View Poll Results: Do You Believe in Natural Rights?

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    36 41.38%
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Thread: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

  1. #11
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Yes, I do. And I also believe in natural lefts.

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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    This topic seems to have popped up in a few threads recently so I thought I'd put this together. Put simply do you believe in the concept of natural rights? That is to say rights that are "not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable".

    Personally I don't. I think that Hobbes had it right when he intimated that the only 'natural right' that a human being possesses is the right to strive for their own survival. Everything else exists only at the sufferance of your own strength or the kindness of others. It is part of what makes civilization so essential and so valuable, because by creating a society we attempt to lift ourselves out of that war of all against all. This allows for freedom of speech, property rights, press freedoms, freedom of worship, etc. Absent organized society these 'rights' would be purely theoretical.
    The concept of natural rights is that which all living things are granted by nature, or, if you are a 'believer', by God. The implied intention of your existence to live, to breathe, to think, to speak, to hope, to create, to aspire, to strive, to survive--anything that requires no contribution or participation by any other in order for you to have it.

    For me to live, to write, to speak my thoughts, to express my belief, to practice my religion, to hold whatever altruistic or bigoted or prejudiced or noble convictions that I hold, require no participation or contribution by any other and therefore were intended by the founders to be my unalienable (i.e. natural) rights to have without interference from any despot, dictator, feudal lord, pope, monarch, or any other authoritarian government.

    But. . . .when I CHOOSE to live among and in cooperation with others, I may CHOOSE via social contract for the benefit of all to give up my right to certain liberties. For instance, on my own property on my own private road I can drive as recklessly and as fast as I choose. But on public roads in which all must share as well as share in their creation and upkeep, I agree to the rules of the road intended for the benefit of all.

    We get away from the concept of natural rights and social contract, when the strong presume to take property by force from whomever they want and give that property to whomever they want, or afford some favored people privileges that others are denied.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  3. #13
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    This topic seems to have popped up in a few threads recently so I thought I'd put this together. Put simply do you believe in the concept of natural rights? That is to say rights that are "not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable".

    Personally I don't. I think that Hobbes had it right when he intimated that the only 'natural right' that a human being possesses is the right to strive for their own survival. Everything else exists only at the sufferance of your own strength or the kindness of others. It is part of what makes civilization so essential and so valuable, because by creating a society we attempt to lift ourselves out of that war of all against all. This allows for freedom of speech, property rights, press freedoms, freedom of worship, etc. Absent organized society these 'rights' would be purely theoretical.
    The entire concept of a "right" is man-made so I don't even think natural rights CAN exist.

  4. #14
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    The entire concept of a "right" is man-made so I don't even think natural rights CAN exist.
    Is it? Did man think up the ability to breathe? To think? To hope? To aspire? To defend oneself and/or survive? To do what makes us happy or grateful or satisfied? Or are we born with such traits/ability as human beings without anybody willing that it be so?
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Is it? Did man think up the ability to breathe? To think? To hope? To aspire? To defend oneself and/or survive? To do what makes us happy or grateful or satisfied? Or are we born with such traits/ability as human beings without anybody willing that it be so?
    There is a logical step between everything on earth wanting things and everything on earth being entitled to things.
    "The side that stays within its fortifications is beaten." ~Napoleon

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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    The notion that a god decided we have rights is ridiculous.

    An animal or person in the wild has complete freedom to do what they want, whenever they want. When a person agrees to join or remain in a society of any type, they must agree to give up some of their freedom in exchange for the advantages that being a member provides. When that society codifies the restrictions that are imposed on individuals, anything not restricted is something of a "right," until revoked. If the society specifies limits on which individual activities can not be restricted then the rights are more established. But anyway you cut it, the rights comes from the society or the leader(s) of the society. Indifividuals can try to change the rules, ignore the rules and suffer the consequences, or leave the society. Only the last option, leaving the society and losing the privileges it provides, resembles a "natural right" and even that option can be restricted by the society.

  7. #17
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    Is it? Did man think up the ability to breathe? To think? To hope? To aspire? To defend oneself and/or survive? To do what makes us happy or grateful or satisfied? Or are we born with such traits/ability as human beings without anybody willing that it be so?
    Man didn't think up any of those things, but he did think up rights, like I said.

  8. #18
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hard Truth View Post
    The notion that a god decided we have rights is ridiculous.

    An animal or person in the wild has complete freedom to do what they want, whenever they want. When a person agrees to join or remain in a society of any type, they must agree to give up some of their freedom in exchange for the advantages that being a member provides. When that society codifies the restrictions that are imposed on individuals, anything not restricted is something of a "right," until revoked. If the society specifies limits on which individual activities can not be restricted then the rights are more established. But anyway you cut it, the rights comes from the society or the leader(s) of the society. Indifividuals can try to change the rules, ignore the rules and suffer the consequences, or leave the society. Only the last option, leaving the society and losing the privileges it provides, resembles a "natural right" and even that option can be restricted by the society.
    Ahem..just so everyone is aware God is not necessary for the theory.

  9. #19
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Gravity, mathematics, chemistry, bacteria, the elements all existed long before humankind became aware of them, how they worked, what they were useful for, or that they even existed. No government or person willed them into existence or created them. All government or people did was learn what they are, recognize them, give a name to identify them, and learn the value of them.

    It is the same with natural rights. The fact that it took most of the many millennia of civilization before humankind recognized and appreciated and gave a name to natural rights does not mean that they did not always exist. Humankind has always needed food, clothing, shelter and some form of self defense to survive. Humankind has always had a curiosity about the unknown, a desire for love, comfort, pleasure, happiness, and self satisfaction. Nobody had to grant anybody that. It has always existed.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

  10. #20
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePlayDrive View Post
    Man didn't think up any of those things, but he did think up rights, like I said.
    No. Man just identified and gave a name to natural rights. Like I said.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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