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  1. #21
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by htb View Post
    And what are those based on? If you deny that certain rights inhere and are inalienable, then you actually only accept a temporary injunction on the redefinition or suspension of civil and political freedoms. Your preference assumes, wrongly, pleasant acceptance of this or that right. But simple observation of the world shows that volition is preserved only by repulsion; if the definition of or justification for free will becomes arguable, it is subordinated by value.
    Volition is preserved only be repulsion? Would you mind sharing some of these simple observations?

    Finally, human comprehension of a thing doesn't subsume the thing under human invention.
    That is well stated. I concede that just because humans can't percieve natural rights doesn't mean they don't exist. But it still stands that a belief based on no justification is just an assumption.

  2. #22
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I don't think that there's any force that can keep rights of any sort from being taken from people. Any right that you have can be taken away- even the right to think (whatever was really traumatized by that documentary on lobotomies! ). This would, I would think, prove that NO right is provided to us by God or whatever (not me).

    I do think that there are rights that everyone should have- I think that's more of a person to person matter though- everyone has a different set of rights that they beleive should be universal to everybody. I happen to be a big fan of letting everyone live (or die) with some form of dignity- someone else may value the right to property, or liberty or something else more. I would think that the differences in what everyone beleives should be Natural Rights would indicate that these rights are merely social constuctions as opposed to inherent.
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  3. #23
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Natural right - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Personally, I don't. The idea of anything being universal and absolute seems ludicrous to me. It's a religious concept. Now, I'm all for civil rights, and human rights. I just don't believe in "God endowed rights".

    Thoughts?
    I don't know if I believe in the "god-endowed" part myself, but I do believe that there are rights which people should ideally have, due to my perception of my own feelings, and my projection of those feelings onto others. Many other people seem to have an agreement with me about what those rights should be. There are a few who don't, and I can hardly stand to associate with them.

    The fact that these rights should be had doesn't mean that they can't be taken away by others or by circumstances, but rather that it is a wrong and a personal violation for them to be, in a way that most people can perceive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    It seems there are a lot of people violating the natural right to "mental liberty".
    Well, I would agree that many people do... which is why I don't like to deal with most of them. It's one of those ideals I hold that isolates me from others because their non-acceptance of it continually grates on my nerves. Although I don't know that they're really doing anything fundamentally wrong by doing so (although it feels like it), it's irritating enough that I find it hard to deal with them.

  4. #24
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Volition is preserved only by repulsion? Would you mind sharing some of these simple observations?
    I want to write only a minimum on what's self-evident, and otherwise understandable through physical or historical examples that can be found on your time.

    You, as an individual, don't act as you desire because everybody else approves; nor do you, as a citizen, act as you desire because everybody else approves.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Hirsch63's Avatar
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    Name one "natural right" that isn't defined by human beliefs.
    Name one abstract concept that is anything other than a human belief.

    Just look at what you said. "I believe".
    Yes, just look at what I said "...based on what I read..." (the article) I would be prepared to accept that the idea of Universal Rights is reasonable response to the situation we humans find ourselves in.

    You believe in rights that aren't based on beliefs. How is that possible outside of religion?
    Beliefs = religion? I believe if I knock my pen off the desk it will fall...downward..and land on the floor...as it has always done. God is great.

    What is your justification in believing something you can't percieve?
    Every day I percieve that humans are born and humans die. In between these events we live to the best of our abilities a life. How did we get here? Where are we going? I can't say. But I know that I will have to spend the rest of whatever days I have left co-existing with several billion other humans, all competing for the same resources and experiencing all the pain, joy,fear, hope and confusion that existence entails. Knowing this, I find it reasonable in order to avoid an anarchic, law-of-the-jungle existence that certain rights might be useful to allow us (humans) to progress as much as possible....given our limitations.

    How is that any different in believing in God or heaven?
    Turning all my questions and answers over to the beneficence of an all seeing God takes my will and thought out of the equation....or, I have to believe this because I believe in a God that says it is so. Well I don't have to necessarily invoke a mystical justification...I can simply study the human condition throughout history and my own observation and and think "I'm not sure where we all came from or where we are going, but the world so far has seen plenty of wasteful suffering as a result of some humans living without reasonable regard for the existence of others cut from the same cloth...maybe an abstract concept like universal rights would appeal to most thoughtful humans. It is self-serving; I don't want to kill or be killed. I'd like to see where this species may eventually go...call me romantic. I am playing the odds for myself and others, because no one has the answers.

    Now forgive me if I'm being crude. I just want people to provide me with some justification for natural rights beyond simply believing in a higher truth or being.
    I did not invoke a "higher" truth or Being...I simply wrote that I believe, that is I am persuaded by what I can reason out...

    Where this irritates me is when people make claims of natural rights based on writings like "We the people believe all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." I think those are fantastic civil rights, but not natural rights. We have capital punishment and abortion in this country. What does that say about our conception of the right to life? We also have prisons and taxes. What does that say about liberty? And we certainly don't let people do whatever they want. So how do we percieve, the pursuit of happiness? But of course, how does that famous first sentence in the Declaration of Independence begin? "We believe"! That's right, because all those rights that people consider "inalienable" are based on beliefs. They are "Creator endowed" and are therefore a religious construct.

    The Bill of Rights in the Constitution are amendments. Which means they were amended to the Constitution and can be amended. They are not universal or absolute rights. They are civil rights.
    [/QUOTE]

    Darn, these documents aren't perfect....So what if the "rights" are wrapped in a magical package...that was the rhetorical currency of the day. Well, I guess it still is in a lot of places. I am no fan of the abuses of the power of faith or the many humans who would impose their perception of what is "Holy" or "doctrinal" onto my free will.

    Sounds like you've picked quite a nut to crack...Good Luck.
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Where this irritates me is when people make claims of natural rights based on writings like "We the people believe all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." I think those are fantastic civil rights, but not natural rights. We have capital punishment and abortion in this country. What does that say about our conception of the right to life? We also have prisons and taxes. What does that say about liberty? And we certainly don't let people do whatever they want. So how do we percieve, the pursuit of happiness? But of course, how does that famous first sentence in the Declaration of Independence begin? "We believe"! That's right, because all those rights that people consider "inalienable" are based on beliefs. They are "Creator endowed" and are therefore a religious construct.
    They are human beings writing about higher truth, reaching for it. Higher truth does not have these documents as its foundation or its proof.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Mental liberty? Interesting. So if I was devout Christian and I raised my children by only allowing them to be exposed to Christian ideals, then wouldn't I be violating my children's right to mental liberty? They aren't being given the choice to think for themselves. How about if I went to the state and protested the teaching of evolution and sex in public schools?

    It seems there are a lot of people violating the natural right to "mental liberty".
    Whether their right to mental freedom is violated or not does not negate the existience of higher truth. Human actions cannot make higher truth invalid. Just because a natural law is violated, does that make it untrue? How?

    For what it is worth, I don't think humanity has in a anyway reached a complete or perfect knowldege of "higher truth" in its laws as of yet.

  7. #27
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    1. I don't think there are absolutes in any form, anywhere...not that we can ever know, anyways

    2. Rights seem inalienable only because that is all we know. Similar sets of ethics benefit the community in all parts of the world.

    3. If there is some universal ethic law, then what is there to insure that it is protected?

    4. If there were certain rights that everyone was entitled to, then why would we have to worry about protecting them? Why would some try to take them away or give them up?

    I feel the necessity to go back to my constant argument in all threads of this nature. Laws, government, and social behaviour are all dedicated towards one end. Survival. Ethics are conducive to a maintained social order, which is conducive to the protection of the weak by way of banding together.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  8. #28
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I can't think of much more to say on this topic that Metamorphsis hasn't summed up. I would say that natural rights come in two forms.

    The first form is as a self serving, abstract ideal that individuals or groups devise to suit their own agendas as a premise for civil rights. An example would be the Declaration of Independence, in which a group of men, lead by Thomas Jefferson, developed ideals that they felt were necessary to be independent of the rule of Great Britain. They had an agenda, and devised rights which they decreed were "Creator endowed" as the premise for all the civil rights we have in America today.

    The second form is as a faith in an absolute truth, to which humans may strive for, but cannot ultimately understand. But whether or not these absolute truths do exist is completely a matter of faith.

    So natural rights are either ideals that men devise or believe in completely as a matter of faith.

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