Will there be a day when the rights of animals are taken as seriously as the rights of humans? Maybe. And if this is the case, what does this say about us?
Despite going very slowly, it seems undeniable that human kind is moving towards ever expanding concern for others. Yes, there are parts of the world where this isn’t the case, but it nonetheless seems that, on the whole, we are slowly moving forward.
Just in the short history of the U.S., there was a time when only white, property owning men were recognized as full citizens of the nation. People of color, women, and the disabled had to fight long and hard for legal recognition, and unfortunately, the struggle continues for these groups to secure full and equal freedom.
Only very recently has the gay community been widely accepted into general society, though the fight for equality continues.
Struggles for recognition are ongoing, but when we compare America today with America of 200 years ago, there is an obvious expansion of our concern for our fellow human beings.
It is not only people who we are beginning to be concerned with, though. Animal rights have made slow progress, and at this point it is uncontroversial to condemn the suffering of animals. We love our pets, support organizations like the ASPCA, and react violently when we see animal abuse (although legal punishments for such abuse are still usually mere slaps on the wrist).
Posted in Civil Rights, Freedom and Equality, General Politics, Race Relations
Tagged abolitionist, animal rights, ASPCA, equal rights, meat, racism, sexism, slave master, slavery, speciesism, suffering, veganism, vegetarianism
Will Rand Paul be calling for open borders? Not likely; but perhaps, as a libertarian, he should.
Few of us have ever stopped to consider whether a country is justified in limiting who can enter its borders. However, it actually may be the case that justice demands open borders.
Libertarianism, a popular political movement at the moment, exemplified by much of the Republican party, actually implies that border control as we understand it is a massive violation of our rights. This is the second part of a series of blogs based on Joseph Carens’s “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.”
The foundation of libertarianism is that the state does not have any rights which an individual does not have in a situation without government. For instance, imagining a time without government, I have no right to take your property and distribute it as I see fit, so the state does not have such a right either – which is why libertarians fight against welfare programs. To redistribute property, on the libertarian account, is a violation of rights.
Posted in Civil Rights, Crime and Punishment, Foreign Policy, Freedom and Equality, General Politics, Immigration
Tagged aliens and citizens, border control, carens, freedom of assocaition, illegal aliens, justice, libertarianism, open borders, property rights, Rand paul, rights, undocumented
Whatever you think about the current immigration debate, you have likely never questioned our country’s right to dictate who can, and cannot enter our borders. But, what if we are all wrong about that?
This is the first part of a series of blogs concerning arguments for open borders. However crazy this sounds, I will give three separate arguments for open borders, each from a very different ethical perspective – the greatest good for the greatest number, libertarianism, and from the perspective of impartial rights – which should cover most of my readers.
These arguments were originally conceived by Joseph Carens, in his groundbreaking paper, “Aliens and Citizens: The Case for Open Borders.” All I will do is reformulate and simplify his arguments in order to call into question one basic assumption we all share – countries have a right to prevent people from crossing their borders.
This first argument concerns utilitarianism. This is the ethic of bringing about the greatest good for the greatest number of people. The idea is that we should pursue policies that provide for the greatest overall level of well-being for everyone affected by the policies.
Posted in Civil Rights, Crime and Punishment, Economics, Foreign Policy, Freedom and Equality, General Politics, Immigration
Tagged assumption, border patrol, Carnes, closed borders, economy, greatest good, ICE, immigration, justice, U.S., undocumented, utilitarianism
We must not turn our backs on public education – it must not become a for-profit business.
In a recent opinion piece, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) championed a Florida program that provides tax dollars for low-income children to go to private schools. Such programs, in which the government gives people a “voucher” that they can use to pay tuition at a private school, have become a popular talking point, especially among libertarians.
However, such voucher programs are fundamentally flawed in that they miss the point of the problem. Supporters argue that children in low-income neighborhoods are forced into schools that cannot offer them a good education. This is assuredly true. Their solution is that we must get our kids out of these schools, and into the capable hands of private institutions. This, though, is the wrong conclusion.
Imagine that one of the walls of your house has fallen in. Your house is really no longer doing its full job as a house. Sure, it keeps the rain off of your head, but it lets in bugs and wind, and a big hole is of little deterrence to would-be burglars. So, what should you do about your broken house? Fix the wall, obviously. What you do not do is buy a new house.
Posted in Civil Rights, Economics, Education, Freedom and Equality
Tagged broken system, children, class, education, Florida, libertarian, Marco Rubio, poverty, private school, public school, vouchers, Walton
“We cannot let judges overrule the decisions of a democratic majority!”
This is the all to common response, often given in the tone of righteous indignation, to various courts deeming bans on gay marriage unconstitutional. With the Supreme Court bringing about marriage equality in 11 additional states last week, we have heard a new slew of charges that the Court is ignoring the democratic mandate of the people.
According to Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, when the supreme court makes such a move, it is “robbing the people of their vote and their voice.”
However, this argument is not valid, and it is time to debunk this all to common reasoning.
Posted in Civil Rights, Freedom and Equality, General Politics, Supreme Court, Voting
Tagged amendment, bill of rights, constitution, democracy, gay marriage, marriage equality, Supreme Court