Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Right to have Rights... interaction of rights

One of the biggest place of controversy is found in the geography of rights,
the place where one right clashes with another.
So much strife, contention, and even violence occurs exactly in the space of interaction.
I see this repeated again and again.

Read carefully this intellectual post.
What I mean here is the interaction of rights, 
not the interaction of people.
There is a difference.

Consider the Right to Free Speech, as one of many examples
of the way rights interact with each other.
Over and over again, someone speaks, offends, and then others react to the offense.
The simple reason is that the Right to Free Speech does not work as a single right. 
It is tightly interrelated to the Right to Respect and the Right to Dignity; thus free speech is modified by social norms of various societies and their values. This cannot be enforced by law, but people themselves enforce this through social pressure. Many lawyers note that social norms can have more power than law. So, to the dismay of many true believers that free speech means anything goes, the fact is, free speech is never truly and fully free. 
"Free" Speech is really simply the Right to Speech.
In the U.S., this is why so many cases pertaining to free speech (1st Amendment)
end up in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Another example is the Right to Migrate.
The interaction of the Right to Migrate with 
the Right to Security of individuals of the refugee/immigrant-receiving nation
is a place of continual conflict and contention,
leading to debates and law suits.

This is why I created the 8 constellations,
to visually show how each star-right related to another star-right.



Notice the arrows showing how rights interact with each other in the "Constellation of Life"


Harvard law professor Laurence R. Tribe, in his book The Invisible Constitution (2008), 
presents a similar line of thought.
He displays complex geometric drawings to show the interactions between the constitution 
and the social and economic forces that interact upon it. 
On seeing them, I was reminded of the Sky of Stars constellations (also geometric shapes) 
I had recently made to show rights interacting upon each other.

NOTE to commenters: This blog post is about how rights interact with each other.
It is not a post about free speech. To comment on free speech, go 
to the original Right to Free Speech post.



53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Those are great examples of interacting rights. Reminding us how our rights can truly become a moral guideline. MV

Anonymous said...

Interaction right are sometime complicated too. People make rights like freedom of speech hard to understand because they abuse the right by being disrespectful; which clashes with the right to respect.
A252

Anonymous said...

I find some people think that because you have a right that it is an entitlement. An entitlement to do what ever they want say what ever they want with no regards to others. Proving that relative thinking as to what is right for you is right for you and what is right for me is right for me is a defective system of reason. MAR III

Anonymous said...

We have the freedom of speech to say what we wish but it is up to us to consider others and also to judge if it is the right time to express what you are feeling at that moment at that certain place. DDL

Anonymous said...

Who determines our rights? Is it the government or society or both? How responsible are we with these rights? Rights are needed for the society to grow, but what of the destruction that comes with it? SAM

Anonymous said...

We have the right to express our views,as well as the right to be free,but without disrespecting the others.
LC

Anonymous said...

Everyone has rights, to fully exercise your rights, speak up (with facts, respect and mindful of others rights) and stand your ground. JA

Anonymous said...

with so many different cultures and religions, what may be viewed as socially acceptable may not be acceptable to another individual coming from a different background. No matter what "rights" we have in the justice system, no one can never truly express freedom of speech, the world will never see eye to eye. That's just how is has been and always will be. RKS

Anonymous said...

The controversy with peoples rights is something that has and will continue to be modified. I wish things could be simple but in our world there is no such thing. It is an ongoing fight to prove what is indeed right. -SA

Anonymous said...

According to the Bill of Rights, we have freedom of speech but every now and then there is a situation in which someone expresses their version of free speech and then it becomes a huge problem.
The world would be a much better place if the government simply let us practice basic human rights and if certain people stopped getting so offended by others expressing their freedom of speech. Everyone is entitled to have their own opinion.

JB

Anonymous said...

Right to speech is the most essential right of the human begins. It is like cause and effect phenomenon, you though and believe and them you express with respect and dignity. It is the quality than differentiate the human beings from all species in the word. The Right to Speech is the right of the human begins.
MCC

Anonymous said...

We as educated citizens we have been taught to know right from wrong, or as my right mind thinks, we all should have been taught between right and wrong. So we have the right to express our feelings and to deliberately state an opinion about something without
being attacked with unpleasant comments from an audience, because that is our right freedom of speech. But lets not ever go wrong when expressing ourselves we disrespect others.A M V sorry the one above is mine forgot my initials. AMV

Anonymous said...

I strongly believe everyone is entitled to their rights. I am all for "Freedom of Speech" as long as people remember to think before they speak and not say something that is going to hurt them or someone else in the long run.

ADT

Anonymous said...

Men create rights according to their beliefs, culture and the historic moment they are living. We encounter a wide array of opinions related to the same principle or right. Some of the opinions about freedom or religion opposed each other, and one idea can affect another person belief, but if we lead our actions toward love we can make the interaction between rights pacific, without chaos.
HA

Anonymous said...

Are enormous amount of backgrounds and ethnicity don’t allow us to view things the same way. That’s
why expressed opinions always affect others, and that's your are never free to speak your mind. These principles explain how these laws affect one another.
r646

Anonymous said...

I really like the foundation of this piece. It shows that although we have freedom of speech, we should always take into the consideration the people around us and how what we say can possibly offend them. It’s all about coexisting. BG

Anonymous said...

Humans possess in their power the ability to live a balanced, happy and fulfilled life. In my unpretentious opinion I believe we were not created to be identical copies of each other, to live as robots and eat or like the same things, nevertheless have the same thoughts. Instead we have been rewarded by been given diversity in many forms. Our existence is ruled by free will, which makes human beings very special but at the same time complex creatures. Free will gives us freedom, but I find associated a set of responsibilities to keep life balanced. One cannot talk without offending if is saying the truth or being honest, is how others perceive and interpret the message.
Respect, dignity, rational reasoning and an open mind help balance the way the rights interact. We should only learn how to manage our powers and freedom of choice to deal and have the right to have rights applying them. COCO.

Anonymous said...

Interaction of rights form what we are in the United States. But we need to have the road map in our mind of how to express and protect these rights without interfering with the rights of others. What may be free speech for me, may hurt the next person, or make them angry. I may choose to protest, but I could also be trespassing. Love is at the center of the map, and should be what guides us in respecting others while expressing our rights. mjd

Anonymous said...

We have many rights in this country and many times they crash with each other or go against each other but that is because there needs to be some form of control and respect. This prevents for certain rights to be abused or misused!! .....NYH

Anonymous said...

Everyone deserves the right to interact with each other. Social interaction keeps us sane. Never the less, interacting successfully with each other means we will have to learn how to coexist. Without respect no one will live a peaceful life. When using certain rights such as the right to interact, we must remember other's rights to be respected.
AS

Anonymous said...

Everyone as a human being at birth and have use of reason has to know that the chance of having life implies also a duty to co-exist with other human beings and with other Nations that have different cultures that they have the same right as I, if interact with respect to each other the life is better.DAM

Anonymous said...

Our rights have limits and they stop when our fellow citizens’ rights start. If by utilizing my right I am breaking someone else’s, then it ceases to be a right and it becomes an abuse. We need to understand that rights are given to maintain equality and justice not to break them.

GS

Anonymous said...

Rights will always clash with one another its unavoidable. The reason being is that a right is sometimes so broad in its definition it creates a loop hole, which leads to the abuse of that right. For example Free Speech is construed to match the social norm. CMH

Anonymous said...

To be free is to live and act without restrain, yet that is no reality. They are parameters that we as human beings most abide by to live in a prosperous society. EL

Anonymous said...

Human rights are always going to correlate with each other. It is up to us, the people, to understand how rights interact if we want to make a fair and a better world for all. SVV

Anonymous said...

Another right that interacts is The Right to Religion (Freedom of Religion). We are allow to practice whatever religion we like, yet we are not allow to do a public prayer in a public school, this because of the offense it can cause to others with different religions. Freedom of religion only means, you are free to be part of the religion without expressing yourself openly and following word by word as the religion teaches, such as preaching to others.

SL

Anonymous said...

The interaction of rights has devoted long time to codify a universal ethic declaration acceptable to everybody; these rights include economics and social issues. Human rights are supposed to diminish the risk of wars and conflicts between different cultures. We humans should equally persuade to respect a code of responsibilities alongside with the human rights. This will lead to more harmonious interaction between all the different nations.
Apple

Anonymous said...

The Right to have Rights is a complex topic. With so many different religions and cultures in the world the right to one thing can be more meaningful to an individual than the right to another. The "Constellation of Life" puts it all in to better perspective on how rights link to each other. In my opinion the Rights to have Rights is the most important right of all. AD

Anonymous said...

We have the right to interact and have our freedom of speech. Our different ethnic causes for our freedom of speech come to klatch with others. When we decide to speak our mind we forget to think that we not all think the same and that sometimes we could hurt someone when we speak, and we come out negative.--GAU0924

Anonymous said...

When exercising a right we should always stay aware of its limits and how it influences other rights. LMI

Anonymous said...

The thing is most of our rights are very broad, the're not really detailed so thats why alot of our rights interact or conflict with one another. -GPC

Anonymous said...

We must be careful with the decisions we make because what we say or do can affect our lives or the lives of others. There are many loop wholes in which people can turn our own rights against us.ANC

Anonymous said...

I must agree with the drawing of the “8 constellation”, in the blog. Our rights can sometime conflict or intertwine with the rights of others. Therefore, we all must keep in mind both the good and the bad consequences that may come from exercising or expressing g our rights to have rights. This then leads to a question, do we truly and fully have any rights?

JPK

Anonymous said...

I think the Right to have Gender Equality interacts with many other rights! In most countries women, transgender people, and gay men struggle for equality. A lot of us do not really have the Right to Free Speech! Women globally face great challenges to their right to Self- determination, such as being forced to marry or not given the choice whether or when to bear a child. Did you know there are 88 countries that homosexuality is deemed illegal? What about our Right to be Happy or just the Right to be Treated Equal? HL

Anonymous said...

Some differences in culture provide the fuel necessary to ignite these clashes. Just as some major European nations have came together to form the European Union, ultimately to improve quality of life. I believe the future will hold a similar fate for all nations of this world. Once this happends, and we have a society of educated earthlings, all sharing similar agendas, understanding each other to an improved degree. Maybe then we can see something similar to "The Constellation of Life" become a reality.

Anonymous said...

^^ MRM

Anonymous said...

The interaction of different rights is always something very difficult to deal with. Not everyone will know all of the rights they and the other person have and thus would not know how to properly react when one person says something that may bother them.

-APX

Anonymous said...

I agree that rights interact with each other. It seems that most rights act as guidelines for other rights. This helps keep a balance between the rights, so that they don't conflict.
ECZ

Anonymous said...

I really believe that all humans have the right to have rights but unfortunately some of them interact with each other. I think we have the obligation to respect others' rights even though we violate our own ones. CPO.

Anonymous said...

Freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think. However the freedom to speak is extremely powerful, on must think carefully before speaking. SM

Anonymous said...

Right to Free Speech is one of the most controversial rights we have, like stated on the post "Over and over again, someone speaks, offends, and then others react to the offense. This makes it hard for someone to speak their mind without getting into an argument or fight with someone else. Which makes a lot of people keep their thoughts to themselves and not really have the right to free speech. DDB

Anonymous said...

Many people think that just because we have the Right of Free Speech we can say whatever we want, however we don't think about others, and what that could mean to them. Therefor I think that one of my favorites quote goes with this theme, even though I don't know the author here it is…

"Before you assume, learn the facts. Before you judge, understand why. Before you hurt someone, feel. Before you speak, think"

AS

Anonymous said...

The 8-constellation drawing was pretty accurate. I would have to agree that our rights do clash with other’s rights at times. Although we have the freedom to do many things, we need to know our limits. We should also look at the benefits and non-beneficial things that may come from our actions. AVJ

Anonymous said...

I think we all need to ask ourselves before anything who entitled us to these rights? What have we done to earn them? I think the clash of rights happens because everyone feels like they have a right to do a certain thing that others may find disrespectful or unaccepptable so it really all depends on everyones morals and how considerate or responsible they are in order not to abuse their rights. ID

Anonymous said...

The freedom of speech is very controversial due to the amount of diversity in this country. What maybe something to me, may mean something different to someone else. The freedom of speech in the U.S. is limited.JPA

Anonymous said...

The constellations of life make sense.Love is the base of all rights, especially life. Took a long time to write about this post because speaking about how many rights correlate there are so many. A good example could be gay rights. People will get offended. Suicide and violence will or can occur.
SMiLeY

Anonymous said...

This just goes to show how vast our rights are. As we have the right to exist, our rights have the right to exist.. under the same circumstances we do: we may not infringe on another person/concept and so long as we don't our foundations will remain stable. SV

Anonymous said...

Rights constanty interact with each other. I do not believe there is a single right that is not inadvertently affected with another right. My right to wear what I choose also is related with right to expression and the right to others to perceive it in any way that they wish. In the same concept of how rights interact is how mud is made. You can not have mud without water or without dirt, therefore both need to exist together to make mud.

Mercy

Anonymous said...

It seems that our constitution rights all intertwine with one another and with social norms. My only concern is as the constitution grows older and time passes by, will our rights change along with social norms?
BB

Annabel Guerra said...

There will always be a right opposing another, 'cause and effect', if one person speaks out about something they'll always be another person speaking against. And sadly this does turn to violence at times, maybe even fatalities. This will never change as long as this country remains 'land of the free', and rights will clash with another cause there's always two sides to everything. There will never be one simple right, but one right intertwined with another either for or against. But that's why we have courts and debates, to try and simplify and find solutions.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the right to interaction of rights is that one right will always conflict with another. People are always going to get offened with what another person says but if that person is understanding they will not let it bother them so much.

Anonymous said...

Interaction of rights can be seen on a daily basis. It's true the right to free speech is never entirely free. For example, you cannot make a threat to someone and justify it with free speech, because you can get charged with assault. The constellation of life is accurate in the sense that one links with another. You can't have love without peace.
MR

Anonymous said...

I view it from a more simply manner. One right cannot function alone it will always affect another right. This is prone to happen by the laws of physics and nature. I just accept it and live life to its fullest.

SAMROG