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Thread: Is Education a Right?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Charles Stover's Avatar
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    Question Is Education a Right?

    This is just a little something I typed up and figured would serve for good discussion here.

    I do believe education is a right, but I am unable to disprove this (this example does not require a schooling system; only the bare minimum of education):

    Education is not a right, because education involves/requires two parties - the teacher and the student. If the student has a right to an education, he or she has a right to the teacher's time and therefore life. The teacher loses the right to his or her own time/life in order to teach the student. While there are teachers who are willing to give their own time to teach, it is much different to change the label of this to a right of the student, which implies that if the teacher were to become unwilling to teach, he or she would have to continue teaching anyway, and that is it solely up to the student to determine when to learn. I feel I should go further, however, in anticipation of "another teacher can be found to replace him or her": if every teacher in the entire world were to decide not to teach, then someone would have to be forced to teach said student, because said student has a right.

    The fact that force has to be involved on another person in order to defend this "right" makes it a "right" that takes away the greater right of choice of other people. If a requirement of a proposed right involves taking others' rights, can or should it be considered a right?

    I cannot disprove this, which is bothersome, especially politically. But I think the underlying part of my belief that education is a right can be shown hypothetically, in a scenario where education does not require two parties (perhaps a future scenario where computers are the teachers and require no maintenance, but may receive maintenance voluntarily). At that point, knowledge is free (save for energy, at which point in time will most likely be free/renewable solar or wind energy). Knowledge at such point is a free-to-harness concept, and concepts are most certainly a right. Learning then would become nothing more than the ability to take in thoughts and concepts from outside one's own mind, and I think most people can absolutely agree that that is a right, seeing as how it is a requirement for survival in the first place (our senses are just that). To say it is not a right in such a scenario is to say that some one or some thing is to prevent people from sensing what is in existence - which would be the taking away of abilities with which we are born.

    So, I think the ability to take in concepts should be a right, and I think one who wishes to take in concepts should absolutely be able to take in as much as they desire. At current, this cannot be done without a second party, and I am unable to prove that one has a right to a second party.

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    Banned Camp Blackjack Fever Champion, Brain Bones Champion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Stover View Post
    Education is not a right, because education involves/requires two parties - the teacher and the student. If the student has a right to an education, he or she has a right to the teacher's time and therefore life. The teacher loses the right to his or her own time/life in order to teach the student..
    Good post. Those are my exact feelings about healthcare being a "right" as well. I have no right to enslave doctors just because I need medical attention or desire to live longer.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Charles Stover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmendmentX View Post
    Good post. Those are my exact feelings about healthcare being a "right" as well. I have no right to enslave doctors just because I need medical attention or desire to live longer.
    Such rights in a government system do not enslave, though. "Right" is seemingly a misnomer. The doctors are compensated for their time, and if no doctor wishes to perform, no doctor has to. Those "enslaved" (I'd say "forced," as they aren't exactly on the level of slaves) are the taxpayers who pay the doctor bill.

    I think education should be a right in a government system, where tax payers are forced to pay willing teachers. I have a lot of feelings on health care being a right - too much that differs so drastically from both the dominate conservative and liberal positions that I won't bother derailing the topic with such a long post as would be required to explain it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Stover View Post
    Such rights in a government system do not enslave, though. "Right" is seemingly a misnomer. The doctors are compensated for their time, and if no doctor wishes to perform, no doctor has to. Those "enslaved" (I'd say "forced," as they aren't exactly on the level of slaves) are the taxpayers who pay the doctor bill.
    All true. If no doctor wishes to perform, and there is no government forcing his hand, then healthcare cannot be a right, imo. It might be classified as a privilege of living in a society that is prosperous enough to fund it without going broke, but it's not a right.

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    quichierbichen
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    There are rights that require a 'second person.' Everyone has a constitutional right to an attorney, even if they can't pay for one, but no one expects public defenders to work for free. Everyone has a right to participate in their own defense, so if they don't speak English, a translator has to be provided for them--and the state pays for this.

    For the most part, though, this question revolves around two different sorts of rights. There are negative rights--rights that involve not being interfered with: first amendment, second amendment, fourth amendment, fifth amendment, and so forth.

    Rights to education or health care or any other good are of a different order. These are rights that a society decides to grant to all its citizens and pay for collectively. In the US, these are much more controversial, though the right to a free appropriate education at public expense up to the 12th grade is broadly approved both in law and custom.

    More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativ...ositive_rights

    Different societies have different conceptions of rights. There are some with broad negative rights and few positive ones, like the US. There are others with few negative rights but many positive ones, like Cuba. Cuba's not exactly prosperous.

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    Miss Mock Out jackalope's Avatar
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    A teacher cannot teach, legally, without a license. The state grants those licenses. The state has the right to set forth the conditions under which the licensee may use the license. The state cannot compel a random person to save a life, teach a child, or represent a plaintiff. But if a person chooses to apply for a license, the state can set rules under which they may use the license.

    A doctor who refuses to provide life saving care will lose their license, and their right to practice medicine. Not their life.

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    Senior Member Dark Lion's Avatar
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    Knowledge is a right, and we have a right to pass along and learn knowledge. I'm not so sure education as it's being presented here is such a right. Yes, a person has a right to learn if they want, but a person should not be required to teach them. Therefore, the education system is not a right.

    Let me explain, say I want to learn how to add and subtract. I have a right to learn if I can find someone to teach me or if I can learn it myself from a book. I do not have the right to require someone to teach. If a can find no teacher, I still have a right to the knowledge, I'll just have to teach myself.

    So no, an education system is not a right

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Dr.Knuckles's Avatar
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    Minimum levels of each are rights. More than the minimum levels are up to the individual. The line between what is in or outside of minimum levels can be determined by voters who elect representatives to office.

    That's why Sweden has full universal education to masters level, Canada and US have it to High-school level, and Japan and Korea barely have it at all, but all of them are free modern nations and none of them fucking "enslave" anybody.

    Don't like public school, pay for private. Don't like public health insurance, buy private. But you're still gonna pay taxes like everyone else. Taxes aren't theft, they're not slavery... they're taxes. Lots of people don't have cars and theuir taxes gof or roads and bridges, lots of people don't have kids and their taxes go for schools. Lots of people have no religion and see churches getting tax breaks.

    It's called being an adult.

  9. #9
    quichierbichen
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Lion View Post
    Knowledge is a right, and we have a right to pass along and learn knowledge. I'm not so sure education as it's being presented here is such a right. Yes, a person has a right to learn if they want, but a person should not be required to teach them. Therefore, the education system is not a right.
    When you start throwing around terms like 'education,' 'knowledge,' 'learning,' and 'information,' it's important to start defining them. Anyone can gather information, but learning the skills to use information to the point where you can have knowledge often requires a teacher.

    I'm not even sure that 'information' is a right. How does one get that information? Is access to the internet, or to books, or to other sources a right?

    Let me explain, say I want to learn how to add and subtract. I have a right to learn if I can find someone to teach me or if I can learn it myself from a book. I do not have the right to require someone to teach. If a can find no teacher, I still have a right to the knowledge, I'll just have to teach myself.
    There are few autodidacts in the world, but there are a few.

  10. #10
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    i'd would think education is a neccesity. an education requires 4 parties; the student and the parent(s) are the most important, then closely followed by the teacher and then you have the school system/the administrators.

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