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Fundamental rights

 
 
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 07:09 am
This term suggests that there are some basic rights which are undeniable and which all other rights can be deduced from. But is that an objective truth or just an ideology to save the peaceful coexistence? What is a right and are there really some particular rights which are inextricably linked with the idea of rights? Was Thomas Hobbes right when he thought of rights as general claims which nobody questions? That would mean that there are no fundamental rights as long as there are people who contravene them.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,700 • Replies: 43
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Arjen
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 12:22 pm
@Jazzman phil,
I think you are touching the very reason laws are created. As long as nobody questions them the only rights you have are the ones 'given'. WHat can be given can be taken away though. So the declaration of human rights is not a 'great' as people often think. It was merely the first step in taking those rights from the populace. The reason this is done is because every being born has one thing in common: the souvereign rule of its body. As long as people are able to see that slavery cannot exist and therefore that had to be remedied by the ruling class as Hobbes wel knew I think. His Leviathan requires the unquestioning obedience (<--slavery) of the populace after all.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 Jul, 2008 04:50 pm
@Arjen,
The only rights you have are the ones you refuse to give up.

And when the government comes to take away one of those rights, you'll probably only be able to enjoy it in the grave.
Ramsey phil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 03:06 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Personally I view rights as a way us humans placed ourself above all other creatures on this planet.

The only rights we have are those we cannot control. For example, bodily functions, and reproduction, growth, and so on. All rights exceeding these limits should not exist in anyway. Free speech is not a right, but rather a development of human culture, the fact of the matter is, no speech is free, all speech can offend is some way. Personally Rights above those we cannot control should be subject to immorality rather than right.

For example if X finds what Y has said as immoral, then X should be able to appeal for a sort of right of way beyond what Y has said. If you catch my drift. this would allow conversation to progress. However for such a system to work, both speakers must be highly developed in thought.

However, I have only used free speech as an example.

Back to the topic at hand. Fundamental rights should only be those actions humans have not conscious control over.
0 Replies
 
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 8 Jul, 2008 04:42 pm
@Jazzman phil,
Its right in the word, 'Rights' its a question of ethics. Are there unalienable ethics?
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jlance3504
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 02:01 pm
@Jazzman phil,
In this question, we must consider first what we take for granted. If we believe in things of the metaphysical world they may form the basis for what we see as "fundamental rights". Without the metaphysical, however, we must refer to the laws of nature. The reality of "survival of the fittest" is that there are no rights, just a struggle. Any "rights" that are perceived in the secular world may be the result of the realization that relationships (whether human, animal, environmental, or otherwise) are important to the coexistence of all matter. Then again, I could and may be wrong.
0 Replies
 
Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Wed 9 Jul, 2008 03:40 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
The only rights you have are the ones you refuse to give up.

And when the government comes to take away one of those rights, you'll probably only be able to enjoy it in the grave.


I'd agree with the 1st statement; one wouldn't consider a 'right' unless one came upon a reason to consider it as a 'right', so if one decided that it must be accepted, then the refusal - or the fight - would incur the encompassing of the 'right'.

However, it is surely obvious that 'rights' are simply niches in the law which allow room for social/commercial manouvre. Although one might decide that one is provided a 'right' to do something by the contextualisation of that thing not harming one's ethics, and so not acting within the law.
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Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 10:45 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
The only rights you have are the ones you refuse to give up.

And when the government comes to take away one of those rights, you'll probably only be able to enjoy it in the grave.


This view only looks at rights in their positive sense and skirts the issue rather than addressing it.

When one speaks of fundamental rights, one can only speak of rights in the normative sense as obviously we will never have a world of absolute positive legal rights. If there are universal human rights, they are moral rules of abstinence and obligation placed on people in regards to a particular individual. If there is a universal right to freedom from aggression, for example, it is not a universal legal right, it is a universal moral rule.

I have found that the principle pollution within political and legal discussion is a lack of delineation between what is normative and what is positive. It is obvious that government law (and especially the violence that upholds this law) does not make right, but the implications are lost because people don't hold true to this plain fact.

Even saying that and being a libertarian, I do not believe in fundamental rights as I don't believe there is an absolute moral code.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 01:32 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Quote:
This view only looks at rights in their positive sense and skirts the issue rather than addressing it.


My statements were not limited to positive rights. Same holds true for negative rights.

Quote:
If there is a universal right to freedom from aggression, for example, it is not a universal legal right, it is a universal moral rule.


And no matter how much we might talk about such a right, any right be it positive or negative, government crashes the party.
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 02:14 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
My statements were not limited to positive rights. Same holds true for negative rights.


I was contrasting positive law with normative law.

Quote:
And no matter how much we might talk about such a right, any right be it positive or negative, government crashes the party.


The non-existence of the legal/positive right has no bearing on the existence of the moral/normative right.

When we say that everyone should have the right to healthcare, we say that they have a moral right to healthcare, and that someone who does not have access to healthcare has had the right violated.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 02:29 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Fundamental rights are silly to think of as absolutes that exist anywhere. A right corresponds to a time and a place simply for stability.

The political power of a society is only concerned about maintaining power and stability. If those establishments are threatened or compromised only then would the government actually act in concern to the public, for the public is where the potential of the power lies. This is just my view of it so correct me if I am wrong:detective:.

There would only be universal rights if everybody had equal say in the rights distributed to everybody. The government are the ones who establish moral equities and rights.

Rights are not like morals because they really don't act in concern to morality, just the public's view of what is justified for themselves. Rights do have moral attributes though for the time and the place.

However, morals change, they have to as technology changes. Slavery was acceptable back then but today our society is beyond that. In terms of virtue I suppose people back then were ok with having a theocracy, it was moral as long as the state religion appeared as a positive influence. It suited the expansionism trend of the medieval times or whatever period, period of feudalism.
Now today with immigration and the fact that borders do not drastically change there are many religions which must be accounted for if you want the supposed virtue of immigration (under the assumption that it would be moral to fulfill the virtue). So Canada has the 'cultural mosiac', accepting all religions, I think.
Also, with Islam, and the Koran, it was acceptable that woman were treated poorly as opposed to males. Obviously, here today rights are more equal in this respect.

So with morals there is a time and a place that they can correspond to, no absoluteness about them, which would be insane (ex. relating to an absolute period in time, Bible).

With rights they are just there for balance of the hierarchy of the society, again no absoluteness about them.

As for undeniable basic rights, I suppose anything that is ethical and can't be influenced or excluded from technology and other non-stagnant 'innovatives' (for lack of thinking up a better word:brickwall:) should be basic rights for humanity; but unless the public works to gain them nothing could really be already provided for us, we must "contravene" to quote Jazzman.

[CENTER]:rockon:
[/CENTER]
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 03:27 pm
@Holiday20310401,
So if morals are relative then there is no fundamental rights, in a such a usage fundamental is the same as saying universal, and universal is a stone's throw away from saying absolute.
0 Replies
 
Doobah47
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jul, 2008 11:33 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
aI do not believe in fundamental rights as I don't believe there is an absolute moral code.


I completely agree, and find the way of Western governments' perpetuation of common morality utterly repulsive. But we have to live with it, so why not ignore the nation's law and reside out of sight?

As for morality, surely it is immoral! If wasting time were detrimental to a decision then wasting time considering the good/bad of a situation is totally pointless, useless and worthless. Of course good/bad is simply a connotation to religion, so must obviously be considered with doubt - if one considers good/bad with doubt then neither could be absolute thus refuting their existence as definitives, thus negating any reason for good/bad. Ha!

So what we are left with is ethics, and the notions of quality of life for example, or pain - if one person were subject to great pain and 1000 subjected to minor pain, whom would you choose to medicate? (Is that ethics? I might be confused...)
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2008 07:28 pm
@Doobah47,
Doobah47 wrote:
Of course good/bad is simply a connotation to religion, so must obviously be considered with doubt


And yet good and bad are fundamental pawns to the situation of religious powers. Always, a religious power is unethical due to the fact that their conveyance(lol I can't believe thats actually a word) of good and bad reflects the corresponding God that they themselves do not follow. Hypocrites. And the god conveys the morality for the society the religion is being evoked upon, but God is just a way for people to think that the rights are moral when they are all about power not morality.

The crusades is a wonderful example. In the name of the pope, who christianity beholds as having direct insight to God or whatever you want to believe :rolleyes: torture was approved. I'm sure a lot of the protestants questioned the ethical nature of torture and whether it is a good outcome for heretics (it's definitely not).

So you are right that religion trys to connote to good and bad. Its just too bad that people do not recognize that a connotation has no actuality, and dennotations are more important in this case. Religion denotes to a way for the society to have a uniform purpose, a way of coming together so as to acheive the will of the political power, (or religious power) much more easily. Stability and power, blind assertion of the public provides the ability for useless customs that tend to false spiritual need. So religion is really diminishing the connection there should be between morality and rights.

[CENTER]Innocent III aka - :slap:
[/CENTER]
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2008 07:52 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
And yet good and bad are fundamental pawns to the situation of religious powers. Always, a religious power is unethical due to the fact that their conveyance(lol I can't believe thats actually a word) of good and bad reflects the corresponding God that they themselves do not follow. Hypocrites. And the god conveys the morality for the society the religion is being evoked upon, but God is just a way for people to think that the rights are moral when they are all about power not morality.


And Governments, and Educational Systems, and Clubs, and Social Movement, and any other organized group, finds a way to say this is good or bad because of some higher power.

Look at the Nazis, Stallinist Russia, the Modern Education system, Richard Dawkins ....
I figure if we are going to cast stones of blame we might as well go all out, and just realize its a human trait and not the bailiwick of one particular social order.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2008 08:00 pm
@GoshisDead,
Yes but education systems have a more rational outcome than to not have an education at all. I mean especially with a teen's and kid's apathy ( me included) who would actually decided to educate themselves, and then decided to actually learn something.
And we are not morally achieved yet (or ever will be) to say that not having a government would be more beneficial.
Yes I agree with you on clubs and social movements.

Religion is different, where there is tainting of the actual symbol of right vs. wrong.
GoshisDead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 11 Jul, 2008 09:37 pm
@Holiday20310401,
What I was really getting at with that last post holiday is that morals, all moral, must be justified externally if they are to be binding. One does not say, hey i have my own moral code unto me. There, at least in practicum, is always an authoritative entity who's rules we justify our morals and behavior, whether it be religion, parents, , teachers, friends, culture, whatever, that has its own internal behavioral norm and belief structures. People with institutionalized externally unjustified morals and behavior are considered deviant in some way by society from mentally insane, to that creepy kid of the Jone's.
As far as religion bashing goes, it is the vogue in some circles to blame the world's woes and historical woes on the "uneducated ignorant masses who can't see the world for what it is" etc... When a good portion of the people who throw this out are simply railing against what they were taught as kids, and it is their right to believe what they like, in what seems to me a reactionary tantrum reminiscent of the Christmas they learned that Santa wasn't real.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 09:24 pm
@GoshisDead,
Quote:
I was contrasting positive law with normative law.


I can work with that, too.

Quote:
The non-existence of the legal/positive right has no bearing on the existence of the moral/normative right.


The non-existence of legal/positive rights does not necessarily demand that moral/normative rights are non-existent, though they may be non-existant anyway.

Quote:

When we say that everyone should have the right to healthcare, we say that they have a moral right to healthcare, and that someone who does not have access to healthcare has had the right violated.


So what? People can claim to have a right to go to the moon just as easily as they can claim a right to healthcare, or anything else. Doesn't mean they have that right -doesn't even mean they should have that right.

And that's what these rights amount to - what people want. What they think they can safely demand. 10,000 years ago the whole notion of rights would have been insane, but today, we can claim some rights and be reasonably satisfied with the response to our claim by government.
Holiday20310401
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 10:01 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
10,000 years ago the whole notion of rights would have been insane


Not insane, just against the social norm if any one person imagined such a unique idea. Abstractness seems so insane but is really where innovation comes from, and when such ideas are proven to have virtue, only after the virtue is noticed will the norm think the abstract idea to be 'cool'. :saddened:
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sat 12 Jul, 2008 10:06 pm
@Holiday20310401,
Quote:
Not insane, just against the social norm if any one person imagined such a unique idea.


In this case, they are the same. The notion that the individual was significant would have been entirely contrary to early man's understanding of reality - community, not individual, was the currency. The tribe.

For rights to make sense to man, we had to develop newer understandings of reality to fit the changes in society. Eventually, individual rights made sense for society - still do, I think.
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