There are plenty of folks about insisting that there is a universal right to health care. Obviously, health care is a hot topic right now, but the question of ‘rights’ permeates many other areas of our existence, so I thought I would address it. I doubt I break any new ground, but it’s on my chest and I want it off.
We have no rights. At least, not strictly speaking. If there is a God, he has as much ‘right’ to destroy us as to sustain us. If there isn’t a God, we have no more rights than an antelope being chased by a lion. Whether there is a God, or isn’t, we have no rights.
However, if there is a God, we can have rights relative to each other, if also God has bestowed them. In this case, for all practical purposes, we do have rights, and no one of us can change that, though we can refuse to acknowledge it. The rights are not intrinsic to ourselves but are imparted from a higher authority and no lower authority can abolish them. If there is a God, we might plausibly talk about something like health care being a ‘universal right.’
Many of the people insisting that health care is a universal right don’t believe in God.
What are ‘rights’ if there is no God? The Euthyphro Dilemma returns with a vengeance, only without God to fall back on the problem becomes ours: is something a ‘right’ recognized by people because it is intrinsic or is it a ‘right’ because people recognize it as such?
Most atheists and secular humanists (nearly all of whom are liberals) come down on the latter for practical purposes but when confronted with the obvious problem that history is chock filled with examples of people changing their mind about rights and who gets them- often in very violent ways- they move rapidly to the former. That they refuse to acknowledge the implications of taking the former position (ie, there probably is a God, and they aren’t it!) is not the purpose of this post.
One purpose of the post is to highlight the obvious dangers, illustrated over and over again throughout history, and in the last century in particular, of having secular humanists and atheists in charge of bestowing rights. What they giveth, they can taketh. And they have often taketh.
But another purpose of this post is to point out to the many Christians calling for ‘universal health care’ that if you are claiming that God has bestowed certain rights such as health care, you’ve got to back that up somehow. Your sentimental arguments, sincere and well meaning, have as much weight to me as sentimental arguments like “God makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, don’t you want that, too?” have weight with atheists. In short, none.
Why? Does it mean that I am indifferent to those who struggle to receive adequate health care? Not at all. It does, however, have important implications as to how we proceed to address that issue. For example, as Christians, even when invoking things that are legitimately ‘rights’ we want to be ever wary of exercising one right in such a way that it tramples on another. How much more so if the thing under consideration isn’t a right bestowed by God at all.
So, where is your evidence that health care is a ‘right’ under God?
And while you’re thinking about that, explain to me the logic of handing over the administration of such a ‘right’ to secular humanists who almost to the man reject the existence of the only kind of thing that could really impart a ‘universal right to health care.’ Isn’t it self-evident that these will proceed to deliver this ‘right’ in a manner that views people in a much different way? And if it isn’t self-evident, haven’t you ever picked up a history book? You can start with Margaret Sanger.
From there, why not move on to Obama’s current science czar, John Holdren, who argued at one time that we could sterilize people using the water supply and even resort to forced abortions if ‘society’ deemed it necessary? Sure, my liberal Christian friend, you can’t bring yourself to deprive others of the ‘choice’ to abort… but did you really want people in control who were willing to force people- not to keep their babies (*gasp*)… but to kill them?
(PS, Holdren also said that the government could compel women to keep their children, or even to conceive in the first place, if society deemed it necessary. So you lose all the way around with these folks.)
My friends, the fox is always trying to get into the hen house. But why on earth would you open the door for it?