Why some people criticize Social Welfare Theory of Rights?

ADVERTISEMENTS:

This theory finds its support in the hands of modern philosophers who uphold the welfare theory of state. To these writers, the end of the state is to promote common, weal or social welfare and hence welfare of its citizens. Rights are the external condition of social order that promote welfare.

Rights thus are not created by state but are only enforced by it as recognized by the society. This view holds that rights are correlative to functions in society. All the whims of citizens cannot be accepted as rights. Only such conditions that promote social welfare while contributing to individual good can be recognized as rights.

Criticism:

The difficulty of this theory is its vagueness. What is common or social welfare? Who is the judge of the contents of welfare? Secondly, social welfare may infringe upon individual rights.

ADVERTISEMENTS:

If legal theory makes the state a Leviathan, the welfare theory gives the same position to society. The individual is reduced to non-entity. In fact, the basis of an adequate theory of rights is human personality.

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