73

Social contract One aspect (not the only valid aspect, but the one I'll be covering here) of looking at this is from the social contract angle. In essence, since we live in communities together with other humans (and have done so as long as homo sapiens exist) it makes sense to agree to avoid killing each other in most circumstances (e.g. capital punishment,...


52

Forced sterilisation is mutilation, eugenics is inequality The case is a simple one to make: I own my body By owning my body I have an exclusive right to decide what happens to it; I am the sole person that may exert control over it I therefore I have the right to not have my body altered without my consent So already here I have the case done. But we ...


26

You have the situation entirely backwards. It's not that we give humans special privileges but that we don't try to engineer the interactions of animals the same way we try to engineer the interactions of humans. That is, we exempt animals from having to comply with human-created rules because of humility and basic sanity. Think about what we do when a bear ...


23

IMO your question addresses an important ethical problem. First one can ask: Does human life have indeed innate value over that of other animals? In my opinion, the answer is no. Human life does not have such superior value. Because values do not exist in nature. Instead they result from our decision to attach respect and esteem to certain objects or to ...


13

Religion and philosophy are of course not the same thing, but there is a lot that overlaps, and given that for a lot of people in the world, religion has a profound effect on their personal philosophy, I think this answer is important, and deserves to be listed among the other answers. I won't go on and on defending it philosophically, as it rests on belief ...


12

Innate or intrinsic value is a kind of value such that when it is possessed by something, it is possessed by it solely in virtue of its innate or intrinsic properties. (Ben Bradley, 'Two Concepts of Intrinsic Value', Ethical Theory and Moral Practice, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Apr., 2006), pp. 111-130: 112.) To say that human beings have innate or intrinsic value, ...


10

There is no special cast called "slaves" in Platos Utopia. Instead all children are given to the state to be brought up and given work as the state sees fit once adult. Hence, almost everybody are slaves. ref Although all people are "citizens" these "citizens" have no rights, only obligations, and no freedom at all except for the absolute upper part that ...


9

Gary Francione is a strong critic of the idea that humans can own animals - a master-slave relationship that you may want to read about in his works. Animal Rights and Wrongs, by Roger Scruton, approaches the idea from a legal (social contract) point of view. In his Discourses, Descartes established the idea that animals are automatons; this was perhaps the ...


8

There is a large debate about the moral status of animals that is enlarged by the way philosophers have positioned the dialogue. Generally, the debate may be reorganized along the following lines: is there something unique or distinctive about humans that allows humans to have moral rights that are denied to nonhumans based on that distinction? As several ...


8

All personal opinions aside: Accepting these principles as given would argue fairly unambiguously against abortion in most situations. However, they do not necessitate a blanket judgment of "abortion is wrong," given that they do not offer guidance for the situation where more than one life is at stake. The most likely and familiar case is where the ...


7

Natural rights and human rights originally come from different vocabularies. It's not fair to construe natural rights as "simply a less developed and more concise version of what we now consider human rights." First, I want to start by pointing out an important but crucial ambiguity in the term "natural rights." Viz., the problem is that "nature" can mean ...


6

Here's a selection I've enjoyed that covers the breadth of the field (most generally, "Animal rights"): All Animals Are Equal by Peter Singer The Case for Animal Rights by Tom Regan Moral Vegetarianism and the Argument from Pain and Suffering by R. G. Frey The Case for the Use of Animals in Biomedical Research by Carl Cohen Human and Animal Rights Compared ...


6

There is not a single "philosophical angle" on this topic. There is a branch of philosophy called Political Philosophy that deals with this subject, and many philosophers with greatly dissenting views who have written on it. Some views that may be of particular interest: Nicolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince. He is famous for advocating the contention that ...


6

I would think the most basic argument here is that forced sterilisation is a particular kind of battery - i.e., it involves the forcible damaging of the body, against the will of the victim. So the argument for a right against this practice is essentially just the same argument as the right against any other kind of battery, which is a particular kind of ...


6

First of all it's important to understand that Human Rights are defined by western people who found a common basis in their (our) western beliefs across different (western) religions and ideologies. The philosophical basis for human rights was the natural rights concept which was strong in medieval European philosophy/theology. The important thing to note ...


6

Why does human life have innate value over that of other animals? In my opinion, you just answered your own question. Observe: If you want the why of it answered in a more detailed and analytical sense, neuroscience research for xenophobic aggression in mammals or fauna in general is probably your best avenue. Here's a paper that reviewed it for Naked Mole ...


5

I take the Google quote to be a jab at Russia in terms of homosexuality. But that does raise the question -- what makes something a right and how do we have them? Here, there are several theories that are distinct. First, the basic definition of a right is something that I should be permitted to do or something I can obligate others to do for me. In the ...


5

Some of this obviously depends on how one defines "work." There are obvious examples in history of people that are considered "virtuous" who didn't have a job that provided them with income, if that's what you mean. Examples include Socrates (who instead of "working" went around Athens asking people questions) and various religious ascetics such as ...


5

A knife is good, he said, when it cuts efficiently, that is, when it fulfills its function. The assignment of all people to their respective classes would come only after extensive training and only those capable of doing so would progress to the higher levels. Although theoretically all people would have the opportunity to reach the highest level, they ...


5

The real question, in the context you phrased it, is whether a person has the right to waive their "right to life" through the commission of a heinous felony or euthanasia. I think this concept reconciles the apparent contradiction in position of those who support abortion and/or the death penalty, but not both.


5

You posit that the culpable actions of an individual make the individual forfeit her basic rights. You ask what would be the name of the moral principle equivalent to your posit. The harm principle and the retributive principle suggested by Dwarf and Oke, respectively, might be adequate in many situations of criminal justice, but they have narrow ...


4

There is a contradiction if the distinction isn't made between the death penalty as a form of punishment or as a necessary means of protecting society. The former, is indefensible if juxtaposed with the belief in a right to life and the latter, in any society capable of producing prisons keeping inmates in near complete isolation, is nearly never the case. ...


4

Death penalty is a punishment, (in theory) reserved for the most heinous of crimes. While this is often done medically it does not have to be. Firing squads, hanging(thenyc.com has a NSFW Video i am not going to link from syria of mass hanging in last month), and electric chair are still common throughout the world. That said there is no moral difference ...


4

Locke, to whom the doctrine of human rights is often traced, supported the idea that the human rights can be forfeited when a human is "revolting from his own kind to that of Beasts". In other words, in the original conception human rights were not unconditional and "unalienable": "Whosoever uses force without Right , as everyone does in Society, who does ...


4

Given all this contention around whether the definition of human rights makes your claim impossible, the best tack might be to start from a position that does not accept the notion of human rights at all, either by antedating it, or by coming from a totally non-rights orientation. Many forms of ethics implicitly argue that any right can be taken away, ...


3

Are there intrinsic human rights? Only if your moral point of reference is exterior. There are no intrinsic human rights in a purely naturalistic and self-referencing model. Rights are determined by ruling classes and conform to the vision they have for the ruled classes. On this view, "rights" are arbitrary. In this context "ruling classes" refer to those ...


3

Even forced labor with excellent working conditions and high pay is slavery. "Forced" is all it takes. However, the question is somewhat blunted by the under-scrutinized question of what rights prisoners have. That is, if prisoners do not have the rights that others have, then nothing would follow from this being slavery. I think the key to solving this is ...


3

With regard to this assertion: science tell us "A human fetus is both alive and human" While the above true, it does not necessary follow that a fetus is a human life. There are other entities that are both alive and human that are not human lives. For example, my thumb is alive, and it is human. But it in and of itself does not constitute what we ...


3

The question seems to boil down to this... Is an AI the kind of entity that would qualify for basic human rights? What qualifies humans for rights? The arguments I've seen include rationality and sentience, so let's look at those. Rationality doesn't hold up as even the severely mentally impaired have rights. While their rights may seem curtailed (...


3

Unlike many things, personhood is binary. Is it torture to grate a carrot that you pulled from your garden moments ago? Provided the science fictioney premise that things you make could attain personhood, like Pinnochio did through magic or Frankenstein's monster did through science, it could not be unethical to prevent that from happening because the pre-...


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