LSAT Logic and Libertarian Seasteading

LSAT Logic and Libertarian SeasteadingLSAT Blog reader Jason wrote the following LSAT-style analysis of a real-world situation. Please share your questions for him, and thank him for sharing his analysis, in the comments!


I read an article on "libertarian seasteading," oil-rig-like platforms floating in sovereign waters outside the reach of -- and free and secure from -- partisan politics, excessive taxes and politically-inspired moralities.

The argument in favor of seasteading:

-assumes (depends upon/takes for granted) that a practically defenseless "country" is able to remain sovereign for any reasonable amount of time.

-could be strengthened by adding that such libertarian nations plan to fortify, significantly, by hiring private navies to patrol international waters surrounding their "seasteads."

-could be weakened by the fact that piracy on the high seas has been on the rise since the end of the Cold War and subsequent decreased emphasis on naval presence by both the U.S. and Soviet navies.

-could be weakened by the fact that since "seasteads" cannot be entirely self-sufficient, they must be located close enough -- within 50 miles -- to traditional nation-states for service of consumables. That "seasteads" have a tendency to drift more than 50 miles at a given time. That, of course, assumes that the "seasteads" will drift into the direction of the neighboring nation-state's sovereign zone and not away from it. And, that the neighboring states are not libertarian. And, that a temporary trespass of a "seastead" would be treated like a ship entering a nation-state's zone of influence rather than a unique event -- drift of a nation-state towards another. At that point, for example, in the absence of prior custom, would the permanent nation-state's influence supersede the "seastead," or vice versa?

Of course, the possibilities for trap answers (citing a timeline on the drift and distance, etc) and other logical fallacies are endless.

To spice up the answer choices, a "blogger" could be cited as a source. For example, in this case, "Joe Opinion from 'alwaysperfectlycorrect.web' (I felt tempted to write something like 'alwaysright.web,' but that certainly violates LSAC's directive to try and keep things unemotional) says that this is a bad idea because it's just not practical." Or, "It's a terrible idea, a country free from moral obligation will likely be an outpost for prostitution and drugs."

Then we work in an appeal to (non-credible) authority, appeal to emotion, appeal to a certain moral directive. And, of course, improper prediction of inevitability.

(Come to think of it, I haven't seen a "blogger" cited in any of the questions I've yet studied. As my background has been the advertising industry, I love the logic flaws presented in the "Advertisement" prompts.)

And, of course, we could focus the question as the 2-speaker, counterargument style:

CRITIC: "Ultimately, it won't achieve it's goal of lower taxes because the out-of-pocket costs to ensure the safety and security of the 'seastead' essentially amounts to a tax."

In LSAT language, this changes the meaning of a key term.

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