I have a few questions. I'm not going to argue for anything in this post. I just want to get a sense of what people think about a philosophical issue that's been bugging me a lot lately. I'm trying to think through the relationship between rights and obligations. In particular, do the two go hand in hand, or are there times when you have one but not the other? Some philosophers take them to be two sides of the same coin. If I have a right, that means people have an obligation toward me (e.g. if I have a right not to be killed, then you have an obligation not to kill me). If I have an obligation, then you have a corresponding right (e.g. if I have an obligation to keep a promise to you, then you have a right to my keeping that promise).
Does this sound right? Or are there cases when someone might have an obligation to someone without that person having rights to what is owed? I've come across two examples in philosophical literature recently. One was a claim by Judith Jarvis Thomson that when a brother is given a box of chocolates he has a moral obligation to share them with his brother, but his brother has no right to any of the chocolates, since they were given to his brother and not to him. The second was in an animal rights discussion by Carl Cohen. He thinks we have obligations to animals, but they're not the sort of creatures who have rights. Another example (this time mine) might be owing someone respect in a way that they have no right to expect it. Can I have such an obligation to do something the person has no right to expect? In general, can I have an obligation to someone who has no right to the thing I owe them?