Human Rights Philosophy

1799 Words8 Pages
The belief that everyone, by virtue of their humanity, is entitled to certain human rights is not very old, however, its roots lie in earlier traditions, philosophical theories and documents of many cultures and religions. It was only after the World War II that these human rights were presented and recognized globally.
Since ages, people have acquired certain kinds of rights and responsibilities through their membership in a group – a family, indigenous nation, religion, class, community, or state. Most societies have had traditions like the "golden rule" of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The religious texts such as Quran, Bible, Hindu Vedas, the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, and the Analects of Confucius are some of
…show more content…
According to this, we all possess equally fundamental and objectively verifiable natural rights that guarantee our enjoyment of some fundamentally identifiable basic goods. The Natural law was claimed to be above the actual social and political systems and the natural rights were presented as rights that the individuals possessed regardless of society or political systems and as ultimately valid irrespective of whether they were recognized by an institution or authority or not. The well-known 17th Century philosopher John Locke was the quintessential proponent of this idea. He wrote the Two Treatises of Government (1688) in which he argued that the individuals possess natural rights, independently of the political recognition given to them by the state or authority. According to Locke, these natural rights exist even before the formation of any political community and were based on the natural law that originated from God. He stated that the God has provided us all with an ultimately authoritative moral code and we all owe a duty of self-preservation to God; so, in order to successfully discharge this duty, each individual must be free from any threats to life and liberty. At the same time, Locke believed that, we…show more content…
Important ideas such as Mary Wollstencraft's Vindication of the Rights of Women and other political movements appealed to the sections of society who had been denied the possession of political and civil rights earlier. The concept of rights had become a weapon to initiate or incite a political change. It can be argued that the conceptual prerequisites for the defense of human rights had long been in place, but the full Declaration of the doctrine of human rights only finally occurred during the 20th Century after the most atrocious violations of human rights during the Holocaust. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10th December 1948 and was explicitly motivated to ensure that no similar atrocities occur in future. Ironically, the war crimes of the United States of America in Hiroshima and Nagasaki didn’t face the same kind of criticism and no effective measures have been taken till today to prevent similar attacks. All the attempts to restrict or ban the nuclear weapons or as they call them ‘weapons of mass destruction’ have
Open Document