When is a right a right?

I’ve been involved in several discussions recently about rights. The right to low or no cost healthcare, the right to have an abortion, the right to receive public assistance, the right to an environment free of discrimination, etc.

When I hear people advancing those views, one question always comes to me: Who grants those rights and by what authority?

I’m not sure that anyone has a right to something that requires someone else to fulfill the obligation and I’m pretty sure that taking a human life, in whatever stage of development, is not a right in any sense of the word as I understand it.

It seems to me that all those examples of rights are disingenuous. They are actually a trampling of the fundamental rights we all enjoy. The right to the quiet enjoyment of the fruits of our labor, the right to associate with whomever we please and the complimentary right of non-association, the right to life and the right to free speech. None of the superficial rights so many people feel they deserve can be granted without over-ruling the fundamental rights a well-developed society should enjoy.

I’ve decided that it is my duty to strenuously resist those people who mis-represent their motivations. I would hope that all lovers of liberty would do the same.

 

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