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Omer Moussaffi
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Yours is a valid point, but hardly anything new. Old TalkOrigins, for example, makes exactly the same point: But Darwin's Idea that natural and sexual selection are the important mechanisms of evolution - this is indeed a theory, or rather, a general framework for constructing theories of evolution in particular cases. Again, this is something which seems trivial to a secular person. To take your example, say we have a rival "theory" (a stupid one, I concur) which states that the president of the US gets into office not through popular vote, but through godly intervention. Then, showing that points 1-10 on your list are true, while not very difficult, is nonetheless important.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2010 on Darwin and his Defenders at
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And justly so, if I may. Just one little remark, if I may: I heard John Searle make the nice remark about money that it is a social construct in the sense that money has value in as much as people assign value to it. It does not have value independent of people's beliefs. The same should also be true of property in general. Regardless of the "deepness" of the notion of property, an item is your property iff there is a social agreement that it is. That social agreement is essential to your ability to exert violence in case of infringement. What you show is how this social construct may shape itself out, and similar explanations will probably be needed to explain how it is extended to complex types of property. The notion of scarcity in particular seems to me to be very important. Thus, for example, indigenous north-American tribesmen, having an abundance of land, were surprised at the Europeans' need to divide it into properties. That in itself was a construct very much natural to the density of the European continent.
Toggle Commented Sep 22, 2010 on The Retributive Theory of Property at
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Sep 22, 2010