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Thread: The 'Concept of "Natural Right''

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    Concept of natural right

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    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'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    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.
    Last edited by Moody; Monday, March 26th, 2007 at 04:24 PM. Reason: merged consecutive posts

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    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''

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    ''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.

    Quote Originally Posted by SuuT View Post
    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]

    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.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    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?

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    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
    "And God proclaims as a first principle to the rulers, and above all else, that there is nothing which they should so anxiously guard, or of which they are to be such good guardians, as of the purity of the race. They should observe what elements mingle in their offspring;..." Plato Politeia

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    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.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lyfing View Post
    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'.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aupmanyav View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by SineNomine View Post
    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.]
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    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)
    Last edited by Moody; Wednesday, March 28th, 2007 at 02:19 PM. Reason: fixed quote

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    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
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Moody View Post
    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?
    Last edited by Moody; Thursday, March 29th, 2007 at 02:30 PM. Reason: fixed quote: PM'd author on correct use of quote button

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    Re: ''Concept of natural right''

    Quote Originally Posted by Elenor View Post
    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.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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