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Which has priority: rights or democracy? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Rights or democracy
    Rights
    85.96%
    Democracy
    14.04%

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    In the most general possible sense, rights are a reflection of a given democracy.


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    Rights are a social construct. They can only exist if either:

    i) You enforce their existence on others with violence, or
    ii) Others voluntarily agree to their existence.

    And what we have now is not democracy.
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    As a ******* Old Tory I am tempted to say neither.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Democracy is a product of rights.
    What if the majority decide to execute the minority, that would be essentially democratic, but a blatant abuse of rights?
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    (Original post by Apocrypha)
    What if the majority decide to execute the minority, that would be essentially democratic, but a blatant abuse of rights?
    Because I think democracy is a product of rights, I don't believe it to be the highest authority, but that it derives its authority from those rights. Therefore, I don't believe that its authority extends to all areas - specifically the areas where it would contravene rights. As an example, I believe you have a right not to be murdered no matter how many other people want to kill you.
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    (Original post by Onde)
    An individual can have rights independently of other people, while democracy enforces the rights of the majority (generally) in spheres that you are not isolated in.

    Rights must trump democracy because intrinsically, all individuals could have their rights represented without democracy (although of course this is actually impossible), but if we all had democracy, it would not follow that any one individual had the rights they want\need.
    Yes, I believe very strongly in natural rights; to the point where I consider democracy is illegitimate because to my mind a majority has no right to enforce its will on a minority.
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    (Original post by miser)
    Because I think democracy is a product of rights, I don't believe it to be the highest authority, but that it derives its authority from those rights. Therefore, I don't believe that its authority extends to all areas - specifically the areas where it would contravene rights. As an example, I believe you have a right not to be murdered no matter how many other people want to kill you.
    If you have a right not to be killed, regardless of how many other people want to kill you, why do you not have the right not to be robbed, regardless of how many other people want to rob you?
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    (Original post by miser)
    Democracy is a product of rights.
    Yes, BUT democracy can then be used to take away rights. For example if people from a new religion/culture suddenly became a large proportion of the population. If they are citizens they can vote, this would be democratic and would be within their rights. But what if they became a majority and voted for strict MPs of their religion/culture which gained a majority. If we didn't have a house of lords to stop them, they could impose their rules on Britain, which could lead to less rights for certain people.

    That would be democratic as it's what the majority of the population want, but it could lead to some people having less rights. Up until recently thats what happened with christianity in this country to some extent. The majoirty of people including MPs were christian, so they banned stuff like abortion and homosexuality, which gave less/no rights to pregnant women and gay people.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Yes, I believe very strongly in natural rights; to the point where I consider democracy is illegitimate because to my mind a majority has no right to enforce its will on a minority.
    Perhaps you should go and live on your own island.


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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    Perhaps you should go and live on your own island.


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    I would actually love to own an island in the Caribbean one day - but that's mostly because I'd like to have a quiet place in the sun to vacation.

    If you're suggesting 'if you believe in natural rights you should just **** off somewhere else' as an intellectual argument, I'd say that's a pretty good sign that you don't actually have an intelligent response to give.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    I would actually love to own an island in the Caribbean one day - but that's mostly because I'd like to have a quiet place in the sun to vacation.

    If you're suggesting 'if you believe in natural rights you should just **** off somewhere else' as an intellectual argument, I'd say that's a pretty good sign that you don't actually have an intelligent response to give.
    Ha. No need to get all litigious on me. I responded to your original post on the bottom of the previous page but you never replied.

    I don't suggest it as an intellectual argument; I suggest it as a way to make you happier.

    We share the same dream.


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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    Ha. No need to get all litigious on me. I responded to your original post on the bottom of the previous page but you never replied.

    I don't suggest it as an intellectual argument; I suggest it as a way to make you happier.

    We share the same dream.


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    What dream is that?
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    What dream is that?
    Peaceful island to spend a bit of quiet time on.


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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    Yes, I believe very strongly in natural rights; to the point where I consider democracy is illegitimate because to my mind a majority has no right to enforce its will on a minority.
    There's an interesting book I've just finished reading suggesting that majoritarian democracy is the result of force, not vice versa. Think about it this way; suppose you want your community to pursue a particular policy. How do you get this policy passed? There are three possibilities:

    i) No-one is armed; as you can't force anyone to comply, your incentive is to build as wide a consensus as possible.
    ii) You're armed, but no-one else is; your incentive is not to take any notice of what anyone else says, but force them to do what you want.
    iii) Everyone is armed; your incentive is to build a coalition strong enough to win a fight if it came to it, but no larger. On average, that'll work out as a simple majority.
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    (Original post by Aspiringlawstudent)
    If you have a right not to be killed, regardless of how many other people want to kill you, why do you not have the right not to be robbed, regardless of how many other people want to rob you?
    I don't recognise that people have an inherent right to own property, and I don't recognise taxation to be robbing.

    (Original post by anony.mouse)
    Yes, BUT democracy can then be used to take away rights. For example if people from a new religion/culture suddenly became a large proportion of the population. If they are citizens they can vote, this would be democratic. But what if they became a majority and voted for strict MPs of their religion/culture which gained a majority. If we didn't have a house of lords to stop them, they could impose their rules on Britain, which could lead to less rights for certain people.

    That would be democratic as it's what the majority of the population want, but it could lead to some people having less rights. Up until recently thats what happened with christianity in this country to some extent. The majoirty of people including MPs were christian, so they banned stuff like abortion and homosexuality, which gave less/no rights to pregnant women and gay people.
    Practically speaking, yes you're right. What I would say to it is that if we have inaleniable rights, then any democratic judgement made that contravenes those rights would be necessarily invalid (whether or not legally ratified).
 
 
 
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