RIGHTS, FREEDOM AND TOLERANCE


I. Centrality of Rights

            A. Inalienable rights - at least to non-interference - vs. Claim to society's resources

            B. Political freedom

            C. Social tolerance

II. Limitations in Practice

           A. Social needs limit rights - utilitarianism as anti-rights principle

                        1. graduated income tax

                        2. compulsory education

                        3. consumer protection

                        4. integration

Freedom and tolerance only for the irrelevant or the uncertain

[Unified position: rights justified only as they contribute to social needs, therefore overridden when they conflict with those needs]

III. The Torah Viewpoint - Obligations Replace Rights

            A. No word for rights

            B. Practical differences

                        1. rights can be waived

                        2. who may redress wrongs

            C. No property rights - "The earth is the Lord's ..." - miser vs. indiscriminate giver

            D. No bodily rights - abortion

            E. No right to life - suicide

 F. Rights - infinite worth of any human will; Obligations - value in appropriate exercise of will in       relation to G-d


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