The Right to a Full Life

I have found the debates on the nature of rights in this project to be fascinating.

They have focused debates on a number of distinctions:

1. Individual v Social Rights.

2. Actionable rights v those which we hope others will respect

3. Absolute rights v qualified rights

As I have tried to make clear, whilst I find the philosophical arguments intriguing and a necessary mechanism for testing rights, the philosophical arguments will not usually be conclusive.

I say that because, we no longer live a simple hunter-gatherer existence but now live in a complex interdependent world.

Take the right to life.  It has been claimed many times in threads that this requires nothing more than an individual's will to live.  In fact, in reality, for the most part it requires cooperation and help from others in society.  It requires a good midwife at birth and good farmers and importers to keep us fed.

Given that we depend on others for a life or at least a good life, we must constantly remind ourselves that others rely upon us for the same.  There is nothing wrong with that.  We all need each other.

The most important point it seems to me is that we value and recognise the right to a full life we all aspire to rather than just a right to a meagre solitary life in which we give and get nothing.

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Cecilia Rossler Apr 12, 2015

Dear Ian, could you suggest how your idea could be encapsulated in one sentence? 

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Cecilia Rossler Apr 17, 2015

IanSmith, we only have one day left and as it stands I do not think your idea is clear and it would therefore be very difficult to incorporate into the constitution.

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Cecilia Rossler Apr 18, 2015

IanSmith1. since we only have 12 hours left and you have not clarified your idea, and there has been no discussion around it, I will assume you meant it as a point of discussion rather than an idea, and therefore I am closing it.

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