Skip to comments.Are There Natural Human Rights?
Posted on 05/30/2011 3:16:52 AM PDT by 1010RD
This has been a year of uprisings. The series of popular revolts, struggles and crackdowns by governments, which continue to this day...
But whether or not every person on earth has certain rights just by virtue of being a person alive on the planet a concept I will refer to here as natural human rights is a question of some controversy. In these times, when new questions of rights, complaints and subsequent conflicts seem to arise anew each week, its worth knowing where we stand on the matter.
Philosophers and legal scholars have intensely debated this issue over the past few decades. One important starting point for this discussion is H.L.A. Harts controversial 1955 article, Are There Any Natural Rights? The article argued that natural rights (what we typically call human rights) were an invention of the European Enlightenment, mere social constructions...
There are two avenues by which to address the truth of the natural basis of human rights: (a) whether authors argued for human rights before the European Enlightenment, and (b) whether there is a logical basis for human rights that would demonstrate its applicability to all people regardless of when it was recognized to be correct.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...
Liberals, having abandoned God seek once again to recreate him in their own image.
You have that correct, well done. Idolatry is at the core of the human mess, no?
Well simply put if there are no natural rights then slavery is just fine. You can be owned by someone else with more power. Because that’s what it all comes down to - slavery being a “social norm”.
Yep. Check the article. What the author is trying to do is take God out of the equation and find some logical, objective, concrete reason why humans have rights.
Behind all the erudite gobbledygook, it looks like a dog chasing his own tail.
We have “rights endowed by our Creator.” I don’t understand why they have to change it to “natural human rights”.
Yes, but that dog - secular humanism - has caused nearly all the man-induced misery of the 20th century. That its adherents are still considered wise or even sane is scary.
Natural or Nature’s God or Creator were all interchangeably used, but I suspect that Deists influenced the confluence of Nature and God resulting in today’s “nature” without God.
natural rights - Rights given by God and reasonably apparent in the study of the natural order of society.
human rights - Rights apparent in a secular humanist society
civil rights - Rights granted by the civil authorities
Note the absence of God in the latter two and the authority of the last one. One doesn’t need God to have the last kind.
From wiki: However, there is no consensus as to the precise nature of what in particular should or should not be regarded as a human right in any of the preceding senses, and the abstract concept of human rights has been a subject of intense philosophical debate and criticism.
Without a natural order and God, there is no objective basis for rights. Note that since progressiveness must disturb the natural order to “change” it, progressives cannot recognize any rights.
What this idiot is trying to do is justify the welfare state as ensuring basic human rights.
See post 11.
Excellent post and observations! Our Founding Fathers had it right yet so many continue to strain at gnats while trying to “improve” on concepts that need no such “improvement”.
Excellent post. The ‘abstract concept of human rights’ is an invention of the Left. Human rights are concrete only if there is a God.
The prophet Mohammad personally set out one description of a community in his Constitution of Medina.
In Medina there were contentions among various religious groups over rights and privileges. This was a severe problem because each group: Jews, Muslims and indigenous religions wanted to dominate and set the agenda.
What Mohammad set out was a way to satisfy the claims of the disparate religious groups that lived there within a contractarian framework so that all might enjoy basic rights as citizens.
Many in the Middle East feel that the Constitution of Medina creates a blueprint of how to address human rights concerns: create a political or social contract that satisfies everyones negotiated needs and human rights claims.
Once this process has occurred, human rights emerge. They are negotiated rights and not natural rights.
Yep this guy is a moron.
They are rights negotiated out of the barrel of a rifle.
The author is an idiot, but he represents a large group of influential idiots running academies, think tanks and businesses.
The threat of bad ideas is obvious to us and would, if there were a free market of ideas, have been disposed of long ago and recognized for trash today. Instead our government school system which reaches deep into graduate school repackages this stupidity and insulates it promulgators from harm or retribution.
As a bit of an aside, there are many people who believe that life began during the Enlightenment and its development, the scientific method. Generally speaking, I find that the people most in awe of the scientific method are people who don't use or understand it. Most scientists know its limitations.
Note the use of the word “should” in the essay. Probably without knowing it, the author has implicitly assumed what he is trying to disprove; the moment he uses words like “should” or “ought” in discussing rights, he has assumed the pre-existence of a right.
Unless he does this, he has no basis for asserting that his “hierarchy of rights” is preferable to, say, Jack London’s “law of club and fang” — oppress the weak and obey the strong (which is observed in nature far more often than his hierarchy).
This professor is the poster child for why our colleges are not worth attending unless one is majoring in engineering, etc.
His degree should be revoked, there’s a real simple reason why: his meanderings attempt to discuss the concept of natural rights, presumably those mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, he cites one author from 1955 and one from the 19th century and uses them to hypothesize that “natural rights” were an invention of the Enlightenment period, largely the 18th century, and did not exist in Europe prior to then. And then he proceeds to discuss Confucianism and islam, completely avoiding any discussion of Christian theology.
Whatever his beliefs are, the marks of Christian theology on 18th century European philosophy are obvious, and must be included in any meaningful discussion. In fact, the role of Christianity in appealing for rights in Europe was so foundational that this man’s blabbering would only warrant attention from a college freshman who graduated from a public high school or a typical U.S. newspaper; the latter would know his words were a hollow lie, the former would not.
Even if he asserts that his motive was pure political propaganda, his rambling references to other writers will ring true only with others similarly indoctrinated as himself, to believe in the deity of the intellectual.
Most troubling are the New York Times readers who comment after the article.
Most are ignorant of both history and logic, and of those few who appear to have some education, most view “natural rights”, God, or both with contempt. Hopefully they will learn about natural rights before they are denied them by an authoritarian government.
There is a need to spread basic understanding of how America came to be and the whole history of the development of it’s founding principles, starting in 13th century Europe.
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