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. 

Is There a Right of “Free Speech,” in the Abstract, or is the Question of Free Speech a Root Matter of Property Rights?

Free speech is a highly talked about and essential human right. There is much debate still on the following points: is free speech acceptable in all situations? Should it not be allowed in certain situations? Etc, but overall regardless of all the debate and controversy surrounding it most people can agree that it is still an essential human right. A question that comes into regard is that: is the question of free speech a root matter of property rights?

Before answering this question I will give this scenario. Say if you were at a restaurant enjoying your meal and a bunch of protestors came into the restaurant to protest, would that be acceptable? Well you most likely would be appalled in that situation, and hope that either the restaurant kicks them out or the police are called. But does this situation violate the right of free speech? This restaurant is owned by somebody, it is private property, and has its own set of rules, which most definitely does not include allowing a bunch of angry protestors in. These protestors would be kicked out of the restaurant for being disruptive and loud, not for what they were protesting for. Which is why I believe that the right of free speech is a root matter of property rights, and would be inconsistent if it was separate from the concept of property rights. Free speech and property rights go hand in hand.

This answer I gave, being that free speech and property rights go hand in hand, if more individuals understood that concept the concept of free speech would be far less controversial and more straightforward to understand. Thus, this is why free speech is a root matter of property rights.

How Does Rothbard Defend the Idea of Self-Ownership

Murray Rothbard(1926-1995), was an American economist and political theorist, who founded the Mises Institute. Rothbard discussed quite in depth the idea of self-ownership, and defended it greatly. How does Rothbard defend the idea of self-ownership?

He believed quite strongly that 100% self-ownership is the only defensible philosophical idea. He showed and explained three alternative examples which he used to explain the reason why he was defending the concept of self-ownership, that it truly was the only defensible philosophical idea. In short, this was how Rothbard defended the idea of self-ownership.

How Does the Age of Discovery Provide an Opportunity for Spanish Thinkers to Reflect on the Idea of Rights?

During the Age of Discovery the Spanish were now interacting with the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, which brought forth many questions on rights. There were definitely Spanish explorers who did not treat the Natives right and justly. For example they took their land, sold them into slavery, and with the introduction of diseases and other hardships these people began to die off. Back in Spain there were many prominent thinkers who completely disapproved of what was happening in the New World; but how exactly did the age of discovery provide an opportunity for Spanish thinkers to reflect on this idea of rights?

Because of all the wrongdoings done to the Natives of the New World, many of these prominent thinkers reconsidered and thought about the idea of rights. They realized that these things were being done to human beings which shared the natural fundamental rights. Also they concluded that it did not matter that these Natives had different views or beliefs than the Spanish because regardless they were rational human beings that shared the same natural rights as the Christian Europeans. This in turn brought forth the conclusion that there was a set of fundamental rights shared between all humans, regardless of religion, race, etc.

To conclude, though there were many individuals who believed that the Natives of the Americas should be treated as any other human being, that did not end the mistreatment and persecution of the Natives, which continued for many centuries.

Is There a Difference Between State-Subsidized Churches and State-Subsidized Schools

In Canada and the US the public schools are subsidized by the government, which means that these public schools are funded for by the state, which also by the means that they are paid for indirectly by taxpayer money which is the main source of income of the state. Besides that point, state-subsidized schools are funded more or less by the state. State-subsidized churches on the other hand are not a common thing anymore at least in Canada and the US, but they have existed in the past. But is there a difference between state-subsidized churches and schools?

Before answering this question one must first know of the similarities and differences between the two. The similarities between state-subsidized churches and schools include: both are funded primarily by the state, they are under state control, and they are both at risk to the state pushing out their own agenda. Of course the majority of people today would think it is ludicrous to have state-subsidized churches because what if the government begins to push out their own agenda, or enforce preaching the wrong message. I believe the majority of people believe that any form of religious worship should not be funded by the state. But why is this any different from state-subsidized schools?

What about the differences between the two? There is almost no difference between the two, the only difference is the fact that churches are a place of worship and schools are a place of learning. Because of the lack of differences between state subsidized churches and schools, why do the majority of people neglect to notice the fact that because public schools today are technically funded and run by the state, which means that it would be completely possible for the state to push out their own agenda when it comes to the curriculum. For example the public school system today portrays itself as a neutral institution that does not force upon beliefs, which is probably why people still believe that there is a difference between state subsidized churches and schools. But in actuality the state is quite capable of influencing the world views of the students through this set up of state subsidized schools. Thus state subsidized churches and schools are almost no different from each other, both have similar risks involved, and both are under state control.

In conclusion, though the majority of the churches today are not subsidized by the state. If you think of a situation in which they are, that situation would be very similar to the situation we are in today with state subsidized schools, which is why there is little difference between the two.

Did all Four of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Promote Liberty?

 Franklin D. Roosevelt is one of the well known American presidents in American history. He uniquely had the longest time in the presidential office as president, and was president during the Great Depression and the majority of World War 2 until his death in 1945. Most remember him today for putting in place something known as the New Deal and for his principle of Four Freedoms. On the note of his principle of Four Freedoms, did these “freedoms,” promote liberty?

Before diving deep into the main arguments, what were these Four Freedoms? The Four Freedoms include:

1: Freedom of speech and expression– everywhere in the world.

2: Freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world.

3: Freedom from want– which means economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants–anywhere in the world.

4: Freedom from fear–means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

These Four Freedoms use the words strongly: anywhere in the world, world-wide, and everywhere in the world. For example the first two of the freedoms sound, sound in of themselves but with the usage of the words, “everywhere in the world,” it does seem that those two freedoms involve involvement by the state to enforce them to other places in the world. But overall the first two freedoms do somewhat align with the definition of “freedoms,” and go with the “American view.”

The last two of these “freedoms,” on the other hand state that you will receive state security. The third freedom, or the freedom from want states that one does not need to worry about poverty since the state will take care of you; that as Americans you have the right to “free money.” Again this state’s state security. No, don’t get me wrong the idea of no poverty sounds very nice but it is pretty much impossible to get rid of all poverty. Also “free money,” is not free and it would involve taking from one group and giving to another which is the politics of plunder. The fourth and final freedom, freedom from fear, states that you do not need to fear the government and your neighbors, that the state will keep you safe from harm, which in turn means you will be free from fear. Again this goes with security from the state, and state control.

But most importantly do these four freedoms promote liberty? Well the first two actually promote liberty. Freedom of speech and expression, and freedom of religion are fundamental freedoms that do actually in many ways define and set apart America. But the last two of these four freedoms do not promote liberty, instead they promote state security, or state control. This is not very obvious, when I first read the four freedoms I believed they sounded sound and reasonable and seemingly promoting liberty, but in actuality at least with the last two they do not in many ways.

Franklin D. Roosevelt was loved by many, and is one of the well known presidents of America, because he was president during one of the lowest points in America history. One of the things that he is known for are his Four Freedoms, which are seen by many to promote freedoms. In actuality the last two of those Four Freedoms do not promote freedom but instead promote state control.

Is the State the Source of Human Rights?

Human rights is a very discussed topic; it is discussed when individuals talk about foreign countries who go completely against the idea of human rights. Or maybe one may talk about it when discussing the past. In general, I have heard the discussion of human rights many times, by individuals of all ages; but where do we get this source of human rights from? Is the state the source of human rights?

Some will say that the state is the source of human rights, that if the government is an oppressive one, the lower the rights of the people. This is actually true in many instances, look for example at the Soviet Union, but I wouldn’t call this a source of human rights. The state can restrict the rights of the people but that does not mean that they are the exact source of human rights, which is why I believe that the state is not the source of human rights.

But what is the actual source of human rights? Well, I am a Christian and I believe that God is the source of human rights. Yes, I mean the rights that we all as humans are entitled to(property rights, religious freedom, etc). Yes, these rights can be restricted by the state but that does not mean that we as humans are not entitled to these rights and that the state is the source of these rights. Just because something is capable of restricting something does not mean that they are the source of the thing that they are restricting. 

In conclusion, these days it especially seems that the state is the source of human rights, with governments around the world being able to restrict the basics of human rights(property rights, religious freedom, etc), but in actuality the source of human rights is from the Creator of all things, God.

Is Restitution to Victims Better for Society Than Jail Sentences for Criminals?

The question above is complicated, since there is still a large debate on this topic. There are more than one answers to this question in my opinion, and it largely depends on the situation or crime. Restitution on the other hand means: the restoration of something lost or stolen to it’s proper owner. 

There are many kinds of crime, and these crimes are on a hierarchy of how severe the punishment will be to anyone who commits a certain crime. Also the severity of punishments for certain crimes differ depending on the area(this especially goes for the US). But there is one thing for certain, someone has to pay for the upkeep of prisons; and prisons are paid mostly by taxpayers. Actually most definitely paid by taxpayers.

It is rather ironic to think that when a person gets robbed, and the person who robbed them goes to jail, the victim in this situation has to pay for the criminals’ well being in jail. When it comes to prisons there are many cases in which criminals do not learn the consequences of their action, and instead become more of a criminal. This is most likely due to criminals being surrounded by other criminals, who probably committed worse crimes. Also to note there are cases of criminals after finishing their jail sentence who go back to crime.

In my opinion a criminal should have to pay restitution, or work to pay for the wrong he has done. This though only goes for specific situations, or crimes, for example theft. Hence why I believe that restitution to victims is better for society than jail sentences to criminals, in specific situations. For example if a criminal is a mass murderer, in the US(this depends on the area), they most likely will get death row, restitution cannot be paid, obviously.

In conclusion, in my opinion restitution to victims of crime is better for society than jail sentences for criminals in certain scenarios. There are a number of reasons why I believe this, but the main reason being the fact that tax-payers mainly pay for prisons, which means that most likely a victim of crime will be paying for a criminal’s well being. Also criminals in many cases become more criminal after jail, due to being surrounded by other criminals.

Should the Group in a Legislator’s District That Got Him Elected Monitor Votes, and Recruit Someone to Run Against Him in the Next Primary if He Starts Voting Wrong?

This question is slightly complicated, but here is the breakdown. So a legislator is elected by a certain group of people, which means that there is pressure upon this legislator to support the actual ideas and beliefs that he said he was for. But what if he begins voting on things that do not support his supposed ideas? Is the question above a yes or no?

In my opinion, I believe mostly yes. The group in a legislator’s district that got a legislator elected should be able to monitor votes, and recruit someone to run against him in the next primary if he starts “voting” wrong. Well the people who got him elected should be able to hold him accountable, which is by monitoring his votes. People do have a responsibility to ensure that who they elected is actually accountable and holds up to what they say they would do.

Also if this legislator goes completely against what he says he would do if he is in this position, the people who got him elected should be able to recruit someone else to run against this legislator in the next primary. Also if the people do not agree with this legislator any more for other reasons they should also be able to recruit someone to run against him. 

This in my opinion is crucial in holding legislators accountable, or anyone who is in a position of power accountable.

Should the Police be Allowed to Enforce a Politician’s Verbal Restriction Against Making a Video of Him at an Open Meeting

Say someone wants to make a video of a politician during an open meeting, but the politician creates a verbal restriction against any videos which may be made of him during the open meeting. The way he most likely would enforce this restriction is through the police. Should the police be allowed to enforce the politician’s verbal restriction, even though the meeting is an open one, and it is not legal to enforce this form of restriction?

Before diving in and answering this question first it is best to explain what is the main job or duty of the government: which is to protect the rights of the citizens. The main job of the police is to enforce this protection. But say if a politician allows the police to enforce his restriction against making a video of him that goes against the freedom(this does not go for every country), of speech and press.

Back to the question. The answer to the question above is no. The police should not be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restriction against making a video of him at an open meeting. This goes against the public’s protection or freedom of the press. This is pretty obvious, but why would a politician want this form of restriction to be enforced? Today is a time of social media, and the ability to broadcast and spread information is more at our fingertips than before. This ultimately means that politicians will now be easily held more accountable for their actions and what they say, which puts them at risk if they are proven accountable. It seems that politicians, at least most of them, do not exactly want to be held accountable.

In conclusion, my answer to the question: should the police be allowed to enforce a politician’s verbal restriction against making a video of him at an open meeting, is no. At least in the legal perspective.