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I think we agree on the basic principle, or at least we seem to be talking about the same principle.

My point is that any principle is going to hit edge cases when applied in real life, and so "instead of acknowledging that there are in fact absolute rights - we constantly debate where _the line_ is" is actually the right thing to do, because principles are not absolute rights, and edge cases in fact need to be solved.




The principle needs to remain unchanged though. A principle can and should not be designed to cover it's own edge cases. It's in it's application where we can apply tolerance. Aristotle calls this principle Epikeia: "epikeia is a restrictive interpretation of positive law based on the benign will of the legislator who would not want to bind his subjects in certain circumstances"

Source: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs...


But the application of law should be explicitly defined in order to be applied equally by law enforcement and courts. If you define the law to be "all people have the right to live as decided by local law enforcement and courts" then by not having explicit definitions of legality you're introducing the potential for abuse. Or even confusion as to what is actually allowed (and thus litigation as to whether certain behavior was within the spirit of the enforced law).

It sounds as though what you want is the The Constitution / Bill of Right. A basic set of simply worded principles that influence the definition of law, but aren't themselves "the law".


You seem to be contradicting yourself, unless I'm misreading things.

There are absolute rights, and debating where the line falls is pointless. But when applying it to the real world, you need flexibility (i.e. debate where the line falls).

Anyway, isn't that basically what we already have, with free speech? It's legally protected in even extreme cases where it arguably causes more damage than value, but per event it tends to go through courts (or there is enough court precedence to make that wasted effort).

Court precedence applying flexibility to an absolute intent/right is the debating of the line. Isn't it?


> edge cases in fact need to be solved

Most edge cases, in fact, can just be managed—they don't need to be solved.

With people, I would argue that not solving edge cases and just managing them when they arise should be the norm. People are messy, and our system should have enough slack in it to act humanely in the vast majority of cases. We really don't need hard and fast rules to cover everything, just "normal" things.


This is what I meant, but you phrased it much better. "Managed" is a better word.




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