The following debate originally took place on my Facebook wall, upon my post, “Rights Are NOT Gifts from Government!“…
Rayn: Wake up to the amazing, liberating Truth that Self-Ownership is our BIRTHRIGHT! Yet, one cannot secure such a unique and sacred possession without first acknowledging every other Individual on Earth to hold their very own, as well! And, THIS is the ultimate PROOF of understanding!
Brian K.: According to George Carlin, rights are imaginary. We made them up.
Rayn: I’m not sure which “rights” Carlin is referring to, Brian, but you can rest assured that my Natural Right to live is NOT AT ALL imaginary, but a self-evident truth! I was born with it, just like you! Meanwhile, our natural right to Self-Ownership, which is hinged upon our liberty, along with the Non-Aggression Principle, is also self-evident and inborn! Aside from this, our natural right to the justice of a peaceful co-existence, via consensual Cooperation, is also very real and inborn, as we have lived by this Natural Law FROM OUR VERY CONCEPTION – with our lives fully depend upon its productive and reproducible results!
Here is an informative video on the topic, including a good understanding of other property rights that are derived from self-ownership, and a right to exist:
I shared the picture above to remind others that paper documents, stone tablets and legally fictitious straw-men will NEVER be able to “grant” us what we are already born with. To believe in such dangerous superstitious nonsense is to convert our natural rights into nothing more than “privileges,” to be taken away at any time!
Brian J.: Technically, George Carlin is correct. We have no rights in this country. The only rights we have, are the ones from within. Fuck the Government.
Brian K.: What you call in-born rights are imaginary. These are ideas we made up. Look around at nature, i.e. other animals. Nature is quite cruel and vicious. For one thing to live another must die. Temple Grandin has written a great deal on this subject and how it inspired her to create more humane cattle facilities.
I’m quite leery of any argument that says it’s self-evident. That’s just another way of saying it’s an assumption. Assumptions are inherent to any kind of conceptual/logical model but the validity hinges on those assumptions. “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful” – George Box.
Brian K.: Taking an argument as an axiom is only appropriate in mathematics. Even then, Gödel discovered that is not, rather cannot be, a perfect, universal system.
Brian K.: Brian J., we, humans created government. It’s flaws are our own fault (or a reflection of our own flaws).
Rayn: I agree with you, Brian J., that the “rights we have, are the ones from within.” And, yet, that is precisely why any lacking in their acknowledgment DOES NOT equal their lack of existence! We DO have natural rights in this country, and we RETAIN THEM, no matter where else we travel on this planet! What you label as “no rights” in America would more aptly be described as a VIOLATION of them! In conclusion, I agree with your conclusion: “Fuck the government!” 🙂
Rayn: Brian K., my natural right to live, to own myself, and to peacefully co-exist via consensual cooperation are not “imaginary,” nor are they “ideas *we* made up.” I was born with all of them INTACT, and REAL, by virtue of their VERY ACTUALITY! As even Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “rights,” those I have listed here are each supported by at least three of their given definitions: (1) they most certainly DO have “the quality of being factually correct,” (since my very birth), (2) they DO containing “the cause of truth” (even if violated), and (3) they MOST DEFINITELY ARE “something to which [I have] a just claim”! And, more than just PRECEDING my imagination, two of the three rights above – being my life and self-ownership – are responsible for harboring my imagination, in the first place! Meanwhile, far from being “man-made,” the rights I listed here are NOT EVEN EXCLUSIVE to humanity, as many other members of the animal kingdom have them, as well, in accordance with natural law!
When I call my natural rights “self-evident,” that’s not “just another way of saying it’s an assumption.” Rather, I mean, “containing its own evidence or proof without need of further demonstration,” being “prima facie evidence,” or “sufficient to establish a fact unless disproved. This definition perfectly coincides with understanding that my natural rights have “the quality or state of being factually correct,” as I stated before. After all: I AM alive, I DO own myself, and I DO peacefully co-exist via consensual cooperation – all right from birth! And, there is no way to disprove these facts!
Individuals who deny my natural right to live, to own myself, and to peacefully co-exist are simply those who wish to violate them, by way of robbery, slavery and/or murder – either directly, or through violent, coercive proxy (church, state, etc). This is typically done while espousing the usual brand of illogical superstition, replete with “original sin/presumed guilt/pre-crime/chaos” myth about the inherent “evil/cruelty/disorder” of humanity. Of course, I reject such cult-like nonsense, as it is absolutely illegitimate. Not only have I personally met more kind and caring souls than I can count, I also recognize every human being as a UNIQUE, SOVEREIGN INDIVIDUAL – to be judged ONLY by the merits of their OWN character! As far as I’m concerned, assigning humanity with labels fit for criminals is merely an excuse for the corrupt and polluted souls among us to collectively oppress and punish us all for crimes we haven’t even committed, in an effort to catch a boogie man that lives no further than the nearest MIRROR! Besides, biology, itself, does NOT tend to agree with the “freedom is slavery” double-think mentality of such control-freaks, no matter how many clever excuses they come up with in order to justify their lust to harm and enslave others:
Forget Survival of the Fittest: It Is Kindness That Counts (Aug. 2009):
Humans Evolved To Be Peaceful, Cooperative And Social Animals, Not Predators (Feb. 2006):
The Compassionate Species (July 2012):
Young Children Are Intrinsically Motivated to See Others Helped (August 2011):
We’re In This Together: A Pathbreaking Investigation into the Evolution of Cooperative Behavior (Nov. 2012):
Humans Naturally Cooperative, Altruistic, Social (Sept. 2011):
A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution (Jan. 2011):
Instinctively, People Are Generous (Sept. 2012):
(update: archived copy of above link located here: http://web.archive.org/web/20121004113714/http://news.discovery.com/human/human-instinct-generous-120919.html)
Emory Brain Imaging Studies Reveal Biological Basis For Human Cooperation (July 2002):
(Brain intrinsically rewards reciprocal altruism over self-interest)
(*all it takes is free-will initiation of altruism by only one party in most cases!)
Thinking About Giving, Not Receiving, Motivates People to Help Others (Aug. 2012):
Rayn: To use the over-simplistic adage that “nature is quite cruel and vicious” in order to deny my assertion that I have a natural right to live, to self-ownership and to peacefully co-exist is a thought-terminating cliche, Brian K. Though you present the statement as a valid retort, it is actually just a fallacious and sentimental appeal to possibility, and does absolutely nothing to disprove my rights, whatsoever. How and why would *any* level of perceived “cruelty” in nature negate my natural rights? And, even *if* attacked, would I not ALWAYS fight a “vicious” battle for my right to live – right to the very end? And, is this trait not universal among ALL animals that are naturally capable of doing so? Can another even imagine to murder me without FIRST recognizing that I already live? Does not my right to live naturally precede any direct designs against it?
Besides, I suggest you take a closer look at nature before summing it up as “cruel and vicious,” as there are COUNTLESS examples of Mutualism and Commensalism throughout the Earth, among a vast number of species – and, boundless acts of compassion, altruism and empathy taking place all over this planet . And, hypothetically, even *if* nature could *only* be described as “cruel and vicious” (which isn’t actually the case), then a re-introduction of “compassion and empathy” into a biological system that THRIVES on DIVERSITY and ADAPTATION cannot by summarily dismissed with a single trite phrase! This is especially true for an advanced species like ours, as even full-term human babies are born significantly premature, by biological definition, and parental compassion, alone, is what nurtures, assists and weans us through at least nine more months of exterogestation AFTER birth! With these facts all tying into our uniquely large brain size among primates, nature has duly selected HIGHER COMPASSION as the source for nurturing HIGHER INTELLECT! And, without a high and lasting degree of this quality within our parents (especially our mothers), human babies could not survive!
Meanwhile, to say that “for one thing to live another *must* die” once again does nothing to disprove my natural rights. I cannot even “die,” except that I first LIVE! And, with this fact preceding any designs against it, as per natural law, I always fight to defend my life!
Besides this, your sentiment about nature is just another fallacious and sentimental appeal to possibility, and completely ignores the 30% of the species on this Earth that are herbivores, eating plants. And, if you’re to over-simplistically suggest that plants are “dying” from such activity, please keep in mind that there are plenty of mammals on this planet who live as purely herbivorous frugivores, for example, engaging in completely harmless, reproduction-assisting, mutualism with the plants they consume from. And, aside from this, there are many pollinating species on Earth, like bees, for example, that engage in mutualism with flowers when harmlessly gathering nectar as their food source – once again, helping those plants to reproduce in the process. Meanwhile, there are also over a thousand species of squirrel whose consumption of nuts from a variety of trees is the primary method for which these plants disperse reproductive material that would otherwise die in the shadows, under the parents. Also, there are grazing animals, like cows, for example, that don’t eat the roots, but only the tops of the grass they consume, which does not kill the plant, but simply spurs further, denser growth – while, the excrement of such grazers also provides useful fertilizer for the area, packing even more nutrients into the topsoil of the grass that they essentially “trim.” I’m sure there are even more examples of which I speak, but a final one that comes to mind are the thousands of species of dung beetles, so many of which feed exclusively on excrement – harming no one, and also cleaning and fertilizing the environment!
But still, many do attempt to make the strange argument that plants “die” in order for others to live – improperly forcing them into the animal kingdom, in sheer defiance of biology and nature. This is often done to ridicule vegetarians, and/or in an effort to deny animal rights. Individuals making such claims forget that we animals share our very breath with plants, as natural law has sealed our two kingdoms into a mutualistic respiratory relationship for the sake of our very LIVES! Besides this, there are a vast number of plant species on this planet that encourage animals to eat of them, as I mentioned a few examples above – or at least, have adapted ways to make our consumption into THEIR reproductive success – more MUTUALISM. While not all plants possess such traits, it is VERY UNLIKE animals, who ALWAYS do the exact opposite when targeted as food by other species – adapting methods to camouflage, escape, fight or otherwise defend themselves, instead! Finally, with the sun as the main energy source for life on this planet, plants are the direct translators of that energy into sustainable fuel for all animal life. In acknowledgment of this natural law, carnivores, omnivores and scavengers of the like typically prey upon herbivores, first and foremost, hoping to harness third-hand solar energy from their remains, with the “alphas” of hunting packs always eating the GUT, filled with the MOST NUTRIENTS (via semi-digested veggies and blood)! Meanwhile, herbivores harness second-hand solar energy from plants without dependence upon either carnivores, omnivores nor scavengers for sustenance. Plants MUST be consumed, as they are the REQUIRED ROOT of all animal life on this planet!
As a final point of interest, many of the top “predator” species are actually scavengers, by nature – including lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, and even grizzly bears (being omnivores that subsist on an 85-90% vegetarian diet) – who all eat carrion whenever available, and hunt for prey whenever necessary (along with foraging for veggies, in the case of the grizzly). No physical evolution is required for such behavior shifts, as the same tools are necessary for either diet. And, if there were enough carcasses available to go around, these species would not waste their precious energy hunting!
Meanwhile, there is even evidence to indicate that human beings may have developed as natural scavengers, as well: