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In my country smoking is banned in many public places by the government. This leads me to wonder if there is such a thing as "a right to fresh air and not to suffer from the consequences of second hand smoke". If this is a valid right, then does this not conflict with the right of some others to smoke in public? If it is right to ban smoking, isn't the government doing something for the greater good and isn't it based on a collectivist premise? Can it be also viewed that giving man freedom is also for the ''greater good'' as this promotes affluence and optimal functioning for many people? Am I misapplying some concepts? My governement also fines people for littering.Is it right to say that it is not the government's role to fine people or to ban activities like littering? Do people have rights to a clean environment? Also in my country, there was a recent furor over how some people living in apartments had conflict over a neighbour's pungent cooking, the other party not liking the smell and demanding that the neighbour only cook that dish on days when that party was not at home. Is there a conflict of rights here? Is there such a thing as a right to a ''neutral environment" where there is no cigarette smoke, litter or offensive smell? Is it a right to not be made to suffer harmful or unpleasant consequences of other people's choices?

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You have to apply all rights in terms of property rights. You have a right to a given property in a given context, you never have a right to "fresh air" or "to smoke" or "freedom of speech" or whatever outside of that, as a non-contextual absolute. If you are standing on your own property and someone is smoking, causing the harmful fumes to invade your space and nuisance you, you have a right to stop them. However, if you are on some property that you both have a right to be on, and the rightful owner gives everyone the permission to smoke, then you have the right to leave, but not the right to smokeless air. The problem with "public property" is precisely that it since it lacks a clearly defined and justifiable owner, all decisions regarding its use will be arbitrary or involve a violation of somebody's rights, and that's where you get the conflict from.

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I don't think there is such a thing as conflicting rights. However, there can be conflicting enforcement of rights. Law is created and enforced to protect rights, but while rights are absolute and objective, the law must adapt to the situation.

Public property, as a concept, is a big grey area for rights. Rights are individually held, and public property is collectively held. So, whose rights get protected and whose don't? Really, public property is merely 'state-owned' property which the state may use to benefit whichever factions it needs to.

The question of conflicting rights is bigger than issues involving so-called 'public property', though. How property is defined within the law is the real issue.

How would land originally be claimed? The first to stand there owns it? The person who bids highest in an auction, paying the state for unowned land? The first to use the land for some purpose?

What if there is oil under the land discovered after it is initially acquired? Does the landowner own the oil underground? What happens if pumping the oil causes sinkholes?

In reality, the law would protect rights differently depending on the situation. If drilling causes no sinkholes, the landowner has no real legitimate claim to the oil. If it causes substantial sinkholes, the landowner has very legitimate claims to the oil. If it has the potential to cause some sinkholes, then it would be proper for a legislature to lay out some rules concerning liability should the oil rights be owned by someone else.

I'm getting at the idea that the issue you raised is a big concern that I think isn't addressed in out system of government. I really believe that a legislature should be required to prove harm before making law. That it should operate similar to a court in terms of process.

Imagine that, every proposed law would have to provably address a real situation according to a given standard. Of course, with the leftist flair for lawyercraft, one can only imagine the mess this might be. But I've been intrigued by this idea.

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However, if you are on some property that you both have a right to be on, and the rightful owner gives everyone the permission to smoke, then you have the right to leave, but not the right to smokeless air.

Am I right to say that people have the right to do what they want on their property even if it disturbs other people? Like cooking foods with pungent smells and playing music loudly at night? Is consideration for others a virtue?

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Am I right to say that people have the right to do what they want on their property even if it disturbs other people? Like cooking foods with pungent smells and playing music loudly at night? Is consideration for others a virtue?

No, you can't be said to have a right to disturb other people in the sense of aggressing against them with your property. So like, if you cook with pungent smells or play loud music, you are exporting odor aggression or noise aggression into someone else's property, which you can be held liable for legally. And also morally, yes consideration for others is a virtue, under the heading of justice and benevolence.

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Well the same reason why consideration for anything is a virtue: because other people exist, and because they have natures such that they can be of value to you, how you act towards them can constitute part of your character, and one wants to receive good treatment, so he needs to give good treatment.

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And also morally, yes consideration for others is a virtue, under the heading of justice and benevolence.

I wouldn't say consideration of others is virtue, it's just a thought when evaluating the consequences of some action. Sometimes, you can't and should not consider what another person has to say. Other times, you might. Consideration still *usually* a good, while virtue implies something that is always required, like honesty.

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one wants to receive good treatment, so he needs to give good treatment.

Is this a case of pleasing others so that they will please you? Wouldn't this be a case of enslaving self to others and others to self?

Sometimes, you can't and should not consider what another person has to say. Other times, you might.

What is the criteria to decide when to consider others or not? Does showing consideration mean that say, for example, someone wants to do or say something that you don't want to but you still go along? Wouldn't that be a lack of assertiveness?

Perhaps this quote from "Honoring the Self" by Nathaniel Branden may be relevant (pg 159):

"Sometimes I may defer to others, giving their feelings priority, or recognizing that their rights in a particular situation may supersede my own. When I do, I am practicing, not self-sacrifice, but objectivity."

Could someone explain this concept of "objectivity"? Is it possible to objectively recognize that one has no rights or that others have more rights then you do?

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Am I right to say that while we recognize "objectively"(whatever this means) that say, people should love themselves, it does not mean that others should love them? Or that people are worthy to themselves, but not necessarily have worth to others? Or does it mean that in principle everyone has worth, so one should treat everyone as worthy to oneself?

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Is this a case of pleasing others so that they will please you? Wouldn't this be a case of enslaving self to others and others to self?

What is the criteria to decide when to consider others or not? Does showing consideration mean that say, for example, someone wants to do or say something that you don't want to but you still go along? Wouldn't that be a lack of assertiveness?

Perhaps this quote from "Honoring the Self" by Nathaniel Branden may be relevant (pg 159):

"Sometimes I may defer to others, giving their feelings priority, or recognizing that their rights in a particular situation may supersede my own. When I do, I am practicing, not self-sacrifice, but objectivity."

Could someone explain this concept of "objectivity"? Is it possible to objectively recognize that one has no rights or that others have more rights then you do?

I guess it's first a moral question of the virtues of justice, respect and benevolence coming into play - followed by those odd occasions when their individual rights should be upheld over your own.

The 'objectivity' is in consciously recognizing and identifying those hierarchical situations.

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I guess it's first a moral question of the virtues of justice, respect and benevolence coming into play - followed by those odd occasions when their individual rights should be upheld over your own.

The 'objectivity' is in consciously recognizing and identifying those hierarchical situations.

Could you give concrete examples?

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Is this a case of pleasing others so that they will please you? Wouldn't this be a case of enslaving self to others and others to self?

No, this would be a case of the trader principle. Nobody classifies a trade as a case of stealing from others and others stealing from self.

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