If not, does this mean that, for example, DUI when there is no one else on the roadway, should not be illegal?
What about attempted murder, in a case where the intended victim does not know about the attempt and no one suffers any actual harm (e.g. intended victim had his back turned to you and gun jams)?
Where there is no victim, there is no crime, philosophically speaking.
But just because no-one gets physically harmed, that doesn't mean there's no victim.
The object of a moral government is to protect individuals from the initiation of physical force. The initiation of physical force includes credible threats of physical harm.
Willfully placing someone in danger, such as even simply aiming a gun at them, without firing it, is a form of initiating physical force against a person. It is, because it physically takes control of their life while the gun is pointed at them.
It doesn't matter if they don't get hurt. Simply being forced, for several seconds, by the point of a gun, is a form of harm that is to be outlawed by a rational government.
Being a credible threat is not allowed in civil society. Attempted murder, of any kind, demonstrates that you are a credible threat to the victim, even if the victim is nowhere near the actual act of attempted murder (e.g. you are shooting a mannequin which you thought was the victim.)
answered Oct 26 '12 at 09:49
John Paquette ♦