| “Rights” is a very confusing word, because it has been thrown around so often in so many ways and by so many people with different motivations. Almost everyone has a slightly different idea of the word “rights.” So it is valuable to nail down a definition of what we are actually talking about. We must be aware of the differences between rights, liberties, responsibilities, opportunities, guarantees, contracts and privileges. Many people use rights interchangeably with some or all of these other words, but the word rights can represent something that is both unique from those other words, and universal to humanity. In order to do that, we first discuss what rights are *not*. Notably, a functional definition of the word “rights” is not any of those other words, but something that is often related to, in conjunction with, or the foundation of those other words and their importance, thus the confusion.

Rights are not privileges. A privilege is something that someone else grants to you. They retain final control and decision over what kind of access, the duration, and the nature of the privilege. Importantly, the grantor of the privilege must also be the owner of what the privilege gives access to. I cannot grant you the privilege of entering someone else’s home. It is not mine to grant. I don’t own the home. But for my own home, I have the right to choose who to allow in my home, and what behavior they will engage while there. If they fail to abide by the terms of the privilege, the privilege is revoked, and I toss them out on their butt. Many people seem to believe that privileges are rights, that a right means someone else dictates who, what, when, where, and why of access. Privileges are not rights, because they are an invitation, voluntarily offered, and voluntarily agreed to, rescindable at any time by both parties. If you accept the privilege of entering my home on my terms, and come in only to find you despise me and my house, you leave. You decline the privilege at any time.

Rights are not really liberties, either.. Read Entire Article

By Scarmig