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Anonymous

rights, liberty, government...
    #1801354 - 08/11/03 01:12 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

i've got this idea about rights, liberty, and government...

that is that people have one fundamental right. that right is to be free from subjection to primary coercion.

the role of government is to provide a fair, objective mechanism to defend that right.

now... for a little while i've held this notion as a fact... as an observable truth... but...

can it be rationally demonstrated that innate rights of any kind actually exist?

is liberty at all universal, or just a social expedient we've developed?

aren't we all just animals? who's to say that might doesn't make right?


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Offlinepattern
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1801380 - 08/11/03 01:24 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

that is that people have one fundamental right. that right is <insert favorite right here>




That's purely subjective, why should I believe you?


--------------------
man = monkey + mushroom


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1801390 - 08/11/03 01:27 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

That's a very interesting question.

The issues behind it are whether there is anything as a quantifiable 'good' and are there any prescriptive 'truths'. Some of those answers are found by extrapolation assuming that man is only just another animal. I hold that is not the case and that man is radically different in kind. Meaning there are no other animals that are similar to man in at least one attribute.

That attribute is the ability to conceptualize. From that ability alone is the capacity to understand 'concepts' and universals. This is what gives man propositional speech.

To answer your question though, 'good' is contained in autonomy. And the highest good per individual is that which allows the maximum amount of automony. Coersion negates automomy.


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: pattern]
    #1805246 - 08/12/03 01:00 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

That's purely subjective, why should I believe you?

i'm stating my opinion, not proclaiming anything as fact... i'm actually asking the question, "is this fact?"... there's nothing to believe or disbelieve here... i think you misunderstand.


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1805279 - 08/12/03 01:12 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

The issues behind it are whether there is anything as a quantifiable 'good' and are there any prescriptive 'truths'. Some of those answers are found by extrapolation assuming that man is only just another animal. I hold that is not the case and that man is radically different in kind. Meaning there are no other animals that are similar to man in at least one attribute.

no other animals similar to man in at least one attribute?

that would make our placement in the animal kingdom rather arbitrary, no? we've got brains, breathe air... we cannot photosynthesize our own food.

That attribute is the ability to conceptualize. From that ability alone is the capacity to understand 'concepts' and universals. This is what gives man propositional speech.

man may not be the only organism capable of conceptual thought. dolphins and certain primates are highly intelligent, and i wouldn't put it past them. if speech is the qualifier, there were other now extinct hominids to have the capacity for speech.

let us assume that human beings are the only creatures capable of conceptual though and reason... how does this grant us capacity to understand universals? were they there before us? how do you suppose that it's not just the capacity to invent universals (in which case, not truly universals at all) that comes from conceptualization?

To answer your question though, 'good' is contained in autonomy.

how do you figure?

aren't we just part of some strange chemical phenomenon occuring on the surface of some rock hurtling through space? where did these objective morals and forms come from?


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1807548 - 08/12/03 11:25 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

The issues behind it are whether there is anything as a quantifiable 'good' and are there any prescriptive 'truths'. Some of those answers are found by extrapolation assuming that man is only just another animal. I hold that is not the case and that man is radically different in kind. Meaning there are no other animals that are similar to man in at least one attribute.

no other animals similar to man in at least one attribute?

that would make our placement in the animal kingdom rather arbitrary, no? we've got brains, breathe air... we cannot photosynthesize our own food.


No. The attribute we are discussing is the ability to reason or conceptualize. You may call that arbitrary if you like but it still makes man radically different from other animals.

That attribute is the ability to conceptualize. From that ability alone is the capacity to understand 'concepts' and universals. This is what gives man propositional speech.

man may not be the only organism capable of conceptual thought. dolphins and certain primates are highly intelligent, and i wouldn't put it past them. if speech is the qualifier, there were other now extinct hominids to have the capacity for speech.

I certainly would put it past them as they are incapable of it. Here is a transcript from Koko the "talking chimp". I find it most revealing.

"Time magazine dubbed Koko's internet chat session a "Dada exercise" noting that Penny Patterson as interpreter used "some pretty impressive logic to expand her simian friend's limited communication skills." A partial transcript from the session is revealing:

Question: Koko are you going to have a baby in the future?

Koko signs: Pink
Patterson explains: We had earlier discussion about colors today.

Question: Do you like to chat with people?

Koko signs: Fine nipple.
Patterson explains: Nipple rhymes with people, she doesn't sign people per se, she was trying to do a "sounds like..."

Question: Does she have hair? Or is it like fur?

Koko signs: Fine.
Patterson explains: She has fine hair.

Question: Koko, do you feel love from the humans who have raised you?

Koko signs: Lips, apple give me.
Patterson explains: People give her her favorite foods.

Linguists note that Koko's signs fail to produce the syntax of young children's phrases, and cannot be considered actual language. They also question why the flashes of human-like intelligence allegedly displayed by Koko and other primates have not been observed in the wild. For example, Koko uses paints to create what her handlers claim are pictures of her surroundings and representations of memories from early in her life. Curiously though, primates in the wild have yet to be observed displaying similar picture-making ability."

Lips Apple Give me? Yes, I am sure that makes a lot of sense.

Taken from here. You should check it out. I found it hysterical.

let us assume that human beings are the only creatures capable of conceptual though and reason... how does this grant us capacity to understand universals? were they there before us? how do you suppose that it's not just the capacity to invent universals (in which case, not truly universals at all) that comes from conceptualization?

Conceptual thought and universals are interdependent. You cannot have one without the other.

To answer your question though, 'good' is contained in autonomy.

how do you figure?

The only way to insure the good in our lives is to have some control over our lives. If you do not have autonomy your chances in obtaining the good are dependent on another. This negates free will which is the basis for obtaining the good.

aren't we just part of some strange chemical phenomenon occuring on the surface of some rock hurtling through space? where did these objective morals and forms come from?

If we are just some strange chemical phenomemon then there really isn't any need to have this discussion. Is there? To which objective morels are you referring?

Those are some pretty heavy questions. You must have some philosopher in you. If you are really interested in this you should check out some of the links in S&P that I put in the Philosophy links thread.


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1808380 - 08/13/03 06:11 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Conceptual thought and universals are interdependent. You cannot have one without the other.

i still don't see how one makes the jump from the ability to conceptualize to the existance of universals.

do we discover universals, or invent them?



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Offlinehongomon
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1809633 - 08/13/03 03:52 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

:lol: Thanks for the link.  You might enjoy William Kotzwinkle's "The Bear Went Over the Mountain" about a Vermont Black Bear trying to pass as human in New York.  Similar dialogue. 


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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1809790 - 08/13/03 04:28 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Well we really have no rights. All that matters is the cold harsh reality. If someone feels like subjugating people they will, and if you don't defend yourself no rights will protect you. They are a made up concept, just like morality, but no matter how hard we'd like to think such things are absolute the reality is ...nothing is absolute.

There is only the responsibility for you to live as best you can.


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "


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OfflinePhred
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1812674 - 08/14/03 09:03 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Here's some snips from two of my posts in the thread titled "The US is NOT Capitalist" started by Trendal a long time ago. -----

Prior to the formation of the United States of America, the State had been held to be the ruler of the individual, logically antecedent to the citizen and to which he must submit. The Founding Fathers reversed this hierarchy. Their starting point was the primacy and sovereignty of the individual. They held that the individual logically precedes both the group and the institution of government. Whether or not any social organization exists, each human possesses certain individual rights. And "among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" -- or, in the words of a New Hampshire state document, "among which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness".

These rights were regarded not as an arbitrary collection, but as corollaries derived from a single fundamental right. Man's rights, declares Samuel Adams, "are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature." Man's rights are natural -- they are warranted by the laws of reality, not any arbitrary human decision; and they are inalienable -- absolutes not subject to renunciation, revocation, or infringement by any individual or group. Rights, according to John Dickinson, "are not annexed to us by parchments and seals... They are born with us, exist with us; and cannot be taken from us by any human power without taking our lives. In short, they are founded on the immutable maxims of reason and justice."

Rights are conditions of existence required by man's metaphysical nature for his proper survival. If man is to live, it is RIGHT for him to use his mind, it is RIGHT to act on his own free judgement, it is RIGHT for a man to work for his values and to keep the products of his work. If his own life is a man's purpose, he has a RIGHT to live as a rational being. Any individual or group who attempts to negate a man's rights is WRONG.

A right is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's (or woman's) freedom of action in a SOCIAL context. There is only one FUNDAMENTAL right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): an individual's right to his own life. Since life is maintained through a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action, the right to life means the right to engage in such action. It means the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, furtherance, fulfillment and enjoyment of his (or her) own life. Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The concept of a "right" pertains only to action -- specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men... ANY other men.

Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a POSITIVE -- of his freedom to act on his own judgement, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a NEGATIVE kind: to abstain from violating his rights.

The concept of "rights" is the concept that provides the logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others. It is the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context -- the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, the link between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.

An individual holds rights, not FROM "the Collective" nor FOR the Collective, but AGAINST the Collective -- as a barrier which the Collective cannot cross. Rights are a man's protection against all other men.



pinky


--------------------


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: Phred]
    #1813758 - 08/14/03 03:39 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

i was hoping you'd have something to say in this thread...

i'm a little disappointed though. it's a fine table you've built, but it's hanging in thin air...

i'm still unconvinced here.

i understand the one, basic right... i think it's a fine right. i think it's a great way to run things. i'm just unconvinced that this idea is no more than a convenient, fair, social expedient. i don't see how it is a universal law of nature.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1814632 - 08/14/03 08:02 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

mushmaster writes:

i'm just unconvinced that this idea is no more than a convenient, fair, social expedient. i don't see how it is a universal law of nature.

Of course it is a universal law of nature -- the most universal of all; the background upon which all other laws play out -- existence exists.

There are two kinds of physical entities which exist, the animate and the inanimate. There is a fundamental difference between the two -- animate entities must initiate purposeful action in order to continue to exist as animate entities, while inanimate entities need do nothing to continue their existence as inanimate entities. A kilogram of inanimate gold will continue to exist if it sits doing nothing.

But an animate fish cannot just sit doing nothing or there will be no animate fish in a very short time, there will instead be an inanimate sack of organic chemicals.

Homo sapiens sapiens are animate entities. In order to continue their existence as animate entities, they must act. The only way you can claim they have no right to act is to claim they have no right to exist, and if you hold that position, there is no sense in continuing the discussion, since by extension you as a fellow Homo sapiens sapiens have no right to exist either.

pinky


--------------------


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: Phred]
    #1814814 - 08/14/03 08:45 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

The only way you can claim they have no right to act is to claim they have no right to exist, and if you hold that position, there is no sense in continuing the discussion, since by extension you as a fellow Homo sapiens sapiens have no right to exist either.

what does give us all a "right" to exist?

and if acting to ensure one's continued existance is the action which rights are founded on, what about stealing food to avoid starvation? does one have a "right" to do that?


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OfflinePhred
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1814876 - 08/14/03 09:08 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

mushmaster asks:

what does give us all a "right" to exist?

The fact that you exist. Once you have come into existence, you have the right to act in order to attempt to continue your existence, always presuming that the actions you take do not violate the rights of others.

and if acting to ensure one's continued existance is the action which rights are founded on, what about stealing food to avoid starvation? does one have a "right" to do that?

No, since that action involves violating the rights of another. If you choose to steal food to avoid starvation, then once the emergency situation of your imminent death through starvation has been overcome, you are obligated to pay for what you stole.

If you are going to digress into such philosophical esoterica as "the Ethics of Emergencies", we should probably continue the discussion in the Spirituality and Philosophy forum, in my opinion.

pinky


--------------------


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: Phred]
    #1814951 - 08/14/03 09:27 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

that's starting to make sense now.

i'll have to think that over for a little while.


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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: Phred]
    #1843845 - 08/23/03 07:03 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

what is a right?


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Offlinewingnutx
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1843922 - 08/23/03 08:09 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

Quote:

free from subjection to primary coercion




Libertarian wonks will call that freedom from 'initiation of force'



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Anonymous

Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1852697 - 08/26/03 09:57 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

anyone?


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OfflineDeepDish
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Re: rights, liberty, government... [Re: ]
    #1853171 - 08/27/03 12:11 AM (13 years, 3 months ago)

what is a right?

All rights are, as you said above, human creations. Existance is not a right, it is a condition; either you exist or you do not, as PinkShark said, it is futile to debate the condition (right as he called it) of existance. Nature (or the universe) sets forth certain conditions that all entities, whether animate or inanimate, must abide by. Once again these conditions (natural laws) are not up for debate, every entity in the universe is affected by them. Example, much as you cannot refute the condition of existance, you cannot change the fundemental laws of which our universe is built upon.

Since all nature does is put forth the conditions of existance, the only rights you have are those which are granted to you through your ability to manipulate the entities around you. The block of gold lacks the ability to manipulate natures laws, and over a long period of time, will decay according to its halflife. Animate objects have this ability, and will then do whatever is in their power to prevent their decay and further their species (evolution).

Pinkshark: Perhaps you could elaborate on how the corollaries you mentioned where derived. The way I see it, they support your capitalist ideal very well, but to say that they are ingrained "rights" seems difficult to prove. Example: If I suddenly developed the power to kill anyone, telepathically, at will, where would your rights be? They are only secure so long as you or society has the power to keep them that way. Don't get me wrong, I totally agree with you in a moral sense in that people should be as free as possible from primary coercion.

Also the formation of the United States was not the first time individual rights took precedent over the State. Humanity existed for thousands of years in bands which were highly individualistic. Now if you meant the first complex state....


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