By John Rowan
The language of rights is applied often in debates over modern social issues—a fetus’s “right to lifestyles” as opposed to a woman’s “right to choose,” for instance. simply because those debates pertain to what our social guidelines can be, it's transparent that the rights in query are ethical rights, and that present criminal rights needs to be replaced or maintained hence. the matter, although, is that ethical rights require ethical justification. In Conflicts of Rights, John Rowan takes this subsequent step, and investigates attainable ethical justifications for rights purported to exist in 4 contexts: abortion, affirmative motion, welfare, and pornography freedoms. In doing so, he reaches conclusions in regards to the morally acceptable coverage for every factor, and in addition in regards to the effectiveness of rights language generally.
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Extra resources for Conflicts Of Rights: Moral Theory And Social Policy Implications
F ohn Bow ring (Edinburgh: Williarn Tate, 1843), 501. 2. &orkin, life%B~minic>n (Mew York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), 28-29. 3, The irnpadance of the s e v e n - s e c d sound bite in the expanding broadcast media should also be undersc;cored, What better way to maximize the impact of one's (very brief) time than to employ the language of rights? Related prc~blems are discussed in Mary Ann Glendon, Rights Talk: The h p v e k h m e n t of Poktical 12ixc1um (New Yctrk: The Free Press, 19C)1),especially Chapter 1.
H o r k i n " explicit remark is that these are classifications of political thec~ries,but it is clear from subsequent remark that they apply equally well to general moral theories. '7. J. L. " in i n h a t ~ oeE Kghts, ed. jeremy Waldrm (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984). 8, Joseph Raz, "Right-Based Moralities" in Utility and Rghts, ed, R, G. Frey (Minneapalis: University of Minnesota Press, 4984). 9, The assumption is that the current general understanding of moral rights is nymous with Bentham" j%aturaI" "rights-.
Other aspects of the definitinn quire attention as well. Beforcl turning to those, however, it would be helpful to quickly =view a distinction Raz malces that is not explicit in the defhitim itself. Some rights are grounded directly h interests, while others, though also ultirnateXy grounded in interests, are directly justified. by other rights. The former Raz labels as core rights, the latter derivathe rights. (Raz, 168-169) He is hesitant to say which rights belong to which category; indeed, be makes it clear that he does not wish to suggest which rights mi@t exist at atl as a conscqumce of his theory.