Jakub Wisniewski writes,

The libertarian ethic says: aggression may occasionally be justified, but it always — though not necessarily permanently — makes the aggressor a criminal.

One of the examples he gives is “unless I threaten you with a gun, thereby coercing you to row a boat, we will all drown.”

The idea is that if I threaten you, I save our lives but become liable to be sued for damages and even punished. The other guy can forgive me, but he doesn’t have to. I think that’s a great point.

If you want to bring about the “greater good” by unlawful acts, why must you sacrifice others in so doing? What kind of an incentive does such a rule set for people, that they can use violence with impunity as long as they can claim some utilitarian result?

Instead, if one feels heroic, he should sacrifice himself. Coerce the other guy into rowing if you must, but be prepared to suffer the consequences yourself later.

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