The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)
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basic needs are human rights

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2019 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 395 times Debate No: 120911
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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if you are able bodied you have a respsibility to take care of yourself as well as you canas long as you are trying we can give you help
but what about the old the kids those in wheel chairs the feeble minded?
society has a duty to care for everyone falling by the way side


This is my first debate - and I've chosen a very difficult position to defend. I'll do my best to play devil's advocate. Good luck!

The phrase "basic needs are human rights", Seems ethical and sensible at first glance. My aim is to prove that this ideology breaks down under real-world conditions.

Let's imagine an alcoholic named Bob. Bob needs a new liver - but is excluded from the transplant list for his alcoholism. Healthcare is a basic human need. Should Bob's needs trump those of other people also waiting for a liver? No.

Bob's village is facing food-shortages and is now rationing food supplies. Bob is a big guy, So he feels he deserves extra rations because he's hungrier than other people. Hunger is a fundamental need. Does Bob's hunger mean he should be allowed more food than the others? Does his need outweigh the needs of others? No.

Bob didn't pay his energy bill and his heat went out. Not freezing to death is a fundamental need. Should bob get free energy because of this? No.


The problem with "Basic needs are human rights" is that it doesn't work when resources run out. It assumes that all human needs can be met without taking anything away from others. These lofty ideals breakdown In a world of scarcity and shortage.

I would argue instead that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of an individual. The world limits individual liberties sometimes in order to maximize the well being of society at large. Your personal needs are not a guaranteed human right.
Debate Round No. 1


Its doesnt work when resources are short that i will conceed, You make a very good point, Thein its every man for himself, But thats the point, We functioned that way for years out of scarce resources, In our society they are no longer, And that is why we now have them as rights, As in the past they were expensive luxuries. . But kudos for pointing out a strong point, I respect that


Let's define human needs as the basic resources (other than money) that a human needs to stay above the poverty line. Fresh water, Electricity, Shelter, Healthcare, Food, Etc.

"We functioned that way for years out of scarce resources, In our society they are no longer, And that is why we now have them as rights"

I would argue that many resources are still scarce even in the modern world. We're running out of fresh water. Organ transplant waiting lists take years. Power shortages run rampant through developing countries. World hunger is still a thing. Homeless people still exist. This world is marked by scarcity.

It's impossible to treat human needs as rights, If those needs can't be met due to limited resources.


Argument 2

People pay for water, Electricity, Shelter, Healthcare*, And food. If these were fundamental human rights then why are we paying for them? Shouldn't fundamental human rights be provided to the public for free?
Debate Round No. 2


if you have two coats share one with some one who has none this is ingrained in the traditions and mythology of our culture Luke 3:11 if you have a surplus of a resource efforts should be made to distribute a prtion of that surprlus back to the needy, In that respect human needs ar ehuman rights


"if you have a surplus of a resource efforts should be made to distribute a prtion of that surprlus back to the needy"

What about capitalism? Capitalistic societies believe that every man earns his resources. On the contrary, Communistic societies beleive in spreading reasources and wealth around. I would argue that most developed countries beleive in capitalism.

Just because human something OUGHT to be, Doesn't mean it is.


Thanks for reading!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by MrMaestro 3 years ago
The average wait time for a liver transplant is 1. 25 years.

I have family back home who are experiencing chronic rolling blackouts daily because the government can't keep the power on.

The world is running out of fresh water.

If you don't think we live in a world marked by scarcity, Then you must have lived a very privileged life.
Posted by oalks 3 years ago
Pro hasn't even defined what he means by "needs, " perception of this concept isn't exactly objective.
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
Con's argument is super shaky. Liver transplants are not basic human needs. Basic needs are those that all humans needs universally in order to not die and at very least, Live without an unreasonable amount of suffering. The only actual argument he made was that resources could run out, But this ends up being wrong because he said at the beginning of his comment that he was using a real world example. The real world is able to provide these resources, So you're not being consistent there.

Pro made a couple of decent statements, But didn't make any effort to justify them.

I'd say it's about even solely for the reason that I agree with Pros position, But if I was on the fence, I'd go with Con.
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