The Instigator
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
barebels58
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Self-Ownership Libertarianism

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 11/27/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 836 times Debate No: 65935
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

bsh1

Con

Preface

I am interested in doing a debate on libertarian ideology. Specifically, a variant espoused by the likes of Nozick. As someone who is definitely not libertarian, I look forward to taking the Con side of this topic.

There is a 48 hour time period to post arguments and a 2000 ELO floor to be able to vote on this debate.

Full Topic

Self-Ownership-based Libertarianism is a sufficient accounting of how governments ought to behave.

Terms

Sufficient - "enough to meet the needs of a situation or a proposed end" (Merriam Webster). Sufficient implies logical soundness, but it also means that something explains all of the relevant factors involved. For instance, it would be insufficient to create a theory of the gravity that fail to explain all that gravity does. Similarly, it would be insufficient to create a theory of how governments ought to act that does not fully justify everything a government ought to do.
Accounting - an explanation.
Government - "the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions and which is usually classified according to the distribution of power within it" (Merriam Webster). A government necessarily holds sovereignty (sole, dual, concurrent, etc.) over a specific geographical region. For the sake of clarity, what constitutes a government will be limited to something recognized by a majority of its peers, i.e. fellow governments, and constituting governments of the recognized authority (e.g. municipal governments).
Ought - expresses moral obligation.
Behavior - "to act, function, or react in a particular way" (Merriam Webster).
Self-Ownership-based Libertarianism - this is the idea that all people own themselves; thus, each person exercises absolute property rights over themselves. Due to this self-ownership, only a minimal/night-watchman state could arise, because only such a state would respect people as self-owners; rights are necessary side-constraints to government power. Edward Feser explains that such a stance supports "a government which protects individuals, via police and military forces, from force...and administers courts of law, but does nothing else. In particular, such a state cannot regulate what citizens eat, drink, or smoke (since this would interfere with their right to use their self-owned bodies as they see fit), cannot control what they publish or read (since this would interfere with their right to use the property they've acquired with their self-owned labor--e.g. printing presses and paper), cannot administer mandatory social insurance schemes...(since this would interfere with citizens’ rights to use the fruits of their labor as they desire, in that some citizens might decide that they would rather put their money into...private retirement plans), and cannot regulate economic life in general via wage laws and the like.”

Rules

1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. Pro accepts the full BOP for the debate
7. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

Structure

R1. Acceptance, Pro presents Pro's Constructive Case
R2. Con presents Con's Constructive Case, Pro rebuts Con's Case
R3. Con rebuts Pro's Case, Pro defends Pro's Case and Crystallizes
R4. Con defends Con's Case and Crystallizes, Pro posts "no round as agreed"

Thanks...

...to whomever; I eagerly look forward to a this debate!
barebels58

Pro

I accept.

Full Topic: Self-Ownership based Libertarianism is a sufficient accounting of how governments ought to behave.

Part 1 - Social Freedom and the Judicial System:

As you stated, the judicial system would remain mostly unchanged. The courts are still open and the police force is still available. However, the lack of laws dictating how the populace acts grants an unprecedented level of freedom to the citizens of this nation. Want to have a gay marriage? Go ahead, none of my business. Want to drink non-pasteurized milk straight from the cow? Go ahead, none of my business. Want to have an abortion? Go ahead, none of my business (as long as I don't have to pay for it). Want to own a pet tiger and let it maul you? Go ahead, none of my business! If it doesn't harm me or anyone else personally, then whose right is it to say that you can't do it? That's why this is America, land of the free. While bad things might happen to stupid people who can't use the bathroom without government interference, this is a matter of personal responsibility. Responsible Americans will be benefited.

Part 2 - Economic Freedom and the Free Market System:

The economic system has no government involvement. This means that all wage standards are eliminated and that every bureaucratic group overseeing the numerous markets and regulating them are abolished. This will make up the bulk of my R1, because the economy is what is most affected in a self-ownership society.

One might ask: "What will occur because of all this?" Well, it's a lot.

Let's say that this the United States of America under a self-ownership libertarian society.

Taxes would plummet, due to only requiring funding for police, military, and courts. The current total spending in these categories budgeted for 2014 across the USA is $1.12 Trillion, in comparison to $6.12 Trillion in total [1]. The government could then scrap all other taxes and enact a very minimal flat income tax of 10% to fund the necessities, giving the government a revenue of around $1.4 Trillion using US total personal income values from 2013 [2] and also gives the government a $280B surplus to chip away at the colossal debt left behind by previous administrations. This leads to Americans having more money, due to having less of their wages taxed by Uncle Sam, giving them more purchasing power.

The American economy would flourish, due to the new levels of corporate competition and newly untaxed wealth. There are countless examples of this, but let's use utility services as an example (water, power, ect.) There would be no more government utility services, so new companies would spark up to meet the demands of the consumers. They would be competing for control of the markets, and these companies would be forced to become as efficient as possible in order to lower costs. Lower costs and more efficient business models improve the consumers' experience. Also, the launching of these new companies would open up so many job opportunities for the American public.

This model of competition would come into play in many other industries previously restricted by government involvement. The deregulation of the healthcare industry would lead to companies competing across state borders, driving down costs and reducing inefficiencies. New products previously only sold on the black market such as hard drugs and non-civilian firearms would also have a demand, which creates companies trying to cash in, which creates new jobs and lowers the costs of these goods.

Even companies in industries not constricted by the government would be affected. Having no corporate taxes would give corporations more leeway to cut costs without harming their profit margins.

Also, there is a possibility that international companies based in more socialist countries (in comparison the new USA) like Japan and Germany would outsource their manufacturing plants to the States because of the lack of corporate taxes and the like. This too creates jobs for the American people.

This does come with a negative. The millions of Americans who were once reliant on government assistance in the form of welfare are now left to their own devices to feed their families. However, with the millions of new jobs springing up due to the unrestricted free markets, almost all of these people will be able to seek and find employment.

This is a tremendous positive impact on the American economy, and why I believe that Self-Ownership Libertarianism is a sustainable and practical system of government.

Sources:
[1] Total US Government Spending: http://www.usgovernmentspending.com...

[2] Total US Personal Income:
http://www.statista.com...

My economics use a lot of reference to competition, so here's some links

http://en.wikipedia.org...(economics)
http://www.econlib.org...
http://www.economicsonline.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Con

I thank barebels for this debate and I welcome him/her to DDO. I hope they're enjoying the site. At this time, I will offer a constructive case. Just so no one accuses me of plagiarizing myself, I am going to excerpt arguments I've made elsewhere on the site.

P1. SELF-OWNERSHIP

Self-Ownership-based Libertarianism, hereafter referred to as SOL, cannot be sufficient if self-ownership is a flawed theory.

SP1. Treating People as Self-Owners with "inviolable" Rights to Themselves as Property leads to Absurd Moral Dilemmas

"Self-ownership conflicts with Pareto-Optimality...[S]ince self-ownership is construed by libertarians as an absolute right, it follows that it cannot be violated even in small ways and even when great benefit would accrue from doing so. Thus...absolute rights of self-ownership seem to prevent us from scratching the finger of another even to prevent the destruction of the whole world. And although the real objection here seems to be to the absoluteness of self-ownership rights, rather than to self-ownership rights as such, it remains unclear whether strict libertarianism can be preserved if rights of self-ownership are given a less than absolute status." [1]

SP2. Self-Ownership Rewards Luck, Not Hard Work or Autonomy

"Recognizing rights to full self-ownership allows individuals' lives to be objectionably governed by brute luck in the distribution of natural assets, since the self that people own is largely a product of their luck in receiving a good or bad genetic endowment, and being raised in a good or bad environment." [1]

SP3. Treating People as Property is Morally Problematic

Property is something that can be sold or exchanged. If I own myself, then can I not sell myself? There are some who might be desperate enough for money or to escape their situation that they might sell themselves in exchange for food, money, clothing, shelter, etc. This leads to three issues:

---SP3.A. Coercion is present. If I choose to sell myself into slavery because my situation is so dire that slavery is the only viable way to escape it, I have been coerced by my circumstances to take an action I would otherwise never even contemplate. The absence of a reasonable alternative negates choice. For instance, if my options were to (a) starve to death and (b) to sell myself into slavery, I haven't been given a meaningful choice, and have been coerced by my circumstances to sell myself to slavery. Now, Pro might respond that I could have chosen option (a), but that response raises additional concerns. If I was kidnapped by slave traders, I could probably be defiant enough that they would just kill me rather than sell me, so I have that same choice again: die, or become a slave. Surely, Pro is not going to say that I wasn't coerced if I gun was pointed to my head and I was told to do something. Similarly, it is absurd to say I wasn't coerced if that gun was instead starvation. In other words, selling myself into slavery is not necessarily un-coerced, and thus violates self-ownership.

---SP3.B. Selling myself into slavery, even if it wasn't uncoerced, still invalidates self-ownership. Self-ownership is the idea that we inherently own ourselves and are always our own owners. I cannot give up my self-ownership, because it is innate within me. If I always own myself, than no one else can own me--my right to self-ownership is inviolate. Therefore, I cannot sell myself into slavery because to do so would be to say that someone else can own me, which they cannot. So, I always own myself. But, what I own, I should be able to sell. This creates a logical contradiction within the theory: if I own myself, I can sell myself, but yet, self-ownership says I can't do that.

---SP3.C. Slavery undermines autonomy. Even if you don't buy (SPA) or (SPB), the idea that I can choose to give up so much autonomy seems to undermine the very point of libertarianism. The idea of self-ownership is that it maximizes autonomy, but yet, with slavery, one decision (the choice to sell myself) prevents me from ever making autonomous choices again. That seriously minimizes autonomy, and seems to undermine the very principle on which self-ownership rests. In other words, this example shows how self-ownership cannot achieve its very own objective, and is thus self-defeating.

SP4. SOL will disenfranchise some humans of their rights.

SOL is rooted in the idea that rational agents have rights. "the answer [to the question as to what grounds rights] is connected with that elusive and difficult notion: the meaning of life.” Nozick went on to say that the ability of one to shape his life in accordance with some sort of life plan is the very way one brings meaning to his life. This offers another perspective from which we can understand why human life is uniquely valuable. Only beings with the rational capacity to shape their own lives can have or even pursue a meaningful life." [2] Therefore, non-autonomous, non-rational humans (e.g. babies, the mentally handicapped) will not be permitted self-ownership, and thus would be denied rights under a SOL framework.

SP5. Being reliant on Property rights to Ground Freedom is Dangerous

Suppose that freedom is the absence of coercion, or, as Kant frames it, being independent of another's will. "If we take this definition of freedom then the amount of freedom a person has is the extent to which they can act without being coerced to do (or not to do) something against their will. In a libertarian society you cannot (legitimately) do anything with another's property if they don't want you to, so your only guaranteed freedom is determined by the amount of property you have. This has the consequence that someone with no property has no guaranteed freedom, and that the more property you have, the greater your guaranteed freedom. In other words, a distribution of property is a distribution of freedom, as the libertarians themselves define it. Thus...the libertarians are saying that the best way of promoting freedom is to allow some people to have more of it than others, even when this leads to some having very little or even none." [3]

P2. HUMAN RIGHTS

Human rights provide another way we can negate this resolution. SOL asserts we have three, perhaps just one, basic right: the right to property (and life and liberty). If we have other rights, then a government should do what is necessary to meet those rights-based needs.

What makes a right? We get rights because we have fundamental interests in those things--we have fundamental interests, for instance, in liberty, property, and life. More than that thought, these fundamental interests are things we can reasonably claim ought to be ours; by this I mean that these are things that should not be wantonly abridged. We should have a presumption against interference with these interests. All of this hold for the three key rights of SOL. But what if we have other things that fit this description. It seems like health, education, and similar values, many of which are reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights [4], also fit these. They are fundamental interests and they are things which shouldn't be arbitrarily interfered with or violated by others. If that is the case, we have rights to these things.

Now, Pro my counter this by asserting that a SOL state could enforce these additional rights as negative rights and still not violate SOL. He would need to make a case for why this is so, but even so, there is not much difference between negative and positive rights on an ethical level. A government will need to enforce both. "[I]n the context of citizens' rights to state enforcement, all rights are positive. Moreover, the point is often made that the moral urgency of securing positive rights may be just as great as the moral urgency of securing negative rights. Whatever is the justificatory basis for ascribing rights--autonomy, need, or something else--there might be just as strong a moral case for fulfilling a person's right to adequate nutrition as there is for protecting that person's right not to be assaulted." [5] "[T]o use a grim example, most would agree that a mother who intentionally starves her healthy child should not be dealt with...any differently than the mother who intentionally poisons her child. Surely, no one would argue that the first mother is less morally culpable simply because starvation is an act of omission." [6]

P3. SOURCES

1 - http://www.iep.utm.edu...
2 - http://www.iep.utm.edu...
3 - http://web.archive.org...
4 - http://www.un.org...
5 - http://plato.stanford.edu...
6 - http://www.qcc.cuny.edu...
barebels58

Pro

Round 2

REBUTTALS

SP1:

"Self-ownership conflicts with Pareto-Optimality...[S]ince self-ownership is construed by libertarians as an absolute right, it follows that it cannot be violated even in small ways and even when great benefit would accrue from doing so." Thus...absolute rights of self-ownership seem to prevent us from scratching the finger of another even to prevent the destruction of the whole world."

Granting citizens with absolute rights rewards positive behavior with personal freedom and prosperity, but also punishes negative behavior, albeit not directly. Let's say drug use as an example. If a person abuses the rights of self-ownership and
harms their own bodies, then that person has caused their own suffering and is paying for the consequences. However, if one were to avoid narcotics and make good use of their freedom, then they have been rewarded with the benefits of self-ownership. This should foster a wholesome sense of personal responsibility among the nation's citizens.

SP2:

"Recognizing rights to full self-ownership allows individuals' lives to be objectionably governed by brute luck in the distribution of natural assets, since the self that people own is largely a product of their luck in receiving a good or bad genetic endowment, and being raised in a good or bad environment."

Self-ownership does not interfere with the affairs of individuals and leaves them unhindered by the government to achieve their goals. Of course, there are other factors that might hinder an individual from "climbing up the ladder" so to speak, such as the markets, employers, dumb luck, or sometimes unfortunately gender/race. However, these things also happen in societies not founded on the principles of self-ownership, so the point is moot.

SP3:

"Property is something that can be sold or exchanged. If I own myself, then can I not sell myself? There are some who might be desperate enough for money or to escape their situation that they might sell themselves in exchange for food, money, clothing, shelter, etc. This leads to three issues:"

"---SP3.A. Coercion is present. If I choose to sell myself into slavery because my situation is so dire that slavery is the only viable way to escape it, I have been coerced by my circumstances to take an action I would otherwise never even contemplate. The absence of a reasonable alternative negates choice. For instance, if my options were to (a) starve to death and (b) to sell myself into slavery, I haven't been given a meaningful choice, and have been coerced by my circumstances to sell myself to slavery. Now, Pro might respond that I could have chosen option (a), but that response raises additional concerns. If I was kidnapped by slave traders, I could probably be defiant enough that they would just kill me rather than sell me, so I have that same choice again: die, or become a slave. Surely, Pro is not going to say that I wasn't coerced if I gun was pointed to my head and I was told to do something. Similarly, it is absurd to say I wasn't coerced if that gun was instead starvation. In other words, selling myself into slavery is not necessarily un-coerced, and thus violates self-ownership."

Yes, under self-ownership one could in theory sell themselves into slavery. However, there is no reasonable incentive to do so. Under slavery, an individual is stripped of all freedom, which is the only thing granted and assured to them under self-ownership. It would be their choice to become a slave, and it would be a negative decision. As I stated in my SP2 rebuttal, a self-ownership based society rewards positive decisions and punishes negative decisions.

"---SP3.B. Selling myself into slavery, even if it wasn't uncoerced, still invalidates self-ownership. Self-ownership is the idea that we inherently own ourselves and are always our own owners. I cannot give up my self-ownership, because it is innate within me. If I always own myself, than no one else can own me--my right to self-ownership is inviolate. Therefore, I cannot sell myself into slavery because to do so would be to say that someone else can own me, which they cannot. So, I always own myself. But, what I own, I should be able to sell. This creates a logical contradiction within the theory: if I own myself, I can sell myself, but yet, self-ownership says I can't do that."

In self-ownership, you own yourself and control your own decisions. However, if you were to make the choice of becoming a slave, then ownership is stripped from you. You being stripped from control of yourself was caused by a choice you made.

"---SP3.C. Slavery undermines autonomy. Even if you don't buy (SPA) or (SPB), the idea that I can choose to give up so much autonomy seems to undermine the very point of libertarianism. The idea of self-ownership is that it maximizes autonomy, but yet, with slavery, one decision (the choice to sell myself) prevents me from ever making autonomous choices again. That seriously minimizes autonomy, and seems to undermine the very principle on which self-ownership rests. In other words, this example shows how self-ownership cannot achieve its very own objective, and is thus self-defeating."

As I said above, the ability to sell yourself into slavery is a choice that you made. You undermined your own autonomy by making that decision, so you must suffer the consequences of your behavior.

SP4:

"Nozick went on to say that the ability of one to shape his life in accordance with some sort of life plan is the very way one brings meaning to his life. This offers another perspective from which we can understand why human life is uniquely valuable. Only beings with the rational capacity to shape their own lives can have or even pursue a meaningful life." [2] Therefore, non-autonomous, non-rational humans (e.g. babies, the mentally handicapped) will not be permitted self-ownership, and thus would be denied rights under a SOL framework."

A self-ownership society is based on the principle that all adult citizens have rights. Babies would not be granted self-ownership yet because they are being raised by their parents/guardians. The mentally handicapped would not be stripped of their rights by the government, but would most likely be kept by family members and/or a mental institution, just like it is in most modern First World societies.

SP5:

"Suppose that freedom is the absence of coercion, or, as Kant frames it, being independent of another's will. "If we take this definition of freedom then the amount of freedom a person has is the extent to which they can act without being coerced to do (or not to do) something against their will. In a libertarian society you cannot (legitimately) do anything with another's property if they don't want you to, so your only guaranteed freedom is determined by the amount of property you have. This has the consequence that someone with no property has no guaranteed freedom, and that the more property you have, the greater your guaranteed freedom. In other words, a distribution of property is a distribution of freedom, as the libertarians themselves define it. Thus...the libertarians are saying that the best way of promoting freedom is to allow some people to have more of it than others, even when this leads to some having very little or even none. "

The government cannot stop one from being coerced by outside sources. A self-ownership society only grants its citizens the right to be free from coercion by the government itself. The assumption that this also protects people from coercion in everyday life is preposterous. Freedom from coercion from any outside factors is an impossible goal to strive for, as there will always be involuntary factors of coercion.

*Note: I'm running out of characters. Will be paraphrasing from now on. If something doesn't match, I'm not trying to put words in Con's mouth, it's just misinterpretation.*

In his P2 about human rights, Pro states that since we have rights because we seek interest in liberty, property and life. Because we also have interests in healthcare and education, aren't those also rights? And if they are rights, and this government enforces all rights, then doesn't that contradict the system?

Under self-ownership libertarianism, healthcare and education are tangible commodities in the economic system and not unalienable rights. The private market can provide healthcare and education, but it can not provide abstract, intangible values such as freedom.
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Con

At this time I will rebut Pro's case.

P1. SOCIAL FREEDOM

Pro describes how much our freedom may increase under a SOL system; yet, he fails to justify how this is a good thing. It seems to me that giving people the freedom to "own a pet tiger and let it maul you" is actually a bad thing--while this may maximize your right freedom, it undermines your right to life. Life seems, on face, like a much more desirable thing to retain than the near-absolute freedom Pro is forced to advocate for. Surely, the type of restrictions we have in our current system still allow us the necessary space and liberty to self-actualize, while ensuring that our own foolhardiness doesn't jeopardize our right to life.

P2. ECONOMIC FREEDOM

Pro says that taxes would plummet--in fact, under SOL, taxes would be illegal. SOL states that we own the products of our labor, and taking away those products by force is theft. Therefore, all taxation is theft. The government could only be run through voluntary donations; so, it is completely possible that the government might not have the money to run its police, military, and judicial arms due to a lack of voluntary donations by the public it serves. This is definitely going to undermine Pro's first argument about social freedom. It also derails Pro's flat tax plan as being Con, not Pro, ground. In other words, I could implement Pro's plan, but Pro can't.

Moreover, since government cannot regulate the markets, America would likely see a repeat of the industrial horrors of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, where companies put out unsafe products, grossly underpaid their workforce, and accrued monopolies to extort exorbitant fees out of consumers. This would lower quality of life in America. With no one able to check against abuses, companies are free to abuse.

For example, if companies in the food industry decide they want to massively underpay their workers to increase profits, they could do it. If they then decided to increase the prices of food, they could also do it because, like OPEC and oil, the cartel has an effective monopoly that prevents competition from driving down prices. There is no reason this wouldn't occur in every single industry, making it virtually impossible to find good paying jobs, or cheap products. The income gap would skyrocket, and upward mobility would freeze (the rich save money for themselves, vice giving back to their workers). Adam Smith himself wrote, "The landlords' role in the economic process is passive. Their ability to reap a revenue solely from ownership of land tends to make them indolent and inept, and so they tend to be unable to even look after their own economic interests." [1]

Companies are wholly self-interested, profit-motivated entities. There has to be a separate entity out there balancing the scales in favor of the public welfare.

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
barebels58

Pro

I will now defend my constructive case.

P1. Social Freedom

"Pro describes how much our freedom may increase under a SOL system; yet, he fails to justify how this is a good thing."

I previously stated that this new found freedom will be within the best interests of all responsible Americans. Of course, you're also forced to give, err, less intelligent people this freedom. If the person owns their body and chooses to be mauled by a tiger willingly (which is horrible and an outrageously dumb decision), then that person has only themselves to blame.

P2. Economic Freedom

"Pro says that taxes would plummet--in fact, under SOL, taxes would be illegal. SOL states that we own the products of our labor, and taking away those products by force is theft. Therefore, all taxation is theft. The government could only be run through voluntary donations; so, it is completely possible that the government might not have the money to run its police, military, and judicial arms due to a lack of voluntary donations by the public it serves."

Most of everything I've seen in regards to self-ownership states that taxes are not illegal under the system. Granted, Wikipedia failed to even discuss the topic of taxation and the Google search is dishearteningly void of anything useful, but I did find one thing that actually brought up the issue of self-ownership taxation. It states "...Therefore, there needs to be an exception such that when the population cannot be completely trusted to pay for the protective services of the government, it is permissible for the government to require resources of its population strictly for the purpose of protecting individual rights"[1].

"Moreover, since government cannot regulate the markets, America would likely see a repeat of the industrial horrors of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, where companies put out unsafe products, grossly underpaid their workforce, and accrued monopolies to extort exorbitant fees out of consumers. This would lower quality of life in America. With no one able to check against abuses, companies are free to abuse."

The 'industrial horrors' of the Industrial Revolution includes:

-Greatest economic growth in history at the time
-Prices falling due to rise in productivity
-Led to shifting away from agriculture
-Sparked up inventions that affected American life until WWII
-Creation of the middle class
*All of this = [2]*

While there were negatives of this, such as a rise in unemployment caused by the new machinery able to replace factory workers and poor sanitary conditions (caused by lack of consumer education and knowledge of pollution & health), life was generally improved during the Industrial Revolution.

Also, if a corporation decided to underpay their workers, there is nothing stopping them from forming a labor union to demand higher wages. It isn't backed or endorsed by the government, but there is strength in numbers. Demanding increased wages for yourself is all a part of the beauty of capitalism - making that sweet dough.

History contradicts your claims of high prices, low wages, and quality products. Prices actually went down due to the rise in productivity and efficiency, wages were actually increased in many areas, and increased mechanization improved the quality of goods produced.

"... Both the number of unskilled and skilled workers increased, as their wage rates grew." [2]

[1] http://www.limitedgovernment.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Con

I thank barebels for this debate. At this time I will defend my case. I am not going to defend all of the arguments I made, because I only need a few to win.

P1. SELF-OWNERSHIP

SP1. Treating People as Self-Owners with "inviolable" Rights to Themselves as Property leads to Absurd Moral Dilemmas

None of Con's comments actually have anything to do with my argument. My argument was that self-ownership creates absurd moral dilemmas, whereby we could not scratch a finger of another person in order to save the whole word. Con's response is that self-ownership will "foster a wholesome sense of personal responsibility" because it makes people accountable for their choices.

In other words, Con is 100% non-responsive to my argument. My argument therefore stands. Self-Ownership will result in absurd and clearly false moral conclusions, and is, as result, not a sufficient accounting of how government morally ought to act.

This argument alone is sufficient to negate, because it takes out the underlying theory of self-ownership that Con has to advocate for.

SP2. Self-Ownership Rewards Luck, Not Hard Work or Autonomy

Con argues that because luck impacts people in non-SOL societies, my argument is moot. But this just isn't true. While luck my never be eliminated, it can be mitigated. Redistributive policies, for instance, can minimize the impacts of sheer, dumb luck on our ability to succeed in society. Such policies are contrary to SOL. So, not only is Con's one argument against this point wrong (in that my point isn't moot), but, once you extend my argument, it harms the underlying logic of SOL because it shows that the theory isn't actually protecting people's freedom or equality, but rather it is protecting the lucky just because they are lucky.

SP3. Treating People as Property is Morally Problematic

Con concedes that under SOL, people could sell themselves into slavery. He states, however, that no one would be desperate enough to do that. But Con is just patently wrong here. If I am in a position where I have no money, where I am starving due to the paucity of resources around, I might contemplate selling myself to a slavetrader just in the hopes that they might give me to someone who would feed me and provide me shelter. History has given us plenty of intsances where people have done this, and it is certainly not inconceivable even today--esp. in an SOL world where governments are not giving aid to the needy. But, regardless, the merely possibility that I could sell myself is theoretically catastrophic for SOL, as I will explain.

---SP3.A. Coercion is present.

Con never disputes that coercion is present in someone's decision to become a slave. This destroys SOL on a theoretical level because:

1. SOL permits only uncoerced decisions
2. SOL permits slavery
3. Slavery is not an uncoerced decision

Conclusion: SOL is self-contradictory. This argument alone is sufficient to negate, because it takes out the underlying theory of self-ownership that Con has to advocate for.

---SP3.B. Selling myself into slavery, even if it wasn't uncoerced, still invalidates self-ownership.

Con just asserts that I can choose to sell myself. Frankly, I don't think Con understands what I am arguing. If something is inherent within me, it is something I cannot sell or change. Self-ownership is inherent within me, which creates the following problem:

1. Under SOL, I will always own myself (inherency)
2. Under SOL, others can own me (slavery)

Conclusion: SOL is self-contradictory. This argument alone is sufficient to negate, because it takes out the underlying theory of self-ownership that Con has to advocate for.

SP5. Being reliant on Property rights to Ground Freedom is Dangerous

Pro talks about coercion, but that's totally tangential to the main point of my evidence. The important part is: "someone with no property has no guaranteed freedom, and that the more property you have, the greater your guaranteed freedom. In other words, a distribution of property is a distribution of freedom, as the libertarians themselves define it. Thus...the libertarians are saying that the best way of promoting freedom is to allow some people to have more of it than others, even when this leads to some having very little or even none." Pro does not rebut any of this analysis. Basically what he is saying then is that, under SOL, people without property have virtually no freedom, so they essentially start out with fewer rights than the rest of us. This is dangerous for several reasons, but, mostly, it is just contradictory to the point of SOL. Throughout this debate, Pro has told us that SOL is about people being responsible for their choices, but here, freedom is assigned not on the basis of choice, but on the basis of wealth.

At this point, regardless of what other offense you think Pro has in the debate, you can vote Con. This is because the theory of self-ownership itself is flawed, and so Pro is unable to meet his burden to prove sufficiency as it was defined in R1. Thanks, VOTE CON.
barebels58

Pro

barebels58 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
@Uchiha - I didn't know *throws hands up in surrender* But, even if you didn't get the debate, you could cast a vote *cough*that was a hint*cough*
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
wtfffff i wanted this debate!!!!!
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
I reported it too. CVBs aren't allowed--there are alternatives to it now.
Posted by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
I've reported Envisage's vote.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Thanks.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
@YYW - Could you expand your RFD please?
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
Just reminding Pro he has less than 10 hours to post.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
bsh1barebels58
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Pro ff'd the last round, breaking the rules. In my opinion he also losses because he showed partially that people cannot have freedom without property, but con showed that people being property is immoral (and goes against THOSE people's freedoms). [Con used the SOL to show how this works] That important point was hardly refuted. Therefore con wins.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
bsh1barebels58
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: PRO emphasizes the importance of freedom and how freedom is necessarily connected to property. By his own logic, freedom is necessarily determined by property ownership -and if someone has no or insignificant property, then they must also have a degree of freedom that is proportional. Said another way, there is no freedom without property. The problem with that argument is that it does not maximize freedom (i.e. expand it beyond those who hold sufficient amounts of property to be free); therefore the concept of SOL is necessarily in contradictory (as CON aptly notes), therefore CON must win.