Are There Any Natural Rights?

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Patrick Hart in the text “Are there Any Natural Rights?” argues, that if there are any moral rights, then there exists at least one natural right, the equal right of all men being free. This right is not created or conferred by men’s voluntary action; other moral rights are. “No man has an absolute or unconditional right to do or not do any particular thing or to be treated in any particular way, coercion or restraint of any action may be justified in special conditions consistently with the general principal (152).” Hart argues that the right of all men to be free is absolute, indefeasible, or imprescriptible. Natural rights are those not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and therefore universal and inalienable. Furthermore, there is a connection between the moral and legal rights, which as a result pinpoints a moral right from other fundamental moral concepts. The concept of men asserting his moral rights into a legal system falls under the branch of morality. The branch of morality determines when a person’s freedom may be limited by another’s to determine what actions are appropriate to be the subject of coercive legal rules (153). Based upon the idea of freedom of men being a natural right, emerge two principle concepts that make this right to liberty function. For example, Hart contends that firstly, there is a “right to restraint on the part of all others from the use of coercion against (the individual).”
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