- Things owned can be permissibly traded, barring special circumstances.
- Trade in persons is never permissible.
- Thus, no one owns a person. (By 1-3)
- Thus, no person owns herself. (By 4)
(By the same argument, God doesn't own us, either. We belong to God, of course, but not by way of ownership.)
Let's continue thinking about self-ownership:
- If x is not simple and I own every proper part of x, I own x.
- I don't own myself. (By 4 and as I am a person)
- I am not simple.
- So, there is a proper part of me that I don't own. (By 5-7)
- All my proper parts are on par with respect to my ownership of them.
- So, I don't own any of my proper parts. (By 8-9)
Suppose the argument is correct. Then we have a further interesting argument:
- My organs are proper parts of me.
- It's wrong or impossible for me to sell what I don't own.
- So it's wrong or impossible for me to sell my organs. (By 10-12)
More worryingly, if the above argument were sound, it seems it would be sound with "organs" replaced by "hair". But it doesn't seem wrong or impossible for me to sell my hair. Perhaps, though, we should modify 9 to read:
9*. If I own any one of my living proper parts, I own all my living proper parts and a fortiori all my non-living proper parts.Then the conclusion is weaker than 10:
10*. I don't own any of my living parts.This could allow me to sell my hair and some gold atoms in my body, but not my kidney.