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Poll

Well, do they...PUNK?

Yes, they are self evident.
No, they're a fantasy.
Once we claim them, they come into existence.
Only as far as we defend them.
Only as far as others respect them.

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Author Topic: DO RIGHTS EXIST?  (Read 27494 times)

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dalebert

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2006, 01:39:16 PM »

I think this is a crucial question for Libertarians to ask and be able to answer. Rights are a human construct, and if we try to claim otherwise, we put ourselves in the undesirable position of trying to defend a belief system that's based on faith. We should be arguing for why individual freedoms and voluntary cooperation is superior to the use of force to achieve our individual goals as well as our shared goals. That's an argument that we can win on the basis of logic. Belief in innate rights is similar to a religious belief. It's an intangible thing. You may feel it in your heart and it may make sense for you to treat that as evidence, but it's irrational to expect someone else to share your belief based on a divine inspiration that you feel internally and he doesn't. Thomas Paine talked about this with respect to religion.

If we can argue and even give tangible evidence for how freedom moves every individual and the entire human race forward, then maybe they will start to feel it as well-- that yes, this is how things SHOULD be. Freedom is distinctively RIGHT and tyranny is distinctively WRONG.

rollins100

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2006, 06:59:42 PM »

I think it's sad that we are even in need of having this conversation.  Every American should be pissed about what's going on these days.  Most people, it would seem, just don't care, or don't think it affects them. 

Alas...
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cyber_krack

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2006, 03:09:05 PM »

Rights are valid claims to property. In other words, all rights are property rights.

^^ This is the correct answer and the one we must delve into deeper in order to be able to best defend a non-theological/non-theocratic concept of Rights. In order to define this we must also define what "property" itself is. There is no point in saying "valid claims to property" if we are not sure what property is

I'll start us off, please feel free to work off of this:

1. Upon birth the only piece of "property" I own is your self, and though someone else may have custodial status over it at that point, it still belongs to me. This is not because of another power gifting me the ownership of my body, but because I add value to the otherwise lifeless flesh and bones by being able to use it, train it, improve it, etc.

2. The method for acquiring more property is to add value to existing property through the use of your property. If all I own is my mind and body, I can use these to add value to other pieces of property. The previously non-existent added-value(AV) becomes my property. It did not exist before I added them, and thus, the creation of this value by my makes it mine. The value did not exist before I created it, and thus what you create is yours.

3. Rights come from what I can do to this AV or property of mine. It is my right to do anything to my AV or property as long as I do not destroy the AV or property of another. I can trade it for goods, services, or money; I can choose to use it for myself; or I can choose to destroy it (as long as I am only destroying my own property and AV).

4. If anyone is attempting to take, use, or destroy my property (without my consent) I have the right to defend against these actions. The original goal of the government was to help me accomplish this goal of protecting my property.

5. I can acquire more property through free (not forced) trade and barter with other property owners and thus claim the same rights over it as if I had added the value to it myself.

6. The right to free speech, like every right, comes from my right to use my property, in this case my mind and body. The rights of the press come from the rights of property owners to add value to their property (paper for example) with their thoughts, or recollections of events.

Feel free to comment, critique, or add to this post.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 03:10:46 PM by cyber_krack »
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robbyweber82

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2006, 02:15:36 AM »

the current state of affairs appear quite orwellian (1984)

wrong is right

freedom is slavery

ignorance is strength
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sms5150

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2006, 03:35:16 PM »

Yes, rights exist.  They flow logically from the nature of man as a rational being living in a world of scarcity.  Although the concept of rights can be derived and would be valid for an individual in isolation, I don’t think they really matter until we move into a society.  For example, Robinson Crusoe stranded on a desert island has rights as a human being.  However, it doesn’t really matter much, since there is no potential for violation of those rights.  Once Friday washes up on shore, however, rights become vitally important in order for them to define what actions are permissible for each individual. 

If we doubt the existence of rights, then we can take the counterfactual example in which we assume no rights exist.  If this is the case, then Mark is correct in his assertion that there can be no wrongs.  If you do not have the right to your life or to your property, then I am not committing any harm by taking them from you.  Ian’s resistance to this idea stems from the fact that this would still be morally wrong in absolute terms, but this stance presupposes the existence of rights.  In the absence of rights, then might is right, and we have Hobbes’s “war of all against all.” 

The idea that rights can’t exist because they can be violated is akin to saying that the law doesn’t exist because it can be broken.  That does not follow.  Rights exist, and they enable us to define what actions are permissible in a society.  Although there have been other approaches, the concept of natural rights has formed the bulk of libertarian political philosophy, and is the foundation of the non-aggression axiom.  The underlying reason that the non-aggression axiom works is that it is a valid, universal, moral law – it is equally applicable to all people, at all times, and in all places. It is only the conept of rights that enable us to identify unacceptable intrusions on our liberty.


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mikehz

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2006, 06:54:01 PM »

Ian errors in his belief that because it's possible to violate a right, rights don't exist. A right refers to something to which one is entitled. Even when your rights are violated (such as when someone assaults you or steals your things) you still retain the entitlement to those things.

sms5150 is correct in the idea that rights derive from the social nature of human beings. In any social setting, a demarcation of the limits of allowable action must be set, or chaos ensues. There are other theories of rights. For example, there is the divine right of kings theory, which states that some people possess greater rights than others. There is also the "might makes right" theory, which is that whoever has the most power can set the rules. Very popular these days is the idea that rights are cumulative, i.e., that larger numbers of people can pool their rights so as to deprive minorities of their rights. (This is the basis of collectivism.)

However, for a society based on freedom, equal rights are necessary.
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BenTucker

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2006, 08:33:12 PM »

Yes, rights exist.  They flow logically from the nature of man as a rational being living in a world of scarcity.  Although the concept of rights can be derived and would be valid for an individual in isolation, I don’t think they really matter until we move into a society.  For example, Robinson Crusoe stranded on a desert island has rights as a human being.  However, it doesn’t really matter much, since there is no potential for violation of those rights.  Once Friday washes up on shore, however, rights become vitally important in order for them to define what actions are permissible for each individual. 

If we doubt the existence of rights, then we can take the counterfactual example in which we assume no rights exist.  If this is the case, then Mark is correct in his assertion that there can be no wrongs.  If you do not have the right to your life or to your property, then I am not committing any harm by taking them from you.  Ian’s resistance to this idea stems from the fact that this would still be morally wrong in absolute terms, but this stance presupposes the existence of rights.  In the absence of rights, then might is right, and we have Hobbes’s “war of all against all.” 

The idea that rights can’t exist because they can be violated is akin to saying that the law doesn’t exist because it can be broken.  That does not follow.  Rights exist, and they enable us to define what actions are permissible in a society.  Although there have been other approaches, the concept of natural rights has formed the bulk of libertarian political philosophy, and is the foundation of the non-aggression axiom.  The underlying reason that the non-aggression axiom works is that it is a valid, universal, moral law – it is equally applicable to all people, at all times, and in all places. It is only the conept of rights that enable us to identify unacceptable intrusions on our liberty.

this is essentially the argument laid out in Alan Dershowitz's book "Rights from Wrongs"

http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/dershowitz105.htm
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BenTucker

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2006, 08:36:58 PM »

Quote
However, for a society based on freedom, equal rights are necessary.

and privilege (private law which gives special treatment to one group) is the anti-thesis of the concept of equal freedom as it always at some point leads to the shifting of costs which by definition will violate the right of self-ownership of those excluded from the privilege via theft of our labor-based property..
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Dylboz

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2006, 09:46:19 PM »

Don't hijack my thread, rent man. Your fantasy right to free money doesn't exist, because no one else respects it! It doesn't follow that all unimproved land is our property in common. It is no one's property. That is it, end of story. Since no one owns it, then you have no claim to economic rent from it or any obligation foisted on you when someone takes ownership of it through homesteading or purchase. Get out of here now, PLEASE, there are plenty of other threads for you to ruin!

NO ONE OWNS UNCLAIMED OR UNOCCUPIED LAND! NO ONE! NOT EVERYONE AS AN EQUAL ACCESS OPPORTUNITY RIGHT, BUT JUST PLAIN OLD NO ONE!
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BenTucker

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2006, 09:53:54 PM »

did you see the word "land" anywhere in that statement?

all privilege shifts costs off of the group receiving the benefit and onto society...this is the nature of EXTERNALITIES...

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Dylboz

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2006, 10:14:29 PM »

But your theory is predicated on the silly ideas you have, you know, about how existence in 3D space and self-ownership equals ownership in common of the dirt under your feet. This is the fundamental tenant from which all your reasoning flows. It's been done to death and you're wrong. Please keep it in the other threads. I want this to be about rights for real libertarians and anarcho-capitalists, not Georgists who's logic has already been refuted, but whose thick skulls cannot be penetrated by reason!
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dalebert

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2006, 11:24:07 PM »

I agree with sms5150... I think. According to purely natural law, might makes right. In other words, you can claim some property for as long as you can defend it. If you're alone in the jungle, your right to life is as good as your ability to defend yourself from the hungry tiger who is attempting to homestead your flesh for his dinner. Society is built upon the notion of rights as a basis for determining between right and wrong. Therefore, I voted that rights are only as good as the defense of said rights. We create them as a way to get along in a cooperative society and then society defends them. We determine as a society when to intervene based on someone's right getting violated. Without societal intervention, we revert back to natural law where might makes right.

Can someone explain the view of rights from an anarchist perspective? I get the gist that anarchism is belief in no government but at the same time they don't seem to approve of murder and theft. Does it just mean no organization is responsible for enforcing the right to be free from aggression? But they believe in free trade, so a voluntary neighborhood watch whereby they take turns looking after each others' property is acceptable, but then that's a very small and simple form of local government. It's like Libertarians believe in minimal government and Anarchists believe in really really REALLY minimal government.

FKnight

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2006, 11:41:59 PM »

But they believe in free trade, so a voluntary neighborhood watch whereby they take turns looking after each others' property is acceptable, but then that's a very small and simple form of local government.

From the threads I've read with the pro-anarchy crowd on the BBS, it seems that, for some reason, they don't consider it a "government" at that point.  The ony reason I've really seen anyone post is because "it doesn't tax," which is actually somewhat weak since taxation is not necessary to "govern."

But I don't speak for the pro-anarchy crowd, so don't take my word for it.  I could be wrong.

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Dylboz

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2006, 03:03:04 AM »

But they believe in free trade, so a voluntary neighborhood watch whereby they take turns looking after each others' property is acceptable, but then that's a very small and simple form of local government.

From the threads I've read with the pro-anarchy crowd on the BBS, it seems that, for some reason, they don't consider it a "government" at that point.  The ony reason I've really seen anyone post is because "it doesn't tax," which is actually somewhat weak since taxation is not necessary to "govern."

But I don't speak for the pro-anarchy crowd, so don't take my word for it.  I could be wrong.



We anarchists are in favor of competition and voluntarism. So the neighborhood watch is fine, because it's voluntary and no one has a strict monopoly on the provision of services backed by force, where participation is coerced and non-participation is punished by imprisonment, property seizure or violence. Sure, a DRO might provide a service that looks a lot like what government does now, but if they are providing that service in the context of a competeative free market with others offering similar services, and participation is voluntary, then it isn't government. Government provides services at gunpoint, and there is no option of NOT paying, even if you never use the services. If you feel you don't need the services and can take care of yourself, fine, no problem. Noo ne is goin to surveille your house with infra-red googles to see if you're growing weed, no one will bother to see if that girl leaving your house just got paid to give you a blow job or if she did it of her own free will. That joint you smoke is your own business.

Essentially, the opposition to coersion defines anarcho-capitalism. As long as a transaction is voluntary and doesn't involve fraud, it's A-OK. If you believe you have rights, you can hire a DRO to defend them. You could choose from a variety of competing businesses to defend your rights, or you could rely on yourself to do the job. If the defense of your rights runs up against another person's assertion of theirs, then your DRO's will work it out or you can voluntarily choose an arbitrator, or you can fight it out in the street (though the likely damage to 3rd party property will enevitably involve still more DRO's and would be a strong incentive to resolve your dispute peacefully without incurring further liability). Point being, individuals' rights would still exist, but the institutions protecting, defending, and resolving disputes between them wouldn't have a monopoly, but would instead compete for your business in an open market for their services.
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BenTucker

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Re: DO RIGHTS EXIST?
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2006, 06:37:58 AM »

Quote
or you could rely on yourself to do the job. If the defense of your rights runs up against another person's assertion of theirs, then your DRO's will work it out or you can voluntarily choose an arbitrator, or you can fight it out in the street

in otherwords no rules (voluntary or otherwise) but the law of the jungle...

if I voluntarily consent to a rule and then am judged (by whom?) to be in violation yet don't consent - it is law of the jungle time.
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