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That probably explains why you're bandying about terms like 'punshment', 'tresspassing', 'restitution', 'private property', 'taking to court', and 'fines'.

You're not grasping what I'm saying. By a "conflict of rights," I mean a situation where one person's right is in conflict with another person's right. So, in the scenario presented in the initial post, it has not been established that there is a conflict of rights. It has only been established that there might be an unsupported claim of a conflict of rights. So, yes, I'm "bandying about" terms like punishment and trespassing because they apply to one of the parties involved. Understand? A person cannot be guilty of trespassing if he has the right to use another's property without permission, and therefore a trespasser's claim to have the right to use another's land is not valid. It is not a right, and the scenario is therefore not a conflict of rights.

J

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No, it does not reference that. What is to be done about the encirclement problem in property law (easement) is a deduction that comes way later than the concept of a right. A right is a normati

Yeah I mean, as far as I can see, the only "bluster" was coming from you in your personal problem with Grames. Your debating strikes me as filled with emotional screeds against imagined superiority in

No, it's not. (There's another thread about this on here. I'll try to find it for you.) Here it is.

I'll start with my traditional admission of ignorance: I haven't read the Wiki on easements and I'm not a secret lawyer. I don't know about this subject matter, and probably shouldn't comment... But I find the philosophical questions raised to be interesting, and I have very little personal filter, so...

If an "easement" is legal access to another person's property (let's say your "right" to walk through my beachfront home to get to the ocean), even against the property holder's wishes, it must be asked -- what justifies this "right"?

Is it your need to access the ocean? Your desire to do it? Since Grames mentioned "coming to the nuisance" (a doctrine that I read about in the context of another discussion, but don't understand perfectly either), might it be that you've previously had access to the ocean (walking across unclaimed land) -- therefore I never had the "right" to construct property such that your access would be diminished in the first place?

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I'll start with my traditional admission of ignorance: I haven't read the Wiki on easements and I'm not a secret lawyer. I don't know about this subject matter, and probably shouldn't comment... But I find the philosophical questions raised to be interesting, and I have very little personal filter, so...

If an "easement" is legal access to another person's property (let's say your "right" to walk through my beachfront home to get to the ocean), even against the property holder's wishes, it must be asked -- what justifies this "right"?

Is it your need to access the ocean? Your desire to do it? Since Grames mentioned "coming to the nuisance" (a doctrine that I read about in the context of another discussion, but don't understand perfectly either), might it be that you've previously had access to the ocean (walking across unclaimed land) -- therefore I never had the "right" to construct property such that your access would be diminished in the first place?

Figure it out yourself, I'm tired of holding your hand to no effect whatever in denting your continuing incomprehension of all things Objectivist.

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I'll start with my traditional admission of ignorance: I haven't read the Wiki on easements and I'm not a secret lawyer. I don't know about this subject matter, and probably shouldn't comment...

And you expect to reason to some kind of reliable conclusion with no background knowledge? You are right, you should not post. This is just exasperating.

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Figure it out yourself, I'm tired of holding your hand to no effect whatever in denting your continuing incomprehension of all things Objectivist.

It's amusing that Grames believes that being asked to support his position with an actual argument is an act of his being asked to hold someone's hand, and that he imagines himself to be some sort of sage on the subject of Objectivism despite being incapable of offering an argument or even a coherent summary of how his position is compatible with Objectivism. His participation on this thread amounts to little more than failed attempts at intimidation and appeals to his own imagined authority.

J

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And you expect to reason to some kind of reliable conclusion with no background knowledge? You are right, you should not post. This is just exasperating.

Maybe if you were to address the substance of the issue being discussed here, instead of merely emoting and claiming superiority, you'd be a little less enraged and a little more productive.

J

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And you expect to reason to some kind of reliable conclusion with no background knowledge? You are right, you should not post. This is just exasperating.

Should we apply that principle to all discussions here? Does that mean that you'll no longer be posting on subjects about which you have comparatively little or no background knowledge? Should we demand that each member here at OO post his CV and list his qualifications and areas of expertise, and then dare not stray from those areas?

If so, please go first, Grames. What are your qualifications? How did you become an authority who doesn't have to present arguments because he's just so much more knowledgeable than everyone else?

J

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Figure it out yourself, I'm tired of holding your hand to no effect whatever in denting your continuing incomprehension of all things Objectivist.

"Figure it out yourself," which seems to be increasingly the mentality of those who cannot (or, if we're going to be naively generous, "choose not to") explain themselves, is not really an appropriate stance for people participating on a discussion board.

If I could "figure it out myself" -- meaning without this discussion being the most convenient option for me, given my personal context, though in a stricter sense, I certainly must ultimately understand things on my own regardless of where I go for knowledge, what I discuss, and with whom -- I would certainly do so without dealing with jerks like yourself. The value of these discussions is increasingly tenuous, and your "manner" is foul. I make an initial attempt to address ideas in good spirit, and you immediately spit in my face.

And as to my "incomprehension of all things Objectivist," how certain are you of that, scale of 1 to 10?

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You're not grasping what I'm saying. By a "conflict of rights," I mean a situation where one person's right is in conflict with another person's right. So, in the scenario presented in the initial post, it has not been established that there is a conflict of rights. It has only been established that there might be an unsupported claim of a conflict of rights. So, yes, I'm "bandying about" terms like punishment and trespassing because they apply to one of the parties involved. Understand? A person cannot be guilty of trespassing if he has the right to use another's property without permission, and therefore a trespasser's claim to have the right to use another's land is not valid. It is not a right, and the scenario is therefore not a conflict of rights.

J

Access to the property of others isn't normally required to preserve your life but an entrapped neighbor has no choice. I think it's the OP that should justify the action of entrapping a neighbor, not the other way around.

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If an "easement" is legal access to another person's property (let's say your "right" to walk through my beachfront home to get to the ocean), even against the property holder's wishes, it must be asked -- what justifies this "right"?
Put aside the physical nature of land (for a moment), and think of property rights more like other rights: as a right to action and control.

Here are some fun (read crazy) hypotheticals that might take you there: can a homeowner living on a typical quarter-acre plot in a subdivision insist that no planes fly above his property? I assume you'll readily agree that he cannot: he does not have the right to do so.

Next, pose the following question: suppose a crazy scientist decides to live in a hovercraft, and decides to live on this home-owner's lawn -- but just hovering a foot above the grass. Again, I assume you'll readily agree that this time the home owner has the right to boot the scientist out. The home-owner's property rights start at ground-level and extend a certain number of feet upward. (Some libertarians find this scary, because how can we say if 10 feet is right or 20 feet... 100 feet. However, nothing in Objectivism argues against this.)

Now, what if a neighbor installs a new light, which shines on to the home-owner's property. Can he be stopped because the light is impinging on the property. What if the neighbor is having a conversation and sound waves are wafting over the property?

If one steps down from an abstract level of politics, to concrete legal implementation, the homeowner's property right can be seen as the right to stop certain types of impacts on his property. Hernando de Soto says that a property deed can be looked at as a "bundle of rights": some are fairly open-ended rights on what the deed-holder may do (but perhaps he cannot build a nuclear plant), and some are rights to stop others from doing things (again with some limitations).

Imagine a hunter-gatherer society where nobody owns land but they have the right to their physical property and they have the right to their bodies -- nobody may push someone else around. What if a group of friends linked hands and surrounded a person they hate, making it impossible to leave without touching their bodies. Since he has no right to touch them without their consent, should he simply wither and die as they surround him? No: because nobody can have the right to take positive actions that amount to imprisonment and thus make it literally impossible for another person to live. Any such action is incompatible with the raison d'etre of rights.

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And surely our learned scholar's opponents in this discussion have already spent significantly more time and effort and words and sentences blustering than would have been required to offer a summary of philosophical justification for their position.

For one, PuzzlePeddler admitted to doing this out of boredom. Being Socratic is okay, but even Socrates (even if he annoyed many people) outright stated his points eventually. And secondly, if we are discussing a topic, it is relevant to expect people to read linked articles. The article Grames linked is not long. If Puzzle doesn't want to read it, fine. Puzzle can say "sorry, don't have time to read that, so please answer this other question", or opt to not respond in the first place. If someone is missing the point, fine, Puzzle can articulate that. Furthermore, linking an article isn't intended to be the final answer. Being a discussion board, I'd expect questions to come about. But they are important in order to establish context *and* bring those who are ignorant of a topic up to speed on relevant points. All of these points I'm making are important for productive discussion and civility.

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Access to the property of others isn't normally required to preserve your life but an entrapped neighbor has no choice.

How did you make the leap to the idea that the preservation of one's life is at stake? A surrounded property owner still has the right to till his soil, grow a garden, drill for water, raise animals, etc. He has the option of selling the property. He has the option of negotiating with his surrounding neighbor and offering to pay a fee for crossing his property, or to purchase an access strip of land outright. He has the option of turning the issue into a public spectacle and using public opinion to pressure the surrounding landowner. He has the option of leaving his property without the neighbor's permission, turning himself in to authorities for trespassing, paying restitution for having trespassed, and then going on with his life outside of the surrounded property. He also has the right to then try to get even with the other land owner, if he chooses to nurse a grudge, by earning enough money to purchase the property surrounding the property which surrounds his original property. There are many potential options to explore and exhaust before we jump to the unwarranted conclusion that his very life hangs in the balance.

And even if his life were at stake, that is not a valid Objectivist philosophical justification for his violating someone else's property rights (his using another's property without consent). His need of another's property doesn't give him the right to it.

I think it's the OP that should justify the action of entrapping a neighbor, not the other way around.

He hasn't entrapped the neighbor. He hasn't initiated force against him, but has only used his own property as he sees fit. If anything, the landlocked owner is culpable for his own predicament since he failed to prepare for the possibility of being surrounded and hadn't ensured an arrangement for access to his property. In a world governed by Objectivist property rights, one would have to be aware at all times of potential property sales that might impact one's own property, and one would have to make plans ahead of time to avoid becoming landlocked.

J

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I have found it incomprehensible how otherwise very sharp Oist can take a position that inescapably amounts to the principle: " ones need is a claim on anothers property."

The principle is NOT "ones need is a claim on another's property" but rather "one's rights end where another man's rights begin"

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For one, PuzzlePeddler admitted to doing this out of boredom. Being Socratic is okay, but even Socrates (even if he annoyed many people) outright stated his points eventually. And secondly, if we are discussing a topic, it is relevant to expect people to read linked articles. The article Grames linked is not long. If Puzzle doesn't want to read it, fine. Puzzle can say "sorry, don't have time to read that, so please answer this other question", or opt to not respond in the first place. If someone is missing the point, fine, Puzzle can articulate that. Furthermore, linking an article isn't intended to be the final answer. Being a discussion board, I'd expect questions to come about. But they are important in order to establish context *and* bring those who are ignorant of a topic up to speed on relevant points. All of these points I'm making are important for productive discussion and civility.

Instead of continuing to expend effort writing posts explaining why you're not offering arguments to support your position, wouldn't it be more productive and efficient to simply offer an argument?

I don't mind reading linked articles if a discussion opponent first offers an argument and supplements it with linked information. I just have a problem with people sending me off to links or previous discussions and basically saying, "Here you go, go search for my argument. It's in this information somewhere." Every time that I've encountered such situations in the past, the linked information hasn't actually addressed the heart of the issue at hand, and it turned out that my time had been wasted.

J

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Is there some reason that the alleged philosophical justification can't be presented directly or summarized here? This is, after all, a conversation, isn't it, and not a lecture in which one side assigns the other reading assignments? I'm not interested in hunting through entire previous threads or lengthy essays or other documents in which someone else thinks that philosophical justification has been established.

Whoa... I think it not entirely unreasonable to ask someone posting a frequently asked question to read previous threads and posts but what do I know...

And surely our learned scholar's opponents in this discussion have already spent significantly more time and effort and words and sentences blustering than would have been required to offer a summary of philosophical justification for their position.

J

I doubt it... Edited by 2046
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The principle is NOT "ones need is a claim on another's property" but rather "one's rights end where another man's rights begin"

This seems like a simple reassertion of the claim.

Let's try this. What is the principle behind the claim that the enclosed property owner has a "right" to have others be concerned with his need.

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Whoa... I think it not entirely unreasonable to ask someone posting a frequently asked question to read previous threads and posts but what do I know...

As I said in my last post:

I don't mind reading linked articles if a discussion opponent first offers an argument and supplements it with linked information. I just have a problem with people sending me off to links or previous discussions and basically saying, "Here you go, go search for my argument. It's in this information somewhere." Every time that I've encountered such situations in the past, the linked information hasn't actually addressed the heart of the issue at hand, and it turned out that my time had been wasted.

J

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Against my better judgment, I took the time to read the information at the links provided in this thread. As I suspected, my doing so was a waste of time since the information does not address the heart of the matter being discussed here. It does not present an Objectivist philosophical justification for imposing easements on land owners against their will.

J

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Instead of continuing to expend effort writing posts explaining why you're not offering arguments to support your position, wouldn't it be more productive and efficient to simply offer an argument?

Sorry, I should have added a disclaimer that it's a "meta-discussion" point that I think is important. I do not have a particular point on addressing the arguments in the thread. If you'd like to discuss more about the use and point of using articles in a discussion in a different thread, I'd participate. You are right regarding how linked information should be supplemented - a link without explanation doesn't help. At the same time, if the argument in an article is bad (or if the question was misunderstood), that should be explained as well.

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Here are some fun (read crazy) hypotheticals that might take you there: can a homeowner living on a typical quarter-acre plot in a subdivision insist that no planes fly above his property? I assume you'll readily agree that he cannot: he does not have the right to do so.

I'm not certain how "crazy" a hypothetical this is... I imagine that there exist homeowners who do make some stink about planes flying over their property. :)

But -- just to take your scenarios as they come, so we can work towards pinning down any discrepancy of thought between us -- I think that a homeowner generally would have a case, depending on whether planes were flying in a manner that causes a disturbance against the homeowner's activities (e.g. do the planes fly very low? in the middle of the night?) and also with consideration given to the "coming to the nuisance" doctrine. If a man built his home in the middle of an established flight path, I think that would matter.

Here, I find it less of an issue of "how high up do one's property rights go" and more an issue of the practical effects the airplanes have on the homeowner in the confines of his house.

Next, pose the following question: suppose a crazy scientist decides to live in a hovercraft, and decides to live on this home-owner's lawn -- but just hovering a foot above the grass. Again, I assume you'll readily agree that this time the home owner has the right to boot the scientist out.

Of course.

The home-owner's property rights start at ground-level and extend a certain number of feet upward. (Some libertarians find this scary, because how can we say if 10 feet is right or 20 feet... 100 feet. However, nothing in Objectivism argues against this.)

Again -- and I could be mistaken -- but I'm not certain that this is an issue of feet. If we set our bar at X feet, and someone put an airplane at X+1 feet, but this was an extraordinarily loud craft or whatever, I think I'd still view that as a violation.

Now, what if a neighbor installs a new light, which shines on to the home-owner's property. Can he be stopped because the light is impinging on the property. What if the neighbor is having a conversation and sound waves are wafting over the property?

If one steps down from an abstract level of politics, to concrete legal implementation, the homeowner's property right can be seen as the right to stop certain types of impacts on his property.

I agree, though I think that these matters would have to be adjudicated case-by-case. In the case of the light, for instance, it would matter to me (again) what the hours of the light shining are, the wattage, whether the neighbor had taken reasonable measures like closing drapes, or etc.

Hernando de Soto says that a property deed can be looked at as a "bundle of rights": some are fairly open-ended rights on what the deed-holder may do (but perhaps he cannot build a nuclear plant), and some are rights to stop others from doing things (again with some limitations).

I'm not familiar with Mr. de Soto, but let's have at least temporary agreement, until we find ourselves at odds with respect to some concrete situation.

Imagine a hunter-gatherer society where nobody owns land but they have the right to their physical property and they have the right to their bodies -- nobody may push someone else around. What if a group of friends linked hands and surrounded a person they hate, making it impossible to leave without touching their bodies. Since he has no right to touch them without their consent, should he simply wither and die as they surround him? No: because nobody can have the right to take positive actions that amount to imprisonment and thus make it literally impossible for another person to live. Any such action is incompatible with the raison d'etre of rights.

Completely agreed.

May I now pose a hypothetical for similar consideration? Please note: I do not consider myself in opposition to "easements" generally -- I don't have a fully formed opinion of them one way or the other, but I would like to have this conversation, and certain questions asked and answered, so that I can come closer to such an opinion. Please forgive how "fun" this gets. :)

Suppose we are on a colony where food is a scare resource, procured by only a few. We could be on Mars. Such food as is shipped in is owned and sold by only a few. One colonist is hated, as the person in your example. We could paint him a Nazi, perhaps -- his views just recently discovered by the group. Like every Mars colonist, he depends on buying his food from the handful of sellers. Suppose I am a seller of food. Every other seller has decided no longer to do business with this Nazi colonist, according to their political right of free association, and morally so that they do not support their philosophical enemies.

I feel the same way. But as his one legitimate option of food, should I opt to cease selling to him, I will practically condemn him to death. You have written above that "nobody can have the right to take positive actions that amount to imprisonment and thus make it literally impossible for another person to live." While we might say that "refusing to sell" is not a "positive action," neither is denying a person access to one's land. Is it the effect of "making it literally impossible for another person to live" that is salient? Or the positive character of the action? If the latter, then what about the characterization of "surrounding landlords" (which may be one or several) refusing access to their land (i.e. "you may survive as you can, but you must do so without my cooperation"), as opposed to the prison of people-holding-hands? If the former, then would I, as a food seller, not ultimately be allowed to choose to whom I sell to, and on what basis? Would I be forced to support my philosophical enemy -- because without my support via trade, he would surely die?

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