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Thread: The self deluding fantasy of human rights.

  1. #1 The self deluding fantasy of human rights. 
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    So I'm sitting here in my underwear with my newly inflated ego courtesy of some e-friends, and I am thinking to myself, "How do I get my feet wet in this new forum and carve out my own identity so that I am not constantly confused with my ever so sweet, kind and gentle husband, Neverfly. Perhaps baring my ... damn gingers don't have souls.... oh I know, my source code to you all.

    Why not share my philosophy of reality in regards to something most people hold more dear to them than their faith in Santa Claus, God, or Fox News.

    We (humans of the "free" world in general, myself excluded) tend to subscribe to the idea that Humans have certain inalienable rights. The most basic right being the right to live. Some even say this right is afforded to us by a creator.

    Ignoring that which there is no evidence to support the evidence of, how can we claim to have rights, especially the right to live, while also demanding rights to "freedom" another concept that I see as a deluded fantasy.

    An individual life in general happens by chance, luck. Life on this planet emerged only by chance. The chance that the orbit of the planet was just the right distance from the sun and all the necessary chemicals were present to allow for organic molecules to assemble themselves into what eventually evolved into living organisms. Our species only exists because over millions of years the odds finally gave into the likelihood of a species just like us could exist and by chance did.

    Now look at our species specifically. Each one of us starts out as two parts. Our unique dna composition could only come to exist is one specific egg meets one specific sperm. And we beat the odds in managing to conceive. I mean consider how many eggs are wasted throughout a woman's life as she passes her monthly cycles without becoming pregnant, and how many sperms are lost to nocturnal emissions? Add to that the likelihood of one sperm out of countless others beign able to reach the egg. There is no second place in that race. It's win or die. So for every unique individual that is conceived, there were countless other potential people who were simply wasted in the process.

    So here we are, a zygote. A fertilized egg. Are we there yet? Oh no, now we have to beat the odds of whether or not we will successfully attach to the wall of the uterus, or will mom, not knowing we are here, have a bad day and go out having drinks with her girl friends, lose her balance and cause us to miss our chance to attach and therefore get washed away in her next cycle.

    But lets say we got lucky, and found ourselves in the womb of a woman who is having a good week.We attach. And send signals to her body announcing our existence. Are we successful yet? No way! What if she has some medical problem that causes her to spontaneously abort? What if she is a teen mom who doesn't want to be a mom? What if dad was our grandpa?

    Well let's assume we beat those odds and find that mom does want us. So we will not be sucked out in an abortion clinic. Her body will not spontaneously eject us, and our genetic structure isn't screwed up from incest dooming us to be some deformed mass of mess. Lets say we beat all those horrible odds. Now we have to worry if we will make it through the nine months it takes to be born. Will mom trip and fall? Will she be in a car accident? Will she get terrible food poisoning causing a miscarriage? Will mom be murdered?

    Let's say we beat all those odds and arrive on our birthday. More odds to face. Will mom make it to the hospital in time? Will there be an attending physician available to give proper care? Will the doctor make a mistake causing me to cerebral palsey or some other medical problem caused by medical malpractice during delivery?

    Ok so we beat all those odds and survive delivery and are healthy. More odds to face. Will mom love us? Will dad love us? Will they always be aroudn to protect us? Will they teach us how not to win a Darwin award?

    The point is, our very existence is based on chance. Then once we are born, our life depends on the will of others to see fit to allow us to live. We don't have the right to live. We are afforded the privilege to live by every living thing we share this planet with. Life is only a right when no other living thing can take it from you. Freedom can only exist so long as no living thing can take it from you. To have rights takes away the freedom of others. To have freedom endangers rights of others. You cannot have both.

    The reality is that SOME people are free. But only those in absolute power over everyone else.

    Life is a privilege that other livings afford us. We live only because no living thing has decided to take that privilege away from us yet. Do we earn that privilege? If we do, how?

    Children earn the privilege simply by the nature of what they are and represent. They are an extension of our own ego, a means of perpetuating the existence of our own dna, a sense of pride and accomplishment. They are also insurance that if we get to live to be old, someone will be there to change our diapers for us. They also represent a promise of socialization opportunities. Status symbols. The list goes on. If children provided no sense of pleasure to us, we likely would never feed them and they'd die. We tell ourselves we love them, and I am sure we experience that chemical reaction in the reward center of the brain when we interact with them and bond with them, but even that is a euphoric drug like high that can be achieved with drugs. Sociopaths do not seem to experience that sensation of love, and they also do not show compassion for a child, even their own, unless there is some other reward that they perceive in doing so.

    The reality is, all love is conditional. We allow others to live mostly because it benefits us to do so. Neverfly wakes up every morning simply because I don't see a greater benefit in preventing that from happening than the benefit in ensuring that it does. We have structured our society to accept this idea of rights, especially the right to live, so that we don't have wanton killing over slight offenses. But I doubt really that humans would kill on a regular basis if it were legal to do so. I'm sure the people that are alive today would certainly do a lot of killing but over time I think it would level out like the many species of the world do without laws to prevent them from being serial killers. Lions do not go on killing sprees just killing each other over small infractions. They kill when its a matter of survival. The same goes for every species except humans. Sure you get the rare anomaly in any species that has a screw loose and is more aggressive than the others of it's kind but if a mental chimpanzee starts killing psychotically more likely than not the other chimps in his troop will kill him to get rid of the threat. I think our population would be dramatically less but our natures would be far more kind toward each other, as kindness would be a key to survival. In a society where you can be killed simply because someone doesn't like you, you would be more likely to be as likable as possible in order to avoid being murdered.

    Ok so you say, I am talking about a society that doesn't exist. But it does. Only we don't determine who should lose that privilege as individuals. We decide as a group. And we publicly declare which behaviors will cause your life privilege to be revoked. We even dictate who can take the privilege away. So we make it harder to enforce kindness. Perhaps being kind is too much against our nature and so it is a burden no one wanted to carry. We simply do not want to give up our selfishness. But you see, life is not a right. Yours can be taken away as long as the majority of people do not like you. And if they dislike you enough to take the privilege away, you have very little recourse to protect yourself.

    I think if we did it like the lower animals do, we would have fewer incidences of the activities that we currently label as crimes. I think we would discover just how cruel each one of us is capable of being. Because each day we would be weighing the pros and cons of every person in our life and deciding whether it would be better to kill them or let them live. And if we decide that killing them would not benefit us in anyway, we then hope that we make ourselves beneficial enough in their life that they also do not see benefit in our death.

    Think about that time some one pissed you off so bad that you wanted to cause them serious harm but didn't. The only reason you didn't is because you weighed the pros and cons of doing it vs not doing it. And you saw greater benefit in leaving them be. Whether it was because they were bigger than you and would likely beat you to a pulp, or because sitting in jail was a fate worse than letting your enemy walk away unscathed. But if a law had said you would be rewarded for your efforts, and you didn't see risk of your own mortal physical mortality being an issue, perhaps because you had a weapon, you likely would have done it. In places like Pakistan this is demonstrated every day. Honor killings are an example of this situation. There is little risk in injury to self, because a weapon can be used, popular opinion is on the side of the murder, and the laws support the murderer. So there is nothing but reward involved in the killing of one who offends your honor. We are addicted to rewards, whether they are physical tangible rewards or simple states of mind that are elevated in mood.

    Life is a privilege. Remember this. Earn your privilege to live by being likable in the society that you live. Or as my dad used to always tell me, "Make yourself useful." Or learn to be persuasive in defending your privilege.

    Am I a nutjob? Maybe. But at least I know the rules to the game.


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  3. #2  
    Ascended Member Ascended's Avatar
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    I think most of us have to earn our way in life, if we are lucky we are given a decent start by our parents and where we are born, but after that we are pretty much on our own and how our lives turn out it up to us. I do think we are given rights though, if we live in certain countries because that is the national philosophy. This probarbly has evolved from the discovery that allowing certain freedoms to people has made them easier to control and less likely to revolt, part of the process of governance but also partly because it allows countries to be successful. Though even this can sometimes be illusionary as whilst some people within a society may be given freedoms and rights this is not necessarily the case for everybody. If we look back at some of the most successful civilizations from history we can see that, with examples such as the ancient Greeks who gave us democracy, though mostly a collection of city states they shared a commonality in that most gave rights to their citizens and yet they still had slaves who had very few rights indeed. Your point in this respect about being liked to survive would have been most apt in these types of societies if you started out as a slave. With slaves being able to actually eventually become citizens and all the associated rights if they were indeed popular enough to be granted citizenship. This process could also later be seen in ancient Rome that also had many ex-slaves going on to become respected Roman citizens. It seems that the societies in general saw the value in a allowing people with no rights considered the lowest of the low to progess within the society provided they proved their worth.

    Even today in most modern western societies reminents of this type of process can still be seen across the business world where people are able to progress entirely because of their percieved popularity within organisations, they are earning their status and position by their ability to get on with others, not necessarily because they are actually good at their job. This ability to make others like them is and has always been a very prized and valued skill because the simple reality is, that teams nearly always out perform individuals, it goes to the heart of the saying 'there's strength in numbers'. Yet in spite of this, most successful modern societies have also learned to make the most of the talents of less successful individuals (unpopular), the types of people who generally find it more difficult to get on with others but still have skills to offer. One of the reasons for this is modern society has evolved enough to work around such people without them being a major problem, this means that whilst they are unlikely to ever be as successful they can still be included and contribute, this just shows how popularity can be far more valuable than actual skill. Also most societies have learned to adopt a standardization for giving basic freedoms to all the people regardless of popularity, this is generally considered fair but also has the major advantage of being eaiser to manage and enforce then trying to give out differing levels of freedom and privilege across millions of people.

    What we can see though just looking around at the different countries in the world is that many have different ideas of how free or privileged their citizens should be or what it is those people are expected to do in return. I guess in a way it does start to ask the question "what really is freedom?", the thing about this though is there really isn't one definitive answer to the question. Even if everybody agrees on a set of actual rights and privileges what are the chances they could all agree on what responsibilities everyone should have in return? Pretty slim indeed if you ask me. No what it seems we have, is a species who are collectively evolving, moving and working together for our own common good but still as yet with a long way to go and many differing ideas on just how to get there.

    I think along our journey through developing the concepts and processes of civilization we have learned that we need each other and we wouldn't generally kill others because it goes against the values that we have learned on the way. These values define who we are as people in the modern world, to a strong degree I'd say our values are instilled in us as we growing up but we also have to choose who we want to be and how we want to live our lives as adults. We are constantly surrounded by events that seem purely driven by chance that we seem to have very little actual control over, but quite often events are defined by how we act in the first place, at least that's what I like to tell myself and whether it's really true that we can have some control well I guess that one is up for debate. Maybe even some scientific tests may prove interesting here.

    I do think the whole 'chance' notion though of our very existance is certainly an interesting one, it seems odd when contemplating the idea that to be alive you or I have beaten odds of billions or trillions may even much higher, if you take into account everything that was necessary for life to take place in the first place, to one. I guess this makes us all kind of special in a way, and puts in position where we should have to make the most of this gift we have been given, I say gift but beating unbelieveable odds needs to be described in some way, and go out and do something with our lives. The actual idea though of us existing despite theses odds can be rationalised by the idea that certain people beat huge odds every week to win the lotterty, why? Well eventually someones got to win it, so I guess that's just what we all did. We are the ones that had to eventually win the lottery of life.


    Last edited by Ascended; November 17th, 2012 at 11:57 AM. Reason: many typos, some grammar
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Hi, seagypsy, nice avatar btw, Im trying to figure out what the main point of the text is, in a few sentences what would be the main message? Does it matter what word, right or privilege, people use? Its a funny coincidence because Ive seen another message by someone else that also was upset by the word "right" saying there should be a charter of "duties" (I had a hard time relating to that other one too). If everyone started to use the word privilege, what would this change? (It sounds like an upsetting difference, Im not from the UK so maybe there are a few cultural references Im missing about the word "right" being something upsetting).

    From my perspective, freedom needs to be contextualized by the social environment, with the potential for interference and synergy:
    If you are on a desert island, you will be free from social restrictions or from interference from other people, no one tells you what to do, you are "free" to live like a caveman, but you are also not benefiting from civilization or group synergy, you dont have the freedom to eat Filet Mignon at the restaurant, watch a movie, travel by airplane, read a novel, etc etc.
    When in a civilization, where there is higher density of people and a lot of people interact, you have more access (if the society is well designed or happens to be) to the advantages of civilization(more so the more advanced this civilization is), but you are also limited by mechanisms to attenuate interference or to improve coordination, and by the interference itself which limit your freedom (you dont have the "freedom" to drive at 200 miles per hour in a school zone without the risk of facing negative consequences).

    cheers
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  5. #4  
    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Icewendigo,

    sorry for the rambling post. I was only about 75% awake when i wrote it. It made perfect sense to me at the time. I guess in short, when we call something a Right it gives us a false sense of security that the thing we have a "right" to cannot be taken away. We then take for granted that we don't need to behave in a way to prevent provoking others from wanting to take it from us. But life can be taken from us quite easily. That doesn't mean that the person who takes it won't risk losing his/her own privileges by taking it. Once life is taken from us, it cannot be returned to us. So it would be wise of all of us to live each moment as if in the next someone may decide our time is up. We can reduce the odds of being murdered by treating people with kindness and making ourselves useful.

    More often than not, especially in war, prisoners are kept alive only because they have information that we need. Otherwise they become expendable. On a level of lesser significance. Friends are seen the same way. If you have a friend that never does anything for you, doesn't provide you with any emotional support, and basically serves no purpose in your life, you likely will stop associating with them over time. If they take it further by being a constant burden on you, you may be more aggressive and tell them to buzz off.

    If we want to continue to exist, we must make ourselves useful, so as to not be expendable, and be likeable so as to not increase our odds of being murdered. We should not take life for granted, as a right.

    chrisgorlitz,

    I'm still digesting what you wrote. I do agree, that we are all lottery winners when you consider the odds we have beaten just to exist. It's just a shame that some people beat all those odds only to be a complete waste of space and resources, never contributing to society and never doing anything but living off the handouts of others. I think, there is a strong chance that some among us would remove those individuals from our society if it were suddenly made legal to do so. Most of us wouldn't but there are always those who feel a duty to do what they percieve as the dirty work the rest of us don't have the courage to do. They exist in our society today, as serial killers. But I have heard political rants from individuals who seem to have a deep seeded hatred for what they refer to as "leaches on society" and I don't doubt that they would gladly rally people to exterminate those "leaches". So my advice to all is, don't be a leach. Make yourself useful. Be likeable. Remove motivations to kill you. Legal or not, murders happen every day. And it is quite often that the one who was murdered was murdered because someone thought he or she was a bad person.
    Last edited by seagypsy; November 16th, 2012 at 08:01 PM.
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