Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

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Atreyu
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Atreyu » March 27th, 2018, 9:08 pm

Alias wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 9:59 pm
Which of the babies in that picture have no right to worth and dignity?
My position is that humans have no inherent "rights" in nature. "Rights" are simply how we think people deserve to be treated.

So, if I say "I have the right to free speech", what I'm basically saying is that people should not take action against me merely based on what I say. That that would be "uncool".

But I have no such inherent right. I don't even have the right to live. If it's my time to die tonite, then I must die. What kind of inherent natural "rights" could exist in such a scenario?

Dachshund
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Re: HUMAN RIGHTS - A CHALLENGE FOR THE FORUM

Post by Dachshund » March 28th, 2018, 12:52 am

Alias wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 10:12 am
Here is a picture
http://www.wxxi.org/colorama/images/15Babies.jpg
Which have dignity, worth and value? Which don't? On what basis do you decide?
Infants, such as those in your photograph, and children do not possess human dignity at all in the sense I am referring to the term in my OP. That is the sense in which the term human dignity entails a capacity for an individual person to be morally responsible. Moral responsibility, in turn, only arises when human beings are capable of free choice and rational thought. A full capacity for rational thought do not exist - strictly speaking, until a region of the human brain known as the prefrontal cortex is fully developed, and this occurs at around the age of 25 years.

In the case of infants, children and adolescents, the prefrontal cortex of the brain has still not attained full maturity, thus these young people are generally presumed ( by the law, for example) to lack sufficient rational consciousness to make choices as legitimately "responsible" individual moral agents, because they are still unable - or not fully able - to make decision in accordance with a rational standard by which some actions are deemed to right while other actions are held to be wrong.

It is implicit in my OP that human dignity is only regarded as being possessed by ordinary adult persons, i.e. those human beings whom we can safely assume have - at the very least- the fundamental biological capacity, in terms of brain development to be (theoretically) able to identify or accept and guide themselves by a (reasonably) rational ethic when they are exercising their freedom to make significant choices in the way they conduct their affairs in life.

Regards

Dachshund

Dachshund
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Re: HUMAN RIGHTS - A CHALLENGE FOR THE FORUM

Post by Dachshund » March 28th, 2018, 1:34 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 12:59 pm
Daschund:
Thus, I hereby challenge any member of the forum who objects to my claim that the notion of human dignity I refer to above - the very same notion, that is, which undergirds and upholds the entire contemporary Human Rights discourse is pure nonsense - to prove me wrong.
You dog! You claim that the notion of human dignity is wrong and then instead of “proving” it is wrong challenge us to prove you wrong.
… I will humbly admit that I am mistaken.


I think it far more likely you will skulk off with your tail between your legs, just as you did on your other thread.

It is not at all clear what it is that you think the concept of human dignity entails that you find so objectionable. You say:
I absolutely do not subscribe to the view that such a thing as human dignity exists in the sense that …
Does that mean you subscribe to another view of human dignity or that you reject the notion of human dignity all together? Is your objection that it is “non-fungible mean that you think human dignity should be bought and sold? Do those who can’t afford or are unwilling to buy their dignity deserve to be treated without dignity? And from whom do they buy their dignity?

You emphasize “same measure”. Does this mean you fawn over princes and spit on the poor?

How do you determine the worth or value of a person? Their social status or class, their abilities, their circumstances, their actions? How does your estimation of their worth or value affect how they are treated?


Suppose two newborn babies were entrusted to your care. Do you afford them the same or different care? Does their race or sex make a difference? Do you subsequently treat them differently if you learn something about their background? Is one more or less worthy of your attention because they cry more or less?

What does an unconditioned normative property mean? What conditions the normative properties of a person?
… the imposition of clampdowns on freedom of speech …
Do you not see the irony? You oppose the concept of human rights but end by an appeal to the right to free speech! Have you earned this right? Doesn’t your anti-egalitarianism work against you here? Perhaps you are deemed not worthy of speaking freely by your superiors.
My dear fellow,

What it is precisely that I object most strenuously to is the implicit moral egalitarianism entailed in the claim of equal, universal human dignity as that term is utilized in the orthodox Human Rights discourse that is played out in the West today.

This is essentially a Kantian notion of human dignity as a normative property possessed in equal measure by all men and women.

By "normative" property" I mean :

(1) an e -value -ative property that is ascribed a normative (moral) predicate such as : "ought be" or "is right" or "is good".

and

(2) a property that cannot be reduced to, identified with or analysed in terms of natural properties.

In short, to claim that human dignity is a property that all human being possess ( in equal measure) that is "normative" ( which is, in fact, the claim being made in the current Human Rights discourse in the West) is necessarily to commend the property of human dignity as (morally) good - and to say that it is morally good simply in virtue of its own nature and not as a consequence of any contingent practices or conventions of our own.

As I say, the egalitarian notion of human dignity that underpins all of our Human Rights declarations, conventions, covenants and international court statutes is philosophically speaking an intellectual descendant of Kant's notion of the term.

Kantian human dignity is a profoundly flawed ethical concept, and if you would like I will explain for you blow- by- blow why this is the case. All you need do is ask.

If you request I do this, then you must be prepared to accept the consequences; namely, you will be confronted with a truth you will find rather distressing, the "bottom line" being is that Kantian (human) dignity is impossible to justify and in consequence the key foundation that undergirds the entire edifice of the whole vacuous (equal, universal) Human Rights discourse in the West is exposed as worthless and rotten.

Thus the whole bogus structure comes crashing down [ ] my friend, and I must confess my experiencing a certain schadenfreud at the spectacle.

Regards

Dachshund

Fooloso4
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Fooloso4 » March 28th, 2018, 11:10 am

Dachshund:
That is the sense in which the term human dignity entails a capacity for an individual person to be morally responsible.
Why would that be the case? You have not been forthright, but based on your comment about the fungibility of dignity, it seems like some version of the Hobbesian notion of dignity as worth, and worth determined by the judgment of others of your value to them. Further,a person cannot be said to have any worth until they become moral agents, responsible for what they do, because until someone is capable of acting responsibly he is of no worth to me or others.
… a rational standard by which some actions are deemed to right while other actions are held to be wrong.
What is that rational standard? How does it relate to normative and natural properties?
What it is precisely that I object most strenuously to is the implicit moral egalitarianism entailed in the claim of equal, universal human dignity as that term is utilized in the orthodox Human Rights discourse that is played out in the West today.
It is not moral egalitarianism based on your notion of moral agents. It is, rather, the claim that egalitarianism is moral, that is, good. It is a standard that can be defended both on rational and natural grounds, that it has worth in so far as it confers benefit to both individuals and society, and that it is natural because we are by nature social beings.
… a [normative] property that cannot be reduced to, identified with or analysed in terms of natural properties.
To claim that for Kant what is normative cannot be reduced to, identified with or analysed in terms of natural properties betrays a lack of understanding of what he sees as the relationship between the understanding and the laws of nature. Man, according to Kant, is the lawgiver of nature:
... we ourselves bring into the appearances that order and regularity that we call nature, and moreover we would not be able to find it there if we, or the nature of our mind, had not originally put it there ...The understanding is thus not merely a faculty for making rules through the comparison of the appearances: it is itself the legislation for nature, i.e., without understanding there would not be any nature at all” (CPR, A125–126).
You may not agree, but if you are going to disagree with him you must first understand what it is you think you are disagreeing with.

As I say, the egalitarian notion of human dignity that underpins all of our Human Rights declarations, conventions, covenants and international court statutes is philosophically speaking an intellectual descendant of Kant's notion of the term.
Even if that were true, most today do not accept Kantian morals. Every idea and every practice has its antecedents.
Kantian human dignity is a profoundly flawed ethical concept, and if you would like I will explain for you blow- by- blow why this is the case. All you need do is ask.
Not necessary. As I said, most today are not Kantians. Neither egalitarianism nor human dignity begins or ends with Kant.
If you request I do this, then you must be prepared to accept the consequences; namely, you will be confronted with a truth you will find rather distressing, the "bottom line" being is that Kantian (human) dignity is impossible to justify and in consequence the key foundation that undergirds the entire edifice of the whole vacuous (equal, universal) Human Rights discourse in the West is exposed as worthless and rotten.
How about you drop the vacuous hyperbole? It you have an argument against human dignity then you should be confident enough in it to allow it to carry its own weight.
… the "bottom line" being is that Kantian (human) dignity is impossible to justify ...
What assumptions underlie the idea that human dignity is something that requires justification? Perhaps you’ve got it backwards. Instead of starting with abstract rational concepts begin with considerations of man in his natural state as we find him rather than the fictional “state of nature”. Man is by nature a social animal that from a very early age displays care and empathy. From this perspective what is justified must be justified in terms of what is beneficial and unjustified what is harmful to us considered both individually and as a society. Care and consideration do not need justification, justification is based on it.

Alias
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Alias » March 29th, 2018, 10:16 pm

Atreyu wrote:
March 27th, 2018, 9:08 pm
My position is that humans have no inherent "rights" in nature.
Of course not. Right is a social concept.
in "Rights" are simply how we think people deserve to be treated.
No, it's more than an opinion. It is a conviction held in common by a group; how the members of a society regard one another.
It is a binding agreement, that both underpins and pervades the structure, the governance, the laws, mores and ethics of the society.
So, if I say "I have the right to free speech", what I'm basically saying is that people should not take action against me merely based on what I say. That that would be "uncool".
No. What you are claiming is your due as a signatory to a constitution. That's the point of an oath of citizenship. We affirm that it's illegal, wrong and punishable by the rules of the society to infringe upon that freedom without due process of law, wherein it is demonstrated that you have forfeited the right by some wilful action.
But I have no such inherent right.
Rights are not inherent. They are conferred by social contract.
I don't even have the right to live.
Nobody said you did. What the constitution (most constitutions, anyway) says is that your society is pledged to defend your life, freedom and possessions, as you pledge to defend the safety, liberty and property of your fellow citizens.

Alias
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Re: HUMAN RIGHTS - A CHALLENGE FOR THE FORUM

Post by Alias » March 29th, 2018, 10:41 pm

Dachshund wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 12:52 am
Infants, such as those in your photograph, and children do not possess human dignity at all in the sense I am referring to the term in my OP. That is the sense in which the term human dignity entails a capacity for an individual person to be morally responsible.
The writers of a document are right or wrong in their own terminology, as they mean the words - not according to some random critic's interpretation.
Why should human dignity be contingent on maturity or moral responsibility?
Why should a child be subject to humiliation or abuse, on the basis of its age? If some of the citizens are not fully free agents, that's more reason, not less, for the responsible arm of the society to protect them.
All of them. Equally.
The state of physical development is not at issue in social value, nor in the accordance of recognition by the society as individual human beings, rather than as chattels. That's one provision of an egalitarian social contract.
It is implicit in my OP that human dignity is only regarded as being possessed by ordinary adult persons,
By you. But you didn't write the UN declaration of human rights, and it doesn't require your ratification.

Dachshund
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » March 31st, 2018, 1:11 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 11:10 am
Dachshund:



To claim that for Kant what is normative cannot be reduced to, identified with or analysed in terms of natural properties betrays a lack of understanding of what he sees as the relationship between the understanding and the laws of nature. Man, according to Kant, is the lawgiver of nature:



You may not agree, but if you are going to disagree with him you must first understand what it is you think you are disagreeing with.




Even if that were true, most today do not accept Kantian morals. Every idea and every practice has its antecedents.



Not necessary. As I said, most today are not Kantians. Neither egalitarianism nor human dignity begins or ends with Kant.






My dear fellow,

What on Earth does the quotation you provide from Kant (above) have at all to do with the question of human dignity and human rights that I raised for discussion in my OP? I have been discussing human dignity as a moral status, and the idea that has inspired legal documents like the UNUDHR, namely that human being, just in the fact that they exist as human being are possessed of an equal measure of human dignity, that, in turn, is defined as having an inalienable, inviolable, inherent, unconditional and incomparable worth (or "value") If you are interested in what Kant has to say about "legislation" in this context, he writes that it is:

"the moral law that first determines and makes possible the concepty of good, insofar as it derives this name absolutely".


He makes the same point in the following passage:

"For nothing can have worth ther than that the law determines for it. But the lawgiving itself, which determines all worth, must for that very reason have dignity that is an unconditional, incomparable worth".

You say that "most today do not accept Kantian morality".

We therefore need to get something perfectly clear before proceeding. That is the following fact...

The overwhelming majority of moral philosophers working in the field of Human Rights theory today would agree that the dominant, contemporary paradigm is one in which a Kantian notion of worth engenders the prevailing framework used for conceptualising about human dignity as a moral status.

If you deny this, then I am afraid I will have no option but to terminate this dialogue immediately, as I do not have time to waste discussing the position in my OP which someone who is ignorant of the fundamental facts relating to the notion of human dignity as it is conceptualised in the dominant contemporary Human Rights discourse in the West.

Regards


Dachshund

Dachshund
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » March 31st, 2018, 5:11 am

Alias wrote:
March 29th, 2018, 10:16 pm
Atreyu wrote:
March 27th, 2018, 9:08 pm
My position is that humans have no inherent "rights" in nature.

Of course not. Right is a social concept.

Alias,


I presume that if you regard the notion Human Rights to be a social concept, you must naturally be sympathetic to the anti-egalitarian philosophical basis of political conservatism as expounded by the father of Conservatism in the modern era, Edmund Burke. In short, I presume that you are a true Tory?

If not, please explain exactly why I am mistaken in this presumption.

Regards

Dachshund

Fooloso4
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Fooloso4 » March 31st, 2018, 10:27 am

Dachshund:
What on Earth does the quotation you provide from Kant (above) have at all to do with the question of human dignity and human rights that I raised for discussion in my OP?
Since you are in the habit of quoting entire posts, to be clear, the quote in question is:
... we ourselves bring into the appearances that order and regularity that we call nature, and moreover we would not be able to find it there if we, or the nature of our mind, had not originally put it there ...The understanding is thus not merely a faculty for making rules through the comparison of the appearances: it is itself the legislation for nature, i.e., without understanding there would not be any nature at all” (CPR, A125–126).
I quoted it in response to your claim that:
… a [normative] property that cannot be reduced to, identified with or analysed in terms of natural properties.
My response was:
To claim that for Kant what is normative cannot be reduced to, identified with or analysed in terms of natural properties betrays a lack of understanding of what he sees as the relationship between the understanding and the laws of nature. Man, according to Kant, is the lawgiver of nature:
Now that we are done backpedaling …
If you deny this, then I am afraid I will have no option but to terminate this dialogue immediately, as I do not have time to waste discussing the position in my OP which someone who is ignorant of the fundamental facts relating to the notion of human dignity as it is conceptualised in the dominant contemporary Human Rights discourse in the West.
You are barking up the wrong tree, and threatening to stomp away like a petulant child does not strengthen your position. If you would like to discuss Kantian morality start a thread. I have more than a passing familiarity with it and will discuss it in as much detail as is necessary. Those who support human rights are far more likely to appeal to some version of the golden rule - treating others as I would want them to treat me is about as egalitarian as it gets. It is an idea that can be found in many ancient cultures. They might cite something like commensurate punishment, an eye for an eye, which again is an egalitarian notion. They might point to Greek democracy. Or they may simply think it self-evident. Equality does not originate with Kant and it is not a western idea. The ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi, for example, advocated "impartiality", an extreme version of egalitarianism that ever the most egalitarian minded today might balk at.

When Kant says that human being should be treated as ends in themselves and not means it is diametrically opposed to your Hobbesian position that dignity is worth, and worth determined by the judgment of others of your value to them; and that a person cannot be said to have any worth until they become moral agents, that is, responsible for what they do, because until someone is capable of acting responsibly he is of no worth to me or others. You have said nothing about this or whether your own view differs from that of Hobbes, or whether you agree with Hobbes analysis of human nature and mechanistic science of nature, or some alternative. If you are going to deny human rights based on the notion of equality then you must defend what you think is the correct alternative.

It is also important to discuss the relationship between political rights and moral rights.

Namelesss
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Namelesss » March 31st, 2018, 9:39 pm

Dachshund wrote:
March 26th, 2018, 3:33 am
Human Rights
'Privilege'; that which can be taken from you.
'Rights'; that which cannot be taken from you.
Humans have no 'rights'.
The 'right' to life, for instance, is constantly taken from people, which makes it a privilege.
The notion of 'rights' is just propaganda for the ignorant vanity of the masses.

Eduk
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Eduk » April 1st, 2018, 4:16 am

What odd definitions of privilege and rights.
Unknown means unknown.

Namelesss
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Namelesss » April 1st, 2018, 4:23 am

Eduk wrote:
April 1st, 2018, 4:16 am
What odd definitions of privilege and rights.
Not really, it's like when they say that 'driving' is a privilege', not a right.
That is because it is doled out to you, and can be rescinded; thus a privilege and not a right.
The so-called right to life, generally, cannot be rescinded, legally, but can, of course be rescinded nonetheless.
No, not a very odd definition at all.
The vanity is hurt to hear there are no 'rights'.

Eduk
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Eduk » April 1st, 2018, 5:16 am

What an odd definition of odd.
Unknown means unknown.

Namelesss
Posts: 499
Joined: November 15th, 2017, 1:59 am

Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Namelesss » April 1st, 2018, 5:22 am

Eduk wrote:
April 1st, 2018, 5:16 am
What an odd definition of odd.
I apologize for treating your post with the respect of an honest answer.
I assumed honest question.
You now illustrate my error.
Perhaps I won't make it again.

Eduk
Posts: 2466
Joined: December 8th, 2016, 7:08 am
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Eduk » April 1st, 2018, 12:18 pm

How can I put this. You also have a funny definition of respect.
Unknown means unknown.

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