If you think I'm jumping around by talking about the damage incurred by infringing someone's property rights, I apologize. I'm only using it to help explain the concept of claiming unowned property.
It'll be interesting to see why you'd need the concept of infringement to explain the concept of owning property. You need to own it first in order to have infringement occur.
All of the above confers ownership assuming that you had to actually lift or move both the red and green block when you placed one on the other. If you left the red block right where you found it and just put a green block on it, you own the green block and not the red block - because you transformed the green block and not the red block.
You've switched colours, but OK. I suspected that would be your answer. I'd also be fine with the idea that simply picking something up and moving it isn't transformative of the object and therefore doesn't constitute an ownership claim at all.
The difference between that and number 1 is that by bonding them with a weak adhesive you made a new object (however tenuous that object is) and the new object belongs to you.
OK. So by your philosophy any tenuous connection renders something a single object.
I think this goes further than you wish it to. Everything on Earth is being affected in some small way by , at the very least, the entire rest of the galaxy as it's all subject to gravity from each other and the core. If it's all interconnected, it's all a single object. If everything is a single object, there can be no divided ownership of one part or another.
That's a consistent theory of ownership, but a trivial one. It has no practical value (which is the entire point of a philosophy of ownership).
I think you may want to consider a different way of defining the limits of an object than any tenuous connection.
If you're walking through the woods and find a red block (as they occur naturally in nature, not as composed by man), and you pick it up, you have now inseparably mixed labor with the block.
Interesting. Moving an object makes an object that is a combination of the old plus motion. I don't agree, but let's see where this idea goes.
The Earth is constantly in rotation on it's axis. And rotating around the sun. And the solar system is rotating around the galaxy. So everything is constantly in motion, from some point of view as there's no absolute reference from which to judge.
So if motion makes a different object which is the original object combined with the added motion, anything you might make through adding motion to it is immediately further modified by all the complex motions that are natural to the original object. A pen floating through space is constantly changing to new objects at every instant as it moves.
Yes, someone could point a gun at you and tell you to put it back, but all they would be doing is destroying what you had made, which was a block which had been transported to a new point in space via your labor.
This idea that one can destroy labour is false. Your labour occured and always has occured. There is a difference between a block that has been picked up and put down and one that has never been moved at all.
The analogy to this with the clay pot is that someone could smash your clay pot into little bits and perform various processes on it to separate the molecules in it and recombine them back into the mixture that they were originally found.
No, they can't. Firstly, the chemistry doesn't exist to do that. But let's assume that it does. Then you have to round up any chemicals that may have been expelled during the manufacture process and somehow reconstitute them. I suspect that you'll pretty quickly run into problems with quantum knowability in order to do so for any object of non-trivial size.
You could break it down and combine it with other similar molecules to form chemically identical raw materials, but they would not be the same raw materials. This block of carbon is not the same as that block of carbon, despite them being chemically identical.
But let's say that we have god-like powers and can violate what appear to be fundamental laws of physics and literally gather up all the specific atoms and molecules in the process and place them back how they were before the object was made. You had to put a massive amount of work into doing that. You end up in the same state as above, where an object that has been moved and returned to the same place is distinct from an object that has never been moved at all. A set of raw materials that have been made into an object and returned to their original state is not the same as raw materials that have never been used at all.
History does not go away. You cannot destroy labour, you can only add more labour to change the state of something again.
The ability to destroy what someone has created has nothing to do with it.
I'm trying to get you to realise that the ability to destroy labour does not exist. It's impossible. Tell me how you destroy me writing this post.
What matters is that they have created something, and we have no way of going back in time and preventing that - removing their labor from the resources they combined it with.
Correct. So why are you talking yourself in circles? You say this, but you've referenced destroying labour several times in the last couple of posts.
Ask yourself this: can you destroy labour?
Not the point I was trying to make. If you go build something on land that I spent a lot of time developing plans for, you've destroyed (devalued completely) my product. It doesn't even matter whether it was worth anything to anyone else, it was worth something to me, and now it's not.
So? Devaluing something is not the same as destroying it. You're enough of a logician to know that. Be it an object or an idea, it still exists.
Same thing with the clay pot, if you destroy it (render it worthless, render it valueless, render it purposeless, whatever) it doesn't matter whether the pot was worth anything to anyone else, it was worth something to me. You've destroyed my labor.
Just stop it, please. At best I've destroyed an object into which you've put labour. I haven't destroyed your labour. We have established systems for dealing with theft and destruction of property, and as I've said before they're beyond the scope of this discussion. They only come into play if you have ownership of something.
If you go bake a bunch of apple pies, my labor might be worth less in the marketplace, but you haven't forcibly destroyed what I made.
By your logic I have. Your pie is worthless. But I haven't destroyed it, you still have a pie. Just as you still have a design for a house.
Which is it?
The design is for something to be built in this case, and let's pretend for a moment that it is specific to the particular plot of land. There's a hill, let's say, and I've put 20 homes along the hill so that they don't interfere with one another and placed a road such that drainage will function properly etc. etc.... a design that would be essentially garbage for any other plot of land. That design is labor, and it is inseparably mixed with that parcel of land. It is no different than any other type of labor with that resource.
It's labour, yes. It's not inseparably mixed with that parcel of land. Just because the value is limited or zero without ownership of that particular piece of land means nothing. Value comes after ownership.
You're not entitled to ownership of object A because you already own object B and it would make object B more valuable if you owned both.
Let's back up... why can you own anything? Why can I own the clay pot?
Because it's a useful concept for resolving disputes over physical and intellectual objects in a fair and consistent manner. Why else would we have ownership?
You don't go far enough to see it here:
There's no reason to take self-ownership as an axiom.
That's why it's an axiom.
Come on, man! You're smarter than this. I know you know how this stuff works! If you want to have a conversation, don't jerk me around.
You can't just assume that you own your body.
See above. I called it an axiom. Quit being a jerk.
The reason you can own something is because you have worked to produce it and taking it from you is the forcible deprivation of the results of that labor. So whatever constitutes an initiation of force is what I'm constantly looking for in these examples.
Yes, but I think you interpret the results of the labour with a great deal of inconsistency.
Getting back to the intellectual property example, if the land is not owned by anyone, and you labor to produce plans for it, if someone else takes that land, they're destroying your plans, the results of your labor.
No, they are not. Whether or not the land exists, the plans continue to exist. I can make plans for an imaginary piece of land on an imaginary planet, and I can own those just fine.
If you say that's calling dibs, I'm fine with that. We're talking about resources that just exist... nobody owns them.
The point is that again it devolves into a trivial system. If all you have to do is think "I own that", then that's a useless system. If it cannot be objectively determined who owns something by people following the same logical rules, then that's not a functional philosophy of ownership.
Everything can be forcibly separated. The point is whether you have destroyed someone's creation by separating it. That is what I mean by inseparable... inseparable without the initiation of force.
I think you may need to define force here as well, as I'm hesitant to assume that it means to you what it means to me.
You created it at a particular location, presumably upright in a piece of land. Moving it does destroy that particular combination of matter.
That particular combination of matter was destroyed long ago, as the sun, the moon, and all the stars have moved a lot. The way you define an object, there's no way for any object to exist for more than an instant.
But let's use a more traditional idea of an object to analyse this. Here is probably the best expression of your idea that adding labour to something destroys it. You're adding the labour of moving something to an established object. You claim that moving it destroys it.
Any labour that would cause ownership is by definition transformative, and therefore also destructive.
That's kinda my point. Laboring with natural resources produces something and the fact that it did is immutable. If you destroy it now, you're forcefully destroying that labor. If you could keep your destruction limited to the original unowned natural resources without affecting what I created with my labor (such as the crane example) then you're not initiating force against me.
Please stop. Please?
Labour cannot be destroyed. It is intangible.
Objects can be destroyed. They are tangible.
Ideas cannot be destroyed. They are intangible.
That's how destroying works. If your idea of destruction works differently, you'll have to define that for me too.
I don't find it any different.
But you do. You're making different rules to go with land. You have this idea that you're entitled to it if it enhances the value of something that you've created, which you don't have with "traditional" objects.
As I asked and you chose not to reply to, does designing a table grant me ownership of unowned raw materials to create that table?
If I simply say "Mars is mine", I have not created something that must be destroyed for someone else to have Mars.
Sure you have. You've created the idea that you own Mars, and if someone else were to take ownership then that would negate your ownership.
See how silly it gets?
But if I say mars is mine and draw a sketch that involves developing every portion of mars, then I have a claim to it.
Does it have to be a physical sketch or can you have just designed it in your head?
But let's say someone else showed up on mars and built a house. I take them to court based on my sketch (which I spent 2 hours on). The court looks at my sketch (which was dated) and realizes that I actually had a legitimate claim to the spot where the house was built. The court then instead of ordering the people who built the house to tear it down and give me my land back (which would be far more valuable than my sketch) orders the house-builders to pay me off for my lost value. They estimate the value of the sketch at $40.
Woah, woah, woah. Why are they compensating you for the sketch?
The people stole your land which you (according to your philosophy) have a legitimate claim to. Why are you not being compensated for the value of the land? Why are you compensated for whichever of the two has the lesser value?
Here's another way it could go. The court looks at my sketch (which was dated) and realizes that I actually had a legitimate claim to the spot where the house was built. However, since i made no effort to inform others of that right, the court decides, based on a purely pragmatic convention to facilitate the market, that I should be paid $0. There is no way the other people could have known that I had any claim to the property. This is fairly analogous to trademark in the US.
But this isn't part of your philosophy, nor is it consistent with it. This is simply an example of how governments sometimes ignore moral codes for various reasons. It has nothing to do with your philosophy.
I'd suggest that for a non-trivial and logically consistent philosophy of ownership you need to address a few things:
1. Define the limits of what constitutes an object in a fashion that subdivides the universe in a more granular fashion than "it's all one big thing".
2. Address the claim that objects are constantly destroyed and recreated with any infinitesimal movement.
3. Address that labour is intangible and cannot be destroyed.
4. Address that the history of objects is what makes them unique.
5. Address that value is not a pre-requisite to ownership.
6. Address the distinction between devaluation and destruction.
7. Define "force" in the sense of "forcefully separating objects".
8. Address the claim that ownership of an idea entitles you to the objects to create the physical embodiment of that idea.