Ansiktsburk wrote:Nick_A wrote:I’ve avoided this site once I experienced that it was controlled by a clique seeking to destroy any suggestions that a reality exists higher than the one they function in. In other words, anything suggesting any concept of the dreaded G word must be condemned and driven away. Naturally no useful discussion is possible under these circumstances so it is better to just leave
But this question of rights has always interested me and since it was brought up again by Rick Lewis it may be possible to introduce an alternative that has been ignored within everything I’ve read pertaining to the editorial. Is the clique brave enough to destroy the editorial? But the fact that it is avoided as much as possible in real life assures that the potential for a free society is dead. It is all over but the shouting. It may be dead but we can at least know why. I’d like to introduce this alternative to the emphasis on rights for those who can profit from considering it. Who better to introduce it than Simone Weil as she did in her only book written as she was dying from TB: “The Need for Roots.” This is a translation from the original French."The notion of obligations comes before that of rights, which is subordinate and relative to the former. A right is not effectual by itself, but only in relation to the obligation to which it corresponds, the effective exercise of a right springing not from the individual who possesses it, but from other men who consider themselves as being under a certain obligation towards him. Recognition of an obligation makes it effectual. An obligation which goes unrecognized by anybody loses none of the full force of its existence. A right which goes unrecognized by anybody is not worth very much.
It makes nonsense to say that men have, on the one hand, rights, and on the other hand, obligations. Such words only express differences in point of view. The actual relationship between the two is as between object and subject. A man, considered in isolation, only has duties, amongst which are certain duties towards himself. Other men, seen from his point of view, only have rights. He, in his turn, has rights, when seen from the point of view of other men, who recognize that they have obligations towards him. A man left alone in the universe would have no rights whatever, but he would have obligations….” - Simone Weil, “The Need for Roots”
Rights then depend on obligations. There are two kinds: voluntary and forced. A tyrant will force obligations on his subjects to enable the rights he desires for them. Once his subjects are tortured in one way or another they will adopt their obligations for the sake of rights decreed by the tyrant.
Then there is the potential for the adoption of voluntary obligations which will enable the rights desired by a free society. We experience the battle over rights. We’ve heard of gay rights, women’s rights and a ton of other rights but have you ever heard or read of the battle over gay obligations or women’s obligations etc.? People become insulted and say you can’t discriminate in this way but somehow discrimination as it relates to rights is considered justifiable and noble.
Next the question arises why anyone would feel the value of voluntary obligations especially when living in a society which emphasizes self importance, pride, and vanity? Take what you can and run. Shoot first and ask questions later. Once again I turn to Simone Weil"The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.
Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings. Whatever formulation of belief or disbelief a man may choose to make, if his heart inclines him to feel this respect, then he in fact also recognizes a reality other than this world's reality. Whoever in fact does not feel this respect is alien to that other reality also." ~ Simone Weil
Now I know why John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Only the presence of the influence from the essence of religion can awaken people to the human perspective allowing for the societal attitude making freedom possible.
The majority will continue to argue rights. It is the progressive way, A minority will become aware of the necessity for the adoption of voluntary obligations in order to make rights possible within a free society. Can the influence of this minority ever take hold? I don’t think so but regardless I would always do what I can to support this minority in the cause of human consciousness and the quality of freedom it can allow.
So, either you "argue rights" while others "argue obligations", with the second group having some kind of "ask what you can do for America" pow. Right? Regardless of the persons you do refer to?
Is the concepts that interesting? Sounds to me like persons aloof from the mainstream of people theoretizising about "we" ought or don't ought to do. In reality there are numbers and choices. Can you give some contemporary example of what you are talking about?
You mention the choice of arguing either rights or obligations but is it possible for America in the cause of freedom to get past arguing the value of obligations and come to emotionally experience the value of voluntarily adopting them as opposed to arguing them? I agree it cannot happen. We've become far too educated to understand why. It seems that the more head knowledge we acquire, the more heart knowledge is lost. It is not surprising why eventually the goal of freedom will fall to the reality of tyranny. We've lost the feeling of what is necessary to sustain it.