The Evolution Of A Right

Morally Repugnant Behavior
Morally Repugnant, but private behavior.
Morally Questionable, but private behavior.
Private Behavior, not spoken about in public.
Private Behavior, sometimes mentioned in public.
Private Behavior, mentioned frequently in public.
Public Behavior, but somewhat disrespected.
Public Behavior, demanding of respect.
Public Behavior, those who criticize are morally repugnant.
Public Behavior, a moral good.
Moral Good, must be recognized in law.
Moral Good, must not be restricted.
Moral Good, those who find it morally repugnant must be ostracized.
Moral Right.
Moral Right, must be subsidized by all.
Moral Right, must criminalize objection.
Moral Right, trumps other lesser rights (now just moral goods.)
A Right.


  1. With a few exceptions this is also what happened to slavery in the 19th century. It went from being (in the colonial era) something that even slaveholders realized was wrong and wanted to abolish eventually, to a positive "right" (to own slaves). Google topics like Missouri Compromise, Wilmot Proviso, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act and Dred Scott Decision to find out more.



  3. Here's another formulation from an 18th century poet:

    “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
    As, to be hated, needs but to be seen;
    Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
    We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

    Essay on Man, Epistle II - Alexander Pope


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