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beansprouts

By what authority do we claim "rights"?

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The U.S. Declaration of Independance states this:

 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that

all men are created equal, that they are endowed

by their Creator with certain unalienable

rights, that among these are life, liberty,

and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure

these rights, governments are instituted among

men....â€

 

If rights are endowed by a Creator, an authority greater than ourselves, and none exists, can we make any legitimate claim to "rights"?

 

How should we determine what these rights should be?

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Boy Cindy, you've certainly had some free time these last couple a days. You have posed a very interesting question. One which I do not have an answer except that somehow it points back to having to have a creator. KWIM? I have such fuzzy thoughts that are clear to me but no one else. Oh well.

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I don't think that rights exist any more than a creator does.

 

I think that rights are the natural expression of an ideal. Just like laws, they are guidelines/recommendations for how people should interact so that everyone can get along.

 

Since they don't actually exist, I don't think they are given. Like laws, they are made "real" when they are upheld and defended, and when they are, you could say in a way they are "granted" or "given". And in that way of looking at it, I'd say that the government "gives" us rights, and anyone who defends them "gives" them to us.

 

Rights, like laws, develop from what we see to be wrong in how people interact. Pain is (arguabley) universal; no one wants to be killed, tortured, made sick, put in pain, be without what they need, be treated unfairly, be held back from what will help them, and rights usually protect these things.

 

That the DoI says a creator gave us rights does not make it so. It's just an example of expressing ideals.

 

Bringing this up suggested what NewLifeMom said, that you seem to be suggesting that because we have rights a creator must exist. The "existance" of rights (which right there I would contest) does not prove nor disprove the existance of a creator, especially when you seem to be citing the DoI as the basis for it. (Not meaning to say this is what you meant, only if it is, this is my responce :tongue_smilie:)

 

This is the best responce I can give right now. Please pick it apart and challenge it so I can figure out what I'm trying to say =)

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I don't think that rights exist any more than a creator does.

 

I think that rights are the natural expression of an ideal. Just like laws, they are guidelines/recommendations for how people should interact so that everyone can get along.

 

Since they don't actually exist, I don't think they are given. Like laws, they are made "real" when they are upheld and defended, and when they are, you could say in a way they are "granted" or "given". And in that way of looking at it, I'd say that the government "gives" us rights, and anyone who defends them "gives" them to us.

 

Rights, like laws, develop from what we see to be wrong in how people interact. Pain is (arguabley) universal; no one wants to be killed, tortured, made sick, put in pain, be without what they need, be treated unfairly, be held back from what will help them, and rights usually protect these things.

 

That the DoI says a creator gave us rights does not make it so. It's just an example of expressing ideals.

 

Bringing this up suggested what NewLifeMom said, that you seem to be suggesting that because we have rights a creator must exist. The "existance" of rights (which right there I would contest) does not prove nor disprove the existance of a creator, especially when you seem to be citing the DoI as the basis for it. (Not meaning to say this is what you meant, only if it is, this is my responce :tongue_smilie:)

 

This is the best responce I can give right now. Please pick it apart and challenge it so I can figure out what I'm trying to say =)

 

No, I am not trying to suggest that because we have rights that a Creator must exist. I seriously question whether we truly have all the "rights" that we claim to have on a daily basis. ;) And I do wonder how we can claim "rights" of any sort without an external authority. I think you are trying to say that the state is that authority?

 

ETA: I actually have a great deal going on right now, But I like to escape for a few minutes in between tasks.

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If a creator endows us with rights, then a creator could take them away, and I certainly don't believe that.

 

No one gives us rights. We are animals, and as such, we have no inherent "rights." A gazelle has no "right" not to be eaten by a cheetah.

 

However, we also possess (and I would argue that we possess it through evolution, not divine favoritism) the intellect to recognize our desire for happiness, which leads us as a species to define rights. That doesn't mean we bestow them on one another, it simply means that we recognize that, in order for us to be able to pursue our happiness, we have to allow others to do the same.

 

I think "rights" are an intellectual creation, not a divine or natural one.

 

Tara

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Beans, I love you, are you writing a philosophy curriculum that we don't know about? :lol::lol::tongue_smilie:

 

 

To answer your question I do believe in a creator and my rights as outlined by him as my authority.

 

However, if you do not claim a deity as your authority, we can still see rights as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

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I don't believe that rights exist in the state of nature where it is every man for himself. When people come together in a society they can deem certain things rights but once the society dissolves, so too the rights.

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hmm, I can leave out the God factor b/c I believe that if something is true, it's truth doesn't change by adding or remove the word God.

 

so. I believe that rights are an ideal of what is the very basic foundation of individuality.

 

on a society level - most rights, even those 3 basics life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness do not make sense to allow for everyone and it's probably why america is the first nation to survive those things being made a foundation. There's a reason we're a republic, not a pure democracy. Pure democracy has never worked on a large social scale.

 

society is easier to manage when the focus is on society "greater good" rather than the individual "right" one can kill another, have slaves, and only a select few have a genuine chance at attaining their own happiness via their own efforts.

 

this is a MAJOR factor in why many other cultures conflict with americans, imho. most other cultures are based on social rights structure far more than in the states, where the focus is much more on the individual rights

 

ug. I'm so sore and tired.

I have no idea if that made a lick of sense to anyone other than me or if it even addresses the question at hand.:001_huh:

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