What is a right?

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This topic contains 51 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 1 week ago.

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  • #24669

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I get why it’s difficult or sometimes impossible to define which “rights” or values are absolute, but how then can we thrive and survive without being able to presume they exist?

    I think that thriving and surviving are the absolute values.  Even though thriving sounds vague, it’s not difficult to determine whether someone is thriving.

    assuming there are no such absolute values or moral formulae, how else can a society debate or come to terms with issues such as abortion

    But some things are a genuine dilemma, that no formula can satisfactorily take care of.

    #24673

    Unseen
    Participant

    So I get why it’s difficult or sometimes impossible to define which “rights” or values are absolute, but how then can we thrive and survive without being able to presume they exist?

    If rights are absolute, they aren’t subject to definition (human invention). Of course, societies do define things they TREAT as absolutes. Societies define themselves by making choices and assumptions of this nature. “Our ideal society permits slavery,” “Our society sees women and men as full equals,” “Our society believes the military should run the show,” etc.

    #24674

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    By absolute values I mean primary values.

    #24676

    _Robert_
    Participant

    “… thriving and surviving are the absolute values. By absolute values I mean primary values.”

    Yes, however nature indicates thriving is a goal, not a right. 98% of all species that thrived at one time are now gone. None of these creatures damaged the planetary eco system either. If there is one species that should not have a right to thrive, it is us.

    #24677

    Unseen
    Participant

    By absolute values I mean primary values.

    Those two are hardly synonyms. An absolute value, should it exist, is basically built into reality. A primary value is such due to the regard with which it is held, which can be due to, for example, religious beliefs, historical experiences, traditions, etc.

    #24678

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    Those two are hardly synonyms.

    Absolute in the sense of being the most basic.  I can understand your meaning of the word, but it’s hard to see how anything like that could exist, in the same way that “moral truth” doesn’t exist in that sense either.

    #24778

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    You’re describing favors.

    I’m describing prosocial behaviour.

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