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On the Issue of Natural Rights

Natural rights are nearly as poorly understood as gravity. Just as people naturally attempt to defend their property so does an apple naturally fall to the ground from a tree. However, if one asks a prominent physicist, “what causes gravity?” the answer will, at best, be nebulous and rife with speculation. Analogously, one can ask an esteemed philosopher of liberty about the origin of natural rights, and the answer will likely be just as imprecise. Luckily, natural rights do not require the proposition of gravitons to be understood and neither are particle colliders necessary.

What does it mean to say all men are equal? It is not a coincidence that science was invoked in the leading paragraph. In the olden days, science was not yet called science; it was dubbed natural philosophy. It also sheds light on the use of the word “natural” – with respect to natural rights – to consider that Isaac Newton and John Locke were very close friends. Returning to the question posed, all men are equal before the laws of nature. Neither governments nor kings can break those laws.

The realization that all men are equal before nature was not a trivial one. For ages, people were under the impression that divine right existed whereby individuals such as kings and pharaohs were somehow thought to be naturally superior to common mortals. Natural philosophy lead to the dissolution of that myth and ultimately resulted in the American Revolution – which demonstrated to the world that kings are not necessary. This is no small feat; some even suggested that George Washington be America’s first king. I guess old habits die hard.

To probe the nature of a system, it is often necessary to remove (as much as possible) outside influences that may alter measurements or make observations more difficult to interpret...

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Article 1 section 8 clause 10.

THE

LAW OF NATIONS

OR

PRINCIPLES OF THE LAW OF NATURE APPLIED TO THE CONDUCT AND AFFAIRS OF
NATIONS AND SOVEREIGNS

FROM THE FRENCH OF
MONSIEUR DE VATTEL.

a brief overview clearly reveals to me at least, a clear attempt to both quantify and apply observed natural Phenomenon. and to use it as a basis (or at least a guideline) for how we organize ourselves politically.

it seems very clear to me that all three documents (the declaration,constitution and the bill of rights) are in harmony with this idea and in fact SCREAM this out.

what am I missing here?

Natural Rights vs Natural Laws

The laws of physics; ie gravity, vs the laws of humanity, ie rights...

I was considering the exact point you are making today. The reason it was on my mind, is because these MSM shows, Piers, Oreilly, Anderson, all of CNN... present polls on the public "opinion of Snowden."

And Piers routinely asks his guests "does it bother you?" about gun rights, or privacy rights issues.

And I am sitting wondering "Does it bother you?" Do you guys ever have a conversation about what is principally true? What are the principles that we follow?

Oh you will never hear a PRINCIPLE discussed on the MSM, oh no.

So if the government says 2+2=5. Piers Morgan would say to his guests "Does 2+2=5 bother you?" Then he would show a poll that says that 55% of America agrees that 2+2=5. And he would never, oh never, resort to discussing the RULES AND AXIOMS OF ARITHMETIC. Nah, let's just rely on the opinions of his guests and the polls.

Next week, Piers will show a poll that says that 70% of Americans think that objects should fall up instead of down when dropped.

Where is the simple discussion about rights? It seems so basic. Do we have rights? Are they important? Or is that poll more important?

Let me say that if you get your news from the television, YOU ARE RETARDED.

Keep in mind the concept of

Keep in mind the concept of natural or god given rights is just a philosophy of how things should be in a perfect world, not how things actually are. The only rights a person has are the ones he is willing to fight to the death to protect. You are not a free man unless you believe in Patrick Henry's famous statement " give me liberty or give me death".

silly ideas but cool looking

silly ideas but cool looking site.

Master Pretzel Twister
https://twitter.com/MenckensGhost

positive rights vs. negative rights

Even though your article is clear and unambiguous, someone may easily make the mistake to think that natural rights include positive rights.

If you google "natural rights" the first link is a wikipedia article that talks about the social contract and positive rights.

Positive rights refer to the right to receive something from somebody else, like education or housing.

Negative rights are the same as natural rights, which is the right to not be trespassed against in person or property.

This is why, when educating people in libertarianism, I don't like to use the word 'rights' and instead I talk about the Non-Aggression Principle.

Natural Rights in context from the Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

What do you mean

when you say that science (natural philosophy) shows us that all men are equal before nature?

Consider a child born with severe mental and physical defects. If you're looking to nature and scientific observation to derive a notion of natural rights, in what sense is this child "equal before nature" with other children who have the usual prospects of growing up to fend for themselves, have their own children, etc.?

In nature, the severely handicapped child doesn't survive. They're not "equal before nature" because they can't survive in nature. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that what we consider virtuous in such cases is *un*natural? We aspire to *transcend* what is natural.

I've got some questions about where you go with this, but I wanted to start by trying to understand the sense in which you are using the word "natural."

“equal before nature” .......

..... is a very misunderstood term. Within the context of rights it only means that one has equal PROTECTION of their life, liberty and property – pursuit of happiness. In other words it is not what nature gives you, but what is being protected, that is considered as “equal rights before nature”.

equal protection provided by

equal protection provided by who? if natural rights include the right not to pay for any public provision of rights-enforcement, then there can be no right to defense of one's rights beyond that provided by one's own power.

that reduces rights to power, and with power one can claim any right, positive or negative. this reduces the claim of 'natural' rights to a subjective moral statement not subject to proof or disproof, evidence or logical deduction. which is in fact the case.

since all beliefs are ultimately reducible to some characteristic of human nature, nearly any moral system can be claimed to be natural, including socialistic egalitarianism or elitist social darwinism. nature is no witness for the plaintiff or the defense, unfortunately. god would be, if he existed, and if anyone knew what he was thinking.

in the real world, morality is the descendant of interests, which guide the world of human life. one's most ultimate interests will rarely yield to a contradictory morality. only in exceptional cases (the ascetic or self-denying monk, the extreme pacifistic, etc.) does this occur.

most often, our morality aligns closely with our perceived interests. it is transmitted culturally from generation to generation, and imparted to us as children.

in fact the evolution and prospering of distinct human groups and cultures would follow, necessarily, from the law of success which that morality or cultural beliefs has in proliferating and multiplying the members of community that adopt them.

in different conditions of society than those we are used to, different morality would prevail and adherents to it would flourish better, as they did a hundred thousand years ago, or five thousand years ago, when no one talked about individual rights. the idea of being independent from the group would've horrified the member of a primitive tribe, and translate roughly into 'exile.'

no primitive human ever doubted their rightness in taking when their survival depended on it, even if it meant others had to suffer or die. morality is a cultural development which survives or disappears based on efficiency and selection.

Master Pretzel Twister
https://twitter.com/MenckensGhost

equal protection provided by who?

The word "provided" should be replaced by "recognized". In a free society that acknowledges such differences/seperation between natural versus man made privileges, it is clear that such natural rights can only be protected by the individual, and that a free society recognizes ones ability to protect such rights. Anything beyond is contractual, licensed or a privilege and as such will require the consent of others. Once a free society agrees on what are natural rights (eg. see DOI), it eliminates subjectivity, as such agreed upon rights are inherently universal, and therefore cannot be based on moral, cultural or customs based values.

so rights won't need any

so rights won't need any protection since everyone will just accept them and behave correctly by nature. the new creed will change the nature of man and make force superfluous. got it.

Master Pretzel Twister
https://twitter.com/MenckensGhost

Rights will need protection,

as unfortunately there will be those who exceed their jurisdiction (eg. Government agents, officers and employees), but it will come in the venue of the law and courts (non-violent remedy). Please understand without law there is no rights, there cannot be one without the other. In other words those natural rights that are recognized can only be made effective when there are courts to enforce it. If one has been damaged, because of the negligence of others he finds relief/remedy in the law.

The law is clear, the state has no duty to PROVIDE protection.

i agree. however, i presume

i agree. however, i presume you don't believe there is RIGHT to publicly provisioned enforcement of one's other rights? no one can be compelled to fund a publicly enforced rights enforcement apparatus, because all taxes are theft and a violation of rights. no one has a right to a claim on other's labor (police, fire, courts) or funds (to pay them). that would be a positive right. therefore, no one has a right to any enforcement of their "natural rights." which is the same as saying no one has any rights in reality, beyond what they can enforce on their own or pay someone to enforce. which reduces natural rights to a mere statement of morality.

Master Pretzel Twister
https://twitter.com/MenckensGhost

If a mentally handicapped person and a politician both fell...

off a cliff at the same time, both would hit the ground at the same time.

No individual has supernatural powers. For example, there is no such thing as divine right.

That doesn't answer the question

If a politician and a rock both fell off a cliff, they'd both hit the ground at the same time. That doesn't mean that rocks and politicians ... wait, let me rephrase.

Yes, everything of non-zero mass in the universe is affected by gravity. That doesn't help your argument in any way.

No individual has supernatural powers (although "divine right" isn't about supernatural powers, it's about rights granted by God isn't it?). And I suppose if natural rights were from god, then if god wanted to grant some greater rights to certain individuals that would be god's prerogative. Natural philosophy doesn't so much show that there's no such thing as divine right, as assume that there's not, by assuming that there's a natural order in the world that we can study and understand.

But I'm not arguing in favor of divine right, so I'll stipulate that we've ruled that one out. Hardly anyone believes in it anymore anyway, outside of North Korea.

Divine right is, however, just one of many, many ways that societies through the ages (and currently) have identified some human individuals as having lesser rights than others. Ruling out one of those ways doesn't eliminate any of the others. It barely scratches the surface.

From a scientific point of view there are many, many differences between human individuals that are highly relevant in nature, i.e., highly relevant to the things that matter in a natural state, such as survival, reproduction, etc. So I don't see in what sense you are trying to say that science shows humans are all equal "before nature" without it being a distinction meaningless to a discussion of natural rights, such as the fact that all humans, along with all houses and horses and everything else made of matter, are subject to the pull of gravity.

Even photons are affected by gravity - See General Relativity

Going back to the topic, I never invoked a creator. It is not necessary for a god to exist for natural rights to exist.

Even if a person is mentally deficient or physically inferior, reason can be used to justify his or her claim to property that was acquired either directly or indirectly through creative capacity.

I am not professing that there is an equality of results. That is the ground you are treading on, however.

I am simply saying that claims to property can be justified naturally. For instance, suppose a mentally handicapped person learned to sow and made a sweater that he or she decided to keep. Do YOU have a claim to that sweater that can be justified by reason? If you do not, neither does anyone else except the handicapped individual that created it. It can be said that the person has a natural right to the sweater. No one else can make such a justified claim. Such a claim follows naturally from its creation.

So skipping the irrelevant parts

are you only arguing about *property* rights? Because you changed my example (relevant to arguments about natural rights, as in a right not to be killed) to one that's relevant to a question about property rights. The kind of individual I was describing won't be able to make anything, so I guess if the topic is limited to property rights then that sort of individual isn't relevant to the argument.

A key point in your argument seems to be that all people (along with potted petunias and, yes, photons) are affected by the same physical forces, such as gravity. That's not what refutes the notion of divine right, but let's stipulate that we agree that there's no god out there granting rights to people, equally or not, so that the notion of the divine right of kings is off the table, and good riddance.

So we have that presidents and paupers, pheasants and photons, are all affected by gravity. Now ... there are a lot of unconnected dots between this uncontroversial claim, and even a limited notion of natural rights pertaining only to property.

From here, trying to follow your argument, you go on to the thought experiment about an island. I don't think that works the way you want it to, but we can come back to it in detail later maybe. In any case a thought experiment like this might help support an argument, but it's not a substitute for an argument.

After that you switch gears entirely and make a *pragmatic* argument against Communism, which I have no problem with at all. But unless you're defining "natural rights" in terms of pragmatism, which wouldn't be a good move, this is an entirely separate kind of argument (but at least it actually is an argument, and a good one IMO from a pragmatic point of view, but just not one that does anything to support the idea of natural rights).

What separates photons - the inanimate - from life is...

just "that" - life.

It is a natural characteristic of life to defend life and property. Property rights and the defense thereof are as natural to life as gravity is to the physical universe. It is an inherent characteristic. Gravity existed before Man's (attempted) description of it just as natural rights - natural claims - existed before any attempts at their description.

And yes, I'm arguing in favor of property rights - particularly natural property rights. I am not arguing in favor of any type of positive rights; they have no place in the realm of natural rights.

Further, even an invalid that has no creative capacity has a right to his or her life - while they may not be able to compel others to support them, the right still exists. For instance, you cannot justly herd together all of the "vegetables," take them to the firing range, and execute them. There exists no reasonable argument that you or anyone else has a justifiable claim to their lives. "Vegetables" are not community property.

Gravity

It is a natural characteristic of life to defend life and property.

Since you distinguish animate from inanimate, not human from not-human, when you talk about a "natural characteristic of life" you're including animals?

In that case the word "property" is inappropriate. We could say that among the natural characteristics of animals are self preservation, and getting and keeping (or consuming) various kinds of things. But in the animal world the "getting and keeping" part doesn't look like natural rights. Neither does the self preservation part for that matter.

Property rights and the defense thereof are as natural to life as gravity is to the physical universe.

You went from something that doesn't look like property rights, to a "therefore" about property rights. The natural state of things (again, animals in general, since you've framed the argument that way) has little to do with a notion of "property" as we would understand it in modern, enlightened human society. It's a natural characteristic of living creatures to want to get stuff they need and don't have, and keep anything else from taking it away after they get it, but that's just possessiveness. Possessiveness is a natural trait, but you've got a long way to go from there to anything resembling a modern notion of property rights.

And you find all sorts of variants among animals, each as natural as any other. Consider cases where the alpha male gets first share of the kill, no matter whether they were were the one that brought the animal down. Kind of like the divine right of kings, minus the attempt to rationalize it through religion.

Put animals in a situation of scarce resources and you see the true colors come out, red in tooth and claw and all that. Same for humans, actually. An enlightened view of human rights, for all the different ways humans rationalize such a belief, is a luxury that a society can enjoy until resources become too scarce.

Further, even an invalid that has no creative capacity has a right to his or her life - while they may not be able to compel others to support them, the right still exists. For instance, you cannot justly herd together all of the "vegetables," take them to the firing range, and execute them. There exists no reasonable argument that you or anyone else has a justifiable claim to their lives. "Vegetables" are not community property.

Well, make this concrete then. Someone has a kid who is, as you put it, a vegetable. Alive, and not in need of medical life support just food and water and cleaning and so on. You say "they may not be able to compel others to support them." Do you mean the parents of that child are under no obligation to support them, i.e., to provide food and water, etc.? That they can't kill the child abruptly but they don't have to provide what it would need to stay alive?

They would be the "natural thing, in the sense that it's what would happen with similarly disabled offspring of animals in the wild. And also the case in most human societies historically, for that matter.

Reason doesn't have to be a tool of the life involved...

for a naturally justified claim to be established.

Since you distinguish animate from inanimate, not human from not-human, when you talk about a "natural characteristic of life" you're including animals?

In that case the word "property" is inappropriate. We could say that among the natural characteristics of animals are self preservation, and getting and keeping (or consuming) various kinds of things. But in the animal world the "getting and keeping" part doesn't look like natural rights. Neither does the self preservation part for that matter.

I never claimed that rights could not be violated, and reason exists even if the animals involved in the interaction do not practice advanced reasoning. Suppose a bird labors to make a nest, and upon completion, another bird comes about, injures the latter, and commandeers the nest for its own use. Reasonably, the original bird had a naturally justifiable claim to the nest while the second violated that claim. It cannot be said that the second bird had a claim that could be justified by reason - ie the second bird had no natural right to the nest. By the way, the first bird would realize that it had been wronged.

As for the last part of your statement, you are laying the ground for morality which is a completely different subject. As far as natural rights are concerned, the parents would have no obligation. Morality is defined by society (or subgroups) whereas natural rights exist independently of society. In that respect, your statement has no bearing on the argument and is moving into the area of demagoguery.

Reason

Suppose a bird labors to make a nest, and upon completion, another bird comes about, injures the latter, and commandeers the nest for its own use. Reasonably, the original bird had a naturally justifiable claim to the nest while the second violated that claim. It cannot be said that the second bird had a claim that could be justified by reason - ie the second bird had no natural right to the nest. By the way, the first bird would realize that it had been wronged.

Okay, suppose a bird labors to make a nest, and upon completion another bird takes the nest away by force. To say that you're going to use *reason* to justify the first bird's claim to the nest isn't enough. Reason implies laying out premises (even if the bird wouldn't understand them) and then arguing from those premises to a conclusion. Calling it "reason" doesn't mean anything if you don't show the reasoning. I don't think you can do this without begging the question.

You say the first bird would realize that it had been wronged? By saying "wronged" you're sneaking something into the claim, i.e., begging the question. The bird would be agitated, or we might say "angry" if we're anthropomorphizing. So what? In your island story if A (who made the spear) manages to steal it back from B, then B will likely be very angry even though they haven't been "wronged." It was a tool that B needed for survival, of course B is going to be angry at losing it. Being angry or agitated doesn't imply having been "wronged." If the second bird, that stole the nest, finds that nest taken away from it by a third bird, it's going to be just as upset and angry as the first bird to lose the nest.

These things have nothing to do with property ownership. It's mere possessiveness, which is not the same thing at all.

A field mouse probably isn't very pleased to find itself in the claws of an owl, if it's alive during the flight back to the nest. Has it been "wronged" since it is being deprived of life? If the bird that had its nest stolen looks like it feels "wronged" how much more so an animal that knows instinctively that its very life is about to be taken and with no more justification than that the predator is stronger than the prey?

You have still ignored the fundamental tenet of the discussion

Natural rights are simply justifiable claims that follow naturally from reason.

You've touched the issue barely by claiming that no natural premises exist for ownership of property acquired through an organism's creative capacity. To support that claim, one would have to argue that no organism had any justifiable claim to any property - which is absurd. In the example I provided Person A had built a spear. Suppose that Person A is part of a population of millions of people. Can it be said that every person in the population has an equally valid claim to the spear as Person A? If so, lay out your argument, but I promise you that it won't stand to reason.

In that situation, only Person A has justifiable claim to the spear that follows naturally from reason. It only requires one premise - namely that Person A created the spear.

That's called

Again, you claim that natural rights follow (naturally) from reason. But you don't give the reasoning. That's called question begging.

You've touched the issue barely by claiming that no natural premises exist for ownership of property acquired through an organism's creative capacity.

To be more precise, I pointed out that you're wrong about basing a notion of ownership of property on what natural philosophy can learn by observing animal behavior. The bird nest example doesn't do what you want, which is why you had to load it up with question-begging words like "property" and "wronged" that impose interpretations that don't fit the facts.

In fact all you see with animals is possessiveness. Not the same thing at all. To use your own example, the bird occupying the nest is going to be agitated ("angry" if we're anthropomorphizing) at being chased out of the nest, whether they built the nest or pushed another bird out. Person B with the spear is going to be angry about losing it, especially since it's necessary for survival on the island, even though they didn't make it. That's possessiveness, not an enlightened notion of ownership.

And before you do the burden shifting thing again, my point is that you can't reason from what we observe in nature to anything like a modern, enlightened notion of property ownership. That doesn't mean I don't believe in ownership, I'm just pointing out that your argument, to the extent that there is one, doesn't get you where you want it to get you. I also think that a modern, enlightened notion of property ownership (among other things) is a luxury that only works when competition for resources isn't brutal. I hope it continues working, but I'm a pragmatist about it.

In that situation, only Person A has justifiable claim to the spear that follows naturally from reason. It only requires one premise - namely that Person A created the spear.

Okay, that's a premise. But you still omit the reasoning, which is the actual argument part of the argument.

Person A made the spear. Person B has the spear. Person B is stronger than Person A. The spear is necessary for survival on the island. Both A and B are equally interested in their own survival, and perhaps equally disinterested in the other's survival (or if resources are so scarce that the island can only support one of them, they have a strong interest in the other's non-survival). And ... what?

In nature, the animal that currently has possession is going to fight to keep possession, no matter how they got whatever it is they're trying to keep. And if that thing is necessary to survival, they're going to be upset (like the bird losing the nest) if it's taken away, whether they made the thing, or hunted it down, or grabbed it away from some other animal, or killed some other animal to take it away, etc. Possession is ten tenths of the law, if we're going to derive our understanding of such things by observing animal behavior.

The conclusion of which is: don't try to derive a modern, enlightened notion of property ownership from observing animal behavior. It doesn't work. Although it does help us understand why it's been so hard over the centuries to get to a modern, enlightened notion of property ownership, because we're a lot like those animals.

You seem oblivious to the subtlety I'm pointing at...

Let's assume that there is no such thing as a justifiable claim. This would mean that no person (or animal for that matter) had a justifiable claim to anything. However, such a notion is completely absurd and intellectually dishonest - simply because claims can be naturally justified.

The premise and the argument are one in the same. If someone takes the resources available to them and creates something, that person is the only entity that has a justifiable claim to the property which follows naturally from them having created it.

You repetitively try to make the point, "but what if someone takes it or murders them for it and claims the item for their own." This point demonstrates your missing the point. If such a thing as justifiable claim exists so does unjustifiable claim which is a violation of the former.

Just because an individual may have the availability of sufficient force to enslave people doesn't mean that that person has a just claim to the lives of those people. A slaves rights do not disappear upon the beginning of servitude. To the contrary, the natural rights of the slave are being violated in perpetuity.

Might does not make right.

Further, have you actually met many thieves? You seem to think that people that steal somehow value the property as much as the rightful owner - the person whose natural rights were violated. You are mistaken. When one thief steals something from another thief that had originally stolen the stolen item, they say, "Who cares? I stole it anyway."

Why do you suppose spoiled rich kids are very apt to piss away their inheritance? It is very rarely the case that people that are not the primary creators of wealth (or items) value them as much as the person that was the primary creator. Again, you are being intellectually dishonest if you try to say otherwise.

Speaking of oblivious

Let's assume that there is no such thing as a justifiable claim.

Why? You talk as if you think that if the particular way you are trying to justify claims of ownership (to the extent you do more than just assert it without argument) is the only conceivable way. Fortunately not, because your way doesn't work. But your lack of a coherent argument (or any argument) doesn't mean that everyone else's arguments are wrong too.

But this gets to crux of why you don't really seem to have an argument to make:

The premise and the argument are one in the same.

It's nonsense to say that the premise and the argument are one and the same, unless your conclusion is also the same as your premise. Because if you omit any argument, other than stating a premise, you haven't justified any conclusion. At all.

In fact your conclusion and your premise are *not* the same. Therefore since you don't have an argument to get you from the premise to the conclusion (or any argument to get you anywhere at all beyond the premise) what you are doing is what is called "question begging."

Proof by Contradiction

It is nonsense to claim that a justifiable claim to property does not exist (which belongs naturally to the person who acquired the property by direct or indirect means of his or her creative capacity). Further, it is nonsense to claim that all claims are just (or equally as just as that of the creator or purchaser).

To prove something does not require an argument in favor of it. It is just as effective to prove the opposing statement as false.

Reductio

In a proof by contradiction you need to do two things. First you assume the logical negation of the conclusion you are trying to prove. Second, starting from that assumption you must show (and that means show with a logical *argument*) that a logical contradiction can be derived.

You're not doing either of these things. Your initial assumption is overly general, as if you think that yours is the only conceivable argument and if your argument is incoherent, everyone else's must be also.

And as before, you don't have any actual arguments. You just re-assert your conclusion, and assert that the overgeneralized assumption you started with is "completely absurd," and declare victory. That's not what a proof by contradiction looks like.

This exchange is becoming too time consuming

The premise & the argument is that the primary creator or purchaser of property (who attained the property through direct or indirect means of their own creative capacity) has the most justifiable claim to the property - which follows naturally from their having created it or attained it through their own creative capacity.

To say otherwise would be to say that some other individual or group of individuals have a more justifiable claim to the property than does the original creator or rightful purchaser. There doesn't exist such an argument. For instance, suppose I grow a garden on my own property, there is no other individual that has a more justifiable claim to my garden or to its produce than do I. My claim follows naturally by virtue of my having planting and nurturing the garden.

To attempt to argue that some other person has a more justifiable claim to my garden is ludicrous and nonsensical.

You seem to be being deliberately hard headed because you do not have a reasonable argument against the existence of natural rights to property as I have explained them.

your entire line of attack in

your entire line of attack in this exchange is that your positions are an ultimate given that require no argument or proof, they are simply given, like the laws of nature to which you appeal as a parallel. this would render superfluous every attempt that has been made in the past, to establish rights on the basis of reason, deduction, or ethics, or social utility, etc.

i could do the exact same thing with an entirely different argument. "in nature, the stronger always triumphs. that is nature's law, therefore the creature with the most rightful claim is the stronger party." proof? no need. argument, deduction, logic? superfluous, frivolous luxuries. i simply state it to be true, irreducible, unfalsifiable, and appeal to nature as my witness. anyone who disagrees is wrong by virtue of the fundamental given truth of the premise. the premise and the conclusion are one, and the argument is jumped over, like the cow over the moon.

that is what you do in your arguments. that's why it is pointless, and doggydogworld has done a much better job of demonstrating it than i have by his cool, patient and precise attention to the strictures of logic.

Master Pretzel Twister
https://twitter.com/MenckensGhost

Your statement...

"In nature, the stronger always triumphs."

is a false premise. Often times, the most intelligent triumphs. For instance, sometimes dolphins kill sharks.

In nature, hurting, killing, or stealing is perceived universally by individuals of all consciously aware species (that I know of) as a violation - whether that violation can be defined or not. What is violated?