Basic. Human. Rights.
It's something that is considered fundamental to any society; people having rights to certain things:
The Basic Human RightsThe fundamental human rights set out in the European Convention on Human Rights and adopted by the Human Rights Act include:
- The right to life, (not an absolute right); prohibition of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; prohibition of slavery, (both absolute rights); abolition of the death penalty.
- The right to liberty and security, to a fair trial and to no punishment without law.
- The right to respect for private and family life; the right to marry; the protection of property; the right to education.
- Freedom of thought and religion; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly; right to free elections.
- The prohibition on discrimination in the application of these human rights.
There was a billboard recently that said: Children have a right to play. Do they? Who is going to enforce that? Who defines what a child is? Who defines what play is?
What precisely is a 'right'? If we assert that there is a 'right' to something it is saying that there is an assumption of automatic privilege. That no-one should be impeded in the execution of the right. But all of the above rights, and those of other countries, exist only to protect people against other people!
Take, for instance, the United States Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Ignoring for now the fact that rights are endowed by a creator.... it's interesting that the rights are life, liberty and the 'pursuit' of Happiness. Not happiness itself, just the right to pursue it. Pretty empty right, I'd say. In fact not really a right, more an endeavour!
You can pursue happiness, but you don't have a right to it? Stuff that.
I say 'Down with Rights - Rights are Wrong'. Be happy (or not) regardless of whether a constitution says you do or do not have the right to pursue it. In fact, I'd say that pursuing happiness pretty much precludes it, cos looking for it means you aren't happy. Only when you stop looking can there be happiness (whatever that is).
Oh, and here's the link to the Barack Obama song: