Friday, July 22, 2022

One of these things is not like the other

When things are different, but someone claims they are the same by way of analogy:

"Me carrying a gun onto your property when you've said I can't is no different than me breaking into your house while you're gone and settling down on your couch to watch your DVDs on your big-screen TV. Even if I bring my own popcorn, and even if don't damage the lock on your door when I break in, and even if I leave a quarter on the dining room table on my way out to pay for the electricity I used, and even if you never know it happened, I'm still stealing from you. That house and that TV and those DVDs are yours, not mine." [link]

1- "breaking into your house". Not invited, even provisionally. Entering a private space, through a locked or closed door (or window) meant to keep out everyone but the property owners, without even the awareness of the owner. 

2- All the activities described involve wear and tear on the property. Damage; a reduction in the property's value/life span, even if minimal. Even if unnoticed.

3- Physical damage is theft; mere physical presence isn't theft.*

So, "no different"? Really?

If you don't want to respect people's bodily autonomy while they are on your property you have every right to close that property off to others-- as the homeowner in the analogy did. Slavery-- claiming property rights over the bodies of others-- isn't OK even if you "only" do it while they are on your property, or as a condition of them entering your property.  Yes, the best way to deal with such horribly untrustworthy people is to shun them.

If I am worried about what might be in your pants while you are on my property I will simply not open my property to you. I will not invite you onto my property at all, rather than claiming I have the right to dictate what's in your pants, unseen and not causing any physical damage to anything of mine. If I invite you onto my property, either my private property or my business property (which I presumably want "the public" to use), I will absolutely respect all your natural human rights, without exception. I struggle to imagine how someone could do otherwise and claim any sort of moral high ground.

*The claim that mere presence is theft is similar to the "Intellectual Property" claim that an idea can be stolen. In neither case is the thing itself damaged or harmed in any way. It is still there, unchanged, for the owner to use just as before.