Human Rights - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Human Rights PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 404fbe-MDcxM


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Human Rights


Human Rights Chapter 7 Human Rights What if a doctor found out that someone had a fatal heart condition and knows people that could use the organs to stay alive? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:23
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 22
Provided by: usersIpfw3
Learn more at:
Tags: human | rights


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Human Rights

Human Rights
  • Chapter 7

Human Rights
  • What if a doctor found out that someone had a
    fatal heart condition and knows people that could
    use the organs to stay alive? She could inject
    some poison, the patient would never know and
    several people would be able to live long lives.
  • It sounds like an argument that a utilitarian
    might approve of. Even a rule utilitarian would
    have a hard time getting around such an argument
    because a rule could be qualified in such a way
    that would not show why an act like this should
    not be committed.
  • Why shouldnt the doctor kill the ill patient?
    Most people would say because the patient had a
    right to his/her life.

Human Rights
  • Rights have no obvious connection with utility.
    Suppose you save money for the new car, house, or
    vacation and someone tells you that you must give
    the money to the homeless. You might say, I
    earned it. I have a right to do with it what I

The Nature of Rights
  • What is a right?
  • What is an entitlement?
  • What is a person entitled to and why?
  • A right is more than a claim, it is a justified
    claim. But can someone have a right without
    making a claim?
  • A right may be a certain amount of moral space on
    which others may not trespass.
  • If you have a right, then others have an
  • What about kings or babies?
  • A right is not merely a privilege. See page 193
  • People such as Thomas Jefferson, and John Locke
    believed that there are God-given rights.
  • Some people believe that rights go with sentience
    the capacity to suffer.

The Nature of Rights
  • Some people think that humans have intrinsic
  • Still another account of rights is based on
    rationality. Aristotle believed that what made
    humans distinct from everything else was their
    rationality. Men are rational animals.

The Right to Life Suicide
  • Some people think that humans have intrinsic
  • Still another account of rights is based on
    rationality. Aristotle believed that what made
    humans distinct from everything else was their
    rationality. Men are rational animals.

The Right to Life Suicide
  • Voluntary consent is an essential feature of
  • Suicide is defined as the intentional taking of
    ones own life.
  • Arguments against the morality of suicide
  • The irrationality of suicide. What about
  • Slippery slope argument
  • The religious argument
  • It hurts the people that are left behind
  • Arguments for the morality of suicide
  • A person has a right over his or her own body and
    own life. She is a self. She is the only one
    that feels the pain.
  • Please see page 196

The Right to Life Mercy Killing
  • The word euthanasia comes from the Greek and
    originally meant a good death.
  • Should assisted suicide be legal?
  • If assisted suicide was not illegal, then should
    there be safeguards?
  • Should there be a cooling-off period?
  • What about mercy killing?
  • Could greedy relatives speed up your death?
  • If a patient knew this was going on, couldnt it
    undermine patient confidence?
  • Passive euthanasia letting a person die.
  • Active euthanasia is actually doing something
    that kills the person.
  • Can passive euthanasia actually be more cruel
    than active euthanasia?

The Right to Life Mercy Killing
  • Arguments against allowing someone to die
  • Abandonment of patients
  • The possibility of finding cures
  • Religious reasons
  • Some arguments for allowing someone to die
  • Individual rights
  • End suffering
  • The right to die with dignity

  • What are the rights of a mothers choice vs. the
    rights of a fetus?
  • According to Hospers, abortion was common in
    classical Greece and Rome, as it was in most
    pre-civilized societies. The Old Testament is
    full of prohibitions on dress and diet, but it
    never mentions abortion.
  • Roe vs. Wade held that abortion is homicide only
    after the fetus is formed, in the third
    trimester of pregnancy.
  • Two extreme views
  • Pro-choice The final decision on whether to
    abort is the mothers, and whatever she decides
    is final. Its her body, and its for her to say
    what she will do with it.
  • Pro-life Abortion is always wrong because from
    the moment of conception there is another person
    inside the mother who has as much right to life
    as she has and to extinguish that life is
    murder. The abortion doctor is as much a
    murderer as the hired killer.

  • Many people do not hold extreme positions. They
    are often willing to modify their position
  • People that are generally pro-life may make
  • When the life of the mother is endangered.
  • When the pregnancy is the result of rape.
  • When it is the result of incest
  • When the child would have been born with a very
    serious hereditary disease.
  • There is controversy about when a fetus becomes a
    human being. How are we going to define a human
  • Does life start
  • At conception?
  • When a mother feels the baby move inside her?
  • When brain waves first occur?
  • When the fetus can survive outside of the womb?
  • Judy Jarvis Thomsons article

Freedom of Expression
  • U.S. Constitution First Amendment
  • Congress shall make no law respecting an
    establishment of religion, or prohibiting the
    free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom
    of speech, or of the press or the right of the
    people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the
    Government for a redress of grievances.
  • John Stuart Mill defended liberty in his famous
    essay On Liberty. He said, suppose that the
    view that government is trying to suppress is
  • The authorities, in denying this, are assuming
    that they are infallible. If they dont fear the
    opposing view, why would they want to suppress
    it? Why not let it be discussed publicly so that
    people can determine for themselves whether those
    in authority or right?
  • It is only be testing a view in the marketplace
    of ideas that we can come to know whether it is
    true. If it is suppressed, without a free and
    open discussion and the presentation of contrary
    evidence, we can never know whether it is true
    we can only assume it.
  • Almost every important idea has some time been
    suppressed by those in power. Such suppressions
    have often set back human progress for centuries
    and kept all but the most courageous from
    expressing their ideas at all. This is a
    tremendous loss to the human race and a shameful
    way to treat humankinds most original and
    creative minds.
  • Some say that certain views, such as religious
    ones, should be instilled in everyone, whether
    known to be true or not, for the sake of utility,
    to hold together the moral fabric of society.
    But, said Mill, the utility of an opinion is
    itself a matter of opinion and just as subject to
    dispute as is the opinion itself.

Freedom of Expression
  • What if the opinion the authorities are
    suppressing is false?
  • They cannot know it to be false unless they
    submit it to open discussion.
  • John Stuart Mill tries to show why freedom of
    speech has long-term utility.
  • If all mankind minus one, he wrote, were of
    one opinion, and only one person were of the
    contrary opinion, mankind would be no more
    justified in silencing that one person, than he,
    if he had the power, would be justified in
    silencing mankind.
  • Are there occasions when suppressing a view (even
    a true one) might increase utility?

Freedom of Expression
  • Sedition
  • Sedition
  • Conduct or language inciting rebellion against
    the authority of a state.
  • Insurrection rebellion.
  • Most people believe that those who publicly
    advocate the overthrow of the government should
    be stopped. However, the government is often
    selective in the enforcement of such laws.
  • In times of war sedition laws are much more
    repressive. During World War I
  • It became criminal to advocate heavier
    taxation instead of bond issues, to state that
    conscription was unconstitutional through the
    Supreme Court had not yet held it valid, to say
    the sinking of merchant ships was legal, to urge
    that a referendum should have preceded our
    declaration of war, to say that war was contrary
    to the teachings of Christ.
  • Have the sedition laws become more repressive
    during the war on terror?

Freedom of Expression
  • Incitement to Riot
  • Some speech is construed as being action rather
    than speech. John Stuart Mill gave an example.
    A union foreman approaches a crown of angry
    workers in front of the factory and shouts Burn
    the place down! Should she be arrested,
    although she has only said a could of words?
  • Defamation
  • communication to third parties of false
    statements about a person that injure the
    reputation of or deter others from associating
    with that person.
  • Obscenity
  • What is obscene, lewd, and so forth? Ulysses was
    considered obscene, but most people today would
    not consider it to be obscene. Is obscenity in
    the eye of the beholder?
  • Fraud
  • When is it illegal to make false statements?

Property Rights
  • Your property is what belongs to you.
  • There are some things that ownership does not
    entitle you to do. You cant lure people in from
    the streets, kill them, and bury their bodies in
    the basement. You can violate a right to life.
  • If a stream runs through your land, you may not
    pollute it and thereby deprive your neighbor of
    potable water.
  • May you build a fence around your property and
    electrify it? May you raise pigs in your
    backyard in the city? May you raise poisonous
    snakes if you are very careful that they dont
    get out?
  • Right of eminent domain.

Property Rights
  • Initial Acquisition of Property
  • John Lockes theory.
  • The Lockean proviso says we have the right of
    acquisition only if we leave "enough and as good"
    for others.
  • Nozick tomato juice in the ocean
  • David Schmitz argument. (see pages 213-214)
  • Transfer of Property
  • How is property justly acquired?
  • Reparations how much do you pay back?

The Right to Privacy
  • Should a psychiatrists records about her patient
    be private, or may she sometimes break
    confidentiality with her patient and tell others?
  • Should you be required to reveal to others
    whether you have AIDS, or is it Strictly your
    own business?
  • Should others be able to find out how much you
    have in your checking account?
  • Should credit agencies be permitted to reveal
    your financial status to others?
  • Should others be able to take a picture of you
    without your consent?
  • (see pages 216-217)
  • Privacy is never mentioned in the Constitution.
    The fourth amendment affirms the right of the
    people to be secure in their persons, houses,
    papers, and effects, against unreasonable
    searches and seizures.
  • Do you think privacy rights or more or less
    respected than they were 10 years ago? Why?

Welfare Rights
  • Do rights arise from human needs?
  • Do the hungry have a moral claim on the rest of
  • Are all people on welfare disadvantaged? Should
    that matter?
  • What about government inefficiency? (see the
    bottom of page 223 and top of page 224)

Positive versus negative rights
  • Negative rights They require of others only the
    duty of non-interference.
  • Welfare rights require positive actions.
  • Specific rights vs. general rights.
  • Does welfare give people the right to enslave?
    (See bottom of page 226)

Childrens Rights
  • Children have positive rights They did not ask
    to be born, and the parents who brought them into
    existence have a duty to take care of them until
    they can take care of themselves.
  • Do children have the same negative rights that
    every human being has? Do they have the right
    not to be victims of coercion?
  • Children are not the property of the parents.
  • The parents are the guardians of their children.