Rights vs. Liberties


Rights vs. Liberties

Strictly speaking, I am not in favour of ‘rights’. The word ‘right’ began as a synonym for ‘law’ and denoted what nascent states could or could not do to interfere in the liberties of their subjects. Only liberties exist in the natural sense and the only debate is the extent to which our liberties (to speak freely, to perambulate around, to own and use guns, or whatever) should be restricted by ‘rights’.

Thus rights and liberties are opposites. When you speak of ‘gun rights’ or the ‘right to bear arms’, what you should really be talking about is the abolition of the state’s right (or moral privilege) to interfere with a liberty that we have always had.


The Third Rail


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The Third Rail

I created this site for my own purposes more than anything else.  I write a lot, both fiction and non-fiction, and across a range of subjects.  This is a space where I can set out my views and think through various issues, both things that are personal and things of wider relevancy.  I don’t expect anyone else to read my thoughts or comments, but if anyone is reading this, then thanks for stopping by.  I hope you find something here of interest.

You may wish to comment on my essays and other posts.  That would be very much appreciated, especially if you have something to teach me, and I will endeavour to reply – but please remember that this is a site for independent thought.  Thought-Police bores and PC drones are not wanted.  If you fall into those categories but are willing to set out your thoughts and ideas calmly and coherently, then you’re as welcome here as anyone. Otherwise, take your manufactured outrage somewhere else.

I don’t mind contrary views, especially if they challenge some of my own prejudices and assumptions.  Moral and intellectual growth involves an acceptance of criticism, but true debate involves not ‘winning’ or ‘losing’, but an exchange of ideas and a determination to reach an understanding.