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Basic Human Rights


Ouroboros
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I started to wonder lately about the basic human rights. In politics, the Liberals currently consider an universal health-care to be a right, and if we don't give this universal health-care, we are somehow committing some evil thing on a larger scale.

 

But my problem right now is, what makes one right and not another? Why is health-care something every humans has the right to get, but food, shelter, care, friends, transport, job... are not (yet).

 

We have also many times been in discussions pointing out that morals are not absolute. The strong point has been that morals are subjective. So what about these human rights? Are those objective or subjective? Are they based on values and mores just like morals? Are human rights nothing but a fad or cultural shift? Can we even say that the right to pursuit happiness or liberty are solid rights? Are they some eternal truths beyond reproach?

 

I just wonder. What's the opinion here?

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Off the cuff....I think the aforementioned, most of them, are the right thing to do. It seems that the rub is when the compromise to provide such is not equitable. I think what makes them rights are the qualities of life vs the qualities of death.....just my opinion.

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What we do tomorrow grows out of what we do today. We already see it as moral to not deny someone emergency medical care because of lack of insurance or ability to pay. Affording everyone basic medical care is simply an extension of that. If someone cannot pay their hospital bill it is the paying customers (taxpayers, other paying customer of the hospital, etc.) that end up paying for it anyway. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (fixed), why don't we just go ahead and agree to collectively pay ahead of time so they can get the prevention and everyone wins in the long run?

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What we do tomorrow grows out of what we do today. We already see it as moral to not deny someone emergency medical care because of lack of insurance or ability to pay. Affording everyone basic medical care is simply an extension of that. If someone cannot pay their hospital bill it is the paying customers (taxpayers, other paying customer of the hospital, etc.) that end up paying for it anyway. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (fixed), why don't we just go ahead and agree to collectively pay ahead of time so they can get the prevention and everyone wins in the long run?

 

Let me play devil's advocate here. Everyone winning in the long run is not a bad thought, but when I watch someone "winning" on their couch with a beer and cigarettes vs paying their own way, it's occasionally offensive. Ultimately, providing that freedom to someone seems like the higher ground, but one would wish the person give recognition to the position at some point. "Hey, that dude paid my way, so maybe I pay for someone else".

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What we do tomorrow grows out of what we do today. We already see it as moral to not deny someone emergency medical care because of lack of insurance or ability to pay. Affording everyone basic medical care is simply an extension of that. If someone cannot pay their hospital bill it is the paying customers (taxpayers, other paying customer of the hospital, etc.) that end up paying for it anyway. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (fixed), why don't we just go ahead and agree to collectively pay ahead of time so they can get the prevention and everyone wins in the long run?

 

Let me play devil's advocate here. Everyone winning in the long run is not a bad thought, but when I watch someone "winning" on their couch with a beer and cigarettes vs paying their own way, it's occasionally offensive. Ultimately, providing that freedom to someone seems like the higher ground, but one would wish the person give recognition to the position at some point. "Hey, that dude paid my way, so maybe I pay for someone else".

 

Even if everyone paid their way you still will have people who use more than their share of the services due to preventable/self-inflicted illness due to things like smoking and obesity. Good luck getting a system with a fat smoker surcharge built in. More likely what would be successful is a higher rate for everyone which comes with steep discounts if you're willing to submit to a drug test and/or BMI/general health evaluation from your doctor. I don't have all the answers, but what we need is smart people coming up with ideas while everyone else is receptive to listen to them.

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Even if everyone paid their way you still will have people who use more than their share of the services due to preventable/self-inflicted illness due to things like smoking and obesity. Good luck getting a system with a fat smoker surcharge built in. More likely what would be successful is a higher rate for everyone which comes with steep discounts if you're willing to submit to a drug test and/or BMI/general health evaluation from your doctor. I don't have all the answers, but what we need is smart people coming up with ideas while everyone else is receptive to listen to them.

 

Sounds reasonable to me free, that our scientific ability were totally able to define self-inflicted vs inherent.

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Are human rights nothing but a fad or cultural shift?

Yes.

What a depressing position to take F.

 

What's going on today. I disagreed with Hans and now I'm in the box agreeing with end. :)

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What's going on today. I disagreed with Hans and now I'm in the box agreeing with end. :)

Exactly what did you disagree on with me? (I'd like to hear it in your words to make sure that we really did disagree.)

 

End3 is right, it's a dismal view.

 

But I think Florduh is right too. "Human rights" are defined by humans and not by some absolute values.

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As far as health care is concerned, you can get one disease or have one accident and your financial and emotional future can be ruined. With the treatments these days as costly as they are, only those who are wealthy or related to someone who is wealthy can come out of a time of infirmity with their future still in tact. You might as well pass revolvers with just one bullet around and ask people to put the barrel against their head and pull the trigger. Of those who don't die immediately, only the wealthy (or those who are related to someone who is wealthy) will be able to come back from it. Only they will be able to afford the top neurosurgeons and reconstructive surgeons. Only they will be able to afford the top notch rehabilitative therapy. Only they will be able to pay the bills and continue to put good wholesome top-notch nutritional food on the table for the whole family while they are unable to get to the office or to the computer to manage their portfolios. Their kids will still get to go to the choicest of colleges and secure the education and signs of societal vetting needed to remain in the cozy upper crevices of the socio-economic landscape.

 

The poor will be left with the lower echelons of health care. The lower classes will have to choose many times between treatment and feeding the family good wholesome low-carb, low fat wholesome foods without all the health destroying ingredients of cheap processed food. They will sacrifice the education of their children because one severely sick or injured family member can utilize recovery resources so expensive that the entire family goes down with them.

 

 

Therefore, the poor are pre-programmed to get poorer and die sooner and those who are wealthy (and not necessarily just who "worked hard for their money") are slated to keep getting richer and live longer.

 

 

Now there is one caveat. If your sick loved one just happens to catch the eye of a church or a roving TV reporter they can become the adopted darling of some community out there. They may get more of their needs met. But that is just pure luck. Pure, blind , heartless , cold luck.

 

And that's what it all boils down to. Luck. Some people are lucky enough to have earned a lot of money. Others not so lucky. For every hard-working, upper middle to upper class Joe Schmoe who "made it" in life, there are thousands on the other side who were never quite placed in the right place at the right time to secure an affluent future for themselves.

 

These fantasies about big fat beer drinking blobs sitting on the couch is just a distraction from the reality that anyone with a good job or with good health insurance is in that job because of luck. The same luck that works against the poor has worked in favor of the affluent.

 

And that is where the notion of a right for health care comes in. It is not right that a mother must bury her child because only by bad luck did she commit the unpardonable sin of not having a wealthy family. It is not right that the A team efforts to heal and rehabilitate a patient only goes to the affluent, by and large, when it is only by self perpetuating luck they are in that happy position to begin with.

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What's going on today. I disagreed with Hans and now I'm in the box agreeing with end. :)

Exactly what did you disagree on with me? (I'd like to hear it in your words to make sure that we really did disagree.)

 

I'm pretty sure that if we hashed through this issue we would come close to agreement on it like we seemed to have been able to do most of the time in the past. I made the statement lightly. :D

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I'm pretty sure that if we hashed through this issue we would come close to agreement on it like we seemed to have been able to do most of the time in the past. I made the statement lightly. :D

Sounds fair to me. :)

 

My impression was that what you disagreed on was on a point that I really didn't make. The validity of the claim media is making might be true, I didn't really argue against that, but I have a bit of qualms of this event is used for furthering a political agenda.

 

Consider the situation recently when a gun was auctioned that was similar to a gun that earlier had been used in a shooting. That was a terrible thing of the republicans to do. Awful. Disgusting. Sick. Very morally incomprehensible and inexcusable. But it's okay to play a political game from someone's death.

 

Let's say we had universal health-care. Let's say someone died because the quality of care was poor or lacking. Right wing media would use that as an talking point to show how bad universal health-care was. "Look! Someone died because of it. See how terrible this system is!" Would they have a point? Maybe. Would it be tasteless to use someone's death for a political goal? Yeah, a little. But isn't that what's expected from libertarian/neo-cons/fascists/tea-party?

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What a depressing position to take F.

 

Human rights (and animal rights, for that matter) are defined by the time and place we look for them. Rights are assigned by the majority or ruling group in a society. Feudal serfs, conservative Muslim women, American Negroes and working class children around 1900 had very limited rights by our current standards. It was widely accepted for thousands of years in diverse cultures that a man had the right to own slaves, but the slave class was never seen to have any rights at all. Some women have the right to choose whom they marry while others must have the marriage arranged for them. Rights are a human concept because nature obviously plays no favorites and makes no guarantees. But humans can and do change their mind.

 

In our current society, most people seem to think availability of healthcare should be a right of everyone. That was not the case in the time of Charles Dickens. I guess we'll see if empathy and compassion are ready to defeat selfish materialism yet. If the scale tips that way then reasonable access to healthcare will be considered a right of all Americans.

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What a depressing position to take F.

 

Human rights (and animal rights, for that matter) are defined by the time and place we look for them. Rights are assigned by the majority or ruling group in a society. Feudal serfs, conservative Muslim women, American Negroes and working class children around 1900 had very limited rights by our current standards. It was widely accepted for thousands of years in diverse cultures that a man had the right to own slaves, but the slave class was never seen to have any rights at all. Some women have the right to choose whom they marry while others must have the marriage arranged for them. Rights are a human concept because nature obviously plays no favorites and makes no guarantees. But humans can and do change their mind.

 

In our current society, most people seem to think availability of healthcare should be a right of everyone. That was not the case in the time of Charles Dickens. I guess we'll see if empathy and compassion are ready to defeat selfish materialism yet. If the scale tips that way then reasonable access to healthcare will be considered a right of all Americans.

 

So you are implying that society will revert to historical moral standards at some point? Your first statement sounded in spirit much like OB's stupid statement.

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So you are implying that society will revert to historical moral standards at some point? Your first statement sounded in spirit much like OB's stupid statement.

It doesn't look like he implied that at all. :shrug:

 

I agree with Florduh's view, and I think it's possible that society could revert, but it's more possible that it continues to build and change upon the standards we have.

 

On another note, End3 you come from a religious perspective, so what are the basic human rights in the view of God's absolutes? Does "love thy neighbor" dictate that the government ought to take care of its people in every aspect of life?

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So you are implying that society will revert to historical moral standards at some point? Your first statement sounded in spirit much like OB's stupid statement.

I don't mean to imply anything at all about morality. I am describing and defining "rights" in an historical human context. Rights don't exist in nature.

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Pardon my anger, but it angers me to hear defeatism somehow advocated....with emphasis on intellectualism. Maybe that's not your personal standard and I should just look at the statement rather than point a finger at the one making the assertion.

 

The fact is, IMO, pure luck and chance give a dismal meaning to life....and my anger promotes me to fight against the opinion.

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I just see his statement as society defining morality over time and that there is accepted morality relative to that time. Now, this is true in one sense, but not true in the fact that morality is like the stock market, moving one direction through time....that we are slowly becoming increasingly moral. And yes, ulitmately the correct thing would be that we have the capability to provide meaningful life to everyone.....which includes healthcare, food, etc......."life" for lack of a better word.

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Pardon my anger, but it angers me to hear defeatism somehow advocated....with emphasis on intellectualism. Maybe that's not your person standard and I should just look at the statement rather than point a finger at the one making the assertion.

Why do you think that knowing the truth is the same as someone being defeated and apathetic?

 

Florduh didn't advocate to sit back and let it all happen. He didn't say that this fact also means that we all should kill ourselves or that all is moot. I think you keep on reading in too much.

 

The fact is, IMO, pure luck and chance give a dismal meaning to life....and my anger promotes me to fight against the opinion.

Dismal is not the same as "not fighting."

 

Since when did truth have to be happy? Why do you feel that life has to be Happy-happy-Disneyland before it makes sense or makes you fight for a better life? Mickey Mouse has to exist or you can't work?

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I just see his statement as society defining morality over time and that there is accepted morality relative to that time. Now, this is true in one sense, but not true in the fact that morality is like the stock market, moving one direction through time....that we are slowly becoming increasingly moral. And yes, ulitmately the correct thing would be that we have the capability to provide meaningful life to everyone.....which includes healthcare, food, etc......."life" for lack of a better word.

So what are you really saying here? Are you saying that morality has not changed but stayed consistent and unchanged for 4,000 years, or are you agreeing that humans' view on morality has changed?

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Pardon my anger, but it angers me to hear defeatism somehow advocated....

I don't know why you're angry. I didn't advocate anything and I don't see how observing and describing the concept of "rights" and its fluid history is defeatist. What people consider to be rights has varied through time and culture, while natural processes have no such thing as rights. Seems to be observation on my part, not defeatism.

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Pardon my anger, but it angers me to hear defeatism somehow advocated....with emphasis on intellectualism. Maybe that's not your personal standard and I should just look at the statement rather than point a finger at the one making the assertion.

 

The fact is, IMO, pure luck and chance give a dismal meaning to life....and my anger promotes me to fight against the opinion.

 

 

 

I think I detect in this "anger" yet another defense mechanism against facing the reality of things.

 

For every one person who has money, wealth, status - whatever it takes to get the A team medical treatment in this country - are there not easily thousands of people who also deserve to be in that place? You can't know for a fact that every poor and lower middle class person who needs health care but can't afford it deserves somehow to have limited or no access due the their own character and choices.

 

Why should the wealthy get to live longer and the poor not? How is it that some end up wealthy with access to health care and others do not?

 

I'm curious to hear your opinion about this - since you supposedly have an explanation that better fits reality than luck and chance.

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I just see his statement as society defining morality over time and that there is accepted morality relative to that time. Now, this is true in one sense, but not true in the fact that morality is like the stock market, moving one direction through time....that we are slowly becoming increasingly moral. And yes, ulitmately the correct thing would be that we have the capability to provide meaningful life to everyone.....which includes healthcare, food, etc......."life" for lack of a better word.

So what are you really saying here? Are you saying that morality has not changed but stayed consistent and unchanged for 4,000 years, or are you agreeing that humans' view on morality has changed?

 

I am saying that the history of humanity is towards objective morality. Again, what I hear him saying is objective morality wanders with respect to society. Again, although this is true, it doesn't asssign any value to the trend. From what I gather, he is saying that things may turn the other direction, towards 4000 years of objective immorality, that being just as likely by chance.

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