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Ragnar
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But not exclusively human action in the context of getting something of value from a animal. Ethical consistency implies something like a trader principle is practiced, else the principle being practiced is one of predation, i.e., of highly questionable ethical content when the harm and suffering of ones prey is dismissed entirely.

No, ethics is exclusively about human action. Ethical consistency is consistently striving for rationality. Dismissing others' wellbeing as not necessarily your own concern is not "highly questionable ethical content." The entire purpose of ethics is to *choose* what is *best* for *you.* If there was no choice, or no difference in what happened as a result, or no you, there wouldn't be any reason to figure out how to live.

Worrying about others "just cuz" is a life-crippling undertaking.

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I presume you mean venerable, as vulnerable does not really make sense here.

 

While morality's standard is life, it's suppose to be about your life. To go more broadly seems tainted to me of altruism. First we extend it to other human beings, then to the animal kingdom in general? The proper way is by recognizing how it applies to us as thinking beings, it applies equally to other thinking beings.

 

Here's a question to consider. Many people own cat's or dog's as pets. Do they inflict pain and suffering on their pets?

 

Here's one more pertinent however. How do animals not harvested for food by human beings part with their lives? Is it all painless and void of suffering? I'm getting the sense that because we are human, we are, in some unexplained way thus far, responsible for all the pain and suffering that transpires here. 

 

Actually I meant vunerable as in, are we less secure if every living thing has a right to life?  There are primarily two issues here: what is the specific form of correct actions all living things must acomplish in order to preserve their life, and what is the specific form of non-interference all living things must refrain from in order to avoid retaliation?

 

I introduced the predator argument to contrast what the human position towards animals is against what is being presented in this thread.  The predator argument is primarily used to rebut the kind of vegetarian argument you think I'm making, but I actually see no ethical contradiction between the actions of predator and prey.  Put more simply, I'm not arguing for vegetarianism or Genesis 1:26.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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No, ethics is exclusively about human action. Ethical consistency is consistently striving for rationality. Dismissing others' wellbeing as not necessarily your own concern is not "highly questionable ethical content." The entire purpose of ethics is to *choose* what is *best* for *you.* If there was no choice, or no difference in what happened as a result, or no you, there wouldn't be any reason to figure out how to live.

Worrying about others "just cuz" is a life-crippling undertaking.

 

Ethical consistency is trading by the same principle; not mutual benefit between humans vs unilateral benefit for humans against animals;  not refraining from intentionally harming another human vs intentionally harming animals "just cuz".  In any case, having a right to life doesn't mean looking out for everyones life.  It only means that when the focus is on your life, it ought to be understood that it is, in fact your life, and not someone elses property to screw around with.

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Hey guys, longtime Objectivist here... One thing I just can't get over is the idea of animals having rights. Obviously it's ridiculous and all but how do we prove without a doubt that animals don't have a conceptual consciousness like humans and that they only exist to survive and reproduce and to fill an ecological niche? I've seen animal rights groups stating that whales, dolphins, great apes, elephants, etc. are self aware like us and can conceptualize (because self-awareness means stepping outside your body hypothetically) ... Any ideas on how to prove them wrong? Thoughts? Thanks guys looking forward to some answers.

1- Nothing is beyond doubt, even reasonable doubt, except the axiomatic.

So you cannot prove that "animals have no rights" point-blank, in any way that would permanently end the discussion. You should check that goal right off the bat.

Now, having said that. . .

2- Turing test.

http://www.google.com/url?url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_test&q=turing+&rct=j&sa=X&source=suggest&ct=res&oi=suggest_nav&usg=AFQjCNGo_D2_p5okYjqNC9oMyqQrnuWGoQ&oq=turing%20&gs_l=mobile-gws-hp...0l2j5j0l2.1440.3284.0.6295.8.8.0.1.1.0.1167.5715.2-1j5-1j2j3.7.0....0...1c.1.35.mobile-gws-hp..3.5.3356.oIkfTRk3tdk

The concept of the Turing test is that whatever can speak like a person is probably self aware.

If you stop to compare it to Oist epistemology, that's profound. It's an objective way to measure cognition, IF it's arranged properly.

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Actually I meant vunerable as in, are we less secure if every living thing has a right to life?  There are primarily two issues here: what is the specific form of correct actions all living things must acomplish in order to preserve their life, and what is the specific form of non-interference all living things must refrain from in order to avoid retaliation?

 

I introduced the predator argument to contrast what the human position towards animals is against what is being presented in this thread.  The predator argument is primarily used to rebut the kind of vegetarian argument you think I'm making, but I actually see no ethical contradiction between the actions of predator and prey.  Put more simply, I'm not arguing for vegetarianism or Genesis 1:26.

I'm not finding vunerable at www.m-w.com or via a general Google search.

 

The fact that man (or beast) is able to struggle and/or fight for their life, demonstrates it as a more or less inherent trait.

Obviously, those who train themselves in hand to hand combat would generally have the upper hand.

 

If animals had this "right" to life, as you are laying out - what would this do or provide? (I'm trying to keep this in your "ethical" couching, but I must confess, it keeps meandering into a "political" interpretation here.)

 

Edited: added & to linked back to post responded to. 

Edited by dream_weaver
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3- Some apes have been taught sign language and demonstrated some limited capacity for ABSTRACTION.

However. . .

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.m.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FGreat_ape_language&ei=jAT8UsP5JsGxqQHHlIHQDg&usg=AFQjCNF4Oh97da68sWccXFRMXdbP2nt7FQ&sig2=_CFklLtP4icvby83Sx2T4Q

While some apes have been able to "speak" and think conceptually, they DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS.

The conclusion is yours to draw; apes are a borderline case. But I think that's at least worth taking note of.

4- The fundamental error of "animal rights" activists is to use the sound "rights" to refer to their antirational variant of morality.

Listen to their ideas, values and demands. They'll confess their worst evils plainly, to your face, if you know what to pay attention to.

5- The proper concept of "man" is what animal rights negates, which is why its proponents constitute some of our most rabid savages; it serves to justify their attempts to live as if they were animals (meaning mindlessly).

That said, the concept of "man" is also so complex and so seldom understood that the design of a proper Turing test would be a serious undertaking; you would basically have to revise all of our current concepts of consciousness.

If that's your goal then it's a noble one, but beyond the scope of my spare time.

=]

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Devil's advocate: You're a great guy but you still don't understand what morality really is.

Is purposeless self-mutilation moral, if that's what the victim\perp wants?

If so then how could any law ever be said to be truly right or wrong? On its own basis?

Why should anyone recognize anyone else's rights?

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I'm not finding vunerable at www.m-w.com or via a general Google search.

 

The fact that man (or beast) is able to struggle and/or fight for their life, demonstrates it as a more or less inherent trait.

Obviously, those who train themselves in hand to hand combat would generally have the upper hand.

 

If animals had this "right" to life, as you are laying out - what would this do or provide? (I'm trying to keep this in your "ethical" couching, but I must confess, it keeps meandering into a "political" interpretation here.)

 

Edited: added & to linked back to post responded to. 

 

Typo... the word is vulnerable.  And yes, the baseline for a preservation of life is, more or less, an inherent trait shared by all.

 

A animal's right to life might be considered to be essentially the rudimentary equivalent of a human one, e.g., if it's alive and not threatening anyone let it alone, or if I need something from it offer something in return.  Were such a right to be recognized I suspect not much would change for the same reason a human right to life doesn't prevent intentionally causing pain, suffering and death of "righted" humans.

 

But if humans began to recognize a rudimentary trader principle with animals, our current role as a rational predator could be improved to being a rationally ethical predator.

 

At any rate, I have enough trouble getting agreement in this forum that a human right to life recognizes the self-government of ones own body as property, let alone that animals possess property in themselves as well *sigh*

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Devil's advocate: You're a great guy but you still don't understand what morality really is.

Is purposeless self-mutilation moral, if that's what the victim\perp wants?

If so then how could any law ever be said to be truly right or wrong? On its own basis?

Why should anyone recognize anyone else's rights?

 

Hello Harrison, glad you popped in.

 

My take is something that is immoral cannot be moral at the same time, as a kind of ethical A=A.  The primary goal of ethical interaction is to allow as much individual freedom as possible without allowing the freedom to intentionally harm someone else.  And there is an objective distinction between a "perp" and a "victim".

 

A law is truly right when it is ethically consistent to the community it serves.

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DA

 

You still will not see what we are talking about.

 

 

Imagine a universe just like ours but people were emotionless, devoid of empathy, ruthless, selfish.  Think of it an evil anti-verse.  Imagine now their ONLY primary interest is in themselves.  FULL STOP.  No generosity, no respect, no love, no inclination to save life out of compassion or altruism, and no scruples about killing.

 

Imagine now some of these selfish anti-verse persons were rational.  One among them formulates and discovers a kind of parallel to our Objectivism.  It is founded on a choice to live and full rational recognition of reality.  They are logical to a fault.  The ONLY guide to their action is the choice to live and the outcomes of their actions.  Being insanely logical they realize all the various consequences.

 

They still discard emotionalism as invalid to knowledge and to action. They still reject altruism, mysticism, intrinsicism.  They are perfectly moral to a fault.

 

 

As regards to a proper formulation of an Objectivist morality and "rights" according to Objectivism, do you have any valid reason to believe the Objectivists of that universe would be any different from ours?  Do you have any valid reason to suppose Objectivism of this universe is any different from Objectivism of the anti-verse?

 

 

If one of them asked you "Why shouldn't I eat this tasty Cow?" how in the anti-verse would you convince him the animal had some claim on what he could or could not do... or equivalently that it ACTUALLY was in the long run in his benefit not to eat the cow?

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Typo... the word is vulnerable.  And yes, the baseline for a preservation of life is, more or less, an inherent trait shared by all.

Vulnerable. Very good. I'll have to go back and look at that. Meanwhile . . .

Harry Binswanger's book, "The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts" examines aspect of life as a self-sustaining process.

 

But if humans began to recognize a rudimentary trader principle with animals, our current role as a rational predator could be improved to being a rationally ethical predator.

Again, our lives have been improved by providing safe sanctuary for cows, pigs, chickens, lamb, and rabbit. In my home state, there are buffalo and bison farms, dedicated to the same end.

 

If we, as a specie, were truly concerned about 'endangered species', the resolution would be: Put them on the menu.

Note: There are no shortages in the former list, and the latter is sure to propagate if the desire reaches sustainable levels. 

Edited by dream_weaver
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Rights are always used as a justification for a claim on something: life, freedom, even happiness, for example; but there is no ethical basis for a claim by any living creature on what that individual has not produced or earned by their own effort or acquired by exchanging what they have produced with other producers.

 

Nothing is born into this world with a claim on anything: food, water, education, health-care, or freedom, without producing, earning, or acquiring it by their own choice and effort.

 

A "right" to food, water, education, health-care, is a duty on someone else.

Having to "earn" one's right to freedom is also a duty.

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DA

 

You still will not see what we are talking about.

 

Imagine a universe just like ours but people were emotionless, devoid of empathy, ruthless, selfish.  Think of it an evil anti-verse.  Imagine now their ONLY primary interest is in themselves.  FULL STOP.  No generosity, no respect, no love, no inclination to save life out of compassion or altruism, and no scruples about killing.

 

Imagine now some of these selfish anti-verse persons were rational.  One among them formulates and discovers a kind of parallel to our Objectivism.  It is founded on a choice to live and full rational recognition of reality.  They are logical to a fault.  The ONLY guide to their action is the choice to live and the outcomes of their actions.  Being insanely logical they realize all the various consequences.

 

They still discard emotionalism as invalid to knowledge and to action. They still reject altruism, mysticism, intrinsicism.  They are perfectly moral to a fault.

 

As regards to a proper formulation of an Objectivist morality and "rights" according to Objectivism, do you have any valid reason to believe the Objectivists of that universe would be any different from ours?  Do you have any valid reason to suppose Objectivism of this universe is any different from Objectivism of the anti-verse?

 

...

 

If I'm following you correctly in this example, the primary difference Objectivism brings to the anti-verse is recognition of the consequences of ones actions?  I highlighted the portions of your comments that lead me to this conclusion.  I'm also interested in what you present as an emotionless morality.  I'll have to think that over and get back to you...

 

As to the last part, I believe one would expect independent systems of thought to arrive at similar conclusions, given common challenges to resolve, e.g., how to sustain life, how to travel around obstacles, how to prepare for natural disasters.  Were we to locate a sentient species on another planet similar to ours, it's likely they'd have boats, planes, shelters, and sit around campfires wondering what's the point of it all.

 

...

 

If one of them asked you "Why shouldn't I eat this tasty Cow?" how in the anti-verse would you convince him the animal had some claim on what he could or could not do... or equivalently that it ACTUALLY was in the long run in his benefit not to eat the cow?

 

I'd eat the cow... so long as it isn't the last cow...

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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A "right" to food, water, education, health-care, is a duty on someone else.

Having to "earn" one's right to freedom is also a duty.

 

The duty is primarily self-restraint.  Having a right to free speech informs others to restrain themselves from silencing you.  But for the right to be effective, others must recognize and agree to the value of uncensored speech.

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A "right" to food, water, education, health-care, is a duty on someone else.

Having to "earn" one's right to freedom is also a duty.

Not sure whether you are agreeing or disagreeing.

 

However, no one is born with a "duty" or obligation of any kind. Reality determines that to live successfully and happily in this world one must live according to principles that describe that reality, that is, objective ethical principles, but no one is obliged to do that. Moral principles, like all principles, can only describe how an objective can be achieved. If one's objective is to be happy and successful they must live morally, but first they must choose to be successful and happy. Just wishing to be happy and successful is not choosing to pursue them, and does no tell one how to achieve them.

 

Freedom is necessary to happiness and success, for example, and like all other values, freedom, as well as happiness and success, and life itself, must be earned and achieved by one's own choices and effort, which is why they are moral issues.

 

No one (and nothing, man or animal) has a "right" to any of these things.

Edited by Regi F.
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Vulnerable. Very good. I'll have to go back and look at that. Meanwhile . . .

Harry Binswanger's book, "The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts" examines aspect of life as a self-sustaining process.

 

Again, our lives have been improved by providing safe sanctuary for cows, pigs, chickens, lamb, and rabbit. In my home state, there are buffalo and bison farms, dedicated to the same end.

 

If we, as a specie, were truly concerned about 'endangered species', the resolution would be: Put them on the menu.

Note: There are no shortages in the former list, and the latter is sure to propagate if the desire reaches sustainable levels. 

 

Thanks for the book link - I'll check it out...

 

The remainder of your comments make a good point, and I'd say the practice of domestication comes closest to the kind of example I'm looking for, but more closely resembling in practice a form of interspecies capitalism.  Just as our lives have been effected by the practice of domestication, so to have the lives of animals.  Since pain, suffering and death cannot be expected to be eliminated from the lives of humans/animals, the appropriate moral expectation appears to be in limiting pain, suffering and death such that life in captivity isn't a worse condition than life on the veldt.

 

Putting something on the menu as a display of moral interest is amusing, and not altogether ethically dismissable.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Freedom is necessary to happiness and success, for example, and like all other values, freedom, as well as happiness and success, and life itself, must be earned and achieved by one's own choices and effort, which is why they a moral issues.

No one (and nothing, man or animal) has a "right" to any of these things.

Did you mean freedom in the abstract? Freedom is exactly what every man has a "right" to -- without freedom he has nothing else. Men and freedom are inseparable.
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Did you mean freedom in the abstract? Freedom is exactly what every man has a "right" to -- without freedom he has nothing else. Men and freedom are inseparable.

Not sure what you mean by, "freedom in the abstract." I mean actual individual freedom in the sense of uncoerced liberty to live as one rationally chooses.

 

I mean that no one has a claim on anything they have not earned, produced, or acquired by their own honest effort. That meaans anything of value, including freedom. In your words, "men and freedom are inseparable." [i know what you mean, but as stated is not true. It is quite obvious men are "separated" from freedom all the time. I think you mean true human life is not possible without freedom.]

 

Isn't what you mean by "a right" that someone has a claim to something? But no one is born with a claim to anything they have not produced or earned, do they? Exactly whom is it that claim is laid against? Who or what is obliged to provide anyone else with anything?

 

It seems odd to me that people who understand no one has a claim (or right) to food, or water, or education, or healthcare they have not produced or earned have a claim to freedom they have not provided themselves. Most recognize that it is not only things and services one does not have an unearned claim on, but protections as well. Does anyone have a claim to being protected from earthquakes, savage beasts, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or fires, or do they have to find a way to protect themselves or pay for such protection?

 

The only threat to human freedom is other men. Certainly not all men are a danger to an individual's freedom, but some are, and like every other danger we face in life, we must learn what the nature of that danger is, and take measures to protect ourselves from them, or pay someone else to provide such protection. We have no more claim on being protected from the threat of other men than a right to be protected from disasters,disease,  ignorance, or poor health.

 

That's what I mean and it's true, though I have very little expactation that you or anyone else will agree, which is too bad. Understanding it is the first step to actually being free.

 

By the way, your view is the Objectivist view. Rand defended the concept of rights and based her entire political philosophy on it. I have no interest in arguing against Objectivism on an Objectivist site which I would regard as both discourteous and futile. I'm just answering your question, which you can ignore if you are not interested, but will gladly answer questions.

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If I'm following you correctly in this example, the primary difference Objectivism brings to the anti-verse is recognition of the consequences of ones actions?  I highlighted the portions of your comments that lead me to this conclusion.  I'm also interested in what you present as an emotionless morality.  I'll have to think that over and get back to you...

 

As to the last part, I believe one would expect independent systems of thought to arrive at similar conclusions, given common challenges to resolve, e.g., how to sustain life, how to travel around obstacles, how to prepare for natural disasters.  Were we to locate a sentient species on another planet similar to ours, it's likely they'd have boats, planes, shelters, and sit around campfires wondering what's the point of it all.

 

 

I'd eat the cow... so long as it isn't the last cow...

 

Rather than "difference" I would say it was a "discovery" that Objectivism would bring to the anti-verse.  Rational recognition of consequences, ALL of them insofar as a non-omniscient fallible entity can consider. 

 

Please think about these Objectivists of the anti-verse.... imagine they are perfectly logical to a fault, but understand they themselves are fallible and not omniscient.

 

 

I put to you your answer about the Cow is correct for all Objectivists in the anti-verse, and as morality is concerned and rights which are derived from morality are concerned, correct for all Objectivists in this universe.

 

 

If we can agree that in the anti-verse "rights" have limits and are not applicable to Cows, we could start to talk about the difference between moral requirements, limits, "rights" and areas of action where there are only amoral considerations (not moral requirements, not near any limits) which are essentially at the option of the actor.  Here is where you get chosen behaviors of an individual in regards to a particular animal which can reflect real value in that particular animal like a loved pet but is not a moral requirement nor applicable to all animals in general.

Edited by StrictlyLogical
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Not sure what you mean by, "freedom in the abstract." I mean actual individual freedom in the sense of uncoerced liberty to live as one rationally chooses.

 

I mean that no one has a claim on anything they have not earned, produced, or acquired by their own honest effort. That meaans anything of value, including freedom. In your words, "men and freedom are inseparable." [i know what you mean, but as stated is not true. It is quite obvious men are "separated" from freedom all the time. I think you mean true human life is not possible without freedom.]

 

Isn't what you mean by "a right" that someone has a claim to something? But no one is born with a claim to anything they have not produced or earned, do they? Exactly whom is it that claim is laid against? Who or what is obliged to provide anyone else with anything?

 

It seems odd to me that people who understand no one has a claim (or right) to food, or water, or education, or healthcare they have not produced or earned have a claim to freedom they have not provided themselves. Most recognize that it is not only things and services one does not have an unearned claim on, but protections as well. Does anyone have a claim to being protected from earthquakes, savage beasts, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or fires, or do they have to find a way to protect themselves or pay for such protection?

 

The only threat to human freedom is other men. Certainly not all men are a danger to an individual's freedom, but some are, and like every other danger we face in life, we must learn what the nature of that danger is, and take measures to protect ourselves from them, or pay someone else to provide such protection. We have no more claim on being protected from the threat of other men than a right to be protected from disasters,disease,  ignorance, or poor health.

 

That's what I mean and it's true, though I have very little expactation that you or anyone else will agree, which is too bad. Understanding it is the first step to actually being free.

 

By the way, your view is the Objectivist view. Rand defended the concept of rights and based her entire political philosophy on it. I have no interest in arguing against Objectivism on an Objectivist site which I would regard as both discourteous and futile. I'm just answering your question, which you can ignore if you are not interested, but will gladly answer questions.

 

You say no one has a "claim" to food protection or freedom.  What do you mean by "claim"?  Who holds the IOU against which you could cash in the claim? 

 

Do you not actually mean that there are no "claims" one can entreat reality to grant... if so, Objectivism does not disagree with you.  There is no where to cash in any such wishes.

 

If you equate Objectivism's concept of "right" with a "claim" which Objectivism dismisses, you clearly are not arguing against "rights according to Objectivism".

 

If any Objectivist would bother to argue with you it would not be to convince you of something you disagree with but to correct you on your misapprehension of what Objectivism actually holds.

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...

 

If you equate Objectivism's concept of "right" with a "claim" which Objectivism dismisses, you clearly are not arguing against "rights according to Objectivism".

 

...

 

Is this to say Objectivism's concept of rights are claimless?  Something like a liberty right as described below??

 

"A claim right is a right which entails responsibilities, duties, or obligations on other parties regarding the right-holder. In contrast, a liberty right is a right which does not entail obligations on other parties, but rather only freedom or permission for the right-holder."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claim_rights_and_liberty_rights

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Not sure what you mean by, "freedom in the abstract." I mean actual individual freedom in the sense of uncoerced liberty to live as one rationally chooses.

 

I mean that no one has a claim on anything they have not earned, produced, or acquired by their own honest effort. That meaans anything of value, including freedom. In your words, "men and freedom are inseparable." [i know what you mean, but as stated is not true. It is quite obvious men are "separated" from freedom all the time. I think you mean true human life is not possible without freedom.]

From the simplest chewing of your food to our most advanced modern corporate structure, men require freedom to live. This is why the right to freedom is "baked in" to humanity -- you acquire the right to be free from the beginning of your existence. You require the freedom to act in order to live, and no one can demand that you stop living -- if they did, you'd deny them. Men and freedom are inseparable.

This is why I asked if you meant freedom abstractly, or instead some concrete example. Being free isn't without effort, if that's what you mean. As it's said, "the price of freedom is constant vigilance." So, a coerced soldier doesn't owe you the protection of your right to be free. And you shouldn't be surprised if you find yourself less free after you neglect to maintain proper checks on your own government. But freedom itself is an inseparable right stemming from your humanity.

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StrictlyLogical,

 

I would be grateful if you told me what you believe the Objective meaning of the word "rights" is. Thank you!

 

Devil's Advocate,

 

If an individual were a solitary one (the only one in the world, or only one in a geographical area) would the question of rights ever come up? Such an individual would be completely free to do anything they chose within the limits of physical possiblity and their own ability, which would be complete liberty, wouldn't it?

 

Rights only have meaning in a social context, because only others can limit an individual's freedom. Wouldn't "rights" in that case necessarily mean obligating some to not act in ways that limit others freedom. I'm only questioning if it is possible to define rights without implying limits (or obligations) on others, not the legitimacy of such limits.

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From the simplest chewing of your food to our most advanced modern corporate structure, men require freedom to live. This is why the right to freedom is "baked in" to humanity -- you acquire the right to be free from the beginning of your existence. You require the freedom to act in order to live, and no one can demand that you stop living -- if they did, you'd deny them. Men and freedom are inseparable.

...

 

Hear-hear!  ... but is this freedom, of which you speak, unique to human life?

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...

 

Devil's Advocate,

 

If an individual were a solitary one (the only one in the world, or only one in a geographical area) would the question of rights ever come up? Such an individual would be completely free to do anything they chose within the limits of physical possiblity and their own ability, which would be complete liberty, wouldn't it?

 

Rights only have meaning in a social context, because only others can limit an individual's freedom. Wouldn't "rights" in that case necessarily mean obligating some to not act in ways that limit others freedom. I'm only questioning if it is possible to define rights without implying limits (or obligations) on others, not the legitimacy of such limits.

 

To the first question, probably not...  but the question of morality certainly would.  Having the freedom to do anything one chooses doesn't imply one should do anything without regard to consequence to oneself.  Acting without reservation on every whim would be reckless to say the least, and more likely suggests a kind of insanity.

 

To the second part, I would only amend that social rights only have meaning in a social context.  Even the freedom of solitary individual remains limited by reality.  Freedom is best defined as being at liberty to do what is possible, given the circumstances, e.g., free-will.  I'm interested in the concept of liberties vs claims brought up earlier (post #249), where the kind of definition you suggest as rights without obligations might be found.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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