Why the N.A.P. is Incomplete

W.I.P - notes

The Non Aggression Principle is a great starting point for ethics and morality, however it begins to show a variety of holes the longer one examines it. Based on a variety of observations, I have begun to conclude that the N.A.P. is either (1) incomplete, (2) too vague, or (3) inconsistent with my ethics. While I could attempt to prove that a better understanding of the N.A.P. would address many of the problems below, it would be far more efficient to simply create a similar concept that is better defined.

This article focuses on examining weaknesses within the N.A.P. in it's current state.


Even amongst the strongest proponents of the Non Aggression Principle, there exists significant disagreement and differences of understanding of the N.A.P.

In my own pursuit for greater understanding, I conducted a detailed analysis of the Non Aggression Principle1, and discovered every act of 'aggression' requires two core attributes; [undesirable, relationship].

However I have recently seen many persons assert that every N.A.P. violation must be a [property] violation, though I have yet to see a proof or explanation.2 There have been a host of other vastly important misunderstandings and disagreements3 where all sides cite their understanding of the non-aggression-principle.

Regardless of who is correct and the lack of recognition for the underlying principles, what remains is that the N.A.P. does not adequately and clearly explain itself.

Non Aggressive Harm

  • usually carelessness
  • traffic accidents, pollution
  • "You break it, you fix it"


  • Restitution vs self defense

Third Party Defense

  • Third party defense is occasionally argued to not be "self" defense.
  • Vagueness - most easily demonstrated by the fact that disagreement exists.


  • Retribution, defined as coercion after an act of coercion
  • Retribution may be nessecary in the case of well known violent criminals.
  • The lack of immediate danger makes an act of retribution, not "defense" in the immediate sense.


  • The N.A.P. does not explicitely state anything regarding a proportional response, however it is well understood by libertarians that one does not murder someone who steps on their lawn.

Quantifyable Aggression

Exploitative Relationships

Gain at the expense of others, against their desire.



Vagueness of "Aggression" Definition

  • Most N.A.P. definitions give examples but not an explicit definition


Emergency and Survival

  • disclaimer: Persons often exploit real or fake emergencies to violate persons or property rights for their own benefit.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License