1 R. J. Rummel, Death by Government, pages 3-9.
2 Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Ethics.
3 Philosophers don't get out much.
4 Randy Barnett in The Structure of Liberty p. 302 agrees:
... force can only be used to vindicate the "perfect" rights that define justice, not to mandate or prohibit other types of conduct that may be considered morally good or bad.
5 Robert Sugden, in "The Contractarian Enterprise" in Rationality, Justice and the Social Contract, p. 4 makes this point:
Much philosophical effort, over thousands of years, has been spent on inconclusive debate about the true nature of a good life or a good society.
6 Cited by Charles E. Rice in "Some Reasons for a Restoration of Natural Law in Jurisprudence" Wake Forest Law Review Volume 24 Number 3, 1989 p. 556.
7 Ibid p. 557:
If man is merely matter, with no destiny beyond the grave, there is no intrinsic reason for any absolute limits on what society and the State can do to him. The only intelligible basis for asserting absolute, inalienable rights against the State is that man is an immortal, spiritual creature, with an eternal destiny, made in the image and likeness of God whose law governs all.
8 Randy Barnett makes this distinction in The Structure of Liberty p. 15.
9 Thomas Reid, in The Scottish Moralists on p. 220, explained the relationship between rights and duties this way:
They have the same relation which credit has to debt. As all credit supposes an equivalent debt, so all right supposes a corresponding duty. There can be no credit in one party without an equivalent debt in another party; and there can be no right in one party without a corresponding duty in another party. The sum of credits shows the sum of debts and the sum of men's rights shows, in like manner, the sum of their duty to one another.Randy Barnett explains the same relationship in The Structure of Liberty p. 73 this way:
Rights impose duties on others; in the absence of other persons, rights have no meaning, ... It cannot be the case that persons can do anything they wish with their rightfully owned physical resources. For should they act in such a manner as to prevent others from using their rightfully owned resources then the rights have no meaning.
10 Thomas Reid further explains on p. 221:
What I have a right to do, it is the duty of all men not to hinder me from doing. What is my property or real right, no man ought to take from me, or to molest me in the use and enjoyment of it. And what I have a right to demand of any man, it is his duty to perform. Between the right on the one hand, and the duty on the other, there is not only a necessary connection, but, in reality, they are only different expressions of the same meaning; just as it is the same thing to say, I am your debtor, and to say, you are my creditor, or as it is the same thing to say, I am your father, and to say, You are my son.
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