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What is the definition of having a "Right to drive" or other "Rights" as to opposed to having a "Privilege to drive" or other "Privileges"

This question came to me from a comment I made on the TED Talk "Google's Driverless Car". I argued that driving was not a right but a pivilege, but I noticed there were a few arguments against that thought. So it caused me to think a bit deeper on the differences between having a Right or having a Privilege. I found it impossible to truly define it in my mind. As the more I thought about it, I soon discovered my problem was, are there different definitions to this question depending what part of the world you come from or live in? As I have seen TED has an international base of people that enjoy these "Talks" and I thought I would pose this question to you all. So let the debate begin!! I look forward to your thoughts and comments on this. Thank You...


Closing Statement from Robert Sherry

First, Thank You all for your replies, you have all given some Great input!!

As for "Rights" I think John Frum gave the best reply (in my opinion) concerning rights. He seemed to understand the Spirit of my question, which wasn't just about "U.S. Driving Rights", but "Rights" in general and he also included the whole world. His answer is as follows.See Below

"Legal rights are one aspect of rights, but not the only one. Legal rights depend on which country one is a citizen of."

"Legality is based on morality.. in every country. What are moral rights based on? That's very debatable. I have my own ideas on what's moral, but I do not assume that everyone would share my views on that."

"If I were in Malaysia, Indonesia or some Arab country, I'd have no "right" to insult Allah or Mohammed. Left libertarians do not subscribe to the concept of property rights. Some countries, and the UN seem to believe in the "right" to water: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_water"

"The statement "this isn't an opinion, it's a legal fact" is empty without the context of time and place. For most of their history, blacks and women in the US did not have a "right" to vote. For quite a while, only landowners had that right."
"Legal rights are fickle. Moral rights are subjective"

Thank You to Pat Gilbert,This is his reply concernig "Privaliges" Below you will find exerpts from his various replies..

"Rights are generally intangible, privileges are tangible

"Rights are generally seen as natural law or providence. Of the two they are infinitely more important."

"A privilege would be as you state the privilege of driving, the privilege of unemployment benefits, the privilege of healthcare."

"At the end of the day privileges are what get abused by individuals, rights are what get abused by government."

Once again, I would like to Thank You all for some very enlightening responses!!
I have learned much from you all, and you have also given me much to consider!!! R.S.... ((:^)<(

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  • Jan 22 2013: Mr. Sherry,
    Would you consider rights as privileges granted by higher authority? As Edward Long says, rights can be taken away! By higher authority. A difficult reality to escape is the fact someone, some entity, or authority grants a provision for someone to proceed or to hold something, i.e. office, material goods, authority, et al. Parents are the first authority a child recognizes. Would a parent allow a child to demand without approval? Maybe some would; it seems wise ones would not, but authority is a reality regardless.

    The effects of rights may depend on the quality of authority. Is the US Constitution a better authority than a brutal dictatorship? Judgement is a reality here too.

    When considering rights a person may wish to look "upward" and discern who or what is there. With this in mind, how would your question change, if at all? Does one's definition of rights change upon realizing one cannot change a situation?

    Offered, as if at a friendly coffee shop chat session!
    • Jan 23 2013: Thank You Mark, You have certainly given me something additional to consider. The short answer to would I change the title would be, yes! I would change my question to give a better and deeper understanding on what the question was trying to convey. Next time I post a question, I will take into consideration what is the deeper meaning to my question that I am looking for an answer to. I did try (to a certain extent) to convey this in my "Question" but found that you can only use so many charecters when assigning a title to a "Question". One question I have for you is, What do you mean by the term "Look Upward"? I can make an assumption, but I try to never do that. I look forward to your reply. Thanks for your input as I always look forward to anyone that can encourage me to see "The Whole Picture" .
      Thanks for the Coffee Chat, :) R.S...

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