Rights are legal, social, or ethical principles of freedom or entitlement; that is, rights are the fundamental normative rules about what is allowed of people or owed to people, according to some legal system, social convention, or ethical theory. Rights are of essential importance in such disciplines as law and ethics, especially theories of justice and deontology.
Rights are often considered fundamental to civilization, being regarded as established pillars of society and culture, and the history of social conflicts can be found in the history of each right and its development. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "rights structure the form of governments, the content of laws, and the shape of morality as it is currently perceived." The connection between rights and struggle cannot be overstated — rights are not as much granted or endowed as they are fought for and claimed, and the essence of struggles past and ancient are encoded in the spirit of current concepts of rights and their modern formulations.
Famous quotes containing the word rights:
“...I know nothing of mans rights, or womans rights; human rights are all that I recognise.”
—Sarah M. Grimke (17921873)
“Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man?”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“In our governments the real power lies in the majority of the community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of government contrary to the sense of the constituents, but from the acts in which government is the mere instrument of the majority.”
—James Madison (17511836)