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Author Topic: "Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment  (Read 13326 times)

<Patrick>

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"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« on: February 25, 2004, 05:41:32 am »

Let's put the idea of economic scarcity in the simplest terms possible:

"Person X" lives on a tiny island by himself with his imaginary friend, Wilson. The entire island is about one square acre and contains but a single fruit bearing tree which he lives off.

"Person Y," a refugee from Haiti in a raft, washes up on the shore one day.

"This land is mine!" Person X calls out to Person Y, "Go and find your own goddamned island!"

"No!" Cries Person Y, "You did not create this island. It is as much mine as it is yours. You must share this island equally with me. Do I not have a right to exist? How can I exist if I cannot exist somewhere?"

"Go to hell!" replies Person X, "You didn't create it either. I have no positive moral obligation to allow you on this island. I was here first so why should I care about what you need? Why is it my problem? Go away."

So who is right?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2004, 06:20:23 am by Patrick Norton »
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RhythmStar

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2004, 12:36:04 pm »

If there is enough food and water to sustain 2, then the firstcomer is morally bound to share the island.  If there is not, then the newcomer is morally bound to seek the next island.  Neither has a claim sufficient to sentence the other to death.

However, I note that, without a 3rd-party arbiter such as the State, then there is no land title per se.  So, the Jeffersonian ideal of land use applies, which provides the individual temporary claim for as much land as he puts to direct use.  Naturally-occurring trees don't count unless the person is doing something more than merely picking the fruit.   Thus, the first-comer's camp and hut are the first-comer's, while the rest of the land is open for the newcomer to camp on somewhere (an acre is ample land for 2 camps).

Fresh water would be the worst limitation, as even a single tree might produce enough fruit to avoid scurvy in 2 people.

RS
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Mike Lorrey

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2004, 01:15:47 pm »

Person Y, if she is smart, says in reply to X: "I have the one thing you don't have and can never have being alone  on this island, the ability to be your sexual partner. I am willing to trade it to you for half the island."

See how easily the free market solves all these problems? ;)
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BillG

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2004, 02:56:14 pm »

I would need to know what is the reason for leaving Haiti in this hypothetical...
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<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2004, 04:34:38 pm »

I would need to know what is the reason for leaving Haiti in this hypothetical...

What difference does that make?
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<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2004, 04:35:17 pm »

Quote
If there is enough food and water to sustain 2, then the firstcomer is morally bound to share the island.  If there is not, then the newcomer is morally bound to seek the next island.  Neither has a claim sufficient to sentence the other to death.

By what code of morality?
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
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BillG

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2004, 05:23:39 pm »

Quote
If there is enough food and water to sustain 2, then the firstcomer is morally bound to share the island.  If there is not, then the newcomer is morally bound to seek the next island.  Neither has a claim sufficient to sentence the other to death.

By what code of morality?

what code of morality allows firstcomer to their claim?

law of the jungle?
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BillG

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2004, 05:28:00 pm »

I would need to know what is the reason for leaving Haiti in this hypothetical...

What difference does that make?

If person Y has access to as good and as much land as is needed on Haiti then her mission can be inferred to be one of conquest...
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<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2004, 05:36:59 pm »

Quote
If there is enough food and water to sustain 2, then the firstcomer is morally bound to share the island.  If there is not, then the newcomer is morally bound to seek the next island.  Neither has a claim sufficient to sentence the other to death.

By what code of morality?

what code of morality allows firstcomer to their claim?

law of the jungle?

The fact that each person's life in an end in itself. The firstcomer exists for his own sake. There is no value on earth deeper than the value of an individual's own life to that person.

I believe you call this fact "self-ownership."
« Last Edit: February 25, 2004, 07:33:46 pm by Patrick Norton »
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-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
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<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2004, 05:39:23 pm »

I would need to know what is the reason for leaving Haiti in this hypothetical...

What difference does that make?

If person Y has access to as good and as much land as is needed on Haiti then her mission can be inferred to be one of conquest...

Very well. No, the newcomer is not just going out to take away people's land. He is fleeing from the current civil war going on in Haiti.
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org

BillG

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2004, 07:32:00 pm »

I would need to know what is the reason for leaving Haiti in this hypothetical...

What difference does that make?

If person Y has access to as good and as much land as is needed on Haiti then her mission can be inferred to be one of conquest...

Very well. No, the newcomer is not just going out to take away people's land. He is fleeing from the current civil war going on in Haiti.


It is my observation that we are all born equally free therefore the natural world is to be shared equally. So I am with RS...

the real moral problem occurs when there is no place to go (no other island)...
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<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2004, 07:34:19 pm »

Person Y, if she is smart, says in reply to X: "I have the one thing you don't have and can never have being alone  on this island, the ability to be your sexual partner. I am willing to trade it to you for half the island."

See how easily the free market solves all these problems? ;)

Now THIS would be the best possible outcome!
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org

<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2004, 07:37:35 pm »

I would need to know what is the reason for leaving Haiti in this hypothetical...

What difference does that make?

If person Y has access to as good and as much land as is needed on Haiti then her mission can be inferred to be one of conquest...

Very well. No, the newcomer is not just going out to take away people's land. He is fleeing from the current civil war going on in Haiti.


It is my observation that we are all born equally free therefore the natural world is to be shared equally. So I am with RS...

the real moral problem occurs when there is no place to go (no other island)...

Ok. Let's assume that there is nowhere else to go. This island is all there is. Now what?

The way I see it, they have two choices. Either resort to violence or work out a peaceful resolution.


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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org

BillG

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2004, 07:38:35 pm »

Person Y, if she is smart, says in reply to X: "I have the one thing you don't have and can never have being alone  on this island, the ability to be your sexual partner. I am willing to trade it to you for half the island."

See how easily the free market solves all these problems? ;)

Now THIS would be the best possible outcome!

I think it is called "economic scarcity rent"...
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<Patrick>

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Re:"Robinson Crusoe" Thought Experiment
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2004, 07:50:38 pm »

Person Y, if she is smart, says in reply to X: "I have the one thing you don't have and can never have being alone  on this island, the ability to be your sexual partner. I am willing to trade it to you for half the island."

See how easily the free market solves all these problems? ;)

Now THIS would be the best possible outcome!

I think it is called "economic scarcity rent"...

Bill, can you explain how ESR would apply to this thought experiment?
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"I came here to say that I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life.  Nor to any part of my energy.  Nor to any achievement of mine… I wished to come here and say that I am a man who does not exist for others."
-Ayn Rand
http://www.aynrand.org
http://capitalism.org
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