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Saurabh

Private property rights in natural resources

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(I guess the source of confusion could be due to different definitions being understood for rent. I am talking about economic rent, and not the rent as it is understoood conventionally).

This is one reason, I am asking for additional time - so that I can re-frame my position using more accurate words.

"Economic rent" refers to much more than land. It is a fictional notion... like "consumer surplus". It represents many advantages that is already present in a factor of production.

Though David Ricardo applied this mostly to land, economists have elaborated that this applies to any factor of production. If Greta Garbo is paid an extra million for a movie because of some bodily attribute which would not command any extra value in an alternative career (anything other than acting), that amount is considered "economic rent". Marxists loved this concept. Their thought process was: someone like Garbo had limited high-paying alternatives; so, they could take away most of her "rent" and she would still keep acting. And of course to the extent that her rent was simply because nature had endowed her with some advantages, why should she be the only one to benefit? Sure, they thought, any such rent that she earns belongs to the people at large. Unabashed moral egalitarianism.

This is the concept of economic rent, as postulated by Ricardo and taken on by the Marxists. The moment you hear and economist speak of "rent seeking" run like the plague.

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I agree with both your assertions - as long as the market is a free market.

But my basic claim is that original-state land is not landlord's property. So, the question of his trading the property in the market does not arise. If you disagree with me, please refute my basic claim.

Absolutely. it was in fact unowned. But just like the land under my house the landlord exchanged some kind of effort or value to obtain that land and it is no longer anyones but his, to dispose of as he sees fit, to rent or to work himself or to build houses on and sell of for a wild profit!

By the way this works even if all he did to claim that land was place a stick in the soil and claim that land through some legal method.

(I guess the source of confusion could be due to different definitions being understood for rent. I am talking about economic rent, and not the rent as it is understoood conventionally).

This is one reason, I am asking for additional time - so that I can re-frame my position using more accurate words.

Well I absolutely disagree with the entire concept of economic rent as I understand it.

There is no intrinsic value in an iron ore deposit 3000m below the surface of the planet. No value whatsoever till some man or company takes the time and effort and puts the value into extracting it.

What you are talking about is a statists shell game designed to get something for nothing. It is evil. It is the worst possible form of taxation I have ever read about. The concept disgusts me.

How about this, lets say a government impliments this concept fully, you buy a house and live in it, improving it and the land you "own" around it till some day the government decides that the land under your house would much better suited to house a shopping mall, new road or a garbage dump. So they order you to move. You can take your house with you but the land has more intrinsic value to "society" as an open pit for garbage and you have no right to have it because they have decreed that it is worth more to "society" than it is to you.

What an utterly vile concept.

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I agree with both your assertions - as long as the market is a free market.

But my basic claim is that original-state land is not landlord's property. So, the question of his trading the property in the market does not arise. If you disagree with me, please refute my basic claim.

Landlord can, however, interact with market and trade the value he added to the land.

I disagree with you. You claim that individuals cannot own land. You claim society owns land. You used stolen concepts from Ayn Rand and a circular argument regarding morality contra Ayn Rand's definition of it to justify this. You determine therefore, that society owns all land.

Society cannot own the land because "society" can't own anything. Society is not an entity unto itself, but comprised of entities called individuals. Ownership of property means control over use and the reaping of rewards from that use. When the State owns, or virtually owns property, in no sense is this thing called "society" the owner. The government officials are the true owners, whatever the legal fiction adopted. Any attempt by society to exercise the function of land ownership would mean land nationalization. Nationalization would not eliminate ownership by individuals, it would simply transfer this ownership from producers to bureaucrats.

Neither can any scheme exist where every individual will have “equal access” to the use of land. How could this possibly happen? The only way such equality could be enforced is for no one to use any land at all. But this would mean the end of the human race.

Now you claim that regardless, every man has a right to equal access of the land becuase it is immoral for an individual to own land. This claim is self-contradictory. Man enters the the world with just himself and the world around him - the land and nature exists as a part of the reality of being born on planet Earth. A man cannot produce anything without cooperation of the land (if only as standing room.) Therefore, if an individual cannot own original land, neither can he in the same sense own any of the fruits of his labor. You cannot eat your cake and have it. You cannot permit a man to own the fruits of his labor while denying him ownership of the original materials which he uses and transforms. It is either one or the other. To own his product, a man must also own the material which was originally a part of nature, and now has been remolded by him. Now that his labor has been inextricably mixed with land, he cannot be deprived of one without being deprived of the other.

Also you are operating under the Labor Theory of Value, or some other intrinsic theory of value which says the land has some kind of value determined either by its nature or by the amount of labor it took to make it fertilie, or its rarity, etc. But this cannot be true because a value presupposes the questions "to whom" and "for what" as Randroid pointed out. If there is no valuer, then the land has no value. In order for a plot of land to be of value, man had to appropriate it for his use. So if no one has used the land yet, no one owns it. You have yet to establish why "everyone" should own it. And once he does own it, voluntary agreement is actually the only way to deal with him freely. There is no intrinsicly "fair" amount for him to charge according to some innate property of the land, or its scarcity, or how much he has made it fertile. Man values goods according to the relative importance of the satisfaction they provide. A price is the intersection of the values two individuals are willing to give up in a voluntary transaction to attain mutually beneficial states. Therefore, market prices are objective expressions of the aggregate valuations of individuals of certain ends, and the price is effected by the law of supply and demand (unless the landlord decides to give it away as a gift or charity.)

So the question remains: If a producer is not entitled to the products of his labor, his creativity, his efforts (including wages earned in the marketplace, rent, interest, and profit, etc.) then who is? How can you rationally establish why a Pakistani child should have the right to a plot of farmland in Iowa that someone has transformed into a wheat field?

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Guys,

I will re-read all your responses over the weekend, and will again join the debate.

At this point, I also want to express that I am happy being a part of this forum because I can see that the members are serious about their views - even if there is disagreement.

Unfortunately, I find less people around me (physically) who are willing to debate such issues, and display such conviction and seriousness.

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Friends,

To continue and re-frame this debate, I am breaking down my argument in 4 parts: A, B, C and D.

A is a metaphysical fact. B and C are conditions. D is a conditional claim with its support.

My aproach is to get agreement on D based on condtions B and C. After that I will debate why conditions B and C are true.

This way we can debate in a structured manner, and without scattering the debate into non-core or non-fundamental issues.

A. Nature provides us original-state land which has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees by location).

B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

C. If we can show that the wheat grown on this land fetches a price which is a sum of both this intrinsic value and the value-add by humans, then a moral question arises - who should claim that part of the price which has arisen due to the intrinsic value of land?

D. So, if that moral question arises, the answer to that question would be: Every man has equal claim on this intrinsic value part. Because, this intrinsic value part is being paid (as part of price) to some individual. And that individual has not done anything to earn this part. So, if it HAS to be paid, then it should be paid to no particular person, but to everyone.

My suggestions for your responses:

1) Please respond in following format: Claim statement.Support statement. Because this is how we can do a logical debate.

2) Please let me know where you stand on A, B, C and D. You have three options: Agree, Disagree, Open (want to explore)

3) Please don't useg inductive logic (e.g. arguing that: A claim implies bureaucracy. Bureaucracy we have 'seen' is bad. Hence, your position is wrong).

Also, please feel free to challenge me even on my suggestions above.

If any of you feels that my above-mentioned situation is a hypothetical one, then indicate so and I will respond. I want to know very clearly the source of your disagreement.

Edited by Saurabh

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B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

... ...

2) Please let me know where you stand on A, B, C and D. You have three options: Agree, Disagree, Open (want to explore)

Disagree. I see this claim as arbitrary.

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...

A. Nature provides us original-state land which has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees by location).

B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

C. If we can show that the wheat grown on this land fetches a price which is a sum of both this intrinsic value and the value-add by humans, then a moral question arises - who should claim that part of the price which has arisen due to the intrinsic value of land?

D. So, if that moral question arises, the answer to that question would be: Every man has equal claim on this intrinsic value part. Because, this intrinsic value part is being paid (as part of price) to some individual. And that individual has not done anything to earn this part. So, if it HAS to be paid, then it should be paid to no particular person, but to everyone.

...

1) Please respond in following format: Claim statement.Support statement. Because this is how we can do a logical debate.

2) Please let me know where you stand on A, B, C and D. You have three options: Agree, Disagree, Open (want to explore)

3) Please don't useg inductive logic (e.g. arguing that: A claim implies bureaucracy. Bureaucracy we have 'seen' is bad. Hence, your position is wrong).

...

1)

Claim: Option D is false. Option D is invalid.

Support: Option D presupposes innate value (of a thing) to "everyone". The concept of value is only valid if one acts to gain or keep it. To one that has no use for or ability to exploit the land, the value would be 0 (i.e. no value). By relying on "value to all" as the underlying justification, you've contradicted your end argument. You claim an "individual" (that is exploiting the land) has "not done anything" to earn a certain "part" of the value. Then, you conclude by saying that money should be paid to "everyone" who also have not "done anything" to earn that part. Is the individual part of the "everyone"? There is no logic in Option D.

2)

A - Agreed (so long as the word "state" is removed so as not to add confusion)

B - Disagree completely (for even if there were intrinsic value with no ownership, which there is not, it would mean that ONLY the appropriator has claimed that value. It would most definitely not mean that EVERYONE owns that value. Think about this: Pick some untouched land in the North Pole on top of oil. I have no way of exploiting this. Would I not have to take SOME ACTION before I could make any claim to that land, or is it just mine in perpetuity? Shall I wait for it to be exploited and expect some royalties?)

C - This is a question. I cannot disagree or agree. The question does rely on a false premise though.

D - See 1) above.

3)

I believe it is you that are guilty of using inductive logic here.

Edited by freestyle

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I disagree with condition B: You will not be able to show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value because there is no such thing as intrinsic value. All value is subjective.

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I disagree with condition B: You will not be able to show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value because there is no such thing as intrinsic value. All value is subjective.

Randroid,

Thanks for your response - as now we both are clear where our disagreement lies. Once I aggregate all responses, I will provide my support for condition B.

I am assuming that you are OK with the rest of the argument.

Freestyle,

Please support following claims:

3

2: "...for even if there were intrinsic value with no ownership, which there is not, it would mean that ONLY the appropriator of it has taken that value..."

Also w.r.t to your 1: Option D does not presupposes innate value ... It claims and supports that.

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Please support following claims:

2: "...for even if there were intrinsic value with no ownership, which there is not, it would mean that ONLY the appropriator of it has taken that value..."

You have stated (not supported, btw) that there is an intrinsic value to property that no one owns. You then proceed to associate ownership to someone (or more precisely, to "everyone"). You state that this intrinsic value "must not be appropriated by any one person". First, why not? Then, exactly who or "what" can appropriate it properly? (if not one who acts to do so)

To prove/support and solidify my statement:

ONLY the appropriator appropriates it. You see?

No matter if that appropriator is a "one" or a ?????, there must be an act of appropriation. You are using the verb appropriate.

Also w.r.t to your 1: Option D does not presupposes innate value ... It claims and supports that.

Yes, your option D does presuppose without support. In "B" you write, "IF we can show ... intrinsic value" As you see, that is a big "if".

I trust that clears those two issues up. I'll assume you accept the rest of my original reply.

Edit: BTW, this reminds me of a lot of good arguments made by AR in this: The Property Status of Airwaves By Ayn Rand

Edited by freestyle

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Disagree. I see this claim as arbitrary.

Can you support your claim?

When I say your claim is "arbitrary", I mean "not supported by any facts presented by you". Your statement "B" is unsupported by the other things you have stated. I suppose there must be some unstated premise that you have in mind, but you have not stated it.

You say: "If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person."

You have provided no justification for this claim.

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A. Nature provides us original-state land which has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees by location).

I would like to refine this statement. Men are born into a natural world which exists and has the nature of being useful to him in varying degrees.

B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

Disagree. Condition

If you mean this to be a condition which we must accept in order to argue against your argument itself, I'm sorry that is not how one conducts a debate and I will not grant validity to the "condition" that either "land has some intrinsic value" or that it "must not be appropriated by any one person".

All in all this statement isn't a condition; by which I mean there is nothing in your assumption that is a matter of fact with regard to land or with how men must use land. You offer no proof that land "must not be appropriated by any one person" indeed the majority of land is owned by one or more people thereby, as a matter of fact, disproving your assumption and disallowing your so called "condition".

C. If we can show that the wheat grown on this land fetches a price which is a sum of both this intrinsic value and the value-add by humans, then a moral question arises - who should claim that part of the price which has arisen due to the intrinsic value of land?

See above. This is just more assumption, more sneaking of false premises into the debate, so again I do not agree to your basic condition.

D. So, if that moral question arises, the answer to that question would be: Every man has equal claim on this intrinsic value part. Because, this intrinsic value part is being paid (as part of price) to some individual. And that individual has not done anything to earn this part. So, if it HAS to be paid, then it should be paid to no particular person, but to everyone.

What moral question? How can you suggest an answer if you have yet to prove that there even is a moral component to this whole disjointed collection of unfounded assumptions and assertions?

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A. Nature provides us original-state land which has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees by location).

Disagree.

Nature doesn't provide any individual with automatic land, that is a mystical thing that Georgists have invented. I don't know where you got this from, or how you seem to have convinced yourself to think this is in any way compatible with Rand's ethics, or Objectivism as a whole, or anything Rand ever wrote because it isn't. One thing I do know is that Henry George claimed that God provides man with "original-state land" and that is the metaphysical base that George used to justify his assrtion that land belongs equally to all of humanity (not to mention his ethics were also based on natural rights which were "gifts from God".) So do you believe land is God-given? Why or why not?

B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

Disagree.

The concept of intrinsic value is self-refuting. There can be no value without a valuer.

C. If we can show that the wheat grown on this land fetches a price which is a sum of both this intrinsic value and the value-add by humans, then a moral question arises - who should claim that part of the price which has arisen due to the intrinsic value of land?

Disagree.

Again, there is no such thing as intrinsic value. And as stated in my previous post: a price is the intersection of the values two individuals are willing to give up in a voluntary transaction to attain mutually beneficial states and the price of the good will be equal to its marginal utility to the person who desires it and the stock available. May I suggest "What is Capitalism?" from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and Ludwig von Mises' Human Action which expounds on moral and economic values and prices.

Edit: Plus, I see no way for you to much such a determination without dispatching a gang of bureaucrats or "appraisers" and they would be the ones to determine the value according to their whims based on what they perceive to be a mystical intrinsic value which doesn't exist, so the value would not be determined intrinsictly, just subjectively by someone other than market participants. Since the land would have no market value, then the arbitrary determination would result in waste and misallocation of productive resources.

D. So, if that moral question arises, the answer to that question would be: Every man has equal claim on this intrinsic value part. Because, this intrinsic value part is being paid (as part of price) to some individual. And that individual has not done anything to earn this part. So, if it HAS to be paid, then it should be paid to no particular person, but to everyone.

Disagree.

There is no way to "pay money to everyone," you are simply taking money (through robbery) from some people and giving it to other people. Whatever legal fiction you make up about "equal access" and "societal ownership" will never change that. If you place a 100% tax on land rent, (which will remove the delusions of exploitation that arrises from their intrinsic value and suffice to conduct all the operations of government) then what point is there in charging rent in the first place, and how does that not amount to outright nationalization? Since all rent is being siphoned off to the government, there is no incentive to charge any rent at all. And if site owners cannot obtain any net rent, then the market value of all land will fall promptly to zero. If rents are 0, then a 100% tax on rents will yeild exactly $0 (not to mention the total chaos that would ensue from the implications of that.) Then how are you going to "pay money to everyone?" With what money?

Edited by 2046

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Freestyle,

You state that this intrinsic value "must not be appropriated by any one person". First, why not?

By what right can appropriator claim that value. He can only claim the value he creates, right?

Yes, your option D does presuppose without support. In "B" you write, "IF we can show ... intrinsic value" As you see, that is a big "if".

I take back this line. I actually meant the following:

'Also w.r.t to your 1: Option D does not presupposes innate value to everyone... It claims and supports that'.

Thx for link to AR's article. I will read it.

Softwarenerd,

You say: "If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person."

You have provided no justification for this claim.

I did justify my claim saying that : "...this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil".

If you are not satisfied, may I place the burden now on you to prove that this value can be appropriated rightfully by someone? (In fact this burden of proof lies on Freestyle and Zip as well).

Zip,

I agree with your refinement of A.

"If you mean this to be a condition which we must accept in order to argue against your argument itself, I'm sorry that is not how one conducts a debate...".

I mean this to be a condition that I am putting, in order to argue. My condition is: 'If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value'. Do you realize that the question of 'accepting' does not arise for this sentence? Most likely you mean my following statement: '...then this value must not be appropriated by any one person'. In which case please see my response to softwarenerd.

I will respond to your remaining post, once you agree (or logically diasgree) with my debate approach.

2046,

'Nature doesn't provide any individual with automatic land...'

I don't understand this statement. Request you to use more accurate words. Moreover, I used the word 'us' not 'individual'.

"The concept of intrinsic value is self-refuting...".

I don't understand this statement. Request you to elaborate. Thanks.

"...There can be no value without a valuer".

I agree with you here, but I think this is a trivial statement. Please clarify if you think otherwise.

Let us first clear these basic things, and the debate on the remaining argument.

Edited by Saurabh

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I did justify my claim saying that : "...this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil".
How? I don't see it anywhere? One cannot say that the use of "because" is justification. The way I read your statement, it is like saying: "You must not wear black, because black is the darkest color" What has being dark have anything to do with not wearing it? (Fallacy of the "missing middle"? something along those lines.)

Similarly, back to your statement: what has human action got to do with right to appropriate?

If you are not satisfied, may I place the burden now on you to prove that this value can be appropriated rightfully by someone? (In fact this burden of proof lies on Freestyle and Zip as well).
The burden of proof lies on you, to prove how the absence of prior human action should prevent human appropriation. I can see no connection between the two.

BTW, this is the crux of the thing. Everything else is noise in comparison. If you cannot show this link, you will not get far with the rest.

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If you are not satisfied, may I place the burden now on you to prove that this value can be appropriated rightfully by someone? (In fact this burden of proof lies on Freestyle and Zip as well).

No. You have made the claim in starting the argument so the burden of proof of that claim still rests with you. You have not proven your hypothesis, you have not even tried. Prove that there is there intrinsic value in land, prove that men should not appropriate land, prove that there is any sot of excess wealth in anything I or anyone else produces from land, prove that anyone but the owner who has put the productive effort into getting crops or minerals or use out of the land should share the product of his labour with anyone else.

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Softwarenerd and Zip,

I may take back the burden of proof, but let me digress from the original debate for a while: If B is debating on an issue and he disagrees with A's position, then B needs to prove why he disagrees. so, the burden of proof comes to B in such case.

However, B is right to put the entire burden on A if B does not have a starting position- and A wants B to take a position. In which case B's correct reaction is: 'I don't understand' (and not 'I disagree').

Let me please know the nature of your reaction, before I can respond to your refutations.

So, to summarize:

If your reaction is: I don't understand; then tell me so I will take the burden of proof.

But, if your reaction is: I disagree; then please take the burden of proof and do the needful.

Thanks!

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Softwarenerd and Zip,

I may take back the burden of proof, but let me digress from the original debate for a while: If B is debating on an issue and he disagrees with A's position, then B needs to prove why he disagrees. so, the burden of proof comes to B in such case.

However, B is right to put the entire burden on A if B does not have a starting position- and A wants B to take a position. In which case B's correct reaction is: 'I don't understand' (and not 'I disagree').

Let me please know the nature of your reaction, before I can respond to your refutations.

So, to summarize:

If your reaction is: I don't understand; then tell me so I will take the burden of proof.

But, if your reaction is: I disagree; then please take the burden of proof and do the needful.

Thanks!

No. You are wrong. Your argument is based on a false premise which you have not even tried to prove in any way. The onus to prove the point remains with the person who started the debate.

I could start a debate as you have with the following.

A: Men live on the planet Earth and the earth is usefull. (metaphysical fact)

B: If we can show that Hybrid Pink fairy/Trolls also live on the planet then we must agree that hybrid pink fairy/Trolls also deserve their fair share of the usefull earth. (condition)

C: Therefore the facts dictate that men must give hybrid pink fairy/Trolls their fair share. It is a moral imperitive.

To which you say "No, Hybrid Pink fairy/Trolls don't exist."

And then by your logic I can turn around and tell you that the onus is on you to prove that they don't?

Ridiculous.

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All value is subjective.

Be careful here. Just because all value depends on a valuer doesn't mean that all value is subjective. There are values which are objective.

It is similar to the argument by CMJ (?) in another thread where he contends that since all perception depends on a perceiver, all perception is subjective; this is false also.

"Objective" refers to the relationship between a consciousness and reality. Truth is not automatic and so the truth about whether something is an objective value must be validated by a process of thought -- by looking at reality and using reason.

-----------------------------

Looking back I think this is probably what you meant since you are refuting intrinsic value so maybe we should just chalk this post up to proper usage of "objective". :thumbsup:

Edited to add last paragraph.

Edited by Marc K.

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2046,

I don't understand this statement. Request you to use more accurate words. Moreover, I used the word 'us' not 'individual'.

What is an "us?" A group is nothing more than a group of individuals. That's as accurate as it gets. You said nature provides people with land. It doesn't. If you mean as a part of an existence in the material world on planet Earth that there is land around us, then yes, but nature is not a person and doesn't provide anything. A pioneer provides himself with land by using his mind to discover the things he needs to survive. Those unowned material things he puts to use are his private property.

Now answer to the rest of my argument. You are basically taking George's statement that God provides man as a collective with land, so no individual can own it, only you are subsituting "God" with "Nature" but what's the difference? The statement is equally as arbitrary and based on mysticism. God or Nature are giving the human race collectively a gift. Is this what you believe, yes or no?

I don't understand this statement.

I agree with you here, but I think this is a trivial statement. Please clarify if you think otherwise.

It's not trivial, the sentence "There can be no value without a valuer" is the clarification.

But I agree with Zip and SoftwareNerd that you still haven't even attempted to prove your original assertion that anything has intrinsic value. You just said "if there is..." and ask me to disprove it. You call that a debate? You make the assertions, it's not my job to disprove them before you can offer any evidence whether I agree with it or not. It's still arbitrary until you prove it. Otherwise my rebuttal to everything you have just said is "You're wrong because there's a magical pink unicorn that told me so" and you have to disprove that.

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Zip, Softwarenerd, 2046, and Randriod

I have aggregated below all the objections that you have raised on my argument. Please let me know if I am missing any objection.

I will respond to the objections later today. At this point, I also encourage people who agree (if applicable) with my argument (or approach, or partial argument), to let their agreement known. Thx!

My argument:

A. Nature provides us original-state land which has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees by location).

B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

C. If we can show that the wheat grown on this land fetches a price which is a sum of both this intrinsic value and the value-add by humans, then a moral question arises - who should claim that part of the price which has arisen due to the intrinsic value of land?

D. So, if that moral question arises, the answer to that question would be: Every man has equal claim on this intrinsic value part. Because, this intrinsic value part is being paid (as part of price) to some individual. And that individual has not done anything to earn this part. So, if it HAS to be paid, then it should be paid to no particular person, but to everyone.

Objections raised on the argument so far:

On B:

Prove that there is there intrinsic value in land

Prove how the absence of prior human action should prevent human appropriation

On c:

Prove that there is any sot of excess wealth in anything I or anyone else produces from land

On D:

A pioneer provides himself with land by using his mind to discover the original properties of land

Prove that anyone but the owner who has put the productive effort into getting crops or minerals or use out of the land should share the product of his labour with anyone else

P.S. Marc, Thanks for joinining the debate. Can you let us know your full position on the issue?

Edited by Saurabh

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My argument:

A. Nature provides us original-state land which has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees by location).

B. If we can show that this original-state land has some intrinsic value, then this value must not be appropriated by any one person. Because, this intrinsic value has not created by human action. It has been created by the original powers of the soil.

C. If we can show that the wheat grown on this land fetches a price which is a sum of both this intrinsic value and the value-add by humans, then a moral question arises - who should claim that part of the price which has arisen due to the intrinsic value of land?

D. So, if that moral question arises, the answer to that question would be: Every man has equal claim on this intrinsic value part. Because, this intrinsic value part is being paid (as part of price) to some individual. And that individual has not done anything to earn this part. So, if it HAS to be paid, then it should be paid to no particular person, but to everyone.

Objections raised on the argument so far:

On B:

1. Prove that there is there intrinsic value in land

2. Prove that there is any sot of excess wealth in anything I or anyone else produces from land

3. Prove how the absence of prior human action should prevent human appropriation

Edit: (Moved C1 to B2)

On D:

1. A pioneer provides himself with land by using his mind to discover the original properties of land

2. Prove that anyone but the owner who has put the productive effort into getting crops or minerals or use out of the land should share the product of his labour with anyone else

On B1 and B2: There is no need to prove this statement right now. This is because my argument is in two-stages:

Stage 1: Prove that If B and If C, then D.

Stage 2: Prove B. Prove C.

I am still at the stage 1 of the debate. I did make this approach clear in my original post: '..My aproach is to get agreement on D based on condtions B and C. After that I will debate why my conditions B and C are true..)!

On B3: This is a fair objection (in terms of being a stage 1 question). I will respond to this in my next post.

On D1 and D2: These are similar objections, and I will respond to both.

Edited by Saurabh

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On B1 and B2: There is no need to prove this statement right now. This is because my argument is in two-stages:

That actually made me laugh out loud.

Stage 1: Prove that If B and If C, then D.

Stage 2: Prove B. Prove C.

I am still at the stage 1 of the debate. I did make this approach clear in my original post: '..My aproach is to get agreement on D based on condtions B and C. After that I will debate why my conditions B and C are true..)!

On B3: This is a fair objection (in terms of being a stage 1 question). I will respond to this in my next post.

On D1 and D2: These are similar objections, and I will respond to both.

*

A deductive argument asserts that the truth of the conclusion is a logical consequence of the premises. Deductive arguments are valid or invalid, and sound or not sound. An argument is valid if and only if the truth of the conclusion is a logical consequence of the premises and (consequently) its corresponding conditional is a necessary truth. A sound argument is a valid argument with true premises.

Since your corresponding conditional is not a truth your argument has no basis and therefore you must argue that point prior to proceeding any farther with this debate.

Your trying to argue a foregone conclusion by making us grant legitimacy to your assumptions and that isn't going to happen.

Start again Saurabh.

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This is because my argument is in two-stages:

Stage 1: Prove that If B and If C, then D.

Stage 2: Prove B. Prove C.

I am still at the stage 1 of the debate.

I think this is a poor way to approach any argument. Any logical argument is all about showing that your premises are true. Deducing the obvious conclusions from true premises is a relatively easy step.

Anyhow, I'll play along.

Your "C" asks a question, so forget that: it isn't part of the argument as such. We're left with B and D. In B, you assert that a man may not appropriate anything that he did not create. In D you say that this portion (the portion he did not create) belongs to all men. Logically, D does not follow from B: even if it were true that a man has no right to X, it would not follow (as a matter of formal syllogism) that all men have such a right. The right could equally belong only to everyone except the appropriator, it could belong to all animal, it could belong to nobody... there is no logical link between B and D.

Anyhow, since B is unsupported, this exercise is really academic.

Edited by softwareNerd

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