Billy Beck on rights:
That moral sanction to exercise full authority (with commensurate responsibility) over one's own life in a social context including other human beings -- that thing is what's called a "right". Nobody who is forcibly constrained by someone else's judgement can be said to be able to conduct his own life. That violates the nature of the entity that we're talking about: the one that doesn't have wings, speed, claws, etc., but only a mind.
Please keep in mind that this is a bi-lateral concept running to and from all human beings to all others: "full authority over one's own life" does not imply a moral sanction to dispose of others' lives, because -- by their nature -- they have the very same requirement for survival and flourishing.
That's why we require rights. It is because of what we are. There is nothing more or less to it.
[..] Nobody seriously asks, "Well, who made it so that two plus two equals four, or that things fall down instead of up, or that birds gotta fly? Hmm?" There is a good reason why no one asks questions like that, and it's because that's just the way the universe is laid out. It's the way it is. That, right there, is The Whole Rule of The Game. "Ready, set, go!" We're talking about the nature of things, to begin with, and then because of all of the given facts of that -- whether they fell out of the sky or got burped up out of the primeval glow of whatever you wannafuck -- many of those crucial facts line up in a distinct heirarchy of fact (the way things are) and truth (the fact that we can know the way things are) to arrive at the nature of an entity -- having a nature of its own just like everything else in the universe must have a nature, an identity, of its own -- this entity being a human being, as I thumbnailed at the top of the class.