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|Subject: Re: Is health care a right?||Date: 10/10/2010 10:30 AM|
|Author: MadCapitalist||Number: 533433 of 726167|
A "right" is something people can exercise without taking the life, limb, liberty or property of others against their consent.
It should be noted that this is not the only possible definition of a right, and indeed is not the definition that is used in American law. For example, one has a right to have a lawyer and a jury trial provided to them in a criminal prosecution - government cannot take away your liberties without giving you both a forum and a certain minimum means to contest the charges. Yet both require picking the pocket of the taxpayer, since neither can be provided for free.
Those aren't true rights. True rights exist independent of government. It is government's job to protect those rights. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government..."
Unfortunately, our form of government has become destructive of these ends.
For more on this concept, read:
The Purpose and Limits of Government
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