View Poll Results: Do You Believe in Natural Rights?

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  • Yes

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

  1. #81
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrepresented View Post
    Rights are whatever you can defend, be it through individual strength or collective teamwork.
    If I walk down a street and someone plugs me with a .38 you're saying I don't have a right to life? Bullcrap! My right to live is completely independent of whether or not I can defend it.
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  2. #82
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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.
    I have wondered about this from time to time and think it might depend on what one means, when one uses the word "rights".

    One way to interpret the word is that rights are what actually can do. In this sense they are, what society around you define And allow. These rights would be relativistic not only in reality but in theory with the Karamazov consequences.

    An other interpretation would be some general set of higher rights independent of the present legal system of the society one happens to be looking at. In this view rights would transcend the individual settings of a given society. This might at least find some support in a small number of rights general to most cultures.

    Yet another approach is to look at what people think are human rights. One finds that there seems to be a set of moral images in the human mind probably from birth. These moral images allow certain stuctures of right be defined that people generally believe to be categorical. A pity they are not consistent and sometimes contradict each other, as the work on the Fat Man Paradox seems to show.

    There is another approach to rights as the structure of rules that optimize the welfare of a society.

    These and other approaches are not all exclusive and overlap.

  3. #83
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    If I walk down a street and someone plugs me with a .38 you're saying I don't have a right to life? Bullcrap! My right to live is completely independent of whether or not I can defend it.
    Your right to life comes from the society in which you live, nowhere else.
    There is nothing demonstrably true that religion can provide the world that cannot be achieved more rationally through entirely secular means.

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  4. #84
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thrilla View Post
    it's interesting how many people believe rights didn't exist before 1776.
    No one thinks that. There were rights in lots of previous societies. That's one way we know that rights are secured by people and don't come from nature. Every civilization has had a different take on them.

    on what basis do you believe you have every right possible unless there's a constitutionally sound reason to restrict it?... what makes you believe this to be true?
    Because we have a general liberty interest and any law that restricts what we can do has to pass scrutiny in order to be enacted. It must at least be rationally related to a legitimate interest. No laws can restrict our liberty if they are merely arbitrary or capricious. You don't need a law saying that you have the right to put sugar in your coffee. And any law that says you can't would need to be based on a good reason to stop you. You have a right to do whatever you like unless there is a reason to prohibit it. That's how American law works. I don't "believe" that, that's how it works.

    oy vey... I didn't know i actually had to explain what a right is to you.. i would have assumed you already had an understanding.
    a right is a just claim to something... a just claim is the same as being entitled.
    You keep changing your words. You shouldn't do that. And you said nothing about being entitled to anything. You were talking about FEELING entitled.

    in this discussion, we''re talking about having just claims to something by virtue of our nature...we're entitled to something by virtue of nature.
    Again, you're using vague terms. What does "by virtue of our nature" even mean?

    well, this is generally where the meat and potatoes of the discussion comes in ... are these rights created by man.. or are they discovered and developed by man?
    if they are created, who are the creators? and on what basis did these creations take hold?... personally, I can't fathom an accidental creation of such a thing that just so happens to coincidence perfectly with natural human reason and behavior... but then again, i'm not a big believer in magic or incredible coincidence that just so happens to be as valid today as it was 2500 years ago... or 2000 years ago.. or 200 years ago.
    Rights are created by everyone. Every human civilization has had its own concept of rights. We didn't stumble onto the idea, as you seem to be suggesting. It's an integral part of every human society. Rights are simply a part of having rules to govern our interaction. And again, every group of people has had rules to govern their societies.

    again.. creation or discovery?..... feel free to provide an argument as to why they are a creation as opposed to a discovery.
    There's nothing to discover. Rights aren't a physical law. They're not even a psychological law. They're part of human interaction. We create them when we decide how we want our societies to function.

    Why don't you provide an argument? You haven't yet done that. All you've done is throw increasingly vague terms at me and pretend that this means something.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    If I walk down a street and someone plugs me with a .38 you're saying I don't have a right to life? Bullcrap! My right to live is completely independent of whether or not I can defend it.
    You don't have the right to live if you are in a society that doesn't act to secure it. If you were a slave in this country, you did not have the right to live. There was no force whatsoever on your owner that would prevent him from killing you. There was no determination by society that he couldn't kill you whenever he wanted. Rights exist only when a society decides they do. We'd better make sure that our society decides well.
    Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité.

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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cephus View Post
    Your right to life comes from the society in which you live, nowhere else.
    The right to get plugged in the brain with a a bullet renders the concept of a right meaningless. I mean, if society said "2 + 2 = 6. Why? Because we ****ing said so" would that make it true?
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unrepresented View Post
    You're able to own yourself so long as those stronger do not wish to own you more.
    No one can ever own his right to live, even if that person blows his brains out. Force is a physical power, not a right. You can't kill a concept with a gun.
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  7. #87
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    I find it interesting how people who claim various other political philosophies can turn into raging anarchists when discussing issues such as this.

    I don't call it "natural rights", but the sense of self SHOULD lead people inexorably towards developing a sense of others. If it doesn't, then the person in question is a sociopath. Sociopathy masquerading as a political philosophy simply doesn't cut it for me.

    The so-called "golden rule" is a notion that has arisen independently in so many cultures that any thinking person should question its origins.
    "you're better off on Stormfront discussing how evil brown men are taking innocent white flowers." Infinite Chaos

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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gardener View Post
    I don't call it "natural rights", but the sense of self SHOULD lead people inexorably towards developing a sense of others. If it doesn't, then the person in question is a sociopath. Sociopathy masquerading as a political philosophy simply doesn't cut it for me.
    You're onto something here. One question we need to ask first is, "What is a society?" Does a family qualify as a society? How about an extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc? Is a "tribe" then a form of society? Is it natural? Are humans naturally social creatures, or do they tend to be independent and solitary? Do people, especially those who are related, feel a natural affinity towards one another? Because if they do, this affinity can form the basis for the concept of a right.
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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?
    You are badly confusing two different things - one bing abilities one has because of biology - the other being legal rights.
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    Re: Do You Believe In Natural Rights?

    No. We have ABILITIES imparted to us by nature. Our ABILITY to fight, speak, etc.
    "Half full or half empty doesn't matter. What matters is, you've only got half a glass...so what are you going to do about it?" - Me
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