How are Natural rights defined?
Natural Rights are the rights that everyone has simply because he or she has been born. Also called unalienable rights, these are rights that cannot be taken away from anyone. Some governments may try to infringe upon and violate your rights, try to get you to consent to giving up your inherent rights in exchange for privileges and benefits controlled by the government that are enforced with force and thus abusive to the [hu]man being. In giving up a natural right or rights we open ourselves up for harm to the body, entrapment of the body, interference with and obstruction of our life’s daily works, to being told what to do and when to do it, to being a medical or scientific experiment etc.
These types of government, according to the Declaration of Independence and according to simple logic, reason and the necessity to create a safe space to live out our lives in, are illegal governments and the people have the right to terminate these governments’ existence and replace them with a government that will “secure these rights.” Notice that the rights are not coming from the governments. When government is created by [hu]mankind it is only for the purposes of a collective securing of those rights, to protect and safeguard these natural rights which every man, woman and child is endowed with.
Because Natural Rights are ours by our existence they are distinguished from legal rights. They are two different types of rights. Natural Rights are rights not contingent upon, not subject to, the laws, customs or beliefs of any particular culture or government. They are universal and unalienable and cannot be taken away unless by our consent.
By consent, by agreement our rights can be given away, surrendered, granted to another. The power to control our own minds, emotions, actions, reactions and lives overall lies within each one of us. Therefore, we are either captain of our own ship or some other entity is. That ship is our body, the vessel that carries the cargo, the cargo is our will, our consciousness and volition, it is our property unless we convey/grant rights, interest, title to another entity. This can happen in very subtle ways if we are not so aware, it can happen by tacit acquiescence, by not responding to a claim, assertion, accusation or any other offer in the world of commerce, we become in agreement with the one bringing claim by non-response/silence.
Regardless, the body is still our ship whether we are steering it or whether someone else is steering for us – either way we are still the experiencer of it all. We get to experience the sensory reality of another captain controlling our ship or our ship being controlled by our own awareness and our accompanying faculties of mind, emotion, acting/action etc. It’s no question, across the board the [hu]man spirit deep down longs to be captain of its own ship.
Regarding legal rights, this category of rights are granted and bestowed onto a person by a given legal system. An example of legal rights are statutory rights which apply to the government itself and any and all of its agents in their capacity as agent. Legal rights can be best likened to government bestowed privileges.
Thomas Paine elaborates on natural rights in his influential work Rights of Man (1791), and emphasized that rights cannot be granted by any charter because this would legally imply they can also be revoked and under such circumstances they would be reduced to privileges:
“It is a perversion of terms to say that a charter gives rights. It operates by a contrary effect — that of taking rights away. Rights are inherently in all the inhabitants; but charters, by annulling those rights, in the majority, leave the right, by exclusion, in the hands of a few. … They…consequently are instruments of injustice. The fact therefore must be that the individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a contract with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.”