Thursday, July 8, 2010

Notes: Thursday, July 8, 2010

Just a blog comment by me (no news articles, blog posts, or discussion-board posts worth highlighting today, it seems):

Cardinal Pole, on July 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm Said:

“[You] did define rights.”

No, you didn’t, at least not in this post, in any other recent posts as far as I know, or in the posts to which you linked. Here are the three paragraphs where you talk about what you think rights are (the following is taken from the first of the two links which you provided; both of the posts to which you linked are, of course, almost identical, with a bit of American political history as background at the start, then these three paragraphs, then an explanation of why you think rights are important):

“Moving beyond Madison, a discussion of the concept of rights needs to happen. What is a right? A succinct definition is hard to formulate, but I think a good idea can be created. Something which does not infringe upon another’s rights should be a right [1.]. This alone isn’t much of a definition because it assumes the existence of rights, the very thing we want to define. But within a certain context [2.] it does give a good approximation of what a right should be; we already have established rights (free speech, religious beliefs, protest, etc), so assuming we agree [3.] on those, we can ask ourselves, does X infringe upon these? If the answer is “no”, then there’s a good chance [4.] that X is a right.

“I think it is eminently appropriate to also include safety and security as one defining piece of rights [5.]. Does X cause bodily harm to me or others? Does it cause undue financial hardships? Does it put someone at risk of life or health? If the answer is “no”, we again have another good indicator [6.] that X is a right.

“I hope it hasn’t escaped anyone that the previous two paragraphs are speaking of natural rights. These are rights which extend to all peoples, not merely Americans or Europeans or Russians or any one particular group. They are effectually based upon the idea that rights are to be based upon humanity and the human condition [7.].”
[my square-bracketed interpolations throughout]

1. That’s a characteristic (and one asserted without explaining why it’s necessary), not a definition.
2. So you’re talking about rights “within a certain context”, and even then, you’ve only come up with a “good approximation”, not a definition.
3. Yeah, “assuming we agree”. And it’s hard to know whether we agree or disagree until you tell us what you think a right is.
4. “[G]ood chance”, “good approximation”; that’s nice. Still waiting for a definition, though.
5. Why? (And that’s still only “one defining piece of rights”, not a definition of rights.)
6. “[G]ood chance”, “good approximation”, and now we have a “good indicator”. Still no definition.
7. So “rights are to be based upon humanity and the human condition”. Now we know on what rights are to be based, but we still don’t know what rights are.

So, no definition of rights. Do you, in fact, know what a right is? (Do you even know what a definition is?!)

“[I] have a search bar for 1,000+ posts, a number of which are on same-sex marriage.”

Ha ha ha, so I have to go trawling through more than a thousand posts in order to find “a number” (1? 2? 3? 998? 999? 1000?) of posts, which, while being “on” same-sex marriage, probably won’t even tell me what you think marriage is, if your posts “on” rights are anything to go by. If you don’t want to discuss these matters then just say so and save us both the time.

Reginaldvs Cantvar
Feast of St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Queen, Widow, A.D. 2010


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