All posts filed under: justice

Beyond the Hand-Wavy Version of the Rule of Law

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freedom / governance / justice / law / philosophy

(source) The rule of law, as opposed to the rule of men, is believed to be the best way to avoid oppression and rights violations, and rightly so. However, the rule of law, in a superficial definition of the concept, can be just as bad as lawless oppression, because a law can allow or even force people to violate rights and to harm people in such a way that they are no longer free. Governments can and […]

Universal Basic Income as the Foundation of Freedom

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economics / equality / freedom / justice / philosophy / poverty / work

I favor a Universal Basic Income (UBI) because it offers financial security and predictability, which in turn provide freedom from necessity. This “freedom from” is required for any meaningful “freedom to“. By allowing people to effortlessly and foreseeably pay for the material resources that they need for a minimally decent life, a UBI liberates them to pursue the goals they have set for their lives – or even set these goals in the first place. Life’s pursuits all too often get pushed […]

The Ethics of Human Rights (88): Justice and Proportionality

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art / equality / ethics of human rights / justice

(source) The notion of proportionality is central to many theories of justice: the criminal should receive punishment that is proportional to the crime; in war and law enforcement, the army or the police should not use disproportionate amounts of force; people’s economic rewards should be proportional to what they deserve and to the amounts of personal effort, skill or whatever you believe is a basis of desert; the people’s representatives in democratic institutions should represent […]

The Ethics of Human Rights (80): The Limits of Justice, Non-Discrimination and Equality of Opportunity

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ethics of human rights / justice / philosophy

(source) Here are 3 fake and somewhat ridiculous news stories. I’m asking you to suspend your disbelief for a moment – all this has a serious purpose which will become clear afterwards: 1. Social activists have collaborated with one of the largest chemical companies in the country in order to produce a vitamin supplement for dogs. This supplement will modify dogs’ metabolism so as to produce dog feces that has a consistency similar to rabbit […]

Human Rights Promotion (13): Human Rights, Pareto Improvements, and a Difference Principle

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economics / equality / human rights promotion / justice / philosophy / statistics

Human rights activism is rarely zero-sum, in the sense that we can only improve the rights protection of some through the imposition of an equal loss on others. More commonly we selectively improve protection for some without reducing protection for others. For example, if a judge protects a journalist’s free speech rights against government censorship, no one else’s rights protection is proportionally reduced. (This is zero-sum in the sense that more free speech means less […]