It is a conscience very ill informed that violates the rights of one man, for the convenience of another.
To enforce one's rights when they are violated is never a legal wrong, and may often be a moral duty.
The sense of duty is the fountain of human rights. In other words, the same inward principle which teaches the former bears witness to the latter Duties and rights must stand and fall together.
The true source of rights is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek.
[Suicide note] - Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or 'broken heart' is excuse for cutting off one's life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one.
Men will sooner surrender their rights than their customs.
We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Our privileges can be no greater than our obligations. The protection of our rights can endure no longer than the performance of our responsibilities.
The attempted transformation of the Indian by the white man and the chaos that has resulted are but the fruits of the white man’s disobedience of a fundamental and spiritual law. “Civilization” has been thrust upon me since the days of reservations, and it has not added one whit to my sense of justice, to my reverence for the rights of life, to my love of truth, honesty, and generosity, or to my faith in Wakan Tanka, God of the Lakotas. For after all the great religions have been preached and expounded, or have been revealed by brilliant scholars, or have been written in fine books and embellished in fine language with finer covers, man - all man - is still confronted with the Great Mystery.
Self-respect is at the bottom of all good manners. They are the expression of discipline, of good-will, of respect for other people's rights and comfort and feelings.
The greatest danger that faces this country is the danger of moral lassitude - liberty turned to license, rights demanded and duties shirked, the moral sense deteriorating, the traditions and standards of the nation weakened, the spiritual forces within it losing ground.
The God-given rights of parents are not understood or are ignored by our secularist educators and by many school administrators who, in the delusion of sovereignty, act as though they, not the parents, have complete control of the education of the child.
Nobody talks more passionately of his rights than he who, in the depths of his soul, is doubtful about harm.
True liberty consists in the privilege of enjoying our own rights, not in the destruction of the rights of others.
Zeal is very blind, or badly regulated, when it encroaches upon the rights of others.
We hear in these days a great deal respecting rights - the rights of labor, the rights of property, and the rights of man. Rights are grand things, divine things in this world of God’s; but the way in which we expound these rights, alas! seems to me to be the very incarnation of selfishness. I can see nothing very noble in a man who is forever going about calling for his own rights. Alas! alas! for the man who feels nothing more grand in this wondrous, divine world than his own rights.
Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, the farm or office where he works. such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerned citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For him who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man’s nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts.
Education as a political weapon could not exist if we respected the rights of children. If we respected the rights of children, we should educate them so as to give them the knowledge and the mental habits required for forming independent opinions; but education as a political institution endeavors to form habits and to circumscribe knowledge in such a way as to make one set of opinions inevitable.
Socialists are filled with the enthusiasm of equality... Equality of possession or of rights and equality before the law are diametrically opposed to each other. The object of equality before the law is to make the state entirely neutral.