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Stout Bryce Glymour Introduction to Moral Philosophy April 11, 2005 Why Entitlement theory threatens life on the planet?
The media almost everyday talks about the un satisfactory conditions that are occurring in the world as a result of capitalism, which leads other hacks to begin to argue that socialism is the answer, or that we should share everything equitably. Robert Nozick in Anarchy, State, and Utopia argues that this sort of patterned distributive system is inherently wrong and won’t work. He then offers his own plan to solve these dilemmas, in which he calls the Entitlement theory. To discover and evaluate Nozick’s argument we should look at it in three sections, what humans are, how trade should occur, and why entitlement theory threatens life on the planet. First, Nozick spends quite a bit of time describing how humans are ends in their own right. He says we all own our selves and own our labor and what our labor produces. This accordingly means that the money we acquire through working and selling objects is ours and no one else’s. Here Nozick says that any patterned distributive system, system that says people all get X amount of things in the world, are inherently going to be taking away things that we are involuntarily giving away, IE, are being stolen. This is Nozick’s main argument as to why any distributive system is unjust, because it steals things from people and gives them to other and this is unjust. Second, Nozick says that a certain form of trade should occur, and should dictate all trade and transactions that occur. He breaks them up into three different criteria for being a legitimate transaction. First, that all resources attained in a trade from someone who owned the resource justly, is therefore a just transaction. Second, Persons are entitled to resources acquired in a just fashion. Third, that violations of these provisions should mean that the resources are returned back to the rightful owner. The first one is pretty simple. In all transactions, as long as the person who is trading with you and your resource have been acquired justly, then the transaction is just. A good example is a stolen car, just
2 because you might have bought the stolen car, because it was unjustly acquired, it means that your acquisition is unjust as well. The second provision is based upon the Lockean proviso, in this provision Nozick makes a few adjustments in which it now says that people are able to acquire unacquired resources as long as it doesn’t make the well being of others worse. If someone is using the resource that is being acquired by A, then B, has a right to either be a sharecropper or a laborer to A and A must keep B in a life that B has become accustomed to. (Johnson, no date) The Third provision essentially says that in the event of an unjust transaction, or an acquisition of resources that violates the other two provisions, then there should be a return of resources to the original owner, or a redistribution of according to the difference principle. Accordingly, this process should after an initial redistribution be able to keep things all just and there for moral. When this process goes underway it then allows all people to be ends in their own right, and to own themselves. But while this may be all nice and dandy, there is a major problem with this theory, and that simply is the existence of the United States of America. I will argue that without the US that there will inevitably be a nuclear war that will encompass extinction of the human species. Ultimately, this injustice might be wrong, but there has to be another way to deal with the problem, and Nozick’s proposal is a dangerous one that will engulf the world in a chaos. There are two reasons as to why the government would dissolve, and the scenario of chaos. First Reason Premise one- According to Nozick’s provision two, the Native Americans were the first to be in the North American area, and in turn are the legitimate owners of all the land because it was forcefully taken from them. (Flat Rock.org, 05) First Reason Premise two- According to Nozick’s provision three, all persons of European descent, or have acquired resources through governmental measures have functionally bought a stolen car and therefore the resources and land ought be given back to the Native Americans.
3 First Reason Premise three- Without land nor resources the US military will be dissolved, as will the government. First Reason Conclusion- Accordingly to Nozick’s theory, this means that the US military will be gone and their hegemony in the world will disappear as well as resulting in nuclear war. Second reason Premise one- Because as Nozick articulates so forcefully that taxes are stealing of someone’s property or are an unjust acquisition of resources. Second reason Premise two- According to provision three, the tax money would then be returned to the taxpayers. Second reason premise three- tax money is critical in order for the government to provide a military that is as hegemonic as it is now. The 1980s is proof of this as it required billions of dollars for the US government to create the biggest and greatest military in the world. Conclusion- Without tax money, the military will disappear. So both scenarios create a situation in which there is no longer a federal government and more important there is no military from the US in the many different parts of the world. Without the US military it would result in chaos in the Middle East that would ultimately lead to a nuclear war. Because of the danger and the fear of their countries being attacked, countries are trying to acquire nuclear weapons, the US military is leadership is critical to ensure that nations don’t acquire these nuclear weapons. (Khalizad, 95) To be more specific, the US is highly involved in the Middle East, with its involvement in Iraq, and its allieship with Israel. An American withdrawal from the Middle East would create a power vacuum that would encourage all the countries in this region to try to rise to regional domination, in this rush for power, countries would purchase or develop nuclear weapons. (Khalizad, 95) Because of their immense resources they could purchase the newest and best technology because of all their resources. This logically would mean they would want neutron weapons as it these weapons don’t do structural damage which would allow them to invade and take oil fields. These are problematic because the use of one of these
weapons will cause extinction. This will occur because of the radiation that will emanate from the weapons use. This radiation will work its way towards the center of the earth, there it will overheat the core of the planet and cause it to explode killing all life on earth. (Chalko, 03) Along with the neutron weapons regular nuclear weapons would be acquired and this would cause Israel to pre-emtively strike and lead to an all out nuclear war in the Middle East with the Islamic world against Israel. (Beres, 97) This in its own right could lead to a Nuclear winter because of the immense amounts of dirt, dust and debris thrown into the air. This would block out the suns light and prevent any kind of food to be grown and result in our own extinction due to starvation. Ultimately an adoption of Nozicks theory would be devastating because of its immense impact it would have on Middle East politics because of the power vacuum that would be created with an American disappearance. This would end in a devastating Extinction of the human species.
Works Cited Beres, Lous Rene, Dickson Journal of International Law, Winter, Article: After the “peace process”. Israel, Palestine and Regional Nuclear war. 1997 Chalko, Tom J. Ph.D, MSc, Head of Geophysics Division, MT Best, Australia, NU Journal of Discovery, “Can a
Neutron Bomb Accelerate Global Volcanic Activity”, March 3, 2003. FlatRock.Org. Pay or Pay attention. 1/10//2005 http://flatrock.org.nz/topics/society_culture/strategic_planning_session.htm Khaliszad, Zalmay Losing the moment? The United States and the World after the Cold War. The Washington Quarterly. Spring 1995.
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