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The Problem with Self-Ownership



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I believe that localism represents the best chance libertarians will have of getting their philosophy implemented into practice.  The most probable path to a libertarian government passes through Localism.   That's because Localism is really just a framework for keeping smaller and smaller units of government free to organize as they see fit.   It is designed to stop what Jefferson called "the natural order of things"- I.E. tyranny (the centralization of power) to grow and liberty to yield ground.  

Localism is simply a container to protect against the centralization of political power.  What is placed in that container is up to the people in each locality.  Then the market will resolve what systems of government are attractive to people and which aren't.  

With that said, let me begin to explain why I am not a libertarian by noting that of the three generally accepted libertarian pillars, the only one I agree with fully is the Rule of Law.     The other two pillars are the non-aggression principle and Self-Ownership. As a caveat, I recognize that not all libertarians consider Self-Ownership to be an essential philosophical foundation of the creed- they would substitute other things. Those other principles have weaknesses that I will not delve into here. Self-ownership is considered foundational by many if not most libertarians, so let's talk about Self-Ownership.

 Here is the definition from Wikkipedia:

Self-ownership (or sovereignty of the individual, individual sovereignty or individual autonomy) is the concept of property in one's own person, expressed as the moral or natural right of a person to havebodily integrity, and be the exclusive controller of his own body and life. According to G. Cohen, the concept of self-ownership is that "each person enjoys, over himself and his powers, full and exclusive rights of control and use, and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else that he has not contracted to supply."

Who could argue with that?  Lot's of decent people, once you apply that absolute to some sticky situations.  An example might be whether a man who got a woman pregnant had any obligation to pay child support.   Insisting someone share the bill for national defense, or anything else with "free rider" issues, might be another example.  

The great Scottish writer George McDonald,  who wrote both Children's books and works on Natural Law, once said "The first principle of Hell is 'I am my own.'"    Understand I am not saying that the state owns us, or that we own each other.    My position is that God owns us, and though He has placed us in this world and granted us much freedom to become who we want to be, we are and will be accountable to Him for the use we have made of our freedom.

If I asked you why you thought you '"owned" your paycheck, you might say to me that your labor created the wealth that it represents.   You might say that you made a voluntary agreement to exchange your efforts for the money and that you lived up to your end of the bargain.   That is, you choose to do the agreed-to work and have therefore earned the agreed-on price.   You may be able to think of other good answers.  But I can't help but notice that the reasons we might give to say that we "own" our paycheck cannot be applied to make the case that we own ourselves!

If you think about it, it's really hard to make the case that we "own ourselves."  We did not create ourselves.  We did not determine when or where we entered this world, and we do not get to decide whether or not we get to stay in this world.   Others did many things to us and for us- some with our permission, some without, which permitted us to reach adulthood.   Each day a thousand things we cannot control in the heavens and on earth are necessary to sustain our lives.  Nor can we stop the ravages of time in our own persons.  Though we might live 100 years, still our destiny is a slow fade in this life as we begin our journey to the next.   We can dye our hair, but we cannot really turn even one hair of our head white or black.     Self-ownership does not seem a rational position.

A much better case for "self-ownership" can be made in any eternal afterlife that might exist.    There it might be argued that our place of entry is determined by our own choices, that the being we have become is the result of our own choices.   So while we may have had no hand in our own creation in this life, we would in the next.   And the condition would be, unlike this world, permanent.   What McDonald called "the First Principle of Hell" makes sense as a reality in Hell.   In this life, if God exists, we can only be as children in the womb, preparing for the next life but no more "sovereign" in this one than children yet unborn.

The concept of personal sovereignty, in the absolute sense Libertarians present it, implies individuals get to determine their own morality (except for the few absolutes they attempt to impose such as the conditions under which force might be used).   Again, measured against the vast scale of the cosmos, the enormity of time which has passed in all ages, and the value of wisdom which has endured for generations before us, the idea that the four pounds of grey matter in our skulls can be the final arbiter of right and wrong, even for ourselves, seems ridiculous.

We can try and discern right from wrong, and a worthy life will spend time doing so, but the idea that each generation, and even moreso each person, gets to re-write morality from a blank slate seems ridiculous.    Any one of us is only a tiny part of the natural world.   We remain in it only an infinitesimal portion of the total time it has existed.  The idea that we can construct our own personal morality, to apply only to us, displays what seems to me an almost psychotic misinterpretation of our place in the universe.

That is why I am a Localist.   Instead of fighting over who gets to hold the single gun that is pointed at the rest of us from sea to shining sea, the central government would get no gun for enforcing moral imperatives, be that gun libertarian, fascist, conservative, liberal, or whatever.

States and localities would, retaining their right to sanction moral behavior such as mandating child support.  But let them be careful how they use such power!  For in such an arrangement states who go too far (that is, impose rules for moral behavior outside the underlying moral reality of the universe or beyond the scope of government compulsion) are bound to lose productive citizens to states which do not.  States and localities who did not go far enough would too. And in each case government would look more like what the citizens who live there would want government to look like,. Decentralizing power would make the government subject to the marketplace.




PS- This article is not in the book. The book is more prescriptive. I wrote the article so that people can see there are other perspectives to build societies around that could be just as valid as that of self-ownership. My goal was to make people more open to localism instead of thinking "there is only one just way to organize society and everyone needs to do it my way." Would you be satisfied as a goal for example if 20 states were organized on libertarian principles, with anarchists counties in them, 20 states were limited government conservative, and 10 were pretty much what we have now (though I don't think states as socialist as we have now could compete for long in a free-market of governments)?



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Your Argument is False!

"Who could argue with that?  Lot's of decent people, once you apply that absolute to some sticky situations.  An example might be whether a man who got a woman pregnant had any obligation to pay child support.   Insisting someone share the bill for national defense, or anything else with "free rider" issues, might be another example."

Your argument fails right here, if a women risks getting pregnant without a contract/covenant by a man that he will be responsible if she becomes pregnant then it is her responsibility if he does not do the right thing. It's called personal responsibility. Bringing government force to bear to make up for your irresponsibility is not a right.

As for national defense again your argument fails stealing someones money or substance in the name of national defense has lead to a host of illegal unjust wars for corporate and bankster interest and millions dead. No thanks I'll decide for myself when I will support mutual defense when there is real danger.

"If you think about it, it's really hard to make the case that we "own ourselves."  We did not create ourselves.  We did not determine when or where we entered this world, and we do not get to decide whether or not we get to stay in this world."

No its not if you think about it what you are saying is we were forced to come here and had no choice. Do you really believe that? If you do and you believe in God than God is an evil dictator that forces people to do things against their will. I don't believe that for a minute everything is a choice. You chose to come here your mother may have created your original body but you chose to inhabit it and you recreate it daily since birth. The essence that is the real you that animates the body recreates the body daily so yes you own it and are responsible for it. Some one else made your car but you took ownership of it and are responsible for keeping it in good working order just as you are for your body. It sounds to me like you want to abdicate your responsibility to God and use that to justify trampling the rights of others.

" Each day a thousand things we cannot control in the heavens and on earth are necessary to sustain our lives."

Each day a thousands of things we cannot control are necessary for me to drive my car like weather gasoline prices war, oxygen etc. but I still own my car.

"Though we might live 100 years, still our destiny is a slow fade in this life as we begin our journey to the next.   We can dye our hair, but we cannot really turn even one hair of our head white or black.     Self-ownership does not seem a rational position."

We cannot keep our cars for aging and wearing out either but we still own them. Self ownership is the only rational position! We made a decision/contract to come here for a specific time we own the vehicle we use to house our essence/spirit while we are here just like we own a certain car for a specific period of time.

"A much better case for "self-ownership" can be made in any eternal afterlife that might exist.    There it might be argued that our place of entry is determined by our own choices, that the being we have become is the result of our own choices."

Again you assume we had no choice when we came here. Why would we be "forced" to come to a world full of choices? Do you not see the irony? It makes no sense but that we came from a world of choices and chose to come into this world too to further who we are by choosing to come here. What makes you think our previous choices did not determine our ability to then make the choice to come here?

"And the condition [the after life] would be, unlike this world, permanent"

Why do you assume that? How do you know that it would be permanent? Your previous life before you came here was not permanent. Do you really think the short time you spend here will determine the rest of your life in eternity? That makes no sense whatsoever

"In this life, if God exists, we can only be as children in the womb, preparing for the next life but no more "sovereign" in this one than children yet unborn."

Why is that and who or what is God? You assume unborn children do not exist before they are born into this life when they do their bodies/vehicles for this life may not exist yet but you are not your body anymore then you are the car you drive. What power/essence animates the body when a child is born? Did this power/entity not exist and come into being out of nothing? If it did then it defies all of creation for nothing comes into being from nothing. All matter/atoms/quarks exist for all eternity and cannot be destroyed it can only be transformed into different arrangements.

"The concept of personal sovereignty, in the absolute sense Libertarians present it, implies individuals get to determine their own morality (except for the few absolutes they attempt to impose such as the conditions under which force might be used).   Again, measured against the vast scale of the cosmos, the enormity of time which has passed in all ages, and the value of wisdom which has endured for generations before us, the idea that the four pounds of grey matter in our skulls can be the final arbiter of right and wrong, even for ourselves, seems ridiculous"

What's ridiculous is this false argument. Everyone determines their own morality period there is no other way. If we do not who does? If you say God does the individual still decides determines if he will adopt any moral philosophy he will follow. Determining ones own morality does not exclude the wisdom of the ages. One is free to ignore it or learn from it. Libertarians simply draw the line at harming others. If you chose to harm others as part of you morality or lack there of you violate the non aggression principle and violate inherent rights. No harm no crime is the basis of all law. The very idea that you should give away you sovereignty to others or some collective has lead to the deaths of millions by governments and dictators alike. It is pure insanity to think it otherwise.

"States and localities would, retaining their right to sanction moral behavior such as mandating child support.  But let them be careful how they use such power!"

Sigh! Hows that worked out for us? Its amazing to me anyone would even argue for this non-sense after centuries of government abuse... You would bring government force to bear against people instead of just letting people know they are responsible for their actions and who they decide to have sex with and the possible consequences of doing so. What you advocate feeds irresponsibility yeah no worries the government will take care of it for me whether it's abortion or child support etc. You haven't the first clue about freedom. Here's is a hint it requires personal responsibility and people suffering the consequences of their actions for it to work in society. Just like anything the more government intervenes the worse things get and the more we get of what ever we are trying to prevent...

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Well said

An excellent rebuttal. I thought your idea about choosing to enter this world particularly interesting; I have never thought about it in those terms before. I'm not quite sure if I agree with that part, but it's something to think about.

I think an equally valid response would be that it is irrelevant whether we chose to enter this life or not. If you believe in a Supreme Being that created and granted each individual self-ownership, then you have just as potent an argument.

I think your view would poll poorly among women voters!

I just think there are some exceptions to the NAP. Responsibility in sex for example, should not be all on the woman. The two or three paragraphs of the NAP do not encapsulate all of moral reality. If you can get people to build a government based on that in your county, go for it. I think you have every right to try it, but I don't agree with the premise. I think it is good when used as a principle (something generally true) but fails as a law (something that is always true without exception).

The same is so on national defense spending. It is a public use good. The way we do it now, it is grossly over-consumed. The way it would be done in an anarchist society it would be grossly under-consumed, likely leading to the loss of freedom to another group. That is why I favor the Localist view of distributed defense spending as described here http://www.dailypaul.com/273348/answers-on-defense-spending-...

As for the rest of it, I think there is merit to your argument that if we came into this world by choice, if we were able to choose things about us and who we were, that it would undermine my argument about self-ownership. Or rather it would be the same as saying "your contention about self-ownership as being valid in the after-life applies to this one."

Philosophically, that is the best argument I have heard because if it is so then "you got me." I don't know what religious tradition you could appeal to though. You would probably have to invent a new one. Hinduism is pretty close, but they are just trapped in a cycle or a progression or regression, and neither of the endpoints grant self-ownership. Mormonism might actually be the closest.

As to your point that "everyone determines their own morality, period", it is true in one sense, but not in another. I am trying to better know the moral order that I believe God has established in the universe. I am choosing it, that is true, but I am choosing to recognize a higher morality than mine. If what it says is right disagrees with what I think ought to be right, then I re-examine both what I think is right and my understanding of what the moral order is saying. I then change to adapt to the morality that is better and higher than I am.

That is still self-choice, BUT it is not the same as "self-ownership" in that my own standard is my own standard and I will acknowledge none outside me. I am accepting a standard higher than my own. For parts of that standard applicable to civil government (and a lot isn't) I accept that if I violate that standard, the group is just when they sanction me.

I will grant you that big government has killed countless millions, that is one reason I oppose it. Many millions have also died when wicked people took advantage of a lack of government to loot and pillage. I seek balance.

I don't "give away my sovereignty" to others, to whatever degree I may have it. I trade some of my will being done for the advantages that come with remaining in the group. And yes, that can quickly lead to the tyranny of the mob. That is why I want a group that declares some things "rights", that is, claims by individuals against the group and not subject to majority vote.

Maybe they don't recognize as much as I would like, but it violates the principle of the Rule of Law to say "Even though you are staying within the limits you agreed to respect as to my rights, any attempt by you to violate the limits I set for myself are tyranny." Accepting operating within the agreed-on rules when the society was set up (which include mechanisms for changing them) is part of a condition for being in the group. Leave the group if you feel that way. They are respecting the rights in the contract by which the society was founded. Your position takes your two pillars, the NAP and the Rule of Law, and smashes them into one another.

Your objection to my point about how we can't choose things about our bodies, such as their eventual failure, also does not stand. It is true that we "own" our car yet cannot keep them from wearing out, but we do not "own" our car in the sovereign sense you are claiming ownership of self. The classic Christian position is that we are STEWARDS of everything we own on the earth, either cars or bodies.

Your analogy does not stand because we don't own our cars either, in the absolute sense of the word you are claiming for self-ownership. You may not accept the premise of that position, just as I don't accept your premise that we all choose the details about who we are in this life prior to our arrival, but my point is that other people can have other premises, which you cannot falsify, which logically lead to other conclusions.

Notice also, if you are going to take your car out in public that while you retain OWNERSHIP, you are restricted by society as to USE. They charge you a fee for a license, they determine whether you are fit to drive, the regulate your speed and when you can stop and go. SO in that sense maybe we are arguing semantics. That is, you own yourself in the low sense of the word, you are your own steward, but if you wish to interact with others then they have something to say about your use of your own. I mention this cringing at the thought of another broadside from you about how all of those restrictions are more "tyranny."

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

I am not looking for women

I am not looking for women votes I am simply pointing out it is a matter of personal responsibility. I never said the man doesn't have some responsibility. I am pointing out that neither has the right to bring government force to bear for their lack of responsibility. The main reason that scenario can even be brought up now days is precisely because government has intervened and people now do not even think of their own personal responsibility and the consequences of their actions on the matter because they know they can bring government force to bear to fix their mistakes.

You points are moot having the free will to make decisions concerning ones life and suffering the consequences good or bad is self ownership period. Your idea that it is not is absurd and makes no sense whatsoever. You chose your own destiny by the choices you make period end of story. Claiming God or any other entity owns you makes no difference at all whether it's true or not. You are still the one making the choices that determines your lot in life. It doesn't get anymore self ownership then that!

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

Thanks. I was too tired last

Thanks. I was too tired last night to be so thorough. I've seen a number of equally irrelevant and pointless threads posted here on the DP recently. What's up with that?

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

No problem I thought you post

No problem I thought you post was rather succinct and well written anyway!

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End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

There is no problem with Self Ownership!

As has been pointed out, localism and libertarianism are not mutually exclusive. That one could theoretically live in any number of localized isms, as stated at the end of the post, makes the discussion and comparison of localism to libertarianism and self ownership irrelevant. Someone had to say it.

As for the argument of self ownership, so what if God owns me? How do I know if I am acting or if God is acting through me? How do I know if I am speaking or if God is speaking through me? How does anyone know? They don't! So as far as human beings interact with each other it is an irrelevant point. If one human being harms another who pays the consequences? Is it the man or God? Who can tell?

The bottom line is that the human being, in society, is the one who visibly suffers and pays the consequences and is considered to be the responsible owner of his actions. So as far as whether one has true self ownership or is "owned" by God is another irrelevant question as it relates to libertarianism.

Lastly, if one is indeed owned by God, any action he may take that harmes himself or places him at a disadvantage is a matter between himself and his owner: God. No one else is involved, nor do they have the right to be.

There is no problem with self ownership.

~ Engage in the war of attrition: http://pacalliance.us/redamendment/

My car doesn't transform into a crime fighting robot.

"Though we might live 100
years, still our destiny is a slow fade in this life as we begin our journey
to the next. We can dye our hair, but we cannot really turn even one
hair of our head white or black. Self-ownership does not seem a
rational position."

If I can't make my car transform into a crime fighting robot, does that mean I don't own it?

I can't use sheer willpower to turn my house into a loaf of bread , does this mean I don't own it?

Check out the Laissez-Faire Journal at LFJournal.com


"The State is a gang of thieves writ large." - Murray Rothbard

Another high school philosophy wizard

Professor Wiki,
If you and your little pack of communitarians recently trolling this site posing as libertarians and conservatives have a problem with self ownership, kill yourself. Seriously, kill yourself before your bullshit collectivist ideas fatally lead you to act on the belief you and your mob have some kind of real authority over the unalienable self ownership rights of others; folks like me, and we have to do it for you. What "exists" is whats real. I'm willing to kill to defend myself and mine. You willing to die to impose yourself and yours? No? Well therin lies your fallacy. Yes? Well then bring it on, what you waiting for? Impose! Thats what I thought. Thats whats real. What you're willing to kill and die for. Thats whats up.

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Fancy Shmancy Fine Print:
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You Saved Me a Lot of Typing

Thanks- 100%

I am not waiting, you are

For example, I believe that if you expose your private parts to my wife and daughter that you should be sanctioned by law, and you will be. In other words, what I want on issue like that is the law right now, despite your snarling.

Since you would not be initiating force or fraud according to the NAP I would be "imposing" my morality on you with force when I called the cops on you. Should you resist this terrible violation of your "rights" the arresting officer would probably tase you. If that did not work and you actually attempted the violence hinted at in your previous post, the arresting officer would pull out his service pistol and kill you.

That is currently the way it is, and I don't have a problem with that part of the law because I think it is in accordance with the higher moral law even though it violates what YOU THINK the limits of your freedom ought to be.

So, you don't have an answer on the philosophy other than "I'll kill you if you don't do it my way". Well tough guy, there are millions of rules out there that violate the NAP. You dare me to bring it on? There are statists out there right now imposing on your view of your "liberties", so why don't YOU bring it on? You you better get to work tough guy, you have a lot of people to hurt. What are YOU waiting for?

That's what I thought.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

No self-ownership; my dork is your wifes dork too

In your world there is no self-ownership therefore my "private parts" are not mine they are local-owned parts. In your world life, liberty, and property are owned by the local community. Living in your local community I reckon that would mean I'm partial owner of your wife and daughters "private parts" and yours too. Maybe in that world 51% of the locals have made law that allows me to demand your wife and daughter to show me their "private parts" or I can have them and you arrested.

I don't know what I said that makes you think I would ever trespass on anothers property and impose my self ownership beliefs on them. What am I gonna do, invade their property, hold them captive at gunpoint, and declare...

"You own your life. You have the right to live free and secure - life, liberty, property, and the subsequent right to protect and defend them. No one has the right to trespass on your life and murder you. No one has the right to trespass on your liberty and hold you in captivity against your will. No one has the right to trespass on your personal property and assault you. No one has the right to trespass on your private property and steal the fruits of your labor"

...just before I shoot them for not believing? lol. No. Fortunately for me these truths I speak are so self evident that I need not impose them on others, but need only to defend them from those with whatever mental illness leads them to think they own my private parts and can trespass without consequence. It's they who must impose. Truth is defended, not imposed. So don't lay awake at night worried I'm gonna come hold a gun to your head and force you to live, force you to be free, force you to pursue happiness. It's the communitarians who are notorious for coming in the night with guns and dogs.

DISCLAIMER:
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Fancy Shmancy Fine Print:
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Why aren't you out shooting collectivists?

as you threatened to do in your first post. They are all over the place, imposing all sorts of restrictions on your liberties. Oh, wait, I know. YOU ARE DOING so, and some teenage mocker has hacked the account of that fearless warrior for liberty. That's why he is wasting my time setting up strawmen and knocking them over. Say something useful, address my actual arguments, or I will just block you and be done with it.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Wrong!

If you expose your privates to my wife and daughter that violates the non aggression principle and I will simply kick your ass and your privates up around your neck for so doing.

You keep making these false arguments that determining ones own morality means that one has the right to violate others rights. They don't and you can stop making these false arguments...

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

How Does it Violate the NAP?

Just for a change of pace, why don't you see if you can answer a question without threatening to kill me or kick my ass?

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Excuse me? Make up false

Excuse me? Make up false arguments a lot do ya? Where did I threaten to kill you? You expose your privates to my wife and daughter I kick your ass what part of that do you not understand? If you do not think that exposing yourself to people like that is aggression that comes with consequences then you have a rude awakening. A little over a century ago that would have gotten you shot and no one would have batted an eye about it... But since people have abrogated their responsibilities to government now people like you are saying that is not an aggressive act... Sigh!

-----
End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

Oops, you only threatened to kick my ass

it was the first responder on this sub-thread that threatened to kill me. But he seems to be too busy off somewhere plotting the violent overthrow of the U.S. government to respond to my question, perhaps you would be willing to set me straight.

The part of that where I don't understand is that a plain reading of the NAP does not indicate such acts rise to the level of acts to which you can respond with force. The penis waiver (let's depersonalize this since if my wife caught me doing such a thing you would be the least of my worries!) has not "initiated force" or "committed fraud". The NAP does not permit you to initiate force just because someone else has done something which offends you.

Look, I agree with your conclusion. The perv ought to be sanctioned. I just don't agree that a plain reading of the NAP supports this. I mean, if the NAP is OK with me initiating force when I am morally offended then I guess I am OK with it in this instance.

What I see is a lot of people who want to claim the mantle of "libertarian" in order to demand other people leave THEM alone unless they initiate force or commit fraud, but somehow rationalize non-forceful acts which offend them as violating the NAP.

You are trying to segueway "offensive act" into "aggressive act". Maybe sexually, but that is not force. They impish pervs who ought to be decked, but not for the crime of "aggressive acts."

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Furthermore..

..I'm 31, but my parents are still alive, and they created me and decided where I came into the world, and they nurtured me so I didn't die, does that mean they "own" me? How can they own me when they don't even own themselves? Can they kill me since they created me? I just don't see logic in that. They don't even own themselves but they own me by virtue of having created me? I'm not down with that. I was endowed by my creator with unalienable rights (I choose the creator, and I say it was my parents, not God), however my creator doesn't get to alienate those rights. They are unalienable, I just understand that I have them because I was created, but they aren't subject to the whims of my creator. Where I was created and whether or not I'm immortal has no logical effect on my self ownership.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

I agree with you about your source of rights

I am not sure they extend as far as the NAP would take them, or that they include or necessitate self-ownership.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Como say what?

I don't know where my car was built, and I can't stop it from eventually breaking down, how on earth does that affect whether or not I own my car?

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

Your claim to your car

does not rest on your having created it, or knowing where it was built. It is based on paying someone who did all that a mutually agreed on amount to transfer ownership of the car. That does not apply in the claim of "self-ownership." The part about the car breaking down was the weaker part of the argument, admittedly, but the point was that you don't have a strong claim to self-ownership or a weak claim. That is, even if you did not create your life, if you could sustain your life then maybe you would have a weak claim.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

So whom do I need to pay...

...to buy my personal ownership? I didn't ask to be born, nor to be fed and nurtured to adulthood. I didn't sign a contract asking to be cared for, so why do I owe money on a contract for my personal ownership that I didn't sign. If you give me a birthday gift, and I accept it, can you then demand payment for the gift, and if I don't pay, you claim ownership of me? Isn't that like saying I owe taxes for social security even though I didn't ask for it, nor do I want it. Shouldn't I be free to choose the contracts I'm bound by?

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

That is the answer religions have tried to answer for a long tim

"How can I make a deal with God so that I can give Him "X" amount to satisfy Him so I can go about my merry way with the rest of my life."

You ask a hard question.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

For argument's sake, lets say

For argument's sake, lets say that I killed your God; then do I have ownership over you? Since your God owns you, but I killed him, so does that ownership then transfer to me or who then owns you? I ask this because if you are going to claim that in the event of your God's death that you own yourself, then I will claim that my God is already dead and therefore I own myself. However, if you are to claim that in the event of your God's death that you do not own yourself, but I -the killer of your God- owns you; then I shall posit that I killed my God, and therefore I own myself.

If I kill you do I own your child or your pet?

I'd say that whoever you designate in your will would be the rightful owner. I remind you that force is not the standard of justice.

Your god is dead? You don't "get" your own god. Either their is a God or their is not. If there is then He is whether you acknowledge Him or not, and any moral code He authorizes can justly be applied to you whether you try to contrive a more limited one or not.

Don't you think a much more sound position is that the NAP sums up God's moral code with respect to government? I mean, that is basically Ron Paul's position.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Also, technically I don't own

Also, technically I don't own any children, I thought slavery was outlawed; and I wouldn't exactly say that I own my pet either. However, If -and that is a big if- you managed to make me face my mortality then who would stop you from taking that animal(s) which may or may not be at my residence?

Also, only people who have some desire to control others strive for positions in government 99.9999% of the time; the truest liberty lovers would very rarely be caught with a government job. So the very idea of a controllable government disappears, because only those who are more likely to be corrupted would naturally tend to go into politics -whether it be local, state, of federal.

I find local government to be much more service oriented

than Washington, but then I don't live in Detroit.

Well I would hope that the local law enforcement would apprehend the culprit, which I guess would be me in this scenario. They would at least punish me for the crime and get the dog to your heir.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)

Well, I wouldn't put much

Well, I wouldn't put much stock in police doing the right thing. I live in a small town, and last year 3 police officers were apprehending this 24 year old kid. The kid was hand-cuffed and laying on his back -on his hands which were behind him. The kid started kicking at the one officer who is 6'3" and the cop shot him 3 time in the chest killing him. The 3 officers each had tazers and other items which could have been used. But this bad ass officer had to pull his pistol and shoot the kid 3 time in the chest; all because the officer said that he feared for his life.

The ADA refused to file charges stating that the officer was in fear of his life and the shooting was justified.

The kid was 5'6" @150 lbs, and the officer who shot him was 6'3" and about 220 lbs. There was no way that officer could have possibly been scared of that little kid that he(the officer) needed to kill him.

When government hires goons, they really don't care what their qualifications are; they just need somebody to fill the spot.

I remind you that force is

I remind you that force is not the standard of justice.

It was in self-defense. Why would you automatically assume that I commited the act of aggression outside of self-defense -which would be in accordence with NAP?

If a God doesn't exist then nobody has a claim to me but myself, and if there is a God, then in our 3D space where I exist and he/she doesn't corporeally exist, I still own myself.

While you claim that nobody has given a rebuttal of your ideas, I didn't find your ideas all that convincing, paraphrasing: If you believe in God, then he is your owner and if you don't believe in God then you still don't own yourself. Your entire argument is based around the idea that God exists; prove it physically with hard evidence that god exists. Since your arguement requires the existence of God to even be semi-intelligent, and since no physical evidence can ever be examined to prove difinitively whether God exists or not, then your arguemnt fails.

I don't have to for my logic to be correct.

My logic stands whether God exists or not. You paraphrased incorrectly because if there is a God, and He does establish a moral order, you can be justly held accountable to that moral order whether you choose to believe in God or His moral order or not. Your belief in God is immaterial to whether or not the sanction is just or unjust.

What is material is the premise that God exists and that the sanction is in accordance with His moral code. I have not proven that here, but it was not my goal here. My goal was to show that reason can produce different conclusions than the three pillars whether there is a God or is not. The key is that rational people can start reasoning from different premises, ones that cannot be proved or disproved, therefore their conclusions are at least as valid as your own. That was setting up a call for tolerance if the people in the next state or the next county set up their society on premises different from yours, but that call has not been well received.

You don't want to accept "my" ideas, that's your call, but it is not because the logic is bad. It is because you don't like where the logic is leading. The existence of God is for another day, when you are willing to follow the evidence where ever it leads. When you want to know the truth even more than your want your own way, then your heart will be ready.

But even if there is no God, the NAP is still not the sole valid principle to organize society around because "valid" has no objective meaning. Those who think the smart should rule the dumb, the strong should rule the weak, or who have no preferences beyond their own needs have philosophies which are as "just" because absent a higher moral law (God is the lawgiver) there is no reference point for measuring "just."

The NAP then becomes just one possible framework for organizing a society of near-equals, so long as each individual thinks it is in their self-interest to do so. It is not the "right" answer for organization because there is no "right" answer. Only answers that work and those which don't. If another group comes along that is stronger, organized under other principles, and decides to make the NAP group into laundry soap there is no moral basis for the NAP group to object to this action. The outsiders are not bound by your agreement. They are not bound to recognize it. No one is bound by anything.

Localism is for people who can still sleep at night even though somebody they don't know in a city they have never been is doing things differently. ("Localism, A Philosophy of Government" on Amazon for Kindle or Barnes and Noble ebook websites)