Rights again (was Re: [extropy-chat] SUV versus sedan etc)

Mike Lorrey mlorrey at yahoo.com
Sun Aug 22 14:10:16 UTC 2004

while rights confer responsibility, it is stil only resp for ones self,
and to others in that one does not violate the life liberty or property
of another. putting another at risk is not a violation of rights, and
even todays courts still recognise this. no harm equls no foul.
--- extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org <bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au>
> BillK wrote:
> > On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 09:26:12 +1000, Brett Paatsch wrote:
> > >  
> > > But still a public road is something that is constructed as
> > > part of a public policy which requires some sort of legal
> > > framework to make it work.
> > > 
> > > If there has to be some public policy and some minimal 
> > > set of laws or rules to make it work then what could be
> > > wrong with considering what that public policy (what 
> > > those laws) should be?
> [BillK] 
> > This ... seems to be getting at the root of  the discussion.
> > The SUV supporters seem to be assigning a greater value
> > to their individual rights than to the good of the public at
> > large (the commons). This is the traditional contradiction
> > between individual rights and social responsibility.
> I think what is missing to ground this stuff sensibly is a notion of
> rights, what secular non-mystical rights are, where they derive
> and how they work.  
> I'll offer the following as a first attempt.
> 1) The rights one assumes for oneself are meaningless as rights.
> Any creature can pursue its own interests any way it likes and
> for so long as it can get away with it. A creature operating alone
> is one operating more basically and outside the sphere of rights
> and responsibility. Rights only arise in a social context. An
> without a group has infinite "freedom-to" and zero "freedom-from"
> 2) Rights arise only in conjunction with two other associated 
> concepts, the concept of group membership and the concept
> of responsibility. Where others in ones group don't accept
> responsibility one does not have an actual right. Rights and
> responsibilities must balance. Group membership is where
> individuals forgo some "freedom-to"s in exchange for some
> "freedom-froms". 
> 3) The only rights a group member has are those that the group
> can underwrite for its members by drawing on the reservoir of
> member responsibility. The books must balance: rights cannot
> exist where responsibility for underwriting them and the
> resource to do it don't exist. 
> 4) Laws are the means by which groups manage the balance 
> between rights and responsibility but only for their members
> (citizens). 
> 5) Groups (families, tribes, nations) can and will compete and
> conflict unless they can pool their members and align their rights
> and responsibilities. 
> There are no mystical rights - the mystics are trying to re-allocate
> real world resources when they talk of such rights - and to the 
> extent that they do they diminsh the resource pool to underwrite
> responsibilities such as duty of care to group members. 
> The above is quick and crude but maybe a beginning. 
> Brett Paatsch
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Mike Lorrey
Chairman, Free Town Land Development
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
                                         -William Pitt (1759-1806) 
Blog: http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=Sadomikeyism

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