Reply To: Initiatory Force vs. Retaliatory Force


Jerryb225: Your examples seems to take the form of “See, wouldn’t this be absurd? Therefore, it cannot be right.” I totally agree with you on that. However, the critic I was listening to pointed out that Rand’s foundation is inconsistent with defensive force, retaliatory force, or any other kind of force.

If it is true that rights are “natural” or “innate” and thus they are “inalienable” then I don’t understand her basis for permitting violations of rights, even when they are in self-defense. After probing a tiny bit further. It seems that the only answer She (and John Locke) gave for this is that when a person initiates aggression against another human, then they cease to be human themselves. Therefore, non-humans no longer possess the natural rights of humans.

That explanation is consistent with their views, but seems totally bizarre. Do we really lose our nature if we become an aggressor? Such a view would seem to imply an odd definition of what “a nature” even is.

Perhaps Dr. Casey will save the day with some clarifications. I have not taken this to an objectivist forum. I don’t know much about objectivism (is that what we’re talking about?) other than it’s the name of Rand’s philosophy.