Friday, February 6, 2015

Proving vs Assuming Responsibility

Do we create more value by proving or assuming responsibility?   In this blog entry... Is A Procreation License Consistent With Libertarianism?... I argued that we create more value when responsibility follows from proof.

Here's more development of this argument from this thread... Procreation License, Parental License or No License?


Novorobo: Difficulty is, there might be an element of bias in letting states decide, for the purposes of controlling the genome, who counts as "morons".

Xero: I'm approaching this from a pragmatarian (FAQ) perspective.  If people weren't happy with how the procreation licensing agency (PLA) was identifying "morons"... then they wouldn't give their taxes to the PLA.

For example, let's say that the PLA somehow identified everybody as a moron.  Would you give the PLA your money if it identified you as a moron?  Probably not.  Neither would most people.  So we can guess that the PLA wouldn't receive much money.

It stands to reason that the PLA, like every other organization, would want to maximize its revenue.  In order to do so it would have to engage in a process of information exchange with the general public.  Perhaps on their website they'd publish their "criteria to be considered a moron".  The more people that were happy with the criteria... the more money that the PLA would receive.  And if you had good reason to believe that their criteria was really wrong... then it would be your job to convince more people that they should be unhappy with the PLA's moron criteria.

Novorobo: How if at all does the market presume someone irresponsible until proven otherwise?

Xero: Well...I'm pretty sure that you don't randomly distribute your money.  But you're certainly more than welcome to prove me wrong by giving me a lot of money.  If you agree that you don't distribute your money randomly... then it follows that you must adhere to some sort of rule.  My guess is that you distribute your money according to how well the recipient of your money has responsibly used society's limited resources.  In other words, you're probably not going to give your money to somebody who you perceive to be wasting society's limited resources.   Why would you want a wasteful individual to have more influence over how society's limited resources are used?   You wouldn't... so you actively seek to give your money to people whose productivity is relevant to your preferences.  

For example, if some guy has used society's limited resources to write a book that you'd like to read, then you give him your money for his book.  Clearly the author's book has proved to you that he is responsible enough to have the additional responsibility (influence/power/control over society's limited resources) that your money gives to him.

Shopping is the process by which people consider the proof (products/services) of how responsibly other people have used society's limited resources.  The influence to mold society follows from this proof.  Responsibility follows from proof of responsibility.  More proof of responsibility means more responsibility.

Given that reasonable people would agree that having a child is a significant responsibility... it should be the case that anybody who wants this responsibility would first have to prove to others, in some way, that they are responsible enough to have this responsibility.

If we truly create more value by simply assuming that people are responsible enough to raise a child... then why wouldn't we want to apply this system to all other relevant situations?  If proof of responsibility really is overrated... if it destroys more value than it creates... then how could it possibly be only overrated for having children?  Why wouldn't it also be overrated for everything from driving a bus to driving a country?

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