Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: August 19, 2022, 10:50 am

Poll: Do you believe in human rights?
This poll is closed.
Yes
57.14%
16 57.14%
No
42.86%
12 42.86%
Total 28 vote(s) 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Thread Rating:
  • 1 Vote(s) - 5 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
What Human Rights?
#21
RE: What Human Rights?
As far as I can see, a person having rights only means anything if those rights are granted/respected by a particular community.

I'm not sure how to answer the question. I believe people are granted rights in most communities, but I don't think they are inherent or universal.

One could make a case about what should be a human right, but that's no guarantee it will be.
Feel free to send me a private message.
Please visit my website here! It's got lots of information about atheism/theism and support for new atheists.

Index of useful threads and discussions
Index of my best videos
Quickstart guide to the forum
Reply
#22
RE: What Human Rights?
Rights do not exist in nature. They are social constructs, embedded in the fabric of the social contract. They obviously vary depending upon the society in question.

(July 16, 2015 at 8:51 am)ChadWooters Wrote: The idea of inalienable human rights is inconsistent with modern atheism. Period.

It's inconsistent with reality. Remember, no religion that we know of grants anyone inalienable rights ... including your Christianity.

Reply
#23
RE: What Human Rights?
I fail to see how the existence of the Abrahamic god ensures human rights. Sure, believers speak of our being imbued with dignity because we were created in their god's image and as such having a spark of the divine "breathed" into us or some such thing. But these are the same people who will use similes such as the potter and the potter's clay to talk about how our lives aren't our own at all, that we are in fact their god's possessions to be dealt with as he sees fit. For all their talk about Yahweh's nature being unchanging, none have ever convinced me that they don't worship a being who, by its nature, can't be capricious in the extreme. It seems the Biblical god, particularly in the OT, has no problem trampling the rights and dignity of people. (Yeah, yeah, I know -- they were wicked and had it coming 'cause the Biblical authors said so. Whatever.)
Reply
#24
RE: What Human Rights?
(July 16, 2015 at 8:47 am)Nestor Wrote:
(July 16, 2015 at 8:24 am)Chuck Wrote: Nothing entitles any human to anything, other than custom, legal structure, or the ability of the human to overcome obstacle and dismiss objections to taking it.
It sounds to me like you're saying that you do not believe in human rights . . . But you voted Yes?

For example, the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights states it thus: "Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible."

i believe inalienable right is a pure fiction which is overall beneficial for the majority to believe.

But you're saying that they're NOT inherent and ARE dependent on custom, legal structure, and brute force?

That's right.   It is one thing to recognize something is pure fiction.   It is another thing to evaluate whether it is beneficial overall if the majority treated it as if it were real.  I think under normal circumstances the society would change in a way that benefit the majority if the majority were to believed certain right were inalienable beyond the vagaries of human institutions,   But there are circumstances when such belief could be sharply detrimental to the society, so obviously it is necessary for some to maintain the perspective while other indulge in beneficial fantasy.
Reply
#25
RE: What Human Rights?
Quote:There's no universal right to remain silent no, but I still have that right.  There isn't anything making a universal right to remain silent an impossibility either...no more so than it is impossible for me to possess that right.  Again, like before, you just -might- get executed here in the states without a trial......but the existence of people or organizations willing to infringe upon your rights does not imply or demonstrate that they do not exist.  
Indeed, the existence of infringements doesn't make the right invalid - You have that right in the states, but is there a universal right to remain silent understood similarly between different cultures and tribes? In my country, you have the right to prosecute someone for telling secrets about you even if the facts are true, because it is a violation of privacy and private life - In some countries, you can only be prosecuted if the facts are made up or false. This is just an example of how it differs. My point is that HR are said to be universal and similar between every people, and that's not what happens. Moreover, it is said HR have always existed as inalienable, the only difference was that in the past governments never recognized them, but they still existed, they were there, just not in use - And after the French revolution we claimed the rights that have always existed - My opinion is that we simply created rights, but not that they existed before.
Quote:There isn't a universal conception of rights -at all-, but you accept that my right to remain silent exists even so..don;t you?  Why do you then decided that human rights don't or can't, on that same basis?  Whats the difference between my right to remain silent and human rights?
I accept that your right exists in America, that's a verifiable fact with empirical evidence supporting its existence. The difference here is that HR don't have evidence backing them up, none at all - There is no universally accepted conception of basic rights, you will not find it - You can find similarities specially between states with similar cultural and legal background. I didn't personally decide human rights can't or don't exist, I merely pointed out that objectively there isn't a universal notion of what constitutes fundamental rights, and even if there is a more accepted trend it is prone to change with time - Controlling reproduction is completely unacceptable and an infringement upon people's rights according to most HR proponents, but in 50 years with overpopulation we might change our ideas and start accepting it as a duty and a right itself (because other people, those who are alive have the right to live in a reasonably populated world). Most articles in the UDHR are not applied in practice.

Quote:Who argues that?  What would that (or your response in general) have to do with the impossibility of human rights in the absence of a god?
Because unless you possess knowledge on the existence of a higher being that can grants us eternally omnipresent and valuable rights and duties, there is no justification for the idea of Human Rights - There is a more accepted morality and legal definition of rights/duties for each historical era, but there isn't a universal one and you never know what will be a right or duty in the future. The right to housing, for example, was only recently seen as a basic right, 100 years ago it would be ridiculous to tell somebody you have a human right to housing. Something as basic as the right to live is not interpreted unanimously by nations - The States and Japan are both "civilized" and accept the death penalty as a worthy form of punishment, Europeans believe it violates the right to live - Some people think the right to live means you can't kill your own self, because you can't take away your own rights (inalienable can mean precisely that) and others think you can voluntarily give them up. Some folks think you can become a slave and lose all rights out of free will, others like me think you can't  just wave all your rights away infinitely and become an object.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

Reply
#26
RE: What Human Rights?
(July 16, 2015 at 12:34 pm)Chuck Wrote:
(July 16, 2015 at 8:47 am)Nestor Wrote: It sounds to me like you're saying that you do not believe in human rights . . . But you voted Yes?

For example, the U.N.'s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights states it thus: "Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible."

i believe inalienable right is a pure fiction which is overall beneficial for the majority to believe.

But you're saying that they're NOT inherent and ARE dependent on custom, legal structure, and brute force?

That's right.   It is one thing to recognize something is pure fiction.   It is another thing to evaluate whether it is beneficial overall if the majority treated it as if it were real.  I think under normal circumstances the society would change in a way that benefit the majority if the majority were to believed certain right were inalienable beyond the vagaries of human institutions,   But there are circumstances when such belief could be sharply detrimental to the society, so obviously it is necessary for some to maintain the perspective while other indulge in beneficial fantasy.

Custom and legal structure determine rights, as well as outside foreign policy influences. What determines a right, to be more exact, is mostly what the majority thinks - The law itself is an expression of the general will of the people, so what most people believe to be wrong or right is represented and approved in some sort of Law. 

Rights are fictions with real application in our lives because they grant us privileges and duties, honors and hardships - The fundamental law of any country is the constitution or equivalent legally superior text - As long as the constitution allows something, it is perfectly legal, provided that the general will agrees with what's on the constitution. 

On a more philosophical note, we all want to live in society but few of us want to get hurt - We all have a need to live peacefully, work, have property, satisfy basic needs - We all make agreements and social contracts with other people with many goals - The existence of Law (Lato sensu) is to prevent conflicts that would arise without the existence of rules to regulate how we interact with each other - But our needs greatly vary and so the Law changes as well. The purpose of rules and Law is to resolve our greatest conflicts with minimum harm to anyone to prevent complete chaos - Hence we created Laws, and quite rationally so. Rights are fictions we accept as necessary granted to us by our agreement with the State (I prefer "state" to "government" as the latter is just a part of the State) according to our needs and how we want to live.

Rights are social constructs as much as many other useful concepts (like "countries" and "territories") and we should make the most out of them. But that doesn't justify the existence of universally inalienable Human Rights - The only way a right can be inalienable is if at any given time a country's constitution says so.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

Reply
#27
RE: What Human Rights?
Would it be fair to say that we're at a point in civilization to where what we call rights today would at one point have been a necessity?

The golden rule was mentioned: I could see the argument that, nowadays, it wouldn't be crucial to our survival to deviate from it. Whereas, I imagine, in smaller communities, our lives depended on that sort of cooperation.

I'm not saying cooperation isn't important today, but the bigger a community grows, so does the amount of deviation allowed. At some tipping point, what was once a factor of our survival becomes just good manors or rights.

Sounded right in my head.
I can't remember where this verse is from, I think it got removed from canon:

"I don't hang around with mostly men because I'm gay. It's because men are better than women. Better trained, better equipped...better. Just better! I'm not gay."

For context, this is the previous verse:

"Hi Jesus" -robvalue
Reply
#28
RE: What Human Rights?
(July 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm)Dystopia Wrote: - The only way a right can be inalienable is if at any given time a country's constitution says so.

Then it is neither inalienable nor is it a right. What you are basically saying is that force and compulsion are the highest authorities.
Reply
#29
RE: What Human Rights?
(July 16, 2015 at 1:37 pm)ChadWooters Wrote:
(July 16, 2015 at 1:07 pm)Dystopia Wrote: - The only way a right can be inalienable is if at any given time a country's constitution says so.

Then it is neither inalienable nor is it a right. What you are basically saying is that force and compulsion are the highest authorities.
That is only if the constitution is imposed by force - If the constitution is democratically written, it is not force but the general will. But you do have a point - Authority is the basis of law, and so is compulsion and coercion, we can't live without those mechanisms otherwise there would be chaos.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

Reply
#30
RE: What Human Rights?
What you are basically saying is that force and compulsion are the highest authorities. Most of you seem to incapable of making the distinction between human rights and civil rights. For example, trial by jury is a civil right, the benefit of being a citizen of a specific state. Human rights transcend one's status as a citizen. That is why they are called human rights. So if you think that rights are a human construct then you do not actually believe in human rights. The logical consequence of this is the rationalization to take away another's liberty by force for no reason at all. You are laying the foundation for tyranny.
Reply



Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Legitimate women's rights issues Lemonvariable72 50 6560 October 30, 2015 at 7:01 am
Last Post: Lemonvariable72
  Why do Children not Have Human Rights? Koolay 58 11728 September 23, 2013 at 9:42 am
Last Post: genkaus



Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)