Human rights: are they absolute?

Undoubtedly, human rights represent a way for people to feel safer in a naturally troubled world. This is why the following clip cannot be deemed as harmful and the Erwin Mayer Foundation eagerly supports the message it conveys:

However, except for those who derive them from their religion, mankind shall not forget that these rights do not arise from anything inherent to being human. No absolute principle might be invoked to justify them; though it obviously makes them less appealing and defendable, they are just a contract which clauses have been drafted by a self-proclaimed majority of human societies (who refer to themselves as the United Nations Organizations), and enforced by all those who believe it can improve the common good.

Therefore, it is important to remain careful on any modification of its arbitrary components. In the the video (1:53), I was particularly suprised to read “Copyright” as a human right (item 27). History shows that people can create and share without such a right. Some human rights are dependent on each other and on the context they target, hence you could easily build alternative civilization models with different rights deemed fundamental. “Social security” is another example: beyond the definition problem, what if a civilization has found a better or alternative approach to tackle the same problem, or has not actually considered it as a problem?

Most importantly, human rights, simply because they are rights, have a meaning only when applied to mankind as a group of consenting individuals. A single human, or even a single family, could not incorporate the concept of right, let alone human right, into their understanding of the world.

Human rights make sense because we live in a society, and this is probably the best proof of their not being inherent to each of us. We have the power to define what they are to make our world better, for they are the root, if not the rules, of a civilization.

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