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Ownership

Posted by $ AJAshinoff 2 months, 2 weeks ago to Philosophy
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defined Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land or real estate, or intellectual property.

Extending that dictionary definition I would add, most importantly, Self which would include personal beliefs, strategies for living life and ones walk through life. The sovereign ability to determine ones life, liberty and pursuit of happiness (whatever that may be to the individual), and the ownership of property.

Ownership, in my eyes, is such that a person is able to do whatever he/she wishes with whatever it is they 'own' even to the extent of keeping it from others, consuming it until it doesn't exist, lending it to another, or outright destroying it beyond use, This premise does not differentiate between a thing (inanimate object - a plot of land, a rock, a shoe, food, etc.) and an idea (a written text, a picture, a personal creed). Ownership DOES NOT REQUIRE validation by others or even rationality to others and should not subject to the judgement of others, particularly when it come to the Self.

In this contemplative definition the individual, each individual, is the focal point of that persons existence with the absolute authority to shape his/her existence and, as a consequence, reap the benefits and pitfalls of those decisions (be they social or environmental).

Am I missing anything?I am leading to a point but would prefer it come about sequentially.



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  • Posted by $ puzzlelady 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    Ownership? Its essential meaning hasn't changed since our earliest days of being a mammal. It's what you can grab, and keep by fending off other marauders. Two chickens pulling on the same worm in the barnyard. At some point communal groups managed to work out agreements of mutual refraining from forcible taking of what others had, the start of a stand-off and social contracts, voluntary refraining from initiating violence, the start of division of labor and trade. Behind the scenes, though, such courtesies were not extended to those who were not members of the chosen group, and the envy and covetousness and plundering continue.

    There is nothing except a volitionally agreed ethic of mutual respect of "rights", and those don't apply to everyone. One group can collude against another, and the ever increasing brain capacity can justify any atrocity. The notion of a person owning himself or herself is easily compromised. The prehistoric formula of power and conquest still prevails.

    What percentage of humanity actually practices Objectivist ethics? What percentage hates rich people and wants to expropriate them to take for their group? There is no respect for ownership rights, nor for owners. Look at the devices the moochers exploit, from victimhood to injustice to group rights and reparations. Having to earn something is passe. And they can never get enough. There is no connection with exchange of values, no recognition of merit. Demand becomes entitlement.

    And the Sanders and Warrens feed this envy and cash in. Looters, unite. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      Ownership is a high level concept based on rights. Rights are moral principles. It is not about "two chickens pulling on the same worm in a barnyard" and is not "what you can grab". The proper principles may or may not be recognized and enforced. When they are we have human civilization and freedom. Warfare between groups is a result of the lack of recognition of rights by competing tribal collectivists. They don't grasp or acknowledge the concept of rights of their own members either. Warren and Sanders have a long legacy.

      Rights can be ignored by brutes and injustices committed; they do not disappear as moral principles based on the nature of man as a rational being.
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      • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 2 months, 1 week ago
        One can grasp the concept of rights but not agree on what they are. Both chickens feel they have a right to the worm. Sanders feels that 'society' has a right to your property. You think you have a right to your property. You both have a concept of rights, you just don't agree on the boundaries.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
          Chickens do not "feel a right" to anything. They are-sub conceptual. So are the humans with the anti-conceptual mentality. Sanders "feeling that 'society; has a right to your property" is not a disagreement over "boundaries" for rights. He has no concept of rights at all. Collectives do not and can not have "rights". Only individuals have rights. A mob feeling it is entitled to take what you have is not operating in the realm of rights at all.
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    • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      "There is nothing except a volitionally agreed ethic of mutual respect of "rights", and those don't apply to everyone. One group can collude against another, and the ever increasing brain capacity can justify any atrocity. The notion of a person owning himself or herself is easily compromised. The prehistoric formula of power and conquest still prevails."

      The foundation of state and their right to act. While a state is not alive to have inherent rights, it is bestowed rights by concensus to act as a body to varying degrees, some most egregious.
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      • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        The basis of our rights is the nature of man, as identified by proper philosophical principles. Rights pertain to individuals. Only individuals have rights. The state cannot have rights and rights cannot not be subjectively "bestowed" on it by a will of the people. That is tribalist denial of rights.
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        • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          You talk in circular fashion, I did not say states (a political land mass) inherently have any rights. I did say people, a collection of individuals, empower states with rights to act. You can split hairs on my use of rights and authority but the presumption of authority by any state (a governing body of individual human beings) is built on the bestowed right (by others) to act authoritatively.

          The 'consent of the governed' is a prime example.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
            I said nothing in a circle. A state is a collective. It does not and cannot have "rights". Only individuals have rights. That is not "splitting hairs". That a state cannot have "rights" means both that it does not have rights by its nature nor can rights be "bestowed" to it. Collectives cannot have "rights". There is no such thing as "state's rights".

            A right is not "authority"; it is a moral sanction of freedom of action in a social context. Collectives do not and cannot have rights. There is no justification for a 'will of the people' violating the rights of any individual nor can such collectivism "bestow" any such right on a state.

            States posses government coercive power whose only moral purpose is to protect the rights of the individual -- that and only that may be done with the "consent of the governed". No collective and no government may morally do whatever it wants to -- i.e., employ freedom of action -- to violate anyone's rights in the name of "rights".

            No one has the right to violate the rights of another individual and no one can obtain such a right by ganging up on him in the name of the "will of the people". That is tribalism. No "will of the people" can "bestow" a "right" on anyone or on any group to violate rights. Rejecting collectivist authoritarianism is not circular.
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            • Posted by $ 2 months, 1 week ago
              If a people choose to empower an entity to govern then it has the right to govern them. The governing entity itself doesn't have the rights of an individual. You cannot deny that people empower others, give them the right (and thereby make concession with their own to a degree) to work on the groups behalf. Nor can you deny that a State, at least in theory, represents its people and in the context of the larger body (nation) on behalf of the interest of its local population. All governments at any level is a collective.

              "States posses government coercive power whose only moral purpose is to protect the rights of the individual -- that and only that may be done with the "consent of the governed". No collective and no government may morally do whatever it wants to -- i.e., employ freedom of action -- to violate anyone's rights in the name of "rights"." On this we agree. However no one, particularly me, said they can do whatever they want to.

              "No "will of the people" can "bestow" a "right" on anyone or on any group to violate rights. Rejecting collectivist authoritarianism is not circular."
              People elect governments. Government employ and train people to enforce the laws. Some break laws. The police come to collect them. Those people a tried and put in jail, their rights are suspended as well as their liberty. My point, Yes, people can absolutely bestow authority on an entity that can restrict rights and liberty, Tribal? No, simply society irregardless of political ideology.
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              • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
                There is no such thing as "a people" as a thing. Only individuals exist. A mob of individuals calling itself "a people" is only a number of individuals in a mob, not an entity. No one has a right to "empower" anyone or anything to violate the rights of the individual, and he does acquire such a "right" by ganging up on the target and insisting an entity called "a people" has "bestowed" a right to the state to violate his rights.. Such "empowering" is a violation of rights, not the source of rights and not a legitimate basis of government. The only proper purpose of government is to protect the rights of the individual. That is not government by a collective. The basis of rights is the nature of man, not the will of a mob engaging in collective subjectivism.

                I absolutely do "deny that a State, at least in theory, represents its people and in the context of the larger body (nation) on behalf of the interest of its local population." Nor does it matter as a justification for government. Most governments have not existed to represent the citizens, nor would it justify its violating the rights of the individual on behalf of any collective for "it's" "interests". A collective is not a thing and does not have "interests"; only individuals do and they may not morally use government force to pursue them just because a mob wants to.

                Representative government is a means of implementation, not the purpose or justification of government, which is to protect the rights of the individual. Representative government as the "consent of the people" is only proper when the purpose and functions of the government are proper. It is not proper when the backers "consent" and demand authoritarianism and collectivism. Mob action is not moral basis of government. No one has a right to impose his "interests" violating the rights of others, and does not acquire such a "right" by "empowering" government on behalf of a mob.

                You did say, emphatically, that a local group can properly do what its members want to:. You defended local government violating the rights of individuals as "the will of the people". You denounced the rights of the individual as the standard as an irrelevant, rhetorical "soap box". You rejected national government doing the same only because of the Constitution, not out of any moral principles.

                You have further confused "empowering" government to violate rights with "empowering states with rights to act", and have adopted and appealed to the false premise of "state's rights". You called the distinction between "use of rights and authority" "splitting hairs". And asserted that "the presumption of authority by any state is built on the bestowed right to act authoritatively." There is no such thing as a "bestowed state's right".

                Might does not make right. State's do not have "rights", "bestowed" or otherwise. The difference between the rights of the individual and state authority is not "splitting hairs"; it is essential. The distinction is not obliterated by mob action in the name of "the will of the people".

                You assert again, "people can absolutely bestow authority on an entity that can restrict rights and liberty, Tribal? No, simply society irregardless of political ideology." Restricting rights and liberty is not "regardless of ideology". What people do depend on what they think. The ideology of the actions you describe is tribalism -- a group of people coercing others on behalf of the group, and endorsing the oppression as a matter of principle because they are collectivists.

                The conservative movement has declined even beyond what it was when Ayn Rand denounced it almost 50 years ago. "Populist conservatives" demanding that government impose their "interests" are much worse collectivists and statists than they were then. Conservatives used to understand the difference between the American Revolution and the collectivist French Revolution, though they have never understood or supported the moral basis of American individualism and still don't.
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        • Posted by $ puzzlelady 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Exactly, and most of the world still operates on those prehistoric premises, including tribal customs. "Proper philosophical principles" and "high-level moral concepts" are a rarity and millennia in the future. A spark of them may have emerged, to be treasured and understood by a few. We are being overrun by the barbarians among us whose ideas have reverted back to pre-intellectual levels. "The nature of man" has sadly not reached the idealized level that Rand ascribed to him. Evolution of moral ideas and rationality are at the mercy of predatory animal instincts. The idea of "rights" becomes a pragmatic tool for exploitation. Objectivism has a long way to go to lift mankind to your lofty principles and obtain people's reasoned and volitional cooperation.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
            Recognition of the rights of the individual was widely accepted as a result of the Enlightenment, though not in as clear a from as enunciated by Ayn Rand. This country was founded on the rights of the individual. That has decayed under the intellectual influence of the counter-Enlightenment, culminating it its 20th and 21at century collectivism in various forms -- in this country Pragmatist Progressivism now moving more explicitly to outright socialism among the intellectuals.

            This is not a result of predatory animal instincts. There is no instinctual knowledge at the conceptual level. The collectivist trend is due to bad philosophies of unreason, altruism and statism. Establishment intellectuals are the leaders of the "barbarians" -- the Witch Doctors goading on the Attilas.

            Objectivism -- and human civilization -- do have "a long way to go to lift mankind to lofty principles and obtain people's reasoned and volitional cooperation". That can only be done at the level of spreading the right ideas against the establishment intellectuals who monopolize education and the media.
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            • Posted by $ puzzlelady 2 months, 1 week ago
              Man's conceptual faculty did not appear out of nowhere. It is part of the evolutionary process, and is based on what was there before. Our animal instincts are still part of the building blocks of our emotional and impulsive tendencies. The human software is a complex mixture. Everyone's default setting differs and fluctuates. The "ideal man" who can be fully rational 100% of the time exists only in the pages of a book. Every individual is a unique integration of his or her evolutionary components rooted in millions of years of survival rules.
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              • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
                Philosophy, in particular ethics and epistemology, is based on the nature of man as he is as the rational animal who must use his reason to survive. Principles for correct thinking are required because the process is not automatic and not guaranteed to be correct. That such a nature of man did not "appear out of nowhere" over time is irrelevant to identifying what we in fact are. Philosophy does not depend on prior biological evolution and the nature of lower animals and identifying proper principles is not based on prior evolution.

                We do not have "animal instincts" or innate ideas. Emotions are the result of values implicitly or explicitly chosen and held. Every individual can choose to be rational or not, and establish that as is habitual character or not. There are no "evolutionary components" or "animal instincts" determined in our thinking. That is a deterministic view of man as inherently irrational.
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                • Posted by $ puzzlelady 1 month, 2 weeks ago
                  If humans are lifeforms native to planet Earth, they are the present end result of millions of years of evolution. That is not determinism; it is a recognition of the laws of causality. Humans came up through a very long chain of selection, not laid out by some creator but whittled into their current form by an incomprehensibly long and complex set of interconnections and combinations of causes and effects. Man did not become a “rational animal” suddenly, in some magical uncaused process. It is NOT irrelevant that the template kept evolving.

                  Acquiring sophisticated brains capable of abstract thought rests on a long chain of building on earlier capabilities. Just as we have residual organs and physical endowments, our brains still carry the messages of our genetic programs. Our capacity for rational thought did not replace in toto what we built on. Our science has not yet progressed enough to be able to analyze how the higher brain functions integrate the earliest with the new, the animal code (heavily intertwined with our emotional equipment) with the abstract, “objective” (meaning detached from emotional influence) functions.

                  The potential to be a rational animal is not equally exercised by all humans, nor is it the only way humans function. The default setting is the most primitive, just as with the genetic, physical growth from an egg to a complete human being. As a child develops, depending on its stimuli, its cognitive facilities grow but never detach from the original code. Total suppression of all emotions is considered a pathological syndrome.

                  Emotions, as Ayn Rand correctly identified, are value judgments, part of humans’ diagnostic equipment for evaluating what is good or bad for survival. When you want to reason with someone to persuade them to your views, invariably it requires understanding their emotional bias. The entire craft of salesmanship, marketing, commerce, political campaigning, propaganda, and controlling others’ minds depends on this device. That is why Ayn Rand’s most powerful statement is “Check your premises.” Not just your current opinion, but its deepest roots, the singularity at the start.

                  Self-awareness, self-reflection, cognitive integration are capacities that humans appear to have to a higher degree than other animals, as far as we can identify. But animals have feelings, too, no matter how cavalierly we treat them, and they also make decisions for their survival. They are just at an earlier level of evolution.

                  The default setting is automatic. Higher levels of thinking require further development and the recognition, the awareness, that one can exercise it intentionally (the famous “free will” that is so controversial). Historically, individuals are taught from birth to behave a certain way, to believe what they are taught, to obey the rules laid upon them.

                  Children are predisposed to accept rules from authority figures without proof, thus early indoctrination can be embedded without resistance. It is the rare individual who questions everything, and is considered a rebel, a traitor, a troublemaker and punished in any number of ways, from spankings to beatings, to shunnings, excommunication, exile, or even execution. Under such conditions, a thinking individual will be conditioned to keep quiet about his revolutionary ideas unless he finds enough like-minded associates.

                  And what are ideas? In an advanced brain, they are the software formed from perceptions into concepts, and reinforced with repeated confirmations from sense data. Like the scientific method on a grander scale, from evidence to experiment to verification and proof. This process is what we call “reasoning”. Once initiated, this process works on its own protocol.

                  There is no guarantee that there will be no errors. A mind with integrity will not seek to evade evidence of its own errors. Most people, though, want to protect their adopted ideas and beliefs, and will squirm every which way to avoid admitting error. All the self-protective emotions will rise to their defense, reinforced by collective groups that share those ideas. When values conflict, whether in a quarrel between two individuals, or in political opposition, at the extreme it leads nations to war and genocide.

                  Ideas, like other organic forms, acquire the will to survive, capturing the individual’s emotional reactions into their service. All means at the individual’s disposal, from logic to rage, are activated to rationalize and justify faulty ideas and the destructive actions engaged in to defend them. Philosophers become especially skilled in denouncing, dismissing, condemning, mocking individuals whose ideas are contrary to their own. Facebook aficionados do it simply by name-calling and ad hominems, especially toward a commenter who displays even the slightest opposition to their socialist bilge.

                  As Ayn Rand also brilliantly observed, there is no conflict of interest between rational men. Likewise, there is no disagreement on essential topics among rational individuals. Differences of taste in food or movies or books or clothes are not a reason to condemn a person as wrong or evil. Creativity and innovation are the most superb qualities of human beings, and the antidote to the totalitarian drive of any system. So long as no one takes violent action or other destructive maneuvers against others, vive la difference.

                  Galt’s oath is the fundamental golden rule, summarized as “do no harm”. An entire body of ethics and morals can be evolved from that axiom. But so long as people, whether as small groups or as whole nations, are in the grip of cancerous totalitarian ideas, we have our work cut out. Violence begets more violence. And that is rooted in the animal predatory instinct residual in human consciousness. And that is the tool for socialist altruism and all the other variants of political philosophies that justify depriving individuals of their unalienable rights.

                  Very, very few individuals have the capacity of an Ayn Rand in genuinely rational thought and understanding, of building an Objectivist ethics on their own. Very, very few people are “the rational animal” that humans can be. If everyone were, mankind would have a perfect world, neither would they make war anymore.
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                • Posted by Lucky 2 months, 1 week ago
                  Philosophies, ideologies, thoughts, ideas, and actions based on rationality are admirable. Rationality is worth teaching and explaining and should be practised. An increase in rationality would benefit groups and the individual, it would benefit those who do it, and (using rationality as seen by Objectivism) even those who do not.
                  One of the barriers to an increase in rationality is the inherent human ability to rationalize, this is the use of intelligence and imagination to justify ideas and actions not reached by the use of rationality but which are preconceived, innate or not.
                  Rationalization is common, rationality is rare. Perhaps one is gaining over the other, but which? Gulchers post up examples of irrationality such as the use of emotional thinking and animal instincts, sometimes Gulchers description and analysis use good rational thinking, perhaps more here than elsewhere.
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  • Posted by $ Commander 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    I've only one request on "Life, Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness. Omit Liberty. Insert Freedom.

    Dale Halling and I had discourse on this years ago. I assert that Freedom is an Absolute and that Liberty is a condition of interaction with others.

    Otherwise....How G-Rand a statement!
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    • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      I always had a problem with the "pursuit of happiness". Its so nebulous. Just what does that really mean
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      • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        The goal of moral behavior is your own happiness; the standard of choices is the nature of man. Happiness is a successful state of human existence, not an arbitrary whim to pursue. Man must discover his nature and what his happiness consists in.
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        • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          True enough. What I battle with lately is the relentless pursuit of power over me that seems to be the goal of the leftists. To purse MY happiness seems to involve force against them
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
            Defending yourself against political thugs does not make the principle of the "pursuit of happiness" nebulous. You have to know what it means to know what to defend against what.
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      • Posted by $ Commander 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Out of metaphysical necessity Life seeks comfort over discomfort. I see Happiness as an emotional attenuation of comfort for more complex Life.
        That language is metaphorical for the sensory and emotional states of "Things", perhaps a Definitionary is in order now that humans are interconnected around this world.
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        • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Its just that "pursuit of happiness" could mean torturing others if one was a sadist, or raping women if one had an overwhelming desire for sex in a pursuit of happiness.
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          • Posted by $ Commander 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            I agree. The state of Freedom allows an individual to pursue anything. Humans cannot survive without nurture. By this action (nurture) we are indoctrinated into an environ of dependency upon others. Liberty, a learned concept, is a choice, by an individual, to interact with others in the causality of mutual benefit. There are restrictions upon, and encouragements for behaviors that detract or enhance life. If a value structure is subjectively based, the pursuit of happiness you have just expressed can be denigrated to a culture of torture and rape.
            The Objectivist's Ethics is the clearest statement of objective values structure ever. Rand has some gaps, yet are easily filled with self-evident metaphysical relationship and choice cycles. Life at simplest is the cycle of relationships and choices. Humans get to choose, subjective or objective, based upon what we learn and what supports our comfort or discomfort. Subjectivity, when challenged, shall always create conflict and discomfort, wether within the individual or between others.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            You won't achieve a happy state of life if you ignore the virtues that make it possible, starting with rationality and its derivative virtues such as productivity and self esteem. Happiness is a sustained state characterizing your life, not a momentary emotion. You won't achieve any of that running around assaulting people. You won't achieve it internally with that kind of mentality, and you will live in fear and won't even survive when others defend their rights and treat you as you deserve. Even thugs with no concept of morality or rights will be after you.
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            • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
              The thugs are already after me!! They are leftists/ democrats. And I didn’t do a thing to them
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              • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
                Conservativism isn't helping. For all their numbers and resources they are incapable of defending individualism and many don't want to.
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                • Posted by term2 2 months, 1 week ago
                  They are slowing down the spread of collectivism in the short term
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                  • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
                    Some are fighting collectivism -- such as the Pacific Legal Foundation in its legal defenses of private property rights against government controls -- and most conservatives today oppose the more extreme socialist Democrats that are now current, and there has been some deregulation under Trump.

                    But conservatives are not for capitalism and cannot intellectually defend capitalism as a social system. The populist and religious conservatives are promoting their own statism and collectivism with religious and populist demagoguery, such as more government control violating freedom of speech, anti-immigrant economic protectionism, the usual rabid anti-abortion campaign, and interference in molecular and cell-based medicine. Some of the intellectually worst anti-capitalist propaganda is coming from the likes of Prager who defends European welfare statism and socialism as the answer to the more extreme socialists.

                    Trump himself does does not support individualism. He is anti-intellectual in general but in policy advocates and has implemented higher taxes for punishment (like his tariffs and his new income tax on money that must be paid to other taxes in order to punish everyone in "blue states"), a government "infrastructure" boondogle, pro-forced unionism in international trade deals, personally pressuring private companies to not move overseas (just like Kennedy against the steel companies), his long standing promotion of eminent domain as "wonderful", national mercantilisim in trade restrictions, economic protectionism as part of his immigration policies, and expanded government controls in health care to "replace" parts of Obamacare.

                    This is all being falsely equated with capitalism.

                    This conservativism is part of the general trend towards more statism and collectivism, but the worst conservatives are increasingly emotionally militant in their anti-intellectualism and populist collectivism. now appealing even to the "will of the people" in defense of local oppression they oppose by the Federal government in the name of the Constitution. They are not for capitalism but are tying it to their own nationalist, statist ideology (especially with today's improved economy) and irrationalist religious promotion, creating a false alternative between different brands of collectivism and statism in the name of capitalism.
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                    • Posted by term2 2 months, 1 week ago
                      You are basically correct. Although I would support Trump in a race against pretty much ANY democrat, I agree he is not a pure capitalist. He has effectively raised the income tax on my small business with his "tax cuts", and he has cost me dearly in tariff payments that he claims "are paid for by china- but they are definitely not).

                      Trump is intellectually challenged for sure. He should exonerate Snowden, and instead he called for his execution, and he has done the things I noted above to ME personally. I will vote for him in 2020 if he lasts that long, but I wont contribute to his campaign. I think this country is beyond saving actually.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    epistemology is very important here....i.e..."personal beliefs"...should be "personal convictions"
    ...belief is the absence of reason and logic...conviction is based on facts of reality....

    nice article...
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  • Posted by $ exceller 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    To me one has ownership over his/her life which is just as important if not more than owning a patent or a beachside property.

    "Ownership DOES NOT REQUIRE validation by others or even rationality to others and should not subject to the judgement of others, particularly when it come to the Self."

    You are leading to a very dangerous area: e.g. the stripping of the individual of the ownership and control over his/her life, which is what the left is aiming to do.

    The difference between having the deed to your house and owning you life is: there is no deed to owning your life. While the left can't take your physical property away, they have and are setting the "society-accepted" rules on the basis of which they can force you to give it up and allow them to own it.

    We are on a straight path to that eventuality.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      "Ownership" of one's life is not the same concept as ownership of property; it is more fundamental and a logical requirement for property rights. In that sense it is more important than the right of owning an object or intellectual property.

      He has confused the self with property. Your right to your life is a fact, based on human nature, but requires "validation" philosophically to grasp that fact. The philosophical principle must in turn be recognized in law for a civilized existence. That in turn makes possible the legal recognition of property rights and a system of deeds to record them. The moral and legal principles of the right to your own life does not require a deed, only the fact that you exist.
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      • Posted by $ Commander 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Thank you. I was just returning to address that Life needs no concept of ownership.
        Now, will you engage with me on an abstract suvbersion of this principle? I was enjoined in a contract through SSA, by my parents consent, and have never seen a published "Opt Out" of this contract. I was never directed or instructed as to ways or means of extrication. Is this technically and morally enslavement? I think it is.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          You will have to explain what you mean by that in order to discuss it. Your right to life does not depend on what "contracts" were made by anyone before or after you were born. Once you are born and are a human person you have rights by your nature as a human being and no one can in logic demand that you cite any "opt out" clause of anything. You are what you are. I don't know what you mean by the question "Is this technically and morally enslavement?"
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    • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      I agree with what you say. There are certainly different categories of ownership as you rightly point out. We, you or I, are certainly the central point of our individual existence while everyone and everything else are people and things which create our environment and aid in our survival.

      Still a stretch of land and your person does have a degree of commonality - who can and can't access it, what happens to it or not to it, the condition it remains and whether its allowed to go to waste via deliberate misuse or neglect, and whether its existence will continue forward healthily or be made to ruin (forfeiture of existence for the living being the most extreme).
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      • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        On second thought, ownership of Self requires nothing except existence whereas ownership of any thing requires consent.
        Eg. you may think you own land, provided others respect that claim.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Ownership is a philosophical/moral concept. It does not require anyone else's consent. If others ignore your rights you have a right to defend them. If you can't do it then you succumb to lack of civilization and your life fails, but it does't mean you had no property rights, only that they were stolen by brutes. That is true of both your life and your possessions.

          The only sense in which consent is required is that if people are to live as human beings then you and those around you must recognize the facts of reality and choose to be moral, which is a statement of the importance of philosophy, not a denial of your right to your life or property rights as nothing but a grant by the whims of others.
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        • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          So unless others consent to your owning things, you own no things at all and they can be taken away from you at any time with the withdrawal of the "consent"
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          • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            It the mutual respect between people that allows for privatization. You can say you own something but it's meaningless if those around you don't respect your claim and expect the same respect from you and others.
            I'd say this foundational to society in general.
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            • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
              "Mutual respect" is not a primary. You can not respect someone for what he is (and isn't), but unless he has forfeited his rights through criminal activity you respect his rights, which is not the same as respecting him. Civilization requires respect for rights. Respect for rights can only come from understanding their nature and purpose, and the choice to be moral accordingly.

              If those around you don't do that and don't respect your rights it doesn't make your rights meaningless, only impossible to live in accordance with because you aren't in civilization.
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            • Posted by term2 2 months, 2 weeks ago
              So 50.1% agree to private property so we work and generate the property, then when the tables turn and50.1% are socialists they simply withdraw their consent and take it.

              Gives lots of reason to work in the first place. Might as well hide what you produce and buy guns to protect it.
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              • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                The moral is the practical. Without morality and rights you live in terror. If 50.1% may not understand that then you are past the edge of civilization with a mixed, part statist/ part free system or worse.

                That is where we are today, with a great risk of losing more of what you produce and the risk becoming greater over time. Without a fundamental change in outlook on fundamental philosophic premises it is only a matter of time. People are still becoming wealthy even in China, but more of them are disappearing there, too.

                But there is a limit to what you can "hide" and guns will not help you once you are targeted by either the state or ordinary goons. You can't live that way. Guns are even more hopeless against the state.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          There is ownership and there is validation/recognition of ownership. Ownership doesn't require a second party per se, but recognition does and comes into play with conflict. I spend an entire chapter in my book about this.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            The concept of ownership does require a "second party": 'Ownership' is a moral concept of a right to property that applies in a social context, as do all rights. A right is moral principle sanctioning freedom of action in a social context.

            If no one else existed there would still be a necessity for moral standards as a basis for your choices; there would be no factual basis for the moral concept of rights, including ownership, because there would be no choices involving other people. In particular there would be no need for and no basis for a concept of ownership. The concept of rights, including the concepts of property rights and "ownership" would not arise.

            Concepts of rights, like all concepts, are objective, not intrinsic. They depend on and are a way of mentally organizing facts of reality of which one is aware, not something discovered as intrinsic to reality regardless of the needs of human consciousness.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 months, 1 week ago
    Unfortunately, for many of us, the actual property an individual owns technically is their personal effects including what is inside the home that is already paid for. The home is maybe the last item to be owned. The banks are the real owners, through mortgages and other financial vehicles. Those are on the personal side. Due to the current political environment the Dems with their anti-Constitution socialist policies what to own our very souls. Ayn Rand's "Anthem" and George Orwell's "Animal Farm & 1984" is where the Dems want to assert control. The people of the US would beholden to the federal bureaucracy.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 months, 1 week ago
      The bank does not own your home with a mortgage. It has a partial ownership claim to its value to back the amount of money it gave you in the loan, but you have the exclusive right of use and disposal of the home and are fully responsible for it. You use it however you want to and can sell it whenever you want to for whatever you can get, all without bank permission. The bank owns the amount of money you borrowed, with a lien on the deed since the house is collateral. You are obviously required to pay off the mortgage in accordance with the terms of the loan -- monthly while you still own it, and the balance if you dispose of it because then you no longer own it as collateral for the loan. But the home belongs to you.

      Loss of ownership rights in your home are due to government restrictions, not the bank. As for the political collectivists seeking control of our live's and property, that isn't restricted to the Federal government. State and local governments are doing the same, especially with taxes (including property taxes on your home) and land use controls, increasingly for nature preservationism over human use.

      This is much deeper than a Constitutional issue -- as illustrated in the psychology in Antherm, as you mentioned. You should also know that George Orwell was a socialist, objecting only to the more extreme totalitarian tactics.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
    I think of the Self as the one doing owning. All of this makes sense to me as long as the Self isn't property like land, real estate, IP, etc.
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    • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
      But to the individual the body is physical property, no? The mind, in my view, is part of self (I believe in the soul, but for this conversation I'll stay with the strictly physical), everything else is sensory allowing for perceived consciousness.
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      • Posted by $ exceller 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        "The mind, in my view, is part of self (I believe in the soul, but for this conversation I'll stay with the strictly physical), everything else is sensory allowing for perceived consciousness. "

        You can't separate the physical from the sensory.

        A human being can't exist without consciousness (they can but they are not humans).

        If the physical property is sold, e.g. as slaves were bought and sold, that does not mean their consciousness was sold, too. The slave owner did not possess the slave's mind.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Slave owners bought and sold the whole slave, including his consciousness, but it was not a valid concept of ownership and no attempts to fake that through the slavery ideology and the laws of the slave system could force the slave's mind. He could be forced in action but never in thought.
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        • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          As I said previously, I believe in the soul. To me the mind is an organ. Left to itself, no nervous system, it would float in the skull without any awareness - sight, sound, taste, smell or feeling. Could conciousness occur in that state? I think yes, but it be nothing remotely like human conciousness or existence as we know it while still being resident in a human body.
          As for slavery, true but the owner certainly defined the slaves existence and had huge sway over his/her mind and thinking.
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            Consciousness is the faculty of awareness. There is no such thing as consciousness not aware of existence, "floating in the skull". That is a mystical notion of consciousness devoid of the facts that give rise to the concept.

            Slave 'owners' used brute force to control the slaves. They had no ownership right to the slaves. Owning another human being is a contradiction in terms. Ownership logically requires a human being with rights, which applies to all human beings.
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            • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
              A person born deaf, dumb and blind (add with no nervous sensation) could not develop his/her own degree of conciousness/awareness in his/her own isolated environment? We may not recognize any aspect of commonality with that person's experience but that doesn't lessen his or her existence or life, nor does it delegimize his/her right to exist, it only makes it far different (and apparently incomprehensible to some)bthan most experience.
              For the record, without external assistance that person wouldn't last very long, even so.
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              • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
                A being born with no "nervous sensation" is by your description not aware of anything. It has no perceptual awareness. Its mind could not have any content to ponder. Whatever "mental" biological activity it may have it is not consciousness, which is the faculty of awareness of reality.

                Such a being with no conscious awareness of reality is not, by definition, a rational being. Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses as his means of grasping the facts of reality. The means are his conceptual ability to integrate his perceptions in abstract form (concepts), in accordance with the method of logic.

                Man as the "rational animal" means that man must use his reason in order to survive. The being you described has no such faculty; it is cut off at the base with no perceptions of reality to integrate. It is no more conscious, let alone rational, than a celery stalk, whatever else might be going on with some neurons celery does not have.

                Rationality is the primary virtue because it is the means of exercising reason on behalf of one's life, which in turn is the basis of morality. That in turn is the basis of rights: morality applied in a social context.

                The being you described has no possibility of morality because he is not a rational being -- it does not have a brain capable of making choices required to live, let alone think in principles in order to do it, and therefore the concept of rights does not apply to it. In particular, like a celery stalk it has no right to exist. Morality and rights are concepts inapplicable to it.
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          • Posted by $ exceller 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            "As for slavery, true but the owner certainly defined the slaves existence and had huge sway over his/her mind and thinking. "

            Influence, sure, by the sheer fact of circumstances that the owner set for the slave but the owner did not OWN the slave's mind in the sense that it was able to program it how to think.

            Otherwise gladiators would not have been able to revolt neither slaves.
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      • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        Your body is not physical property. Your body and mind are you. Your consciousness is the faculty of awareness. Not a separate thing owning a body. Your body and mind are an integrated whole as your self. That is logically presupposed by the concept of property rights, is a moral/social concept.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months, 2 weeks ago
        "But to the individual the body is physical property, no?"
        I'm just thinking this through for the first time.
        The courts could make someone sell assets to cover a contractual obligation, but they couldn't make him sell his body. I can understand the logic behind debtors' prison, although I don't agree with it, for people who could earn money to pay their debts by working but just don't want to. In that case, the people have pledged their bodies as indentured servants. But that requires their minds too.

        Maybe the issue is in this life, with the technology we have today, the mind and body are bound together. In the Star Trek episode Return to Tomorrow, they encountered aliens who could move into and out of bodies at will. The aliens were going to make robot bodies for themselves. They borrowed Kirk's two other characters' bodies with permission and were tempted to steal them. They realized this was immoral and relinquished the bodies. At one point the nurse agreed to let Spock's mind share her body. If minds and bodies could disassociate as in that episode, it would make perfect sense to think of bodies and property of the mind.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          The concept of property rights logically presupposes a self with morality and rights. The self cannot be turned over to others the way property can be.

          You don't have a property right in your body, owned by a disembodied consciousness. it is you, with consciousness as one attribute of your self. Your right to your own life is a characteristic of humanity as the rational animal and cannot be surrendered. You can destroy yourself; you can never surrender your nature as a human being with rights.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          Prostitution is essentially selling one's body. But I think you make a valid point in that one can't really sell just the body - unless you're talking about organ donation after death.

          If you think about a consciousness as separate from the body and the body a possession, it certainly has some profound implications about consciousness itself...
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          • Posted by ewv 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            Consciousness is an attribute of a person; it is not separate and does not possess a body. Subjectivist Primacy of Consciousness is irrational, not profound.

            Prostitution is selling a temporary use of one's self, just as any labor is. It is not surrender of one's rights.
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        • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
          But the ownership of self provides the owner with the option of voluntary servitude, no? It would only be immoral if the holder of the 'note' makes it impossible to relieve the debt to satisfy and end the agreement.
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          • Posted by $ 2 months, 2 weeks ago
            I'll add, it is likely on this basis Society is created. The difference is that instead of voluntary servitude, at least initially, the joining is that of mutual benefit. Only later when a form of governance is formed that a degree of voluntary servitude is established that certain liberties become malleable to form laws, make contracts, and provide for things common to the group (security, economy, privatization, etc.) The authority of that government (its right) coming from those who comprise the society.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months ago
            "But the ownership of self provides the owner with the option of voluntary servitude, no? "
            Does it provide the option of voluntary irrevocable servitude? Could someone sign an agreement to be a slave for a fixed period or until a project is completed? Our current law doesn't allow it, but do you think it should? I've never thought about it, but it doesn't sit right with me. It just seems like freedom should not be for sale, even if there's a willing buyer and seller.
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            • Posted by $ 2 months ago
              If you truly and completely own yourself there is no reason why you can't enter a contact for a agreed on duration. The same ownership can apply to the voluntary restriction of rights, as in the formation of council's and other government structures.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months ago
                But could you enter an agreement that allows someone to lock you up? Could you give him an irrevocable right to beat you if he believes you're not working as hard as agreed?
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                • Posted by $ 2 months ago
                  The police do that (lock you up) already if you violate the law, social contract restricting conduct on behalf of society. When those violation occur they even remove the right to vote and a felon must ask for reinstatement.
                  Beating violates the law..In this country equal force is allowed by the police and anyone else. Beating someone to coerce or intimidate or another reason which isn't reciprocation in kind is illegal (and immoral).
                  I'm no lawyer but that's my understanding.
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                  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 months ago
                    I’m thinking about what’s moral rather than the law as we have in. In our world, we don’t jail people for civil disputes. If someone promises to do some work or pay and fails to fulfill her side of a contract, the other party can get a judgment. If the person who breached doesn’t have any wealth, there’s no way to make her work. You can’t get blood from a stone. If she ever acquires anything of value, the other party can take them to collect on the judgment.

                    I think in the past there was debtors’ prison in which people were forced to work until the debtor worked off his obligation through work or someone on the outside paid it. This practice seems more consistent with someone owning his body. Just as if someone owing money can have a rental property taken to pay a debt, the court could take someone’s body, which like a rental property is capable of generating income.

                    “Beating violates the law”
                    This is a good point. Under current law, contracts involving illegal acts are unenforceable. So even if there were gov’t-run debtors’ prison, you couldn’t make a private contract to become someone’s slave.

                    I read ewv’s comments about the mind and body being inseparable, and that rings true to me. Maybe I’m on the wrong track thinking of debtors’ prison to understand body ownership.
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