Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Personal Bill of Rights

  1. I have the right to ask for what I want.
  2. I have the right to. say no to requests or demands I can't meet.
  3. I have the right to express all of my feelings, positive or negative.
  4. I have the right to change my mind.
  5. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
  6. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
  7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe or it violates my values.
  8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  9. I have the right not to be responsible for others' behavior, actions, feelings or problems.
  10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
  11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
  12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
  13. I have the right to feel scared and say 'I'm afraid."
  14. I have the right to say 'I don't know.
  15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
  16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
  17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
  18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
  19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
  20. I have the right to be in a non abusive environment.
  21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
  22. I have the right to change and grow.
  23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
  24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  25. I have the right to be happy.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Gordon,

    I've just found your blog via the National Secular Society newsletter.

    I wanted to discuss one of your points above though:
    Number 7.

    The idea of the right to refuse to do something which violates your values sounds at first glance unarguable, yet it has been frequently cited by the religious as justification for their discrimination against others, most notably couples in recent cases involving same sex marriage or same sex couples adopting. So, I think while your list is thought provoking we should have an awareness of where our rights end, and how they should be applied in relation to the rights of others. I'm interested to know your thoughts on this.

    Best wishes, and look forward to reading more of your blog.

    Tim

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  2. Hello Tim

    I had not thought of that potential issue. The original list came out of a psychology text book. I think it meant in interpersonal relationships rather than work situations.

    However, a registrar can't be forced to carry out same sex marriages. They can resign and get another job if they have an ethical problem with it, just like someone who disagreed with abortion would not apply for a job in an abortion clinic.

    There are situations, though, like in a war where coercive force can be used to make someone do something that is against their values. You can get that in some unequal power relationships as well.

    Gordon

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