Saturday, June 09, 2012
Rights vs. Privileges
A few examples...
I can speak for myself, and therefore I have the right to speech. I can defend my property myself, and therefore I have the right to property. I can think for myself, and therefore I have the right to believe as I wish.
Now luckily for me the US Constitution grants me, the individual, rights and are defined as such within the document. Lucky are us that reside in this wonderful nation.
Rights are individual, the moment a second party is involved in any circumstance there is privilege. Privileges and rights are similar but they clearly are not the same.
I do not have a right to marry another person. Marriage involves a second party and at least in this country one does not have the right to demand of another to enter into an agreement. This means that neither what society refers to as straight people or as gay people do not simply have a right to get married. Please do not confuse what I just wrote as my opinion on 'gay marriage', my opinion on the matter is not the point.
I do not have the right to health care. I cannot demand that another person treat me for an illness or an accident that jeopardizes my health or life. The services rendered by health care providers often involve many other parties and there must be mutual agreements between all in order for the privilege of health care.
Far too often I see, read, or hear people demand certain rights when rights simply do not apply. I believe that far too many people are ill informed on what a right is. Society creates laws, but laws are not rights. At best laws are permissions, limitations, or privileges. When multiple parties agree to enact laws, they are not granting rights. Laws cannot infringe on rights for individuals, laws are also not permanent -- as rights are.
The news media and politicians often portray rights being denied. In the examples above I have heard many say that people are being denied health care and that gay people are denied rights by not being allowed to marry. I simply ask, what rights are being denied... and to this point the question is never answered.
I want other individuals to be happy and healthy as they see fit. So do what feels right, just don't intrude on the rights of others in the process.