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Who Cares if You Have Rights?

You know that you have rights. But do you know why that matters?

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It’s time for the final installment in my series on natural rights. Over the last few weeks we’ve covered what a natural right is, a couple of different characteristics of rights (they don’t require anyone else’s participation and they cannot be granted by government), and what the limits are on your rights. Now, it’s time to address the all-important question: Why does any of that matter? Who cares if you have rights?

As we discussed this weekend on TheBlaze Radio’s Chris Salcedo Show, it matters because, if you don’t have rights as an individual, freedom is impossible:

Human life is immeasurably valuable and it is sacred. Because of that, it deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.

It is because of the fact that you, as a human being, deserve to be treated with dignity that it is wrong for another person or a government to kill you or physically harm you. It is because of that dignity that it is wrong for another person or a government to force to believe in a religion that you do not believe in. It is because of that dignity that it is wrong for another person or a government to unjustly take away your property.

But if you don’t have rights, all that goes away and there is no longer a foundation for your freedom to stand on. You no longer have any moral justification for why you should be free. If there isn’t anything inherently valuable about you as a human being, then why shouldn’t the government be able to do whatever it wants with you?

Fortunately, you aren’t just valuable; you are priceless. And you deserve to be treated that way. That is why your rights matter.

Chad Kent is an author and speaker with a unique style that makes the Constitution simple and fun. Listen to Chad every Saturday during The Chris Salcedo Show on TheBlaze Radio and visit his web site at

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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