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View Diary: Beware of Tyrants in Sheep's Clothing (215 comments)

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  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)
    You'e arguing for an absolute conception of rights - based on what? What are you going to base rights - or even morality or ethics - on, except culture and history? And when you choose something to base it on, why do I have to accept your choice? Don't I have a right to disagree? I should, unless, as I point out, you're an absolutist.
    You don't have to accept my choices, any more than I have to accept yours.  
    So instead of rights as God's commandments, or more effectively, unicorns, I'd suggest it's only meaningful to talk about rights where they actually exist - and that's where people agree they exist (in a democracy), or generally, where they can actually be shown to exist.
    The particular decisions of a particular regime in a particular century are barely worthy of my consideration.

    Governments don't HAVE to exist, but if they do exist they need to respect the freedoms of their people.

    Slaves in Mississippi in 1830 had, practically, realistically, no rights. No law enforcement agency or personnel would enforce them (beyond some property rights, to be sure), no court would recogize them, state or Federal, almost no church or fraternal organization would recognize them, and slaves couldn't exercise those rights you believe they had. So they add up to nothing.
    And an armed attacker could mug me tomorrow, torture me for five minutes, and then kill me.  In this society of two people, there is no effective protection for my rights, so by your logic my rights do not exist.  No law enforcement, court, church, whatever, will take an interest during my lifetime.  I can't exercise those rights, so they add up to nothing.
    So, to summarize, you haven't shown where rights come from, and, barring that, you haven't shown how rights can exist when they, in reality, don't.
    I haven't attempted to do so, nor am I interested in trying.  
    But, if you reject the notion that "securing the blessings of Liberty" is a legitimate function of government, what do you think is?

    the purpose of the second amendment is to promote a well-regulated militia, in the same sense that the purpose of the first amendment is to promote a well-informed electorate.

    by happymisanthropy on Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 06:40:40 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  But I do think "securing the blessings of Liberty (0+ / 0-)

      to ourselves and our posterity" is a legitimate function of government. I'd point out that the first three words of that same document (and the first three words of a number of paragraphs in the President's speech yesterday) are "We the People ...". Because that's the sole source of that document's - and that President's - legitimate authority, and of the rights it seeks to extend to us and to guarantee.

      And I believe in those things because of the culture I've lived in my entire life, and that culture's history (and that culture and history change continually, too). I don't believe in those things because there's something else that "makes" those things true. I don't know what that something would be.

      Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

      by badger on Tue Jan 22, 2013 at 02:37:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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