Many on the Left seem to have no regard for Natural Rights

Discussion in 'Religion & Philosophy' started by kazenatsu, Mar 3, 2024.

  1. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I was reading an article from Politico, one of those typical Leftist screeds against "Christian Nationalism" in politics. But that's not what this thread is about.

    In the article, I saw something that stood out as very alarming to me.

    The relevant paragraph in the article says:

    "In 2019, Trump’s then-secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, set up a federal commission to define human rights based on the precepts Vought describes, specifically 'natural law and natural rights.' Natural law is the belief that there are universal rules derived from God that can't be superseded by government or judges. While it is a core pillar of Catholicism, in recent decades it’s been used to oppose abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and contraception."
    So not only are they attacking what they see as "Christian Nationalism", but they also seem lumping together "natural rights" with that.

    Do these political writers have any idea what "natural rights" actually are?

    If they ever took a civics class, they would have to know.

    They bring up "natural rights" and then treat it with contempt alongside with the Christianity that is the main subject the article is complaining about. It seems they either do not know what "natural rights" are (which in itself is very worrying), or they do know what the philosophy of natural rights are but despise it (even more concerning).

    Natural rights, for any who may not know, is a set of moral standards and rights which it is believed are self-evident, that most all people can know is true and correct. (Or in some cases can use logic to derive offshoot conclusions from that)

    For example, it is wrong to murder another person, or to steal. That is very basic natural rights.

    The idea of natural rights was important to the founding of the United States. If you take any civics class, they will probably refer to John Locke, and how the idea of natural rights was expressed in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and set the foundation for democracy.

    It seems perhaps many on the Left are annoyed at the idea of natural rights, because it can interfere with what they want government to do to implement their policies. In the mentality of many on the Left, the ideal government is all-wise and should be given all power. Only then can it solve all the problems. If there are certain things that government is not allowed to do, it is seen as an impediment.

    This of course ignores the crucial role that the philosophy of natural rights has played in bringing about democracy and establishing human rights and individual rights. But now the Left seems to just take all of those things for granted. Maybe natural rights was useful for bringing about that progress, they might argue, but now the society should move beyond that and progress.

    But if you throw out natural rights, you are stuck with moral relativism, where anything goes. This seems to be the dictum of the Left, any sacrifice is justified for the supposed better good of the collective.
    For someone who is Libertarian, this is deeply problematic.

    It is true there is a connection to God in the philosophy of natural rights, but this is not completely so. There are plenty of atheists who would support the idea of "natural rights". And many of the U.S. founders who believed in natural rights had a view of God that fit more into what is called "deism", a more distant and impersonal God, less involved in the personal affairs of men, certainly a much less religious concept of God. They could claim "natural rights" ultimately came from God, but it was mostly a much more philosophical view rather than an article of religious faith.

    To automatically equate the idea of "natural rights" to religion shows a deep ignorance, or even a disingenuous intellectual assessment. Natural rights is really more a philosophy, that if all human beings were created by God, then all human beings have inherent worth. And furthermore that human beings do not have the right to trespass upon the natural rights of another human being. That is hardly an idea that is "religious" or wholly confined to Christianity.

    Trump allies prepare to infuse 'Christian nationalism' in second administration, by Alexander Ward and Heidi Przybyla, Politico, February 20, 2024
     
  2. Melb_muser

    Melb_muser Well-Known Member Donor

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    This could have been an interesting topic if you hadn't brought up Christian nationalism, which has nothing to do with natural law or natural rights or natural anything.

    Christian Nationalism means: "We are good Christians so we can do what we want to whoever we want and if we make a mistake we get a free pass because (wait for it), we are God loving Christians. We also love big government so we can use law enforcement to get people to do what we want. Natural law and natural order are what we decide is right because being good Christians we are righteous and all knowing."(I'm sure Jesus would turn in his grave).


    Boebert is the perfect example of a Christian Nationalist.

    Boebert: Jesus didn’t have enough AR-15s to ‘keep his government from killing him’

    [​IMG]

     
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  3. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    But the article in question seemed to very much conflate and equate "natural rights" as part of "Christian Nationalism".
     
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  4. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    People that worship democracy think rights come from a popularity contest and the 51% is 'right' by default (and the rest are criminals (or heretics...)). In that belief system, rights are a social construct -meaning that society creates them, not the individual, not nature, not 'god'.

    This is also the reason for the increasing dogma of disarmament. The 49% is a lot harder to cudgel into submission when it has guns, and kinda undermines the concept of an all-powerful democratic 51%.

    It is essentially a 'might makes right' mentality, just on a collective scale. But the collectivists understand (perhaps instinctually, I doubt consciously) that you really need more like a 2/3 or 3/4 majority to reliably defeat a suitably armed and determined defense. Might does not actually make right without an overwhelming majority because most people simply arent willing to die just to control others. 51% simply doesnt cut it in an armed society.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
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  5. Kokomojojo

    Kokomojojo Well-Known Member

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    From my research that's not the way I envisioned it coming into play I don't see Christianity mixed in there too much although it does parallel Christianity to a certain extent.

    If we take two hunter-gatherers where food is scarce hg1 kills a deer and hg2 tries to take the deer from hg1 hg1 is most likely going to kill hg2 to keep his deer and feed himself and his family.
    That pretty much covers stealing.

    Murder I think is self-evident if hg2 kills hg1 brother chances are someone in the family is going to revenge hg1 by killing hg1 or a family member of hg1.
    That pretty much covers murder which is reclassified as homicide so that the government can say they did not establish a religion they do that with a euphemism that means the same thing as the religious version but because it's considered a secular word it's not a religion pretty slick huh!

    Same thing goes for a wife if hg2 steals the wife of hg1 then hg2 is most likely going to kill hg1.

    So I think what we're really looking at here is natural law being completely natural based on what humans really do or did in the early days and in many cases sometimes still do today.

    Otherwise natural rights have been pretty much abolished by the 14th amendment, you can look up spies versus spies case.

    Furthermore the 14th amendment re-identified everyone as a corporation sole and of course corporations are under the government. a freemans rights are over the government. (Long story)

    This is why we are literally slaves to the government and need their permission to do anything and everything rather than the government being servants and trustees to us, they don't really listen until people in this country are ready to go to war against them.

    If you are interested in looking up the idea of a sole corporation you can look up Blackstone section 4, it was what the king did for himself so of course we imitating the king did it for ourselves the only problem is the king retained both his natural rights along with his political/civil rights and they just sort of forgot about the natural rights or I should say designed them out of the system with civil war which is a parallel to natural rights but is not natural rights it limits your power and the man is not recognized only the sole corporation fictitious entity that is filed under your name. (Another long story)

    So sure I'm sure there's some Christianity in there since matches the ten commandments to a certain degree but then I think just about every religion has similar commandments.

    So the moral of that story is that natural rights are really designed to keep people from killing each other like animals living in the wild.

    The Bill of Rights and its original form would have actually worked a wonderfully had the government not stuck their interloping nose into it for the all their personal agendas, however it's gone so far over the top now they even have their fingers in a woman's womb. That's how bad it gets when the government starts interfering with the natural law.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2024
  6. Melb_muser

    Melb_muser Well-Known Member Donor

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    Ok, but isn't that how Pompeo described it.
     
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  7. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    "No regard for Natural Rights" .. hard to say which side is worse these days .. left or the right .. both are absolutely horrible ... full on running towards some kind collectivist authoritarian police state. .. Why you only talk about the left's lack of regard and respect for the founding principle .. "natural rights - Essential liberty" ? You need to contrast with the right and tell which side you think is worse ?
     
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  8. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    What in the quote is incorrect? The only thing I spot incorrect there is "in recent decades." No, the philosophy of natural law has been used for centuries to oppress LGBTQ+ people, not decades.
     
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  9. yardmeat

    yardmeat Well-Known Member

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    I think what's tripping you up is that these criticisms are about the natural law portion of the philosophy, not the natural rights part.
     
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  10. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Perhaps. But for most conservatives, and most educated people, they are nearly the same thing.

    Maybe there exist a different breed of conservative out there, but for me personally, mention of "natural law" is practically equivalent to natural rights.

    Can you point me to any case where a conservative has tried to use the notion of "natural law" to take away rights from LGBTQ people?
    It sounds like some artificial accusation invented by the Left.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2024
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  11. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Law includes proscriptions designed to help in forming a society. You mentioned murder and theft.

    Our natural rights are the rights that come with being of the human species.
     
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  12. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    The idea (or ideology) of natural rights claims that the law should be based on the foundation of natural rights, or be a derivative of it.

    And that when the law departs too far from the base concept of natural rights, the rights of people are being infringed on.

    "Communism" has a very different mentality, assuming that any law instituted by the collective for the supposed "greater good" is justified.
    It's a form of radical utilitarianism, since Communist theology views everything as morally relative.

    The former is closer to the ideals of America's founding, whereas the latter is closer to where American society seems to be right now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2024
  13. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    You haven't shown any evidence of your claim.

    In fact, wrt women's personal bodily autonomy, a clear natural right, Republicans have worked HARD to deny that natural right.
     
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  14. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    In the philosophy of natural rights, obviously abortion is a more complicated issue because of woman versus the human being inside her.
    This is one of the reasons Libertarians split into two camps, one very pro-abortion and the other leaning to various degrees more pro-life. (That and the issue of immigration have prevented Libertarians from being able to coalesce into a single political force)

    To discuss this further (if that is what you wish), it would probably be better you start another thread.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  15. Giftedone

    Giftedone Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Red's stance on abortion is based on forcing religious belief on others through law .. an anathema to natural rights .. in keeping with Red in General being an anathema to Essential liberty.

    Abortion would not be such a complicated issue if Red did not believe in Religious fairy tale over science. Things get complicated when you mix Religion with Politics .. which is why Jesus forbade the union of Church and State.
     
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  16. dadoalex

    dadoalex Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    There is no "God"
    Therefore
    "Natural Law" is a product of believers' imaginations.

    And is an attempt to force religious beliefs on people absent any legal standing.
     
  17. dadoalex

    dadoalex Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Demonstrably False..

    There is no "being" inside a woman.
    and
    No one is "pro abortion"
    That is an anti-woman fallacy.
    Being "pro choice" means respecting women's rights to make decisions about their body.
    "Pro Life" means using the power of government to force religious beliefs on women in denial of their rights.
     
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  18. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    The idea that "natural rights" is justification for violating the right of personal bodily autonomy is not possible to defend.
     
  19. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I think you're unnecessarily clouding the issue. Can we set abortion aside in this discussion?

    It seems totally senseless to oppose the philosophy of natural rights wholesale just because Pro-Lifers sometimes borrow from and try to use the philosophy to make arguments supporting their position against abortion.

    If I can make an analogy, that would be like saying you totally oppose the idea of self-defense because sometime in history a political leader used the argument to try to justify doing something bad. In logic, I think this would be called "jumping the gun".

    (Or do you oppose natural rights because you know that, if it were true, it would mean abortion was wrong, and so therefore you cannot support its premise? Seems to me that would be very damning to your side)
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  20. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    The idea of YOU deciding that YOU know what healthcare women need is absolutely ridiculous.

    You are threatening natural rights. Women have the natural right of personal healthcare decision making.

    So do men, by the way.

    Your suggestion of separating this from abortion doesn't work. That is the ONLY threat you pose.
     
  21. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It seems clear to me you are trying to derail the discussion and obfuscate the issue.

    To have a discussion about the general validity of natural rights, do we absolutely have to have a discussion about how exactly natural rights should apply to the issue of abortion, specifically?

    Why? You haven't precisely explained it.

    It seems you are trying to bog down the discussion over natural rights by tying it to the controversial issue of abortion.

    Do you just not view human rights as an absolute? Is that the real issue?
    You believe the notion that human rights should derive from some innate and inviolable source of individual rights is too problematic?

    Or is this another example of how progressives have little regard for principles and only care about desired outcomes. So if they don't like the desired outcome, the way of thinking about the procedure to decide what the right thing to do is needs to be changed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2024
  22. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Or is this another example of how progressives have little regard for principles and only care about desired outcomes? So if they don't like the resulting practical outcome in a specific situation, the way of thinking about the procedure to decide what the right thing to do is needs to be changed.
     
  23. WillReadmore

    WillReadmore Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you aren't aware of Vought or the Project 2025 that your cite discusses. You should read it.

    The changes advocated by this direction include major rights denials for women's healthcare.

    These are rights that clearly fall under the natural rights you advocate, but are turned over to be used AGAINST the rights of women - fundamental rights such as personal bodily autonomy.

    It also include serious reductions in help towards equal opportunity and healthcare for the least among us - once again denying rights of healthcare for people of all ages and all conditions (including pregnancy) unless the individual has the wealth to pay for our stupendously expensive healthcare.

    One of the reasons that women give for having gotten an abortion is that they can not afford the healthcare and lost of work to do it right. They need to work continuously to pay for rent and food. And, proper pre and post natal healthcare is not possible.

    You tend to talk in absolutes. But, in the real world, people may share your view, but not be able to comply.

    And, that's beside the fact that there are health conditions that require abortion.
     
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  24. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    And what do those things have to do with the broader issue of natural rights?

    So you're attempting to argue that conservatives don't practice what they preach, when it comes to the issue of abortion. (Which we could debate and argue about)

    This still should have nothing to do with your views of natural rights.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024
  25. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Is your argument that you don't believe conservative's views about natural rights should apply to abortion? Or is the issue you're taking up a broader one having to do with what you view as the problematic nature of "natural rights" in general, for many potential issues.

    (In other words, hypothetically if abortion rights were written into stone and that was not on the table, would you agree with natural rights?)
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2024

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