The right to discriminate

January 18th, 2009 at 2:19 pm by David Farrar

Stephen Franks blogs:

Though I do not share the Invercargill Turks’ views on Israel in any degree, I defend them. I defend their right to express their views by shunning citizens of a state they consider to be evil. …

If a government agency acted as the Turks did it would be utterly wrong. The state weilds the coercive power of us all. It must be tolerant in a free society. Without proof of involvement in or support of unlawful acts the State certainly should not discriminate against New Zealand citizens simply because they are of a group in which some members have unpopular opinions.

But the vigour of our values (in the long term our freedoms) may depend on the willingness of individuals to be intolerant so long as they do not coerce their fellow citizens. So  I defend the right of any private citizen to shun whoever they want on their own property.

Stephen’s view is one shared by many on the right. That people have a right to be bigots. I have some sympathy for that view, but not without limits.

Taking the case of the Invercargill cafe owner, the most effective action in response has been privaye citizens saying we don’t like you because you are bigots. They have had protests outside, dozens of phone calls, and from all accounts are starting to regret their stance.

Those who oppose anti- laws see how they have often been used overseas to shut down unpopular speech, or prevent criticism of certain religions.

But on the other hand, do we want a society where cafes could display signs saying “No Jews allowed” or “No blacks work here”? The libertarian argument is that private reaction against such signs would probably be more effective than state action.

But we saw in Europe in the 30s what can happen, when the state does not prevent discrimination. Are we confident that would never occur?

At the end of the day I stop short of the position put forward by Stephen, that private discrimination should be legal.

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81 Responses to “The right to discriminate”

  1. djp (59 comments) says:

    >But we saw in Europe in the 30s what can happen, when the state does not prevent discrimination. Are we confident that would never occur?

    A lot of things happened in the 30s… are you talking about discrimination against the Jews in Germany? Because that was state initiated and so does not make a good example of “what can happen”.

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  2. James (1,338 comments) says:

    DPF…If private discrimination is not legal then all liberty and freedom is imperiled…..indeed it becomes impossible.Remember that the right to liberty IS the right to discriminate: period….for what ever reason.

    You are forgetting the fact that in 30’s Europe ….as in the Southern States of the US as well as Apartheid South Africa it WAS the state itself that legislated for seperatist policies….segragation was political policy.The state had to use its force to make people comply as people tendered not to apply the policy without a certain amount of armtwisting from pollies…people were more interseted in making money from trading with the ones they were supposed to reject….the colour Green tended to be the only one that was important to most people.

    “But on the other hand, do we want a society where cafes could display signs saying “No Jews allowed” or “No blacks work here”? The libertarian argument is that private reaction against such signs would probably be more effective than state action.”

    It has been…look at this Cafe issue…before the stae has even acted private people ie: the free markey has already delivered its verdict with protests orgainsed and boycotts enacted…all without Government raising one finger.

    By adopting your stance you are invalidating all your previous liberal stances and principles and have surrendered the moral high ground to the Socialsits et el…please reconsider

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  3. big bruv (13,720 comments) says:

    We already do discriminate, it is now legal to discriminate against somebody because they are a smoker, you cannot refuse to hire somebody because they are black/brown/or white, its against the law to say you will not hire gays and lesbians and watch out if you do not fancy hiring a disabled person because of the thousands of dollars worth of building alterations that would be required for that disabled person to be able to do their job but its OK to say no to a smoker.

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  4. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    But we saw in Europe in the 30s what can happen, when the state does not prevent discrimination. Are we confident that would never occur?

    Um, I think we saw what happened when the democratically elected government of Germany in very short order passed legislation forbidding Jews from teaching, the civil service and journalism or practicing law and medicine; made marriage or extra-marital sexual relations between Jews and Aryans a capital crime; the forbade Jews from public hospitals, schools, parks, libraries and beaches. Eventually, it even got as petty as barring Jews from owning bycycles, typewriters or radios.

    The problem wasn’t that the Third Reich failed to “prevent discrimination”, but encoded Jew-hatred in legislation almost from the moment of its birth. I am pretty damn confident that would never occur in New Zealand, but of course I can’t say it wouldn’t with absolutely certainty.

    [DPF: I was thinking of the era before the Nazis took over when they were not the Government but the Government did not stop them demonising the Jews]

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  5. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Thanks Craig….well put.

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  6. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    I agree with you David. There is no way to change the evil in men’s hearts and their private actions. But at the very least the state should support the rights of all individuals by prevention of discrimination against any group, religious, political or any other.

    I commented (Tongue in Cheek) that the cafe owner should have whizzed in their coffee. If he had done this more dispicable private act rather than the public protest, then nobody would have been the wiser.

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  7. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    There are two issues here – (1) the right to be a bigot and (2) the amount of say you have over what goes on in your own premises. I’d like to talk about the second one. In New Zealand the government has far too much say over what goes on in business owners premises, almost to the point where they are treated no differently that completely public places. For example, as a vet my premises can be entered and searched without warrant or warning by non police staff at any time. I know many other business owners are in the same situation, eg food outlets.

    If someone is running a business I believe, within reason, it is their right to say who enters it and who is excluded.

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  8. BR (80 comments) says:

    There are laws that guarantee freedom of association. The state must not act in a way that prevents people who want to associate with certain other people from doing so, but what about the freedom of disassociation? Why should the state force people to associate with those that they would otherwise choose not to? Why should freedom of association be seen as more important than freedom of disassociation?

    A private business owner should have the right to refuse entry to anyone for any reason without having to answer to the potential customer, or to some third party including state bureaucrats. A private business owner should also be permitted to make public any criteria on which entry will be refused.

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  9. artemisia (235 comments) says:

    I am in favour of (much) less government. In the cafe situation, the owner should now bear the consequences of his decision. And apparently is. Which is as it should be. And maybe he and others will think twice next time, before running off at the mouth. I cannot see that mediation or prosecution would hurt him more than seeing his livelihood and reputation impacted.

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  10. mickysavage (786 comments) says:

    And the body count now is 1132 Palestinians and 13 Israelis …

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  11. Stuart Mackey (337 comments) says:

    # djp (42) Vote: Add rating 0 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    January 18th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    >But we saw in Europe in the 30s what can happen, when the state does not prevent discrimination. Are we confident that would never occur?

    A lot of things happened in the 30s… are you talking about discrimination against the Jews in Germany? Because that was state initiated and so does not make a good example of “what can happen”.

    What happened in Germany was not something that just came out of the blue, all that the Nazi government did was formally enforce existing social prejudices that were already existing in German society and had been for some centuries, granted they made it a lot worse, but Europe has a long history of unofficial anti-Semitism that was not state sanctioned, up to and including murder, but unofficially approved because it was socially acceptable.
    If we allow it to become socially acceptable to prohibit people from bars, restaurants and so on, on the basis of race, religion or political ideology by virtue of a fig leaf of property rights, we start down the path that makes what happened in Germany a possibility, by virtue of the fact that government and the civil service are of necessity recruited from the very society they represent; Inevitably it becomes a numbers game, the majority of people who hold to a certain view come to dominate and enforce their views on the nation at large.

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  12. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    Ironic, the Israelis this man hates so much are fighting to defend the very freedoms he is exercising.

    The hypocrisy of the left never seizes to amaze.

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  13. Crampton (215 comments) says:

    It’s really worth looking at Jennifer Roback’s work on discrimination in the Jim Crowe era US-South. A Google Scholar search will pull it up readily — J Ec History late 1980s I think. Long story short: streetcar companies in the South refused to discriminate until state legislators forced them to. Discrimination is expensive, and more expensive than racist white customers were willing to pay for. But discrimination is very cheap at the ballot box. Go read it.

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  14. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    I would like one of you freedom defenders to answer this question. Would it be alright for the owner of a privately owned medical centre or pharmacy to refuse service on the same grounds as the Turk. If not, why not. In some rural communities the nearest alternate medical centre or pharmacy can be many miles away.

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  15. radvad (755 comments) says:

    “And the body count now is 1132 Palestinians and 13 Israelis …”

    And the moral of the story is “do not fire rockets at a country that has more firepower than you”.

    Pretty obvious really.

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  16. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    I remember in the mid 60s landlords would advertise for flats and the final comment was Maori need not apply? I have also heard from many sources that Maori were restricted to a certain part of the movie theatre in Pukekohe. I am sure I could get this verified. I am sure others can remember other areas of blatant racial discrimination in their lifetime.

    Individual landlords and employers are still able to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality. This is hard to stop entirely. However, they cannot easily get a real estate firm or employment agency to so for them easily. Would you like to see the clock turned back so this is possible?

    This would be the thin edge of the wedge. To do so for some fringe ideological reason regarding private property would be detrimental to New Zealand’s international reputation.

    In the case in question the public may force the café owner to change his mind. However, in the case of accommodation especially where there is a shortage the public could not effect a change if they were so motivated.

    Property rights are not supreme in any country in the world nor should they be. I do not want my neighbour building a three story block of flats 0.1 metres from my boundary.

    The last person to hold out when a motorway is to be built should not be able to demand 10 times what the property is worth.

    Getting back to businesses refusing to serve customers they should be reasonable limits. They should have the right to refuse service on the basis of dress and obvious behaviour such as having too much to drink.

    To allow business to refuse service on the basis or race, colour, nationality or religion would put New Zealand out of step with most of the civilised world. Does anyone know of a Western country where this is allowed?

    Do those who support the café owner’s right to discriminate on the basis of nationality also support a return to the 60s where landlords could blatantly discriminate on the basis of race?

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  17. Ruth (178 comments) says:

    The market may have delivered its verdict in this case, but the libertarian position was that the women and kids should have shut up and simply gone on their way, unperturbed and accepting of the bigotry. Had they done so and not kicked up a fuss the cafe owner would have suffered no consequences whatsoever.

    Personally I agree with Franks in the main, but find the purist libertarian position somewhat creepy.

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  18. AG (1,824 comments) says:

    The “right” to run a business according to your own (and only your own) rules is both a moral and a political claim (in the sense that it has implications for how our society is structured and operates). In terms of its political importance, it is very much a minority obsession – so much so that it hardly seems worth debating After all, at the 2008 election, the flagship for this political view (the Libertarianz) got 1,176 votes … 0.05% of all votes cast … or 1/10th of the votes cast for the Bill and Ben Party.

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  19. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “So I defend the right of any private citizen to shun whoever they want on their own property”

    What you do on your own private property is your own choice, however when you make your own private property a “Public Place” then you lose that discretion.
    The term “public place” shall mean any street, alley, park, public building, any place of business or assembly open to or frequented by the public, and any other place which is open to the public view, or to which the public has access.

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  20. Lance (2,635 comments) says:

    Allowing someone to be a racist bigot because of property rights might sound theoretically better than a nanny state but it is walking on a very steep slippery Teflon coated slope that has a very ugly society at the bottom of it.
    I have been seriously pissed off by the leftist state screwing around with people’s property rights. My folks were done over pretty good with the Waitakere Ranges Heritage Bill. Cost them a big chunk of their retirement estate they worked a lifetime for and they were out manoeuvred by lying, cheating and deceiving leftish scumbags BUT I don’t want a society where some immigrant can come into my country and bring his prejudices with him and demean decent members of the public.

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  21. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Although I totally disagree with “discrimination” the staunchly anti-discriminatory comments carry some irony if not hypocrisy. Don’t we already have discrimination with gay bars, men’s clubs, women’s organisations, sexual selection of sports teams, “targeted assistance (bollocks)”, “equal employment opportunities (bollocks)”, affirmative action. when you think about it our society is riddled with discrimination – so its a matter of degree NOT an absolute.

    Also the die hards on the “no discrimination” side of an argument love to use examples of a doctor or a pharmacist, thereby being discriminatory. But surely the law should apply equally to all? So if a carpenter or a plumber has a right to turn away business why not other professions? In many professions these days if you break the law you have two trials – a civil/criminal one and a professional one, whereas others who break the law don’t have to even answer once – its called discrimination and there’s a hell of a lot of it out there mates!

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  22. goodgod (1,348 comments) says:

    “…I defend their right to express their views by shunning citizens of a state they consider to be evil…”

    All discerning cafes should bear the sign: NO LABOUR MPs

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  23. Banana Llama (1,043 comments) says:

    # Patrick Starr (1408) Vote: Add rating 2 Subtract rating 0 Says:
    January 18th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    “So I defend the right of any private citizen to shun whoever they want on their own property”

    What you do on your own private property is your own choice, however when you make your own private property a “Public Place” then you lose that discretion.
    The term “public place” shall mean any street, alley, park, public building, any place of business or assembly open to or frequented by the public, and any other place which is open to the public view, or to which the public has access.

    I think that’s a pretty reasonable approach to the situation Patrick =) is this the way the law currently operates?

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  24. dad4justice (8,137 comments) says:

    “All discerning cafes should bear the sign: NO LABOUR MPs”

    Indeed goodgod and a large warning sign should be hanging on the wall stating that is a offence punishable by death to order a liarbour latte.

    Discrimination is the norm in the De Femily Court of lying sickos.

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  25. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    What was once “corruption” is now “positive discrimination”.

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  26. baxter (893 comments) says:

    The left wing former protest leader parading as Human Rights Commissioner and his muted response and solution of mediation is a joke. All members of Parliament should be responsible for our ‘human rights’ and should enact laws to be enforced by the pOLICE and punished by a court… Every citizen should have the right to dignity these ladies were deprived of theirs. If Stephen FRANKS ( who I respect) and other Libertarians had their way it would be better for the businesses concerned to display ‘No Jews” (or perhaps a swastika) No Maoris or similar signs.

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  27. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “is this the way the law currently operates?”
    That’s the general principle. Some Acts further exclude any public premises as a public place where the payment of an entrance fee is made.

    i.e
    Muslim $100
    Everyone else $1

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  28. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    D4j did the family court sickos summons you up to answer some trumped up charge again?

    Don’t worry John Key will take care of them soon enough

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  29. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Kevin @ 4.56pm, sincere thanks, you pretty much answered my question.

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  30. Southern Raider (1,809 comments) says:

    In fairness to all concerned I think it should be illegal not to advertise who you won’t serve.

    That way I can make an informed decision not to give any business to the bigots.

    Surely this is the only fair way? It means the business owner can make his own decisions and the public are well informed as to what they are. By not displaying these signs then the person is really being deceitful and not complying with the Fair Trading Act.

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  31. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Don’t we already have discrimination with gay bars…

    Well, Kevin, I’ve got to admit it’s been many many years since I was “on the scene”, but I don’t recall every being asked “Are you now, or have you ever been, someone who eats pussy rather than sucks cock?” before being giving my over-priced G&T.

    Also the die hards on the “no discrimination” side of an argument love to use examples of a doctor or a pharmacist, thereby being discriminatory. But surely the law should apply equally to all? So if a carpenter or a plumber has a right to turn away business why not other professions?

    A pretty crap analogy, Kevin, and here’s why. The owner of the Bigoted Fucktard Cafe isn’t receiving pretty big wads of public money to serve up lukewarm kebabs and bad coffee. Your average doctor or pharmacist is — though I’m sure they’d argue until they’re blue in the face they don’t get enough, but that’s a whole other argument.

    When we all get to pick and choose what part of my tax bill we pay, then suckers on the public tit can pick and choose which citizen-taxpayers they deign to offer contracted services to.

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  32. big bruv (13,720 comments) says:

    mickysavage

    “And the body count now is 1132 Palestinians and 13 Israelis”

    It’s a damn shame about those 13 Israeli’s, my heart goes out to their families.

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  33. C-Rat (10 comments) says:

    Ruth Says:

    “The market may have delivered its verdict in this case, but the libertarian position was that the women and kids should have shut up and simply gone on their way, unperturbed and accepting of the bigotry. Had they done so and not kicked up a fuss the cafe owner would have suffered no consequences whatsoever.

    Personally I agree with Franks in the main, but find the purist libertarian position somewhat creepy.”

    I would genuinely like to know what part of libertarian ideology you extrapolated this alleged ‘position’ from? There is nothing in libertarianism that springs to mind, that would require one to shut-up and accept discrimination; only that there be no legal recourse. There is nothing “purist” about such a position, asking someone to just put up with discrimination is not libertarian. I consider myself libertarian, I consider myself well read on libertarianism. I have no idea where you got your idea about the purist position from. I would encourage anyone on the receiving end of irrational discrimination to kick up a god almighty stink about it and woe unto the idiot bigot’s business.

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  34. fishe (161 comments) says:

    I have a few issues with the strong libertarian view in this case, and in general. I’m sure someone here can provide solid opposing arguments to these…

    Firstly, doesn’t the strong libertarian view of property rights/freedom work against minority groups? If the market determines a just action, then it is easy to see how a property owner could make rules which suit the majority well-enough and still have a viable business. Therefore the minority groups could often be in an inferior position and loose out on opportunities solely because of their size as opposed to any measure of ability.

    Secondly. The free market forces could have a influencing effect on the property owner. As an example: a significantly large group forms and demands the property owner to actively discriminate against another group else they will not use that property owners services/goods. Here the owner may be forced to oblige. This seems to be a problem where there isn’t the final and ultimate mandate of law.

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  35. Sonny Blount (1,780 comments) says:

    Under current legislation would it be illegal for a brothel to refuse ‘service’ to Brad Shipton?

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  36. francis (712 comments) says:

    And, of course, some acts of discrimination are prohibited on private property of a non-public nature – eg, it is possible to be prosecuted in some places for a ‘hate crime’ committed on private property.

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  37. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “Discrimination is expensive, and more expensive than racist white customers were willing to pay for.”

    Outstanding. This confirms my theory that segregation just became too expensive.

    Separate ammenities, public facilities, it’s an huge cost.

    But there’s one other thing I need to know. Were blacks tax payers under segregation.

    If so, then Blacks were entitled to carry the US flags police were taking off them at protests

    If Blacks were tax payers, segregation was highly unconstitutional, illegal and immoral.

    But now the constitution is being eroded against whites,,, no wonder 9/11 was needed.

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  38. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “Under current legislation would it be illegal for a brothel to refuse ’service’ to Brad Shipton?”

    A scroundrels last resort usually accommodates him.

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  39. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “Under current legislation would it be illegal for a brothel to refuse ’service’ to Brad Shipton?”

    I suppose it would all depend why, if they refused him on race, religion and told him so then it’s probably illegal but specific laws like the prostitution law has rights of refusal.

    17 Refusal to provide commercial sexual services(1) Despite anything in a contract for the provision of commercial sexual services, a person may, at any time, refuse to provide, or to continue to provide, a commercial sexual service to any other person.

    (2) The fact that a person has entered into a contract to provide commercial sexual services does not of itself constitute consent for the purposes of the criminal law if he or she does not consent, or withdraws his or her consent, to providing a commercial sexual service.

    (3) However, nothing in this section affects a right (if any) to rescind or cancel, or to recover damages for, a contract for the provision of commercial sexual services that is not performed.

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  40. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Tim…”I agree with you David. There is no way to change the evil in men’s hearts and their private actions. But at the very least the state should support the rights of all individuals by prevention of discrimination against any group, religious, political or any other.”

    There is no such right as a right NOT to be discriminated against…such a “right” would require the violation of the Real rights to liberty and property of the discriminator…sorry you are wrong.

    PatrWhat you do on your own private property is your own choice, however when you make your own private property a “Public Place” then you lose that discretion.”

    It depends if you have consentualy agreed to the terms of a contract that prohibits you from discriminating.If you the property owner have signed up to such a contract then you have no comeback

    “However
    The term “public place” shall mean any street, alley, park, public building, any place of business or assembly open to or frequented by the public, and any other place which is open to the public view, or to which the public has access.ick…”

    Wrong…your private property is not public….its open to the public on your terms…but you are still the controler of it.In a free country you do not need nor get the permission of anyone else to create and run your business as you see fit….in other words we don’t have rights because we have a State….we have a State to protect pre existing rights….The State if its doing its job should be upholding the cafes mans right to do what he’s doing and prevent and punish anyone who trys to use force to stop him.

    Murrry:…”would like one of you freedom defenders to answer this question. Would it be alright for the owner of a privately owned medical centre or pharmacy to refuse service on the same grounds as the Turk.”

    Absolutley %10000 YES!!!!…..unless he’s agreed to a contracted agreement as Craig has described….then he needs to wear it or withdraw from the contract.

    “If not, why not. In some rural communities the nearest alternate medical centre or pharmacy can be many miles away.”

    Medical care….like all services are just that …..a service….not a right. It is “right” to seek to access the service…but there is no right TOO it….the latter implies the right to enslave the service provider….sorry but no go.It would be a cold bastrad who wouldn’t treat a person in real need and I think the calling of medicine diswades people with that mindset rather early on I would have thought.

    Chuck:….”I remember in the mid 60s landlords would advertise for flats and the final comment was Maori need not apply? I have also heard from many sources that Maori were restricted to a certain part of the movie theatre in Pukekohe. I am sure I could get this verified. I am sure others can remember other areas of blatant racial discrimination in their lifetime.”

    Yes…my parents were told if they bought in a certain street in Papakura that they could not on sell to a Maori….also the Papakra tavern had a no maoris policy into the 70’s I belive…..

    “Individual landlords and employers are still able to discriminate on the basis of race or nationality. This is hard to stop entirely. However, they cannot easily get a real estate firm or employment agency to so for them easily. Would you like to see the clock turned back so this is possible?”

    No need…just let the market work.If the sentiment displayed here and elsewhere is anything to go by State action is not required .

    “This would be the thin edge of the wedge. To do so for some fringe ideological reason regarding private property would be detrimental to New Zealand’s international reputation.”

    Fringe ideological reason?! You mean the reason that underpines the Wests wealth and prosperity and general superior standard of living and personal safety…?Geez Chuck…..cut back on those pills…

    “In the case in question the public may force the café owner to change his mind. However, in the case of accommodation especially where there is a shortage the public could not effect a change if they were so motivated.”..

    Sorry but it makes no difference…no one has a right to accomdation…not when the owner doesn’t want them there….unless we have an instance of the “Craig clause” in effect…;-)

    “Property rights are not supreme in any country in the world nor should they be.”

    They most certainly are in any country wothy of the title and are indeed the most crucile foundation for human fulfilment and prosperity.Go and look at “countries” that don’t respect anmd uphold property rights and you will find mass murdering,socialist shitholes…no thanks.

    “I do not want my neighbour building a three story block of flats 0.1 metres from my boundary.”

    So work out a covernant or strike some form of agreement….

    “The last person to hold out when a motorway is to be built should not be able to demand 10 times what the property is worth.”

    Why not? Good for them…it is after all THEIR property….of someone else wants it they can pay the price that its valued at or leave.

    “Getting back to businesses refusing to serve customers they should be reasonable limits. They should have the right to refuse service on the basis of dress and obvious behaviour such as having too much to drink.”

    All bow to Chuck…the Uber fascist…the only source of whats allowed and what isn’t.Just who are you to decide for someone else just what criteria they will use to determine what happens on their property Comrade Bird?

    “To allow business to refuse service on the basis or race, colour, nationality or religion would put New Zealand out of step with most of the civilised world. Does anyone know of a Western country where this is allowed?”

    Who cares about that? if the rest of the world is wrong why must we also be…?

    “Do those who support the café owner’s right to discriminate on the basis of nationality also support a return to the 60s where landlords could blatantly discriminate on the basis of race?”

    %1000000000 YES!

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  41. serge (108 comments) says:

    “And the body count now is 1132 Palestinians and 13 Israelis”

    ‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel’

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  42. joeAverage (311 comments) says:

    Seems a reasonable ratio, mickysavage

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  43. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “And, of course, some acts of discrimination are prohibited on private property of a non-public nature – eg, it is possible to be prosecuted in some places for a ‘hate crime’ committed on private property.”

    Such as ….? If true thats disgusting and wrong for the reasons already stated.

    This whole tread started with DPF’s statement that he was against private discrimination being legal…..a hypocriticle and I think not fully thought through position as DPF has privately discriminated thousands of times throught his life for reasons of his own….as have we all. To live is to discriminate…we have to do it to live and achieve our happiness…..we do it matters economic,social,romantic….its basically just making choices ….choices that get us what we want and away from what we don’t.

    Now most people most of the time try not to be arseholes when we practice our right to choose but sometimes we can’t help but hurt peoples feelings…thats tough but unavoidable if we are to live as human beings should.

    The cafe owner may have acted based on irrational or badly concived iodeas…but thats his right….the right to be wrong.And don’t say that wrong ideas have no place being expressed in NZ….because our soldiers went and fought to protect the pribciple that they could be …..the irony of NZ soldiers fighting and dying on the slopes of Gallipoli for the principle that underpines a Turkish-New Zealanders right to protest as he has done nearly a hundered years later in their county of birth is not lost on me….how about you guys?

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  44. MikeE (555 comments) says:

    “I remember in the mid 60s landlords would advertise for flats and the final comment was Maori need not apply? I have also heard from many sources that Maori were restricted to a certain part of the movie theatre in Pukekohe. I am sure I could get this verified. I am sure others can remember other areas of blatant racial discrimination in their lifetime.”

    Yup thats correct, I believe the old Movie theatre is now a “Moshims” ethnic grocery store. From what I was told in school (I went to Pukekohe high) there were seperate areas for Chinese, Maoris, Indians and Europeans. When I go back to pukekohe, it is often the Chinese and Indians (usually 3rd generation Kiwis) who are the most racist out there… strange… but true.

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  45. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “At the end of the day I stop short of the position put forward by Stephen, that private discrimination should be legal.”

    Well, understandable, but still a dangerous compromise, as most compromises of a moral or political nature are. Like many such a position, it ignores the the point that once you take that step, you open the floodgates to other assaults on the principle of private property, and for any such law to be perverted by those who would seek to use if for means other than that what it was designed for.

    Example- how the term “abuse” is gradually being redefined to the point where it will soon (if its not already) be categorised as unlawful, and how its meaning has been widened until it embraces any criticism of socialists and socialism. The objective of the socialists is to get “abuse” made illegal so they can use the law to stifle criticism. Anyone who calls socialist “thieves” for example (which is not actually abuse but more a statement of fact) could risk prosecution.

    You cannot undermine the staple requirement of a free society- property rights. The risk is too great, and the evidence of this is plain to see in the way the left’s gradual assault on property rights in NZ has led to seriously diminished freedoms in so many areas. Sure, bigotry/ racism may be a concern, but not a great enough concern to put property rights at risk, and in particular expose property owners to the kind of poorly framed legislation and arbitrary legal action that socialists are already so well known for.

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  46. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Well said Red.

    We have far more to fear from a bloated interferring State slowly tightening its noose around our lives and rights than we do from the odd private individual expressing whats on his mind whilst on his own property…the former has the backing of guns,chains and jail cells….never forget.

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  47. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird – you must be stupid tio think that landlords dont discriminate on the basis of colour or gender or age or etc, etc. They cant say they are discriminating, but of course landlords discominate both against and in favour. They want the best tennant they can get – and a maori tenant is far more likely to have a criminal record, a group of young people will be party, party (and piss off the neighbours and damage the place), and young children will ripe the wall paper off – so a nice white couple are the safest bet.

    I have to agree with the Franks view. Its always amazed me that there are some very strange expectations in society. Everyone seems to think that there are some obligations on the cafe owner – but never do we ever hear about expectations on the buyer. What would people say if we all got in the mail tomorrow a little note that said “You shall buy your latte’s and your capuchinos at Joes cafe”. We’d be all up in arms saying that we should be able to buy our coffee anywhere we want to……….. sort of similar to the cafe owner saying We should be able to sell coffee to whoever we want to.

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  48. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    Kevin, I have worked with explosives a fair bit, now you seem to be saying that inspectors should not have the right to go on to private property ie a quarry to make sure I was doing the right thing.

    No doubt you would change your mind if some bugger was blasting in the property next door and did not bother using a containing mat for the rock that is being chucked about.
    Having a 100kg lump of rock coming through your roof would be a sure way of changing your mind about having rules enforced by visiting inspectors.

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  49. Jack5 (5,052 comments) says:

    Does the libertarian position mean it was okay for the Turks to massacre 2 million Armenians early last century and drive out millions more? Should the Armenians just have walked away?

    The Turk in Invercargill who has banned Israeli residents of NZ because of the Gaza war in which NZ has no part, would have risked his business and personal safety had he tried this a few decades ago.

    In World War 1, the handful of NZ prisoners taken on Gallipoli were among British prisoners forced to clean thick dried blood out of Istanbul churches where Turks massacred Christian Armenians, including women and children.

    In that war, the Turks were at least as heavy oppressors of the Arabs of Palestine as the Israelis have been. The Idriess memoir of the ANZAC mounted division which helped drive the Turks out of Palestine recounts how Australians and New Zealanders saved a surrendering battalion of Turks from being massacred by vengeful Arabs.

    From my vague impression of Invercargill, the Turk’s cafe would be within shot of the city’s war memorial. I’m sure that 40 years ago returned soldiers would have closed the cafe in short time if the Turk had been so discriminatory to a local Israeli. I’m told that Invercargill, which has had very few Jewish citizens, has had at least two Jewish mayors. One of them, Eve Poole, a female member of a Palestian brigade which served with the British Army, married an NZ army officer from a well known Southland business family. I’m told both she, and the previous Jewish Mayor, NZ World War 1 veteran Abraham Wachner, were highly popular in the far south.

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  50. Jack5 (5,052 comments) says:

    Can I add that amid Turkey’s vast and long cover-up of the Armenian genocide, the Turkish government soon after World War 1 tried to suggest the persecution had not been official policy. This was certainly lies, but if true might put it in the realm of private discrimination which libertarians seem to suggest can be okay.

    Can any libertarian also please explain to me whether libertarians would have outlawed slavery, and whether they oppose the new wave of slavery in transport of hundreds of thousands of usually tricked women for foreign prostitution, and in trafficked and captive child labour in countries such as India?

    Where and how do libertarians draw a line?

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  51. Christopher (425 comments) says:

    Sure, bigotry/ racism may be a concern, but not a great enough concern to put property rights at risk

    And that, really, is the bottom line.

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  52. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    For those who think the so called “libertarian” position is something “new”, it ain’t. Respect for property rights has underpinned the government of free countries for centuries, as far back as the Magna Carta.

    A good article on this-

    http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2006/03/property-in-everything-some-background.html

    If its actually any ‘position’ at all, it would be most accurately described as the ‘Conservative position’.

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  53. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Oh, BTW, for those recently educated in NZ’s government schools, the Magna Carta is an historical document written in the 13th century that many regard as the foundation of English common law. It deals with the rights of free men and limiting the power of government and ensuring that government is bound by law and….

    Oh forget it….

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  54. Kevin (1,122 comments) says:

    Hey Grumpy, if there is due cause to think a crime has been committed then of course an inspector should be able to get the police to get a search warant and go with the police to search the premises – just the same rights criminals have, thats all I’m asking.

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  55. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    Oh, BTW, for those recently educated in NZ’s government schools, the Magna Carta is an historical document written in the 13th century that many regard as the foundation of English common law. It deals with the rights of free men and limiting the power of government and ensuring that government is bound by law and….

    Oh forget it….

    Go on Red, I was just getting interested there!

    Funny the name wasn’t Olde English.

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  56. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    “Chuck Bird – you must be stupid tio think that landlords dont discriminate on the basis of colour or gender or age or etc, etc.”

    Barry, you must be stupid if you cannot read. Have a look at my post. I know that individual landlords and small employers can still discriminate on the basis or race or colour. However, they cannot do so blatantly nor can they get rental agents or employment agencies to do so on their behave.

    “the irony of NZ soldiers fighting and dying on the slopes of Gallipoli for the principle that underpines a Turkish-New Zealanders”

    James, I do not think Maori New Zealanders fought in any war overseas so that landlords could run ads in the papers stating “Maori or Islanders need not apply”

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  57. Tauhei Notts (1,692 comments) says:

    I read Stephen Franks’ wonderfully crafted words and thought;
    “How queer was that election result in Wellington Central?”

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  58. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    I have owned a retail store and soon found that the actual shop floor was a mix of private property and public space.
    I was limited in what I could do within the store because it was a semi-public space. For example, the rules for apprehending and holding shoplifters within the shop and on the pavement outside are different.
    In malls of course it becomes more complicated because there is the private retail space, the communal mall space and the genuinely public space outside.

    So I am not sure one has the legal right to refuse service on the grounds of discrimination (which is generally defined to mean personal circumstances over which one has no control such as birth, nationality or of course because of our freedom of belief.) because of private property rights as they are defined in NZ.
    I am quite sure I would be uncomfortable if it became routine for shops to have signs outside saying “Muslims Only” or “No Christians” or “No Jews” or “No Catholics” or “No Americans” or “No Australians”.
    And yet we seem to be saying it is OK to have a sign outside saying “Israelis are not welcome here” (without even knowing whether they are NZ citizens or what their beliefs on Israel are or indeed anything about them.)
    I am also reasonably sure that if anyone put up a sign saying “Maori not welcome” the state would come down on them like a ton of bricks.

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  59. ben (2,377 comments) says:

    But on the other hand, do we want a society where cafes could display signs saying “No Jews allowed” or “No blacks work here”? The libertarian argument is that private reaction against such signs would probably be more effective than state action.

    But we saw in Europe in the 30s what can happen, when the state does not prevent discrimination. Are we confident that would never occur?

    Yes, very confident – very few people, in NZ anyway, have any sympathy for racists or anti-semites. It would be a horrible, horrible business decision to post signs like that in your shop window. That is what the Turkish cafe owner is finding out.

    A more realistic possibility is that bigots post public signs in their home windows. Should government step in then?

    I say no. Liberty matters. As the saying goes, a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away. Speech is not free when the government coercively stamps out all the things the majority votes not to hear.

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  60. ben (2,377 comments) says:

    Jack5:

    Does the libertarian position mean it was okay for the Turks to massacre 2 million Armenians early last century and drive out millions more? Should the Armenians just have walked away?

    Emphatically, no. Libertarians respect the liberty of the individual. I doubt very much the liberty of those 2 million Armenians was in any way recognised or respected.

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  61. MT_Tinman (3,135 comments) says:

    # joeAverage (97) Vote: Add rating 9 Subtract rating 3 Says:
    January 18th, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Seems a reasonable ratio, mickysavage

    Can’t agree with that.

    13 is far too big a price to pay.

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  62. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    CAn we always depend on the backlash as a discipline.
    For example we shall probably soon have urban enclaves where Muslims are in sufficient numbers to encourage a shopkeeper to put up signs “Christians and Jews not welcome here” and find it was good for business.

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  63. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    Craig – I don’t think it’s fair to call medical professionals providing a partially government subsidised service as “suckers on the public tit”. You are confusing us with those bastards that sit on their arses in Wellington offices. We actually produce a tangible result.

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  64. Ruth (178 comments) says:

    CAn we always depend on the backlash as a discipline.

    No we can’t.

    The purist libertarian argument is that all the past decades of civil rights legal effort should be repealed as immoral and unprincipled.

    That’s what it comes down to.

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  65. Tauhei Notts (1,692 comments) says:

    Some publicans know that a “No Maoris” sign would be not on.
    Instead, they advertise “No Hoodies Allowed”.
    It has the same effect and is culturally acceptable.

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  66. James (1,338 comments) says:

    James, I do not think Maori New Zealanders fought in any war overseas so that landlords could run ads in the papers stating “Maori or Islanders need not apply”

    You don’t think Chuck…..zing!

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  67. Chuck Bird (4,847 comments) says:

    James, your do not think. You blindly follow an ideology like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim. This is mainly a right wing blog and there are many Libertarians on it. Look what that vast majority think.

    New Zealand needs tourism more now than ever. We cannot do much quickly about the vicious attacks on tourists. However, the government could quickly do something about this form of economic sabotage main by immigrants bringing their disputes to these shores.

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  68. James (1,338 comments) says:

    James, your do not think. “You blindly follow an ideology like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim. This is mainly a right wing blog and there are many Libertarians on it. Look what that vast majority think.”

    Hmmmm! Quote:…”You blindly follow an ideology like a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim.”…

    and ….”Look at what the vast majority think”

    Anyone what the pleasure of pointing out to Chuck what a tit that has made him look…?

    Chuck….just because you can’t present a non contradictory argument that doesn’t invole the violation of real individual rights is your problem….

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  69. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Right and wrong,true and false are not up for a vote…they are objective facts that stand regardless of who supports what position and why…..Good law is objective…it exists only to protect pre -existing natural rights….the state repression of speech and non violent action is an example of bad law.

    And then theres the little matter that if we don’t stand up for this guys right to do what hes done who will bother to stand up for us when its our turn….? If we allow this guy to go down we have helped load a gun that may very well be pointed at our own heads in the future…..don’t give the State a sniff.

    “First they came for the….etc etc”

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  70. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Ah yes, the good old days of the Magna Carta – when most of Europe had Papal Bulls expressly forbidding a peasant from having any recourse whatsoever under the law against a nobleman. A nice system…

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  71. AG (1,824 comments) says:

    “Good law is objective…it exists only to protect pre-existing natural rights”

    This is nonsense not on stilts, but on a bleeding 10 story high crane!

    Would you happen to have a list of such “pre-existing natural rights” handy, along with a source so as I can check them for myself? Because I sure hope free ice-cream is on it. That would be scrummy!

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  72. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “Good law is objective…it exists only to protect pre-existing natural rights”

    This is nonsense not on stilts, but on a bleeding 10 story high crane!”

    How so…? Whats your definition of “good law” then…?

    “Would you happen to have a list of such “pre-existing natural rights” handy, along with a source so as I can check them for myself? Because I sure hope free ice-cream is on it. That would be scrummy!

    Those rights are to Life,liberty,property and to pursue happiness as you see fit….with the only restriction being that you must respect these exact same rights in regard to every other person.Genuine rights are negative…meaning they place no unchosen obligation on any non consenting other…they say in effect “Do nothing ….leave me alone.

    Bogus “rights”…as championed by socialists are positiive claims….they require someone else to have to supply you with what you are claiming…this is a straight contradiction if we all have the same rights.

    The source of these rights is mans nature AS man,the source of man is objective reality…the one all about us and that we can’t remive ourselves from or its laws and boundries….these rights are moral sanctions to freedom of action in a social context for it is only other huamn beiings that can violate your rights so good law only deters and punishers acts of force against a non consenting other….nothing else.

    “”Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational.” Ayn Rand

    “Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.” — Ayn Rand

    “The function of rights is to keep society from riding roughshod over the individual. … Individual rights are inalienable–which means, they were not transferred to you by anyone or any government.” — Wayne Dunn.

    Well….?

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  73. AG (1,824 comments) says:

    Oh. You’re a part of that objectivist sect. Sorry to have disturbed you – I’m sure you’ve got strayers from the true path to vilify.

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  74. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “Oh. You’re a part of that objectivist sect. Sorry to have disturbed you – I’m sure you’ve got strayers from the true path to vilify”

    Translation…”Oh shit! He replied with examples and arguments I can’t answer!..I had better deliver a typical Lefty sneer whilst avoiding any reference to his points and slither away….”

    You are served doophus….;-)

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  75. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Going back to the original topic…

    Dare I say it: Anyone who finds himself constructing elaborate arguments about why it’s ok to blame someone for, or judge someone because of, the actions of other people of their race (or even the actions of their country’s leadership) that are outside his/her control, arguments based on the idea that doing so must be OK because it fits with some political ideology he subscribes to, probably needs to have a good hard think about who he is!

    Know what basic human decency and compassion are, and how they illuminate all life. Then develop some political ideology based on that if you must. Don’t just sign up to the school of (something)ism and then reason “Oh but it MUST be OK to do this, because the principle of property rights says___ ….

    And if we want to talk about what should or should not be legal –
    then at least have the decency to discuss it in terms of whether it feels right to a reasonable human being who has imagined themselves on both sides of the proposed law and thought about whether it’s fair.
    DON’T frame the argument in terms of “Under these circumstances, it must be cool to treat innocent harmless people like shit even if they’ve done nothing wrong to me, because the principles of libertarianism as they apply to property ownership say it is ok to behave like this.”

    But then, I have never had much time for Stephen Franks!

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  76. AG (1,824 comments) says:

    ”Oh shit! He replied with examples and arguments I can’t answer!..I had better deliver a typical Lefty sneer whilst avoiding any reference to his points and slither away….”

    I have a simple rule – I don’t argue with scientologists, and I don’t argue with people who claim Ayn Rand as the source of objective truths. I find it saves a lot of time all round.

    But if you need a response, God is the source of all objective reality, and he wants us to have free ice cream. So I must have a right to it.

    Return of service.

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  77. James (1,338 comments) says:

    I have a simple rule – I don’t argue with scientologists, and I don’t argue with people who claim Ayn Rand as the source of objective truths. I find it saves a lot of time all round.”

    Where did I calim that…? Rand herself never claimed that either….she knew that objestive reality existed independant of her wishs and wants.

    “But if you need a response, God is the source of all objective reality, and he wants us to have free ice cream. So I must have a right to it.”

    If you need a “God” to be a starting point for everything thats your business….as an Atheist and a beliver in reason I start at the only place we can ….existence itself…if you can prove a prior first cause to that then stump up the evidence…..and if God stumps up with that ice cream let us know…;-)

    Games set and match…

    Return of service.

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  78. AG (1,824 comments) says:

    “as an Atheist and a beliver in reason I start at the only place we can ….existence itself…if you can prove a prior first cause to that then stump up the evidence”

    Existence isn’t a cause. It’s a state. But this discussion only underlines the reason for my rule. I tip my king.

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  79. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “Know what basic human decency and compassion are, and how they illuminate all life. Then develop some political ideology based on that if you must. Don’t just sign up to the school of (something)ism and then reason “Oh but it MUST be OK to do this, because the principle of property rights says___ ….”

    You have totally missed the point…or more likely willfully evaded it…that the fact that its his property is neither hete nor there when it comes to the VALIDITY of his position….but the fact that it is HIS property gives him the right to have and expouse that position….get it? He has the right to be wrong…and if we want to have the same right upheld for us we must defend it for him…

    “And if we want to talk about what should or should not be legal –
    then at least have the decency to discuss it in terms of whether it feels right to a reasonable human being who has imagined themselves on both sides of the proposed law and thought about whether it’s fair.”

    Irrelavant…truth and falsehood,right and wrong are objective absolutes…the wishs and whims of people,while needing to be treated with sensitivity if we are to get along and retain civility are not factors in what should be legal and what shouldn’t.

    “DON’T frame the argument in terms of “Under these circumstances, it must be cool to treat innocent harmless people like shit even if they’ve done nothing wrong to me, because the principles of libertarianism as they apply to property ownership say it is ok to behave like this.”

    Who said that? You are making shit up. No ones saying its cool to treat people like shit…we are saying that people have the right to be wrong and to hold opposing views and to use their lawfully owned property to back up those views…no one has their rights violated by any of that. Its all contained in the classic statement….”I disagree with what you do but I defend to the death your right to do it…”

    This defending mans rights to be man…

    But then, I have never had much time for Stephen Franks!

    Me either…too conservative….but it seems hes getting better.

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  80. James (1,338 comments) says:

    “Existence isn’t a cause. It’s a state. But this discussion only underlines the reason for my rule. I tip my king.”

    Reality/existence (in the the universe and all thats in it meaning) is the source of everthing that can possibly be….unless you know of a supernatural one in which case that becomes part of reality…………

    I root your Queen…while you are at work

    ;-)

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