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Human Rights
Posted: 03 June 2011 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]
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After having looked around a little bit, I found that there is no recognized consensus for what constitues a human right, or even what standard one may use to decide what should, or should not be, a right.

There are a couple things most sources seem in agreement over, such as freedom of speech being considered a right. And that people have the right to not have violence perpetuated against them (although the literature seems to indicate you have less right to not be assualted if you are an adult male). Niether of these ‘rights’ was established using a set formula, a usable guideling that can be applied on other situations. And it is the lack of this guideline that has caused all the discrepencies, and different interpretatins, of human rights.

So, I have come up with such a guideline. For what a right is, where it comes from, and what purpose it serves. The guideline I have come up with seems encompassing to me, and has withstood all critical scrutiny thus far. As due to the fact that I have a court battle in 45 days, and the premise of my argument against not the charges but the law itself, are based upon my philosophical understandings of human rights. And so I thought I would expose such a view here, to see it further scrutiny can disprove my position. After all, if I am wrong I would rather know before I commit myself to a war over it.

Humans have freedom. This can never truly be taken from us. As long as you live you have freedom of thought, and freedom to control your own body’s actions, by rote note or spoke… freedom is not what societies are built upon, and indeed, with only freedom there will be no society, only anarchy. In order for a society to function we must give up freedoms, and it is in giving up freedoms I found what I think to be the answer to human rights.

When a freedom is sacrificed it must grant a right. The discussion over whether a particular right is worth a particular freedom can, and should, take place on each individual topic, but that is the premise. The most obvious examples of this are theft, murder and rape, no one wants to be the victims of such things so giving up the freedom to subject someone else to them grants the right to not be subjected to them yourself. This is very reasonable.

Continuing the line of reasoning, laws exist for the primary purpose of protecting human rights. Every law should protect a human right, and if a law does not do so I do not consider it valid, as a law that does not protect a right merely deprives us of freedom, and since no one would want their freedom taken away it is worth sacrificing the freedom to take away someone else’s freedom to keep one’s own. So it seems that not having your freedom taken without gaining a right should be a right.

Of course, all this talk of freedom and rights brings us to people who do violate the rights of humans. And the answer there seems apparant to me; if you infringe on another humans rights you lose your own rights. Including the right to be a part of society, or perhaps the right to not be killed by a human. Laws are the means by which we protect our rights; laws that do otherwise are not just.

We sacrifice freedoms for rights, including the right to freedoms not sacrificed.

If you see any flaw in my reasoning, see any way I can improve my position, or simply thnk I am outright wrong, please share your perspective. I am gearing up for a legal battle I fully intend to allow to escalate as far as I can in pursuit of this moral philosophy, I see much injustice in the justice system of my country, and while I will not hesitate to fight with my life for human rights, it would be foolish to fail to consider the possibility my understandings are flawed. Hence this thread.

My position will be proven invalid if any human right does not come at the expense of a freedom.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 08:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Ok, just as a first thought…

For the right of a trial by jury, what freedom is given up?

It’s an interesting argument. I’m not sure rights and freedoms work that way. Rights usually grants freedoms don’t they? So it’s like being grated one freedom by allowing restrictions on another?

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Posted: 03 June 2011 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Freedoms are not granted, they are inherrant. It is this misunderstanding that I think leads to all the confusion we have on this subject, and why I think my argument is so different.

In exchange for giving up the freedom to judge a man’s guilt based on your own personal opinions and perspectives you recive the right to have your guilt judged by the consensus of a representitive slice of opinions and perspectives.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Neither rights nor freedom are inherent. In the beginning, one has only a certain amount of power.  This, along with competing barriers, both natual and from others, determines how much freedom one has and what benefits s/he is able to accrue.  As societies form each person agrees to exchange his/her freedoms (independent power) for liberties (behavior agreed to by the society). 

Occam

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Posted: 03 June 2011 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 03 June 2011 01:34 PM

Freedoms are not granted, they are inherrant. It is this misunderstanding that I think leads to all the confusion we have on this subject, and why I think my argument is so different.

In exchange for giving up the freedom to judge a man’s guilt based on your own personal opinions and perspectives you recive the right to have your guilt judged by the consensus of a representitive slice of opinions and perspectives.


Well yes I suppose I agree not to organize a lynch mob.  oh oh  That’s assuming I’m happy with the justice system.
 
A freedom that is inherent can’t be taken away. Like no one can stop you from thinking. Well no, not even that is true. There’s lobotomies, electroshock, drugs.

The constitution provides the rights of US citizens. It’s part of a legal system that was agreed upon and is enforced. If there was no enforcement of it then such rights can easily be taken from you.

Maybe I don’t understand what you mean by rights or inherent. What rights or freedoms do you have that you think can’t be taken away?

Rights IMO come about by agreements between individuals. The group (of individuals) agree what rights an individual of the group can possess. And the group is responsible for enforcement. I don’t think any right/freedom is truly inherent.

If it’s not personal, what’s the legal issue? Maybe that’ll help me understand your argument better.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 02:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam, physical limitations exist, yes, and while we are young we do have limited freedom, but that freedom is inherrant, to all life. Again, within natural limitations, I may not have the capacity to punch through a brick wall, but I have the freedom to try.

Aside from that, what you said is in agreement with me if, in my opinion, somewhat less concisely phrased.

Gnostikosis, without the physical limitation alluded to above, freedoms cannot be taken away. Sure, you can have walls placed around you, or be killed, but as long as you live only you will control your actions and thoughts. This is the what I meant by inherrant freedom. They cannot really be taken (though they can be limited), but they can be given up. This is the premise of civilization; giving up freedoms in exchange for rights that depend on others giving up their freedoms.

I agree that we need to enforce rights, and this is the role laws play (or should). No ‘group’ should be in charge of this, this simple creates the same problem of giving one ‘group’ power over another, especially since the laws established will be in defense of that group rather than the people that comprise it. That is, Canada law exists for the sake of Canada, and only vicariously and secondary is the sake of the people that comprise that group. Same with religious morality actually, it exists for the religion’s sake first and foremost.

[ Edited: 03 June 2011 02:44 PM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 03 June 2011 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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You want to base rights on freedom.  Freedom could also be based on rights.  I want the freedom to do what has value to me and I don’t want to be forced to do what has negative value to me.  I don’t want to be forced to buy a new car because someone stole my car.  I want the freedom to be able to believe what I think is true and not be forced to believe what religions say is true.  I have the freedom to jump off a tall building, but jumping off a tall building has no value to me.  If society restricted my freedom by putting up a railing that loss of freedom would mean nothing to me.  Freedom itself could be a right.  So I agree that at times freedom is an end unto itself.  People need a certain amount of freedom or it’s unhealthy.  Look at what happens to people who are in prison.  It’s sort of like time and space.  Space cannot be defined without time and time cannot be defined without space.  Freedom could be thought of as a concept like money, potential, or power.  The money, potential, and power are not meaningful until they are used to get things that are meaningful.  I think you could base rights on freedom.  That would be a useful thought exercise, but you could also base freedom on rights.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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It seems like you are talking about rights as a part of nature,not sure if I understand you correctly.When you say you can try to punch through a brick wall,even though you might not succeed,I’m not sure that’s a right.That is an ability in my opinion.I think rights are basically illusionary,people do what they are able to do.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Freedom - The capacity to control one’s behavior.

Right - The assurance that we will not be subjected to a certain behavior.

I do not see any reasonable way to base freedoms off rights, it only makes sense to base rights off freedoms. None of your examples broached rights, or what correlation between rights and freedoms you are drawing. You did not demonstrate how one could sacrifice a right to gain a freedom; or how one would aquire that right to start with. Whereas I did say where that initial freedom comes from; we are all born free, and the connection between that freedom and the rights we attain as we give some of it up.

Punching that brick wall is not a right; it is a freedom. Although excercising that freedom is a right (assuming you own the wall). Rights are as illusionary as all other logical constructs, including information itself, which also means they are exactly as important as we make them. It is my position that human rights must be made our absolute number one priority, and I have yet to hear reason for otherwise.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 05:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 03 June 2011 04:59 PM

Freedom - The capacity to control one’s behavior.

Right - The assurance that we will not be subjected to a certain behavior.

I do not see any reasonable way to base freedoms off rights, it only makes sense to base rights off freedoms. None of your examples broached rights, or what correlation between rights and freedoms you are drawing. You did not demonstrate how one could sacrifice a right to gain a freedom; or how one would aquire that right to start with. Whereas I did say where that initial freedom comes from; we are all born free, and the connection between that freedom and the rights we attain as we give some of it up.

Punching that brick wall is not a right; it is a freedom. Although excercising that freedom is a right (assuming you own the wall). Rights are as illusionary as all other logical constructs, including information itself, which also means they are exactly as important as we make them. It is my position that human rights must be made our absolute number one priority, and I have yet to hear reason for otherwise.

Definitly,however we cant depend on every other person to have the same position and thoroughly live up to their end of it;I feel we need some flexibility to deal with other people,but we cant give up all strictness either.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hence, laws. If laws existed solely to protect human rights, then the only people in violation would be someone every moral person would try and stop. Of course that would essentially put an end to the need for police officers, but that would be OK, one of the side effects of ‘constables on patrol’ is that people are left feeling as though they do not have the freedom to defend themselves. In large part becasue the police want us to feel that we do not have the freedom (and right to excercise that freedom) to defend ourselves… after all, if we were willing to defend ourselves we might be willing to defend ourselves from police.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 03 June 2011 04:59 PM

None of your examples broached rights, or what correlation between rights and freedoms you are drawing.

My examples dealt with the right to own property (without it being stolen), the right to think for oneself (without being brainwashed), and the right to jump off a building is not considered a right because people don’t put value on jumping off of buildings.  Therefore the freedom to jump off a building has no emotional meaning to people.  Which goes to my point that it is the right that matters and the rights give the freedom to uphold that right most of its meaning.  Freedom is not a “capacity to control one’s behavior.”  The words for that are “capacity,” “ability,” or “potential.”  Other words could be “self control” or “power” (over oneself).  Freedom is an absence of something, a lack of coercion, a lack of being forced or restricted, or a lack of being dominated.  This is the strict dictionary meaning of freedom although I think people add their own emotional meaning to “freedom.”

Dictionary.com

1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
2. exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
3. the power to determine action without restraint.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 06:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 03 June 2011 05:53 PM

Hence, laws. If laws existed solely to protect human rights, then the only people in violation would be someone every moral person would try and stop. Of course that would essentially put an end to the need for police officers, but that would be OK, one of the side effects of ‘constables on patrol’ is that people are left feeling as though they do not have the freedom to defend themselves. In large part becasue the police want us to feel that we do not have the freedom (and right to excercise that freedom) to defend ourselves… after all, if we were willing to defend ourselves we might be willing to defend ourselves from police.

In the U.S. laws exist to protect people and property(offically).I’ve never heard about the law being in place to defend human rights maybe I’m wrong.“Moral” people do try and stop lawbreakers and they usually fail because lawbreakers are better at doing what they do than the “good guys” are.Not all police want to deny the freedom to defend ourselves, a lot of police support the right for a citizen to use self defence.There might be some cultural differences in my view because I’m a yank,I should have said that before.

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Posted: 03 June 2011 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Brightful, a right must be defined, rights must be specific, whereas freedom is vague, expansive, and almost spiritual. Therefore, presuming freedom is far more reasonable, and practical, than a set list of rights, no matter how carefully that list is thought out. One allows for an increasing list of rights should the need to adjust arise, whereas the other presumes completion. Reminds me of another system, actually. It also requires absurd bureacracy granting ‘rights’ for things that would not be worth sacrificing freedoms over. Actually, I think the guys who designed it had the exact same headset as you; build it to be complete, rather than to adapt.

Hmm…. bad things happen when a system can’t adapt.

Actually Atlantic, you said you were american earlier, so I understand you have a few different freedoms there. I would move there, were they reasonable when it came to freedoms. It took till 2003 for homersexuals to be de ‘criminalized’ in america for fuck sake. There was no right granted in depriving them of their freedom, and eventually the law was overturned. Assuming reason prevails, eventually every law will recieve such treatment; and if we simlply did it now it would not take another two hundred years of innocent people being thrown in jail.

That is the formula; every valid law protects a right, every right comes at the expense of a freedom, and freedom is what you may do.

Eventually they will realize persecuting people for a number of things commonly criminized around the world is immoral, and it will be slowly painfully redressed one law at a time. I posit that eventually, every law that fails to protect a right will be discarded as unjust when reasonable scrutiny is applied.

I will be proven wrong if there is a valid law that does not protect a right.

[ Edited: 03 June 2011 08:20 PM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 03 June 2011 10:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 03 June 2011 08:11 PM

Brightful, a right must be defined, rights must be specific, whereas freedom is vague, expansive, and almost spiritual. Therefore, presuming freedom is far more reasonable, and practical, than a set list of rights, no matter how carefully that list is thought out. One allows for an increasing list of rights should the need to adjust arise, whereas the other presumes completion. Reminds me of another system, actually. It also requires absurd bureacracy granting ‘rights’ for things that would not be worth sacrificing freedoms over. Actually, I think the guys who designed it had the exact same headset as you; build it to be complete, rather than to adapt.

Hmm…. bad things happen when a system can’t adapt.

Actually Atlantic, you said you were american earlier, so I understand you have a few different freedoms there. I would move there, were they reasonable when it came to freedoms. It took till 2003 for homersexuals to be de ‘criminalized’ in america for fuck sake. There was no right granted in depriving them of their freedom, and eventually the law was overturned. Assuming reason prevails, eventually every law will recieve such treatment; and if we simlply did it now it would not take another two hundred years of innocent people being thrown in jail.

That is the formula; every valid law protects a right, every right comes at the expense of a freedom, and freedom is what you may do.

Eventually they will realize persecuting people for a number of things commonly criminized around the world is immoral, and it will be slowly painfully redressed one law at a time. I posit that eventually, every law that fails to protect a right will be discarded as unjust when reasonable scrutiny is applied.

I will be proven wrong if there is a valid law that does not protect a right.

Homosexuals are far from totally accepted in american society!I think the reasons that homosexual activity wasn’t decriminalised until ‘03 was because politicians realized they could get votes from them,and maybe the rise of porno acceptence in the mainstream wink The U.S.A. is a very hypocritical and phoney place.

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Posted: 04 June 2011 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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People don’t have to accept homosexuals, disliking something is a freedom we would not give up. The problem is making something a crime becasue some people dislike it. Those people would not be willing to sacrifice their own freedom to their sexual preferences, they merely seek to deny another’s freedoms, and this is the very immorality I am protesting. The people who criminalize marijuana would not give up their own freedom to alchohol, tobacco, coffee or whatever their particular preferences are, again they merely seek to deny others. The people who want to criminalize prostitution would not give up their freedoms to choose their own sexual partners by their own criteria, they merely wish to deny others their own freedoms to do so.

See the pattern? It is so obvious to me… which probably means either I am insane, or completely right.

[ Edited: 04 June 2011 08:12 AM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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