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message 1: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Right to Life is a sensitive subject. I'm interested in your opinions. And this means everything from Birth to Death.


message 2: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments It is a basic human right.


message 3: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Who said? It is a right if it is written in a State Constitution. And the State can also that that Right away.


message 4: by Mehreen (last edited Jan 27, 2017 02:26AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments GR wrote: "Who said? It is a right if it is written in a State Constitution. And the State can also that that Right away."

There's no law that could take the right to life or to live. An unborn baby has no rights but once it's born, it is born with all its unwritten rights. Not all rights are written laws.


message 5: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments GR wrote: "Who said? It is a right if it is written in a State Constitution. And the State can also that that Right away."

It's part of Universal Declaration of human rights and 'universal rights' in general.
It may be different from parents' right to give birth to a new life, but arises even before the birth of a child..
What's sensitive about it? One of the strongest and recognized rights. With capital punishment it's not absolute though..
The sensitive part may be whether it includes 'dignity' and active state's support of subsistence and in what cases...
My opinion is yes - and I'm content when my taxes go to support those who can't take care of themselves, but less so when they go to support uber -rich corporations...


message 6: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Who says?

Let's not talk religion, if that's what you're aiming at or your opinion, but only the LAW. If the State says: only what we want to live and function in society becomes law, will be law. No man has rights unless written into law. And, above all, observed. Not all laws are observed.

Case in point: Before Napoleon dismantled the Holy Roman Empire, man had no rights other than what the nobility gave him. The nobleman could kill a person and not be punished for it. He could throw him off his land without question. He had all rights even "jus primae noctis": the right of the nobleman to have sex with the bride of any servant on his land. The US was the first to enact rights for the common man.

My next door neighbor's father didn't know he had rights until the learned how to read (circa 1910). He came under the local Baron's demands. After the WW1, he found out the land he was living was his, and he had all rights to it. He thought it and he was under the rights of the Baron.


message 7: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments GR wrote: "Who says?

Let's not talk religion, if that's what you're aiming at or your opinion, but only the LAW. If the State says: only what we want to live and function in society becomes law, will be law..."


I'm not talking religion, for I'm not religious -:)
I'm talking laws. Universal declaration is a UN doc that also partially migrated into binding treaties. The right to life is certainly a part of internal legislation of many countries and is protected..

I hope we are past barons -:), but maybe pre- again?


message 8: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Explosive topic.

I believe a person should have personal physical autonomy (aka bodily integrity). Your body belongs to you, and you alone, and nobody else has the right of use of your body or the right to harm your physical person.

This is enshrined by law in many places (notably not the US, but it is part of the UN Universal Declaration) although the right to privacy in the US has often been successfully used to provide some level of self-protection.

For instance: You can't legally be forced to provide an organ donation, even if you're the only person who can save another's life. And nobody has the legal right to force non-consensual sexual interaction upon you.

I believe this extends to abortion: A woman should not be able to be forced to give up her own personal physical autonomy for anyone. Not even her own child. Forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy to term gives her less rights than a cadaver in most places, since dead bodies can't legally or ethically be harvested for organs without prior permission in any first world country I'm aware of (that's why it's called organ donation).

I believe this extends to the death penalty: Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life. (Before someone brings it up, the economic costs of keeping a prisoner in prison for life are demonstrably and provably less than the cost of executing them, in the US and they execute by far the most prisoners in the first world.)

I believe this extends to the right to die as well as to live. A mentally competent adult person who does not wish to continue living, should be allowed to make that choice. There is then the question of if a clinically depressed person is mentally competent to make this specific decision in this context, and I'd argue possibly not, but someone with terminal cancer or chronic pain very likely is.

So, that's what I think, at least.


message 9: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments I just wonder how many countries apply their laws? Like I said, laws don't mean anything unless you apply them.

In today's world, slavery is illegal, but slavery exists, even in the US.

Euthanasia is illegal in many parts of the world, but also legal. I live in a country were euthanasia is illegal. When I'm ready to go, I'm going to my Vet. He has no qualms about putting an animal down.


message 10: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life....
A mentally competent adult person who does not wish to continue living, should be allowed to make that choice. .."


Sounds solid. Two comments though:
Death penalty from what I understand is not economically motivated. The deterrent component has probably more weight. At least in books and movies it seems to work: some gangsters pointedly try to stay out of death row risk zone.. Retribution in kind for murder and similar grave felonies seems just, although not merciful... Having said all that, not sure I support death penalty though -:)

Re: allowed to make a choice makes sense, but why this choice should be 'assisted' by others, that's a bigger question, imo


message 11: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Nik wrote: "Krazykiwi wrote: "Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life....
A mentally competent adult person who does not wish to continue living, should be allowed to ..."


Oh, I don't think it is, but whenever this topic comes up someone will raise the "but it costs soooo much to just keep them in prison" as a defence of the DP. So I thought I'd pre-empt that.

Re assisted euthanasia, if you're a quadriplegic but fully compos mentis, you're going to need some assistance. But it should be your choice to request it, and there need to be safeguards in place to ensure that it really is a choice, not something being forced on anyone.


message 12: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments By the way, it cost more to keep a person on death row than to give him life without parol. Read this article by Legal Resources: https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31614

It will explain the cost and reasons why it cost more to execute a person.


message 13: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Mehreen wrote: "GR wrote: "Who said? It is a right if it is written in a State Constitution. And the State can also that that Right away."

There's no law that could take the right to life or to live. An unborn ba..."


I disagree with you Mehreen. The State can do anything.

But I will say this: you do have the right to do anything you want, that is absolute. But, as conditions are, you have to pay the consequences. You have the right to kill, but States have made it illegal for their purposes. And, give you the right to kill when they need it to be done.

There are inalienable rights: breathe, think, walk, sleep, be happy, be sad, cry, laugh (questionable), the list goes on. But, states can keep you from eating, working, learning, having sex, helping, the list goes on.


message 14: by Daniel J. (last edited Jan 27, 2017 10:39AM) (new)

Daniel J. Nickolas (danieljnickolas) | 111 comments GR wrote: "Mehreen wrote: 'There's no law that could take the right to life or to live. An unborn ba...'

I disagree with you Mehreen. The State can do anything. "


Agreed GR. History seems to have more examples of laws successfully taking away human rights than it does examples of laws failing to do so.

Also, laws that give people human rights often seem more difficult to implement. Look at American history and the decades following emancipation. Giving equal rights to African Americans was a slow and difficult process, and a lot of the good work that was done was circumvented by an onset of ridged segregation laws. In other words, the U.S.A. is still trying to implement laws that came into existence over a century ago.


message 15: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10707 comments GR wrote: "By the way, it cost more to keep a person on death row than to give him life without parol. Read this article by Legal Resources: https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31614

It will explain the cost ..."


In my view, from a mathematical point of view, that is wrong. When you say the cost of executing them is raised by the cost of an extraordinary legal system, that is a cost that has nothing to do with executions. As an example, in Saudi Arabia the cost is extraordinarily cheaper. The problem in the US is that people seem not to realise that sending a person for life imprisonment should have the same appeals process available to them, because if the appeals process is to ensure the innocent do not get killed, I maintain equally the innocent should not have to undergo life in prison.

The extra cost of appeals for execution is simply a result of the seeming conflict of religious/"moral" views and has nothing whatsoever to do with efficiency.


message 16: by Mehreen (last edited Jan 27, 2017 11:18PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments GR wrote: "Mehreen wrote: "GR wrote: "Who said? It is a right if it is written in a State Constitution. And the State can also that that Right away."

There's no law that could take the right to life or to li..."


Are we living in some kind of an Orwellian dystopia 1984 that we have no rights? Some rights are guaranteed. If a mother kills her child, the state will convict her of murder. By default this would give the child its right to life.


message 17: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Ian wrote: "GR wrote: "By the way, it cost more to keep a person on death row than to give him life without parol. Read this article by Legal Resources: https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31614

It will explai..."


You are right, Ian. If the convicted criminal were executed the next day, of course that would be cheaper. Would you prefer that system? I believe most people would prefer that over long appeals.


message 18: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments There is no absolute right to life and there are no absolute rights to personal physical autonomy. What rights you have - have been granted to you by some form of government. What rights have been taken from you have been taken by some form of government.




message 19: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan I believe that the only rights anyone has are those rights that they are willing to defend with their life.

Anything else is a temporary, comforting, illusion.


message 20: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "I believe that the only rights anyone has are those rights that they are willing to defend with their life.

Anything else is a temporary, comforting, illusion."


Not only defend but earn... sometimes you have to fight to get them.


message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10707 comments Michael wrote: "There is no absolute right to life and there are no absolute rights to personal physical autonomy. What rights you have - have been granted to you by some form of government. What rights have been ..."

Michael, you will be pleased to know that I collect my own rainwater and I did not need government permission. Mind you, most of the other things on your list are harder to argue with :-(


message 22: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10707 comments I believe that every right should have a corresponding obligation. The price, if you like, of a right to life is the obligation not to deprive someone else of said right. Of course the right to collect rainwater does not have a really serious obligation, other than not to dump it all suddenly on someone else.


message 23: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Michael wrote: "There is no absolute right to life and there are no absolute rights to personal physical autonomy. What rights you have - have been granted to you by some form of government. What rights have been ..."

CONFUSION: Why is it you can't collect rain water? I do it here in Germany. Everybody does.

But you're right, in our democracy you have to have permission to do almost anything. And there are reason for it. But, rain water, I don't get it. But, that's the US. I'm sure to collect fees.

There is one thing you can do that doesn't require government permission: thinking and believe, to name two. But, I'm sure they're trying to change that too.

Soon you'll have to belong to a given church, synagogue, temple, mosque. There, you'll be fed a daily monolog of desired beliefs to influence your ideas and motivations. Everything about life will be controlled through constitutional law: the right to religion, speech, etc. and if you deviate from government standards, you'll be punished--1984. Some are already experiencing it. There are undocumented political people being held without their constitutional rights today.


message 24: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments The government should be us, as its task should be to serve the people and provide for administration, defenses, whatever is in mutual interest. If it were indeed so, there wouldn't be a problem..
The laws should reflect societal understandings...
It's the problem when the link of people - elected representatives - government (executive branch) is broken (and it usually is) and the government represents elites and groups of interests..
Nothing is absolute. Under most laws, one can kill in self-defense if the circumstances require that, protecting his/her own life through taking that of the other..


message 25: by Michael (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Rainwater is meant to refresh aquifers that everyone uses. Collecting a barrel is one thing, doing it over the course of acres of land prevents those aquifers from being replenished - benefiting the greater society.

As Spock said, the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or one.


message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10707 comments Rain falling on general land contributes very little to most aquifers because it seldom goes down more than a meter. Passage through phyllosilicates is so slow as to be trivial, and instead the rain usually runs off the land into rivers. It is the leaching from rivers that refills aquifers, because the river (or lake) has a permanent water pressure. In Australia, in the farming areas, a number of farmers have created major ponds to collect rainwater, and it can sit there for months, slowly evaporating, or being drunk by animals. As an aside, in many countries, including the great plains of the US, the aquifers have been built up over millions of years, and the take-off is far greater than the rate of refreshing, and that has nothing to do with anyone collecting rain water.


message 27: by Michael (last edited Jan 28, 2017 10:57AM) (new)

Michael Fattorosi | 477 comments Sorry I forget to say the rain runs into the rivers which replenishes the aquifers.

I didnt say it was right... but here's a case from Oregon...

http://yournewswire.com/man-gets-pris...


message 28: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Explosive topic.

I believe a person should have personal physical autonomy (aka bodily integrity). Your body belongs to you, and you alone, and nobody else has the right of use of your body or th..."


"Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life." An interesting statement, because it leaves no room for moderation. This statement argues that self defense, if taken to the point at which a victim, who is in imminent threat of being murdered by an assailant, has no right to kill the assailant to save him/herself. Indeed, an interesting perspective.


message 29: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments GR wrote: "By the way, it cost more to keep a person on death row than to give him life without parol. Read this article by Legal Resources: https://www.hg.org/article.asp?id=31614

It will explain the cost ..."


Isn't that the problem, though? Keeping a person on death row is the same as a life sentence, but with added legal costs for seemingly endless motions.


message 30: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Dave wrote: ""Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life." An interesting statement, because it leaves no room for moderation. This statement argues that self defense, if taken to the point at which a victim, who is in imminent threat of being murdered by an assailant, has no right to kill the assailant to save him/herself. Indeed, an interesting perspective.

I was posting an opinion in a forum, not writing a comprehensive legal brief, so I didn't spend hours thinking up loopholes.

Feel free to add "premeditatedly" into that, I would have, if I had spent more time on it. Luckily this is a discussion, and I'm not being held at gunpoint and forced to abide by my first attempt at wording.


message 31: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments The greatest hurdle in the on-going debate about right to life (I presume the question arises as it regards abortion rights), is the definition of life--perhaps more correctly, when life begins. This is an extremely difficult question to answer, and I am unaware of any reasonable answers that are firmly rooted in science and logic.


message 32: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Dave wrote: ""Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life." An interesting statement, because it leaves no room for moderation. This statement argues that self..."

Relax.


message 33: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Dave wrote: "Relax."

I'm quite relaxed.

As a definition of life, here's a start: Viable as an independent unit, without being sustained by another person's body.

Where viable may still be predicated on medical intervention.


message 34: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Fraser (melaniefraservoiceuk) | 48 comments Michael wrote: "There is no absolute right to life and there are no absolute rights to personal physical autonomy. What rights you have - have been granted to you by some form of government. What rights have been ..."

Michael, surely water butts are okay in the country (which one by the way) you mention? Therefore, rain collection would be allowed? It is in the UK anyway - without permission!


message 35: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments Melanie wrote: "Michael wrote: "There is no absolute right to life and there are no absolute rights to personal physical autonomy. What rights you have - have been granted to you by some form of government. What r..."

What's a water butt? Maybe I don't want to know :-)


message 36: by Dave (new)

Dave Edlund (dedlund) | 13 comments Krazykiwi wrote: "Dave wrote: ""Nobody, not even the government, should have the right to deprive someone of life." An interesting statement, because it leaves no room for moderation. This statement argues that self..."

Another hypothetical to consider--is the killing of another in war legal or illegal? One can make a strong argument that armed conflict, even when sanctioned by governments, may violate one's basic right to life.

Now, what if that armed conflict is aimed at stopping the killing of civilians by their government? The answer is a little harder to come by.

But it is important to the question of women's rights (as in abortion rights) versus right to life. If we accept that there are legitimate circumstances when taking the life of another person is justified, then we must also accept that the right of a woman to have an abortion is a legitimate argument.


message 37: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan Ian wrote: "I believe that every right should have a corresponding obligation. The price, if you like, of a right to life is the obligation not to deprive someone else of said right. Of course the right to col..."

Me too.

Unfortunately obligation is an unpopular topic.


message 38: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments Life and death is not necessarily something instantaneous. The theme may encompass broader issues: like pollution and environment, delivery of life-saving medication and coverage of their costs and medical care in general, sale of cigarettes, food ingredients, radiation, etc ..


message 39: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments Dave wrote: "But it is important to the question of women's rights (as in abortion rights) versus right to life. If we accept that there are legitimate circumstances when taking the life of another person is justified, then we must also accept that the right of a woman to have an abortion is a legitimate argument. ."

They don't have to be related to accept the other, there are other arguments.

If you can't force someone to give up an organ to save another living adult person's life, you shouldn't be able to force someone to give up space and the use of multiple organs inside their own body, to support another non self-sustaining life either. This argument isn't a specifically a woman's right (although it does affect only women, that's incidental), it's the same universal right to personal physical autonomy that I (and incidentally, the UN) would argue everyone should have.


message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10707 comments I think some so-called rights have to be removed, because they violate the obligation not to violate someone else's rights. Nik mentioned pollution. I do not believe anyone has the right to pollute someone else's back yard, and in general, there has to be a means to stop people just polluting instead of cleaning up their waste, because the rest of the world is someone's or everyone's "back yard". You can't have the right to do something that badly affects someone else.


message 41: by Matthew (last edited Jan 28, 2017 02:24PM) (new)

Matthew Williams (houseofwilliams) GR wrote: "Who says?

"So say we all!" ;)

Seriously though, the right to life is something that goes to the very core of our species being. We all want to live and live free without the specter of arbitrary death hanging over us. It's really that simple. Religion, law, codes of ethics and the rest be damned. These are nothing more than this most basic desire sublimated and codified.


message 42: by Jen Pattison (new)

Jen Pattison | 409 comments Dave wrote: "What's a water butt? Maybe I don't want to know :-)"

I think you would call it a rainwater barrel. Butt doesn't have the same meaning in Britain that it has across the Pond, though we do understand its American meaning from TV and movies. :)

I think that the illegality of collecting rainwater is unique to the United States. I don't know of anywhere else where it is illegal, certainly not in Europe.


message 43: by Jen Pattison (new)

Jen Pattison | 409 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "Ian wrote: "I believe that every right should have a corresponding obligation. The price, if you like, of a right to life is the obligation not to deprive someone else of said right. Of course the ...

Me too.

Unfortunately obligation is an unpopular topic. "


I couldn't agree more, Graeme; Britain has some of the most badly behaved schoolchildren who are quick to assert their rights but seem totally ignorant on the matter of obligations.


message 44: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments I think everything is illegal in the States. If they want to prosecute you, they'll find some law to stick it to you.


message 45: by Krazykiwi (new)

Krazykiwi | 193 comments I had a friend ticketed once in Baltimore for vagrancy. For sitting on his own doorstep smoking a cigarette :)


message 46: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments I was stopped and charged with vagrancy back in 1955. I had no money on me, I was out collecting samples for a college biology project. Lucky for me, my father settled that incident quickly. He was big voice in local politics.


message 47: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments Vagrancy, loitering don't make sense to me, for if you care for a freedom of speech, why shouldn't there be a freedom of movement or being anywhere you want unless you are trespassing on somebody's land?
Sound from the same book, as Soviet criminal offences, like: not working or speculation (seeking of financial gain other than through work)-:)


message 48: by Graeme (new)

Graeme Rodaughan So all the authors in the old Soviet Union would have had to have been working for the state.

Any author who writes, seeking financial gain other than through work, is clearly "speculating."


message 49: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14922 comments Graeme Rodaughan wrote: "So all the authors in the old Soviet Union would have had to have been working for the state.

Any author who writes, seeking financial gain other than through work, is clearly "speculating.""


Writer was considered work as any other. They were paid salaries, 'inspirational' vacations even, critiqued, censored, belonged to writers' unions, etc. 'Culture' was an important part of the ideology and leisure -:)


message 50: by GR (new)

GR Oliver | 479 comments Nik wrote: "Vagrancy, loitering don't make sense to me, for if you care for a freedom of speech, why shouldn't there be a freedom of movement or being anywhere you want unless you are trespassing on somebody's..."

It's like I said, the State can find a law to prosecute you with. It doesn't have to be true. It's designed to get you out of the way.


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