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ETpro's avatar

What rights do you think you should have?

Asked by ETpro (34594points) December 17th, 2013

OK, you have the right to remain silent. Should you choose to give up that right, anything you say may be used against you. But of course, if you choose to exercise your right to remain silent; then you are asserting no other rights at all. That’s pretty likely to be what you get. What rights do you think you should have, and why should it be right for you to have those rights?

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24 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Unlimited rights.

My opinions and wishes are just as valid as the opinions and wishes of the supreme judge. There is no such thing as laws or rights, just the make believe of strangers in suits.

If they want to play make believe and write down on bits of paper what I can and can’t do, I get to do the same thing and have it be every bit just as valid and official.

If a 5 year old playing shop says apples in his shop cost $5 a piece, that does not officially mean apples cost $5. If the kid is 6 years old, 7 years old, 8 years old or more, it is still not official, it is still just the make belive of children. And if the kid turns 50, meets a load of other kids who have turned 50, and they all write down on a bit of paper that weed is illegal and that you have to pay taxes, it does not make it official either.

jerv's avatar

It would be nice to have all of the rights laid forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, However, as a US citizen living within the borders of the US, that is never going to happen.

Jaxk's avatar

I’m not sure where you’re going with this but whether you exercise your right to remain silent or not, you don’t give up any other rights. The right to a speedy trial, a vigorous defense, or a jury of your peers, all remain intact.

bolwerk's avatar

The right to not talk to a pig is pretty important. At the point where a pig cuffs you and places you under arrest, your rights are already violated and you no longer have any freedom. The system is tilted toward the pig, whose word has the presumption of truth in court. However, your chances are better in a criminal court than the court of the back seat of the pigmobile.

By saying nothing, you take away the pig’s ability to use what you say against you…and he knows he can twist almost anything in his favor. If you say nothing, have an incredibly good chance of worming out of whatever you are accused of even if you are actually guilty. Most people are cornered into a plea before ever entering a court room.

ragingloli's avatar

Everything listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be a good start.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^ That’s 4 of us.

dougiedawg's avatar

I’ve pretty much done what I wanted to do my entire life.

It hasn’t always been a picnic but you learn to take the good with the bad and cherish the good and move past the bad as quickly as possible.

We can’t control others or everything around us but we have the right to make the best of it and learn from every situation. It may be that the greatest right we are given is the freedom to exercise power over our own outlook on life.

Seek's avatar

I’ll also hop on the UDHR bandwagon.

Seeing as the country I live in voted in favor of it and all…

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

So will I, I don’t know where the UDHR is completely in compliance though. It sure as hell is not here right now.

gondwanalon's avatar

Do you think that we should not have the right to remain silent?

Choosing to use your right to remain silent doesn’t stop you from communicating freely with your defense attorney. I don’t see how you lose any rights by using your right to not talk to law enforcement officers and interrogators/investigators.

This is a very powerful and important right as it levels the playing field of very talented interrogators. Instead of dealing with weak suspects they are forced to match whits with highly trained defense attorneys.

ETpro's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake, @jerv, @ragingloli, @Espiritus_Corvus, @Seek_Kolinahr, ARE_you_kidding_me That’s an excellent claim. Well done.

@poisonedantidote If you claim unlimited rights, the right to kill, the right to steal what isn’t yours, the right to rape anyone’s wife or daughter, the right to slug outlaw bikers in the nose; you tend to end up with very little is any rights. Those whose rights you violate then feel free to violate any rights you might otherwise be able to enjoy. Good luck if you claim the rights of a God. Because luck you will need, and an abundance of it.

@jerv & @Jaxk Looks like I need to remind the two of yuo for very different reasons. But the question is not “What rights… do you have?” It is instead, “What rights… should you have?”

@bolwerk Good advice to know your Miranda rights and exercise them whether they are read to you or not. Have the trial in a court of law, not the back of a police cruiser.

@dougiedawg Thanks for a beautifully personal answer.

@gondwanalon The question details were using Miranda metaphorical. What I meant was that if you choose to remain silent in this question, then you have given up the right to claim any rights,

jerv's avatar

@ETpro That’s the question I answered. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

As it stands, many things listed in the UDHR are considered privileges in America. Whether or not I personally enjoy some of those “privileges” has no bearing on the fact that I feel that they should all be considered rights that all Americans (myself included) have.

I shouldn’t have to earn worse healthcare than some Third World nations, or the means to eat enough to sustain basic metabolic functions, yet the only reason I have either is not because I have a right that is recognized by our society, but because I was lucky enough to earn those “privileges”. Cosmetic surgery and high cuisine should be earned, but the basics for life shouldn’t have to be.

Jaxk's avatar

OK, I think I’ll go with the Bill of Rights in our constitution. They don’t require anyone to give me anything, merely not take it away. If you believe that you deserve to be given things, a house, a car, whatever, you must take it from someone in order to give it to you. You deserve the opportunity to get it, to earn it, but not the commodity itself. It’s a tough life and nobody deserves a free ride.

bolwerk's avatar

@Jaxk: Unless you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Then you deserve your free ride.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk I’m still trying to understand that viewpoint. Most of my econo-political beliefs are based on the fact that I treat people with more respect and empathy than I treat cardboard boxes. That lack of sociopathic tendencies may be the root cause of our disagreements.

Jaxk's avatar


You’re misreading that. I may actually get a free ride but that doesn’t mean I deserve it. Society at large doesn’t provide it for me.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk Lower interest rates making the things that aren’t given to you as gifts cheaper…. Get out of jail free” cards…. Society at large does provide those things. Sounds like a bit of a free ride compared to those of us who have to bust our ass for beans and rice, and getting away with murder seems to be a free ride as well.
Or are you merely saying that our society is so fucked up that your ideology is unworkable in practice without massive deaths and utter anarchy?

bolwerk's avatar

Wealth, particularly money, is an expression of power. With inheritance, the state protects the ability to hand power and status onto the next generation. We hear a lot about wealthy people who worked for their wealth, but they’re the minority (even if you count being exploitative as working).

Jaxk's avatar


I would need to see how you come to the conclusion that those that worked for their wealth are in the minority. I suppose if you only look at Billionaires, you may be able to make an argument but even then I’m not sure you could make the minority argument. I know quite a few very wealthy people but I don’t know anyone that inherited their wealth. Of course to be honest, I don’t know any billionaires either. There is a definite belief that the only way to succeed is to take success from others. I am not of that mind.

jerv's avatar

@Jaxk This may surprise you, but I’m actually going to agree with you. While we may differ on our opinions of whether the uber-rich get rewarded fairly or get too much for what they do is besides the point; most millionaires worked their asses to be in a position where becoming a millionaire was possible. Yes, there are some dynasties, but those are the minority.
While it’s true that there are some people that get fantastically rich at the expense of others (the Walton family comes to mind), there are still many more people succeeding the old-fashioned way. They just don’t grab as much media attention as the CEOs that get huge bonuses as their companies crumble. The recent “Affluenza” case where being rich is a legal defense excusing one from knowing the difference between right and wrong probably doesn’t help matters though.

bolwerk's avatar

@Jaxk: most wealth is distributed on the form of some kind of unearned income, either inherited or in the form of rent, dividends, or capital gains. The people who do the work get a fraction of it. Not to say the wealth inherently don’t work, but their equity/ownership interests enforced by Big Gubbermint allows them to extract significantly more than their labor contribution.

Jaxk's avatar


There is no question in my mind that most wealth is acquired through Capital Gains. There has been a substantial change in how much can be acquired that way in the past few decades. Not because government has changed things but rather because technology has changed things. The proliferation of PCs and the Internet have made it possible for a person with a good idea to create, market, and sell a product for $billions with little outside help. People like Mark Zuckerberg are able to create billions without the help of major corporations. That didn’t happen before the Internet. You needed a GM or IBM, or some major help to get a new invention or technology off the ground. This is one reason that the wealth gap has exploded as it has. The tax laws you hate don’t handle that kind of growth so well but work very well for things like Home depot’s Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank. Traditional business growth needs the ability to reinvest and capital gains provide that.

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