What Are Your Rights?

by Simon 121 Replies latest jw friends

  • Simon

    Rights seem to be everywhere nowadays. Say hello to someone in the wrong way and you've violated 101 of their human rights. People imagine they have the right to all sorts of things - food, healthcare, housing, internet ... so many things are labelled basic rights and then you get onto their human rights - a favourite of the do-nothing bodies such as the UN to declare. Grandiose rights that set the world to right ... but change nothing in reality.

    What rights should you really have?

    I personally think the US constitution has it correct in that the only true rights are those that the government can guarantee. And that means that many of these other things cannot really be rights that can be demanded.

    The only things that the government can absolutely guarantee are things that it will not do to you. So, you have the right to free-speech - the government won't prevent you speaking your political view. You have the right to freedom of association, the government won't lock you up randomly. You have the right to a fair trial if someone thinks you have disobeyed the laws that society decides to enact.

    The only real rights you have are boundaries for the role of government in your life. Everything else is just wishful thinking.

    You don't have the right to free healthcare, or to food, or to housing or the internet, because the government can't guarantee you those things nor should they - you should work to barter for them. They can try to provide an environment where people become Doctors, where enough food is grown, where there are enough houses and so on. But they cannot be under obligation to provide things that they cannot control and should not be in the business of competing in those markets. The only way they could control it is to force people to provide their labor ... which sounds a lot like slavery.

    You also shouldn't have the right to demand the labor of others directly. This is where we get into ridiculous situations where someone demands that someone else bakes them a cake, a crazy offensive cake that they don't want to make. Again, the right should be that the government should not force you to provide your labor when you don't want to. But a false right is created and you have legal contradictions and endless court cases. The government ends up being used as a stick which is in direct contradiction of the only role government should play when it comes to rights - not to force their will on others.

    Only when someone plays the role of "government" can you demand provision of service - someone in a government office shouldn't be able to deny you service because they don't like you or your views for instance.

    Only when private enterprises reach "utility" status should they lose the right to deny service. Private companies and individuals can and should be able to discriminate for whatever reason they chose because that is the reality of human existence.

    We should go back to a simpler time when the fundamental rights you have are the rights not to be killed, imprisoned or silenced by the government. When it comes to work, relationships and everything else - everyone has the right to ignore you and / or tell you to take a hike.

    Everyone will have the right to be offended by anything they want ... but they have no right to do anything about it.

  • OnTheWayOut

    From George Carlin:

    Folks I hate to spoil your fun, but... there's no such thing as rights. They're imaginary. We made 'em up. Like the boogie man. Like Three Little Pigs, Pinocio, Mother Goose, shxt like that. Rights are an idea. They're just imaginary. They're a cute idea. Cute. But that's all. Cute...and fictional. But if you think you do have rights, let me ask you this, "where do they come from?" People say, "They come from God. They're God given rights." Awww fxxx, here we go again...here we go again.

    The God excuse, the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument, "It came from God." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. Personally folks, I believe that if your rights came from God, he would've given you the right for some food every day, and he would've given you the right to a roof over your head. GOD would've been looking out for ya. You know that.

    He wouldn't have been worried making sure you have a gun so you can get drunk on Sunday night and kill your girlfriend's parents.

    But let's say it's true. Let's say that God gave us these rights. Why would he give us a certain number of rights?

    The Bill of Rights of this country has 10 stipulations. OK...10 rights. And apparently God was doing sloppy work that week, because we've had to ammend the bill of rights an additional 17 times. So God forgot a couple of things, like...SLAVERY. Just fxxxin' slipped his mind.

    But let's say...let's say God gave us the original 10. He gave the british 13. The british Bill of Rights has 13 stipulations. The Germans have 29, the Belgians have 25, the Swedish have only 6, and some people in the world have no rights at all. What kind of a fxxxin' god damn god given deal is that!?...NO RIGHTS AT ALL!?


    Now, if you think you do have rights, I have one last assignment for ya. Next time you're at the computer get on the Internet, go to Wikipedia. When you get to Wikipedia, in the search field for Wikipedia, i want to type in, "Japanese-Americans 1942" and you'll find out all about your precious fxxxing rights. Alright. You know about it.

    In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was...right this way! Into the internment camps.

    Just when these American citizens needed their rights the most...their government took them away. and rights aren't rights if someone can take em away. They're privileges.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Good OP.

    I think that rights and responsibilities often go together but everyone bangs on about rights without mentioning responsibilities.

    Such as the right to vote - ok but we also have the responsibility of living within the law. If a guy is imprisoned for a serious crime he cannot vote all the time he's in jail. There are a few loony protesters but this is fair.

    Consider that trans woman on silent buddha's thread - this person was saying "call corporate" whilst kicking stuff over.

    Then there are rights that can never be guaranteed - the right not to be offended, etc. Some people need to be told to grow up and accept that others think differently, not to be pandered to.

  • Simon
    In 1942 there were 110,000 Japanese-American citizens, in good standing, law abiding people, who were thrown into internment camps simply because their parents were born in the wrong country. That's all they did wrong. They had no right to a lawyer, no right to a fair trial, no right to a jury of their peers, no right to due process of any kind. The only right they had was...right this way! Into the internment camps.

    We have the luxury of hindsight to condemn that. Given that the US had just been attacked without warning by a country with fanatical and religious levels of devotion, I think interning the residents born to that hostile nation was a no-brainer, in the same way that I would expect German occupants of Britain to be interned or expelled (probably the latter as there was no surprise attack in that case).

    At the time, the allies were fighting for the existence and decorum takes a back seat when it becomes about life and death. Allowing a potential 5th column to exist simply wasn't sensible and could not be risked. But if you look at how the Japanese population of the US were treated by comparison with how the Japanese treated people in lands they controlled, they were in 5-star luxury.

    What was wrong was how it was done, not that it was done. But they should have received compensation for losses at the end of the conflict.

    The fault for it lies with the Japanese who chose to attack another country. Their people paid the price for their poor choices along with many others.

    It is a good point though - the rights are an illusion. If you ever really need them then you won't have them. You have them only because a government choses to abide by the rule to follow and grant them. One reason why government should never be allowed to gain too much power over people's lives and the democratic process must be defended as it is the only real source of "rights".



    At what point do moral and religious views become a violation of human rights?

    Does a pharmacist have a right to fill a blood pressure prescription and not a birth control prescription because they find it morally and religiously objectionable? Pharmacists are employed to dispense drugs to patients, not become a moral standard bearer. What does it matter to them if I purchase condoms, hemorrhoid cream or stool softener?

    I live in the state of Illinois and see this sign taped by the pharmacy drive-thru window....Please call this # if the pharmacist refuses to fill any birth control prescription.

    Pharmacists Refusing to Fill Spark National Controversy

    AUGUST 11, 2015

    Only 8 states (California, Illinois, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin) have laws explicitly prohibiting medication refusals. Six states (Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota) have laws that specifically allow pharmacists to refuse to provide medications for religious or moral reasons.

    None of the laws in the 6 states that allow medication refusals include provisions requiring pharmacists to refer patients or transfer prescriptions to another pharmacy.

    Pharmacy industry associations such as the American Pharmacists Association have issued policies stating that pharmacists should fill all valid prescriptions or transfer them to a pharmacist who can, according to the NWLC. Although these policies encourage pharmacists to check their personal beliefs at the door, the policies are not legally binding and are nothing more than recommendations.

    Many major pharmacy chains also have policies in place that prohibit pharmacists from refusing to fill prescriptions for birth control, but some stores have “refuse and refer” policies. Like other retail store policies, a pharmacist’s failure to comply could result in discipline or, at worst, termination.

    Birth control access advocates are urging supporters to petition their legislators and state pharmacy boards to pass laws that prohibit medication refusals. Pharmacists’ rights advocates, however, say that they should not be required to dispense drugs that they find morally or religiously objectionable.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    Free market, and your right to choose are wonderful things. Find another pharmacist who will fill your script and give him all your business. Tell your friends and give him all the business you can. If the other pharmacist goes out of business, that's his fault. But it's his right to choose what he sells and what he doesn't. The sign didn't say; anyone using birth control can not shop here. You can buy whatever you want from him, just not birth control.

    But it's his right to choose what he sells and what he doesn't.

    A moral and religious pharmacist should than object to filling other types of prescriptions for many reasons. A pharmacist who opposes assisted suicide may not want to fill a morphine prescription for a patient who has a painful terminal illness and wish to end his life.

    A moral and religious pharmacist should than object to filling vicodin and other painkillers, sleeping pills, erectile dysfunction pills, antidepressants, and many other drugs.

  • Incognigo Montoya
    Incognigo Montoya

    Lots of hypotheticals, rules and regs.

    His right to choose, your right to go elsewhere. Simple

  • Giordano

    Unfortunately it's not that simple for many people. I was startled to learn that some of our native American reservations are 100 miles away from a voting booth. That they don't have street addresses but instead have Post Office mail boxes which are not allowed under some State voting rules........by design........ to mail a paper ballot.

    Would the same be true about a medical facility as well as prescription drugs? Do some people get the morning after pill or have to travel a vast distance because someone with their own ideas about what's moral or not decides who gets what?

    Would you want Jehovah's Witnesses in control of state laws that have been bent to favor their theology? Or other conservative religions like the Mormons? The Catholic religion especially in Catholic Ireland which established religious rules re child birth and pregnancy.

    It took a lot of work to bring Civil rights to the forefront in the US so a person of color could have a cup of coffee at a drug store counter in the South. Or could drink from the same water fountain.

    It took a major effort to make sure when a person is arrested by the police that they have to be read their rights.

    So depending on how far one wants to deny that people have 'rights' it's the law and not the religion that must prevail. 'Rights' are what separate first world countries from those countries that don't recognize a right.


    Oh, here we come, again! Another person who is so religious and moral deciding who should have a ''right''get a marriage license. She refuses to issue a marriage license to gay couples(even though its legal in Kentucky) because of "God's authority.''

    With her strong religious faith ( cough, cough), she forgets that she's been married four times and she should have been issued only one marriage license herself. What upstanding moral and religious code this woman has that she decides what "rights" she gets but what "rights" others get taken away. She has a right to marry 4 times without her rights to remarry taken away but somehow, she is on God's side against gay couples right to marry.

    The Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue marriage licenses to gay couples has been married four times herself.

    Invoking “God’s authority,” Kim Davis denied marriage licenses to gay couples again Tuesday in direct defiance of the federal courts and vowed not to resign, even under the pressure of steep fines or jail.

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