Rights. When do they apply?

Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 3 months, 2 weeks ago to Philosophy
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When does an individual have Rights?
It can be argued that Rights come from the moment of birth. It can also be argued that a person need comprehension to know of his/her Rights, to understand them, to claim them, and to insist on those Rights being respected.

Why would birth be a deciding factor in inheriting Rights? Would not the formation of cells within a woman, once society determines she's not having a chicken, cow or kangaroo, have Rights?

When does a birthed child assume Rights? Where does a parents obligatory Right to all aspect of that child's life and well being end?

How does a newborn have Rights whereas 6 months prior he/she had none? Does dependency factor in? Perhaps a certain amount of self awareness, comprehension and understanding?

I fell into a conversation with another group about the female genital mutilation that recently happened and it raised some questions about Rights, society and family.

I'm curious what my friends here say on the matter.


I've recently read on the topic:

Second Treatise of Government by Locke
John Locke: Natural Rights to Life, Liberty and Property by Jim Powell
John Locke and the Natural Law and Natural Rights Tradition by Steven Forde (http://nlnrac.org)


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  • Posted by tdechaine 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Rand made this very clear: rights begin at birth (or for all practical purposes at that time when the fetus can be safely birthed on its own).
    Rights do not conflict among humans; but assigning a right to a fetus would create a conflict.
    Thus the mother's right is all that is relevant - cannot be compromised.
    After birth, the mother/parents have to make decisions for the child as long as that child cannot make such decisions for himself. But that does not deny the child his separate rights; the parents must act to protect his rights.
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    • Posted by jimjamesjames 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      My question to a very conservative fellow was: "By what stretch of the imagination do you assume you have any rights involving any woman's pregnancy in any part of the world?" Never got an answer.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        The answer is very simply addressed with this question: why does the state of advancement of a human being affect their intrinsic right to life? What gives the mother power to terminate the life of a child - even one growing within her?
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Concepts and principles are objective identifications, not mystically "intrinsic" without regard to context and the source and meaning of the concepts. A fetus is not a "child". What gives the woman the moral power to terminate her pregnancy is her right to her own life.
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          • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            A right to one's own life in no way gives one power to terminate another's.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              A fetus is not child and not an "another", as if they were identical. You are equivocating. Fetuses do not have rights. Being "alive" does not give anything rights. You kill things all the time that are alive, such in preparation for eating.
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              • -1
                Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                So you have eaten a child or a fetus, then? If not, your argument is specious and ridiculous. If you want to try to convince yourself that an unborn child is not human, that's on your head.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
                  Where do come up with nonsense like "eaten a child" as a requirement for an argument to not be "specious"? You are truly bizarre.

                  The reason why we have rights, which has been explained to you many times, has nothing to do with the fact of simply being alive. All kinds of creatures are alive and don't have rights. You said "A right to one's own life in no way gives one power to terminate another's". You terminate the lives of creatures who are alive all the time. Only people have rights. This has nothing to do with eating children or fetuses, which is not required to follow a simple explanation.
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                  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 1 week ago
                    You were the one who cited the example that we kill and eat other living things all the time. I simply pointed out that we don't kill and eat other humans - even the unborn - thus there is a significant distinction between man and beast.

                    "Only people have rights."

                    I completely agree. Your example, however, singled out the killing and eating of another creature as an example of presence of rights for man but not for beast. I don't see people killing and eating fetuses. If they have no rights, why not? If there is no difference between them, why not? It's your assertion. Defend it if you can.
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
                      I did not say anything about eating children or fetuses. It's all yours. You said "So you have eaten a child or a fetus, then? If not, your argument is specious and ridiculous." Your leaps into the bizarre show that you have no concept of rational discussion.

                      You don't agree that only people have rights. You think fetuses have rights because they are "alive". That we don't "eat fetuses" does not give them rights.
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                      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 1 week ago
                        Here's your argument laid out very simply in logical argument form:
                        A. People eat things that don't have rights.
                        B. Fetuses don't have rights.
                        A&B -> C. Fetuses have no rights and therefore may be eaten.

                        I simply pointed out that C doesn't hold in observation. Therefore either A or B or both must be false. It's actually 100% logical - it just refutes your assertion.
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
                          That is not what I said. Your arbitrary assertions and misrepresentations are not "refutations". Word manipulations on behalf of your feelings are not logic.

                          "So you have eaten a child or a fetus, then? If not, your argument is specious and ridiculous" is bizarre, not logic.
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      • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I answered you via PM. This is a hot discussion topic that would overshadow this thread.
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        • Posted by tdechaine 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          That's the problem: assuming this is so controversial. Rights are easy to define...no one has the right to interfere with a woman's body - period. One can't simply redefine rights to suit his emotions.
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          • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I disagree with you to a degree. Again, I do not want this thread to redirect into a discussion on abortion and I certainly don't want to debate here the fallacy of the exclusivity of an unborn child to its mother.

            I'm not saying this to tick anyone off. I have legitimate reason to see the matter as I do. If you want to talk more on this I will, just not here.
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            • Posted by  $  3 months, 1 week ago
              To whoever took my point, enjoy it. But you really should hear the argument before you judge. Fact is what is said is entirely accurate even if it flies against conventional wisdom held by society and the opinions of objectivists here.

              As stated above I will explain myself, just not here. But then you'd have to be open minded enough to actually listen AND willing to check your premise.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
                Perhaps it was because there is no such thing as a "fallacy of the exclusivity of an unborn child to its mother", which is incoherent. We have heard the religious assertions and rationalizations dogmatically denying a woman's right to not bear a child many times. There is no reason to have a perpetually "open mind" to every variation of what one already knows to be wrong. Rejection of religious dogma violating the rights of the individual is not mere "opinion" no better than anything else.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Ayn Rand's reasoning on the topic of human rights is based on the ability of a human to self-generate a sufficient number of self-sustaining actions. That part of her philosophy is entirely reasonable. The problem comes in defining where the borders are, given that definition. Certainly an infant is incapable of self-generating a sufficient number of self-sustaining actions to perpetuate its own life. The line for paraplegics and for senior citizens, particularly those with debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's or ALS, is likewise blurry, especially when it comes to power of attorney issues when a senior waits too long before granting power of attorney to another family member.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      It's not about any "number". Either the living being is a rational being or not. Infants don't have most rights because they are incapable of exercising them while in the process of maturing. They do have the fundamental right to life and begin using that as soon as they begin perceiving and mentally integrating the world they are born into. But growth into an adult human is a gradual, continuous process, acquiring increasing capabilities to the point of self reliance.

      There are no intrinsic borders within that process, but there are ranges that must be objectively identified and defined for the purpose of law so that everyone knows what they are to some practical precision. The exact cut offs are optional within our context of knowledge, but must be set at something in order to define law and rules (e.g. old enough to own property or drive or decide when to go to be or, later, whether to come home at night). The key is that the process of identification is objective; the principles are neither intrinsic nor subjective.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        The above comment by ewv should not have been downvoted (even though it appears that he downvoted me). His comments on the rights of children and infants are entirely reasonable.

        Regarding power of attorney for seniors incapable of making decisions for their own lives, there is an objective list of five functions that, if a senior fails on two of them, then that senior can be deemed incompetent to fully take care of himself/herself. The principles of identifying that is as objective as possible.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          The real question is simply: does man qualify for rights because he is Man or because he is subject to someone else's subjective determination about whether or not he is "capable" or "sentient". The latter is a slippery slope rather than an objective viewpoint.

          Several cases for examination:
          1) a man is in an automobile accident and enters a comatose state. Is that man still a person legally and rationally?
          2) a man is born with Down's Syndrome - an impairment in physical and mental ability which will result in his always having to be cared for. Is that man still a person legally and rationally?
          3) a woman loses a child and enters a persistent hysterical psychological state. Is that woman still a person legally and rationally?

          These are fairly straightforward cases, but it should be mentioned that Hitler argued that the Jews were inferior - not quite human - and therefore did not have to be afforded the same rights as other Germans. Many politicians in the US prior to the US Civil War argued that Negroes were inferior and therefore did not qualify for the same protection under the law. My caution is that when we start allowing people to be the judges of other people, we are asking to repeat the same tragedies of the past.

          (PS - I too, thought evw's comment to be rational. I didn't downvote him either.)
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            People with abnormal, limited capacities are not capable of exercising all the rights of a normal person. They are an exception, but it doesn't make them not people. They are impaired people to different degrees in different ways and everyone knows what that means. There are legal procedures for determining what legal rights these people may or may not have under their specific, abnormal circumstances.

            It has nothing to do with subjectivist racist ideologues denouncing jews and/or blacks and does not mean that we should "start allowing" people to "judge" others: We already judge others for what they are all the time and act accordingly, which is a moral responsibility -- to do it objectively. It does not mean that anyone can arbitrarily decree someone to not have rights, or claim that everyone (or whatever else he wants) has intrinsic rights regardless of context and identity. Both are subjectivist and outside the law. Rejecting the subjectivist mindset of intrinsicism is not a "slippery slope", it is a requirement of objectivity.

            The history of black slaves at the time of the founding of the country was a combination of anti-Enlightenment outright racism and error of judgment: Many prominent individuals, including Jefferson, observed the blacks around them and concluded that they were in some ways inferior because of their common behavior. They overlooked the cause: that those people had been wrenched out of a primitive society on another continent, forcibly brought here, and put to work in menial tasks with no education and no chance to develop as individuals. Jefferson in particular (who never was a racist) saw the error later in life when he observed first hand how well some of them did when properly educated, demonstrating that they had the same capacity. Outside of crude racists, that is now commonly understood. It has nothing to do with judging individuals for what they are as individuals, either personally or in unusual circumstances, legally.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              The real question is which comes first: the right or the expression of the right. If one argues that rights are inherent, one's ability to exercise such is moot - the rights still exist and must be protected against infringement. If one argues that rights are subject to expression, however, then one is placing subjective limits of interpretation upon the possession of those rights. To me, the notion that protection of rights must be subject to expression of those rights is a very dangerous road - thus my comparisons to Hitler, Stalin, et al.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                The concept of rights is not intrinsic. You are arguing like a Platonist with mystical essences. The intrinsic and the subjective are a false alternative.

                We are talking about adults or normally developing children with objectively identified and well understood limited capacities. No one has said that anyone looses rights for not "expressing" them and none of this has anything whatsover to do with the likes of Hitler and Stalin.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  "The concept of rights is not intrinsic."

                  If they are not intrinsic, then they must be earned through some process of qualification - a subjective process. Thus it very much is a question of intrinsic and objective vs earned and subjective.

                  The only difference between an adult and an infant is their state of development. If given two DNA samples, no lab technician is going to be able to tell the difference, all one may conclude is the gender and that both specimens originate from humans. That is a completely objective test. "Capacity" is always a subjective measure based on whether or not a person can complete some arbitrary task. But the measurement and goal definition and task assignment come from another human being's judgement - thus it is subjective.

                  Your argument is that rights are not realized (and therefore subject to protection) until that individual meets an arbitrary standard of expression. I reject that notion as subjective in nature. And once a subjective standard has been applied it is very easy to rationalize adjustments to that subjective standard. Hitler granted only the highest protection to his "master race" (the SS was notorious for this). Mao used political affiliation as his standard. Stalin as well. All justified their use of force because in their minds those whom they persecuted were not sufficiently "human". I use their examples because the atrocities they committed were entirely based on subjective viewpoints because they had abandoned the objective viewpoint of equality based on simple humanity.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    Mystical notions of the "intrinsic" versus the "subjective" is a false alternative. Objective does not mean intrinsic.

                    Dropping context in equating cells and people because they both have DNA is not objective, it is rationalization refusing to make essential distinctions. We do not have rights because of the presence of DNA. That is a mystical concept pretending to be scientific.

                    Please stop equating anything not religious with Hitler and Stalin. It is tiresome. The long sordid history of religion has had its own atrocities from its own subjectivism pronouncing the "intrinsic". Ayn Rand explained her concept of objectivity at length. She was not a subjectivist for rejecting mysticism.
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                    • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                      [shakes head] If they are false alternatives, it is because the original case you bring up is constructed from false alternatives and all I do is simply expose them for what they are: arguments founded on fallacies.

                      I never brought up anything religious. You seem to equate anything you don't like with the religious out of thin air so that you can discount it in your own mind. It's an awfully big chip on your shoulder you carry around and it seems to drive you to emotional outbursts and turn conversations to hate rather than debate. If you want to maintain any semblance of objectivity, I'd encourage you to rein in your constant vitriol and mischaracterization. One can disagree without being disagreeable and one can ask questions when there is some perception of miscommunication.

                      "Please stop equating anything not religious with Hitler and Stalin."

                      And you want to claim that I bring up false alternatives?!? You were the one who suddenly started painting any of this discussion as religious yet nothing religious was introduced by me. Hitler and Stalin were brought up as examples of what happens when people use subjective measures to discount the humanity of other human beings and justify the denial of their rights. NO, I'm not going to stop using the most pointed and illustrative examples from real life to support my position statements. I'm not going to apologize when reality refutes your arguments. I'm not going to justify your opinions when the data contradict them. It's your job to support your own conclusions - not mine.

                      "Ayn Rand explained her concept of objectivity at length. She was not a subjectivist for rejecting mysticism."

                      I never said she was. You are a liar to impugn such in me and I say that with all gravitas. I reject your attempts to characterize my speech in such an outrageous manner. If you can not behave better than a three-year-old, I'm going to petition to have you thrown off this board.
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                      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                        Your posts are filled with false accusations, rampant personal hostility, package deals, and arbitrary religious thinking employing floating abstractions and rationalism. Reality has not "refuted" my arguments. Please take your personal feuding somewhere else. It does not belong here.
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    • Posted by stargeezer 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Hi pal,

      Paraplegics? Parkinsons? You do have me at a disadvantage since I've not read Ayn Rand's reasoning on the topic of human rights, but while I concur that mechanical assistance can be needed for those who have suffered a physically debilitating injury, I do not concur that a lost of rights is the result of those purely physical disabilities. Folks who suffer diseases that impair mental process such as Alzheimer's, Dementia, or birth defects like my niece who suffered a stoke at birth would be another matter. Diseases that impact motor functions and not mental processes should have no bearing on the exercise of a their individual rights or free participation in that societies benefits.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I agree with you that paraplegics and Parkinson's disease patients should have their individual rights. This is why I am in partial disagreement with Ayn Rand. In severe enough cases, such people would not be capable of self-generating a sufficient number of actions to sustain their own lives. As someone taking care of a father with Alzheimer's so advanced that it is affecting some functions that people would consider purely physical (such as forgetting that he needs to go to the bathroom), I am seeing routinely a lot of seniors who are at, near, or just beyond the point where they are as functional as one- or two-year-olds. I know that my definition of the rights of human beings would extend both earlier in life and later in life than Ms. Rand's, but her definition of life certainly makes me think.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Where do you think Ayn Rand said that paraplegics and those with Parkinson's don't have their individual rights?
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            She didn't say that explicitly. My problem (and I emphasize that it is my problem, not Rand's) is that I think that people have some rights even when they require substantial assistance to generate enough self-sustaining actions to continue their own lives.

            I am in agreement with what you have said, ewv, throughout this thread. I think that is what Ayn Rand meant in her writings, but to get that point requires interpretation beyond what Rand wrote, and I am experienced enough to know that Rand often would disagree vehemently, yet reasonably, when someone misinterpreted what she wrote.

            No one can explain every point in exhaustive detail in their writings; a little further explanation consistent with ewv's interpretation would have been helpful.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              You wrote that "paraplegics and Parkinson's disease patients should have their individual rights. This is why I am in partial disagreement with Ayn Rand." Ayn Rand didn't write or imply that they don't have their individual rights, so what is there to disagree with?

              But they don't have additional "rights" as entitlements as a result of weakness. No one does. There are no entitlements to assistance by others as a duty. Rights are moral principles defining freedom of action, not claims on others. There are adults with limited capacities within that small minority who are able to function in at least low level jobs with the assistance of others willing to help them. But they have no right to demand it as a burden imposed on others.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Once again, the parent to this post did not deserve to be downvoted, so I gave ewv a point back. I think that the origin of some of man's rights is inherent in humanity and that other rights are earned as one progresses through childhood. I think my biggest issue with Rand's delineation of birth as being as critical to her definition of life is that it is somewhat arbitrary. Yes, it is the point at which the newborn can function more autonomously than before, and it is the point that creates the least philosophical conflict. However, I think that a newborn in the first few months requires more time and effort on the mother's part than while in the womb. If one is to argue that the basis for one's rights is solely based on one's independence from needing the help of others, then birth is definitely too early to assign rights. A baby abandoned in a dumpster is not going to self-generate enough self-sustaining actions to survive any better than a fetus. Yet I think everyone in this forum would agree that newborns (and going back to the earlier discussion, senior citizens) should have some rights. The whole point of this thread is whether or not some rights are inherent, and if so, what impact does that have.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  You seem to not understand the meaning of "inherent in humanity", which leads to many problems, including some artificial 'dualism'.

                  Our rights are objective, conceptual principles of morality based on our nature as rational beings who must think and choose in order to live, and the social conditions required for that. They are not about insights into something intrinsic in the sense of Plato's reflections of forms, Aristotle's 'naive realism' of metaphysical essences, religious attributions regarded as intrinsic, i.e., mystical, etc.

                  Rational principles are neither subjective (all in our minds) nor intrinsic (all 'out there'). They are objective identifications of facts of reality by means of our distinctive conceptual form of awareness organizing and classifying facts by essentials, in a hierarchy ultimately based on the perceptual awareness that is the base of all knowledge. Objective knowledge is awareness of facts ('out there') organized by concepts ('in here'). Our concepts organize knowledge in a hierarchy of increasing abstraction based on making essential distinctions, not a form of or equivalent to perception of intrinsic essences. Facts and context always matter. Principles are contextual absolutes, not out of context absolutes. That is true of all principles, from physics to the moral theory of rights.

                  There is no conflict, under our form of knowledge, between saying in shorthand that rights are 'inherent' in 'humanity' versus the rights accumulated over time through normal childhood development, or in part lost through debilitating disease, or never acquired in the rare subnormal cases., or lost in whole or part by criminal activity. They are all facts of reality that provide the context of applying the concepts and principles of 'rights'. Rights require and pertain only to rational beings as the essence, but defining and implementing them in law requires much more detailed knowledge of human development, capacity, and behavior. None of it arbitrary.

                  The rights of a newborn infant are much more limited than adults, and must be by its nature. If you think of rights coming from "inherently being human" as something intrinsic to all "humanity" as such and without regard to facts and context then you won't understand how there could be any difference.

                  A common religious view is the mystical claim that a supernatural being by unspecified means gave us "rights", whatever that means, so they are intrinsic to reality without regard to understanding or proof, waiting to be revealed, and apply equally, with equal emotional fervor, to everything called "human" -- from adults to cells that have human genes. That overtly mystical approach is often inherited, in whole or part, in the common floating abstraction approach to rights whether or not the person holding it has thrown off the original religious dogmas. It's an improper emotional way of thinking divorced from facts and essential distinctions, but can be hard to throw off when inculcated through years of early education and constantly reinforced, with no one explaining the difference.

                  The fact of being born is an essential distinction to becoming a person. It is required both for the biological break from 'parasitism' to become a biologically independent entity and for the possibility of beginning the exercise of a rational mind to comprehend reality to live. There is a continuously developed nervous system just before birth, but there is inadequate context for it operate on. Perceptions, and later, conceptions, require the ability to make distinctions that aren't there when trapped in the darkness and relative homogeneity of the womb, biologically directly dependent for everything.

                  That is vastly different than a new born baby as a distinct living entity focusing and looking around for the first time in wonder, and the subsequent rapid development compared to what was. The act of birth is a fundamental, essential difference in biological context, regardless of the continuity of internal biological development. The conceptual basis of our rights is not being called "human" because we have human genes, and not because we kick or twitch when poked.

                  A baby does of course have a major dependency on parents responsible for having brought it into the world, but that kind of care, which lasts in different degrees for many years, is of an essentially different kind than biological parasitic dependence and nothing else. This isn't about time and effort of specific tasks of care by parents. The baby has rights not because of the dependent care, but because it is an independent entity beginning to exercise its mind through the necessity to choose and focus to comprehend the external world for the first time.

                  But the obvious difference in capacity also means that by nature it does not have the full rights of an adult. If you understand that the fundamental right is the right to life, by virtue of being a rational being who must choose to think and act for living, including early development, you can see that by its nature as human it has that fundamental right, something that no human ever loses until capacity to think and act are no longer possible at all (or abdicated by a criminal).

                  But there is no conflict between having rights by nature as human and the facts of the context of development. They are not two different sources of rights, one 'intrinsic' and the other 'assigned'. That kind of confusion arises under the false alternative of the intrinsic versus the subjective (leaving out the objective) when improperly using 'rights' as a floating abstraction. Then it is emotionally attached to something called 'human' without regard to facts and context, as if rights were not objective concepts and principles but something intrinsic, accepted emotionally as a revealed truth instead of a formulation of complex knowledge depending on many facts and distinctions, which can be different at different stages of development.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        stargeezer "You do have me at a disadvantage since I've not read Ayn Rand's reasoning on the topic of human rights" Understanding Ayn Rand's explanation of rights is basic to discussion here. For the nature and source of rights see her essay "Man's Rights".
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
      "Ayn Rand's reasoning on the topic of human rights is based on the ability of a human to self-generate a sufficient number of self-sustaining actions."

      That seems a bit off to me. I do understand where she's coming from. Should one have to qualify, measure up, to have the most fundamental Rights? Certainly those without the mental capacity to assert their Rights need representation (family, a loved one, etc.) but the slouch that sits on his couch waiting for the next welfare check, as deplorable as that is, forfeits his fundamental Rights?
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I say no way he forfeits his rights. He may wrongly think he has a "right" to other people's stuff. That doesn't undo his rights. I see nothing about disability that undoes rights. It's not even a blurry issue to me.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Agreed. Rights are inherent. Privileges - such as welfare - however are a completely different story... I've often wondered about what our nations laws might look like if those living off government largess were thereby ineligible to vote.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Altruists would be voting for welfare.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Even so:

              “When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.” - Benjamin Franklin.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                For every act of altruism there is a recipient. Those with a proper ethics would not vote to be one, and would would not support or sanction government policies that allow it. We have a disintegrating politics of collectivism because of the bad ethics.
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                • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  You'll get no argument from me on that point. Those who value their own hard work and take pride in being their own masters properly eschew the attempts of others to control them. Similarly, they seek to instill in others a desire to similarly take pride and value in the products of their own hands and minds. Those who seek to control others do so because they are lazy and wish to profit from the work of others without providing just compensation - usually through force.
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                  • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    Those who seek to control others are often not just lazy, they are ideologically committed to altruism and collectivism as the essence of how they think. Some of them work quite hard at it. (Remember Toohey and his many counterparts everywhere.) The spread of that thinking makes it easier for the lazy to justify themselves.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Take away the looter's ability to affect government, but defend his other constitutional rights. Universal suffrage is a disaster for individual liberty and free markets. I don't care why the looter loots. He should not have the ability to vote himself more loot.
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          • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I'll say it again, voting should be limited to veterans, land owners and business owners. Those with a vested interest in the country's continued success. Those on welfare should temporarily lose their voting privilege until such time they remove themselves from the government teat.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              So pacifists, renters and employees are less "worthy" to vote than those in your favored categories? I agree on the welfare criteria, but pacifist employees who choose not to own land can be just as productive as anyone else.
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              • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Breathing is not a vested interest. All those vocations I stated have an stake in the countries continued success, they should have a voice in steering the nation. Maybe the pacifist was a farmer on rented land who sold his goods to the public?
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                • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  Plenty of other vocations also have a stake in the country's continued success. Voting should not be a privilege reserved for particular vocations and not others.
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                  • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    Vested interest. We can agree to disagree. I'm not slighting anyone's ability. Some people are more invested in the nation and should have a firm voice in its direction.
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                    • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                      Land ownership and business ownership are rather arbitrary requirements for voting. Would I be entitled to vote if I bought one share of stock in a Fortune 500 company, or a small plot of land in the middle of nowhere?
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              • Posted by stargeezer 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Don't forget that in the beginning of our republic, voting was restricted to Property Owners and Vets. That was changed pretty quickly, but the real turning point in our collective slide into oblivion was granting the vote to woman. Our nation has never been the same.

                I'm not analyzing this point, just pointing to an observation.
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                • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  In the beginning of our republic, voting was restricted to Property Owners and Vets of European descent, and the property owned by property owners included slaves. Thus our "collective slide into oblivion" was already baked into the cake by the time our republic was launched. And some of our worst Presidents were elected well before voting by women was widespread.
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  • Posted by  $  DrZarkov99 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    For a discussion of natural rights, you need to go back further than Locke. The Roman philosopher, Cicero, outlined what he felt were God-given rights, based on inherent abilities. Among the rights he believed indisputable were freedom of speech, freedom of worship (a radical idea at the time, since even the enlightened Romans intermittently declared certain religions unlawful), freedom of assembly, and the right to protect oneself from harm. All of these, and others eventually formulated our Bill of Rights.

    We recognize that everyone is born with these natural rights, even before they're able to exercise them. The nurturing period from birth to maturity serves to put the exercise of these rights into social context and hopefully minimize friction with other persons exercising their rights.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    In primitive cultures there are no questions as to rights. Rights are whatever the state, the religion, or the boss says they are. There is one irrefutable right of an infant at birth, and that is the right to life.In a free society, additional rights are granted as the person matures, until the full amount of rights are bestowed at a certain age, usually 18 or 21. With the granting of those rights come a list of responsibilities, which if not adhered to, can cause those rights to be forfeit. Pretty simple. But as more and more "rights" are granted, the simplicity turns complex and we find ourselves in the muck and mire that even the advocates of those additional rights cannot make sense of.
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    • Posted by bspielb 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Which is where we find ourselves now, mired in a morass that is actually taking away the rights and freedoms envisioned by the Founders and worked quite well for about 180 years. Giving special groups 'special rights' above and beyond those conferred by the Constitution and Bill of Rights was a huge mistake even if it seemed like a good idea when weak politicians bowed to the threats of groups like the Black Panthers etc. Martin Luther King Jr. did not ask for rights demanded by law. He asked for respect demanded by human decency. Since then every little group that feels like they are special because they aren't held up as a completely normal part of society goes around asking for laws to proclaim their 'special rights'. It's out of hand and not only needs to stop, it needs to be reversed in many cases. If people have respect within their community that is all you can ask for.If you want to do something, that by the recognized mores of the majority is not considered decent or acceptable behavior, then keep it to yourself or among your 'special' community in private. Your 'special rights' aren't real rights. They're constructs of your imagination.
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  • Posted by coaldigger 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    First, I think that we have to separate the concept of rights from the protection of rights. We are all endowed with inalienable rights but those rights must be protected like anything else that we have. We are unable to match the coercive force of other individuals or groups that would deny us of those rights unless we devote our full attention to this task so we form governments to do this for us. We elect and pay specialists to protect our rights while we do other things. Therefore there are two, related but separate, questions. One, what are our rights and two, what rights are we paying government to protect? Government is a business transaction between citizens and a defined body to act on their behalf. If you delegate personal ethics to the government, you create a state that "knows what is best for you" and may do anything it wants.

    In the case of abortion, I would argue that the personal ethical right is the same for the mother and the fetus. The fetus is unable to protect its own rights but it is impossible to delegate the protection of those rights without violating the rights of mothers and their means of avoiding full term pregnancies in any way. In my opinion, we need to concede that we will not ask our government to make the ethical decision and define a "legal" stage for their intervention.

    If left up to me, I would set the time for government protection to occur at the cutting of the umbilical cord, while, on a personal ethical basis, still believing that the fetus had full rights at conception.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      The attempt to apply the concept of rights to a fetus is to use it as a floating abstraction.
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      • Posted by coaldigger 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        I wish I was smart enough or educated enough to know what this means.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Floating abstraction means the use of a word manipulated rationalistically without regard to the meaning and source of the concept in reality. The concept 'floats' away from its moorings in reality.

          Leonard Peikoff once described it as "A floating abstraction is not an integration of factual data; it is a memorized linguistic custom representing in the person's mind a hash made of random concretes, habits, and feelings that blend imperceptibly into other hashes which are the content of other, similarly floating abstractions."

          To see how concepts are validly an "integration of factual data" see her book Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. (And yes you are smart enough and educated enough to understand it.)

          The concept of "rights" depends on its factual basis in the requirement of human reason to live and make choices, as explained in more detail several times elsewhere on this page and with reference to Ayn Rand's article "Man's Rights" in particular. Too often 'rights' is used as a word with only emotional ties to a vague notion of "humanity", then transferred with no recognition that the meaning and source of the concept does not apply to cells, embryos, fetuses or any sentient being.
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  • Posted by  $  rbroberg 3 months, 1 week ago
    An individual has rights when he is an individual i.e. when he is born. He has no rights as a fetus as it is not an individual before then. Once the infant's head breaks a certain plane, he is then an individual with rights. An individual has rights so long as he has not abrogated the rights of others. The explicit knowledge of rights is not a pre-condition of those rights. Let's not play chicken and the egg.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 1 week ago in reply to this comment.
    This thread is asking for an opinion. Your opinion is not a fact. If you desire someone to go elsewhere then go. As to being perverse, it is perverse that you continually attack my opinion and demand that I change. You offer nothing but your opinion and demand that it is fact. This is as ridiculous as me claiming that brussel sprouts are the best food possible and then demanding that you agree with me. BTW, I hate brussel sprouts but this is an example, I have no desire to discuss food with you.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
      Your arbitrary pronouncement that what someone else writes is a priori mere unfounded opinion is not fact. It is a false assertion. You cannot hide behind "opinion" to escape responsibility for what you are doing. You are evasive and arrogantly, personally insulting. Philosophy is not mere taste. Posts you don't like are not "diahrrea". Take your food fight somewhere else. The entire mentality in your posts are in fact perverse for the reasons given several times. You don't belong here.
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      • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 1 week ago
        No sir are the one who doesn't belong. When asked for an opinion I gave mine. No one asked you to declare that your opinion is the only valid opinion. Your having done so is what leads me to the comparisons that you find insulting. Completely fair and valid comparisons to both your tactics and diatribe. Yes your verbal diarrhea is offensive. Not because of its content but because of your demanding that it is the only valid opinion.

        So I say again if you don't like my opinion, quit talking to me.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
          Eyecu2's repetitive disgusting personal attacks, misrepresentations and dishonest attempts to undermine my posts as well as Ayn Rand's philosophy as nothing but unsubstantiated "opinion" no better than anything else as a matter of a priori principle are reprehensible. He cannot hide behind "opinion" to rationalize his nihilism. His posts have been perverse and dishonest. Discussion with him is impossible. Anyone can look at his history on this page and see that. He does not belong here.
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          • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 1 week ago
            After reviewing the history of this thread I noticed that basically after you post on things people stop talking. Seems that you are the annoying boor that everybody avoids at parties. Sorry I didn't realize that you are that pompous boor. I will bow out now and allow you to talk to yourself.

            I do want to congratulate you on being the first person I have met here in the Gulch that I will be ignoring going forward.
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  • Posted by Rocky012 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I believe everyone is missing the point here. From all this talk it seems we should give a person an I.Q. test and if they pass they have rights. The only way rights work is for from the time the child is born. We can say an individual has rights even if they are incapable of exercising those right. When you start choosing special circumstances where someone doesn't have rights you have stepped on a slippery slope and anyone's rights can be taken for a good enough reason.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      No one is arbitrarily "choosing special circumstances" and no one here has suggested a standard of passing an IQ test to have rights. Objectively assessing a person's limited capacities, either medically or in childhood development, is not a "slippery slope", it is required to protect rights within the legal system. It does not mean that "anyone's rights can be taken for a good enough reason", by which you apparently mean that the "reason" is only an excuse.

      But our rights are being trampled all the time by those who insist they have a "good enough reason", usually on the false premises of altruism and collectivism. That illustrates the necessity of proper conceptualization and spreading the right ideas, not arbitrarily assigning rights as floating abstractions in the hope of heading off transgressions.
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  • Posted by Rex_Little 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    A simple way to look at it is that even if an unborn baby has full human rights, that does not include the right to live inside another person's body without her consent.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    To my way of thinking all Rights spring from the Right to Life. Obviously you cannot have the Right to defend yourself if you are not already alive. Additionally your Right to the Pursuit of happiness or any of the others are dependent on one being alive.

    Therefore one might ask when does the Right to Life begin? I can see this reasonably argued as anytime between conception and self-actualization. While some argue that the former is too soon and most would argue that the latter is far to late. I have met many teenagers and Liberals that make me lean towards the latter instead of the former. I cannot possibly count the number of teenagers and Liberals that have made me wish for a Post-Birth Abortion option.

    For me personally I would suggest that the Right to Life begins at the point that a fetus becomes viable outside utero without direct life support. ie. the child can breath on its own and only needs the normal care that every infant requires. My understanding is that this happens somewhere a little after 30 weeks.
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    • Posted by mgarbizo1 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Eyecu2, after reading your discussion with ewv, I wanted to give you my point of view on the matter, as I agree with you, its not an easy matter to decide where one stands on such issues, and only discussions of different viewpoints give us a chance to reflect and develop our thoughts further on the subject.

      In any case, our rights are particular to us as human beings, so we have to first acknowledge that human beings have the right to life among others. If we follow this rationale, then we can say that first we must identify what is human being and what is not. I agree with ewv that the fetus is not identified as a human being until it is born, or is removed from the mother. Although I have toiled with this notion from having 2 daughters of my own, but it becomes necessary to stow the emotions from the equation to have an objective perspective on such ideas. Someone smarter than me pointed to this reasoning for such identifications: you have a chicken and an egg, is the egg a chicken? No, it has the potential to be a chicken, but it is not a chicken until it hatches. It is still an egg for as long as it remains that way. A fetus is not a human being until after birth, that is when it changes its identification as a fetus (potential human being) to a human being. The fetus (at any stage) is still the potential of a human being, only when it is removed from the womb does the potential become a human being.
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      • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        That is a reasonable position. I myself take the position that any opinion on this is just that an opinion. As such my personal position is that life begins a little earlier. If you have read this entire discussion you know where I set my mark. Though there are times when I want to argue for a MUCH later time. Though wanting to and doing are different, I stand by my position.
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        • Posted by mgarbizo1 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Found this on Wikipedia, thought it applied to "your set mark":
          "viability of a fetus means having reached such a stage of development as to be capable of living, under normal conditions, outside the uterus. Viability exists as a function of biomedical and technological capacities, which are different in different parts of the world. As a consequence, there is, at the present time, no worldwide, uniform gestational age that defines viability for fetuses."
          I'll continue to observe that the right to life is for human beings and a fetus is not a human being until it becomes a human being, which can only occur outside of utero.
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          • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Your research on Wikipedia slightly missed the mark of my point, while proving my position. Since it states, "As a consequence, there is, at the present time, no worldwide, uniform gestational age that defines viability for fetuses." It proves my position that this is a matter of opinion. I did however take the position that Life begins when a fetus becomes viable outside utero without direct life support and it is the without direct life support that makes the difference for me.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      There is no justification for applying the concept of rights to cells and fetuses. They are potential human beings.
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      • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Well I did say it was arguable across a pretty big spectrum. So at what point do you think that group of cells become a living human being deserving of the Right to Life? I already gave my opinion.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          It's not a matter of tossing out opinion. Groups of cells do not have rights. The concept of rights depends on a certain kind of living being. It does not apply to cells.
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          • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Actually it is since essentially you yourself are nothing more than a group of cells. Unless of course you feel that you are deserving of no rights. Which would make your opinion invalid.

            So I ask you one last time, at what point do you think that group of cells become a living human being?
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Human beings are not "nothing more than" an undifferentiated "group of cells". Each individual is a self-contained entity consisting of several organs serving distinct purposes, integrated for the function of serving the life of the individual human being as a living entity. The brain is the primary organ for rational thought. That is not just a group of cells.

              Our organs are made of cells, functionally combined in different ways, which in turn at an even smaller level are made of molecules, etc. With no integration into a human entity, that is all the cells are. As has been explained on this page and elsewhere on the forum many times, a person comes into existence when he is born. Individuals have rights by their nature as human beings, not because of cells. Groups of cells, fetuses and embryos are potential human beings, contingent on a successful integrated development. The concept of rights does not apply to them.

              The concept of rights is a moral concept arising from the facts of actions by moral beings, recognized as entities, in a social context. It has nothing to do with either living or dead cells. As rational beings who require the use of our rational faculty to live, we require moral principles as a guide to choices and actions. That in turn requires moral concepts of how to deal with other people in a social context. It is not about "cells". We start with the concept of a human being as an entity, not the constituent cells and not "anytime between conception and self-actualization".

              As Ayn Rand put it, "A 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context... Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life." Please read Ayn Rand's essay "Man's Rights" for a full explanation of the nature, source and purpose of rights as a moral concept.

              Groups of cells, fetuses and embryos are potential human beings. They do not have rights. The concept does not apply to them. Nothing has rights only because it happens to be "alive" or "sentient". Do not use "rights" as a floating abstraction divorced from its meaning and necessity as a moral concept pertaining to human, i.e., rational, beings as entities, and do not treat human individuals as "nothing more than a group of cells".
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              • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Wow pretty long winded to essentially point out that you believe life begins at birth. I have read Man's Rights and for me myself I take the position that life begins at the point that the fetus can survive outside utero without medical attention. Which is very close to the time you propose, since the only real difference is that the fetus is still inside the mother.

                Obviously the entire concept of Rights hinges on moral principal and when life begins IS a moral question. That question is answered by each individuals moral position and collectively by society as a whole.

                Biologically speaking we are ALL nothing more than a group of cells. It seems that you believe life begins only after a fetus passes through the birth canal but that moments before that it is still only a group of cells. I myself would back that up by a few weeks.
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  It is not a statement only saying that "life begins at birth". You missed the whole point of the distinction between a human being as an integrated entity versus merely a "group" of cells, the factual basis of how and why we have rights by our nature as human beings -- not living cells and not when life as such begins, and why the concept of rights cannot be arbitrarily applied without regard to the logical basis of the concept "anytime between conception and self-actualization", depending only on what someone wants to argue with floating abstractions divorced from the meaning and source of the concept in reality.

                  The logical dependency of the concepts based in fact is not just a "proposal" and the crucial distinction between a fetus still biologically trapped in a parasitical state (not just a "group of cells") versus a new born baby matters. A fetus that has not been born is still a potential regardless of whether birth could have been forced earlier. That distinction is fact, not subjectively up to each individual or to be enforced "collectively by society as a whole" -- which is fundamentally opposed to the principle of the rights of the individual and the concept on which it is based.
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                  • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    I did not miss the point. I just think that you are completely wrong and intentionally refusing to see that someone can reasonably have a differing position.

                    Aristotle said that, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
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                    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                      Arbitrary "positions" are not self-justifying and floating abstractions are not entertaining. I know and understand very well what you wrote and explained why it is wrong, which you dismissed without discussion in a sweeping misrepresentation as nothing but an assertion of "life begins at birth".
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                      • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                        I dismissed you because you offered nothing but your opinion. Although as this entire discussion is based on opinions I guess yours is just as valid as anyone else's. Just not one that I am willing to accept. Since you seem unwilling to admit that any other opinion might have any validity. Much as a Liberal screams "Racist" if you don't fall inline immediately.
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                          You dismissed five paragraphs of explanation with a misrepresentation. The explanation was not "nothing but opinion" saying that "life begins at birth".

                          Arbitrary opinions are not equally valid, or "might be", or "just as valid as anyone else's". You are expected to read for understanding, not "fall in line". Your gratuitous accusation of the "Racist" mentality is false and crudely insulting.
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                          • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                            I dismissed 5 paragraphs of opinion since you offered NO PROOF, therefore, it is completely irrelevant weather you wrote 5 words or 500 pages. When life begins IS a matter of opinion and you offered that life begins at birth. So what about 5 days, or 5 minutes, or 5 seconds before. Seems pretty arbitrary to me or maybe you mean the instant that the cord is cut. So what about just before that cord is cut? Is it still OK to abort?

                            As to you finding it crudely insulting that I compared you to a Liberal. I find it the height of bigotry and insulting that you offer your opinions as facts and refuse to entertain the possibility that another's opinion might carry some weight. This is something that Liberals are FAMOUS for and as someone here in the Gulch I would expect better from you.
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                            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                              If you want proof then read the details of Ayn Rand's development of ethics and rights. Rational explanations of key points are not arbitrary opinion. You misrepresented what I wrote in five paragraphs with your one false statement. No one said that a fetus is not alive. You apparently understood none of it, nor do you care.

                              How we develop and why we have rights are fact not opinion. It is a process with essential distinctions. Birth is not an instantaneous event whose existence depends on infinite precision from 5 minutes or 5 seconds or any other number, which your sophistry is trying to exploit to wipe out the essential biological fact of birth, the concept of which is obviously not arbitrary. That is sophistry no better than Zeno trying to wipe out observed fact with rationalization. Likewise for the absurd statement that human beings are nothing more than a "group of cells". If you want proof then watch a human being for a few moments. What do you think hold the cells together and accounts for the functioning of a larger observable entity of which they are the constituents?

                              Your arbitrary assertions are not just as good as anything else. You try to undermine rational explanations that conflict with your unfounded beliefs as no better than your own pronouncements. Rejecting your nihilistic subjectivism is not "bigotry". If you think everything is arbitrary opinion with no proof then you have nothing to say and there would be no point to discussion trading arbitrary opinions. The rest of us know better. Your gratuitous insults about a Racist mentality is in fact crude and an inappropriate diversion serving nothing but smears on behalf of your emotions. You can't even see the difference between Ayn Rand's ideas and liberals.
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                              • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                                I well understand the topic that we are discussing, but I do not care that you seem unable to accept the fact that this is a matter of opinion. The fact is that that group of cells is alive from the instant of conception until death at some hopefully distant time in the future. However, being alive is not Life in any but the strictest scientific sense.

                                We are discussing when Life begins, Life not life. Life with a lower case "l" unquestioningly begins at conception and that is scientific fact. Life with an upper case "L" begins at some point after and this is where you keep getting it wrong. There is no scientific basis delineating when Life begins. Since it cannot be locked down to a specific point and opinion as to when Life begins is nothing more than an opinion.

                                You want to state that Life begins at birth; yet, you seem to shy away from my question about moments before birth. Seems to me that you are the one trying to use nihilistic subjectivism to deny the facts and your statements are in fact bigoted. You state your opinion, claim it is fact, and reject any who disagree. That pretty much is the definition of bigotry. Whereas I myself only state that Life begins at some point after conception and admit that others could have differing views over a pretty wide range. I do state my specific opinion which is at a point some few weeks earlier than yours, but I do not try to lessen your opinion. In fact I have called your opinion reasonable while repeatedly pointing out that others may have a differing opinion.

                                So while I assume that you are not a Liberal. Otherwise you wouldn't be here. I will state this straight out, you argue as if you are a liberal.
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                                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                                  There is no such thing as "Life" as a proper name distinguished from "life". The concept of "life" is an ordinary noun. You are using a non-existent distinction to repeatedly misrepresent what I wrote. I did not say that life begins at birth and I didn't say anything about whatever you think "Life" means as something different. The discussion is about when an embryo as a potential human being becomes in fact a person with rights and their extent at that point. A person is an entity, not nothing more than a mere group of cells.

                                  I have not "shied away" from anything. The precision of how many minutes or seconds measure a birth is irrelevant to the fact that it is observed to exist and is a fundamental transformation. Forever narrowing precision, arguing like Zeno's rationalism dragging his listener down to a quandary through sophism, does not wipe out the fact of birth and the fundamental difference it makes. Those kinds of arguments trying to destroy concepts are in fact nihilistic subjectivism. Without understanding essentials there is nothing identified to measure.

                                  You don't know the difference between a rational explanation, which you refused to discuss, and a bald assertion of mere "opinion". You don't know what "bigotry" means either. Rejecting your emotional "opinions" expressed in undefined terms, including your personal hostile attacks, is not bigotry, not "liberal", and not "Liberal screams 'Racist'". Your posts are are filled with name-calling insults. They do not address what I wrote but in sea of insults arbitrarily and explicitly dismiss it as "opinion" and "liberal" to try to drag it down to no better than anyone else's opinions.
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                                  • Eyecu2 replied 3 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I read that some group once did an exhaustive research project on the most-cited or quoted references the Founders used in their correspondence and debates during the period leading up to the writing of the Constitution. The single-most quoted reference was the Bible (not the Iroquois), followed (not necessarily in order), by John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu. The Founders understood philosophically that "Rights" may be "inalienable," but at times, people may have to stand up for their Rights, otherwise, those in Power may not recognize those Rights (hence, the Second Amendment, and Jefferson's quote, "No freeman shall be debarred the use of Arms").
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      The founding principles were based on the Enlightenment, not the Bible. Asserting "I read that some group once did an exhaustive study" to claim otherwise is meaningless.
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      • Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        As I stated, they were based on both. If you want reference citations, I can give them.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          They are not based on the Bible. There are no such "citations". David Barton and his ilk are intellectual frauds. There is nothing in the Constitution based on the Bible. The remnants of religion still in the Enlightenment were not Christian theology. Vague God slogans in correspondence does not base the principles of this country on religion. Intellectual understanding does not come from irrelevant word counts. The spread of reason and individualism of the Enlightenment was in spite of religion, not because of it.
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          • -2
            Posted by KevinSchwinkendorf 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I've heard that leftist crap before, that David Barton is a fraud. Obviously, he isn't, and YOU are the idiot!
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              This is an Ayn Rand forum, not "leftist crap" from "idiots" and not for religious revisionist history. It is not a place for your crude personal insults. Militant religionists are systematically trolling comments to 'downvote' out of personal hostility in their religious war. They should be removed from the forum.
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  • Posted by jsw225 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    There are 2 fundamental rights. The right to Self Determination. And the right to Private Property. And these rights only extend so far that they don't countermand those 2 fundamental rights in others. I.E. Healthcare isn't a right because you don't have a claim on the life and livelihood of a doctor.

    But how does that extend to children? If rights are incontrovertible, then how can a child have rights over its parents?

    Simply put, Children don't have the same rights as Adults, and DO have a claim over their parents for the "Right to Life" (which is a part of the right of Self Determination). Once society has determined that they are an adult, then their claim over their parents ends, and their full rights begin.
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  • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    An infant begins to have rights at birth because that is when he is a biologically separate being and begins using his mind to comprehend external reality, literally exercising reason for the first time to integrate his sense perceptions of the world. But he doesn't have all the rights of an adult because he is incapable of exercising them. The concept of rights does not apply to cells at all. Rights are not 'intrinsic' properties that pop into existence regardless of context and meaning, simply because human genes are biologically present. The first requirement is a rational being making choices as a moral being.

    For the nature and source of rights see Ayn Rand's essay "Man's Rights".

    "'Rights' are a moral concept—the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual's actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others—the concept that preserves and protects individual morality in a social context—the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law."

    And:

    "A 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action—which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.)"
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    • Posted by mgarbizo1 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      "An infant begins to have rights at birth because that is when he is a biologically separate being and begins using his mind to comprehend external reality, literally exercising reason for the first time to integrate his sense perceptions of the world"
      I believe there is an argument that the fetus uses his/her mind to comprehend its external reality while in the womb. Its reality being within the womb of course, but the fetus uses its senses of touch and hearing while in the womb. This was an interesting article I came across
      https://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        The capacity of the nervous system develops continuously, but in the womb there is nothing to differentiate and no way to perceive the external world other than occasional crude sensations of bumps or noise by an entity that is not using a mind to comprehend the external world as a means of living. Before birth it's not a biologically separate entity at all beyond the status, literally, of a parasite. The concepts of morality and rights do not apply to such an entity.
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        • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          "in the womb there is nothing to differentiate and no way to perceive the external world"

          I would argue that to be not only an arbitrary condition but a refuted argument on top of that. The unborn can feel pain and detect light and dark. They can (and do) respond to familiar voices. Anyone who has put a hand on the stomach of a pregnant woman to feel the kick or movement of the unborn will testify that they absolutely do respond to external stimuli.

          "Before birth it's not a biologically separate entity at all"

          An infant in the womb is composed of separate DNA and separate appendages and organs. It has its own blood supply separate and apart from the mother's. Its digestion system is separate and distinct from the mother's as well. It is a completely separate person from the moment of conception - a dependent one to be sure, but distinct. When birth takes place, does the mother lose a portion of her own organs to the new baby? No. She expels what was connected not to her, but to the baby.
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            We do not have rights because we feel pain, respond with kicks, and have "organs" and unique DNA. You don't appear to have any idea what right are and how they arise conceptually, instead dealing with floating abstractions and the notion that rights are somehow just intrinsically there in the usual mystic religious sense.

            You left out that I wrote that there is "no way to perceive the external world other than occasional crude sensations of bumps or noise". That is not enough to comprehend the external world and is not even remotely like the exercise of focused perception following birth. You also misrepresented my statement that "it's not a biologically separate entity at all beyond the status, literally, of a parasite."

            Trying to ban abortion because they woman expels the fetus (which is not a "baby") instead of killing herself by removing her own organs is circular.
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            • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Your assertion was that one must be able to perceive the external world before one qualified for rights. I have shown that by any objective standard those in utero demonstrate that capacity. You set forth that test as the standard because you believed that it created a separation or distinction - I simply demonstrated that by those qualifications the infant in the womb passes that test and that no distinction actually exists. I made no inference or assertion that such was a valid test for recognition of rights in the first place - that was your contention and one I have repeatedly shown to be arbitrary.

              "That is not enough to comprehend the external world"

              And that is a nonsense argument. Comprehend means that we understand something well enough to accurately predict what is going to happen. You yourself can not "comprehend" the external world or you could have warned me that I was going to be involved in an automobile accident yesterday. The simple fact is that none of us "comprehend" the external world. Even the so-called "experts" specialize in specific fields of expertise rather than a general knowledge of "the external world". If you are going to place that as a qualification for rights, you place all rights beyond the capacity for humankind. I reject such a notion for what it is - a subjective and utterly nonsensical argument. Reason does not equate to comprehension by any stretch of the imagination. Reason is the ability to separate one's self from one's environment and draw conclusions about cause and effect. Reason is preliminary to comprehension.

              "You also misrepresented my statement that "it's not a biologically separate entity at all beyond the status, literally, of a parasite."

              You misrepresent the status of a fetus as a human being. A parasite is undesired and brings no positive outcome to the host. The vast majority of pregnancies are desired and the resulting children bring joy to the parents. I took only the portion of your argument which could be considered a real argument rather than a personal statement of opinion. (PS - do you have any children yourself?)

              "Trying to ban abortion..."

              The fundamental premise you argue is that anything still in the womb is not human. I have demonstrated repeatedly that such is a subjective argument and thus opinion. I take the stand that an organism constructed of human DNA is a person with rights deserving of protection no matter how developed they are. You take the stand that somehow DNA isn't good enough, but some action on the part of the human is requisite for realization and protection of rights. We disagree because your argument relies wholly on subjective judgement.

              *

              Let me present a question for you. In the movie "The Island" (spoiler alert), the protagonist lives in a protected bubble of life under the auspice of a global calamity. He is one of the few who have been rescued and brought to an "island" - a temporary sanctuary awaiting a more permanent relocation. He is among thousands who while away their days waiting. But he begins to develop an attraction (forbidden) to one of the other "rescued" and he inadvertently witnesses the actual relocation of one of the other "rescued". They finally escape "the island" and discover that the real world isn't at all like what they had been told at all. The protagonist then actually meets his original and gets brutally awakened to Reality: that the "rescued' are actually clones - created and raised in the event that their original suffers some trauma or accident which requires donor organs. "Relocation" in actuality is the death of the clone to provide donor organs (100% compatible) for the original.

              So what say you: are these clones (as depicted in the film) human? Do they deserve protection and rights?
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                We have had more than enough of your crude rationalizations, false alternatives, crude equivocations and evasions on behalf of your religious subjectivism. That no one predicted an automobile accident does not mean we have no comprehension of the world. Comprehending the world does not mean omniscience. Mystical fantasies are not comprehension. Reason is not "preliminary" to your mystic fantasies; they are opposites.

                A cell or a fetus having "DNA" does not give it rights and does not make a cell and a person the same thing. A human cell with DNA is not a person. Primitive sensations in a dark womb are not the perceptions of the external world on which we base our conceptual knowledge of the world. That parents experience joy does not make a fetus a child or change its biological parasitical nature. You are a sophist promoting religion and trying to undermine rational thought while your rationalize your mysticism with phony appeals to science, not engaging in serious discussion.

                You have no idea what rights are or why we have them. You are a mystic pronouncing undefined rights emotionally tied to the word "human", then used without regard to meaning and context. Ayn Rand explained at length the concept of rights and why we have them; it is not "arbitrary subjective opinion". If you don't care then go away. This is an Ayn Rand forum not a repository for militant mystics stubbornly demanding to be taken seriously. No one cares about your island bubble fantasies trying to convince us that we don't know anything because we don't have your revelations.
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  • Posted by mgarbizo1 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I can simply choose to say that rights are inherited at conception for human beings, but it gets very interesting when we discuss who has the "bigger" right when 2 are at odds with each other: the mother that is told she will die if she continues with her pregnancy, or the unborn fetus within?
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      "the mother that is told she will die if she continues with her pregnancy, or the unborn fetus within?"
      There is a whole spectrum along this. There could be a condition where she might die. Or she could have a cancer that might kill her anyway but is less likely to if she does a treatment that kills the fetus. There's also the scenario where she must be in constant bed rest or risk killing the fetus. In that scenario, do we use force to make her stay in bed? It would be nice to see technology to incubate fetuses and even embryos, so the fetuses' welfare isn't weighted against the rights of the person carrying them.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Cells, embryos and fetuses do not have rights at all. The concept does not apply. The woman has the right to her own body. There is no clash and no one else has any say in what she chooses to do on behalf of her own life.
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      • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Just curious, when you put your money in the bank who legitimately has access to it? Who can use it? Who can give it away?

        By what right does ANYONE assert their authority, for ANY reason, to do ANYTHING with that unborn child?

        I contend, and always will, that the time for the mother to be to assert her right was before she lay with a man.

        This is straying off topic. I'd rather shy away from the abortion discussion.
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        • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Re: "I contend, and always will, that the time for the mother to be to assert her right was before she lay with a man." Not exactly a choice in the case of rape.
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          • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
            There are always exceptions that need to be accounted for. By and large rape is not the norm.
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            • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Accounted for exactly how? Many "pro-lifers" believe that rape victims should be forced to give birth to the resulting child.
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              • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Accounted for simply mean that there are always individual circumstances that need to be, and should be, addressed. And before you harp on who addresses them? the individual would have a legitimate option to abort in the case of rape or incest.

                There are more then enough methods of birth control, both pre and post sexual intercourse, to relieve abortion as an option for all but the most extreme circumstances.

                This was not intended to be a abortion thread by any means.
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                • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  "By what right does ANYONE assert their authority, for ANY reason, to do ANYTHING with that unborn child?" I think you just answered your own question: "the individual would have a legitimate option to abort in the case of rape or incest."
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                  • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    My question was never about abortion, only at what point does a human being have Rights. For some to contend its a matter of ability to comprehend them would pretty much lump and toddler in with a clump of cells bound together. Is breathing a qualifier for rights? If so does breathing amniotic fluid, the act of breathing, count?
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        • Posted by Lucky 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          The technical term is 'reification'.
          It describes the belief that just because there is a word there must be an entity to which the word refers.

          In this case the prefix 'un' means undo.
          When there has not been an action, 'undo' has no meaning.
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    • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      In the scenario given, it isn't two subordinate rights being discussed, however, but same rights. The only argument which can be made is that because the mother must live for the infant to survive to birth that there is that question. I happen to know a couple just down the street from me, however, who were told this very thing and though the mother was bedridden for much of the pregnancy, both she and the infant survived. That little girl is now almost three. What-if scenarios are a terrible moral case to make for precisely this case.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        There are no conflicting rights. The conflict arises only out of arbitrary assertions. The "only argument" is not over the fact that "the mother must live for the infant to survive birth". The mother has the right to her own life regardless of a fetus; she has not duty to live to sacrifice for a birth.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      There is no conflict between rights. Cells do not have rights. When someone "chooses" to arbitrarily ascribe "rights" as floating abstractions the resultant conflicts are overwhelming.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
      fundamental Rights are those everyone has: Life Liberty and property.
      There can be no "bigger" right and these fundamental Rights are not an entitlement. If all else is stripped away these Rights are what a person has by simply "being".
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I just found this as well: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/02/ha...

    A Harvard law legal study analyzing original intent concluded that the 14th Amendment covers the unborn. It's an interesting legal analysis.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      I have thought about this a lot with no conclusion. I think there is something between rights and an inanimate object. A dog clearly does not have rights, but we consider it a crime a to torture one for no reason. It seems to me that fetuses would at least be in that zone, maybe actually having true rights. I don't know.
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      • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        For the nature and source of rights see Ayn Rand's essay "Man's Rights". They require a rational being who must choose to use his rational faculty to live.
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        • Posted by mgarbizo1 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          ewv, do you envision at any point in a person's life that their rights can be no longer theirs, i.e. the criminal/terrorist, the sick/elderly that is unable to care for themselves, or lacks the mental capacity to function? Also, what would you say separates the embryo cells in a woman's body to the infant after birth in terms of "rational" being?
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          • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            A person who becomes mentally incapable of making decisions can no longer make decisions on his own behalf.

            The newborn infant has been born. That is what separates it.

            "[E]ven a preconceptual infant has the power to look around or not look, to listen or not listen. He has a certain minimal, primitive form of volition over the function of his senses." [IOE] That is the beginning of rationality.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        The reason we don't give animals rights is because we separate homo sapiens from the rest of living things because of our singular capacity to control our own destinies through thought and reason. We spend our entire lives learning and maturing. There is no question that the unborn are human with the potential for thought and reason. The question is whether or not they deserve protection of their lives until they can fully take control of their own destinies, for there is no significant difference between the unborn and the infant in my mind which justifies denial of protection.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          There is an enormous and fundamental difference in biological context between before and after birth. Having human genes and the potential for thought and reason after becoming a person does not make a fetus a person with rights. It also ignores the rights of the woman.
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          • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            "...Now that we’re a little more familiar with the fundamentals of the brain, let’s take a look at brain development in children. Between conception and age three, a child’s brain undergoes an impressive amount of change. At birth, it already has about all of the neurons it will ever have. It doubles in size in the first year, and by age three it has reached 80 percent of its adult volume.8,9,10..."
            http://www.urbanchildinstitute.org/wh...

            It seems that the development of the human brain is a process begun at conception and continues for years after birth. Hence the argument that the act of birth is precisely the point in time in which the right to life is conferred is more opinion asserted than logically proved.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Your post is unresponsive to the difference in biological context before and after birth. It is not about having a brain or any other internal organ beginning to develop at "conception". Assigning rights to cells, embryos and fetuses by pointing to some internal organ development that begins before birth, which obviously it has to, completely ignores the meaning and source of the concept rights, ignoring why anything has rights and what that means. You can't point to some philosophically irrelevant isolated fact and leap to a much broader religious claim in the name of science. This has been discussed here in detail, which you have not addressed. Rejecting this rationalistic abuse of "science" is not "opinion".
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              • Posted by j_IR1776wg 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Posted by ewv 1 hour, 43 minutes ago
                "Your post is unresponsive to the difference in biological context before and after birth."

                OK Would you then further explain or define what is meant by "biological context" since I do not understand the differences between the day before, the day of, and the day after http://birth.in a biological context.

                And secondly since I'm sure you agree with Jefferson's DOI, when does the right to life apply and why at that time of the child's existence?
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                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  You should read Ayn Rand's explanations of rights, and in particular her defense of a woman's right of having an abortion if she does not choose to bear a child. It is fundamental to understand the concept of rights and their source, and not arbitrarily try to assign rights without regard to context and meaning.

                  This topic has been discussed many times on the forum. One post on this same page that is especially relevant is https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post... But it's necessary to under the basic concepts. Jumping into the middle of a discussion may presume too much prior knowledge.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
      The 14th Amendment was written post Civil War (1868ish). I doubt original intent, as misguided as the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendment were, had developing children in mind (people sanctified life back then and it would have been unnecessary). If any argument can be made it makes sense to me to take it back to the Declaration of Independence as a core philosophical principal for us as a people.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        If one wants to constrain the application of the 14th Amendment strictly to former slaves, one must do so for all applications of the 14th Amendment - not just cherry pick. That would mean that it is largely irrelevant today and any cases relying on it (such as those involving gay marriage or rights of illegals) would be similarly void. I'm not so sure that would be a bad thing to be honest.

        What the author of the paper does is examine other legal documents of the times and how they treat the legal idea of a "person". From those, he is convinced that the Amendment as written for that time would surely include the unborn and that only modern legal arguments of the past 50 years have brought any question into the matter.
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        • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
          The 13th, 14th and 15th amendment are known as reconstruction amendments specifically because they were written to empower freed slaves AND protect them as citizens from southern democrats seeking to negate their rights. The 13th, 14th and 15th amendments are tired examples of good intentions with disastrous consequences and should be retired.
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Please demonstrate the "disastrous consequences" of the 13th Amendment. Would the Constitution be better off without it?
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            • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
              A simple assertion that all men are created equal would have been sufficient. By creating these 3 amendments it created division, a separate but equal state, the stole "inalienable" from a race of people and created assigned, freedom contingent upon law. I believe this is a major reason we have racial issues today. And yes, if an assertion was made and an example made of the Southerns who schemed to oppress a legitimate group of Americans, the Constitution would have been strengthened.
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  • Comment hidden by post owner or admin, or due to low comment or member score. View Comment
  • Posted by freetrader 2 days, 18 hours ago
    One way rights apply to the very thick headed is when you protect them and they are trying to figure out why you are protecting them. The lesson becomes a matter of survival then, and even those who have a tendency to disagree in a philosophical way are likely to use the same objective calculus.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    That is your opinion.
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    • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Anyone can read the posts and see that it is much more than "opinion". You can't in logic dismiss anything you don't like by arbitrarily relegating it to "opinion" no better than anything else..
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      • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Your logic is faulty, since you express your opinion and demand that it is fact. That is why I
        said that you argue like a Liberal. You state opinion, demand that it is fact and badger unceasingly hoping to get the other side to concede.

        The sad thing is that I have repeatedly said that while your position is opinion, it is a reasonable opinion. You just seem to want me to take your opinion as fact and that won't happen.
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        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          No one is demanding or badgering that you do anything. You are very defensive. If you don't want to understand explanations it's your loss. Others gain from it. Believe what you want, but don't expect to go unchallenged for the sake of your "opinion". Everything is not just a matter of opinion, no better than whatever you feel like asserting. If you don't understand that I wonder why you are here.
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          • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Show something verifiable as sceintific fact instead of repeatedly expressing your opinion and calling it fact. I freely admit that I have expressed my opinion. You are the one who took issue with me doing so. Seems hypocritical of you from where I sit but again that is my opinion.

            Makes me think that if I said that the sun will come up tomorrow that you would contridict me.
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            • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
              Eyecu2 continues to avoid discussing content of the philosophical subject matter, replacing it with endless demands to be taken seriously for an "opinion" while insisting that no explanation is anything but opinion and no better than his own assertions. He claims my "logic is faulty" for daring to know that I have knowledge, not mere opinion, which he denounces as "Liberal". He confuses a (previous) expectation that he would read explanations (for comprehension) with "demanding" to be taken seriously for discussing facts, i.e., philosophical knowledge about the world. He confuses conceptual explanation with "unceasingly badgering" him with a "hope of concession".

              His speculative accusations are in fact false, and I certainly no longer expect him to take conceptual explanation seriously -- which means that any "concession", which I never asked for, would be utterly meaningless. But others can read and understand.

              An acknowledged chronic state of "opinion" no better or worse than anything else is a mental state that is worthless. Arbitrary assertions are no better by demanding they be taken seriously as opinion that doesn't have to be true while insisting that anyone else's knowledge is also nothing but such "opinion" and not "scientific fact". That is a complete denial of philosophy as such, which of course is, at its best, factual, and Ayn Rand's in particular.

              This an Ayn Rand forum, not Egalitarian Skeptics United. We deal in conceptual knowledge, not arbitrary word manipulation and frantic resentment of understanding and of those who believe they understand (as if that means "like a Liberal").

              His assertion that a human being is "nothing more than a group of cells" is false, not equally valid "opinion". Obviously a human being is an integrated entity with attributes that any arbitrary group of cells does not possess. That is observable fact, not opinion.

              The assertion that a right to life can be "reasonably argued as anytime between conception and self-actualization" is false. The concept of rights does not apply to whatever one feels like from conception on -- unless one is using "rights" as a floating abstraction that is not a concept at all, in which case one can meaninglessly "argue" anything, but it isn't reasonable. Why that is so has been described here many times.

              The assertion that a fetus first has a life a few weeks earlier than what I described as the source of rights at birth is meaningless when one's notions of "life" and "rights" are arbitrary to begin with. In such a case there is literally nothing to say and nothing is. It isn't saved by calling it a "position" that one "stands by" but which requires no explanation because it is "opinion", then trying to dismiss any serious discussion rejecting it as nothing but opinion that is no better.

              He doesn't even try to discuss what I wrote. He misrepresents it as a statement about when life begins, which he falsely equates with rights, and arbitrarily dismisses what he does not understand as mere opinion no better than his own. He even made the bizarre statement that if "you feel that you are deserving of no rights [it] would make your opinion invalid". That has nothing to do with what I wrote and makes no sense.

              While refusing to discuss the content of this subject at all he becomes irate that anyone dares to claim to know something and try to explain it -- "like a Liberal" -- with a further accusation of "intentionally refusing to see that someone can reasonably have a differing position". No, it isn't a refusal on principle, he makes no sense at all. When someone shows a conceptual grasp of the discussion then I consider if he has an at least reasonable, even if perhaps mistaken, position. The "positions" eyecu2 demands be taken seriously simply because they are "opinion" aren't even coherent. The arbitrary does not become reasonable by cloaking it in a right to "opinion" against "Liberals" while denouncing all philosophical explanation as not "factual". Those who understood Atlas Shrugged know that.
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              • -1
                Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                You specifically refuse to actually answer any direct questions and repeatedly demand that your opinion is a fact. Philosophy by definition is an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs. I accept that you believe these things. I just refuse to accept that your beliefs are fact. I do point out that your tactics are similar to those employed by the Liberals here in America. If you find this insulting might I suggest that you adjust your methods.

                I do not discuss what you wrote because you express an opinion that you claim to be a fact. This is the crux of my problem with your wordy responses. You repeatedly claim that your opinion is a fact and that as the basis of your position makes your entire position untenable, you cannot build a skyscraper on a faulty foundation. Well maybe you can, it just doesn't stand anywhere except in your own mind.

                The assertion about a group of cells originated at your end. When you claimed that a group of cells has no rights. That was when I asked you for your opinion at what point does that group of cells gain those rights. You never answered the question, but implied that it was at birth. I asked what about a brief time period before and you again deflected.

                You stated that the assertion that a right to life can be "reasonably argued as anytime between conception and self-actualization" is false. Is obviously in itself false since that is exactly what we are doing.

                You sir repeatedly defeat yourself but I must give you credit for refusing to accept defeat.
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                • -1
                  Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                  I did not "refuse to answer" anything. EyeCu2 didn't get the answers he wants, ignores them, and misrepresents them with bizarre fragments of his own. Anyone can read what I have explained in detail (not "seemed to") about the source of rights at birth which he ignores; I won't repeat it here. His bickering over "brief time periods" is irrelevant, as already explained. Birth is a fundamental event that is itself a process necessarily over a finite duration of time. The "moment of birth", like the "moment of conception", is an abstraction focusing on essentials while ignoring the length of the brief finite duration as unimportant to the concept for most purposes of its use, where it is not denied but left implicit. The explanation of the essential difference between before and after birth for the capacity to have rights does not depend on "but what about this second, or that half-second,...". Thinking in essentials, not irrelevancies employed for rationalistic nihilism trying to undermine concepts, is not "deflecting".

                  Contrary to Eyecu2, I did not originate the assertion about man as nothing but a "group of cells". He did. He had claimed that a right to life can be "reasonably argued as anytime between conception and self-actualization", to which I responded with: "There is no justification for applying the concept of rights to cells and fetuses. They are potential human beings." He said "you yourself are nothing more than a group of cells", which is false and is no answer, as explained in detail.

                  He now argues "that the assertion that a right to life can be 'reasonably argued as anytime between conception and self-actualization is false' is obviously in itself false since that is exactly what we are doing." No that is not what "we" are doing. That is the kind of equivocal sophistry that makes one's ears wilt. Showing why "rights" of cells at "conception" is meaningless is not "reasonably arguing" for are about such phantom "rights". One can also not reasonably argue with someone over how many angels are on the head of a pin either, but can certainly explain why the argument itself is senseless and not "reasonable" without being accused of taking part in it to rationalize sanctioning it.

                  Eyecu2 said he has a "problem with wordy responses" as fact. He certainly does. Explanations require words, logically organized into sentences and paragraphs about distinct but related points, which most people know how to read and understand. (It's not spurts of grunts: "Here now fact, here now fact, here now belief,...) He is still refusing to address anything I wrote, instead continuing to bicker around the edges with false personal accusations while demanding conformity to a dogmatic philosophical skepticism that he says is why he won't discuss the substance. That false premise is indeed the "crux of his problem".

                  Philosophical principles certainly can and should be true and not just random "beliefs". They are about the most basic aspects of man's nature and his relation to the world, which are facts. They are fundamentally important. This is basic to Ayn Rand's ideas and everyone here should understand that. It is the attraction that brings most people here. Read Ayn Rand's Philosophy: Who Needs It (spoiler alert: it has lots of words logically related). It is not a "faulty foundation". Anti-philosophical demands for skepticism are not a "refutation".

                  Eyecu2 can remain a dogmatic philosophic Skeptic for the rest of his life if he wants to, but it won't stop the rest of us from learning and understanding, with or without his ankle-biting bickering and resentment of anyone who has the intellectual confidence to dare to find out and know. But that kind of knowledge as conceptual understanding isn't what he calls "tactics" and isn't "like Liberals" (his repetitious ultimate put-down) -- Liberals are typically Pragmatists, which has nothing in common with Ayn Rand's philosophy. Pragmatism with implicit or explicit altruist-collectivism has been the basis of progressivism for over a century. "Tactics", a resentful demand to not know while refusing to consider or discuss explanations, and denunciations as "Liberal" appear to be Eyecu2's entire focus, which is no answer to the left or for anything positive.
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                  • -1
                    Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                    I never called you a Liberal. I said that you argue like a Liberal. For example you are repeatedly proven wrong and still demand that you are right. You pass off opinions as facts and then demand that others accept your opinions as facts.

                    As to my disliking your written diarrhea.
                    It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.
                    Friedrich Nietzsche

                    You are entittled to your opinion but remember it is yours.
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                    • -1
                      Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                      "Diarrhea"? Your personal attacks are disgusting. You turn serious discussion into a food fight. You continue to refuse to discuss content in favor of personal bickering, insults and resentment. Your constant demands for philosophical skepticism are not proof that anyone is wrong and not an excuse to refuse discussion. Yes we have facts and the capacity for conceptual explanation. No it is not "diarrhea". No we are not "like Liberals", which you repeatedly throw out as if it were the ultimate argument. We are classical liberals in the tradition of American individualism and the Enlightenment emphasis of reason. Your posts are dogmatically anti-intellectual on principle, with bitter personal resentment towards anyone with intellectual confidence. It's a shame that you cannot equal the intelligence of your own career to be able to follow, let alone participate in, the discussion here.
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                      • -1
                        Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                        I think that I have figured out the problem here. You do not seem to understand the meaning of the word "opinion."

                        Opinion-a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.; a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.; a personal view, attitude, or appraisal.

                        You are expressing your Opinion, just as I have been doing. These personally held views are not facts. They are how we each feel about this matter, that is why I dismiss your tirades. You present them as if they are facts, when they are not. Were you to present them as what they are opinions, this would have been over from the first post. I have repeatedly said that I find your opinion reasonable, though it doesn't work for me. As these are personally held views I find no reason for you to keep demanding that I retreat from my position. This is why I have repeatedly compared your tactics to those of the modern day Liberal. So if you do not like my opinion of your opinion you can either quit talking to me or change your tactics, as you continue to reinforce my opinion of you.
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                        • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                          So now he's gone from "diarrhia" to "tirades". Philosophical truths are not by nature mere "opinion" and reasoned arguments are not "tactics". Rejecting Eyecu2's dogmatic philosophical skepticism and his arrogantly anti-intellectual a priori refusal to discuss any philosophical reasoning is not a "tirade" and not "Liberal". Neither are the refutations of the numerous false assertions he has made, which he ignores as if it never happened. He evasively refuses to discuss content on principle, replacing rational discussion with a repetitious stream of personal insults as he evades serious discussion on principle.

                          Discussion with someone who claims that everything is mere "opinion" as an excuse in advance to evade it no matter what is said is obviously impossible, but exposing him for what he is is not. The attempt to on principle reduce everything to "opinion" with no more value than anything else is nihilistic, self-contradictory and dishonest. He wants his own "opinions", including his "opinion" denying objectivity on principle, to be taken seriously as a justification for trashing and undermining whatever he wants regardless of what it is, while he pretends that they too are only "opinion" with no requirement to justify his assertions. It's not an innocent mistake. Both this overt nihilism refusing to acknowledge the content of and reasons for what others say and his stream of personal insults are contrary to the purpose and standards of this forum and do not belong here.
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                          • -1
                            Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                            I have yet to insult you. I have compared what you are doing to the methods or tactics used by Liberals. If you find that insulting might I suggest you change your tactics.

                            You refuse to acknowledge that this is a discussion of opinions, that is the mistake that you are making here. Do you not understand the meaning of the word opinion? Or maybe you do not understand the meaning of philosophy. If you will go back and re-read my earlier posts, I included definitions of those two words.

                            As to me changing from calling your posts diarrhea to tirades. In the context of this discussion they are basically synonymous ie. mean the same thing.
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                            • -1
                              Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                              eycu2 has repeatedly strewn insults as a substitute for reasoned argument, including the disgusting "diarrhea" and"'tirade" that he just arrogantly repeated. He does not belong here.

                              His repetitious name-calling of "like Liberals", characteristically with not even an attempt to state why, is making "Liberals" look better all the time. If only.

                              Discussion with him proved impossible long ago. His dogmatic assertions systematically evade all previous content as he pretends nothing has been said. He thinks he can get away with this evasion by dismissing whatever he doesn't like as "opinion" not requiring any acknowledgment. His repetitiously arrogant and condescending accusations, insults and evasions are perverse. He appears to be a deliberately obnoxious provocateur trying to see how far he can suck people into his game, which was over long ago. No one should take this troll seriously. He should be removed from the forum.
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                              • Posted by Eyecu2 3 months, 1 week ago
                                Troll? Until now I was assuming that you were attempting to troll me (and enjoying it too).

                                AJAshinoff asked for opinions and I offered my opinion, which I have repeatedly called my opinion. You jumped in and tried to correct my opinion with your opinion that you call facts. You get bent out of shape when I call your opinion reasonable but not acceptable for myself.

                                I have not at any time participated in name calling. I have rightly labeled your actions as Liberal like, when you demand that your opinion is accepted as fact. I have correctly described your long tedious rants to get me to accept your opinions as fact, as being verbal diarrhea or a tirade. If you find this criticism odious might I suggest that you adjust your actions. One doesn't remove corrective punishment from an unruly child just because they complain of the punishment.

                                Understand that I have a right to my opinion and whether or not you like it I have that right. You too have a right to your opinion whether or not I agree with it, but you DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORCE YOUR OPINION ON ANYONE ELSE! If you do not like my opinion then quit talking to me.
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                                • Posted by ewv 3 months, 1 week ago
                                  When someones gives reasons for a position, you cannot in logic arbitrarily ignore it by proclaiming in advance that is mere opinion. This obviously -- to everyone else -- is not "forcing opinions" on you, even when you yell in all capital letters. Anyone can see in your posts your stream of repetitive one-liner disgusting insults and arrogant false accusations substituting for rational discussion, which you deliberately ignore and evade. You are not engaging in discussion and cannot be expected to understand it. Your posts are perverse. No one enjoys that. Take your dogmatically unfounded "opinions", misrepresentations, insults, and evasions somewhere else. It does not belong on an Ayn Rand forum.
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                                  • Eyecu2 replied 3 months, 1 week ago
  • Posted by  $  terrycan 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I believe full rights start at the age of 21.
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    • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
      And yet my kids understood their basic Constitutional rights by 10 or so?

      Are Rights subject to an arbitrary number imposed to society? Or is the matter of comprehension involved? Or does simply being alive entitle someone to fundamental Rights to life, liberty and property?

      A person dropped into an environment with no other human around would certainly have Rights, no?
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      • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Including the right not to be dropped into an environment with no other human around? :-)

        More seriously, if a right is "a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context," then rights would not have any meaning in an environment that lacked a social context. You could not violate the rights of others (and vice versa) if there were no others to interact with.
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        • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
          True. However, if there were other people but they were separated from you, significantly, you would have certain Rights even without interaction (expectations of behavior when and if those interactions did occur)
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          • Posted by  $  CBJ 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            Expectations are not the same thing as rights. The concept of rights depends upon the concept of an actual social context in which to exercise them.
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            • Posted by  $  3 months, 2 weeks ago
              In speaking of social context you're talking about relevance.

              I disagree in that any person regardless of social context has certain Rights that no society can grant or take away - Locke rightly stated (and I don't agree with all I read) those rights are Life, Liberty and Property. Do you need society to have Life? No. Liberty? Maybe. Property? Maybe.
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              • Posted by ewv 3 months, 2 weeks ago
                Social context does not mean whatever you feel is "relevant". It refers to individuals interacting with each other. The concept of rights requires such a context. It is meaningless without that. The concept of rights only arises because of the fact that people relate to one another, which requires that society be subordinated to morality. "Life" is a distinct concept from a right to life. You are equivocating to rationalize using 'rights' as if it were a mystical 'intrinsic' property without regard to objective meaning and context.
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