It's not just "extreme" it's incomplete; you can pay someone to have sex with them. But the problem with your analogy is that the wealth people accumulate isn't dependent entirely on their own merits, it's due in part to the collective so it wouldn't be a violation of their rights for the collective to take some of that income back.
There are those incel types even in places with legalized prostitution. Perhaps some might even lack the financial means. :-D I find the mixed attitudes towards those to be so different from critiques of panhandlers, for example, where many believe they choose to beg when homeless shelters and jobs are available for them.>> [...] is that the wealth people accumulate isn't dependent entirely on their own merits [...]Merit is too difficult to define to me in an all-inclusive way, and there's some sense of bias from the eye of the beholder. It's like is a Renaissance painting truly worth tens of millions of dollars when a modern composition of similar skill only commands thousands? The value is based on whatever people assign to it. It can't be measured in a perfectly objective way divorced of such bias.In a similar sense, if a millionaire passes his wealth onto his children, there's a bias there but he's voluntarily transferring his property to them. In his eyes, they have that value to him.What we can somewhat measure is whether force was involved in the transition. If someone was forced to transfer their goods/services at the threat of force (ex: imprisonment or death if resisted), that's a totally different type of transaction from a voluntary one between both parties.
[...] I find the mixed attitudes towards those to [NOT] be so different from critiques of panhandlers [...]
What we can safely say is that without a collective we couldn't have the standard of living we do now. Yes there is a threat of force on behalf of the government when it comes to taxation vs a voluntary transaction but in a voluntary transaction the other party isn't responsible for protecting you from violence; the government is so we grant the state powers that we don't grant to individuals rendering the threat of force argument moot.
It's like asking what gives the government the right to put a price cap on how much you can sell your invention? Because the government enforces your patent on it and without that anyone could rip it off.
Collectives can exist independent of the state. The difference as I see it between public and private is basically legally-sanctioned. The state's ultimate power comes from being able to use force. Microsoft can and does dominate the desktop operating system market, but they can't force people to buy Windows at gunpoint. And someone in the private sector can voluntarily offer charity to the poor, but they're not forced to do it at gunpoint.But I can't see how any sort of system that, even at a conceptual level (excluding the flaws of execution) involves forcefully imposing costs on one group of people at the benefit of the other, whether that's slavery or welfare, can be considered to exist in order to enforce "human rights".
[...] The difference as I see it between public and private is basically legally-sanctioned [FORCE, sorry] [...]
Without the power of the state the collectives couldn't form the infrastructure that our society relies on. Where your analogy falls apart is where we grant the government powers that we wouldn't grant to individuals because it's necessary for our society to function. No, Microsoft can't force me to buy a computer at gunpoint but if I steal a computer from them they can't abduct me and hold me against my will for it but the government can imprison me for stealing. Similarly, the private sector can't forcefully make people give money to the poor but the government can for the well being of society.
>> It's like asking what gives the government the right to put a price cap on how much you can sell your invention? Because the government enforces your patent on it and without that anyone could rip it off.Intellectual property is definitely a complex subject since it's so easy to steal. But fundamentally the purpose of a patent is to prevent a form of theft or, more generalized, a violation of your property. What distinguishes at the generalized principle from other types of property protection?Is it right for the government to put a price cap on how much you charge customers (which could be employers depending on the case) for your job? Cause they offer similar types of protection of your property.At what point does it become abusive for the sole legally-sanctioned body to use force to dictate terms and conditions? And also, perhaps, at what point would we cease to reach a near-unanimous agreement as to where the boundaries should be drawn? This second question might also be of importance, since if a good number of people, especially very resourceful ones, perceive the government to be abusive, then they possess means to corrupt the entire system and exploit every single possible loophole or even begin outright breaking laws or packing up and leaving to a place they find more agreeable.
To me, it's basically, "We will only protect you from theft only if you abide by these terms and conditions", and I would very quickly start to find that abusive when the group setting these terms are the sole entity capable of providing such protection from theft, and already paid to do so by all taxpayers for that protection.The government ultimately protects our property there's a fairly clear line to me that's crossed when we have policies that very blatantly boil down to, "We will only protect you from murder/rape/theft/vandalism/slavery IF you do these things." Of course, it can get very nuanced and debatable in some cases, but not so much in others as I see it.
Admittedly I'm a bit guilty of generalizing and oversimplifying lots of these issues. But fundamentally I see it as a question of forceful vs. voluntary exchanges, and the ultimate question (for which I lack a perfect answer) being the degree of force necessary to build and sustain society.
Well I think it would be abusive to refuse to protect someone from theft but it would also be abusive to refuse to protect people from poverty.
The difficulty I think that distinguishes the two is that at least conceptually, the former type of protection is afforded to everyone. The latter type could be argued as a form of "legally-sanctioned theft", as it requires depriving someone of their property in order to benefit another.Well, I suppose we could somewhat work our way towards an appeal to this potentially benefitting all citizens since even a millionaire could go from riches to rags if he gambles away all his/her wealth on business ventures that fail or just spend everything like a madman. I am not necessarily opposed to such arguments.Where I'm still reluctant to call this a "human right" is because it still requires someone producing food to feed another, e. g. Take a simplified scenario involving a group of hungry soldiers arriving in a small village. If avoiding hunger is a "human right", then it might suggest to me that they are justified in threatening the people in the village and forcing them to provide food.The ultimate point of a "human right" as I see it is protection from force, not necessarily from hunger, or poverty, or cold, or heat, or dehydration, or anything of this sort.
The protection from poverty and safety would be afforded to everyone and both have to be payed for by tax dollars.
I'm not opposed to government efforts to relieve poverty necessarily. It's mostly the language of "human rights". I don't like to muddy them by assuming people have a right to things that require other people to provide (positive rights, and specifically a certain type of subset). Otherwise, I think it gets murky with respect to what can and can't be declared a right.For example, a warlord could claim it is his "right" to take women and slaves in a conquered land in exchange for protecting them. And he probably certainly get away with that due to his might.But what can make that a violation of "human rights" if we see it as such? And I see it as about force. At least it gets very muddy as I see it when we try to extend the notion of "human rights" to things that others must provide for us.In general, I think it distracts from the underlying ethics. To declare something a right as I see it is a declaration of the justification of force to protect it. If it's something like liberty, then no one else has to provide our own liberty, they merely have to avoid taking it away. If it's something like wealth or food, then someone else has to be forced to provide it. And I'm not necessarily opposed to doing that, but I'm a bit worried that calling such things a "human right" will take away all reluctance to utilize force in these contexts.
If I go back to the analogy of hungry soldiers arriving in the village, then perhaps, for survival, they find the lack of hospitality requires force for them to survive. I can agree with "necessary evils" in some contexts, including poverty. But to call something like food a "human right" could make the metaphorical soldiers not even reluctant about drawing their weapons to demand food. At that point it is their "human right", and thus they might feel completely free to use might. I would at least like to preserve the notion that this is some form of wrong-doing, even if it is absolutely necessary.
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Glad someone else thinks like this...Human rights are but a construct. Anyone can take away our freedoms if they have the power to and there isn't always something to stop them from doing so.