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Thread: Do you have natural rights? If so, what are the root elements of them?

  1. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    How do you see property rights in relation to air? Do you have a natural right to air? Air can be viewed as property, you can contain, trade and consume air. If you were on a Mars colony it would be obvious you don't have a right to air. Is it different on Earth? Can one still argue you do not have a right to air and if you didn't own any property you could end up in a situation where you owned no air. Sounds bizarre, but what are the counter arguments?
    Air is a physical thing; there is a finite supply of it (at least at any given moment). Consequently, it can be owned.

    But how can it come to be owned? On the libertarian view, some unowned thing can only come to be owned through homesteading: i.e. first use.

    With respect to air, it's not clear to me how anyone could really homestead air, on Earth, beyond what's in his lungs at the moment.

    On Mars, in a dome or something like that, the situation would be rather different.

    There being no naturally existing air on Mars, it all being produced at someone's expense (e.g. via electrolysis of water), it wouldn't be a question of homesteading at all. Someone would have acquired ownership of the water (if local, on Mars, either by homesteading or by purchasing from the homesteaders), and would then own the resulting product.

    P.S. Incidentally, was that only an example, or are you interested in Mars colonization (as I am)?

    Technically, I didn't mention justification, just what they were. To your point however, I agree that justification rests on subjective values. In the big picture of my work, I'm taking a difference approach that works to avoid these dead ends. But that's a different topic.

    Thank you!
    Cheers
    Last edited by r3volution 3.0; 08-13-2018 at 06:27 PM.



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