Positive rights and the cosmopolitan community: A rights-centered foundation for global ethics

Journal of Global Ethics 3 (2):181 – 202 (2007)
The recent transnational wave of destruction that was caused by the earthquake-induced tsunamis in South East Asia has raised the issue of global justice in terms of the rights of victims to expect aid relief and the moral responsibility of the rest of the world to provide it. In this paper I will discuss the issue of global ethics in terms of positive rights that people have to assistance from others when they cannot provide such assistance themselves. The main object of the paper is to demonstrate that positive rights are universal and global in scope and cannot therefore be restricted by any national, religious, cultural or other social boundaries. Such rights provide a rational and ethical foundation for global justice that is cosmopolitan. The argument for the position offered in the paper will be broadly based on the moral philosophy of Alan Gewirth.1.
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