“The old adage about giving a man a fish versus teaching him how to fish has been updated by a reader: Give a man a fish and he will ask for tartar sauce and French fries! Moreover, some politician who wants his vote will declare all these things to be among his ‘basic rights.'” Thomas Sowell
Miriam Webster defines rights as “something to which one has a just claim”. I think most of probably see rights this way. So if I said to you that as a left-handed person who has been discriminated against all my life, I have a right to financial restitution from all right handed people in this country and you can go ahead and make your due payment to my GiveSendGo account, how much would you give?
I believe that you would be more likely to give me a piece of your mind than your money. And why? Just because I claim that a right exists, doesn’t make it so. This also is something that I think we all agree upon. Saying it is so does not make it so. Claiming the existence of a right without proper justification is wrong. It must be done write.
Now, if I got the government to accept my claim and they put it into a statute or amended the constitution, then I could safely say that I have that right. In philosophy class I defined rights as privileges typically granted by an authority who has not only declared the right (usually in writing) but also is committed to defending that right.
When I have discussions with folks who are claiming particular rights exist, I generally will ask them who granted the right and where is it recorded and when. It is unquestionable that many nations have granted many rights… but when they do, they are implied in statutory entitlements or made explicit in the Bill of Rights or amendments. Every nation is free to set forth in writing any rights that the government has declared its willingness to defend.
Just because one nation declares a right, if does not make it universal or even appropriate. Each country’s populace or its government is free to create or not create national rights.
When someone says to you that such and such other countries have granted a certain right and on that basis say the it should also be granted here, you should ask them why? It this a universal objective right that exists above nations and humans (as set forth in the Declaration of Independence), or is it just one that you like. If they like it and consider it a just claim and therefore want to defend it, let them. If they want that right to be legally enforceable in this country, encourage them to use sound reasoning to argue that it is a just claim and convince enough people to enshrine that right in writing. Until that happens, it exists on the same level as my claim for reparations to us left-handers.
Saying it so does not make it so, but writing it does. Write makes right.
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For His Glory,