Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jeremy Bentham

In proportion to the want of happiness resulting from the want of rights, a reason exists for wishing that there were such things as rights. But reasons for wishing there were such things as rights, are not rights; a reason for wishing that a certain right were established, is not that right--want is not supply--hunger is not bread.... That which has no existence cannot be destroyed-- that which cannot be destroyed cannot require anything to preserve it from destruction. Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense--nonsense upon stilts.
--Jeremy Bentham, Anarchical Fallacies (1791)

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