Ronald Dworkin: Taking Rights Seriously

March 2, 2009

Book: Contemporary Moral Problems by James E. White (7th Edition)

Library Reference: N/A

Amazon Reference:


Quote: “If people have the right to do something, then it is wrong to interfere with them.”


In this chapter, the author, James White, and written by James E. White, Ronald Dworkin, a university professor of Jurisprudence, Oxford University and professor of law in New York University, talked about the concept behind The Right of Freedom. According to them, “If people have a right to do something, then it is wrong to interfere with them.” For me, everybody is entitled to have their equal rights and I believe nobody should take it to someone. As a human being, each person should learn how to respect other rights. If people take away other’s right, obviously, the person already violated the rights of other person, thus, making him guilty against the law.

Just like media – everyone has the right to express their thoughts using various technologies that we have these days. That’s what freedom of expression is all about. They are free to do these things without infringing other’s right. However, a lot of people fail to respect other’s right. Ever since the hierarchy system was invented, people are not treating as equal as they can be. Minorities were affected a lot. Higher authorities do the job to keep everyone in order. Unfortunately, they were the ones guilty of harassing people. Authority and power started to become a factor. People are getting abused because few people with powers can do what they want. What they don’t realize is that they are ruining the lives of many.

What this chapter wants us to realize is that we should learn how to treat these rights seriously. If we learn how to treat every one as equal, there won’t be a problem. Having a right means a responsibility. And having a responsibility calls for an action. We must be aware of these things in order to keep our community at peace.

What I’ve learned:

  • People should understand how we should take rights seriously
  • With respect and taking the rights seriously, people also takes seriously the laws being implemented.
  • Respect.


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