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The Right to Life is a Negative Right

wrichcirw
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1/30/2014 3:07:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
http://www.debate.org...

There was a healthy discussion ongoing from this debate, so this is a forum post to make it more organized and such.

Commence!
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
bladerunner060
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1/30/2014 3:25:43 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 3:07:01 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
http://www.debate.org...

There was a healthy discussion ongoing from this debate, so this is a forum post to make it more organized and such.

Commence!

Well, there will be more space and more formatting options here, at least.

I believe I had responded to something last?
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wrichcirw
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1/30/2014 4:26:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The value of anything is almost always a subjective thing. My own life is very important to me. But if someone's life is unimportant to them, who am I to tell them they're morally wrong? It's THEIR life. And of course, who are they to tell me I morally HAVE to attribute value to their life to the extent of supporting it against my wishes?

Again, this condones parents "morally" (and thereby legally) neglecting their babies to the point of homicide.

---

If another has a positive right to life against me, I CAN'T ethically "opt-out". In order to remain ethical, I have to work for another, whether I want to or not, because I'm subject to THEIR exercise of rights, rather than my own.

There's no strict dichotomy as you're outlining it here. You work for BOTH yourself and the other.

But in the former case, I work at my own discretion, and in the latter, I work at theirs.

Again, it's not a strict dichotomy. In the former, you work at your own discretion (although exactly how you were able to survive your childhood is questionable), in the latter, you work for both yourself an the other, not just their discretion.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
bladerunner060
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1/30/2014 5:19:31 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 4:26:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The value of anything is almost always a subjective thing. My own life is very important to me. But if someone's life is unimportant to them, who am I to tell them they're morally wrong? It's THEIR life. And of course, who are they to tell me I morally HAVE to attribute value to their life to the extent of supporting it against my wishes?

Again, this condones parents "morally" (and thereby legally) neglecting their babies to the point of homicide.

No, it does not. Because parents DO have an obligation they've accepted. In order to discharge their obligation they must either preclude the kid in the first place, or put the kid up for adoption. If they haven't done that, they have an obligation, but they CAN discharge it.

Parents who give their kids up for adoption are not morally guilty if then someone adopts the kid and neglects them, because they gave up the responsibility for that kid.

Now, that's in part due to our society: we've set up a mechanism FOR that ability to get out of your responsibility. But that just means that "in the wild", by letting the kid be born, you've accepted responsibility.

If another has a positive right to life against me, I CAN'T ethically "opt-out". In order to remain ethical, I have to work for another, whether I want to or not, because I'm subject to THEIR exercise of rights, rather than my own.

There's no strict dichotomy as you're outlining it here. You work for BOTH yourself and the other.

But in the former case, I work at my own discretion, and in the latter, I work at theirs.

Again, it's not a strict dichotomy. In the former, you work at your own discretion (although exactly how you were able to survive your childhood is questionable), in the latter, you work for both yourself an the other, not just their discretion.

I survived because I DO value my life--but that's my choice.

I'm not sure I understand your second point. How can it be said at that i'm working for myself, when I'm working for another against my will?
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wrichcirw
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1/30/2014 5:24:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 5:19:31 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/30/2014 4:26:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The value of anything is almost always a subjective thing. My own life is very important to me. But if someone's life is unimportant to them, who am I to tell them they're morally wrong? It's THEIR life. And of course, who are they to tell me I morally HAVE to attribute value to their life to the extent of supporting it against my wishes?

Again, this condones parents "morally" (and thereby legally) neglecting their babies to the point of homicide.

No, it does not. Because parents DO have an obligation they've accepted. In order to discharge their obligation they must either preclude the kid in the first place, or put the kid up for adoption. If they haven't done that, they have an obligation, but they CAN discharge it.

I'm going to ask you to spell out exactly what you think this obligation is that they've accepted. As far as I'm concerned, its the obligation to protect the right to life for their newborn, one that society deems fit to put upon them over and above whatever feelings and motivations would already result in them caring for their newborn.

Parents who give their kids up for adoption are not morally guilty if then someone adopts the kid and neglects them, because they gave up the responsibility for that kid.

Now, that's in part due to our society: we've set up a mechanism FOR that ability to get out of your responsibility. But that just means that "in the wild", by letting the kid be born, you've accepted responsibility.

I disagree with "in the wild". I would certainly say that "in the wild", without any social contract or societal obligation, there are simply no obligations and no sense of responsibility.

I survived because I DO value my life--but that's my choice.

That does not explain your infancy...

I'm not sure I understand your second point. How can it be said at that i'm working for myself, when I'm working for another against my will?

Because you're working for BOTH yourself and for someone else, and both against your will I may add.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ironmaiden
Posts: 456
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1/30/2014 5:37:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
It's really quite simple. If you don't want a fetus to grow inside of you, either use condoms or birth control, or don't have sex at all. Unless the baby's birth is a threat to your life, there is no reason to kill it.
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
wrichcirw
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1/30/2014 5:45:04 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 5:37:04 PM, ironmaiden wrote:
It's really quite simple. If you don't want a fetus to grow inside of you, either use condoms or birth control, or don't have sex at all. Unless the baby's birth is a threat to your life, there is no reason to kill it.

This isn't an abortion thread, bro lol
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
ironmaiden
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1/30/2014 5:59:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 5:45:04 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/30/2014 5:37:04 PM, ironmaiden wrote:
It's really quite simple. If you don't want a fetus to grow inside of you, either use condoms or birth control, or don't have sex at all. Unless the baby's birth is a threat to your life, there is no reason to kill it.

This isn't an abortion thread, bro lol

...oh, sh!t, you're right...I read something wrong...my apologies...
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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1/30/2014 7:15:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 5:24:32 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/30/2014 5:19:31 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/30/2014 4:26:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The value of anything is almost always a subjective thing. My own life is very important to me. But if someone's life is unimportant to them, who am I to tell them they're morally wrong? It's THEIR life. And of course, who are they to tell me I morally HAVE to attribute value to their life to the extent of supporting it against my wishes?

Again, this condones parents "morally" (and thereby legally) neglecting their babies to the point of homicide.

No, it does not. Because parents DO have an obligation they've accepted. In order to discharge their obligation they must either preclude the kid in the first place, or put the kid up for adoption. If they haven't done that, they have an obligation, but they CAN discharge it.

I'm going to ask you to spell out exactly what you think this obligation is that they've accepted. As far as I'm concerned, its the obligation to protect the right to life for their newborn

I agree, though I'd probably expand "protect" to something like "and nurture" or "and care for" to make clear the whole point about disallowing inaction.

But again, they've taken that obligation on as a result of their choices and actions.

one that society deems fit to put upon them over and above whatever feelings and motivations would already result in them caring for their newborn.

But the appeal to society could just as easily go the other way, if society were different, which is why it's not particularly strong to me.

Parents who give their kids up for adoption are not morally guilty if then someone adopts the kid and neglects them, because they gave up the responsibility for that kid.

Now, that's in part due to our society: we've set up a mechanism FOR that ability to get out of your responsibility. But that just means that "in the wild", by letting the kid be born, you've accepted responsibility.

I disagree with "in the wild". I would certainly say that "in the wild", without any social contract or societal obligation, there are simply no obligations and no sense of responsibility.

I disagree. I think there are still moral obligations.

Are you saying that, if society fell apart tomorrow (Zombies!! ARrrgh!!!), a sociopath who just starts wantonly murdering for no reason (the non-zombies, of course) has no obligation or moral responsibility for those actions?

I think, if that is your position, I am intrigued by it as much as you were intrigued on my thoughts re: the right to NOT want to have to do anything even if it results in your death.

I survived because I DO value my life--but that's my choice.

That does not explain your infancy...

Ah, no, I survived then because my parents had an obligation to me.

I'm not sure I understand your second point. How can it be said at that i'm working for myself, when I'm working for another against my will?

Because you're working for BOTH yourself and for someone else, and both against your will I may add.

No. In the first case, I have the choice, and whichever I choose is exactly as moral because it's entirely my choice. I don't "owe" myself my own life. I just know that I have to do X to remain alive...if I choose NOT to do X, I will die, and that is my choice and is not immoral.

In contrast, the second scenario requires me to do X to help someone ELSE remain alive, in order to remain moral, whether I want to do that or not, whether I value their life or not.
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wrichcirw
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1/30/2014 10:09:49 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 7:15:30 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/30/2014 5:24:32 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/30/2014 5:19:31 PM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/30/2014 4:26:25 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
The value of anything is almost always a subjective thing. My own life is very important to me. But if someone's life is unimportant to them, who am I to tell them they're morally wrong? It's THEIR life. And of course, who are they to tell me I morally HAVE to attribute value to their life to the extent of supporting it against my wishes?

Again, this condones parents "morally" (and thereby legally) neglecting their babies to the point of homicide.

No, it does not. Because parents DO have an obligation they've accepted. In order to discharge their obligation they must either preclude the kid in the first place, or put the kid up for adoption. If they haven't done that, they have an obligation, but they CAN discharge it.

I'm going to ask you to spell out exactly what you think this obligation is that they've accepted. As far as I'm concerned, its the obligation to protect the right to life for their newborn

I agree, though I'd probably expand "protect" to something like "and nurture" or "and care for" to make clear the whole point about disallowing inaction.

But again, they've taken that obligation on as a result of their choices and actions.

one that society deems fit to put upon them over and above whatever feelings and motivations would already result in them caring for their newborn.

But the appeal to society could just as easily go the other way, if society were different, which is why it's not particularly strong to me.

Without a societal obligation, they don't have what is commonly perceived as a personal obligation either. The word "obligation" implies external coercion. There are no obligations without society.

I mean, without laws saying otherwise, what WOULD happen if they let their baby die? Nothing. They could just have another one. Maybe they wasted a year or two, that's it.

Parents who give their kids up for adoption are not morally guilty if then someone adopts the kid and neglects them, because they gave up the responsibility for that kid.

Now, that's in part due to our society: we've set up a mechanism FOR that ability to get out of your responsibility. But that just means that "in the wild", by letting the kid be born, you've accepted responsibility.

I disagree with "in the wild". I would certainly say that "in the wild", without any social contract or societal obligation, there are simply no obligations and no sense of responsibility.

I disagree. I think there are still moral obligations.

Moral obligations are meaningless without a social contract. The concept of morality itself is meaningless without a concept of society behind it. Without society, the concept of "should" has no meaning. There is only what is, and it is neither right nor wrong.

I suppose the next question would then be "do I believe in the concept of inalienable rights"? Only in the sense that it is a social belief, in that given a society, such rights indeed should be inalienable. Without society, such rights are meaningless, because such rights are incumbent upon there being a social contract to delineate them.

For example, without society, if I assigned myself the right to life, who would care when I die? No one. The right is utterly meaningless without a society there to ADD meaning to it.

Are you saying that, if society fell apart tomorrow (Zombies!! ARrrgh!!!), a sociopath who just starts wantonly murdering for no reason (the non-zombies, of course) has no obligation or moral responsibility for those actions?

Not to you, and not to me. If he has his own code of morality that condones murder, who's to say he's wrong?

This is why we have laws. This is why we have society...because without society, murderous sociopaths would just have their way.

At this point, I could make an "ought" statement about why I believe this website needs laws, and I would point to the state of affairs on DDO to support my point. Imagine if there was NO enforcement whatsoever, and NO sense whatsoever of any sort of moderation. This site would have fallen apart a long time ago.

The stronger the laws and the enforcement behind them, the stronger the sense of society. The weaker the laws and enforcement, the weaker the sense of society.

I think, if that is your position, I am intrigued by it as much as you were intrigued on my thoughts re: the right to NOT want to have to do anything even if it results in your death.

I survived because I DO value my life--but that's my choice.

That does not explain your infancy...

Ah, no, I survived then because my parents had an obligation to me.

They had no such obligation without society assigning them one. Your parents may have DESIRED that you live, but they most certainly were not obligated to have you live, unless society obligated them such.

I'm not sure I understand your second point. How can it be said at that i'm working for myself, when I'm working for another against my will?

Because you're working for BOTH yourself and for someone else, and both against your will I may add.

No. In the first case, I have the choice, and whichever I choose is exactly as moral because it's entirely my choice. I don't "owe" myself my own life. I just know that I have to do X to remain alive...if I choose NOT to do X, I will die, and that is my choice and is not immoral.

But you DO owe yourself your own life. You DO have that debt. Nature has assigned you one, and you must pay or die.

Is it immoral for you to choose to die? Only if the choice to bring you into this world was a moral choice.

In contrast, the second scenario requires me to do X to help someone ELSE remain alive, in order to remain moral, whether I want to do that or not, whether I value their life or not.

Right, that would require that you acknowledge that the choice to bring THEM into the world was a moral choice as well. If you do not even consider your own birth to be a moral event, then I can understand why you don't consider others' births to be moral events either.

That would frame the right to life as meaningless, as a positive OR a negative right.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
bladerunner060
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1/31/2014 12:01:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/30/2014 10:09:49 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
But the appeal to society could just as easily go the other way, if society were different, which is why it's not particularly strong to me.

Without a societal obligation, they don't have what is commonly perceived as a personal obligation either. The word "obligation" implies external coercion. There are no obligations without society.

I mean, without laws saying otherwise, what WOULD happen if they let their baby die? Nothing. They could just have another one. Maybe they wasted a year or two, that's it.

In terms of ethics, though, they would have committed an immoral act.

This argument is suspciously "might makes right", that if you can be forced to do something, it is therefore your obligation and moral obligation. I don't think that's what you intend it to be.

We're discussing the philosophy and ethics here.

I disagree with "in the wild". I would certainly say that "in the wild", without any social contract or societal obligation, there are simply no obligations and no sense of responsibility.

I disagree. I think there are still moral obligations.

Moral obligations are meaningless without a social contract.

I strongly disagree.

The concept of morality itself is meaningless without a concept of society behind it. Without society, the concept of "should" has no meaning. There is only what is, and it is neither right nor wrong.

I very strongly disagree.

I suppose the next question would then be "do I believe in the concept of inalienable rights"? Only in the sense that it is a social belief, in that given a society, such rights indeed should be inalienable. Without society, such rights are meaningless, because such rights are incumbent upon there being a social contract to delineate them.

And again, I disagree. They're reliant upon a social contract to enforce them. That's a separate issue.

For example, without society, if I assigned myself the right to life, who would care when I die? No one.

So?

The right is utterly meaningless without a society there to ADD meaning to it.

You and I have different interpretations of what "meaning" is.

Are you saying that, if society fell apart tomorrow (Zombies!! ARrrgh!!!), a sociopath who just starts wantonly murdering for no reason (the non-zombies, of course) has no obligation or moral responsibility for those actions?

Not to you, and not to me. If he has his own code of morality that condones murder, who's to say he's wrong?

So, again, you believe that whatever society says is right, is right, regardless of any underlying philosophical point. I wholeheartedly reject that.

"Who's to say he's wrong?" Me. Reason. He cannot justify his actions in any rational and consistent way.

This is why we have laws. This is why we have society...because without society, murderous sociopaths would just have their way.

No. We have laws to codify what we expect to be just, and to collectively enforce it.

That doesn't necessarily make it right, what makes it right is the reasoning behind it.

At this point, I could make an "ought" statement about why I believe this website needs laws, and I would point to the state of affairs on DDO to support my point. Imagine if there was NO enforcement whatsoever, and NO sense whatsoever of any sort of moderation. This site would have fallen apart a long time ago.

That's a pragmatic argument which has nothing to do with the discussion of rights, though.

The stronger the laws and the enforcement behind them, the stronger the sense of society. The weaker the laws and enforcement, the weaker the sense of society.

Perhaps. But I don't feel that means "therefore, anything society says is moral is moral".

That does not explain your infancy...

Ah, no, I survived then because my parents had an obligation to me.

They had no such obligation without society assigning them one.

That's an assertion. You back it up with an appeal to pragmatism, but I reject that.

Your parents may have DESIRED that you live, but they most certainly were not obligated to have you live, unless society obligated them such.

I believe they DID have an obligation, based on their bringing me into this world. By doing so, they were obliged ethically to care for me until I could care for myself.

By your argument, the system in Sparta of murdering "unfit" infants was just as just as our current system. As are the actions of every totalitarian regime ever. As was the Inquisition. As was slavery.

I reject that.

No. In the first case, I have the choice, and whichever I choose is exactly as moral because it's entirely my choice. I don't "owe" myself my own life. I just know that I have to do X to remain alive...if I choose NOT to do X, I will die, and that is my choice and is not immoral.

But you DO owe yourself your own life. You DO have that debt.

No, I do not.

Nature has assigned you one, and you must pay or die.

And I may choose to die without being immoral, as I've said before.

Is it immoral for you to choose to die? Only if the choice to bring you into this world was a moral choice.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

In contrast, the second scenario requires me to do X to help someone ELSE remain alive, in order to remain moral, whether I want to do that or not, whether I value their life or not.

Right, that would require that you acknowledge that the choice to bring THEM into the world was a moral choice as well. If you do not even consider your own birth to be a moral event, then I can understand why you don't consider others' births to be moral events either.

That would frame the right to life as meaningless, as a positive OR a negative right.

I don't understand this point.

You're advocating an obligation on my end towards every other person, regardless of their own actions or my desires in the matter. I don't see a justification for that.
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wrichcirw
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1/31/2014 3:15:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 12:01:58 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/30/2014 10:09:49 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

Without a societal obligation, they don't have what is commonly perceived as a personal obligation either. The word "obligation" implies external coercion. There are no obligations without society.

I mean, without laws saying otherwise, what WOULD happen if they let their baby die? Nothing. They could just have another one. Maybe they wasted a year or two, that's it.

In terms of ethics, though, they would have committed an immoral act.

That's your own subjective ethics code.

This argument is suspciously "might makes right", that if you can be forced to do something, it is therefore your obligation and moral obligation. I don't think that's what you intend it to be.

That may very well be what I intend. I use that argument liberally.

We're discussing the philosophy and ethics here.

Well, that's what a moral code entails, so sure.

I disagree with "in the wild". I would certainly say that "in the wild", without any social contract or societal obligation, there are simply no obligations and no sense of responsibility.

I disagree. I think there are still moral obligations.

Moral obligations are meaningless without a social contract.

I strongly disagree.

The concept of morality itself is meaningless without a concept of society behind it. Without society, the concept of "should" has no meaning. There is only what is, and it is neither right nor wrong.

I very strongly disagree.

I suppose the next question would then be "do I believe in the concept of inalienable rights"? Only in the sense that it is a social belief, in that given a society, such rights indeed should be inalienable. Without society, such rights are meaningless, because such rights are incumbent upon there being a social contract to delineate them.

And again, I disagree. They're reliant upon a social contract to enforce them. That's a separate issue.

Any code, any morality, is dependent upon enforcement to have meaning. Without enforcement, such pronouncements have no meaning, no merit, and no usefulness.

For example, without society, if I assigned myself the right to life, who would care when I die? No one.

So?

Exactly. Morality without enforcement, without "obligation", is meaningless.

The right is utterly meaningless without a society there to ADD meaning to it.

You and I have different interpretations of what "meaning" is.

And what exactly is your interpretation?

Are you saying that, if society fell apart tomorrow (Zombies!! ARrrgh!!!), a sociopath who just starts wantonly murdering for no reason (the non-zombies, of course) has no obligation or moral responsibility for those actions?

Not to you, and not to me. If he has his own code of morality that condones murder, who's to say he's wrong?

So, again, you believe that whatever society says is right, is right, regardless of any underlying philosophical point. I wholeheartedly reject that.

I never said that. It would be society's version of morality. At that point, given my own penchant for utilitarianism, one could then compare one's own actions to this social standard for morality, and then and only then can we conceptualize something such as "personal morality".

"Who's to say he's wrong?" Me. Reason. He cannot justify his actions in any rational and consistent way.

You're not there to say he's wrong. You're probably dead. You can't communicate whatever you find reasonable. What if he was using reason to justify sociopathic behavior?

This is why we have laws. This is why we have society...because without society, murderous sociopaths would just have their way.

No. We have laws to codify what we expect to be just, and to collectively enforce it.

What exactly does this refute? Are you saying that a law condoning sociopathic murder is a just law?

That doesn't necessarily make it right, what makes it right is the reasoning behind it.

This is probably the only point in which we agree, and I will only agree with it in a limited fashion. What our conception of "right" and "reason" is is subjective.

At this point, I could make an "ought" statement about why I believe this website needs laws, and I would point to the state of affairs on DDO to support my point. Imagine if there was NO enforcement whatsoever, and NO sense whatsoever of any sort of moderation. This site would have fallen apart a long time ago.

That's a pragmatic argument which has nothing to do with the discussion of rights, though.

Rights are pragmatic.

The stronger the laws and the enforcement behind them, the stronger the sense of society. The weaker the laws and enforcement, the weaker the sense of society.

Perhaps. But I don't feel that means "therefore, anything society says is moral is moral".

It's socially moral. As you said, morality is subjective, so I don't see why this is difficult for you to accept.

That does not explain your infancy...

Ah, no, I survived then because my parents had an obligation to me.

They had no such obligation without society assigning them one.

That's an assertion. You back it up with an appeal to pragmatism, but I reject that.

If you mean "bare" assertion, how so? There are laws that obligate your parents to take care of you. Your own statement, that they are somehow obligated WITHOUT laws, is indeed a completely bare assertion.

Your parents may have DESIRED that you live, but they most certainly were not obligated to have you live, unless society obligated them such.

I believe they DID have an obligation, based on their bringing me into this world. By doing so, they were obliged ethically to care for me until I could care for myself.

Bare assertion, evidenced by underlined.

By your argument, the system in Sparta of murdering "unfit" infants was just as just as our current system. As are the actions of every totalitarian regime ever. As was the Inquisition. As was slavery.

It was societally just for them. We have our own interpretation of social justice. Totalitarian regimes have their own. Morality is subjective, this is a core tenet for both of us, but for some reason you fail to apply such a tenet logically when it comes to conceptualizations of society.

I reject that.

Why?

Nature has assigned you one, and you must pay or die.

And I may choose to die without being immoral, as I've said before.

That's because your life is apparently not moral to begin with.

Is it immoral for you to choose to die? Only if the choice to bring you into this world was a moral choice.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

See above.

Right, that would require that you acknowledge that the choice to bring THEM into the world was a moral choice as well. If you do not even consider your own birth to be a moral event, then I can understand why you don't consider others' births to be moral events either.

That would frame the right to life as meaningless, as a positive OR a negative right.

I don't understand this point.

You're advocating an obligation on my end towards every other person, regardless of their own actions or my desires in the matter. I don't see a justification for that.

Their lives have moral value, as does your own. Why? Because we believe in the right to life, a subjective moral standard based upon reason.

You try to advocate placing subjective value on morality when it comes to individualism, but then deny that society can do the same. That is IMHO where you are mistaken.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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1/31/2014 3:38:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm going to expand on this part specifically, because the machine-gun approach can be limiting for constructive dialogue, and I was running out of room.

At 1/31/2014 3:15:18 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 12:01:58 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:

That does not explain your infancy...

Ah, no, I survived then because my parents had an obligation to me.

They had no such obligation without society assigning them one.

That's an assertion. You back it up with an appeal to pragmatism, but I reject that.

If you mean "bare" assertion, how so? There are laws that obligate your parents to take care of you. Your own statement, that they are somehow obligated WITHOUT laws, is indeed a completely bare assertion.

Your parents may have DESIRED that you live, but they most certainly were not obligated to have you live, unless society obligated them such.

I believe they DID have an obligation, based on their bringing me into this world. By doing so, they were obliged ethically to care for me until I could care for myself.

I understand you think that your parents are obligated to take care of you based upon their choice to bring you into this world. You claim ethics for this justification, I would imagine ethics based upon reason, perhaps even objective reason.

1) Objective reason is impossible for subjective beings to envision.
2) Ethics is meaningless, useless, and a concept devoid of any value of any sort without a concomitant concept of society in which to apply such concepts. One being, alone, has no ethical bounds, neither for himself nor for his surroundings.
3) Your parents made a choice to give birth to you, but as you said yourself, your parents could put you up for adoption. Therefore, the act of birth is not relevant to the concept of "obligation".
4) This would all point to society being the source for the concept of "obligation" as well.

---

Nature has assigned you one, and you must pay or die.

And I may choose to die without being immoral, as I've said before.

That's because your life is apparently not moral to begin with.

Is it immoral for you to choose to die? Only if the choice to bring you into this world was a moral choice.

I'm not sure what you mean by this.

Right, that would require that you acknowledge that the choice to bring THEM into the world was a moral choice as well. If you do not even consider your own birth to be a moral event, then I can understand why you don't consider others' births to be moral events either.

That would frame the right to life as meaningless, as a positive OR a negative right.

I don't understand this point.

Without a concept like the right to life, human life has no moral value. Such moral-less-ness can easily condone institutions like slavery, because without a moral value assigned to human life, we can assign whatever moral value we deem fit to human life, and some societies assigned a value of zero on certain types of human life.

If, as you say, you can choose to end your life in a morally neutral fashion, that would heavily imply that you believe your own life also has no moral value. That would only be possible if you did not believe in a concept like the right to life to begin with. Otherwise, if your life had moral value, to end it without reason or cause would be immoral.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
bladerunner060
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1/31/2014 8:24:02 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
@wrichcirw:

When you have the right to something, attached to that is generally the right not to do something.

I can assign a moral value to life, while at the same time saying that the one who "owns" that life (in the case of myself, me) can do what I want with that life--even give it up.

Otherwise, you're not arguing for a right to life, but an obligation to life.

We would not generally say I have a "right" to free speech, if I'm required to speak. Because part of the right of free speech is the right not to speak (in general)---fundamentally, the point is that the right is yours to do with as you please.
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wrichcirw
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1/31/2014 8:38:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 8:24:02 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
@wrichcirw:

When you have the right to something, attached to that is generally the right not to do something.

I understand you saying here that positive rights include negative rights.

I can assign a moral value to life, while at the same time saying that the one who "owns" that life (in the case of myself, me) can do what I want with that life--even give it up.

Otherwise, you're not arguing for a right to life, but an obligation to life.

I agree there is a quantifiable value placed upon life by the specific right to life, and there may indeed be overarching utilitarian considerations that would cause one to end their life justifiably. Examples would be prolonging life far beyond physical and mental decrepitude, suicide to prevent intolerable pain from terminal illnesses, etc...

My main contention with you was that you found it proper for someone to give up their life for no reason whatsoever. That means that the quantifiable value you place on life is zero.

We would not generally say I have a "right" to free speech, if I'm required to speak. Because part of the right of free speech is the right not to speak (in general)---fundamentally, the point is that the right is yours to do with as you please.

Per your own warning, this is improper "extension". We're only talking about the right to life, not the right to free speech.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Juan_Pablo
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1/31/2014 8:49:28 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
All non-murdering, non-torturing human beings have a right to law. I therefore equate the right to life with the capacity of an individual to follow crucial laws (such as don't murder, torture anyone).

However, I do believe the right to life takes priority over every other concern in society; therefore it's one of the firmest, most central rights as far as human rights go.

I do not believe this right applies to a human embryo and to underdeveloped fetuses. Human rights only apply to humans with developed and functioning life-sustaining organs and with an articulated central nervous system. Therefore i do fall in a gray area when the issue of rights is applied to a fetus further along than 5 months.

I also make an exception for those suffering from terminal diseases that want to put an end to their misery. The same for those suffering from chronic, un-resolvable depression who want to end their life!

I do believe humans have the right to not want to live in this world if they don't want to, though I do not believe this decision should be taken hastily.
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1/31/2014 8:50:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Correction to the post directly above:

"All non-murdering, non-torturing human beings have a right to life."
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1/31/2014 8:52:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 8:38:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:24:02 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
@wrichcirw:

When you have the right to something, attached to that is generally the right not to do something.

I understand you saying here that positive rights include negative rights.

Not really.

I'm saying the exercise of a right, positive or negative, is up to the discretion of the rights holder.

If I have the right not to be killed (negative right), I can waive that right.
If I have the positive right to demand your labor to keep me alive, I can waive that right.

I can assign a moral value to life, while at the same time saying that the one who "owns" that life (in the case of myself, me) can do what I want with that life--even give it up.

Otherwise, you're not arguing for a right to life, but an obligation to life.

I agree there is a quantifiable value placed upon life by the specific right to life, and there may indeed be overarching utilitarian considerations that would cause one to end their life justifiably. Examples would be prolonging life far beyond physical and mental decrepitude, suicide to prevent intolerable pain from terminal illnesses, etc...

My main contention with you was that you found it proper for someone to give up their life for no reason whatsoever. That means that the quantifiable value you place on life is zero.

No. It means that the determination of what value is up to the rights-holder.

If I own a gold brick, I can make many arguments as to its value. But if the person who owns it doesn't want it, and assigns no value to it, and gives it away, that's their right.

I may think they're dumb, but that's their choice.

We would not generally say I have a "right" to free speech, if I'm required to speak. Because part of the right of free speech is the right not to speak (in general)---fundamentally, the point is that the right is yours to do with as you please.

Per your own warning, this is improper "extension". We're only talking about the right to life, not the right to free speech.

I was drawing a comparison.

Having a right means the ability to waive the right, and not exercise it. I believe this holds true for all rights, and so used another right where it was clearer, to explain what I meant in terms of life.
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wrichcirw
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1/31/2014 9:03:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 8:49:28 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
All non-murdering, non-torturing human beings have a right to law. I therefore equate the right to life with the capacity of an individual to follow crucial laws (such as don't murder, torture anyone).

However, I do believe the right to life takes priority over every other concern in society; therefore it's one of the firmest, most central rights as far as human rights go.

I do not believe this right applies to a human embryo and to underdeveloped fetuses. Human rights only apply to humans with developed and functioning life-sustaining organs and with an articulated central nervous system. Therefore i do fall in a gray area when the issue of rights is applied to a fetus further along than 5 months.

I also make an exception for those suffering from terminal diseases that want to put an end to their misery. The same for those suffering from chronic, un-resolvable depression who want to end their life!

I do believe humans have the right to not want to live in this world if they don't want to, though I do not believe this decision should be taken hastily.

This is nice and all, and I certainly appreciate your participation, but it does not address the central point in the OP and the attached debate...whether or not the right to life is a negative right.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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1/31/2014 9:04:16 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 8:52:50 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:38:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

Having a right means the ability to waive the right, and not exercise it. I believe this holds true for all rights, and so used another right where it was clearer, to explain what I meant in terms of life.

This seems to be your main point from the last comment.

What you're saying, if I understand you correctly, is that rights entail the right to waiver.

Now, sure, let's say you do, how is this at all relevant to scenarios that deal with the exercising of your right, or with any of the preceding discussion?

There is also the simple example again of a baby that cannot waive their given rights.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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1/31/2014 9:08:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 8:52:50 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:38:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

Having a right means the ability to waive the right, and not exercise it. I believe this holds true for all rights, and so used another right where it was clearer, to explain what I meant in terms of life.

Actually, I'm going to take another approach with this.

The moment you waive your rights, you no longer have those rights, and so the person is no longer relevant to the discussion.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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1/31/2014 9:12:36 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I do believe the right to life is a negative right, in so much that nothing is required from a person to maintain that right ( except taking necessary action, such as consuming food, to continue living ).

However, all rights ultimately are decided through social contracts - including the right to life. I do believe that the most stable societies place the right to life at the pinnacle of their civic values!
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1/31/2014 9:18:33 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Another correction to one of my previous posts:

"I do believe humans have the right to not live in this world if they don't want to, though I do not believe this decision should be taken hastily."

Sorry about that. I notice that I commit more punctuation and grammar errors when I'm stressed out. o_o
wrichcirw
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1/31/2014 9:20:30 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 9:12:36 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
I do believe the right to life is a negative right, in so much that nothing is required from a person to maintain that right ( except taking necessary action, such as consuming food, to continue living ).

That right there places the right to life as a positive right.

However, all rights ultimately are decided through social contracts - including the right to life. I do believe that the most stable societies place the right to life at the pinnacle of their civic values!
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
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1/31/2014 9:33:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 9:20:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 9:12:36 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
I do believe the right to life is a negative right, in so much that nothing is required from a person to maintain that right ( except taking necessary action, such as consuming food, to continue living ).

That right there places the right to life as a positive right.

However, all rights ultimately are decided through social contracts - including the right to life. I do believe that the most stable societies place the right to life at the pinnacle of their civic values!

Yes. But if that's the case then there's really no such thing as a negative right. I don't want to pretend to be an expert on this subject, but I'm interpretting "negative right" to mean a right that doesn't require engagement by another individual or entity to make it so.

The right to life doesn't require someone to do something for me to have that right. There are some exceptions to even this understanding. If I'm bleeding to death or suffering from a life-threatening medical condition, I'm obviously going to require medical attention from a competent doctor or nurse. But generally the right to life only requires action from the individual for it to be practiced.
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1/31/2014 9:38:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 9:33:32 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
At 1/31/2014 9:20:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 9:12:36 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
I do believe the right to life is a negative right, in so much that nothing is required from a person to maintain that right ( except taking necessary action, such as consuming food, to continue living ).

That right there places the right to life as a positive right.

However, all rights ultimately are decided through social contracts - including the right to life. I do believe that the most stable societies place the right to life at the pinnacle of their civic values!

Yes. But if that's the case then there's really no such thing as a negative right. I don't want to pretend to be an expert on this subject, but I'm interpretting "negative right" to mean a right that doesn't require engagement by another individual or entity to make it so.

You don't have to be an expert, just willing to reason through it.

In the debate, it was defined thus:

Under the theory of positive and negative rights, a negative right is a right not to be subjected to an action of another person or group"a government, for example"usually in the form of abuse or coercion.

My whole argument in the debate basically was that if you took the right to life to merely be a negative right, it would be immoral (along the lines of what you cited above). Well, the right to life is a moral principle, so that right there refutes the resolution.

The right to life doesn't require someone to do something for me to have that right.

But it does. It has to be encoded somewhere. If it isn't, then there's no social contract stipulating such a right, and so you don't have that right. Someone could indeed come along and murder you without consequence.

There are some exceptions to even this understanding. If I'm bleeding to death or suffering from a life-threatening medical condition, I'm obviously going to require medical attention from a competent doctor or nurse.

And if the right to life was only a negative right, you would not be obligated to receive such.

But generally the right to life only requires action from the individual for it to be practiced.

I don't know what you mean by this.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
bladerunner060
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1/31/2014 9:44:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 9:04:16 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:52:50 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:38:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

Having a right means the ability to waive the right, and not exercise it. I believe this holds true for all rights, and so used another right where it was clearer, to explain what I meant in terms of life.

This seems to be your main point from the last comment.

What you're saying, if I understand you correctly, is that rights entail the right to waiver.

Now, sure, let's say you do, how is this at all relevant to scenarios that deal with the exercising of your right, or with any of the preceding discussion?

You've given no justification why I should be beholden to another, and grant them the obligation of my working for their life.

Based on your arguments regarding society, I most certainly do NOT have that obligation unless I take it on as, again, negligence only applies when you abrogate a responsibility, and it is not applied generally.

There is also the simple example again of a baby that cannot waive their given rights.
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Juan_Pablo
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1/31/2014 9:47:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, if all rights are derived from social contracts, then there is no such thing as a negative right according to the way you two defined the term in the debate.

So I agree with you when you use your definition of a negative right.
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1/31/2014 9:47:31 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 9:20:30 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 9:12:36 AM, Juan_Pablo wrote:
I do believe the right to life is a negative right, in so much that nothing is required from a person to maintain that right ( except taking necessary action, such as consuming food, to continue living ).

That right there places the right to life as a positive right.

No, it does not.

Positive and negative rights are, generally, claims against another.

As in:

I have a positive right to X against you if and only if I have a justified claim that requires you to take action on Xs behalf.

I have a negative right to X against you if and only if I have a justified claim that requires you to not take an action which harms X.

The positive/negative rights framework start from the supposition that you have 100% the right to do whatever you want...until that right conflicts with another's. Which is why the negative rights are so-called "natural' rights. You can't violate them without directly infringing on another's equal rights.
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wrichcirw
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1/31/2014 9:52:14 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 1/31/2014 9:44:26 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/31/2014 9:04:16 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:52:50 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 1/31/2014 8:38:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

Having a right means the ability to waive the right, and not exercise it. I believe this holds true for all rights, and so used another right where it was clearer, to explain what I meant in terms of life.

This seems to be your main point from the last comment.

What you're saying, if I understand you correctly, is that rights entail the right to waiver.

Now, sure, let's say you do, how is this at all relevant to scenarios that deal with the exercising of your right, or with any of the preceding discussion?

You've given no justification why I should be beholden to another, and grant them the obligation of my working for their life.

Not sure why you're switching around so much, but ok...

Their lives have positive moral value. This is true the moment they are conceived. The justification is the very thing we are discussing...the justification is assumed.

Can it be assumed otherwise? No, otherwise, negligence would be moral, and it clearly isn't.

So, if there is a right to life, it must be positive and negative. If it is only negative, it is not a moral principle, and thus cannot exist on its own.

If there is no right to life, there's nothing to discuss.

Based on your arguments regarding society, I most certainly do NOT have that obligation unless I take it on as, again, negligence only applies when you abrogate a responsibility, and it is not applied generally.

Why is it not applied generally? Especially when it is through the law, a social institution, that your rights are actually maintained?

There is also the simple example again of a baby that cannot waive their given rights.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?