I think a lot of people would define a right as "something everyone should have."

Author:T.J. Swoboda
Date:2017-10-08 12:47:19
Edited:2017-10-08 13:22:24
As a bleeding heart libertarian, there are things I would say everyone should have that aren't rights. The reason owning a belt-fed .50 caliber machine gun can be considered a right while having food to eat isn't, is that a right is an action one can freely take without interference by direct force; it's never something that can place a burden on others.

People who say the above are often Randoids who don't give a whit whether their neighbor has food or access to an oncologist. They're short-sighted, and I'm not one of them; if we define evil as absence of empathy, then letting someone suffer or die unnecessarily is evil. But, this same definition of evil also encompasses taxing hard-working people to the sustenance level; again, absence of empathy.

Hence, bleeding heart libertarianism: We do have a moral obligation to help those less fortunate than us. How our least-fortunate live is a benchmark of our society (not the only benchmark, but an important one). But, there are tools in our box other than coercive government. Failing to remember that is just trading one problem, evil, or suffering for another.

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