Definition of rights

The traditional concept of types of human rights is divided into three groups. The first is that rights are political laws established by the government that determine what should happen. The other is that rights are God-given moral rules that define what an individual should do. The third is that rights are inherent in man’s existence and are moral rules stating what should happen. However, basing our claims on the three values in an effort to protect democracy presents a challenge. We’d talk about what rights are and where they come from in our conversation. We would come up with an answer based on arguments of different philosophers and obtain a relation from their reasoning in formulating our personal opinion.

The issue of rights forms a complicated subject when it arises. Different people and societies interpret it diversely all with the objective of unearthing the complexity. The debate dates way back as scholars tried to argue about the idea that rights are natural or inalienable. Nevertheless, what is common is that humans require rights and freedom for their peaceful coexistence and thriving due to their innate nature. On the one hand, there is the view that regulation of the rights is of the essence to enable the creation of a fair and just society while on the other, they support a free community. It would allow for respect of each other’s boundary that would avoid arising of conflicts while at the same living their lives as they wish. Based on that, the best explanation and justification comes from the comparison of the diverse school of thoughts. Regarding that, there are individuals who whose opinion and stances played a crucial role in trying to come up with the best way to handle the matter. Their impact is of significance in ensuring the creation of an accommodative society that would be habitable for different personalities without suppression.

Considering that, one of them is Hobbes. He included a discussion on natural rights in his political and moral philosophy. His notion of natural rights extended from his theory of man in the state of nature. Hobbes reasoned that the essential definition of liberty was the ability of humans to use their power for the preservation of life. It was in undertaking activities that in his judgment were reasonable and in his best of interest. Hobbes distinguished natural liberty from natural law in that one can explain them as a principle brought about by reason and which humans are forbidden to engage in that which can harm them (Kraynak). In some of his famous hypothesis, he reiterates that life consisted predominantly of liberties and not laws. He attempted to draw rights from natural laws.

The other individual who played a crucial role on the subject of human rights was Karl Marx. He criticized the declaration of rights of man and that of citizens. Marx argued that the situation served to protect and prioritize the self-interest of a specific group. His premise on the notion of liberal rights and ideas of justice was that they were supposed to protect humans. Thus, liberal rights are separate privileges that are designated to protect us from perceived threats. Marx was more quantitative and calculative in his reasoning when deriving his theories. Based on that, the criticism was that the political society was seen as co-operative, while in their economic interests they were competitive, egoistic and individualistic (Peffer). Thus, the theory of rights brought about division and the separation of humans.

John Locke was the other prominent philosopher who theorized rights as inalienable and natural. Locke and Hobbes had similar opinions in the natural right to life among other privileges. Locke’s natural rights can get compared to the contemporary human rights, but natural rights are way more comprehensive in scope and lack restrictions. Locke emphasized that his natural rights were not merely a claim but the fact that humans had certain inalienable rights that are pre-political. He defended his opinion by justifying that we are the quality of an omnipotent being. From that, we were entitled to our rights as we do not own them. In Locke’s argument, everyone has a right to engage in what they feel like as long as it does not conflict with others (Myers). He got his influence from reports on Native Americans who he regarded as natural people that lived in a state of liberty which was almost perfect.

The three opinions present a useful context from which we can obtain an answer on the matter. Each person drew inspiration from different sources and areas. With regards to that, the best arguments that can appropriately fit the perspective on rights are those of Locke. In the state of nature, rights are privileges that are supposed to be natural, and no one is subject to another’s influence without their consent. There is the need for humans to get granted an environment that is free from oppression and coercion. Rights are more of a fundamental moral fact rather than a duty that individuals have to regulate on each other’s behalf (Myers). When there is a contradiction in some instances, the aspect of natural rights takes priority. An example is that the right to life needs to get preserved. No one can take their life apart from the Supreme Being.

The government needs to respect the rights of its citizens and should only take part in limited circumstances. The thought on the active role of government in peoples’ lives presents a complex scenario and uncertain situation. Restraint is fundamental and the best way to ensuring the protection of people’s freedom. There are certain rights upon which the government cannot infringe. An example is the right to own property that the authority cannot violate. On the same subject, a limited government gets consent and is restricted by the subordination of power. The right to revolution is another crucial aspect that and justification for limited interference by the government. When administrations become repressive of their people’s rights, they have the power to turn against it as all influence is vested and rests on them (Myers). Checks and balance are vital because limitations on governments result from showing that total control cannot be the ultimate way to protect rights. It is because the government’s role is not only to enforce rights but also fulfil the regulatory purpose.

In conclusion, it is crucial for societies to uphold and protect peoples’ rights. Minimal interference should be in place from either the government or any area to avoid impeding on others will. The law on natural right stipulates that freedom is innate and should get protected at whatever cost when infringement is evident. Thus, mutual consent is essential for the thriving of societies.

Works Cited

Kraynak, Robert P. “Thomas Hobbes: From classical natural law to modern natural rights.” (2014): 9-17.

Myers, Peter C. “Book Review: The Foundations of Natural Morality: On the Compatibility of Natural Rights and Natural Law.” The Review of Politics 77.1 (2015): 138.

Peffer, Rodney G. Marxism, morality, and social justice. Princeton University Press, 2014.

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