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Old 10-06-2010, 05:35 PM
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Default Rights and privileges

So what makes something an universal right, or a privilege? Apart from what the UN and our Constitutions say, that is.

What I mean is, what makes something like work, health care, food or water supply -such kind of life basics a right everyone must have; or a privilege they can only get on their own and off their own effort?
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Old 10-06-2010, 07:14 PM
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I don't really consider those as part of natural rights. I look to the works of John Locke. They pretty much boil down to life, liberty, and property. These things are fully contained within yourself. They are not services provided by others.

Other rights? I'm not so sure. What's the difference between rights and privileges? Rights are recognized by governments while privileges are granted. It's a fine line and is mostly a semantic difference.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:03 PM
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The thing is, who gets to say what is a right and what is a privilege? And who gave them the right to make such decisions. The way I look at it, everything has the right to life once it is born and everything has the right to clean air, uncontaminated water, food etc basically all the things nature herself provides us with freely, assuming of course you are strong/able enough to get it. Everything else is a privilege.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
So what makes something an universal right, or a privilege? Apart from what the UN and our Constitutions say, that is.

What I mean is, what makes something like work, health care, food or water supply -such kind of life basics a right everyone must have; or a privilege they can only get on their own and off their own effort?
That is a very good question to ask. If you go around the world and ask people from different regions that question, you will get different answers; however, everyone from the western world will all give similar answers. To answer your question it is important to consider where documents like the UN charter and constitution draw their ideas from.

Western thought is the combination of the four Greek virtues:
Fortitude (Courage) - never giving up.
Justice - being fair and equitable with others.
Prudence - care of and moderation with money
Temperance - moderation of needed things and abstinence from things which are not needed.

In combination with the three Judeo-Christian virtues:
Faith - belief in the right things.
Hope - taking a positive future view, that good will prevail.
Charity - concern for, and active helping of, others

Consider the natural right of "life" mentioned in the constitution and by John Locke. This idea comes from the old notion held by Hebrews and even to some extent, the Greeks, that life held special status. Life was considered sacred, of special value. Life did not need to defend its existence in any debate. Doing anything besides exhausting all possible options to preserve life was unthinkable. We see this special reverence for life today in our own modern thought. We will go out of our way to save a few trapped miners regardless of how much it costs to dig them out. Abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment are such huge issues because we still hold life to be sacred (sacred is not a religious term, something that is sacred is held in special regard, ex: 9/11 is considered sacred). Other cultures would not have the same qualms as we do. We also donate and assist developing nations with large amounts of aid not because we expect anything back but because we see it as the right thing to do (faith) and believe that we have an obligation to help the less fortunate (charity).

Ideas like freedom of speech, press, and liberty comes from the idea that all humans should strive to treat each other equitably and justly. The government should be just and equitable in rule. Democracy is derived heavily from this concept but is not part of the original line of thought. Kings and monarchs were expected to rule justly and fairly. The defining of individual freedoms came about because they help ensure that government rule remains fair and just and does not become tyrannical.


What is a basic fundamental right differs from each basic line of thought. A person in ancient China would have radically different notions about what constitutes a fundamental right than a person living in ancient Greece.

If you subscribe to the western way of thought then the basic fundamental rights are that which are:
- necessary to protect life (food, security, shelter, etc)
- necessary to ensure that society remains just and equitable (rights, free speech, etc)

Edit: another example:
If you subscribe to the eastern way of thought then the basic fundamental rights are that which are:
- necessary to ensure harmony (respect, family ties, etc)
- necessary to allow self-development (this can be rather broad but includes things like "having time and space to be alone")

Last edited by Banefull; 10-08-2010 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:29 AM
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1. What is needed to actually survive (food, water, shelter, warmth)
2. What people naturally have which should not be taken (e.g. freedom of speech, self-determination, the right to choose a partner)
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Old 10-07-2010, 04:24 AM
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The Bible.

If lexiconically interpreted correctly.

And I'm not afraid to say it.

...And this is my answer.
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
The Bible.

If lexiconically interpreted correctly.

And I'm not afraid to say it.

...And this is my answer.

Interpreted as you see it of course...
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Old 10-07-2010, 02:28 PM
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What makes something a right is someone saying that it's a right.

What makes it respected is enough people agreeing with them.
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Old 10-07-2010, 03:19 PM
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In my meditation book, came across this quote this morning!

Honoring Sacred Rights and Responsibilities

The true Light is a gentle love which,
rising in you, causes you to look on the
world with understanding and compassion
and respect. When you respect the souls of
your brother and sister, you respect their
lives in every way. This gentle spirit, this
respect one for another, must come. For this
is the generation of the one true Light,
and this true light is that of love.

-White Eagle



At our core, we are a cup from which the Divine Essence longs to pour love upon its children. Our Sacred mission is to live in a state of love and integrity with ourselves first, and then pour the balm of love and integrity onto our thirsty world. - from the Woman's Book of Soul - Sue Patton Thoele
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Last edited by Mika; 10-07-2010 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
1. What is needed to actually survive (food, water, shelter, warmth)
2. What people naturally have which should not be taken (e.g. freedom of speech, self-determination, the right to choose a partner)
Very well put, HNM.
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2010, 07:47 PM
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Woodsprite and Mika, and everyone else agreeing with Locke -sorry, but I think saying "Human beings have right to this or that because X says so" is not enough base for a good rights and values system. Perhaps by the results you could tell, but it's like having a computer -you have something that works well, but don't know why it does so or how to fix it when things get bad.

Right to property, basic needs or even life -if the only motive for them to exist you can bring is a "just because" or "it's the right thing to do", they will turn worthless and can be easily avoided as long as there is no authority imposing it by force.

Such rights should be put in practice because they are beneficial, for either the person or society as a whole -or both; not because you are under a government legislation, or are part of a religious or humanitarian organisation and you should support what they declare right; or else.
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Last edited by ZenitYerkes; 10-07-2010 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:42 PM
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Zenit, I would say that what locke says is a fundamental right because it is beneficial. The defining of social rights like these are necessary to ensure that society remains equitable. Its part of a much bigger category called justice. I would say that justice is a fundamental right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sempu View Post
What makes something a right is someone saying that it's a right.

What makes it respected is enough people agreeing with them.
This basically sums it up.

A lot of us coming from the Western World are saying things like food, freedom of speech, etc. Others coming from different basic lines of thought would disagree with us.

Last edited by Banefull; 10-07-2010 at 08:45 PM.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2010, 09:00 PM
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Yes, but why is it beneficial? Right to property for example is highly questionable, -for it can be the origin of many injustices. Also, the definition of justice itself is really vague.

I agree with Sempu, though -and expanding that idea, those are the basics of of consensus rights. The problem is that you can't ask everyone if they support your law, or have all individual postures pointing to the same direction. Just as there are people who believe health care is a right, whereas others think it's a privilege.

So... what I was looking for in the very first place, is an objective way to determine what should be declared a right which needed supply from collective effort, or a privilege everyone should get on their own. For that, taking the idea of HNM of defining the needs of an individual to stay alive and grow in a personal level should be useful.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aihwa View Post
Interpreted as you see it of course...
You wouldn't understand if I elaborated...

@Zenit: I thought you meant what the principles of such rights should be based on, not what or who they should be enforced by.

Last edited by Woodsprite; 10-08-2010 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 01:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post
You wouldn't understand if I elaborated...


There are so many ways you can translate the bible. But you're of course going to think your translation is the correct one. It's still going through you, or somebody you agree with. Therefore, the same as simply making them up.
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