Can morality be universal or objective or is it always a subjective standard?

The Nations of Sanity, the Sanity Agreement and the Non Aggression Principle itself are all built on a foundation of objective or universal morality, or at the very least the assertion that there is such a thing as objective/universal morality.

The premise of the Nation of Sanity is that there is and it is this objective standard of morality that defines the movement’s core principles.

Though morality is often thought of as a subjective standard, there is also an objective standard that can be identified by the consistent logic you apply to it, which can only be applied to the universal morality of the Non Aggression Principle.
The Non Aggression Principle is the principle that prohibits causing harm or loss to another. It’s an agreement to do no harm. Nothing more but nothing less.

For example, to say we must not steal has a universally agreeable quality to it as (in theory at least) it is possible for everyone to agree with such a principle and accept an agreement not to steal, if for no other reason than because they don't want to be victims of theft.
Whether they adhere to such a principle is another issue but the logical consistency that allows for all people to agree not to steal from each other, as part of a universal agreement, remains regardless of adherence to such an agreement.
The opposite, by definition, cannot be true because if anyone agreed to theft then it would not be theft. You cannot consent to theft because your consent prevents it from being theft.
The same goes for rape, murder, assault and all associated violations related to causing harm or loss to another (same goes for threatening to inflict any of these crimes on people). It applies to all violations of the NAP. It is the lack of consent that defines them as crimes in an objective and consistent way.

These violations of the Non Aggression Principle, what many people would define as real crimes or violations of “common law”, have a consistency to them which allows for easy identification.
It does not take much to see the difference between a law that demands only that you do not aggress against others and arbitrary, oppressive and fascist laws that criminalise people who are not violating anyone else in anyway, or threatening to.
To put it in simple terms, if you are not causing harm or loss, or at the very least threatening or attempting to, then you are not guilty of a crime, even if your actions conflict with somebody’s subjective standard of morality.
We can all disagree with how other people live their lives. But while they remain peaceful people they must remain free from any form of persecution or prosecution. The disapproval of others does not warrant the criminalisation of their way of life.

The reason violations of the Non Aggression Principle are considered crimes in an objective and universal standard is because they are violations that, by definition, violate the will of the victims. No one wants to be a victim of such crimes. So the morality that opposes these violations has a consistent, objective and universal quality to it and because no one wants to be a victim of such violations there is a theoretical basis for universal agreement and adherence to rules/laws that prohibit such crimes.
“I agree not to hurt you or others and you agree not to hurt me or others”. Sounds logical, fair and sane does it not? That is because it is undeniably logical, fair and sane.

Furthermore, demanding adherence to such a basic law that itself demands only that you do not cause harm or loss to others is not only a reasonable and objectively moral law, but a law that can be enforced without initiating force and violating the Non Aggression Principle.
The only demand you can rightly make of anyone is that they do not violate you and others.

However when you look at laws that step outside the Non Aggression Principle (ultimately violating it) and attempt to impose subjective moral standards, outside of the basic premise of the NAP, it creates two fundamental and inescapable problems.

Problem 1) You are deeming something a crime when there is no victim, which creates an illogical and dangerous precedent. You are imposing on others according to your preferences, not an objective standard of protecting you or others.
When you deem a drug user (for example) a criminal then you are saying that they are causing a violation, even though they are not causing harm or loss, or any threat, to anyone else.
There is no logic to this at all.
How can putting something into your own body (even if that substance is harmful or detrimental to your health) be deemed a criminal violation? Who are you violating other than yourself and can that really be a violation when you are obviously consenting?

Exercising the right to decide what you put in your own body is one of the most fundamental rights of self ownership and to violate such a right and criminalise someone for exercising such a right is illogical and immoral to the point of absurdity and insanity. As much as it may offend some people this logic applies to all issues of self ownership and apply equally to prostitution and gambling laws.
Even a drug dealer is dealing with willing participants and while many may have moral objections to the use of drugs, or the trading of them, the undeniable fact remains that their objections are based on an entirely subjective morality.
If participants are consenting adults then there is really no basis for interfering with such activities, let alone criminalising them. Many “drug dealers” may be criminals in other ways, though many are not, but that is irrelevant to the issue. The wilful trade of any drugs among consenting adults is a voluntary act and there is no logical basis (and certainly no moral justification) for criminalising a voluntary agreement.

Anyone has the right to disagree on a moral level with the use of drugs, or the trade in them, just as many have moral objections to sex before marriage, or sex in general, masturbation, homosexuality, gambling, smoking, use of legal drugs, unhealthy food consumption, sedentary life styles etc.
In fact, when looking at things that may go against the subjective moral standards of another person the list is actually endless because we all differ so much in that sense. Any number of things could offend the sensibilities of another. The list of things that can conflict with subjective morality is literally limitless. But the list of crimes that are deemed violations in accordance with the objective and universal standard of the Non Aggression Principle is clear, concise and limited to two basic areas, causing harm or loss to another, or threatening to cause harm or loss to another.

There is still room for subjective standards on the grey areas, especially when dealing with severity of various crimes and reasonable people can disagree what constitutes harm or loss in certain instances (like when deciding how much pollution is a violation, how much physical contact is assault etc.) but the black and white aspects are pretty clear. Theft is a violation, murder is a violation. Any violation of another is a violation of the NAP.

Problem 2) When you criminalise someone who has not caused, or threatened to cause, harm or loss to another then you are actually committing a crime, because you are initiating force on people who have not violated anyone else and pose no such threat.

Criminalisation is a declaration of war on those who engage in prohibited activities. To declare war on rapists, murderers, thieves and violent aggressors is not an initiation of force because such a declaration is demanding only that people do not violate others.
To unite against “real crimes” and take actions against the perpetrators who carry out such violations is something that everyone can, in theory at least, support.
It is the one demand we can make on others without contradiction or violation of any rights.
However, to declare war on people who are not violating anyone else is itself an act of aggression, an initiation of force, a violation of the NAP and as such is nothing short of criminal.

This is an obvious distinction when you think about it. We can defend ourselves and others against those who would do us harm. So criminalising violations of the NAP is nothing more than defence against criminals who wish to harm us. But to criminalise that which violates only the subjective morality of a select few (or even a majority) is pretty much the definition of criminal behaviour and is, because of this, a violation of the NAP.
So not only does the NAP (as defined by the Nations Of Sanity) provide us with a very basic, objectively moral, logically consistent foundation of law that is universally agreeable but this principle actually prohibits the criminalisation of anything outside of that mandate. Criminalising people who have not violated the NAP is itself a violation of the NAP, an initiation of force against innocent people, and a criminal act.

The reason why the Nations Of Sanity are proposing that this universal morality is not only the best, but really the only, basis for a real revolution is because it is attacking the root cause of what is wrong with this world, rather then focusing on the endless list of symptoms.
The world is ruled by insanity, that is what needs to be corrected. So we draw the dividing line where it matters, between insanity and sanity, between an objective and universal standard of right and wrong and we ask the world to pick a side in that divide.

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