Do all humans share the same fundamental rights to be respected and/or given a second chance?

Asked by: MC1R
  • Yes, difficult to defend

    I think this is a fundamental assumption of most ethics systems, and as such it is difficult to conclusively say that all people share the same fundamental rights. It is a wide spread belief in mainstream US society (and most of Western society since the Enlightenment) and I agree with it as a supporter of equality, liberty, etc., but it is certainly a thought-provoking question at the fundamentals of morality. I'd love to see some responses to this.

  • Rights and Laws are different

    A right can exist even in the absence of a law, especially a fundamental right as that of the right to life. An organism is born with the "intent" and capacity to live, grow and die. Death is not a choice taken by an organism as an option when the ability to keep living exists. We may call the "will to live" instinctive and maybe say that instincts are not rights, but in a sense our thinking ability to reason is based upon an inherent genetic structure. Can we reason ourselves out of our own understanding of the "value" of life for an infant and say that this is something that it does not try to prolong and protect, even if it is unaware of the existence of rights? Having a right is not a matter of external choice insofar as a great deal of our actions is controlled by instincts which we later come to realize as important. If it is important for me to keep on living now, why would it be different to what I was doing when I was an infant? All that seems to have changed as far as that is concerned is that now I can state my claim.

  • Respect is not a right, it is earned.

    You do not have the right to someone else's thoughts and feelings. If you want respect, you need to earn it. I respect people who respect me, bottom line. I said hip hop, hippy to the hip hop you don't stop, rock it to the bang bang boogey, up jump the beat.

  • Rights are a social construct.

    If there's a law or constitution that portends to offer equal rights, then yes but only insofar as such a law can be enforced effectively and equally. There's no law anywhere that says anyone should be able to move anywhere without being subject to laws that discriminate on the basis of one's uncontrollable circumstances of birth nor would such a law be remotely enforceable, so the above hypothetical is moot. As for being given a second chance, it would depend on whether or not statutes allow for criminals to be released into the wild after a period of "rehabilitation"; if they're supposedly rehabilitated, then they should be entitled to the same rights as everyone else.

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