such as is under discussion here, is invalid.

Here's my argument:

1) The question, "Should a deathmatch, to which both participants have consented, be illegal?" comes down to the question, "Does such a match violate anyone's rights?" Agreed so far?

2) The agreement is, in part, an attempt by each combatant to say, "Don't hold this person legally responsible for my death if he wins this match," in exchange for similar license in return. This is an attempt by each to waive his right to life. How else would you characterize it?

3) This agreement is held, by those in this discussion supporting the legality of such a match, as the instrument by which either combatant is absolved of violating the other's rights. Every such arguement amounts to, "They each agreed, of their own free will, to enter this combat, and so no one's rights have been violated." No one, I presume, would be supporting this without the consent of both parties.

4) For reasons already discussed, the attempt to waive one's right to life is invalid. The only way to lose that right is to violate the rights of others. The only way you can argue that no one's rights are violated is is if both lose their rights. But this begs the question of how those rights were lost: by violating rights.

5) By the above, someone's rights must be violated. The act of violating rights is what laws are intended to punish. As such, I see no reason why this shouldn't be made illegal.

The notion that either combatant is merely "risking" their life is context dropping. Why are they risking their life? In order to commit murder. The entire point of this match is that someone will die. It's not a chance or a risk that someone will die. It's a certainty. At the end, one will be dead, and the other will be responsible for that death.

To add one more element to the discussion, what about dueling as a form of conflict resolution? Should that be legal if accepted by both parties? I see little difference.

The government should not be anyone's nanny.

I dislike the nanny state as much as anyone else. That is not what is under discussion here. It about whether this violates anyone's rights, and I don't see any legitimate argument that it doesn't.

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To add one more element to the discussion, what about dueling as a form of conflict resolution?  Should that be legal if accepted by both parties? I see little difference.

If deathmatches (and keep in mind before you try to argue that the deathmatches under discussion are ones in which one of the competitors WILL be killed) are legal, they will become a venue for dueling, i.e. for settling disputes via violence.

In order for an objective legal system (which IS desirable, let me remind you) to function, it must operate OBJECTIVELY, i.e. judgements handed down impersonally by servants of an objective and defined rules system, with objective and defined punishments, and ALL parties equally bound by those judgements!

Objective law protects both victims AND offenders. Victims, by making sure that, if they have suffered an injustice, the situation is corrected as much as is possible, and offenders by removing the threat of vicious vigallantee "justice" at the hands of their accuser, which is no kind of justice at all.

Legalize duelling and you have men killing each other in the street for petty slights, real or imagined. And we all KNOW (sarcasm) that the good guys are the quickest draw and have the strongest sword arm, right?

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Why, the participants in the game are getting the job done themselves!

All you need to do is let them.

Who's going to get rid of the backers, promoters, spectators, advertisers, vendors, and everyone ELSE involved in this sordid business? As far as I'm concerned you can leave the actual participants alone as long as you get rid of ALL of those OTHER people.

Nick and Eric, put your money where your mouths are. Will this be weapons or no weapons? I'll contribute fifty dollars to the purse and consider myself well repaid to be rid of one of them.

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1) The question, "Should a deathmatch, to which both participants have consented, be illegal?" comes down to the question, "Does such a match violate anyone's rights?"  Agreed so far?

Sure.

2) The agreement is, in part, an attempt by each combatant to say, "Don't hold this person legally responsible for my death if he wins this match,"

The winner WILL be legally recognized as the cause of the loser's death, only it won't be considered murder because the loser has authorized the winner to kill him. This is very similar to how assistance with suicide is not murder, or how retrieving a drink you just paid for from a vending machine is not theft.

The individual's right to his life means that he can dispose of it as he pleases, even if he takes the verb "dispose" a bit too literally.

This is an attempt by each to waive his right to life. How else would you characterize it?

No; it is actually you who are waiving your right to your life when you say that the government, and not you, should be allowed to decide what kind of games you participate in!

Assume that two guys agree to race with their cars and the winner keeps the other guy's car. Is this an attempt by either of them to waive his right to his car?

Assume Jack has a gold watch that John would be willing to pay $1000 for. Jack sells it to John for $1. Is Jack thereby waiving his right to his property?

3) This agreement is held, by those in this discussion supporting the legality of such a match, as the instrument by which either combatant is absolved of violating the other's rights. [...]

No. No violation of anyone's rights occurs, so there is nothing to be absolved of. (Except for terminal irrationality, but there is no absolution from that!)

You don't say that a contract of employment is the instrument by which the employer is absolved of enslaving the employee and the employee is absolved of plundering the bank account of the employer. If the deal is mutually agreed on, neither party's rights are being violated. No force, no crime.

The notion that either combatant is merely "risking" their life is context dropping.  Why are they risking their life? In order to commit murder.

It's murder, therefore it's murder? Not very convincing... :lol: First you have to establish why it's murder. Which person who hasn't agreed to be killed is being killed?

The entire point of this match is that someone will die. It's not a chance or a risk that someone will die.  It's a certainty.

That is correct, but also irrelevant. The individual combatant is only risking his life, because he may either win or lose, and if he wins, he'll live.

And even that is irrelevant, because one can rightfully agree to be killed with certainty as well.

To add one more element to the discussion, what about dueling as a form of conflict resolution?  Should that be legal if accepted by both parties?

Absolutely.

It about whether this violates anyone's rights, and I don't see any legitimate argument that it doesn't.

"You can't prove this negative, therefore this positive is true" ? Is that a way to treat your fellow Objectivists? :P

By the way, if I may ask, if games like this were to be made illegal, what do you propose should be the punishment for them? ("Welcome to the Evening News. John Doe, a resident of Coltsville, AZ, has been sentenced to death for five counts of agreeing to be killed" ... Hmm, now that would be entertainment!)

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Who's going to get rid of the backers, promoters, spectators, advertisers, vendors, and everyone ELSE involved in this sordid business?

Same guy who gets rid of the prostitutes, drug dealers, fortune tellers, drunkards, gossip columnists, academic Marxists, and the rest of their ilk.

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Part of the logical process of understanding any idea is to project the consequences, and the only consequences I see from legalizing dueling, deathmatch fights, and what have you are negative. It, as I said previously, enshrines force, and specifically violence as the means to settle disputes among men. Rights are a derivative of the need to remove force from dealings between men! You cannot exercise rights to destroy the purpose of rights.

Two neighbors, enraged over a dispute, would gladly resort to blows if the law allowed them. They would even more cheerfully execute the other if the law allowed THAT. Going to court and settling things in a civilized manner is a pain in the rear. So what if you might get killed? When has that ever stopped anyone?

Do you REALLY think psychopaths are deterred from their killing sprees because they might face the death penalty? Of course not! They are not and never have been. The point of a fight is to kill the other person, and that cannot be allowed if a civilized society, a one where force is disbarred from dealings among men, is going to exist.

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Two neighbors, enraged over a dispute, would gladly resort to blows if the law allowed them.  They would even more cheerfully execute the other if the law allowed THAT.  Going to court and settling things in a civilized manner is a pain in the rear.  So what if you might get killed?  When has that ever stopped anyone? 

Man, Dayton, Ohio sounds like a really rough place. Have you considered moving?

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This will undoubtedly repeat some of the points posted above, but I'd like to give an overview:

I'm assuming, arguendo, that any viable contract between two competent persons who agree to engage in a death fight will establish that each person understands that he thereby assumes the risk that he will be the one who ends up dead. Of course he doesn't _intend_ to die - that's why he signs the contract to participate in this match for monetary "profit." He is wagering that he has a chance between 0% and 100% that he will win the match, and thus he is wagering a chance between 0% and 100% that the other guy will win.

As for "sanity" we need to get to clear about what this concept means in the context of this thread. I agree that a death match participant under normal political conditions is "insane" in the sense of being stupid or foolish to risk his life for however much money the purse holds. (Sheesh, is his self-esteem so low that he believes that he can't make money in more life-affirming ways?)

But I'm also assuming for this discussion that, whatever his own personal issues, he is not "insane" in the sense of being cognitively incapable of understanding reality in general or the foolish risks he takes in particular. All else equal, if he is cognitively competent and his possible death doesn't violate any prior legal obligations he may have -- what right or permission do we have to prevent him from embarking on his stupid enterprise?

I press this distinction in the two senses of "sanity" because the latter sense, which is a synonym for foolishness, applies to all kinds of behavior that Objectivism condemns morally but would allow legally: promiscuity, drug abuse, "slacking," etc. I don't see a principled distinction between these types of "insane-qua-foolish" self-destructive behaviors and our foolish death match participants. Hence I don't see how one could make a principled case favoring the illegality of duelling without also opening the door to massive paternalistic prohibition of other foolish behavior.

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Part of the logical process of understanding any idea is to project the consequences, and the only consequences I see from legalizing dueling, deathmatch fights, and what have you are negative.

Is this even relevant? The consequences arising from legalising heroin would probably be entirely negative, but this doesnt mean that people dont have the right to take it if they choose. The right to own ones life includes the right to dispense with it as one pleases.

It, as I said previously, enshrines force, and specifically violence as the means to settle disputes among men.  Rights are a derivative of the need to remove force from dealings between men!  You cannot exercise rights to destroy the purpose of rights.

How so? All retributive action involves violence, whether it is carried out by the individual or the state - duelling doesnt 'enshrine' violence any more than the death penalty or locking people in metal cages. Legalised duelling provides a nice way for individuals to settle their differences personally without having to go through the machinery of government, while also avoiding the obvious problems of anarchy. Edited by Hal

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As for "sanity" we need to get to clear about what this concept means in the context of this thread. .

Generally speaking, and leaving aside cases of 'provable' mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, saying that someone is 'insane' is just a fancy way of saying that you disapprove of their behavior. Different cultures normally pick out different types of behavior to categorise as 'insane', and theres no real objective criteria by which to decide whether someone is 'mentally ill' (whatever that means) or just wrong. If you choose to say that someone is 'insane' because they want to fight to the death, or need to check the front door is locked 10 times whenever they leave the house, then that's fine. However, you arent really making any stronger claim than a person who believes religious people are insane because they believe a man in the sky is watching over them, or thinks that homosexuals/paedophiles are mentally ill for whatever reason.

I would hope we can all agree that this kind of 'death fighting' would be hideously immoral under most circumstances, but talking about the 'sanity' of those involved is fairly meaningless. In any case, allowing the government to deny people the right to make choices on the grounds that it classes them as 'insane' seems incredibly dangerous. What are you going to do when they class homosexuals and people who marry those of different races as 'mentally ill'? Is there any obvious reason why we cant say that boxers and martial artists are 'insane', and use this as grounds to ban these sports?

Edited by Hal

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Generally speaking, and leaving aside cases of 'provable' mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, saying that someone is 'insane' is just a fancy way of saying that you disapprove of their behavior. Different cultures normally pick out different types of behavior to categorise as 'insane', and theres no real objective criteria by which to decide whether someone is 'mentally ill' (whatever that means) or just wrong. If you choose to say that someone is 'insane' because they want to fight to the death, or need to check the front door is locked 10 times whenever they leave the house, then that's fine. However, you arent really making any stronger claim than a person who believes religious people are insane because they believe a man in the sky is watching over them, or thinks that homosexuals/paedophiles are mentally ill for whatever reason.

I would hope we can all agree that this kind of 'death fighting' would be hideously immoral under most circumstances, but talking about the 'sanity' of those involved is fairly meaningless. In any case, allowing the government to deny people the right to make choices on the grounds that it classes them as 'insane' seems incredibly dangerous. What are you going to do when they class homosexuals and people who marry those of different races as 'mentally ill'? Is there any obvious reason why we cant say that boxers and martial artists are 'insane', and use this as grounds to ban these sports?

I agree with you that the concept of 'insanity' is often a loaded and ambiguous term as used in legal and political contexts. But I'm not ready to claim that 'insanity' or 'mental illness' are useless concepts per se - if that's what you were implying. If not, we have no disagreement.

There's a clear difference between someone who acts irrationally _by choice_ (e.g., a death-fighter who is capable of understanding the fact that he is risking his life) and, say, a severe schizophrenic who 'acts' non-rationally from paranoid delusions and hallucinations that render useless whatever volitional control (if any) he may have to act purposively in an environment where he can't control his capacity to tell reality from fantasy.

The death-fighter is stupid because he hasn't thought through better ways of making money. He is stupid in the humdrum sense of a slacker who doesn't choose to think about his life, get off his butt, and make something of himself.

I'm assuming, by contrast, that there is such a thing as a severe schizophrenic who can't live his life independently, since he literally can't tell reality from fantasy. _If_ in fact some extreme schizophrenics lack this much control over their agency, I'd say they are 'insane' in the sense of lacking competency to perceive reality enough to live independently and to consent to risky contracts. In that case, contracts are unenforceable in the same sense that very young children can't make legally binding contracts.

OTOH, otherwise competent slackers and fools are just, well, foolish by their own plain unwillingness to think. If they want to enter foolish contractual arrangements, then they are responsible for the risk of very bad consequences. They aren't bedeviled by uncontrollable paranoid schizophrenic delusions that Satan is telling them to slack or to enter into duels.

I could go on but will leave it there for now!

EDIT: to spell the noun form of 'schizophrenic' correctly

Edited by cellar door

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Rights are a derivative of the need to remove force from dealings between men!

Exactly. So why do you propose to use force against people who enter a voluntary agreement?

No element of coercive force is involved in the game--until a "do-gooder" from the government arrives and tells the people to stop the game or else. If Jack has no right to make John die the way he wants to, what gives Jennifer a right to make John live the way he doesn't want to?

Two neighbors, enraged over a dispute, would gladly resort to blows if the law allowed them.  They would even more cheerfully execute the other if the law allowed THAT.

Two neighbors enraged over a dispute have a DISAGREEMENT, not an agreement.

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No.  What the heck does that have to do with anything?!  Suicide = ending your own life.  The described situation was trying to KILL SOMEONE ELSE for MONEY.  How are these situations equivalent?  Because they both involve someone dying?  That's like saying that you can treat humans and dogs the same because they both have hair.  It's a superficial similarity, not an essential one.

If I have the right to put a gun to my own head and pull the trigger, then it follows that I have the right to hire an agent to perform the same action, an agent who would (as you wrote in those compelling caps) “KILL SOMEONE ELSE for MONEY.” And if I have the right to enter freely into a contractual arrangement whereby my life is taken by someone who is KILLing SOMEONE ELSE for MONEY, then it should not make any difference whether the killing attracts spectators who pay for the privilege of sitting in attendance. Thus, if suicide is permissible, then so should all contracts in which a party of his own free will gives up his life for certain considerations.

However, in blood sports, this is not the case. The loser CLEARLY values his life as well as the things that are in it; he is fighting for SOMETHING, after all.

In most sporting events, the loser also gains a portion of the promoter’s receipts. The loser in a death match may value his life, but he may value having, say, a half million dollars go to his heirs, even more. But even if there were no consideration for the loser, he would still have the right to risk his life for the possibility of winning -- or just for the glory. In the final analysis, every man's life is his alone to spend.

There is no conceivable justification for this activity; saying that all the participants did so "voluntarily" is unessential, for as I pointed out they were not and would not be volunteering to die.

I agree that there would be no volunteering if the participants are forced at gunpoint to participate. However, this is not what the first post said. Joynewyeary wrote, “Suppose two people agree to fight until one of them is dead.” If people agree to the fight, then the contract is voluntary and legitimate.

Someone that voluntarily kills themselves or asks another to do it chooses the simplest, quickest, most painless method available, he does not volunteer to be brutally beaten until his body finally fails. No one would endure that unless they were expecting to recieve a benefit that they could enjoy.

Why does the benefit have to be for oneself? If we forbid a person to participate in a death match that would provide his children with food, shelter and medicine, then we would have to forbid people who risk their lives to save children in a burning building.

Blood sports are not about people paying other people to kill them. It is about people killing other people in order to GET money. There IS a difference, and a VITAL one.

Correct, blood sports are not about people paying other people to kill them; rather, they are about people who, in return for certain consideration, place their lives at great risk or certain death. If a person may take his own life, then it follows that he may allow some other person to take it, and furthermore, that he may allow some other person to take it in exchange for payment to his heirs.

Legalize duelling and you have men killing each other in the street for petty slights, real or imagined. And we all KNOW (sarcasm) that the good guys are the quickest draw and have the strongest sword arm, right?

But this ignores the fact that the Code Duello required the consent of both participants. From the late Middles Ages to the 19th century, a man did not have to accept a challenge to a duel. Many did not. Dueling was not impulsive, random violence; it followed objective rules and was a voluntary means of settling disputes.

Who's going to get rid of the backers, promoters, spectators, advertisers, vendors, and everyone ELSE involved in this sordid business? As far as I'm concerned you can leave the actual participants alone as long as you get rid of ALL of those OTHER people.

Whose rights have the promoters, spectators, et al violated?

It, as I said previously, enshrines force, and specifically violence as the means to settle disputes among men. Rights are a derivative of the need to remove force from dealings between men! You cannot exercise rights to destroy the purpose of rights.

Yes, but you are dropping the context of whether force is initiated or retaliatory. For reasons we don’t have to explore here, initiated force is clearly bad. But within the confines of a duel or a death match, there is no initiated force. By agreeing to the rules of the fight, each participant gives his consent to his opponent’s use of force. It is only because the law recognizes mutually consensual combat that football players are not jailed for assault.

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I agree with CF that such "Death Entertainment" is not a waiving of your right to life, but an exercise of it (though it is unquestionably irrational). A far more genuine example of waiving your right to life would be if you sold yourself into slavery, since that would essentially mean that, after consenting to being enslaved, your enslavers can do what they want to you without your consent (you would not be able to exercise your inalienable right to life from that point on).

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Actually, you can never waive your right to life, because you cannot waive your nature, namely that you're human. No matter what kind of "contract" you can conjure, you remain human and humans have rights. Rights cannot be forfeited via contract.

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Actually, you can never waive your right to life, because you cannot waive your nature, namely that you're human.  No matter what kind of "contract" you can conjure, you remain human and humans have rights.  Rights cannot be forfeited via contract.

Which is exactly why I consider it invalid to create a contract saying that you own me and I no longer have the right to life, liberty, and property. I can consent to be killed, I can consent to fight to the death, but I cannot consent to renouncing my ability to consent (i.e., to be someone's slave).

Edited by Oakes

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