More on Rights

Phineas has responded to my response. It seems that we are mostly in agreement in the whole:

Ordinarily, in any other case outside of gender relations, I’d agree with Free Northerner’s post more wholeheartedly. But the original text was about the relationship between men and women and must be dealt with in that light. With the warped and twisted way life is right now, the only proper thing is that any discussion regarding men is out-of-hand if it doesn’t exclusively involve rights. Conversely, any discussion involving women is out-of-hand if it doesn’t exclusively involve responsibilities. As long as the rights/responsibilities pendulum is being held to the side and not allowed to rest at equilibrium, this must be the case.

Nowadays, men are given responsibility without the right to the fruits of their efforts, while women are given rights to the fruits of men’s efforts, without the responsibility of working for it. I agree, and I also think it is deplorable. So maybe, some imbalance in the discussion to the reverse may be necessary.

But I still stand by my original assertion, but I’ll expand based upon his criticisms. Nobody, neither men nor women, have natural rights, and nobody, neither men nor women, has a natural obligation to most other people.

By natural obligations, I mean that people owe the provision of something to other people. People do have God-ordained obligations to God (which take the form of being rendered to other people), to specific people (ie: parents), and obligations to not commit certain actions against others.

In this case, I am using natural rights as an abstract theological/philosophical concept. Not as a practical concept. People do have ‘rights’ as a practical matter, but these are social and political creations, no more, no less. It is necessary for a society to develop a list of rights and freedoms (and corresponding responsibilities), as inviolable freedoms lead to the healthiest societies.

But these rights are not granted to you by God, these rights are not something inherent in being born, these rights are social creations.

Despite our general agreement, I’ll talk to a few other points:

Rights are exhibited in the form of laws, and God has His own laws. “Right to life”“thou shalt not kill”. “Right to private property”“thou shalt not steal” and the like.

The duty to not kill does not necessarily imply a right to not be killed. The duty to not take others property does not necessarily imply a right to private ownership. I agree fully that every society should have both a right to life and a right to property, but neither of those are inviolable gifts from God. Given that God has seen fit to let almost one in three people die as infants throughout the majority of history and often personally commanded mass genocide and executions, it is hard to see where a right to life is guaranteed.

Those that go around claiming “rights don’t exist” will at the same time cry about their rights or the rights of others when the government comes to take their guns, or someone robs their home, or even claim a “right to life” when it comes to the issue of abortion.

One can discount natural rights, yet still believe in societal rights, or simply desire to be left alone. An American can say they have a right to a gun, because the right to a gun is societally accepted in their constitution, and non-Americans can desire a societal right to own a gun. Neither implies a natural right. There is no fundamental contradiction.

This leads into responsibilities undertaken willingly, which addresses Col 3:22 and Matt 16:24-27. People can willfully trade responsibility for responsibility. This is not a proof that rights don’t exist, but that people have the right to negotiate an exchange of goods and services. It, however, is a proof that responsibilities come from rights and not the other way around. Undertaking all things have a cost, and even Jesus warned of counting costs in such things. The misapplication of these Scriptures involve the fact that a choice was made to undertake a vow. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This is not a proof that rights don’t exist.

I highly doubt most slaves had a choice in the matter and willfully traded their freedom for the care of their master.

Christ does not bid anyone come by force. This is obligation. The nature of men is to turn something that should be out of love into a forced obligation and something that should be given out of grace into an entitlement.

Absolutely agree.

This brings us back to the silly and absurd statement that “rights don’t exist”. When this is said in the context of the manosphere, it usually meant to mean “Rights Don’t Exist for Men.” In traditional practice, this is a true statement. This is readily seen by the practice of chivalry, which takes all rights away from men and all responsibilities away from women. This is akin to the statement that “Responsibilities Don’t Exist For Women”.

When I say it, I mean it for both sexes. I have written a number of times on the double-standard of rights, including chivalry. What society enforces and what is natural are not one and the same.

****

Also, this got linked on Reddit, where I was accused of subverting the red pill for Christianity. I will simply say the same conclusion must be reached by atheists. What natural rights do accidently evolved bags of water that happen to have certain electrical and chemical interactions occur within them have? Where do these natural rights come from?

The answer is they have none and they cannot come from anywhere. Any atheist proclaiming the existence of natural rights has simply failed to review his presuppositions. I thought this was obvious enough to those in the alt-right to not need mentioning.


2 responses to “More on Rights

  • The Karamazov Idea

    On the topic of rights (life liberty, etc.) and prohibitions, (thou shalt not) I am recalled of the chapter “Politics for the Time Being” in Richard John Neuhaus’ book, American Babylon: Notes of a Christian Exile.

    NOt for nothing are biblical commandments on how we are to treat others framed in the negative. Cutting through our rationalizations and indulgence of appealing possibilities, they declare, Do not do this and do not do that. Proposed positives that do not rest upon secure negatives are not to be trusted. “Do no harm” is a frankly and unapoligetically moral placing of limits on those who are driven by what is aptly described as the scientific or technological imperative in the service of their understanding of progress.

    Of course he was correct that no sooner (a century and a half is sooner in human terms) had we established positive rights than “life” was expanded to mean “a good life” provisioned, if need be, by one’s neighbors by use of force. Life apparently meant food and housing. Liberty meant capital without investment (in the terms of labor or property). Pursuit of happiness meant the acquisition of privileges and comforts so long as one complained loudly enough.

    The only fault I find here is one I constantly berate myself for. I wish that more conservatives quoted the 6th Commandment as “Thou shalt do no murder.” Whenever we use the word “kill,” we allow the pissants of the gallery to demand we forsake our imperative to defend ourselves or others lest we “kill” in the process of doing so. Unfortunately humans are creatures of habit. We are taught to say “thou shalt not kill” just as we are taught to refer to homosexual unions as “gay marriage.” I for one, have begun to cringe while saying either and will correct myself.

  • Links and Comments #10 | The Society of Phineas

    […] Value-Added – He’s SpecialFree Northerner responded to my response. I really don’t have anything more to say except on the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: