Taxes, Moral Culpability, and Impossible Scenarios!
At what point is it morally culpable to pay taxes with the knowledge they will be spent hurting others?
At what point are taxes voluntary without having to sneak around and live like a bug skittering from rock to rock?!
If the bare minimal penalty for not paying taxes is to live a far more uncomfortable life because they regulate you to maintain and improve the quality of your life back to you through permits and permission slips, then you are not morally responsible. But why?
For a start, we have to pick our battles. We can choose to not pay and then be jailed as individuals. We can choose to not pay and fight and resist for some time; but not forever beneath the current status quo.
As a group we can resist peacefully and ensure they change their tactics as they did with Waco Texas decades ago. As a group we can resist violently and wage war against them; but not forever beneath the current status quo.
But at no point will anyone ever be able to hold you morally responsible for committing an act of rendering wealth to another under duress unless they can explain with a logical and CLEAR path of thought progression why. If it is your life or the wealth, the wealth needs to go if you cannot successfully fight back. Let me repeat that; if you cannot successfully fight back. So we have to pick our battles. That by no means carries the same weight and options as rendering the service of killing another under duress. I will come back to this in a moment.
However, we have no control over the actions of others for the exchange of economic power. We have only control over ourselves. And if the circumstances dictate that we relinquish wealth in order to stay a hand of destruction which we cannot successfully fend off alone, then who is morally culpable, the unwarranted aggressing hand or the coerced compliant hand?
To suggest any responsibility is on the coerced, the victim, is to likely reveal that the accuser doesn’t follow a moral code that is completely transparent in terms of boundaries to follow.
The unwarranted aggressing hand is responsible because it is intervening into the lives of another without consent to profit from.
Moral responsibility cannot be placed upon the victim as the victim is performing no action which is directly leading to the harm of another with intent to harm another. Moral responsibility is upon the shoulders of those performing the actions of free will, choices which are absolutely free of duress and coercion. This also includes those whom choose to intervene into the lives of others based solely on the word of another in their defense. Only can a victim be morally culpable if they have a threat held to them and they are told to harm someone other than the soul holding them hostage.
So when wealth is coercively transferred from one hand to another for the purpose of convincing yet another hand to perform immoral deeds, such are done for the gain of economic power.
Did you catch that?
When people receive tax money to render services from waging war to pushing a pencil they are empowering the tax collectors and law enforcers to continue for the enrichment of power in the form of economic choice! In the case of law enforcers and military personnel, these individuals are choosing to enrich themselves at the expense of others in order to hurt others for the power that comes with voluntary associations and financial wealth.
It can be forgiven and understood if the recipient of such had no idea where their compensation came from or if they made an error in judgment about their tasks performed. It is far less severe a consequence to push a pencil for financial budgeting than it is to hold a gun to coerce specific behavior or end a life in order to acquire a pay check. If one is to make an argument about how the budgeting enabled greater efficiency to hire killers is somehow equally culpable to actually killing then perhaps they should explain how the scribbling of graphite on compressed wood pulp directly harmed another just the same as the bullet exiting a barrel of a gun destroyed the brain of another human being!
Unless it can be proven definitively that the pencil pushing financial guru was seeking to plan the finances so well as to make the best of the money spent as to hire the maximum number of killers or evil doers! While it is almost cartoonish sounding, it is not unheard of as that is precisely what some employees of NAZI Germany were likely doing with at least some knowledge! Yet this point brought up another point I said I would return to.
If one is being held at gun point to commit an act of aggression against another the victim will only remains a victim as long as he resists the demands to commit the act of aggression. Some will argue that self preservation is the key here and that no immoral act is committed if being compliant with the terrorist to save their own life. Some will also argue that to state the victim has a choice to die is absurd because of self preservation. The argument goes akin to having to help yourself before you can help others or like putting on your own oxygen mask in a depressurized aircraft cabin before helping others.
That’s nescient thinking. If principles and morals mean anything then there is always a choice. This includes the Nonaggression Principle. Self preservation does not trump moral codes or principles. Unfortunately people won’t make this connection if the moral codes or principles are not laid out with a clear path of thought progression. The questions with this scenario are:
Who is actually being helped here if the victim decides to follow the orders of the aggressor?
Who is actually being morally consistent here if the victim decides to follow the orders of the aggressor?
Who is actually hurting, not just aggressing, another reason capable individual?
The aggressor is being helped, the victim and the aggressor are hurting other people and the initial victim and the victim of the victim are being hurt. Because fear is used to justify or excuse the actions of hurting another, all moral principles are rendered subjective because there is some proclaimed acceptable reason to not follow them, even though other options are available.
Most individuals claiming self interest as a reason to engage in immoral behavior likely also subscribe to subjective morality ideals, even if they do not believe they do. This means that such individuals have not clearly defined their moral code or acquired one which is universally applicable. So to suggest that it is okay to commit an act of aggression such as murder because your life is at stake is to say that your life is more valuable than the lives you are taking because of fear in the moment.
And that means fear is dictating your moral code, not logically thought out principles. Lastly, any claim about how self preservation through genetics is to blame for this fails to recognize the evolutionary advantage Humanity has over other creatures; its ability to reason, communicate effectively those complex thoughts, and consider the effects of our own choices in relation to our future. Even to claim temporary insanity brought about by fear in the moment as a defense is logically weak at worse, comprehensively un-evolved at best. This is entirely about recognizing that morality and voluntary interactions are the evolution of the noble intent of ‘might makes’ rights to increase the survival chances of Humanity.
The noble intent of ‘might makes right’ is that sometimes reasoning with people is difficult so we need to coerce them for their own good! This is okay when a parent needs to physically ‘manhandle’ their kid out of the street because a Mack truck is about to plow them into mush! The trouble with this is that it will have an adverse effect on individual responsibility and blow back on minds more capable of being reasoned with. When reason able people start dying because they neglect their own personal responsibility to self preserve they will perish end of story. Others will inevitably notice this and generally avoid said behavior. However, in the case of self preservation in the aforementioned scenario where one is being threatened to commit an act of aggression against someone other than the terrorist in question, people freak out!
This boils down to the idea that there is no choice or rejecting choices because of reasons which do not immediately make sense. Just as advance science and technology appears to be magic to less scientifically or technologically knowledgeable minds, far more complex philosophical ideas may appear as incoherent babbling. This is because the amount of comprehension required in getting from the philosophical equivalent of actual rough flint and soft naturally occurring tender to telekinetically induced friction based fire on the molecular level is tremendous!
So do seemingly impossible scenarios happen in the real world? Absolutely! And they happen because people have a lack of knowledge. People are ill prepared to handle situations under duress many times, but not always. So even if the scenario is that the terrorist is going to kill the victim regardless of compliance or not, the choice is still to fight back, justify compliance, or not comply.
No matter what there is no shame is dying a martyr if there is no other choice. And there is always a choice. Just because one doesn’t immediately see the choice doesn’t mean it is not there. And this is the trouble with so many people Monday Morning Quarterbacking morality without having a clearly defined code to work from. This ultimately ends up condemning otherwise good but simply nescient people and leads to the perpetuation that morality can never ever be anything other than subjective in nature.
If you’ve read my book, Morality Defined, you already know that morality is a peaceful defense mechanism designed to create boundaries between other reason capable and sentiment minds able to communicate complex ideas. These are invoked in order to avoid potential destruction of life and property; which hinders their ability to maintain and improve the quality of life. This code is essentially the foundation of the Nonaggression Principle. So the least an individual under duress can do to remain morally neutral is to allow themselves to be killed, if not morally justified in acting violently in order to stay the aggressive hand if not kill it. Moral neutrality is all about performing no act which hurts others with intent.
So if a terrorist holds a gun to a victim’s head demanding the victim kill another, for whatever reason, and the victim complies, then the victim is now guilty of violating the Nonaggression Principle. The victim has chosen to ignore morality entirely with the justification is his life or another’s. I understand this likely seems absurdly unrealistic. However, if we don’t perform these thought exercises now, then we will never be able to figure this out under duress as common, uncivilized people afraid of being shown how inefficient or destructive our choices were! In this case to uphold a colorful version of the barbaric idea of ‘might makes right.’ The goal is to make time to prepare now for the inevitable but hope for the best through a show of our respectful choices.
The highest act of moral superiority in this case is to be able to peacefully convince the aggressive hand to back down and submit to the will of all it has aggressed against in order to be their servant until reparations have been fully submitted. Because this seems the least likely, so many people will say it is fantasy. Yet if we follow the clear path of thought progression I laid out in Morality Defined it will be a valid path easily understood.
Unfortunately the belief that morality is subjective seems to reign supreme for so many. The importance of understanding why we invoke morality falls short in comprehension. I do not blame the lack of intelligence of the common member of Humanity for this at all. In fact, morality is still a relatively new concept.
History may easily prove to us one day that Humanity has mastered unpredictable fire with greater success currently for much longer than it has even recognized morality as an idea. Understanding the invocation of morality and The Philosophy of Voluntaryism is about recognizing how people are more likely to create more real wealth which maintains and improves the quality of life for themselves, and by extension others, leading to intellectual, emotional, and physical security.
When we do not have to worry about losing a portion of what we created to maintain our lives through some act of destruction that could have been prevented, we will inevitably have a peace of mind that will fuel our desires to create even more. Peaceful anarchy / Voluntaryism is an evolved form of thinking. This philosophy yields greater productivity of real wealth, that which satisfies our needs for sustenance, shelter, security, and happiness, because we are not spending our time, intellect, and labor to worry about others we know are capable of being reasoned with from taking advantage of us.
So when we invoke morality and the employment of voluntary interactions, consent in short, what we are doing is evolving the thinking of creating peace now through the control of others who have not done anything to warrant being controlled. This control void of respect for consent leads to blowback and the escalation of violence in the future. This gives the outward appearance of peace enforced through coercion. It is calm while the internal struggles of vindication are de-evolving into nasty revenge.
The philosophy of Voluntaryism, of Peaceful Anarchism, from which grows out of recognizing the importance of morality as a conceptual tool to create communicable boundaries is one which utilizes humility and patience to self improve; thus our examples may aid others in doing the same. The goal is to build trust by showing we recognize the value others place upon themselves.
The maintenance of this trust fosters loyalty.
And in time the reputation of each of us becomes
the most recognizable currency we have.
So when the time comes to maintain your moral
code, your principles, you will not see others as a
means to save your own life but to empower them
as your audience through your own actions. Moral
culpability is about creating clarity in action.
Without this clarity, teaching becomes difficult. Teaching
often becomes clouded and confusing with analogies
that are too open for interpretation leading people
to believe that morality has no common ground, that
morality is subjective in nature.
So if you want to understand who is morally responsible
in any situation, it comes down to understanding
why your actions are your own. Remember, we all
place value upon ourselves individuals. We want
that respected. How much it is respected is not open
for discussion outside of the realm of self defense.
The default for respect of this value is always 100
percent until a transgression has occurred or there
is some kind of previous purely voluntary arrangement.
Recognizing this value we all place upon ourselves
is the evolution of genetic advancement.
For millions and millions of years genetic code has
rewritten itself until Humanity was able to communicate
complex ideas beyond herding mentalities. This ability to
communicate led to the implementation of the ‘might
makes right’ idea. Further evolution of this idea presented
to us the Nonaggression.
And the beauty of the Nonaggression principle is that each mind capable of being reasoned with has the potential to help solve greater problems plaguing Humanity. All we have to do is recognize the potential this idea has.
Government is built upon the idea that ‘might makes right’. This mantra doesn’t take into consideration all ideas. It doesn’t even come close. All government can do is to put down opposing ideas with violence. And violence is not the answer for reason capable individuals. Violence is only a means to stop aggression in the moment to garner the attention of the aggressor.
After that, the advancement of critical thinking continues. With just a small amount of patience, the respect of consent, of the value we all place upon ourselves, becomes the fuel to cooperate and even accept no for an answer in order to avoid violent physical and emotional destruction. This is why government is an antiquated idea befitting a less civilized period of Humanity’s history.
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