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The answer to this is going to depend on exactly what you mean by "can" and "own."

Is it legal? No. That is slavery. Is it possible? Yes, it is possible to keep a captive and force him or her to do your will. It is even possible for a person to become a slave willingly and submit voluntarily to another. Is that "ownership," though?

Does "own" mean the legal right to possess, keep, and sell or dispose of at one's will? Then no, not if it has to be legal.

But there have been times and places when it was legal, as you well know, to claim ownership of another human being as property. And there are and have been many things done outside the law. If you define "own" in another way, however, and there is a lot of room for both gross and subtle variation in the meaning of that word, you may be describing a relationship that is possible and not illegal but that still involves ownership in some sense.

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15y ago
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12y ago

Owning another person is called slavery. It was a common practice throughout humanity's history, but today slavery is regarded as morally abhorrent and is illegal in most parts of the world. Slavery is now only prevalent in the deepest and darkest circles of crime and savagery.


In some traditions, cultures and beliefs, women and children are considered the property of the dominant males. Some religions and their influence upon the laws of the land, dictates that women and children are the property of men.

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8y ago

Yes, but it's so wrong... even in a relationship setting

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11y ago

That is called slavery. And slavery is illegal in every country in the world.

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Q: Can one man own another man?
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Because he has no coins of his own to suck.

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code of Hammurabi

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It doesn't say, "let each man believe his own day of worship," however, it does talk about "esteeming" one day above another. Romans 14:5,6 5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. 6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (King James Version)

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One man's trash-just means that everything is relative.