Friday, January 19, 2018

The Libertarian and Liberty-Loving Defense of an Open Border

From an article by Javier Hidalgo. I've been wanting to put these notions into words, but he does it quite well...

If you’re a libertarian, you should endorse open borders. Here’s why.

Libertarians prize individual liberty. According to libertarians, we have rights to associate with others as we see fit and engage in economic transactions with them. These rights are constraints on state action. Libertarians think it is unjust for states to infringe on individual rights even in order to bring about socially beneficial outcomes. States certainly can’t violate our rights to protect some of us from economic competition or shield our cultures from change.

These commitments should lead libertarians to oppose immigration restrictions. When states restrict immigration, they stop you from associating with foreigners and engaging in many mutually beneficial economic exchanges with them. Want to hire an unauthorized immigrant? That’s illegal. Suppose you have an uncle who wants to immigrate to your country, and you want to sponsor him. The odds are that your uncle won’t be able to immigrate.

From a libertarian perspective, it’s hard to justify this interference with the rights and liberties of individuals. And libertarianism is a cosmopolitan doctrine. It says that foreigners have rights too. Immigration restrictions seem to abridge the individual rights of both citizens and foreigners.

Some libertarians reject rights-talk. They use more utilitarian reasoning to evaluate public policy. And these libertarians also have a good reason to oppose at least actual immigration restrictions. The same arguments that justify free trade apply to immigration. More immigration increases the division of labor and immigrants help generate more wealth. If you factor in the benefits of more open borders to foreigners, it is hard to think of a public policy that has a bigger payoff than more immigration. When economists crunch the numbers, they conclude that the benefits of open borders are in the trillions of dollars.

Libertarians are okay with some kinds of exclusion. Take private property. If a homeless person wants to sleep in your house, you are within your rights to exclude him. Maybe we should understand a state’s right to exclude in similar terms. Perhaps a state’s territory is the collective property of its citizens and this is reason that states can exclude foreigners. Does this idea make sense?

No. At least, not from a libertarian point of view. It is false that the government or citizens collectively own all of the territory of the United States. Instead, individuals own a large chunk of it. Suppose you wanted to invite some foreigners to cross the border and live in your house. The government will likely say no. That looks like a violation of individual property rights. So, if individuals have rights to private property, then we should reject the view that the United States is the collective property of its government or citizens.

Maybe you’re concerned that immigration will change the national culture in bad ways. Immigrants bring new and occasionally upsetting cultural norms and customs with them. But you lack a right to freeze cultural change. Here’s something else that can cause cultural change: freedom of speech. People use their rights to freedom of speech to persuade people to adopt new cultural norms.
Sometime they succeed and these new norms can be startling and upsetting. Nonetheless, libertarians would firmly reject attempts to restrict freedom of speech to avert cultural change. The same point applies to immigration. Sure, immigration brings about cultural change. Deal with it...

...let’s suppose that expanding immigration really is politically infeasible. Here’s where another key libertarian commitment comes in.

Libertarians are skeptical about state authority. Many libertarians deny that we have duties to obey the law just because it’s the law. Libertarians say that, if it is wrong for you or I to coerce other people, then it is wrong for the state to do this too, and other people are under no duty to assist states by obeying their commands. When states restrict immigration, they don’t merely stop people at the border. States also force private citizens to refrain from hiring, transporting, and renting to unauthorized immigrants. States conscript private citizens in violating the rights of foreigners.

Here’s where libertarians have some practical advice to give: break the law. Ignore immigration laws that try to get you to help the government to achieve its unjust ends. In this way, libertarians’ critique of immigration restrictions matters practically. While open borders may be infeasible, there is something that you as an individual can do: refuse to be complicit in the injustice of immigration restrictions.


Read the whole article here...


OR, here's another excellent article...

that posits the reasonable questions and makes the following rational points, among others...

What moral theory justifies using wire, wall, and weapon to prevent people from moving to opportunity? 

What moral theory justifies using tools of exclusion to prevent people from exercising their right to vote with their feet?

No standard moral framework, be it utilitarian, libertarian, egalitarian, Rawlsian, Christian, or any other well-developed perspective, regards people from foreign lands as less entitled to exercise their rights—or as inherently possessing less moral worth—than people lucky to have been born in the right place at the right time. Nationalism, of course, discounts the rights, interests, and moral value of “the Other," but this disposition is inconsistent with our fundamental moral teachings and beliefs.

Freedom of movement is a basic human right.

Amen and amen.

If anyone who thinks there is some rational and moral grounds for criminalizing immigration, please begin by answering the questions in bold.


Marshal Art said...

There is no "injustice" in immigration restrictions. That is absolutely absurd. I only skimmed this drivel and it validates my less than favorable opinion of "libertarians"...a term that is claimed by leftists as well as right-wing people upset with the GOP. They're really a lot like lefties in how badly they think their positions through. This appears to be another example of that.

Dan Trabue said...

I think it is an incredibly rational, moral and consistent approach to liberty.

Think about it: IF you can cross one imaginary "state line" (from Kentucky to Indiana, for instance) freely to take care of business, to visit, to do whatever the hell you damned well please (because what business is it of the state if I go from one county, state or city to the next?!), then what possible rational, consistent reason is there to say that crossing a nation/state line is any different, from a liberty or free market point of view?

If the economy is not doing well in Kentucky in my particular field, then I have the complete freedom as a human being to say to myself, "Self, let's move over to Indiana, where business is better!" because why wouldn't I? And in what possible rational world would the state or nation tell me I can't do it?

It's a matter of a reasonably free market and liberty.

I defy you to find a rational case against this (ie, not one based on fear, but on reason). Which is to say, it's NOT a reasonable case to say, "Well, Indiana fears that Kentuckians might possibly take their jobs or be a drain on their resources, so they can ban Kentuckians..." and it's no better if one is saying that across national borders.

It's just irrational, immoral and inconsistent.

Now, I think we can reasonably put some regulations on businesses and movements, but not criminalize free markets or free movement. There's a difference.

Craig said...

Here’s a case based on reason. Law. As you might be aware, the United States has a different legal system than (for example Mexico). Property, patent, trademark, work safety, etc, unlike the difference between KY and TN who are under the same federal law, that’s not the case between the US and Mexico. I guess it’s just exercising liberty to mix up a bunch of unregulated, untested, Atenolol and run it across the border to sell.

Honestly, it’s a pretty poor case for open borders.

Dan Trabue said...

As a point of reality, laws and rules do differ from state to state. States can still determine what they do and don't allow to be sold and when and where.

Indiana might allow for Sunday sales of liquor and Louisville, KY may not, for instance. That doesn't mean that someone from Indiana can sell liquor in Kentucky on Sunday. Kentucky still retains its own rules.

That's a different matter than saying Indiana citizens can't cross over into Kentucky. The one is a reasonable regulation that differs from place to place. The other is an infringement on human liberty and a free market.

I don't find this argument you offer very compelling. It seems to be an apples and oranges comparison.

Dan Trabue said...

Just to give one example, different states have different rules for MMA (Mixed Martial Arts?). Just because you're from one state doesn't mean you can ignore another state's rules.

So, again I say, I just can't see a CONSISTENT rational or moral argument in support of closed borders. I can see if you were in a restrictive, authoritarian state that operated on the whims of a dictator, but not a rational moral case that is consistent.

Dan Trabue said...

Oh, sorry, the link to the MMA rule thingee...

Anonymous said...

Another easy one is that Texas may allow an 85 mph speed limit, for instance, but that doesn't mean that a Texan can drive 85 mph on a Kentucky highway where the limit is 70 mph.

This argument does not hold water.


Craig said...

Of course you don't because you've chosen not to engage with the point I actually made. Of course there are minor difference between minor details of state law. But when one looks at the example I provided, it's clear that I'm not talking about Sunday sales or MMA. I'm talking about property law. For example, Haitian property law is completely incompatible with US property law. Clearly, you can't reconcile two completely different systems by simply saying "liberty".

I get that you don't find reconciling incompatible legal/regulatory systems to be compelling. That's fine. But simply dismissing something as not compelling isn't the same as actually demonstrating that the position you don't find compelling is actually wrong.

So far nothing you've offered is particularly compelling, but you asked for an argument not based on fear and you got one. You have't really given any compelling answer to the specific examples I used.

I don't expect much, but I did what you asked.

By the way, who is actually making an argument for completely closed borders?

Craig said...

Yes, I realize how our federal system of government works.

Anonymous said...

I provided specific examples that demonstrate how, at least in those specific examples, your argument doesn't hold water. By all means, point out a specific case where your argument points to an actual problem and we could talk about specifics and whether or not there's a real concern.

In the case of a Haitian buying a house in Kentucky, he'd abide by Kentucky laws, right? I don't see where the problem lies.


Craig said...

I did provide multiple examples, you haven’t explained how your “liberty” theory reconciles disparate legal systems.

Given your “liberty” construct you’ve laid no groundwork to demonstrate what system of law would prevail in your buying a house in KY. You’re assuming that.

But, just because you don’t see an argument doesn’t mean there isn’t one and because you don’t find something compelling doesn’t mean it’s actually wrong.

Anonymous said...

Provide a specific instance of a problem and we can talk.

In the ONE specific you offered (a Haitian buying property in the US), I've already addressed it: the Haitian buying property in Kentucky, he'd abide by Kentucky law, of course. Are you suggesting he wouldn't?


Anonymous said...

Here's an even better case for open borders...

Who is advocating for open borders? Those who are striving for a rationally consistent and morally reasonable ethic for immigration.

If nothing else, this administration and it's supporters have more thoroughly opened my eyes to the lack of morality or reason in our existing laws.


Craig said...

I didn’t offer an example of a Haitian buying land in KY.

I offered; Property law, Patent law, work safety law, food and drug safety law as specific examples. You haven’t demonstrated how you would reconcile those issues. I could add; food/meat/grain export standards, environmental standards, intellectual property law,

As I mentioned, what’s to stop some enterprising folks exercising their liberty by throwing together some Atenolol and selling it on the street corner. But, you can make stuff up if you’d like.

Craig said...

I realize you’re advocating for open borders, I didn’t ask that. Maybe if you read..,

Anonymous said...

Those are general, vague and undefined examples, Craig. What SPECIFICALLY in property law would cause a problem?


Craig said...

Harmonizing two completely different bodies of property law.

Again, you asked for a non fear based rationale, you got one.

The fact that you don’t have an answer to harmonizing disparate legal systems, isn’t my problem.

In fact, your Haitian buying property in KY, actually makes my point very well. Even in your hypothetical, you are presuming that US law would operate in US territory.

But, to probe your example a little deeper, at what point does US property law begin? What makes US property law sovereign over Haitian law? In you no borders world does your hypothetical Haitian own the real estate (and with what rights is he endowed regarding that real estate) or does he just own the appurtenances?

Anonymous said...

Last time, Craig... What specifically is there to harmonize? If a Haitian is buying property in Kentucky, he's operating under Kentucky laws.

If you cannot answer the question, and it seems you can't, then we're done here and you've helped clarify how specifically and literally wrong your position is and strengthened the case for more open borders.

Thanks for that.


Dan Trabue said...

what’s to stop some enterprising folks exercising their liberty by throwing together some Atenolol and selling it on the street corner.

? I don't know what Atenolol is, but assuming it's some drug that's illegal in Kentucky, then the answer would be: It's illegal in Kentucky.

Call me crazy, but I don't see the problem. Perhaps that's because there isn't one.

Marshal Art said...

The basic premise is crap. As I said at the top, there is no injustice in immigration law. People are not prevented from moving to opportunity. They are regulated as to how they can do that, but they are not prevented simply because they must pass through specific doors to accommodate the laws of the land into which they choose to move.

It is absolutely ludicrous, not to mention unChristian and thus immoral, to encourage people to break laws that YOU believe (without legitimate basis, I might add) are unjust. Forcing me in my bakery to bake a cake for a homosexual "wedding" is unjust. Forcing me to hire or retain in my employ, a guy who wants to wear a dress and be called Sheila is unjust. These are two examples of laws that are legitimately unjust but I doubt you'd encourage anyone to break them.

So my first paragraph answers both of your questions precisely and directly.

Also, if our immigration laws are deemed unjust by enough Americans, they will eventually be changed according how those Americans agree it should be. Libertarian only find fault with laws and businesses that they find personally problematic. Libertarianism is selfishness by another name. It is the abuse of liberty.

Anonymous said...

How about forcing you to hire a black man? Also unjust?

Yes, we see where you allegiances lie, Marshall.

I think you are clearly mistaken.

Again, unless and until you can provide SOME consistent reasoning that says Why it's okay for an Indiana native to move to Kentucky, but NOT okay for an India native to do so, I have to say that this idea is wrong, it's clearly unjust, it is counter to human liberty and the right to self-determination.

I will be fighting against this notion the rest of my life (unless, of course, someone can make a rational and consistent case that convinces me... but so far, I have not seen it) and may God grant us wisdom and strength to do the right thing, regardless of fears or racism or xenophobia or anything else that may cause us to cower away from fighting for human rights and human liberties.

As to Libertarianism, I have my problems with it, just as I have problems with anarchy. But, when consistent, they are at least right more often than what passes for conservatism these days. But anyone who fights for human rights and liberties, I can find common ground, there.

Would that more conservatives would join that fight.


Anonymous said...

I do thank you fellas (and all those who support this administration) for helping me come to a more consistently moral and rational position in favor of human rights and liberties.

Your arguments have helped sway me this direction, so, thanks.


Marshal Art said...

"I do thank you fellas (and all those who support this administration) for helping me come to a more consistently moral and rational position in favor of human rights and liberties."

Anytime you feel like actually explaining how your position is either moral OR rational, it'll rank as a first. This is particularly of interest to me given that you don't even understand that immigration law does not prevent movement across borders. Of course it's harder to pretend racism is at play in our position or the policies of Donald Trump. But then, liars don't need to be specific in their lies, do you?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, I deleted one comment because you used an ugly epithet for a certain group of people. That won't stand here. You should know that by now.

The point of this post is about how closed border rules are an affront to human self-determination. You have not provided a rational, moral reason to deal with the problems raised in these two articles. You've had your say, which again, helped solidify my belief against your view. Feel free to move on.

Craig said...

Dan, I’ve given you multiple specific situations for which you have no response. I’ve tried to ask you some questions to clarify your position.

You’ve responded with absolutely nothing. Probably because you don’t understand.

The problem with the question you demand I answer is that you can’t explain why KY law would still be sovereign in your open borders world.

Further, you’re indifference and lack of awareness regarding the regulation of prescription drugs would be amusing, if it wasn’t so disturbing. Your indifference to allowing the liberty for folks to bring unregulated prescription drugs in and sell them on the street corner is concerning.

Your demands that others do what you won’t is just more of the same, annoying but not surprising.

Anonymous said...

I'll respond, giving you the benefit of doubt that you honestly don't understand what I'm asking.

Let's say that I meant exactly what I said, that I don't see the problem. Why WOULDN'T Kentucky law be the deciding factor on a property deal in Kentucky?

It's an honest and rational question about a specific question. IF you have the answer and want to make your case at least a little, then the onus is on you to answer the question, right?

Ball's in your court.


Craig said...

The reason for my questions is that you haven’t detailed what you mean with your open borders stance. For example, what defines where the laws of KY are sovereign?

Of course, the fact that you’re so focused on this minutia, and not the general principles is fascinating in and of itself.

You still can’t even explain what the sale entails in your hypothetical. Is is the real estate? The appurtenances? You clearly don’t understand the why this is an issue.

Anonymous said...

And yet,I've kept giving you the chance to enlighten me. And you've opted not to, yet again.


Craig said...

So, instead of attempting to provide clarification, instead of explanation why your assumptions should be assumed, instead of answering questions, you’ve chosen this tactic.

You asked for a non “fear based” case and I gave you one. The fact that you have no counter, no answers, and no understanding, says all I need to hear.

Anonymous said...

As to what I mean by open borders, I'm flexible on the specifics. What these authors are pointing to is the general principle that moving from place to place is a matter of liberty and self-determination. It certainly shouldn't be criminalized. Thus, the notion of closed borders where people moving from state to state are criminalized, is not consistent with a belief in freedom.

I think, generally and specifically, crossing international borders to move from one state to another should be allowed.

What more specifically do you need?


Craig said...

I’d say, answers to the questions I actually asked, but that would be silly.

I’ll leave it with you advocating some broad, vague, general world in which you aren’t really interested in specific details. I realize that it’s easier to take a position that’s so vague and braid that it’s everything and nothing simultaneously.

Look, you got what you asked for, the fact that you won’t do anything substantial isn’t my problem.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what, Craig. I'll give you one more chance, show me you're serious. I propose forgetting everything in the past. Let's take it one step at a time. I'll make one simple point. If you agree, you can agree. If you have one question, you can ask that one question. I will answer that question. You can then tell me if you understand or not. If not, ask one more clarifying question.

I will do the same for you. I'll ask you one question and you can answer it clearly and directly.

Do you want to try? I know we've tried this kind of thing in the past, but I'm willing to try again, if you want.


My point and the point of these two authors seems to me, quite simple:

Seeing as humans all have some basic rights, including self-determination (which includes the right to choose to go here or to go there in public spaces), that there is no moral or rational reason to tell someone, "You can't move here, in this neighborhood, this city, this nation."

Do you disagree with this and if so, why? Or do you have one question about this?


Craig said...

Nice try, of course you’d like to forget the past. This comment thread is one example of after another of you not answering questions and making things up.

No, I see nothing that would support an unfettered right for anyone to move anywhere with absolutely zero limits. You, or your authors, have simply announced this not demonstrated it to be objectively reality. When you can’t start with reality, I guess you can’t provide specifics.

If you want to respond, there are plenty of questions in this thread you’ve ignored, if you can’t start there, don’t bother.

Craig said...

Obviously you can start with answering the unanswered questions from this thread, the question is whether you will.

Marshal Art said...


You're an inveterate liar. I've used no epithets, ugly or otherwise, to describe anyone but you, since you are indeed a liar. You simply deleted my comment because it exposed the abject stupidity of the questions to which my vomment responded. Prove me wrong by retrieving and reposting my comment and highlight the word you found offensive, explain why it actually is rather than appropriate since there are no ways for rational people to keep up with your ever changing rules.

Then, explain why it is OK to encourage people to break federal laws while demanding all must obey yours...whatever they are at any given second.

Craig said...

Explanations are in short supply here.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you used the R word that refers to those with learning disabilities as an epithet. That will not stand here. I wouldn't allow you to use the N word nor will I allow you or anyone to use the word you used here. It's not acceptable. It doesn't matter if you're using it to describe someone else without the disabilities... that's even worse.

I get that you don't understand and don't care how offensive it is, how very wrong it is. It doesn't matter. No posts with that word will stand in my blog. You don't have to understand it to abide by the rule.

Marshal Art said...

You hypocrite! How many times have you referred to your opponents and/or their comments as "irrational" or "delusional"? But when you need to dodge you have the absolute gall to suggest that I'm insulting people with a disorder? You're a rank hypocrite for deleting me for doing what you do routinely, and a liar for feigning outrage as well as a liar for the cheap rationalization you're sure to deliver to pretend there's any distinction.

I reiterate that it those like yourself who truly insult those with disabilities, not only by exploiting them to scold opponents who use such terms to describe the incredible intellectual laziness of your arguments, but because you posture yourself as capable of intelligent thought while saying that which suggests you're as handicapped as they are.

As if that wasn't enough, your pearl clutching fails to impress given your audacity in littering the comments section of MY blog with f-bombs and other obscenities as if there's ever any legitimate justification for doing if a bright, grace embracing alleged Christian like you can't find a better way to express yourself.

So cut the crap. Pretending your panties are in a bunch over the use of this word rather than having the integrity to address the substance of the comment you deleted is cowardice. Restore what integrity you want people to believe you have by retrieving and restoring and then addressing my comment.

Anonymous said...

Fuck is a vulgar word, lacking in class, but having some power in its vulgarity. It's vulgar, however, in the sense that it's so very lacking in class and offensive to some people because of what it's talking about.

R**** and N**** and other epithets, are violently vulgar, they are an assault on people who have been historically marginalized and demonized and, to put it frankly, killed off in a whole variety of ways.

One is unclassy. Big fucking deal. The other is an assault on marginalized people.

You can be unclassy on my page. You do it regularly.

You can not assault marginalized people.

Now, you can apologize for using that word here and promise never to use it again in my presence, or you can go the fuck away.

My blog, my rules.


Craig said...

We all knew that Dan was a classy guy, now he’s shown us just how classy. But, WE must follow Dan’s rules, he on the other hand...

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, you have one rule for posting any more on this thread. You say you won't apologize. You're fine with using that sort of epithet. You're rather proud of it, even. That is disgusting. You'll have to move on. I'm not reading or allowing any more of your comments on this post.

My blog, my rules.d

And Craig, if YOU want to comment on this post, give up the ad hom attacks and post something on topic.

Dan Trabue said...

Take it up with the people you're harming and then, when you get their permission to use the word, come back and we'll talk.

In the meantime, let me be clear: Using that word is not "offensive" because "it hurts my feelings" or the feelings of those with disabilities.

It is wrong - evil, I'd say - because it contributes to the oppression of an already oppressed minority.

YOU are using it to childishly try to hurt my feelings or slander my reputation by associating me with the very great and wonderful folks in the world with disabilities, but since I look up and admire such folk, it doesn't hurt my feelings in that sense and since rational adults wouldn't listen to such childish slander, it's a fail there, too.

But what it DOES do is contribute to the notion that there 's something wrong or ineffective or broken about being "that way," which doesn't harm me but does contribute to the actual harm of people with disabilities. It is exactly the same as using the N word or using the G word to try to insult. It is a tool of oppression to at risk people and that is why you will never use that word here.

Don't be an oppressor.

Also, while I didn't read your childish defense much (just enough to see you were defiantly choosing to continue oppressing the marginalized and refusing to apologize) I did see that you brought up using words such as imbecile and moron, noting (correctly) that those were both once synonyms for the R word. And here's the thing: IF I were living in the time when those words had that meaning, I wouldn't use them, either.

But word meanings and associations change. Now Imbecile and Moron are associated with bad people like our president and those who would stupidly oppress others, and not with the disabled. Words change. Don't use the wrong ones now.

Craig said...

I’ve posted multiple on topic comments that haven’t been responded to, been misrepresented, and had multiple questions unanswered. We know all about your rules and how you don’t apply them consistently to others or at all to your self.

Now your making up this imaginary “ad hom” attacks. Simply expressing my opinions, I guess that’s not allowed here.

Looks like your support for Liberty only goes so far.

Craig said...

Really, moron was a medical term used to describe those whose retardation was at a certain level, sounds like an excuse to me. But, you’ve been coming up with excuses for your vulgarity for months, it’s nothing new.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, you've been asked to comment ON topic. I've deleted one comment from you because, while I'm open to all comments (including irrational and shrill complaints with no substance) and even straying off topic to some degree, when I've asked you to stay ON topic and you continue, then you're just spam. I delete spam.

All commenters should stay on topic and those who don't will be deleted as spam.

Honestly, you two fellas are acting more like spam than commenters here lately. While I haven't totally blocked you as spam (since you occasionally comment on topic, even if from areas of misunderstanding), it isn't out of the question. I wish blogger allowed a way of auto detecting and deleting spam like what you two are doing, but it doesn't. No big deal. I can delete one at a time.

But rather than doing that, why not be adult and abide by the rules of the blog?

Marshall, if you want to comment here on this thread, you have to apologize for using the epithet you used and promise never to do it here again. You don't have to AGREE that it is an epithet, you don't have to like it, but you do have to do that.

Craig, if you want to comment on this thread, comment on topic.

Dan Trabue said...

Just by way of reminding people of the point of this post (in addition to sharing these two great, well-reasoned articles) is to ask these two specific questions:

1. What moral theory justifies using wire, wall, and weapon to prevent people from moving to opportunity?

2. What moral theory justifies using tools of exclusion to prevent people from exercising their right to vote with their feet?

I added at the end of the post...

If anyone who thinks there is some
rational and
grounds for
criminalizing immigration,
please begin by answering the questions in bold.

Craig said...

Wow, I’ve made multiple on topic comments and gotten nothing.

1. The moral theory that nations have the right to self government.

2. The moral theory that allows governments to pass laws and regulations.

Given your prior insistence that morality is not universal and objective, but is a subjective construct of individual societies, renders your quest for an objective moral standard ridiculous to say the least. According to your definition of morality, the fact that a society makes a collective decision means that decision is de facto moral.

These two questions go back to the question I’ve asked you at least twice, with no answer.

Who is advocating for completely closed borders?

Because the two questions in bold don’t represent anything that in any way represents any actual policy.

I guess it all goes back to the 3 questions you’ve dodged since November. Your inability to answer those, combined with the two bolded questions above raise questions regarding your knowledge of immigration law and policy

Dan Trabue said...

I earlier offered you a chance to start over. Take it one step and one question at a time. You laughed it off and used it as a chance to try to belittle me. Failing, of course.

But if you're serious:

1. The moral theory that nations have the right to self government.

And does that right to self-government include the "right" to cause harm to an individual or take away individual rights?

I say no.

How do you answer that specific question?

You made one point (I've pulled out one point) and I've asked a reasonable, clarifying question. If you want a conversation, please answer the question.

Dan Trabue said...

I'll ignore the false claims and twisted understandings that you made regarding - counterfactually to - my actual positions. Here's your chance to take it one step and one question at a time. Make your case, if you believe it can be made.

Craig said...

In essence I’ve already answered it. By your definition there is no morality beyond what a given society decides is moral.

In reality, in the absence of an objective standard of morality (something you deny exists), you’re simply asserting an opinion.

Yes, a duly constituted legal government has the ability to place restrictions on rights.

The problem you have is that you are asserting rights that are not enumerated anywhere. You’re asserting a moral absolute, that is not enumerated or grounded in anything objective.

The reality is that there are no objective answers to your questions, because the questions are based on unproven assumptions.

Interesting that I’ve made no false claims, which makes your claim false. The fact is that you have avoided answering the questions asked in November and avoided answering the question related to your “closer borders” claim.

If you can’t stop treating your opinions as facts, and are so resistant to answering questions, I’m not sure why you’d demand that others do what you won’t.

Craig said...

Once again, your twisted concept of “one question at a time” after multiple questions you’ve already dodged is truly laughable.

FYI, ultimately my case is the US constitution. It gives the government the power to set limits and restrictions on immigration and citizenship. Given the fact that (in the absence of an objective moral standard) the constitution is a document that reflects the values of a reasonably moral society, I see no reason for anything else.

Dan Trabue said...


By your definition there is no morality beyond what a given society decides is moral

Side track. NOT an answer to the question and NOT my definition. How about let me decide what my definitions are?

When you answer, please answer the question being asked and avoid the chatter commentary, it would help your case.

In reality, in the absence of an objective standard of morality (something you deny exists), you’re simply asserting an opinion.

Another side track. And, in reality, YOU are asserting an opinion, too, so it's rather a meaningless point, off topic as it is and irrelevant.

The problem you have is that you are asserting rights that are not enumerated anywhere.

Yes, that's the point of the article. We have generally accepted in the free world the right to free movement from within a given state. The authors are pointing out that the limitation of "within a given state" is irrational and not supportable. WHY is it limited to within a given state?

What moral theory justifies using wire, wall, and weapon to prevent people from moving to opportunity?

THAT is the question at hand.

Saying "We have laws that justify it..." is not the answer to the question of "what moral theory justifies it..."?

That is, does Christianity justify saying, "You can't travel anywhere you want. You're limited to only traveling where a given state or states allow you..."?

The answer is, No, it doesn't.

Is there some other moral theory justify it?

That's the question.

You’re asserting a moral absolute, that is not enumerated or grounded in anything objective.

You're asserting a moral absolute, that states can decide, that isn't enumerated or grounded in anything objective.

So, having said all of that... you get around to answering the question asked of you.


Dan Trabue said...

And does that right to self-government include the "right" to cause harm to an individual or take away individual rights?

Your answer...

Yes, a duly constituted legal government has the ability to place restrictions on rights.

My follow up question:

Are there limitations to these restrictions? That is, can a duly constituted legal gov't say, "You can't worship." Or "That is fake news!" and take away a reporter's right to report? Are there limitations?

I would say yes, there are and should be. You can't place restrictions on human rights with no cause. You can't take away someone's property, you can't enslave someone, you can't kill someone. These are infringements on human rights.

The authors are saying that like these other restrictions we would reject, we should reject limits on free travel.

IF a person is starving and unable to find food or job in Nation A, they OF COURSE should have the freedom to move to Nation B to try to find food and/or work.

States ought not be able to restrict human rights.

So, again, my question to you:

Are there limitations to what states can restrict... can they restrict human rights, for instance?

Craig said...

Yes, countries can and do restrict human rights.

But, since you’ve clearly demonstrated your answering of questions is a sham, I see mo reason to continue with this charade.

If you can’t establish an objective standard of morality and a universally agreed on list of enumerated rights, you have no basis for your questions.

I’d ask you more questions, but you haven’t answered any so far.

Craig said...

To your poor example. If s person is starving in nation A, you have to demonstrate that nation B will not (under any circumstances) allow them in and that there is no nation C or D as an alternative.

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, countries can and do restrict human rights.

I apologize. I thought my intent was clear here.

SHOULD countries restrict human rights?

Of course, there are nations that do all manner of evil and harm in acting against human rights. I'm not talking about the evil that is done by oppressive nations. I'm talking about ideals and principles.

SHOULD countries restrict human rights?

THIS is an aside and not the topic at hand, but just to address it...

If you can’t establish an objective standard of morality and a universally agreed on list of enumerated rights, you have no basis for your questions.

YOU have not established an objective standard of morality, nor a universally agreed on list of enumerated rights. So what?

Who says that we - you and I - therefore, have no basis for our questions? Who says that we must have a universally agreed on list of rights in order to have a basis? You are speaking of moral anarchy, since no one has a universally agreed upon list of rights, but I don't believe in moral anarchy and I suspect you don't, either. But we might get to this eventually, if you just answer the questions one at a time and we'll walk through it together, reasoning together like responsible adults.

Craig said...

Yes, countries should restrict certain rights.

1. Still no answers from you.
2. I’m not the one “making a case” for this having a basis in “morality”, you are. Since I’m not, there’s no reason for me to do so. You are making assertions that have no basis in reality.

To be specific (an point out your attempt at diversion), I said your two specific questions have no grounding. Because you haven’t demonstrated an objective, universal moral standard.

Craig said...

Responsible adults, don’t dodge questions for months, so that ship has already sailed.

Craig said...

Morality defined.

.1. Morality can be a body of standards or principles derived from a code of conduct from a particular philosophy, religion, or culture,
2. In its descriptive sense, "morality" refers to personal or cultural values, codes of conduct or social mores. It does not connote objective claims of right or wrong.
3. Morality in a descriptive sense may be defined as a code of conduct endorsed and adhered to by a society, group or—much less frequently—individual. Moral codes in this sense will, therefore, differ both from society to society, within societies, and amongst individuals.
4. Morality in a descriptive sense may be defined as a code of conduct endorsed and adhered to by a society, group or—much less frequently—individual. Moral codes in this sense will, therefore, differ both from society to society, within societies, and amongst individuals.

Craig said...

“I've always been quite clear that I think morality is subjective”


I guess that means that in your subjective opinion, that there’s no moral system that ...

Anonymous said...

Yes, countries should restrict certain rights.



Anonymous said...

Or, if you want to retreat to this defense, that I have no "grounding..." then perhaps you'd prefer to make your case here...

, I said your two specific questions have no grounding. Because you haven’t demonstrated an objective, universal moral standard.

The obvious questions here are (sort of intertwined, but)...

1. You have no grounding to object, using your measure. Do you understand that?

2. Who says we have to demonstrate an objective universal moral standard? Isn't that just a standard that you're raising and, if so, who are you to make that demand?


Craig said...


1. Yes I do. You have tried to operate under the presumption that your opinion is objective fact. As I’ve shown, both you and dictionaries deny the existence of objective morality, given that you have no grounding to make a claim that something is objectively (I’m)moral.

2. If you weren’t making an objective claim, you wouldn’t. But you are making an objective claim, therefore you’d need an objective standard that supports your claim.

So far, since your BS 1 for 1 load of crap, you’ve answered precisely zero questions. I guess all that question dodging practice has paid off.

I’ve just started to reword most of my questions because I have no explanation that they’ll be answered.

Craig said...

I am aware of no country, religion, culture, or society which promotes or allows 100% unrestricted liberty.

Given you support for restricting one of the most basic human rights, I sense inconsistency here.

Anonymous said...

My one question to you: Where did I say my opinion is an objective fact?

And what questions have you asked that I have not answered? I see none.

To clarify what you don't appear to understand: I'm saying that we can REASONABLY conclude that restrictions on human rights are immoral, not that I can objectively prove it.


Craig said...

Thank you for agreeing with me. Thank you for acknowledging that you ate expressing your opinion, despite the way you’ve phrased it.

As for unanswered questions, start with the ones you’ve been dodging for months, then read this thread.

Here’s one unanswered question. “What determines where the laws of KY are sovereign?”.

That’s all the help you get.

Anonymous said...

I've already answered that, Craig, with the reasonable question, Why WOULDN'T Kentucky laws be the operative ones in Kentucky? I'm no lawyer, but I would assume that Kentucky rules apply for property bought in Kentucky.

Now, please answer the questions I've asked you. Directly. Clearly.


Craig said...

No, that doesn’t answer the question asked, it’s a question not an answer. At best it’s a response, not an answer. Or, it is an answer, disguised as something else because the implications of the clear direct answer undermine the point your trying to make.

I’ve answered the questions you’ve asked. Proving that your 1for1 is just a bunch of BS.

Craig said...

When you announce the morality or immorality of something, you are making a claim that the action is objectively moral (or immoral).

Of course, if you’re using the definition and staying true to your quoted position, then you’re not making an objective claim. However, in doing so you remove any force from your claim. Once you’ve moved into the subjective realm, where morals are a social construct, then you have no basis to declare something moral for anyone else.

Oh, a utilitarian system of morality would definitely support restricting and regulating immigration.

One other question you’ve dodged. “Who is advocating for a “closed” border?” Seriously, name one person in a position of authority who is attempting or advocating for 100% closed borders.

Not holding my breat, but that’s one more question I’ve answered.

Craig said...


Dan Trabue said...

1. that doesn’t answer the question asked, it’s a question not an answer.

No, it is literally THE ONLY ANSWER I CAN GIVE. Think about it. Let that sink in.

I am not a legal scholar. I am not a legal scholar on property law. I LITERALLY do not know the definitive, authoritative answer to that question (“What determines where the laws of KY are sovereign?”). It SEEMS to me that, well, of course, Kentucky law determines what happens in Kentucky (which is what we are talking about). So, my answer is, Why wouldn't Kentucky law determine what happens in Kentucky?

That IS THE ONE AND ONLY ANSWER I can give to that question, since I do not know the answer authoritatively. I'm telling you, with that answer, "This sure SEEMS correct to me," AND, "but if the answer is something other than Kentucky law, then please enlighten me..."

What other possible answer could there be?

So, my ONE question back to you, then, is

Do you understand that I have answered that question with the only possible, clear and direct answer I can give?

I'll await that answer before proceeding.

Dan Trabue said...

Actually, I'll go ahead and address one of your claims while awaiting that answer. You made the claim...

When you announce the morality or immorality of something, you are making a claim that the action is objectively moral (or immoral).

I wonder, SAYS WHO? I DID NOT SAY THAT, so who insists that offering an opinion/making a claim about morality is saying they are stating an objectively provable fact?

Specifically in this case, when you have stated that I have been clear that morality is not objectively provable (actually, what you wrote was " both you and dictionaries deny the existence of objective morality" which is not my actual position. Rather it is as I just stated, that it is not objectively provable.), given that, then why would you presume I'm making a objective claim, when you JUST STATED that you clearly knew I wasn't making an objective claim?

You're contradicting yourself. It seems that, for YOU, when someone says, "This action is immoral..." that, TO YOU, IN YOUR MIND, that means, "I am stating an objectively provable fact: GOD and I and the Moral Universe know as a fact that THAT ACTION is immoral..." But that would be an awful lot of uncalled for presumption on your part.

At any rate, I'll await your answer.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall keeps commenting. I keep deleting. I will address one thing he said, to help him understand...

Apologize for using similar epithets toward those you oppose, as well as various other kinds that are likely offensive to those certified as delusional.

I have not used offensive epithets elsewhere. I've used "delusional" as descriptive, to say, "This person is literally not recognizing reality, at least in this case. They are delusional."

That is not the same as using the R word to try to insult someone who is not suffering from disabilities. THAT is using an epithet and one that those with the disabilities in question, and their friends and families and communities, have asked you to quit using. By dishonoring this reasonable request, you are spitting in their faces and that will not happen here.

If I say that Trump appears to be narcissistic, I'm using it in the clinical sense, that he is literally exhibiting narcissistic tendencies. If I say that, when you deny reality, that this is delusional, that is using it in a clinical, precise sense. NOT as an epithet.

Craig said...

The answer that so perplexed you is simple. The border of KY is what determines the area where KY law is sovereign. The fact that you can’t figure that out isn’t my problem.

Clearly you are perfectly fine with borders constraining some things.

Once again, thanks for agreeing with me. I’ve been quite clear that what you’ve been doing is disguising opinions in the language of objectivity. Now that you’ve been clear that all your really saying is that these things are immoral only in your opinion.

Of course, one wonders why you brook no challenges to your opinion, while demanding that others prove you wrong.

You claim “Freedom of movement is a basic human right”.

Clearly unfettered freedom of movement is practiced nowhere.

Clearly you have two options.

1. Demonstrate the objective Truth of the claim
2. Modify the claim to be clear that this is your opinion

Shocking, one question in this whole thread and I have to answer it for you.

1for 1, my ass. More like you dodge several for every question I answer.

The absolutely moronic thing is the fact that I have given you what you asked for. You just didn’t quite know how to deal with your demand being met and decided to throw up smokescreens of BS.

If I were you this is where I’d unleash a expletive filled, vulgar display of gracelessness. Instead, I’ll just wait for the answers.

Anonymous said...

Marshall I'll delete later as I have time. In the meantime, look up the word imbecile in the dictionary, please. It does not mean what you think it means.

It means a stupid person. Stupid people are not suffering from a disorder. They're just stupid.


Dan Trabue said...

Last chance, Craig. I've answered your questions clearly and directly. No reasonable person reading my words would have the slightest problem understanding my direct response to your questions.

You, on the other hand, have at least two questions outstanding. I'm asking for clear and direct answers to the question I'm asking. Not snide (and incorrect or slanderous or false) side sniping. Not answers to OTHER questions. The answers to THESE questions...

1. I wonder, SAYS WHO? I DID NOT SAY THAT, so who insists that offering an opinion/making a claim about morality is saying they are stating an objectively provable fact?

2. Do you understand that I have answered that question with the only possible, clear and direct answer I can give?

3. You have no grounding to object, using your measure. Do you understand that?

4. Who says we have to demonstrate an objective universal moral standard? Isn't that just a standard that you're raising and, if so, who are you to make that demand?

Oh, to answer clearly and directly another one of your questions, you ask:

“Who is advocating for a “closed” border?” Seriously, name one person in a position of authority who is attempting or advocating for 100% closed borders.

You. Marshall. Trump. Most of our leaders, in fact.

When you say, "We're okay if 10,000 immigrants come in to our nation, but not 10,001..." and 100,000 people are wanting to move from point A to point B, you are advocating a closed border. Closed to many. Closed to most.

"Slightly open to just a few, but not to most..." is closed, for those you are denying the freedom to move from A to B.

So, Craig, seriously. If you want to comment any more here and have me pay attention to it, begin by answering the questions I've actually asked of you. IF you think you have clearly and directly answered any of the above, by all means, go back and read your answers to yourself and ask yourself, "Is this REALLY a clear and direct answer to the question being asked?" And if you still think you've answered it, then copy and paste it so I can see what you THINK is a direct, clear answer.

Or stop commenting. Your call. You do not appear to want to communicate, only snipe, and that's fine, but while I'm always open to actual dialog and conversations, I ignore and delete spam.

Craig said...

1. When you make claims in the form of a declarative statement, they aren’t phrased as opinions. I already said if you want to change your phrasing and agree with what I said earlier that would be fine.

2. I already answered this once.

3. I’m not objecting using my measure. I haven’t even referred to my measure at all. I’m using your measure, and you’re right, using your measure you have no grounding.

4. You don’t have to demonstrate anything, I’ve not demanded that you do. Pointing out that your own definition of morality doesn’t give you standing to make the claims you’ve made is simply pointing out the flaw in your argument.

I love love how you get all bent because you’ve “answered all”, of the questions I’ve asked, them you answer one that was asked (and not answered) multiple times.

I also love how your answer is, that no one is advocating for a 100% closed border. Or a closed border of any kind.

Of course I think it’s a good idea to screen people. Under your fantasy “proposal”, you’d just let anyone in, because they have unfettered “freedom of movement”. Let’s not screen anyone, just let everybody in, the more the merrier.

Finally, since it’s clear that nothing is going to make you hold up your end of the BS 1 for 1 “deal” you made, let alone address the three questions you’ve dodged since November, I’ll leave you with your questions all answered, and mine not.

But, I don’t expect anything else from you.

Before you even start, just remember that all I have to do is find one unanswered question to prove you wrong, it’s not going to be hard.

Craig said...

Art, again good point. Literally hundreds of thousands of people from other countries have the opportunity to work in the US, which seems to be exactly what Dan is talking about. The various visa options (H2B, etc) allow yearly travel across the border for people to work.

But we’re all advocating a “closed” border, because Dan says so. We’re advocating virtually the same policy as both Clintons, P-BO, Schumer, etc have been advocating for years, and a much more open door policy than FDR (speaking of real closed borders), but let’s not let those pesky facts get in the way.

I’m sure the family of the San Francisco women who was killed by one of the fine folk who was just excercising his liberty of returning after being deported will be reassured by the throw wide the doors policy being advocated here.

I’m sure this’ll get deleted too, even though it’s not off topic.

Craig said...

The private property analogy is also a good (and non fear based) argument, which has the benefit of being biblically supported.

Dan Trabue said...

1. Craig, you didn't answer question one. Want to try again?

2. Craig, you SAY you answered number two. I don't see it. Want to try again?

3. Craig, you didn't answer the question. The answer, then, given your response, appears to be, "No, I don't understand that."

I guess, not understanding it, you don't even understand that you don't understand. I get that. You can only understand what you understand.

So, you didn't answer, but you just don't understand the question or point. I'll give you a pass on that one.

4. later...

Dan Trabue said...

Your response to my first question...

1. When you make claims in the form of a declarative statement, they aren’t phrased as opinions.

The correction to your misunderstanding:

"Belief: Something you believe; propositional meaning it can be stated in a declarative sentence"

And so, with that clarification, I ask again:

I DID NOT SAY THAT, so who insists that offering an opinion/making a claim about morality is saying they are stating an objectively provable fact?

It's okay to back down and admit a mistake. The correct answer here is something like, "No one says that. Of course, making a claim about morality - even without couching it as "this is my opinion" - is NOT a sign of making an objective fact claim. Since I knew that you believed this way already, I should have been able to recognize it and I just made a mistake. In my world, generally, when someone makes a claim about morality, they believe they are making an objective fact claim, but I get that this isn't necessarily the case."

Wanna try again?

Craig said...

1. When your opinion isn’t phrased and expressed as an opinion, don’t be surprised if it’s not treated like one. If you can say unequivocally that you intended to say “in my opinion a closed border is immoral, but it’s not objectively immoral, I just believe it to be”, then I’ll gladly reconsider. But so far, you seemingly want to have it both ways.

2. Yes, I already answered that question. Are you suggesting that I’m lying about this?

3. No, I understand that I have NEVER advocated evaluating your hunches by MY measure. It’s just that fact of the situation. I’ve purposely and intentionally used YOUR (and the dictionary’s) measure. The fact that your argument doesn’t meet your standards isn’t for me to prove. It’s not my problem. The fact that you ignore this reality and keep asking the same question after it’s flaws have been pointed out to you isn’t a problem I can solve.

So, I answer the same 3 questions over and over, you whiff on one question and answer one and think this is 1for 1, What a load of BS.

Anonymous said...

And let me say, coming from the conservative, Evangelical world, I understand. I get it.

Very often, when conservative Christians say "God really does hate the gays" or "God really is supposed two gay guys married!" or other similar claims, they aren't making opinion claims... they are making what are, in their minds, fact claims. Objective, provable fact claims. In their minds.

So I get that for many people (and really, it extends beyond just conservative Christians), claims are taken to be objective facts.

But that doesn't extend to everybody, and I've been abundantly clear where I stand.


Craig said...

You ignoring the fact that we’re up to three “non fear based” options is pretty amusing. You said that no one could, yet here they are. You said people were advocating closer borders, also not true.

But your doing great, really.

Over 2 months ignoring 3 simple questions, quite the display of something.

Craig said...


I don’t think you even realize how this latest apparentl clarification undermines the entire premise of your post and of the earliest demands you made.

What you demanded was that other respond with something objective as a response to your subjective opinion. Had you made it clear that the foundation of your premise was subjective opinion, then an opinion based response would have been, not only appropriate but valid.

As with many worldview issues, the effective strategy is to apply the standard inherent in the worldview to evaluate the worldview. In this case, once you clarified that you were expressing opinion, the entire conversation became essentially pointless.

I’m sure you’ll find a way to blame your readers for not being able to discern that you were merely advocating a hunch as opposed to an actual fact based premise.

I guess that ad long as you don’t have the courage to do anything but present hunches, we should just leave you in this fortress you’ve created.

Craig said...

Just saw a stat, in an article against the Trump “wall”, that said that 1,000,000 people cross the border with Mexico daily. I couldn’t quickly find similar data for the Canadian border, but let’s say it’s 400,000. Let’s add another 300,000 for those who fly in. That means that our “closer borders” allow in approximately 1,700,000 people per day. 620,500,000 per year.

That doesn’t sound like “closed” borders to me.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall continues to post spam and spam gets deleted. He continues to be defiant and spit in the face of those with disabilities who request that people NOT use certain offensive words. Marshall does not give a damn about them or about abiding by the rules of a blog that DOES honor these people and their larger community of supporters and listens to their wisdom.

Having said that, Marshall tries to bring up a point (one that ultimately works against him) on this topic, noting that Merriam Webster includes in its definition of Imbecile:

dated, now offensive : a person affected with moderate mental retardation.

First of all, it USED to hold that meaning. It's dated. It no longer holds that meaning to anyone much anywhere. I'm not aware of anyone who uses THAT definition of imbecile except to note that historically, it was used to mean that and then, the term became offensive and so it drifted out of usage in that sense.

Words change. NOW, the meaning of imbecile is simple a stupid person, a fool.

Having said that, IF there were people who were offended by the use of the word, IF families and those with some disabilities were saying, "Hey, don't use that word anymore, as it is offensive still..." IF that were happening in any meaningful way, I would honor that request and stop using the word.


Because I'm not a heartless, mindless jerk. I'm not an asshole. IF people are offended by a word for legitimate reasons, I'd stop using it. Especially if we are speaking of an oppressed or formerly oppressed population.

Now, I have worked in and around this field for over 20 years and I'm unaware of anyone meaningfully making this argument, That is to say, the ONLY people I've heard making this argument are the ones who are DEFENDING THEIR USAGE of ugly, harmful epithets.

Like Marshall.

He isn't raising this issue out of concern that I might be hurting people's feelings or oppressing people. He's raising it to justify his own use of words that we know cause harm and contribute to oppression.

That will not stand here.

Now that I've explained to you and to the readers why that word will not stand here, and why your defense is NOT a defense against those with disabilities, but a defense of those who harm and attack (even if doing so from a place of embraced ignorance) those with disabilities, now, we are finished.

I've dealt with your slobbering and mean-spirited defenses of oppressors and oppression and it should be clear to you. If not, you'll just have to accept that is how it is here.

Apologize, or be gone.

Dan Trabue said...


1. When your opinion isn’t phrased and expressed as an opinion, don’t be surprised if it’s not treated like one.

I've explained to you how words, claims and human interaction works. I've pointed you to a source to show that a claim is not automatically to be assumed to be a fact claim. You either don't or can't understand.

I've tried to help you on each of your questions and misunderstandings and still you are clinging to the misunderstanding. I don't know how else to help you understand.

I wish you well, but I won't be continuing to try to explain further your way out of not understanding. It SEEMS as if you're deliberately not understanding that which is clear, but giving you the benefit of the doubt: Maybe you're just not capable of understanding it, at least coming from me. Perhaps your hostility to the "other side" makes you rendered incapable of hearing their words of explanation, I don't know.

But I've given you all the time I am on this post.

So, given that you two are the only ones commenting and you either don't understand or choose to be abrasive and combative, I'm ending comments on this thread. If anyone wants to comment constructively on this post, please let me know and I'll be glad to make it happen.

Marshall, commenting off topic and in defense of attacks against oppressed folk will not stand. Don't comment on other posts, off topic or simply cutting and pasting from previous posts. Going down that road makes you spam and spam, I block.

I truly don't mind your questions (belligerent and combative or not), but spam is spam. Don't be spam.