Re: Property and life
Wed, 13 Jan 1999 13:41:35 -0700

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

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

Samael (perhaps rightly) objected to my smuggling in putatively moralistic terms such as "valid" and "rightfully", so let me see if I can rephrase my questions in more "wertfrei" terms:

Given the scenario where you want to live and I want to kill you (nothing personal :)), why should I not blow you away if I can? What would you say to persuade me to let you alone?

If it's all subjective, surely you grant that I have as good a claim to kill you as you have not to be killed. No?

The point is that the only alternative to objectivity is arbitrariness, which appears to culminate in den Otter's regime of might-makes-right. Is this really your vision of human society?

Terms such as "valid" (in an ethical context) and "rightful" are simply shorthand ways of expressing the idea that social conduct is not an arbitrary matter, like aesthetic tastes. They don't necessarily imply a code imposed "from above" as in traditional moral codes.