Date: Wed, 04 Oct 1995 12:02:39 +0100 From: "peter.harvey" [email protected] Subject: Only negative rights?
John Buescher argues that the smaller the list of human rights, the stronger the concept is. Fair enough, perhaps. He thus wants to restrict them to negative, protective, rights, and exclude positive rights such as the right to work (unlike Stephen Jamar, who wants rights to be more than negative ones). Part of the justification for this, though, is that ‘Rights define a realm of privacy… a place where public authority and power have no purchase, a place empty of worldly convention’. This suggests that once one gets to the ‘individual in his/her privacy’, one reaches an other-worldly place beyond ‘worldly convention’. But the unenlightened, ordinary mind is much shaped by ‘worldly convention’. It //can// attain the supra-mundane, but this is a rare event. Moreover, //some// ‘worldly conventions’, eg. the //Sangha// can enhance spiritual growth. In any case, one cannot say only ‘the invividual’ is some kind of sacred, empty, space, thus to be protected by negative rights: for society is also empty!