Suffering Presence – 3

In Suffering Presence in an essay on rights duties and experimentation on children

rights are neccessary when it is assumed that citizens fundamentally relate to one another as strangers, if not outright enemies. From such a perspective society appears as a collection of individuals who of neccessity must enter into a bargain to insure their survival through providing for the survival of the society

The language of “rights” is fairly prevalent in any ethical discussion today. Rights are fine as far as they go but have completely dwarfed (if not erased) any discussion of duty.

We seem to live as beings of entitlement who are deserving of certain things. The idea that we live as beings who owe certain responsibilities to other beings is something we are far less familiar with in the discussion of ethics.

Yet these actions of duty and obligation seem to come naturally to us (more or less) in the setting of family and friendship.

 

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