Rights: Danielle Leaser

Article Summary:
This article discussed rights in general. It stated that rights are "entitlements (not) to perform certain actions or be in certain actions or be in certain states." Overall, rights are the backbone of our government. There are many different categories of rights also. There are the right to life, right to choose, right to vote, right to work, right to strike, right to asylum, right to exist, right to carry a concealed weapon, and right to a distinct genetic identity to name a few of the many. Although there are many categories, these categories are further divided into sub-categories. For example, freedom of expression is a cateogry and the rights of political speech is a sub-category.

The majority of rights give their "holders" freedom. This gives them the freedom to behave in certain ways. Legal systems are viewed as distributors of these types of freedoms. Legal systems can also rule who has authority to enforce these rules. For example, the United States gives voters the power to elect legislators. These elected officials have powers to establish laws, and the judicial branch interprets them. These are then carried out or enfoced by the executive branch and more commonly police officers.

There are basically two approaches to showing what fundamental rights of conduct there actually are. These also explain why they should be respected. These two approaches are defined as "deontological" and "consequentialist." These two roles differ over the role of consequences in this so called justification of rights. Some feel rights should be honored because it is what should occur. On the other hand others feel it is important because of the good consequences that take place as a result. Overall, rights are what take part in forming the society we live in today and the world would be incredibly different without them.

Explanation of Themes:
This article definitely ties in with the themes we discussed in class. First, it deals with normative claims. This is an "ought" claim that is a very strong type of prescriptive claim. Rights are the way things ought to be. The word ought can be used because not everyone lives up to the value of these rights, and sometimes people's rights are impaired or temproarily affected in a negative way. Rights also deal with deontology and consequentialism. Deontology is not a form of consequentialism because consequentialism emphasizes outcomes for society as a whole. These two forms of rights is an aspect of how ones rights can be damaged or affected by the outcome of others or the individual.

Three Questions:
1. How do we come up with an overall decision about certain rights such as abortion rights?
2. What rights are the most important overall?
3. What are some examples where certain rights are revoked from individuals or society under certain circumstances?

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