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Unalienable rights, do they actually exist?


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#1    Jor-el

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:35 PM

I've found over the last few days, thinking of what it actually means to have certain unquestionable rights. The idea that all men are born equal, that they have certain rights that cannot be surrendered, and I find myself asking, is this an illusion or is it something real?

Do we actually have rights we cannot surrender, rights that we are born with? Or is it that so much BS because the rule of nature determines that to the victor go the spolis, the survival of the fittest?

The existence of natural rights has been asserted by different individuals on different premises, such as a priori philosophical reasoning or religious principles. For example, Immanuel Kant claimed to derive natural rights through reason alone. The Declaration of Independence, meanwhile, is based upon the "self-evident" truth that "all men are ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights".

Likewise, different philosophers and statesmen have designed different lists of what they believe to be natural rights; almost all include the right to life and liberty as the two highest priorities. H. L. A. Hart argued that if there are any rights at all, there must be the right to liberty, for all the others would depend upon this. T. H. Green argued that “if there are such things as rights at all, then, there must be a right to life and liberty, or, to put it more properly to free life.” John Locke emphasized "life, liberty and property" as primary. However, despite Locke's influential defense of the right of revolution, Thomas Jefferson substituted "pursuit of happiness" in place of "property" in the United States Declaration of Independence.

See: http://en.wikipedia....nd_legal_rights

We believe there is a natural right to do anything which we think should be permitted (or mandated) under a human rulebook. Anything which should be forbidden under a human rulebook therefore cannot be a natural right, even if it is physically possible and can be justified by the same arguments used to support the idea of natural rights.

See: http://www.spectacle...00/natural.html

I sometimes wonder if we are lying to ourselves when we believe that we have unalienable rights, because if the man next to you doesn't think like you do, you are likely to end up dead.

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#2    _Only

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:50 PM

I know we are all born with the unalienable right of free will. Unfortunately, we are taught very soon, and all throughout life (directly and indirectly) that this is bad, and we should do what others want us to do. It's one of the worst natural crimes we can all commit against each other, and we are all guilty. But if we all can realize at some point that the right still exists and is unalienable (despite how we've been taught otherwise), you are freed. Most of us (me included) realize this, but have to recondition ourselves to fully accept that we have the natural right to do whatever we want. Free will can't ever be taken away; only held at bay.

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#3    and then

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 10:51 PM

The only "rights" we have are those that are given us by our Creator.  He does not promise any certain length of life, nor does He promise freedom.  We create (or fail to) the conditions that make it possible for us to survive in freedom - otherwise we live as slaves to someone else's ideologies.

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#4    White Crane Feather

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:00 PM

Rights are a social contract plain and simple. I agree not to kill you and you agree not to kill me, so we can have less stress in our lives. Then we call this agreement a right to life.

If you go to break the contract, then there is a breach of  contract, and I may deprive you of life.

It happens every day.

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#5    ouija ouija

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Posted 30 December 2012 - 11:38 PM

Many years ago, my yoga teacher at that time told me that the only rights we have are those that we ourselves can bring into being.

Life is all too much ............................................. and not enough.

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#6    Sean93

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:57 AM

No we are not.

Someone born with an insatiable desire to murder (as in a mental illness) or rape or indeed inflict pain are locked up/ put in psychiatric care. They have no freedom, they are as they were born (or made if you like) which is unfortunate because they may long for freedom from their affliction but alas, they are the minority and "The needs of the many outweigh those of the few".

Also, rights have been changing too, over the years. Did you know it was once illegal for Asians to marry Americans in some states? and of course you all know about the Gay predicament that has since calmed down, they never had rights like everyone else, it's only when they fought for them that they got them because at the time they we're the few who mattered not compared to the many. I think everyone has the right to privacy so long as they aren't harming or conspiring to and what someone wants to do with their sex organs, money, religious faiths, etc should be let well enough alone providing they aren't harming anyone.

It's all progress but there is no one universal law and so in different parts of our planet, rights will vary from place to place.

Edited by Sean93, 31 December 2012 - 01:00 AM.

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#7    Jinxdom

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:43 AM

View PostSean93, on 31 December 2012 - 12:57 AM, said:

they are the minority and "The needs of the many outweigh those of the few".

That is a very very dangerous statement.

Unalienable rights do exist. Life and Liberty.  When you are born your life is your own and your choices are your own.

Happiness or property not so much although both are quite nice to have.


#8    The Silver Thong

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 06:47 AM

Your rights are dictated to you from the location of your birth. If god had anything to do with it we would all have the same rights and we don`t.

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#9    Jor-el

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:47 PM

View PostThe Silver Thong, on 31 December 2012 - 06:47 AM, said:

Your rights are dictated to you from the location of your birth. If god had anything to do with it we would all have the same rights and we don`t.

I agree with this, unalienable rights seem to be an illusion, they exist or not according to where you may be born. If I am born in the good ol' US of A, I am endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable Rights, if I'm born in the Amazon rainforest to a local tribe, not so much.

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#10    Jor-el

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:49 PM

View PostJinxdom, on 31 December 2012 - 06:43 AM, said:

That is a very very dangerous statement.

Unalienable rights do exist. Life and Liberty.  When you are born your life is your own and your choices are your own.

Happiness or property not so much although both are quite nice to have.

But if you have a right to Life and Liberty, I shouldn't be able to come along and remove them from you... the fact that I can do that seems to mean that they are not UNALIENABLE. You only have those rights as long as I abide by the same principle and contract.

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#11    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:36 PM

View PostSean93, on 31 December 2012 - 12:57 AM, said:

"The needs of the many outweigh those of the few".

That is the way it should be, but alas it isn't.

Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason that “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous execution, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God."
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#12    Sean93

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

View PostJinxdom, on 31 December 2012 - 06:43 AM, said:

That is a very very dangerous statement.

Unalienable rights do exist. Life and Liberty.  When you are born your life is your own and your choices are your own.

Happiness or property not so much although both are quite nice to have.

I was referring to the consensus that the world thinks like this, whether you want it or not. Sure your life is your own, but the choices of many are constricted all over the world, depending on a religious,political or racial standpoint.

Are you telling me that a man making the choice to cross-dress in the middle east would get the same reaction than a man in the UK? That's a sexual identity choice they should be free to make and a lot of people do it for whatever reason; however in some parts of the world it does not stand and is not allowed; so sure, there may be unalienable rights but again, they depend on the place and it's ethics thereby meaning they aren't universal for all, unless you're referring to rights endowed by a higher power as opposed to those endowed by human law and teaching.

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#13    Sean93

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 31 December 2012 - 04:36 PM, said:

That is the way it should be, but alas it isn't.

In many cases it is, like I mentioned in my post about those born with mental defects to kill or harm, or at one stage the Asian minorities in 'Murica were not allowed to marry Americans. They are the few and their freedom must be sacrificed for the well-being of the many - social stigma's and all that.

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“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.”

#14    Mystic Crusader

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 04:59 PM

View PostSean93, on 31 December 2012 - 04:56 PM, said:

In many cases it is, like I mentioned in my post about those born with mental defects to kill or harm, or at one stage the Asian minorities in 'Murica were not allowed to marry Americans. They are the few and their freedom must be sacrificed for the well-being of the many - social stigma's and all that.

I don't believe in sacrifices, everyone should have the same right to the pursuit of happiness.

Thomas Paine wrote in The Age of Reason that “Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous execution, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God."
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#15    Sean93

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:02 PM

View PostHavocWing, on 31 December 2012 - 04:59 PM, said:

I don't believe in sacrifices, everyone should have the same right to the pursuit of happiness.

As do I. Sadly the world isn't fair and neither is life.

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