Friday, June 13, 2008

The Right of Property

What follows is a summarization of Francis Wayland's views on property rights. It is based on Book 2 of his "Elements of Moral Science". He was an American Baptist educator.

1. The right of property is the right to use something in the manner that one chooses, providing it does not deprive ones neighbor's rights. Hence, property rights are exclusive rights.

2. God owns all things and he has the right to confer property on others. The basis for the existence of property rights is the will of God, which is made known through natural conscience, general consequences, and revelation.

3. Made known through natural conscience: From youth, manifested in appropriation, control, guilt, etc. From possessive pronouns found in all languages. The sense of wrong doing with stealing, etc.

4. Made known through general consequences: It is necessary for productivity. It is necessary for provision. It is necessary for advance of civilization and survival of humans.

5. Made known through revelation: The Bible acknowledges property, directs its precepts against violation of property rights, etc.

6. Direct ways of acquiring property: A. Immediate gift of God or B. By working.

7. Indirect ways of acquiring property: A. By exchange, B. By gift, C. By will arrangements, D. By inheritance without a will arrangement, E. By possession, which is to say acquiring something without any direct moral right to it, yet being the only one able to posses it for practical reasons.

2 Comments:

Blogger Gary said...

Codex Markianus: You're postings are always interesting and insightful.
It is good to see some young people
still have common sense.
The concept of private property
in the US has been changed by the
Supreme Court's ruling that a community can declare eminent domain
over any property for any reason,as
long as the owner of that property
is compensated.
That is a dangerous thing to codify.We are all renting the
property from the government.

10:18 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Thanks for the comments/encouragement Gary. You are right about us renting property from the government!!

7:13 AM  

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