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"every Man has a Property in his own Person"

As my constitutional law professor used to say repeatedly, an assertion is not an argument.

So?

Ghs

Locke asserts the proposition, has no proof.

As your constitutional law professor used to say repeatedly, an assertion is not an argument.

Ghs

Mr. Smith, if you believe that Locke proved or established by reasoned inference that you have a property interest in yourself, please say so and give us a hint what it might be. With thanks.

Yes, I think Locke presented a reasonable case to support his contention that each person has moral dominion over himself or herself (which is what Locke meant by "property is one's person). Self-proprietorship was a common and recurring theme during the 17th and 18th centuries, and many philosophers argued in its favor. But I'm not going to explain any details here. I'm far too busy with my weekly deadlines. But I have touched on this subject in some of my L.org essays. See, for example, my summary of two major types of justification for rights (the religious and the secular) here:

http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/natural-rights-moral-foundations-libertarianism-part-2

I may give more details about Lockean self-proprietorship later in my current series, but I'm not sure at this point. I rarely know exactly what an essay will include until I actually write the piece.

Ghs

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I remain with the lady who brought me to the dance.

Understood but --

Locke argued we were Old Testament Jehovah's creation, and what God created no parliament could tax?

Although Locke was an advocate of tolerance, he urged the authorities not to tolerate atheism, because he thought the denial of God's existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos.[55] That excluded all atheistic varieties of philosophy and all attempts to deduce ethics and natural law from purely secular premises, for example, man's "autonomy or dignity or human flourishing".[56] In Locke's opinion the cosmological argument was valid and proved God's existence. His political thought was based on "a particular set of Protestant Christian assumptions."[56][57] Locke's concept of man started with the belief in creation. We have been "sent into the World by [God's] order, and about his business, [we] are his Property, whose Workmanship [we] are, made to last during his, not one anothers Pleasure."[58] Like the two other very influential natural-law philosophers, Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, Locke equated natural law with the biblical revelation, since in their view both had originated in God and could therefore not contradict each other.[59][60] "As a philosopher, Locke was intensely interested in Christian doctrine, and in the Reasonableness he insisted that most men could not hope to understand the detailed requirements of the law of nature without the assistance of the teachings and example of Jesus."[61] Locke derived the fundamental concepts of his political theory from biblical texts, in particular from Genesis 1 and 2 (creation), the Decalogue (Exodus 20), the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), the teachings of Jesus (e.g. his doctrine of charity, Matthew 19:19), and the letters of Paul the Apostle.[62] The Decalogue (Ten Commandments) puts a person's life, his or her honourable reputation (i.e. honour and dignity), and property under God's protection. [Wikipedia]

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I remain with the lady who brought me to the dance.

Understood but --

Locke argued we were Old Testament Jehovah's creation, and what God created no parliament could tax?

Although Locke was an advocate of tolerance, he urged the authorities not to tolerate atheism, because he thought the denial of God's existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos.%5B55%5D That excluded all atheistic varieties of philosophy and all attempts to deduce ethics and natural law from purely secular premises, for example, man's "autonomy or dignity or human flourishing".%5B56%5D In Locke's opinion the cosmological argument was valid and proved God's existence. His political thought was based on "a particular set of Protestant Christian assumptions."%5B56%5D%5B57%5D Locke's concept of man started with the belief in creation. We have been "sent into the World by [God's] order, and about his business, %5Bwe%5D are his Property, whose Workmanship %5Bwe%5D are, made to last during his, not one anothers Pleasure."%5B58%5D Like the two other very influential natural-law philosophers, Hugo Grotius and Samuel Pufendorf, Locke equated natural law with the biblical revelation, since in their view both had originated in God and could therefore not contradict each other.%5B59%5D%5B60%5D "As a philosopher, Locke was intensely interested in Christian doctrine, and in the Reasonableness he insisted that most men could not hope to understand the detailed requirements of the law of nature without the assistance of the teachings and example of Jesus."%5B61%5D Locke derived the fundamental concepts of his political theory from biblical texts, in particular from Genesis 1 and 2 (creation), the Decalogue (Exodus 20), the Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12), the teachings of Jesus (e.g. his doctrine of charity, Matthew 19:19), and the letters of Paul the Apostle.%5B62%5D The Decalogue (Ten Commandments) puts a person's life, his or her honourable reputation (i.e. honour and dignity), and property under God's protection. [Wikipedia]

There are a number of inaccuracies in the Wiki account of Locke. For one thing, Locke did not equate natural law with biblical revelation. For another, he did not derive "the fundamental concepts of his political theory from biblical texts."

Why did you post this crap? What is your point?

Ghs

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Wolf DeVoon wrote:

Nevermind. Obviously unimportant what Locke asserted or why.

"John Locke and his seventeenth-century contemporaries felt no need to provide rigorous justifications of natural rights." http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/freedom-rights-political-philosophy-part-1


What Locke asserted and why probably is unimportant to people with no interest in the history of ideas, even if those ideas influenced millions of people, either directly or indirectly.

As for the line you quoted from one of my L.org essays, I again don't get the point. Did you pick it at random or did you have a reason? In any case, for those who don't take the time to look up the passage from which the quoted line was taken, here it is:

It is no accident that, beginning (roughly) in the late sixteenth century, the doctrine of state sovereignty and the liberal theory of individual rights developed along parallel lines and were applied to the same political problems. It is essential to appreciate this point if we are to understand why John Locke and his seventeenth-century contemporaries felt no need to provide rigorous justifications of natural rights. This was unnecessary because the doctrine of state-sovereignty, like the doctrine of self-sovereignty, depended on a theory of rights. There was no need to argue in detail for a premise that all sides accepted and, indeed, had no choice but to accept.


To say that seventeenth-century philosophers felt no need to provide a rigorous justification of rights (as we might find in a modern book on rights) is to say that they felt no need to provide a rigorous justification of objective moral principles that may be enforced by law, since this premise was accepted by all sides in the contemporary debates. But this is not to say that they didn't provide some measure of justification for their particular theory of rights. We see this is the serious disagreements over freedom of religion, or "liberty of conscience." This conflict demanded that the pro-freedom philosophers justify their particular theory of rights, so this is where we typically find the most detailed arguments.

Ghs

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Nevermind. Obviously unimportant what Locke asserted or why.

"John Locke and his seventeenth-century contemporaries felt no need to provide rigorous justifications of natural rights." http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/freedom-rights-political-philosophy-part-1

At the level George is writing, Wolf, Wikipedia is crap. A hundred years ago the Britannica was the gold standard of reference. Then as the years went by it detreriorated. One reason obviously was the expansion of knowledge. Too much to get it into one reference and the erosion of editorial standards. I have a set and it's a wonder. By its very nature Wikipedia can never be more than second-rate overall. That's being generous. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is on the editorial board. George could go to Wikipedia and clean up that article. Why should he? Harry would come back the next day and set it "right." You did that for Harry here by quoting him. George doesn't appreciate it. Harry's is not the basis for a discusion. It's word churn.

For fun I went to the 11th edition of the Britannica and looked up Locke. Eight double columned pages of densely packed text. (Each page is 10 x 7 including the header and excluding the margins except the margin between columns.) Then I went to a nice little encyclopedia I'm about to give away and Locke gets the equivalent of a quarter of a Britanica column. That's about 1/50th. I'm not bothering with Wikipedia, but I'd bet it's below what's in that 1/50th of the Britannica but that's to get into the actual quality and actual quality is where I'm not competent to go except for my generalization about the old Britannica based on others' observations and analyses, somewhat confiirmed by looking at it with my own eyeballs.

--Brant

the Britannica was destroyed by its deteriorating editorial standards, the expansion of knowledge and, for the business model--for hoi polloi will buy crap--by Wikipedia (Jimmy Wales is the elephant in the china shop of ideas [some of us got a taste of that when, pre-Wikipedia, he destroyed the old Atlantis Internet site George and I, et al., had so much posting fun on, going on 15 years ago now])

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disagreements over freedom of religion... demanded that the pro-freedom philosophers justify their particular theory of rights

 

It remains opaque to me how Locke justified anything without reference to revealed religion. Not necessary to reply because (as Brant says) you're working at such a high level. Far beyond my ability to grok.

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That's not what I said, Wolf. I was referring to Wikipedia. What George writes is easy to understand. There is no bullshit academic jargon found in too many professional journals. A great example of too hard to grok--for me, I gave up--would be Nozick's "On the Randian Argument" I read in The Personalist in the early 1970s. Because of that article I was not especially interested in reading any more of him. I thought he was a bullshitter. That's likely not fair, but I don't care. I'm an end user of ideas. The conversation is secondary to me.

--Brant

I think I'll go back and try re-reading it--I think I still have those old Personalists--you see--go figure--I'm smarter now than I was over 40 years ago

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Wolf Devoon wrote:

It remains opaque to me how Locke justified anything without reference to revealed religion. Not necessary to reply because (as Brant says) you're working at such a high level. Far beyond my ability to grok.

The Bible was far more supportive of persecution than of religious freedom; it was the standard source used to rebut the arguments, based on reason alone, for liberty of conscience. In fact, it was not until the Bible was largely discarded as an authoritative source for political doctrines that the theoretical case for freedom was able to score decisive victories. See my comments here and here.

As for your comment about Locke, can you justify "anything" without appealing to the Bible? I may have forgotten something, but I don't recall that you ever quoted the Bible in your posts. And if you can justify moral arguments without grounding them in Scripture, then Locke could manage to do the same thing. He was a pretty smart guy.

Ghs

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That's not what I said, Wolf. I was referring to Wikipedia. What George writes is easy to understand. There is no bullshit academic jargon found in too many professional journals. A great example of too hard to grok--for me, I gave up--would be Nozick's "On the Randian Argument" I read in The Personalist in the early 1970s. Because of that article I was not especially interested in reading any more of him. I thought he was a bullshitter. That's likely not fair, but I don't care. I'm an end user of ideas. The conversation is secondary to me.

--Brant

I think I'll go back and try re-reading it--I think I still have those old Personalists--you see--go figure--I'm smarter now than I was over 40 years ago

Robert did get wrapped up in the technical details and the logic a great deal. I had several conversations with him (while he was still with us) and he was much plainer in conversation than in writing. He was a good man and I was saddened by his death at the early age of 62.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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That makes sense, Bob. What is written for the public doesn't necessarily carry over to academic journals.

I have no real animus against Nozick except he seems to have once used rent control--or tried to--to his advantage. The details have receded into the distant past, leaving something of a bad taste behind.

--Brant

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That's not what I said, Wolf. I was referring to Wikipedia. What George writes is easy to understand. There is no bullshit academic jargon found in too many professional journals. A great example of too hard to grok--for me, I gave up--would be Nozick's "On the Randian Argument" I read in The Personalist in the early 1970s. Because of that article I was not especially interested in reading any more of him. I thought he was a bullshitter. That's likely not fair, but I don't care. I'm an end user of ideas. The conversation is secondary to me.

--Brant

I think I'll go back and try re-reading it--I think I still have those old Personalists--you see--go figure--I'm smarter now than I was over 40 years ago

Robert did get wrapped up in the technical details and the logic a great deal. I had several conversations with him (while he was still with us) and he was much plainer in conversation than in writing. He was a good man and I was saddened by his death at the early age of 62.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Please tell us about the other conversations. :smile:

--Brant

I can be cheap :sleep:

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OL has two functions. The second and derivative function is social. It's for those who post here. The first and primary function is intellectual. It's for all who read it. The only value of the primary is no bs allowed. If allowed the primary function has failed and the social function is for fools. This is not bs from ignorance, but from I gotta win the argument or my feelings are hurt. (A lot of the bs is sincere and not properly identified--yet.) There aren't too many posters on OL. Previous posters have left for sundry reasons. I may too or cut back if I need the time for something else. Most people are not interestred in ideas. They aren't in any way intellectuals. They are culturalists. Back in the NBI days my impression was the same and it had some partial application to myself. I grew out of it. Objectivism went where the money was and that's why it withered on the vine after being yanked out by the roots in 1968. There was no money in true critical thinking and critical thinking would have broached the imperious impervious fortress you felt it was if you were on the inside looking out. It even seduced the seducers, Rand and Branden.

--Brant

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if you can justify moral arguments without grounding them in Scripture,

then Locke could manage to do the same thing.

Okay. How did he justify natural rights? Might be over my head, but I wasn't able to find a concise explanation.

---

While we're hanging around for George to answer, if he does, it must be the case that Jefferson fucked up when he wrote

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

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The justification for natural rights comes from the essential moral equality and nature of all human beings. The religion was already there so it was used as leverage to get the idea into the body politic. It was addressed both to the rullers amd the ruled. If all are equal before God then even the King is morally equal to his subjects. The Declaration of Independence was a propaganda document artfully rendered that bitch-slapped George III. "Endowed by their creator" was actually endowed by their nature. The Declaration got God down on the side of the Americans and helped turbocharge the Revolutionary War.

Rights are not in a man, only his nature. Considering his nature, man invented rights just as surely as he invented the wheel and harnessed fire and electricity. If we start with the Magna Carta look how long and how much it's taken and how much further to go.

--Brant

I'm not pretending to address Locke in particular

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The Libertarianism.org podcast of my Essay #65 has been posted. This podcast discusses some important differences between the Lockean and Hobbesian conceptions of freedom.

Ghs

I don't have the bandwidth to play videos. Doomed to perpetual ignorance, I guess.

Maybe this will help...

http://www.libertarianism.org/publications/essays/excursions/freedom-rights-political-philosophy-part-5

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Nope. No explanation of how Locke justified natural rights. Didn't even quote him.

Wolf:

That was apparently the text of what was in the video...that is all.

A...

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It seems that "Wolf"/Alan has the impression that George's posting of the notice that the podcast of his essay 65 is available must be in response to "Wolf"/Alan's earlier questions. It apparently hasn't occurred to "Wolf"/Alan that this is George's thread, that it's purpose is to announce when George's essays have become available, and that therefore George's posting of the podcast may have nothing to do with his discussion with "Wolf"/Alan.

J

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Rights are not in a man, only his nature. Considering his nature, man invented rights

Mistaken notion. There are no inherent natural rights. Defacto liberty and moral office, sure, but not inalienable "rights."

Uh, I said something like that. Sorta. Sorta of the sorta. Human nature is the basis of natural rights philosophy. Rights were invented to match up with human nature. Thus they are natural but not in a man. Only man's nature is in a man. Rights are inalienable only in that human nature is. The crux is man's need for philosophy because of his cognitive mind and free will. This includes political philosophy as a sub-category. Philosophy--everyone has one however inchoate or mixed up--is the operating software of the human mind.

--Brant

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Nope. No explanation of how Locke justified natural rights. Didn't even quote him.

Thus George is refuted (about what?) or incompetent to answer?

--Brant

get a grip, understand the purpose of this thread--and understand George professionally

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