Re: meaning of life

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 09:38:23 MST

denis bider wrote:
> Samantha Atkins:
> > Humans have natural rights because of the type of natural
> > being they are, because of their specific nature. This is
> > where 'natural' in 'natural rights' comes from. 'Rights'
> > in this context are those conditions in the interactions
> > among human beings required by human beings, by their nature,
> > for optimal functioning. Most such rights are negative
> > such as the non-initiation of physical force rather than
> > positive such as the supposed right some claim to goods
> > provided by the work of others.
> Counting from the beginning of the quoted paragraph, the third sentence
> makes sense to me. [Others don't.] "Rights are those conditions in the
> interactions among human beings required by human beings for optimal
> functioning." That is OK, that is the essence of my definition of 'rights'
> as well.
> What doesn't make sense to me is your attempt to state that such
> 'conditions' are predetermined, and eternal. I have no capacity to
> understand how anyone could believe such utter nonsense. I hope you don't
> actually believe that? Do you seriously believe that such 'conditions', as
> you stated, are predetermined and eternal?
> If you do, you sound utterly totalitarian to me, no matter how you might
> think you're not. Because if it is so, you're making an outrageous
> assumption that every human being's "requirements for optimal functioning"
> are the same - and indeed, that such requirements never change.

No, she isn't. What she is saying is that man naturally evolved to
behave as he is, and because of this evolved behavior (and the genes
they derive from), there is an 'optimum' set of rules for living that
produce the maximum happiness for the maximum possible number of people.
This is NOT totalitarian, this is an open ended, liberatarian, systems
based approach. However, to a european, I am sure being told to keep
their hands off controlling other people seems like fascism, just like
'freedom of religion' means the freedom to persecute other religions to
some fundamentalists.

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