Same sex marriage.
And large blade-based slaughter.
Take it away Iona Institute’s Ben Conroy
But can the state really guarantee this right? Let’s look at a couple of examples.
One of the people who’s pretty convinced that the right to a mother and father means nothing is journalist Vincent Browne. But imagine if a mad axe-man were to sneak into the TV3 studios of an evening and kill Vincent and his unfortunate panel stone dead.
The state could certainly prosecute the man after the fact: but that would be no good to Vincent. His right to life would stand thoroughly un-vindicated.
The example need not be so drastic: people have accidents, get ill, grow old. In the end, the right to life is completely unguaranteeable.
What’s that you say? The state can’t absolutely guarantee any right, but it can do whatever is reasonably possible to ensure rights are vindicated? Precisely.
How can the state preserve Vincent Browne’s right to life in the mad axe-man scenario? It can employ police officers to keep an eye out for masked men with large blades; it can pass laws making it illegal for people to carry axes on the street; it can disincentivise the axe-man from going on a murder spree using the threat of prison.
It can also take more indirect measures: trying to ensure that as many children as possible grow up in circumstances that minimise their chances of becoming axe-wielding maniacs; using the law as an educator to help create an anti-axe-murder culture. In fact, the state doe all of these things!
So it makes perfect sense to talk about vindicating rights even when that can’t be done with certainty. In fact, if you can think of any right that can be guaranteed with 100% of the time, I’d love to hear from you, because I can’t.
Thanks Fluffy Biscuits.