View Poll Results: Are we really born with inalienable rights?

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Thread: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

  1. #1
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    Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    The term "inalienable" rights only came about on the founding of the constitution. How about before then? Was our rights inalienable? Why are humans subject to "inalienable rights", yet other animals are not, and who says we should have such rights, what makes us deserving of such rights, is the term inalienable rights simply a factor of social construct aimed at providing the Human a false term of importance, or a system of civilization?

    Are we really born with Inalienable rights? Or is it merely a figment of the social structure we have developed as humans?
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Actually I think the idea of inalienable rights can be traced throughout history. One influential document to the USAs founders was the Magna Caarta.

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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Rights are granted and removed at the whim of those in control. We are born with no such "rights", that is a social construct. We are born with and continue to gain personal interests and desires and may feel we have the "right" to do xyz, but we only have said "right" if it is allowed by those who have ultimate control over our actions, or if we can beat down those who would deny us what we believe to be our "right".

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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by rivrrat View Post
    Rights are granted and removed at the whim of those in control. We are born with no such "rights", that is a social construct. We are born with and continue to gain personal interests and desires and may feel we have the "right" to do xyz, but we only have said "right" if it is allowed by those who have ultimate control over our actions, or if we can beat down those who would deny us what we believe to be our "right".
    Exactly.

    (ten words)
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Consider for the moment the inverse proposition: Humans have no inalienable rights.

    If there are no inalienable rights, then any "right" may be removed from any person at any time. "Rights" as such cease to exist, and are thus better apprehended as privileges granted or removed by some exterior agency. A person has not even the right to live and walk upon the earth if there are no inalienable rights.

    If there are no rights, on what basis can there be laws? If a person has no right to life, upon what basis can we ascribe punishment to the taking of life (that taking being legally defined as murder). Without a right to life, one person taking the life of another is not comprehensible as a wrong. Laws after a fashion could be imposed by government, but such laws could not be anything but arbitrary and capricious, for without rights there is no power to bind government. Without rights, government becomes merely a rule by the strongest element of a society--and a rule constantly challenged by others.

    One might perhaps argue that there need not be a society, and therefore there need not be a government, but such an argument fails to acknowledge the singular characteristic of Man--Man is a social animal. Homo sapiens sapiens, like the other great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, et cetera), and like a great many other animals, naturally gathers into groups. Community and society are instinctive behaviors in Man. Wherever there is Mankind, there will be society. However that society so orders itself will be the government of that society. This is no more than the consequence of Man's existence.

    Man will have society--for such is his nature--and thus Man will have government--being the defined order of that society. Sustaining that defined order requires that the capabilities of man be in some respect restrained; a man may not take as he will, kill as he will, do violence as he will, without consequence, for to allow such would be to disallow the order that preserves society. Even within the social groupings of other animals, individual members of those groupings are constrained from uninhibited action; it is no different for the social groupings of Man. Thus it is that for there to be society, there must be law to bind men into society.

    Because there will be society, and because society will have law, it is necessary that Men have rights--for if a man has no rights, by what power may he constrain his fellow men? If a man has no rights, by what power can he enforce the laws upon which society (that which he cannot do without) depends? A man must have at the very least the right to act to enforce the law.

    Because a man must have at least that much right, it necessarily follows that, regardless of the particulars of the social order, some rights cannot be set apart from man, and are thus "inalienable".

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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    The Sacred Rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the Hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.

    Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Consider for the moment the inverse proposition: Humans have no inalienable rights.

    If there are no inalienable rights, then any "right" may be removed from any person at any time. "Rights" as such cease to exist, and are thus better apprehended as privileges granted or removed by some exterior agency. A person has not even the right to live and walk upon the earth if there are no inalienable rights.
    I liked Carlin's POV on this:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F1Lq1uFcAE"]YouTube - George Carlin - Rights[/ame]
    Haymarket's "support" of the 2nd Amendment, a right he believes we never had.
    Quote Originally Posted by haymarket View Post
    no. You cannot lose rights you do not have in the first place. There is no such thing as the right to have any weapon of your choice regardless of any other consideration. It simply does not exist.

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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Consider for the moment the inverse proposition: Humans have no inalienable rights.

    If there are no inalienable rights, then any "right" may be removed from any person at any time. "Rights" as such cease to exist, and are thus better apprehended as privileges granted or removed by some exterior agency. A person has not even the right to live and walk upon the earth if there are no inalienable rights.

    If there are no rights, on what basis can there be laws? If a person has no right to life, upon what basis can we ascribe punishment to the taking of life (that taking being legally defined as murder). Without a right to life, one person taking the life of another is not comprehensible as a wrong. Laws after a fashion could be imposed by government, but such laws could not be anything but arbitrary and capricious, for without rights there is no power to bind government. Without rights, government becomes merely a rule by the strongest element of a society--and a rule constantly challenged by others.

    One might perhaps argue that there need not be a society, and therefore there need not be a government, but such an argument fails to acknowledge the singular characteristic of Man--Man is a social animal. Homo sapiens sapiens, like the other great apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, et cetera), and like a great many other animals, naturally gathers into groups. Community and society are instinctive behaviors in Man. Wherever there is Mankind, there will be society. However that society so orders itself will be the government of that society. This is no more than the consequence of Man's existence.

    Man will have society--for such is his nature--and thus Man will have government--being the defined order of that society. Sustaining that defined order requires that the capabilities of man be in some respect restrained; a man may not take as he will, kill as he will, do violence as he will, without consequence, for to allow such would be to disallow the order that preserves society. Even within the social groupings of other animals, individual members of those groupings are constrained from uninhibited action; it is no different for the social groupings of Man. Thus it is that for there to be society, there must be law to bind men into society.

    Because there will be society, and because society will have law, it is necessary that Men have rights--for if a man has no rights, by what power may he constrain his fellow men? If a man has no rights, by what power can he enforce the laws upon which society (that which he cannot do without) depends? A man must have at the very least the right to act to enforce the law.

    Because a man must have at least that much right, it necessarily follows that, regardless of the particulars of the social order, some rights cannot be set apart from man, and are thus "inalienable".
    Very well thought out and explained argument, but I disagree. The "basis" that you demand for governmental imposed rules, laws, and/or rights is the society itself. As we all well know, different societies have different ideas of "rights". They have different laws, different rules, different freedoms. If "rights" were indeed inalienable to mankind, there would not be such diversity in what those supposed inalienable rights are.

    You ask at the beginning:

    A person has not even the right to live and walk upon the earth if there are no inalienable rights.

    This is indeed true. In the grand scheme of things, I have absolutely no right to walk upon this earth. I EARN that right by destroying those who would deny it to me, OR by being born in a society that has determined that I have that right and as such protects it for me at my behest.

  9. #9
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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Quote Originally Posted by celticlord View Post
    Consider for the moment the inverse proposition: Humans have no inalienable rights.

    If there are no inalienable rights, then any "right" may be removed from any person at any time. "Rights" as such cease to exist, and are thus better apprehended as privileges granted or removed by some exterior agency. A person has not even the right to live and walk upon the earth if there are no inalienable rights.
    We have the right to live, to liberty, and hapiness. However, i cannot think of a single right that cannot be taken away from us. All and any of our rights can be taken away, even our right to live, therefore i do not consider them inalienable rights, but rights we are given at birth. Inalienable rights are rights which cannot ever be taken away. Your are suggesting our right to life, property, happiness, etc, cannot be taken away and therefore call them "inalienable" unless you define "inalienable" differently to how i define it. Just because you feel we should, or deserve, or must have those such rights, does not make them impossible to be taken away, and therefore technically are not inalienable.
    "If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the age of reason, we would be living in quite a different world" - Christopher Hitchens
    > Good to be back, but I'm only visiting for a few weeks. <

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    Re: Do Humans really have inalienable rights?

    Carlin should have read the 9th amendment before his rant.

    Government can't "give" you a right, before first taking that right away.

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