Rights are social constructs!
9/23/2016

 

Why is this even important?  Why is it a thing?  Simply put, it is such because people invoke concepts they do not understand leading to the enslavement of others to which they deny their intentions being!

To understand why rights are social constructs requires understanding what the purpose of morality is, how it translates into liberty, what liberty is, and what wealth is. And guess what? Morality, liberty, and wealth are all social constructs.  So what are social constructs?

Dictionary .com defines social construct as:

A social mechanism, phenomenon, or category created and developed by society; a perception of an individual, group, or idea that is 'constructed' through cultural or social practice.

What does that mean? It means that people have agreed upon an idea in practice. It does not mean that people have agreed on all aspects of an idea. It simply means that people have agreed that an idea exists at all and is used.

This is the confusion behind the idea that morality is subjective and not objective. This is the idea behind why rights are subjective and not objective. The dissent in this issue are not about agreeing upon whether or not an idea exists but how it should exist, how it should function.

Concerning the idea of rights, well...

They exist! We all understand that we have a right to life to survive because that is the universal purpose of maintaining and improving the quality of our lives. This even takes into account the desire for hurting others, suicide, and more. Just because a dog is born with three legs or an extra head doesn't mean it's not a dog anymore.

It is still a dog but with an abnormality to its existence just as those desiring to hurt others for pleasure or wanting to commit suicide acquired an abnormality in their desire to maintain their lives with a maximum ability and to thrive. In the case of rights, the issue is in how they are understood.

So what clear path of thought progression is laid before every argument about rights?

Unfortunately not always anything at all!

This is the problem with understanding what rights are, to who, what, and how they apply, and why! To understand these criteria requires understanding what morality is. And understanding morality will lead to understanding that there is only one right applicable to all human life. The right to life!  (I argue in my book, Morality Defined, all reason capable, sentient, beings capable of complex communication of concepts too are covered under this.)

The thinking goes something like this:
All individuals desire to maintain and improve the quality of their lives by refining their time, intellect, and labor. This means we value our lives, to varying degrees; but such value matters little as the default for respecting value of life in others must be 100% until an infraction occurs and the context of it is determined.

Then we recognize the value others have placed on their lives and acknowledge that. The goal is to reduce the amount of violence and destruction between those of us capable of such criteria as reasoning, sentience, and communication. By showing this respect we create trust, reduce the stress in our life struggles to maintain and improve them, and encourage others to refine their time, intellect, and labor to create more wealth.

This is the crux of the only right being that to life.  The further refinement of one’s time, intellect, and labor to ensure others have water, food, shelter, etc. is to enslave or force without being the victim of an act of aggression first to provide such things.  That is not respecting the value others place on their lives 100% as all people will not be treated / coerced / enslaved to provide water for others.  This is why everyone has the right only to life and their abilities exclusively to provide for themselves by either creating wealth or exchanging through voluntary interactions with others.

(Just to clarify, wealth is defined as that which is capable of satisfying one or more of the four basics of life; sustenance, shelter, security, and happiness. This value of wealth being founded upon its ability to maintain and improve life first, second due to its supply and demand.  All refinements of time, intellect, and labor are wealth as they fit into one or more of the four basics of life; sustenance, shelter, security or happiness.  In the case of money, such is artificial wealth as it does not typically immediately satisfy one or more of those basics.)

With more individuals able to maintain and improve the quality of their lives relatively unhindered by others akin to their three previously noted criteria (reasoning, sentience, and ability to communicate), the more minds exist to potentially problem solve other issues, create more wealth to ease and or improve the quality of life, and generally raise the pinnacle of each individual's and Humanity's successes.

Now having rights of multiple variations as social norms becomes complex and enslaves others until morality is defined with a set of universally applicable ideas.  These ideas I have previously touched upon through the recognition of self value that we all view to varying degrees as we all wish to generally maintain and improve the quality of our lives. Doing that makes morality objective in terms of having a goal to achieve and or maintain. And what are rights if not ideas designed to protect or maintain human life?

That being the case, the only right that exists as a universally applicable idea is 'the right to life.' That's it! The only area this becomes touchy is in terms of abortion related arguments. However, through understanding what wealth is, why morality is the creation of peacefully communicated boundaries to avoid hindrances to our abilities to peacefully (in relation to one another akin to us with our three noted criteria) maintain and improve the quality of our lives, one can understand a universally applicable set of concepts.

So as you can see, rights are social constructs which Humanity in various versions of social denominations has tweaked and or failed to fully define as universally understood, not just accepted, ideas designed to maintain human life.  Again, the trouble is not in recognizing that rights generally exist.  The issue is in how they are to function.

For now, I leave this as it is.  Feel free to further explore the foundation of how I see rights in my eBooks, Liberty Defined and Morality Defined. Both are available for free downloads.

-JLD

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Download a free PDF  of Liberty Defined here!

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