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Is it more intellectually honest for humans rights to be human privileges?

 
 
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 11:05 am
I am sure that the majority of you have understood the topic by its title, but I'll expound upon it for those who may not have. Is it human rights or human privileges? Human rights are qualities that humans are entitled, but who decides those rights and who entitles it? Essentially, the rationale for human rights is that the government does not decide your rights; you receive the human rights if they decide to recognize it, but who originally judges which of those rights humans deserve as it is denoted? I believe that human rights are merely human privileges that those in authority decide to endow upon those that they rule, and, to dispute the recognition argument, the rights that are given are merely ones that society at the time recognizes as an important privilege such as safety when survival was a prevalent value and freedom now.
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 03:26 pm
@Earl phil,
Some rights are privilages... property rights are not rights at all...People withproperty want to think of it as free and clear, an absolute right...It is not.... All property is a part of the commonwealth, and all property even in private hands should serve a public purpose, and this is usually done by paying taxes... As more of the tax burden has been loaded onto labor, property, which once supported the whole nation has siddled more and more off from under its load until now it does not want to pay anything at all for the protection it gets in the form of rights...Property is a privilage, and people should pay for it...Property is different from true rights in that the only limit on individual rights are the individual rights of another...Your rights limit mine... But there is no limit to property rights...If you have more property you have more rights, so that with more property have more rights and so more power...
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 03:40 pm
@Earl phil,
Earl;67367 wrote:
I am sure that the majority of you have understood the topic by its title, but I'll expound upon it for those who may not have. Is it human rights or human privileges? Human rights are qualities that humans are entitled, but who decides those rights and who entitles it?

Hi Earl,

Yea, I don't see any real issue with talking this issue in terms of privileges - it doesn't really hurt anything. As to your second question: We do.

In the context you're speaking, the relationship between a government and human rights or privileges; the way I see it is that no government can give me "rights" - they can recognize them or not, agree or disagree, enforce or ignore. But from a philosophical standpoint, what I consider to be a *human* right, has nothing to do with government at all. [INDENT] ... but I get you; I think I understand where you're coming from and would agree with your intent. I'd also agree that what any government bestows as a 'right' is a product of a specific time, place, priority and value-set. No doubt.
[/INDENT]But lemme ask you; Do you see anything we can call a "Human Right" that has nothing to do with any government? Is there such a thing? Should there be such a thing?

Thanks
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Jun, 2009 05:40 pm
@Earl phil,
For what other reason would people establish government if not for the common defense of rights..Civilizations are made when conquerors set up forms to defend their rights from the subject people, and from foreigners...Is there a question of what rights are, or which are necessary??? Society should defer to the individual, and let the individual decide... Is there a difference of opinion??? How will it be decided... If you claim a right, how can I deny that right to you unless I can show a harm to society or other individuals??? We see the damage all the time from private property, but allow it because we think we see a good come from it...But that argument is by no means won, but rather stiffled by the wholesale acceptance of a failed ideology...The point is, that when government defends rights it ensures the loyalty of the people...When it uses majority rule to excuse attacking rights it sows disunion and enmity...And when they deny rights, people form other communities to defend their rights... They never just give up on them...They feel they are necessary to who they are... Of, the people just go about doing what is forbidden, which gives to government the power to make anyone miserable....
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:46 am
@Earl phil,
Rights, in the popular context, are a bit complex. There are rights, a right to something, and there are freedoms, freedom from something. Rights are not privileges. For example, every day courts lift drivers' licenses always admonishing the miscreant that a drivers licence is not a right but merely a privilege.

The term "rights" incorporates natural rights arising out of natural law, human rights and political rights in a descending order of universality. There are individual rights and collective rights. Some are so inherent as to require no qualification. Others, however, are tied to responsibilities. I suspect it's these qualified or conditional rights that could resemble privileges.

Unfortunately, many people tend to take their rights for granted, fail to grasp the importance of exercising and defending them and, hence, find these rights abridged or lost outright. A very wise man once told me that every right has a real value, particularly to the person who seeks to deprive you of it. Therefore we didn't have a right that someone wouldn't take from us if we allowed it. He also pointed out that, in the history of mankind, we have paid for our rights, in blood, usually more than once.

I so wish more people would grasp the importance of their rights and the sometimes burdensome responsibility that must be accepted to maintain them. When we don't it becomes easy for scoundrels to degrade those rights into privileges.
0 Replies
 
henry quirk
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:52 am
@Fido,
as i see it: there are no 'rights' other than what one claims and defends for one's self

if someone else grants 'right' then it's simple privilege

example: my 'right' to life rests solely on my own capacity to claim my life as mine and defend that life...i can do so directly, or by way of my duly authorized proxies (that is: folks 'i' hire to protect, defend, me...i don't consider government my proxy, only my enemy)

there is no 'right' to life, speech, property, etc. that extends from anything other than the individual and his or her capacity to claim and defend

certainly: folks come together, craft government, and invest that device with powers to 'enforce law', but this is simple 'might makes/is right' in action

the natural law crowd believes that 'rights' are inherent to being human and i wonder, what's the basis for this inherency?

as i see it: the desire of a man to say, 'own' a piece of property, his willingness to work or steal or plunder to acquire the property, is a function of him as individual...there is no obligation on the part of any other individual to respect the first's desire to 'own'

if the prevailing culture with its 'law' favors the first, then, he gets his property (assuming he's played by the 'rules')...if the prevailing culture doesn't favor him, then, he doesn't get the property


ultimately -- as i said elsewhere in the forum -- all philosophy comes down to the human individual

as i see it: 'I' am my first, best, property...not that i have a 'right' to myself (through most of human history, in almost every permutation of 'civilization' my ass would be considered 'property'...a king, a queen, a noble, a thief, and taskmaster, etc. would attempt to claim me as his or hers), but, only because i successfully claim myself and defend that claim

as aside: if i lose in my attempt to claim and defend myself, this in no way obligates me to submit and play nice for my master: as i see it: my only obligation is to escape (preferably with the blood of the slave master on my karambit)


"slavery is wrong!"

why?

"well, to own a human being is just wrong! it's a violation of their human rights!"

certainly: that assertion has never stopped one man from owning or attempting to own another...seems to me: if there truly was a 'right' to anything, one extending from some 'natural source', then, such a 'right' -- like the natural phenomena of 'gravity' or 'agency/agent' -- wouldn't, couldn't, be so easily ignored by any man or woman

seems to me: if 'rights' existed as 'natural' then -- as in ignoring 'gravity' or 'agency' -- there would be severe, natural consequences

that some folks live enslaved their entire lives with the slave owner never suffering for being the slaver seems to indicate that 'rights' -- like 'equality', 'justice', 'democracy', etc. -- is just a sometimes useful fiction
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 05:15 pm
@henry quirk,
I see human rights or privileges, whatever one chooses to call it, is an outgrowth of human evolution, and a result of consensus among a given group of individuals. So in one country, free health care might be considered a right while in another it may be considered a privilege, and yet in another it might be considered neither. For me, it is just a group of people arriving at a consensus, and, I guess, justifying it or proclaiming it one or the other. In the U.S, some consider education a right, others a privilege, and yet others a waste of time. But, by consensus, it is considered mandatory in most states. Smile

Rich
0 Replies
 
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 05:42 pm
@Earl phil,
I agree, Rich. Rights, freedoms and privileges form part of a social compact that connects all citizens to each other and to the state. Pre-Reagan, Americans seemed to be socially cohesive despite occasional and sometimes volatile ideological divides. To be an American seemed to capture the essence of belonging to a greater good as contrasted with some today who see your country as a mere agency for facilitating individualism.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 06:58 pm
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;68407 wrote:
I agree, Rich. Rights, freedoms and privileges form part of a social compact that connects all citizens to each other and to the state. Pre-Reagan, Americans seemed to be socially cohesive despite occasional and sometimes volatile ideological divides. To be an American seemed to capture the essence of belonging to a greater good as contrasted with some today who see your country as a mere agency for facilitating individualism.

Privilages are unequal, and the come at the price of rights... The social compact promises a defense of rights by the whole society for laying down ones weapons, and not seeking justice unilaterally, with violence... What we find is that once order is established that the demand for justice is forgotten, and those with priviliages treat their privilages as absolute, and give no more thought to rights...
Property makes all people unequal... It is a danger to democracy and rights in general... So it cannot be a right though it is treated as a right... And as a privilage, it must be paid for with taxes...You have property... The whole nation stands behind your title, and holds the first title to it as taken from king and Native...So you do not have the property free and clear, but must suport with it the government that supports your ownership of it... That too is a deal, but one that those with property often deny... They want something for nothing... They should have nothing for something like all the rest of us before they complain...

Reagan was pretty good at waving the flag and ra ra-ing for America... But it has long since lost its meaning, and what people seek is the feeling they are nostalic for... We want to believe..It simply takes more than belief to make the old form work for us..But people being people cling to the past and fear the future... I don't blame them..I just don't want to be one of them... Nostalgia is a sickness that betrays ones unhappiness with life...I am old, and I feel it all too often driving down country roads, which is to say, I miss those times, those people, and those places...But only dead people live in the past, and that is not me yet... So I shake it off, and get with the living... And don't think I don't know...My people have been fighting for this land since the first, and they were not risking all for flag or fine words... They wanted some things only this place offered: Opportunity and liberty...You will never have one without the other...

---------- Post added at 09:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:58 PM ----------

richrf;68402 wrote:
I see human rights or privileges, whatever one chooses to call it, is an outgrowth of human evolution, and a result of consensus among a given group of individuals. So in one country, free health care might be considered a right while in another it may be considered a privilege, and yet in another it might be considered neither. For me, it is just a group of people arriving at a consensus, and, I guess, justifying it or proclaiming it one or the other. In the U.S, some consider education a right, others a privilege, and yet others a waste of time. But, by consensus, it is considered mandatory in most states. Smile

Rich

No!.. Freedom and rights are natural to people, and grow out of their families and extended families... Slavery is relatively recent....Before that, people were adopted, or eaten...People have evolved into wage slaves from free men, and while this is a step up from chattel slavery, it is not much progress...In fact, we cannot have much in the way of rights without equality and privilage comes at the price of equality...
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:05 pm
@Fido,
Fido;68431 wrote:
No!.. Freedom and rights are natural to people, and grow out of their families and extended families... Slavery is relatively recent....Before that, people were adopted, or eaten...People have evolved into wage slaves from free men, and while this is a step up from chattel slavery, it is not much progress...In fact, we cannot have much in the way of rights without equality and privilage comes at the price of equality...


I can only relate my personal observations, which is that what are considered rights and privileges vary widely from place to place (even within a country or even within a locality), and it appears, that what are considered rights and/or privileges emanate from consensus agreement. Even the U.S. Constitution was a consensus. Whereby all men are created equal, all mention of slavery was purposely left out in order to gain consensus.

So, from what I can see, it is always by consensus, though some authors/philosophers may right about privileges in order to further their own position. Something I would not resort to, but those who believe in Absolutes, are quite comfortable with it. I just observe life differently.

Rich
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:30 pm
@richrf,
richrf;68441 wrote:
I can only relate my personal observations, which is that what are considered rights and privileges vary widely from place to place (even within a country or even within a locality), and it appears, that what are considered rights and/or privileges emanate from consensus agreement. Even the U.S. Constitution was a consensus. Whereby all men are created equal, all mention of slavery was purposely left out in order to gain consensus.

So, from what I can see, it is always by consensus, though some authors/philosophers may right about privileges in order to further their own position. Something I would not resort to, but those who believe in Absolutes, are quite comfortable with it. I just observe life differently.

Rich

The want of rights equals slavery, annd even death...Having rights equal freedom... But it is possible for people to be too free, and that is what privilages convey... Well; if we see a good in privilages we might accept them, but people should not forget to look for that good and expect that good...Normally, and as you may observe, people build their forms around the protection of their rights...The gay community supports gay rights.. The religious community support the rights of the religious... The black community supports rights for blacks... Are all these rights they support actually rights...I suppose it depends upon how necessary they find them for their well being...One thing seems certain to me...What one claims for themselves as a right they cannot deny to others, so there is the element of equality to rights that privilages does not share...Would you desire the right to be openly gay??? Not likely; but then, if the shoe were on the other foot, you might demand the right to your sexual preferences... And again, without rights a person is doomed.. The legal process preceeding an execution, the arrest and trial of some guilty party are all about removing him from his rights and without them, he may be legally killed...

Yoou must read anthrropology to get a sense of what gentile rights were, and how much our rights have been degraded. People fight for the right to be freely homosexuals, but it was common enough among American Indians...They did not bother to try to change some ones identity, and before they would consider discrimination, they would recognize that those people were some ones familiy, brother, sister, children...You would not abuse anyone when your life might well depend upon their kin in some future war...We simply think we can live with unequal rights and freely abuse others, or take their rights because our form has for a long time ordered society...We make a mistake in that thought...
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 08:38 pm
@Fido,
Fido;68450 wrote:
The gay community supports gay rights.. The religious community support the rights of the religious... The black community supports rights for blacks... Are all these rights they support actually rights...I suppose it depends upon how necessary they find them for their well being...


Yes, I agree. The black community (and other supports) fought for rights in order to hopefully put in place laws that would help their well-being. Of course, there were many who felt that the rights afforded to the black community, took away their "rights" - read: they took away some economic advantage that I had, either at the work, voting booth, etc.

Interestingly, it was the black community that helped pass the gay rights marriage ban in California. So the world turns.

The more I witness, the more I feel that rights and privileges are just created ad hoc depending upon the general winds of the times, and who benefits and who loses. Usually new rights to one group undermines the economic advantage of another.

Rich
RDRDRD1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:01 pm
@Earl phil,
Yes, Rich, like all human endeavours, the pursuit of rights is chaotic and inconsistent and sustains failures and reversals. It helps, therefore, not to focus too narrowly (and at times an entire lifespan can be too narrow) but zoom back and look at the issue very broadly. There you will see the real measure of our advancement in rights and freedoms.
richrf
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 09:05 pm
@RDRDRD1,
RDRDRD1;68456 wrote:
Yes, Rich, like all human endeavours, the pursuit of rights is chaotic and inconsistent and sustains failures and reversals. It helps, therefore, not to focus too narrowly (and at times an entire lifespan can be too narrow) but zoom back and look at the issue very broadly. There you will see the real measure of our advancement in rights and freedoms.


Hi there,

I do look back, in various histories and cultures. And, you know, I think it is just about the same. I do agree with you it ebbs and flows in cultures and between cultures. It all depends where you are at at the time. Also, I think that people nowadays are just as clever as they were thousands of years ago in proclaiming one thing and yet acting in quite a different way.

Rich
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Thu 11 Jun, 2009 10:23 pm
@richrf,
richrf;68453 wrote:
Yes, I agree. The black community (and other supports) fought for rights in order to hopefully put in place laws that would help their well-being. Of course, there were many who felt that the rights afforded to the black community, took away their "rights" - read: they took away some economic advantage that I had, either at the work, voting booth, etc.

Interestingly, it was the black community that helped pass the gay rights marriage ban in California. So the world turns.

The more I witness, the more I feel that rights and privileges are just created ad hoc depending upon the general winds of the times, and who benefits and who loses. Usually new rights to one group undermines the economic advantage of another.

Rich

Rights should not give any one an edge on anyone else... Privilages do... And if we must be concerned with rights, that every immigrant of person getting equal rights is some how getting a leg up on us is only because our rights are in competition with privilages...Rights equal powers, and not offensive power, but defensive, the power to protect what is yours...It is because we do not have rights and enough rights that we fear the loss of the rights we have, and fear equality... It is because we do not have rights that we do not have wealth and political power... common denominators cancel each other...If I have rights, and you have rights the game is one to one...If I have rights and you have rights and privilages, then you have the advantage...If your property rights which you may not have worked for, and cannot possibly defend without my help allow you to influence the direction of government then your powers have cancelled out my rights... Not only that, but some one with more privilages associated with even more property, can in balance, if he plays well, or uses his political power well, can have your property as well as his own; because privilages are a quantitative difference... Rights are a quality, what one philosopher called a property... But where property is a right it is inevitable that all rights will seem as property... And I could point to many properties which were once considered inalienable that are now on the market...To say a right is inalienable will be some day irrelevant...People sell their rights today, and for a full belly will sell their birth rights...
0 Replies
 
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 06:34 am
@Fido,
Fido;67464 wrote:
Some rights are privilages... property rights are not rights at all...People withproperty want to think of it as free and clear, an absolute right...It is not.... All property is a part of the commonwealth, and all property even in private hands should serve a public purpose, and this is usually done by paying taxes... As more of the tax burden has been loaded onto labor, property, which once supported the whole nation has siddled more and more off from under its load until now it does not want to pay anything at all for the protection it gets in the form of rights...Property is a privilage, and people should pay for it...Property is different from true rights in that the only limit on individual rights are the individual rights of another...Your rights limit mine... But there is no limit to property rights...If you have more property you have more rights, so that with more property have more rights and so more power...


I suppose thats your opinion, but the right to own property is indeed prominent in many bills of rights around the world, or was once anyhow. Without that right the others are pretty insignificant. A person dependent on government rations, housing, healthcare, transportation, etc. is a slave.
henry quirk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 07:47 am
@Fido,
"Freedom and rights are natural to people..."

how do you arrive at this?

how are 'freedom' and 'rights' natural?


"...and grow out of their families and extended families..."

i don't see it: families and extended families more often than not are the 'ties that bind', not the method for gaining or ensuring 'freedom' or 'rights'


"Slavery is relatively recent....Before that, people were adopted, or eaten"

i'm certain the guy or gal who became the meal saw little difference between being a meal and being a pack mule

the only difference i can see is that -- as meal -- the individual is irrevocably a one-time resource...
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 10:36 am
@BrightNoon,
BrightNoon;68518 wrote:
I suppose thats your opinion, but the right to own property is indeed prominent in many bills of rights around the world, or was once anyhow. Without that right the others are pretty insignificant. A person dependent on government rations, housing, healthcare, transportation, etc. is a slave.

It does not matter what bills say...Usually the rich will not join without specific protection for their privilages... But the privilage of property is only as good as the good it does to society...Much of what we have of property rights and laws came out of Roman law, but there it empoverished the people, diminshed the population, and offered illness in place of the vitality it stole from the people until they could no longer defend themselves... The conquerors in turn picked up the Roman law, but it has served them no better... So, even if we think property may be worth having in private hands we still must look for some good to come out of that situation...If the commonwealth is in private hands it must still support the common people, or else, why should they support it??? Because it is written some where??? Write something else then...

In a democracy the people are the government... They are also morality, and law... We should not have let ourselves get in the situation where we must depend upon the government to pluck our lives from the hands of the rich...The fact is that the rich have run everyone off their farms and out of their factories with the purpose of turning us into slaves as the price of our livelyhoods... The right situation is to have our jobs and fair wages, or to have our farms and fair prices, and it is that fairness that government should demand, and has not demanded...So now government goes to the rich after they have taken our wealth and invested it in the very people who will run us out of business, and says: Please support this population... What will the rich say: With what Money???It may be marxist, but it is true, that the more they economize on labor the less profit they have to show for it...So will we cave in like Rome??? Will we see all our people reduced to the corn dole while the slaves of the rich run us off of all that is ours???We should not forget what is ours...If the form called government, and the form called private property does not work, then take them back to the lab... Humanity always advances by way of new forms, but living with charity in the land of plenty is not a new form, but is attempting to live with a failed form... We need our country back, and then the rich can start weaseling it out of us again... What joy...

---------- Post added at 01:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:36 PM ----------

Quote:

henry quirk;68530 wrote:
"Freedom and rights are natural to people..."

how do you arrive at this?

how are 'freedom' and 'rights' natural?

It is only after civilization that fathers had the sort of power over children that they could sell them into slavery... The natural situation, especially among gentile societies, is for them to value their own, and to defend the lives and rights of their own... The comparison between the Native Americans and the Whites was stark: One said: We beat our horses, but not our children...It was because they knew that society would make those children their equal at some point, and that their lives rested on the good nature and love of their communities... They were surrounded with enemies... They did not want to live with them too...

Quote:

"...and grow out of their families and extended families..."

i don't see it: families and extended families more often than not are the 'ties that bind', not the method for gaining or ensuring 'freedom' or 'rights'


Certainly... We get our words ethic for custom, or character; both from our communities... But in the ancient world, and even many places today, anyone can be held accountable for the actions of a single individual...It is called group responsibility and it was that which made vengeance such a horror, that it could be visited upon anyone equally, man, woman, or child, guilty or innocent...Primitive Christians in Europe even believed their whole community would be judged as fit or unfit for heaven, and they took confession together...There was total restraint of the individual in his relations with others outside of the community, and total freedom within...Look today..After two thousand years of the reign of the individual, our children may still fear to act as asses at home, but then go out into the community to show their butts... They have no concept of group responsibility or of group honor... And because we do not understand, we cannot comprehend the behavior of the Muslims, or the Afghans, or the Iraqis... Their society is not only a different place from our own, but a different time, and we do not belong there...People who understand the consequences of their behavior are likely to be constrained...Most of our behavior simply has no consequences, but we are not free where we need it most, in our own affairs, in politics, in justice, and in economics... We can act like fools and no one cares... If we stand up like men we will fin ourselves in prison in short order...Compare this to Cu'chulain, the Irish Achilles who would kill people for a slight of honor at the drop of a hat...Now people can spit in our faces, and take all we own, kick us out into the street, make our daughters dress like whores, and act like it; and leave us powerless to remedy any situation when it happens, and we say we are free... Where is the support??? Were do you see freedom with out support for it...No; primitives were not better than us, and no more free from reality; but they were more free in their communities than most of us can imagine...

Quote:

"Slavery is relatively recent....Before that, people were adopted, or eaten"

i'm certain the guy or gal who became the meal saw little difference between being a meal and being a pack mule

the only difference i can see is that -- as meal -- the individual is irrevocably a one-time resource...



Slavery is a step up... As long as we have a form, we have a form of relationship, and while we have that form we can have hope for something better... Cannibalism was not much of a form of relationship... Slavery was the end of democracy, and the beginning of the end for many societies...It was obviously preferable to some to death...
henry quirk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jun, 2009 12:18 pm
@Fido,
fido: i understand now...i thought you might be referencing 'natural rights'...you meant something else

thanks for the explanation! Wink


"Slavery...was obviously preferable to some to death..."

i see your point...masticated, digested, and pooped out: i have (much!) less of a chance of escaping than if simply 'enslaved'... Wink
0 Replies
 
Nameless 23232
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 Jul, 2009 05:50 pm
@Earl phil,
To me the question of whether human rights are rights rather than privileges depends on how one views the role of the government, is it solely to physically protect it's citizens or is it to protect the liberty of it's citizens if they respect the liberties of others? This question is of course bypassed by dictatorships as they rule by might and not right, but generally this isn't sustainable.

I abide by the belief that human rights are guaranteed by the social contract, of course the definition of human rights that is commonly used today is a modern definition and was only really created in it's sum total in the 1960's, but it is ideal for a working democracy as the government is subject to the approval of it's electorate and thus if it is not seen to be upholding it's end of the social contract then it can be removed; at least in abstract terms that's the way it works.

I don't believe or even consider any such thing as natural rights as I believe the very means of a right is something that is recognised by more than one person and to some degree is regulated by an overseer, and I can't see how this would work in a state of nature. There is nothing enshrined in nature, it's merely a free-for-all, the only reason that certain rights are enshrined in society is because they have over a long period of time become culturally ascribed to and ideologically dominant, ultimately they are no more legal terms dictating to us how to behave but we ascribe to them moral value and logic (both of which I think they have).
0 Replies
 
 

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