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In your opinion what makes something a "right"

JanePrice 5 Apr 16

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Natural rights? Constitutional rights? Moral rights? I always taught my kids people have the right to be born and eaten by a predator. Every other right is conferred by society. Society can be a fickel thing.

Thanks for responding! Interesting! I like your catagories. So what determines a natural right? a moral right? I understand the constitutional right. It seems like at least in a constitutional right the "right" is defined by someone outside of yourself. The right then governs those under the authority of the constitution. So who defines a natural or moral right? If there are different types of rights how does one decide which rights trump other rights? Why do kids have the right to be born? What do you mean by the right to be eaten by a predator? I suspect you meant that a bit tongue in cheek but what do you mean by that?

@JanePrice Our evolution spans many millions of years. Homo Sapiens 150,000 to 200,000. Think about ancient homo sapiens 75,000 years ago. Small tribal groups living with almost no technology in a natural but hostile world. Man would be a prey animal. Food for the beast. Predators look for the slow and weak (like an infant). The only rights they had were conferred by their tribe (group protection). You don't keep up with the tribe - you don't last long. I'm using the term "natural rights" to describe the "rights" primitive man had in those times. Fair chance that predation took a lot of folks out. Where were their "rights? Hence any "rights" you have (beyond being eaten) are provided by society (or you tribe). Anything that is given by others can be taken (society can be fickle). I think it's important to recognize the tenuous and delicate nature of "rights". Only when viewed comparatively can we understand how vigilant we must be to protect them.

@Demere So you bring up a good point. Do rights only exist between homo sapians? Do animals have rights? If animals have rights do they have the same rights as homo sapiens? It seems according to your intial definition you would say yes. They have the right to be born and to be eaten. I wonder though are those things rights or are they only circumstances.

@JanePrice your observation is correct. Animals have only the “rights” we (society) confer upon them. Just like us. That’s why we eat cows but not dogs. Different societies, across time, have had many different views. That’s why “rights” conferred by society are malleable, dangerous and precious. A good topic to think about. Thanks.


There is but one "right"..."to life" how that plays out is a far more complicated and often convoluted issue all together.

Thanks for replying KebblerFox! Why do you believe there is only one right? Where did that right come from? Do all things with life have a right to it? How do you define life?

@JanePrice there is only the one "right" to life because all comes from life. This "right" came from your inception. All living beings have a right to life... it is however, when the complications and convolutions that often deprive many from the "right" to life. Many, many things. You could guess many of them yourself, off the top of your head.

@KebblerFox How about human-chimeras? Clones? These are also living things.

@JayKane a long long time ago geneticists solved a problem. during this process, mistakes were made. what you see as new...cloning, genetic engineering, splicing genes in plants and not new. in fact, we are only discovery our own past.

@JayKane the chimeras are indeed some of the most fascinating.

@JayKane even these errors, were allowed to live and flourish. many only lived a short period of time...many exist among us even today. it is always when human nature is threatened...existentially.


Hillsdale college covers this in one of their constitution courses. Though not a direct part of the actual constitution, those who crafted it did so with the rights of individuals in mind.

They figure, a right is what makes up a core component of human nature. You have a right to live. You have a right to better yourself and acquire property through finances or labor to acquire finances, a right to have your voice heard by your elected representatives, a right to believe in what faith you would like and not have any government entity tell you that you couldn't.

SpaceWillie2000 thanks for your thoughts...Hilldale College keeps entering my awareness a lot in the past couple of years! I like this list! I'm curious about the one that says I have a right to be heard by my elected representatives! I certainly don't feel like I am heard by my government. Just size alone seems to make that impossible. Seems like an argument for less government...GO CLASSICAL LIBERALISM! 🙂


Great question! I believe the founding fathers of the United States put a great deal of thought into this question. They defined our rights as the right to LIFE, LIBERTY, and PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (to keep what you make/work for). The bill of rights is not our right but how we guarantee them or protect them.

Thanks Sunrise45! I have no problem with Life and Liberty. But I am not totally convinced I have the RIGHT to pursue happiness. And what happens when my pursuit conflicts with someone elses pursuit of happiness?

@JanePrice You have the right to argue with your community and hopefully the platform to be heard and then you have to have a fair argument, that is convincing enough to the collective society to implement the right to engage in your personal desire aka whatever crazy thing you think will bring you happiness and if all goes well, the majority, assuming it's democratic, says, " Yeah, that's chill" and our hired elects sign a paper and you have a stamp of approval to pursue that kink or whatever.


Ideally, we should all have the Rights to Life, Liberty, Self-protection, and personal property, and the fruits of our labor.

Thanks for your thoughts MarPep! I like your list! How do you define liberty? What makes it an inherant right?

@JanePrice Liberty is the freedom to do as we wish so long as we do not interfere in the rights or property of others

@MarPep I'm asking questions to help me clarify my own thoughts about rights. In your initial post you used the word "right" to define "right" and also the word liberty. When I asked what your definition of liberty was you used the word right in the definition again. Although I think I probably agree with your ideas to be clear I'm trying to not use the word I'm trying to define in my definition of that word. I tried to find another word that describes the concept of right and I had trouble coming up with a term that satisfied me. Do you understand my quandry?

@JanePrice We should all have rights, but there must be limitations --and those limitations pop up when we imfringe on the same Rights of others. I think you can figure out a way to say it without my help.

@MarPep that's right.

@MarPep Interesting! I was having a in real life discussion with my daughter about the idea of a right infringing on someone else and it does seem to add to the weight of the idea that it shouldn't be when the right infringed upon is the same right being used to do the infringing (was that clear as mud?) So lets take free speech. If free speech is actually an inherant right and I'm not completely convinced yet that it is. My free speech does not prohibit you from also practicing your free speech. You may not like what I have to say but it does not keep you from saying something in response. My daughter argued that we have a right to live in dignity and that my free speech could encroach on her right to live in dignity. Given that I'm not sure that living in dignity or free speech are inherant rights and not socital and volentary rights what are your thoughts on the idea that infringement only happens between like rights?

@REParker YES! I think you are getting to the idea of the conversation I was having with my daughter. That today people seem to hold with their ideas of rights the idea that society is "responsible" for upholding their rights in some way or responsible for providing for their rights in some way. However if our rights are inherent then they are outside of the purvey of society. I think also a distinction needs to be made between the RIGHT to something and the consequences of you choosing to exercise your right. We have the freedom to make choices but we do not have the freedom to demand certain consequences, that is counter to reality.

@JanePrice We form governments to help secure our Rights by use of centralized law and force. Living a life of dignity is not a right, but is a worthy goal--and the actions of others do not necessarily give or remove dignity from our Life--but our responses to such actions do.


Rights are not given, they are taken. Permission is given.

Thanks for replying cRaZyTMG! So if I can take something from you it is then my "right"? That seems like a version of "might makes right" is that what you mean?

@JanePrice Unless I exert my right to keep my property otherwise I am tacitly giving you permission to take it.

Imho, the scenario you describe is in fact the ONLY role the government has vis a vie our rights that is to say, to prevent your rights from trampling my rights.

But first we have to agree on the concept of property rights, hence why documents like the bill of rights are created. It documents what we agree on and what a "justice of the peace / peace officer" would use to arbitrate our conflict.

For example, If you were muslim and I wasn't, Sharia would allow you keep my property.

I have the right to disagree jaja

@fisherman0707 You have my permission... if you're spanish. gfy if you're german.

@cRaZyTMG So I think this is somewhere I might like to make a distinction. Would you agree that there are maybe levels of rights. First primary rights that are ours because of who we are ie living human being on planet earth. And then there are secondary rights that are our because we are members of a defined society?

@cRaZyTMG I am Canadian and GFYS

@cRaZyTMG I don't need yourpermission dip shit

@JanePrice I was answering your challenge from a logical/philosophical viewpoint. To establish a PEACEFUL society require codification into agreements that delineate how we coexist in a limited resources world. For agreement to be reachable, a society has to have commonality of values (i.e religion?) and that "stand for" the same basic hierarchy of values. To continue my example, Judean/Christian religions all have very similar values. Along comes Islam with its "We are the chosen ones and we either ignore you completely or make you our property" with its own Sharia codification. These two systems cannot coexist. They could exist together in one country as long as the specific communities were to be governed separately with their own court systems. Britain has some examples of family courts using sharia in some purely muslim neighbourhoods now.
Sorry for rambling but its a convoluted situation. Back to your question. If you want to define some "rights" as being external to the self and some that come from "society" that's fine. Just remember that the external rights are given to whatever value system(s) shows up - no matter what "rights" would be "given" after it becomes the controlling government. I'd suggest treading carefully.


What make something a right is nature. Children get the notion instinctively, as in "mine,"and "No! You can't make me." It takes years of socialization to beat it out of them, and then years more of education to put it back in, with the caveat that, "and he does, too."

Thanks govols! I'll have to think on that. So at the core a right is something even a child instinctively defends?

The Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

@JanePrice I think so, yes.It seems to be true.

@KebblerFox I'm not sure..... No. I don't understand your comment.


I believe it was laid out in the bill of right's. And then the Constitution should be upheld to follow through with the rest.

That might be one defnition but I think "rights" existed before the United States did so I guess I am looking for a more basic definition.

By the way thank you for responding I appreciate you taking the time to discuss!

@JanePrice the bill of right's is the basic right's given by GOD i don't know if it gets any more clearer then that

@Gerri4321 Can you tell me how you know the rights are given by God? I don't remember seeing his name on the bottom of the constitution. I'm not arguing that you are wrong but if it is to be clear that God gives those rights where did God communicate that?

@JanePrice the bill of right's are human right's live liberty's and pursuit of happiness.
Would thst not include presonal protection, freedom, free speech, ect?

@Gerri4321 The bill of rights are acknowledgements of preexisting rights that were not granted or to be curtailed by any form of government that may come forth from the outline in our nation's charter document. God is mentioned in the declaration of independence but nowhere else.

@JayKane then were do these right's come from? Live = god liberty= God and so on. Preexisting from where, who? What? Air? Water?


Are you asking about Natural Rights or societal rights or both?

Thanks for asking KnowThyMind! I think I am asking about Natural Rights. If I am understanding your distinction correctly I would say societal rights are derived from Natural rights. I would say there would be fewer natural rights than societal rights but that societal rights could never trump or conflict with natural rights. So Societal Rights might expand natural rights but never contract to less than Natural rights.


Anything you could do alone on a deserted island is a right.

Change my mind. Seriously.

I love it. But what about the other side of a right? They all come with the inherent responsibilty to not abuse them correct? So if you're alone on an island, can you abuse your own right to life? Or liberty? Or property? Or to choose?

@Tommy6915 HMM Thanks for your thoughts! I could run around naked on an island by myself but I don't know that that means I have the RIGHT to do it everywhere. This again gets to what I think about heirarchy of rights. There are rights I have simply because I am a human alive on earth and then there are rights I have because I am a member of a society. The first rights I would think wouldn't change whether I was on an island alone or in a megatropolis. The second rights I think would change because they would not be MY rights but the rights of a member of a specifically defined group that I was a member of. Thoughts?


That explains it well i think. Realisticly though, if you're alone on an island rights aren't an issue. Only when someone else lands on that island, do they come into play.

I think the very thought experiment of rights comes into exsistance the moment you have more than one conscious person. Morality, identities and there for rights, are just the by product of societal life and each added person collectively determining how to manage a healthy relationship among one another. Really rights just translate into fairness and establishing a set of rules/ethics to keep as many safe as possible within the collective group and by safe, I mean benefiting each singular ambition with the collective. If you've ever been in a serous partnership with another person, you naturally will establish this and so fourth.

@Tommy6915 You can still abuse your right to life on a desert island--kill yourself. You can still abuse your right to property--waste it, burn it, destroy it. You can still abuse liberty--set meaningless rules and choose to live by them. You can abuse the right to make choices by making stupid choices.

@Tommy6915, @JanePrice I think you probably do have a right to walk around naked; it is just not one that society chooses to accept. Like we have the right to go get justice on those who wronged us, but we hand it over to the government to do instead of us.


I could agree to the right to life part, but the rest? If you're the only one, then all is done according to you, actually you even have the right to do with your life what you want. End it? It's your right by your standard 'cause you're the only one to make a judgment, right (no pun intended)?

@Tommy6915 Well just because you have the right to do something does not mean that it is not an abuse of that right. Or maybe I misunderstood your comments...


Sure it can be an abuse, but according to whom? There's one else there.

@Tommy6915 But you said that rights "come with the inherent responsibility to not abuse them." I agree with this statement. However, then you argued that if you are alone on an island you cannot abuse those rights--or at least you questioned the ability to abuse rights while alone on an island.

I think we have different conceptions of "abuse." I think abuse can be determined objectively. For example, if I cut myself, then I am abusing myself. It does not matter that I wanted to cut myself because it gives me some benefit. It's abuse of a right to do with my body what I want to. Likewise, I don't think it matters that I wanted to burn my house down, that was an abuse of my property rights. Sure, I was acting within that property right, but it was an abuse of that right--I used that right improperly.

I think we can probably apply a reasonableness standard to determine whether the exercise of a right is an abuse of that right: "would a reasonable person in the same or similar circumstances think that using a right in this specific way was immoral or improper?"

I don't think it matters that nobody else is on this hypothetical island. The island aspect is merely a thought-experiment intended to make it easier to think about the different things you could do. I think those things would be things you have a natural right to do. (You could hold weapons, make your own house on the land, own property, spend your time how you would like, sleep when you would like, etc.) Now, whether society wants to accept those rights is a different discussion (ex. walking around naked and screaming profanities is not something society would likely want to allow).

The island thought experiment is a pretty good starting point for determining which rights are natural and which ones are not natural. Do you have a right to medical care on the island? No, of course not--nobody is there to give it to you. Do you have a right to college education? No. What about clean water? No. What about food? No. Basic income? No. You see my point.

I think you can add other people onto the island and continue the experiment.


In the USA, the constitution!!!! All we need is a judicial system that enforces it!!!

interestingly, the constitution is less about rights and more about structuring power. The Constitution does not give many rights or limit rights. It limits the government's power to take away rights. Our rights flow from us. The Constitution presumes that we have rights. The bill of rights is a type of last resort protection.


The constitution doesn't give ANY rights. It is a contract between the States and the federal gov't, with llimited powers so as not to infringe on the rights of the States OR the people, and the Bill of Rights only enumerates certain rights, not to exclude all others.

@plebeian_lobster Rights come from GOD. Also, rights can be earned (from someone like your parents), like went you were allowed to ride your bicycle, alone. The constitution gives us a way to keep them when we are adults. Until the left over rules them

I think I will just quote the great philosopher George Carlin...


I am Right and you are wrong end of discussion this is my debate


Turing opposite of left. Couldn't help it

@Tommy6915 or the opposite of what Bugs Bunny takes in Albuquerque?


But seriously, imo a right is whatever allows you to freely and peacefully live your life among others, and verified by its inability to be given or taken away by anyone.

@Tommy6915 I keep stumbling over the idea that a right can't be taken away. I want to argue that I have a right to life but my life can be taken away by someone against my will. BUT if I take your defintion with the AND as a one part of two of a conditional conjunction and not an either/or conjunction then I think I like your defintion even better.


No one CAN take your right away. You are free to WAIVE a right, which we unknowingly do all the time, but it can't be taken. Your life can be ended against your will, but it can't be taken.

An infringement on your right is not a taking, but a crime. Believing otherwise is a result of being sold on the idea that others have authority over us (use it or lose it), when we're really just being conned to waive our rights volentarily, thereby GIVING someone authority.

Make sense?

@Tommy6915 So you make a distinction between a right being taken away and an infringement?

@JanePrice absolutely

Today, free speech is a prime example. It's being infringed upon in the form of censorship & free speech zones. That's a right, like all others, that's protected by law. To infringe upon it causes harm and is a crime. They're not taking the right, they're prohibiting it.

Where we're confused is in our perception of authority. We all have natural rights not given by any man so man has no authority to take them away. We also have, if we choose to, benefits and privilages granted by govts we create to protect those rights & insure domestic tranquility, as a consequence of living in a society.

When we apply to a govt for a license, for example, we're asking for a privilage to do something that is otherwise illegal, the ability to which only the state can grant, and only the state can take away, and therein lies its authority that WE have granted IT. For instance marriage. People were getting married long before licenses, it's our natural right to contract, and the only right mentioned in the Constitution itself. But we've been conned into waiving that right, and asking for a privilage from the state, in the form of a license. Difference being the former is a covenant with God as the authority, and all of our rights intact , the latter is a contract with the state as the authority and those rights waived for benefits.

This is a long-winded response, but i hope it helped


depends on how you are using the word. Right as in correct vs Wrong as in incorrect? Right as in Right hand vs Left hand? Right as in socio-politically conservative vs Left as in socialist collectivism? Right as in incapable of being denied certain things like life, liberty... vs Privileged as in that which is granted by man and therefore may be denied by men?

iThink thank you for your reply and GREAT QUESTIONS! I am trying to define those things that are inherent and inalienable characteristics guaranteed to me because I am a human living on earth. I would say they should NOT be denied by man but they can be denied by man. Like I believe that life is a human right and someone can absolutely deny me life but its then murder and wrong for them to do so. So the fact that something can be taken away does not mean it is not a right.


It is entirely up to God as to what makes something a "right". Contrary to popular believe rights are not granted by the government. And most important God given rights can not be taken away - not without a fight. Also with any right comes responsibility.

Thanks for answering DPTrainor! So what rights do you think God has given us?

@JanePrice Hello Jane, I shall attempt an answer. I am not an expert. My take is that we generally understand "rights" mostly in modern context (yet derived from ancient times) and fortunately for us understood by the our constitutional framers (at least in the US) to include the rights to life, liberty and to pursue happiness and safety of ourselves and family, to enter into voluntary and agreed upon exchange, to freely associate only with those we wish, and to exercise our individual economic rights including personal and real property, but not other person. Those are the basics.... Love and Let live. And to be left alone to worship God or not. Many believe these concepts are so darn self-evident, they must come from a higher order. But, for sure these rights do not come from the constitution, rather they are more fundamental natural law and actually come from God. It is just that they are fortunately reflected in the constitution. Jefferson was a reader of Locke. Where did Loke get his ideas? Exercise for the reader. Ultimately the origins go back to ancient times and passed down as truth and also found in scripture but I shall leave to Theologians. The tracing is not so easy. That study might answer your question more fundamentally or may get fuzzy. Anyway these rights are unalienable because they are directly given by God and can't not be taken away by men even by force as they don't actually go away ever. They are immutable. Also, every human being may exercise any unalienable right on an equal and absolute basis, free from the interference of others, particularly the government, as we as individuals are sovereign in the eyes of God. And fortunately written into the US constitution. We are sovereign and therefore have freedom from a repressive government that make seek to use power to infringe and lets say over step our consent. Our government only gets its power by our collective consent. The consent of sovereign individuals indirectly through representatives. Our system is starting to break down due to expansion of government and hence corruption and state seeking power over us thinking they know what is best for us deplorables. lol Infringement. But, that is a whole other topic... Hahaha. Hope that helps...

@DPTrainor EXCELLENT! I have only one maybe hairsplitting disagreement but I am trying to be Socratic in my investigation so hairsplitting is part of the goal...My disagreement is that your rights even your inherent rights CAN be taken away, but it is WRONG for them to be taken away. You have a right to life but I can take your life way but it would be wrong for me to do so. Would you agree?

@JanePrice Hello Jane, good point and question. You getting into the nuances here which is a good thing. I love this platform where longer socratic conversations can take place without judgement. Refreshing. Now to the general question can my immutable rights be taken away. Lets explore some of them and lead back to your example for is a hard one. OK, I have a right to my personal property and now someone steals my car. Does that right go away? No. Let's look at other examples. The government decides to place me in prison by force without due process. Has my right to liberty been taken away. Nope. It's still there. I can remain in prison for many years, yet my inherit right to liberty remains steadfast. What if some person or organization prevented me from associating with people I desire to congregate with to say worship God? Does that unalienable right go away. No. It is still a right. We could enumerate through them all, but you see where I am going. Many examples. Now to your example. You take my Life. I am Dead. Did that really take away my right of Life. I would argue No. The right existed before and even after my life. It's only nothing can bring me back to life (on earth) obviously, but the right itself is lets say immutable and does not go away. A slight twist but more than semantics or even splitting hairs. Rights are truly immutable! I could argue the other way, but that would not expand the discussion and i would not believe myself 🙂 Good discussion. I remember, it is ok to disagree. LOL. And I know you know that. Cheers, dan

@DPTrainor Excellent distincting! I think I see your point now!


whatever your willing to fight and / or die for. if you can make it happen, and noone can stop you, its a right

Thank you for replying Spearcypher. So a right only exists if I'm willing to fight to the death for it? So someone who can't fight has no rights?



We have two basics rights the self to self defence and the right to free speech if you have neither you are not free

Thanks for replying fisherman0707 so a right is precursor to freedom? That is an interesting thought.

@JanePrice without fundamental rights there is no freedom

@fisherman0707 I would think by that definiton you would also need to add the right to life. It is hard to be "free" if you are dead...unless of course you believe the dead reach nirvana but that brings up a whole different discussion doesn't it?


The constitution. Period.

Thanks benoitdavid that is certainly one definition of a type of right but I'm looking for a more basic defintion because otherwise 'a right" only came into existence with the constitution. Did individuals not have rights before then? Did the constitution actually confer our rights or did it just recognize them?

@EdNason How you choose what to write on that paper, that's another question.

@JanePrice We have the rights we give ourselves. At the beginning the only rights you had was probably the ones your strenght you give you. Men, at some point, sat down and thought it through.

@benoitdavid And so if a "right" I give myself conflicts with a "right" someone else gives themself the only true "right" is the one that can be defended by strength. So "might makes right"?

@JanePrice I'm not sure what you mean by "might makes right", but socialized individuals will make laws to insure rights and enforce these laws with a police. Rights are chosen and enforced.

@benoitdavid edited to say I know "might makes right" as a quote from King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table. It means that being the strongest and able to enforce your beliefs means they are right. It is the mantra of a totalitarian governmental ideal. So for you socialized individuals define rights? How do you define socialized?

@JanePrice I am Canadian but US Constitution confirmed them into law

@fisherman0707 so as a Canadian the US Constitution defines your rights?

@JanePrice The canadian constitution defines Canadians' rights. And that is precisely my point. Rights are different in every countries.


I had to find correct words, a "right" is a rule most will allow even though opinions are different it is agreed upon.

Thanks for answering MilesPurdue. So you believe a right is defined by majority opinion?

@JanePrice I think a legal right is guided by opinion, I think most are looking at a will, as I will do this because I want too, others in power allow, that is a right. If you follow the Bible, as those starting this country, God gave Man free Will, so seems a Right agreed upon allows the free Will to do as you want.


That given by God as Jefferson stated.

Thanks KG4ooa so are all things given by God rights? If I believe in God, which I do, there are things given to me by God such as siblings, parents, a place and time of birth but are these things "rights"? How would you explain a "right" to someone who does not believe in God?

@JanePrice they have a problem and will remain my enemy.


Tougher question than it seems on the surface. People will jump to the constitution, but I'd say we have rights as human beings that come well before the constitution. There are also limitations. In my opinion, nobody has the right to regulate my possession of drugs that can help me or my family. NOBODY--NO ENTITY has that right. Nobody really has the right to take up all of the land and then tell you that you have to pay them for it. Guns? Protecting myself and those around me? I have a right by my status as a full equal being on the planet. NOBODY can take that away from me. We could go further--like who has the right to tell you that you have to wear a seatbelt and they can fine you if you don't? Who has the right to tell you that you can't commit suicide or help someone else commit justifiable suicide? We pretend like we live in liberty, but this isn't liberty. Now, some of the rules are probably necessary--more so as we over-populate for economic reasons. More people = more regulation. It's complicated. But, this is my opening salvo...

I would agree that the constitution can not "define rights" because I would argue "rights" existed before the United States existed.

You say your rights are defined by your status as a fully equal being on earth. What happens though when your "right" clashes with someone elses "right" if you are equal who wins?

Thanks for your "salvo" by the way! I appreciate you taking the time to answer!

@JanePrice, that's where things MIGHT get more complicated, BUT, not necessarily so. Take the drug thing. I may get hooked and then start stealing from others to pay for them. But, I'd argue the offense is stealing--not the drugs. Stealing is trampling someone else's right. It's punishable. If you come into my house uninvited with nefarious intentions, you're sacrificing your right to live. I'm not trampling your right to life by dealing with the threat. Your right to life does not supersede my family's right to life, and while you may be entering to make sure my iced tea jug is full, I don't know that. Best knock and ask. You'll have to provide a more conflicting example if you want to talk about such things. So many things are gray and/or have exceptions.

@chuckpo I'll have to think on that because to give you a specific example we would have to agree that something was a specific right and I'm not sure we have even agreed on what a "right" is yet. Its hard to have a discussion without an agreement of terms, but I'll see if I can think of an example.

@JanePrice, I didn't pick up on that part of your response. Go there instead. What do you think a right is? And, what would you constitute as innate rights?

@chuckpo Hey I'm asking the questions here...🙂 Just kidding! I'm still working this out. Because I believe in a Creator God I would say a right is something bestowed by God and should not be taken away by another human. I would say there are at a minimum two rights recognized by God. 1. the right to life and 2. the right to choose whether to love God or not. I believe that all humans have an inherent value because they are created in the image of God but I am not sure that entitles us to any additional rights. I think with rights come responsibilities. I also believe that there are maybe secondary rights conferred by avowing allegiances to groups but these are voluntary rights now inalienable rights.

@JanePrice, haha, you're funny. By the way, I'm not quizzing you. I don't have the answers either. But, together we COULD get closer. Maybe. God certainly solves a lot of problems when it comes to rights--morals, values, etc.

But, let's look beyond that for just a second. Answer this question. Who on planet earth has the right to define what you have a right to? Which person has some type of inherent value that exceeds yours? And, what is THAT power based on? (ok, THESE questions).

The answer to those questions supersedes rights conferred by groups of people. So, we kind of have to get that one done first.

@chuckpo Quiz away! I'm a classical educator...questions are how I learn! I will think on your questions but will probably have to get back to answering it tomorrow....east coast USA here and I think my husband has already fallen asleep on the couch since I'm in the office/bedroom with all the lights still on typing away!


A right is something that we are allowed to do or say without legal consequences

So you see a right as something defined by law?

I forgot to thank you for taking the time to reply! I appreciate it!


Anything the government cannot rule over.

Thanks Username69 for your thoughts. I think that is a good place to start. That is definitely a characteristic of a right. I guess what I'm trying to nail down is that it seems the loud voices these days seem to be shouting about infringement of their rights and I am trying to understand what truly are our rights and what are just our selfish wants.

@JanePrice that is part of the issue is that people are heading over and over that their wants are their rights.

Governments only have the authority granted by the people, but the very nature of govt is force, so eternal vigilance is requiref.


Rights should be based on a balance between natural law and the Divine nature of the human condition. The dignity of fair treatment and fair opportunity inside a civil and equally regulated society based on an equal creation by a shared creator. These rights to be exercised and protected under a blind and equally administered system of positive (man made) laws.

As people sadly trend to less interest, belief or acceptance of the Divine their behaviors move slowly but wholly towards nature and nature as their god. The simple laws of nature is eat or be eaten in a backdrop of chaos. People attempt to apply a template of balance to nature and its systems but this is just vain. The balance assumes a best case scenario or a how it should be stance.

People bring a similar fallacy to rights as dignity and divine become scarce. They begin to devise a balance, they work towards how it should be as the strong abuse the weak and justice becomes multi tiered. People want to make it right and begin to create rights that do not exist. This is the point where all men are created equal goes through the lens of nature and becomes....all animals are created equal but...some animals are more equal than others!

Thanks 10thGeneration's! "Two legs good, four legs bad" eh? 🙂


Jane I want to see too. I grew up an orphan living the streets in southern Cal, a little rebel. The "right" and the "left" didn't matter, I saw the good and bad. I have been called right and left so I see that in the right and the left, but the media makes it even harder. Is it just a play with words?

I see your other comment. I think your other comment is the type of "right" I was asking about but I see how my original question my have been confusing. Thanks for answering.

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