Human Rights: Fact or Fancy?
by Henry Veatch

To prove that there are no natural rights, Henry Veatch equates the state of nature with the methodology of modern science, which is alleged to be amoral, hence the state of nature must be seen as amoral and devoid of rights and duties.
"In other words, a Hobbesian state of nature -- and presumably a Rawlsian or a Nozickian or Dworkinian state of nature as well -- has to be nothing if not the nature of modern natural science. And from the point of view of modern science must be admitted to be wholly and completely amoral." page 10
The state of nature that these philosophers refer to is simply the condition that human beings were in before they became subjects of governments or became citizens of civil societies. To confuse this meaning of the state of nature with the value-free methodology of modern science is an indication of stupidity or disingenuousness. If the methodology of science goes with the historical or hypothetical condition of no government, what methodology goes with civil society? We can't use the scientific point of view to analyze civil society because then, if we accept Veatch's assumption, civil society and the state of nature would both be equal to the same thing (science) and hence would be equal to each other. Veatch is annoying to read. His philosophy is trivial and question-begging.

Year Read: 1989


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