• frank
    4.5k
    Anybody know of info on a proposed right to food and shelter?
  • fdrake
    3.3k
    You could look at the news from Amnesty International if you'd like to see a lot of examples of why a globally enforced right to food and shelter would be good. Or anything with the keyword 'post scarcity'.
  • frank
    4.5k
    That works, thanks!
  • tim wood
    4k
    You might want to think about what a right is, and if there are different kinds. In the US we have unalienable rights - life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - and to secure those right, all the rest are alienable.

    Most "rights," like arguably food and shelter (which are not "rights" in the US) are, in the US and probably a lot of other places, administrative "rights" established to avoid alternatives that are worse. If the saying that "necessity know no law" is true, then better to avoid creating that necessity in large groups of people, usually through the imposition of taxes for that purpose. That's why social security and unemployment insurance. Better to keep people afloat than having them come over the wall en masse with pitchforks and torches.

    The pure greed, however, of the 1% is such that the rest of us may have to go after them anyway. People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet seem to understand that - credit to them. For the rest, beware Jacques!
  • Bitter Crank
    8.6k
    Oddly, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn't mention the right to water. Article 25 (1) at least mentions food and shelter. It reads...

    (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control. — UN UDHR

    Which is odd because the Universal Declaration covers just about every other conceivable right that anyone would want to claim. Perhaps in 1948 water was invisible, just as "a tolerable average atmospheric temperature" and "tolerably clean air" may have been invisible at the time. Or perhaps the authors who went to such great length to spell out every other conceivable right subsumed "water" under "food.

    Already in the present, and more so in the future, breathable air (a lot better than New Delhi on a bad day) and drinkable water have become a very basic need that is going unmet. "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink!" Coleridge rhymed. It's tomorrow's great crisis.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    Rights imply concomitant obligations.

    So-called "Negative rights" imply an obligation on others to refrain from doing something (to not-do something, hence "negative" rights, like the right to property).

    So-called "Positive rights" imply an obligation on others to do something (positively provide a good or service, like education).

    So really, while I don't have any principled objection to some measure of basic positive rights out of simple kindness and compassion (although I would limit them severely, for obvious reasons - there's a potential slippery slope to totalitarianism there), anything like "right to x" where x is an object or a service provided by others, really ought to specify who those others are going to be, and how the good or service is going to be provided, even if it's just in a rough, general form (like "the public shall provide through taxation ...").

    Otherwise it's just feelgood hot air, the Great & Good bigging each other up, and useful idiots virtue signalling to each other.
  • Maw
    1.9k
    Yeah like those damned totalitarian Norwegian states.
  • Maw
    1.9k
    Check out Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's work on the Capability Approach. Specifically, Sen's Development as Freedom and The Idea of Justice, and Nussbaum's Creating Capabilities.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    Have you ever said anything coherent and on-point in response to one of my posts? Or are they all just red rags to a bull?
  • Maw
    1.9k
    I used to, as a simple comment search will show, but since you mainly post unphilosophical bullshit, then yeah, I'll treat you like a bull.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    I used toMaw

    lol
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