Legislation - The systematic removal of your rights!

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politicalnick
Legislation - The systematic removal of your rights!

My God gave me all my rights, NOT the government!!

The government would have you believe different but the statement above is true. All our rights are innate, you are born with them regardless of any existence of government. Taking a life without just cause has been wrong since the begining of time, no-one had to tell you that, you know it inside your soul. The feeling of guilt for doing wrong to others is inside you not created by some words on a piece of paper or taught to you by parents or schools.

Our government would like you all to believe that they have 'granted' to you the things you have in your heart and soul and you are now in their debt for it. I beg to differ. The only thing they have done have done is write rules that gives them the power to control your life.

The only piece of legislation ever enacted by a Canadian government that did not put limits on your rights or your ability to invoke your rights was the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and even this didn't give you any rights, it simply confirmed you already had them. Each and every other piece of legislation has, bit by bit, tried to limit or take away what was granted to us by the Divine God (whichever God is yours) at the moment we are concieved.

We have the right to travel freely about the country without interference yet the MVA allows them to say how, when and where and to impose a fine or imprision us if we exercise this right without following their rules.

We have the right to own property but property tax laws and income tax laws , once again, establish limits on that right with penalties like imprisionment or confiscation of your house if you don't follow their rules. And if they do take your home away they get paid first when it is sold, ahead of even your mortgage so you may still owe your bank thousands with nothing left to show for it.

All legislation, statutes and Acts, are specifically written to limit your ability to live free by your own consience. And are written in such a way as the general public could never understand them. I spent 3 hours reading the Land Title Act with my law dictionary in hand and the only part I could decifer was section "139: Air space is to be construed as land" and section "145: Air space is subject to property tax". I didn't say it made any sense, I just said I could understand the meaning.

This group of people calling themselves politicians have fooled us all into believing they are there to make laws and control the individual people and be lords over us. My only lord is my God. In truth, the only real job they have is the oversight of the administration of the financial business of the country. In other words, to keep the beauracrats in line. 

I personally am tired of this. I have never intetionally hurt any of my fellow man and have benn sorry and tried to make amends if I hurt someone unitentionally. Most of the people in this country are exactly the same as me and we do have recourse against the few through the criminal code and civil laws. We certainly don't need to spend billions each year to have the government regulate each and every aspect of our lives whe we already know in our hearts how to be decent.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

If you think that your rights came from God, you are not only wrong, you are delusional.

 

politicalnick

Michael Moriarity wrote:

If you think that your rights came from God, you are not only wrong, you are delusional.

 

Where did we get them then? They did not come from you.

Are you saying my right to life and to be free was not there before any form of government was even thought of? That would be delusional.

Please note: I did not say The God is said YOUR GOD. That could be any higher power you wish to believe in.

6079_Smith_W

I don't have a problem with you invoking your god as a way of saying that our freedoms are innate, and that they can only be recognized, not given, by governments.

That said, I don't agree with you that the law only restricts that freedom. In the first place, although many laws are technically be things that restrict, it is that very restriction on some that affords freedom and protection to others.

And even outside those restrictions, the laws abolishing slavery in Upper and Lower Canada were laws which specifically recognized rights and freedoms.

And even amendments to restrictive laws, such as clarifications and changes to the BNA Act recognizing women's suffrage, is still making and refining of the law.

George Victor

Nick, why don't you just declare them "natural rights?"

politicalnick

I guess I stand corrected. Those a 2 fine examples of a law that recognizes someone's rights in the past.

Now tell me where the MVA or the tax act does anything but restrict my right to free travel and to own property (my money).

politicalnick

George Victor wrote:

Nick, why don't you just declare them "natural rights?"

A simple matter of semantics, use whatever term makes you comfortable.

6079_Smith_W

MVA.... motor vehicle act?  Please clarify.

politicalnick

6079_Smith_W wrote:

MVA.... motor vehicle act?  Please clarify.

You got it in one try....LOL

6079_Smith_W

THanks.

While I don't think private insurers should be allowed to refuse insurance, I don't consider driving on a public road without insurance to be a right. For that matter, I don't think having a driver's license is a right. I assume you are talking about one of those things.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

 

  I would suggest that the rules laid out in the something like the motor vehicle act while setting out restrictions and rules for individuals  also fall into the realm of protecting my freedoms and your freedoms too.  Namely the ability to travel safely without it being a free for all with everyone else just doing what they feel like and driving in whatever they feel like.  While the MVA does pose restrictions on me as an individual those same restrictions offer me modicum of safety and a social contract with other drivers, namely I have a fairly decent idea of what they're going to drive like.     You aren't just driving around in bubble with no one else on the road.   Other people travel too.    Try driving in a country with very little laws or enforcement on roads.   It's not fun and your chances of coming to an untimely death or maiming because of some other individual enacting their particular version of driving 'freedom' goes way, way up.  

So to be a little snarky.  I glad that their are rules that say that an idiot who decides to exert their 'freedom' by driving down a road an 170kms an hour in the pouring rain can get dinged and fined.  If that idiot was only risking their own individual body and life all the power to them.  Be free and all.   However they aren't just risking their own.  They're risking mine and countless other people expressing their freedoms.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I disagree with the general opinion in this thread that there is such a thing as an innate right, whether given by God, or gods, or Mother Nature, or any other source. All rights are conventions agreed to by some human beings in some societies. No more, no less. I do agree that evolution has for some reason or other provided human beings with the ability to stand in another person's shoes, and imagine how they would feel in that same case. This ability gives rise to the Golden Rule quite naturally. All so-called rights are merely attempts to apply this one, innate abilty to organizing our relations with each other. Some attempts are more successful, some less.

The U.S. constitution is a good example of an attempt to define rights which its drafters claimed were God given. It worked more or less for 200 years, but has almost totally failed in the last 30 years. Social circumstances have changed. An American population which was given to defiance of authority in defence of their own concept of their rights has become one which cowers in fear before a few cave dwelling religious fanatics.

Some apparent attempts are insincere, such as the constitution of the former Soviet Union. On paper, it provided even more rights to the individual than the U.S. did. Of course, none of these rights were actually enforced, in court or anywhere else, and no Soviet citizen took them seriously.

If you have rights at all, it is because you are lucky enough to live in a society which makes a reasonable attempt to provide its members with the opportuities that everyone would like to have, because they are willing to use their empathy in making the rules.

Your great emphasis on the individual is also an error. While it is true that the tyranny of the majority is always a danger, extreme individualism is inherently self deceiving. As John Donne wrote, "No man is an island." We are a social species. In order to even become a human individual, we absolutely must have thousands of hours of social interactions with other people. A child deprived of this cannot ever learn to speak, think, or be a human individual. Even in adult life, every individual is totally dependent on the society in which he is embedded. If suddenly marooned on the proverbial desert island, and deprived of our social supports, almost all of us would soon die.

I believe in people treating other people in ways that are fair, and I think that it is a good thing for societies to attempt to encourage and even institutionalize such behaviour. However all such rules, which you call rights, are made by humans for humans, as our best attempt to establish fairness. None of them are innate, or unchallengable. I would add that they were not given by God, except that I believe God to be a fictional character.

 

Fidel

Gerrard Winstanley, in the 17th century Levellers Standard, wrote:
"Take notice, That England is not a a Free People, till the Poor that have no Land, have a free allowance to dig and labour the Commons, and so live as Comfortably as the Landlords that live in their Inclosures

"...then certainly none shall say, This is my Land, work for me and I'le give you Wages. For, the Earth is the Lords, that is, Mans, who is the Lord of Creation...

Truer words were never spaketh by a leader of the English.

Fidel

Ah, Moriarity!

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Some apparent attempts are insincere, such as the constitution of the former Soviet Union. On paper, it provided even more rights to the individual than the U.S. did. Of course, none of these rights were actually enforced, in court or anywhere else, and no Soviet citizen took them seriously.

It's true that workers of the former USSR did not own the means of production. Private ownership of wealth as well as the profit motive were made illegal for the most part. But one thing was true of the FSU, and that is that workers at least owned their jobs. Whether they wanted them or not, guarantee of jobs for everyone under state socialism was a given. Hundreds of millions don't even have that today. The Chicago School people and the west's best and brightest made Moscow intelligentsia and Yugoslav leaders see things differently by the 1980s.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Michael

I think your point is semantic.

Of course there are cases in which peoples' liberty conflicts with others, but in the same sense that the law is a shleld, not a sword, I think there are some liberties and protections which are innate, whether states or people recognize them or not.

Freedom from slavery? The right to due process? Perhaps the practical application is a construct, but there is a moral code at the core of it, and I cannot think of any way to see the alternative as good or right.

(edit)

Actually I re-read. Sorry, It's not a semantic difference. I disagree with you.

You ascribe much more reality to philosophical concepts than I do. In my opinion, the concepts which you consider true will depend upon the society in which you are raised and do your thinking. On the other hand, the empathetic impulse, which I submit is the source of all philosophical concepts of rights, is innate, and shared by all healthy human beings. They can apply it to a greater or lesser degree, and in a myriad of ways. I agree with your examples of slavery and due process because my mental categories were shaped by the same culture that shaped yours. However, I do not ascribe universality to these social constructs, which you do.

 

6079_Smith_W

@ Michael

I think your point is semantic.

Of course there are cases in which peoples' liberty conflicts with others, but in the same sense that the law is a shleld, not a sword, I think there are some liberties and protections which are innate, whether states or people recognize them or not.

Freedom from slavery? The right to due process? Self-determination? Perhaps the practical application is a construct, but there is a moral code at the core of it, and I cannot think of any way to see the alternative as good or right.

(edit)

Actually I re-read. Sorry, It's not a semantic difference. I disagree with you. To say that you think people should treat one another fairly, but to imply that it doesn't matter if other societies follow a different model and that it is all a matter of "luck"  is fence-sitting, IMO. It may not be my place to step in and interfere, but I will call it for what it is.

6079_Smith_W

@ Michael

Fair enough. I do believe I understand what you are getting at, and I do understand how different peoples' values can conflict and confuse issues of rights.

(and I actually edited since you wrote, and implied you were sitting on the fence, which may be going too far, excuse me).

Even so. I think we see this issue very differently.

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Fidel wrote:

Ah, Moriarity!

Michael Moriarity wrote:
Some apparent attempts are insincere, such as the constitution of the former Soviet Union. On paper, it provided even more rights to the individual than the U.S. did. Of course, none of these rights were actually enforced, in court or anywhere else, and no Soviet citizen took them seriously.

It's true that workers of the former USSR did not own the means of production. Private ownership of wealth as well as the profit motive were made illegal for the most part. But one thing was true of the FSU, and that is that workers at least owned their jobs. Whether they wanted them or not, guarantee of jobs for everyone under state socialism was a given. Hundreds of millions don't even have that today. The Chicago School people and the west's best and brightest made Moscow intelligentsia and Yugoslav leaders see things differently by the 1980s.

As I'm sure you realize, Fidel, I was referring to rights such as freedom of speech and the like, which were notoriously lacking in FSU, although many workers were no doubt better off than they would have been under Russian capitalism.

 

Fidel

Michael Moriarity wrote:
I agree with your examples of slavery and due process because my mental categories were shaped by the same culture that shaped yours. However, I do not ascribe universality to these social constructs, which you do.

It's clear today that your god of capitalism and of private property rights, John Locke, indicated that title to the land should necesarily be tied to sweat, toil  and labouring on the land. Surely everyone is able to support the universal Lockean theme of toiling on land as means and way to earning the right to ownership exclusive of everyone else with no such claim?

Michael Moriarity wrote:
As I'm sure you realize, Fidel, I was referring to rights such as freedom of speech and the like, which were notoriously lacking in FSU, although many workers were no doubt better off than they would have been under Russian capitalism.

The Russians didn't pretend that there was freedom of speech in the FSU, no. They were fairly up front about things like that.

6079_Smith_W

Societies may set their own rules, but I don't think people are necessarily bound by those rules and conventions. 

If people in another society work to promote freedom of speech it may not be appropriate for me to step in and interfere, but I;m not going to say they are wrong simply because they are out of step with their society, and that they are therefore bound to follow a different rule than I would accept for myself.

So although I agree it is a very complicated, conflicted, and subjective matter, there are some basic aspects of liberty and security which I think are innate - most basic being the issue of consent.

And as a bit of an aside, I don't think "do unto others" is a natural way of organizing societies. Fear and force are much more natural  and efficient in some cases.

politicalnick

6079_Smith_W wrote:

THanks.

While I don't think private insurers should be allowed to refuse insurance, I don't consider driving on a public road without insurance to be a right. For that matter, I don't think having a driver's license is a right. I assume you are talking about one of those things.

The claiming and use of any right comes with the implied reciprocal contract to all others that you will not harm their rights in the process. I don't think driving without some kind of insurance is very smart, but you have the right as long as you accept responsibility and liability for your actions and agree to be held accountable. As to having a license, some form of competency or proficiency should be reasonably demonstrated, but paying $75 buck to the government every 5 years for a plastic card doesn't make me competent or safe on the road. That comes again from the implied contract of responsibility to other when I am exercising my right to travel. If someone is acting in a way that could cause serious harm to others, a breach of that implied contract, then their individual right to use the road should be restricted, but as a safe and cautious driver why do I need to pay all these liscence and registration fees and why can they steal my money, or my vehicle or even send me to prison because I don't give them their levy even though I have hurt no-one and simply travelling down the highway in a safe manner. It is all about mutual respect and obligation to DO NO HARM!

politicalnick

Michael Moriarity wrote:

If you have rights at all, it is because you are lucky enough to live in a society which makes a reasonable attempt to provide its members with the opportuities that everyone would like to have, because they are willing to use their empathy in making the rules. 

Do you think then that the people in Myanmar do not have a right to their own opinion or thoughts or a right to life. Just because the society they live in doesn't allow for these things without punishment by the government doesn't mean they don't exist. Under your claim above there are no such things as rights anywhere, only state granted priveliges.

 

Michael Moriarity wrote:

I believe in people treating other people in ways that are fair, and I think that it is a good thing for societies to attempt to encourage and even institutionalize such behaviour. However all such rules, which you call rights, are made by humans for humans, as our best attempt to establish fairness. None of them are innate, or unchallengable. I would add that they were not given by God, except that I believe God to be a fictional character.

From your opening statement in this paragraph it is clear you undertand the concept in your heart if not in your head, but if you have no innate or unchallengeable rights and we change the rules a bit I can reject your opinion and substitute my own and you have no right to have the thoughts or ideas that you do. We  all know you would still have your own thoughts or opinion and no rule I could ever make will change this. Not even if I took all your money and poseesions and locked you away and beat you daily would you ever have my opinion if you did not agree with it. That is an innate, unchallengable right!

politicalnick

ElizaQ wrote:

 

  I would suggest that the rules laid out in the something like the motor vehicle act while setting out restrictions and rules for individuals  also fall into the realm of protecting my freedoms and your freedoms too.  Namely the ability to travel safely without it being a free for all with everyone else just doing what they feel like and driving in whatever they feel like.  While the MVA does pose restrictions on me as an individual those same restrictions offer me modicum of safety and a social contract with other drivers, namely I have a fairly decent idea of what they're going to drive like.     You aren't just driving around in bubble with no one else on the road.   Other people travel too.    Try driving in a country with very little laws or enforcement on roads.   It's not fun and your chances of coming to an untimely death or maiming because of some other individual enacting their particular version of driving 'freedom' goes way, way up.  

So to be a little snarky.  I glad that their are rules that say that an idiot who decides to exert their 'freedom' by driving down a road an 170kms an hour in the pouring rain can get dinged and fined.  If that idiot was only risking their own individual body and life all the power to them.  Be free and all.   However they aren't just risking their own.  They're risking mine and countless other people expressing their freedoms.

Eliza - The MVA does nothing to impose any kind of 'social contract' nor does it protect you from some moron who wants to go 100 mph. The social contract as you call it is the reciprocal responsibility implied that in exercising my rights I won't violate yours, most of the people live by this even if they can't express what it is. Some idiot doing anything unsafe to others on the road or elswhere does not have the consience to respect that reciprocal responsibility whether it is legislated or not. If the Act actually had any weight in cotrolling someones actions there would never be a death on the road.

The point is I pay $75 for piece of plastic every 5 years, I pay another $35 to re-register my vehicle each year and another $25 to license it and absolutely none of it guarantees you are safe from me being stupid. God forbid one of the armed collection agents sees me driving in a straight line on the correct side of the road at 70kph in a 60kph zone while there is no-one around for miles because that will cost me another $160.

It is an unfortunate thing that we can't legislate away stupid or inconsiderate. If we could I would be more than happy to join the cause. No amount of laws will ever stop those that don't care about their fellow man, they only restrict those that are already good people. 

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

politicalnick wrote:

ElizaQ wrote:

 

  I would suggest that the rules laid out in the something like the motor vehicle act while setting out restrictions and rules for individuals  also fall into the realm of protecting my freedoms and your freedoms too.  Namely the ability to travel safely without it being a free for all with everyone else just doing what they feel like and driving in whatever they feel like.  While the MVA does pose restrictions on me as an individual those same restrictions offer me modicum of safety and a social contract with other drivers, namely I have a fairly decent idea of what they're going to drive like.     You aren't just driving around in bubble with no one else on the road.   Other people travel too.    Try driving in a country with very little laws or enforcement on roads.   It's not fun and your chances of coming to an untimely death or maiming because of some other individual enacting their particular version of driving 'freedom' goes way, way up.  

So to be a little snarky.  I glad that their are rules that say that an idiot who decides to exert their 'freedom' by driving down a road an 170kms an hour in the pouring rain can get dinged and fined.  If that idiot was only risking their own individual body and life all the power to them.  Be free and all.   However they aren't just risking their own.  They're risking mine and countless other people expressing their freedoms.

Eliza - The MVA does nothing to impose any kind of 'social contract' nor does it protect you from some moron who wants to go 100 mph. The social contract as you call it is the reciprocal responsibility implied that in exercising my rights I won't violate yours, most of the people live by this even if they can't express what it is. Some idiot doing anything unsafe to others on the road or elswhere does not have the consience to respect that reciprocal responsibility whether it is legislated or not. If the Act actually had any weight in cotrolling someones actions there would never be a death on the road.

The point is I pay $75 for piece of plastic every 5 years, I pay another $35 to re-register my vehicle each year and another $25 to license it and absolutely none of it guarantees you are safe from me being stupid. God forbid one of the armed collection agents sees me driving in a straight line on the correct side of the road at 70kph in a 60kph zone while there is no-one around for miles because that will cost me another $160.

It is an unfortunate thing that we can't legislate away stupid or inconsiderate. If we could I would be more than happy to join the cause. No amount of laws will ever stop those that don't care about their fellow man, they only restrict those that are already good people. 

 

"Good" is a subjective qualifier.  You're understanding of a what consists of 'good' person is not some sort of universial agreed upon entity.

6079_Smith_W

@ politicalnick

Plus, it's not a matter of rights. The fact that one does not have a driver's license does not mean that someone does not have freedom of movement. 

My driving privileges are conditional on my wearing my eyeglasses, and I have a family member who cannot drive unless she takes regular blood tests and takes a medication on a daily basis. Big deal.

Driving a car, or building a house are constrained by safety regulations, and while I disagree with some of its applications (like the fact that an insurance company can arbitrarily set more stringent rules than are in the building code) I think they are a good idea.

No.... I don't trust everyone to do the right thing. I have seen too many accidents, heard too many brokem mufflers, and seen too many cars leaving a giant blue cloud in their wake to leave it up to good graces and individual freedom.

(edit)

I attended a seminar once on insurance adjuster horror stories - all kinds of home-built monstrosities. In most cases, people just burned their own houses down, but there was one - a home-built wood-burning heating system - in which the builder used automobile anti-freeze instead of straight glycol for the heat transfer. It was a large-scale system, and when it sprung a leak he didn't just destroy his own land, he poisoned the water supply for the nearby town with heavy metals.

Ooops. No insurance. Yay freedom!

Slumberjack

It's not often around here that we're enraptured by an all in one pro-god, anti-tax, anti-gubberment thread.

absentia

politicalnick wrote:

I guess I stand corrected. Those a 2 fine examples of a law that recognizes someone's rights in the past.

Now tell me where the MVA or the tax act does anything but restrict my right to free travel and to own property (my money).

(bold added) Excuse me? God created money and gave it to you?

This here's my single biggest problem with lebertarians. They so conveniently forget that property and money are government functions; that it takes a lot of establishment, legislation and beurocracy to regulate those things, and protect me from the people who are physically stronger, yet have no innate, God-given right to "my" property.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

politicalnick wrote:

My God gave me all my rights, NOT the government!!

That is total nonsense. Whatever rights you have come from the society and the set of laws established where you live. Besides, if you have the same rights as everyone else, and others around you either believe in a different God or no God at all, then your argument falls apart right away.

ETA: Put another way, if your rights come from God, and there is no God, then you have no rights - right?

Caissa

John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, can I get to be any more fun that this?

Did politicalnick mistake this for Free Dominion?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Just playing Devil's Advocate, by the way. Innocent

Caissa

So your responsible for Saint Karol, Boom Boom. Defector...Tongue out

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

No comment, of course. I'll let my minions speak on my behalf. Innocent

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

My God gave me all my rights, NOT the government!!

 

So why does He leave it to the government to enforce and protect them?

 

And what of those whose rights are being compromised somewhere on earth right now? Why will your God not enforce their rights? He's omnipotent, yes?

George Victor

Michael Moriarity wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ Michael

I think your point is semantic.

Of course there are cases in which peoples' liberty conflicts with others, but in the same sense that the law is a shleld, not a sword, I think there are some liberties and protections which are innate, whether states or people recognize them or not.

Freedom from slavery? The right to due process? Perhaps the practical application is a construct, but there is a moral code at the core of it, and I cannot think of any way to see the alternative as good or right.

(edit)

Actually I re-read. Sorry, It's not a semantic difference. I disagree with you.

You ascribe much more reality to philosophical concepts than I do. In my opinion, the concepts which you consider true will depend upon the society in which you are raised and do your thinking. On the other hand, the empathetic impulse, which I submit is the source of all philosophical concepts of rights, is innate, and shared by all healthy human beings. They can apply it to a greater or lesser degree, and in a myriad of ways. I agree with your examples of slavery and due process because my mental categories were shaped by the same culture that shaped yours. However, I do not ascribe universality to these social constructs, which you do.

 

Right on, Michael. The person who opened this thread is someone to the philosophical right of Vlad the Impaler ...see Leo Strauss's Natural Right and History. He might even BE a Straussian.

You have put your finger exactly on the philosophical division that has opened with the growth of neo-conservatism (see Irving Kristol's Neo-Conservatism). 

Yours is the liberal position under attack for a half-century now, Michael: "In my opinion, the concepts which you consider true will depend upon the society in which you are raised and do your thinking. On the other hand, the empathetic impulse, which I submit is the source of all philosophical concepts of rights, is innate, and shared by all healthy human beings."

Thank goodness for observant folk like yourself.

6079_Smith_W

George, 

So the notion that it is wrong to pay someone less, or to deny service or legal protection, or to force someone against his or her will  based on race or gender is completely subjective?  Although from the perspective of our society I consider it wrong, if it happened elsewhere it could be considered the right thing to do?

Like I said, although I recognize that it is an issue complicated by subjective values, and issues of autonomy, I think the relativism only goes so far. 

(I assume your comment was in earnest, not facetious. Excuse me if I am wrong)

Caissa

History is replete with present generations believing that previous ages objective  truths are currently incorrect. The problem in part lies in the difficulty of stepping outside one's own paradigm.

George Victor

6079_Smith_W wrote:

George, 

So the notion that it is wrong to pay someone less, or to deny service or legal protection, or to force someone against his or her will  based on race or gender is completely subjective?  Although from the perspective of our society I consider it wrong, if it happened elsewhere it could be considered the right thing to do?

Like I said, although I recognize that it is an issue complicated by subjective values, and issues of autonomy, I think the relativism only goes so far. 

(I assume your comment was in earnest, not facetious. Excuse me if I am wrong)

I'm deadly serious, 6079.   I'll try to put up a blurb about the Kristol/Strauss connection and "natural rights" in a couple of days. Might even throw in an Allan Bloom and Saul Bellow for measure.  :)

George Victor

Caissa wrote:

History is replete with present generations believing that previous ages objective  truths are currently incorrect. The problem in part lies in the difficulty of stepping outside one's own paradigm.

That is at the core of neo-conservatism's continuing reaction to the 60s.

6079_Smith_W

Nothing is true, everything is permitted, eh?

And if you are offering to lay out the philosophical foundation for my benefit, you don't have to bother.

Caissa

6079 wrote:
  A constitution requires ratification by referendum of the people

 

B doesn't neccesarily follow from A.

 

We act as if things are true all of the time.

Sean in Ottawa

I have to agree with Moriarty.

I'll further that by pointing out a popular assumption that I think is incorrect that is a the root of the opposition to this concept.

First-- everything that is not a law of nature is a social construct. If it is a law of nature it cannot be breached. If we have choice then it is a social construct.

What is troubling is the assumption that what is innate or perceived to be god-given is more important than social constructs. Yet most of what we have and depend on is socially constructed and those are the only things we can imagine negotiating-- no negotiation with gravity.

So, morality comes from choice and is also a construct and it does not have absolutes. All of civilization (including religion) is based on agreed constructs. All constructs are cultural and relative. They appear universal and in the same situation humans may eventually come to the same conclusion. In fact other intelligent life forms if we discovered them could (but not necessarily)  also come to the same conclusion.

There is in fact nothing other than our agreement and confidence that we have any of our moral codes, laws and rights correct. We have created all of them to live together in a complex society and will change them if others work better. Moral agreement comes not so much from what is right but what works.

But that doesn't mean social constructs are not important. And it does not mean they are negotiable. We can create constructs that are nonnegotiable (for us) and I would argue that we should.

This means that we can say that certain rights we have created become the basis for our society -- this is how we produce a Constitution. We can condition our involvement with others on their acceptance of these conventions. And if we want to be true to some of them then perhaps that is fair.

To impose them upon others who do not share them is in fact cultural imperialism. Sounds harsh but it may be easier to argue for the merits of some cultural imperialism than to pretend this is not the case. It is better to admit it and then consider what that means (that we have to be careful and can be wrong) than to impose these constructs (call them conventions, values whatever) as if they are recieved from a higher power.

Then once we admit these are all constructs then we can ask ourselves -- is it moral to engage with societies that do not accept the most basic of these (rights etc.)? Is it moral to interfere to impose them on others against their will? There are good arguments to be made on both of these that justify what amounts to interference and cultural imperialism. If you accept this but do not believe in wholesale imperialism then you have to acknowledge that there are no absolutes to work with -- highly disturbing but perhaps accurate.

So ultimately, if there are no innate rules then what are the rights we can impose? It seems there is a general agreement that the freedom of speech is not one that justifies invasion and many countries do not have it. Security of the person to not be raped, imprisoned, beaten or killed seems to be more controversial with some belileving that societies have to work this out for themselves and others believing that we morally can interfere with those who do not share our views on this.

And then if we are trading with those societies and engaging with them, do we condition our rights/values/constructs and which of those can we condition.

Pretty soon you see that there are no absolutes when it comes to morality even on the things that are the most important to us.

politicalnick

Boom Boom wrote:

politicalnick wrote:

My God gave me all my rights, NOT the government!!

That is total nonsense. Whatever rights you have come from the society and the set of laws established where you live. Besides, if you have the same rights as everyone else, and others around you either believe in a different God or no God at all, then your argument falls apart right away.

ETA: Put another way, if your rights come from God, and there is no God, then you have no rights - right?

So you are saying I only have rights because of youand some other people? Thats a pretty arrogant statement don't you think. If society didn't exist I wouldn't have any? I have a right to life no matter what, I have a right to my thoughts society, did not give me them, I have always had them and have them in any society.

They come from MY God. That is my expression of the higher force in the universe. I a actually not a christian. God can be many thing to many people but always refer to some higher force...your god may be science itself.

politicalnick

absentia wrote:

politicalnick wrote:

I guess I stand corrected. Those a 2 fine examples of a law that recognizes someone's rights in the past.

Now tell me where the MVA or the tax act does anything but restrict my right to free travel and to own property (my money).

(bold added) Excuse me? God created money and gave it to you?

This here's my single biggest problem with lebertarians. They so conveniently forget that property and money are government functions; that it takes a lot of establishment, legislation and beurocracy to regulate those things, and protect me from the people who are physically stronger, yet have no innate, God-given right to "my" property.

So you would say that every item in your possesion is a function of the government, your food, your clothing, that picture of your dead grandma were all created and given to you by the feds. The government did create money but once I earn it it's mine. It becomes my property like anything else.

You have also made my point for me that the government's duty is to protect our rights in all ways at all times from aggression...including their own!

6079_Smith_W

Sean,

I'm not talking about the morality of interference, or historical revisionism, because I have already acknowledged that when it comes to practical application these matters are complicated.

But is anyone here going to step up to the plate and tell me that it is acceptable to torture or enslave? To say that a woman is less of a person than a man is? That a native or black person is less human than a white person? 

 

Caissa

I'm not going to tell you they are acceptable; I am going to tell you there was a time when each of these was considered acceptable. There will be a time in the future when things we do that are now considered acceptable will be considered unacceptable.

politicalnick

Snert wrote:

Quote:

My God gave me all my rights, NOT the government!!

 

So why does He leave it to the government to enforce and protect them?

 

And what of those whose rights are being compromised somewhere on earth right now? Why will your God not enforce their rights? He's omnipotent, yes?

I don't rely on the feds to protect my rights, I have to protect them myself and am willing to do so in any way possible. I am in court with the feds this week protecting my rights and have not lost a ruling against them yet.

You go ahead and try to take something that is mine and see what happens. Go ahead, come on my land and pick something up and try to leave with it. You might not like the outcome.

Take responsibility for yourself and stop being an infant in the government's care.

6079_Smith_W

Nice footwork, Caissa. 

I'm not talking about historical revisionism, or judging people out of context. I am saying that racist and sexist discrimination was, is and will be wrong, whether it was acceptable at one time or not.

You can use philosophical games to rationalize just about anything, but if you take that reasoning to the end of the road nothing has any meaning whatsoever. But at that point you are completely disconnected from the real world.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

You go ahead and try to take something that is mine and see what happens. Go ahead, come on my land and pick something up and try to leave with it. You might not like the outcome.

 

Oooh. God, guts and guns! Same deal if, say, your right to free association were abrogated? Just come out shootin' like Yosemite Sam?

 

Also, how's the weather out in Alberta?

politicalnick

Snert wrote:

Quote:

You go ahead and try to take something that is mine and see what happens. Go ahead, come on my land and pick something up and try to leave with it. You might not like the outcome.

 

Oooh. God, guts and guns! Same deal if, say, your right to free association were abrogated? Just come out shootin' like Yosemite Sam?

 

Also, how's the weather out in Alberta?

Protection of my private property is a lot different than if I can associate with someone and the legal right to defend my person and property is much different than most others.

FYI: I don't have guns. Guns are illegal if not registered, I own 'high velocity projectile launch mechinisms'

And the weather here on the West coast is fantastic. Your assumption I am some Redneck is incorrect. I have a white collar job in an office.

absentia

Oh, geez! A crossbow-wielding one of those....

Slumberjack

It's Ted Nugent!!

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