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 "Inalienable" Human Rights

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Uriah



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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Fri Mar 28, 2008 11:49 am

stretmediq wrote:
Uriah wrote:
stretmediq wrote:
Uriah wrote:
For instance, in Chinese culture (and much of the oriental cultural world) there is no concept of "natural rights". In Chinese the word 'right' simply translates as "the power, or ability, to do something".
Maybe we could define natural rights as the ability to do something without infringing on anothers ability to do the same.

We could, but the Chinese don't. I was just trying to show how the concept of natural rights is largely a product of our culture, and not necessarily a preexisting "perfect form" in the Platonic sense. Like the value of Pi, for example.
Yea I understand that. I was just trying to get to some common definition of what we mean by the term regardless of where they came from.

I'm sorry, I misunderstood.

Yes, well "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" right?

What Jefferson called "Inalienable Rights", was lifted directly from Hobbes and Locke, though Jefferson changed "possessions" to "happiness".

That is the definition I would think most appropriate.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:18 pm

Schizophretard wrote:
The reason natural rights wouldn't be important if they are manmade is because they wouldn't be real.
I disagree. For instance language is man made. Is language not real? My house is man made. Is my house not real? Culture is man made. Is culture not real? Get the point? Man as an aspect of nature can be just as much an agent of creation as anything else within nature, and IMO that includes conceptual creations.

Schizophretard wrote:
Just like Jesus and Santa aren't important.
It may be true that (bible) Jesus and Santa Claus aren't objectively real flesh and blood people, but that doesn't mean that they're not real in the conceptual sense and that they're not very important to billions of people around the world. A concept doesn't need to be objective in order to be important.

Schizophretard wrote:
If rights don't exist and we invented them to coexist then we chose to go insane in order to coexist.
Insanity is marked by irrational behavior and an unsound state of mind. There is nothing irrational or unsound about the emergence of the concept of human rights. Just because something is a man made concept doesn't mean that it's not real or that it doesn't exist or that it's automatically unimportant.

IMO, humanity is in itself an extension of nature, which is in itself an extension of the "laws"/habits of nature, which is in itself an extension of pure limitless formless infinite potential. It's this hierarchy in its entirety that I refer to as "god". So in a sense, it's humanity that is the meaning making aspect of "god" not the other way around. In other words, meaning and importance aren't something that are passed down to us from an outside transcendent divine being, instead they are an immanent divinely inspired creation that are "passed up" and onto the rest of "creation".

Schizophretard wrote:
As to whether they come from man, nature, or directly from god. I would say all the above.
Yes, I can agree with that. Smile

Schizophretard wrote:
I disagree that if it's true that our human rights are a direct creation of god then it forever tethers government to religion. Religion and God are two different things.
I agree that religion and god are two different things, however religion is the institution that is responsible for interpreting the intentions and nature of god. The concept of human and natural rights is something that fully developed in the 17th and 18th centuries as western religion and philosophy mixed with the newly emergent capacity for self-awareness, self interest and the ability to take an objective 3rd person perspective. The movement came to be known as "The Enlightenment" (as PA pointed out). It was this mixture of transcendent ideals and 3rd person objectivity that lead to the belief in universal morality.

It wasn't until skeptics like Hume and Kant began to question the basis and epistemology of human knowledge, truth and reason that people began thinking more deeply about the basis of natural rights and morality. Kant eventually came to the conclusion that human rights and morality were a voluntary creation of rational independent autonomous individuals through the "categorical imperative"; 'act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.'

I don't disregard the notion that "human rights" have an objective correlate in the same way that numbers and math have an objective correlate. It's just important to remember that human rights are a human concept and have little meaning outside of the social systems that they correlate to just as numbers and math are human concepts and have little meaning outside of the objective systems that the correlate to. In other words don't confuse "the idea of the thing" for the thing itself.

Human rights are a dynamic man made concept designed to help us deal with a dynamic and ever changing (objective) world.

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:51 am

Quote :
The prophets of the Bible lied just like the psychics of today do.

Sorry, I believe it is better to compare the prophets of the Bible with the scientists of the Bible-era. Neither lied. Both expressed the truth as they knew it.

Anyway, folks, here's something, somewhat related, that I found really profound in this month's issue of Scientific American. It was a really well done article (in other words I could understand it) on how scientists of the very far future might have one heck of a time studying our universe.

And that's because the SA article pointed out that our universe is expanding, which evryone knows. So the article postulates that scientists in this moment of the universe have a benefit that we can see the universe, other galazies, the radiation signature of the big bang.

But that if you look down the road 100 billion years then two things will have happened. 1) our local cluster of galazies will have collapsed into one huge galazy; and 2) most interestingly, every other galaxy will, in fact, be beyond our own super galaxy's event horizon.

Isn't this fascinating.

So often we talk about our scientists of old and how they had to glean truth out of the mists of ignorance.

But think about scientists 100 billion years from now, scientists of the very far future.

All they will be able to glean is an island universe. But what we know and they won't (unless of course they manage to become far more advanced than us) is that it's not really an island universe. It's just one of billions of galaxies (albeit a superone). But all the other galaxies have expanded beyond our event horizon. In other words the information that provides the truth to the universe's existence won't be available to them.

What say we now about truth? Paineful?

Is this just my wine, or is this, to quote John Denver, far out????

and one PS, in case you're wondering what happens, the SA article postulates the hole super galazy eventually falls into a black hole.


HOly cow. That's not much of an epitapth for the local cluster of galaxies.

Unless there's a hell of a party goin' on in those black holes!

Oh and the article does indicate that the percentage of Helium goes beyond hydrogen. Just had to mention that.
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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Mar 29, 2008 6:19 am

Aaron,

I get what you're saying. When I said,"The reason natural rights wouldn't be important if they are manmade is because they wouldn't be real." I should of said,"Less important." If Jesus was real then he would be the most important person with the most important message in the whole world. There really would be a Heaven and a Hell. If he was real his message would have authority but since he is not his message doesn't. He is important but it isn't a matter of Heaven and Hell. So, If we really do have natural rights then the concept of rights has authority. If we don't really have natural rights then believing we do is just a faith that has no real existence in reality. So, if I have natural rights and someone murders me then that person did something wrong. If my rights are just a made up concept in my head and someone murders me then that person's act was neither right or wrong and I just have an incorrect faith that they did wrong. If we don't have natural rights then good people, bad people, right, wrong, good, and bad don't exist either. If these things only exist in false concepts then morality also exists only as a false concept.

I don't see this to be the truth. The concept of rights isn't a manmade concept but is a natural concept that we are born with. My rights are as self evident as,"I think and therefore I am." They come with my existence. If I was raised on an island that has never made contact with civilization and never even heard the words natural rights, I would still understand the concept because it is a natural part of my being. If someone tried to kill me, I would know that I own myself, that they have no right to do this, and since they chose to do this I have a right to defend myself. I would know that my action is right and theirs is wrong. No one has to tell me I own myself and with ownership comes rights.

"I think and therefore I am. I own myself and therefore I have rights. My self ownership is unalienable and therefore I have unalienable rights."


Helium,

I still disagree that they were telling the truth as they knew it. Yes, many of the concepts in the Bible were expressed as they knew them but they mixed these concepts with lies to get people to follow the religion. There is no way that all the prophets really heard a voice that they mistaken as God and wrote down what he said. They made up what he said for the same reasons a psychic would. There were many people that were caught in their lies and stoned for false prophesy. The prophets that didn't get caught lying were believed to be real prophets but there is only false prophets in the Bible. One prophet lies to a king and says he will have victory. Another prophet lies to a king and says he will face defeat. The one that guessed wrong dies and the one that guessed right lives. The one that guessed wrong is considered a false prophet and the one that guessed right is considered a real prophet but they both are liars. They lied about their prophesies and their stories but the lies that were believed were put in the Bible. The ones that were believed were the ones that fit the truth as the culture saw it. In other words, it was written by human selection. The bad liars were killed and their teachings burned. The good liars were praised and their teachings were believed.

The stuff you are saying about how we won't be able to do science in the future is interesting. It's amazing that us observers evolved at the right time to observe the universe. Coincidence Question
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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Mar 29, 2008 2:00 pm

Schizophretard wrote:

I don't see this to be the truth. The concept of rights isn't a manmade concept but is a natural concept that we are born with.

If that is indeed the case, how come Western Civilization, and the ancient Hellenes are the only peoples to ever conceptualize "Natural Rights"?

Schizophretard wrote:

My rights are as self evident as,"I think and therefore I am." They come with my existence. If I was raised on an island that has never made contact with civilization and never even heard the words natural rights, I would still understand the concept because it is a natural part of my being.

Again, you are making a very large leap in reasoning here. Your argument sounds logical, but it doesn't hold up against historical evidence.

When Cortes landed in America and began to enslave and subdue the Aztecs, even going so far as to capture their king, they did nothing, they didn't fight for their "rights" because they Aztec culture didn't have a concept of "natural rights" and saw Cortes, like their king, as an incarnation of god on earth.
Also, Hinduism has no concept of "natural rights" neither does Buddhism really, nor any of the other major religions of the East. In fact, the very idea of Samsara (reincarnation), the Indian Caste System, and Confucian Legalism are anathema to the individualism inherent in teh Western idea of "natural rights"


Schizophretard wrote:

If someone tried to kill me, I would know that I own myself, that they have no right to do this, and since they chose to do this I have a right to defend myself. I would know that my action is right and theirs is wrong. No one has to tell me I own myself and with ownership comes rights.

"I think and therefore I am. I own myself and therefore I have rights. My self ownership is unalienable and therefore I have unalienable rights."

What if you were made into a slave? Or worse, just killed and had your land stolen?

Where were the "unalienable rights" of innocent Cambodians when Pol Pot's Khmers systematically massacred 1.5 million of them?

Where were these rights in Nazi controlled Europe?

Where were these rights when Jim Crow ruled the South?

Where are these rights in Guantanamo?

In Gaza, or the West Bank?

In Sudan?

When the rubber meets the road, there are no such things as rights, only privileges. What you are either able to do without interference from others, or allowed to do by those in power.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:49 pm

Stretmediq wrote:
I have to agree with Uriah and PA. I just see no evidence of natural law or natural rights when it comes to human behavior.

There is a fundamental difference between the laws of nature as they objectively manifest themselves in the universe, vs. the "natural law" which is a unique term used to designate the teleological nature of human action in philosophy (Aristotle) and the doctrine of limitations in law (Cicero).

As such, the proponents of "natural law" never equated it with something deterministic and objective that could not be disputed. Instead, it has always been a theoretic framework for building a system of reason and freedom--for the most part.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:34 am

I must say that I agree completely with Aaron's last post, in response to Schizophretard. I don't disagree with Schizophretard either, except that I think that he has developed a rather objectivist stance about human rights. I too hold them as sacrosanct, as part of my ontology, but as adhering to empiricist epistemology, I must concur with the conclusions of Aaron.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:54 am

Stretmediq wrote:
But I'm not a complete libertarian because i think there should be some sort of social safety net and some semblance of order must be maintained.

I don't think anyone here is a complete libertarian, as that term is often usurped by anarchist capitalists. Basically, we are classical liberals and methodological individualists. As such, there is very little room for disagreement on the size of the gov't, although, as happens with those that are ideologically closest to each other: we seem to quarel a lot.


Aaron wrote:
I don't think that anyone is arguing against the idea of "human rights". As far as I can tell we all believe that they exist and that they're important. The argument is over whether those rights are "inalienable" or not and whether they come from man, nature, or directly from god.

IMO human rights are a cultural creation. In other words they come from the collective, intersubjective mind of man. What constitutes a "human right" is open to interpretation based on the cultural and societal context.

In the second paragraph, especially its third sentence, you abdicate all notion of human rights. Rights have no meaning if they are a matter of cultural preferences. Rights are principles that are universal; however, their implementation may take different means in different cultures.

For instance, in United States we incarcirate someone who steals; while under sharia law the penalty is chopping off the hand--both are equally valid forms of punishments for the infringment of a human right, albeit, one may appears more harsh than the other or more ineffective than the other. Likewise, in the United States the penalty for murder is death, but in European Union it is incarciration for life; and again one may appear as rather harsh or ineffective than the other based upon our "cultural" preferances. But the right (the principle) of property is universal and transcends cultural variations.

It is like the practice of democracy (a civil right, not a natural right): No two democracies are alike, but the principle of self determination is universal--and we criticize those regimes that infringe upon it. Of course, as Thoreau said it: the logical conclusion of such universal self determination is to fundamentally uphold the right of self determination of an individual--which leads towards a libertarians society based upon methodological individualism, but that is besides the point.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:21 am

Averroes wrote:
as happens with those that are ideologically closest to each other: we seem to quarel a lot.
Laughing
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Gettin' In Tune



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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:57 am

Every abhorrent act in human history is a violation of natural/negative rights.

Care to show me otherwise?
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:52 am

Uriah,

I believe maybe the reason Western Civilization, and the ancient Hellenes are the only peoples to ever conceptualize Natural Rights is just because they thought about it more but since they are natural rights every other civilization could of conceptualized it just as easily. All because something hasn't been universally conceptualized doesn't prove it's not natural. Western Civilization was the first to conceptualize the concept of the Earth going around the Sun while it was universally believed it was the other way around. Heliocentrism is the natural state of things even though for most of history people believed in geocentrism. The world's universal belief of geocentrism was false but Western Civilization proved the world wrong. So, I guess it's the same with natural rights. Even if it was universally believed that natural rights don't exist it still wouldn't change the fact of them being the natural state of things. Our science is better now because we have a better understanding of the natural world and our governments our better now because we have a better understanding of natural rights. I wonder why that is.

I don't even really believe that Western Civilization, and the ancient Hellenes are the only peoples to ever conceptualize Natural Rights anyway. I just believe that other civilizations didn't put much thought into it but still had a basic understanding of it. Everybody from every civilization has had some kind of property and if you understand the concept of property then you do have a basic concept of rights. So, everybody has conceptualized it just to varying degrees.

If having natural rights isn't the natural state of things then the lack of natural rights would be the natural state of things. Instead of everybody having property everybody would lack property. So, if we don't have natural rights then we have something like a natural communism. If natural rights is just a manmade concept then before anyone came up with the idea no one would of owned anything and it would of been like communism but it happened the other way around. In communism there is neither property(rights) or competition. In capitalism there is both property(rights) and competition. Naturally everything works more like capitalism. There is competition and property in nature. Therefore, there is natural rights. Communism(lack of rights) is the new manmade concept and capitalism(having rights) is the natural concept we are born with.

Concerning Aztecs,Hindus,Buddhism,and the rest, I think maybe their beliefs kept them from acknowledging their rights. People can either believe they have rights or believe they don't but only one of these is the natural state of things. Their concepts are new just like what I said about communism. Their believes aren't the natural state of things. If you were able to erase these concepts from them then they would behave as if they had rights. Natural Rights is the default concept people are born with but people's cultures and religions can train people to ignore their rights. We are born free but can be made into slaves.

I find it interesting that all the questions you're asking about where were all the unalienable rights of all these innocent people through history are all cases of people's rights being violated. Do you think that without the concept of natural rights you would of been able to make such a list of atrocities? If you did come up with such a list without the concept do you think it would be just a coincidence that they are all also rights violations or do you think that maybe your moral human conscience is naturally programmed to tell right from wrong(rights violations)? But to answer your questions all the unalienable rights were in the victims because they have an unalienable right to life. All the wrongs were in the oppressors because they can never obtain the right to murder people. Now that I think about it since no one can obtain a right to murder people their is also unalienable wrongs.

I never said that unalienable rights can't be violated. Them being unalienable is why they can be violated. All the atrocities of history are not examples of people's privileges being taken away but every case is an example of people's unalienable rights being violated. Every murderer has always been in the wrong and every person defending their life has always been in the right. Why? Because we were born with unalienable natural rights.

Either we have natural rights or we do not. Which ever one is the truth can be determined by determining which political system is most compatible with our human nature. If we do have natural rights then a political system that is based on this concept would work better than a political system that is not based on it because our government would work in harmony with our natures. If we don't have natural rights then the opposite would be true. So, prove to me that a government that doesn't recognize rights is more compatible with our natures and I'll be convinced.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:16 am

Schizophretard wrote:
In communism there is neither property(rights) or competition. In capitalism there is both property(rights) and competition. Naturally everything works more like capitalism. There is competition and property in nature. Therefore, there is natural rights. Communism(lack of rights) is the new manmade concept and capitalism(having rights) is the natural concept we are born with.

And lets not forget the cooperative aspect of freedom (free markets capitalism if you prefer). It is the only means of voluntary cooperation that brings about the most efficient means of distribution of goods and services. All other (collectivist) means are authoritarian and require the absence of choice; and in case of anarchism just simply do not work for societies larger than a family or a tribe.

Also, it is important to realize (as Marx does quite aptly) that the notion of "property rights" arose with the rise of the state. That is, only where societies (thanks to agrarian revolution) grew larger than mere nomadic tribes, did the notion of property arise and along with it came the regulatory apparatus of a state.

Thus the earliest cities (of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Indus valley civilization) codified laws that aside from their ritualistic and liturgical origins solidified the concepts of marriage/family and property/commerce; and dealt harshly with anyone that violated them. Even the loss of life was often dealt with in monetary terms--as is still the custom within the Sharia.

The point is that property, like state, was not a disposition of mankind in the state of nature. And this is an important empirical evidence against the so called anarchist capitalist that delude themselves into thinking that somehow the notion of property can even exist in absence of a state--although, I'd emphasize, along with Paine and Thoreau, that society and economy have always existed in lieu of state, but the state is necessary only to enforce inalienable human rights (in the negative as Gettin n Tune has said).

And lest anyone may say so; allow me to iterate that I do not think that our rights come from the state. What I've said, and what historical and anthropological evidence bears witness to, is that the state came into existance in defense of property rights at the same time as the first notion of property arose.

In the state of nature the dispute over property is resolved through might (as we quite frequently see on the National Geographic chanell or on Animal Planet), and within families where everything is appropriately communally owned, there is not much use of property rights (consider your own immediate families, people living within same household often use each others possessions with impunity).
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:56 am

Averroes wrote:
Aaron wrote:
I don't think that anyone is arguing against the idea of "human rights". As far as I can tell we all believe that they exist and that they're important. The argument is over whether those rights are "inalienable" or not and whether they come from man, nature, or directly from god.

IMO human rights are a cultural creation. In other words they come from the collective, intersubjective mind of man. What constitutes a "human right" is open to interpretation based on the cultural and societal context.

In the second paragraph, especially its third sentence, you abdicate all notion of human rights. Rights have no meaning if they are a matter of cultural preferences. Rights are principles that are universal; however, their implementation may take different means in different cultures.

For instance, in United States we incarcirate someone who steals; while under sharia law the penalty is chopping off the hand--both are equally valid forms of punishments for the infringment of a human right, albeit, one may appears more harsh than the other or more ineffective than the other. Likewise, in the United States the penalty for murder is death, but in European Union it is incarciration for life; and again one may appear as rather harsh or ineffective than the other based upon our "cultural" preferances. But the right (the principle) of property is universal and transcends cultural variations.

It is like the practice of democracy (a civil right, not a natural right): No two democracies are alike, but the principle of self determination is universal--and we criticize those regimes that infringe upon it. Of course, as Thoreau said it: the logical conclusion of such universal self determination is to fundamentally uphold the right of self determination of an individual--which leads towards a libertarians society based upon methodological individualism, but that is besides the point.

Yes it's true, there is an individual component to it as well that I was overlooking. It is important to remember the influence that culture has on the individual and the idea of free-will however.

Also, like I said earlier, the subjective (and intersubjective) conception of "rights" has an objective correlate. This objective correlate is indeed universal but it is also relative. In other words, there is a natural hierarchy that's embedded within the objective world that from the holistic perspective is universal, however ones individual location within that hierarchy is relative to everything else in the system. Therefore ones claim to rights is based on ones location within that hierarchy. (This is exactly what you were talking about in another thread BTW.)

Here's the quote...
Averroes wrote:
The inalienability of human rights starts from the premise that Man is a rational animal: Man is able to reason his actions.

Children do not have the right to liberty, because they are not reasonable until age 12 (approximately). Insane folks do not have the right to freedom because they've lost their ability to reason.

Reason (broadly defined) is the bases of all human rights. And rights mean nothing if they are not inalienable. That is, they cannot be severed from the individual save by their permission.

And since "rights" are a construct of human reason, it means that our idea of rights can change and evolve over time just as reason changes and evolves over time. What was once a privilege or a luxury at one place or time may be looked upon as a right at another and I would argue that perhaps it goes the other way around as well.

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:30 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Uriah,

I believe maybe the reason Western Civilization, and the ancient Hellenes are the only peoples to ever conceptualize Natural Rights is just because they thought about it more but since they are natural rights every other civilization could of conceptualized it just as easily. All because something hasn't been universally conceptualized doesn't prove it's not natural. Western Civilization was the first to conceptualize the concept of the Earth going around the Sun while it was universally believed it was the other way around. Heliocentrism is the natural state of things even though for most of history people believed in geocentrism. The world's universal belief of geocentrism was false but Western Civilization proved the world wrong. So, I guess it's the same with natural rights. Even if it was universally believed that natural rights don't exist it still wouldn't change the fact of them being the natural state of things. Our science is better now because we have a better understanding of the natural world and our governments our better now because we have a better understanding of natural rights. I wonder why that is.

I don't even really believe that Western Civilization, and the ancient Hellenes are the only peoples to ever conceptualize Natural Rights anyway. I just believe that other civilizations didn't put much thought into it but still had a basic understanding of it. Everybody from every civilization has had some kind of property and if you understand the concept of property then you do have a basic concept of rights. So, everybody has conceptualized it just to varying degrees.

If having natural rights isn't the natural state of things then the lack of natural rights would be the natural state of things. Instead of everybody having property everybody would lack property. So, if we don't have natural rights then we have something like a natural communism. If natural rights is just a manmade concept then before anyone came up with the idea no one would of owned anything and it would of been like communism but it happened the other way around. In communism there is neither property(rights) or competition. In capitalism there is both property(rights) and competition. Naturally everything works more like capitalism. There is competition and property in nature. Therefore, there is natural rights. Communism(lack of rights) is the new manmade concept and capitalism(having rights) is the natural concept we are born with.

Concerning Aztecs,Hindus,Buddhism,and the rest, I think maybe their beliefs kept them from acknowledging their rights. People can either believe they have rights or believe they don't but only one of these is the natural state of things. Their concepts are new just like what I said about communism. Their believes aren't the natural state of things. If you were able to erase these concepts from them then they would behave as if they had rights. Natural Rights is the default concept people are born with but people's cultures and religions can train people to ignore their rights. We are born free but can be made into slaves.

I find it interesting that all the questions you're asking about where were all the unalienable rights of all these innocent people through history are all cases of people's rights being violated. Do you think that without the concept of natural rights you would of been able to make such a list of atrocities? If you did come up with such a list without the concept do you think it would be just a coincidence that they are all also rights violations or do you think that maybe your moral human conscience is naturally programmed to tell right from wrong(rights violations)? But to answer your questions all the unalienable rights were in the victims because they have an unalienable right to life. All the wrongs were in the oppressors because they can never obtain the right to murder people. Now that I think about it since no one can obtain a right to murder people their is also unalienable wrongs.

I never said that unalienable rights can't be violated. Them being unalienable is why they can be violated. All the atrocities of history are not examples of people's privileges being taken away but every case is an example of people's unalienable rights being violated. Every murderer has always been in the wrong and every person defending their life has always been in the right. Why? Because we were born with unalienable natural rights.

Either we have natural rights or we do not. Which ever one is the truth can be determined by determining which political system is most compatible with our human nature. If we do have natural rights then a political system that is based on this concept would work better than a political system that is not based on it because our government would work in harmony with our natures. If we don't have natural rights then the opposite would be true. So, prove to me that a government that doesn't recognize rights is more compatible with our natures and I'll be convinced.

All your points are good, and I completely agree with you - except for the extent to which you are adamant in your idealism.

Plus, you seem to think that I am saying "natural rights" is a fallible concept because it is not divine. When in fact I think the ideal of "natural rights" is as fallible as Pi, or E=mc^2, or an equilateral triangle.

I'm just saying we shouldn't make "natural rights" a foundational concept for our blueprint of the universe, and we should not expect nature - especially human nature - to be representative of an innate knowledge of these esoteric rights.

I think it's important because when we accept that Natural Rights exist outside the mind of man, we are forced into the tacit acceptance that the universe is purpose-built, and that mankind has a direct and purpose-built relationship with God. In effect it makes us spectators to a greater unfolding drama, instead of responsible for our own actions, and our future.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:25 pm

Averroes,

I agree that in the state of nature the dispute over property is resolved through might. This shows that there is property in nature and therefore rights. There would be no need for an animal to use might if there wasn't property. All acts of violence in nature are either something defending what is theirs(rights) or taking away what is others(violations of rights). The concept of rights isn't a new concept that was born through Man but the concept of morality is. Animals only understand force but we understand voluntary consent and that voluntary consent is more moral than violent force. Animals can't tell the difference between right(defending what is yours) and wrong(taking away what is others through force). We find rights in nature but only find morality in Man.

Morality is the new concept that was born through the rise of Man but I believe it is also natural just like rights. Man is naturally a moral thinking creature.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:13 am

Even as an atheist, I recognize natural rights. I may not recognize a deistic god anymore, but I recognize the limiting parameters that a deistic god establishes; reason, logic, and nature.

Rights are based off of these parameters. Locke puts forth a much stronger argument than Hobbes. I cannot establish a proof of natural rights ...yet, but I believe that they exists as Locke purported them; the right to persons, property, and liberty.

Out of these three pillars of natural rights, I believe that the right to property is the most important. It is a necessary condition, not just sufficient. Perhaps, I'll argue this right first, then explain the other two.

How do property rights become established? Through a restrictive nature coinciding with a gregarious creature. Therefore, property rights will naturally become an issue. Locke believe in the individual and that an authority establishment was the construct of man and not nature.

The true state of nature arose when two people disagreed over something without an authoritative mediator. The only legitimate way to solve this situation was through voluntary agreement. Without voluntary agreement, then this would be an act of transgression upon persons, property, and liberty.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Tue Apr 08, 2008 2:15 am

Gettin' In Tune,

I believe our rights come from God. The reason I believe this is because God made nature and our rights are natural. I believe this is what was meant by the founding fathers when they said our rights come from the creator. They didn't believe that he gave them to us directly like Bible God did with the ten commandments but indirectly through nature. Even though you are an Atheist and I'm a Deist, we are both in agreement that we get our rights directly from nature. Do you believe that recognizing rights with this interpretation is violating the separation of Church and State?

I'm curious. Why did you originally recognize a deistic god and why don't you now?
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Thu Apr 10, 2008 5:17 am

Schizophretard wrote:
Gettin' In Tune,

I believe our rights come from God. The reason I believe this is because God made nature and our rights are natural.

My friends are wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:55 am

What do you mean by," My friends are wrong."?
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:41 pm

Aaron wrote:

Do you believe that humans posses certain "Inalienable Rights"? If so, where do these rights come from; our Creator, Natural Law, society, etc...?

This debate about human rights reminded me of an essay I wrote on the different views of divine government, specifically Monotheism and Deism.

http://www.godvsthebible.com/pdf/Divine%20Government_Monotheist_Deist.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:26 am

Schizophretard wrote:
What do you mean by," My friends are wrong."?

It means that every argument for natural rights can be made MINUS a creator.

A creator is useless when defining natural rights. Therefore, my friends are wrong when they argue that natural rights are derived from an impersonal god.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:33 am

Schizophretard wrote:
I'm curious. Why did you originally recognize a deistic god and why don't you now?

Define a deistic god.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:03 pm

Gettin' In Tune wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
What do you mean by," My friends are wrong."?

It means that every argument for natural rights can be made MINUS a creator.

A creator is useless when defining natural rights. Therefore, my friends are wrong when they argue that natural rights are derived from an impersonal god.

I'm afraid I will have to agree with GIT. Our individual rights and responsibilities are derived from each other, not G*D. But I'll also have to agree with Schizo. Since Natural Law applies to all of us equally, our natural R&R are communal and mutual. So the same question applies in each case: who is the Lawgiver?

Here's an excerpt from the essay mentioned above.
Godís creatures have only one Natural
Right: equality under the law.


http://www.godvsthebible.com/pdf/Divine%20Government_Monotheist_Deist.pdf
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Apr 19, 2008 3:36 am

Gettin' In Tune wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
What do you mean by," My friends are wrong."?

It means that every argument for natural rights can be made MINUS a creator.

A creator is useless when defining natural rights. Therefore, my friends are wrong when they argue that natural rights are derived from an impersonal god.

I completely agree with that because even if there is no god there would still be nature and nature is the origin of natural rights. My argument is that if there is a god then natural rights come from God because nature comes from God. In other words, If God created nature and natural rights are a part of nature then God created natural rights.

Gettin' In Tune wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
I'm curious. Why did you originally recognize a deistic god and why don't you now?

Define a deistic god.

You're the one that said you used to recognize a deistic god and I'm curious about why you went from a deist to an atheist. So, If you care to share your story I think it would make the conversation go more smoothly if you define a deist god based on how you once believed it. Please, explain why you believed in it and why you no longer do.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:30 am

Gnomon wrote:
Gettin' In Tune wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
What do you mean by," My friends are wrong."?

It means that every argument for natural rights can be made MINUS a creator.

A creator is useless when defining natural rights. Therefore, my friends are wrong when they argue that natural rights are derived from an impersonal god.

I'm afraid I will have to agree with GIT. Our individual rights and responsibilities are derived from each other, not G*D. But I'll also have to agree with Schizo. Since Natural Law applies to all of us equally, our natural R&R are communal and mutual. So the same question applies in each case: who is the Lawgiver?

Here's an excerpt from the essay mentioned above.
Godís creatures have only one Natural
Right: equality under the law.


http://www.godvsthebible.com/pdf/Divine%20Government_Monotheist_Deist.pdf

I mostly agree with your essay but disagree that equality under the law is the only natural right. I don't even consider equality under the law a natural right because we have natural rights without laws. We form governments and pass laws because of natural rights. We either pass laws to violate natural rights or to protect them. If laws are passed that violate natural rights then there would be inequality under law. If laws are passed that protect natural rights then there would be equality under the law. So, forming a government that has equality under the law is the byproduct of our understanding that all men are created equal because we all have the same natural rights. The reason we perceive a government that treats all equal under the law as just is because it is in harmony with our natural rights. Equality under the law isn't a natural right and natural rights don't come from equality under the law. Natural rights come from property and equality under the law is the result of our understanding that everyone has equal natural rights.
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PostSubject: Re: "Inalienable" Human Rights   Sat Apr 19, 2008 4:58 am

Schizophretard wrote:

I completely agree with that because even if there is no god there would still be nature and nature is the origin of natural rights. My argument is that if there is a god then natural rights come from God because nature comes from God. In other words, If God created nature and natural rights are a part of nature then God created natural rights.
I agree with you. If god does not exist, then we are still bounded by nature and reason. These bounds are the formation of natural law. If god did create nature, then it would logically follow that god created natural law.

Quote :
You're the one that said you used to recognize a deistic god and I'm curious about why you went from a deist to an atheist. So, If you care to share your story I think it would make the conversation go more smoothly if you define a deist god based on how you once believed it. Please, explain why you believed in it and why you no longer do.
Looking back, I never fully recognized a deistic god. I was always skeptical. Why? I could not properly define god based on evidence and observation. Every argument that I made or came across broke down at some point.

The problems I found with a deistic god:
1. Infinite regress, unless you are referring to an Unmoved Mover.
2. Lack of a coherent definition based off of evidence and observation.

Why I am an atheist?
1. Since something has always existed, then this does not require an exogenous or supernatural entity. The universe, to our best understanding has always existed. Why create a deistic god for it's explanation. One must first prove that the universe never existed, then prove a deistic god.
2. Without a coherent definition I arrived at theological noncognitivism. The definition of god has lost all meaning to me.
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