Re: Property and life
Tue, 12 Jan 1999 09:08:08 -0700

Samael writes:
>I don't have a right to live. I have a very strong 'wish' to live.

What if I have a very strong wish to terminate your life? Is my wish not as valid as yours? Can I rightfully implement my wish? If not, why not?

>I've dimissed morality as a creation with no validity

So have I, it may surprise you to know. I don't speak of morality, but of ethics.

>and based my actions around aesthetics - ie what I liek and dislike.

Rather short-sighted, if you ask me. There are lots of things I don't like that I nevertheless realize are good for me. Flu shots, for instance.

I think prudence makes a much firmer grounding for ethical principles than does mere pleasure seeking/pain avoidance.

>And I like living. And I like having access to things.

Why should anyone else care what you like? Why are you entitled to something just because you like it?

>And I like other people to be nice to me, so I tend to treat
>them in a way which will cause them to do so.

That's certainly a wise heuristic.

I wrote:
>Huh? In what possible sense do carbon compounds "include" life? Certain
>types of compounds make life as we know it possible, but saying they
>*include* life is as sensible as saying that the electromagnetic spectrum
>"includes" _Deep Space Nine_. Can't you think of a real analogy?

Samael responds:
>Life is almost entirely Carbon Hydrogen and Oxygen, with a few trace

Uh, thanks for enlightening me. :-) (More accurately, life is the chemical reactions undergone by those elements in certain combinations.)

Now could you answer my question? What does it mean to say that carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and trace elements "include" life? It's more the other way around, isn't it? I was just trying to point out that your comment, meant as a rejoinder to my statement that your property includes your life, failed to connect.