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Rights like 'free speech' or 'personal property' are primarily about limiting harm from others. They do not force someone to do anything, although they do limit their actions. Recently people talk about 'right to a job' or 'right to not be offended'. These require significant coercion.

Under Egoism, no rights really make sense (although we might wish others to respect our own). An egoist does not recognise the rights of others, their freedom stops at the limits of their own power. Despite this, it may still make sense for an egoist to promote rights, such as natural rights, in order to further their own agenda. An egoist who wants to reduce poverty might promote utilitarianism, etc.

This is one way of understanding Is Ought. There is an internal moral system and an external one. The internal one is the moral system the agent believes to be correct. For a moral nihilist, is/ought cannot be overcome, and there is therefore no internal moral system. They may still have an external moral system however, this would be the moral system that results in the best outcomes for themselves if they promote it. See also Ethics - nihilism and Instrumental utilitarianism

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Last modified 2019-05-16 Thu 10:20. Contact