Inspired in part by this thread and some posts about the question in the title.
If we were to reduce this to a specific idea, I will use charity as an example. I do feel, as most others did in that thread and as I would assume many people feel, that there is a moral imperitive and in some sense, a social obligation to be charitable—with food or volunteer time or monetary donations, if one is able. However, just because Individuals might feel obligated by their moral/social code to give to the needy, does this create a “right” on the part of the needy?
Is there, to use Bricker’s term from the linked thread, an “enforcable interest” on the part of the needy? Should civic authority, the government, enforce this “right” and force those that have to give to those who do not?
Can such a created right be expanded to more general terms? Put generally, we might say, since there is a moral and social obligation for an action, the government now has the right to force individuals into that action, and punish those who do not perform it. What about other social obligations? I feel that voting might be moral imperitive, a social obligation. Should the government force me to vote, or punish me for not voting?
Just curious as to some other Dopers’ thoughts on the matter.