Week 4-Human Rights - Week 4-Human Rights October-10-13 9:58 AM Henry Shue's Basic Rights was written during Jimmy Carter's presidency Shue's concept of

Week 4-Human Rights - Week 4-Human Rights October-10-13...

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Week 4-Human Rights October-10-13 9:58 AM Henry Shue's Basic Rights was written during Jimmy Carter's presidency Shue's concept of rights was adopted by many UN documents Jimmy Carter was the first US president to adopt human rights into US national policy o Although, ultimately the US conceives security rights as most important and not subsistence rights Traditional libertarian view: 1. The only genuine rights are negative rights 1. Negative rights impose only negative duties as their primary duties 1. Welfare rights such as the human rights to basic necessities are positive rights 1. Therefore, by 1 and 3, welfare rights are not genuine Pogge's response: accepts 1 and 2 but denies 3. We should conceive the human right to basic necessities as a purely negative right It imposes on us a negative duty not to collaborate in the coercive imposition of unjust global and domestic institutions that foreseeably and avoidably produce chronic severe poverty Derivative positive duty: arises from violating a negative duty Non-derivative positive duty: does not arise from violating a negative duty, you have the duty regardless Shue's response: rejects 1-3 Shue's 2 main arguments: 1. The right to subsistence is a basic human right, enjoyment of which is essential to the adequate enjoyment of any other human right 1. We cannot draw a sharp and significant distinction between positive and negative rights, because all rights impose both positive and negative duties Shue's argument for (1)--the basic right argument Shue's account of moral rights: A moral right provides the rational basis for a justified demand that the actual enjoyment of a substance be socially guaranteed against standard threats o Ideally they are recognized by law but they are ultimately based on moral principles, not legal principles The substance of a right: what it is a right to o e.g. the substance of the right against torture is actual freedom from torture
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o Shue claims you can't enjoy the substance to any right unless you have access to subsistence Standard threats: common, and socially eradicable at reasonable cost o What becomes a standard threat depends on the current level of resources Basic rights: "each person's minimum reasonable demand against the rest of humanity" Human rights specify the land that no one should sink A basic right is a right of enjoyment which is necessary for the enjoyment of any other human right Shue's central argument: The right to subsistence is a basic right--it is the most common and severe threat
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