Are Housing and Food “Rights” or “Freedoms”?

Meeting Was Held On -

Thursday, October 4, 2018 8:47 PM

Here are some of the salient comments and points of discussion:

“Rights are contractual obligations”

Even if one is motivated by costs, it is a benefit to society to offer housing and food to those in need. For those who value the expense of feeding and housing the poor, it is actually cheaper to have a healthier population. This reality is easier to accomplish and foster in a society with socialized medicine.

Rights are legislated. Freedoms are not.

Let’s not call this housing, but instead ‘shelter’. We are not talking about offering detached homes on the water. We are assuring that no one is left outside, or sleeping in their car with their children. Shelters are about basic safety, but must be offered in conjunction with other services.

A humanist believes that we offer those basics out of compassion, fairness, basic ethics, and a desire to use critical thinking to solve problems.

We talked about the importance of education. Courses in civic responsibility, the importance of voting, and critical thinking are offered in the schools.Children tend to be inherently fair. When they go home however, they are influenced by parents who may be making decisions based on other experiences and influences.

How interesting it is that after a disaster, compassionate human nature kicks in.

This topic also led us to discuss local politics, nutrition, food politics, etc. The ‘economics of food distribution and production’ may be a topic for a future meeting.

Some related books and resources to consider:

Paradise Built in Hell- Rebecca Solnit (communities that arise in disaster)

The New Human Rights Movement, Peter Joseph

Ayn Rand (Capitalism) – stressed the need for a defined ‘principle’

House Arrest  Francis Mont (one of our new members)

Proposals for a new social contract- an essay by Francis Mont (see

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