Saved me the trouble, and probably said it better than I could. Thank you
Let me take this a bit out of order.
First, lest establish something. Just like the word “believe”, the word “right(s)” has more than one meaning.
#1 “a legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.”
Is often confused with:
#2 “being in accordance with what is just, good, or proper right conduct”
You presume that I believe the rights granted by society #1, is equal or the same as #2.
Is it that hard to believe that rights are granted to you by those that have the power to enforce them? In democratic societies where the people have a say, the people who enforce “rights” are elected by the plurality.
For example, the plurality is slowly changing its mind about smoking pot.
Whether smoking is good or bad, your right to use it is determined by the people who support/ don’t support it, that does not fundamentally change the fact that pot is/ or is not bad. Rights, don’t make right.
Abortion is another controversial example. Having the legal right to legally obtain an abortion does not make it morally right. I find it hard to believe anyone here would argue that.
So Hitler convinced some of the German people that Jews should be killed. Jews had no rights (#1). Does that mean Hitler was right (#2)? Of course not.
Now as I said, all rights (#1) are a reflection of societies values and the moral systems they create when they form groups.
Do you value private property? Then you convince your neighbors to hold that value. If enough of the people around you believe that private property is a value worth holding, then they can agree that ownership of private property is a “right”.
The problem is simple. Some groups value the wrong things and the rights they extend to each other cause needless suffering.
Thus it is possible to declare something as a right (#1) that is actually wrong (#2).
Sure, what rights do you have in a place like Somalia, or in the Mountains of Afghanistan?
The Constitution says we have rights “endowed by our creator”. That is a wonderful thought. I sincerely hope that most people believe that, but I wonder how that endowment of rights by your creator will help you in a place like North Korea?
If you were captured in N. Korea and sentenced to death for something trivial, would you protest your rights? Would you try to convince others that you have the right to live?
If, just for the sake of argument, you were able to convince enough people that you have the right to live and they agreed and overthrew Kim and declared that people have “rights”.
Who saved you? Your creator, or you, convincing others around you that you have rights?
See where I’m going here?
Of course, I believe in good and evil.
Good things (on a group level) are things that lead to a happy, healthy cooperative flourishing society. Bad are things that are detrimental to society.
Evil, in my opinion, is beyond bad. I can do the wrong thing, or support bad ideas and just be wrong. If my intent is to do good, even if I’m wrong, that does not make me evil.
Evil is done when people intentionally do things to cause the suffering of others AND derive enjoyment from it. Now like most things, bad and evil aren’t black and white and there are times when causing harm can actually be good (see the “trolly problem”).
I don’t recall using the term “equal rights”.
By definition, an “unprotected right” is not a right.
I am reminded me of the term, mandatory volunteer, or a married bachelor. It’s a non-sequitur.
So you believe that if a governing body doesn’t possess the “power to enforce” rights, then those rights don’t exist? Nonsense. Even if a powerful body DOES suppress certain rights, that does NOT mean they don’t exist. It just means that they are suppressed.
Hooey. I’ll go into more detail in a moment.
Nowhere is where you’re going; a right is like a legal deed to a property. If the authorities do not recognize your legal ownership, it doesn’t change the fact that the property is actually yours; it simply means that an infringement/violation has taken place.
Is opinion all it is? Everyone has opinions, quite diverse.
Not as I read my Merriam-Webster.
I can’t wait.
Yes, it’s just like the idea of private property. There is no such thing as “private property” unless most of the people in your “group” respect the concept.
It’s like the rules of a game, people realize that if they don’t follow the rules agreed upon by the group, they will get tossed from the group. However, as I said, just because the group agrees upon the rules, that doesn’t mean those are the best rules, it just means it’s the rules people agree on.
You act as if the idea private property is intrinsic. It’s not. You are only afforded the “right” to own property because enough other people have chosen to respect it. Either out of fear or cooperation.
Rights are not intrinsic, they are extrinsic. They exist because people agree that it’s in their best interest to respect certain ideas.
Now, ironically, things are better if people believe that rights are intrinsic. Usually the “sheep”. People too lazy to think for themselves.
Do unicorns exist?"
When you read that you thought of a horse with a horn sticking out of its head, right? Thus unicorns exist, at least in our minds. Now, if that’s what you mean when you say “rights exist”, then I completely agree. I’m just saying to you, that rights exist because people cooperate and agree too them, not because they exist intrinsically.
Here, follow me in a little thought experiment…
A moon-sized asteroid collides with the earth and every living thing we know of is dead.
Do rights exist?
Let’s say you were Mark Watney (From the movie The Martian - If you’re not familar he was stranded on Mars by himself hoping to be rescued).
So you are the last human alive. Do you have rights? What does the concept of rights even mean in that context where you are the only person alive?
But low and behold, a mission to save you was launched right before the earth was destroyed and now you and I are on Mars, the last two people in the universe.
What about now?
Do you have rights in this context?
Suppose I decide that everything that you want, I declare is mine?
Obviously, if that includes food, if I deny you food, you would probably attempt to take it by force. I know that, so instead of claiming everything belongs to me and risking being killed or harmed by you, we agree to respect each other in our mutual best interest. This saves energy and increases our efficiency (we spend less time creating defenses and attacking each other) thus giving us both more time to concentrate on survival.
That my friend is what rights are. What people decide to do out of mutual self-interest.
Now, having said that. There is the problem of information. We lack the information to understand the consequences of everything we do or have done. As new information comes available, our notion of rights has changed. The subjugation of black people as property as an example.
I should have answered this part of your question a little better.
No, I don’t believe that nor did I ever say it. People can agree to respect certain rights without government.
Enforcement is a little bit trickier, but people can agree to respect each other’s rights without a formal government.
That’s literally some of the stupidest stuff you’ve ever posted here. Without humans, there can be no human rights, but we are NOT “without humans,” so human rights DO exist. You have a right to be alive…hence why your killers are usually subjected to some form of punishment when identified and caught.
Ahhh…so thought experiments are a little much for you. You probably aren’t a lover of philosophy, huh?
Then you agree, rights aren’t intrinsic. They are negotiated between humans. See how easy that was?
No, people are punished because other people see the value in creating the disincentive to harm others and the practical value of incarcerating people that choose violence in spite of the rules (laws) that people have negotiated between themselves.
I never claimed otherwise. However, some human rights ARE “intrinsic.” I have precisely the rights that I claim for myself and my friends, family and neighbors and that I am willing to defend.
Give me an example of an intrinsic right, then tell me what makes it intrinsic?
I have the intrinsic right to exist by the very nature of my existence.
You exist intrinsically, that’s true, but what does it mean you have the “right” to exist intrinsically?
You’re confusing the right to continue to exist with the desire to continue to exist.
Now, if a “right” is simply what you declare, that’s not what I’m talking about.
So you think you have the authority or power to DENY my right to exist?
That’s actually a really interesting question, especially given that you were (I believe you said you were) a cop.
Power and authority (in a legal context) are derived from the “group” (assuming the group is working in something similar to a democracy). So no I don’t believe that anyone individually possesses the right to deny your existence unless the group has determined that your actions are detrimental to society. Having said that, we can go back to the Hitler example. Hitler convinced at least some Germans that Jews didn’t have the right to exist. But again, rights conveyed by the group aren’t the same as moral rights. So in a legal sense, Hitler decided Jews had no rights, but in a moral sense I would disagree and do my best to convince those around me Hitler was wrong and explain my justification so that my group never tried to deny the legal rights of individuals within a group based on their race, sex, gender etc, etc.
You were a cop. You were given the lawful authority to deny others existence if certain criteria were met.
However, having said that, without a civil society and a social contract, in places where there is no government, you have no intrinsic right to exist and the only power and authority a person needs to deny another person’s existence is the desire and capability to terminate that person. Your rights in this instance come only from what you can negotiate with those around you.
Obviously, I disagree. I’ll allow that one can honestly disagree on what are in fact God-given rights and what are not, but not buying the extrinsic argument. I believe God has spoken, even allowing for disagreement on what He said.
Excuse me. That’s an insulting stereotype, and I’ll say a naive one. Believing in a Moral Law Giver does not make one incapable of thinking for one’s self.
Even if you believe that a god grants people rights, that changes nothing that I’ve claimed. That is unless you believe your god is going to come down here and protect/ enforce your rights. Otherwise, you are in the same position I am. We are both trying to convince others. You are trying to convince others that their rights are given by a god, I’m trying to convince others there are practical reasons for agreeing to grant each other rights.
In the end, nothing changes. If people don’t believe in your god or maybe they do, but they believe their god is superior to your and grants them rights over you…WHatever. It’s still all about trying to convince others you have rights.
Where did I say that the “sheep” are people that believe in a moral lawgiver? It’s ironic you’d take it that way.
Anyone that doesn’t take the time to consider where their rights come from are intellectually lazy IMO. That doesn’t mean people who have given the issue thought and have determined that a god is the answer are lazy, just wrong from my point-of-view. But I’m sure you think I’m wrong. Touche.
BS, CS. God helps those who help themselves. If YOU (or anyone else) tries to take away from me what I consider to be my God-given rights, you’ll be resisted in ways you can’t begin to imagine…period.