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Stef's argument for self-ownership = Tu Quoque fallacy?


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214 replies to this topic

#1
sdavio

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The proof for property rights I have seen Stefan Molyneux provide (specifically in the video "A Proof of Property Rights") is that one cannot argue against property without being a hypocrite. This seems an example of the logical fallacy 'Tu Quoque', because it is not logically sound to claim an assertion is true only on the grounds that a specific or theoretical opponent of the assertion would be a hypocrite. It would work as an aside, but this is purported to be a rational proof working from first principles. Am I mistaken in labelling this proof as a fallacy?

 

"[Tu Quoque] is a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit the opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with that position; it attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque


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#2
TheRobin

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I'd say it's not a tu quoque, because if you argue against property rights it is by defintion impossible to act in accordance with the principle, making it impossible to have it as a valid principle for any action. So it's not a failure to act consistently in accordance with the position, but the position is defined in such a way that no one can ever act in accordance with the position.


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#3
ProfessionalTeabagger

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The proof for property rights I have seen Stefan Molyneux provide (specifically in the video "A Proof of Property Rights") is that one cannot argue against property without being a hypocrite. This seems an example of the logical fallacy 'Tu Quoque', because it is not logically sound to claim an assertion is true only on the grounds that a specific or theoretical opponent of the assertion would be a hypocrite. It would work as an aside, but this is purported to be a rational proof working from first principles. Am I mistaken in labelling this proof as a fallacy?

 

"[Tu Quoque] is a logical fallacy that attempts to discredit the opponent's position by asserting the opponent's failure to act consistently in accordance with that position; it attempts to show that a criticism or objection applies equally to the person making it."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_quoque

It's that one cannot argue against property rights without using property rights. For example you are attributing the argument to Stef. It is HIS argument, made by him. 


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#4
sdavio

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I'd say it's not a tu quoque, because if you argue against property rights it is by defintion impossible to act in accordance with the principle, making it impossible to have it as a valid principle for any action. So it's not a failure to act consistently in accordance with the position, but the position is defined in such a way that no one can ever act in accordance with the position.

 

It is possible for someone to act in accordance with the principle that property rights aren't universal. The positive claim being made is that property should be unilaterally applied and respected as moral law. To say "anyone who refers to property in a specific case is assuming the existence of the concept of property" does not rationally prove the former claim, in my view.

 

Also, it seems there is a big difference between being accountable in the sense of cause and effect and property in the sense of having a right to use an object as you wish.

It's that one cannot argue against property rights without using property rights. For example you are attributing the argument to Stef. It is HIS argument, made by him. 

 

We're talking strictly about an abstract philosophical proof here. The assertion "property rights should be universally respected as a moral imperative" does not logically follow from "Person A attributed an argument to Person B."


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#5
Kevin Beal

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Most fallacies of this type are only fallacies with regard to those arguments who claim proof on the basis of that logical formation.

 

That is to say that actually tu quoque, ad hominem, appeal to authority, etc. are all completely valid except when they are offered as syllogistic proof.

 

A guy being fat selling you a book on nutrition may have something, but the fact that he's fat is evidence that his nutrition advice is bad (not proof).

 

And there aren't a whole lot of places where syllogistic proof is possible, but that shouldn't stop us from advancing philosophical arguments.


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"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#6
Cosmin

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I think self ownership can be proven by reducing to absurdity: 

 

"I don't own myself, therefore I accept that I be killed or raped."


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#7
sdavio

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Most fallacies of this type are only fallacies with regard to those arguments who claim proof on the basis of that logical formation.

 

That is to say that actually tu quoque, ad hominem, appeal to authority, etc. are all completely valid except when they are offered as syllogistic proof.

 

A guy being fat selling you a book on nutrition may have something, but the fact that he's fat is evidence that his nutrition advice is bad (not proof).

 

And there aren't a whole lot of places where syllogistic proof is possible, but that shouldn't stop us from advancing philosophical arguments.

 

Well, the video was titled "A Proof of Property Rights", and the basis for property as universal and binding seems particularly important considering it forms the grounding upon which the rest of UPB's morality system is predicated.


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#8
Kevin Beal

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Well, the video was titled "A Proof of Property Rights", and the basis for property as universal and binding seems particularly important considering it forms the grounding upon which the rest of UPB's morality system is predicated.

It doesn't form the "grounding" for UPB. UPB would be valid regardless of whether or not property rights were valid. UPB demonstrates the validity of property rights. You've got it backwards.

 

Why are you not convinced by the fact that you cannot deny property rights without implying it's validity? Because "not necessarily"? You realize that's not an argument, right?

 

What objection do you have beyond "not necessarily"?


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"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#9
ProfessionalTeabagger

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It is possible for someone to act in accordance with the principle that property rights aren't universal. The positive claim being made is that property should be unilaterally applied and respected as moral law. To say "anyone who refers to property in a specific case is assuming the existence of the concept of property" does not rationally prove the former claim, in my view.

 

Also, it seems there is a big difference between being accountable in the sense of cause and effect and property in the sense of having a right to use an object as you wish.

 

We're talking strictly about an abstract philosophical proof here. The assertion "property rights should be universally respected as a moral imperative" does not logically follow from "Person A attributed an argument to Person B."

It does if you follow the argument and not re-frame it as "Person A attributed an argument to person B", therefore "Property rights should be universally respected as a moral imperative". You attributed the argument to Stef. It's is Stef's argument. Stef choose to make it. Stef created it. Stef used his mind and vocal chords to state it. You accept Stef's ownership of the argument (or presentation of that argument, etc). You therefore accept that Stef owns himself. His body is his property. 

If you do not accept this then your statements about "Stef's argument" logically fail because those statements have your acceptance of Stef's property rights embedded in them. 


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#10
sdavio

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It doesn't form the "grounding" for UPB. UPB would be valid regardless of whether or not property rights were valid. UPB demonstrates the validity of property rights. You've got it backwards.   Why are you not convinced by the fact that you cannot deny property rights without implying it's validity? Because "not necessarily"? You realize that's not an argument, right?   What objection do you have beyond "not necessarily"?

First, that it doesn't prove universality of property rights logically. Second, that the form of 'property' it refers to might not be the same as we know in the capitalist sense, but only something like accountability or cause and effect. It also doesn't prove ownership of something you're not currently using.
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#11
dsayers

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The positive claim being made is that property should be unilaterally applied and respected as moral law.

 

There is no should anymore than somebody who observes that objects are attracted to Earth is saying there SHOULD be gravity. Similarly, Tu Quoque requires choice.

 

We do not choose property rights. We cannot say that there should be property rights. Property rights is literally inescapable BECAUSE our individual consciousnesses have the ability to innately control that which nobody else can. That it works out to be a very simple gauge by which to measure morality is a bonus.


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Providing value doesn't justify providing anti-value. I won't pay to be censored.


#12
ProfessionalTeabagger

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First, that it doesn't prove universality of property rights logically. Second, that the form of 'property' it refers to might not be the same as we know in the capitalist sense, but only something like accountability or cause and effect. It also doesn't prove ownership of something you're not currently using.

Are you PhilosophyLines? 


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#13
sdavio

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There is no should anymore than somebody who observes that objects are attracted to Earth is saying there SHOULD be gravity. Similarly, Tu Quoque requires choice.   We do not choose property rights. We cannot say that there should be property rights. Property rights is literally inescapable BECAUSE our individual consciousnesses have the ability to innately control that which nobody else can. That it works out to be a very simple gauge by which to measure morality is a bonus.

This seems very different from the capitalist understanding of property, in which for instance I could be given the right to an area of land, and that land is a 'property' of mine to do with what I will, and that anyone else cannot step foot on it else (retaliatory) force will be used against them. I'm interested how you could frame that as a sort of amoral 'fact of the universe'. It just doesn't seem to follow from the fact that I attribute someone's argument to their person causally. In short, if our property is only that which we can innately control, we'd only end up with something more like the communist view of property, which I'm sure is not the goal, lol. I'm wondering specifically about the leap to other forms of property.

Are you PhilosophyLines?

Nope, don't know who that is..
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#14
dsayers

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if our property is only that which we can innately control

 

I never said that. Self-ownership is the beginning of property rights, not the end. Same is true for capitalism since you mentioned that. We know that property rights is the default and not optional because we own ourselves. Just as we know that the Earth's gravitational pull is the default and not optional because we are microscopic by comparison.

 

One last clarification: There is a difference between defensive force and retaliatory force.

 

If you don't mind me asking, was your purpose in creating this thread to seek clarity (the truth)?


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Providing value doesn't justify providing anti-value. I won't pay to be censored.


#15
Kevin Beal

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First, that it doesn't prove universality of property rights logically. Second, that the form of 'property' it refers to might not be the same as we know in the capitalist sense, but only something like accountability or cause and effect. It also doesn't prove ownership of something you're not currently using.

I don't understand the significance here. So what?


  • 0

"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#16
sdavio

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I never said that. Self-ownership is the beginning of property rights, not the end. Same is true for capitalism since you mentioned that. We know that property rights is the default and not optional because we own ourselves. Just as we know that the Earth's gravitational pull is the default and not optional because we are microscopic by comparison.   One last clarification: There is a difference between defensive force and retaliatory force.   If you don't mind me asking, was your purpose in creating this thread to seek clarity (the truth)?

Of course it was; namely because I don't feel clear on the logical backing for which people have an absolute right to obtain and hold property, as opposed to it being simply something like a social construct. From what I understand by the responses so far there is some sort of Is/Ought distinction, where self-ownership simply resembles a statement like "I have control over my body." Most defences of absolute property rights I've seen imply that property rights follow necessarily from self-ownership, but if that is all self-ownership is, it seems there is a long philosophical leap from that to property as we know it in capitalism.

I don't understand the significance here. So what?

It seems essential that, for the function of most libertarian logic and rhetoric ("taxation is theft", "violence is wrong, and disrespecting absolute property rights is violent"), there is a logical progression from self-autonomy to capitalist property, rather than the answer being that we adopt the property system because it works best for society to function. If the answer is only the latter, then most moral defences would fall apart.
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#17
Kevin Beal

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It seems essential that, for the function of most libertarian logic and rhetoric ("taxation is theft", "violence is wrong, and disrespecting absolute property rights is violent"), there is a logical progression from self-autonomy to capitalist property, rather than the answer being that we adopt the property system because it works best for society to function. If the answer is only the latter, then most moral defences would fall apart.

How so? That doesn't seem to follow...

 

I mean, the two aren't mutually exclusive.


  • 1

"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#18
dsayers

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Most defences of absolute property rights I've seen imply that property rights follow necessarily from self-ownership

 

The reason why I questioned your intent is because you continue to select verbiage that suggests a presupposition combined with an unwillingness to revise. Here you used the word defend in place of explain and imply in place of denote. Then there's the "this is where it begins" being addressed as if it were "this is all that it is."

 

If you own yourself then you own the effects of your actions. This syllogism takes us from self-ownership to property rights (and capitalism). You make a chair, you own that chair. If you break somebody else's chair, you owe them a chair. Fundamentally, it's just that simple.

 

If this is unclear or you find fault with this, I'll happily examine it with you to find out how to improve upon it so that it more accurately describes the real world. At this point though, it is unclear where the disconnect lies.


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Providing value doesn't justify providing anti-value. I won't pay to be censored.


#19
sdavio

sdavio
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The reason why I questioned your intent is because you continue to select verbiage that suggests a presupposition combined with an unwillingness to revise. Here you used the word defend in place of explain and imply in place of denote. Then there's the "this is where it begins" being addressed as if it were "this is all that it is."

 

If you own yourself then you own the effects of your actions. This syllogism takes us from self-ownership to property rights (and capitalism). You make a chair, you own that chair. If you break somebody else's chair, you owe them a chair. Fundamentally, it's just that simple.

 

If this is unclear or you find fault with this, I'll happily examine it with you to find out how to improve upon it so that it more accurately describes the real world. At this point though, it is unclear where the disconnect lies.

 

Alright, I've attempted to elaborate on my argument to make clear exactly where I see the disconnect:

 

- In order for statements like "Taxation is violent and immoral" to hold, right to owning property must be a logical and natural extension of being human, rather than a utilitarian-style social construct. - There seem to be multiple understandings of property alluded to in this thread: 1. An attribute of something. (An attribute of my eyes is that they are blue.) 2. Cause and effect. 3. Having conscious control of something. (I have control of my body.) 4. Capitalist property: The right to an object, whether you have direct control of it or not, and the right to use force against those who interfere with it. - #4, specifically, and the paradigm it entails, do not deductively follow from any of the previous points. - Therefore, there remains to be shown a logical progression specifically from being human to the #4 understanding of property. "If you own yourself then you own the effects of your actions." If I understand correctly, this would refer to the #2 type of property, cause and effect. Then, you say: "You make a chair, you own that chair. If you break somebody else's chair, you owe them a chair." Which makes the progression to #4, capitalist property. My question essentially is, if I make a chair, why do I necessarily 'own' it (in the capitalist sense)?  

How so? That doesn't seem to follow...

 

I mean, the two aren't mutually exclusive.

 

If obtaining and withholding capitalist property (as distinguished from property in the sense of self-autonomy etc.) is only a social consideration rather than an intrinsic right, then withholding property could as equally be violence as interfering with someone else's could be, because it would be an act of society rather than a right.


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#20
James Dean

James Dean
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Which makes the progression to #4, capitalist property. My question essentially is, if I make a chair, why do I necessarily 'own' it (in the capitalist sense)?

 

Because without you there would be no chair, in the same way that if you punch me, you 'own' that action because without you, there would be no punch. You own that which you 'cause' or create.


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VI VERI VENIVERSUM VIVUS VICI.

"By the power of knowledge, I, while living, have conquered the universe."

 

ALMS FOR AN EX-LEPER!! 

 

125ht8U8fHJusigoQCDdF3DE2hFBtem5Vt

 

#21
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger
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Alright, I've attempted to elaborate on my argument to make clear exactly where I see the disconnect:

 

- In order for statements like "Taxation is violent and immoral" to hold, right to owning property must be a logical and natural extension of being human, rather than a utilitarian-style social construct. - There seem to be multiple understandings of property alluded to in this thread: 1. An attribute of something. (An attribute of my eyes is that they are blue.) 2. Cause and effect. 3. Having conscious control of something. (I have control of my body.) 4. Capitalist property: The right to an object, whether you have direct control of it or not, and the right to use force against those who interfere with it. - #4, specifically, and the paradigm it entails, do not deductively follow from any of the previous points. - Therefore, there remains to be shown a logical progression specifically from being human to the #4 understanding of property. "If you own yourself then you own the effects of your actions." If I understand correctly, this would refer to the #2 type of property, cause and effect. Then, you say: "You make a chair, you own that chair. If you break somebody else's chair, you owe them a chair." Which makes the progression to #4, capitalist property. My question essentially is, if I make a chair, why do I necessarily 'own' it (in the capitalist sense)?  

The logical progression has been shown. You own yourself (you ARE yourself and have exclusive control over your body). Therefore you must also own the effects of your voluntary actions. Property created (like a chair) is an extension of yourself into reality. You necessarily own the chair. You can't make a chair that someone else made. The chair is your time and labor and just as you have rights over your self you have rights over the chair. If someone takes the chair they are taking your time and labor (effectively enslaving you retroactively). They are violating your property just the same as if they violated your body and mind.


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#22
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

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If obtaining and withholding capitalist property (as distinguished from property in the sense of self-autonomy etc.) is only a social consideration rather than an intrinsic right, then withholding property could as equally be violence as interfering with someone else's could be, because it would be an act of society rather than a right.

I don't know what "intrinsic" means in this context. Nor do I get why it should need to be automatic in being human not to justify violence. Nor do I understand how there is any meaningful distinction between these senses of property. I don't understand these leaps you are making.

 

The features of this object (me) includes things like autonomy, the ability to act and create in the world and by simple logical consequence a responsibility over the results (since I act). Which is exactly identical with saying that I own the results of my actions.

 

How is it not simply self evident that we have property rights just like it's self evident that we digest food? Both seem equally undeniable as far as I can tell. It might as well be a tautology that I have property rights since I act.


  • 0

"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#23
sdavio

sdavio
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I don't know what "intrinsic" means in this context. Nor do I get why it should need to be automatic in being human not to justify violence. Nor do I understand how there is any meaningful distinction between these senses of property. I don't understand these leaps you are making.

 

The features of this object (me) includes things like autonomy, the ability to act and create in the world and by simple logical consequence a responsibility over the results (since I act). Which is exactly identical with saying that I own the results of my actions.

 

How is it not simply self evident that we have property rights just like it's self evident that we digest food? Both seem equally undeniable as far as I can tell. It might as well be a tautology that I have property rights since I act.

 

I apologize if I'm being unclear. When you say we 'own' the effects of our actions, it seems to mean simply a statement of cause and effect. Clearly, if I built a chair, the fact of 'the chair being built' is causally connected to myself. However, this does not entail any sort of capitalist right to the chair, it is simply an 'is' statement of what caused the chair to come into it's current state of being.

 

The statement, "I built this chair therefore I caused it to come into it's current state," is definitional and self-evident. The part after 'therefore' can be absolutely deduced from the part before it.

 

On the other hand, the statement "I built this chair, therefore I have a capitalist right to it, and the right to use force against those who interfere with that," is not definitional; it is an assertion. Therefore it is not simply self-evident, it needs to be supported with a rational proof.

Because without you there would be no chair, in the same way that if you punch me, you 'own' that action because without you, there would be no punch. You own that which you 'cause' or create.

 

By that definition of ownership, the wind 'owns' the leaves of a tree which is pushes about. Surely you can see how I'm finding a gap between that understanding and the capitalist's property paradigm?


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#24
ProfessionalTeabagger

ProfessionalTeabagger
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I apologize if I'm being unclear. When you say we 'own' the effects of our actions, it seems to mean simply a statement of cause and effect. Clearly, if I built a chair, the fact of 'the chair being built' is causally connected to myself. However, this does not entail any sort of capitalist right to the chair, it is simply an 'is' statement of what caused the chair to come into it's current state of being.

 

The statement, "I built this chair therefore I caused it to come into it's current state," is definitional and self-evident. The part after 'therefore' can be absolutely deduced from the part before it.

 

On the other hand, the statement "I built this chair, therefore I have a capitalist right to it, and the right to use force against those who interfere with that," is not definitional; it is an assertion. Therefore it is not simply self-evident, it needs to be supported with a rational proof.

 

By that definition of ownership, the wind 'owns' the leaves of a tree which is pushes about. Surely you can see how I'm finding a gap between that understanding and the capitalist's property paradigm?

These are not statements of cause and effect. We don't say everything you cause you own. We do lots of things and cause lots of effects that we have no choice over. If I murder someone I own that murder. It is in a sense my property. If I kill someone in a genuine accident then I do not own any murder. It's purely causal. 

To say that any of us are just asserting that we also have rights over our property when we've made repeated arguments for it is something you've not argued for. You just keep saying it doesn't follow without proving anything. I just gave you any argument for such rights in my last post. It's been argued countless times on FDR in many different ways.

You don't need to say "capitalist property right". Putting the word "capitalist" before adds nothing except confusion. 


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#25
dsayers

dsayers

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By that definition of ownership, the wind 'owns' the leaves of a tree which is pushes about. Surely you can see how I'm finding a gap between that understanding and the capitalist's property paradigm?

 

Does the wind have consciousness and the ability to reason? Then it is not a moral actor.

 

I suspect you were dishonest with me when you said the purpose of the thread is to seek the truth. The wind owns the leaves? It's hard to take you seriously.

 

To that end, I am unclear as to why you continue to try to separate self-ownership from property rights from capitalism. They're the same thing. You own yourself. Your body, time, and effort are your capital.

 

You're essentially saying that you accept shoes, but can't wrap your head around soles.


  • 0

Providing value doesn't justify providing anti-value. I won't pay to be censored.


#26
sdavio

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The logical progression has been shown. You own yourself (you ARE yourself and have exclusive control over your body). Therefore you must also own the effects of your voluntary actions. Property created (like a chair) is an extension of yourself into reality. You necessarily own the chair. You can't make a chair that someone else made. The chair is your time and labor and just as you have rights over your self you have rights over the chair. If someone takes the chair they are taking your time and labor (effectively enslaving you retroactively). They are violating your property just the same as if they violated your body and mind.

 

As I understand, you are basically claiming that, if I apply my labour to an object, the choice about what happens to that object is always (in moral terms) best left up to me, and I should be allowed recourse to violence if another person impedes that from happening.

 

Applying someone's argument to them as a causal agent doesn't prove the above statement deductively. It requires further proof.

 

Nor is it self-evident within the fact that I spent the labour in the first place.

Does the wind have consciousness and the ability to reason? Then it is not a moral actor.

 

I suspect you were dishonest with me when you said the purpose of the thread is to seek the truth. The wind owns the leaves? It's hard to take you seriously.

 

To that end, I am unclear as to why you continue to try to separate self-ownership from property rights from capitalism. They're the same thing. You own yourself. Your body, time, and effort are your capital.

 

You're essentially saying that you accept shoes, but can't wrap your head around soles.

 

Stef's original argument, and people in this thread, have framed property as simply meaning attributing something to something else causally. That is not the concept of property most people would understand, nor the one necessary for anarcho-capitalism. The gap between those two things was precisely what the absurdity of the tree example was attempting to show. Most people understand property as an object being attributed to a person with a moral right to it respected by society (and the right to use force in defense of it). This latter paradigm being justified doesn't follow from the fact that I attribute Stef's argument to Stef, having autonomous control of my body, nor from the fact that labour is expended toward the object in the first place.


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#27
TheRobin

TheRobin
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I think the claim is more that, if you spend time and energy to create something then within that object is now your time and energy and taking that object would mean taking part of your time and energy that you expended earlier. An example would be, if you work 8 hours a day for a month making a nice guitar and someone takes the guitar, then you effectively lost 1 month of your time and energy. It would be identical to someone forcing you at gunpoint to slave for him for a month and build a guitar. And since you can defend youself against being enslaved, you can also denfend yourself against someone taking stuff that you created or traded for. 

 

Or if you want to argue that you have a right to defend your body, but not what your body creates, then what is the argument for why you can defend your body?


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#28
Cosmin

Cosmin
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@sdavio

Whose computer have you used to write the posts? If it's nobody's, will you ship it to me please?


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-43 This post by greekredemption is below the user reputation threshold. View it anyway?

#30
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    Philosopher in Training

  • 2357 posts

I apologize if I'm being unclear. When you say we 'own' the effects of our actions, it seems to mean simply a statement of cause and effect. Clearly, if I built a chair, the fact of 'the chair being built' is causally connected to myself. However, this does not entail any sort of capitalist right to the chair, it is simply an 'is' statement of what caused the chair to come into it's current state of being.

 

The statement, "I built this chair therefore I caused it to come into it's current state," is definitional and self-evident. The part after 'therefore' can be absolutely deduced from the part before it.

 

On the other hand, the statement "I built this chair, therefore I have a capitalist right to it, and the right to use force against those who interfere with that," is not definitional; it is an assertion. Therefore it is not simply self-evident, it needs to be supported with a rational proof.

No, that's very clear about what you are saying, not clear at all why you are saying it.

 

Would you say that if someone attacks me, that I'm justified in protecting myself? If you deny property rights, on what basis do you justify self defense?

 

When I say I banged my finger, that actually means something. I'm not talking about your fingers, right? I'm the one who feels the pain and will need to have it bandaged or whatever.

 

Speaking philosophically, I am an object. I have certain features. One of the features that belongs to me is that I have digits on my hand. Another feature is that I act with my own volition toward my own goals.

 

The very act of defining me necessarily implies ownership.

 

From self ownership, all other ownership follows. (This is however a separate discussion, unnecessary to justify the proposition).

 

Could you say why the previous argument around it being necessary to accept it in order to argue against it is bad? As far as I can tell, your objection is "not necessarily" and that there are implications (if self ownership is invalid) that make things we do unjustified.

 

You've been asking people to justify the claim then rejecting all attempts to do that. Maybe it would be more productive to pose a clear counter argument of your own.

 

In formal debate, there isn't one guy with a pro proposition and another guy who's like "justify it to me because I'm not satisfied". There is a clear and concise general counter argument so as to provide a clear outline for what is meant by success and specifically what arguments are needed to justify the proposition within the context of the debate.

 

In other words, what do you need to be convinced?


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"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#31
square4

square4
  • 113 posts

So the argument is that people who argue against property rights are inconsistent, because they exercise self-ownership while speaking. The underlying generalized argument seems to be this:

1. You perform behavior X that fits into category A.

2. So you agree that we should approve behavior X that fits into category A.

3. So you should also approve behavior Y and Z that fit into category A.

 

But this is not valid in general. This reasoning is only valid to the degree in which the behaviors in category A are homogeneous, without significant differences. In other words, by employing this reasoning, one assumes that category A is the overriding principle that should settle the matter, although this is probably one of the main points of dispute. If this type of reasoning would be valid in general, then, by carefully choosing categories, one could “prove” that almost any behavior is acceptable (or not acceptable), for example: Suppose a stranger on the street asks you a question without invitation. This means he is sending sound waves that move your ear drums. This fits into the category: moving a body part of someone else without permission. So this means he should also accept any behavior where someone moves a body part of someone else without permission. But of course, this claim is absurd and invalid, which illustrates the point.

 

Because without you there would be no chair, in the same way that if you punch me, you 'own' that action because without you, there would be no punch. You own that which you 'cause' or create.

Humans cannot create something out of nothing. Without the chair maker, there would be wood available to make another type of furniture. Humans can only manipulate objects into a different state or configuration. People have different opinions about the value of configurations of matter, and in some cases (an example is given below), even libertarians are not willing to grant ownership to those who have caused a new configuration of matter.

 

By that definition of ownership, the wind 'owns' the leaves of a tree which is pushes about. Surely you can see how I'm finding a gap between that understanding and the capitalist's property paradigm?

You are making valid points, but I think the example of the wind that moves tree leaves is problematic, because wind is not a voluntary actor. It might be more instructive to take the example of someone who walks on the beech and creates footprints in the sand. The impressions in the sand are the results of his actions, but it is generally not accepted that he will own the land because of it.

 

Although I agree to a significant degree with the libertarian view of property rights, I think the cause is not advanced by claiming that something proofs it, when it in fact, it does not.


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#32
dsayers

dsayers

    collateral damage

  • 2225 posts

Eardrums moving are an effect. It's not at all the same as a direct action such as raising your hand.

 

So you agree that we should approve behavior X

 

Nobody is talking about approval. In order to reject self-ownership, you have to exercise self-ownership. You cannot make the case that something is invalid when the act of making the case establishes its validity.


  • 0

Providing value doesn't justify providing anti-value. I won't pay to be censored.


#33
sdavio

sdavio
  • 25 posts

I think the claim is more that, if you spend time and energy to create something then within that object is now your time and energy and taking that object would mean taking part of your time and energy that you expended earlier. An example would be, if you work 8 hours a day for a month making a nice guitar and someone takes the guitar, then you effectively lost 1 month of your time and energy. It would be identical to someone forcing you at gunpoint to slave for him for a month and build a guitar. And since you can defend youself against being enslaved, you can also denfend yourself against someone taking stuff that you created or traded for. 

 

Or if you want to argue that you have a right to defend your body, but not what your body creates, then what is the argument for why you can defend your body?

 

The labour theory of property presupposes self-ownership and the is-ought leap which are the very things this thread is about. Sure, my labour comes from me, but this doesn't entail any 'ought'; it doesn't necessarily show that I have any right to it's product. This was my purpose in separating the different understandings of property, a main variance between them being those which are simply 'is' ('A property of my eyes is blueness') versus 'ought' ('This guitar is mine, so I am justified in withholding it from others').  

@sdavio

Whose computer have you used to write the posts? If it's nobody's, will you ship it to me please?

 

I've got no vested interest for or against property here; I'm just interested to see if it can be proven logically, considering I found the attempt in Stefan's video unsound.


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#34
Kevin Beal

Kevin Beal

    Philosopher in Training

  • 2357 posts

So the argument is that people who argue against property rights are inconsistent, because they exercise self-ownership while speaking. The underlying generalized argument seems to be this:

1. You perform behavior X that fits into category A.

2. So you agree that we should approve behavior X that fits into category A.

3. So you should also approve behavior Y and Z that fit into category A.

 

But this is not valid in general. This reasoning is only valid to the degree in which the behaviors in category A are homogeneous, without significant differences. In other words, by employing this reasoning, one assumes that category A is the overriding principle that should settle the matter, although this is probably one of the main points of dispute.

No, the argument is:

 

P1: You make claim X which stands opposed to A

P2: X necessarily implies A in order for the claim to be made

P3: X is a statement that denies A only in utterance, but wholly requires A in action

C1: X, the claim contains a contradiction when compared to it's form

P4: The statement "language has no meaning" is absurd (and untenable) for exactly the same reason

C2: To accept property rights in action while simultaneously rejecting it in words is insane in just the same way that rejecting the meaning of language in words is insane

C3: WTF, mate?

 

Also, you didn't answer my question about self defense. If you need to reject self defense in order to sustain the position that property rights are invalid, then just intuitively we get that there's something wrong here.


  • 0

"I know you're afraid, but being afraid is alright, because didn't anyone ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster, and cleverer and stronger and one day, you're going to come back to this barn and on that day, you're going to be very afraid indeed. But that's OK, because if you're very wise and very strong, fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind."


#35
sdavio

sdavio
  • 25 posts

No, the argument is:

 

P1: You make claim X which stands opposed to A

P2: X necessarily implies A in order for the claim to be made

P3: X is a statement that denies A only in utterance, but wholly requires A in action

C1: X, the claim contains a contradiction when compared to it's form

P4: The statement "language has no meaning" is absurd (and untenable) for exactly the same reason

C2: To accept property rights in action while simultaneously rejecting it in words is insane in just the same way that rejecting the meaning of language in words is insane

C3: WTF, mate?

 

Even barring my criticism of the entire strategy as fallacious; the principle entailed in my form is simply that [someone's actions can be attributed to them], which, while contained inside the capitalist's property paradigm, is not the entire paradigm. Your strategy would only work if implied in my making the argument were all of the parts of the definition of property which is being challenged.

 

If this rule were not true, then (as square4's post demonstrated) basically anything would go. I could prove murder is valid because in arguing against murder you are moving your body and murderers do that too.  


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