- Capitalism and Alternatives -

'Life is property' is inconsistent

Posted by: Nikhil Jaikumar ( EFZ, MA, USA ) on April 22, 1999 at 14:27:55:

In Reply to: belonging to you posted by Gee on April 21, 1999 at 16:36:37:

: : Social utility involves the notion of what is best for the majority, a sort of moral calulus. That is all, it requires no further reference to notions of property to act as a justification

: Hence it is not a proper means to applying morality, because in some circumstances it can deny a person their right to life.

Gee, let me ask you a question. Does life have a price? If not, then what does it mean to say it's a form of property. Life is then a unique form of property, so valuable that it's "priceless". Why should life be exempted, if it is also a form of property? Clearly, your contention taht life is a unique form of property implies that not only is life property, but it is al;so something else, call it "X". Life possesses some other quality that makes it a distinctive form of property. Well, then, why is it not logical to conclude taht life's sanctity ahs nothing to do with its being proeprty, but rather with thsi other attribute X. So if life is held to be priceless, then this means that logically,teh sanctity of life cannot be used to defend the sanctity of property, because saying "Life msut be defended" can mean simply "Anything with attriute X must be defended" in which case property is not necessarily included.

If life has a price, then it can be exchanged for, say, an amount of money. Therefore, if I steal amount X from you, according to you, my life should be forfeit. I think we can all see the nasty implications of that line of reasoning.

So, which will it be? (As an aside, life can be held sacred even if the person involved is not considered to have rights over hsi own body. Chgildren, prisoners, etc.)

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