Reply to Paul Bonneau on costless rights

This will not take long. Mr. Bonneau claims there is something amiss with libertarians claiming to have rights merely because they exist or have "warm bodies." What else would he want–payment for these rights? To whom? Do I have to pay a burglar to have my right to private property respected? Oh, yes, I need to pay a body guard to protect me from a burglar but that’s because the burglar is a crook and refuses to respect my sovereignty, my right to my life, liberty and property. By Mr. Bonneau’s strange reasoning I only have rights when I pay the prospective rights violator so he or she doesn’t violate my rights. But if I have rights that can be violated, surely I have these independently of paying the crook.
Rights are indeed what people have without having to compensate anyone and everyone is obligated to respect these rights lest they suffer the consequence of failing to do so, namely, retaliation or harm in the course of self-defense. No one needs to pay for his or her rights–one’s humanity establishes the existence of those rights and others must respect them. That is the nature of rights. But not only of rights–if one ought to be honest or prudent or courageous or generous, all these moral virtues are what people ought to practice without having to be paid for that. That’s because practicing the moral virtues produces the best chance for a happy human life for the individual.
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