Wednesday, January 18, 2006

 

Right to Life

Do we have the right to live? How bout the right the die?
I am of the opinion that we do. That is, that there are inherent natural rights of every person that establish the natural laws of the individual to their person and property.

Bastiat said:
"Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place".

Any individual can do what he likes with his person and property to any conceivable end, so long as it does not infringe on the person and property of another.

The difficult question is where do these 'choices' begin and end, especially involving the lives and rights of others. Of course I am referring to abortion and assisted suicide and the notion of an individual’s right of person and coercive power over that individual or another. Who has the rights? What is coercive interference with those rights?

This can also be taken away from less extreme cases, like when the State has coercive power via forced service from a Draft. Do you still have natural rights when you are now government property in the military? At what point in time is life, liberty, and property reinstated, once it is taken away?

Comments:
I think you're getting into the idea of inalienability. The rights to life, liberty, and property are indeed natural, but they are obviously not inalienable since someone can at any moment take your life, for example.

So, although your right to life is natural, your life is in fact very alienable. (Does that even make sense?)
 
Merriam-Webster Online defines:

Alienable - transferable to another's ownership

Inalienable - incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred

It is true that no rights are definitively inalienable, since they could always be taken away from you.

The issue however is however, whether it is both illegal (natural law) and immoral (natural rights) to infringe on the life, liberty, and property of others.

(In another sense of the word, a natural 'right' is inalienable because it is "something that one may properly claim as due" whether it is in your possession or not.)
 
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