By John Rowan
The language of rights is applied often in debates over modern social issues—a fetus’s “right to existence” as opposed to a woman’s “right to choose,” for instance. simply because those debates pertain to what our social guidelines can be, it really is transparent that the rights in query are ethical rights, and that current felony rights needs to be replaced or maintained for this reason. the matter, although, is that ethical rights require ethical justification. In Conflicts of Rights, John Rowan takes this subsequent step, and investigates attainable ethical justifications for rights speculated to exist in 4 contexts: abortion, affirmative motion, welfare, and pornography freedoms. In doing so, he reaches conclusions concerning the morally applicable coverage for every factor, and likewise in regards to the effectiveness of rights language usually.
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Additional info for Conflicts Of Rights: Moral Theory And Social Policy Implications
M. S. Hacker and Josepk Raz (Oxfc~rd:Clarendon Press, 1972). 22. We have said that one of the political debates to be addressed is that of abortion, in which each side typically centers its arguments on x-ights-ither the right to choice held by the mother, ar the right to Life held by the fetus. During the discussion of this debate in Chapter 8, the choice conception will be discounted in any assertian af fetal rights/ since it must be the case that any argument for such rights must not be g it, 23.
H o r k i n " explicit remark is that these are classifications of political thec~ries,but it is clear from subsequent remark that they apply equally well to general moral theories. '7. J. L. " in i n h a t ~ oeE Kghts, ed. jeremy Waldrm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984). 8, Joseph Raz, "Right-Based Moralities" in Utility and Rghts, ed, R, G. Frey (Minneapalis: University of Minnesota Press, 4984). 9, The assumption is that the current general understanding of moral rights is nymous with Bentham" j%aturaI" "rights-.
It might be sold out, but that doesn't mean that somecme already in the stadium has a duty to give up his seat to me. Even so, the elemel-rt of duty is important in the more formal definition of a privilege. This time, however, it is the mexistence, rather than the existence, of a duty that plays the crucial role. SpecificaUy;X is said to have a privilege to periorrn a certain act if and only if X has no duty to refrah from performkg that act. ) Xt m k e s salse, then, that since 1bave no duty not to go the ballgame (again, assuming there is no p ~ s s i x ~duty g otherwise demanding my attention), 1 have a right (a privilege) to go.