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Author Topic: Rights  (Read 17957 times)

LeopardPM

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Re:Rights
« Reply #45 on: March 07, 2004, 11:37:34 pm »

Quote
So, yes, we do have rights, those rights we all agree upon

does that mean our rights are socially constructed?

in other words, if we are the only two on an island and we agree that murder is ok there is no universal right against it?

correct - this is easily backed up with evidence in the natural world and throughout pre-civilizationary periods of human history.  Only creatures who have a developed society (dolphins, whales, chimpanzees, ants?, humans, etc) take actions as if there are 'rights' - other creatures (like snakes) who do not have any sort of social construct, do not act as if there are any recognized rights.  Cavemen only acted as if rights existed within their tribal families, but did not universally ascribe rights to all other cavemen.

'rights' tend to flow along paths of societal units: first within family, the community, then regions and nations, then worldwide (universal for our purposes).

Do not worry, BillG.  Even though 'rights' are seemingly created from a very thin fabric of thought and agreement, the entire reason behind having rights exists and is enforced through economic foundations: it is MORE beneficial to trade with a neighbor than to attempt to take from him.  'Rights' are not going to go away, though we may redefine them (as libertarians are attempting to do) as we discover better methods for societal interactions.

michael
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BillG

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Re:Rights
« Reply #46 on: March 07, 2004, 11:45:17 pm »

Quote
So, yes, we do have rights, those rights we all agree upon

does that mean our rights are socially constructed?

in other words, if we are the only two on an island and we agree that murder is ok there is no universal right against it?

correct - this is easily backed up with evidence in the natural world and throughout pre-civilizationary periods of human history.  Only creatures who have a developed society (dolphins, whales, chimpanzees, ants?, humans, etc) take actions as if there are 'rights' - other creatures (like snakes) who do not have any sort of social construct, do not act as if there are any recognized rights.  Cavemen only acted as if rights existed within their tribal families, but did not universally ascribe rights to all other cavemen.

'rights' tend to flow along paths of societal units: first within family, the community, then regions and nations, then worldwide (universal for our purposes).

Do not worry, BillG.  Even though 'rights' are seemingly created from a very thin fabric of thought and agreement, the entire reason behind having rights exists and is enforced through economic foundations: it is MORE beneficial to trade with a neighbor than to attempt to take from him.  'Rights' are not going to go away, though we may redefine them (as libertarians are attempting to do) as we discover better methods for societal interactions.

michael

I think if you check back thru this thread I actually agree that rights are socially created but I guess I am agnostic on this...

so you are saying the right to self-ownership is not universal that it is an agreement that we all make together and it has to be purchased?

does your life have to be purchased?
does the use of your faculties bracketed by the rights of others have to be purchased?

what doesn't have to be purchased?
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LeopardPM

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Re:Rights
« Reply #47 on: March 08, 2004, 12:09:54 am »

so you are saying the right to self-ownership is not universal that it is an agreement that we all make together and it has to be purchased?
purchased? no, it is merely an agreeement - I guess the 'cost' of recieving the right to Self-Ownership is in the giving of that same right to others.

does your life have to be purchased?
everything has a cost: the mother gives her own body over to the growth of the fetus, both mother and father contribute genetic information, the food we eat must be labored for, same with housing, land, even air (though its super-abundance conceals this fact)

Don't you agree?

does the use of your faculties bracketed by the rights of others have to be purchased?
don't know what you mean here - isn't this the same as your first question?

what doesn't have to be purchased?
nothing
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BillG

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Re:Rights
« Reply #48 on: March 08, 2004, 12:17:20 am »

Quote

Quote
what doesn't have to be purchased?


nothing

does your agreed to right (amongst the members of society) to self-ownership have to be purchased, gifted, or traded in any way?

not being picky, this answer was a little unclear to me...

Quote
Quote
so you are saying the right to self-ownership is not universal that it is an agreement that we all make together and it has to be purchased?

purchased? no, it is merely an agreeement - I guess the 'cost' of recieving the right to Self-Ownership is in the giving of that same right to others.
   

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LeopardPM

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Re:Rights
« Reply #49 on: March 08, 2004, 12:37:46 am »

does your agreed to right (amongst the members of society) to self-ownership have to be purchased, gifted, or traded in any way?

not being picky, this answer was a little unclear to me...

Quote
Quote
so you are saying the right to self-ownership is not universal that it is an agreement that we all make together and it has to be purchased?

purchased? no, it is merely an agreeement - I guess the 'cost' of recieving the right to Self-Ownership is in the giving of that same right to others.

ok, let use example here to clear things up:
both you and I agree that we have the Right of Self-Ownership
this means that we have the right to freely do with as we please with our body and our labor as long as we do not interfere with anothers' right while doing so.

the making of this agreement (creating this 'right') does not really cost us anything - it does not need to be 'purchased'

so, you and your lovely wife (who also agrees to Self-Ownership) have a child.  This child is 'gifted' this right be default.  Lets say the child becomes an adult but chooses NOT to respect this right and tries to enslave my child who does happen to respect this right.  Then your child will be removed from our little society (imprisoned) and have his 'rights' stripped from him.

Hope my using personal references does not cause you to become defensive - I know your children will not attempt to enslave my children (except through perhaps instituting Georgist Taxation Legislation).

michael
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SteveA

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Re:Rights
« Reply #50 on: March 08, 2004, 12:41:13 am »

Sometimes we try to abstract away reality when we talk about government and idealize how life should be but the real world and real people rarely match those expectations or desires.  Admitting nothing is certain, we can only try to make the best with what we have and find workable solutions that satisfy most people.  We want mutual support to balance the ups and downs, or strengths and weaknesses in a society but that requires that most people feel satisfied with the relationship because if they don't, whether the complaint is valid or not, they're likely to leave or resist supporting it and that defeats the benefits.

Honestly, the only real "right" that anyone should be able to expect from someone is that they treat you with the same respect you show them, and if they don't know you, there's no reason for them to make the assumption that you're much different from anyone else.  Things above that are what we have to work to acquire.  I like the idea of smaller communities and more local responsibility because the immediate community has greater knowledge of its populace and greater incentive to retain the people in the community that support it most.  You can't expect an individual or group to never want to alter its constituents and the "rights" we are given in a group can be revoked by either side.  I know there are differing views but I consider rights to be a social abstraction of what members in a group are freely allowed to do.  It's the only view that matches the reality that I see.  It would be nice to have them more idealistic but they can be changed by consensus and aren't inalterable, inalienable or even simply described but they are the valuable freedoms we enjoy.

(Sorry, I just can't seem to avoid philosphical ramblings :))
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LeopardPM

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Re:Rights
« Reply #51 on: March 08, 2004, 12:53:36 am »

its a good rambling, sir steve

of course, I agree with you, in fact the maxim you alluded to...

'Do unto others as you would them do unto you'

is the basis for rights

michael
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Rights
« Reply #52 on: March 08, 2004, 01:08:49 am »

It's actually a Bible Verse found in Romains :-)

Tracy
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LeopardPM

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Re:Rights
« Reply #53 on: March 08, 2004, 01:14:39 am »

It's actually a Bible Verse found in Romains :-)

Tracy

yes, it does sound 'biblical', and is a very smart way to live one's life
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Blefuscu

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Re:Rights
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2004, 11:14:13 pm »

It's actually a Bible Verse found in Romains :-)

Tracy

It's common sense, and it is common throughout most cultures.  That's why you find the "golden rule" in the bible.  That it is expressed in the bible in no way makes it a unique product of the culture that produced the bible, nor does it in any way validate any biblical mythology.
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Blefuscu

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Re:Rights
« Reply #55 on: March 08, 2004, 11:54:44 pm »

I don't believe there are any natural, inherent, or "univeral" rights.  There is no right of self-ownership.  It's just a social construct, albeit a useful one for opposing authoritarianism and for facilitating liberty.  

This eaglitarian notion of inherent, natural, universal rights that pertain to each person merely because they exist, especially the so-called right of self-ownership, cherished by romantics and moralists of all stripes, is the primary underpinning of the Georgist's theories.  And well do I recognize that it is also the underpinning of most Libertarian thought and arguments.

But it is an artificially constructed notion.  It is true only to the extent that we voluntarily subscribe to it.  There is only nature.  We are a part of it, just like every nutria, amoeba, or broccoli.  The fact that we exist in the natural universe affords us an opportunity to survive.  Not the right to survive, or to prosper, just an opportunity.  Mere existence guarantees us nothing, grants us ownership of nothing, nor obligates nature or our fellow man to gift us with anything.  

No one has the right to *be*, and therefore, no one has the right to *be* somewhere.  
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"Man will never be free until the last King is strangled with the entrails of the last Priest" - Denis Diderot
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Blefuscu

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Re:Rights
« Reply #56 on: March 08, 2004, 11:58:32 pm »

It is unmitigated hubris for anyone to believe that our mere existence gives us a right to breath, to drink, in fact to *be*, or to *be* somewhere.

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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Rights
« Reply #57 on: March 09, 2004, 12:21:33 am »

It's actually a Bible Verse found in Romains :-)

Tracy

It's common sense, and it is common throughout most cultures.  That's why you find the "golden rule" in the bible.  That it is expressed in the bible in no way makes it a unique product of the culture that produced the bible, nor does it in any way validate any biblical mythology.

So? I wasn't trying to say anything of the sort.

And calling the Bible mythology is ad hominum unless you actually go through the apologetics research I mentioned in the closed part of this thread and show why it's wrong.

Tracy
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We agree that "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action." --George Washington

Jack Conway

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thewaka

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Re:Rights
« Reply #58 on: March 09, 2004, 12:46:50 am »

And calling the Bible mythology is ad hominum unless you actually go through the apologetics research I mentioned in the closed part of this thread and show why it's wrong.

Folks, don't start it up the bible/god discussion again or I will delete all posts which shouldn't have been posted.

Diana
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LeopardPM

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Re:Rights
« Reply #59 on: March 09, 2004, 01:53:50 am »

...and like the invisible hawk, Diana swoops down and cleanly snatches the rat from the grasses...

That was quick Diana!  Good job!

michael
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