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Saurabh

Private property rights in natural resources

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By what right can appropriator claim that value.[?]
That is the exact question I meant for you to ask.

Now that you have, can you answer it? You can attempt this using the two alternatives being discussed:

Individual: The appropriator is an individual.

Collective: The appropriator is somehow a nebulas "everyone"

This should illustrate your need to support your foundational argument that there is a sort of excess "inherent value" to things. But, of course, you've looped yourself right back to the beginning and now need to "appropriate" that value to someone, by some means. So, who is appropriating this inherent value? And, of course, by what right?

He can only claim the value he creates, right?

Getting warmer... As you stick to the contradiction, you have made it impossible for anyone to have the right to appropriate something that posesses what you call "inherent value". Therefore that thing cannot be touched by anyone, ever. So, do you still think it has value?

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I am starting again to be more clear. (Freestyle I will respond to your post later).

My re-phrased argument:

A. Original-state land has the property of being fertile (albeit in varying degrees)

B. This gives land some intrinsic value (IV)

C. This IV becomes a part of the wheat's price (which ends up with a human being as $)

D. Every man has equal claim on the part of the price paid for IV. Because, this IV ends up as $ with some individual; and that individual has not done anything to earn it. So, it should be paid to no particular person, but to all.

My approach for the debate:

Stage 1: Prove that D is true (conditional on B and C).

Stage 2: Prove B. Prove C.

My rationale for choosing this approach:

We need to debate B, C and D. Out of these three, D is the most important moral arguement for me.

B and C are economics arguments. (note that I changed B to remove the moral component from it). For these two arguements, I will need to read a few economics textbooks, which will take time. (Though I have reasonable confidence that B and C will turn to be true).

Hence, I first seek debate on D. 'Coz even after proving B and C, D may turn out be wrong.

I am just trying to prioritize my effort, as I am taught to do in my profession.

But you may disagree with my approach logically - and then I will react appropriately

Edited by Saurabh

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D. Every man has equal claim on the part of the price paid for IV. Because, this IV ends up as $ with some individual; and that individual has not done anything to earn it. So, it should be paid to no particular person, but to all.

Why does every man have equal claim from the start?

Why wouldn't every man have NO claim from the start?

This would solve your desire to have your unnamed appropriator appropriate the un-generated wealth to "all" people... somehow.

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Around and around we go...

Of value to whom? For What?

Define everyone.

How can you claim that the person who puts the land to work is not deserving of its value but at the same time demand that people who have done absolutely nothing but draw breath are deserving of the value?

If you truly believe in this concept I would appreciate receiving my cheque from you this month. You are quite far in arears as you have been taking up space on our planet for the last 33 years and have not been paying me or any of the other 6 billion people on it for its intrinsic worth.

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Why does every man have equal claim from the start?

Why wouldn't every man have NO claim from the start?

This would solve your desire to have your unnamed appropriator appropriate the un-generated wealth to "all" people... somehow.

Freestyle,

I assume you agree with my debating approach.

Every man cannot have NO claim because that IV is already floating in form of $ in the economy. Because it has been paid as part of price to someone. Now we must 'diffuse' these $ equally. (Please don't bother right now about how we will do it).

You see my point?

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Around and around we go...

Of value to whom? For What?

Define everyone.

How can you claim that the person who puts the land to work is not deserving of its value but at the same time demand that people who have done absolutely nothing but draw breath are deserving of the value?

If you truly believe in this concept I would appreciate receiving my cheque from you this month. You are quite far in arears as you have been taking up space on our planet for the last 33 years and have not been paying me or any of the other 6 billion people on it for its intrinsic worth.

I will send my cheque to the society once and if my assertions are proven to be true - and a systematic and convincing analysis is done of how much I owe.

I own a piece of land, on which I may be appropriating some rent unfairly.

Do you own any land? And I hope that if this debate is concluded logically (favoring my position), then will you send your check as well.

Edited by Saurabh

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Saurabh, You're simply repeating the same thing with slightly different words. If something is unused and unclaimed, any man may use and claim it. (You would change "any man" to "no man".) Not sure why you would restrict freedom in this way. Rights are about freedom, they're about allowing men the maximum possible freedom, and drawing a line past which others cannot reach. Rights are not a way to allow people to make claims of random things unconnected with any action they have taken.

Edited by softwareNerd

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Freestyle,

I assume you agree with my debating approach.

Every man cannot have NO claim because that IV is already floating in form of $ in the economy. Because it has been paid as part of price to someone. Now we must 'diffuse' these $ equally. (Please don't bother right now about how we will do it).

You see my point?

No, that is incoherent.

You are arguing that because something exists, we all share a right to its "inherent value". That contradicts the meaning, first of rights, and then of value, plain and simple. You are avoiding the debate and hoping to have someone agree with your conclusion.

The "floating"... "$ in the economy" is an absurd notion.

If a bar of gold falls from the heavens you would argue that it must be distributed equally to the 5 billion people on this earth. And you tell me not to bother about how we will distribute it, so I won't. To continue, I will assume the Venetian Pink Fairy Trolls volunteer (at no charge for their efforts) to make this distribution and delivery possible to each human. I'll have to assume someone (you) with some (arbitrary) authority over this decision has allowed it.

Now, I'm not a scientist, but I would question whether or not I would even get an atom sized piece of that bar. My part was clearly, unquestionably, undeniably, undoubtedly UN-EARNED. And finally, that "inherently valuable" bar of gold has been completely destroyed.

P.S. I most certainly do not agree with your debating approach. I am engaging in it in hopes that you will realize the flaw. I'm surprised you're still avoiding the main issue of VALUE.

Edited by freestyle

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I own a piece of land, on which I may be appropriating some rent unfairly.

May be? No, to use your reasoning you most certainly are. The land upon which the apartment resides was here before you, before all of us therefore its intrinsic value demands payment. For that matter the wood and iron and concrete and rock and rubber and plastic which makes up the component parts of that apartment all had intrinsic value which you must pay for.

Me? No, I'm not paying and I'll defend my right to own and exploit property to the death.

You will never prove that a grain of sand in Sub-Saharan Africa is of value to me or that the rock sitting in my garden is of value to a man in Bangladesh. This whole concept is just a thinly veiled attempt to create some sort of environmental communism which will breed a commensurate loss of liberty, an equivalent growth in misery and a heaping of iron fisted governmental tyranny.

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If something is unused and unclaimed, any man may use and claim it.

sotwarenerd,

I really like the way you have defined the concepts of rights. Thx!

Also, my dilemma in accepting your above statement is that: If a man claims that land today, he precludes the unborn from claiming it.

He may use the land and righfully own the value created by him. But he can't own the scarce source of value creation - the land.

What do you think?

Edited by Saurabh

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May be? No, to use your reasoning you most certainly are. The land upon which the apartment resides was here before you, before all of us therefore its intrinsic value demands payment. For that matter the wood and iron and concrete and rock and rubber and plastic which makes up the component parts of that apartment all had intrinsic value which you must pay for.

Me? No, I'm not paying and I'll defend my right to own and exploit property to the death.

You will never prove that a grain of sand in Sub-Saharan Africa is of value to me or that the rock sitting in my garden is of value to a man in Bangladesh. This whole concept is just a thinly veiled attempt to create some sort of environmental communism which will breed a commensurate loss of liberty, an equivalent growth in misery and a heaping of iron fisted governmental tyranny.

Would you not pay even if it is proven that my position is right? (I am asking this for personal curiousity. It has no bearing on the debate. You may choose not to answer.)

Edited by Saurabh

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I most certainly do not agree with your debating approach. I am engaging in it in hopes that you will realize the flaw. I'm surprised you're still avoiding the main issue of VALUE.

If you do not agree with my approach, then may I suggest that we discuss that first?

Because, if the means are wrong, then the end can't be justified. Thx!

Edited by Saurabh

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If you do not agree with my approach, then may I suggest that we discuss that first?

Because, if the means are wrong, then the end can't be justified. Thx!

Other posters in this thread have attempted to explain. But I'll do so in your approach and see if it helps.

"A is a metaphysical fact. B is a condition. D is a conditional claim with its support."

A. Lava exists on our earth and is liquid

B. This makes lava the only liquid on earth

D. This proves that all non-lava liquids found on earth must be man-made.

Now, Saurabh. Please tell me that you agree with D so we can move on. :D

Edited by freestyle

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Would you not pay even if it is proven that my position is right? (I am asking this for personal curiousity. It has no bearing on the debate. You may choose not to answer.)

Your position is most definitely not correct, but if someone was able to prove that pink unicorns existed for example then I would have to follow the law of existence and agree. The difference there is that someone could prove to me that a pink unicorn existed by showing me one and letting me touch it and verify its very real existence.

How do you propose to prove that a man who creates a boat (a human creation) out of a tree is only entitled to a portion of the money (a human creation) which is brought into the market (a human creation) and that society (an ever changing human construct) is to share in the rest?

How are you going to objectively determine the amount which is human effort and that which is creation? If a tree grew in a rain forest is it worth less because things grow there easily? Will it cost more if it grew in poor soil?

Show me the intrinsic value of anything.

Gold is useless to a starving man, water is useless if you are drowning, Food is useless if you are suffocating.

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I will send my cheque to the society once and if my assertions are proven to be true - and a systematic and convincing analysis is done of how much I owe.

And until then on what moral basis are you continuing to use the land for free?

Morality is a code of values for a person to live by. If I thought I didn't have a right to my property (because it was stolen for instance), I would give it up right away, even if society didn't "think" it was wrong. That is the measure of how much I hold my morality to be true. I would never go around violating people's rights, even though society seems to think less and less that they are to be protected.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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... my dilemma in accepting your above statement is that: If a man claims that land today, he precludes the unborn from claiming it.
Rights are about what living people may do or may not do. When a human being comes into existence, we recognize that they have rights. However, when we say "rights" we do not mean they own something for which they have done nothing. They simply have the right to remain unmolested, and the right to acquire values (when they're old enough to do so, of course). Truly, no person has a right to any value, only to take the action necessary to appropriate nature and create it into a value. Organized right, the world is chock full of opportunities to acquire values. There are no practical scarcities of values. There's an abundance of land, an abundance of food, an abundance of water and an abundance of energy. It is true that these are not abundant in some places, but that is a political problem, not a natural one. Today, scarcity arises only because man has not applied the truly infinite resource: his brain (and most often because his government does not let him do so freely).

All this is relevant, and indeed a vital part of the context of individual rights. Since the world offers an abundance of values, we do not have to be concerned that someone is grabbing too much. The pie is practically infinite. Nobody has a right to any part of the pie. All they have is the right to add on to it. Land and nature are not the primary source of value: man's mind is. Before man's mind thought of chips, what was the value in silicon? All an individual needs is the right (i.e. the freedom) to add on as much pie as his mind and effort will allow him to add on. These values that he creates are taken from no other person. Quite the contrary. Invariably, in the creation of value, others benefit too.

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If I thought I didn't have a right to my property (because it was stolen for instance), I would give it up right away, even if society didn't "think" it was wrong. That is the measure of how much I hold my morality to be true.

That impresses me (in the context of my argument only - not for stealing as it is understood conventionally).

And until then on what moral basis are you continuing to use the land for free?

I do not want to respond to that question - since you do not have a claim on my practising my morality. But, I will think more and respond, if you can convince me logically.

Edited by Saurabh

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"A is a metaphysical fact. B is a condition. D is a conditional claim with its support."

A. Lava exists on our earth and is liquid

B. This makes lava the only liquid on earth

D. This proves that all non-lava liquids found on earth must be man-made.

Now, Saurabh. Please tell me that you agree with D so we can move on. :D

Freestyle,

Thanks for agreeing to debate on the approach first.

Your structure above is not the same as mine - or you have not worded it properly. Would you like to make another attempt?

All,

Let us first conclude on my debating approach, before I can respond to any posts pertianing to my original debate.

I am in no unneccesary hurry to conclude the original debate.

Edited by Saurabh

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I do not want to respond to that question - since you do not have a claim on my practising my morality. But, I will think more and respond, if you can convince me logically.

Convince you of what? That if morality isn't practiced, then it is useless? What other possible use would you have for it, other than to practice it.

And while you're looking for the right morality, you have to live according to some morality. Right now, you are living according to someone else's morality, because the one you're preaching would be impossible to live off of. You couldn't survive, if you gave up your claim to all land, you would need the government to take care of you.

And since never, in the history of mankind, has a government selflessly fulfilled even the most basic needs of a helpless nation (a. because it's impossible, b. because why would they?), there is no way on Earth that you could ever practice that morality. It will always be just as useless as it is now.

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I do not want to respond to that question - since you do not have a claim on my practising my morality. But, I will think more and respond, if you can convince me logically.

Convince you of what? That if morality isn't practiced, then it is useless? What other possible use would you have for it, other than to practice it.

The issue involved in the posts above is not 'whether I am practising my morality'. The issue now becomes: 'whether you have any claim on that' I asked you to convince me on this issue.

You see my point?

Also, let us not use this thread to debate two issues. We can start a new thread for the second issue.

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I do not want to respond to that question - since you do not have a claim on my practising my morality. But, I will think more and respond, if you can convince me logically.

Wait a second. Was it not you that made an appeal to morality when in your second post on this topic you stated

This is my moral defense. Now, if you disagree with this, may I ask you to give me the moral justification for your position?

So you seem to think that we owe you justification for our moral position but you are exempt?

Actually looking back on this topic all I see are instances where once confronted with logic and/or pressed for specifics you evade or dismiss the points as unimportant. Like when you told Jake;

I urge you to not think of any 'given' definition of rights, but to just thinks of rights simply as 'fair' claims; and then debate on the topic.
while conveniently blanking out the fact that rights are clearly defined and must be to proceed with such an argument.

Or when you said to Castle;

Let use not use the argument that: State-property implies communism. Communism we all know is bad. Hence, state-property is bad. Let us not bring unnecessary concepts into discussion. Communism is a complex concept which has no implication for the moral question I have raised - and I would keep it out of this debate.
conveniently skirting a vital part of your assumption and blanking out that communism is exactly what you are talking about albeit in an ecological form.

Or how about when you told softwareNerd that;

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".
while blanking out the fact that an assumption is not a proof.

This statement you then compounded ridiculously up by saying;

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).
thus trying to refocus the burden of proof onto the people who never made the original claim.

And through this all you have maintained that;

I am still at the stage 1 of the debate. I did make this approach clear in my original post: '..My approach is to get agreement on D based on conditions B and C. After that I will debate why my conditions B and C are true..)!
while completely ignoring the fact hat you are asking for an agreement to a false premise in order to gain a concession about the correctness of your position!

I'm done here. This is useless, worse than useless actually. You are being disingenuous when you claim that you are interested in debate. If you were interested in debate then you would not be evading the argument on your initial false premises

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Wait a second. Was it not you that made an appeal to morality when in your second post on this topic you stated

So you seem to think that we owe you justification for our moral position but you are exempt?

I'm done here. This is useless, worse than useless actually...

Zip,

Thanks for your participation so far. I also grateful that you are taking time to read my past posts, as it can be quite tedious.

I urge everyone to please continue on the debate only if it serves your own self-interest.

I respect this forum and the effort people have been making (assuming they are doing it for their own self-interest).

And I think the confusion may be happening because I may have communicated in my posts that my position on the issue is already concluded in my mind.

Actually, it is not. If it were then why would I debate?

My position is still open, and I am debating so that mutual intellectual challenge can refine my thinking, and help me take a position. This is my self-interest.

Now, in my mind, defining and practising morality are two separate sequential acts. And I am, initially, searching for the right morality (w.r.t to individual rights on land).

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Zip,

Here is my defence:

Actually looking back on this topic all I see are instances where once confronted with logic and/or pressed for specifics you evade or dismiss the points as unimportant. Like when you told Jake: I urge you to not think of any 'given' definition of rights, but to just thinks of rights simply as 'fair' claims; and then debate on the topic.; while conveniently blanking out the fact that rights are clearly defined and must be to proceed with such an argument.

Jake's definition already refuted my argument. I hope you will agree that a man-made definition can't refute an argument.

Hence, I asked him to only keep 'fair claims' in mind.

I favor using as simple as possible concepts in a debate. This prevents the debate from getting derailed due to disagreement over complex concepts that convey multiple meanings. Words like Rights (or Value) may mean different things to different people. So I use the word Claim. Because that was as basic as I could get.

Now, I want your reaction to the above, before I spend my time replying to your other objections.

Edited by Saurabh

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Hence, I asked him to only keep 'fair claims' in mind.

I favor using as simple as possible concepts in a debate.

Using a term "fair claims" does not make things any clearer or any easier. What is fair to me will be seen as unfair by an egalitarian. To me, it is unfair for anyone to claim anything unless he took some action to appropriate, use or create that thing. To an egalitarian, Bill Gates's immense wealth is unfair.

To assume any meaning for the concept "fair" would be to beg the question.

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Jake's definition already refuted my argument. I hope you will agree that a man-made definition can't refute an argument.

This is so absurd I have to respond. What the hell are you going to base an argument on if you disallow the use of definitions. Without definitions there is no place to start. I could say that the sky is purple, you say, no it is blue, which I counter with the absurd notion that you can not refute my claim using a man-made definition.

That's the stupidest thing I've ever seen posted here.

I favor using as simple as possible concepts in a debate. This prevents the debate from getting derailed due to disagreement over complex concepts that convey multiple meanings. Words like Rights (or Value) may mean different things to different people. So I use the word Claim. Because that was as basic as I could get.

Now, I want your reaction to the above, before I spend my time replying to your other objections.

Simple doesn't necessarily mean correct or useful. I don't care what you think of the rest of my objections your absolute inability to talk, argue or define concretes means that there is no point in arguing with you at all. I might as well be trying to nail jello to a wall, wearing cement gloves while standing on my head and spitting nickles.

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