The purpose of this project is to publicly challenge at least one hundred teachers or professors of law, government, ethics, sociology, philosophy, or related fields, to answer a few questions about their advocacy of "government"--to challenge the assumptions and paradigms upon which all mainstream "political" discourse is based--and to publish the resulting exchanges (written and live) for all the world to see.
Each teacher/professor will be sent a copy of my book, "The Most Dangerous Superstition," along with a letter asking a few basic questions about what they believe and advocate regarding political "authority." (I will soon post the actual letter and questions here.) A web site will list all of those who have been sent such a package. Any responses received from the teachers/professors will be posted, unedited and in their entirety, on the web site. (Failure to respond will also be documented on the web site.) I will also write my own analysis of any responses received, and post that to the site as well.
Lastly, I will invite any teacher/professor who provides a sufficiently substantive response to a live discussion/debate on the topic (via Skype), which I will record and post to the web site and my YouTube channel. I believe that making such a debate open and public will be invaluable, not just as an academic curiosity, but as a vital step in improving human society and reducing oppression, suffering and injustice worldwide. The actual questions to be asked are as follows:
1) Is there any means by which any number of individuals can delegate to
someone else the moral right to do something which none of the
individuals have the moral right to do themselves?
2) Do those who wield political power (presidents, legislators, etc.) have the moral right to do things which other people do not have the moral right to do? If so, from whom and how did they acquire such a right?
3) Is there any process (e.g., constitutions, elections, legislation) by which human beings can transform an immoral act into a moral act (without changing the act itself)?
4) When law-makers and law-enforcers use coercion and force in the name of law and government, do they bear the same responsibility for their actions that anyone else would who did the same thing on his own?
5) When there is a conflict between an individual's own moral conscience, and the commands of a political authority, is the individual morally obligated to do what he personally views as wrong in order to "obey the law"?
Risks and challenges
Without knowing how many professors might respond to the challenge, it may turn into a huge commitment. I may get only a few responses, and I may get a lot. If I have to do a hundred different live discussions with a hundred different professors, obviously it will take some time, but I will do it. (I tried to set the funding goal high enough so that I don't end up overwhelming and bankrupting myself in the process.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)