A Story Regarding Ownership

Okay, story time!

A house owner comes along hard times and goes to talk to someone who is renting out a room in his house.

The owner says to the renter, “Sorry, I’m kicking you out.”

The renter is necessarily shocked. “What? Why!”

The owner says, “Well, money’s tight, you’re eating my food and taking up space I could use to have a home office, and the rent you’re paying me just isn’t worth it.”

The renter says, “Well, if you’ll give me a few months, maybe I can get a promotion or something and be able to pay you more rent?”

The owner replies, “That really wouldn’t align with my best interests, and the way things are, I’d much rather prefer you out as soon as possible.”

The renter grows desperate, “But without a place to live, I’ll almost certainly lose my job and starve to death! Don’t you care that you’d have my life on your hands?”

The owner says, “I don’t really see how your life is any of my concern – this is my house and I’ll do what I want with it, as is my right.”

So the owner kicks the renter out, and the renter, without a place to live (and before long also without any job prospects), eventually dies of exposure.

The moral of this depressing story? There is none – it’s a parable, I must confess to having planned a bait-and-switch.

What I want you to do now is consider your sympathies between the owner and the renter, and I want you to think of what your position on abortion is.

If you felt for the owner, are you pro-choice, and support a woman’s ownership of her womb and her resulting right to do whatever she wants with it, even if it kills someone?

If you felt for the renter, are you pro-life, and feel that the welfare of those in need outweighs the rights of those with privilege?

It seems strange to me that the american political movement nominally in favor of the rights of ownership is the same one in favor of government control of the means of production (pun extremely intended), while the american political movement that would prefer welfare for the disadvantaged is the same one that advocates that gestation needs to be privatized (and if there’s a good pun there, I intend it too).

So, yeah, just a thought I had. Plus, a story. Everyone loves stories, right?


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5 Responses to “A Story Regarding Ownership”

  1. Austin Says:

    there’s a little difference. A grown person with a home and job, and therefore decades of life and love and people and attachments and blah blah blah, basically a whole life, is different from an unborn, half grown potential for life

  2. jklp Says:

    I would side with the home-owner (I think due to me being a home-owner myself) but I am also “pro-life”.

    The issue with the entire “abortion debate” isn’t one of who is allowed to do what to who’s body, but more of “at which point does a sentient being inhabit this mass of bone and tissue”.

    I think once that is determined, then people would be better at judging the exact cut off point when you are killing “someone” vs “a useless piece of flesh”.

  3. Indon Says:

    Well, the story isn’t about the homeowner kicking a useless piece of flesh out of their house to die.

    It’s about the homeowner kicking a someone out to die, basically killing them – and if that is their right as the owner of the home.

    The right to property is a strong one – but what other rights should it be held over?

  4. jklp Says:

    Ah right, I guess my comment was more focused on the abortion debate, saying that the decision would be made easier once it is possible to know when sentience is established, but I have to be honest I’m a little tired of discussing abortion 🙂

    In regards to property ownership taking precedences over other rights, I feel strongly over my property rights because I had to work hard to get what I’ve got, and the funny thing is it almost never fails to amaze me just how much most people underestimate exactly how much work / sacrifice that was.

    Your example of dying of exposure seems a little extreme, but I guess it goes to illustrate your point. If it were a certainty that this person were to die I would think twice, but knowing most functioning people in society they would be quite resilient to such a change. As per your example though, if this person were definitely known to die I wouldn’t kick them out but would help look for an alternate solution in which we would both get what we want.

    Be it helping him with interviews for promotions, finding another job, savings schemes / investments to help get his cash flow up, or maybe even help him find another place to live?

    And I only just noticed this aligns with my “pro-life” stance, where I don’t believe in abortion but I do believe in adoption …

  5. Indon Says:

    A pro-life stance isn’t just about believing in adoption – it’s believing that the government should make everyone else believe in it too – and thus, that the government has that right.

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