76

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 ...


28

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 ...


25

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 a ...


13

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, ...


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 ...


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 ...


8

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

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 ...


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

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 ...


5

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 ...


4

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 ...


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

I think this question raises genuine difficulties about dignity as a foundational value. The term, 'dignity', is entrenched in moral and political theoretical discourse but is hardly used outside it. Its sense is, I take it, linked to the idea of instrinsic value or intrinsic worth. This at any rate is how I will take it. It seems clear that a person or ...


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

There are two claims here: 1 - Intelligence is what makes human life valuable. 2 - The potential for intelligence is as decisive as the actuality of intelligence. Neither claim is universally endorsed or uncontroversial. What can be shown is that IF both claims are accepted, it could (together with several other claims, similar to those in the referenced ...


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

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

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-...


3

That depends on what the problem is with killing people: A Deontologist could argue that the zombies have no inherent duty of care, being entirely imaginary entities, and so declare Open Season without qualm. A Consequentialist could notice that killing philosophical zombies has no effect IRL, and grab a shotgun. A Virtue Ethicist could acknowledge the ...


2

From the context of your question, I think you are referring to the concept of personal property (a single human being owning something), which stands in contrast to concepts like communal property, which plays an important role in communist theories. A concept like personal property can be derived from multiple theoretical concepts, so the short answer to ...


2

Coming from Islam.SE this is my first answer attempt at the philosophy forum. I think it is evident that without a universal philosophical definition of human nature and purpose, and a universal moral code that follows therefrom, statements of rights will be based on human arbitrary desires and various circumstances. You can pretty much declare whatever you ...


2

Acquinas has a compelling position: The act of self-defense may have two effects, one is the saving of one's life, the other is the slaying of the aggressor. Therefore this act, since one's intention is to save one's own life, is not unlawful, seeing that it is natural to everything to keep itself in "being," as far as possible. And yet, though proceeding ...


2

Natural law - a system of right or justice held to be common to all humans and derived from nature rather than from the rules of society, or positive law. At certain point it was considered the most right law because if we got this by nature than this is in God too. Others think that we lived freely by natural laws before we became chained by society laws ...


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