Re: Property rights (was Re: Can't afford to rescue cows)

From: Nick Tarleton (
Date: Sat Apr 26 2008 - 23:37:16 MDT

Byrne Hobart wrote:
> In any case, the
> two outcomes I mentioned are valid: either someone can produce the value
> that justifies their cost, in which case this is an execution problem that
> should get easier with more advanced intelligences, or the person isn't
> worth the expense of keeping them around, in which case -- like everyone
> else who eventually is unable to sustain their own existence even though
> with more resources they could -- they die.

This is a bizarrely collectivist-type argument (your value to society
justifies your existence) from an apparent libertarian. What about the
value, to that person, of their continued existence? Surely, even if
they can't produce any value for others, and even if they have no
money or other resources with which to express their preference, their
preference should count *ethically*, should be as much a part of the
global utility function as anyone else's. Many of us have this crazy
idea that people have intrinsic worth independent of their economic
circumstances or value or utility to others.

(I hesitate to post this as it's clearly not SL4, but I find this view
so repugnant I can't resist.)

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