I have given much thought to what “Rights” are and what it all means. I often hear people say “that should be a Right”, that marriage is a “Right”, the healthcare is a “Right”, and we should make things a “Right”. But if “Rights” are inalienable, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, then wouldn’t that mean they already exist? If Rights are unchangeable, then can man really give another man his “Rights”.
Where do Rights come from? Do the come from the people? Do they come from the Constitution? From our laws? And if they come from any of these, then are they then no longer inalienable? If you change the people’s minds, those Rights cease to exist. If you change the law, then Rights cease to exist. If they come from the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, then rewriting either one, and those Rights no longer exists. And wouldn’t that also mean that your Rights are not inalienable at all, therefor not Rights at all? Wouldn’t that mean those supposed Rights are merely privileges bestowed on you by whatever entity that created those Rights?
If Right were natural, then they must come from God. I know, many Atheists and Agnostics will disagree that Rights come from God, how could they if God (at least in their mind) does not exist? I would say that the belief in God is not a requirement to be born with these Rights. In fact, because Rights come from God, would they then belong to every single person on the planet?
Ah the fallacy in my argument? That if Rights come from God, why then are so many people living without them throughout the world? Why aren’t they born with the same Rights as us? But those Rights do exists for those people, but their Rights are being infringed upon. Man can not give Rights to an individual, Man can infringe on another individuals Rights, or he can respect their Rights
Take slavery, for example. And without getting into semantics of what year, which law, which treatment, I’ll simply cite 1865 as the year our nation ended slavery. Many people would say that we “granted” black people their Rights when we abolished slavery. This would mean we as a nation did a great thing, wouldn’t it? It would mark a wonderful moment in our history, look at what we did, some men gave other men their Rights. But I would say we did no such thing. We didn’t do anything great, we stopped allowing an evil. We did not “grant” anything, we stopped infringing on other people’s Rights. The Rights of those slaves could never have been granted by men, men could only start on a path of ensuring that their Rights were respected.
When we fail to understand this concept, we risk the danger of infringing on other people’s Rights. It is a minor misconception that “Your Rights end where my nose begins”. While this thought gives a good basis to understanding Rights, it is still an incorrect assessment of Rights. The reality of your freedom is in this “Your Rights end where my consent begins”.
The reason why they don’t end where my nose begins is because the exercise of your rights can and often do offend me. If they were to end where my nose begins, then wouldn’t that mean your Rights end the minute it offends me. Does it affect me at the point of offending me? Obviously your Right to speech continues well past the moment it offends me. On the other hand, you do not have the Right to be heard. The reason you don’t have a Right to be heard is because that would require my consent to hear what you are saying.
I can walk to the store, and there is not a lot that anybody can do to stop me, but going into a store requires the consent of the business owner. To purchase a product requires even more consent on both our parts, and to walk out of the store with the product that I purchased simply means that a “mutual agreement” was reached.
I did not have a Right to his products, he does not have a Right to have his product sold. His employees do not have a Right to their job and he does not have a Right to have employees. Those things are mutual agreements, and the parties involved only have the Right to enter into those mutual agreements.
Rights are things you can do on your own that do not require the consent of others. I do not want to expose my political beliefs too much with this post, but merely give you insight into what the foundation of all my political beliefs are. This is where it all begins. That Rights come from God, they can not come from any other entity, and that they belong to all people equally.
For me, this recognition brings more clarity to the world, laws became simplified.
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