ioel wrote:I disagree with your understanding of rights. I think it is far more objective than you think. For example, the reason why you don't have a right to a million dollars is because wealth must be earned--this is a fact of reality; someone must pay the cost to produce that wealth. So it can't coherently be considered a right (to have it provided to you).
Yes I think this a philosophical disagreement that will be hard to resolve. I donâ€™t believe that there are objective rights; you believe there are. I cannot think of an argument to counter your belief other than that which I raised above, i.e. that rights are non-existent until they are recognised, and when their recognition disappears so does the right. I expect we will continue to disagree on this point.
As far as the right to bear arms is concerned, I would insist that there is no such natural right, although it may be culturally recognised. With culturally recognised I mean a majority vote in favour of the right.
The point is then that to insist on a right to bear arms must be dependent on majority vote. It would follow that an insistence on a right to bear arms cannot be maintained where 51% of people deny it.
As an aside, I donâ€™t think your position that wealth must be earned before one has an entitlement to it is correct however. Lotteries and legacies for example seem to oppose it. I do agree that when one exerts effort he ought to receive the benefit of his effort, and as such should have a right to the wealth it creates. Nevertheless, I do not see this as an inherent right but as a right that may (I think should) or may not be culturally recognised.
You are mixing terms here. No one has a right to do absolutely whatever they want. When I speak of "freedom" as a positive good, I tend to mean "freedom to do as you will within your rights." To use one's abilities outside of one's rights is a wrong.
The point is that rights are the legitimate (and only) criterion by which to limit someone's actions. Yes, such limits are a restriction of freedom in an absolute sense, but not a restriction of freedom as a good. Maybe we can use the term "liberty" to refer to the latter meaning, as opposed to the former.
Inspiring cries and fights for freedom are not about gaining the freedom to commit theft with impunity. That's not what those people mean by freedom. Rather they mean what I have suggested we call "liberty."
Okay, so we are talking about freedom within oneâ€™s rights, and have agreed that oneâ€™s rights are limited by those of another. This we shall call â€˜libertyâ€™.
In this respect it is interesting that you refer to theft. Clearly, to unlawfully take property from another person infringes another personâ€™s right to property. So too does any form of assault, whether by gun, knife or car, interfere with another personâ€™s right to his physical integrity. [I expect you will agree that one has the right to physical integrity, taking into the account the exclusions provided by law (e.g. police powers).]
We must not confuse the right to bear arms, however, with the right to assault at another person. Although bearing arms may not directly infringe upon anotherâ€™s rights, shooting at another person does â€“ his right to physical integrity.
Referring to one of your posts before I entered the discussion, I think this questions any argument based on the correlation between self-defence (a form of assault) and the right to bear arms. My right to self-defence is, at law, a limited defence (e.g. proportionality between the threat and the response) and certainly not a licence-to-kill anyone who I feel infringes my rights. My liberty (as we have agreed to use the term) to use force is restricted by anotherâ€™s right to physical integrity. To say that I have the right to bear arms because I have the right to defend myself is therefore a non-sequitur. They are separate rights that are not dependent on each other.
As such, I would argue that 1) the right to bear arms at all is wholly dependent on majority support of such right, as expressed by legislation; and 2) the right to self-defence is irrelevant to the right to bear arms.
I don't mean to say however that there should be no right to bear arms. It may be necessary and simply too late in the day to deny the right in the US. I do object however to any assertion that the right to bear arms is some sort of natural or inherent human right.
Interesting. I suspect you may be using the negative sense of "freedom" here. Because as far as I can see, order is useful only insofar as it promotes liberty.
Yes. Wellâ€¦ liberty, prosperity, security, etc.
I don't know; it is possible to do a lot of damage with a car. But still, I don't see this as a matter of degrees. It is the principle of the thing.
Sorry, what is the relevant principle here?