Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
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27-06-2014, 11:32 PM
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(27-06-2014 10:59 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Rights only exist when enforced. You may have the "right" to cross the intersection with a green light, but unless enforced, you might wind up only dead right.

We are born with no rights. Certainly none bestowed by an indifferent universe. Rights get conferred by culture, and culture enforces the ones it deems important. Every culture has a laundry list of rights it enforces. Comparing lists between cultures will show some commonality, but rarely do lists coincide.

Until the world is unified as a nation of mankind, what rights you have depend your GPS coordinates. Rights aren't transferable across borders. They might seem so, when portions of the laundry lists do happen to match, but those are only happy coincidences, not a realization of some "intrinsic" set of rights.

Many if not all laundry lists of rights post more rights than are enforced. The laundry lists reflect desire, not pragmatics. Jails and graveyards are kept full by not understanding that distinction. The list may state you have a right, but without enforcement, it doesn't exist.

So look both ways before crossing on green.

It really only makes sense to talk about "rights" in a legal or moral context. Otherwise you cannot escape the fact that there is no such thing. Your right to life means little at the end of a gun, or in the path of a tidal wave (just a couple examples). Rights exist but life and death are.
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29-06-2014, 02:41 AM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2014 02:51 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(27-06-2014 11:32 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  It really only makes sense to talk about "rights" in a legal or moral context. Otherwise you cannot escape the fact that there is no such thing. Your right to life means little at the end of a gun, or in the path of a tidal wave (just a couple examples). Rights exist but life and death are.
Let me get this straight Consider Only things that exist empirically are real. Basically, rights are granted by authorities, might makes right.

So what if two authorities make two different mutually contradictory sets of rights? Consider Isn't that whole idea self-contradictory, thus false?

Anyway, let's say you are stronger than me. What rights can be derived from that? Let's say American government is stronger than me. Does that have any meaning at all, except that people in the government can pull any rights out of their ass as they please, because they are stronger? Doesn't that make their "rights" a more permanent form of fart?

I disagree with this all. I'd say that natural rights exist and are objectively derivable from properties of matter in space-time. Not specific objects! Properties of the objects.
Their power is demonstrated on the fact, that all violations of rights are rather small deviations from them. All the wrong things - if their creators ever thought of applying them to themselves and universally first - would not pass their lips.
Morality only seems subjective, because people believe in culture and culture is subjective. All immorality comes from the fact that people arbitrarily invent cultural prejudices to make inconsistent rules. Men good, women bad. Men bad, women good. Whites good, blacks bad. Poor good, rich bad. Rich good, poor bad.
I agree, culture has no existence or morality to speak of. But consistency does.

Various definitions of rights are arbitrary and serve our momentary needs. But these definitions must always be objectively judged by their consistency, or they're just bullying.
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29-06-2014, 03:00 AM
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(29-06-2014 02:41 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(27-06-2014 11:32 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  It really only makes sense to talk about "rights" in a legal or moral context. Otherwise you cannot escape the fact that there is no such thing. Your right to life means little at the end of a gun, or in the path of a tidal wave (just a couple examples). Rights exist but life and death are.
Let me get this straight Consider Only things that exist empirically are real. Basically, rights are granted by authorities, might makes right.

So what if two authorities make two different mutually contradictory sets of rights? Consider Isn't that whole idea self-contradictory, thus false?

Anyway, let's say you are stronger than me. What rights can be derived from that? Let's say American government is stronger than me. Does that have any meaning at all, except that people in the government can pull any rights out of their ass as they please, because they are stronger? Doesn't that make their "rights" a more permanent form of fart?

I disagree with this all. I'd say that natural rights exist and are objectively derivable from properties of matter in space-time. Not specific objects! Properties of the objects.
Their power is demonstrated on the fact, that all violations of rights are rather small deviations from them. All the wrong things - if their creators ever thought of applying them to themselves and universally first - would not pass their lips.
Morality only seems subjective, because people believe in culture and culture is subjective. All immorality comes from the fact that people arbitrarily invent cultural prejudices to make inconsistent rules. Men good, women bad. Men bad, women good. Whites good, blacks bad. Poor good, rich bad. Rich good, poor bad.
I agree, culture has no existence or morality to speak of. But consistency does.

Various definitions of rights are arbitrary and serve our momentary needs. But these definitions must always be objectively judged by their consistency, or they're just bullying.

What Huh

Rights are legal entitlements. You have positive rights, like freedom to say what you please, and negative rights, like the right not to be murdered. This only make sense in a legal context. The fact that you have a right has no bearing on whether or not you are capable of speaking speaking freely or whether or not a person will choose to murder you, it only informs the law on how it should be handled.
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29-06-2014, 03:51 AM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2014 04:01 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(29-06-2014 03:00 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  What Huh

Rights are legal entitlements. You have positive rights, like freedom to say what you please, and negative rights, like the right not to be murdered. This only make sense in a legal context. The fact that you have a right has no bearing on whether or not you are capable of speaking speaking freely or whether or not a person will choose to murder you, it only informs the law on how it should be handled.
Yes, of course. I meant something different. What do you think about that?

During my legal studies, I always thought that the law is something like a virtual reality that runs on the hardware of some institution, like government or office. (I was a freeware programmer) But what if the government virtual law isn't all law there is?

You know that scientists research nature for empirical laws of physics and so on. I strive to make known that there is also such a thing as "natural law" or "natural rights" that exists without artificial institutions. The best lawyers dabble as philosophers to access the "natural law" and write better bills and declarations. I basically regard man-made laws as a bad philosophy, just as you see made-up New Age spiritual remedies as bad science.
The thing about "natural rights" is, they basically are a definition of what is a human being. They can be violated of course - but then the human being is not a human being anymore (dead meat) or is not treated as a human being - and it also reflects on the one who behaves that way. People may be destroyed, but consistent objective definitions do not forget and do not forgive.

The "natural law" is negative and rational. It is not empirical or positive by default, it only has empirically definable exceptions (biology, etc). It is also known as philosophy. Philosophy is derived from the most general properties of matter.

The "natural law" (philosophy) is as compelling as the reality itself, but to the degree that a person can think and behave rationally, that is, consistently, without contradictions and arbitrary (cultural) exceptions.

If a person can do that, he is not prone to murder or theft, because these actions are by default inconsistent and arbitrary. Thus morality can exist objectively regardless of artificial organizations such as legal institutions or religions.

Fair enough? Does that make sense to you? I dream of being able to explain the most important things to anyone in the most simple way. You have just read years and centuries of history, thought and study condensed into a few statements. How are you feeling? Tongue
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29-06-2014, 04:37 AM
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(29-06-2014 03:51 AM)Luminon Wrote:  
(29-06-2014 03:00 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  What Huh

Rights are legal entitlements. You have positive rights, like freedom to say what you please, and negative rights, like the right not to be murdered. This only make sense in a legal context. The fact that you have a right has no bearing on whether or not you are capable of speaking speaking freely or whether or not a person will choose to murder you, it only informs the law on how it should be handled.
Yes, of course. I meant something different. What do you think about that?

During my legal studies, I always thought that the law is something like a virtual reality that runs on the hardware of some institution, like government or office. (I was a freeware programmer) But what if the government virtual law isn't all law there is?

Ok, laws are imposed onto reality. Following you so far.

Quote:You know that scientists research nature for empirical laws of physics and so on. I strive to make known that there is also such a thing as "natural law" or "natural rights" that exists without artificial institutions. The best lawyers dabble as philosophers to access the "natural law" and write better bills and declarations. I basically regard man-made laws as a bad philosophy, just as you see made-up New Age spiritual remedies as bad science.

I don't think you can really call law a philosophy. There is nothing philosophical about weight limits on tow trucks, for example. There are philosophies that inform the creation of law, such as the harm principle. The law itself is not philosophy though, it is just a set or rules.

Quote:The thing about "natural rights" is, they basically are a definition of what is a human being. They can be violated of course - but then the human being is not a human being anymore (dead meat) or is not treated as a human being - and it also reflects on the one who behaves that way. People may be destroyed, but consistent objective definitions do not forget and do not forgive.

This is difficult to follow. Do you mean what a person is or what a person represents?

Quote:The "natural law" is negative and rational. It is not empirical or positive by default, it only has empirically definable exceptions (biology, etc). It is also known as philosophy. Philosophy is derived from the most general properties of matter.

Not sure I understand. Philosophy is a set of formal rules and axioms. It doesn't describe matter as much as define ideas. You are currently trying to define a philosophy of "natural law" based on terms you just made up and conclusions you think that follow.

Quote:The "natural law" (philosophy) is as compelling as the reality itself, but to the degree that a person can think and behave rationally, that is, consistently, without contradictions and arbitrary (cultural) exceptions.

If a person can do that, he is not prone to murder or theft, because these actions are by default inconsistent and arbitrary. Thus morality can exist objectively regardless of artificial organizations such as legal institutions or religions.

This is a collection of incomplete thoughts. What does it mean for natural law to be "compelling as reality". What does it means "to a degree that a person can behave rationally". Why are murder and theft inconsistent and arbitrary? How does this prove that morality is objective?

Quote:Fair enough? Does that make sense to you? I dream of being able to explain the most important things to anyone in the most simple way. You have just read years and centuries of history, thought and study condensed into a few statements. How are you feeling? Tongue

Confused.
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29-06-2014, 05:27 AM (This post was last modified: 29-06-2014 11:00 AM by Luminon.)
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(29-06-2014 04:37 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  I don't think you can really call law a philosophy.
I don't call a man-made legal law philosophy, I call a natural law philosophy, that is, a verbal description of general attributes of matter.

(29-06-2014 04:37 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  There is nothing philosophical about weight limits on tow trucks, for example.
That is empirical, not rational. Not the topic here.

(29-06-2014 04:37 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  There are philosophies that inform the creation of law, such as the harm principle. The law itself is not philosophy though, it is just a set or rules.
Philosophy is judging consistency of any given set of rules. The harm principle is only as good as it is consistent. However, rational rules can stay consistent, if the exceptions to them are empirically (scientifically) proven.

(29-06-2014 04:37 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  This is difficult to follow. Do you mean what a person is or what a person represents?
I'm not sure I know what is the difference here. By default, I disregard what some man-made artificial institutions may think about that. (except science, which is empirical, not cultural)

(29-06-2014 04:37 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  Not sure I understand. Philosophy is a set of formal rules and axioms. It doesn't describe matter as much as define ideas. You are currently trying to define a philosophy of "natural law" based on terms you just made up and conclusions you think that follow.
Philosophers play with ideas a lot, but the basic philosophy of knowledge deals with basics of identity, integrity, non-contradiction, true, false, logic and such. These are basic general properties of real objects. Philosophy of knowledge and existence is the basis of all other claims, without accepting that you'd have to keep silent forever and go live in the forest.
The philosophy asks questions like, "can we know with certainty that the reality exists?" Those who answer anything else but "Fuck, yeah!" are automatically disqualified from all sentience claims. Then they are sentenced to the hellish life of post-modernist TV show millionaires - or - God forbid - their audience.

(29-06-2014 04:37 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  This is a collection of incomplete thoughts. What does it mean for natural law to be "compelling as reality". What does it means "to a degree that a person can behave rationally". Why are murder and theft inconsistent and arbitrary? How does this prove that morality is objective?
Laws of rationality are as compelling as laws of physics, actually even more so, in their own rational domain. 2 + 2 equals 4, because 2 + 2 IS 4, it's just another way of saying 4. That is an even stronger claim than laws of physics.

Why do we do the things that we do? Because we believe they are fit for a goal. How do we know that? This is where rationality enters. Rational rules are universal, that is, we can repeat them all the time, until we stumble upon some empirical fact that forces us to change our course of action. When that happens, it is all right. However, if a cultural arbitrary made-up rule forces us to alter our action, that is NOT all right.

For example, for all your life you accept that 1 + 1 equals 2. It's as compelling for you to accept it, as reality itself.
Similarly, it is compelling for you to believe that attacking people is wrong. Some people could say that attacking is OK, yet they refuse to let themselves be attacked, so you know that they are full of shit.
But then there come people in suits and say that if you enlist in the army and go attack some foreign people you have never met personally, that will be good, "serving your country", whatever that means. Yet, if you resist, people will tell you, "that is unpatriotic!" "Traitor!" "We've got to support the troops!" "Get them before they get us!"

- I just remembered... I should have asked you first if you ever thought why people do things collectively that they do: How do we know that these are right things to do? Have you ever thought about that method of knowing what is right and what is wrong for society? If you haven't, but want to think about that, it's OK. If you have, but got satisfied with a... not very good answer, then I shouldn't have asked further.
What is a not very good answer? For example, "because people whom lots of people agreed on agreed about something". Truth and science is not done by voting or just deciding. So I wonder why do we even have democracy or any other kind of -cracy. Is society so unimportant, or what? Consider
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29-06-2014, 03:16 PM
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
"So: Is life a right or a privilege? Is it both?"

Life is neither. Life is a process which varies in complexity depending on what living thing you're talking about. Only by objectifying life can you imagine it as a right or a privilege.
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17-07-2014, 08:16 PM
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
To me, life is neither a right, nor a privilege. Life is simply a condition, albeit a precious one when we are viewing our own, or the lives that we consider to be close to us. Now, if only we could expand this protective view of life to include those whom we do not hold as dear as our friends, families, and selves.


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17-07-2014, 10:39 PM
RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
Alright, folks, I'm aware that life is merely a state of being. A living thing is a thing that is actively engaging in what we call life. I figured my meaning would be obvious from the beginning, but fuck me if there aren't a shit-ton of knit-pickers around here. Dodgy

What the dude is saying (and what I'm arguing against) is that living isn't something I have a right to do now that I'm alive. I'm here. I'm alive. He argues that this is not my right to do so; that it is merely a privilege. (One which he, expressly, would enjoy taking away if capital punishment were ever sentenced to me)

In the grand scheme of things, I am alive because I won the genetic lottery and got to be here. In this sense, it can be argued that I am "privileged" to be alive. But now that I'm alive, I believe it is my right to continue doing so. Whether you or he or anyone else thinks - for whatever reason and under whatever circumstances - that I may need to cease living.

So, my life - my continued state of living - is my right. Or so says my opinion.

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17-07-2014, 10:57 PM
Re: RE: Is Life a Right? Or Is It a Privilege?
(17-07-2014 10:39 PM)Misanthropik Wrote:  Alright, folks, I'm aware that life is merely a state of being. A living thing is a thing that is actively engaging in what we call life. I figured my meaning would be obvious from the beginning, but fuck me if there aren't a shit-ton of knit-pickers around here. Dodgy

What the dude is saying (and what I'm arguing against) is that living isn't something I have a right to do now that I'm alive. I'm here. I'm alive. He argues that this is not my right to do so; that it is merely a privilege. (One which he, expressly, would enjoy taking away if capital punishment were ever sentenced to me)

In the grand scheme of things, I am alive because I won the genetic lottery and got to be here. In this sense, it can be argued that I am "privileged" to be alive. But now that I'm alive, I believe it is my right to continue doing so. Whether you or he or anyone else thinks - for whatever reason and under whatever circumstances - that I may need to cease living.

So, my life - my continued state of living - is my right. Or so says my opinion.

Without qualifying this type of right it's hard to state fairly, that's why the legal essence has held so much weight in this thread.

Does a single cell have the same right to life you have? How and by who would this life be taken away? Do you not also have the right to die and cease life?

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
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