SummaryObviously some of these arguments overlap. Perhaps people, realizing that certain conditions are necessary for "the life of man qua man," implicitly agree to rights in a contractarian manner when they enter society. Perhaps these necessary conditions, or social practices evolved due to being ESSs, are Schelling points.
Another thing for moral skeptics and Stirnerian egoists to keep in mind is that only one of the explanations above need be true or sensible to deem "rights" as a reasonable concept. Even if you disagree with all but one, the one you agree with is sufficient to allow you to read and interpret rights language as making sense. Certainly you may continue to object to the adjective "natural" in "natural rights." But I hope to have convinced you that the "rights" part can make sense with non-mystic, rational, and/or empirical grounding.
Warning: Some writers quoted may slip in the word "natural." I ask that you to simply ignore that word and it's implications, and evaluate accordingly. In other words, please don't reject everything a writer has to say simply because he used the dirty word. More often than not, these writers are making points that don't rely on mystic interpretations of rights.
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