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Old 09-11-2006, 02:48 PM
prkaye prkaye is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,117
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well, for the purposes of our discussion, of the definitions of "Right" on that link, I would say either #18 or #19 apply:

18. a just claim or title, whether legal, prescriptive, or moral: You have a right to say what you please.
19. Sometimes, rights. that which is due to anyone by just claim, legal guarantees, moral principles, etc.: women's rights; Freedom of speech is a right of all Americans.

As for privilege, the first three definitions define "Privilege" as a special kind of "right" !

1. a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most: the privileges of the very rich.
2. a special right, immunity, or exemption granted to persons in authority or office to free them from certain obligations or liabilities: the privilege of a senator to speak in Congress without danger of a libel suit.
3. a grant to an individual, corporation, etc., of a special right or immunity, under certain conditions.

So where is the distinction? Is flying a right? Well, it is if you have a pilot's license... in which case it is a right, which also happens to be a privilege. According to the above three definitions a privilege is also a right. I think the argument is pretty vacuous because we all agree that we should be allowed to fly if we can do without harm or danger to society. Whether to call it a "right" or a "privilege" is just a matter of which definitions you want to pull out of those long lists... noting that there is a lot of overlap between the definitions in the lists!

Anyway, my main confusion is over how people seem to get so impassioned when arguing over subtle points of definition (I can think of one very contraversial topic in Canadian politics that is a wonderul example of this, but we'd better not go there...)

oh... this thread has also reminded me that I cannot spell!
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