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:
“When and under what conditions is the black man to have a free ballot? When is he in fact to have those full civil rights which have so long been his in law?”
—Benjamin Harrison (18331901)
“... most Southerners of my parents era were raised to feel that it wasnt respectable to be rich. We felt that all patriotic Southerners had lost everything in defense of the South, and sufficient time hadnt elapsed for respectable rebuilding of financial security in a war- impoverished region.”
—Sarah Patton Boyle, U.S. civil rights activist and author. The Desegregated Heart, part 1, ch. 1 (1962)
“Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy?”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)