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One Shot Wonder

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  1. Fair enough. "Things don't tend to go well if people don't think they can own property" is a very poor reason to believe that property exists. Moreover, I don't think it's fair to say that the "slaves" aren't surviving qua man. After all, you're a slave right now, and you're probably not doing too badly. I also think that this is a very western idea. Honest White Folk tend to behave in the way you're describing, but there are lots of other places in the world that aren't populated by assholes, and where people really will kick in their share and are able to live collectively.
  2. You said that a claim was "ability to arbitrary use and disposal". And of course since claim only comes in two flavors, exclusive and none at all, then we might as well call claim the "exclusive ability to use and disposal". That's ownership. It's like trying to convince me that ghosts exist by assuming that spectres exist and going from there. It's the same damn thing. Let's say that I build an abacus and write some instructions and then just leave it tethered to the ground someplace. You'd say that no one has a claim on it, and thus that the abacus is useless. I'd say that despite the fact that no one has a claim on it, the abacus isn't useless. The smart-ass answer is, of course, "because an abacus is a tool and a tool implies utility". The real answer is that anyone can walk up to the thing and do a little math and walk away. It's useful until somebody breaks it, or until people start fighting over it, or, in short, until someone inevitably ruins it for everybody. Until then, though, it's a useful tool, and it seems silly to call such a thing valueless. Don't get me wrong -- I think this is a completely sorry economic system, and one which would very rapidly break down because people are greedy bastards who don't like to share. If everyone would play nice, it would work wonderfully, but the fact of the matter is that under such a system, the course of action which benefits an individual the most (take stuff) hurts the system. I think it's vitally important that people believe that they can own things, and feel safe leaving their house knowing that if someone's taken up residence there when they get home, the police will come throw that person out. All I'm contesting is the idea that the concept of ownership is something other than an invention that keeps the system running (like currency). Yes, it could not be physically shown to be producing. That's completely irrelevant, and come to think of it, not strictly true, either. We produce lots of things like languages which are valueless (by your definition) but are incredibly good evidence that we've got something going on upstairs.
  3. My question was about the existence of ownership. I wanted to see whether we had a reason to believe that ownership actually existed, or whether it was just a convenient thing to include in our ontology. The fact that I asked it for a reason (no ownership = no property = no property rights) has no real bearing; I just found it odd that you moved right back where I came from.
  4. You asked what would happen if someone took the product of my mind and reason away, and suggested that such a thing would negate the value of my mind and reason. I used sloppy terms, though, and we got off onto this thing about worth. Plus I got called brainwashed a few times, which was neat. Finally, This means that even if our mind and reason could be shown to be producing only valueless things in a propertyless environment, that would not mean that our mind and our reason did not exist in a way that separated us from apes and trees and plankton.
  5. The relevance is that if ownership is claim and claim is ownership, then no, sir, you cannot use the concept of claim to validate the concept of ownership.
  6. Ownership exists if property exists if property rights exist? That sounds very reasonable, given that rights are never about things that don't exist. Unfortunately, since I was only asking about ownership to determine whether property existed to determine whether property rights were real, your (incredibly solid) response really only moves the question back to where it came from.
  7. Who has exclusive claim on an organization? And more importantly, why do you keep ducking the god(s) question? This is the first time you've used this term. What do you mean by "the value of information"? You're not telling me whether you'd feel ripped off if an expensive DVD player broke right after the warranty lapsed. And you said before that non-exclusive claim is the same as no-claim, correct? That if a claim isn't exclusive, it might as well not be there at all? If that's the case, in what important way is exclusive claim not the exact same thing as ownership? Well, no, then. A social fiction is a subset of "that which is not reality". The present king of England is not reality, but it isn't a social fiction; things like religion, however, are (from an atheistic perspective) social fictions, because people buy into them and change their priorities for them and value them and treat them like they're real.
  8. Wrong. Dead, flat-out wrong. I've told you several times why it's wrong, and you never come back with a satifying response, you just say the same wrong thing again.
  9. What exclusive claim have I got on an organization that I value? What exclusive claim have I got on a pantheon that I value? Fine, worth, whatever. Answer the question. Tell me whether the fact that I will pay more for an advertised product than I will for an unadvertised product of similar quality means that the advertised product is of greater value than its otherwise equivalent counterpart. Contracts? I told you that there was a one-year warranty, and that a year had passed. Answer the question. Will you feel ripped off? Actually, I was going to tell you that I dated my wife longer than you dated yours, and tell you that we've been married longer. Then I was going to offer to trade. I mean, obviously my wife is of greater value than yours is, because I invested more time in pursuing her. Assuming both our wives were willing, would you jump at the deal? A claim is ability to arbitrary use and disposal. Excellent. I will go back and read some of your older stuff with this in mind. Just for my personal edification: ownership is simply exclusive claim, correct? It could be, I don't know. What's the Oist definition of mysticism?
  10. That's really more than fair -- and it shows that the concept of property and the respect thereof are wonderful social conventions, and things go well when everyone buys into them. But I want is something a bit deeper than "well you wouldn't like it if someone took your stuff now would you?" That's something we teach two year olds, and thus something we usually take for granted. It's not really enough for me anymore. What I want is to see someone show me that property and ownership are something other than invented ideas that keep the wheels greased.
  11. I suspect that taking my car would be immoral, and I'd rather you left it alone. I don't know that it is, though, which is why I'm posing my question.
  12. Now I will prove that contact with swine tissue will keep someone out of heaven: Assume that I start walking around Afghanistan with a bucket of pig fat, and suddenly, without permission, I toss the thing on some woman who's covered head-to-toe in traditional Islamic garments. Will the Afghanis condemn this act of mine as immoral? Will they beat the ever-living crap out of me and probably kill me? If yes, Q.E.D. Somehow I doubt that someone believing that a thing is true actually makes it true. More than that, even if I did just believe that ownership was a social fiction, I'd still probably call the police (because I need a car and I won't be able to just gank someone else's without legal trouble).
  13. I haven't been brainwashed, I'm asking a question. Moreover, I'm not suggesting that the concept of ownership be abandoned -- in fact, I think it's a good one that's serving us well. I'm suggesting that it might be an invention, and asking you to show otherwise.
  14. 1) You said that, "value exists because people value; people only value because they have exclusive claim (ie, exclusive ability to arbitrary use and disposal). Value is wholly dependent on the existence of exclusive claim." In answering my question (I noticed that you avoided the deity thing), you admitted that people can value an organization because of a derived benefit rather than from exclusive claim. Unless you want to clarify or restate, I'll count that as a retraction of your previous statement and we can move on. 2) You said, "Let us define the worth of an item as the marginal value of that item, or the amount of money you would pay to have one more unit of it." I find it fairly obvious that the amount of money I would pay for something is wholly contingent on my appraisal -- my perception. In fact, if worth were not a measure of percieved falue, then we would have to concede some very silly things. For instance: consider advertising. Ad campaigns are designed to increase the visibility of a product, and thereby increase demand. omdn't advertise, they'd have to drop their prices to create that same demand. An/i]duct's worth is exactly what someone is willing to pay for it, we can conclude that a McDonald's sandwich would be worth substantially less than it is today if that guy with the 'fro weren't "lovin' it". Consider shoddy workmanship. Say you bought an expensive DVD player that broke the day after the one-year warranty expired. Would you feel a little ripped off? Heresy! Socialist brainwashing! The crappy DVD player was quite obviously worth every penny, because that's how much you paid for it. 3) There are no non-economic forms of value? Interesting. If someone acts to gain and keep a thing, then it has value. If something has value, that value can be measured by the trading price. Tell me: are you married? 4) I think I missed this. Where did you define claims? concept is one which refers to something in the world. By contrast, a social fiction is an invented concept which is invalid but believed to be valid. The Greek people believed in the Olympians, for instance, and made sacrifices to them and built temples for them. It was all just a stupid farce, of course, but (nearly) everyone bought into it, and this mythology became part of the Grecian value system, influencing their lifestyle, their literature, and their thought processes. It even had some positive effects, despite the fact that it was complete hogwash.
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