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Immigration Law in Arizona

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My reasoning is that objectively wrong laws should not be followed voluntarily.

Are you denying the existence of objectively right and objectively wrong laws?

Sure, there are objectively right and wrong laws, but a peaceful circumstance cannot exist where individuals get to determine them for themselves on an ad hoc basis. The right to act outside of the law is properly surrendered as a requirement for civilized society. You can judge outside of the law, but not act.

I don't care what you suggest. I'm waiting for actual arguments, in which you explain why denying a job or a hotel room to an immigrant is moral.

"You sound like Nietzsche" is not such an argument, and I don't care if you think it is.

If you think in the last dozen pages of posts that I've provided no arguments rather than incorrect arguments then there's no point in our further discussion.

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It is not easy enough to argue on the meaning of the term license or the plaintiffs would done so and won. There is nothing at all unconventional about the Arizona business licensing process compared

Sure, there are objectively right and wrong laws, but a peaceful circumstance cannot exist where individuals get to determine them for themselves on an ad hoc basis. The right to act outside of the law is properly surrendered as a requirement for civilized society. You can judge outside of the law, but not act.

I think that ad hoc determinations would be a problem if all laws were proper, i.e. rights-protecting. That would cover, for example, the litigation of contract disputes. The issue here is that the law protects no one's rights (I am here excluding, for the moment, the issue of screening for contagious diseases which I think is a special case you raised that needs to be addressed separately). Because of that, acting within this particular law is not a requirement for civilized society, because the action does not entail the initiation of force (which is what makes the law against it objectively wrong). In other words, a peaceful circumstance can and indeed does exist where individuals determine for themselves that this law is wrong and act according to their judgment and life-promoting principles. There is no threat to the peace by an immigrant simply being here.

Edited by Seeker
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Sure, there are objectively right and wrong laws, but a peaceful circumstance cannot exist where individuals get to determine them for themselves on an ad hoc basis. The right to act outside of the law is properly surrendered as a requirement for civilized society. You can judge outside of the law, but not act.

That depends on how you define the concept law. Your statement is only true if it is defined within the logical hierarchy of a rational philosophy, and derived from the concept of individual rights. You are clearly not defining it that way, or else you wouldn't be claiming that anti immigration laws fall into that definition, as if nothing were wrong with them.

If Congress next passed a Bill declaring that water should run upwards, you'd blindly indict rivers as uncivilized, instead of reexamining your premises.

You are using "law" as a stolen concept, and running with it all the way.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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I think that ad hoc determinations would be a problem if all laws were proper, i.e. rights-protecting. That would cover, for example, the litigation of contract disputes. The issue here is that the law protects no one's rights (I am here excluding, for the moment, the issue of screening for contagious diseases which I think is a special case you raised that needs to be addressed separately). Because of that, acting within this particular law is not a requirement for civilized society, because the action does not entail the initiation of force (which is what makes the law against it objectively wrong). In other words, a peaceful circumstance can and indeed does exist where individuals determine for themselves that this law is wrong and act according to their judgment and life-promoting principles. There is no threat to the peace by an immigrant simply being here.

I think that it's too much to expect that all laws will ever be proper on all grounds. Even with the best of intentions and a strong effort to create such a society, you will have disagreements about the extent to which a law is a violation of rights. I realize you were leaving aside the issues of contagious diseases as well as criminal and terrorist threats, but those do well to show why following the law as a matter of principle is necessary. In our current actual context, I think that having significant background checks and examinations for communicable diseases is a proper and justifiable requirement for admission across a states borders. Others here, as well as 11 million illegals disagree that borders have any legitimate meaning. In breaking the law they avoid the injustice of a overly restrictive visa system and transfer the injustice of increased risks for others here already to catch communicable diseases or have buildings blown up. Additionally, since they create a black market by way of acting against the law the create a host of other criminal problems from the kidnappings mentioned before to the rampant identity theft which they require to live their lives here.

So while reasonable men might have no disagreements about the protection of rights in theory, the actual application of that principle requires that governments identify who's rights they are going to protect, to what extent they can and will protect them, to what extent the protection of one groups rights are impacted by the protection of another, and so forth. Someone building a nuclear missile next door to me without good safety precautions puts me in a great deal of danger. Is it more important that the government protect his property rights or my safety? Either way, someone's absolute freedom is interfered with necessarily. I think rights carry with them some negative duties, one of which is to act within the confines of the law.

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So while reasonable men might have no disagreements about the protection of rights in theory, the actual application of that principle requires

You are refusing to check your premises. Why are you operating under the assumption that American lawmakers are reasonable men applying the principles of individual rights? They're obviously doing no such thing. It's not even a big secret, they're perfectly open about it.

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I realize you were leaving aside the issues of contagious diseases as well as criminal and terrorist threats, but those do well to show why following the law as a matter of principle is necessary.

Criminals and terrorists aren't going to follow the law anyway. I think that the issue of contagious diseases is special because a well-intentioned immigrant might not realize that he is sick and contagious. As a matter of rational principles, not only should he be denied entry, but it would not be in his rational self-interest to infect others. There would be no conflict between his interests and those of the law.

But then, the problem is that this law requires immigrants who are not sick to be turned away. An immigrant who thinks he is well has no incentive for a screening check, because he knows that he will be denied entry regardless. Under those circumstances he must rationally undertake the risk/reward calculus. What are the odds that he is sick and doesn't know it, versus the chances that he isn't (and would be sacrificing his self-interest by not sneaking across the border)? The unjust law forces that choice on him. And the answer is not for him to follow the unjust law, the answer is to change the law so that the law is principled. Just as the harm to citizens of the welfare state is caused not by the decisions of welfare recipients to claim their checks but rather the government's welfare policy, the harm to citizens who are infected with diseases by immigrants is caused not by the immigrants but by the immigration policy that makes their unlawful entry a rational choice.

Edited by Seeker
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That depends on how you define the concept law. Your statement is only true if it is defined within the logical hierarchy of a rational philosophy, and derived from the concept of individual rights. You are clearly not defining it that way, or else you wouldn't be claiming that anti immigration laws fall into that definition, as if nothing were wrong with them.

For the love o jeebus...I've already stated on several occasions that there is plenty wrong with immigration laws. Honestly, do you actually read the threads before you offer your unwarranted and unhelpful criticisms?

The fact that immigration laws and many, many, many other laws are not entirely moral has nothing to do with this argument.

If Congress next passed a Bill declaring that water should run upwards, you'd blindly indict rivers as uncivilized, instead of reexamining your premises.

You are using "law" as a stolen concept, and running with it all the way.

You know what, you're right! In fact, I've always held all of my opinions blindly and without thought, introspection, or even examination, let alone RE-examination. I'm way to lazy for that. In fact it's my preference to just pull random ideas off of the Rush Limbaugh show and insist upon them for no reason at all. No wonder you've been having so much difficulty convincing me your right. I've been wholly irrational and borderline insane. Now that you've shown me the light, though, I'll change my ways forthwith. I will begin breaking the law whenever I can convince myself that it's objectively wrong. Consider "stealing" concepts my first act of defiance. Fuck the man! Power to the people!

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the actual application of that principle requires that governments identify who's rights they are going to protect
This is not hard, everyone within jurisdiction.

to what extent they can and will protect them,
This is not discretionary.

to what extent the protection of one groups rights are impacted by the protection of another, and so forth.
Attributes rights to groups; assumes rights conflict

Is it more important that the government protect his property rights or my safety?
Rights. I dare you to try to define the word "safety" using an objective standard.

Absolute freedom? Even proper laws interfere with absolute freedom, so absolute freedom is not a helpful concept to distinguish between justified and unjustified laws.

rights carry with them some negative duties,
They do not, but if you have a basis for this assertion go ahead and trot it out.
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For the love o jeebus...I've already stated on several occasions that there is plenty wrong with immigration laws. Honestly, do you actually read the threads before you offer your unwarranted and unhelpful criticisms?

The fact that immigration laws and many, many, many other laws are not entirely moral has nothing to do with this argument.

What's moral about them?

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And the answer is not for him to follow the unjust law, the answer is to change the law so that the law is principled.

I don't disagree with you for the most part, about ascribing moral blame on the part of the government. Where I disagree is the particular above. I agree that changing the unjust law is the proper ultimate goal and the only thing that will create justice. The problem is that that is not an immediate choice available. I am not attempting to advocate the maintenance of unjust laws, just the notion that people should uphold the law in the meantime. I see that utilitarian calculus as a pragmatic approach with a very high cost that an individual should take heed of before acting upon it. If you consistently ask everyone to apply that principle to those laws which are unjust, there is going to be the ramification of a break down in civil order. Moving a country toward justice is a step by step, law by law process or a revolution. Anything in between seems like pragmatism to me.

So some of the choices I see are,

1.Break the law publicly as a political statement and advocate for change.

2.Follow the law while advocating for change and attempting to gain entry lawfully.

3.Break the law secretively and be unable to advocate for change and live your life in hiding.

I advocate number 2 first, 1 if you really are opposed to it, and 3 if you live in a dictatorship where no freedom of action or method of legitimate change is available to you.

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(...) peaceful circumstance cannot exist where individuals get to determine them for themselves on an ad hoc basis.

Good job, you have ruled out peaceful existence in society.

It is impossible to eliminate individual choice since, you see, humans have this thing called "free will". Whether laws are good or bad, every individual will constantly be choosing whether to respect or break them - pretty much every time he acts.

You are setting up this absurd notion that if people secretively break immoral laws in order to live a moral life this somehow damages the concept or effect of proper rights protecting laws. What damages the effectiveness and respectability of proper law is the fact that immoral laws are on the books.

It is always moral to foil the criminal who tries to violate your rights - if you can. Whether he was elected to violate your rights or not is immaterial.

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You are setting up this absurd notion that if people secretively break immoral laws in order to live a moral life this somehow damages the concept or effect of proper rights protecting laws. What damages the effectiveness and respectability of proper law is the fact that immoral laws are on the books.

It is always moral to foil the criminal who tries to violate your rights - if you can. Whether he was elected to violate your rights or not is immaterial.

OK, I think I have changed my mind on this somewhat.

I had thought that any willful break in the system of law governing a people necessarily, in principle, meant a disregard for all laws in that system. However, as others pointed out, this does not take into account moral and immoral laws. The "system" is two different things: the enforcement of laws, good or bad, and the making and changing of laws. The former is going to happen independent of what the latter does, or if the latter needs to be replaced because it is so corrupt.

As I see it now, the only issue is whether one thinks that the "making and changing" system can restore itself, or if it needs to be replaced. Any law system, enforcement and making/changing, will exist properly to only enforce and make moral laws. So, there really is no principle to say whether you may or may not break this or that immoral law in a mixed-bag system of law like we have now, besides the cost/benefit analysis of getting caught. The issue of breaking bad laws and the issue of changing the standing system of law are mutually exclusive -- even though the reason behind both is the same: bad lawmakers and bad people electing the lawmakers.

I'm unsure why I was confused about this before, but I now understand the point that had been made in this thread that there really isn't evidence of lawbreaking disintegrating Law (after all, what is a system for but to prevent such disintegration?). However, there is loads of evidence supporting a corrupt populace electing corrupt lawmakers, leading to moral people necessarily breaking official laws just to lead a normal upstanding life.

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Good job, you have ruled out peaceful existence in society.

No, only peaceful existence in places where the rule of law is generally disregarded. To the extent that people make up their own rules for the game and the actual rules are not enforced, anrachy is the result. Somalia, for instance, is not in it's present state because of a lack of guns. It is general disregard of the law. Some warranted and some not.

It is impossible to eliminate individual choice since, you see, humans have this thing called "free will". Whether laws are good or bad, every individual will constantly be choosing whether to respect or break them - pretty much every time he acts.
I am not saying that they cannot break the law, only that they usually should not. Not sure how you got the idea that I didn't think they could.

You are setting up this absurd notion that if people secretively break immoral laws in order to live a moral life this somehow damages the concept or effect of proper rights protecting laws. What damages the effectiveness and respectability of proper law is the fact that immoral laws are on the books.
I would say that both of those do. Because, as you pointed out above, people have freewill and come to differing conclusions about the morality of each, people who desire to live in civilized conditions recognize the capacity of all to ignore laws and so choose to live by the generally accepted notion that the law applies to everyone, even them, and even when they don't like it.

It is always moral to foil the criminal who tries to violate your rights - if you can. Whether he was elected to violate your rights or not is immaterial.

In a dictatorship, I would agree. In a civil society with basic freedoms, then I disagree.

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The former is going to happen independent of what the latter does, or if the latter needs to be replaced because it is so corrupt.

How could the amount of disregard for the law not be connected to the morality of it? If every thing is illegal, survival requires the breaking of all laws and if nothing is illegal than no laws can be broken. The more intrusive the law is, the more occasion and necessity there is to break it. Or did you mean the reverse of that?

there really isn't evidence of lawbreaking disintegrating Law
Law breaking behavior becomes cultural norms and those norms over time usually do disintegrate the law. At least in most historical examples I am aware of. Observe any severe alteration in the capacity of enforcement like Katrina or Somalia or even a stop light that is not functioning. Very quickly, those sudden alterations tend to be met with widespread disregard for the law. Likewise a culture in which few people observe the laws puts increasing strain on enforcement which causes the likelihood of consequences for law breaking to become lessened.
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Not to derail these great Kantian "obey the law for its own sake" speeches, but here is more evidence of what some of our beneficent reason-loving rulers have in store for us:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/02/...4.shtml?tag=pop

Hayworth [u.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who is challenging John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the Arizona Senate race] then asked a question of Gutierrez [Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) leading the Democratic charge for immigration reform.] "Do you think illegal aliens have done anything wrong by being in this country without authorization?"

Gutierrez said, "Let me tell you what I propose. I want to end illegal immigration as we know it."

One step in ending illegal immigration, he said, is to "go after employers that hire undocumented workers and be very severe with them."

A second part of his plan is more technologically sophisticated, and perhaps radical. "The same Social Security card that my granddad got in the 1930s is the same one my grandson, who is 7 years old, just got. It's time to bring new technology to make sure that everyone that works in America has a Social Security card. I'm ready to give a little blood and a little DNA to prove that I'm legally working in the United States of America."

Obey the police state. It's your duty. You don't want to erode respect for the law, do you?

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Not to derail these great Kantian "obey the law for its own sake" speeches, but here is more evidence of what some of our beneficent reason-loving rulers have in store for us:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/05/02/...4.shtml?tag=pop

Obey the police state. It's your duty. You don't want to erode respect for the law, do you?

Hey listen, whenever your ready to actually start the revolution, give me a call B) . Please believe me that you don't have to convince me the government does bad. I'm just not convinced that we are at a point where the trend is irreversible without violence or law breaking.

This is directed at my mounting and dedicated detractors in general,

Are you philosophically in the camp of the social contract/consent is necessary for law to be legitimate crowd?

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Are you philosophically in the camp of the social contract/consent is necessary for law to be legitimate crowd?

Social contract/consent is basically subjectivism. Law as an end in itself is intrinsicism. Nice dichotomy you've got set up there. It would be a shame if something happened to it. B)

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Are you philosophically in the camp of the social contract/consent is necessary for law to be legitimate crowd?

No, but asking what the source of a law's legitimacy is is indeed the million dollar question.

As Grames alluded to, having been passed by a legislature (officially being a law) is also not what gives a law legitimacy. A law is legitimate when it objectively protects the rights of individuals in a jurisdiction, and illegitimate when it does otherwise.

This one falls into the latter category, and selfish individuals such as ourselves can and should recognize that fact and act accordingly. And, since I'm sure you will repeat the "possibility of a mistake on the part of any legislature, in their quest for proper laws" argument: no, anti immigration laws are not a mistake, they're evil on purpose, so the argument does not apply.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Social contract/consent is basically subjectivism. Law as an end in itself is intrinsicism. Nice dichotomy you've got set up there. It would be a shame if something happened to it. B)

I'm not quite that clever or insidious. It was just a yes or no question for the sake of clarification.

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No, but asking what the source of a law's legitimacy is is indeed the million dollar question.

As Grames alluded to, having been passed by a legislature (officially being a law) is also not what gives a law legitimacy. A law is legitimate when it objectively protects the rights of individuals in a jurisdiction, and illegitimate when it does otherwise.

This one falls into the latter category, and selfish individuals such as ourselves can and should recognize that fact and act accordingly. And, since I'm sure you will repeat the "possibility of a mistake on the part of any legislature, in their quest for proper laws" argument: no, anti immigration laws are not a mistake, they're evil on purpose, so the argument does not apply.

Thank you, Jake, that was clarifying. I still don't agree, but I better understand your position.

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Thank you, Jake, that was clarifying. I still don't agree, but I better understand your position.

With which part do you disagree? Surely you at least agree with the part about laws being legitimate when they objectively protect rights? That the essence of proper politics is not in the process, but in the substance?

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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Surely you at least agree with the part about laws being legitimate when they objectively protect rights?

Yes.

That the essence of proper politics is not in the process, but in the substance?

No. I see them as inseparable. A perfect objectivist legal system would be worthless without appropriate enforcement and adequate adherence by the citizens under it. This requires the application of additional correct political principles beyond "Government's job is to protect life, liberty, and property." (I would identify that as the purpose of government and not an all encompassing legal system itself)

Among these additional principles, is consistent application of the law, regardless of agreement on the part of citizens or any particular individuals judgment about its morality, in each instance. The problem I have with your view is it essentially means that you will obey the law consistently once it is a perfect protector of rights, which is to say, never. It's not a big danger when an individual or small group of people ignore it. Even less of a big deal when the lawbreaker(s) are objectivist. However, when treated as something that everyone ought to do, the potential for abuse and mistaken beliefs is a far greater danger to my liberties in practice, than most governments-even one as transgressive as our own.

I understand that you will say, "no, no, no silly rabbit, I am only advocating that everyone only break unjust laws." At that point we go off in our own directions with you unable to comprehend why I think that people should join the Borg and where I become disinterested in a discussion about the decisions of perfectly rational, objectivist decision makers with regard to a government of laws made unnecessary by their own virtue.

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