Say yes to rights...

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Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 03:33 am
@mickalos,
mickalos;114831 wrote:

Legal concepts are for lawyers. They are boring. Moral philosophy is not concerned with legal matters, the moral philosopher cares not whether rights are enshrined in law, nor even if they are respected.


I don't want to dance around in a ring and suppose. To dodge the practical is fine in many philosophical matters, but in social questions I'm not so sure....

So much silly sh*t gets talked when no one connects it to the real. Armchair generals and all that, griping about the way things should be.

I want a society that protects the exception from the rule. How's that?

Too much jargon is just a cover for bad ideas. This is not aimed at you, just saying. It's human nature to make idols out of words. Jargon is a smoke-screen, a bluff.

If the moral philosopher doesn't care, he or she might as well be building sandcastles. I'm no Marxist. I don't think it's philosophy's job to change the world. But I do think that morals are a field especially suited for the type that gives a d*mn about the application of their ideas.
 
mickalos
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 06:38 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;114832 wrote:
I don't want to dance around in a ring and suppose. To dodge the practical is fine in many philosophical matters, but in social questions I'm not so sure....

So much silly sh*t gets talked when no one connects it to the real. Armchair generals and all that, griping about the way things should be.

What is moral philosophy supposed to be if not 'griping about the way things should be'? A sociologist might be able to tell you how people actually treat each other, but morality is prescriptive, and the only limits on the prescriptions it can make are the same as the limits of action (i.e. if we can act in a certain way, it is possible to say that we should act in a certain way). Philosophical matters don't have practical questions to dodge, moral philosophy isn't about what is easy to do, it is about what one ought to do. That rights are difficult to enforce is not an argument against the notion that people ought to have rights.

I agree that sometimes moral philosophers forget that morality is about real people, living real lives, and it does cause them to adopt absurd positions. Utilitarianism is notorious for this, but I think it is symptomatic of the 'system-approach' (for lack of a better term) to ethics; the sort of thing Kant and Mill do, reducing morality to one simple premise and building a system around that. They concentrate on the principle, and, forgetting what really constitutes a person, what persons really are and are like, they brush off what should be counterexamples to their systems.

However, I don't think the notion of rights is particularly silly. For example, let's say somebody told you that you could prevent the second world war by raping a particular woman. Would it really be so absurd to say, "There are certain ways in which it is impermissible to treat somebody. She has a right not to be forced into having sex with me against her will. While raping her might save millions of lives, it is not an action that I can allow myself to take, and nor should anybody else allow me to take it"? It's no more absurd than saying you aren't allowed to rape people.


Quote:
I want a society that protects the exception from the rule. How's that?
First of all, I'd prefer to use government rather than 'society' as the relevant agent in collective action. After all, society doesn't really act or believe, these are things that individuals do (or corporate bodies). The only meaningful sense in which we can say 'society' acts is to say that we observe certain patterns of behaviour amongst individuals in their own lives and in their interactions with other individuals. The only meaningful way that we can say that 'society' believes X is to say that, amongst a specific group of people, a sizeable majority of individual people believe X. When we consider corporate bodies like government, however, there are specific policy formulation, decision, and enactment procedures that allow us to say that the government believes a certain thing (has certain goals and policies that are either being pursued or will be pursued if possible), or that it has done a certain thing. For example, a reasonable objection to the claim that American society wants universal healthcare might be to say, "Hang on, I am American and a member of your so called American society, and I do not want universal healthcare to be implemented. Indeed, I have many friends from wide range of backgrounds, professions and geographic locations who are in agreement with me." However, there is no reasonable objection to the claim that the American government wants to implement universal healthcare. It is a stated policy goal, and legislation has been initiated in order to effect such a change.

The question for moral philosophy then, is why do you want a government that protects the exception to the rule? Is it not the case that the thing that makes a rule a rule is that it has no exceptions? Certainly if something is a moral rule then it can have no exceptions other than exceptions that are built into the rule, (unless you think it is okay for the government to act immorally) e.g. the rule, "do not rape unless you can save somebody's life by doing it". Rights, however, are not the same as rules, or rather, they are a subset of possible rules of conduct that contain no exceptions, or exceptions that are only instantiated in given circumstances e.g. violating the rights of others.

Quote:
If the moral philosopher doesn't care, he or she might as well be building sandcastles. I'm no Marxist. I don't think it's philosophy's job to change the world. But I do think that morals are a field especially suited for the type that gives a d*mn about the application of their ideas.
What I should say is that when wearing their moral philosopher hat, moral philosophers don't care about the application of their ideas. Why should they, it isn't relevant to their work as moral philosophers. When they are not indulging in normative ethics it is perfectly acceptable to suggest ways in which their ideas are best applied.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 07:04 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;114809 wrote:
I think the object of law is to make the victim whole. I call this healing. You call it restoring to honor. Actually, I think I like your words for it a little better but they still have the same general meaning. Ideally the law would also provide the steps that must be taken to restore the honor of the perpetrator though this may require ritual suicide in quite a few cases.

I'm a big fan of bringing back the concepts of honor and virtue especially if we can be smart about it. Let the head rule but let the heart have its place. The head being the seat of intellect and the heart being the seat of honor (also love, courage, in a word virtue). Also, I'm a big fan of Don Quixote. I'm not so sure about Cervantes though.

So I don't know why you called it non-sense. And I take issue with this, My honor is offended and I demand satisfaction. Pistols at dawn!!!


No Sir; the object of law is to make society whole...Look at the way the Greeks treated the bodies of their condemned...They would take them to the border and toss them over it... They were a curse which brought the wrath of God down upon them, and they considered it their duty to lift that curse, and that is was just neighborly to lay it on another, like their neighbors...They would actually select some one to be exiled if they could find no one guilty of crime, and such people without their communities had no rights, and were in danger until returned...We have examples of this in our most common sorts of comedies; and no one can deny that every club finds its unity in exclusion, and people think that the exclusion of the bad element is healthy in the same sense that ancients thought ill health was curse from God...

In some senses law as we know it, dispensed by whole comunities used to be the provence of the moot, the doom, or the thing... There the object was both peace, and -making the vicitims whole...Those folks accepted group responsibility, and also they accepted fate...No one could be killed unless it was his fate, but that did not remove the responsibility from those guilty, and I mean those, because the whole group would be held responsible for the actions of their individual...People bargained, blood money was paid; fate was thrown on the table to stand for mercy, and everyone wanted peace...Among the Anglo Saxons, a group might have to pay blood money even if the killing was in self defense, and it worked among all tribal people everywhere who played, and play yet today by the same rules...State imposed law deny the rights of the victims and gives injury in their names...The guilty leave detention with a grudge against society, but it is society, the community which pays because the only group with a right of defense is the state, and the state has police for its own defense... There is not one bit of advantage to being a victim unless the victor has some money, but not enough for a good attorney...Defend yourself... Be not a victim...That is just another word for loser...

If you call the fight, I call the weapons, and I'll take broadswords, and from either ends of a ten foot plank...If you hit me you are going to have to throw something...

Now we have a show of honor...People take oaths of office, and marriage vows; The judges all like to get up in black and carry a mallet, but it is all for show... Does it have any fundmental meaning to those people, us people???War has far surpassed honor as a cause of blood shed... We could not be worse off...People used to get by on their honor, and we see from our literature to what extent people would go to defend their honor...It was their economy, and the perception of honor might save a person's life, and all bargains and all treaties and all marriages rested on it....We pay for our want of honor...

We pay for law to control those honor or community once controlled...We pay an extortionate fee for law, and can feel no more secure for it...Just as primatives thought it lucky to sleep over a piece of iron we must today sleep with our Iron, but just between you and me, it is better to have a dog...I have myself slept with a handle, and I am lucky I did not have some vivid dream and blow my damm head off... But some places, Smith is the security sytem and wesson is the insurance policy...So; if we are reduced to self defense because law has not resulted in justice or peace, isn't it time to start over???Right now we bear all the cost of formal law that does not work only to have every man as his own cop without the benefit of badge or blue suit...

---------- Post added 12-28-2009 at 08:57 AM ----------

Reconstructo;114770 wrote:
Rights are, for me, a legal concept. They are an invention just like light-bulbs. Sure, I'm well aware that rights are "fictions." So is the self. I like both my self and my rights. I hold these fictions to be most pleasant. That individual humans are dignified and beautiful --- potentially!

We are talking of legal rights. At some point skepticism has to put away its scribbles are secure some food, dodge the arrows of enemies. Laws are necessary because humans are predatory. Hobbes was no slobbe.

Athens was founded as a hide-out for thieves. So "they" say.

Rights are like mankind itself a spiritual conception... You have the man on the one hand and on the other all he needs to survive, which he takes for his rights, even if these be spiritual qualities, like right, like honor, like Justice, like freedom...Is it an invention to give them voice??? They are not inventions, but people do invent through their concepts...One takes a certain understanding of a subject, and expands upon it...The result is some physical or moral form... We build government out of our conception of good, and governments are seldom better than our conceptionns...But we also build houses out of our conception, and some times the roofs leak...We cannot ever say we have reached perfection and need change nothing else...
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 08:36 am
@Fido,
Fido;114847 wrote:
No Sir; the object of law is to make society whole...Look at the way the Greeks treated the bodies of their condemned...They would take them to the border and toss them over it... They were a curse which brought the wrath of God down upon them, and they considered it their duty to lift that curse, and that is was just neighborly to lay it on another, like their neighbors...They would actually select some one to be exiled if they could find no one guilty of crime, and such people without their communities had no rights, and were in danger until returned...We have examples of this in our most common sorts of comedies; and no one can deny that every club finds its unity in exclusion, and people think that the exclusion of the bad element is healthy in the same sense that ancients thought ill health was curse from God...

In some senses law as we know it, dispensed by whole comunities used to be the provence of the moot, the doom, or the thing... There the object was both peace, and -making the vicitims whole...Those folks accepted group responsibility, and also they accepted fate...No one could be killed unless it was his fate, but that did not remove the responsibility from those guilty, and I mean those, because the whole group would be held responsible for the actions of their individual...People bargained, blood money was paid; fate was thrown on the table to stand for mercy, and everyone wanted peace...Among the Anglo Saxons, a group might have to pay blood money even if the killing was in self defense, and it worked among all tribal people everywhere who played, and play yet today by the same rules...State imposed law deny the rights of the victims and gives injury in their names...The guilty leave detention with a grudge against society, but it is society, the community which pays because the only group with a right of defense is the state, and the state has police for its own defense... There is not one bit of advantage to being a victim unless the victor has some money, but not enough for a good attorney...Defend yourself... Be not a victim...That is just another word for loser...

If you call the fight, I call the weapons, and I'll take broadswords, and from either ends of a ten foot plank...If you hit me you are going to have to throw something...

Now we have a show of honor...People take oaths of office, and marriage vows; The judges all like to get up in black and carry a mallet, but it is all for show... Does it have any fundmental meaning to those people, us people???War has far surpassed honor as a cause of blood shed... We could not be worse off...People used to get by on their honor, and we see from our literature to what extent people would go to defend their honor...It was their economy, and the perception of honor might save a person's life, and all bargains and all treaties and all marriages rested on it....We pay for our want of honor...

We pay for law to control those honor or community once controlled...We pay an extortionate fee for law, and can feel no more secure for it...Just as primatives thought it lucky to sleep over a piece of iron we must today sleep with our Iron, but just between you and me, it is better to have a dog...I have myself slept with a handle, and I am lucky I did not have some vivid dream and blow my damm head off... But some places, Smith is the security sytem and wesson is the insurance policy...So; if we are reduced to self defense because law has not resulted in justice or peace, isn't it time to start over???Right now we bear all the cost of formal law that does not work only to have every man as his own cop without the benefit of badge or blue suit...



That's a lot of stuff you said there...all run together...with ample ellipses scattered throughout... I certainly don't agree with all of what you've said here... but there is a lot there and so it would be difficult to disagree with all of it...and frankly its really not worth my time picking through it and giving my responses point by point...

Besides, if past experience can give any indication of future events I would predict that no matter what I say it will be dismissed by some brief phrase like "No sir;" or "With all due respect this is non-sense" at which point you will launch into a two to five paragraph tirade that addresses what I have said only tangentially at best...and yet for some reason still appears to be addressed to me...
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 12:26 pm
@Fido,
Mr. D; I have read a lot of books and would be inclined to write some if I had any original informaton... As it is, you have to be content with my bringing you up to speed...The German tribes of a thousand years ago were little different from the Native American tribes of five hundred years ago, and neither was far different from the Greek and Roman tribes of days longer past...I cannot so much as apologize for being long with a subject that demands much study...You will never understand what we have become if you do no know what, and where we have been..
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 06:02 pm
@mickalos,
mickalos;114844 wrote:

What I should say is that when wearing their moral philosopher hat, moral philosophers don't care about the application of their ideas. Why should they, it isn't relevant to their work as moral philosophers. When they are not indulging in normative ethics it is perfectly acceptable to suggest ways in which their ideas are best applied.


I see what you mean. I'm not really against you on this. I've just debated the concept of rights before, and it's a juicy debate. In the end, though, it's legal rights that matter most.

I'm a big fan of hypothetical ethical questions, so I'm not allergic to pure theory. :sarcastic:

---------- Post added 12-28-2009 at 07:04 PM ----------

mickalos;114844 wrote:


I agree that sometimes moral philosophers forget that morality is about real people, living real lives, and it does cause them to adopt absurd positions. Utilitarianism is notorious for this, but I think it is symptomatic of the 'system-approach' (for lack of a better term) to ethics; the sort of thing Kant and Mill do, reducing morality to one simple premise and building a system around that. They concentrate on the principle, and, forgetting what really constitutes a person, what persons really are and are like, they brush off what should be counterexamples to their systems.

I agree with you on this. Good example.

---------- Post added 12-28-2009 at 07:08 PM ----------

mickalos;114844 wrote:

The question for moral philosophy then, is why do you want a government that protects the exception to the rule?

I am expressing a preference for a society that tolerates idiosyncrasy. I want a society where citizens can say what they want, indulge in what does not directly hurt others. I don't like mob-think. I'm infected with the ideal of individualism.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 06:11 pm
@Reconstructo,
Fido;114906 wrote:
Mr. D; I have read a lot of books and would be inclined to write some if I had any original informaton... As it is, you have to be content with my bringing you up to speed...The German tribes of a thousand years ago were little different from the Native American tribes of five hundred years ago, and neither was far different from the Greek and Roman tribes of days longer past...I cannot so much as apologize for being long with a subject that demands much study...You will never understand what we have become if you do no know what, and where we have been..


I've read some books too and I think a lot. I can appreciate origins. Are you drawing your definitions of law, rights, honor from this comparative study of ancient societies? Do more modern conceptions of law, rights and honor come into play at all?
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 07:01 pm
@prothero,
prothero;114724 wrote:
So, these rights, everyone seems so anxious to claim, on what basis do you think you have any inherent or inalienable rights at all?


The idea of civil rights flowered out of Roman stoicism. Romans weren't big on pondering the imponderables...(let others bend the breathing bronze to forms more fair...) The Romans started with the answer. There is a nature to things, this we observe. A thing's nature leads it to success. A thing that goes contrary to its nature is diseased and will die unless it reforms.

A society's nature is to support the well-being of its members, but it can fail to follow its nature and do harm to individuals. Such a society is diseased and headed for death. It is fully in the nature of humans to respond to this situation with definace. According to Marcus Aurelius, even a slave has the natural right to defy his government. Marcus Aurelius was a dictator.

Later certain English parties found it necessary to bind the power of their king with a document called the Magna Carta. At this point the king was understood to rule by divine right. This divine right flowed into the nobility. So a nobleman also ruled by divine right. The common view of people during this time was that everything is the will of God. If you're born noble, that's God's will. If you're born bound to the land, that's God's will and to question the status quo was blasphemy. So the Magna Carta, although nothing outstanding in itself, was the rock upon which an alternate perspective would grow... that the king does not represent God on earth.

Much later, their was a drama where the English publicly beheaded their king. Somewhere between that and the procurement of a new king, they adopted the English Bill of Rights.. (late 17th century) This document is the inspiration for the Bill of Rights attached to the American Constitution.

Europeans of all types came to America, but the culture was eventually dominated by the ways of the English who represented about 60% of the population. These English colonists thought of themselves as English, and assumed they had the same rights they had in England. The Mass. Colony charter specifically stated that. However, somebody forgot to tell the British Army that when they came over to fight the French Indian War. The British trampled on people's rights and committed atrocities like seizing printing equipment that was used to make anti-British pamphlets. Everybody knows: you don't seize an english-speaking person's printing equipment. And so it was on. The rest is history.

Moral to the story: the idea of civil rights appears in societies where the identity of the society (Mother England, Uncle Sam) is very potent in the imagination of the people. Fido already mentioned something along these lines. People in this kind of society instinctively feel the need to protect themselves from the state. In a society with a less developed sense of state (like Russia traditionally), there is no need to codify rights for lack of any concept of rights... no idea of freedom requiring protection.

What guarantees a right is some power. It could be the power of nature. A god given right is the same thing as a natural right, they just changed the name. A civil right requires that the government be at odds with itself.
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 10:04 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;115064 wrote:
I've read some books too and I think a lot. I can appreciate origins. Are you drawing your definitions of law, rights, honor from this comparative study of ancient societies? Do more modern conceptions of law, rights and honor come into play at all?

Those societies worked, to a point...Once wealth divided them they were done... Before that there was no clock on them, and when they let themselves be divided, the clock was ticking... So no, I would not reproduce failure as our founding fathers did... They envied Rome in the empire, and wanted to get there as quickly as possible... They thought they could avoid the pitfalls that Rome found, but they did not... When the wealthy own government they will own the commonwealth, just as in Rome...
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 10:17 pm
@Fido,
Fido;115192 wrote:
Those societies worked, to a point...Once wealth divided them they were done... Before that there was no clock on them, and when they let themselves be divided, the clock was ticking... So no, I would not reproduce failure as our founding fathers did... They envied Rome in the empire, and wanted to get there as quickly as possible... They thought they could avoid the pitfalls that Rome found, but they did not... When the wealthy own government they will own the commonwealth, just as in Rome...


What are the main injustices that rights should empower us against? You mention the problem of the wealthy owning the government. To the extent that this is true (and it is true to some extent) I would call this an injustice. What do we call (or name) the right that would empower us against this injustice?
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:02 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;115199 wrote:
What are the main injustices that rights should empower us against? You mention the problem of the wealthy owning the government. To the extent that this is true (and it is true to some extent) I would call this an injustice. What do we call (or name) the right that would empower us against this injustice?

I don't think in terms of main injustices; because the implication is that there are some injustices we may live with, but there are not...injustice drives a wedge between a person and their society whether they are giving or recieving injustice...If I may repeat some lines attributed to Socrates: When asked; when there would be justice in Athens, he replied, that there will be justice when those not injured by injustice are as indignant and those who are...We should be indignant..

If you need proof that money owns the government just look at the tax structure...This country was set up with the rich having the defense of government for their property... The law was changed, actually the constitution, in the hopes that it would bleed the rich, who were seen as rich in money, and not just in property, which was supposed to support the government...But having the income tax, which at first only affected a minority, it was turned on all the people until now the rich complain that only fifty percent pay income taxes... Well try to get blood from a stone much...

The inflation of property values would not be possible without the income tax... Taxes once forced property to be productive, or get sold..Mostly it paid for its unequal protection....So the price was driven lower by taxes...Labor needed to make property profitable was high in value, because each man had the choice of working his own land, that the could afford, or working for another for fair wages...

The greatest injustice we face is property rights...People die for the want of rights, but property does not live...It is property owners who own property rights, and it destroyes the equality essential to democracy...Property makes people unequal, and it gives people greater access to governent who have money, because access to government is seen as a right protected by the constitution...

Now; we might have some defense against the power of wealth in government if we had kept the government as constituted... We had a certain ratio of representatives to citizens, one to 30K...The house changed its rules, which made it into a sellers market, and now each representative represents 600K, usually in deeply divided districts designed to ensure victory for one side and non representation for the other side...Who would do such a thing who had any regard for the people???...Those people who fixed the house of representatives increased their power, but stole power from the people, for what reason; so they could fit the house they built too small???

Then look at the parties...They were not considered by the constitution, and neither were they regulated... If they are considered a right, then defend them... IN fact, our government has plenty of built in inertia... A lot of people must be made to move in two houses representing undemocratic powers in order to move government... All the parties do is build in more inertia into a system that is overburdened with inertia...And, they are extra constitutional, just like the limits on the house numbers...
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 28 Dec, 2009 11:25 pm
@Fido,
Fido;115204 wrote:
I don't think in terms of main injustices; because the implication is that there are some injustices we may live with, but there are not...injustice drives a wedge between a person and their society whether they are giving or recieving injustice...If I may repeat some lines attributed to Socrates: When asked; when there would be justice in Athens, he replied, that there will be justice when those not injured by injustice are as indignant and those who are...We should be indignant..


"No one is free until everyone is free."

Fido;115204 wrote:

The greatest injustice we face is property rights...People die for the want of rights, but property does not live...It is property owners who own property rights, and it destroyes the equality essential to democracy...Property makes people unequal, and it gives people greater access to governent who have money, because access to government is seen as a right protected by the constitution...


We are roughly in agreement about this. I'm not sure if I am against all forms of property but obviously some forms of property are injustices (Terminator corn being one extreme example but many many others as well). Property is one of those things I am still struggling to understand.

I might start a "What is Property?" thread. It would be interesting to hear people's different definitions and justifications.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 29 Dec, 2009 05:52 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;115213 wrote:
"No one is free until everyone is free."



We are roughly in agreement about this. I'm not sure if I am against all forms of property but obviously some forms of property are injustices (Terminator corn being one extreme example but many many others as well). Property is one of those things I am still struggling to understand.

I might start a "What is Property?" thread. It would be interesting to hear people's different definitions and justifications.

If we had good individual rights then a person's property would be considered as the extension of the man...If you respect the person, as we should, then his property with be respected... Because of the inequality property causes, and because it robs rights from those without property, And because no justification can be shown for property rights it shouldd be strictly controlled...It is the whole people who defend property, and for that reason it should be taxed, to support the whole people... When people are allowed the best of the commonwealth free and clear, unburdened by taxes, greater inequality and injustice will be the result..

The people may well see a public purpose served by public property being in private hands...It should not be hereditary...
 
NeitherExtreme
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 04:17 pm
@Fido,
Hi all.

Fido;114496 wrote:
Say yes to rights...

Out of all our rights our happiness grows...


Actually, I'm not convinced that this is true. I think there is obviously some truth to it, but I think that there would be many individuals and societies that would argue that much happiness arises from deference, and giving up of our "rights" to the benefit of others.

I live in "Amish Country", so I have a clear example of a culture that has found meaning and morality in the concept of not demanding personal rights, and they have a strong community and culture in large part because of this. This sense of belonging and meaning-in-community is a form of happiness that I see very little of in the average American life, which has learned from little-on-up to demand their rights.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 04:49 pm
@NeitherExtreme,
NeitherExtreme;115690 wrote:
Hi all.



Actually, I'm not convinced that this is true. I think there is obviously some truth to it, but I think that there would be many individuals and societies that would argue that much happiness arises from deference, and giving up of our "rights" to the benefit of others.

I live in "Amish Country", so I have a clear example of a culture that has found meaning and morality in the concept of not demanding personal rights, and they have a strong community and culture in large part because of this. This sense of belonging and meaning-in-community is a form of happiness that I see very little of in the average American life, which has learned from little-on-up to demand their rights.

Some of my people used to live in Pennsylvania... I bought a hat from a place out there called intercourse...The hat said I heart intercourse... I can't imagine saying that...How would you like to be able to introduce yourself, and say: I come from intercourse... And everyone could say: Join the crowd...

No one is ever the member of any form without a sacrifice...Use as your community a marriage... It is a form, held together by honor and oaths... But it is impossible to keep without each side's sacrifice... The notion is an old one...The christians were martyred because they would not make a sacrifice to the genius of the emperor, believing his genius blessed before birth...Christians given a pinch of incense would drop in on the ground, and if they would not sacrifice for the emperor they would not sacrifice for the community...Usually what we give up is a bit of ourselves, but it is an investment...Now; we sacrifice in the form of taxes for good government...So it is our right to expect good, fair, and intelligent government... The Amish may be a strong community because they make a common sacrifice to the spirit of their community... There community tends to put them at odds with other communities... They hunt all over every bodies land where my brother in law lives... They have to get ugly with them and it still does not do much good...They are a strong community and they do as they wish some times...

I should point out that communites exist to defend rights, so if we are paying to be part of a national community that does not defend our rights, that requires our constant defense of right against, what are we doing it for???
 
NeitherExtreme
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 06:31 pm
@Fido,
Fido;115698 wrote:
Some of my people used to live in Pennsylvania... I bought a hat from a place out there called intercourse...The hat said I heart intercourse... I can't imagine saying that...How would you like to be able to introduce yourself, and say: I come from intercourse... And everyone could say: Join the crowd...

You know Intercourse is not far from Paradise, right?

Fido;115698 wrote:
The Amish may be a strong community because they make a common sacrifice to the spirit of their community... There community tends to put them at odds with other communities... They hunt all over every bodies land where my brother in law lives... They have to get ugly with them and it still does not do much good...They are a strong community and they do as they wish some times...

They aren't perfect, thats for sure. I was just trying to illustrate the point that there are benefits (and happiness) to be had by sacrificing rights. I think we agree on that point. The only reason I bring this up is that it challenges the premise of your OP, that our happiness comes from rights.

Fido;115698 wrote:

I should point out that communites exist to defend rights, so if we are paying to be part of a national community that does not defend our rights, that requires our constant defense of right against, what are we doing it for???

Is that true for all communities? Does the Amish community exist to defend rights? That certainly wouldn't be the philosophical grounds on which they would want to base their community. It may function that way in some times/places, but I think the main purpose of it is to create a unity and fellowship among people of like beliefs. In my understanding, their common support for the community is not to guarantee personal rights, but from a desire to belong and to behave appropriately (as they see it). It reminds me of the time I spent in Kyrgyzstan... Communal cultures are just a whole different animal than our Western individualistic cultures.
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 30 Dec, 2009 10:40 pm
@NeitherExtreme,
NeitherExtreme;115722 wrote:
You know Intercourse is not far from Paradise, right?


They aren't perfect, thats for sure. I was just trying to illustrate the point that there are benefits (and happiness) to be had by sacrificing rights. I think we agree on that point. The only reason I bring this up is that it challenges the premise of your OP, that our happiness comes from rights.


Is that true for all communities? Does the Amish community exist to defend rights? That certainly wouldn't be the philosophical grounds on which they would want to base their community. It may function that way in some times/places, but I think the main purpose of it is to create a unity and fellowship among people of like beliefs. In my understanding, their common support for the community is not to guarantee personal rights, but from a desire to belong and to behave appropriately (as they see it). It reminds me of the time I spent in Kyrgyzstan... Communal cultures are just a whole different animal than our Western individualistic cultures.

What ever they are sacrificing it is not rights; and my presumption is that it is self, personal expectations, personality...

If you look at primitives communities as I have, you see a different sort of economy, and different forms of social organization...Defense was at a premium, so people were forced to accept equality and democracy... But what was it for??? People stood together and worked together, but it was for a common survival... Their conception of self differed from our own, and yet they were very individualistic...Our word Ethic comes from this stage of human development....Its meaning is of custom or character, both of which people get from their communities... Unity was essential but that was encouraged within, and forced from without... When a person left his community he left his rights behind...Because all those people practiced group responsibility, any one making trouble brought it home to his community, and so communities made the peace under terms all could acccept... But; within ones community people had rights, and the community provided a common defense of rights, but within the community they forced no standard of behavior...It is common knowledge that the native American never beat their children...The child of today was the equal of tomorrow, and your children were bound to do vengeance, and nothing was more dear to the savage heart, and we see this in the literature of European pre history as well...
Rights are enjoyed individually, but they are always defended communally...Look at our labor unions, or associations of every sort, our pacts, and parties... They do not exist as only fraternal organizations... The Gay community is not different from the black community... Individuals who see they cannot stand alone cast about for help, a common cause, and a grievance shared by many is already a community without charter...
 
Brandon Norgaard
 
Reply Fri 1 Jan, 2010 09:52 pm
@Fido,
I want to remark on what it means to have rights. Linguistically, it seems from the way we speak that rights are something one can actually possess. Since there is no object that one can point to that is a right, this is a figure of speech.

One way of making rights physically possible is this: when someone says that X possesses the right to Y, this means that they believe that it would be better if everyone does not interfere with X's use of Y. In this situation, X can represent the speaker or another person or a group of people or any number of animals or inanimate objects. Y can represent anything that X can do for his or her self, such as prolong X's life, perform some action, or use some physical object. This definition works best for what are known as "negative rights", which are rights to do things.

On the other hand, that which are known as "positive rights" can better be classified as entitlements because they involve someone else's obligation to you. When one says that X has the right to Z where Z represents something that they cannot do themselves but want others to do for them, such as health care, then this means that they believe that it would be best if the governmental establishment somehow provided Z for them.

These are two completely different uses of the word "right". I don't think that entitlements should ever be called rights and therefore there should be no reason to distinguish between "positive" and "negative" rights. This is not to say that there is necessarily anything wrong with entitlements. I personally agree with certain entitlement programs, such as health care. But we shouldn't refer to these as "rights".
 
Fido
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 08:42 am
@Fido,
Yes; Rights are a moral form, and a social form, and the same is true of life... It is as a necessity of life that rights have their meaning, and not our a specific being...More later... Today is trash day, and I have a monopoly on the job...
 
TheSingingSword
 
Reply Sat 2 Jan, 2010 08:58 am
@Fido,
The establishment of legal rights is a promise to use force. Basically, the idea is that rather than defend myself naturally, I will sacrifice my will to society, and surrender my right to use force to a government entity. Every law, right, entitlement, etc, added to a society, necessarily restricts freedom. If it is freedom you cherish, then you should say no to rights.
 
 

 
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