3 Answers | Add Yours
With all respect due pohnpei, Rights can never be sacrificed, as they are conferred upon individuals by their existence. Freedom, or the exercise of Rights, may expand or contract. The number of Rights is infinite, but the freedom of one individual to exercise those Rights only ends where they tread upon another individual's Rights. Public Order, or the Rule of Law, can only function when there's a mutual respect for Rights. In the case given, My Right to play music loudly impacts another's Right to read quietly. Etiquette would require me not to exercise my "loud music" Right; failing that, the nuisance ordinances in the law would limit my freedom of exercising that Right at that time.
Nothing need be sacrificed to facilitate public order; rather, the understanding of another's Rights and Freedoms must be comprehended.
What we must sacrifice is our smaller, less important rights. These are our rights to act however we like. We give these rights up in return for having our major rights (life, liberty, property) protected. This is what thinkers like Locke called the "social contract."
In a way, we should be able to act however we like as long as we don't hurt others. However, if we did do whatever we wanted, we would be constantly coming into conflict with others who had different tastes. Our loud music would conflict with their desire to read quietly, for example. This would cause a breakdown in order and society would fall apart. Eventually, our big rights would be compromised by the lack of public order.
As Americans, we are giving up our rights at an alarming rate. Under the guise of "terror" we are told we MUST give up rights to privacy, speech, assembly, arms, search and seizure, trial, prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, and powers of States in order to make us safe. In essence, we have suspended the Bill of Rights. Benjamin Franklin said it best, "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
We’ve answered 319,189 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question