PDA

View Full Version : The 'Concept of "Natural Right''



Elenor
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 01:28 PM
How can anyone have a "natural right" to anything. I do not know if it resonable to constructed an total political philosophy on concept of rights howerver ''Robert Nozick argues his theory in his booked called Anarchy, State and Utopia where he highlighted the people's right's in an anarchy without goverment. His theory contains pretty intresting stuff.

Moody
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 01:36 PM
The distinction would be between 'natural' rights and 'legal' rights [first made by the Greeks [the Sophists] between nature and convention].

Also, whether there is any opposition, parity or overlap between them.

In a 'state of nature' is there still a sense of rights?

Is it a [I]natural right that the strongest will rule and be at the top of the food chain, for example?

Could we have a legal framework which mirrors the kind of Darwinian sense of natural rights [might is right]?

Or must legal rights counter-act such natural rights?

Elenor
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 06:23 PM
The distinction would be between 'natural' rights and 'legal' rights [first made by the Greeks [the Sophists] between nature and convention].

Also, whether there is any opposition, parity or overlap between them.

What you are only able to do when others provide them for you are not "natural" rights. Or did mess something up here ? (Elenor)




In a 'state of nature' is there still a sense of rights?

The state of nature, do you mean the law of force? Natural Law and Law of froce is diffrent I think. Is it ? (Elenor)


Is it a [I]natural right that the strongest will rule and be at the top of the food chain, for example?

You could see both way, human and animals

However I'm refering to inviduals now, suppose I end up living in desert island like Robinsson Caruso, I can do anything that and I liked howerver this situation is wrong because my rights are not infinite,If i can't provide these things for myself, you will not have them. Although, natural rights are the right to those things that we can do for themselves. Anything you can do for yourself you have a right to do. (Elenor)

I enjoyed reading your reflection



Could we have a legal framework which mirrors the kind of Darwinian sense of natural rights [might is right]?

I think Darwinian theory decribed ''white race rule lower race'' but if everyone is born free, how his theory is possible?


Or must legal rights counter-act such natural rights?

During the French Revolution women did not have rights becuse only men by birth considered born natural rights. What say you ?

Lyfing
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 10:27 PM
How can anyone have a "natural right" to anything.


Rights only exist when one is dealing with another..like in societies. Is it wrong to shoot bamby..?? Only when society is composed souly of folks able to stand on thier own two feet (individuals) will might be right..untill then it will be muddied up by those impotent ones full of resentment.

-Lyfing

Elenor
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 10:53 PM
Rights only exist when one is dealing with another..like in societies. Is it wrong to shoot bamby..?? Only when society is composed souly of folks able to stand on thier own two feet (individuals) will might be right..untill then it will be muddied up by those impotent ones full of resentment.

-Lyfing


I do not really belive there is any form of natural rights based on histroical perpetives that white women and children didn't have any natural rights,Howerver I truly believe that natural rights, are the rights which are social construct they only exits only in the mind of inviduals however I could be really wrong because natural rights is a very complex defination. Such as Platoish theory of metaphysics or even believe those rights to be bestowed by deity.( Elenor)

Janus
Friday, March 23rd, 2007, 11:21 PM
These so called natural rights aren't natural rights existing everywhere but a political construct of becoming popular in the enlightenment stating that there should be certain rights should be apply to all humans regardless of gender, age, deeds, origin and so on and that those "natural" rights are something above the laws of a country. They are unalienable aswell. Well, of course they're just political or philosophical ideas and far from being given in wild nature but that isn't what they meant with natural.

Lyfing
Saturday, March 24th, 2007, 12:44 AM
Such as Platoish theory of metaphysics or even believe those rights to be bestowed by deity.( Elenor)

Both Bush with his Constitution and bin Laden with his Koran could be classified as suffering from a case of what Joseph Campbell called “mythic inflation” “the god absorbed and lost in ego.” the opposite of “mythic identification” “ego absorbed and lost in god”. It seems the relationship between subject and object has been approached by different folks to different ( perhaps innate ) ends..

Here is a quote comparing three..


In the Hindu version, furthermore, the image of the androgynous ancestor is developed in terms of an essentially psychological reading of the problem of creation. The universal Self becomes divided immediately after conceiving and uttering the pronoun “I” (Sanskirt aham). This illustrates the fundamental Indian conviction that a sense of ego is the root of the world illusion. Ego generates fear and desire, and these are the passions that animate all life and even all being; for it is only after the concept “I” has been established that the fear of one’s own destruction can develop or any desire for personal enjoyment. The aim of Indian yoga, therefore, is to clear the mind of the concept “I” and therewith dissolve both fear and desire. But this amounts to an undoing of creation--or, at least, of one’s psychological participation in its effects. For it leads not only to the knowledge that the seat of anxiety and sorrow is ego, but also to a level o immediate experience, antecedent to all thought, where there is neither hope nor fear but only the rapture of a sheer--and mere--consciousness of being.

In the Hebrew version, on the other hand, the image of the primal androgyne has been applied to a theological reading of the mystery of creation--culminating in the concept of the Jewish people as the agents of God’s will, following the failure and disobedience of the divided androgyne in the Garden. To maintain the tension between God and man, the creator is in this mythology held aloof from his creation. It is not the god who falls into a state of exile from his own true nature, but rather his creature; and the exile is not an essentially psychological one, antecedent to and inherent in the concept of the manifold of the universe, but a concrete historical episode occurring in the world already created by a transcendent but not immanent Lord God and universal disciplinarian.

Finally, in the Greek allegory of Plato, the same basic theme has been applied poetically, to give point to a genial, metaphorical interpretation of the mystery of human love, its trials, depth, and delight. And it is worth observing that though the gods are here represented as in certain sense superior to the beings whom they divide, in a second, ironical sense it is the human beings who are in their love superior. The jealous gods divided them out of fear of their strength.

Primitive Mythology, by Joseph Campbell..pages 109-110



And one from Nietzsche..to finish it off..


This should take care, once for all, of the origin of “Our Holy Lord.”--A single look at the Greek gods will convince us that a belief in gods need not result in morbid imaginations, that there are nobler ways of creating divine figments--ways which do not lead to the kind of self-crucifixion and self-punishment in which Europe, for millennia now, has excelled. The Hellenic gods reflected a race of noble and proud beings, in whom man’s animal self had divine status and hence no need to lacerate and rage against itself. For a very long time the Greeks used their gods precisely to keep bad conscience at a distance, in order to enjoy their inner freedom undisturbed; in other words, they made the opposite use of them that Christianity has made of its god. They went very far in that direction, these splendid and lionhearted children, and no less an authority that the Homeric Zeus gives them to understand, now and again, that they make things a little too easy for themselves. “How strange,” he says once (the case is that of Aegisthus, a very bad case indeed): “How strange that the mortals complain so loudly of us gods! They claim that we are responsible for all their evils. But they are the ones who create their own misery, by their folly, even in the teeth of fate.” Yet the reader notices at once that even this Olympian spectator and judge is far from holding a grudge against them or thinking ill of them therefore. “How foolish they are!” he thinks as he watches the misdeeds of the mortals: and the Greeks, even during the heyday of their prosperity and strength, allowed that foolishness, lack of discretion, slight mental aberrations were a problem. “How can such a thing happen to people like us, nobly bred, happy, virtuous, well educated?” For many centuries noble Greeks would ask themselves this question whenever one of their number had defiled himself by one of those incomprehensible crimes. “Well, he must have been deluded by a god,” they would finally say, shaking their heads. This was a typically Greek solution. It was the office of the gods to justify, up to a certain point, the ill ways of man, to serve as “sources” of evil. In those days they were not agents of punishment but, what is nobler, repositories of guilt.

The Birth of Tragedy & The Genealogy of Morals, trans. by Francis Golffing pages 227-228

-Lyfing

CaptainHook
Saturday, March 24th, 2007, 02:57 AM
I agree with a lot of what philosopher John Locke has written especially in Two Treatises of Government. Natural rights I believe are very similar to individualist rights and that laws are the product of a society, somewhat like civil rights. I'll be back with more!:D

Elenor
Saturday, March 24th, 2007, 09:49 AM
Guys, I believe that the universe is held together by four fundamental elements: protons, neutrons, electrons, and legally-binding contracts. And it is the social contract which holds the concept of "rights" together.

Moody
Saturday, March 24th, 2007, 05:09 PM
The state of nature, do you mean the law of force? Natural Law and Law of force is diffrent I think. Is it ?

The 'law of force', so-called, could be seen as an example of a 'natural right'.
It would say, "as I am the strongest, I have the right to the most food, the most mates and the most land".
Such natural rights could be seen, I suppose, as natural laws, if you think there is a direct relation between such rights and law.

The state of nature is that period in pre-history [which may or may not have existed] where humans had no society in the way that we use the term today, and lived exactly as do animals.
This is described by Hobbes, amongst others. Life in the state of nature is 'solitary, nasty. brutish and short', as he put it in his Leviathan.
Men decide to create a 'social contract' in order to end the 'war of all against all', and so create law as we know it.


However I'm refering to inviduals now, suppose I end up living in desert island like Robinson Caruso

Even Caruso had his Man Friday!



I think Darwinian theory decribed ''white race rule lower race'' but if everyone is born free, how his theory is possible?

It can't be true that "everybody is born free". I would say that none of us can escape our fate or destiny which includes inevitable death.


During the French Revolution women did not have rights becuse only men by birth considered born natural rights. What say you ?

Women did have rights, but they did not have the same rights as men. I agree with this position. I believe that equality is a lie, and rather put in its place proportion, as did Aristotle [see his Nicomachean Ethics].



I truly believe that natural rights, are the rights which are social construct they only exist only in the mind of inviduals

I disagree - the concept of natural rights by definition is not a 'social construct'; it is rather a biological one, as it runs through all of nature.
Of course, legalistic notions like human rights are 'social constructs', as are most laws.
However, it could be argued that some laws are based on natural rights and are therefore natural laws and not social constructs but are necessary and a priori.

Elenor
Saturday, March 24th, 2007, 09:47 PM
I disagree - the concept of natural rights by definition is not a 'social construct'; it is rather a biological one, as it runs through all of nature.
Of course, legalistic notions like human rights are 'social constructs', as are most laws. (Moody)

Our Western conception of rights did not exist in classic period, Such as your right very much on who you were. Such as a great ruler,slave, father, mother, wife and so on. Well, you disagree the concept of natural right is not ''social constructed'' I think its social construction because of our rights in certain situation are not forever or so to say infinite, however I can understand where you're geting because of your theory which is ''natural rights '' is a natural consequence,Maybe you're right '' Law of nature and Law of force '' are the same,howerver you could see the term in two way, such as an a theist believe in the supreme G-D regard of IQ or even common sense or intelligence. Contra with the skeptic who do not believe the existence of G-D,however its true as you say, indiduals have certain inaliable right, If it does why does the did we had slaves in the past? Is it not we're articially retictying it ? ( Elenor)

Moody
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 01:42 PM
Our Western conception of rights did not exist in classic period, Such as your right very much on who you were. Such as a great ruler,slave, father, mother, wife and so on.

'Rights' did exist, only they were different to the ones we have now.

In particular, they were not seen as being universal rights.

Aristotle said that one's rights are in proportion to one's position. Therefore a ruler had greater rights than a slave. But a slave still had some rights .
The conception of universal rights does begin with the later Roman Empire - in theory at least. However, even today - in practice - rights are far from being universal.


Well, you disagree the concept of natural right is not ''social constructed'' I think its social construction because of our rights in certain situation are not forever or so to say infinite, however I can understand where you're geting because of your theory which is ''natural rights '' is a natural consequence,Maybe you're right '' Law of nature and Law of force '' are the same,howerver you could see the term in two way, such as an a theist believe in the supreme G-D regard of IQ or even common sense or intelligence. Contra with the skeptic who do not believe the existence of G-D,however its true as you say, indiduals have certain inaliable right, If it does why does the did we had slaves in the past? Is it not we're articially retictying it ? ( Elenor)

As I said, slaves did have some rights; going back to Aristotle again, he thought that some people were [I]natural slaves.

'Inalienable rights' relate again to the universalic notions of rights which were really encoded during the Enlightenment; they should not be confused with 'natural rights'.
The point about the latter is that they can be easily 'alienated' - just watch a tiger in the wild devour its prey.

The point about the concept of 'natural right' is that it is intended to describe the kind of 'rights' that exist 'in the jungle' if you like.

They are the rights which derive from biological conditions rather than social ones because they are before society; therefore they cannot be 'social constructs'.

SuuT
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 02:47 PM
'Inalienable rights' relate again to the universalic notions of rights which were really encoded during the Enlightenment; they should not be confused with 'natural rights'.
The point about the latter is that they can be easily 'alienated' - just watch a tiger in the wild devour its prey.

Further, Universalism in this context and its adherents to the notion that natural rights are not contingent on human actions or beliefs would argue that an 'inalienable right' is the only right capable of being natural, in so far as these rights are endowed by a 'creator'.

Bottom line, I think, is who is defining "natural"? Who is disecting and distributing "rights"? As I assume you meant to illustrate in your analogue, no one really questions the natural right of your exampled tiger to eat; or, the right of your exampled prey to be eaten.


The point about the concept of 'natural right' is that it is intended to describe the kind of 'rights' that exist 'in the jungle' if you like.

Some things are really... shocking to me. The first, the degree to which people, generally, cannot stop themselves from anthropomophising; second, the caprice and convience with which they do, when they do stop; thirdly, how remarkably dynamic 'natural rights' really are i.e., inexplicable things which add a glorious mystery to the contemplation: I am reminded of wolves - and how an Omega female can become the Alpha simply for having being chosen by the Alpha male for breeding. Like incidents occur with great frequency within the 'natural world'. It is as if there is indeed a creator, or creators, or fate (what have you) as the guiding hand, in so far as such Alphas becoming Omegas and V. Versa would seem to run counter to the conjunction of what we would deduce as the right of might, to the exemplars existing in the natural world that force us to question if we can ever fully understand what is Universally mighty... can we pull-back far enough - in our perspective - to understand why there are times when what appears to be mighty, makes way for the meek... ('...Rome has capitulated' [N])...


They are the rights which derive from biological conditions rather than social ones because they are before society; therefore they cannot be 'social constructs'.

When do social constructs not arise from biological conditions, though? - Especially if Race is the substratum of social construction?

@everyone/anyone: At what point is a right, un-natural?

Moody
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 03:29 PM
Further, Universalism in this context and its adherents to the notion that natural rights are not contingent on human actions or beliefs would argue that argue that an 'inalienable right' is the only right capable of being natural, in so far as these rights are endowed by a 'creator'.

Not so much 'natural' as rational [cf. Kant's universal categorical imperative which applies to all rational beings, not natural beings.]
'Human rights' is a rational concept, not a natural one [to clarify - to Kant the Creator Himself is subject to the moral law - cf., the basic Euthyphro dilemma in Plato].


When do social constructs not arise from biological conditions, though? - Especially if Race is the substratum of social construction?


Case in point: the human animal creates societies [social constructs] and promulgates laws etc., Other animals don't. Therefore the biological conditions do not necessarily yield legal 'rights'.

Elenor
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 06:30 PM
The distinction would be between 'natural' rights and 'legal' rights [first made by the Greeks [the Sophists] between nature and convention].

Also, whether there is any opposition, parity or overlap between them.

Of cause these rights overlaps each other ( Elenor)

In a 'state of nature' is there still a sense of rights?

Is it a [I]natural right that the strongest will rule and be at the top of the food chain, for example? ( Moody)

Well as I know or read, in the state of nature, there is no civilzation such as, no economy, no culture, and life is unstable not blanced. Every one us equal in the state, such as equality to kill other inviduals. (Elenor)

Could we have a legal framework which mirrors the kind of Darwinian sense of natural rights [might is right]?

Or must legal rights counter-act such natural rights?

''Natural Right is core foundation for legal right'' Thus 200 years ago everyone believed that self-evident is only for ''white men'' However since everyone is born free and equal.... T. Jeffersson, this has an impact to the reformation of the legal right.(Elenor)

Robert Nozicks's in his theory.. '' natural rights revival'' express their seprate exitence which is according to Kant theory '' individuals are ends and not simply means''. Those who believes do not agree what makes right as natural right and what such right natural. Of cause the role of law if nature, which is not easily replaced.(Elenor)

SuuT
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 07:22 PM
Not so much 'natural' as rational [cf. Kant's universal categorical imperative which applies to all rational beings, not natural beings.]

Not all rational beings are natural beings?
Some rational beings are natural beings? ...

Could you clarify the applicability of Kant's U.C.I. with the concept of natural right?


'Human rights' is a rational concept, not a natural one

Where is the exact point of departure with respect to natural v. rational concepts? Are all rational concepts un-natural? If that is so, would it follow that the irrational man has the greatest natural right?


[to clarify - to Kant the Creator Himself is subject to the moral law - cf., the basic Euthyphro dilemma in Plato].

Kant never really answered to Aristotle's/Plotinus'/Augustine's arguments that (g/G)od(s) are/is rather the Object of good, and cannot be subject to, or a subject of, him/themself(ves) (i.e. good is an essential aspect of a god's nature, rendering the dilemma false).

As far as Euthyphro, we get a good lesson in the petitio principii of divinity (i.e. divinity connot be all-encapsulated within logic: incipit faith), but - in my mind - little in the way of understanding the well-spring from which we gain our understanding of natural and un-natural rights.

The question: "What is mine?" - is of crucial import. The real dilemma lies in the fact that so few have earned the right to answer this question; and those who have, more often than not, already possess what is theirs.


'...what are morals to us sons of God?'

SineNomine
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 07:41 PM
Is it a natural right that the strongest will rule and be at the top of the food chain, for example?
Indeed. A man desiring progress would seek collaboration with his fellowman, for the division of labour brings all sorts of advantages. In such a case all the former natural rights (e.g. the right to property and so on) would apply, but in order to collaborate men would abstain from aggression against one another (presumably by means of something such as Kant's Categorical Imperative) - a form of Lockean social contract I suppose, whereby the exercise of certain rights (ie to use force) is forfeited mutually. Natural inequalities amongst men would mean some would prosper more than others, obviously - thus in theory, might would still make right, but this time might would mean being productive. It is for this reason I like natural rights theory.




Our Western conception of rights did not exist in classic period, Such as your right very much on who you were. Such as a great ruler,slave, father, mother, wife and so on. Well, you disagree the concept of natural right is not ''social constructed'' I think its social construction because of our rights in certain situation are not forever or so to say infiniteor)
I think you've misunderstood the nature of a natural right. It is a right man would possess in absence of civilised society, in a state of nature (for instance, the right to appropriate food items in order to insure his survival, and defend himself against potential rivals). What rights a man should possess according to insights into his nature. They are not rights enforced by nature, if this is what you think.

Elenor
Sunday, March 25th, 2007, 09:56 PM
Can you please tell me if there are emprical evidence for deducing the exitence of rights? Rights are just poduct of the human mind that all, if you have any sort of empirical evidence that natural right actually are exits please feel free to share it with me and howerver not Inductive defination.

Thank you for the dabate

SineNomine
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 12:53 AM
Can you please tell me if there are emprical evidence for deducing the exitence of rights? Rights are just poduct of the human mind that all, if you have any sort of empirical evidence that natural right actually are exits please feel free to share it with me and howerver not Inductive defination.
It's an abstract concept - not a physical object. How on earth do you expect it to be proven empirically? You're asking me the equivalent of "prove that justice exists". In a state of nature a man may do whatever he pleases - those are his natural rights. Should he desire cooperation with others he will abstain from certain of these (e.g. to use force in aggression) that are counterproductive to this end.

Lyfing
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 04:38 AM
Like wolves and other higher animals we form relationships based on mutual cooperation for the wellbeing of the pack, pride, tribe, or whatever have you. Within this society we agree not to eat each other and share whatever ( not whoever..dogs either ) we kill to eat. We likely do this because we have some notion that "A is B, and C also is B" ( a limited one obviously )..and sacrifice ourselves accordingly. At the same time though we find that society is only as great as those that comprise it, and as it continues to exist we see our weaker mates fall, mourn for them as they are of us, all the while being strengthened in our ability to survive what they couldn't. This realizes within us an eternal understanding and appreciation of life..having experienced it's beauty and terror..we can then better eat ourselves..


Oh, wonderful! Oh, wonderful! Oh, wonderful!
I am food! I am food! I am food!
I am a food-eater! I am a food-eater! I am a food-eater!
I am a fame-maker! I am a fame-maker! I am a fame-maker!
I am the first-born of the world-order [rta],
Antecedent to the gods, in the navel of immortality!
Who gives me away, he indeed had aided me!
I, who am food, eat the eater of food!
I have overcome the world!

He who knows this, has a brilliantly shining light.
Such is the mystic upanishad.

Oriental Mythology, by Joseph Campbell..page 210..from Taittiriya Upanisad 3.10.6; following Hume, op.cit.,p.293..

-Lyfing

Aupmanyav
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 06:37 AM
Guys, I believe that the universe is held together by four fundamental elements: protons, neutrons, electrons, and legally-binding contracts. And it is the social contract which holds the concept of "rights" together.There is only one that binds, 'Dharma'. Protons, neutrons, electrons, Gods, and 'Brahman' also follow their own 'Dharma'. :)


Case in point: the human animal creates societies [social constructs] and promulgates laws etc., Other animals don't. Therefore the biological conditions do not necessarily yield legal 'rights'.Really! Of course, animals do not have courts, justice is administered summarily.

Elenor
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 07:50 AM
It's an abstract concept - not a physical object. How on earth do you expect it to be proven empirically? You're asking me the equivalent of "prove that justice exists". In a state of nature a man may do whatever he pleases - those are his natural rights. Should he desire cooperation with others he will abstain from certain of these (e.g. to use force in aggression) that are counterproductive to this end.

There you go its only an abstract defination, and you did not find any empirical evidence, I still say inviduals are not born with natural rights, not the way you argues,Howerver we are born with the need for natural rights,becayse of the condition that we as an indiduals need to flourish as beings with human nature, of cause we as an rational individuals are keen in looking after and protecting the intrest of other indviduals by natural rights,because we perform to the top when other people able to to rise as well,given the social aspect of human nature.Hmmm you're relating to Right and Justice, there is a relationship between those two howerver Justice is a moral virtue and moral itself is social constructed. (ELENOR)


''I enjoyed your brainny debate''

Moody
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 04:49 PM
''Natural Right is core foundation for legal right'' Thus 200 years ago everyone believed that self-evident is only for ''white men'' However since everyone is born free and equal.... T. Jeffersson, this has an impact to the reformation of the legal right.(Elenor)

Some argue that 'natural right' is the "core foundation" of 'legal right'; however, it is evident that legal rights tend to curb and contradict natural rights.
So I would argue that natural rights are radically different to legal rights and are even opposed to them.
Of course, some deny there are such things as 'natural rights'.


Robert Nozicks's in his theory.. '' natural rights revival'' express their seprate exitence which is according to Kant theory '' individuals are ends and not simply means''. Those who believes do not agree what makes right as natural right and what such right natural. Of cause the role of law if nature, which is not easily replaced.(Elenor)

Kant's second imperative [to treat others always as ends and never as means to an end] is clearly contra-natural; nature is all about exploitation and domination.
So Kant's rights are rational, universal and ... unnatural.


Not all rational beings are natural beings?
Some rational beings are natural beings? ...

To Kant, not all beings deserved to be called rational beings. So taking the second CI mentioned above, I can treat a non-rational being [such as an animal I am going to eat] as a means to an end without breaking his law.



Kant never really answered to Aristotle's/Plotinus'/Augustine's arguments that (g/G)od(s) are/is rather the Object of good, and cannot be subject to, or a subject of, him/themself(ves) (i.e. good is an essential aspect of a god's nature, rendering the dilemma false).

Kant wrote;
"No one, including God is the author of the moral law."
Kant's Moral Constructivism [Link] (http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/TEth/TEthKain.htm)


As far as Euthyphro, we get a good lesson in the petitio principii of divinity (i.e. divinity connot be all-encapsulated within logic: incipit faith), but - in my mind - little in the way of understanding the well-spring from which we gain our understanding of natural and un-natural rights.

The Euthyphro dilemma is an enduring rejection of the connection made earlier between God and moral law. It shows that moral theory operates separately from God.

Basically the dilemma is;

Is morality good because God commands it; or does God command morality because it is good?

If the former than we have nothing to do with it; if the latter God is irrelevant to morality: hence moral theory.

SineNomine
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 05:28 PM
There you go its only an abstract defination, and you did not find any empirical evidence, I still say inviduals are not born with natural rights, not the way you argues,Howerver we are born with the need for natural rights,becayse of the condition that we as an indiduals need to flourish as beings with human nature, of cause we as an rational individuals are keen in looking after and protecting the intrest of other indviduals by natural rights,because we perform to the top when other people able to to rise as well,given the social aspect of human nature.Hmmm you're relating to Right and Justice, there is a relationship between those two howerver Justice is a moral virtue and moral itself is social constructed. (ELENOR)

''I enjoyed your brainny debate''
I am not sure what your point is exactly. No one is born with a right in the sense that they are born with their hands or feet. Rights are recognized in others - for the reasons you mentioned (in a world of complete "might makes right" even the right to another man would exist). Natural rights are those which occur in a state of nature. That we need some sort of rights system is superfluous - even in an unequal system, rights will exist, though usually the elite will enjoy a substantial amount of privileges too. Ludwig von Mises was a utilitarian who believed a natural rights system was the best way to maximize utility, for instance.



Of course, some deny there are such things as 'natural rights'.
Do you agree with them? If not, what is your position on natural rights?

Horagalles
Monday, March 26th, 2007, 05:29 PM
How can anyone have a "natural right" to anything. I do not know if it resonable to constructed an total political philosophy on concept of rights howerver ''Robert Nozick argues his theory in his booked called Anarchy, State and Utopia where he highlighted the people's right's in an anarchy without goverment. His theory contains pretty intresting stuff..... I'd rather think in terms of common law. That what is right, because people accept it as general practice. That kind of law also stands independent from the state. I found the following lecture on it - I'm tempted to look for more:
http://mises.org/mp3/HofL-2001/Hist03.mp3

Moody
Wednesday, March 28th, 2007, 01:49 PM
natural rights (e.g. the right to property and so on)

I don't think I would include the right to property as a 'natural right'; it is rather a legal right.
My view is that 'natural right' is something very radical.



Like wolves and other higher animals we form relationships based on mutual cooperation for the wellbeing of the pack, pride, tribe, or whatever have you. Within this society we agree not to eat each other and share whatever ( not whoever..dogs either ) we kill to eat. We likely do this because we have some notion that "A is B, and C also is B" ( a limited one obviously )..and sacrifice ourselves accordingly.

And yet it is 'natural' for a man to scarifice his own well-being - even his own life - in order to avenge a slight.
Note that such things are first brought under the law [such as in duelling] and then the law abolishes them completely.
This again points to the conflict between 'natural rights' and 'legal rights'.



Of course, animals do not have courts, justice is administered summarily.

Yes, and that is the distinction between legal and natural rights.
Rough justice=natural rights.


what is your position on natural rights?

I think that in a pre-moral existence, life is predicated very much on 'might is right', or 'will to power'.
So I tend to go along with the Hobbesian/Nietzschean/Darwinian idea that morality and legal rights were invented out of a state of nature [this is the genealogical view, see Dennet's 'Darwin's Dangerous Idea'];
"Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life (1995) is a controversial book by Daniel Dennett which argues that Darwinian processes are the central organising force in the Universe."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin's_Dangerous_Idea
www.arn.org/docs/johnson/dennett.htm

But, we can indeed call those pre-moral activities 'natural rights' retrospectively in order to distinguish them from the legal rights which were later devised to oppose them.

Of course, in a state of nature such actions were not called 'rights', but being the Thesis to the Antithesis of legal rights they must have a quality of their own which we can call 'natural rights'.

So I would go for a very limited array of 'natural rights' based on Strong Will and the right to Domination. [I wouldn't include the right to property because the Strong Man may take/discard/destroy/make/give away any property he wants - as is his Will.]

Elenor
Wednesday, March 28th, 2007, 02:05 PM
I don't think I would include the right to property as a 'natural right'; it is rather a legal right.
My view is that 'natural right' is something very radical.

That is true but what you mean some far for radical ? (Elenor)

Moody
Wednesday, March 28th, 2007, 02:26 PM
That is true but what you mean some far more radical ? (Elenor)

As I described above; 'natural rights' are more 'radical' than legal rights in every sense of the word.

Radical;:

1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2. thoroughgoing or extreme ...
4. forming a basis or foundation.
5. existing inherently in a thing or person ...

[Origin: 1350–1400; ME < LL rādīcālis having roots, equiv. to L rādīc- (s. of rādīx) root1 + -ālis -al1]

—Related forms
rad·i·cal·ness, noun

—Synonyms 1. basic, essential; original, innate, ingrained etc.,
—Antonyms 1. superficial.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Source;
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/radical

Elenor
Wednesday, March 28th, 2007, 09:26 PM
As I described above; 'natural rights' are more 'radical' than legal rights in every sense of the word.

Radical;:

1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental: a radical difference.
2. thoroughgoing or extreme ...
4. forming a basis or foundation.
5. existing inherently in a thing or person ...

[Origin: 1350–1400; ME < LL rādīcālis having roots, equiv. to L rādīc- (s. of rādīx) root1 + -ālis -al1]

—Related forms
rad·i·cal·ness, noun

I know the meaning howerver why do you think natural rights is more radical than legal right?

Moody
Thursday, March 29th, 2007, 02:46 PM
why do you think natural rights is more radical than legal right?

I take the genealogical perspective as already alluded to.
The strongest exemplars of this are Hobbes and Nietzsche, as aforesaid.

The view is that prior to civilisation, and so prior to the instigation of moral and legal codes, man lived in a pre-moral [Nietzsche] state of nature [Hobbes].

Nietzsche had a more positive view of this era than Hobbes; the latter seeing life then as 'nasty, solitary, brutish and short', while Nietzsche rather extolled this specimen as a Blond Beast.

This is the era when 'natural rights' prevailed [which is necessarily a retrospective designation as I have said]. At such a time, 'records' were not kept! It is therefore pre-historic too, and so those who may argue that there is no clear evidence for it are missing the point.
It is meant to provide a foundation for the developments in human history, as we know that pre-historic man lived for a far longer period in a state of nature than has civilised man under rules of law.

The idea is that this is a prior condition, and a more extreme condition; therefore it is more radical in both senses of the word.

My own ethical preference is for Virtue Ethics [as described by Aristotle, for example - see Nietzsche for a modern version].
This strikes me as being closer to natural rights, closer than even Hobbes's 'psychological egoism' as it has been called.

Positions clearly opposed to natural rights in my mind include Utilitarianism and Kant's Rights based Morality which we have already discussed.

Horagalles
Friday, March 30th, 2007, 09:21 AM
...This is the era when 'natural rights' prevailed [which is necessarily a retrospective designation as I have said]. At such a time, 'records' were not kept! It is therefore pre-historic too, and so those who may argue that there is no clear evidence for it are missing the point.
It is meant to provide a foundation for the developments in human history, as we know that pre-historic man lived for a far longer period in a state of nature than has civilised man under rules of law.To my knowledge there are two types of Natural Rights:
1.) Natural Right in the sense of commonly accepted practices. That would rather come from how people feel about a certain action whether they admire, approve, disapprove or rebuke a specific action. Virtue Ethics go into this direction.
2.) Natural Right in the sense of Right to life, Right to property (any thing else would be deducted from those principles.)


The idea is that this is a prior condition, and a more extreme condition; therefore it is more radical in both senses of the word.Radical also in the sense of "from our roots".


My own ethical preference is for Virtue Ethics [as described by Aristotle, for example - see Nietzsche for a modern version].
This strikes me as being closer to natural rights, closer than even Hobbes's 'psychological egoism' as it has been called.Personally also my preference: Virtue Ethics. The focus is more on the agent then on the action. It is also of larger social value.


Positions clearly opposed to natural rights in my mind include Utilitarianism and Kant's Rights based Morality which we have already discussed.Isn't Kant's Ethics rather based on Duty (deontology)?!

Moody
Friday, March 30th, 2007, 01:43 PM
To my knowledge there are two types of Natural Rights:
1.) Natural Right in the sense of commonly accepted practices. That would rather come from how people feel about a certain action whether they admire, approve, disapprove or rebuke a specific action. Virtue Ethics go into this direction.

Approval or disapproval wouldn't make them 'natural' to my mind.

Obviously, those who want to make a claim for their own principles would like to call them 'natural', but that doesn't make them so.

I associate Virtue Ethics with Aristotle.
It is an ethics based on character and is essentially aristocratic.
Aristotle describes ethical characters from the god-like, to the virtuous to the continent to the incontinent, to the vicious down to the beast-like [in descending order].

Being part of one's character, such qualities could be called 'natural', and each character would have rights [and duties, as the two should always be paired] accordingly which could be called 'natural rights'.

Therefore there is a clear relation between Virtue Ethics and the kind of pre-moral state of nature 'natural rights' I have already described.


2.) Natural Right in the sense of Right to life, Right to property (any thing else would be deducted from those principles.)

These things clearly aren't natural rights but are protected in law [the contrast I have drawn is between natural natural rights and factitious legal rights].
If they were natural they wouldn't need protection.

My position is that legal rights tend to curb natural rights.



Isn't Kant's Ethics rather based on Duty (deontology)?!

Of course; but rights and duties are concomitant.
Kantian thinking is behind the concept of Universal Human Rights: I do not believe that these are natural either.

In crude terms we can contrast the Kantian position of purpose with the Utilitarian one of consequences.
In the first case it is about 'doing the right thing' [which could lead to disastrous outcomes], while in the latter it is about achieving the greater happiness for the greatest number [which could be derived from some dubious actions].

Virtue ethics is about being who you are - that is far more natural!