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Human rights


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Do human rights actually exist?


How would you define "rights"? Are they simply permissions set out by law or something deeper? Should human rights be a global standard or tailored to suit regional tastes?


If they are tailored to suit regional tastes then what makes them something as profound as "human rights" instead of just local by-laws?


If universal human rights should exist then what rights are so important that they should be upheld everywhere regardless of regional cultural difference?


Which of those would be worth fighting over to enforce?


I'm personally of the opinion that we probably don't have any, in reality. And I'm in two minds as to weather they should exist or not.

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here's somewhere to start for definitions:



Definitions of Human rights on the Web:


Human rights refer to the "basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled." Examples of rights and freedoms which have come to be ...



The basic rights and freedoms that all humans should be guaranteed, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of thought and expression, and ...



Rights to which people are entitled simply because they are human beings, regardless of their nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.



The conditions and expectations to which every person, by virtue of his or her existence as a human being, is entitled.



the right to property, freedom of religion, etc., the rights which guarantee the concrete, real human being in their occupation, their beliefs, etc. – but founded on the separation of man from man, not on the relations or community of people, – the foundation of bourgeois political economy.



These are the rights that every human being automatically qualifies for at birth. They cannot be denied because of the colour of one’s skin, religion, age or other personal factors. Central to the concept of human rights is the protection of human dignity. ...



Hoyer is a former chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in EuropeCommission on Security and Cooperation in Europe Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe , also known as the Helsinki Commission, is an independent US... and a vocal supporter of human rights around the world.



are the agreed international standards that recognize and protect the dignity and integrity of every individual without any distinction.



During the 12-year civil war, human rights violations by both left- and right-wing forces were rampant. The accords established a Truth Commission under UN auspices to investigate the most serious cases. The commission reported its findings in 1993. ...



Certain universal rights many argue should be enjoyed by all people because they are justified by a moral standard that stands above the laws of any individual nation. (p. 953)


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Why would you say we don't have any human rights?  Surely we do?  Whether are not you think they protect or are needed by the whole of humanity we certainly do have them.  This doesn't stop them being breached though and so we don't live in harmony yet.  :aww:

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Why would you say we don't have any human rights?  Surely we do?  Whether are not you think they protect or are needed by the whole of humanity we certainly do have them.  This doesn't stop them being breached though and so we don't live in harmony yet.  :aww:


If we truely had human rights then they wouldn't be subjected to subjective interpretation, selective application, or modification. If they can be ammended, changed, withdrawn, or apply only in certain context then they aren't really rights in my eyes. Just legislation.


Freedom of speech in the UK is one of the more obvious candidates for criticism.


Personally I feel that freedom of speech and expression should be a universal right without restrictions of any kind.


In the UK you're only allowed to say nice things about people with money and businesses.


Throughout the world there are more societies where some groups' rights are being trampled upon than there are societies where everyone has their full complement of supposed rights.


Doesn't such a situation make a mockery of the idea of human rights?

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Whether you think the current situation may be making a mockery of the rights or not we still have them.  You seem to have a different meaning for human rights, where they are set in stone and impossible to change, break, modify etc. (that's the impression I get anyway).


If rights are called 'human rights' then surely they are human rights?  The concept is relatively new so there isn't really a concept of definitive human rights as they all have been created recently, they can be changed, abolished etc.  Peoples morals change and there is no absolute authority on what is right and wrong.  You can argue the right to life is impossible to argue against but there are still debates around when one can take life and not.  There are plenty of cases exploring the taking of life by states (e.g. in a hostage situation etc.) and it's impossible to say, you can or can't take another's life.


The main problem in my eyes when trying to make/enforce global rights/laws, is the structure of international law.  International law is different from national legal systems  in that the hierarchy isn't vertical but horizontal and as a result it's difficult to reprimand difficult countries.

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