Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Swing and a Miss!

The dead-horse beating continues...

John T. Kennedy of the group blog No Treason left a comment on my old post What Is a "Right":
Is it wrong to rape?
To say it's wrong to rape is the same as saying that one has a right to not be raped. To say you have a right to not be raped doesn't mean you have a postive right to be protected from rape or avenged for rape by others, it just means that it is wrong to rape you.
To say you have no right is to say nothing that can be done to you is really wrong, it is to deny that there are such things as right and wrong, good and evil.
You need to read the essay to understand my argument, but it boils down to this point:
A "right" is what the majority of a society believes it is.
And I'll illustrate John's error right now.

Look at history. For centuries, if not millenia, rapine and pillage was the reward of conquering soldiers. To those cultures there was a right to rape. It wasn't "wrong," nor was it evil. It simply was. The victim had no say in the matter.

John believes in "rights" that exist outside the context of society - absolute rights that exist in all people, everywhere.  I don't.  What is right, wrong, good and evil define and are defined by societies, and those societies rigorously enforce those definitions, or the society morphs into something else.

The idea of "rights" is a cultural one, and cultures change.  And for most of history, even right up to today, the rights one culture recognizes often do not extend to peoples of other cultures.

OUR society (and nearly all contemporary societies) believes that rape is inherently wrong, but it was not always so.  According to current news reports, rape is again being used as a weapon of war in Darfur.  The West is appalled.  But the rapists see it as their right.  Their culture tells them so.

Try again, John. 

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