Member Rara Avis
Oh and I got the definition from Wikipedia so you can take it up with them.
When you quote a source verbatim and extensively, Ed, it's customary for a writer to cite the source and, on the Internet, provide a link. I'm sure you wouldn't want someone using your words and appearing to take credit for them.
Very romantic, Ron, but it sounds more like a state of being to me than a right, which is something that has to be afforded to you by another or others.
But that's exactly the point, Christopher. If it has to be afforded to you by another then it's a privilege, not a right. Driving is a privilege, and so, too, is voting. Working for another man, in the exchange of sweat for goods or money, is also a privilege in the sense that you can't claim it without another's agreement. Telling your boss what you think of him, however, is a right that none can deny you. You just have to be willing to pay the price.
Think of it another way. At what point would you stop trying to protect your child from physical harm? Is there a point at which the price would be too high to pay? Is it a privilege that can be given or revoked? Or is it a right you claim without reserve?
One of the biggest issues I have with current American thought, especially as it relates to Iraq, is that we have the power to free another culture. I don't think we do. At best we can lower the cost of exercising freedom, which is certainly something worth doing, but we can never give a man what he already has, and never lower the cost of claiming it to zero. A man who doesn't want freedom, who is unwilling to pay a price for it, can never be "given" freedom. It's always there, always has been there, but it must be claimed.
What's the difference between a 'fundamental' right, and an 'inalienable' right?
Good question, LR. While there's certainly a semantic difference, as Essorant points out, I'll readily admit that I'm treating them as interchangeable terms. A fundamental right can't be revoked.
Ron... I never knew you were an anarchist at heart
LOL. I honestly never thought of it that way, LR, but I guess maybe you're right, at least in some sense of the word.
While I don't believe in the absence of rules, I also don't believe that all rules are created equal. I think most Americans agree with me, else we'd probably still be paying an unjust tax on imported tea. I recognize no moral obligation to obey laws simply because they are laws, and indeed, think we are obligated to actively disobey any law we are convinced is wrong. Of course, that's where we start getting into murky depths very quickly.
When one man ignores the law, we have crime. When every man ignores the law, we anarchy. Somewhere in between there, and I honestly don't know where, we should find the genesis of Revolution. And while it inevitably carries an extremely high price, that too, is a fundamental right.