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No Human Rights

Updated on July 23, 2011

Obviously, the term "human rights" is a new fangled modern way of recognizing that natural rights are inherent in everyone. Of course, the term natural rights already accomplishes that, even the term "rights" already accomplishes that. However, the United Nations had to go about and adopt a declaration of human rights, and the multi-culturalists and free lovers latched on to the novelty of human rights instead of its sufficient predecessor natural rights like it was some new fad or style unique to their free loving accepting generation. Ironically, as I have stated before, that generation, and the current generation of carbon copies, has only produced one thing, amorality, which presented itself in my Political Philosophy class today.
Today my Political Philosophy class began discussing "human rights" hence forth to be simply and properly called natural rights. It started by discussing a particular essay the class was assigned to read entitled Beyond Human Rights by Giorgio Agamben. His argument is that the boom if refugee populations of the 20th century exposed a disconnect between state and nation. State identifies a government, while nation identifies a group of people with a cultural similarity. Usually, states and nations are one in the same. For example, Germany, which is a state for the nation of Germanic peoples. Of course, Germany also provides an excellent example as to how nations are disconnected from states. During the reign of Nazi Germany the Jewish nation found itself outlawed by the German state, even though the sect of the Jewish nation had lived in Germany for years. According to Agamben, this leads to certain peoples, the outlawed nations, having their rights violated under the guise of justice. Clearly, a sinister system. However, Agamben points out something more interesting. Usually outlawed nations, refugee populations, immigrate to other states; however, those states do not protect all their natural rights. Agamben's essay basically asks whether or not natural rights are a fiction because of this?

The answer is a resounding no. Natural rights are a truth. Just because certain states violate natural rights does not mean that the natural rights, the same rights for all men, do not exist. However, this is the exact argument most of my class made. They said, and I am paraphrasing but any word I bold I am positive they said, "I feel that since natural rights are violated all the time that natural rights cannot really exist. Natural rights cannot exist unless a state protects them." The "I feel" is extraordinarily annoying because that is probably why they do not think natural rights exist. Since they are not thinking, they are feeling, they cannot draw a logical conclusion. Briefly, let me set the record straight. I am not against emotions. However, I am against blindly following emotions like my class mates apparently due. Emotions are not to be blindly followed and they are certainly not to be repressed. There are reasons why men have emotions; therefore, in order to understand what the emotion is conveying or why one has an emotion one must approach it with reason, not ignore it. Now, back to my classmates and their disbelief in natural rights.
In their argument there is a direct contradiction. "Natural rights cannot exist unless a state protects them." Well... a state can only protect something if it exists, so if protecting brings something into existence, yet one cannot protect something that does not previously exist, then natural rights cannot exist. That is like saying, "There cannot be a banana unless I have eaten it." The banana has to exist before one eats it; the banana cannot be brought into existence by eating it. That statement is just rife with irrationality. I mean it reeks more than a sewage treatment plant, but my class mates could not see it. Even my professor was somewhat slow to catching on. He only brought up this point at the end of class. Of course, I brought it up much earlier. In response to such a statement I said, "Well, that's like the state is lying. See, natural rights, like truth, exists outside of man's control. Just because I tell a lie does not mean truth does not exist. Just because the state violates natural rights does not mean they do not exist." Still, this made no sense to them.

To give someone a little more credit, very minute, he stated that cultures have different concepts of rights. This is true. So far so good. He then said that like in Muslim cultures women have to wear veils. In our culture we identify that as a violation of rights, but in their culture it is not. Clearly, everything these students are arguing, especially this comment, is just a product of the multi-culturalists, free loving, acceptance movement. True Western cultures, in this case I will say specifically America, and Muslim cultures have different concepts of rights. Therefore, if two people disagree in a point then at least one of them has to be wrong. They could actually both be wrong. However, what is not a possibility is that the Muslim conception of rights and the American conception of rights are both correct. This is a denial of the truth. Of course, the students have already denied the truth. Natural rights are at the very base of the truth, they are almost the foundation, and they claim they do not exist. In this case they have claimed that there is no truth. One could argue that they have only argued that natural rights are not the truth; they have not said that the truth did not exist. This is incorrect.
If these students believed in a supernatural being, then they would not be denying the existence of truth. However, I am sure they are all atheists, and if they are not I will just pretend they are for this argument; to show that atheists who deny the existence of natural rights deny the existence of the truth. There is no supernatural being to tell them what to do. There are no natural rights to establish moral boundaries. Therefore, there is no right and wrong. What a supernatural being told someone to do would be correct, possibly. The full extent of this topic is for another post. The natural rights establish moral boundaries, such as, the most simple, do not kill do not steal. Thus, if there are no natural rights. If no one has the natural right to life, liberty, property, or pursuit of happiness there is nothing wrong with killing an innocent man. However, these are the same students who despise the Nazis, and rightfully so, they despise slavery, and rightfully so. Slavery and the holocaust cannot be despised if man does not have the natural right to life. Of course, they do not see these problems. They do not understand that they have fallen off the edge into the void of nihilism and amorality. If they did, they would feel nauseous. I am not even sure why they would live, why wake up, why go to college to learn. The ultimate end of this line of thinking is looking about the universe and just seeing different meaningless objects bumping into one another.

Another disturbing element of their argument, however, was that the state basically creates natural rights. They did not word it that way, they worded it in a contradictory fashion; however, that is what they believe. Natural rights are decided by the state. Then they are not natural and they are not rights. They are nothing more than limitations the state puts on itself, and can remove whenever it pleases. It was a that moment I realized how I was different from most of the other students. I do not need the state. I understand their is a truth, I seek it, and I abide by it. These students need the state. However, they do not need the state for protection. I myself like to have a state for that reason. The state's purpose is to protect man's natural rights. If there was no state I would hire a security firm to do the same job. This is not what these students need the state for. The students depend on the state do identify them. If the state did not exist, then they would have no self. To say the state decides what natural rights are is to say decides who an individual is. These individuals truly believe that to. They see no potential in the human mind. These are the same individuals who would say that man is merely a product of his environment; a man does not choose who he is. If the state was gone these people would be lost. These people are not individuals they are voluntary dependents. What is interesting is that they are dependents who do not love the state. They are not nationalistic or patriotic. They do not stand behind the American President or support the war. I am not classifying these as virtuous or vicious things I am just pointing out that they depend on the state but they also hate the state. It is like the opposite of Rousseau's individual. Rousseau's individual only existed if he was a citizen. For Rousseau an individual was defined by his state, by how he supported the state, and how he participated in the state. These students are defined by the state by how they hate the state. They are just reverse-conformist, reverse-nationalists, which is just as irrational as conformists and nationalists. If the state where to disappear, they would have nothing to hate nothing to complain about. I am probably overestimating too much. I mean, these people would not be completely mindless; however, a large part of their lives would be gone.


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      7 years ago

      You assert quite vehemently that natural rights have to exist, yet you provide no basis for their discovery, and allow subjective veiws to be correct. This means that anyone can assert which rights he or she believes to be "true" rights and his/her veiws will be accepted if his/her veiws are in accordance with hus/her culture. Thus, there is no basis for discerning between the "true" right. The point is moot. Even if there are true rights, we cannot derive which ones they are.


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