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The worse the crime, the stricter the penalty should be. This is a matter of course, but how do we decide which crimes are objectively more severe, and thus, which criminals should be punished harsher? What is more severe; robbing a bank of 1 million dollars or raping a woman? Raping 20 women or cutting the throat of one? Beating up an innocent person or monitoring your neighbour's private life? You get the picture. Are there objective ways to measure the severity of a crime?

Edited by Kjetil
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Personally I would place the crimes according to which of the individual rights was violated with the most severe punishments for violations of the right to life, then liberty then property; the first two dealing with actual harm to a person vice a more abstract violation of ones rights to property.

So a person who robs a bank would not (normally) expect a harsher sentence than a person who commits rape, but one who robs a bank at gunpoint would earn a harsher sentence than the unarmed robber because of the added possibility of a violation to the lives and liberty of the others in the bank at the time of the robbery.

Consequently the greater the violation the greater the punishment, a rapist would not normally be subject to the same punishment as a person who tortures and rapes his victims or a murderer

Of course there will be mitigating circumstances in many cases and the context of the crime must be taken into account as well.

*edited for formatting*

Edited by Zip
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Personally I would place the crimes according to which of the individual rights was violated with the most severe punishments for violations of the right to life, then liberty then property; the first two dealing with actual harm to a person vice a more abstract violation of ones rights to property.

There seems to be a common misunderstanding of the meaning of the right to life, a misunderstanding that I most often notice in discussions on abortion, but given your statement, I thought I would bring this issue up here.

A violation of the individual's person is in fact a violation of his right to life.

But so too is a violation of the individual's right to liberty a violation of his right to life.

And so too is a violation of the individual's right to property a violation of his right to life.

I get your point, that you consider crimes that actually harm the person bodily to be more serious or harmful than are crimes that are "a more abstract violation of ones rights to property," but you have implied that rights are disconnected, that one's right to liberty can be violated while leaving one's right to life (and other rights) unviolated, or that one's right to property can be violated while leaving one's right to life (and other rights) unviolated. Etc. That implication is what I am taking issue with.

'A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life.' "Man's Rights"

There's one basic or fundamental right, the right to life. All other rights are perspectives on, or aspects of, that right in relation to different contexts. This is analogous to rationality being the basic or fundamental virtue with other virtues being perspectives on, or aspects of, the virtue of rationality in relation to different contexts.

Edited by Trebor
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I would say no, that fines should not be adapted or adjusted to income levels in order to effectively deter individuals, in relation to their degree of income or wealth, from committing crimes.

Law, Objective and Non-Objective: "All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it." "The Nature of Government"

It is not the proper function of government to prevent crime, to deter crime (to punish individuals who the government believes will commit some crime in the future), but to retaliate against actual criminal actions (which includes threats and fraud, both of which are initiations of the use of force). That in itself will act as a deterrent to some degree, but that's not its purpose.

Edit to add link to Miss Rand's "The Nature of Government."

Edited by Trebor
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Well anyways, I don't think this is really going about it the right way. Punishment should only be a corollary of the main point of the penalty, which is restitution to the victim. So restitution should be in proportion to the crime committed, which takes away the concern of having to rank more severe crimes with stricter penalties on some kind of context-less universal absolute. The trick then is figuring out how to pay back the aggrieved party in those situations. Probably a lot of negotiations between parties will have to take place, and judges would be consulted on precedent and their opinions.

I don't see what you mean about fines. What fines?

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Trebor. I do understand the interconnected nature of rights but there are crimes which primarily concern ones property (theft) ones liberty (Kidnapping) or ones life (murder) and regardless of the philosophical nature of those rights it remains useful to list them in priority (as Rand does) and to use that hierarchy as a basis to determine which crime is deserving of the harsher punishment.

This is a prime example of what happens when that hierarchy is ignored/forgotten...

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Trebor. I do understand the interconnected nature of rights but there are crimes which primarily concern ones property (theft) ones liberty (Kidnapping) or ones life (murder) and regardless of the philosophical nature of those rights it remains useful to list them in priority (as Rand does) and to use that hierarchy as a basis to determine which crime is deserving of the harsher punishment.

This is a prime example of what happens when that hierarchy is ignored/forgotten...

Zip, I wasn't presuming to know what your understanding of the interconnectedness of rights is. I was challenging what I saw as implied by how you made your point, a manner of statement that I see, as I said, often in discussions about abortion - a manner that suggests that that a right to life is basically equivalent to a right to not be killed. On such a view, someone can suffer a loss of liberty or property, criminally, yet their right to life has not been violated. On such a view, I would assume that short of murder, any violation of person physically, bodily, is not a violation of their right to life. But what then is it a violation of? Point is, I disagree with those that hold such a view on the right to life.

I understand and agree with what I believe to be the thrust of the point you make, and I agree with your statement, quoted above. I am curious however about: "...it remains useful to list them [rights] in priority (as Rand does) and to use that hierarchy as a basis to determine which crime is deserving of the harsher punishment."

Where did Miss Rand prioritize rights?

As I understand it, you are basically saying that crimes vary in their negative consequences and should therefore be dealt with in a manner that relates to that variation of negative consequences, that crimes which seriously harm the person are worse than crimes that have less direct or less serious or less lasting consequences. I do agree with you on that, in a sense - that not all crimes are equal, and therefore not all crime warrant equal response; I'm just not certain you've identified the correct standard - that violations against a person's life are worse than violations against their liberty which are worse than violations against their property.

"It's a hell of a thing, killin' a man, you take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have" - William Munny (Clint Eastwood), "Unforgiven"

Take away a man's life, and issues of liberty and property are irrelevant, at least to him. In that sense, there's something to the idea that a crime against the body of the person is worse than a crime against his liberty or his property.

However, I don't think it would be difficult to come up with situations in which a crime against a person's liberty or property is worse than a crime against his person. It depends on the particulars. Just as a quick example, which is a worse crime, to assault a man and break his nose, to kidnap him and hold him hostage for one week, or to burn his house down?

I don't think that your example (the linked article, "Child rapist to get less time than pot grower") was the best one to use because it compares an actual crime, rape of a child, to what should not be a crime, growing marijuana. Were the punishment for the two reversed, in the cases in which the growing of a certain amount of pot was punished more severely than that of rape of a child, would the proportions of the punishments then be proper in your view?

Rape of a child should be punished as a crime, but growing pot should not. One is a violation of rights, the other is not. That's why I don't think it's a good example. Once the principle of rights are out as the standard for determining what is or is not a crime (and punishment), then who is to say that growing a certain amount of pot is not worse than the rape of a child? In that context, we get just the thing you point out, a gross injustice viewed from the perspective of individual rights.

Edited by Trebor
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Well anyways, I don't think this is really going about it the right way. Punishment should only be a corollary of the main point of the penalty, which is restitution to the victim. So restitution should be in proportion to the crime committed, which takes away the concern of having to rank more severe crimes with stricter penalties on some kind of context-less universal absolute. The trick then is figuring out how to pay back the aggrieved party in those situations. Probably a lot of negotiations between parties will have to take place, and judges would be consulted on precedent and their opinions.

I agree that restitution should be a "main point of the penalty" (the victim should be "made whole" if possible); I'm not certain that it is the only point of the penalty.

For some crimes (like murder), restitution is not possible, the victim is dead. If restitution were the only focus of punishment and the victim no longer exists, what then?

If I own something and decide to sell it, it is totally up to me to decide at what price I'll be willing to sell it. Sure, there's a market to consider in my trying to decide what price to ask for it, and depending on what it is that I own, I may or may not be able to readily determine the market price.

But if the thing is mine, even if someone offers me the market price for something, I don't have to accept it.

How then, and you do admit that it will be a "trick then...figuring out how to pay back the aggrieved party," is a just restitution determined if that thing I own is stolen?

The market price?

Perhaps as a practical matter that, plus perhaps some amount more, will be the best I can hope for, but still, is that the full scope of and interest of justice?

What about the crime itself, the initiation of the use of force against me? A person acted in a criminal manner, he initiated force against me, to gain the thing I owned. He did not just deprive me of the thing and then ultimately compensate me for what he stole. He acted by force against me and then only compensated me when he was caught and then forced to do so.

By way of comparison, friend could have borrowed the same thing from me, then accidentally destroyed it, but then eagerly replaced it and apologized. There's a critical difference.

Not considering the criminal's initiation of the use of force in taking the thing from me, the fact that he had to be found, caught, and tried perhaps, etc., before he was forced to compensate me, he is, in a sense, in the same place as my friend - I owned a thing, that thing was lost to me, but then I was compensated.

But what a difference.

Point it, there's more to crime than just the restitution of values. There's the matter of the initiation of the use of force. How can justice only be concerned with restitution?

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Right, well this doesn't say exactly what restitution consists of. You seem to implicitly assume that restitution would merely be the "making whole," but there's no reason why it could not also include the doctrine of "two teeth for a tooth" as you indicate, making whole plus punishment. So you pay back what you stole, plus an additional cost for having deprived them of it, plus additional cost for the court and law enforcement having to expend resources in capturing him, plus additional costs for subjecting the victim to uncertainty with regards his life and/or property.

Now, you raise the question of what happens in the case of murder where the victim is dead. Well, obviously, you can't pay restitution to a dead person, but the victim likely has heirs who will demand restitution, including execution. Even if there are no family members, people can still take out insurance policies or specify what they want done in their will, and so forth. If there is literally no one, then there's not much that can be done in terms of paying anyone back; removing the threat to the community by incarcerating the aggressor will be all we can do (unless there is some other idea I haven't thought of.)

You seem to want to make a distinction between the act of restitution and "the crime itself," between the restitution of values and the initiation of force, but I don't know what you mean by this. It seems you are staking out a "restitution versus punishment" dichotomy, but I only stated one was a corollary of the other, not that we should only have one and not the other, which you seem to also agree with. Of course, if you can make the case that there is more to be done to tip the scales of justice than as indicated, that's great. But I'm certainly not saying the only thing that matters is making whole. I'm just saying the OP seems to think that crimes should be ranked in terms of an out of context absolute with universal goodness and evilness, and having difficulty with the arbitrariness of that, but that's not where we should start in terms of objective law and punishment theory.

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Right, well this doesn't say exactly what restitution consists of. You seem to implicitly assume that restitution would merely be the "making whole," but there's no reason why it could not also include the doctrine of "two teeth for a tooth" as you indicate, making whole plus punishment. So you pay back what you stole, plus an additional cost for having deprived them of it, plus additional cost for the court and law enforcement having to expend resources in capturing him, plus additional costs for subjecting the victim to uncertainty with regards his life and/or property.

I'm still trying to resolve the issue, so it's not so much that I am assuming that restitution would merely be the "making whole." I was responding to your previous statement: "Punishment should only be a corollary of the main point of the penalty, which is restitution to the victim."

You said that the main point of the penalty is restitution. I just did not and do not see restitution as the the main point of the penalty, though I do think it's very important.

Restitution - from my popup dictionary, and good enough, I think, to get the point across:

1. the restoration of something lost or stolen to its proper owner

2. recompense for injury or loss

3. the restoration of something to its original state

There's nothing in the concept of restitution, in my view, about punishment for the criminal act that caused the need for restitution. So even with what you've added, I think it's a stretch to include punishment as an aspect of restitution.

"So you pay back what you stole, plus an additional cost for having deprived them of it, plus additional cost for the court and law enforcement having to expend resources in capturing him, plus additional costs for subjecting the victim to uncertainty with regards his life and/or property."

All such forms of restitution are just that, restitution for costs and losses, etc. What about the nature of the act that caused the losses and costs in the first place?

It's the criminal act that gives rises to a requirement, not just of restitution, but of punishment.

Now, you raise the question of what happens in the case of murder where the victim is dead. Well, obviously, you can't pay restitution to a dead person, but the victim likely has heirs who will demand restitution, including execution. Even if there are no family members, people can still take out insurance policies or specify what they want done in their will, and so forth. If there is literally no one, then there's not much that can be done in terms of paying anyone back; removing the threat to the community by incarcerating the aggressor will be all we can do (unless there is some other idea I haven't thought of.)

But the heirs as such were not the victims of the crime, the murder of their relative.

: "All actions defined as criminal in a free society are actions involving force—and only such actions are answered by force.

Do not be misled by sloppy expressions such as “A murderer commits a crime against society.” It is not society that a murderer murders, but an individual man. It is not a social right that he breaks, but an individual right. He is not punished for hurting a collective—he has not hurt a whole collective—he has hurt one man. If a criminal robs ten men—it is still not “society” that he has robbed, but ten individuals. There are no “crimes against society”—all crimes are committed against specific men, against individuals. And it is precisely the duty of a proper social system and of a proper government to protect an individual against criminal attack—against force." "Textbook of Americanism"

The murderer has not committed a crime against the relatives, even though I do recognize that they have certainly suffered a loss (assuming that they valued the victim).

If the victim of the crime no longer exists, then, if restitution is the main or sole concern in dealing with crime, then there's no longer a victim of the crime. He's dead. On such a view then, the criminal should walk, if I understand you correctly.

"...removing the threat to the community by incarcerating the aggressor will be all we can do (unless there is some other idea I haven't thought of."

This seems like a slippery slope to imprisonment for what an individual might do ("removing the threat to the community").

Punishment should be specified and delimited, and proportionate to the crime. It should "fit the crime" as the saying goes.

The murderer has killed his intended victim. If restitution were the sole issue, then, again, the victim no longer exists and restitution is impossible. If it's impossible, there's nothing to be done, and, in logic, if punishment is solely about restitution, then the criminal should walk, unless there's reason to think that he is an actual threat to others.

But is a murderer then to be considered as always a "threat to the community" who should then be locked up for life, or locked up again right after release, if released, to serve more and more time?

Say that a murderer gets a long sentence and serves his time and is then is released, having served his imposed penalty for the actual crime he committed. Is he still a threat? And should he now be jailed additionally by virtue of the fact that he murdered someone?

Take two cases:

In one case, a convicted murderer serves his sentence and is ultimately released. He's served his time, and in my view the law has no business treating him as a criminal any longer. (Not to say that others should not take into account his criminal past. They should.) He's served his time and legally he's a free man, until and unless he commits another crime. If he's served his time, then legally, in my view, he cannot properly be viewed as a "threat to the community" who therefore warrants imprisonment. Legally, he can no longer be punished for his past crime. He's done his time. (If people are upset about his release, having murdered someone, then they should seek to change the law.)

In the other case, we have a murder, the victim is dead, and if restitution is the sole basis for legal punishment for crime, then again, restitution being impossible, the criminal should then be free, legally. In other words, as with the other case, he should be viewed legally as no longer a "threat to the community." No more so, legally, than the murderer in the previous case who, after serving his time, has been released.

You seem to want to make a distinction between the act of restitution and "the crime itself," between the restitution of values and the initiation of force, but I don't know what you mean by this. It seems you are staking out a "restitution versus punishment" dichotomy, but I only stated one was a corollary of the other, not that we should only have one and not the other, which you seem to also agree with. Of course, if you can make the case that there is more to be done to tip the scales of justice than as indicated, that's great. But I'm certainly not saying the only thing that matters is making whole. I'm just saying the OP seems to think that crimes should be ranked in terms of an out of context absolute with universal goodness and evilness, and having difficulty with the arbitrariness of that, but that's not where we should start in terms of objective law and punishment theory.

Perhaps I didn't express myself well. As I said, I'm still working to understand and resolve the issue, but I do have some thoughts and identified concerns.

Yes, I do make a distinction between the restitution and the crime as well as the restitution and the punishment. The crime was the criminal act (the initiation of the use of force) that resulted in the loss. Restitution is compensation for that loss (and I do mean all of the losses or costs incurred in the process of forcing the criminal to make restitution). Punishment for the crime, for the initiation of the use of force (that which made the action criminal) is another issue, unless one views the forced restitution (full) made by the criminal the entire scope of the punishment.

As I tried to explain, using a friend who causes some loss as an example by way of comparison to the loss that results from a crime, a friend who destroys some borrowed value and who then happily and willing makes full restitution has resolved the loss of the value. In as much as the criminal makes full restitution, then, ignoring the nature of his action that caused the loss (the crime, the initiation of the use of force), an action which differs essentially from the action of the friend, the criminal and the friend are viewed as the same if obtaining full restitution is viewed as the only goal in dealing with crime.

The other aspect, that essential difference (the initiation of the use of force), is the important issue: a friend did not initiate force against the person (resulting in the loss of some value), but the criminal did (resulting in the loss of some value).

So I'm just pointing out that restitution (in full, including all consequential costs related to forcing the criminal to make restitution) is not the end of the issue in dealing with crime. Treating restitution as the primary issue in dealing with crime would leave the distinction between what the friend did and what the criminal did out of the picture.

And, in my view, in a manner that is proportionate to the crime, punishment is warranted for that initiation of the use of force, a punishment that goes beyond making full restitution.

In other words, although I do agree with you that restitution is a significant concern in dealing with crime, I don't see it as the only significant issue.

Mostly, I think we are in agreement but are coming at it a bit differently. Not certain, but it seems mostly that way. You do accept that something beyond restitution may be called for, but in some statements it seems that you're saying that restitution is the whole of the issue of punishment for crime.

Edited by Trebor
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In reply to Treber's post:

"There seems to be a common misunderstanding of the meaning of the right to life, a misunderstanding that I most often notice in discussions on abortion, but given your statement, I thought I would bring this issue up here.

A violation of the individual's person is in fact a violation of his right to life.

But so too is a violation of the individual's right to liberty a violation of his right to life.

And so too is a violation of the individual's right to property a violation of his right to life.

I get your point, that you consider crimes that actually harm the person bodily to be more serious or harmful than are crimes that are "a more abstract violation of ones rights to property," but you have implied that rights are disconnected, that one's right to liberty can be violated while leaving one's right to life (and other rights) unviolated, or that one's right to property can be violated while leaving one's right to life (and other rights) unviolated. Etc. That implication is what I am taking issue with.

'A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life.' "Man's Rights"

There's one basic or fundamental right, the right to life. All other rights are perspectives on, or aspects of, that right in relation to different contexts. This is analogous to rationality being the basic or fundamental virtue with other virtues being perspectives on, or aspects of, the virtue of rationality in relation to different contexts"

It is good that you recognize the singularity of reality. However, I am a little weary about your judgements regarding the singularity of "Man's Rights." It seems to me that you are assuming that the other rights are "aspects," or "perspectives" of that singular right. This assumption leads you to irrational conclusions.

Here is why:

Your flawed logic confuses the necessary and sufficient conditions on which the validity of your conclusion depends: I believe in using logic in all discussions...and i am sorry, but your above comment did not consist of logical statement, so I took the liberty of wading through the filler and identifying the argument in your post:

Your argument:

"A violation of one right is a violation of all other rights, therefore all rights are one right."

"Since all rights are one right, all other rights are not really rights, but violations of one right."

"Every violation of a man's one and only right effects that man's life, therefore the one and only right is man's right to life."

Your Conclusion: "So called "rights" are actually violations of the only right, the right to human life.

According to the above incorrect argument, one must make the following incorrect conclusion:

"if it is man's right, then it is man's right TO LIFE." This is the same as saying...

"if it is man's right, then it is man's right TO LIVE."

By describing what a man's right is, you are also decribing what a man's right is not because the contrapositve (your exact statement as a negative) is:

"If it is NOT man's right to live, then it is NOT man's right."...and here is the danger of your incorrect conclusion: from the above equivical contrapositive, one must then make this incorrect conclusions:

"If an act does not violate your right to live, then that act is not a violation of a right at all."

"Since the act of stealing your big screen television does not kill you, the act is not a violation of your right to live."

"Since the only right is the right to live, stealing your big screen TV is not a violation of any right."

"Since stealing your TV is not a violation of any right, then you do not have a right to that TV."

"Since you do not have the right to own a TV, I have the right to take it."

"Since you do not have a right to own a TV, I am not stealing the TV because stealing is a concept that refers to a right of ownership."

Do you see how your assertion, "the right to Life is the Only right," actually works to disprove that assertion because it actually works to create more rights?

Do you see how your assertion defeats the concept of ownership over all items, except those that are necessary to your survival like food, water, shelter and the means of aquiring those things?

Do you see how your assertion leads to a man having to prove why an item is necessary to his survival, in order to claim his right to own that item?

Do you see how your assertion leads to this illogical conclusion: "If a man's only right is the right to live, then man has the right to do whatever he wants to other men, so long as he does not violate mans right to live?"

Do you see how your assertion leads to a communist ideal?

All of the above proves why your argument is illogical. Your argument works to disprove itself...and this is because your faulty argument began with an incorrect usage of sufficient and necessary conditions.

Your mistake might be do to an incorrect notion of sufficient and necessary conditions

and contrapositives, or a total lack of knowledge of the existence of sufficient and necessary conditions and contrapostives. If you really understood logic, then you would have a full understanding of these things...but if you infact do understand logic, then I must conclude that your argument is deceptive, that you are being intentionally manipulative and misleading. I can forgive ignorance, but I cannot not forgive misleading, manipulative deception. I am sure you just made a mistake. With a little more education in the use of logic, you will be able to make valid agruments and come to the correct conclusions. I have faith in you. :)

Edited by TrueMaterialist
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I'm sorry, but when you quote me (without the trackback links) and yet also uses quotations as though you are speaking form me, it is at least confusing if not purposefully misleading.

As best I can tell in reading over what you've written, you have misinterpreted what I said, changed it to what you assume I said, and then argued against your own misinterpretation.

I did not say that there is only one right, the right to life. I quoted Miss Rand:

'A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life.' "Man's Rights" [bold mine]

I would suggest that you actually take the time to read that article in full. It's not very long.

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...According to the above incorrect argument, one must make the following incorrect conclusion:

"if it is man's right, then it is man's right TO LIFE." This is the same as saying...

"if it is man's right, then it is man's right TO LIVE."

By describing what a man's right is, you are also decribing what a man's right is not because the contrapositve (your exact statement as a negative) is:

"If it is NOT man's right to live, then it is NOT man's right."...and here is the danger of your incorrect conclusion: from the above equivical contrapositive, one must then make this incorrect conclusions:

"If an act does not violate your right to live, then that act is not a violation of a right at all."

"Since the act of stealing your big screen television does not kill you, the act is not a violation of your right to live."...

Your jump from the concept of "the right to life" as discussed in Rand's essays and Trebor's post to the impoverished "right to live" (which you seem to define as the right to not be killed immediately) is invalid. These are not the same things in this context. As Rand argued in her work on the foundations of ethics, life is fundamentally a process, not simply a state, and a self-sustaining process at that. This fuller conception of life is what leads to the corollaries of liberty and property, as both are required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintain one's life. This equivocation and failure to understand the conception of life operating here is what leads to all of your subsequent errors of reasoning. Perhaps you should hold off on the condescending lectures on logic for now.

Edited by Dante
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Dante, You are so confident.

My words:

"Since the act of stealing your big screen television does not kill you, the act is not a violation of your right to live."

This means, taking your tv will not kill you immediatly, nor will it EVER kill you, not tomorrow, or 50 year from now.

And having a tv is not "required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintain one's life (in any sense of the word).

You must have thought I randomly chose TV as an example. :)

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This means, taking your tv will not kill you immediatly, nor will it EVER kill you, not tomorrow, or 50 year from now.

What physical object possibly fits this bill?  Food is definitely necessary to survive, but you taking my sandwich today won't kill me today, tomorrow, or in 50 years.  What single item's theft would possibly result in the person's death in the future?  This is not a viable requirement, and it isn't necessary either, because...

And having a tv is not "required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintain one's life (in any sense of the word).

Having, on principle, the right to dispose of the fruits of one's labor is absolutely required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintains one's life.  If these actions result in the ownership of a T.V., then the theft of that T.V. is a denial of the principle of property rights and is detrimental to the victim's well-being.  The principle of property rights is vitally connected to one's right to life.

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Dante,

"Having, on principle, the right to dispose of the fruits of one's labor is absolutely required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintains one's life. If these actions result in the ownership of a T.V., then the theft of that T.V. is a denial of the principle of property rights and is detrimental to the victim's well-being. The principle of property rights is vitally connected to one's right to life."

1. So you agree that I did not confuse life with the "right not to be killed immediatly."

2. Are you implying that labor is the only factor that determines ownership?

If so, then can a gift be considered private property of the person who received the gift?

You are assuming that every person who owns a tv, labored for that TV.

What if the person stole that TV from some one, then I stole it from him?

Is stealing not also a form of labor? I must work to steal a tv, right?

If I break into some one house and steal a tv from a man who received it as a gift, did I not work for the TV, where as the man did not?

Edited by TrueMaterialist
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From the fact that I used the phrase "fruits of one's labor" in an abbreviation for a theory of property rights, you get all that nonsense?  The answers to all those questions from the perspective of any coherent theory of property rights is fairly obvious; are you asking them because you honestly expected me to express an entire theory of property rights in a single phrase, or to be argumentative?

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"Having, on principle, the right to dispose of the fruits of one's labor is absolutely required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintains one's life. If these actions result in the ownership of a T.V., then the theft of that T.V. is a denial of the principle of property rights and is detrimental to the victim's well-being. The principle of property rights is vitally connected to one's right to life. "

1 So we agree that I did not confuse "the right to life" with "the right not to be killed immediatly."

2. Are you implying that labor is the only factor that determines ownership?

If, so can gifts be considered private property since the receiver of the gift did not labor for it?

Is stealing NOT more of an act of labor than receiving a gift?

My mothered labored to produce me, she caried me around for 9 months and gave birth to me, the she worked very hard to raise me, does that mean that she has the right to own me?

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Dante,

"Having, on principle, the right to dispose of the fruits of one's labor is absolutely required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintains one's life."

First, I asked if you were implying that labor is the only factor that determines ownership. I did not state that is what you thought.

So, you believe that labor is not the only factor that determines ownership?

If a person does not buy a TV with the money he earned, however, I have not violated the "the right to dispose of the fruits of one's labor required by man to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintains one's life." Correct?

What principle have I violated in the context of "man's right to engage in the self-sustaining actions which maintains one's life."

Further, I am not asking you to "express an entire theory of property rights in a single phrase." I am simply asking for another principle besides labor that determines the right to ownwership, in the conext that you presented to me, which was the definition of the "right to life." In the definition, life is only defined as not simply a state, but a self-sustaining process," which leads to the concept that obtaining property is a self sustaining process, leading to the conceptt that, since obtaining property is a SELF SUSTAINING process...and I steal some one's property, I have violated his self sustaining process that is defined as life ( a self sustaining process).

Also, I am not being argumentitive, I am asking you questions. An agrument requires that I counter your point with one of my own, but I have not done that.

Edited by TrueMaterialist
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