If rights pertain to humans by nature, could anyone renounce to his liberty, property, become a slave or lose certain rights in some kind of penalty?
What would happen if I accept to be someone's slave but then I don't want to anymore. Being a human, I should be able to be free just because I'm human. Then again, I agreed that I would lose my liberty. Do we respect the contrat or the inherent right in this case?
Or maybe it should be ilegal or not possible to renounce your rights but that would mean you don't have liberty, right?
All in all, what's the Objectivist view on the idea of forfeiting or losing rights?
asked Jun 24 '13 at 19:51
Juan Diego dAnconia
Ayn Rand wrote that "rights are moral principles that define and sanction an individual's freedom of action in a social context." I would say then that since no one can "lose" moral principles no one really loses his rights. But one can expect to be treated as he treats others. If he fails to respect the rights of others, he cannot expect others to respect his. Because that's what's "right."
I hope Ericmaughan43 does not mind me quoting him, but his answer to another question, while unfitting of your example, addresses the essentials of your question. I'll quote him here:
One thing I want to emphasize in Ericmaughan43's answer above, is his plea to remember that "rights are not intrinsic--they are principles that arise in a context." When the questioner says, "I should be able to be free just because I'm human" (emphasis added), the proper understanding of rights is lost. A serial killer should not be left free to roam the streets and prey on victims simply because he is human. He has left the sphere of social context in which rights exist absolutely. Our right to the pursuit of our own happiness is itself a right made possible only in a context of respect for the rights of others. A serial killer does not share such respect and thus cannot lay claim to those rights. See this question, its comments, and answers for further understanding of contextual rights, as well as the Ayn Rand Lexicon entries on Individual Rights.
answered Jul 04 '13 at 00:33
JK Gregg ♦