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Rights

Poll Results: As far as rights are concerned, I believe in...

 
  • 0% (0)
    Positive Rights
  • 33% (1)
    Negative Rights
  • 0% (0)
    Neither
  • 66% (2)
    Both
  • 0% (0)
    I'm not sure
3 Total Votes  
post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
This is a subject that I consider rather important and often underlying (though sometimes invisible) many of the major issues of our day. It's a discussion that can make people's eye glaze over because it seems obtuse and overly philosophical. Perhaps it is. But, regardless of those concerns, it is vital.

We here people throw this word around casually, thoughtlessly and recklessly without explaining what is meant.

There seem to be two basic types of "rights" defined by philosophers: positive and negative (another article).

So some questions:

What is a "right?" What rights do people have? Why? Where do they come from? Are they granted (as by government) or do they simply exist, are discovered by us and merely protected (supposedly) by government? What happens when these rights conflict with one another?

I'll state my own position as clearly as I can:

1. I am firmly in the negative rights camp. So much so that I don't really think that "positive rights" are "rights" at all.

2. I often refer to these as natural rights. Rights we are born with. Rights given to us by our Creator they are not granted to us by the government.

3. These rights cannot be rightly and morally taken away from us or restricted by anyone.

4. The one and only purpose of government, if it must exist, is to protect these rights and, possibly, adjudicate conflicts and infringements of these rights by one person or group upon another person or group.

5. In my view, the basic, natural rights we each have consist of life, liberty and property. Arguably "the pursuit of happiness" might also be one...sort of a "derivative right" from the right of liberty. Also defense is probably an obvious and intuitive "derivative right" from these others. These rights mean I have the right to pursue a job opportunity (but not force anyone to give me a job)...to seek out a home to buy (or rent) and live in (but not compel anyone to sell or rent to me)...to try and get an education (but not to force someone to give it to me or pay for it form)...same with health care services.

6. Some additional "corollary" or "derivative" rights probably include the right to speak and think what I want. The right to congregate (or not) with anyone I want to (assuming they voluntarily chose to congregate with me.)

Those are the basics. What about you? How important do you think this issue is? Where do you stand on some of these questions:

What is a "right?" What rights do people have? Why? Where do they come from? Are they granted (as by government) or do they simply exist, are discovered by us and merely protected (supposedly) by government? What happens when these rights conflict with one another?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
From another thread where this subject came up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970

Well, we often have a very muddled idea of what "rights" are. We throw the word around rather carelessly without taking the time to define it and say what we really mean. We also fail to recognize key conflicts and contradictions. Let me give a reasonably simple example.

Let's say that each person is said to have a right to their own life, body, labor, liberty and property. Saying they have a right to these things implies it is something that cannot rightly and morally be taken away from them. Not by popular vote. Not by another individual. Not by a big group of people. These things...the person's life, body, labor, liberty and property are their own. No one can infringe on these. And they cannot, in turn, infringe on anyone else's same rights.

Now let's say that someone says another person has a right to, say, education. Meaning they have a right to have an education given to them. Immediately we have a problem. In order to accommodate or fulfill this so-called "right" to an education (or housing or a "fair wage" job or health care services or food) something must be taken from someone else (or many others) by some kind of earthly authority in order to deliver on this right. In order to deliver this "right", the rights mentioned above must be infringed upon.

This is why I said what I said. When we avoid the discussion of what rights actually are, which ones actually exist and so on. We avoid one of the root sources of conflict under many of the issues of the day.

So to bring this back to the thread topic:

One claim is that the hotel owner has rights as a property owner to their property and, therefore, how it can and will be used.

A second claim is that an couple has a "right" to stay in that hotel in the same room.

The hotel owner, exercising property owner rights should have the right to set the rules for conduct on or within his or her property. But someone else (a majority rule group or some legislators or judges) says "No." you don't have that right.

What's especially interesting is how terribly inconsistent people often are on an issue almost exactly like this. I don't have the link handy but someone did one of these "man on the street" surveys of people asking them whether or, for example, a black business owner (e.g., a restaurant) should have the right to refuse service to a KKK member or neo-Nazi member. Pretty widely it was agreed that he should be allowed to...the reasoning offered...Because it was his property and his establishment.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #3 of 19
I strongly believe in the right to be free from the idiocy of living our lives in the shakles of absolutes.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I strongly believe in the right to be free from the idiocy of living our lives in the shakles of absolutes.

Are there some absolutes you find yourself shackled by?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #5 of 19
What kind of society is aiming towards the restriction, or slimming down, of rights (either negative or positive)... and if there are societies pursuing that direction, to what extreme can (will) they go?

The fewer rights a population has, the quicker they tend to surrender what's left, in a closed loop, accelerating process.

To what extent is the world in general headed in that direction?
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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post #6 of 19
Rights are not given to you by anyone or any government. You are imbued with them from birth.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 19
Persoanlly, I am not limited by absolutes. I would hate to be of the retarded mindset, for instance that ALL positive rights are either good or bad or ALL negative rights are either good or bad, or even that all rights can be categorized exclusively into one or the other.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Rights are not given to you by anyone or any government. You are imbued with them from birth.

???

I'm imbued with shareholder rights? I'm imbued with parental rights? I'm imbued with the right to live and work in Hong Kong without a visa?
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Rights are not given to you by anyone or any government. You are imbued with them from birth.

Of course we all have rights, regardless of the society we live within. The ability to claim or act upon those rights can be, and often is, restricted by the powers-that-be in your empire/nation/society/community/company/union/home-owners association/whatever.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply
post #10 of 19
Rights are something that are granted to you by the Society you live in. You have not other rights.

They do not exist as an abstract and do not exist apart from a societal or tribal construct.

They exist purely to power a society in the direction the drivers of that society want it to go. For example, there can be no 'equal rights for black and white' if there is no racism.

So such a right would need a society that is going in the racist direction in the first place. Therefore 'rights' are in fact a reaction to a perceived ill -in this case racism.

'Gay rights' become an issue when homophobia becomes an issue. Not before. Therefore 'rights' do not exist but are merely an attempted remedy for illnesses in society.

When these illnesses arise then people will be deprived of self-expression. 'Rights' is the name they currently give to their resistance and attempts to fix things....though historically and traditionally there have been other names and methods of adjusting society.

Currently the methods around the 'rights' approach for a person discriminated against are:

1) You can accept the discrimination, perhaps agree with it, and live within the framework Society has defined. Be 'law abiding' in short.

2) You can leave the Society and go to another - or attempt to. If you are gay in Iran for example you have no right to be so - you could try to escape to, say, the US.

3) If you cannot leave or if you feel called to do so then you may become a sort of 'change agent' for reform. You could do this in a country where you cannot leave as it is restricted and oppressive of your particular rights (see Iran example above) or else you could choose to be such a leader.

MLK is a classic example. Black people did not have certain rights in the US. MLK did not move to another freer society but chose to stay and change things.

4) In recent times, there is another option too: the European Courts of Human Rights and International Law. These are not so effective and are being 'strangled at birth' because - naturally - individual societies do not want the existence of a higher entity that can over-rule their definition of 'rights'.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammi jo View Post

Of course we all have rights, regardless of the society we live within. The ability to claim or act upon those rights can be, and often is, restricted by the powers-that-be in your empire/nation/society/community/company/union/home-owners association/whatever.

How so? Society is a false construct - in a way there is no difference between a 'good' society and a 'bad' one. All there is is the fact that the leaders managed to gain and retain power and perpetuate their ideology.

If there were no Society you would have no rights - unless one made a religious argument but even then virtually all religion (except mystical versions) is predicated on acceptance of a society's norms - "render undo Caesar" in Christianity and in Islam the religion IS society.

More mystical formulation reject society and encourage a form of 'dropping-out' but this always involves some form of repudiation of one's rights.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Persoanlly, I am not limited by absolutes.

I doubt that's true. But, moving on...


Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I would hate to be of the retarded mindset...

Is it possible for you to simply respectfully disagree, or must you suggest that those who have a different viewpoint than you have a "retarded mindset?" We are dealing in the realm of opinions and beliefs here. Strongly held perhaps, but opinions and beliefs nonetheless.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to reconcile these two statements:

Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Society is a false construct

Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

If there were no Society you would have no rights

Can you elaborate?

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I'm trying to reconcile these two statements:

Can you elaborate?

No problem.

Society is an artificial means of uniting people together to a certain end. If you think about it, originally there were families living in caves - they competed with other families for limited resources. They evolved their own beliefs and morals to support this competition and mark them as 'different' from their competitors.

At some point these families expanded into 'tribes'. These tribes later formed alliances and later still, when cities arose, people banded together to create the city and even the 'nation'.

In order for this to work - uniting people and groups of differing and opposing beliefs several things were necessary - 'rights' was one of the carrots invented to 'pay' people for their continued allegiance.

It works like this:

1) as a lone individual or family you have no 'rights' as you do not need them. This is the natural state: the individual or family fending for themselves

2) Society takes away the necessity of 'fending for yourself' and creates a false state where you yourself continue to renounce any plans to 'fend for yourself' or be an individual and voluntarily submit to the apparatus of State, Nation or Society.

3) In return Society - to stop you opting out of the false construct and going off and starting your own commune or alternate existence - gives you certain things and calls these 'your rights'.

But actually they would not exist if society did not exist because society invented them. Invented them to stop you giving up on society.

The people who are not 'allowed' certain 'rights' by society do indeed 'drop out' - as I said, other try to change it and if they succeed then they stay in society.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Rights are something that are granted to you by the Society you live in. You have not other rights.

They do not exist as an abstract and do not exist apart from a societal or tribal construct.

They exist purely to power a society in the direction the drivers of that society want it to go. For example, there can be no 'equal rights for black and white' if there is no racism.

So such a right would need a society that is going in the racist direction in the first place. Therefore 'rights' are in fact a reaction to a perceived ill -in this case racism.

'Gay rights' become an issue when homophobia becomes an issue. Not before. Therefore 'rights' do not exist but are merely an attempted remedy for illnesses in society.

When these illnesses arise then people will be deprived of self-expression. 'Rights' is the name they currently give to their resistance and attempts to fix things....though historically and traditionally there have been other names and methods of adjusting society.

Currently the methods around the 'rights' approach for a person discriminated against are:

1) You can accept the discrimination, perhaps agree with it, and live within the framework Society has defined. Be 'law abiding' in short.

2) You can leave the Society and go to another - or attempt to. If you are gay in Iran for example you have no right to be so - you could try to escape to, say, the US.

3) If you cannot leave or if you feel called to do so then you may become a sort of 'change agent' for reform. You could do this in a country where you cannot leave as it is restricted and oppressive of your particular rights (see Iran example above) or else you could choose to be such a leader.

MLK is a classic example. Black people did not have certain rights in the US. MLK did not move to another freer society but chose to stay and change things.

4) In recent times, there is another option too: the European Courts of Human Rights and International Law. These are not so effective and are being 'strangled at birth' because - naturally - individual societies do not want the existence of a higher entity that can over-rule their definition of 'rights'.

I don't even have the time to respond to all of this. I just say I vehemently disagree and leave it at that.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

I don't even have the time to respond to all of this. I just say I vehemently disagree and leave it at that.

Aw....come on!! Rip it apart!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Aw....come on!! Rip it apart!

Can't I just say "this sucks" and be done with it?

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Can't I just say "this sucks" and be done with it?

Seeing as it's you then ok...

Don't tell anyone though. There's enough excuses for avoiding debate - we don't want to do anything "pour encourager les autres"
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Persoanlly, I am not limited by absolutes. I would hate to be of the retarded mindset, for instance that ALL positive rights are either good or bad or ALL negative rights are either good or bad, or even that all rights can be categorized exclusively into one or the other.

I think we can speak in generalities, though. I'm in the "negative" rights camp for sure. "Positive rights" are usually created by governments. This is at the very heart of the matter when it comes to President Obama's agenda. He has stated more than once that he believes the Constitution is a "charter of negative liberties" and that he feels this needs to changed so that it says what it must do "on your behalf."
I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
Reply
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