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November 4, 2019 / Congau

Rights are Wrong

We don’t have the right to anything. We can’t demand anything from anyone, at least not until we have given them something. What is this right to this and right to that? Right to speech and right to health care, right to shelter and right to property, right to liberty and right to life? If all humans are equal, no one can have a right to expect anything from others as if there was a prenatal debt they could cash in on.

Once we have given something away, sold something on the marketplace, made an effort to assist, we can fairly ask for something back. Only then do we have a right.

We were given the gift of life, and we got it for free. It’s rather presumptuous to demand anything in addition to that.

Ethics cannot be based on rights. It twists the perspective and the incentive for good behavior and reduces it to a matter of business and trade, the primary concern being to secure one’s own substantial share.

We shouldn’t do good because we are obligated; we should do it because it is good. We shouldn’t feel forced to please other people because they have some sort of harsh claim on us; we should do it because we want to, and it makes us happy to see them happy.

When striving for justice in the world, we shouldn’t first look for our own fair grabs, for we are bound to be biased. We are very likely to exaggerate our own “rights” at the expense of others.

If all humans are born equal, and they are, no one can make a claim to anything for that would mean a reduction of what other people are given. Since we are equal, we don’t have any rights and no duties. We can only do our best to do what is good.

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