Sep 3, 2013

Self-Ownership and the Right to Say No

What would you say if someone asked you to do something absolutely awful without offering to compensate you in any way? To be clear, there is nothing in it for you. You would probably say no. If that same person tried to force you to do this, you would probably question their authority. What right does that person have to make you do anything? You own yourself. And as your owner, you have a right to decide who has access to you. This right may seem simple and obvious, says Prof. Dan Russell, but it plays a big part in your everyday life. Without self-ownership and the right to say no, you could be controlled by someone else. Your life might look very different if you had to toil for someone else’s benefit instead of your own. Because you own yourself, you can choose which activities to participate in and which to avoid. How do you value self-ownership? How important do you think it is to your life? Are there ways your self-ownership is threatened?