Single Idea 8022

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Values / a. Natural freedom]

Full Idea

The essence of the claim to natural rights is that no one has a right against me unless he can cite some contract, my consent to it, and his performance of his obligations under it.

Gist of Idea

I am naturally free if I am not tied to anyone by a contract


Alasdair MacIntyre (A Short History of Ethics [1967], Ch.11)

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'A Short History of Ethics' [Routledge 1967], p.155

A Reaction

This has become the foundation of western democracy, and the rebellious teenager's charter. Children have not consented to a contract with their parents. Close and loving relationships cease to be contractual.