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Author Topic: Ye shall not steal: hydromedusiod theory of property  (Read 2614 times)
Diegor
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May 04, 2011, 07:25:32 PM
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For natural law theories, property rights are a formidable problem, because our animal nature is fully compatible with theft. There can be made an argument that property is needed for one's survival, but this does not involve all property or the survival of the others that may depend on alienating one's property. So one needs to appeal to some other nature than biological one; e.g., one's rational nature.

One school of natural theology is that this "other" nature is the better nature we were endowed with during the Creation; the Fall corrupted this original nature but it still has a hold on us, and the moral norms are the remnants of this nature that is cast on our hearts. This nature is not what we presently are but what we supposed to be, ought to be, and will become. We've started as sin-free immortal creatures; it is our own fault that we are mortal, sinful, and thieving. On this theory, property rights derive from our prelapsarian nature, and to explain property one needs to explain how the protection of property naturally emerges from this nature.

We do not have too many examples of immortal animals around, but we do have some polyps that can endlessly regenerate themselves, and T. nutricula mentioned in the previous post is the most complex example of this kind: after releasing the gametes, its adult medusa form undergoes transformation back to the juvenile form, the colonial polyp state, by cell transdifferentiation. Like most other animals, we gradually age and die through senescence after we reach sexual maturity and produce offspring. In contrast, these jellies go back to the cradle, so to speak. It is the endless cycle of maturation followed by rejuvenation, back and forth, back and forth. This cycling is the most advanced form of immortality seen on this planet.

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FatherMcGruder
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May 04, 2011, 07:32:34 PM
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May 04, 2011, 07:40:06 PM
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Even as we speak, there are biological entities out there and forces at work that conspire to turn my inner organs into goo.  Cue scary music.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

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The Script
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May 08, 2011, 02:06:50 AM
 #4

Even as we speak, there are biological entities out there and forces at work that conspire to turn my inner organs into goo.  Cue scary music.

That is, scary *jazz* music....    Cheesy


So is the "prelapsarian" view of property rights the one you subscribe to, Diegor?  I tend to believe in God-given natural rights, but try to find other ways to argue them because it does not seem to be a popular view on this forum.
NghtRppr
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May 08, 2011, 02:32:59 AM
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There are no natural laws. The is-ought gap in unbridgeable. The are no moral facts, only moral opinions.
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May 08, 2011, 02:40:16 AM
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There are no natural laws. The is-ought gap in unbridgeable. The are no moral facts, only moral opinions.

Well, what do you mean by "natural laws"?  Isn't gravity considered to be a natural law (i.e. a law of nature)?  Also, if there are no moral facts why would it be wrong to steal someone's property? 
NghtRppr
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May 08, 2011, 02:52:37 AM
 #7

Well, what do you mean by "natural laws"?

In this context, moral rules based on human nature.

Isn't gravity considered to be a natural law (i.e. a law of nature)?

In the sense that there are laws controlling the universe, many people do but I don't. I think that the universe is completely random. Though, randomness can also allow for patterns, which we observe in hindsight and induce from them universal truths.

See: http://www.iep.utm.edu/lawofnat/

I'm a regularist.

Also, if there are no moral facts why would it be wrong to steal someone's property?

It's not wrong, strictly speaking. It's just not appreciated. Many people, myself included, are of the opinion that the non-aggression principle is preferable in order to avoid violence in our daily lives. In common speech though, I do say things are wrong but I'm not ascribing some objective property to them. I'm just stating a preference.
BitterTea
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May 08, 2011, 04:13:30 AM
 #8

A friend of mine wrote the following blog post. Some of you may find it interesting. It's All In Your Mind: A Subjectivist Foundation for Natural Rights.

The most interesting part, to me, is the following:

Quote
There is a third natural right leading directly from the first two, but it is less direct, and that is the right to property. If a resource has not been gathered by any subjective entity and then is, the resource becomes the property of the subjective entity that has put their body and time into collecting it. Thus if another subjective entity takes that resource away without the consent of the owner, they have, through the clever leveraging of time, controlled the body of the owner. It is in effect the taker making a claim that the use of the body and time of the owner is theirs regardless of the wishes of the owner. It is thus the same thing as if the taker had beaten the owner into gaining the resource and beaten them to take it. It is theft and it is characterized by its aggressive violence and thus it breaks the social contract.

The right to property is also a negative right, the right to expect that other subjective entities will not infringe upon one’s liberty by enslaving one’s past through the theft of one’s property.

But you should really read the whole thing.
benjamindees
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May 09, 2011, 12:12:58 AM
 #9

In the sense that there are laws controlling the universe, many people do but I don't. I think that the universe is completely random. Though, randomness can also allow for patterns, which we observe in hindsight and induce from them universal truths.

If the universe is completely random, can you point to any examples of (random) net entropy decrease?

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
mewantsbitcoins
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May 09, 2011, 12:19:04 AM
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In the sense that there are laws controlling the universe, many people do but I don't. I think that the universe is completely random. Though, randomness can also allow for patterns, which we observe in hindsight and induce from them universal truths.

If the universe is completely random, can you point to any examples of (random) net entropy decrease?

Human birth
NghtRppr
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May 09, 2011, 12:22:24 AM
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If the universe is completely random, can you point to any examples of (random) net entropy decrease?

Your question is a non sequitur.
benjamindees
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May 09, 2011, 05:11:02 AM
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Property rights aren't a problem for natural law theories.  They arise naturally as a compromise between (the animal-nature-compatible) alternatives of either violent competition for scarce resources or simply eliminating competitors pre-emptively.  Property is one of the most beneficial applications of the non-aggression principle.

If the universe is completely random, can you point to any examples of (random) net entropy decrease?

Your question is a non sequitur.

I'll take that as a "no" then.

Human birth

Do you mean conception, or haven't you noticed that pregnant women tend to eat more than usual?

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
NghtRppr
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May 09, 2011, 05:13:44 AM
 #13

I'll take that as a "no" then.

Take it as a "the latter proves nothing about the former". The answer is irrelevant.
benjamindees
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May 09, 2011, 06:00:26 AM
 #14

I think that the universe is completely random. Though, randomness can also allow for patterns, which we observe in hindsight and induce from them universal truths.

What a curious statement.  You can't induce anything from complete randomness, let alone universal truths.  How do you deal in cryptographic currency and not know this?  Do you really think the universe is "completely random" or is that just a misstatement or what?

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NghtRppr
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May 09, 2011, 07:29:44 AM
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You can't induce anything from complete randomness, let alone universal truths.

Perhaps you don't understand randomness? Most people don't. You probably think that randomness equals uniform distribution but that's wrong. Here's an example. Guess which of these is a series of coin flips and which is me picking the T's and H's.

1. TTTTTHTHHHTTTHHT

2. THHTHTTHTHHTTHTH

Most people would guess that (2) is random but that's the one I made up just to "look" random. It's actually (1) that was taken from a series of coin flips. Most people don't expect to see long runs of T's or H's because they equate randomness with a uniform distribution. However, if I write down all finite length permutations of T's and H's, toss them into a gigantic hat and pull one out, there's a chance that I could pick out the one that spells out, in binary, the King James version of the Bible, "War and Peace" or even the collected works of Douglas Adams. Though unlikely, it's not impossible. All patterns, be they complex or simple, are possible with randomness. Just like it's possible that all the patterns we see in the universe are the products of randomness. Combine that with the fact that our very existence depends on patterns and we wouldn't be around to marvel at the more uniform distribution that could be possible. That's the anthropic principle at work.

As for induction, that's a classic problem in philosophy. Induction is based on the belief that the future will resemble the past but there's no guarantee of that. You can say "induction has always worked". Of course it has but that doesn't mean that it will continue to work, unless you assume induction is true thereby begging the question. No, the reason why induction isn't thrown out the window is because, if the future resembles the past, induction is the best method of predicting it. If it doesn't, then induction is no better and no worse than guessing. At least with induction we have a chance of getting things right. Induction is therefore pragmatically vindicated, though not proven.
benjamindees
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May 09, 2011, 11:51:51 AM
 #16

Yes, I understand both randomness and induction.  But please tell us how you induce anything you consider "true" from data that you consider "completely random".  Randomness precludes predictability.

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NghtRppr
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May 09, 2011, 04:57:38 PM
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But please tell us how you induce anything you consider "true" from data that you consider "completely random".

The results of induction are problematic regardless of whether the universe is random or not. As I just explained, even if the universe isn't random, we don't know that the future will resemble the past. Induction never tells us what is certainly true, only what is probably true in relation to our prior knowledge.

Randomness precludes predictability.

Let's narrow our focus from all the finite length permutations of T's and H's to just two, both possible with randomness. Instead of writing the strings down on a piece of paper, let's imagine that we are watching the flips occur in real time.

1. THTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTH ... and so on for a really long time

2. THTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTHTH ... and so on for a really long time and then TTTHTHHTTTTTHTHHHT

We stipulate that the series we are watching is one of these two. In both cases, we will notice a pattern of T's and H's. In both cases, after seeing a T we will predict the next flip will be an H, even though it's random. In the case of (2) our predictions will eventually fail as the alternating T-then-H pattern breaks down. However, in the case of (1) our predictions will never fail. We can't be certain that we are observing (1) rather than (2) beforehand but we can get lucky.
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May 11, 2011, 06:20:27 PM
 #18

Well, what do you mean by "natural laws"?

In this context, moral rules based on human nature.


They exist in the same way that hygenic or nutritional laws based on human nature exist. They are conditional imperatives: "if you want to achieve [the greatest possible long-term material well-being and have healthy relationships], then you must [refrain from the use of force against non-violent persons]."

I do not believe that they can exist as anything other than that without a supernatural consciousness to issue them (in which I believe, but I don't try to argue the point with non-theists from that angle because it's quite pointless).

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I think that the universe is completely random.


In which case you can't believe that you really think at all, as Reason is an ordered process which cannot exist in a fundamentally orderless universe.

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MacFall
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May 11, 2011, 06:22:26 PM
 #19

As for induction, that's a classic problem in philosophy. Induction is based on the belief that the future will resemble the past but there's no guarantee of that. You can say "induction has always worked". Of course it has but that doesn't mean that it will continue to work, unless you assume induction is true thereby begging the question.

ohai, John Maynard Keynes.

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NghtRppr
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May 11, 2011, 07:10:37 PM
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Reason is an ordered process which cannot exist in a fundamentally orderless universe

Randomness doesn't equate to disorder. Read the rest of my comments for examples.

ohai, John Maynard Keynes.

Do you have a point to make? How is some discredited economist relevant to what I said? Please be constructive.
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