The Difference Between Positive and Negative Rights

Human rights is a widely discussed and debated concept, with a wide variety of views on both sides. Each country has its own concept of human rights regardless of whether it goes against the concept or not. With the western view of human rights there are two sides: negative and positive rights. What is the difference between the two?

Negative human rights are the rights that have to do with not infringing on others. For example: the right to have your things not stolen from you. These rights are the basic rights that the majority of people agree upon, you have a right not to be murdered after all. Positive rights on the other hand become a slightly less straightforward topic. Positive rights are not exactly human rights since they involve plunder and infringing on the negative rights. Positive rights place an obligation on others to bestow certain benefits to you; an example of this is, the right to a home. 

To conclude, the difference between positive and negative rights is that negative rights involve not infringing on others, for example the right to not be murdered. Positive rights infringe on these negative rights, place an obligation on others to bestow certain benefits to you. 

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s