David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Faith and Philosophy 4 (2):187-197 (1987)
In his recent book, Until Justice and Peace Embrace, Nicholas Wolterstorff claims that in ethics there exist “sustenance rights,” also called “positive rights,” which demand that people be provided the requirements of productive social living, including food, clothing, shelter, healthful environments, and elementary health care. I defend Wolterstorff’s claims against attacks by social theologian Richard John Neuhaus, who argues in effect that to grant sustenance rights implies both personal and theoretical acceptance of an unreasonable obligation which I call the Duty of Sacrifice (DOS) to transfer all one’s wealth to meet those needs, a charge which Wolterstorff interprets as a demand that he sell his house
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