Sunday, October 31, 2010

Natural Laws



What makes some laws worth obeying, while others demand to be overturned? Bill Whittle examines the difference between Natural Law and Political Law.

To emphasize Whittle's points, I include an excerpt from Walter E. Williams' essay Rights Verses Wishes:

True rights, such as those in our Constitution, or those considered to be natural or human rights, exist simultaneously among people. The exercise of a right by one person does not diminish those held by another. It imposes no obligations on another except those of non-interference. I have a right to ask a lady for a date, but I have no right to impose an obligation on her to actually date me. Similarly, I have a right to ask you to permit me to live in your house and dine with your family, but I have no right to impose such an obligation on you. Moreover, since I do not have these rights, I do not have a right to delegate authority to government to impose such obligations on another. In other words, from a moral point of view, one can delegate only those rights that one possesses.

To argue that people have a right that imposes obligations on another is absurd. This can be readily seen if we apply such an idea to my rights to speech or travel. Under that vision, my right to free speech would require government-imposed obligations on others to provide me with an auditorium, television studio, or radio station. My right to travel freely would require government-imposed obligations on others to provide me with airfare and hotel accommodations.

For government to guarantee a “right” to health care, or any other good or service, whether a person can afford it or not, it must diminish someone else’s rights, namely his rights to his earnings. The reason is that government has no resources of its own. Moreover, there is no Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy giving the government those resources. The fact that government has no resources of its own forces one to recognize that for government to give one American citizen a dollar, it must first, through intimidation, threats, and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American. In other words, if one person has a right to something he did not earn, it of necessity requires another person not to have a right to something that he did earn.

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