A right is an articulation of a principle representing a shared value of a society, such as freedom of expression or freedom or religion . Once a society achieves consensus on the existence and nature of a right, it then establishes a practical mechanism to insure that the right can be applied. A society may determine that some rights are absolute, incapable of modification or dilution, while others are more mutable. It may also suggest that some rights are more important than others, and are more determinative in the event of a conflict of rights. The relative strength of a right over time is largely a product of the circumstances and perceptions of the moment. The underlying principle that the right exists, however, tends to become embedded in the social fabric, a given that is difficult to define with precision, yet nonetheless assumed to be a constant.
In general, rights are fundamental freedoms of an individual that society has agreed cannot be removed without the consent of society. They are multifaceted, in part designed to limit the power of the governing entity over the governed, and in part designed to define the relationship of the individual to society at large. They began to take shape in the late Middle Ages and expanded in the early modern era as the concept of the individual became increasingly important. Because of the competing ideas regarding the source, definition and extent of rights, however, they remain somewhat amorphous concepts that take shape only in the context of the legal, political and philosophical discourse of a specific society.
Aspects of the modern concept of rights stems from both ideas of natural law, which became entangled with rights in the late Middle Ages, and the social contract theory , which began to take form during the Enlightenment of the seventeenth century. Both theories suggested unique ways to describe the source and nature of rights that were appropriate to the social context of the times. In addition, they contain elements that are often used in the discourse regarding rights during later periods.
Natural law produced a morality model of rights, which suggests that rights are a manifestation of the precepts created by a moral agent separate and independent from the consensus of society. This concept assumes a sense of responsibility to an abstract principle, which is considered immutable by its adherents and is usually associated with divine authority. In essence, this suggests that rights are practical manifestations of the principles embodied in the dominant religion of a society, and leads to the viewpoint that these rights should be unerring and universal. Although concepts of natural law can be traced to the classical period, it became an element of rights discourse during the late medieval period when England was religiously homogenous. The natural law or morality model of rights takes the position that human laws enforcing and protecting rights are valid only to the degree that they reflect divine law. Any law that circumscribes rights is therefore inherently invalid. Natural law also implies the existence of inalienable rights that are granted to each individual by divine authority merely by the fact of their existence. Similar, but secularized arguments as to the source of rights would be echoed in the approach to rights found in the late twentieth century.
If you want to see some quite concrete, scientific, experimental proof, take a look at the work done by Professor Robert Jahn and Brenda Dunne in Princeton’s Engineering Anomalies Lab. Basically it demonstrates psychokinesis, consistently, with influences on both physical and electronic scales of matter, to a cited level of better than 12 trillion to one against chance. A short version of the outcomes can be seen on this youtube clip –
Also accessible via the resources section of www scienceofpossibility .net