Peter takes me to be saying more than I intended to in that post: to be commending desert as a criterion of ownership, and overlooking the benefits of private property, ignoring the horrors of totalitarianism - and possibly other things besides.It's more that I was pointing out that there was, in his argument about desert, an idea of agency, some unidentified entity, allocating a desert or reward for labour or effort, where in fact no such thing exists.
I still don't see any argument that this invisible entity exists.
Norm went on to comment, of a post by Tim:
However, Tim's point is that we give the creator the right over the thing to encourage her to create it. Does this mean I should have no right to what I've created if everyone else regards it as useless? In which case you could make off with it. Right?But it isn't implicit in Tim's argument that property rights should be withdrawn if someone's creation is widely considered to be useless. Perhaps we should leave all creations as the property of the creator because we can't know which will turn out, at some point in the future, to be useful. We should encourage creation anyway, and the outcome of this will be useful things. Any limitation we place on this will result in fewer useful things. If people can steal things that are widely considered to be useless, the incentive to create will be reduced.
This began as a moral argument. Religious morality condemns theft. What of the basis of ownership? I argued that a product is the consequence of a producer's actions and that this is a basis for ownership. “As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap” might support this idea.
Secular moralities tend, so far as I know, to be based on outcomes. As both Tim and I argued, the outcomes of this basis of ownership are favourable.
In both cases, Christian and secular, we have a moral justification for consequential ownership. I don't know enough about other traditions to comment.