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Re: ownership

At 04:22 PM 09/10/97 -0500, you wrote:
>> I submit that certain fossils
>> (and other material) should be national treasures whether it is found on
>> public or private land.
>Individual rights and freedom are more important than fossils. Just
>because you and I happen to _like_ fossils does not give us the right to
>steal them from their rightful owners. If I was considering breaking into
>your house or apartment to steal your fossils--nevermind my rationale for
>pretending that I have the right to do that, just assume that I have any
>any rationale you like--I would expect to be staring down the wrong end of
>something very lethal while awaiting the police to arrive, cuff me, and
>hold me for trial.
Nobody is suggesting that we as individuals should go into a home and
remove fossils.  The idea is that they should not be there in the first
place.  This point and the rest of my argument deals only with important
fossils, as outlined in the original post.

>Of course, any person who owns the land, or otherwise properly trades for
>that fossil with the land owner, _is_ the rightful owner of it. Surely
>_you_ are not, until you meet one of those conditions. Just because you
>can see something doesn't make it yours. Just because you want something
>doesn't give you the right to take it by force.
This is your opinion (and the way it works in some States).  This is,
however, not how it works in much of the world.  You are talking like it is
an individual who wants these things, rather than a population.

>Being adults, of course, we might consider the merits of _paying_ _for_
>the things we want people to give us, and we might remember that our
>rights stop at other people's noses.

>> There is considerable precedence for this approach.
>The USSR, Hitler's Germany, Castro's Cuba, Red China, and all other
>dictatorships, the existence of which is always rationalized to be for a
>"higher good" than mere individual lives, freedoms, activities and
>happiness. After all, of what importance are those when compared to the
>desires of a political oligarchy? Or a scientific one?
You have missed the point.  Why are you citing such a reactionary list?
Try Canada.  Canada is not an oligarchy.  It is illegal to remove fossils
from the ground.  Actually, the laws have been much cited on this list, so
they can be looked up.

>We on this list have no more rights than anybody else. And we have to live
>with that.
What is your point?
--gold and political pieces snipped--
>> It is illegal to own a spotted owl, etc etc. It is illegal to own
>> ivory that is less than 120 years old or registered when every thing was
>> grandfathered a few years ago.
>Yes, you can cite myriads of irrational laws which morally justify armed
>resistance against the enforcers of them. (Anyone who would forcibly
>sacrifice a _human_ to an evolutionary failure of an owl deserves to be
>treated like the dangerous, nihilist and misanthropic thug that he is.)
It should be obvious that the extinction of the owls is hardly due to
evolution.  It is also illegal to steal from a dead body that falls onto
your property.  It is odd that people hold their own visible background in
high regard (protection of archeological sites), but not the history of
life itself.

--political section removed--

>For you to enforce your proposal, you would have to initiate force against
>landowners who have never hurt anyone. You would become just another
>carjacker, only of fossils; you would be just another armed robber, only
>of homes instead of convenience stores; you would be just another Paul,
>who wants to be paid by the robbing of Peter, and has a gang of
>brownshirts or SS to do the actual thieving on your behalf.
Some consider the theft of national treasures "harm".  Certainly Canada
does.  I know we are not alone, I just cannot cite others without more
research.  If you have broken the law, it is not illegal for the law
inforcement of the land to go onto private property, no matter what
extremist groups like to say.

>Our national treasures in this country are individual rights and freedom.
>Any and all attempts to make a concrete item a national treasure must
>necessarily be an attempt to usurp the rights of man for the petty
>materialistic desires of men. _Someone_ has to create an item, or
>_someone_ has to discover it. It is those people whom you would
>unleash your force upon.
There is more to humanity than sitting on ones own land screaming "It's my
personal freedom".  Discovery is not diminished if the object ends up in a
museum.  The Tyrrell announces and records those amateurs who find fossils
for them.

>If you can prove the morality of that to me, rather than just asserting
>it on your say-so, or asserting its "precedence" on the bloody orthodoxy
>of history, I will abide by your restrictions should they come to pass.
The attempt was made to try to suggest a way to deal with important
fossils.  It was meant to promote discussion.  That is what the list is for.

>Until then, steal _my_ fossils at your own risk.
Nobody is suggesting the theft of legally obtained fossils.  When the law
banning ownership of fossils was passed in Alberta, you had a period of
time to register your finds, at which point, they remained your property.

Darryl  <dinoguy@interlog.com
Visit my webpage at:
"Genetics explains why you look like your father, and if
you don't, why you should."   (anonymous)