In Maurice Cranston's essay, Human Rights: Real and Supposed, the author proposes the idea that there are legal rights and there are moral rights and one is significantly distinct from the other. Rights should also be divided into political and civil rights and social and economic rights. While what he includes in his assessment of valuable rights - life, liberty and due process of law - are among some of the most very basic rights, he dismisses the idea of social and economic rights because they simply "do not make sense." .
Cranston believes that political and civil rights are the only legitimate human rights because they can be enforced through legal action. Just because most social and economic rights are not readily enforced by legislation does not mean that they should not be secured as valid human rights. Cranston is implying that a right to clean air and water or adequate food and shelter should not be considered human rights because these things are not easily enforceable. To hold this stance is to seriously deny numerous important human rights. .
Cranston also argues the point that "if it is impossible for a thing to be done, it is absurd to claim it as a right. He uses a very weak example of paid holidays for everyone in the world to support a very forceful theory. In comparison o other proposed human rights, the right to paid holidays seem menial. Solely because these rights are not easily attainable on a universal basis should not preclude that they should not be guaranteed as rights. The whole concept of human rights would be nullified because many imposed rights cannot be guaranteed universally. For example, it is hard to argue that all people have a right to life. Murders continue to occur despite of this right and despite of legislation enacted to guarantee this right. We can not conclude that simply because some people are deprived of their right and we can not prevent this depravation from occurring 100 percent of the time, that they do not, in fact, still posses the right to live.