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Rights ethic is a useful concept and in my understanding, concepts are abstract ideas that ought to be accepted or rejected based on their usefulness but are not part of reality as such. Math is an excellent example. Math is a concept we use to describe reality but isn't itself real. You can't see or touch "1" for instance. You can experience an apple or a block or a cup but you can't experience "1".
I can understand the opposing view as well though; that useful concepts are truth/reality/part of existence. I don't think either worldview is substantially better than the other so if you choose to see concepts this way then you could say that rights exist. The reason I usually choose not to view things in terms of rights is because people tend to focus on whether they are justified in a certain action rather than what is the best way to approach a certain scenario. An excellent example is a story I heard recently.
"one night, as Diaz stepped off the No.6 train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.
He was walking toward the stairs when a teenage boy pulled out a knife. ”He wants my money, so I just gave him my wallet and told him, ‘Here you go,” Diaz says.
As the teen began to walk away, Diaz told him, “Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If your going to be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.”
The would be robber looked at his would be victim, “like what’s going on here?” Diaz says. ”He asked me, ‘Why are you doing this?”
Diaz replied: ”If you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars, then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do is get dinner and if you really want to join me …hey, you’re more than welcome.
“You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help,” Diaz says.
Diaz says he and the teen went into the diner and sate in a booth.
“The manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi,” Diaz says. “The kid was like, ‘You know everybody here. Do you own this place?”
“No, I just eat here a lot,” Diaz says he told the teen. ”He says, ‘but you're even nice to the dishwasher.”
Diaz replied, “Well, haven’t you been taught you should be nice to everybody?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t think people actually behaved that way.” the teen said.
Diaz asked him what he wanted out of life. ”He just had almost a sad face,” Diaz says.
The teen couldn’t answer Diaz-or he didn’t want to.
When the bill arrived, Diaz told the teen, “Look, I guess you’re going to have to pay for this bill’ cause you have my money and I can’t pay for this. So if you give me my wallet back, I’ll gladly treat you.”
Diaz says he asked for something in return. The teen’s knife. “and he gave it to me.”
Did Mr. Diaz have the right to defend himself and shoot that teenage mugger dead? Absolutely! And if he had been concerned with right and wrong he may have and this would have just been another story about a dead wayward teen and the man who defended himself. Can we agree though that because this man exhibited empathy and non-judgement this story was resolved in a better way? I think so.
That's why I try to phase things in terms of dispute resolution rather than rights. This story exhibits a great resolution to a terrible dispute. That's what rights are for after all. They're a means to resolve disputes before they occur or to determine culpability afterward. It all should be voluntary of course but I hope that I could have the same conviction to react similarly. -Steve Holman
This has been a long time coming. Many of my friends and family recently, have been getting engaged and married so I thought I would report my understanding of the institution. First, I’d like to say that I love my friends and family and support them in their life choices and wish nothing but happiness for them. I don’t understand why they would entertain the institution of marriage though. I understand the appeal of a monogamous relationship, particularly when kids are involved but marriage and monogamy are entirely different things culturally and historically. I recognize any relationship as acceptable so long as all parties involved are amenable. Marriage is not a relationship though. It’s an institution and one invented for control.
Due to movies, music, culture, TV, and to a lesser extent even video games; a fantasy about what marriage is, was, and should be has arisen. Almost no one understands the reality however. This fantasy is, in no small part, responsible for much of the debate concerning so called homosexual marriage and in fact much of the so called culture wars. This fantasy is not one sided either. Many if not most advocates of homosexual marriage believe it to be what will finally legitimize their relationships because what is more legitimate than marriage? Conversely, you have advocates for so called “traditional marriage” who believe that allowing such weddings would have the opposite effect. Rather than legitimizing homosexual relationships it would delegitimize the institution of marriage putting their own relationships in jeopardy. The fact is marriage is illegitimate already and is only propped up by the culture and the institution that has co-opted it; namely the state.
Many people believe, as a part of the fantasy, that a marriage is an institution ordained by their god(s) and delivered to them from the heavens making it sacred and unbreakable. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The institution of marriage is one used as a control mechanism with little religious involvement before the fall of the Roman Empire.
The History of Marriage
I don’t pretend to be a historian let alone an expert in the history of marriage. The history of marriage varies greatly between cultures and it’s not my intention to give you an exhaustive reference. What I will show; however, is the general path and forms marriage has taken particularly through to the modern western culture of America today.
Marriage began as a simple property exchange contract between the father of the bride and a man and/or his family. A man or his family would pay a father who would guarantee the woman’s virginity. Virginity was very important for purposes of property/ real estate inheritance. A man wanted to ensure that what he owned was passed down to his posterity. There were no DNA tests at the time so the only way a man could ensure that he was raising his own child and that his own child would inherit his property would be if the woman with whom he had a child only ever had sex with him. In some cultures, marriages were also a way to form alliances, settle disputes, expand a family’s influence, etc. but it was always a transaction in which the woman involved was chattel.
This is where the state comes in. As the proto-state tribes formed into actual states through conquest and war, taxes became prevalent. Thus marriage laws came into being for the state to accurately track property owners and legitimate heirs. Still this wasn’t the institution we recognize today though this was the institution recognized throughout most of human history and can still be seen in many cultures still today. Women were chattel and marriage was the means to control them.
The word matrimony comes from the Latin mātrimōnium which combines the two concepts mater meaning "mother" and the suffix -monium signifying "action, state, or condition." In other words, a woman was only as important as her ability to be a mother to the son of her husband. In fact, often if a woman was determined to be infertile (whether the man or woman was infertile or there was some other problem, the woman was usually blamed and declared barron), the man she married was entitled to a divorce.
Should a woman’s husband die or be unwilling or unable to provide for her there would be little recourse for her. Woman had very little worth as ranch hands or other labor and this posed a problem. Most widows became instantly desitute. In order to partially resolve this problem many cultures created a system of dowry. A dowry was property given to the woman on the occasion of marriage. This was usually a certain percentage of the inheritance her oldest brother was set to receive. Different cultures had different laws governing the dowry. In Rome; for instance, a dowry was often paid in installments over the course of several years. Only the very rich would pay in one lump sum. It wasn’t necessarily just the family of the bride who would pay either. Others often would pay a dowry and there were different laws that governed this. Some would be returned upon divorce or the death of the bride. In almost all cases the dowry was connected and sometimes controlled by the bride so in the case of widowship she wouldn’t become destitute which was a real possibility without it. Since women were seen as not fit for marriage once losing her virginity and there were few jobs for women as they were seen as lesser beings.
The church gets involved
During the reign of Constantine the christian church became intertwined with the government. Christianity became the official religion of Rome and much of its rituals and dogmas became codified at this time. As Rome began to fall many civil duties once performed by government officials began to be performed by church officials; including marriage. Despite the intrusion of religion into this civil institution, little changed concerning its form or function within society. Monogamy; however, became the prevailing form of marriage. Prior to this and for most of human history men taking multiple wives was the norm but the church of the day decided that monogamy would finally be the official form of marriage.
It wasn’t until 1215 that marriage became one of the church’s seven sacraments. It was at this time the idea of consent began to take hold. Before this marriage had very little to do with what the woman wanted. She was just the goods being exchanged. Now, it was considered uncouth to marry a woman against her will. This was a formality of course. Her will was what her father told her it would be. This was still an exchange of goods so to speak except now the goods could choose not to be sold to a particular man. At this time still no official ceremony or tradition had yet been laid down.
It was not until the Council of Trent in 1563 that strides to codify marriage were made. They decreed that there must be a witnessed ceremony officiated by a priest for a marriage to be legal. What form that ceremony looked like or how it was to be performed had yet to be decided. Still love had nothing to do with marriage and the relationship between man and wife was not one of equals joining together. The French essayist Montaigne once even quiped that love's a bore—any man in love with his wife must be so dull that no one else could love him.
Love enters the scene
Finally love and romance became introduced to the idea of marriage in the 17th century. Still, many protestant ministers warned about loving your spouse too much or using pet names that could undermine the husbandly authority. In the 18th century love and romance became more prominent but this did nothing to remove the control mechanisms. A loveless marriage at that time was seen as regrettable but the old traditions of money and security were still seen as far more admirable reasons for marriage. Also at that time the honeymoon replaced the older tradition of the bridal tour where the couple traveled to visit family and friends who couldn’t attend the wedding. The honeymoon at this time was not one of pure romance, however. Often the couple was accompanied by others on these trips.
Finally; at the beginning of the 20th century, marriage had started to take the shape that may be more recognizable. Virginity was still very important; however, as evidenced by laws such as “Breach of promise to marry”. These laws stated that if a man became engaged to a woman and backed out, he must pay her father for the inconvenience. As these laws began to be abolished a new tradition gained traction; the engagement ring. The engagement ring was a way for the man to show his fiancé’s family that he was still financially invested without the promise of repayment if he backed out. As a side note, diamonds became popular for engagement rings due to clever marketing by the De Beers Company who at the time owned 70% of the diamonds and mines in the world as still today control a significant share. They prop up the price by warehousing most of the diamonds excavated and releasing a small amount each year.
Today; although people believe that marriage is the natural result of a loving committed relationship, it is still used as a means to control. Through tax codes, marriage, divorce, custody laws, etc. controlling a population becomes much simpler. Additionally, marriage is a way for couples to control each other. Where traditionally marriage was a way for men to control women, now both can use the institution to control the other and this is called progress?. As I showed earlier, religion has very little to do with the institution historically but the churches have recognized it as an effective tool for the control of individuals as well. Marriage is an antiquated control mechanism that ought to be thrown away with every other government institution. It is unnecessary for any true, loving relationships as are all control mechanisms.
One might say, “Well my partner would feel more secure in our relationship if we got married.” To which I would respond, if your partner is insecure in the relationship and needs a control mechanism over you in order to feel secure then there may be a problem with your partner or relationship that ought to be addressed before such a commitment. Let me be clear. I am not against commitment or monogamy at all. I am against the control mechanism designed by the state and co-opted by religion that we call marriage.
One might say, “all this may be true but marriage is good for keeping couples together.” To which I would reply, if you need to force your partner to stay with you through the institution of marriage it may be better that you split. There is no virtue in force and the institution of marriage is an institution of force.
BUT WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!! It is true, as best I understand, that children exceed in stable home environments but as I said before marriage is not necessary for such stability. Marriage is an institution of force and no one has the right to control you even for the sake of children.
Marriage began as an institution of force and control, has historically been an institution of force and control, and remains to this day an institution of force and control. Marriage as an institution; therefore, ought to be opposed if you follow the non-aggression principle. Some may still cling to it as a security blanket and I understand that. I was once a minarchist for the same reason. I believe the consistent principled approach however is to oppose the institution of marriage.
Watch out for the thugs in blue!
The Local Gang who call themselves the "Escondido Police" are planning another display of tyranny this Saturday Feb 22, 2014. Those signed up for texts should receive a message with the location when it is spotted. If you aren't signed up -Click Here.
Last night the local thugs harassed the travelers of Escondido. This news release describes the extortion operation:
No FST’s were conducted. One driver was cited for failure to comply with the requirement to stop and submit at the checkpoint, and delaying a peace officer. Another driver was cited for driving while possessing marijuana.
This caught my eye. The EPD call the checkpoints DUI checkpoints and get funding for running a DUI checkpoint while they conduct search for papers. This has been going on for years and is allowed by the other corrupt people who run the government. Citing someone for delaying a police officer is what they do when someone doesn't want to be harassed for no reason and they disagree. They are the losers stopping people for no reason, and citing others for delaying THEM! It's absolutely insane.
23 vehicles were sent to secondary screening (drivers who could not produce a driver’s license or who were suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or drugs) ( Nobody was stopped for this it - it's a lie according to the same release they conducted no sobriety tests )
This is tyranny.
Watch out, EPD plans to harass travelers in Escondido tonight.
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Epd thugs out in front of the police palace, watch out!
Watch out anyone traveling through Escondido tonight, the local gang will be attempting to extort money from you tonight if you happen to be driving down the wrong road.
Sign up for checkpoint alerts, it may help you avoid such a situation.
The largest gang in Escondido will be once again screwing up traffic in Escondido on Saturday. The last checkpoint is said to have caused an accident, which is something that has been a concern of many who live in Escondido. It's no surprise that nobody even mentioned this in the media.. The display they made was clear. The new chief intends to increase checkpoints, harassing as many people as he can.
These have gone too far. The Escondido Police usually get one or sometimes even 0 DUI arrests during the checkpoints. Why? Because that is not what these are about. These are about letting everyone know that the government can, and will ruin you if you don't have your "papers" in order. This is the real issue.. Need proof?
This guy in a costume is the gang member in charge of the checkpoints. He explains that checkpoints are about "education" NOT DUI s. What is the curriculum? Tyranny and oppression. He even admits they do not follow guidelines set forward. They switched from stopping every 7 vehicles to everyone (not allowed under guidelines). They even blocked off other streets that night just to entrap more unsuspecting drivers. They demand a license, and if it is not produced they will detain you in secondary until you present papers.
If anyone else did what the police and the state are doing if you haven't paid them their extortion money for your papers; extortion of thousands of dollars, theft of property, harassment, kidnapping, fear of imprisonment they would be labeled a terrorist organization (hi NSA you privacy invading losers) and everyone would be angry.
This isn't what happens. Everyone is still delusional, thinking government is god. Allowing theft, kidnapping, extortion and murder, all under the guise of protecting us from those same things. It's no surprise though, after graduating from the "education system" many have this same delusion
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