4 thoughts on “Rights”

  1. I don’t know how far such thinking will get you. You’re relying very heavily on logic for something so important as one’s own life. We know what lawyers, philosophers, engineers, physicists and mathematicians do in the name of logic, and we know from experience to question every statement made by mere mortals based on what they claim to be logic.

    I like the way the Founding Fathers defined rights. They based their rights on their Creator. In other words, whatever it was that created the universe the way it is, gave them, by that act of creation, the unalienable rights we have today.

    And so it follows that a right is something that I am allowed to do by my very existence that doesn’t contradict Natural Law—the universal moral code by which all matter, living and non-living, is universally bound. This relies on two parts: a definition of what I am in relation to the universe (which is why you have kings and such claiming rights by their bloodline), and a definition of what that moral code is that governs the universe.

    If I want to discover more rights, I have to come to understand more about the Creator and the code he used to set things in motion, or understand more about myself.

    This creates some rights you would not define as a right, and destroys others, since I am defining my rights based on things like the Ten Commandments and the laws that Jesus laid down when he was on the earth. For instance, I don’t have a right to covet other’s property, even though the act of coveting itself isn’t immediately injurious to the other person. Yes, we have to think about whether we have the right to punish someone for violating their own rights, and it is not always clear whether or not we do, but it is something we need to understand and think about nonetheless.

    By the way, claiming someone’s argument is invalid because they were spanked as a child is an ad hominem attack. I know you can do better than that.

  2. By the way, I find it remarkable that you stick with UPB. There are some pretty damning arguments against it. I wouldn’t tie myself with that philosophy, even if the premise is appealing.

  3. Luckily I don’t tie myself to any theory, and I am always happy to hear your logical and empirical arguments against it … unfortunately so far there are none :-/

  4. Let me address those:

    I don’t know how far such thinking will get you.

    So far it has enabled me to solve an age old question without having to derive an ought from an is, without having to involve existing superstitions such as gods, and without having to involve existing fantasies such as governments … so I’m pretty satisfied with that so far, but of course I’ll always be happy to stand corrected in the face of convincing arguments.

    You’re relying very heavily on logic for something so important as one’s own life.

    Yes, I absolutely do, and that’s the whole point here.

    We know what lawyers, philosophers, engineers, physicists and mathematicians do in the name of logic, and we know from experience to question every statement made by mere mortals based on what they claim to be logic.

    I’m not sure what lawyers have to do with logic, but I can tell you what physicists and mathematicians do in the name of logic: They come up with theories that work. And yes, I absolutely question a statement that is based on what someone claims to be logic. This, in fact, affirms the validity of logic …

    I like the way the Founding Fathers defined rights. They based their rights on their Creator. In other words, whatever it was that created the universe the way it is, gave them, by that act of creation, the unalienable rights we have today.

    And so it follows that a right is something that I am allowed to do by my very existence that doesn’t contradict Natural Law—the universal moral code by which all matter, living and non-living, is universally bound. This relies on two parts: a definition of what I am in relation to the universe (which is why you have kings and such claiming rights by their bloodline), and a definition of what that moral code is that governs the universe.

    I understand the concept of natural law and wrote about it myself before. Rothbard heavily relied on natural law ethics and so did Ayn Rand. I have since improved my approach to ethics by getting rid of the is-ought dichotomy which this kind of approach is and will always be suffering from.

    If I want to discover more rights, I have to come to understand more about the Creator and the code he used to set things in motion, or understand more about myself.

    This creates some rights you would not define as a right, and destroys others, since I am defining my rights based on things like the Ten Commandments and the laws that Jesus laid down when he was on the earth. For instance, I don’t have a right to covet other’s property, even though the act of coveting itself isn’t immediately injurious to the other person. Yes, we have to think about whether we have the right to punish someone for violating their own rights, and it is not always clear whether or not we do, but it is something we need to understand and think about nonetheless.

    But this “Creator” by definition doesn’t exist. So anything you base upon his existence faces the same potential for error as a mathematical theory that is based upon the proposition that 1=0. It requires no further inquiry.

    As to the effects: The problems with basing your concept of rights on a blatantly contradictory fairy tale are clearly visible out in the world. Once you go down that path you enter a flurry of hypocrisy and contradiction. Sometimes murder is good, sometimes it’s bad, sometimes theft is good, and sometimes it’s bad, sometimes you have the right to your own body, at other times your parents do, etc.

    By the way, claiming someone’s argument is invalid because they were spanked as a child is an ad hominem attack. I know you can do better than that.

    … and I never said your argument was invalid because you were spanked as a child.

    You may be referring to the theory that people in general hold bigoted beliefs in part because they were abused as a child, and there is lots of evidence out there to support that thesis, but, as always, I will gladly receive your crushing and well researched counter evidence.

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