On Natual Rights

Well, I disagree with the basic premise of this article, which says
that "property" is a natural law. Show me a neanderthal with a deed to
a cave, and then we can disect the rest of this article. KellyE

That was a comment on this post, left over at BlogExplosion. I replied, "Well, KellyE, I’m sure a Neanderthal would be happy to show you the
"deed" to his cave. It’d probably take the form of a club or a spear." But he (or she) persists:

Nice try at distraction!  The concept of ‘property’ (or ownership) is not natural law.

Just more asserting of the same. Scanning his (or her) blog, I get the sense of a degree of materialism which is good, i.e., I’m a materialist, too, but not to the point of denying the plain nature of things.

I go on to reply:

"You seem confused. In your first comment, you suggest that a "deed" (a
man-made legal construction) is necessary for property to be a natural

Then you simply go on to assert that it’s not. […] Ownership, i.e., property, is an inviolable corollary
consequence of a natural right to one’s life, the one and only natural

I then said I’d continue it on the blog, so here is promise delivered.

Natural rights have nothing to do with religious proclamations or other fairy tales. They are not endowed by some mystical being, a creator. They are natural because homo sapiens happen to possess free will. Free will is the source of all natural rights.

Free will means: we must choose to act to survive. It’s not automatic. We aren’t programmed robots, nor do we possess instinctual knowledge, as do other animals, that tells us what’s food and how to get it. We are capable of allowing ourselves to die by default, or acting explicitly to our own destruction, unlike other animals. Because of this real, natural, unavoidable choice that every human being must ultimately make, there is implied the natural right to make the choice. The choice exists as a matter of nature, and therefore, everyone has the right to make it by pure fact of the secular, materialist nature of his being.

And that is it. All. Nothing mysterious. Nothing mystical. All other rights flow as corollary consequence of that one basic right, which ought to be easy enough for anyone to think through the implications with a bit of effort.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Chris on May 8, 2006 at 15:53

    You pointed out a key thing, in that humans have a "volitional consciousness" as coined by Nathanial Branden. We can "choose" to ignore facts and reality. However, we can't choose to be free from the results of that ignorance.

    Great post.

    Here via blogspot.

  2. Richard Nikoley on May 9, 2006 at 08:07

    "The very concept of short-lived humans 'owning' the Earth…"

    Strawman. We're talking about individual beings of a particular kind of consciousness earning or inheriting ownership of specific and limited portions of physical land wherever it might be–on Earth or elsewhere in the universe.

    "Land ownership is all too often theft…"

    And when is it not "theft?"

  3. Kyle Bennett on May 9, 2006 at 08:11

    And how is "theft" defined outside any propertarian context?

  4. new illuminati on May 9, 2006 at 07:40

    The very concept of short-lived humans 'owning' the Earth is a post-nomadic aberration that is at the root of most other propertarian drives. Ownership of the womb is a similarly ludicrous concept which has imparted to us the dubious 'benefits' of Patriarchy.
    Land ownership is all too often theft – this doesn't make it a 'natural law' or even an example of 'free will', but is a good example of what happens when humanity reverts to the default state – biological imperatives – that exist for beings who do not examine their motives or themselves.

  5. jbruno on May 12, 2006 at 19:06

    Biological imperatives are the "default state" of humanity? By default state do you mean baseline?

    It is unfortunate that people continue to pull on science in different respects to reflect a personal or religious principle. The concept upon which they pull is almost always more complex than they perceive, and ultimately incompatible with the principle they sought to "illuminate."

    I don't think "natural law" has been properly defined either. In fact, it's being entirely anthropomorphized.

    Consider the source. New Illuminati publishes an online magazine devoted to articles like the following:

    An Interplanetary Adventure
    In 1989, Alec Newald's lifepath took an unexpected turn when he was abducted by a group of benevolent aliens for ten days and transported to their homeworld.
    His amazing experiences have great significance for the future of humanity and our galactic cousins."*

    It's damn time someone brought forth the truth. Thank you, NI (that was sarcasm).


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