Positive vs. Negative Rights
What are rights? What do rights do for us in society?
- Rights are principles that give the capacity to perform activities generally within the confines of social norms, legal systems, and moral code. These rights are known as positive rights.
- While positive rights give someone the power or capacity to perform, there are also rights persons entitled to which require us not to perform a task or activity that would lessen the quality of human experience. These rights are known as negative rights.
In many countries, citizens receive the right to vote or not. However, in some countries, voting is a mandatory procedure; in which case, the citizen would only be entitled to the positive right of voting.