Originally Posted by County Mike
According to the American Declaration of Independance...its listed as the Fourth inalienable right of any Individual...following Equality (intrinsic value, NOT Status) Life, and Freedom.
Firstly, I think that "Human Rights" are nothing but a sociological fabrication by a civilization to define its moral and ethic values. Essential, but just a compiled list of qualities none-the-less.
The reason I believe that, is not because various different lists differ. For example, there is nothing outside the American Culture that states one should be entitled to have fire-arms, and nothing in the American Culture that says free at the point of sale Health Care for all is a right.
I believe in God, and believe that the only "intrinsic" or "inalienable" rights, so to speak come from Him. Believing, as I do, that he is "Rex Celestis" and Judge of all. I find that he is an Absolute Monarchy. Therefore, we have no rights, except those given to us by him. I See very few specific rights outlined in Scripture. However, I would say that we can take as absolute any promise he has made, but those promises are instigated by his Command, not given us as due, or owed. I simply believe that the nature of Holiness denies him the ability to re-tract his word, like it WOULD do with a Human Monarch...Especially one who governs under any form of common law, as opposed to any fixed constitutional law.
Now the problem with the persuit of happiness, is that its not the same for everyone, and may not be ethically sound...infact, it could be directly incompatable and therefore lead to a paradox (one person seeks happiness through silence...his next door neighbour needs loud music to be Happy....who has the "right" to prevail in this situation?) its as open to interpretation as it is abuse.
Infact, it bears a lot with both Hedonism, and Nietzscheian Philosophy. Fredrich, an Enlightenment Philosopher of sorts, and a serious iconoclast, has some very dangerous philosophies. One is known as "The Becoming"
In Fredrichs view, every individual is supposed to want and lean towards displaying their full potential. That is different for different people, and he says that all should persue that to the point where it doesnt impact negatively on anyone else. He says that those who push the boundaries, eventually reach their potential, and become, Super-Men...Men whose full potential has been reached. Thats German for "Ubermensche" and we all know what happened when Adolf Hitler came across Nietzsche and decided to try and put some of his ideologies into practise.
Some of Nietzsche is absolutely right, his Will to Power...Power Discourse Philosophy is absolutely spot on...and Adolf made good use of that aswell...as will any great Orator, who is able to encorperate little illusions to heighten their message. For example, any Great Speech, begins with a moments silence. Most orators dare do nothing more then a brief ten seconds during which they mess with the microphone, or shuffle their papers....But Adolf, would rise, walk to the podium...and stop...often for two or three whole mins...but I digress...
I certainly do not think that the seeking of happiness is something to be demanded as a right. just like I dont believe that Utilitarianism as an ethical system is a brilliant one to follow (Utilitarianism states that what makes the majority the most happy should always be the thing to do)