http://freedomainradio.com/board/blogs/ ... thics.aspx
1. Stefan Molyneux reached the same conclusion that several of us have that "ownership of one's own body is paramount" to ethical discussion, and he has also pointed out that "responsibility for the actions of our own bodies follows."
2. Molyneux generally eschews the use of the concept of "rights" when making his case for individual liberty, which seems to be a leap forward. The use of the concept of "natural", "human", or "inherent" rights seems to be a fatal flaw in the Ethics of Liberty
by Murray Rothbard, and in the works of Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand. Rand describes the acquisition of human rights at length, while Rothbard only makes a fleeting reference to how it all happened, but the arguments seem to boil down to "and so my children, because humans need their brains and their bodies to survive, they therefore have rights to the unfettered use of their bodies and brains." They neglect to answer the question of when humans acquired these rights- did Neanderthals have them" Did Cro-Magnons? Did "Lucy" have rights?" Lions, tigers, and bears need their bodies, and their brains (to recognize prey, avoid predators, and so on) to survive. How did they miss out on rights? What these philosophers seem to have done is to try to adapt "God-given rights" for their own purposes while leaving out God, and it doesn't work.
While Molyneux does not make any claims to rights to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness, he does use the term with regard to "property rights", and it seems that even here the term is confusing and unnecessary. When discussing "property rigths" or "ownership" it seems superfluous to say that one has a "right" to own a coffee mug, instead of just saying "I own that coffee mug",
or that one has a right to
a 50% ownership in a boat instead of just saying that one has 50% ownership of the boat.
An argument can proceed like "How did you get that vase? Mom said that I should have it", and so on. Ownership of property can be, and is, discussed without any reference to "rights". (My avoidance of the term "property rights" is not just a coy ploy, Peregrinus
3. Molyneux does not discuss the Golden Rule. This may be an oversight on his part, because once he dismisses the vague and illogical concept of inherent human rights with its "right to a living wage", "right to intellectual property", and on and on, his Universally Preferable Behavior
seems to be very compatible with, or perhaps the same as the Golden Rule, particulary in its "Platinum " form that can be paraphrased as "Do not do unto nonagressive people that which they do not want done to themselves."
Edited to add book web site at top.(taking 3 attempts, st least)