Constitution Minute: Dr. Larry P. Arnn explains the difference between Natural Rights and Entitlement

Natural Rights vs. Entitlement


Dr. Larry Arnn explains the difference between natural rights and entitlements.


STUDENT: Hello, I’m Ashley, a student at Hillsdale College. Here is my professor Doctor Larry Arnn on natural rights versus entitlements.

DR. ARNN: America was founded on the idea that human beings are born with natural rights, such as the rights to life, liberty and property. A person who holds this view of rights makes no demands on others except that they respect those rights. Today, however, many Americans talk about rights to a college education, state of the art medical care and even birth control pills. These are rights understood as entitlements and a person who holds this view of rights, far from making no demands on other people, is making claims on other people’s money and resources. This understanding of rights not only sets citizens against each other, but it undermines the whole idea of natural rights.

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