from The Sleuth Journal:
We all have inherent rights, no matter whether the governing authority of a particular geographical area recognizes it or whether it has been written down on a piece of paper as law. People from different from societies and cultures call these rights slightly different things. In the USA, they have been referred to as unalienable rights ever since the 1776 Declaration of Independence. Some call them natural rights to distinguish them from State-granted rights (which are not really rights but rather privileges). Others simply call them human rights. From a more religious perspective they are called God-given rights. Those who are uncomfortable with the term “God” may prefer intrinsic rights or inherent rights. But, whatever you call them, they are a universal concept; they are a natural extension of ourselves with which we are born, and which we possess just by virtue of being human.
What is the Definition of “Inherent Rights”?
A right is an entitlement to a need. Inherent rights are the extension of intuitive self-knowing, of knowing that we are entitled to have our basic needs met. They are the verbalization of an instinctual feeling that we are worthy of love, peace and abundance, and that we deserve certain things because we are alive. These rights “come with” us, and we carry them around, like a tortoise carries its shell. Technically, inherent rights have no material existence outside the human mind, so from one perspective you could say we have invented them. However, I believe they are pointing to something profound and ineffable, like a mapping device for how we are supposed to make our way in this world and socially interact with others.
Why Inherent Rights Matter
Inherent rights may be an invention, but they are a very important one, for they are the means by which we determine justice, fair entitlement and peaceful conflict resolution. They are also the key means by which we ensure, in law, in theory and hopefully in practice, that we live in a free society and that the will of tyrannical governments is restrained. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the 3rd President of the USA, had a lot of things to say about rights. They formed a big part of the basis of how he thought and viewed the world, and thus how the US came to be as a nation. Here are some quotes from him:
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