Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Abortion and negative rights

A negative right is the right to keep something you already have, the right to not have something taken from you. In contrast, a positive right is the right to have something provided to you. The classic statement is Locke's: you have the right to life, liberty, and property. These are negative rights: you have the right to keep whatever property you have: other people, including the government, do not have the right to take your property from you. A positive right to property would be the right to have property given to you.

Part of the reason abortion is such an insoluble problem is that they involve two conflicting negative rights. If the fetus is a human being, then it has the negative right to life. But the woman has the negative right to liberty, expressed here in terms of bodily autonomy. So the question is which of these two negative rights take priority, and the answer is neither. You don't get to take away someone's negative rights. Of course, it is not clear to a lot of people that the fetus is a human being with human value and thus human rights, including the right to life (see here), but just ignore that for the sake of the present issue.

So if we grant the claims of both sides, the fetus has the negative right to life and the woman has the negative right to liberty, and neither gets to overrule the other. And the resolution to this is . . . meh.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Quote of the Day

I picture the Agnostic as a modest man, politely refusing to kneel before any Gods or Icons in which he does not place his complete confidence; while the Atheist, although operating from the same principles, brings a hammer to the event.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022


OK, I'm currently writing up a fairly extensive philosophy post, and I'm sorry I've been focusing so much on Japanese heavy metal lately. But while you're waiting for the philosophy, let me say some more about Japanese heavy metal.

My first tier of bands that I absolutely love consists of just two: Lovebites and Asterism. I discovered Lovebites last August, about a week and a half before their bass player (and founder) left the band. However, they have publicly announced their search for a new bassist of any nationality, age, or gender. Having said that, from what I gather, the fan favorite so far is a Japanese woman. Anyway, here's a couple more of their songs. The first one, "Raise Some Hell," is odd to me, because for some reason I usually don't hear the verses sync up with the music in most performances. (The part where she sings, "Who is that? Who’s that chick? Shredding on guitar; Who is that? Who’s that chick? Heavy noise on bass ;Who is that? Who’s that chick? Pounding on the drums; Who am I? I’ve got a voice, it’s gonna knock you out"). But in the performance of it below, it syncs up for me without any problem. 

I absolutely love Midori, the blonde guitarist. The frame at 3:51 should be a poster. If I went to one of their concerts I'd hold up a sign saying, "Midori will you marry me? Shred for yes." I'd have to OK it with the wife first, though. Anyway, here's another video:

Now for Asterism. Everyone seems completely in awe of their performance abilities, and I am too, but I'm more overwhelmed by their original compositions. In all seriousness, I'd put them up against most classical music in terms of overall musicality, and 95% of what I listen to is classical. At the end of the following song, I just feel ennobled, something which almost no music ever does to me.

This next one really displays their originality and talent. If you love classical music, just listen with open ears and mind.

I was going to go over my second and third tiers too, but this post is long enough already. Just enjoy.