Reply To: self ownership


I think that my idea of dignity precludes the notion of voluntarily selling oneself into slavery. The problem is–who is to stop it? It is sort of like finding prostitution to be an assault against the human condition–but, again, who is to stop it? Perhaps if it is the belief of the people that we do not own ourselves, we could not feel pressure to sell ourselves anymore than we feel pressure to murder someone that we perceive to be causing us great distress. In a community of such believers, is it conceivable to have a law that prohibits these transactions? As long as the person is free to leave those communities, then would it be anti-freedom for them to be established? I guess it all comes down to self-governing. The second part of the passage about gifting oneself is how we come to own oneself does not feel right to me. I think this could be an affront to human dignity, as well, so I’m not sure how the author rationalizes this. I imagine gifting ourselves could be a form of slavery, too. The pressure to gift oneself for the benefit of the community, for instance. Perhaps it is the Conservative in me that is addressing this. The Liberal in me probably has more to do with the notion that no entity, save my conception of God, is in a better position to use me than myself.