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Persons and Their Rights and Privileges

The person is an anthropomorphic being endowed with imagination, moral rights and privileges, and an advanced level of brain function. As such, he or she has the capacity to think abstractly, project himself into imaginary situations, reflect on the past, and act in the present moment. Persons are also social creatures who should exist in communion with other people and be sovereign over his or her inanimate environment. Persons possess the faculty of imagination which develops from accumulated experience and continually engages with the world.

Person is a being endowed with imagination

The faculty of imagination is a part of the person’s identity. It allows a person to think abstractly, project himself into imaginary situations, and reflect on past events. Unlike animals, however, a person is fully aware of the present moment and the future, allowing him to transcend the limitations of the animal mind. Similarly, a person’s social existence should allow them to act in accordance with the rules of the universe, while their individuality should allow them to establish sovereignty over inanimate surroundings.

Person has moral rights and privileges

The notion of a right to do something is the foundation for the concept of a person’s moral rights and privileges. This idea developed simultaneously with the reflective awareness of social norms, and identifies a moral right and a legal duty to do that thing. These two domains of rights overlap imperfectly, resulting in the potential for a legal right to do moral wrong. This is often illustrated in the case of edging over a tired mother in a check-out line.