Friday, August 1, 2008

Privilege vs. Right II

I still feel there may be some confusion as to my ranting about right vs. privilege, and I want to ensure that this is absolutely clear so that what I am talking about is understood. The best place to go when wanting to understand something more in depth is the dictionary; so I pulled these definitions from the Merriam Webster dictionary:

Right - The power in which one is justly entitled

Privilege - An immunity granted as a peculiar benefit, advantage, or favor

Read these definitions as:

A right is something we are all entitled too - thanks to a document called the Constituiton of the United States

A Privilege is something that one alleges is a right, but the benefits are not widespread in the realm of every day life.

Examples of these are thus:

Your privilege of smoking should be limited to your own homes and/or vehicles. You smoking in public does not benefit me - the non-smoker. Just like you talking on the phone in your car does not benefit me either - especially if you run me off the road. Thus these perceived "rights" - read as privileges (as talking on the phone is also a privilege we have) can and should be banned by law when administered in a way that could cause other's harm (i.e. driving while on the phone could potentially cause an accident).

A right is something we have the expectation of as citiziens of the United States of America to be upheld. Our privacy is a right that we have the reasonable expectiation of being sustained. This is a right that all American citizens can benefit from - just like you have the right to smoke within the confines of your own home - I choose to not accept that right. You have the right to smoke at home, but not in my face (thus the ban on public smoking).

I hope that helps if there had been any confusion within my previous posts.

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