A Persian Cafe, Edward Lord Weeks

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

More Venting

One of the courses I'm currently taking is a broad overview of political theory, the first half of which is an examination of the alleged duty of obey the law. Today we were discussing Fair-Play theory, and in particular Robert Nozick's counterargument. Fair-Play theory is the idea that "when several people come together and make sacrifices towards a cooperative venture for mutual benefit, they have the right to demand similar sacrifice from those who benefit from their venture." Nozick's objection is that it is quite easy to foist benefits upon someone, and moreover even if you do enjoy benefits from such a scheme it doesn't really seem like you have a duty to comply.

What struck me in the decision was just how emotionally violent some of the defenders of this theory got. It was suggested - not by me - that one could extend Nozick's argument to public order and defence. One girl suggested then that anyone who refused to pay taxes for public order ought just to be murdered - or at the very least, that if they were murdered, they simply got what was coming to them.

Suppose some girls have been on a night out. Most of them decide to get a taxi back home together, but one decides it's not worth the expense. Instead she decides to walk home. On the way back, she is sexually assaulted. Did she "get what was coming to her"?

No comments:

Post a Comment