Evaluation Of The Problem : Robert Nozick

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Evaluation of the Problem: Robert Nozick Robert Nozick, an American philosopher at Harvard University, believes that “individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights)” (Nozick 1974, ix). Since individuals are born with rights, there are certain ways in which individuals and political institutions should act towards humanity. For example, Nozick claims that in order to protect individual rights, the government should have severely restricted power to regulate private property (Gensler et al. 2004, 235). Nozick, therefore, would argue against environmental regulations because they impose a constraint on human rights. He would claim that the United States is founded upon the…show more content…
Additionally, if the polluting company freely transfers that pollution to another area, then it is just. Another important aspect is understanding the historical nature of coal companies and pollution. If you were to just consider the current negative aspects of pollution about how environmental and human health are suffering, then you would not be able to determine if the act was just or unjust. Instead, you need to understand the historical context of the situation. In this example, the end result would be just according to Nozick because you would have to consider that consumers, who are also rational beings, freely decided to purchase electricity that came from a coal polluting coal industry. As explained above, Nozick does not consider government regulations of the command and control approach, as seen in the Stream Protection Rule moral because the government is restricting individual behavior and the act of pollution is not necessarily immoral in itself. To expand these ideas, Nozick would also agree that other forms of environmental regulation such as taxation are unjust. He compares taxation to slavery because our compensation for labor is taken away. Nozick claims that though taxation is not inherently wrong, people should have the right to choose how they want to spend their earned money, instead of the government withdrawing it without consent. For example, if the government
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