What is a Human Right?

A lot of debate about a person’s “right” to healthcare or a “right” to a livable wage, shelter, food, and water. But is there really a right to things that may impose a hardship on another or even be taken by force (i.e. through taxes).

A good definition of a human right is one that acts as a shield against another persons aggression. For example, the right to free speech and association. It imposes no burden on me or another person and protects speech of the person exercising the right to speak freely from aggression by another or by the state.

Similarly your right to life and all that it entails, including self-defense. It imposes no burden on another person nor do we have to turn to government to fund this inalienable human right. Again it shields a person from the aggression of the state or another person.

These are also known as a negative rights. Positive rights on the other hand require another entity, person or state, to provide that right to you. Examples of positive rights are:

Positive Rights

  • Right to health care (someone has to provide it to you)
  • Right to shelter (someone must build and give you the shelter)
  • Right to food (farmers or others must grow and supply the food to you)
  • Right to an abortion (doctors again must provide the service and some would argue a baby must die to provide you with this right)
  • Police protection from those who would do you or your property harm (someone has to pay for the police)
  • A right to an attorney (someone has to pay for the attorney if you can not afford one)
  • Right to birth control
  • Right to Internet access

Let’s contrast our list of positive rights that require an action with negative rights that require no action.

Negative Rights

  • Right to choose my healthcare (how much and what services, doctors etc.)
  • Right to liberty (freedom to earn and keep that which is mine, the freedom to acquire & keep that property)
  • Right to grow my own food or to barter, trade or purchase it from others without interference from the state or being required to turn over my crop or a portion thereof to the state at every harvest)
  • Right to life (the right to live)
  • Right to self-defense, to protect myself and others from aggression by the state or individuals (and to acquire arms and weapons necessary to do so)
  • Right to defend myself from false accusations (act as my own attorney or hire one if need be)
  • Right to free speech (freedom from the interference of others who would stifle my thoughts & speech)
  • Right to the pursuit of happiness (the freedom to do what makes me happy without interference from the state or other individuals)

As you can see when we list negative rights, we require no action by the state or others to provide them to us. These rights are inalienable, they are given to us by our birth right. They are not given to us by the state, but as our Founding Fathers stated: They are given to us by the Creator. By God.

I was asked recently in an online forum if I can call myself a “Christian”. I said absolutely I can! I can do so because I don’t turn to the state to solve the issues in my life. If you are truly your bother’s keeper, I wrote the accuser, then dig into your own pockets and provide some charity for those who need shelter, food or health care. Join a Christian sharing ministry such as Christian Health Care Ministries who not only lower your cost of health care but provide you the opportunity to contribute directly to your brother or sister who are in need of help in meeting their health care obligations and bills.

Nearly every person who voiced favor towards “Universal Healthcare” also voiced favor towards higher taxes which is money taken by force from us by the government. So while they call universal healthcare a “RIGHT”, they want to force others to pay for their pretend right through higher taxes.

Fortunately we live in a republic and not a democracy where the majority (or mob) rules. We are governed by laws and the negative rights of man, some of which are enumerated within our own Constitution.

Those rights, the ones enumerated in the Constitution are not given to us by government, but as the document says by our Creator.

The government can not create rights or give us rights anymore than it can create jobs, or supply housing or food to us without the conscription and forced servitude of others. That my friends is called slavery.

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