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Offlinegermin8tionn8ion
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The Bigger Issue - rights
    #2646787 - 05/06/04 07:33 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

This post comes as an answer to the numerous liberal-types that seem to misunderstand rights. Edame, for example, seems to be telling me that a patient has a "right" to demand to be treated by a physician in a non-emergency even though that physician's personal code of ethos would prevent it. KingOf and others seem to belive that a "right" exists that demands that television shows must be produced. The problem here, in abstract form, is that they don't understand which rights really do exist and those that aren't real rights.

Anyone that owns their own company is allowed to do what they damn well please with it, as long as it doesn't violate other laws. A doctor DOES have the right to determine who he does and does not want on his clientele list, or what procedures he does and does not want to choose. That is a right. The right to choose. A person doesn't have a "right" to be treated by a private company. That just isn't the way that it is.

A media company that is privately owned has certain rights and certain limitations. It must comply with all applicable FCC rules and regulations. However, the producers of a show doesn't have the "Right" to demand that the private ownership of a station show his product. That isn't a "right". If it was every person's "right" to demand that a private company do business with them, then their wouldn't be any "starving artists", because every literary person would demand that they have their books published. It just doesn't work like that.

People seem so quick to assume that their "rights" are being trampled simply becuase they are, or perceive themselves to be, a minority, that they don't understand what is and what is not a right. Micheal Moore isn't given the "Right" to make Disnep produce his pictures if htey don't want to. DISNEY is the one with the rights here.

I think that some people need to reevauluate their concept of "rights", and look at them in the abstract rather than in a subjective, emotionally heated issue.


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: germin8tionn8ion]
    #2647020 - 05/06/04 08:36 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

at first, I thought you were TOYK, but it's clear
that you are able to think logically and clearly
articulate intelligent points that are not seeded
with racist slander.

welcome aboard!

:thumbup:


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: germin8tionn8ion]
    #2647036 - 05/06/04 08:38 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

People, and organizations, have the rights accorded them by the government, acting on behalf of society and its people.

Part of the role of government is to grant the citizens rights, and to limit thier liberty.

I have the right to walk down the street at night without being attacked and robbed; you don't have the liberty to attack and rob me. It is the government that grants me that right, and the government that enforces it - with the acquiecese of the people, from whom the government draws legitimacy.

If you want to know whether a company has the liberty to act in a certain manner, simply look at the law. If you lack a right (for example, to see the television shows you want on the public airwaves) that you think you should have, then petition your representative to introduce a bill to grant you that right.

If you think the government has lost its legitimacy by acting too far from the public will, then use the established system of contacting your representative and voting will not work, or act outside the system.


To be clear:
A right is not a liberty; a liberty is not a right.
My right is your absence of liberty; your liberty is my absence of right.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647068 - 05/06/04 08:44 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

right: Something that is due to a person or governmental body by law, tradition, or nature.

liberty: The condition of being free from restriction or control.
The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one's own choosing.
The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor. See Synonyms at freedom.

It looks like liberty is a right, just as I suspected.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647097 - 05/06/04 08:49 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

phi1618 writes:

People, and organizations, have the rights accorded them by the government...

Two things wrong in that sentence fragment:

1) Government doesn't (and in fact cannot) accord people rights. All governments can do is to recognize the rights people are born with and to attempt to prevent others from violating those rights.

2) Organizations have no rights. The individuals who comprise the organization have rights. One gains no new rights by joining a group, nor does one forfeit the rights one had before joining the group.

My right is your absence of liberty; your liberty is my absence of right.

Cute, but incorrect. My right to act as I choose (to the extent that such actions do not include the initiation of force against another human) does not hamper your liberty. My rights impose no obligations on you.

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: Phred]
    #2647101 - 05/06/04 08:50 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Dang! Silversoul7 beat me to it.

pinky


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: silversoul7]
    #2647121 - 05/06/04 08:55 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Sorry - I was talking about civil rights. I should have said so.


The rights I was refering to were civil rights - those granted by the government.

The liberties I was refering to were civil liberties - such as the freedom of speech, or freedom of assembly.

The freedom of speech is not a civil right; it is not granted by the government. It is, however, a liberty - something that you are free to do; additionally, it is a civil liberty - something the government is specifically prohibited from infringing by the constitution.

Now, if you said, "I have the right to speak freely", nobody would misunderstand you. However, the freedom of speech is not a civil right, but a civil liberty.

To fix what I said before:
Civil rights are granted by the government, and always have a corresponding restriction on liberty.

I don't think journalists have the right to expect their material aired over parts of the spectrum licensed to private organizations; I do think that private organizations retain the liberty of deciding what is aired on spectrum they control. However, there are acts that may limit this liberty, and grant journalists and the public ceartain civil rights. I really don't know much about that particular situation, I was just highlighting a distinction.

Sorry 'bout the confusion  :blush:


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647133 - 05/06/04 08:57 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

No rights are granted by the government. They can only be recognized and respected, or else violated. I know what you are trying to say because I spent several months here arguing the same thing, only to finally be faced with the fact that it is ultimately indefensible.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: Phred]
    #2647158 - 05/06/04 09:03 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

1) Government doesn't (and in fact cannot) accord people rights. All governments can do is to recognize the rights people are born with and to attempt to prevent others from violating those rights.




You may wish that this were the case, and it might be in an ideal world, but it is clearly not.
Civil rights are granted by the government.

Quote:

2) Organizations have no rights. The individuals who comprise the organization have rights. One gains no new rights by joining a group, nor does one forfeit the rights one had before joining the group.




Although it stretches the common usage of the word "right", which is normally used to refer to individuals, organizations clearly have the right to own private property (a restriction of the liberties of those who don't own that property), and many of the other rights accorded to individuals. The right to own property is a civil right, accorded by the government, not a natural right, the existance of which I would dispute.

Quote:

My right to act as I choose



Mea culpa. Your right to act as you choose is clearly a right and a liberty; I was talking about civil rights, and now I look stupid for not saying so.


You both responded to what I said properly; however, if you substitute "civil right" for "right" in what I said, I stand by it.

Furthermore, I would dispute the existance of "natural rights", except the single right to do as you choose. In the highly unnatural "natural state", there is complete liberty, and the only right is to do as you choose.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: silversoul7]
    #2647174 - 05/06/04 09:05 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

So show me that it is indefensible. Prove me wrong, if you can. (but please respect my modification of my initial post. i'm obviously fallible, and can ceartainly be wrong on the larger issue as I was in my expression of it)

Civil rights:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_rights


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647177 - 05/06/04 09:05 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Question: Can a government violate someone's rights? If so, how can you reconcile this with your statement that the government grants rights? If rights are granted by the government, can't they just as easily be taken away?


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: silversoul7]
    #2647198 - 05/06/04 09:09 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

A government can violate somebodies civil liberties, those specifically granted in the constitution. When it does, the Judiciary should nullify the infringement, though it often doesn't.

A police officer, and officer of the law and part of the government, can violate your civil rights. If he or she does, it should come out in court, though it usually won't.

The only right the government can violate legally is the only right it didn't grant: the right to do as you choose. This is the only natural right; all others are civil, granted by the government and only existing in the law of the land and the minds of the people.



As to the "just as easily taken away", keep in mind that our rights and our government have developed out of thousands of years of human struggle; there's no "easy" about it.
That said, there is a constant risk that we must be vigilant against, which is that the powerfull will coopt government to grant themselves the right to controll us.


Edited by phi1618 (05/06/04 09:12 PM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647208 - 05/06/04 09:11 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

civil rights
pl.n.
The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.

Civil liberties ARE civil rights, rather than being diametrically opposed.


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


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647215 - 05/06/04 09:13 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

The only right the government can violate legally is the only right it didn't grant: the right to do as you choose.



A category under which all other rights fall.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflinePhred
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647218 - 05/06/04 09:13 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Well, we both agree that civil rights are a mere subset of inherent human rights. I accept your explanation that it was an oversight on your part. Now that we have established our terms of reference, let's move on.

Although it stretches the common usage of the word "right", which is normally used to refer to individuals, organizations clearly have the right to own private property (a restriction of the liberties of those who don't own that property), and many of the other rights accorded to individuals.

Let me amend my statement then to "Organizations have no rights other than those possessed by each individual member of the organization." I had thought my second sentence -- "One gains no new rights by joining a group, nor does one forfeit the rights one had before joining the group," had made my point clear. Apparently not.

As for the ownership "restricting" the rights of others, it does no such thing. I own my glasses. I own my bicycle. These facts don't prevent you from owning glasses or a bicycle, they restrict you from using my glasses and my bicycle without my permission.

The right to own property is a civil right, accorded by the government, not a natural right, the existance of which I would dispute.

Nonsense. Ownership of property is an essential precondition to human existence. If one has no right to property, one has no right to exist. It has nothing to do with "civil" rights at all. It is a metaphysical truth, whether government recognizes that truth or not.

pinky


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: silversoul7]
    #2647267 - 05/06/04 09:26 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Liberties in general are the things you are free to do, the things that you may choose to do or not to do as it suits you.

Civil liberties are the things that the government is specifically prohibitted from prohibiting you to do, in the constitution.

Rights are entitlements; things that a person can obtain if they choose. So the notion of liberty is inherent in the notion of right.

I suppose you could argue for the existance of natural rights, moral rights, and civil rights. Natural rights are those that exist in nature, as it exists seperate from humanity; moral rights are those that exist in a particular ethical construction, which exists in an individuals mind and in the "mind" of society;

Civil rights are those granted by the government.

However, the civil liberties are not actually liberties, because they are restrictions on the action of government. With the granting of a civil liberty, you are no more free than you were before; however, the government is less free.

So, my argument is now (i'm not really sure how this meshes with what I've posted before - you are really making me think here):

Liberty is not granted by the government. Civil liberties refer to liberties but are not themselves liberties; they are civil rights.
All civil rights are restrictions of liberty; the liberty restricted by the civil liberties is the liberty of the government to prohibit certain liberties of the individual.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: Phred]
    #2647334 - 05/06/04 09:43 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

As for the ownership "restricting" the rights of others, it does no such thing. I own my glasses. I own my bicycle. These facts don't prevent you from owning glasses or a bicycle, they restrict you from using my glasses and my bicycle without my permission.




Ownership is a civil right.
It restricts my liberty to do what I want. I can't ride your bike without your permission. I don't have that liberty, because you have a civil right to controll the usage of that bike.

The only right this restricts is my natural right to do what I want.

Quote:

Ownership of property is an essential precondition to human existence.



This is debatable. Clearly, ownership of property is recognized by the government; there can be no doubt that it is a civil right.
My argument is that the only natural right is the right to do as I choose.
When we look at concepts, it is hard to distinguish between those inherent in society and those inherent in human nature; it is the nature of humans to form society, and to become part of society, so that the essence of human is lost in the essence of society.
It could be that the concept of "ownership" is inherent in human nature; a corresponding theory is "there could be no society without ownership".

Here is a question, that we appear to disagree on:
Are there natural rights beyond the right to do as we choose?


A question of fact that could possibly settle the specific question of "is the right to own property a natural right" is a survey of anthropological studies and historical cultures, to see what variety existed in the concept of ownership.

What, for example, did ownership mean to a peasant fuedal Europe? They were human, and didn't have ownership as a civil right.

Perhaps there are more persuasive examples - it is a heavy question.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647337 - 05/06/04 09:43 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

phi1618 said:
Liberties in general are the things you are free to do, the things that you may choose to do or not to do as it suits you.



Doing ok so far.

Quote:

Civil liberties are the things that the government is specifically prohibitted from prohibiting you to do, in the constitution.



Wrong. The government is restricted from violating people's civil liberties, but that does not mean that the civil liberties are the restrictions. Putting "civil" before either "liberties" or "rights" simply means that it applies to citizenship.

Quote:

Rights are entitlements; things that a person can obtain if they choose. So the notion of liberty is inherent in the notion of right.



Rights are not obtained. They exist naturally.

Quote:

I suppose you could argue for the existance of natural rights, moral rights, and civil rights. Natural rights are those that exist in nature, as it exists seperate from humanity; moral rights are those that exist in a particular ethical construction, which exists in an individuals mind and in the "mind" of society;



Could not find a dictionary definition of "moral rights," nor am I familiar with the term, so I guess I'll have to take your word for it.

Quote:

Civil rights are those granted by the government.



As explained earlier, "civil" only means that it applies to citizenship.

Quote:

However, the civil liberties are not actually liberties, because they are restrictions on the action of government. With the granting of a civil liberty, you are no more free than you were before; however, the government is less free.



I believe I've already covered this.


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


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: silversoul7]
    #2647406 - 05/06/04 09:59 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Superficial points:
I just made up moral rights; I would consider "natural rights" to be the same for all people at all times; "moral rights" are things you and I might consider to be right but a tribesman from Papua New Guinea might find bizarre.
"civil" pertains to citizenship; citizenship pertains to the government; I don't see that we have a disagreement here. Or, perhaps I would claim that non-citizens do have civil rights in the US, but not the same rights as citizens. Nonetheless, i think it is an insignificant point.
When I said:
Quote:

Rights are entitlements; things that a person can obtain if they choose.



I don't mean a person can obtain rights, but that rights are "things that a person may choose to either obtain or refrain from obtaining".
Very minor point.

Slightly more important disagreement:
What is a civil liberty?
Is it the liberty of the individual, or the restriction on the government? Clearly both things exist.
Do you really care? Does it have more depth than semantics?
I think you understand what I'm saying, and disagree, even using my definintion (civil liberty is a restricion on the government, not a liberty of the individual).
I would prefer not to belabor this point, as it is periferal to our central diagreement.


Now here it is, the one that matters:

Quote:

(rights} exist naturally.



I claim that the only natural right is to do what you will.
All others exist solely because they are recognized by society, and that this recognition is embodied in the law and enforced by the government.


Edited by phi1618 (05/06/04 10:00 PM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: The Bigger Issue - rights [Re: phi1618]
    #2647448 - 05/06/04 10:03 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

"moral rights" are things you and I might consider to be right but a tribesman from Papua New Guinea might find bizarre.



Those are values, not rights. Values are subjective. Rights are universal. Sometimes values go against rights. For example, gay marriage. People have a right to marry any consenting adult, yet society's values are opposed to this.

Quote:

I claim that the only natural right is to do what you will.
All others exist solely because they are recognized by society, and that this recognition is embodied in the law and enforced by the government.



There are no rights outside of that one natural right. They all fall under that category.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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