The Instigator
wrichcirw
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
InVinoVeritas
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The Right to Life is a Negative Right

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/21/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,497 times Debate No: 44343
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (39)
Votes (2)

 

wrichcirw

Con

Background


In a discussion in a prior debate (http://www.debate.org...), InVinoVeritas and I had the following exchange:


wrich: This is kind of why I am beginning to gravitate towards a stance that divorces welfare from work and from poverty. 'Welfare' should be a 'right', specifically the 'right to life'.


IVV: The right to life is not a right to the fruits of another man's labor.

wrich: Without life, there is no labor. Therefore, you guarantee the former to produce the latter.

IVV: Obviously, labor requires life. But a right to life is not the right to have other people work to sustain you. A right to life is a negative right--a right to preserving one's natural being without intervention by those who wish to harm one.


Hence, this debate.


Resolution


The Right to Life is a Negative Right


Definitions


The right to life is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not to be unjustly killed by another human being.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Under the theory of positive and negative rights, a negative right is a right not to be subjected to an action of another person or group—a government, for example—usually in the form of abuse or coercion. A positive right is a right to besubjected to an action of another person or group. In theory, a negative right forbids others from acting against the right holder, while a positive right obligates others to act with respect to the right holder.
http://en.wikipedia.org...


Rules


My standard boiler-plate:

This will be a NO SCORING debate. I am far less concerned with the scoring mechanism of this website, and much more interested in furthering constructive dialogue on this matter. I see the scoring mechanism as being extremely politicized and subject to all manners of corruption, and also see it as an inhibitor to constructive dialogue as many people who vote simply do not want their vote challenged or discussed.

Anyone and everyone is more than welcome to make a decision on this debate, declare a victor, and leave (hopefully) an insightful RFD, I merely ask that no one score this debate.

I will make exception to the scoring of conduct. Any forfeited rounds, ad hominem attacks, or breaching of the rules of this debate will merit a conduct point against the offender. Otherwise, no scoring, thank you.


---

Burden of proof (BoP) is shared.

4 rounds
1st round: CON: introduction and debate parameters, PRO: opening arguments
2/3 rounds argument and rebuttal
4th round: CON: closing arguments, PRO: "This round left blank."

This will allow for 3 full rounds of debate by both sides.

6,000 character rounds.
InVinoVeritas

Pro

In this debate, I will be arguing that the right to life is a negative right.

My opponent defines the "right to life" as "a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not to be unjustly killed by another human being. [1] I want the reader to pay special attention to the part of the definition that I bolded, underlined, and italicized--for special emphasis. The right to life is a right to not be killed. What does it mean to "kill"? To kill is "to cause the death of (a person, animal, or plant)" or "to end the life of (someone or something.)" [2] In order to develop a richer understanding of what it means to "kill," I will contrast it below with a related concept: "letting one die."

While both touching on the life-death transition, "killing" and "letting one die" are two distinct entities that do not overlap; the former represents action and the latter represents inaction. John cannot kill Bob by not saving him when Bob gets a heart attack; John can only let Bob die. And Bob cannot "let" John die as he bludgeons John to death with a baseball bat; John can only kill Bob. With this in mind, we can draw a useful conclusion about the matter at hand: if the right to life is a right to not be killed, then it is a right to not be affected by an action, specifically that of killing. The definition that my opponent presented for "right to life" does not protect one from inaction. Being protected from being killed--from an action--is different from being protected from other people's inaction.

A negative right, according to my opponent, is a right to not be subjected to an action, while a positive right is a right to be subjected to an action--or a right to not be "subjected" (loosely speaking) to an inaction. [1] I have established that "killing" is an action, while "letting one die" is an inaction. If we can only conclude from the opponent's definition that one's right to life is a right to not be "unjustly killed," then we can rightly conclude that a "right to life" is a right to not be subjected to an action--or in other words, that the right to life is a negative right.

The resolution has been affirmed. I look forward to my opponent's rebuttal.

Thank you.

---


Debate Round No. 1
wrichcirw

Con

Introduction


I thank my opponent for an eloquent and substantive opening. This has been an issue I've been grappling with for a bit, and while at one point I was convinced of my opponent's position, I have since changed my mind.

My arguments will center around the morality and thereby the justness of the right to life, as per round #1, "The right to life is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not to be unjustly killed by another human being". Without a moral qualification, the right to life is useless and meaningless.

Morality in this framework will frame "just life" as "moral", and therefore worthy of the "right to life". Absent any proof of "unjust life" being brought into this world, all human life is deemed "just life" and thus worthy of the "right to life".


Arguments


Inaction is Injustice


PRO proffers a clear train of thought that focuses on the difference between "'killing' and 'letting one die'" and uses this distinction to come to the conclusion that the right to life only protects individuals from the former, and not the latter. According to PRO, killing is an active act, whereas letting one die involves inaction. The problem with this reasoning is that 1) our lives are all intermeshed at the most basic level, and 2) all else being the same, inaction that leads to death is injustice, and so given #1, preventable death is indeed 'unjust' and thereby immoral. If inaction is immoral, then the right to life is not a negative right.

None of us choose to come into this world. To think that without this choice, people should be forced to feed, cloth, and shelter themselves, while very realistic, is also wholly bereft of morality, as this force is coercive at the most basic level. Therefore, to think that the right to life does not include such basic necessities to sustain life is to judge all who cannot feed, cloth, and shelter themselves to be immoral individuals, as are the people who condone such a state of affairs. I will demonstrate this reasoning via three examples.


Newborns


Think about a newborn. A baby cannot even feed itself without someone there to feed it. According to my opponent, this newborn has the ostensible right to life even though if no one feeds it, it will die of starvation, and that this right to life somehow has significance even when this baby dies of negligence. It is obvious right here that what PRO is proposing as the negative right to life is bereft of morality in this instance; recall that the definition of the right to life is specific in that the right to life is a moral principle, the morality centered upon the simple truism that 'just life' - i.e., life that can be justifiably maintained - is moral. Therefore, PRO's perspective of the negative right to life is inaccurate and does not adequately describe the right to life in a moral framework.

In order to argue against the baby example, PRO must attempt to prove at least one of several arguments:

1) The baby is somehow not alive, so killing it is not immoral
2) The baby is alive, and allowing babies to die through negligence and inaction is somehow moral
3) Life is immoral, so allowing babies to die is moral (this would directly contradict the morality inherent in the right to life).

None of these choices are justifiable or consistent with the right to life. By this example alone, the resolution is negated, because it obviates the right to life as a negative right. Indeed, for newborns, the right to life is a strongly positive right.


Food Markets


This interdependency does not cease after a newborn child grows up. We live in a global society now, where demand in one area of the world will affect supply thousands of miles away, and vice versa. While normally this leads to "just" provision of goods world-wide, there are such things as "market failures" that lead to injustices. One very recent market failure dealt specifically with the right to life - food markets.

Food markets are global, and food is an absolute necessity to sustain life - without food, people will die. When the US and other nations manipulate food prices, people on the other side of the world die:

"Oddly, there had been no drought, the usual cause of malnutrition and hunger in southern Africa...The explanation offered by the UN and food experts was that a "perfect storm" of natural and human factors had combined to hyper-inflate prices. US farmers, UN agencies said, had taken millions of acres of land out of production to grow biofuels for vehicles, oil and fertiliser prices had risen steeply, the Chinese were shifting to meat-eating from a vegetarian diet, and climate-change linked droughts were affecting major crop-growing areas. The UN said that an extra 75m people became malnourished because of the price rises." [1]

It is evident that we are interdependent to such an extent that actions that would seem to be prima facie irrelevant to each other cause death on the other side of the world. Such interdependencies necessitate that we recognize that something as harmless as market fluctuations will cause death when none was intended, and that using the justification of inaction is a dangerous myth. Negligence is sometimes deadlier than active coercion, meaning that when it comes to the right to life, inaction is immoral.


Car accident


Briefly, think of a car accident where a victim is bleeding on the side of the road. Traffic stops...a doctor is amongst those stuck in the road. The doctor ascertains that he can help the victim and save his life...but the doctor chooses not to act, because the right to life is ostensibly a negative right. According to PRO, this is moral behavior. I would like to see PRO justify this doctor's inaction.


Conclusion


I've demonstrated through three examples how inaction is injustice and is thereby immoral, and that the right to life is therefore NOT a negative right.


[1] http://www.theguardian.com...
InVinoVeritas

Pro

Let us look back at the definition my opponent has put forth: "The right to life is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not to be unjustly killed by another human being."

Of course, the right to life is a moral principle, but let us not forget that it is not the moral principle. As we will see, the opponent's counter-examples simply portray scenarios that rest outside of the moral framework of the "right to life." What my opponent describes is a positive right to have one's life sustained, not a negative right to not be killed.

Newborns

Here, my opponent presents the case of the baby who depends on his/her caretakers to survive. According to the definition presented, the right to life is a right to not be killed. This moral principle forbids action--particularly actions that terminate the baby's life, such as being choked to death by a parent or guardian. Now, if the baby dies due to malnutrition, as a result of the parents' choosing not to adequately feed him/her, then the parents have not killed the baby; they have neglected the baby and let it die. (As an aside, this is why the parents in this situation would not be charged with murder--or even manslaughter--under the law. Rather, they would be charged with criminal negligence. The moral difference between killing and letting one die is embedded in the law.)

So, do I think it is moral for a parent to neglect a child and let him/her die? No. But not on the basis of the moral principle of "right to life," as defined by my opponent. I would appeal to a principle outside the scope of the "right to life" in order to make this case... because the right to life applies to killing, not letting one die. I will not fall for the false trichotomy that my opponent presents, due to the clear issue of scope that I have described.

Food Markets

Price rises in the food market, when caused by pure issues of supply and demand, do not "kill." A group of people who engage in free exchange are not killing those who are left out because their past and/or current and/or potential labor output lacks value.

I disagree that redistribution is moral, as my opponent proposes, but I do not really need to go down that route. My opponent is concluding here that "inaction is immoral," so he is committing the same fallacy that he used in the prior case he makes. The "right to life," based on my opponent's definition is a right to not be killed. It is a protection from action. Whether or not inaction is moral is irrelevant... Killing is action.

Car Accident

While I do not believe that the doctor's decision is moral, I would not appeal to the "right to life"--as defined by my opponent--in order to make this case. The right to life is a right to not be killed. Does my opponent seriously think that the doctor is KILLING the victim by not acting? Does my opponent know what "killing" is, as opposed to negligence--or letting one die? So far, he has conflated the two concepts, and each of his cases have fallen short because of it.

Conclusion

Whether or not inaction is immoral/injustice or not, it cannot be subjected to the principle of "right to life" that my opponent has defined. My opponent has completely overlooked the marked difference between an act of killing (which is a necessary component to a "right-to-life" scenario) and letting one die through negligence. The right to life is a right to not be killed--and since killing is a positive action, the right to life is a negative right.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
wrichcirw

Con

Again, I thank PRO for presenting a very clear case. He is indeed correct in that my three scenarios all point to the same moral dilemma, that of negligence causing death. His rebuttal is somewhat philosophical, as he focuses on a "false trichotomy", the supposed difference between active killing and passive negligence, and the supposed irrelevance of inaction/negligence to the right to life. I will rebut each of PRO's claims.


Rebuttal


[A] The Trichotomy is Indeed False


I agree that PRO is presenting a false trichotomy...this trichotomy is of PRO's design, not CON's. It is PRO who believes that there is a difference between action and inaction when it comes to the death of an individual...I do not believe there is a distinction.

Simply put, I believe in a simple duality on this matter - Life and Death. The right to life means you will not die to the greatest extent as physically possible, regardless of action or inaction. This is fully consistent with the definition of the right to life as presented in round #1, which does not make a distinction between positive and negative rights.

PRO believes in a false trichotomy: 1) Life, 2) Death through Action, and 3) Death through Inaction. It is this false trichotomy that compels PRO to take his stance on this particular resolution...it is this trichotomy that compels PRO to advocate for negative rights. Without this trichotomy, positive and negative rights would not factor at all into the right to life, and there would be no need to debate this topic. It is the veracity of this trichotomy that I am challenging in this debate.


[B] Negligent Homicide IS Killing


This is very simple:

"Negligent homicide is the killing of another person through gross negligence or without malice...It is characterized as a death caused by death by conduct that grossly deviated from ordinary care."
http://definitions.uslegal.com...

PRO is fundamentally incorrect in his assertion that killing involves only action. It may very well involve inaction, i.e. negligence.

PRO's main error is conflating "criminal negligence" with "negligent homicide" - the parents of the baby would NOT, as PRO states, "be charged with criminal negligence" - they would actually be charged with negligent homicide. Mere criminal negligence is relevant to neither this resolution nor my examples, and indeed involves neither manslaughter nor murder because no one necessarily dies...Negligent homicide however does apply to both this resolution and my examples. The definition of homicide necessitates killing (http://www.merriam-webster.com...).


[C] Negligence is Supremely Relevant to the Right to Life


PRO makes a surprising claim: "Whether or not inaction is moral is irrelevant... Killing is action."

1) I've already demonstrated that killing can involve action OR inaction.

2) Whether or not inaction is moral is supremely relevant to the resolution. If inaction is immoral, then the right to life CANNOT be a negative right, because the right to life is a MORAL principle, NOT an IMMORAL principle. This should be simple enough to stand as it is.


[D] Putting it Together


To apply these points to my examples:

1) The parents DID KILL their baby by committing negligent homicide.
2) We DID KILL millions of people in starving nations that could not afford food because of our inaction in ameliorating a market failure that caused a fatal rise in food prices.
3) The doctor DID KILL the accident victim out of willful negligence...and more than likely no one would ever know about it, so he would not be charged with a crime. This is why I believe most observers, including myself, when presented with this scenario would consider what the doctor did not do to be immoral. Given PRO's statements, I think PRO believes the same, regardless of the action/inaction aspect of the scenario. If I was that doctor, I would more than likely have a guilty conscience following that event. That guilt would stem from the acknowledgement of the immorality of my inaction.

All of these scenarios violate the right to life. How could it be otherwise? Through inaction, we cause the death of others.

Whether or not we take responsibility for our actions AND inactions determines whether or not we are moral, as defined by the right to life, a moral principle.


Conclusion


This debate has solidified my changed stance in my mind - I do believe the emphasis on negative rights when it comes to the right to life is wholly misplaced:

1) It is based upon a false trichotomy that distorts the natural duality of life and death.

2) Inaction leading to negligent homicide IS killing, thus releasing the moral principle of the right to life from the restrictive parameters of a negative right.

3) Negligence is immoral - using the most pertinent example, it's impossible to consider willfully negligent parents as "morally" allowing their baby to die.


If negligence is immoral, then framing the right to life as a negative right is immoral. It becomes a false statement - the right to life is a moral principle, but when put into the framework of negative rights, no longer is a moral principle.


Thus, the resolution is negated - the right to life is NOT a negative right - it is a negative AND a positive right.


Post Script


I remind CON that his next round is his final round, and that for round #4, he agreed to leave it blank so that both of us could have a full 3 rounds of debate.
InVinoVeritas

Pro

1. "I agree that PRO is presenting a false trichotomy...this trichotomy is of PRO's design, not CON's. It is PRO who believes that there is a difference between action and inaction when it comes to the death of an individual...I do not believe there is a distinction."

There is a difference between "killing" and "letting one die." The former is incorporated into my opponent's definition, and the latter is not. I have been making this clear throughout the debate.

2. My opponent seems to have misunderstood a basic term in criminal law: "negligent homicide." Negligent homicide is caused by an action that is conducted in a negligent manner. For example, if someone is driving erratically because they are racing down a parking lot and then crash into a toddler, killing him on impact, they may be charged with negligent homicide. The toddler is killed because of an action of another person--and that action was conducted in a negligent manner. "The distinction between recklessness and criminal negligence lies in the presence or absence of foresight as to the prohibited consequences." [1] Criminal negligence, a prerequisite of negligent homicide, requires unresponsible behavior without proper foresight. The behavior that leads to a charge of negligent homicide (e.g., intoxication while driving) is an act of killing, because it is an action. When a baby dies solely due to a lack of care, the parent(s) tend to be charged with felony neglect [e.g., 2] (the exact name of the charge would vary by state), not negligent homicide. In the law, killing and letting one die are two distinct concepts.

3. Killing = action. Letting one die = inaction. My opponent has not proven otherwise, as I have explained above. This is a pathetic game of semantics, and my opponent is losing because of the definition that he set for himself. Let me repeat my example from round one: "John cannot kill Bob by not saving him when Bob gets a heart attack; John can only let Bob die. And Bob cannot "let" John die as he bludgeons John to death with a baseball bat; John can only kill Bob."

CONCLUSION

The right to life was defined by my opponent as "the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not to be unjustly killed by another human being." This, as it was defined, is a negative right. "Killing" is action, as opposed to "letting one die"--and I have made this very clear. Think of situations in which one person lets another die through inaction; none of them, strictly speaking, would be referred to by the average person as "killing." Likewise, no killing would be described as "letting one die." No matter how many semantic games we try to play, these will remain two distinct concepts.

If the right to life is a right to not be killed, then it is a negative right. Plain and simple.

---

POST SCRIPT

My favorite pizza topping is pepperoni.

---

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://hamptonroads.com...
Debate Round No. 3
wrichcirw

Con

Rebuttal


As PRO has brought in new sources in his closing, I will also do the same.


R1) PRO has dropped the fact that he has brought out a false trichotomy, that of 1) Life, 2) Death through Action, and 3) Death through Inaction. This trichotomy leads PRO to the erroneous conclusion that the right to life is a negative right, when in reality it is a negative AND a positive right.

I believe in the natural duality of life and death. If your right to life is violated, it doesn't matter how you died, i.e it doesn't matter if you died via action or inaction...what matters is that you're dead, and you shouldn't be. Again, this is consistent with the definition proffered in round #1:

"The right to life is a moral principle based on the belief that a human being has the right to live and, in particular, should not to be unjustly killed by another human being."

...because death caused by inaction (i.e. negligence) is also killing.


R2) PRO states, without any sources, and without any corroboration, that "Negligent homicide is caused by an action that is conducted in a negligent manner." This is simply wrong. Negligence is the "failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances", i.e. the failure to act. (http://www.merriam-webster.com...). There are many, many cases of negligent homicide where it is through INACTION that the charge is levied:

- A mother leaves her infants in her SUV with the heater running, and forgets about the kids while she has sex and smokes pot - she did not act to save her kids, and so she was charged with negligent homicide. (http://www.therepublic.com...)

- In the military, it is clear in the UCMJ "That the act or failure to act of the accused which caused the death" constitutes negligent homicide. (http://usmilitary.about.com...)

PRO is simply incorrect in his baseless assertion otherwise.


R3) PRO stated a case of a mother charged with what he calls "felony neglect" in the death of her son caused by her inaction, thinking that it's different from negligent homicide. PRO is just playing meaningless semantics games. Negligent homicide can either be a felony or a misdemeanor. This is clear in my sourced definition of "negligent homicide" provided in the prior round. (http://definitions.uslegal.com...)


R4) PRO breached civility with a personal attack: "This is a pathetic game of semantics, and my opponent is losing because of the definition that he set for himself."

This debate has only one parameter for scoring, CONDUCT. CON has breached civility with this baseless and unwarranted attack against my person and an insulting mischaracterization of my arguments. I ask for conduct for PRO's incivility.

As it is, I do think I have won this debate.


Conclusion


While my opponent's opening rounds were clear and concise, he has since replaced them with mockery and ridicule. This debate was not a troll debate, and I do not appreciate my opponent segwaying into of all things his favorite pizza toppings. Had PRO thought his case untenable, he could have gracefully conceded, and thus this debate would not have been scored. As it is, I ask that conduct be scored against my opponent.


Most of PRO's arguments do not hold water:


1) PRO is using a false trichotomy, that of 1) Life, 2) Death through Action, and 3) Death through Inaction. It is this false trichotomy that leads him to think that the right to life is only a negative right.

In reality, the right to life is a negative AND a positive right, because it doesn't matter how your right to life is violated...all that matters is that it is violated if you die. This places the right to life in the proper and natural duality of life and death.


2) PRO obfuscates and confuses the definition of simple words like "negligence". Negligence does not involve action.

If one's right to life can be violated through negligence, then the right to life cannot be a negative right. Why? As defined in round #1, a negative right is "a right not to be subjected to an action of another person or group," meaning that PRO thinks that inaction upholds the right to life. However, through negligence, we actually see that the right to life as stated in round #1 is clearly violated through inaction, as negligence can easily result in one "be[ing] unjustly killed by another human being." Recall that negligent homicide involves killing, i.e. killing through inaction.

Therefore, the right to life is not a negative right...it is a negative AND a positive right. PRO's position is untenable, as he does not accept the right to life being a positive right, that one must act to prevent negligent homicide. All evidence brought forth in this debate has proven him wrong.


3) Negligence is immoral - using the most pertinent example, it's impossible to consider willfully negligent parents as "morally" allowing their baby to die.


If negligence is immoral, then framing the right to life as a negative right is immoral. It becomes a false statement - the right to life is a moral principle, but when put into the framework of negative rights, no longer is a moral principle.


PRO has not challenged this conclusion from my prior round, and so the conclusion stands.


The resolution is negated - the right to life is NOT a negative right - it is a negative AND a positive right.

I thank everyone for reading this debate, and remind voters that the only category for scoring is conduct, and PRO did indeed breach civility in this debate by lobbing a personal attack and by ending on a trolling note.


I also remind PRO that he agreed upon accepting this debate to simply state "This round left blank" in his final round.
InVinoVeritas

Pro

This round left blank
Debate Round No. 4
39 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Cool deal, let's do that then.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
Sorry, InVinoVeritas!

wrichcirw, if you'd like to make a forum post or something, I'd be happy to continue this there.
Posted by InVinoVeritas 3 years ago
InVinoVeritas
Guys, make a debate. You're spamming my notifications with this intellectual juiciness.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
""""But I can choose, without an ethical violation, to NOT feed myself. "

Ok, so this is interesting. You do not believe in rational self-interest? You think people should be able to morally commit suicide for no apparent reason?"""

Yup, in theory. However, I recognize that we as a society have determined wanting to do that to be a sign of mental illness. In general, though, while I may plead with someone not to end their life, I wouldn't say they do not have a right to.

""What's the value of life to you then?"""

The value of anything is almost always a subjective thing. My own life is very important to me. But if someone's life is unimportant to them, who am I to tell them they're morally wrong? It's THEIR life. And of course, who are they to tell me I morally HAVE to attribute value to their life to the extent of supporting it against my wishes?

---

""""If another has a positive right to life against me, I CAN'T ethically "opt-out". In order to remain ethical, I have to work for another, whether I want to or not, because I'm subject to THEIR exercise of rights, rather than my own."

IMHO it's not either/or. There's no strict dichotomy as you're outlining it here. You work for BOTH yourself and the other.""""

But in the former case, I work at my own discretion, and in the latter, I work at theirs.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"But I can choose, without an ethical violation, to NOT feed myself. "

Ok, so this is interesting. You do not believe in rational self-interest? You think people should be able to morally commit suicide for no apparent reason?

What's the value of life to you then?

---

"If another has a positive right to life against me, I CAN'T ethically "opt-out". In order to remain ethical, I have to work for another, whether I want to or not, because I'm subject to THEIR exercise of rights, rather than my own."

IMHO it's not either/or. There's no strict dichotomy as you're outlining it here. You work for BOTH yourself and the other.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"The law does not support this, though, so while it might be an illustrative example, it doesn't analogize."

"So you have to make a case for why I'm obliged to help my fellows against my will. There is a social contract element, yes, but I would argue that the right may well apply in various social contracts, but NOT in the absence of such."

I would refrain from a strictly legal discussion on "the right to life" because it's not encoded as either a positive or a negative right. It's not directly encoded in law at all.

Both of us are only talking about what the law SHOULD be. Both of us merely have an opinion.

---

"If the right to life is only negative, you can fully have the negative right to life, and starve to death. There's no conflict there, although you have died, because your life was not taken from you by another."

Right, and that was why I emphasized the negligent parents so much in the debate. If the right to life is only negative, then parents would be able to be "morally negligent" when their babies die. Therefore, the right to life is not a negative right.

That's exactly what I argued in the debate. IMHO it negates the resolution.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
"""You are advocating that I be ethically forced to do work for another that I have never consented to do, even if I do not want to do it. That fits at least A definition of slavery, though I admit to a rhetorical flourish."

You are also ethically forced to work for yourself in a manner that did not involve your consent in order to feed yourself. That is also a fitting definition of slavery, per the rhetoric.

So, IMHO the basic problem is the natural problem. The basic solution is a human solution. I actually go over such logic quite a bit in my current debate with sdavio, it's interesting how it can be cross-applied here. Basically, a bit of human coercion counteracts a LOT of natural coercion.""""

"You are ethically forced to work for yourself in a manner that did not involve your consent in order to feed yourself".

But I can choose, without an ethical violation, to NOT feed myself. I can still "opt-out" of working, if I decide to say "Eff this whole physical universe and biological requirements thing". Having a right means the ability to NOT exercise that right, too.

If another has a positive right to life against me, I CAN'T ethically "opt-out". In order to remain ethical, I have to work for another, whether I want to or not, because I'm subject to THEIR exercise of rights, rather than my own.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
"""It IS, but negligent homicide ONLY comes into play when there's a duty to care. There is not a general duty to care, it ONLY applies in specific situations (children and their parents, doctors and their patients)."

Yeah, again this goes back to opinion, but I easily believe it does apply generally.""

The law does not support this, though, so while it might be an illustrative example, it doesn't analogize.

(Again, not to be repetitious, but with the understanding that I don't believe your opponent addressed this sufficiently so, while I can disagree with you, my assessment of you as getting argument points still, to me, stands).

""""And you are misapplying that context, here. We are protecting his right to life incidentally: what the claim is, is irrelevant. We are protecting valid claims."

Fully disagree. It's not exactly law, but the right to life is part of the foundation of American traditions.

Am I saying that not protecting the right to life as a positive right is illegal? No, but I'm saying it SHOULD be illegal."""

Perhaps, but the law as written requires an obligation. So you have to make a case for why I'm obliged to help my fellows against my will. There is a social contract element, yes, but I would argue that the right may well apply in various social contracts, but NOT in the absence of such.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
No, I don't.

The negative right to life is shorthand for saying: "You have the right to not have your life taken from you by another". The positive right to life is shorthand for saying "You have the right to demand that others act to support your life".

If the right to life is only negative, you can fully have the negative right to life, and starve to death. There's no conflict there, although you have died, because your life was not taken from you by another. Killings would probably still happen, too, but in that case the negative right will have been violated.

ONLY if we take the right to life as a positive right, can we say that it fails pragmatically or else no one would be starving to death.

But the pragmatic concern is that your rights, in the practical realm, extend as far as your abilities to protect them. But we're discussion the philosophical here. If you abrogate a right, you're in the moral wrong.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"It IS, but negligent homicide ONLY comes into play when there's a duty to care. There is not a general duty to care, it ONLY applies in specific situations (children and their parents, doctors and their patients)."

Yeah, again this goes back to opinion, but I easily believe it does apply generally.

---

"And you are misapplying that context, here. We are protecting his right to life incidentally: what the claim is, is irrelevant. We are protecting valid claims."

Fully disagree. It's not exactly law, but the right to life is part of the foundation of American traditions.

Am I saying that not protecting the right to life as a positive right is illegal? No, but I'm saying it SHOULD be illegal.

---

"You are advocating that I be ethically forced to do work for another that I have never consented to do, even if I do not want to do it. That fits at least A definition of slavery, though I admit to a rhetorical flourish."

You are also ethically forced to work for yourself in a manner that did not involve your consent in order to feed yourself. That is also a fitting definition of slavery, per the rhetoric.

So, IMHO the basic problem is the natural problem. The basic solution is a human solution. I actually go over such logic quite a bit in my current debate with sdavio, it's interesting how it can be cross-applied here. Basically, a bit of human coercion counteracts a LOT of natural coercion.

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"I, too, agree that organ donation should be opt-out rather than opt-in."

=)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
wrichcirwInVinoVeritasTied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
wrichcirwInVinoVeritasTied
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Reasons for voting decision: WINNER: CON. As requested I will note "score" the debate by awarding points. I feel CON refuted Pro's key points, especially regarding the disputed case of the negligent parents being guilty of homicide through inaction.