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November 3, 2012
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What is a Right?

:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2012  Student Writer
This is a serious question, so take some time to think about it.
I'm not asking what your rights are; I'm asking what the definition of a right is.

Where do your rights come from? Why do you have rights?
When you say that you have a right to something, how can you know for sure?

*****

A counter-question to those for which it is relevant:
Do rights actually exist, or are they merely expressions of legal opinion?
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Devious Comments

:iconarcolm:
Arcolm Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2012
To understand that you must understand the cicular logic behind right and wrong. Some call it "ying-yang" but i call it creation, balance, choas. Everything has a place.
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:iconbolainmarsh11:
bolainmarsh11 Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2012
Yes I "partially" agree with the old concept that right is what nature has given to you. But there must be a better definition of "right", which I've not yet found.

[link]
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:icongenstian:
genstian Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Professional Artist
Well, the early concept was simple. What nature have given you. The right to life, and whatever you do in it (such as production, family, art, ideas you might have...). Rights was considered absolute and universal. But it was a philosophical thing, it was used as the bases for several constituions, but it's far from the original idea behind it.

Today, we have a weird concept of calling "I have the right to your labor" kinda things. It only exists in peoples mind, the people who are suppose to defend your rights, also violates them, so it can't be called a real legal thing either. Merly a sketchy concept.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Writer
Do the actions of a society change the fact about whether or not a right is still there?
I'm no so certain that a right disappears merely because a majority infringe upon it.
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:icongenstian:
genstian Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Artist
The philosophy, and reasoning behind the natural rights still exists. But this goes into a much deeper question, aga "What is the purpose of the state". In classic liberalism (and branches of this, like objectivism, and to some degree libertarianism) the states only legitimate purpose is to defend these rights, and resolve conflicts among it's citizens.

The problem arise when the state has the power to violate these rights when it sees fit. Some of the US early presidents (like Jefferson) thought that it was the peoples duty to rise up against such a government.

You wouldn't put the mafia to make sure the mafia didn't do anything bad. The same way, you can't put a state that does have the power to infringe rights to defend rights.

So, while the rights may not disappear, there is noone to defend them. Therefore one could ask if they still are rights.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Writer
"What is the purpose of the state".

We can do that. I was discussing John Locke earlier.

---

the states only legitimate purpose is to defend these rights, and resolve conflicts among it's citizens.

I would agree, to an extent. However, I realize that the government often fails to do this, so political institutions are not the only answer.

*****

The same way, you can't put a state that does have the power to infringe rights to defend rights.

But where does sovereignty lie?
Technically, America was never ruled by the people.

But in a true democracy, the people are the state.

*****

Therefore one could ask if they still are rights.

That depends on where rights come from.
If rights come from humans, then human actions can abolish a right.
If not, that right lives on.
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:icongenstian:
genstian Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Artist
I would agree, to an extent. However, I realize that the government often fails to do this, so political institutions are not the only answer.
Aye, before the classical liberalism movements of the 1700s and 1800s. We had the anarchist movements that said exactly that. However, the problem is, what if two legal institutions in a non-monopolistic right defense system disagreed? It's one of the key differences between those two.

But where does sovereignty lie?
From a historical perspective, it usually just lies in whoever can survive and defend themselves.

But in a true democracy, the people are the state.
In a true democracy, people doesn't rule over other people either. Like in Athene, policies required no objections to pass. It means that every person got a veto power. Ancient Greece are likely the first place to talk of any kind of rights.

That depends on where rights come from.
Rights is a concept. But every person is born into one state, and can produce with ones hands, think, learn. This is the concept of natural rights. You can not have the "right to education" without someone providing that education, it's not a right of nature, but merely a human concept. Often put in place by force. Living in a state free of force, and having a "right to education" is not compatible with each other.

However, humans have a remarkable power to change nature. And even to adapt arbitrary concepts like countries, kings and so on. History is funny in this sense, people tend to grow tierd of a system that doesn't work, and toss it away, replace it with a system of equal failour, and history repeats itself. Like The british went to war, put the costs on the americans, the americans revolted, made their own country, now that country is bankrupt, and states are at the edge of revolting. Greece is another great example of a country in full revolt already.

Creating some sort of stability is possible, like Lichtenstein, the government have NO power outside the constitution. Held in place both by the publics power to fire everyone with a few signatures, and the courts evaluation of every action. It has such a strong position that the government can't do statistics (such as calculating a GDP) because it's not in the constitution.

It's a good example on how rights can prevail, even if they can include arbitrary, and poor rights (Lichtenstein got both a state church and state education). Yet the strong stable ground it's built on have made it a financial center, and an excellent place to store your money. Making it the richest country per citizen in the world.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Writer
However, the problem is, what if two legal institutions in a non-monopolistic right defense system disagreed?

A hypothetical situation that only applies if such a right system exists.

From a historical perspective, it usually just lies in whoever can survive and defend themselves.

Do humans have sovereignty at all? True sovereignty, that is?

Ancient Greece are likely the first place to talk of any kind of rights.

When it comes to universal political rights, yes. Athens was the birthplace of political rights.
But there were still unspoken rights that were simply upheld, though not protected by law. These are the rights and values that allowed for the society to begin in the first place.

When it comes to natural rights, however, Greece was a bit behind. Natural rights existed within religion long before they existed within the political institution.

But every person is born into one state, and can produce with ones hands, think, learn. This is the concept of natural rights.

I think there's a bit more to it, but yes, I agree. This is the concept of natural rights.
However, would you argue that there is a distinction between political rights and natural rights?

Natural rights would come before political rights, then. And political rights, if they infringe upon natural rights, are void.

However, humans have a remarkable power to change nature.

Yet who always wins in the end?

the americans revolted, made their own country, now that country is bankrupt, and states are at the edge of revolting.

Yes, it's an interesting scenario, isn't it?

It's a good example on how rights can prevail, even if they can include arbitrary, and poor rights (Lichtenstein got both a state church and state education).

Yet I continue to question whether these are truly rights.

Yet the strong stable ground it's built on have made it a financial center, and an excellent place to store your money.

Wealth is the greatest illusion known to man.
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:icongenstian:
genstian Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Professional Artist
Do humans have sovereignty at all? True sovereignty, that is?
It is just a human concept.

When it comes to natural rights, however, Greece was a bit behind. Natural rights existed within religion long before they existed within the political institution.
Aye, but bear in mind that religion was just as stable as todays politics. Gods changed all the time, new stories where written etc. And people where rarely on the same religious side, you had various religious changes all over the place, and those people moved and traded with each other. It wasn't bad. But when some gods tell you that everyone who are inferior to you can be treated as you like, and another say you should show respect for everyone, it kinda clashes. Unfortunately.

I think there's a bit more to it, but yes, I agree. This is the concept of natural rights.
Aye, its more of the key things, throughout the ages it's been a huge philosophical subject. Especially in regards to property, and slavery.

However, would you argue that there is a distinction between political rights and natural rights?
Indeed. But the concept of rights is something a bit more solid that say, regular politics in the majority of the world. Rights are not suppose to change over time. You are not suppose to lose or gain rights. If it changes, it's more of a policy.

Natural rights would come before political rights, then. And political rights, if they infringe upon natural rights, are void.
Indeed. That would be a good good idea. I think Locke purposed something similar to that.

Yet who always wins in the end?
Humans are a fairy young race. We can still destroy each other, or toss ourselves back to the stone age. Or lock ourselves in a totalitarian nightmare. In remember reading a story a while back, I think it was originally written back in the 1700s, where everyone was so afraid of each other that they locked them up into their cities and let the world progress without us for a undefined period of time. At some point in the future, some of them wandered off, and figured that another specie had evolved beyond us. Humanities true progress started just around 6000-8000 years ago. It's not a long period of time.

Yes, it's an interesting scenario, isn't it?
Especially in european history that is something that have repeated itself ever since the the Roman Empire. And it have repeated itself all the way up to today. Even the US have broken apart once before. So it shouldn't come as a surprise.

"Yet I continue to question whether these are truly rights."
Political rights maybe. It still standard more solid than say, political policies. But of course, you can't call the majority of a constitution for natural rights.

"Wealth is the greatest illusion known to man."
Yet it's something we all seek, and it's been the largest motivation for innovation and progress since at least 4000BC. Altho, the example was meant to show that even in today's world where many nations are basically falling apart there are some who have held enough stability to live on.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Student Writer
It is just a human concept.

Perhaps.
Yet even if we assume this, do humans possess the sovereignty that they theorize to exist?

Aye, but bear in mind that religion was just as stable as todays politics.

For the most part. But there were still stable theologies, even if the followers of those theologies constantly drifted.

You are not suppose to lose or gain rights. If it changes, it's more of a policy.

I'd agree with you there.

Humanities true progress started just around 6000-8000 years ago. It's not a long period of time.

And when you compare us to lifeforms of the past, it is likely that our lifespan will be far, far shorter.

Even the US have broken apart once before. So it shouldn't come as a surprise.

Many in the US are skeptical of this. Many of the threats of secession are purely symbolic.
Yet the US is undeniably declining, and not just economically.
We are in many ways paralleling Rome at it's fall. We are destroying ourselves culturally, politically, economically, and religiously.

I would not doubt it if history repeats itself. I'm just expecting it to occur in a way that has not yet happened.

Yet it's something we all seek, and it's been the largest motivation for innovation and progress since at least 4000BC.

It has certainly been a strong driving force, yes.
But some would go as far as to say that all things have essentially revolved around economic progress. They claim that all human interactions are based upon the innate desire to be served, and they therefore claim that money is the key to happiness. They postulate that happiness is achieved through being served rather than serving.

It is this small yet powerful remnant of Marxism that I am opposed to.
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(1 Reply)
:iconhanciong:
hanciong Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think rights are only legal definitions. in order to avoid chaos, there must be some rules, and these rules state that humans have rights.

however, seeing from another point of view, you should not do to others what you don't want others do to you. what I mean is, if you don't want people to hurt you, then don't hurt other people. and also, do to others what you expect others do to you. if you want other people to help you, you should help other people. this principle is true, regardless people actually have rights or not.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Writer
Couldn't that "golden rule," as it's called, be a source of the rights we have?
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:iconhanciong:
hanciong Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
uumm, yeah. but then why call it rights? I mean, why not just call it "Declaration of Human Ethics"? or "Declaration of Golden Principle"?
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Student Writer
Well, let's use an analogy.

There are some who believe that morals are derived from human empathy. Morals are not synonymous with empathy, and yet, according to this philosophy, they are still derived from empathy.

So questioning whether rights are derived from the "golden rule" is implying that rights are part of the golden rule itself.
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:iconhanciong:
hanciong Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
well, for me moral is part of golden rule. what example of morality which is not derived from it? and you know me. I will disagree if you answer that worshiping certain kind of god is morally good, while worshiping different kind of god is morally wrong. :D please give me an example of morality which is not derived from golden rule, and have nothing to do with god
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Student Writer
There is no such thing.
But I do not see why that is relevant, since you limited my answer.

Why shouldn't morality to have anything to do with God? If morals are objective, they must be derived from something. I see no conflict in deriving objective morals from something perfect and unchanging.
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:iconhanciong:
hanciong Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
uumm, this starts to deviate from our original topic, but ok. I always don't understand why worshiping God is a "good" thing. Because from what I believe, God doesn't need anything from His creation. if His creations don't worship Him, fine. If His creations worship Him, fine too. anyway it goes back to my belief that "morality is similar to golden rule". but doing bad things toward other living beings are morally bad, because other living beings could suffer. God couldn't suffer (if He could, He is not The Real God, in my opinion).

Btw, if I don't limit you, what is your answer?
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Student Writer
You're correct in saying that God doesn't need us to worship Him.
But worship is a sign of respect. And it strengthens our relationship with Him.

Our relationship with God is good, so therefore worshiping Him is good.

---

We cannot hurt God. But we can push Him away. And that's harmful to ourselves.

---

My answer is that morals come from God, the perfect, unchanging, conscious essence within the universe.

They have to be derived from something. And if morals are objective, which I believe they are, it would only be reasonable to assume that they must come from something similarly absolute.
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(1 Reply)
:iconda1withdalongestname:
Hmm...
Since I live in Asia, my rights are decreed & dictated by my family. I can't think or do anything for myself.

But since I defy them & so they hates me.
I dictates my own rights based on principles I hold as a guideline. I do this for my own sake & my own future. I have had enough seeing my dreams & ambitions being smashed & destroyed countless of times. More so, my life is of my own, not theirs to command, if they die, I must stand with my own feet, not theirs as what they've been doing all these times.
I think about it based on principles & doctrines I live by, seeing if my future actions brings harm or good.

Nothing is perfect, but it is better that you can do things on your own.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Writer
Are rights universal but simply interpreted differently from place to place, or are their truly different sets of rights in different places?

If the second one, then why would this be so? Is a right even worth thinking about in that case?
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
A bit of both, because what is right for someone doesn't make it right for everyone. Something Christians do not understand, you can see this painfully clear throughout your history.

Ultimately, there are things everybody will agree upon.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Student Writer
Random attack on Christianity, but ok.

How can you logically explain a half-and-half objective and subjective morality?
And in your mind, where do those "objective" agreements come from? (After all, they hadn't existed previously.)
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
Not actually random since it still exists & if you participate in other people's thread, you can still see them happening.

Logic isn't always correct
What do you mean by half & half? Or you're those who can only take 1 but not both? that's a bad view to view the world because you're limiting yourself & being close minded to any diversities that may be better than yours.

Where it came from? People who justifies what is wrong & what is right of course (ie. society) Then pass down from generation to generation, thus becoming a tradition or custom of that group of people.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2012  Student Writer
Not actually random since it still exists & if you participate in other people's thread, you can still see them happening.

Nazism exists too, but I'm not randomly bringing it up.
And I fail to see why Christianity is an absolute evil.

But regardless, I'm going to cut this conversation short because it is entirely irrelevant.
I'd like to stay on track, as I'm sure you can understand.

that's a bad view to view the world because you're limiting yourself & being close minded to any diversities that may be better than yours.

But in stating that these "diversities" are better you are implying an objective standard.
Otherwise "better" would be immeasurable.

And you're also implying (falsely) that belief in an objective standard leads to a sort of intellectual laziness. On the contrary, the existence of an objective standard leads to great questioning, because it is necessary to understand whether or not we actually comprehend the standards that are in place.

There's a confusion here, I think, between the doctrines of nihilism and subjectivism. Subjectivity argues the existence of morals that are derived from within. Nihilism, on the other hand, states that morals are simply an illusion, a human construct, that serve no purpose.
Either way, your statement doesn't follow through. There is no such thing as "better" in nihilism, and the best way in subjectivity is my own.

Better is an objective standard of measurement. We cannot measure whether or not something is better unless we, whether consciously or not, place and objective standard upon it.

People who justifies what is wrong & what is right of course (ie. society)

But how is this objective? There are different societies, no?
With your belief, morality should exist along the lines of cultural relativism.
That's far from objective. That's nihilist.

And in nihilism there are no true sets of values or morals. There are no true methods to determine good and bad, worthy and worthless, correct or misguided.
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
Ahh
So I sounded a bit too nihilist you say? Well because mostly people on this site can only accept Christian views & Christian logic. It's kind of annoying to limit myself from explaining non Christian views and they can still accept them so I have to cut things brief & short, it's more effective that way.

So why am I sound nihilist? Because the world is not as big anymore, people from the other side of the world can reach out to the other very quickly, diversification & specifications of specific groups of people are usually result in 1 side being closed minded to the other & that can lead to conflicts & I have full intention to avoid that by not stating much with name callings or drawing the line where things are.

I never said Christianity is absolute evil didn't I?

Yes, I understand, let's get back to what we're actually talking about.
Because "better" has different definitions from 1 people to the other, I didn't go into lengthy details of it, because of 1 of the proverbs says "Some meat like some medicines" means just because something works for someone, doesn't mean it has to work with everyone. What if some specific came across an ideal or principle that fits that person most & can actually improve that person as a human being, but that person refused to accept other ideals or principles because that person closes the views & perceptions to know it. So yes, the word "better" is somewhat immeasurable, which is why I didn't want to go specific in the first place. But people defines them differently & has their own idea where is standard, the standard is not universal, but in that person's mind. Though cultures, traditions & religions may influences the line where the standard is, but still, it is varied from 1 to another, also given the cultures, traditions & religions to be the variables of course. But will it leads to the laziness you're talking about? Only if that person closes their minds to some other ideals & principles, in that case, yes. But not everybody is the same is it? It doesn't always leads to the laziness you're talking about, it depends on the people.

You sounded as if you want to hear me say "the rights & morals came from god almighty above". I did said it was a bit of both when you asked are rights universal but differently interpreted or each & everybody has their own sets. Cultures, traditions & religions also defines what is right, but their definitions doesn't have to fit you, if the headhunters in Indonesia isles beliefs headhunting & cannibalism to be right, doesn't mean it has to be right for you isn't it? From what I understand, they cannibalizes & collecting heads of their enemies or their own warriors. It has 1 right that is true here though even if you don't agree with them though, their practices of headhunting & cannibalism can be use as a fear factor they can use against their enemies. Since I don't know their religions or their beliefs as it was destroyed by the British during their occupation in the area & major populace being forced to embrace the Christian faith, I don't know their mindset to the world. So even with these diversification, there will always be something they all can agree upon, like taking other people's life is bad, or lying is bad.

You showed me you love diversification & specification, limiting people & ideas. I think I can see your hubris when you have assumed me to be a nihilist. With your picture that hinted of Catholicism, I suppose I should not be surprised by this. Objectives & subjective are merely names, the definitions are given by people around them.

More understanding to the world is a good thing, but something is best left undisturbed because none of us will be able to comprehend it. I find myself amused by those 3 mathematicians for trying to outline the infinity & entropy, they lost their mind & died with insanity. No offense to them of course, their story just give me chuckles.

Then again, the word "rights" is painfully vague, so far, I've seen you meant "rights" not the 1 I thought you meant in the first place. Or maybe you're too busy trying to name my ideas. Can you specify "rights" you're trying to talk about again?
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2012  Student Writer
Well because mostly people on this site can only accept Christian views & Christian logic.

Logic is logic. It has rules, structures and principles.
There's no such thing as "Christian logic." It's either logic, or it isn't.

A logical position isn't one that "makes sense when you think about it really hard."
It's a position that is based upon a set of "self-evident axioms" and the collection of statements it derives.
In other words, much like in geometry, it is a statement that, provided a "given," can be derived through a proof.

*****

Here was the problem with your position:
Your axioms were that of a subjective set of morals and rights. You stated, "I dictate my own rights based on principles I hold as a guideline."
However, you state that an objective standard is passed down from people who "justify what is wrong and right."
You also stated that there might be </i> "diversities that [are] better than [mine.]" </i>

Here we come into a problem. You stated that you dictate your own rights based on your own principles. Yet you also stated that objective standards are placed upon you by society, and different societies can have different objective standards.

This follows the doctrine of cultural relativism. It states that every society has a perception of right and wrong. And you essentially stand by the statement that "your right is different from my right but we're both right."
You reject and absolute, universal standard.

Yet you state that certain "diversities" can be better than others. How can one possible determine whether or not a diversity is better if there is no absolute standard to compare one diversity to another?

That's a logical contradiction.

Without an absolute standard, which is necessary if the universe runs on purely materialistic principles, there is no such thing as "better."
As Dawkins said, "The Universe we observe has... no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing by blind, pitiless indifference."

Besides, if societies determine their morals, morals are a human construct, which IS a doctrine of nihilism.

*****

What is there was an objective standard of morality? And what if we as human beings, who are wired morally, naturally conceive that this morality exists?
Our limited abilities of observation and comprehension would not be able to understand it, at least not fully. That would require omniscience.

So different people of course live out that morality as they perceive it. And since certain people live together and share their ideas, societies eventually evolve their own perceptions of morality.

In this case, there WOULD be an objective standard of morality, but the human failure to comprehend that morality would give it the appearance of subjectivity.

So how could we begin to understand objective morals? Well, if an omniscient being were to somehow share their understanding and knowledge with us, it could be possible.

*****

What if some specific came across an ideal or principle that fits that person most & can actually improve that person as a human being, but that person refused to accept other ideals or principles because that person closes the views & perceptions to know it.

We are all human. We all need the same things. Any notion otherwise is simply an illusion of desire.
Yes, different approaches can be taken to fulfill different peoples needs. But this doesn't change what their needs are.

Humans need love. They need happiness. They need purpose.
When people argue what these things are, or even if they exist, then humans are deprived of their needs and are thrown into despair.

*****

Cultures, traditions & religions also defines what is right, but their definitions doesn't have to fit you, if the headhunters in Indonesia isles beliefs headhunting & cannibalism to be right, doesn't mean it has to be right for you isn't it?

Why is it right for them? Believing something doesn't make it right.
And by that logic a counter-cultural movement would be immoral.

Such as a person who attempts to abolish slavery or end genocide.

*****

So even with these diversification, there will always be something they all can agree upon, like taking other people's life is bad, or lying is bad.

People like to talk about a "common moral ground." Simply because they see that many cultures share certain morals today.
Yet they didn't always do this.

In many ancient civilizations rape was not illegal so long as the person was not a citizen of your state. In fact, some people saw rape and other forms of assault as a moral obligation because it demonstrated to the world the strength of your people, shooing away enemies and keeping death from your towns.

Human sacrifice was a common thing. And not just for religious purposes. Gladiator fights were common. People would watch battles for amusement. Kings would have random servants tortured to death in front of their eyes for fun, even when no crime had been committed.

There is no "common sense" morality. Things as simple as "don't kill" and "don't rape" weren't obvious to ancient civilizations. It is only "obvious" now because the world as a whole underwent major religious, philosophical and cultural reform.

*****

I think I can see your hubris when you have assumed me to be a nihilist.

I never said that you were a nihilist. I said that your argument is leading to a nihilist mindset, which it is.
You are hinting at cultural relativism and social construct. It's a matter of philosophical definition, not personal interpretation.

*****

With your picture that hinted of Catholicism, I suppose I should not be surprised by this.

Another random attack on Christianity. You're fond of that, aren't you?

*****

Objectives & subjective are merely names, the definitions are given by people around them.

That was a nihilist statement.

*****

Can you specify "rights" you're trying to talk about again?

I meant "rights."
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(1 Reply)
:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
a right is some particular thing that you have the power to guarantee.

that's basically it.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Writer
What if you don't have the power to guarantee it? Is it still a right?

Can a government infringe the rights of its citizens?
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
did you even read my post?
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Writer
Yes, I did.

I'm just questioning the validity of your statement.
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
no, you're asking me to define it again. the definition I already came up with answers both of your questions. next.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Student Writer
Fair enough.

Since you claim that rights are "particular things which we have the power to guarantee," you probably believe that there is a direct correlation between rights and personal authority.

Why is this so? Why are rights defined by authority? Why don't they limit authority?
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:icontetchist:
Tetchist Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
do you mean personal agency?

"Why are rights defined by authority? Why don't they limit authority?"

because that's what statutes are for.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012  Student Writer
Is a right the same thing as a statute?
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(1 Reply)
:iconi-am-a-retro-lass:
i-am-a-retro-lass Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
the rights of a human being evolved from the time when human kind evolved a conscience that became guilty when they did something to compromise another persons health or safety on a physical or mental way.
Please note that this is not the consciousness problem.
Because consciousness of oneself does not necessarily mean that one has a conscience.
Animals dont have a conscience and neither does mother nature.
Animals appear to be conscious of themselves however, but I dont know if mother nature is.
Humans are both conscious of themselves and have a conscience which leads to empathy for each other and therefore the rights of human beings were born out of the place of "Do to others what you would like them to do to you"
Upholding ones own Rights and the rights of others at the same time are therefore a sign of civilized behavior in individuals in groups and communities and nations and the globe as a whole.
The basic right of every human being in my opinion, is to have a guaranteed birthright to a healthy and safe living experience on planet earth.
Unfortunately, the human being is only in the beginning stages of evolution and therefore is very far away from this global ideal.
But progress is happening, albeit too slowly, in my opinion. xx
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:iconsherberttcat:
SherbertTCat Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A miserable pile of secrets?
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:iconrasec-wizzlbang:
Rasec-Wizzlbang Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A 'Right' is whatever people in charge say you're allowed to do, nothing else. :iconthefonzplz:
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Student Writer
So can the government infringe upon the rights of the people?
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:iconrasec-wizzlbang:
Rasec-Wizzlbang Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Nope, they redefine what a 'right' is. And unless the people can do anything to change it, it stays that way.

Did you know internet access is considered a human right now? :lol:
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Student Writer
And unless the people can do anything to change it, it stays that way.

Have you read up on John Locke?

He theorized that humans, in their beginnings, lived in a state of disorder. Out of a universal desire to protect what they held dear, they agreed to construct a government that would provide universal order to its subjects.

This theory led Locke to propose that all governments, whether a democracy or not, rule by the grace of their subjects. He also proposed that there are certain, inalienable rights that a government cannot infringe upon. He arrived at this conclusion based upon the fact that the government is an instrument of the people. If a government fails to fulfill it's duties, then it is infringing upon the rights of its subjects and is subject to deposition.

Locke presented three universal rights: the right to life, liberty, and property.

To Locke, rights are not defined by the government. Rights are defined by the people. And a government is wrong in its actions if it goes against the will of the people.

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The United States called upon the ideals of Locke when they signed the Declaration of Independence. However, they idealized his theories and approached them in a new manner.

Jefferson proclaimed that the universal human rights were "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." He claimed that any government who restricted human access to these rights was in the wrong and was therefore no longer fit to govern the people.

He also stated that these rights were present because they were God-given.
This adds a very interesting element to the argument.
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:iconrasec-wizzlbang:
Rasec-Wizzlbang Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That same government that allowed slavery for decades following. :iconthefonzplz:
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Student Writer
Yes. And the framers of the Constitution, at least a large number of them, were actually against slavery. There was a battle in their minds between the idea of slavery and the idea of liberty.

The problem was two things:
The right to property, which Locke himself has specified, seemed to ban the government from taking away people's slaves.
Additionally, the founders often wondered what would happen to their highly unstable society (which already had a huge number of poor, white drifters) if they added a large new population that was economically unstable and was competing for jobs. Jefferson called slavery a wolf, but he stated that America had the wolf by the ear. It was an unpleasant situation, but it was better than letting the wolf go.

*****

Regardless of this, it still remains true that the American government was founded upon the principles of Locke. Whether they carried them out or not is a different question.

But how valid are Locke's philosophies? Why are governments in place? By who's grace are governors allowed to govern?
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
They're not all that different to laws, just more internationally and morally recognized.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Student Writer
People create laws. Are you suggesting that people create rights?
Or are rights universally possessed and "discovered," if you will?
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:iconendeavor-to-freefall:
They're created, they didn't exist before us and they change depending on viewpoint.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2012  Student Writer
Do you believe that there are inalienable rights that all human beings possess? Like those theorized by John Locke? (Life, liberty, and property.)

John Locke argued that all governments, traced back to their original forms, were created for the same reasons. The people set in place a government to provide for certain needs and secure order.
The rights that humans possess are based upon the origins of government. And if a government oversteps its boundaries, then it has violated the rights of the people and the people have the right to depose it.
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it is anything people are willing to fight for. :B
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012  Student Writer
Can a person's right override the right of another?
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:iconneurotype:
neurotype Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Depends on whose perspective you're looking from. I think the former would say yes, while the latter would say no.
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:iconroxas1296:
roxas1296 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2012  Student Writer
Either way you're infringing on another person's rights. So I'm not so sure that it's really a matter of perspective.

Unless you're suggesting that rights are simply opinions that are held on a purely personal basis.
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