Re: Property and life

Samael (
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 10:16:25 -0000

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael S. Lorrey <> To: <> Date: 12 January 1999 21:25
Subject: Re: Property and life

>> samael said:
>> Okay. Please define ethics in some sort of objective way. Show me the
>> logical, non-emotional basis for ethics.
>Objective ethics: a group of heuristics which have proven over time (even
>evolutionary time scales) to provide the greatest benefit to the long term
>rational self interest of an individual or group that adheres to the
>Because we live in an objective reality ruled by concrete laws of physics
at the
>time and space scales at which we as individuals and as a group exist,
>dictate the structure and behavior of the systems or methods called
>and 'society', that objective reality dictates the types of heuristics
>fulfill the first premise.

Thank you. This is a well thought definition and I'm glad that you're actually trying to justify yourself rather than just issuing rhetoric (it reads somewhat like a quote, being different to your usual style, but that they hey, that doesn't mean it's bad!).

I have problems with only two parts of it. 1) The 'long term' seems a bit arbitrary. Do we come back in 2 weeks to see how they are getting on, or pop back in a thousand years to see if they're ancestors are still about?

2) The 'greatest benefit'. We're back to subjectivity. Is the greatest benefit having the longest lives? Having the most money? Having the most fun? Being closest to God's plan?

>> >>and based my actions around aesthetics - ie what I like and dislike.
>> >
>> >Rather short-sighted, if you ask me. There are lots of things I don't
>> >that I nevertheless realize are good for me. Flu shots, for instance.
>> So, I like Flu shots. Becasuwe I recognise their long term value.
>> something is not necessarily an instaneous thing. You can like the
>> of something.
>ok, we are getting somewhere. you understand the concept of long term
>self interest, which is distinctly different from opportunism or hedonism,
>you seem to be more aligned with.

I never claimed to be a hedonist (hedonism doesn't interest me that much, most of the time).
And it's not rational self interest, except insofar that I like living more than I dislike having needles stuck in me, a purely emotional decision (albeit a fairly easy one). Rationalism allows me to spot the easiest way to get to my emotionally based goals. (I want to live, I'm going to somewhere that people die of disease X, a good defense is immunisation, therefore I have an emotional choice between "going without immunisation, going with immunisation and staying at home." If I really, really wanted to go and really, really hated needles, I'd go without the immunisation and take the risk.

>> i'm not _entitled_ to anything. I have no rights, except as a social
>> construct agreed between two or more people. Rights are an _invention_.
>> You can't point to one, or hold one up or stick a needle into it. It's a
>> theoretical creation of the human minds.
>On the contrary. As Aristotle and Socrates have both elucidated, that a
being is
>endowed with something by nature gives the being a natural right to use
>something. I am given the ability to speak, so I have a natural right to
>I have reproductive organs, so I have a natural right to reproduce. I have
>therefore I have a natural right to ambulate. I have two hands, therefore I
>the ability to wield and manipulate any object I can grasp, and I have a
>that can remember, create, plan, imagine, as well as many other things.
Since we
>were not endowed with any natural weapons to defend ourselves outside of
>hands and minds, but can wield any weapon we create with our hands, we have
>natural right to keep and bear arms, and use those arms in our defense.
>Moreover, we are endowed with life, and therefore have the right to keep
>life. While this also says that animals may have the right to life as well,
>were evolved as predators and scavengers (as well as agricultural
>and therefore have a natural right to kill animals and eat meat.


If it exists, it is natural. Nature includes _Everything_. There is no scientific divider between the natural and the unnatural. If everything which naturally occurs has the right to happen, then there are rights to _evertything_, which makes as much sense as there being no rights at all.