Distinguishing rights from duties - deontological duties and rights. Asks whether the actions themselves are right or wrong E Kant
E Kant - argued that we should be bound by ethical principles in the ways we treat other people. Importantly these are eternal, abstract, and unchangeable principles that can be discerned and applied by all rational human beings who are inherently moral. These principles are therefore universal and not context specific.
E Kant argued
Treat people as ends not means
kant beleived that there is a single moral obligation to others based on duty, which he called the categorical imperative. Derived from reason and therefore these moral laws should be acceptable to all rational human beings
One person's rights is another person's duty. You can a right against a particular person or group. You cannot have a right that no one has a duty to satisfy.
This does not work the other way round. There are duties that do not have corresponding rights. Duty to help but no particular charity has the right to my subscription
Kant's CI speaks only of our duties to other humans.
Direct duties to each other and indirect duties to other non-human animals and other organisms (instrumental value)
Defining our rights - notion of individual human rights has been enshrined in national and international law. Used esp with disadvantaged minorities. Originally justified as coming from God. 19th C the notion of more secular
Gives moral duty to every citizen to uphold these rights
Types of rights. Legal. Special. Negative. Positive. Absolute
Justifying our claims to rights
Justifications maybe. Rights belong to nature. Respect for the intrinsic value of individuals. Rights as provisions of contracts
Advantages of rights based moral theory. Protect those interests fundamental to their welfare. Speaks of justice. Prevent a human being used for benefit of someone else. Universal and apply to everyone.
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