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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Americans don’t understand what "Rights" are

Americans don’t understand what "Rights" are

When it comes to philosophy (in this case political philosophy,) how you state your argument is arguably just as important as the context of and point you are trying to make.

Chuck posted something interesting about the dialectal process being used in the abortion debate.

Egalitarianism has slithered its way into our pocketbooks once again; this time under the highly dubious guise that all women have a right to an abortion. If everyone has the right, by all means, the government has to fund it.

The problem with their argument isn’t about whether or not women should have abortions (as they claim) but whether or not somebody else will pay for them.

I happen to be pro-choice (because I’m a nutty libertarian, you see) and see the argument in terms of Negative rights:

  • People (not just women) have self-ownership. They have the right not to have the state interfere with their personal property.
  • If a right guaranteed to any person violates another person’s rights, it is unjust. Only negative rights fit this standard.

This line of thought ensures the right to choose to have an abortion, but puts it on the mother to pay for it.  Which is fair.  I don’t see other people paying for me to have convenient parking, which is also fair. What gives somebody the right to make me pay for anything of theirs? Of course, this same line of thought would make prostitution and drugs legal.

The obvious choice is to cloud the fucking question with slippery word-play and convince everyone that they are entitled to shit; the result is that they don’t question the fact that they can’t do perfectly reasonable things like get high.

I won’t go into the consequences of the freedom to abort (which I think are positive, at least for me) or the fact that the laws would almost certainly exclude any input from the father, who provided at least half of the potential child.  Those are messy areas.

But what the fuck do I know? I’m just a guy who doesn’t want children and doesn’t like stupid the American Paternalism that has blossomed since the late 19th century.

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