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Danodare

Objectivity of rights

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So first of all, what are rights ? 

The good life consists of thinking, acting on those thoughts, and then enjoying the rewards when those actions are successful. Anything that hinders that process is bad, i.e. anti-life. 

The initiation of force is evil because force hobbles the mind in one way or another. But how do you define force ? According to Dr Peikoff in the 1976 lectures with Ayn Rand sitting at the back, force is "the involuntary, executed by physical means". In OPAR, he defines force similarly as "coercion by physical agency".

So let's say I build a house and A) a hurricane destroys it; B ) the house is on my property and a government bureaucrat has it demolished because it's not built up to regulations; C) I built the house on someone else's property, and that person demolishes the house.

A is not force because there is human agency involved. B is the initiation of force, because I was entitled to build a house on my property. C is retaliatory force, because the property owner was entitled to dispose of his property and I wasn't entitled to build a house on it. But B could be also retaliatory force: for example, what if my house is poorly built and threatening to crumble at any moment and therefore damage the adjacent houses ?

It seems clear to me from the example above and many other I can think of that what is and isn't an initiation of force depend on the antecedent concept of what I'm entitled to do, i.e. on the concept of rights. In VOS, Rand says that rights sanction an individual's freedom "to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, furtherance, the fulfillment, and enjoyment of his own life".

So far so good, and rights seem like an objective concept. If I see my life as think + act + benefit from the resultant values, a lot of the examples that come to mind are easy: regulations, murder, kidnapping, battery hinder me at the action level; taxation, theft, vandalism, slander, libel, intellectual property theft hinder me at the benefitting-from-the-resultant-values level; fraud, breach of contract, privacy intrusions hinder me at the thinking level.

What I don't understand is: where exactly is the boundary between my sphere of freedom and another person's sphere of freedom ? In other words, where is the boundary between my rights and his/hers ?

For example:
1) assume there is a 10 feet wall between my neighbor's property and mine. Can I fly a drone above my property and use it to snoop on my neighbor ?
2) assume my girlfriend comes to my house and we have a fight, and she decides to leave. Can I stand in my driveway to prevent her car from going out ? (just standing there imploring her to stay, non-threateningly).
3) assume I meet a tourist couple and they ask me for directions to a museum. Instead of the museum, can I send them to an unsafe part of the city where they might be mugged ?
4) assume it is 6 am. Can I mow my lawn ?
5) assume that I'm not a supermodel. Can I full-body sunbathe on my property where the neighbors can see me ?
6) assume that my neighbor is disgusted by homosexuality. Can I kiss a person of the same sex on my property in plain view of my neighbor ?
7) assume that I'm a store owner in a sundown town. Can I close my store in the middle of the day when I see a black person parking her car nearby ?
8) assume that I own a company and that an employee has been an asset to the company for 20 years. Can I fire him and replace him with my nephew because my sister has been pestering me about it ?

All the dicey cases are usually dismissed by Objectivists as properly belonging to the philosophy of law. But how would a legal scholar go about thinking any of the hard cases ? The reason this matters to me is that rights can't be an elastic and fluid concept. If they were, then eventually the statists are going to manage to make pseudo-rights look like rights. The boundary between my sphere of autonomy and the next person's needs to be clear and objective.

I am stumped by this, so any help is welcome. To repeat, the question is: how would a legal scholar establish an objective line of demarcation between my rights and the next person's, in order to decide if an initiation of force has taken place or not ?

Edited by Danodare

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From page 336 in the Appendix of Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal,

A complex legal system, based on objectively valid principles, is required to make a society free and to keep it free—a system that does not depend on the motives, the moral character or the intentions of any given official, a system that leaves no opportunity, no legal loophole for the development of tyranny.

A step by step identification of the objectively valid principles is where it begins.

Take example 7, for instance. If a group of owners in a geographic location choose to practice exclusivity, so long as it is not codified into law, is akin to who you invite into your home or not.

If I live in such a community, I could choose who to sell my home to or not. A law compelling me to accept the highest offer does not leave such a decision open to my discretion, thus infringes upon my right to enter into a mutually agreeable exchange.

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It is always the case that in general your rights to action have a scope which far exceeds the scope of moral action... i.e. there will be countless ways in which you may choose to behave, which are well within your rights, but which are inimical to life, or otherwise inconsistent with your flourishing.  It is simple to act within your rights, but not necessarily simple to act in view of your self-interest long term.  

Let's cover the easy ones first, from both a rights view and the moral view:

2) Rights:  You do not have the right to imprison any peaceful innocent person.  Just because you own the bars of a cage does not mean you can keep an innocent person in it.  By blocking her vehicle with your "life" you unjustly prevent egress... i.e. you imprison her against her will.

Morally:  This is a huge can of worms... the acts here ignore the principles of rationality, independence, justice, pride, honesty, and integrity... ignoring these are all inimical to life and flourishing long range.  IF you are in a relationship which causes you to take such action, the relationship and certainly you need to change.

7) Close your store anytime you wish.  Choosing to lose a potential customer is not initiation of force.  They do not have a right to trade with you, as trade is voluntary. Morally, it is incredibly stupid to bar a patron solely on the basis of skin color.  Foregoing a profitable trade on the basis of irrational fear is inimical to life.

8) Inasmuch as your asset can quit anytime for any reason, you can fire your employee for any reason.  Like 7, choosing not to deal with someone is not initiation of force.  The employee employer relationship is a voluntary one.  Morally, firing an asset is rather stupid unless there is a good reason. 

 

The following are very much within the philosophy of law because they deal with property rights to something in common.  The air, the water, the view, the soundscape... all are unavoidably shared by neighbors.  All have rights to them, but no one has complete ownership over any of them.  When the use of any of these sufficiently disturbs the use of any of these by others with whom they are shared, there is a defacto attempt to convert what is shared into something which is only enjoyed by one party, i.e. it is an attempt to take full ownership, which is unjust in the context.  That is why moderate use, which allows all to enjoy, is absolutely within your rights, but use which sufficiently interferes with others, becomes a more specialized question for the philosophy of law.

 

1) Absolutely within your rights if it is invisible, and silent, and you never let them know.

Otherwise it interferes with their ability to peacefully enjoy their private property, their view, their soundscape, their tranquility, and so yes that would fall within the philosophy of law.  Morally, seeking to "snoop" reveals some serious flaws of virtue (baring a necessity raised by evidence that there is some danger or threat posed by the neighbors which requires investigation) including independence, pride, justice, just to name a few.  Finding in oneself a desire to spy is the perfect sign one should seek therapy.

 

3) You absolutely have the right to say whatever you wish when those words are expression of honestly held ideas. 

Stating a falsehood purposefully to mislead a person towards personal damage, be it shouting fire in a crowded theater or leading a blindfolded child at a birthday party away from the piniata and toward a rushing river... that falls outside of the absolute scope of free speech into providing negligent false information...  again legal philosophy.  Morally, you need help... a lot of help.

 

4) You absolutely have the right to mow your own lawn, if that is ALL you do... i.e. if your lawn-mower is silent. 

If you are simultaneously mowing your lawn WHILE polluting the soundscape with load noises which makes it impossible for others to sleep peacefully in their homes... then you have attempted to coopt the shared physical space, the soundscape, to yourself at the exclusion of others.  Morally, you should realize that living peacefully with neighbors who don't wake you up when you sleep, requires being attentive to not waking them up when they sleep... not being an asshole to others is usually a rational choice which leads to peaceful flourishing.

 

5) Nudity can be societally problematic, the psychology of nakedness and sexuality are charged especially around adolescents, and some cultures purposefully raise children avoiding any adult nudity. 

Being naked is not a problem, pushing nakedness on others is. 

The views of houses and their spaces have physical constraints which lead sharing of lines of sight views etc.  In order to share this resource reasonably, one should endeavor to use judiciously placed screens, ideally after talking to neighbors about what they do and do not want to see.  Morally, it makes sense to talk to your neighbor, find that balance for the shared airspace and views to enable you both to enjoy your homes peacefully.

 

6) Yes, it is well within your right to kiss as long as the kiss is an innocent and natural expression of affection as part of independently authentically lived peaceful lives. 

If the act of kissing is not an authentic publicly appropriate peaceful act, but a show, purposefully directed at the neighbor, then you are no longer "kissing" as such, but pretending to have a kiss, a lie of a kiss, by going through the motions of a kiss (the same way that a lie is the mouthing of words which mean the opposite of what you actually think) in order to interfere with your neighbor's ability to live peacefully in their home.  Morally, you should talk to your neighbor, allow them to get to know who you are and be respectful to each other.  Although acting within your rights in this context without a care for your neighbor is not punishable by law, since long term flourishing is the goal and if it poises a risk to peaceful coexistence, it is not good for your life to be wholly inconsiderate.  The moral course is to get to know them, humanize yourself and your love, and the problem may go away (you'll never know if you never try).

 

 

 

 

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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2 hours ago, Danodare said:

1) assume there is a 10 feet wall between my neighbor's property and mine. Can I fly a drone above my property and use it to snoop on my neighbor ?

The snooping violates right to privacy. You will find disagreement here though, privacy rights are still controversial.

2 hours ago, Danodare said:

2) assume my girlfriend comes to my house and we have a fight, and she decides to leave. Can I stand in my driveway to prevent her car from going out ? (just standing there imploring her to stay, non-threateningly).

If there is no other way out except through you, you're denying and preventing her freedom of movement.

2 hours ago, Danodare said:

3) assume I meet a tourist couple and they ask me for directions to a museum. Instead of the museum, can I send them to an unsafe part of the city where they might be mugged ?

Although your actions would be part of a series of further actions that lead to them being harmed, they are strangers and you had no intent to harm. I've heard of locals doing this to tourists as part of a group of thieves, but in that case you would be aiding and abetting the violation of rights.

2 hours ago, Danodare said:

5) assume that I'm not a supermodel. Can I full-body sunbathe on my property where the neighbors can see me ?

You aren't physically doing anything to them, they still have complete freedom of action and complete freedom to do as they wish. This is not a rights violation. Same reply for 6, 7, 8. If there is something specific about those examples you want to discuss, feel free to ask and I'll explain. These all seem to basically be "do you have a right to not be offended?" 

2 hours ago, Danodare said:

4) assume it is 6 am. Can I mow my lawn ?

Sure, there is nothing inherently wrong here in terms of rights. There would likely be some sort of agreement among neighbors though that you won't do this, so that would become a contractual obligation not to mow your lawn at 6 AM. Such an agreement might make sense because sound at least does things physically. That's the difference from the previous case.

 

Edited by Eiuol

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Thanks for the answers, this was really helpful to see the kind of reasoning needed to sort through particular examples.

After my first post, I reread parts of "Foundations of a free society" carefully. I had actually read it from cover to cover but I hadn't fully understood it. Dr Salmieri's essay "Selfish regard for the rights of others", in particular, was a gold mine.

Several quotes from the essay:

As I understand it, to exercise physical force is simply to act on someone without her consent—to interfere in her life. That there is such a phenomenon can be understood without the concept of rights, and often instances of this phenomenon can be recognized without recourse to the concept. However, in many contexts we need the concept of “rights” in order to distinguish between consensual interactions and initiations of force. This is not because of a lack of clarity in the meaning of “force” but because the boundaries of an individual human life are often unclear, particularly in cases involving the complex interactions among individuals living together in a society. The principle of rights enables us to definethese boundaries and thereby to grasp that certain actions that do not involve bodily contact nonetheless intrude into someone’s life.

When people share a common environment, they interact with it and with one another in intricate and overlapping ways that make the boundaries of individual lives difficult to determine. As a result, one cannot undertake complex projects without fear of interference by (even well-intentioned) others. In order for people who share an environment to ensure that all of their interactions will be consensual, leaving each free to lead his own life by his own judgment, we must demarcate the boundaries of our lives. This means explicitly identifying a range of activities that each individual can take unilaterally without intruding on anyone else’s life, and recognizing that interference by anyone else in these activities constitutes force initiated against him. This is the function served by the concept of rights.

These rights serve as guides to people in the formation of a government and legal system through which an individual’s rights can be further specified by defining procedures for such things as the acquisition and transfer of property and the formation, dissolution, and adjudication of contracts. Absent such a government, the boundaries between one person’s life and another’s are ill defined, with the result that there is only a very small range of activity a person can safely take without expecting to come into conflict with others. A legal system that implements and elaborates the concept of rights brings nuanced clarity to the distinction between voluntary and forced interactions. This enables progressively more complex and more intricately interconnected forms of human action. The result is an ever grander scale of life available to every individual.

The process will continue as technology progresses, giving rise to new forms of property. Corresponding to each new form of property will be a new way in which one person can initiate force upon another. But, however remote these rights violations may be from the perceptibly obvious case of bodily assault, what it is for them to be initiations of force remains the same. They are instances of intruding against someone’s will into the process by which he produces and enjoys the values by which he sustains his life. Thus, when faced with the question of whether some newly declared putative right really is a right, we can answer by determining whether violating it would constitute intruding in this manner into anyone’s process of self-sustaining, self-generated action.

The end of the last quote is in principle, the answer to the question I asked in my first post.

Finally, let me offer my thoughts on privacy. Initially I was against a right to privacy, because I thought that law abiding citizens have nothing to fear from government snooping (assuming a capitalist society). Then last week, as I was thinking about initiations of force, I wondered about children and consent since they are not rational beings yet and therefore cannot consent. So I decided to search the web for "initiation of force children" but then paused... what if someone from the government spies on me and misinterprets my search ? Rather than risk being branded a pedophile, I abandonned my search and the train of thought that went with it. So my thinking was actually hobbled by knowing of the all pervasive surveillance programs. In the same way, knowing you could be watched changes your behavior and therefore is an impediment to free thought. For this reason, I am in favor of a right to privacy now, because I see society as a herd of hobbled horses whose minds need to be let loose.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

The snooping violates right to privacy. You will find disagreement here though, privacy rights are still controversial.

I’m unsatisfied with this answer: it’s either too little or too much (I would say too little, so urge a fuller analysis of the question). There is no “right to privacy” any more than there is a “right to a job” or a “right to be not offended”. One could write an entire dissertation on the “right to privacy” (if one is Amy Peikoff, one has done so). Is there really any controversy over the nature of rights and privacy?

The problem that I have with the OP is that it is too wide-ranging, and each one of the 8 sub-questions is a thread in its own right (probably already answered here). At the highest level of analysis, I see the problem as being confusion over “rights” versus “right” (it is not a rare confusion), and that is how I would filter the original question. If the question is about what is right, we cannot answer question 6 without a lot more context. What value is that neighbor to you; what value is there to kissing a person of the same sex while in full view of that neighbor? We can trivially answer the rights-violation question and the associated question of whether a proper government may have a law prohibiting publicly visible homosexual or heterosexual displays of affection.

Instead, I would urge a more focused engagement of the underlying issue. What is the Objectivist theory of the so-called “right to privacy”? How is it even possible for an Objectivist to support GDPR and other such privacy laws? On what basis are contracts properly interpreted and enforceable by courts: and how should Objectivists evaluate contract law in a non-utopian society?

 

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I apologize if the meaning of my first post wasn't entirely clear. Bear with me, I'm not a native english speaker. 

To clarify, my confusion was not between what is right morally and what I have the right to do politically. And questions 1-8 weren't my primary purpose, since I have already answered them for myself (1-4 no 6-8 yes 5 not sure). What worried me is that my answer to these questions was purely subjective, without any basis in reality. If I use Dr Binswanger's definition "force is an actual or threatened nonconsensual physical contact with another person or his property", it doesn't work for most of the examples I gave, or for libel/slander. But if I define force as "force is what violates rights", well then, what is a right and is it objective ? And before I reread Dr Salmieri's essay, I didn't see a way out of this. 

Concerning the right to privacy, I live in the EU and the privacy laws are a major annoyance, I am 100% against them. In my opinion, the problem isn't use of my data that I have consented to contractually, but nonconsensual intrusions into my life, such as mass surveillance programs.

Lastly, this is a minor point but I object to the use of the words "utopian society". That suggests that a capitalist society is an unachievable, unrealizable, imaginary construct. I certainly hope that there will be in my lifetime a capitalist society that I can emigrate to. 

Edited by Danodare

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The answer to some of these questions is obvious, and others are for the most part going to be "it depends." Although I don't think saying "it belongs to the philosophy of law" is "dismissal," I think that is the correct answer. And the reason why it's not a dismissal is because it recognizes the order of general principles to practical application, and it recognizes the role of institutions in developing law through confronting particular situations of conflict where conduct must be adjusted in a political community. But I also think it's a perfectly fine question to then ask "but how does a jurist then figure this out?" 

Concepts, you gotta remember, in Ayn Rand's view, and I think correctly, are not what she calls intrinsic. She does think they are "open-ended" and function differently in different contexts, which partially depend on our purposes at any given time in employing them. It's a fallacy to think that either there is some ready-made metaphysical demarcation one can discover from the philosopher's armchair that will be sufficient to solve all these questions, or the concepts must be fluid and infinitely malleable. There is more than Platonic realism or nominalism.

Don't forget that philosophy of law is also called jurisprudence, and prudence is the virtue of practical wisdom in Aristotelian philosophy. It's important that one not confuse the level of general principles with the particular and contingent judgments that must be made by the actors situated in a specific context. When we are doing moral and political philosophy, we are coming up with very wide generalizations like "capitalism is good," "people have rights," and "don't initiate force." 

One cannot just meditate on "initiation of force is evil" and then plug in "10 ft wall, drone, peeping" etc., and then out comes a judgment "violates rights" or "doesn't violate rights." That may be a kind of Hobbesian calculation view of thought, but that's not how practical reason works. That Salmieri exchange with Zwolinski is good because it explains the role that Rand's concept of force plays as a holistic approach both horizontally and vertically related to other concepts, and that one has to keep that relationship when applying it.

So if we take "health is a value" for example. How do we apply this to our lives? Beyond noting that "life is the standard of value" and moving to generic goods like "health is a value," there is very little in the way of direct practical advice on at the concrete level of real human conduct. Do I work out at 7 am? 4 pm? After breakfast? Do I jog? What if I have shin splints? What about strength training? Should I join a gym? Is yoga good? Etc. You can see that there is no support for reaching any conclusions just sitting in the armchair and trying to deduce a clearly demarcated criterion for answering from the premise "health is a good" alone. 

Once you've induced a general concept like "health is a good" from paradigmatic concrete examples, you then have a good basis on which to go back to the concrete and identify further, more marginal and hard cases, and subsume them under the generalization, keeping the context of the original classification. The same way, if the jurist keeps in mind what the purpose for the concept of rights originally was, he doesn't have to have universalistic and intrinsically demarcated criterion for everything, he has to have some reason to subsume a new concrete under the general class by tying the purpose to be achieved. And that requires recognizing that something is, in fact, an example of the general principles by identifying similarities and differences, and by relating and adjusting your identifications to what you already know. 

 

Edited by 2046

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1 hour ago, DavidOdden said:

There is no “right to privacy” any more than there is a “right to a job” or a “right to be not offended”. One could write an entire dissertation on the “right to privacy” (if one is Amy Peikoff, one has done so). Is there really any controversy over the nature of rights and privacy?

I agree there is a lot more to say, that what I wrote about that point isn't satisfactory for this thread especially. I'm referring to what Amy Peikoff says about it; I'm not claiming that a right to privacy is itself some special right. I'm thinking of it as some subordinate right, as in a specific application of rights in regard to privacy. In other words, using a drone to snoop on someone would violate rights to the extent that you are physically interfering with a person and how they choose to live their life. The controversy time referring to is the fact that I sea there is a very wide disagreement of what people would consider to be violations of rights when privacy is involved, at least among Objectivist-minded thinkers. The same is true of intellectual property.

Edited by Eiuol

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12 hours ago, Danodare said:

5) assume that I'm not a supermodel. Can I full-body sunbathe on my property where the neighbors can see me ?

You said you're not sure about this one, so let's focus on it. First, why does it matter that you're not a supermodel? Should supermodels be allowed to sunbathe nude on the front lawn in full view of passersby on the public street?

When you live in a city, you agree to certain codes of public etiquette. If you are visible from public spaces, you are subject to those codes. If you're in the privacy of your backyard, that's different, and you might have a complaint against your neighbor for snooping.

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2046, thanks for your answer, it shed a new light on my error. Before reading your post, I hadn't fully understood what Dr Salmieri meant by "rights are to force what inference rules are to logical validity". It's much clearer to me now. As you point out, the mistake I was making is, in essence, just another instance of the mind-body dichotomy. I keep falling into this one over and over for some reason.

MisterSwig, the supermodel reference was a failed attempt at humor.

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It seems you posted your follow-up after I started my response, so I missed your elaboration which brings the issues into sharper focus. I also commend Peter Schwartz’s Free minds and free markets and his discussion of force and rights.

Since you grant that items 6-8 are clearly not within the scope of proper governmental restriction, I’d like to see arguments that 3-5 are examples of proper governmental restriction. I mean real logical arguments, not arbitrary assertions like “in doing X you agree to Y” when in fact you did not agree to any such thing (you will see this argument mooted in a mistaken attempt to reduce difficult questions about government restrictions to contract law). What is the political principle that says that a man may not mow his lawn (using a gas-powered mower, not silently) at certain hours? I don’t want to know a rationalization of an ordinance against lawn-mowing, I’m looking for a predictive political principle that distinguishes the allowed actions from the forbidden actions, which places lawn mowing and other such action on one side of the line and driving to work at 6:00 am on the other side (I presume). Same with #3, on recommendations. The underlying premise there seems to be that you bear legal responsibility for the consequences of actions that people take based on things you say. Since people are not generally held liable for bad advice or lying, and they are not entitled to a share of the profits for good advice, I find this application quite surprising. What principles leads to your conclusion #3? And while I think #2 is the clearest case, I would still like to see how this conclusion is the product of valid legal principles.

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#1 is an intrusion into the neighbor's life in my opinion. How so ? Instead of being totally free to move around her house as she sees fit, she now has to take into account that I might be watching her. So for example, say she is a scientist thinking about a difficult problem while she's at home, naked on her bed. Suddenly she wants to go swim in her pool, but wait, she thinks that "that creepy neighbor might be watching me" and she puts on a swimsuit and loses her train of thought, rather than just going to her pool while continuing to think about her problem. The case could also be made that this is a case of stalking, and that there is an implicit threat when you follow someone around. This is how I would justify it. 

#2 is clear-cut. I can't stop anyone from moving around.

#3 is morally repugnant, but I concede this one and I agree Ellsworth Toohey should have the political right to do it. Unless, as has been pointed out by a previous poster, he is in cahoots with the mugger(s).

#4 is not obvious because some modern lawnmowers are relativily silent and because I said 6 am. But what about 120 db noise at 3 am ? It would clearly disrupt anyone's life even if they were awake. You have to draw the line somewhere. In any case, most neighborhoods have voluntary agreements between residents for these, in which case it would simply be a breach of contract. 

#5 is hard for me to decide because I am personally not affected by seeing nudity at all, but some people clearly are. I would tend to answer that yes, I can be naked. Unless of course I entered into a voluntary agreement with other residents when I bought the house.

In any case, my main interest wasn't questions 1-8, but the root principle that would ground the reasoning of a jurist thinking about those kind of questions. I now understand the principle, and that it is objective.

99% of rights violations are by government, and are instances of direct threats of force. If we just removed those, we would live in a society that would be so much better that it is hard to imagine. Questions 1-5 are not the main issue but bells and whistles in my opinion. 

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IMO your principle that you may not “intrude into a person’s life” is wrong, and has significant consequences. First, praising or criticising a person for their actions constitutes an intrusion into the person’s life. Second, speaking to or seeing a person is an intrusion into their life. Indeed, based on your naked scientist example, she apparently can go for a walk in the nude down the street, safe in the knowledge that all must avert their eyes lest they intrude into her life. Third, a wrong-doer can evade detection whereby a detective finds him and repossesses the property (e.g. a car being legally repossessed), or using that information in legal procedings. Fourth, I may intrude into another person’s life, when that person beats their spouse and I rescue the spouse. In other words, the scope of your justification is too broad. I reject your claim that it is stalking because what you described is not stalking as prohibited by numerous laws.

I can clearly stop someone from moving around, morally and legally. Remember, I was not asking “what was the outcome: legal or not legal?”, I was asking for the logic behind the conclusion. Restating the conclusion with the word “clearly” is not a logical argument. I own a road: I can stop a person from “moving around” on it. Also, in my experience, you can’t stop a car by standing in the driveway.

There are virtually no voluntary agreements governing noise or nudity: “what about X” is also not a valid argument. There is no principle behind “what about X”. I can disrupt a person’s life by building a house on my vacant lot (affecting the neighbor’s view). I can also disrupt a person’s life by hiring their spouse to take a job across the country. Again, “disrupting a person’s life” is too broad. Public nudity may disrupt another person’s life, shouldn’t it be illegal?

My interest is simply in finding a valid principle that governs these cases. Laws against murder and theft are also direct threats of force, but they are proper threats. There is something that distinguishes murder and theft from general “intruding”, but the lack of objective philosophical foundation has led society to enact many improper laws. I urge you to re-think the horrifying consequences of a law against “intruding on another person’s life”.

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