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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:31 am    Post subject: Human Rights Reply with quote

Human rights

What are they? Do they really exist? Or do they constitute only an 'ideal'? Do they take into account 'reality'? Should they?

Should they apply to all humans .. or just some?

Currently marriage equality is up for discussion in Australia. I have no I objection to awarding equal rights to members of the LGBTQ community. The government has disseminated a "survey" to all registered voters, for their opinions on the matter. Ok you could suggest a 'conciliatory' move on their part .. but it's really more about buck passing, arse covering and fear of acting in opposition to public opinion, maintaining a reliable voting base, in my opinion.

Both sides of "the debate" (which is a very generous descriptor if events) have been active. But what I see is the utter polarisation of the social strata. It has been unpleasant and unnecessarily aggressive.

I've been to scenes of youth suicide, young people being the most impressionable and the most vulnerable members of our social make-up. Suicidality is 14 times higher in LGBT youth than among any other group within Australian society (according to In Blue report into suicidality).

The anti-LGBT movement have driven a vigorous campaign of misinformation and fear mongering - the pro campaign have been as vigorous but perhaps more measured. At least that is how it seems from all my reading, to me.

I have had to counter allegations that legalising gay marriage will lead to legalised peodophillia. Which is an outrageous claim that governments would legalise child sex abuse!!!! FFS!! How off the wall gullible and stupid do you have to be to believe claims as ludicrous! Peodophillia is not a victimless or in any way consensual FELONY.

Then there's those that claim affording SSM will destroy their marriages, undermine the "family@ whatever that is interpreted as. The assumption that there is only one type of family I.e. mine - a functional father, a functional mother and their offspring. The reality is not all children are raised by their biological parents, nor is it in the interest of the child to be raised by either or both biological parents. Of course I refer to children who's parents abuse or neglect them, forcing their removal for their survival and safety.

There are fears (and I will come back to that word: fear) that heterosexual freedoms will be eroded, particularly religious freedom and freedom of speech. For which legal protections are in place to preserve.

But it is fear that I see. Particularly from religions, not all I will note, but fear that is at its very route the opposite and antithesis of faith. It is this more than anything that baffles me and I find ironic.

If we were referring to the legalisation of mixed marriages or if it were an issue of race - despite historically religions fearing social change of numerous types - today I would expect a different outcome. Nevertheless here we are. Do we afford all humans human rights, can we be selective about which rights are afforded to who and why?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They exist only insofar as we agree to them and enforce them.

In "reality" there are no rights. Nature (red in tooth and claw) recognises nothing but success (survival) or failure (death).

That's not to say I'm not in favour of human rights. I am. And equally, they should be extended to everybody. (Except perhaps in circumstances where those rights have been forfeit due to infringing the rights of others? And maybe then only certain ones? Not sure...)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the tighter question, anyone [still] hung up on the issue of whether to allow gays to marry in church or wherever they choose is wasting their valuable thinking time; the question is so already answered that for any government to be even considering the issue is ridiculous. It should be relegated to the realms of "Is slavery acceptable" and "Should women be allowed to vote" where it can become the historical evidence of what a brute minded, bigoted bunch of thinkers we once were.

On the broader issue of human rights in general - yes, humans have innate rights [most of them are enshrined somewhere in the American constitution aren't they; the right to pursue happiness, the right to life and the right to liberty IIRC] that, unless they transgress in very serious manner indeed, should never be withheld from them. Can anyone supply me with reasons why this would not be so?

[edit; In other words, once you have accepted that we have an innate morality [if we don't from whence did it arise?] then you accept that all humans are equal in dignity and the treatment they may expect from their fellow human brothers and sisters - and then the onus falls to anyone who would deny this to be the case to demonstrate why it is not. It's [I think] an important point; who has to prove their argument - the one who says that all humans [with the above exceptions] have [the same] rights [unless through youth or mental deficiency etc some restriction has to be placed for their own safety] - or the one who would deny that it is so/ I think it must be the latter [but then I firmly believe also that the onus of proof must fall to the prosecution in a law court so mayhap I already have a bias. Wink ]
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

peter wrote:
On the tighter question, anyone [still] hung up on the issue of whether to allow gays to marry in church or wherever they choose …


Thanx for calling the Catholic Church (and the various Orthodox communions) "hung up".

OTOH, being hung up would certainly seem to be following (quite literally and morbidly) in the footsteps of the Master, now wouldn't it? Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
On the tighter question, anyone [still] hung up on the issue of whether to allow gays to marry in church or wherever they choose is wasting their valuable thinking time; the question is so already answered that for any government to be even considering the issue is ridiculous. It should be relegated to the realms of "Is slavery acceptable" and "Should women be allowed to vote" where it can become the historical evidence of what a brute minded, bigoted bunch of thinkers we once were.


And yet here we are .. in Australia .. and the "debate continues" 🙄

peter wrote:
On the broader issue of human rights in general - yes, humans have innate rights [most of them are enshrined somewhere in the American constitution aren't they; the right to pursue happiness, the right to life and the right to liberty IIRC] that, unless they transgress in very serious manner indeed, should never be withheld from them. Can anyone supply me with reasons why this would not be so?


Our Constitution is more of an economic compact that sets out the rules of trade between states etc - most of these "rights" you speak of .. are not enshrined it.

peter wrote:
In other words, once you have accepted that we have an innate morality [if we don't from whence did it arise?] then you accept that all humans are equal in dignity and the treatment they may expect from their fellow human brothers and sisters - and then the onus falls to anyone who would deny this to be the case to demonstrate why it is not. It's [I think] an important point; who has to prove their argument - the one who says that all humans [with the above exceptions] have [the same] rights [unless through youth or mental deficiency etc some restriction has to be placed for their own safety] - or the one who would deny that it is so/ I think it must be the latter [but then I firmly believe also that the onus of proof must fall to the prosecution in a law court so mayhap I already have a bias. Wink ]

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
They exist only insofar as we agree to them and enforce them.

In "reality" there are no rights. Nature (red in tooth and claw) recognises nothing but success (survival) or failure (death).


I concur. None of us--this includes me--have any rights unless we all mutually agree that we have rights.

Strangely enough, though, marriage is not a human right, by which I mean that you won't die if you aren't able to get married to someone. Marriage is a completely artificial social construct designed solely to identify legitimate heirs of an estate; the fact that we gave it religious overtones happened only because for so long in many nations the church was equal to, or more powerful than, the secular government.

Anyway....once we identify and agree to a list of human rights (thinks like freedom/the state of not being enslaved, the ability to settle in an area or migrate as you see fit, and so on) they should apply to all people. Yes, things like "the right to food and water" are rights but that doesn't mean that I have to pay for your food--you need to pay for your own food, bub, just like I do.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Human Rights have a negative quality to them, in that they seek to avoid or lessen something (let's say injustice) as opposed to have a positive quality in that it is something we as humans naturally possess or can possess.

So, say First Amendment rights for journalism exist because those forming and interpreting it looked at history, saw what horrid consequences could occur if a government was allowed to control/squash the reporting of news and decided, "We want to avoid that!"
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question of what are and what are not human rights is separate from whether they exist and are innate or not. (By the way - sorry Wos, no offence intended ....bad choice of words {again! Wink. Just wanted to 'kick-start' the debate.) But the issue does not stop at humans of course (although they do represent a special case). All living things have rights - even the bacteria and viruses that prey on us have the right to act according to their nature, but as Cail's postscript so eloquently puts it they also have the damn well right to bear the consequences in terms of our defending ourselves.

No doubt the issue is difficult, but I think Hashi nails it. We have to concur. Human rights are a fiction - but a fiction that we have to concur with in order that chaos does not prevail. There are incidentally, many other such fictions - they are what has driven us forward and upward to the 'exalted' position we now hold in the world, and humans are the only species to date that has the power to construct and believe in them.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, rights are no more innate than morality is. Like law, they're a fiction that only works as long as people believe in them.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is it a human right to believe there is no such thing as human rights Av? Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The use of the word "right" and the context show that a "human right" is just a standing relation between the species humankind, or the aggregate of instances of the species (humanity), and a set of somewhat specific types of actions. (There is the general question of, "Do I have a legal right to do the morally wrong thing?" though.) If the set is abstract enough, then a human right would be general enough to apply to us regardless of explicit acts of consent or related thought on our part. However, if such cannot be, or if otherwise the set is concrete, whether the relation obtains will depend much more on circumstances, to the point where it would be very difficult to identify a universal human right (seeing as no universal human forum exists...).

Now, as far as legality goes, the concept of a right is not just relative to "the right thing to do" overall but interpersonal permissions and expectations. That is, "X has a right to Y," means, "No one is permitted ceterus paribus(sp.?) to interfere if X acts to obtain/preserve Y," which relative to marriage means things like, "No one is permitted to interfere c. p. if X seeks to visit Y in the hospital," or such-like things. Now legally, then, a legal right exists when the law is such-and-such; a human right might be thought of as an image of how the law should be, somehow.

[...]
Generally, moral facts/truths/attitudes seem subjective but absolutely binding, that is either no one is absolutely bound in some ways, or there is some moral substance to things. Now some people, to be sure, would like to hear, "Everything is permitted," or, "You have no responsibility to anything that you cannot set aside," or whatever, whereas other people are much beholden to a contrary direction in thought, so perhaps it is objectively true that some people are beholden to morality while others are not. However, there are no "human" rights per se as such, for it is not being human that fixes the chosen rights, but "agency rights," perhaps, "or virtue rights" or who knows...
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Human rights are not rights bestowed upon humanity by some outside agency, they are rights that are created by humanity and granted through the authority of human civilization, as has been stated in different ways previously.

Outside of the human organizational construct the ideals that give rise to the creation of rights do not have power.

The right to life, as stated in the United States Constitution, is unfortunately easily swept away by nature. Hurricanes and Earthquakes do not obey human laws. Neither do sharks, bears, lions, snakes, alligators, rockfalls, floods, epidemics, aging, X-ray bursts from Quasars and super-massive black holes.

But within the veil of our civilization the rights we grant ourselves have a powerful influence on the quality of our lives and are among the most cherished and important aspects of human existence only superseded by survival itself.

The supreme rights of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the edict that all humans should be treated equally under the law should stand as the unshakable pillars of the human world. That this is sometimes not the case is a crime against humanity as a whole however there is no global human authority to enforce individual rights planet-wide. That responsibility is ultimately left in the hands of the leadership of individual states with varying degrees of compliance.

Should there ever be a world government one of its primary tasks will be to ensure human rights are granted equally to every citizen of the Earth. A task and responsibility I would not envy given the history of civilization to this point.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is actually only one human right that cannot be taken away, and that is the pursuit of happiness. You can pursue it right up until the you die. The rest are just agreed upon fantasies.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Working in a seven eleven affords me great opportunities to people watch, and one of the most interesting observations I make is to what extent we are all bound within the same straight jacket of our common needs even as we make the decisions we attribute to use of our own free will. We herd to the shops at the same time, buy the same things, make the same comments and rush on to do the same tasks, all the while thinking that we have chosen the order of our day exercising exclusively our own choice in the matter. The biological sciences are taking this even one stage further by revealing more and more that our choices are essentially based upon our biochemistry and an algorithmic style functioning of our brains that leaves little or no room for free will. Once our much vaunted free will is relegated to the level of a smoke and mirrors illusion, then it will be hard to still fit the idea of liberty into the human equation.

Perhaps this will be the defining function of our nascent AI programs - to learn, improve upon and administer Law and Justice on an equal basis across the board of humanity where we have (apparently) so miserably failed!
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rawedge Rim wrote:
There is actually only one human right that cannot be taken away, and that is the pursuit of happiness. You can pursue it right up until the you die. The rest are just agreed upon fantasies.


You can try to pursue it...other people can try to prevent you.

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