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Showing results for tags 'negative rights'.
So the whole positive/negative rights dichotomy--never quite liked it myself--is one of the major themes present in libertarianism and Objectivism. It exists in the wider field of political science, but it's not raised much as an issue. Most people, even if they're political junkies, probably haven't heard of it. "Positive rights" are the prevailing problem libertarians and O'ists face, as you know, because it involves, as they see it, expansion of government power. Negative right: A duty imposed on others to refrain from acting. Positive right: A duty imposed on others to act. A "right to food" is a "positive right". A "right to life" is a "negative right". The "right to food" requires others act to provide someone with food...or does it? The reason I ask this is because there are certain commands in the Bible that in effect say "under certain conditions, this stuff that you think belongs to you actually belongs to the worse off". Note that I'm not endorsing this, merely pointing out what I think is a potentially serious problem. An example of stuff that might belong to the poor: the scraps from a crop harvest. In this case, this isn't necessarily a "positive right". Because these scraps would belong to the poor, it means that these scraps are their property, and therefore there is a negative right in them. I think that the implications of this are that looking at this situation in terms of negative rights versus positive rights mistakes the point. Any thoughts on this?