Single Idea 8050

[catalogued under 25. Society / A. State of Nature / 2. Natural Values / c. Natural rights]

Full Idea

There are no natural or human rights, and belief in them is one with belief in witches and in unicorns.

Gist of Idea

There are no natural or human rights, and belief in them is nonsense

Source

Alasdair MacIntyre (After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory [1981], Ch. 6)

Book Reference

MacIntyre,Alasdair: 'After Virtue: a Study in Moral Theory' [Duckworth 1982], p.67


A Reaction

His point is that the notion of 'rights' only arises out of a community. However, while you might criticise an individual for absurdly asserting all sorts of dubious rights, no one could criticise them if they asserted the right to defend their own life.