SUMMARY: The right to not always do “what is right”:
Individualism vs State Rights with regards to youth rights in particular.
HISTORY: I found _some_ archives of the Y-RIGHTS list (kid/teen rights discussion group) and one of the earliest postings I made (which would be when I was…
[ 2016-1991 – 25 yrs ago – so 44-25 = 19 yrs old]
19 years old. I wanted to know: and still do: “Who decides whose rights are Right?”
I tied in Slavery. So to call out a few: this is an example of me using slavery to make a point about youth rights.
Was I wrong to do so? Was it an exaggeration to prove a point? As I read this, it looks fine to me and yet, perhaps by doing so I was minimizing the problem of slavery as it existed then.
Apologizes for the disjointed writing style. Come to think of it: my writing style hasn’t changed at all [besides the slavery thing: I’m curious what you’re thoughts are on the original subject which still interests me: Who has the right to decide whose rights are right?]
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1991 14:16:00 EDT
Sender: “Y-Rights: Kid/Teen Rights Discussion Group”
From: “Y-Rights@SJUVM Listowner” <KUDUT@HAMP.HAMPSHIRE.EDU>
Subject: The Big Question: Who Decides?
One of the questions that routinely comes up whenever anyone discusses “Rights” is “Who decides what rights?” (or “Who decides what rights are Right?”)
This question is particularly difficult when talking about the rights of children and teenagers. Usually the best answer for “Who decides?” is “The individual of which we’re talking about”. Unfortunately, there is a very basic assumption that lies very deeply rooted within many cultures which says that children don’t know what’s right.
Speaking for a democratic society, one of the deepest conceptions of a democratic society is that we have the Right to not do “what is Right”. It’s like people that say that children don’t know “what’s best for them”. A Democratic society gives each person the Right to do as they wish (within reason), whether or not it’s “Best” for them.
People saying they know what’s best reminds me of the way that slaves were thought of 120+ years ago. The slave-owners knew what was best for their slaves. Parents know best. Teachers know best. The business that runs under the assumption that they (the administration) know “best” for their workers is bound to have VERY unhappy workers (unless their assumptions were correct. Even then, just merely having input in your environment is usually enough to keep a person happy. It means having a choice that makes a difference).
Of course, people like myself (I can’t speak for anyone else on this list ) think they know best too. I think that my ideas that say that people under 18 shouldn’t be treated as sub-human is Right. In that sense, I am no better than anyone else who says they know Right. Of course, my idea applies to EVERYONE, as in “No one deserves to be treated as sub-human. You were born on this earth. That is all the qualifications that you need to deserve to be treated like a human being. When we start birthing off-earth, then we’ll talk”.
Basically, once again, here lies my question (as I manage to go off on a tangent yet once again ): Who decides what is Right? Should a society have any say in what its people think and do?