Negative and positive rights

A positive right is an obligation by others to provide some benefit to the rights holder. A right is a correlative of a wrong, so if one has a right to something it means that it is wrong or unlawful for others to negate that right or to not provide some benefit.

In contrast, a negative right is an obligation by others to avoid negating some actions and properties of the rights holders. The right to practice one’s religion is a negative right, since this means that it is wrong or unlawful for others to prevent such practice. A positive right obliges others to provide benefits, while a negative right only obliges others to avoid interfering with someone’s liberty. Global justice clearly requires basic negative rights such as the right to not be restricted in the peaceful and honest practice of religion. The extent to which global justice requires positive or negative rights depends on one’s theory of moral rights.

Negative rights can include, but certainly are not limited to, freedoms such as the right to choose what to do for a living, whether to buy one brand of cereal or another, the right to buy and sell property, the right not to be killed or maimed, the right to keep what one earns, the right not to be enslaved, the right to pursue what one thinks is best for oneself, the right to speak freely, and the right to make one’s own moral decisions.

Kalpit Madhavi

Sumy State University


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Коментарі: 0Публікації: 233Реєстрація: 15-11-2021

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