Chapter

Taking Rights Seriously

Robert P. George

in Making Men Moral

Published in print April 1995 | ISBN: 9780198260240
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682063 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198260240.003.0005

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

Taking Rights Seriously

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This chapter focuses on Waldron's view of the existence of a person's right to do something which he or she knows is morally wrong. According to Waldron, the exercise of such a right cannot be curtailed by the government for the reason that it is the wrongdoer's right not to be interfered with. He calls these forms of rights strong rights. Waldron defends his view by claiming that such ‘rights’ promote a person's integrity and self-constitution by allowing him to decide on important matters on his own will. He also bases his claim on the belief that allowing people to make wrong decisions strengthens their moral character. Waldron's view was refuted by Galston by advancing the view that even though men are given the free will to choose such wrong actions there is no strong moral right to perform immoral actions.

Keywords: Waldron; rights; Galston; strong rights; integrity; moral character

Chapter.  7925 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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