Freedom vs Paternalism and Natural Rights

Freedom vs Paternalism and Natural Rights

Question #1: What kind of spaghetti sauce do you like?

Watch the TED Talk by Malcolm Gladwell, “Choice, Happiness, & Spaghetti Sauce.” and then thank of it in the context of Blackburn’s discussion of Freedom vs Paternalism (see attachment). An interesting thing is that it took an expert to discover that many of us ‘deep in our hearts’ actually desired chunky spaghetti sauce. So, here’s the question: in modern democracies, like the U.S., is there a place for Paternalism in Government?

Are there times when we’re all better off when our liberty is limited OR is the argument for Freedom the stronger – are we better, even when making mistakes, if we’re Free? If you take the position for Paternalism, be sure to discuss the risks and the reason that we have historically been moving away from Paternalism (in Government, Medicine, University Courses of Study, etc…). If you take the side of Freedom, then be sure to discuss how we’re to address our well-research and clearly demonstrated tendencies towards irrational behavior.

Question #2: Natural Rights

Discuss the idea of a Natural Right – in the classical Lockean sense, something like the Right to LIfe. What does it mean to say that EVERYONE has the Right to Life? How does that fit with notions like the Death Penalty, Compulsory Military Service, or Abusive Governments that deny people their Rights?

For that matter, how can a “Natural Right” be denied, if it’s truly part of Nature? In discussing this, also consider what Blackburn says: if you have a Right, then someone else has an obligation….does the idea of “Natural Obligations” make as much sense to you? And, if so, what natural obligations do we have to others regarding their lives? (See attachments)

Freedom vs Paternalism and Natural Rights

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