what is a right?


My current best blogging nemesis has big issues with rights. As far as I can tell, he is your typical indoctrinated American Republican who thinks that ‘rights’ only refer to those enshrined in their almost holy document written over 200 years ago. So I expect one of his prime concerns is that he has a ‘right’ to carry deadly weapons, and the ‘right’ to fire off those deadly weapons at anyone he judges to be threatening.

Here are two rights he thinks people shouldn’t have:

1. The right to open-access, free at the point of delivery health care for everyone, regardless of income.

2. The right as an adult to formalise a loving relationship with another consenting adult through the traditional ritual of marriage.

So, just to help him out, in case he pops by to shout about his interpretation of ‘rights’ yet again, here is the Mirriam Webster dictionary definition of ‘right’:

something that a person is or should be morally or legally allowed to have, get, or do

What do you think a right is? Are there any commonly held rights you object to around the world?