Universality: A Universal Philosophical Blunder

One of the most abused terms used in modern libertarian philosophy is the word “universal”.  at the moment i can only think of one other term that is more abused than this,  which is the term “subjective”, but ill be addressing the ambiguous and often contradictory nature of “subjective” in a separate video.

the wide spread misconception of libertarian figures such as hoppe and molyneux that something is “universal” if the value of this universal property is the same for all people. this is and isnt true depending on how you interpret it.  this conflation has caused wide spread confusion within the realm of morality if not all of philosophy

the problem with the analysis of “universality” by “philosophers” like hoppe and molyneux is that they have not taken into account the CRITICAL variable of perspective when trying to evaluate the “universality” of a value. its apparent these types of “philosophers” have not had their “relative value” revolution in their moralities.

it is PERFECTLY analogous to the general relativity revolution in physics.  before einstein articulated general relativity, it was always believed that things like time, length, mass, and energy were “universal” (constants)..  but this myopic view was quickly overturned.  einsteins theory articulated an empirically accurate view that these properties/values were dependent upon the conditions of the observation.  things like time and length (time dilation and lorentz contraction) dont make any sense when you omit the critical variable of the conditions of observation (not the observer).  that elapsed time of an event and length of an object are different for different conditions of observation. the true universality of these properties/values are revealed in the fact that anyone can evaluate elapsed time or object length given all the variables that determine them including perspective. the mathematical relation/function that determines these properties is truly universal (it can be evaluated by anyone given all the critical variables and information to process them).  modern philosophy has conflated universality into meaning the value of  this function is a constant, a totally fallacious idea.


now molyneux and hoppe commit several methodological errors in formulating their ideas of universality.  their idea of classifying all aggression as immoral in any circumstance would be as fallacious as saying the gravitational force of the earth is the same for any object (everything’s weight is the same).  this totally disregards perspective (since the gravitational force of the earth is dependent upon the mass of the object in question). with respect to morality, the conditions under which any action are performed make all the difference in determining its moral value.  egoutism does not preclude the possibility that certain acts of aggression, given the correct circumstances, can be moral since it values all action/strategy with respect to an evolutionary principle, instead of religious doctrine. (egoutism defines morality as the optimum, or pairwise greater, strategy in achieving the perpetuation of instances of one’s meta-self)

while on one hand it seem intuitive that aggression is wrong (since it is an economically expensive action relative to voluntary transaction),  one the other hand it is also intuitive that one should aggress if the situation, not necessarily extreme, dictates (when benefits exceed costs). religious philosophers with low standards of knowing feel that if its good enough it is moral.  unfortunately reality can be much more complex than they care to consider and nature rewards the moral models that can precisely describe what natural selection selects for.  just because defining an optimal universal morality is difficult, you do not pretend a rule of thumb/aphorism is a principle/law.  its both intellectually lazy and dishonest. its the moral equivalent to saying newtonian mechanics is a physical law.  just because newtonian models have useful prediction capabilities in “normal” circumstances you dont ignore the extremes in which these set of laws totally loses all accuracy.

you get adverse reactions from the nap apologists such as scoffing at “lifeboat situations” with such remarks as “yeah but thats unlikely to happen”.  this is an intellectually dishonest way out of a sound argument.  its like a person who defends newtonian physics as an ABSOLUTE law of the universe were to ask “yeah but when will we ever reach the near speed of light to experience relativistic effects?”  the fact that egoutism presents an alternative moral ethic that describes BOTH normal situations (using the non-aggression APHORISM, N.A.A. or the non-aggression RULE OF THUMB, N.A.R.T.) and a more precise general ethic for all situations (perpetuation of the existence of one’s meta-self).  the logical consistency of egoutism lies in the fact that the non-aggression aphorism can be deduced as an estimate from the primary principle of egoutism (like newtonian mechanics can be deduced from assuming very low speeds relative to the speed of light)



when navigating morality one must be able identify any “universal”moral value for any action. the universality actually lies in the evaluation, and not from a constant value that”philosophers” like molyneux and hoppe would falsely lead you to believe.

what sense does it make for an actor to prefer someone elses action?  this question  may seem to generate paradoxes.  the resolution to this is that one cannot prefer someone elses actions (or at the very least it makes no rational sense in preferring something you have no power to directly control).  all preferences of any person are necessarily revealed by the choice of THEIR OWN actions, and not anyone elses. for instance when one says one thing but does another, their actions tell you their true preferences.


to say you prefer someone else’s actions is a non-sensical proposition. there is no valid reason that the goals of two different people (meta-selves) will necessarily have the same objectives.  egoutism also says one can always translate any such non-sensical statement of a preference of another’s action, into a preference of one’s own action.

for instance when one says they prefer that no one commits an act of aggression against them it must be also true that they take any measure necessary to try to prevent aggression upon them.

given the fact it does not make any sense to have a preference for anyone else’s action,  the only logical resolution is to restrict the evaluation of moral value to the ACTOR’S perspective so we dont run into any unnecessary paradoxes like those presented in stefan molyneux’s “universal preferable behavior”.  when one does this, the reasonable standard of morality changes from the golden rule (do onto others as you would have done onto yourself) to a more perspective conscious and logically consistent rule (did the actor do what a perfectly rational person would have done in their place? or lower standards…)


once perspective is established one can begin the moral calculation of an action. the moral value of each action, including aggression, is defined by the circumstances under which it is enacted.  its the same for any analysis of strategy. for instance in chess, the queen is a highly critical piece, and in only rare circumstances should one sacrifice or lose it. to implement the obtuse rule of “never sacrifice the queen” loses sight of the primary objective of capturing your opponents king. its just as obtuse to eliminate any strategy that implements aggression even in extreme circumstances merely for the sake of religious declaration.  it is incumbent upon those who defend nap to prove aggression is never in one’s evolutionary interest (meta-self interest) since this principle is the only one that is sustainable (consistent with existence). in this case,it is safer to adopt the non-aggression aphorism and never rule out the rare occassional case where aggression is in one’s meta-self interest.

one must take great care in implementing this moral evaluation process when analyzing acts, especially when it comes to aggression.  it is very easy to forget to remove YOUR (meta-self) PERSPECTIVE from the equation to take into account ONLY THE ACTOR’S (meta-self) perspective  by failing to remove the evaluator’s perspective, one will likely prematurely label all aggression as immoral.  this is the same as only accounting for the costs of aggression and ignoring any benefits. the universality of this calculation manifests itself in the fact that once a rational observer admits some aggression can be moral, they are endorsing it for every meta-self IN THOSE CRITICAL CONDITIONS.  for instance, i may endorse eating, but this is not enough. i have not explicitly defined the conditions under which eating is desirable for a person.  one could be overweight and have just finished 5 burgers.  these conditions more than likely warrant a prescription that is significantly different than “eating is desirable”  but given enough care, one can articulate the conditions under which eating is desirable.  now one can replace “eating” with any action including the most egregious forms of aggression one can think of.  this clearly shows what is wrong with the analysis that saying that “some aggression may be moral” equates to an absurd equivalent “i endorse all aggression upon me at all times”.

the universal property of egoutism says that “if an act, which is defined by its particular conditions, is moral, then any meta-self that finds himself in these conditions SHOULD prefer it”






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