5 Ws of the Non-Aggression Principle

Many years ago I learned about a simple technique to share information effectively with your reader – answer the 5 Ws (Who, What, When, Why, How).  Of note, I realize that “how” is not a ‘W’, but bear with me!  The non-aggression principle (NAP) will be referenced a lot in this blog, and I thought it worthwhile to share with you – it has impacted my life in ways I never expected. So, here is a basic overview…

WHO needs to know about NAP? Everyone.  NAP is a standard of behavior that can be reached by every human, everywhere, at all times (it’s pretty much a universal principle). Obviously, there will always be people who violate NAP, but in a society where self-ownership and property rights are respected, there are appropriate ways to deal with the miscreants! Importantly, NAP applies to individuals as well as groups of individuals (governments, organizations, etc).

WHAT is it? NAP states that defense is the only morally justifiable use of force, and that aggressing against another’s person or property is morally wrong. NAP is derived from the truth that each person owns himself. It differs from pacifism in that it recognizes an individual’s right to defend himself and his property.

WHEN does it apply? NAP is more than just theory, it’s a philosophy that you can implement in your personal and professional life. Whether you are dealing with your partner, your children, coworkers, strangers, or even other countries, NAP can (and should) be consistently applied.

WHY recognize NAP?  It’s the most consistent metric by which to measure morality.  There are no temporal or geographic limitations on its implementation.  NAP recognizes the dignity inherent to humanity, and provides a framework for how individuals deal with one another.

HOW do you follow NAP? Don’t hurt people or take their stuff (and don’t support organizations that do).  Seriously, that’s it.

11 thoughts on “5 Ws of the Non-Aggression Principle

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