Do you feel cell phone use is a privilege or a right?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by thermal, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. thermal macrumors regular

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    #1
    Reading about what's happening in Egypt these days, and how the country has temporarily shut down internet and cell phone use, to keep people safe.

    Do you feel cell phone use, like driving a car, is a privilege (and can be halted in extreme circumstances), or is it a right?
     
  2. dccorona macrumors 68020

    dccorona

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    #2
    you don't need a liscense, nor do you have to be of a certain age, to operate a cellphone.

    In a way, it's a privelage, in the sense that it is earned by your working at a job and getting the money to pay for it.

    but as far as someone who is paying their bills on time and operating the phone legally, it is a right. Obviously if the authorities discover you are setting it up for use as, say, a bomb detonator, they have the right to take it away from you (and hopefully arrest you, you maniac), but they can't take it away from you if you aren't doing anything wrong.

    However, that being said, if it somehow poses a threat to national security (such as in egypt), then rights have to be thrown out the window for a while. I believe it's a right, but I also believe there are circumstances where the suspension of that right is justifiable

    It wouldn't be the worst right americans had taken away...Lincoln suspended the right to trial during the civil war, and he's regarded as a national hero. Desperate times call for desperate measures
     
  3. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    OP: Most everything is a privilege. Our only rights are the ones given to us by the constitution. However, I will argue that food, water, shelter, clothing, education, equality and healthcare are basic human needs that everyone should have in order to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    dccorona, I have to disagree with you about it being justifiable to take away rights and privileges. The government doesn't know how to separate real threats to this country from inconveniences to the good ol' boy network.
    Right now the US government is going after environmental protesters who don't kill anyone; still, they're lumped as terrorists with abortion clinic bombers and murderous neo-nazis.
    If you want another example, the US government had held innocent people captive in Guantanamo Bay without a lawyer. If these people were given proper access to a lawyer and a speedy trial, they wouldn't have had to waste their lives in that miserable hole. Instead, our government decided--without proof--these people were evil and tortured them as such. You wouldn't be such a government cheerleader if you were the one being tortured.
    When Martin Luther King Jr was marching against segregation, Hoover considered him a danger to the American way of life. I don't know about you, but this is the perfect example of why the government can't be trusted to decide who the bad people are.
    FYI, after I found out that Lincoln compared African Americans to animals, I have never held a reverence for him since.
     
  4. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #4
    It doesn't really matter what we think, only what the law says.

    Obviously you guys in the US have the constitution, we in Europe have the European Convention on Human Rights, other parts of the world have different rights. It matters how the courts interpret these.
     
  5. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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  6. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #6
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKOW_I_ar_0
    Watch the whole thing. 4 Minutes.

     
  7. Andeavor macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Owning one is a privilege, operating one is a right.

    If a leader resorts to shutting down one of the many methods of communication among their people in order to keep control of the situation, then they can take that right away from them, unless that action goes against one of the country's rights, but since both cell phones and the internet are a privilege there is no conflict as the people are still free to meet in person to convey their thoughts.
     
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #8
    I think it's a privilege to be offered the service, free or fee based. But I like the comment made by Macaroony and it makes me wonder if it becomes a right when I pay my bill.
     
  9. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #9
    It's a curse. Our society has become so addicted to them I want to scream. There is even cell phone porn now.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #10
    Link, or it's not true.

    Sent from my iPhone.
     
  11. NickZac macrumors 68000

    NickZac

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    #11
    ...you sure?
    There are also numerous instances in which people have had cellular phones removed from their internal cavities...phone sex has really evolved in this modern day my friend. Indeed it has.
     
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #12
    I totally agree.

    Communication with our fellow humans is a right that can't be taken away from us. Just because the medium of communication has changed (who writes letters anymore?) doesn't mean that the government should be able to restrict it.
     
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    Except the infrastructure upon which that technology relies is partly a product of government. Here's another way to look at it... I may have a right to assemble, but I don't have a right to an interstate highway system that allows me to assemble more easily.

    Free speech is a right.

    But cell phones are a privilege.
     
  14. CaptMurdock macrumors 6502a

    CaptMurdock

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    #14
    Not to dispute your thesis on what a paranoid flake Hoover was...but, who can be trusted to decide "who the Bad People are"? I'm not a huge fan of the Court of Public Opinion.
     
  15. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #15
    Is it a product or merely something licensed by the government to private industry? The US Postal Service is clearly a government function and it's a part of the constitution.

    I have a hard time buying into the idea that cellular communication is a privilege in this day and age.
     
  16. Arran macrumors 68040

    Arran

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    #16
    Right, privilege, commodity, business contract, gift, perk: It could be any of these (or more) depending on the circumstances of the parties involved.

    That, and nothing's permanent.
     
  17. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #17
    It's not a right in the sense of "human rights." I know many people without cell phones who lead quality lives.
     
  18. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    #18
    That you could not lead a quality life without one would ascribe the cell phone qualities of a quasi-necessity.
     
  19. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a

    Rt&Dzine

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    #19
    They're not necessities or even quasi-necessities, and their use is a privilege. Electric power is also a privilege.
     
  20. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    There's some pretty wacky ideas in here of what constitutes a privilege.
     
  21. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #21
    I was going to say the same thing about what constitutes a right.
     
  22. eastercat macrumors 68040

    eastercat

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    #22
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #23
    Obviously not a right. We have a right to communicate with each other without hindrance, but that doesn't mean all communications media are free. Use of a commercial communications network is not a right.
     
  24. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #24
    The Constitution does not give you rights. It wouldn't be a right at all if this were so. The Constitution specifies how your government operates, and part of that was defining specific ways your government may not infringe on your private life. Interfering with your freedom of expression is an example.

    The very idea of freedom is that you are presumed able to do whatever you please. We recognize that a number of things people sometimes please to do (murder, say) will harmfully impact others, and should be regulated in the interest of an orderly society, but like in a courtroom where the standard is "innocent until proven guilty," it is the job of the government to prove it has just cause to infringe upon your freedom, not your job to prove you are entitled to do any particular thing.

    Some of the Founding Fathers objected to the idea of having a Bill of Rights, not because they objected to people having rights, but because a constitution ought not to take the position of granting liberties to the people. Others thought governments violated those particular liberties so reliably that explicitly denying the government that power was warranted. The compromise was the Ninth Amendment, explicitly stating that the enumeration of specific rights does not deny others. The Fourteenth Amendment later clarified further that, among other things, no person shall be deprived of liberty without due process of law, which the bulk of modern Constitutional interpretation understands to make explicit the idea that the government must justify to the people any infringement upon their liberties.
     
  25. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #25
    BBC

    Last July 1, Finland made broadband internet a right.

    Mr Linden's implication seems to be that without universal access to broadband, Finland might be left behind in technology.

    I wonder what Benjamin Franklin's response would be if someone asked him whether access to the US Postal Service should be a privilege or a right? I'll bet he would have said a right. Not because there's any inherent right to communication, but because in a country as sprawling as the US, it was necessary.
     

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