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Philosophical reasoning of ownership?? Ontology and Cosmology

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Mike26

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From what little I've read about libertarianism, the NAP, and even this website, one of the foundational beliefs is that of ownership, primarily that a human owns him/herself. What is this ideology based upon? As life forms on this planet, we are all interconnected with the planet, its resources, and all the life forms therein. People are byproducts of other people. (They didn't create themselves.) Their parents were likewise byproducts of theirs, and so on. This is leads us into the cosmological argument (causation). Ultimately the argument leads to the beginning of the planet, the solar system, the Galaxy, the universe, and all matter. At this point we arrive with two options: matter was created by an entity of non-matter (deity), or the belief of ex nihilo (out of nothing). So ownership would ultimately lie with whichever option you choose, either God owns everything, or nothing does (ownership doesn't exist.)


To sustain life, people consume other biomaterial (life) and utilize the natural resources around them. But does simply using/ utilizing something confer ownership of the thing? If so, what constitutes use? Is building a house both a use of the materials for the house and the land on which it dwells? If so, then once it is built, must someone actively be dwelling in it for it to be theirs? So if someone else moves in while you are at the store, tough luck... So obviously the idea of use applies to everything outside the person. But does it apply to the person too? If the person does nothing (brain dead and on life support) do they have ownership, or are they owned by the people running the machines? Everyone else's use of person is also a use of the planet at large, as we are all interconnected and interdependent for sustainment of life. So the planet uses all the things on/ in the planet... Tying ownership to utilization appears to fail too, or at least lead to the cosmological argument once again.

Ok, whatcha think friends?

 

Re: Philosophical reasoning of ownership?? Ontology and Cosmology
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2016, 11:11:57 PM »
 

Magnaniman

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Interesting questions!

First, I disagree with your framing of ownership as a necessary extrapolation of the nature of the existence of the universe.  Ownership is not a derivation of "natural law," no matter what Thomas Jefferson may have said.  Ownership is an idea, created by humans, to help us govern our interactions with each other in non-violent ways.

Self ownership is a concept that stems from our natural desires to live, satisfy our curiosity, and avoid harm to ourselves.  Clearly, as I've said elsewhere on these forums, the best way to ensure these things for ourselves is to respect those desires in others.  Self ownership naturally derives from that and from self ownership we can derive the concept of "rights."  In short, the rights that we believe ourselves to have are extrapolated from our basic instincts.

The idea of property ownership is, itself, rooted in self ownership.  If we own ourselves, then we also own the products of our own labor.  Many cultures, though, have no concept of property ownership.  That is not to say that they don't value the rights of others, but that they have no need for individual property because they freely share everything among themselves.  Both of those beliefs can be anarchistic, but the belief in property ownership lends itself more fully to non-aggression because voluntarily socialist forms of anarchy prioritize the legitimacy of needs over the legitimacy of non-violence.

That is, actually, a weakness of the NAP and property-based, non-aggressive forms of anarchy.  When a shortage of vital resources occurs, it creates a dilemma of survival vs. principle which will lead, at least in some cases, to violations of the NAP.  However, it is also a strength because it encourages innovation to a greater degree for the purpose of preventing shortages from occurring in the first place by rewarding innovation with material gain.

Socialist forms of anarchy, on the other hand, while more readily willing to resort to violence, will only do so when the entire community's stock of resources is critically low.  Then, because they're all low on resources, because they share them, they have nothing to gain by using violence against each other.  This maintains community cohesion through difficult times, which is their strength.  However, the weakness is that there is less incentive to innovate and strive for excellence during times of plenty, which can lead to shortages more often.

I suppose that's a bit of a tangent, but the point is that there are different views on property ownership that have positives and negatives.  Property ownership is not a necessary component to anarchy or respect of human rights.  Denying other people the right to property ownership is, of course, but people can also live freely without property.
 

Re: Philosophical reasoning of ownership?? Ontology and Cosmology
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 07:13:59 PM »
 

Mike26

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Ok, so then when does a person have ownership of him/herself? At birth, 2y/o, 8y/o, when the person is self sufficient,age of accountability...?
 

Re: Philosophical reasoning of ownership?? Ontology and Cosmology
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2016, 01:02:40 AM »
 

Magnaniman

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I think that's a concept that's difficult to quantify solely by age.  I'm totally against that, actually.  Everyone develops differently and trying to make uniform rules for everyone simply doesn't work.  When you hold back some people after they're ready and push others that aren't ready, it creates problems for everyone.

I made a post discussing this issue in the "Moral Theory" thread.