Rights, Privileges & Prohibitions
Individuals have inherent God given rights. (If you’re an atheist you might say rights as a result of ones humanity or reason or some other explanation but the logical set of rights is similar.) These rights are most commonly expressed as ‘life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness.’ The ‘pursuit of happiness’ is a euphemism for ‘private property’ as at the time of our Declaration of Independence some people were immorally and without justification but ‘legally’ allowed to be owned by other people. As slavery was not to be incorporated into the Declaration of Independence the substitution made sense then — not now. John Locke had it right even earlier as ‘life, liberty & property.’ My summary is that individuals have the God given and government protected right to life, liberty, private property and privacy to the extent that one’s privacy cannot be violated in ways that could jeopardize those rights.
The ‘Right to Life’ is the right to not be killed, kidnapped, enslaved, etc. The question of our day is ‘When does that right begin?’ Conception is the only logical, defensible and specific point.
The ‘Right to Liberty’ is the right to do whatever does not violate another’s rights. Examples: The right to believe anything. The right to say anything. The right to own anything you can acquire from an owner without force or fraud. The rights to travel, association, etc. The challenge of the day is travel. This is why I am not offended (as many of my libertarian and anarchist friends are) by government roads. I’m fully accepting that roads predated government and that privately owned roads can exist with some advantages over government roads. However, the ‘right’ to travel is important but fragile and thus justifies (to me) a smidgen of government. Setting aside unpractical theoretical arguments for the moment, what is the proper form of government roads? For now the existing infrastructure works for the most part but we need modifications to recover the rights of travel and privacy. If travel is a ‘right’ as I contend that it is then licenses, tags, permits, tolls, cameras, license plate readers, revenue based policing, etc. must be curtailed. No right is absolute as rights can properly be revoked as punishment for those who violate the rights of others. Highways do not need to be completely anything goes zones but should not have routine stops, speed traps, etc.
Each person is limited to using his own property, public property and property he has the owners permission to use. That’s all! AKA: Don’t injure, kill or take what’s not yours. Ie. NO STEALING. BTW, There’s a great book by that name, ‘Know Stealing.’