Posted by: John Vandivier | September 17, 2013

Caeconomics and Self-Ownership are Incompatible

This article will argue that caeconomics and the concept of self-ownership are incompatible.

Self-ownership is a neat concept in ethics and philosophy. Increasingly it is being used in social, political and economic philosophical arguments as well. For example, one of my favorite interdisciplinary philosophies is voluntaryism. While many philosophical or scientific arguments for voluntaryism do not invoke the idea of self-ownership, some do. Larken Rose, who is certainly a libertarian anarchist if not a voluntaryist, is a major proponent of the concept of self-ownership.

The concept of self-ownership argues that a person, usually defined as a mind-body pair, should be self-owned. As long as coercion exists, wherein someone is forced to do something against their will, self-ownership is morally violated. Consequently proponents of self-ownership are strongly against coercion, usually support the non-aggression principal and tend toward libertarianism, voluntaryism and anarchism at high rates.

Christianity is not favorable to the concept of self-ownership. In Christianity the ideal moral actor is owned by God. See the following verses:

  • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
  • Romans 14:8, “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
  • Galatians 2:20, “20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
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