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Rights: Who has them and who "writes" them?

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posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 11:27 PM
Rights. Who has them? Do i? Do you?
Who "gave" you your rights? God? Man?
Who gave man the right to give rights? God? Man?

It can only be inferred that if there are men who grant rights to other men, then some have more rights than others, like the right to tell me what my rights are.

How does one gain the right to grant rights to man? By being righteous? ruthless?

Do righteous or ruthless men grant rights to man?

Is a limited set of rights granted to you by men freedom? Is there equality if the right givers tell everyone else what their rights are? How about justice?

Have you been read your rights? Miranda rights? Bill of rights?

Innocent until proven guilty? Imprisoned until proven innocent? Rights of innocent men being taken away?

Rights in itself is an illusion. A way to tell you that you're free while defining the limits of your freedom. If you apply logic to the topic of rights and the issuance thereof, it boils down that to truly have rights you must have no rights. You're not given a set of rights to obey.

For example, i am denied the right, should i even accede to man's law and "own" land, i still am not granted the right by the government to grow my choice of food. I must grow what they approve or face a severe loss of freedom. Why can't i grow an acre of hemp for food and fiber? Who took away my right to nature? Hemp was here before man, and will probably be here long after we're gone, but at this moment there's a group of men no different in flesh and blood from me, or you, or any man, and they decided without consulting you or i that we must abide by their rules and one of those rules is that i can't grow a plant.

Another rule is that i must pay a fee for a permit to fish or hunt. Do i not have the right to feed myself the way man has since man was if i don't have the money to pay the fee to the issuing agency? Does that agency have the right to sell me rights? Also, does this mean i can buy rights? How much does it cost to buy the right to give rights to man?

I have the right to breathe air. I didn't agree to breathe the toxic substances that are being put in my atmosphere. Who has the right to take away my good air?

And water. The many watershed and aquifer projects have done well to funnel water right into municipal facilities with levees, dams, and storage reservoirs, and convert the water into a watery chemical soup that i'm just supposed to accept? How much of my water have they trapped in bottles in warehouses? How many natural rivers and wetlands are gone because water is diverted to the chemical factories for "processing"?

I used to live off the land, i'd dive for fish and shellfish, hunt frogs, and harvest lots of edible plants from nature. The lush reefs i used to dive are dead, buried under sand from dredges, beer cans and trash. Where i used to hunt on land is gone. I moved, forced out of natural habitat by the encroachment of civilization. It's still happening. Having a right to feed yourself doesn't matter when the food is gone because some men decided that they had the right to change the environment.

Also, who has the right to lord over me, except whom i decide to accept as my ruler? I abide by Allah's law, clearly written, and no matter what man has to say, that supersedes man's law by far, including the men claiming to represent Allah in order to rule over others. I do not accept man as my lord, and thus am not subjugated to man's rules. This poses a difficult situation because there are a lot of well armed and equipped men out there who believe, or have issued or received orders to believe that they have the right to rule over this flesh and blood earthling who answers to Allah alone, and to no representative of, because Allah speaks directly to those who have the ears to listen.

That means that these men whom seek to lord over my flesh and blood become no more than those who seek to remove my god given right. God has given me the right to self defense (Master Sun has taught the wise how to exercise that right effectively) but defense against a well equipped enemy with a network of resources to aid in their mission. Who gave them the right to rule me by threat of force? If they shoot at me, i'll still exercise my right to defense, but i probably won't even come close to victory in conflict, but in order to remain truly free i cannot submit to man's authority and rule.

So really, who can even give rights, by giving rights they're being taken away in the first place, by defining freedom you're limiting freedom. Can freedom be limited and still be freedom?

Just try and prove to me why a man has right to rule you.

I was going to reply to the food and water rights thread, but i thought it would be deviating from topic.

posted on Jul, 17 2008 @ 11:38 PM
my rights were written on my heart. i make every choice, good or bad in my life.

i have no one to blame and i have no one to thank except myself for how it (my life) ends up.

circumstances do not rule me; gods do not rule me; humans do not rule me.

these things/beings may be sprinkled along my the way throughout this journey called my life, but it is only ME who decides how to react to each and every thing/one.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:13 AM
I'm a little surprised that this thread has no flags -- I expected at least two: semperfortis and intrepid.

Ongoing ATS Debate:

Challenge Match: semporfortis vs intrepid: Illusory Geneva Conventions

The topic for this debate is "Human rights are a mere myth reinforced by those who hold power."

And it's shaping up to be an informative and hard-fought debate, too...

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 12:21 AM
Well, after a semester long, required class in philosophy on the subject, I can tell you the conclusion I have.

No one really knows where rights are derived from, but they write a lot of very boring books about it. Apparently, the more complicated and/or incomprehensible you make your argument regarding where law/rights are derived, the more brilliant other philosophers think you to be.

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 01:10 AM
In college one of my majors was philosophy. I had several classes about this, and it depends on your perspective. It comes down somewhat to your view on absoluteness or relativism.

If you take an absolute view of the world, then certain rights simply exist by the general will. They are, to some, simply proclaimed by our existence, much as the Declaration of Independence lays it out. The relativist has a more interesting problem because if all things are relative and what defines rights changes from time to time and place to place.

When we talk about rights it seems many people overlook that it matters not what we think our rights are - it is that other people believe we have them. I can think I have a certain right all day long, but if no one else does, then I don't really in effect have it.

I am a social contract person myself. I believe we as humans, at a point came into a collective and decided we would exchange our absolute freedom to be under the social contract which guarantees me to a certain set of absolute rights. By living in society, I implicitly agree to the terms of this social contract. For example, I gave up the right that exists in the state of nature to kill anyone in exchange for the right to not be killed under the social contract.

Note to philosophy majors: I know I just mixed in Rosseau, Locke, and the like. Don't lynch me. Its late.

[edit on 18-7-2008 by ALightinDarkness]

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 01:30 AM

Originally posted by justamomma
my rights were written on my heart. i make every choice, good or bad in my life.

i have no one to blame and i have no one to thank except myself for how it (my life) ends up.

circumstances do not rule me; gods do not rule me; humans do not rule me.

these things/beings may be sprinkled along my the way throughout this journey called my life, but it is only ME who decides how to react to each and every thing/one.

What you consider your "rights" are really only the "choices" you are allowed to make! If you choose to do something stupid and say.. get in trouble with the law...your rights (choices) are limited. Limited to doing time in jail and/or paying a fine. Your rights (choices) are determined by other people who have decided what you can and cannot do. During the past 7 years of the Bush White house, for example, your choices have become even more limited by what he "the decider" has deemed appropriate that you can/cannot do based on ideas in his own mind! The rights (choices) granted in the U.S. are all based on ideas of elected officials. If you're not happy with the choices you're left with...VOTE THESE PEOPLE OUT!

posted on Jul, 18 2008 @ 01:55 AM
Even though I loathed the class on rights/laws, I do remember my teachers favorite philosopher on the subject. A modern named Ronald Dworkin.

Although I have conveniently erased much of the class from memory, if you are interested in an "important" modern view on rights, you can read a little about his work on Wikipedia. If you need more, you can always just google his name and find tons o stuff.

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