What Are Human Rights? (3): Universal Rights

Universality means that human rights are valid everywhere. This characteristic is of course inherent in the expression itself – human rights are rights of all humans – but is not universally accepted.

Many people, in particular those who benefit from violations of other people’s rights, reject the claim that human rights are universal, primarily because non-universality would allow the continuation of rights violations and hence the continuation of the benefits which almost inevitably result from violations.

Somebody always benefits from the harm inflicted on others, otherwise there would be no harm inflicted.

These benefits are, however, rarely given in justification of non-universality because a justification is usually a moral undertaking, one which therefore cannot start from the premise that benefits for someone justify harm inflicted on someone else. A more common justification can be found in the theory of cultural relativism or in some variation of it.

Advertisements

One thought on “What Are Human Rights? (3): Universal Rights

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s