On re-reading my earlier post in response to Charlie Stross's human rights
nature, I see that it comes across as more negative than I actually felt.
I enjoyed your earlier post on human rights, Charlie and agree with your
statement that there is no such thing as a natural right derived from human
nature. I agree that it's more useful (and accurate, I'd add) to view
rights as emerging from social interaction.
The point about which I disagree with you (and I'm not sure we disagree all
that much--it's difficult to express such elusive concepts) is the one you
made about there being no workable definition of human nature. At least I
interpreted what you wrote to mean this. I generally prefer to avoid the
word "nature" because it's been used in ways that render it nearly
I do think there are certain traits that all normal humans share and that
these traits can shed light on which social systems are likely to work
better than others.
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