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David Giessel
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« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2012, 07:23:11 PM »

JSNTS: At some point you made a well reasoned argument that "rights do not exist." I thought about this for a while and now agree with your conclusion. This has been a massively liberating way to view the world (as opposed to the futility of "rights" based arguments in the face of said "unalienable rights" having been completely alienated).

Thanks for that. The mind stretching that goes on here is my favorite part of this forum.
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Seth King
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« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2012, 07:56:13 PM »

JSNTS: At some point you made a well reasoned argument that "rights do not exist." I thought about this for a while and now agree with your conclusion. This has been a massively liberating way to view the world (as opposed to the futility of "rights" based arguments in the face of said "unalienable rights" having been completely alienated).

Thanks for that. The mind stretching that goes on here is my favorite part of this forum.

http://dailyanarchist.com/2010/07/29/what-rights-means-to-me/
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David Giessel
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« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2012, 09:44:48 PM »

Oops, looks like it was in fact you Seth who got me thinking that direction first.

That was the first thing I ever read here I think (but we've established that I have a pretty bad memory).
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"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." -Seraphim of Sarov

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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2012, 11:30:57 PM »

Oops, looks like it was in fact you Seth who got me thinking that direction first.

That was the first thing I ever read here I think (but we've established that I have a pretty bad memory).
Yeah. I've been against the idea of rights for a while now, but not that long. I wasn't even an anarchist when the article was published.
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Tom J
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« Reply #19 on: March 03, 2012, 02:48:34 PM »

JSNTS: At some point you made a well reasoned argument that "rights do not exist." I thought about this for a while and now agree with your conclusion. This has been a massively liberating way to view the world (as opposed to the futility of "rights" based arguments in the face of said "unalienable rights" having been completely alienated).

Thanks for that. The mind stretching that goes on here is my favorite part of this forum.

As I see it, a “right”, outside of the legal context, refers to what one thinks they and usually certain other people ought to or should be able to do without obstruction from other humans; for whatever reason, be it religious, a matter of conscience, or something else. And it’s simply the reality, that there are certain things in most (if not all) peoples lives that they believe they ought to or should be able to do.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 01:57:34 PM by Tom J » Logged
Tom J
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« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2012, 03:06:20 PM »



Good luck trying to convince an Anarcho-communist of this.
...



"Anarcho-communist"? What's your definition of anarchist?
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Argus
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« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2012, 03:42:15 PM »

JSNTS: At some point you made a well reasoned argument that "rights do not exist." I thought about this for a while and now agree with your conclusion. This has been a massively liberating way to view the world (as opposed to the futility of "rights" based arguments in the face of said "unalienable rights" having been completely alienated).

Thanks for that. The mind stretching that goes on here is my favorite part of this forum.

Agreed. It seems as if "rights" are in the same category as "sin" -- both are human-created mental constructs. If I homestead a piece of land that happens to be in the middle of a large pack of extremely ravenous grizzlies, I'll find out quickly how illusory are my assertion of "rights."

Yes, I know grizzlies don't run in packs but, c'mon..that sounds more badass than wolves or coyotes.

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Argus (who is without sin)
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Will
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« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2012, 04:10:06 PM »

Good luck trying to convince an Anarcho-communist of this.
...

"Anarcho-communist"? What's your definition of anarchist?

Without rulers. Surely you have heard of Anarcho-communism? It's probably been the most popular strand of anarchism for the past century or so. All communists are technically anarchists, the Marxist variety just have this strange idea that the best way to achieve this is through a dictatorship that will magically disappear when the populous is ready for it.

Anarcho-communists reject this crazy notion and just want to jump right into it. Some of them are statists in disguise that just like breaking things, but they're not all like that. They're certainly anarchists by any traditional definition of the word.
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Tom J
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« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2012, 11:38:01 PM »


Agreed. It seems as if "rights" are in the same category as "sin" -- both are human-created mental constructs. If I homestead a piece of land that happens to be in the middle of a large pack of extremely ravenous grizzlies, I'll find out quickly how illusory are my assertion of "rights."

Yes, I know grizzlies don't run in packs but, c'mon..that sounds more badass than wolves or coyotes.

Peace
Argus (who is without sin)

Just scare off or kill the "ravenous grizzlies". A “right” doesn’t have to require no labor.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 01:09:55 AM by Tom J » Logged
Mark Stoval
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« Reply #24 on: March 04, 2012, 06:47:13 AM »

... Agreed. It seems as if "rights" are in the same category as "sin" -- both are human-created mental constructs. If I homestead a piece of land that happens to be in the middle of a large pack of extremely ravenous grizzlies, I'll find out quickly how illusory are my assertion of "rights." ...

I read this and I read the post by Seth mentioned above: http://dailyanarchist.com/2010/07/29/what-rights-means-to-me/?_login=9310d1156e

The problem with that post and the "me toos" here in this thread is that there has been no definition of the word "rights" so that we are all on the same page. Take a look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/rights/ There you will see how controversial just the word's definition is! Please note that I am not saying that Stanford has any special place in the debate, only that their page would represent a fairly non-controversial summation of the idea under discussion in Philosophy to us moderns.

I see on that page near the middle that  --- “Right” in its older, objective sense means “what is just” or “what is fair.” --- and that holds true for the modern intuitive concept of the word. Ask a 5th grade child what is a "right" and she will say pretty much the above in whatever words she has at her disposal.  (yes, some of that would come from her parroting her environment no doubt but I think my point holds)

Seth came close to my ideas in his post (link above) when he talked about "rights" being in our mind. I would use "consciousness" but why quibble? Humans have a concept of "rights" and we should understand that the bears mentioned above use their instincts provided by nature (millions of years of evolution) and not reason.  Man is the thinking and reasoning beast. Man has some concept of what he should do to maximize his enjoyment of his time on earth. (and that of the race)

We do have rights. We have the right not to be the victim of aggression. There is no "big daddy in the sky" to enforce the right not to be the victim of aggression and so many people throughout all of history have been victims. You can see victims on the news today if you turn on any main stream news program.

It is "the nature" of humans that there is some way of acting, cooperating, and conducting our affairs that will lead to the most happiness, pleasure, advancement, culture, and so on for the individual and the race. Whatever "those rights" are, we must convince the race that they are, in fact, the inalienable rights of mankind. We must win the battle in the mind before we can prevail.

Enforcement? That comes by society and even if you don't get to enjoy your "rights", they are still yours never the less. Take for example the slave in 1840. We all knew that slavery was wrong and that the man should be free. He had a right to freedom even as he was denied his birthright.

I submit that the right to be free from aggression and coercion is an inalienable human right. I just wish that humanity would come to embrace that right someday.


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derick
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« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2012, 06:01:11 PM »

I agree Mark. I believe that every human being has the right to be free. We are only free up until the point where someone else uses aggression and coercion to take our freedom, or we use our freedom to contract ourselves into bondage. In my opinion if you do not have the right of ownership to the propduct of your labor, you are not free.
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Seth King
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« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2012, 06:04:08 PM »

Well said, Mark. I will agree that the definition of rights makes things more difficult to wrap one's head around.

By your definition then, we are not losing our rights. Nothing the government has done has taken away our rights. And I will agree with that.

But many libertarians, myself included in the past, would claim that the government is taking away our rights. But they are not taking away our rights. Because you still have the right to own a fully automatic weapon in Washington D.C. If some thugs in costume come and kidnap you, however, one should not view it as a violation of your rights. It is merely an act of aggression. If you don't like it you have the right to defend yourself. If you choose not to exercise that right, so be it.

I think if more libertarians viewed it as such they would be more inclined to stop begging for their "rights" back at the ballot box, and instead would start figuring out ways to destroy the entity that keeps aggressing against them.

We're in the mess we're in not because of the lazy majority, or the evil minority. We're in the mess we're in because the libertarians among us keep thinking that they're losing their rights, when in fact they are merely choosing not to exercise those rights and they have adopted the strategy of begging for permission instead of thwarting off the criminal entity that keeps attacking them.
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AgoristTeen1994
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« Reply #27 on: March 05, 2012, 03:09:37 AM »

Well said, Mark. I will agree that the definition of rights makes things more difficult to wrap one's head around.

By your definition then, we are not losing our rights. Nothing the government has done has taken away our rights. And I will agree with that.

But many libertarians, myself included in the past, would claim that the government is taking away our rights. But they are not taking away our rights. Because you still have the right to own a fully automatic weapon in Washington D.C. If some thugs in costume come and kidnap you, however, one should not view it as a violation of your rights. It is merely an act of aggression. If you don't like it you have the right to defend yourself. If you choose not to exercise that right, so be it.

I think if more libertarians viewed it as such they would be more inclined to stop begging for their "rights" back at the ballot box, and instead would start figuring out ways to destroy the entity that keeps aggressing against them.

We're in the mess we're in not because of the lazy majority, or the evil minority. We're in the mess we're in because the libertarians among us keep thinking that they're losing their rights, when in fact they are merely choosing not to exercise those rights and they have adopted the strategy of begging for permission instead of thwarting off the criminal entity that keeps attacking them.

Agreed Seth.

OH and JSNTS I have a question for you. This isn't mean to be sarcastic and while depending on your answer I may strongly disagree with you and may in fact think your partially amoral...I won't "bash" that opinion. You say there is no such thing as "rights" Well then I have a question for you...since you believe that there are no rights...do you agree with Benjamin R. Tucker that if I were to stop a woman from throwing her baby that she gave birth to into a furnace...that I should be punished for interfering with her property? The main argument I've across to people who do not believe in rights as to why they DISAGREE with that is: The baby shouldn't be thrown into the furnace since it owns itself...so the mother is initiating violence against it..which is wrong. Here is how I have replied to that argument: If there are no rights than how can you say that the baby or anyone owns themselves? Since after all "no rights" includes no property rights...and no property rights means you can't "own" anything...and if you CAN still prove that the baby owns itself...than why is it wrong for the mother to initiate violence against it...after all....there are no rights.

Now again, I am asking that as an honest question and JSNTS I am eager to hear your reply, since after all I am always willing to correct errors in my thinking.
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JustSayNoToStatism
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« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2012, 03:55:05 PM »

You say there is no such thing as "rights" Well then I have a question for you...since you believe that there are no rights...do you agree with Benjamin R. Tucker that if I were to stop a woman from throwing her baby that she gave birth to into a furnace...that I should be punished for interfering with her property?
I disagree with the idea that you should be punished. I welcome the thought of you rescuing the baby.

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The main argument I've across to people who do not believe in rights as to why they DISAGREE with that is: The baby shouldn't be thrown into the furnace since it owns itself...so the mother is initiating violence against it..which is wrong. Here is how I have replied to that argument: If there are no rights than how can you say that the baby or anyone owns themselves? Since after all "no rights" includes no property rights...and no property rights means you can't "own" anything...and if you CAN still prove that the baby owns itself...than why is it wrong for the mother to initiate violence against it...after all....there are no rights.
If someone doesn't believe in rights, then their answer to why the baby shouldn't get thrown into the fire should be "I simply don't want to see babies thrown into fires. It's an arbitrary preference." Your argument is pretty good, but the reason things get confusing is because of semantics. Philosophically speaking, I don't think rights exist. I don't think there is any natural, indisputable moral code that says it is good for people to get some certain list of rights/privileges. Economically and socially, I think humans have much to gain for themselves through voluntaryism, including what we call "property rights." But don't confuse the word "rights" associated with property, to the "natural rights" that other philosophers talk about. Property rights, in common usage and everyday language, refers only to a custom of respecting property claims...it has nothing to do with "rights" in the philosophical sense.

So to address the end of your post, I cannot prove that the baby owns itself, and I cannot prove that it is wrong for the mother to throw the baby into the fire. I oppose that behavior because it is destructive and harmful, therefore violating my stated principles. But my goals of reducing human suffering and improving the standard of living for mankind is a preference, and a preference only. People are free to value other things, and my goals aren't necessarily good, even if I would like to think so.

PS: These were excellent questions, and I hope I cleared things up a little bit. Feel free to ask more, who knows, maybe you'll discover a flaw in my thinking.
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This isn't mean to be sarcastic and while depending on your answer I may strongly disagree with you and may in fact think your partially amoral...I won't "bash" that opinion.
  Oh yeah, you don't need to apologize in advance for asking probing questions. It's entirely appropriate on a discussion board. Believe me, I cannot be offended.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 04:00:38 PM by JustSayNoToStatism » Logged

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AgoristTeen1994
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« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2012, 05:00:08 PM »

Okay than. So to clarify while you are saying that you DO find it a bad thing to "throw the baby into the fire/furnace" that you believe that that is an arbitrary preference...and that while you're arbitrary preferences support NOT throwing the baby in the fire the preferences of the mother may differ...so basically you're saying it's morally neutral to throw the baby into the fire? What about cases of say slavery? Since as you said the baby doesn't own itself, or at least you can''t prove the baby owns itself...thus it would not be immoral for the mother to claim the baby as property correct? Which may very well go against the wishes of the baby, at least once it's older....at which point for a good deal of it's life, it may find, that it has the choice between "emancipating" itself as I believe Murray Rothbard put it, in which case it probably would be unable to provide for itself and thus would starve....or staying and quite possibly being murdered by the mother/father. So the child would be between a rock and a hard place. 

I apologize if I am misunderstanding what you are saying and I'm glad you both replied promptly and didn't get offended when many people would.
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