Monday, January 25, 2016

True Rights and Morality

Thanks to our very fuzzy state indoctrination, many think that property rights means a right to property, rather than a right to defend the property /goods one has either created or for which one has honestly traded. "Right to property" vaguely subsumes a right to have property of some sort provided by 'somebody' -- usually the faceless, nebulous 'country,' or 'people,' or 'state,' or 'taxpayers,' or 'government.'

Since every material value / good / commodity / service is brought to a usable and available state by the work of actual individuals spending a portion of their lifetime, life effort, and life thought - literally using up some of their time,thought, effort on this earth - it is a contradiction to say that one individual has a 'right' to be provided with any property / good /service at all. Why is it a contradiction? Because a right to 'be provided' something that requires the expenditure of another person's life would mean that one person is right - ful owner of a portion of another person's life. If people 'own' each other's lives, no one has a RIGHT to their own life, and therefore no one can have ANY rights at all. If you do not own full authority of your own life and the disposal of your own life - meaning how you use, spend, sustain, or discard - your own life, then you can't possibly have any REAL, defend-able ownership or right to anything else, including the lives of other people.
The foregoing few sentences demonstrate the hashing through the process by which the very concept of a right breaks down when it is maintained that a person can have a 'right' to goods/services provided by another person.

The fundamental right is right to one's own life -- ownership or authority of disposal of one's own life - the right to dictate what one does with one's own life and bear the consequences for those decisions. All the other actual rights -- liberty, defense of one's own property, justice -- can be derived from this fundamental right to one's own life.

Interestingly, there  is no right to 'have' a life - rather we each simply find ourselves WITH a life, and our right is in authority over the life that we find that we have.   It is of course nonsense to say that 'we' have a right to have "a" life, for there is no 'we' at all to say anything at all about before we do in fact exist, and at that point, we already 'have' the life to which we were considering whether or not we had right.   Nor is there a right for either the universe nor other people to sustain our lives, or provide for our lives, or assist us in that sustenance or provision. Rather, we have rightful disposal of our lives, and, as it is unequivocally necessary to be able to SELF sustain our lives, we must possess the liberty to act on our judgments /thought, and not be forcibly prevented in our efforts to provide for and sustain our own lives, in a manner consistent with what we are - rational beings. It is by this reasoning that it is demonstrated that we must abide by the principle of respecting right to life in order to remain rational beings supporting our own lives. To continue consistently AS such rational beings, we must respect the right to life and liberty of others.  Otherwise, we are not living by a rational principle of 'men ought respect right to life' as the best possible course for all men.
The right to defend those goods/values that one has honestly produced with one's own life, and its applicability to other individuals, follows in the same way.

What then is moral of each of us in thought and action with our lives?  The moral is that which is true and good for ourselves as individuals. It is interesting that we do not, and CAN NOT, have a rightful forcible obligation to assist another man.   Such an obligation would be equivalent to claiming each man owns some of his neighbor's life, and the whole idea of right to life or any rights breaks down, as above.   It is better said - we do not OWE any man a portion of our lives to assist / nourish / sustain him. His existence is not a rightful tax on our existence, nor a rightful burden that we would be justly condemned for not carrying. To maintain that, say, a starving man was done a wrong by us should we not help him, or that we did not fulfill the concept of justice in the case of not helping him, would be false, as we do not OWE him even a second of our lives. (For Christian Theists out there: Jesus Christ did not OWE any of us a millisecond of His life either.)
That said, we each, must personally very carefully consider whether assisting the starving man is or is not in our personal best interest, judged within the fullest possible conception of the entirety of our existence, and the natural consequences of our choices. There are a great many helpful ways to approach the question. This is certainly not something to take lightly. All of our choices of guiding principles in interactions with other humans have great bearing on our relative satisfaction with the totality of our lives, certainly from a theist's point of view, but also from a materialist's view.
Each of us must carefully work through what sort of world we would be contributing to by way of the principles we choose in such a situation, if we rationally conclude that such decisions participate in such influence, and that different outcomes can be either more or less satisfactory to our selves, and to those we value. What sort of existence guided by what kind of fundamental tenants of human interaction is BEST for ourselves - for those we value? Do the choices we make in such cases influence the choices of others in similar cases, and how does this affect the positive or negative movement of the interpersonal climate in which we live?
At all times, these crucial considerations, must be kept utterly distinct from any life robbing, right destroying, culture poisoning, and love corrupting, notion of OWING anyone else a portion of our lives, or, from the other perspective, any notion of others OWNING or possessing a 'right' to a portion of our life or life efforts.
In cases such as the starving man, or any other, morality is to be found in the fully rational personal judgment of self interest in full context. It is only here, in personally valuing that which is rationally found to be truly good for self, in full context of one's existence, that mercy and justice find common ground.
Frederick Bastiat wrote that the very first step to determining a proper economics and government, was to ascertain whether the TRUE best interests of all individuals are harmonious or antagonistic.  Think about that for a while.   We are not considering what each person might have as a whim at any given time, or even what individuals might mistakenly believe is in his or her best interest.  No.   Imagine, in the full context of every human's totality of existence what, in every situation and every principle of action is truly in their best interest.   Are these interests antagonistic or harmonious among all individuals?   Each respective answer leads logically to a very different economics and very different ideal government for people.   If harmonious, free trade, and a government strictly confined to protecting every individual's rights equally is the proper course.   If antagonistic, then 'best' interests are indeed in harming one another for personal gain, and government must be the MOST forceful agent to rule nearly every interaction and dictate all distribution.  
For the theist and Christian, at this point you must ask just what exactly you think of the nature, character, and intent of the God you have come to call Lord.   What sort of reality do you think He has made?  One in which the bedrock TRUTH is that all his created beings are in fact in a position of antagonism?  Or do you think that is part of the great lie, the great deception?    Do you think He made a reality in which each of us is a discrete being who may excel as best able and interact with all others as a trader of acutal spiritual, mental, and physical values - to the greater satisfaction of all concerned?   Or, do you think He created a reality in which the truth is that every excellence in any man is only so much more debt he owes to everyone else?   To go this way, is to go the way of much of so called christendom --- The perfection of Christ DEMANDS that he must die.   That is the brutal ugly, anti-life, anti-good, anti-excellence, position that has deceived so many.
Consider this carefully.

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