Revisiting the definition of rights

I believe my derivation of Rights from first principles provides the most consistent definition. Let’s see how it holds up in various circumstances, where other formulations fail.

My position on abortion recognizes viability as the existence of an independent person. This is the beginning of a human life’s ability to exist with a mutual recognition of rights.

In the context of criminal justice, a violation of someone else’s rights demonstrates a non-recognition of rights. As a consequence, the violator’s rights may then lose recognition. Under imminent threat of violence, a person may defend themselves or others against the violator. The violator forfeits the right to life through non-recognition. Following the crime, justice may demand incarceration or punishments, as the violator’s rights are diminished. The death penalty is the ultimate retaliatory non-recognition of the violator’s right to life.

The consistency of this definition of rights across abortion, self-defense, criminal justice, and the death penalty strengthens the case for it being correct.

2 thoughts on “Revisiting the definition of rights”

  1. Alternative formulation of rights

    Who gets to decide? And Why?

    Human action is driven by the individual’s ability to decide. Decision-making is guided by the individual’s morals, their ability to assess choices in terms of good and bad. What is good or bad is evaluated in the context of the individual’s own life and the surrounding circumstances.

    Moral decisions depends on an individual’s reasoning mind being able to operate. Reason is conditional on being free to think and choose without being subjected to coercion and force. When coerced or forced, reason is overridden. Moral decision-making becomes powerless when coerced or forced.

    Therefore, the freedom of an individual to think, decide, and act must be protected. Rights are the recognition of this need for freedom. The individual has the right to decide for himself or herself.

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