How Rule 3 Works:

This post is different and very dear to me. I have made an effort to be clear and concise, but some statements may present challenges. For this I apologize. I will continue to improve over time. Where you are interested to understand precisely what I mean, I encourage you to read and consider each statement carefully, or ask questions if you wish.

In Liberty Minecraft there are 4 rules:
  1. Read and understand the rules.
  2. Everything you claim is yours. If it’s not your claim, it’s not yours.
  3. Resolve non-violent disputes with non-violence.
  4. Malicious Hacking and/or X-raying through blocks is not permitted.

Rule 1 is foundational. I cannot reliably follow a rule that I have not read or do not understand.

Rule 2 is informational. A computer follows this rule when establishing property ownership and I follow this rule when settling property disputes.

Rule 4 is discretionary. I regularly encourage and value people who have demonstrated flaws in the server. Stress tests have hardened my security. I will continue to make careful decisions when faced with hacking and cheating, and will share them with you.

Rule 3 is important to me. This rule means players are expected to resolve disputes peacefully; using logic and evidence. Its means players are expected to absolutely respect the personal preferences of others. When confronted with non-violence, any user who resorts to threats of violence or uses violence will not be allowed on the server.

What follows is an argument developed through the last decade. In what follows I will attempt to prove that Rule 3 is necessary for a person to be moral, logical, and empirical.

Resolve non-violent disputes with non-violence.

Suppose that you and I are engaged in a non-violent dispute: I wish to use your lawn mower and you object. We both agree the lawn mower belongs to you. The issue at hand is whether I will use it.

How might we resolve this dispute?


Suppose I say, “My lawn mower is broken. If I have no one else to ask, and no way to fix it, then I must use your mower to cut my lawn. Can I use your lawn mower?”

At this point you may be persuaded that I’ll be unable to cut my lawn without your mower. If we continued our discussion in this way then we can logically justify our behavior.


Suppose I say, “Last time I used your lawn mower I paid you for my use of it and refilled the gas tank before returning it. I would be glad to do this again.”

My appeal to evidence here may convince you that my previous actions were consistent with your interests. Perhaps you may decide that trusting me is empirically justified on this basis. By examining the evidence we can empirically justify our behavior.


Suppose you say, “No. I do not wish to lend you my property.”

Notice that you haven’t justified your preference at all. Is this a problem? I believe it is not. Your preferences are yours. They are up to you. They depend on nothing but your own desires, wishes, wants and cannot be justified by logic or evidence any more than they must be justified – that is to say, not at all.

Instead, your free expression of this preference provides me with an opportunity to morally justify my behavior on the basis of your preferences: I may choose not to use your property because you do not want me to.

My behavior is morally justified when I respect your preference to deny my request.

Anyone who wishes to empirically, logically, or morally justify their behavior must appeal to evidence, and logic, and must respect the preferences of others.


What happens if we use violence instead at any point during our non-violent dispute?

If you state logically, “I cannot lend you my lawn mower today because without it I’ll be unable to cut the lawn today.” and I take it by force then, by my actions I violently oppose logical justification as a means to resolve non-violent disputes.

If you state empirically, “The last time I lent you the mower I didn’t get it back for several days; much later than we had first agreed. I do not want that to happen again.” and I take it by force then, by my actions I violently oppose empirical justification as a means to resolve non-violent disputes.

If you state preferentially, “I simply want my mower today at every moment and do not want to go without my lawn mower.” and I take your property by force then, by my actions I violently oppose moral justification as a means to resolve non-violent disputes.

Let’s take one step back to consider the implications: Deciding how to resolve a non-violent dispute is an instance of a non-violent dispute. If violence is justified as a means to resolve non-violent disputes then it is also justified to violently resolve how non-violent disputes will be resolved. Using violence to resolve non-violent disputes opposes moral, logical, and empirical justification of its use.

This is not a trick. There is no way to logically, empirically, or morally justify the use of violence as a means to resolve non-violent disputes because the use of it opposes all three.

Conclusions: Resolving non-violent disputes with violence cannot be logically, empirically, or morally justified. Resolving non-violent disputes with non-violence is necessary for a person to be logically, empirically, and morally just.

2 thoughts on “How Rule 3 Works:

  1. I like it!

    Do you believe that there are any justifications to create a violent dispute? Obviously if someone is violent with me, it’s justifiable to be violent back. But do you believe that there are means for violence in any situation?

    1. I’ll say a few things and would like the freedom to make small changes for clarity. This is not my final word on the issue.

      Disputes become violent when one person or more chooses to resolve a non-violent dispute with violence. This is the moment when an immoral act can occur: when a non-violent dispute is responded to violently.

      If two people mutually agree to resolve a dispute violently we sometimes call that a boxing match. This is perfectly moral because both parties agree to engage in violence, often according to rules that both parties have expressed a preference for. Through this mutual agreement both competitors can respect each others preferences and therefore morally justify their behavior.

      When confronted with violence or a threat of violence that you have not permitted it would not be immoral if you decided to do whatever you felt was in your own interest, whether this included protecting people you care about. The immoral act has already occurred in the moment a non-violent dispute was responded to with violence.

      I wish to add one thing: It is perfectly moral for a group of people to voluntarily establish and enforce rules about which types of responses are allowed. Mutual agreement about using violence is moral – there is no dispute when parties mutually agree. The rules can be simple: “Punching is allowed, but not below the belt.” as in a boxing match or something more complicated. These same rules do not apply to a civilian on the street, or anyone else who has not agreed to them.

      Using violence against the preferences of others in a non-violent dispute is the only possible immoral act.

      For instance, a boxer who throws a punch after the bell is behaving immorally. The terms of a bout agreement permit violence under certain conditions and during the round. Using violence not explicitly permitted at any time breeches the bout agreement. This again is a non-violent dispute about how one can behave in the ring that’s responded to violently.

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