Rights Ethics with Regards to Locke

In week three, we were looking at rights ethics with regards to Locke. As a reminder, Locke said we have inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property. It is immoral to violate them. Many think we have more rights than those listed by Locke. Some even think we have a right to health care. That means it is the duty of the state to provide each citizen with their medical needs.

Rights theory says to respect the entitlements we have. If a right is inalienable, it cannot truly be violated ethically even with our consent. We have basic needs. Rights are something beyond needs. They are what we should be authorized to have. We are due what we have a right to. That is not always the case with need. For example, we need food, but people often go hungry. A need refers to something we need physically to exist. A right is a moral entitlement to something. Asking if we have a right to food is a moral question. Needs are determined by the requirements of the body and of material existence. Rights are determined by moral reflection, inquiry, an argument We have a right to own property. We do not need it to live. We could imaginably be allowed to use another’s. We have a right to own a home. We can rent.

For the initial post, respond to one of the following options, and label the beginning of your post indicating either Option 1 or Option 2:

Option 1: Assess the moral solutions arrived at through “care” (care-based ethics) and “rights” ethics to social issues of ethical import such as poverty, drug use, and/or lack of health care,

That is, note any ethical problems that arise related to those particular issues. Then, say how both care-based and rights theory of ethics would solve those problems.

Are those solutions correct? Why or why not?

What is your own approach there?

Option 2: What moral guidelines should we use when it comes to recently introduced healthcare technologies of any kind (you will note and engage with your own examples) and social technologies of any kind (you will note and engage with your own examples)?

Involve care-based ethics in your answer

rights ethics with regards to Locke

Option 1:

Rights ethics, as elucidated by Locke, provides a foundational framework for understanding ethical entitlements such as life, liberty, and property. It establishes a clear set of principles upon which societal norms and laws can be built. However, when it comes to addressing complex social issues like poverty, drug use, and lack of healthcare, rights-based ethics encounters some limitations.

One ethical problem that arises with poverty is the stark inequality in access to resources and opportunities. While rights theory emphasizes individual entitlements, it often falls short in addressing systemic issues that perpetuate poverty. For instance, individuals born into impoverished communities may lack equal access to education and employment opportunities, thus hindering their ability to exercise their rights to life and property.

Similarly, in the context of drug use, rights ethics may struggle to provide adequate solutions. While individuals have a right to liberty, the use of drugs may pose harm not only to the individual but also to society at large. Balancing the rights of individuals with the need to protect public health and safety presents a moral dilemma that rights theory alone may not sufficiently address.

Regarding healthcare, the debate over whether healthcare is a fundamental right highlights another ethical challenge. While rights theory may argue that individuals have a right to life and therefore access to healthcare, it does not provide a clear framework for addressing how healthcare should be provided and funded. This leaves room for ambiguity and disagreement on the extent of the state’s responsibility in ensuring access to healthcare for all citizens.

In contrast, care-based ethics offers a more nuanced approach to addressing these social issues. Care ethics emphasizes the importance of relationships, empathy, and compassion in ethical decision-making. It recognizes the interconnectedness of individuals and societies and the moral obligation to care for one another.

In the context of poverty, care ethics would emphasize the importance of addressing underlying systemic factors such as inequality and social injustice. Rather than solely focusing on individual rights, care ethics calls for a collective responsibility to support those in need and create a more just and equitable society.

Similarly, in addressing drug use, care ethics would prioritize harm reduction strategies that prioritize the well-being of individuals struggling with addiction while also considering the impact on their families and communities. This approach emphasizes support, rehabilitation, and community-based interventions rather than punitive measures.

When it comes to healthcare, care ethics advocates for a healthcare system that prioritizes the needs of individuals and communities over profit. It emphasizes the importance of providing compassionate and equitable care to all, regardless of socioeconomic status.

In assessing the moral solutions offered by both care-based and rights ethics, it is important to recognize that neither approach is entirely correct or incorrect. Instead, they offer complementary perspectives that can be integrated to address complex social issues more effectively. By combining the principles of rights ethics with the relational perspective of care ethics, we can develop more holistic and compassionate solutions that prioritize both individual rights and the common good. My own approach aligns with this integrated framework, recognizing the importance of respecting individual rights while also prioritizing care, empathy, and social justice in addressing societal challenges.

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