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Human Rights
Posted: 04 June 2011 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I don’t understand why a specific list of rights cannot adapt.  At one time, white US southerners believed owning slaves was a right.  Slaves were considered property.  Since owning property was a right and slaves were considered property, then owning slaves was also a considered a right.  This specific right on the list had to change.  Any other right on the list will have to stand up to a society’s changing morality.  Granted, a specific list is less flexible than a vague general belief in freedom, but then being vague especially in regards to how laws are going to be set up has its limitations also.  Believing the current list of specific rights is fixed forever and complete is indeed a bad way of thinking.  It also denies the history of how laws and rights have changed over time.

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Posted: 04 June 2011 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 04 June 2011 07:45 AM

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.

Why not both excaim

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Posted: 04 June 2011 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 04 June 2011 07:45 AM

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.

True enough,we are buried deep in this horseshit

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Posted: 04 June 2011 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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brightful, you answered your own question. The very system you are asking why it can’t be valid had validated slavery. It had allowed stealing all freedoms and granting laughable ‘rights’ in exchange, and justified such blatant immorality. What I propose would NEVER have allowed such in the first place. I invite you to reconsider your position, and to consider the validity of mine. If you are merely playing devil’s advocate, you are not presenting very well formulated arguments.

Perhaps, mid atlantic, I am indeed both.

Edit- Here is logical proof that rights come at the expense of freedoms; You can have freedom without rights, but you cannot have rights without freedom. One is fundamental to the other, and not the other way around.

[ Edited: 04 June 2011 03:06 PM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 05 June 2011 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Quick, someone point out the flaw in the following reasoning please;

If a person is recognized as having the right to freedom of expression, then the right to freedom of perception is a logical extension of that right, as someone may only express what they perceive or have perceived.

If someone is denied a perception of something would it not preclude the freedom to express that something?

If that is true, then that means that copyright, information and drug laws deny freedom of expression, as they limit the information you may perceive as well as the manner in which you perceive it, vicariously limiting what you may express.

And would thus be an infringement on freedom of expression. Every bill of rights presumes the freedom to read (perceive) said bill without explicitly stating such as one would never know if said bill was upheld otherwise, thereby implying that freedom to percieve is a given.

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Posted: 06 June 2011 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 05 June 2011 09:26 PM

Quick, someone point out the flaw in the following reasoning please;

If a person is recognized as having the right to freedom of expression, then the right to freedom of perception is a logical extension of that right, as someone may only express what they perceive or have perceived.

If someone is denied a perception of something would it not preclude the freedom to express that something?

If that is true, then that means that copyright, information and drug laws deny freedom of expression, as they limit the information you may perceive as well as the manner in which you perceive it, vicariously limiting what you may express.

And would thus be an infringement on freedom of expression. Every bill of rights presumes the freedom to read (perceive) said bill without explicitly stating such as one would never know if said bill was upheld otherwise, thereby implying that freedom to percieve is a given.

Depends on what you value. I don’t see it as a give and take between expression and perception. I believe a majority of individuals have come to value freedom of expression. I also value a certain amount of privacy. Personal details I’d rather restrict your perception of. However as a group we’ve come to value security. So we’ve come to allow a limited perception of that privacy. It really has nothing to do with freedom of expression.

I may not want you to read my medical history because of the bigotry and irrational judgement that might result. I suspect Obama didn’t release the photos of Osama for similar reasons.

Your freedom to perceive conflicts with my freedom of privacy. Sorry I value my privacy more.
Copyright laws protect intellectual property. While some of the laws can be a bit flaky, some people make a living from their intellectual property. Your right to make use of it conflicts with their right to make a living.

You can’t expect everyone to have the same values as you. While I might modify some of my values given the right circumstances some I can’t. Certain freedoms we value so take steps to secure them. Certain freedoms I value more then others. I maybe willing to compromise on some freedoms to secure others as rights.

That all depends on what I value and I’m not sure how much control I have over what I value.

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Posted: 06 June 2011 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 04 June 2011 02:34 PM

brightful, you answered your own question. The very system you are asking why it can’t be valid had validated slavery. It had allowed stealing all freedoms and granting laughable ‘rights’ in exchange, and justified such blatant immorality. What I propose would NEVER have allowed such in the first place. I invite you to reconsider your position, and to consider the validity of mine. If you are merely playing devil’s advocate, you are not presenting very well formulated arguments.

The problem I see with you system is that you may value different freedoms then I do. What if I want to give up a different set of freedoms for a different set of rights?

Slavery comes about because people did not value the lives of individuals from other tribes. We’ve come to value the concept of equality for all people. As a group we’ve chosen to enforce the right of equality. While your system seems a different form of compromise, how does it deal with people who have different values?

Edit- Here is logical proof that rights come at the expense of freedoms; You can have freedom without rights, but you cannot have rights without freedom. One is fundamental to the other, and not the other way around.

I see rights as a subset of freedoms. They are freedoms we choose to give legal status to and enforce. Your systems seems to make it every time a law/right is voted on, it has to also indicate specifically what freedom is given up? Not a bad idea, people maybe less willing to enact certain right aware of what freedom if being given up.

Still I don’t know that, that is any guarantee of a better system. I mean if that is what you are looking for.

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Posted: 06 June 2011 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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I will be responding to your points in reverse order, so as to make the longer replies later in this post.

A better system should ALWAYS be the goal. In any system.

I see my system as being similiar to the scientific process; for a theory to be valid it must be falsifiable. There must be a way to invalidate said theory that is concievable possible, which allows for the scientific process to continiously produce better thoeries. Attaching laws to right, and rights to freedoms, would allow for laws to be falsifiable, allowing justice to achieve the same standards as science, and more pointedly, allowing for the creation of better laws and the dismissing of ones that are false.

As I said, freedoms give rise to rights, not the other way around. One is part of the other, again, not the other way around. Saying freedom is a subset of rights is very much like saying a car is a subset of an engine. And I already said what would prove my stance wrong; a right that did not require a sacrificed freedom. My position is falsifiable, but not yet proven false.

All people who supoposedly have different values do, in fact, have the same one at the core. Human values. Not the values of a church, or state, or business, or organization or any other man made group, but the humans that made that group up. If we take the stance of HUMAN values, then a universal outline can be easily made. If people are not willing to universally (+95%) ratify a right, then it is not a universal human one and needs no law. Simple as that, if there is not an overwhelming consensus then the opinions of a vocal minority is secondary to the freedoms of everyone else.

If the freedom you want to give up for a right is not a freedom everyone else is also willing to sacrifice then you have no right to deprive them of that freedom. After all, what freedom could be given up that would offer the right to take away someone’s freedoms? None I can imagine. None that would be universally acceptable by humans.

On privacy, it is not the right to privacy you seem concerned with, it is the right to not be discriminated against for what information may be reveled in the absence of privacy. That is, it is not the privacy itself you actually covet, it is the assurance that personal traits and non criminal personal activites will not be used against you. Think about it; if no one could, or would, use your personal information against you, what value is there to privacy? Far as I can tell, the ‘right’ to privacy enables so much crime that it is simply unjustifiable in light of the fact that the only rights privacy laws protect are already supposedly protected by laws against discrimination.

On value systems, there are biological, cultural, social and other factors that all combine to make you, and your value system, what it is. It is my supposition that the foundation of all these varying values systems share a root cause, an underlying foundational framework, that can rightly be called the human condition. And it is on this HUMAN condition I base my philosophies. A legal system acceptable to all humanity, that will protect all human rights, can be made, and must be made. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that all people will have the same value system overall, what I am saying is that the foundation is the same, the values built upon that can be very different, sometimes even contrary to that foundation, but it is still built upon it.

[ Edited: 06 June 2011 12:38 PM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 06 June 2011 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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How do you know that we ought to base our society around rights?  Why not on a utility function?  How do you know there exist moral “oughts” at all?

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Posted: 06 June 2011 02:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 03 June 2011 08:11 PM

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

Aren’t you begging the question here?

According to you a law is not valid unless it protects a right.
So any law that doesn’t you’d deem invalid. So no one can find a “valid” law as an example.

Otherwise, I give up the freedom to rape, pillage and murder in exchange for the right not to be sexually assaulted, stolen from or killed. Kind of a biblical eye for an eye?

Someone who breaks these laws what will happen to them? They give up the right not to be raped, stolen from or killed?

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Posted: 06 June 2011 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Stormy Fairweather - 06 June 2011 12:15 PM

As I said, freedoms give rise to rights, not the other way around. One is part of the other, again, not the other way around. Saying freedom is a subset of rights is very much like saying a car is a subset of an engine. And I already said what would prove my stance wrong; a right that did not require a sacrificed freedom. My position is falsifiable, but not yet proven false.

Just to point out, I actually said rights being a subset of freedoms. However it seems obvious that if we legally protect a freedom by making it a right then we take away from others the freedom to trespass against that right.

A = not B
If A is true then not B is also true.

not B doesn’t necessarily justify A. not B is A by definition.

If the freedom you want to give up for a right is not a freedom everyone else is also willing to sacrifice then you have no right to deprive them of that freedom. After all, what freedom could be given up that would offer the right to take away someone’s freedoms? None I can imagine. None that would be universally acceptable by humans.

Finding anything universally accepted by humans would be a neat trick.

On privacy, it is not the right to privacy you seem concerned with, it is the right to not be discriminated against for what information may be reveled in the absence of privacy. That is, it is not the privacy itself you actually covet, it is the assurance that personal traits and non criminal personal activites will not be used against you. Think about it; if no one could, or would, use your personal information against you, what value is there to privacy? Far as I can tell, the ‘right’ to privacy enables so much crime that it is simply unjustifiable in light of the fact that the only rights privacy laws protect are already supposedly protected by laws against discrimination.

People are easily manipulated by their prejudices. Perhaps not everyone but enough are that your idea remains problematic. Laws won’t prevent prejudice, they’ll only cause people to hide them and act on them covertly. Or if caught, punish them. Information which does not harm nor help you, why should you be privy to? You may not be judgmental or prejudice however enough are that I see a rational need for some protection of privacy.

On value systems, there are biological, cultural, social and other factors that all combine to make you, and your value system, what it is. It is my supposition that the foundation of all these varying values systems share a root cause, an underlying foundational framework, that can rightly be called the human condition. And it is on this HUMAN condition I base my philosophies. A legal system acceptable to all humanity, that will protect all human rights, can be made, and must be made. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying that all people will have the same value system overall, what I am saying is that the foundation is the same, the values built upon that can be very different, sometimes even contrary to that foundation, but it is still built upon it.

Survival comes to mind. Survival of self, family, group/tribe, species. Occasionally survival of self conflicts with the survival of the group or species. So even within a core value, like survival I suspect it maybe hard to find a consensus of value.

What else do you see as a core human value?

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Posted: 06 June 2011 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I suppose I would have to conceed that would be begging the question… that is not a way to demonstrate my stance as false, I was incorrect it thinking it was. Thanks for the correction.

The biblical eye for an eye is useless in practice, as violence begets only violence. But there may be similiarities in a utilitarian (I do love that term Mingy, I simply consider it utilitarian to place human rights ahead of other concerns, at least for humans) justice system. I think a parallel between the right infringed and the repercussions for violating the same should be established… but that is not what I have been thinking on, although if I wish to present a omplete outline for a functioning justice system I will neccessarily need to work out such details. Ultimately, as I am very focused on problem solving, I expect my speculation will be to take away that persons capacity (freedom) to commit the crime, so they could never repeat it. Of course, unless that freedom had already been willingly given up then that would be denying someone freedom.

Apologies on misreading your rights as a subset of freedoms.

Make it a condition to be a citizen, to agree to give up such freedoms for explicitly stated rights. And offer incentives for citizenship, such as food, technological services, healthcare, etc.. Thus, any freedoms that would be ‘infringed’ upon to maintain said laws would already have been ceeded by simple virtue of being a citizen. I would think that when adulthood is reached would be the best time to offer citizenship, before that I would consider someone a child and under their parents jurisdiction rather than their own or anyone else’s.

There are a few things that are already nearly universally accepted, such as murder being immoral. And frankly, if something is not evidently immoral to a large enough representation of the population to be considered unanimous than it is not worth taking freedoms away over.

Not liking somethng, or someone, for completely invalid reasons is a freedom no one would give up. Prejeduce is not the problem, any more than intoxication is, it is when it leads to infringements on human rights that it becomes a problem. And it is the specific actions that infringe on human rights that are the problem, not the feelings behind them. People who are prejeduced and yet never infringe on human rights are not immoral, although they are most certainly foolish.

I see there being three core values we should use together for such a framework; rights, freedom and reason. I cannot fathom how the survival of an individual would be at odds with survival of the species as if the species ceased to survive so too would the person in question. So I would put the species as the number one concern, and the aforementioned three values will, I think, be the best way to ensure the survival of the species as a whole as I cannot fathom a better way to protect an expansive and varied system than to protect each individual part of said system.

[ Edited: 06 June 2011 07:01 PM by Stormy Fairweather ]
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Posted: 06 June 2011 08:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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This is much like the “what came first” question.

IMO, first we had freedoms, like all other animals. Total freedom without responsibility other than survival.  That is why in nature we have predation, prey, as well as symbiosis. All without guilt or consideration of rights.

Total freedom allows for predation where one can kill and take someone else’s life and booty. Obviously we have risen above this.  We have recognized that we cannot practice total freedom as that results in anarchy. Witness what total freedom (and immorality) in the practice of Capitalism has brought us, where a few people (often by predatory practices) can amass all the wealth of nation and allow the poorest to struggle for their very survival.

Therefore we have recognized that there must be certain limits placed on how much freedom we can allow in human intercourse.
But in order to recognize those limits, one must first recognize those certain rights which are morally endowed to all persons and some animals.

Thus the Bill of Rights affirms the freedoms to which all are entitled. This does indeed restrict the predator, but protects the prey, and seeks to steer societal morals toward a Natural Symbiosis (Humanism). Religion seeks to accomplish this by moral “commandments” (i.e. “thou shalt not kill”).

Thus “rights” are not granted as a recognition of freedom in general, but are an affirmation of equality in protection of certain individual freedoms.

[ Edited: 06 June 2011 11:00 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 19 June 2011 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Occam. - 03 June 2011 02:10 PM

[1] Neither rights nor freedom are inherent. [2] In the beginning, one has only a certain amount of power.  This, along with competing barriers, both natural and from others, determines how much freedom one has and what benefits s/he is able to accrue.  [3] As societies form each person agrees to exchange his/her freedoms (independent power) for liberties (behavior agreed to by the society). 

Occam

[1] So you disagree with the stated foundation for the Declaration of Independence:
that (i)all [persons] are created equal;
that (ii) they have certain rights;
that (iii)these rights are ‘inalienable’;
that (iv)we can even enumerate these rights (maybe there are more than the three mentioned):
viz. the right to live, the right to have ‘liberty’, and the right to pursue ‘happiness’.

Your philosophical theory ([2], [3]) is typically called social contract theory. It goes back as far as Glaucon in the *Republic*, but most people argue over Locke’s version.

It’s interesting you state it as if it were a fact. SC theory has several problems, but any good article on it will summarize them for you - maybe even succinctly. I personally would stress that [3] is a pretty speculative history of how societies form; we know very little of how they did. And so I suggest your statements above should not be presented as if they were facts.
chris kirk

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Posted: 19 June 2011 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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[1] I believe that as individual beings without any society, there are no rights nor freedoms beyond what one can take for him/herself.  As soon as a society is formed, the members can define the rules as was done in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. 

(i) In an absolute monarchy a person can be the first born of a king or of a peasant.  They are not created equal; (ii) the peasant has no rights, only the largesse of the more powerful; (iii) even the rights of the monarch are not inalienable, but only exist to the extent that s/he can control the behavior of those around him/her.  As soon as that kingdom is conquered, all the former monarch’s “rights” disappear. 

(iv) I agree that we can define all sorts of rights within the structure of the society we create. 

you state it as if it were a fact.

  This would be a very dull forum if we only stated documented “facts” from other sources (as if the pronouncements of prior philosophers were the incontrovertible word of a “god”.).  Of course it’s my view of our world. 

I thought Rousseau did a fine job of describing freedom vs liberty.  I have neither the time nor interest in searching out “any good article”.  However, if you disagree with my post, you are certainly welcome to present evidence or alternative arguments. 

Occam

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