INNOCENT purchasers of what involves wrong to others! Is not the phrase
absurd? If, in our legal tribunals, "ignorance of the law excuseth no man," how
much less can it do so in the tribunal of morals — and it is this to
which compensationists appeal.
And innocence can only shield from the punishment due to conscious wrong; it
cannot give right. If you innocently stand on my toes, you may fairly ask me
not to be angry; but you gain no right to continue to stand on them. — A
Perplexed Philosopher (Compensation)
WHEN a man exchanges property of one kind for property of another kind he gives
up the one with all its incidents and takes in its stead the other with its incidents.
He cannot sell bricks and buy hay, and then complain because the hay burned when
the bricks would not. The greater liability of the hay to burn is one of the
incidents he accepted in buying it. Nor can he exchange property having moral
sanction for property having only legal sanction, and claim that the moral sanction
of the thing he sold attaches now to the thing he bought. That has gone with
the thing to the other party in the exchange. Exchange transfers, it cannot create.
Each party gives up what right he had and takes what right the other party
had. The last holder obtains no moral right that the first holder did not have. — A
Perplexed Philosopher (Compensation) ... go
to "Gems from George"
We hold: That—
This world is the creation of God.
The men brought into it for the brief period of their earthly lives are
the equal creatures of his bounty, the equal subjects of his provident care.
By his constitution man is beset by physical wants, on the satisfaction
of which depend not only the maintenance of his physical life but also the
development of his intellectual and spiritual life.
God has made the satisfaction of these wants dependent on man’s own
exertions, giving him the power and laying on him the injunction to labor — a
power that of itself raises him far above the brute, since we may reverently
say that it enables him to become as it were a helper in the creative work.
God has not put on man the task of making bricks without straw. With the
need for labor and the power to labor he has also given to man the material
for labor. This material is land — man physically being a land animal,
who can live only on and from land, and can use other elements, such as air,
sunshine and water, only by the use of land.
Being the equal creatures of the Creator, equally entitled under his providence
to live their lives and satisfy their needs,
men are equally entitled to the use of land, and any adjustment that denies
this equal use of land is
morally wrong. ... read the whole letter