Quote of the day—Thomas Sowell

If you believe in equal rights, then what do “women’s rights,” “gay rights,” etc., mean? Either they are redundant or they are violations of the principle of equal rights for all.

Thomas Sowell
November 26, 2013
Random Thoughts
[I have nothing to add.—Joe]


7 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Thomas Sowell

  1. The same idea applies to “justice” if you add qualifiers, e.g. “social justice”, “economic justice” et al, then you’re not talking about justice anymore.

  2. There’s a simple test I like to use.
    Anytime you want to see if a proposed way to treat people is legitimate/moral, just interchange “man” and “woman”, or “black” and “white”. If after that substitution you still like the result, then the proposal is fine. If not, it isn’t.

    • I like it.

      Other substitutions:
      – “Christian,” “Jew,” “Muslim,” “Buddhist,” etc.
      – “Gay,” “straight,” “lesbian,” etc.
      – “Rich/wealthy,” “poor” (good for those “fair share” arguments; if the rich pay everything and the poor pay nothing, how is that “fair”?)
      – “Tea Party,” “Republican,” “Democrat,” “Progressive,” “Communist,” “Socialist,” etc.
      – “Guns,” “books (especially religious ones),” “cars,” “bacon,” “privacy,” etc.

  3. If you ever wanted to teach, consider teaching in the discipline of Philosophy, the course Logic & Reason.

    The syllabus ought to be easy enough: you could just take the (D)emocratic party talking points as examples of circular logic to be avoided.

    • “…you could just take the (D)emocratic party talking points as examples of circular logic to be avoided.”

      Yes, and the (R)epublican Party’s behavior of entertaining those talking points, or being distracted by them, or wanting to be liked by your enemies, as examples of taking the path to certain tragedy.

  4. Pingback: SayUncle » They don’t want rights

  5. The general thrust of the statement is certainly correct (that rights are rights, and the same for all), but that’s not what those terms are actually being used to communicate, any more than “gun rights” means “rights belonging to firearms”. Instead, the terms “gay rights”, “women’s rights”, etc., are used* to indicate “rights that everyone has (or should have) that are being suppressed in the indicated group”.

    * Generally. I’m sure that, like everything else, there are exceptions. In those cases, I agree that the ones using them to mean “special rights for being gay/female/etc. that others don’t have” are 100% wrong.

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