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14289Re: FT

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  • roy_langston
    Nov 12, 2012
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      --- In LandCafe@yahoogroups.com, John David Kromkowski <jdkromkowski@...> wrote:

      > Roy, you have created such a narrow view of human rights that I must dissent.

      "Narrow"? How so? Given that a person's rights can only be violated by other people, I see no other logical alternative.

      > And no wonder Walt,
      > prefers to avoid the concept of "natural" human rights and prefers what
      > used to be considered the "soviet model" human rights are that which government decides they are.

      The ultimate basis for that government decision is natural rights.

      > Now, in a truly free, democratice and
      > transparent society that may get us eventually to something close to
      > "natural human rights".

      Natural human rights are the rights societies would implement if they knew all they needed to know, and could discern all its relevant implications. A key criterion of natural rights, then, is that they can't logically conflict.

      > I start from a different place - "human". What is the nature of being
      > "human"? When figure out that then we sort out the rights (and
      > obligations) that would "naturally flow" -

      That's where I'm coming from. We have rights -- they are characteristic of all known societies -- because our evolutionary history put them there: they enhance human reproductive success. IMO the most likely mechanism for this enhancement is inter-society competition: societies where people have rights out-compete, defeat, and exterminate societies where they don't. The effect of the defeat and extermination of one's society on one's genes' reproductive success, even if one survives personally, is worse than personal extinction. This sets up a selection pressure favoring rights not only as a societal characteristic, but as a genetic one.

      > yes, life, liberty, property

      All of which are free of logical conflict, and have a clear beneficial effect on a society's ability to compete, which is why all known societies have recognized them in some degree.

      > but also including but not limited to work, education, basic health care, leisure both while we can work and when we can't, family, exposure to the
      > arts, as well as freedom from all sorts of things, and the right to
      > sufficient land to cultivate one's garden and provide for one's self and
      > family, all constrained and supported by the obligations of being human.

      Now things become less clear. Many societies have not recognized various of these "rights," and the reason is clear: they potentially conflict with one or more of the first three more basic rights, or with each other, or even with themselves. A "right" to leisure can only be secured at the expense of someone else's leisure. If I have a "right to family," someone else has no right not to be in my family. Etc.

      > It could be that having a good government is also a basic human right.

      Well, good government is implied by the effective recognition and security of rights, which, as Jefferson reminded us, is government's job.

      -- Roy Langston
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