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The idea that restrictions in human liberty are subject to when "a national community agrees on something" is laughable at best and evil at worst.





> laughable at best and evil at worst.

Forgive me for not just taking your word for it. Citation needed.

Even your freedom of speech is subject to certain restrictions in the US – you can't make violent verbal threats to people, to name one example.

The problem with Law is that laymen opinions seem to matter even less than in other domains.


I think it had to do with how other domains often have new words for things specific to it, but law, in addition to that, frequently redefines existing words and phrases to mean extremely specific things in particular legal contexts. These redefinitions often are not intuitive to the everyday user of the word or phrase. IMO, this is a big reason why lay opinions seem to matter less. That is, they are often commenting on a message that differs from the actual content of the legal text to such a degree as to be "not even wrong", as it were.

Does that also pertain to drug regulations? Because the US certainly restricts a whole hell of a lot of people based on that.

But what is human liberty?

The problem here (as I see it) is that the definition of liberty is very subjective, and yet people make arguments like yours based on the premise that their personal definition of liberty is an objective truth.


But who draws the "human liberty" line? Where and how does "human liberty" and "individual liberty" intersect? Is the Non Aggression Principle the doctrine on this? Or something more progressive that helps ensure minority rights? Some other option entirely?

Liberty and humanism are topics built on millennia of context and nuance. Blanket statements like yours, while passionate, risk being so reductionist that they distract from the important substance of the conversation.


It's for the same reasons that amending constitutions require more buy-in than just changing laws.

You can establish things that you think are "very important" in a society, and make it much harder to change than other things.

Of course, if everyone thinks you're the king of France, you're the king of France. But establishing rules to counterbalance the state's monopoly on violence and making those be pretty strong protections within the framework of laws helps establish the norms!

Everything has an asterisk in these kinds of conversation. I think most people can understand the relative difference in values between "people should have a right to assemble and speak their mind" and "people should be able to park on the left side of this street on weekends"


The idea of someone drawing lines is positivist bullshit. The Declaration of Independence was grounded on the bedrock of Natural law, and the bedrock of the Constitution was the common law. The context for both was American but the principles therein are Universal.

Liberty is the natural order, but liberties can be tempered by morals and laws. If they existed not in nature, but as a set of approved rights granted to you by secular authorities, then your liberty is not your liberty, but your license.


Well, slavery was abolished after the civil war some hundred years after the constitution. So much for human liberty.

75 years, and slavery has existed for thousands of years prior (and that’s most likely an understatement), and continues to exist even in the present day in different forms.

The difference now is whether it is State-sanctioned or not, and sometimes it still is. Liberty is natural, but laws and morality act as the limiting principle. Without them, martial power is the rule and only another martial power can counteract another from engaging in the trade and enslavement of people; but law can also prevent selling yourself into slavery as a way of settling debts. The 13th Amendment is a general prohibition article, one of the only two ever adopted, and the 18th was later rescinded by the 21st.


I don't think liberty is the natural order, but something we have to fight to keep, each generation has to carry that fight. Once it is gone it will be a lot harder to regain.

Another thing is that liberty is very difficult to define, and anything from a libertarian paradise to a socialist one (as in Scandinavia) can be the most liberty for different people.


You see, I disagree but not entirely. I do think it is the natural order, but that you are right, you have to fight to keep it.

America is a good example of where we used anti-democratic institutions towards democratic ends. We retained a parliamentary body, but we subordinated it to the Constitution rather than maintaining the premise of parliamentary supremacy. We retained the previous makeup of Congress in the Senate much to Madison’s chagrin, and even improved it somewhat by going from 1 State Vote to 1 State 2 Separate Votes; in exchange we got buy in during the ratification conventions. We put an elected official in Office in place of a King, with term renewal. We introduced an Electoral College into the process because these were the pre-Telegraph pre-Railroad days where it might take six weeks to go from the Potomac to Philadelphia, and made Congress the fallback when the EC couldn’t decide on an overall winner (this process was expected to be used more than it has been, most notably in 1824). We came up with political parties, and they functioned very well for a long time at keeping riffraff and people morally unfit for Office from ever coming close to the White House, up until we threw open the doors to the smoke filled rooms and made it so any DINO or RINO could run for President under the Party banner which is now we ended up with President Trump and Bernie Sanders was twice a serious contender in the Democratic Primary despite not serving as a member of the Democratic Party. Juries have absolute power over one simple question: guilty or not guilty, and peoples’ lives hang in the balance of that question.

Liberty is natural, but we do temper it with morals (it is sinful to kill) and laws (we will execute killers). There is no justice in lawlessness, and if men were Angels we wouldn’t need justice.

> Another thing is that liberty is very difficult to define, and anything from a libertarian paradise to a socialist one (as in Scandinavia) can be the most liberty for different people.

This speaks to our collective failure as a society to regulate our morals and understand our liberty. In part it is because we rely too much upon the State to do so for us. What societal understanding we do have of our own liberty is rooted in our liberties under the Common law, which despite its name, is as much tradition as it is law, traditionally tempered by Courts of law and equity, but which can be overturned by statute; and the natural law.

We don’t have a law saying that you have a right to live, to have sex, to have children, and to form a family. Nor do we have laws saying that you have a right to engage in commerce. These are rights, but not rights in the positivist sense where the State will provide these things for you under rational principles, but rights that are intrinsic to being born alive and grow healthy enough to engage in these pursuits. If you are sterile, you cannot sue for a remedy from nature for this misfortune, although our society is vast enough and complex enough that you might still form a family by other means, it is not owed to you.




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