Un/Common Concepts of Rights

I don’t think most people have a very clear idea of what a “right” is. Conversationally and in the news, the concept of a right seems to range from a basic human need (food, shelter) to abstractions about life in society (property, movement) to social expectations that might vary by time and culture (harassment, religion).

I think there are some elements of truth in varying degree to each one of those, but we rarely ever encounter any clear definition of the term that people agree on. And I think a lot of our political discussions would go a lot farther if we did have more agreement on that term.