Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

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Dachshund
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » April 3rd, 2018, 8:41 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 10:27 am
Dachshund:

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.



Foolosoph4,


Here are two standard dictionary definitions of the term "egalitarian"

1. (adjective) believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

2. (noun) a person who advocates or supports the principle of equality for all people.

Here, in addition, is how the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy defines egalitarianism:


"Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy. An egalitarian favours equality of some sort. People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, should treat one another as equals, or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort. Egalitarian political doctrines tend to rest on a background idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental WORTH OR MORAL STATUS..

The dominant human rights discourse in the West since the end of the SEcond World War, is, as I have said grounded on the egalitarian notion that all men and women possess an equal inherent fundamental WORTH OR MORAL STATUS which it refers to ( after Kant) as DIGNITY. Contemporary moral philosophers working in the field of human rights theory DO agree, BTW that the dominant, contemporary paradigm for analysing the notion of human dignity ( and how it relates to human rights as proclaimed in legal instruments like the current UNUDHR, etc.) is predominantly based on KANT's ethical theory.

You however, conveniently plead ignorance of this fact... Never mind, there is more than one way to skin a slippery, evasive cat like you my friend.

Before I proceed, I will, however, need you to clearly and unequivocally confirm - (if it is the case) - that you are indeed a proponent and advocate of egalitarianism as it is defined above ( in the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy and the standard dictionary I provided from the internet) in respect of your political stance/philosophy.

Just reply with a : "Yes, I am[/i]", or, a "No, I am not[/i]" That will be quite sufficient, thank you.

If you respond in the affirmative, it will be my pleasure to systematically annihilate your position and expose you for the fool that you indeed are.

As for my own stance, it has nothing to do with Hobbes, so you can forget all about that. I am rather, a committed, traditional political conservative and admirer of the political/moral philosophy of the great 18th -century Whig reformer, Edmund Burke. Like Burke, I view any form of political/ moral egalitarianism as pure (and potentially very harmful) stupidity of the most vulgar kind.

Please do not refer again to my pointing out that the infants in the photo posted earlier on this thread are not responsible moral agents, and thereby lack human dignity; this is true, - strictly speaking - but I think in retrospect the argument I presented was too legalistic and ought have been more philosophical ( this being a philosophy form). I will, therefore, return to discuss infants and children in due course; for now I will simply state that they (the photographed infants) absolutely do not possess equal measures of human dignity ( either latent or explicit).

Regards

Dachshund

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Fooloso4 » April 3rd, 2018, 1:20 pm

Dachshund, please learn how to use the quote function.

For anyone not interested in the longer argument below, I will start with a quote from Burke to show just how misguided Dachshund is, and then address the specifics of his post:
In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things.
The first part is a clear statement of Burke’s egalitarianism, the second may be the key to Dachshund’s misunderstanding of egalitarianism.

Dachshund:
WORTH OR MORAL STATUS which it refers to ( after Kant) as DIGNITY.
That is simply not true. The etymology of DIGNITY is French and means ‘worthy’. The question of the worth of a person is not a question that first arose with Kant, although he does discuss it.
… predominantly based on KANT's ethical theory.
Repeating it does not make it true. Kant’s moral theory is based on the categorical imperative. Those who ascribe to an a priori, non-consequentialist moral theory are in the minority.
Before I proceed, I will, however, need you to clearly and unequivocally confirm - (if it is the case) - that you are indeed a proponent and advocate of egalitarianism as it is defined above ( in the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy and the standard dictionary I provided from the internet) in respect of your political stance/philosophy.

Just reply with a : "Yes, I am[/i]", or, a "No, I am not[/i]" That will be quite sufficient, thank you.
I will answer your question but I am not going to play your game. Doing so may be sufficient for you to attack your misunderstanding of what is being said, but is not sufficient for a rational discussion and an honest attempt to find the truth of the matter. The article you cite goes on to make various qualifications and distinctions that you conveniently ignore by demanding a yes or no answer. It goes on to say that Egalitarianism is a protean doctrine. You misquote the opening statement. It says:
People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect.
In what respect people should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals is the critical issue.


Yes, I favours equality of some sort (as did Burke). As I understand it, that people should get the same does not mean equal distribution of wealth. Neither Kant nor the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say any such thing. What it does say, Article 17:
(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.
I agree. To be treated the same does not mean to disregard what people actually do. We are equal under the law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states this as well. I agree. To be treated as equals does not mean that we are equal with regard to our abilities, character, or knowledge. It does not mean that everyone’s opinion is of equal worth or value. I go to a doctor when I am sick not a barber. It means not to be treated differently because of monetary or social or political status. I agree. You put the emphasis on the wrong thing. Egalitarian political doctrines rest on a background idea that all human persons are equal in FUNDAMENTAL worth or moral status. The qualifications and distinctions made above point to what is and is not fundamental. I agree.
If you respond in the affirmative, it will be my pleasure to systematically annihilate your position and expose you for the fool that you indeed are.
It may be your pleasure but all that you would accomplish would be to annihilate your own misunderstand of what is being claimed.
I view any form of political/ moral egalitarianism as pure (and potentially very harmful) stupidity of the most vulgar kind.
Here is a clear statement from Burke’s position regarding natural rights:
Far am I from denying in theory, full as far is my heart from withholding in practice, (if I were of power to give or to withhold,) the real rights of men. In denying their false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy. If civil society be made for the advantage of man, all the advantages for which it is made become his right. It is an institution of beneficience; and law itself is only beneficience acting by a rule. Men have a right to live by that rule; they have a right to do justice, as between their fellows, whether their fellows are in public function or in ordinary occupation. They have a right to the fruits of their industry, and to the means of making their industry fruitful. They have a right to the acquisitions of their parents; to the nourishment and improvement of their offspring; to instruction in life, and to consolation in death. Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself; and he has a right to a fair portion of all which society, with all its combinations of skill and force, can do in his favor. In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things. He that has but five shillings in the partnership, has as good a right to it, as he that has five hundred pounds has to his larger proportion. But he has not a right to an equal dividend in the product of the joint stock; and as to the share of power, authority, and direction which each individual ought to have in the management of the state, that I must deny to be amongst the direct original rights of man in civil society; for I have in my contemplation the civil social man, and no other. It is a thing to be settled by convention. (“Reflections on the Revolution in France,” Works, II, 331–332.)
I have put the key phrase in bold: “In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things”. This puts Burke squarely within an egalitarian moral and political tradition.

To be clear on the relationship between morality and politics Burke says:
… the principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged.
And:
Power to be legitimate must be according to that eternal, immutable law, in which will and reason are the same.
Burke advocates, although not explicitly, a kind of theocracy administered by a natural aristocracy that is a priestly class, that is, those who have authorities in matters of God’s eternal, immutable law as it is determinate for human law.
I think in retrospect the argument I presented was too legalistic


That is a generous way of putting it. Too bad you do not afford the same generosity of spirit to others.

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Alias » April 5th, 2018, 5:37 pm

Dachshund wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 5:11 am
[ Right is a social concept.]

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?
On what basis do you make such a presumption?
I didn't say anything about Human Rights. I responded to the notion of rights - any kind of generic, uncapitalized rights, and any kind of specifically named rights that someone may choose to capitalize. There is no such thing as the rights of a person alone in the forest: he can't grow any out of his body. All of those are ideas that apply to social relations of individuals to one another and individuals to the state.
That's not a political stance or a philosophy; it's just a fact.

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Sy Borg » April 5th, 2018, 7:03 pm

Alias wrote:
April 5th, 2018, 5:37 pm
Dachshund wrote:
March 31st, 2018, 5:11 am
[ Right is a social concept.]

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?
On what basis do you make such a presumption?
I didn't say anything about Human Rights. I responded to the notion of rights - any kind of generic, uncapitalized rights, and any kind of specifically named rights that someone may choose to capitalize. There is no such thing as the rights of a person alone in the forest: he can't grow any out of his body. All of those are ideas that apply to social relations of individuals to one another and individuals to the state.
That's not a political stance or a philosophy; it's just a fact.
Eloquently put.

Generally rights are decided upon for utilitarian reasons - social order and cohesiveness. I suspect that neocons and the shift the the right are part of the process in societies shifting from peace footing to war. The world is clearly readying itself for major war - including cyber attacks - and this involves the election of "strong man" authoritarian leaders who tend to have more testosterone than understanding of situations beyond their blinkered conceptions. When peace returns, such wartime leaders are soon discarded in favour of more mentally competent, less reflexively conservative types.

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Alias » April 5th, 2018, 10:29 pm

Greta wrote:
April 5th, 2018, 7:03 pm
I suspect that neocons and the shift the the right are part of the process in societies shifting from peace footing to war. The world is clearly readying itself for major war - including cyber attacks - and this involves the election of "strong man" authoritarian leaders...
Who invariably curtail rights and freedoms and promise safety in return, while actually putting the citizens at greater and more kinds of risk.
They put on the show of expanding rights - but only to select entities: their own financial backers and their own enforcement agencies.
Oh, and their family members. They're nearly all nepotist.

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Sy Borg » April 6th, 2018, 1:25 am

Alias wrote:
April 5th, 2018, 10:29 pm
Greta wrote:
April 5th, 2018, 7:03 pm
I suspect that neocons and the shift the the right are part of the process in societies shifting from peace footing to war. The world is clearly readying itself for major war - including cyber attacks - and this involves the election of "strong man" authoritarian leaders...
Who invariably curtail rights and freedoms and promise safety in return, while actually putting the citizens at greater and more kinds of risk.
They put on the show of expanding rights - but only to select entities: their own financial backers and their own enforcement agencies.
Oh, and their family members. They're nearly all nepotist.
Yes, and these are the reasons why the unreasonable - potent in war because they are effectively defending their own interests - are usually soon dismissed in peacetime, no matter what their achievements during wartime. It's all a tad disturbing, like watching on the Titanic inching towards an iceberg, unable to turn in time.

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » April 7th, 2018, 3:55 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
April 3rd, 2018, 1:20 pm
Here is a clear statement from Burke’s position regarding natural rights:
Far am I from denying in theory, full as far is my heart from withholding in practice, (if I were of power to give or to withhold,) the real rights of men. In denying their false claims of right, I do not mean to injure those which are real, and are such as their pretended rights would totally destroy. If civil society be made for the advantage of man, all the advantages for which it is made become his right. It is an institution of beneficience; and law itself is only beneficience acting by a rule. Men have a right to live by that rule; they have a right to do justice, as between their fellows, whether their fellows are in public function or in ordinary occupation. They have a right to the fruits of their industry, and to the means of making their industry fruitful. They have a right to the acquisitions of their parents; to the nourishment and improvement of their offspring; to instruction in life, and to consolation in death. Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself; and he has a right to a fair portion of all which society, with all its combinations of skill and force, can do in his favor. In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things. He that has but five shillings in the partnership, has as good a right to it, as he that has five hundred pounds has to his larger proportion. But he has not a right to an equal dividend in the product of the joint stock; and as to the share of power, authority, and direction which each individual ought to have in the management of the state, that I must deny to be amongst the direct original rights of man in civil society; for I have in my contemplation the civil social man, and no other. It is a thing to be settled by convention. (“Reflections on the Revolution in France,” Works, II, 331–332.)
I have put the key phrase in bold: “In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things”. This puts Burke squarely within an egalitarian moral and political tradition.
My response to this claim is as follows...

While Burke does say that the "natural rights" of man exist, he regards them to be of no real importance with respect to the conduct of human affairs; and he is absolutely not a thinker who can be, as you claim, "squarely" placed within any kind of egalitarian moral and political tradition. Consider, for instance the following passage from "Reflections on the Revolution in France":

"We (the men of England) preserve the whole of our feelings still native and entire, unsophisticated by pedantry and infidelity. WE have real hearts of flesh and blood beating in our bosoms. WE fear God; we look up with awe to kings; with affection to parliaments; with duty to magistrates; with reverence to priests; and with respect to nobility. Why? Because when such ideas are brought before our minds, it is natural to be so affected; because all other feelings are false and spurious, and tend to corrupt our minds, to vitiate our primary morals, to render us unfit for rational liberty; and by teaching us a servile, licentious, and abandoned insolence, to be our low sport for a few holidays, to make us perfectly fit for, and justly deserving of, slavery, through the whole course of our lives".



Also, in the same essay from which your quotation (above) is taken, Burke asserts:


"We (Englishmen) are not the converts of Rousseau; we are not the disciples of Voltaire; Helvetius has made no progress amongst us. Atheists are not our preachers; madmen are not our lawgivers. We know that we have made no discoveries ; and we think that no discoveries are to be made, in morality, nor in the great principles of government, nor in the ideas of liberty, which were understood long before we were born, altogether as well as they will be after the grave has heaped its mould on our presumption, and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on our pertloquacity... We (in England) have not been drawn and trussed, in order that we may be filled, like stuffed birds in a museum, with chaff and rags and paltry blurred shreds of paper about the rights of man".

With respect to those philosophers who advocate the natural rights of man, Burke notes how:

"The pretended rights of these theorists are all extremes; and in proportion as they are metaphysically true, they are morally and politically false. The rights of men are in a sort of middle, incapable of definition, but not impossible to be discerned. The rights of men in government are their advantages; and these are often in balance between differences of good; in compromises sometimes between good and evil, and sometimes, between evil and evil".

For Burke, talk about the universal, equal human rights is worthless and foolish; for as he rightly observes that:

"These metaphysic rights ( i.e, the vaunted "natural rights" of man) entering into common life, like rays of light which pierce into a dense medium, are, by the laws of nature, refracted from their straight line. Indeed in the gross and complicated mass of human passions and concerns, the primitive rights of men undergo such a variety of refractions and reflections, that it becomes absurd to talk of them as if they continued in the simplicity of their original direction. The nature of man is intricate; the objects of society are of the greatest possible complexity; and therefore no simple disposition or direction of power can be suitable either to man's nature, or the quality of his affairs".
Fooloso4 wrote:
April 3rd, 2018, 1:20 pm
To be clear on the relationship between morality and politics Burke says:
… the principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged.
Yes, that is correct , and here is what Burke has to say about the matter in a little more detail:

"Government is not made in virtue of natural rights, which may and do exist in total independence of it; and exist in much greater clearness and in a much greater degree of abstract perfection; but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. By having a right to everything they want everything. Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint on their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should be frequently thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves; and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and those passions, which is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. But as the liberties and restrictions vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon this principle".

I agree 100%. The dominant contemporary human rights discourse in the West is nothing but vacuous, meaningless, disingenuous rhetoric; that while it
evidently seems to do does no material good in its own right, may indeed be harmful in apprising individuals of the (so-called) universal rights they each possess, without the mention of any kind of co-existing restrictions, restraints, responsibilities, deference and duties that are necessarily entailed in the proposition.

In short, my only disagreement with Burke is that I do not believe that what refers to (reluctantly and in and disapproving terms) as the purely "abstract", "theoretical", "metaphysical" ( natural ) "rights of man" do actually exist in reality. Briefly, I do not believe that they do. I do not believe they are things that actually exist as components of reality.

In my view, the prevailing contemporary human rights discourse in the West is wholly undergirded by the moral concept of human dignity. In particular, by the presumption (of the extravagent assumption) that all individual human beings are equally possessed of the same fundamental, absolute, dignity and that this dignity endows all mankind with the same basic, elemental/core measure of an intrinsic, innate worth, a value sui generis that is regarded by moral philosophers in the modern era, in much the same way that it was by Enlightenment thinkers like Kant, for instance, who defined it as being a normative property of possessed by all men and women which is : "absolute", "unconditioned", Inviolable", "universal" and "above all price and admitting of no equivalent".

Which, in conclusion, brings me back to the original OP I posted on this thread, wherein challenged any reader to provide any kind of reasonable, coherent, clear, etc; theoretical justification for the notion of that all human being possess an equal inherent dignity (i.e. moral status of worth or value) in virtue of the fact that they exist as human beings. I do not believe that this assumption has ever been properly justified by moral philosopher past or present, because I do not believe it is in any way ( logically, rationally, etc;) possible to justify it.

This said , I re-issue the challenge.

Regards

Dachshund

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » April 7th, 2018, 5:44 am

Greta wrote:
April 6th, 2018, 1:25 am
Yes, and these are the reasons why the unreasonable - potent in war because they are effectively defending their own interests - are usually soon dismissed in peacetime, no matter what their achievements during wartime. It's all a tad disturbing,
Yes, I couldn't agree more Greta ! I mean its perfectly clear, isn't it, that unreasonable war-mongers like the former British Prime Minister,Winston Churchill, and his American compeers in, for example, such ignorant bastards as General Douglas MacArthur and colleague General George Patton ( the later a true vulgarian and absolutely obnoxious pig of a man !) were only ever defending their own selfish interests during the Second World War. As I recall, they found Herr Hitler and his plans for world domination "a tad disturbing" and subsequently "acted out" in a very testosterone-fuelled and violent male manner in order to crush him and his Nazi war machine. Tsk, Tsk,Tsk ! Yes, there's no doubt at all Greta, we would all have been much better off without these kind of stupid, brutal, power-drunk men put in charge of the Allies affairs in Europe and the Pacific during 1939 and 1945 - I mean, just look at the damage that they ended up doing ! The mind boggles doesn't it, girl; especially when we consider how it was perfectly clear all the while that Herr Hitler and his deputies ( like Dr Goebbels, Herr Goering, Herr Himmler and Co) were all eminently reasonable men who could almost certainly have been talked around by any sensitive, intelligent female had she ever been given the chance. (Maybe someone just like yourself, my dear!)

Regards

Dachshund

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » April 7th, 2018, 8:08 am

Foolosoph4,
Alias wrote:
April 5th, 2018, 5:37 pm
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.
BTW...

Strictly speaking, this is not true insofar as the contemporary human rights discourse declares that all human beings possess , in equal measure, certain basic human rights as normative properties. That is, the dominant human rights paradigm in the West since the mid 20th century has been such that it has generated legal documents like the UNUDHR, for instance, which unequivocally declare there are a certain set of natural rights equally possessed by all human beings that are, in fact, non-fungible, absolute,inviolable, inalienable and unconditioned in nature. These human rights , it is proclaimed OUGHT always be respected, in making or decisions about how one should treat other individuals, or, for example, in formulating social policy that dictates how different groups of people in society are to be treated by others.

The "Golden Rule" you refer to (i.e."Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.") is a completely different ball of ethical wax, in that it depends entirely on CONTINGENT facts about how people would like to be treated. The "Golden Rule" is not like a Kantian Categorical Imperative in that it is CONDITIONAL;that is, it is wholly subject to/ dependent upon/ determined by/ hinged upon/ controlled by facts about how other people would like to be treated. How you might like to be treated by me in a particular situation is highly contingent. Suppose that you yourself currently happen to very frail in consequence of experiencing a bout of severe ill-health, and you happen to ask me for news of your sister, whom I know has just been killed in a car accident. What is the right thing for me to do? Tell you the harsh truth straight up, or spare you the shock and agony of it until you health is improved? How, that is, would you like to be treated by me in this particular situation? The answer, of course, is that it is highly CONTINGENT. Some people prefer to be spared harsh truths at vulnerable periods in their lives, while others would rather have the truth given to them however painful it may be. Thus the "Golden Rule" is far from an egalitarian-type ( "equal/identical treatment for all") moral principle.

Do you understand the point I am making? Statements of Human rights, in contrast, are utterly stringent in they way they stipulate the kind of treatment that one must/ought (uniformly) accord another human being regardlessof what they may happen to want in a particular situation or circumstance.

There a big difference here, my friend; right?

Regards

Dachshund - the morally righteous, and utterly goodly, hound dog ! Bark, Bark !

PS: I did not intend to bold -face all of the text that I have, this stupid system did it, and I am unable to undo it !!

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Eduk » April 7th, 2018, 9:52 am

Some people trip on a root and blame the root.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » April 7th, 2018, 12:31 pm

Eduk wrote:
April 7th, 2018, 9:52 am
Some people trip on a root and blame the root.
Yeah, I know. They forget that the root has a natural right to do that ! :)

Regards

Dachshund - the Conservative hound ! Bark, Bark !

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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Alias » April 7th, 2018, 1:37 pm

Dachshund wrote:
April 7th, 2018, 8:08 am

"[=Alias post_id=309062 time=1522964235 user_id=38391]
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."
I can't find where I said this, or recall typing it. Perhaps someone else did. The statement is true, however, in that society can't function without some version of that understanding. If we can't trust and respect one another, we can't undertake any communal projects.
(See present day USA - or any country!)
Strictly speaking, this is not true insofar as the contemporary human rights discourse declares that all human beings possess , in equal measure, certain basic human rights as normative properties.
Which is it you are attacking now? The UN declaration or "contemporary human rights discourse"?
The first can be quoted verbatim, so you can point out where it says "normative properties". The second is vague and unquotable; thus, whatever you say about it is unprovable.
That is, the dominant human rights paradigm in the West since the mid 20th century has been such that it has generated legal documents like the UNUDHR, for instance, which unequivocally declare there are a certain set of natural rights equally possessed by all human beings that are, in fact, non-fungible, absolute,inviolable, inalienable and unconditioned in nature. These human rights , it is proclaimed OUGHT always be respected, in making or decisions about how one should treat other individuals, or, for example, in formulating social policy that dictates how different groups of people in society are to be treated by others.
Yup. That's the UN's job.
Do you understand the point I am making?
Yup. You don`t like equality.
Statements of Human rights, in contrast, are utterly stringent in they way they stipulate the kind of treatment that one must/ought
Must and ought are two different words with two different meanings. Show me a document wherein they appear as must/ought
(uniformly) accord another human being regardlessof what they may happen to want in a particular situation or circumstance.
Mostly, I don't know what they happen to want, and neither do the framers of any statement of principle. They`re not forcing me to accommodate them whatever desires my fellow human beings may have, but I can still treat with respect and tolerance their right to individual desires, even if they desire to be humiliated or abused.

There a big difference here, my friend; right?
Wrong. We have never met. Should we ever meet, it is improbable that I would ever become your friend.

Fooloso4
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Fooloso4 » April 7th, 2018, 5:09 pm

Dachshund:
While Burke does say that the "natural rights" of man exist, he regards them to be of no real importance with respect to the conduct of human affairs …
This is simply not true. He called the natural rights of mankind “sacred things”. More below.
With respect to those philosophers who advocate the natural rights of man, Burke notes …
Natural rights philosophy did not begin with the modern natural rights philosophers, all, including Burke, were influenced by Cicero, who in turn was influenced by Plato and Aristotle. Burke says:

The rights of men, that is to say, the natural rights of mankind, are indeed sacred things; and if any public measure is proved mischievously to affect them, the objection ought to be fatal to that measure, even if no charter at all could be set up against it. If these natural rights are further affirmed and declared by express covenants, if they are clearly defined and secured against chicane, against power, and authority, by written instruments and positive engagements, they are in a still better condition: they partake not only of the sanctity of the object so secured, but of that solemn public faith itself, which secures an object of such importance. . . . The things secured by these instruments may, without any deceitful ambiguity, be very fitly called the chartered rights of men. (“Speech on Fox’s East-India Bill,” Works of Burke (Bohn edition), II, 176.)
No power, no authority shall stand opposed to the sacred natural rights of man. The king does not stand above the common man with regard to natural rights.

So, how are we to understand the following:
"Government is not made in virtue of natural rights, which may and do exist in total independence of it …
The answer is, in light of the following:
In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights.
This is the key to understanding the passage you quoted. Government secures rather than opposed the rights of man. The problem is:
By having a right to everything they want everything.
This is an impossible situation. And so:
Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint on their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should be frequently thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves
This is just what Hobbes said:
From this Fundamentall Law of Nature, by which men are commanded to endeavour Peace, is derived this second Law; "That a man be willing, when others are so too, as farre-forth, as for Peace, and defence of himselfe he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men, as he would allow other men against himselfe." For as long as every man holdeth this Right, of doing any thing he liketh; so long are all men in the condition of Warre. But if other men will not lay down their Right, as well as he; then there is no Reason for any one, to devest himselfe of his: For that were to expose himselfe to Prey, (which no man is bound to) rather than to dispose himselfe to Peace. (Leviathan 14)
Burke concludes:
But as the liberties and restrictions vary with times and circumstances, and admit of infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon this principle.
You say you agree 100%, but based on what you go on to say it appears you do not understand what he was saying. He is referring to the age old problem of the law. The law alone is not sufficient. It cannot address every situation and problem that may occur. Wise rulers are necessary. This is what he means by “the power out of themselves”.
… without the mention of any kind of co-existing restrictions, restraints, responsibilities …
Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

(1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
(2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
In short, my only disagreement with Burke is that I do not believe that what refers to (reluctantly and in and disapproving terms) as the purely "abstract", "theoretical", "metaphysical" ( natural ) "rights of man" do actually exist in reality.
Again, I think you have misunderstood him. He is not opposing natural rights but natural rights founded on "abstract", "theoretical", "metaphysical" claims. Natural rights are, according to Burke, sacred, that is, from God. Once again:
Power to be legitimate must be according to that eternal, immutable law, in which will and reason are the same.
Eternal, immutable law, not man made laws and not purely "abstract", "theoretical", "metaphysical" claims. But of course one man’s eternal, immutable law is another’s metaphysical fantasy. And, of course, if that eternal, immutable law was Sharia law or Halakha, or some other law other than your particular version of Christianity, that would be a problem. Wouldn’t it?


The question for Burke is how best to govern in order to assure equal protection of the sacred natural rights of mankind. He did not believe that the best state is administered democratically, but by king and aristocracy. The American founders set up a mixed polity, a representative democracy administered by a natural aristocracy. They were concerned about the tyranny of kings and aristocrats, and against a tyrannical aristocracy stood the will of the people. But they were also aware of the danger of the tyranny of the masses. If an aristocracy acted out of self interest rather than the interest of the people they would be voted out of office, thus establishing a balance of powers. And above all stood the law, mutable but changeable only after slow deliberation.
The "Golden Rule" is not like a Kantian Categorical Imperative in that it is CONDITIONAL …
That is correct, and so, in so far as those who support human right appeal to a version of the golden rule they are not basing it on Kantian morality. That was my point.
... it is wholly subject to/ dependent upon/ determined by/ hinged upon/ controlled by facts about how other people would like to be treated.
You’ve got it backwards. It is not based on how you think other people would like to be treated but on how you would like to be treated.
Some people prefer to be spared harsh truths at vulnerable periods in their lives, while others would rather have the truth given to them however painful it may be. Thus the "Golden Rule" is far from an egalitarian-type ( "equal/identical treatment for all") moral principle.
I would want others to consider whether I preferred to be spared the truth or be given the truth, and so, I would treat them accordingly, telling them the truth or sparing them the truth based on their preference, just as I would want to be treated.
Statements of Human rights, in contrast, are utterly stringent in they way they stipulate the kind of treatment that one must/ought (uniformly) accord another human being regardlessof what they may happen to want in a particular situation or circumstance.
In what way specifically does the Universal Declaration of Human Rights say you must/ought treat others regardless of what they may happen to want that you take issue with?

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Sy Borg
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Sy Borg » April 7th, 2018, 6:27 pm

Dachshund wrote:
April 7th, 2018, 5:44 am
Greta wrote:
April 6th, 2018, 1:25 am
Yes, and these are the reasons why the unreasonable - potent in war because they are effectively defending their own interests - are usually soon dismissed in peacetime, no matter what their achievements during wartime. It's all a tad disturbing,
Yes, I couldn't agree more Greta ! I mean its perfectly clear, isn't it, that unreasonable war-mongers like the former British Prime Minister,Winston Churchill, and his American compeers in, for example, such ignorant bastards as General Douglas MacArthur and colleague General George Patton ( the later a true vulgarian and absolutely obnoxious pig of a man !) were only ever defending their own selfish interests during the Second World War.
In content, "selfish" refers to nationalism over the broader humanitarianism.

It's "disturbing" because it looks like major war more immanent.

So thanks (not) for misrepresenting my post. You can always be relied upon to provide the very most jaundiced and cynical spin to any idea, and therein lies your self-deception - your refusal to seriously consider alternatives. Basically, you make your mind up, too hard, too soon. Newbie errors.

Dachshund
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Re: Human Rights- A Challenge for the Forum

Post by Dachshund » April 9th, 2018, 3:44 am

Fooloso4 wrote:
April 7th, 2018, 5:09 pm
Natural rights philosophy did not begin with the modern natural rights philosophers, all, including Burke, were influenced by Cicero, who in turn was influenced by Plato and Aristotle. Burke says:

The rights of men, that is to say, the natural rights of mankind, are indeed sacred things;
Foolosoph4,

You need to be very careful about how you interpret Burke's meaning of the term "natural rights" when he uses it in passages like the one you quote above. Burke views the "natural rights" of mankind as being derived from natural law (jus naturale), and as you say the philosophy of Natural Law dates back to Aristotle, Cicero and the Roman jurisconsults, through to thinkers like Rickard Hooker, "The Schoolmen"; generally speaking jus (or lex) naturale asserts that certain rights are inherent by virtue of human nature, endowed by nature, either by God or a transcendent source, and these can be understood by men and women through human reason.

Burke saw the true natural rights of man as being: equal justice, security of labour and property, the amenities of civilized institutions and the benefits of orderly society, these he argued were the purposes for which God willed the state, ( note Burke does not identify the term "state" with the term "government") and history clearly demonstrates that they are the rights desired by the true natural man. The true natural man, Burke argued, was man civilized and therefore mature - the civil, social man. It is important to understand that the object of Burkes concern in his discussion of the rights of man is not "natural man", but civilized man. Burke, loathed the idea of nature unrefined; for "art is man's nature" he wrote. Like Aristotle, Burked viewed human nature is man's at his highest, not his simplest; take the following passage, for example, where Burke declares:

"Never, no never, did Nature say one thing and Wisdom another. Nor are the sentiments of elevation in themselves turgid and unnatural. Nature is never more truly herself than in her grandest forms. The Apollo of Belvedere ( if the universal robber has yet left him at Belvedere ) is as much in nature as any figure from the pencil of Rembrandt or any clown in the rustic revels of Teniers".

Burke's notion of the natural rights of man is ,very different from the "natural rights" of Rousseau who deduces them from a mythical primaeval, primitive condition of freedom, and throughout his entire career he raged against the happy, lawless and unpropertied state of nature that Rousseau popularized in his philosophy; he despised the idea of a primitive condition in which man lived contentedly according to the easy impulses of natural right unfettered by civilized convention. If - Burke contended - we were to apply the "natural rights" possessed by a hypothetical savage to the much more real and valuable privileges of an Englishmen, "Why, terrible risk would be the consequence !"

In "Tracts on the Popery Laws", Burke writes:

"Everyone is satisfied that a conservation and secure enjoyment of our natural rights is the great and ultimate purpose of civil society; and that therefore all forms of government whatsoever are only good as they are subservient to that purpose to which they are entirely subordinate".

In almost all of his arguments concerning natural rights, Burke defends a graduated (vertical) hierarchical order of class, rank, dignity ( human worth, moral goodness) and nobility in society, and consistently attacks the egalitarian assumptions of the philosophers of his era (like Rousseau and Voltaire). Consider, for instance the following passage from his "Appeal from the New Whigs to the Old":

"The state of civil society, which necessarily generates this aristocracy, is a state of nature; and much more truly so than a savage and incoherent mode of life". For man is by nature reasonable; and he is never perfectly in his natural state, but when he is placed where reason may be best cultivated, and most predominates. Art is man's nature.".

To "cut to the chase",how would Edmund Burke view the first two (foundational) Articles of the current UNUDHR ?

Namely...

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

and

Article 2: Everyone is entitled to the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

He would, I am sure, declare the proclamation these grand, abstract, egalitarian "rights"to be pure foolishness! For throughout his entire career , Edmund Burke resolutely insisted that social and political equality do not fall within the real rights of men. On the contrary, he always held that rank, hierarchy, and aristocracy are the original, natural framework of society; and that if we modify their influence it should only be from prudence and convention, and not in obedience to any presumed "natural right".

So much for Burke's views on political and social egalitarianism; but does this mean he therefore believed there wasb] absolutely[/b] no sort of equality whatsoever consequent on the human nature which God has bestowed on mankind ?

If you asked him this question, Burke would say: "No; there is ONE ( and only one) exception: moral equality". He would tell you, as a pious man, that God ( the Biblical God) judges us not by our worldly condition, but by our goodness, and that this, of course, transcends any kind of mundane political equality. Again, bitterly condemning the French revolution, Burke expresses this idea in the following sad, yet sublimely beautiful passage, with which I conclude this post:

"... you would have had a protected, satisfied, labourious, and obedient people, taught to seek and recognize the happiness that is to be found in virtue in all ; in which consists the true moral equality of mankind, and not in that monstrous fiction, which, by inspiring false ideas and vain expectations into men destined to travel in the obscure walk of labourious life, serves only to aggravate and embitter that real inequality, which it can never remove; and which the order ( i.e. the intrinsically ranked/ hierarchically structured nature ) of civil life establishes as much for the benefit of those whom it must leave in a humble state, as those whom it is able to exalt to a condition more splendid, but not more happy".

("Reflections on the Revolution in France")



Regards



Dachshund - the loyal Tory hound, and sole outspoken reverential conservator on this predominantly (and tragically) liberal/progressive/leftist/equalitarian forum !! Bark !! Bark!!

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