Where do Rights originate?

Discussion in 'Quackenbush's' started by kgp, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. kgp

    kgp 1,000+ Posts

    I am curious as to what HFs think is the ultimate source of our rights-- as citizens, as persons, as humans, as animals. Do we have rights because our founding documents say so, or do we have them and our founding documents say so? Is there some first principle I can use to justify our rights, or are they a mishmash of what "seems fair?" Have we always had the rights that we have now, and will we always have the ones we now do?

    Do people here take a legalistic view that one has (and only has) the rights the law indicates? Do we really have any rights at all, or do we really only have as much freedom as our personal situation happens to permit-- are rights no more than a lofty and silly fiction? What do our rights entitle us to do to others?

    I know that is a long list of questions for one thread. Oh well.
  2. uberheadymagical

    uberheadymagical 250+ Posts

    Rights are a creation of man and exist (or don't exist) at his pleasure.
  3. Dr.Strangehorn

    Dr.Strangehorn 100+ Posts

    Rights exist in our head and are enforced at the point of a gun. Now the ideas behind those rights, that's a long and interesting story.
  4. THEU

    THEU 2,500+ Posts

    Rights orginate with God.
  5. bozo_casanova

    bozo_casanova 2,500+ Posts

  6. JohnnyM

    JohnnyM 2,500+ Posts

  7. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

    Most of the basic rights exit through all cultures regardless of religion or religiosity, and their purpose is plain, to allow for society. The congregation of individuals into society only make sense if individuals have a greater odds of survival as part of a group. If membership in society made you less safe, or made the collection of life's essentials more difficult, then there would be no reason for people to stay together. The social taboos against murder, assault, and theft are the minimum requirements to make the congregation of individuals into groups beneficial.

    The rules allow us to benefit from our associations, and achieve more than we could on our own. I believe God made us social creatures, but the fundamental necessities of society are self evident. If it was okay to murder and steal, then society could not perpetuate itself and we would still be hunter gatherers.
  8. fratboy_legend

    fratboy_legend 500+ Posts

    in a civilized society, we have the rights enumerated in our founding documents.

    in an uncivilized society, we have the rights to survival of the fittest.
  9. MaduroUTMB

    MaduroUTMB 2,500+ Posts

  10. NBMisha

    NBMisha 500+ Posts

    By agreement among a group. No supernatural cause. Indeed, as these concepts are ubiquitous among human societies, a natural explanation is called for.

    There are many books available to explore the various evolutionary roots of cooperation, which along wth language give rise to concepts such as rights, priveleges, obligations, and the like. Pretty soon you end up with lawyers.
  11. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  12. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

  13. YChang

    YChang 500+ Posts

    Look at Vishnu...he was a player back as Lord Krsna
  14. stabone

    stabone 500+ Posts

  15. netslave

    netslave 1,000+ Posts

  16. GT WT

    GT WT 1,000+ Posts

  17. tropheus

    tropheus 1,000+ Posts

  18. Bookman

    Bookman 1,000+ Posts

    If God created rights, He doesn't do a very good job of enforcing them.
  19. ElJefe

    ElJefe 100+ Posts

  20. netslave

    netslave 1,000+ Posts

  21. mia1994

    mia1994 1,000+ Posts

    The oldest codex of laws we've found are from at least 700 years BEFORE the exodus and include laws comdemning murder, theft, kidnapping, adultry, assault and a whole host of other things. If these basic social agreements predate the commandments, then they must be inate parts of our being. If they are inate, then why does God list them again when he provides the laws to the hebrews? Couldn't he have stopped listing commandments after 4? In fact, why would the commandments be necessary at all? If we are preprogrammed by an omnicient creator to provide for a specific social contract... then what's with all of the divine intervention?

    This leads me back to my original line of thinking. For people to congregate into complex social structures, those social structures must provide for the well being of the individuals. This means that the members of society at large, must be safer within the group than without (no murder/no assualt) and that they must not be unfairly seperated from the fruits of their labor (no stealing). These are the most basic rules that all others are founded on. Without these rules, as a species we are better off on our own than in groups.

    If you want to make a fire, you will need an ignition source and a fuel. If you want to make a society, you will need the people and a social contract. That all social contracts start off more or less the same way, is not a coincidence, but it doesn't require divine reasoning either.
  22. Jive_Turkey

    Jive_Turkey 1,000+ Posts

  23. austintex

    austintex 500+ Posts

    Some rights are self-evident. Others emerge over time and must be fought for. One such right, for instance, is the right to party.
  24. netslave

    netslave 1,000+ Posts

  25. tropheus

    tropheus 1,000+ Posts

    from a theological sense, if Mankind was created with innate understanding of rights from God, but was separated from God and a clear picture of the overall design, then it would be necessary for guidance from the Creator as the reconcilliation of Mankind to God began to take place.

    I think the universiality of these concepts doesn't foreclose the Divine, but it certainly bolsters the natural explanation.
  26. Statalyzer

    Statalyzer 10,000+ Posts

  27. NBMisha

    NBMisha 500+ Posts

    I do like the natural explanations because they are simpler, and require fewer and less complex assumptions. "God" is an enourmously complex additional assumption, adding more requirements for explanation than help.

    Of course, these are preferences in explanations, not truths. However, this approach has proven best, over the centuries, compared to all other approaches, in generating explanations that most closely cohere with the universe and other successful explanations.

    Explanations not so consistent have a much, much less successful track record. Never successful, I would say, once the natural explanation is understood.

    Not to draw too fine a line.
  28. stabone

    stabone 500+ Posts

  29. netslave

    netslave 1,000+ Posts

  30. stabone

    stabone 500+ Posts


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