View Poll Results: Are Rights Natural?

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Thread: Are Rights Natural?

  1. #1
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    Are Rights Natural?

    In short, do you believe the traditional rights, recognized by the US Constitution bill of rights to be natural or not?

    My personal view is that the only natural right is the right to try and accomplish your goals, either by using force or by not using force. In essence might makes right. This is evident in how nature operates and it seems to be how society operates when government is removed.

    Anything beyond that, such as free speech, the right to own a gun, etc are legal constructs that we, as a society, largely agree to. While these things are a good idea, there is nothing inherent about them.

    What is your view?
    Last edited by tacomancer; 03-01-10 at 01:29 PM.

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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    I'm pretty well entrenched in the Natural Rights camp. I believe that the understanding of what rights are is innate to our intellect and were in fact discovered through it. I can't really see how rights could be anything but natural. There are privilege and law which we can use the government for, but those things are not rights. Rights exist above the power of the government, rightful government anyway.
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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Using insight into human nature is certainly a good way to help determine what optimal laws should be, but the way I see it is that is simply one method out of many that could be used.

    Ikari, why is your method of understanding human nature more valid than any other method? I am not asking this as an attack, but to further the discussion.

    Does it take things like modern scientific understanding? Neuropsychology? Regular ole psychology, sociology, history, etc into account? Does scientific or other type of intellectual advancement matter? Could this innate understanding be replaced by anything better? If so, what would it take?
    Last edited by tacomancer; 03-01-10 at 02:15 PM.

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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    In short, do you believe the traditional rights, recognized by the US Constitution bill of rights to be natural or not?

    My personal view is that the only natural right is the right to try and accomplish your goals, either by using force or by not using force. In essence might makes right. This is evident in how nature operates and it seems to be how society operates when government is removed.

    Anything beyond that, such as free speech, the right to own a gun, etc are legal constructs that we, as a society, largely agree to. While these things are a good idea, there is nothing inherent about them.

    What is your view?
    I sit in the natural rights camp.

    You have the right to do what is best or worst for yourself.
    I believe it to be personal human empowerment.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I sit in the natural rights camp.

    You have the right to do what is best or worst for yourself.
    I believe it to be personal human empowerment.
    Yourself being the most important qualifier. Anything that would hurt another person or infringe upon their rights have just become the limit to our rights.
    Neither side in an argument can find the truth when both make an absolute claim on it.

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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMidRighter View Post
    Yourself being the most important qualifier. Anything that would hurt another person or infringe upon their rights have just become the limit to our rights.
    That's it.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    No, the concept of rights is a social construct.
    If you build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.

    If you set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  8. #8
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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Natural rights... with the conditional modifier that these are things you CAN do or have, but they are not guaranteed by the laws of physics. You cannot fly by flapping your arms, no matter how many laws are passed saying you can.... or as Cap'n Jack said, "There's what a man can do, and there's what a man can't do."

    For example, the right to life.

    Virtually everything that lives desires to go on living, and exercises itself to maintain that goal. Almost all living things will exert themselves as they are able, to avoid being killed; they will run or fight, according to their nature and the circumstances.
    Virtually all sane human beings wish not to have their lives cut short by another person's actions. Therefore to kill another human being without substantial justification is an imposition of my will on them, against their will, to their harm.
    This is fundamentally wrong. It is not something I would wish others to do to me, therefore it follows that I should protect others' right to life as my own.
    It follows that the right to self-defense is also fundamental; the right to prevent, with whatever force is necessary, another person from taking my life without substantial justification.

    This does not mean that if you step out in front of a speeding car, that your right to life will protect you from the impact; nor does it mean you won't someday die of natural causes. "Natural rights" does not mean that you are protected from your own stupidity, or from fate; it refers to human/social relations.

    Freedom of speech:
    To speak is to communicate; for speech to be effective it must be open and honest. When I fear to speak what I think, because I am threatened for so doing, my ability to communicate is impaired. My ability to affect my society, to express my wishes, to protest injustices, is impaired.
    If all citizens have their free speech restrained, except for a small elite ruling class, then the citizenry is largely disenfranchised and politically powerless for lack of ability to communicate freely with other citizens.
    If you begin from the position that freedom should not be curtailed arbitrarily, but only at the greatest need (ie vs slander), then free speech is seen as a natural right.


    (BTW, thanks for the "rootabega" option, lol.)
    Last edited by Goshin; 03-01-10 at 07:03 PM.

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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Nope, rights are completely a social construct and have absolutely no meaning outside of social boundaries.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Are Rights Natural?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    In short, do you believe the traditional rights, recognized by the US Constitution bill of rights to be natural or not?

    My personal view is that the only natural right is the right to try and accomplish your goals, either by using force or by not using force. In essence might makes right. This is evident in how nature operates and it seems to be how society operates when government is removed.

    Anything beyond that, such as free speech, the right to own a gun, etc are legal constructs that we, as a society, largely agree to. While these things are a good idea, there is nothing inherent about them.

    What is your view?
    I have the right to do what I wish for myself as long as I don't harm anyone else in the process. I have control and power over MYSELF - so yes, rights are natural.
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