Does the Majority “Grant” Us Our Rights?

Edit: Apparently the comment was made in the middle of a debate over the Supreme Court recent decision on same-sex marriage. Only goes to show that both sides of the Left-Right spectrum do not understand what happened that day.

A big political debate is where our rights come from. It matters, because it determines what is and is not allowed legally and what authority people have over themselves and others.

Here we see a very common attitude (the man is a Republican, ironically).

What I’ve observed is those who espouse this “rights come from mutual agreement/what the majority decides” view are self-contradictory and inconsistent in their views. On one hand, they believe rights are granted through some mystical process involving the “majority.” On the other hand, when applied to real life situations in which their people are the minority, suddenly they decry the violation of their civil liberties by the majority.

Is that not what happened under slavery, Jim Crow, the internment of Japanese during World War II, and the removal of Indians from their land? How was the rights of the men and women hung at the Salem witch trials violated, since it was done by majority consensus? How was the Race Laws of the Third Reich a violation of Jews’ rights, since it was done by majority?

If rights come from the majority, then it must follow that anything done by a majority of people cannot be a violation of one’s rights. If rights are natural, however, then the burden of proof is not on the person to “prove” they have the right.

Only under the concept of natural rights can the rights of minorities be adequately protected, whether they be racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural, because they do not require the confirmation or affirmation of anyone else to assert those rights.

The “We the majority give you your rights” is along the same vein as utilitarianism, which offers a vague, ambiguous standard of proof for determining whether an action should be allowed or not. It is under this logic that minorities are oppressed.

The term “majority,” of course, is intentionally vague, and you will find they never provide a concrete definition of what constitutes “the majority” and, more importantly, how they know this or why this is so (notice how he phrases it; “We the Majority,” i.e. “My name is Legion, for we are many”).

The truth is they believe they themselves have the right to determine when other people have rights or not.

It’s people playing God.

Saying someone’s rights come from “the majority” is merely a justification for mob rule, a rationalization for what people know deep down in their hearts are morally indefensible actions.

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