Can you consent to the initiation of force?

by Reese on April 4th, 2016

Does it violate the non aggression principle if an individual willingly signs a contract for which the penalty for violation is imprisonment or death?

For example, could you sign a contract with a DRO for which you agree to submit to execution if you are found guilty of murder? I am not interested in debating the merits of this particular punishment here; this is merely an illustrative example. After willingly agreeing to these terms you are then found guilty of murder and you change your mind and do not submit to your execution (totally understandably) and chose to flee instead, would it violate the NAP for the DRO to initiate force against you in order to enforce the contract and execute you?

 Filed under: Philosophy & Spirituality

1 Comment

Quinton: This is a great question.
Mon, 04/04/2016 - 17:17

This is a great question. This is similar to asking if somebody can sell themselves into slavery. And in a way a lot of this comes down to degrees and to what extent a DRO would sign such a contract and to what extent courts would enforce the contract.

To a small degree this is what employment is. You are selling yourself to do labor for another person. A larger degree may be something like you selling yourself into slavery. An even larger degree would be your example of execution.

Would this be allowed? I think it would be more on courts determining whether or not to enforce something like this. If it could be proven that you consensually created the contract and understood the ramifications for such a contract then I think it could be enforceable.

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