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Jarno

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PostSubject: Human Rights And Dignity Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:29 pm

Alain De Benoist, Beyond Human Rights

Going to post few quotes/paragraphs or even chapters from this book and all the other literature relating to origin of human rights etc. I haven't found a PDF yet, it's a very time consuming project to write a chapter which can be over 20 pages long.

1. ARE HUMAN RIGHTS A PART OF THE LAW?

2. IN SEARCH OF A FOUNDATION

3. HUMAN RIGHTS AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

4. BEYOND HUMAN RIGHTS: POLITICS, FREEDOM, DEMOCRACY

Quote :
In search Of a Foundation

In search Of a Foundation

When UNESCO had decided, in 1974, to launch a new Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the one, indeed, that would be solemnly proclaimed on the 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations – its directors undertook to proceed to a vast preliminary inquiry. Notably, at the  initiative of Eleanor Roosevelt, an international committee was constituted in order to collect the option of a certain number of 'moral authorities'. Around 150 intellectuals from all countries were asked in this way to determine the philosophical basis of the new Declaration of Rights. This approach ended in failure, and its promoters had to limit themselves to registering the irreconcilable divergences between the responses obtained. Since no accord emerged, the Commission on Human Rights of the UN decided not to publish the results of this inquiry.

In his response, Jacques Maritain showed that he had no illusions, declaring that as regards human rights 'a practical accord is possible, [but] a theoretical accord is impossible among intellectuals'. It is, however, evident that it is difficult to speak of human rights without a precise conception of man considered as being the bearer of these rights. No consensus has ever been established on this point. Not having reached an accord, one thus decided to give up justifying what one wished to affirm. The authors of the Universal Declaration formulated its text in a consensual vision not corresponding to reality. 'The Declaration', affirms Francois Flahaut, 'had to be accepted by all on the condition that nobody ask what justifies it. That came back to a question of an imposition of authority.

René Cassin was accustomed to saying that human rights rest 'on an act of faith in a better tomorrow and the destiny of man'. Such an 'act of faith' would thus be justified by its aims. 'These aims', writes Julien Freund, 'we pose as norms, thus we affirm them dogmatically as valid and worthy of being pursued; they do not have the incontrovertible character of a scientific proposition. It results from this that the conception of man on which the theory of rights rests derives not from the knowledge but from opinion. From this sole fact, in the manner of a religion – every belief is valid only to the exact extent to which one believes in it – they can have only a wishful validity, that is to say they are imposed only insofar as one accepts to see them imposed, and that they have no other validity but that which one decides to accord them. 'Every coherent reflection on human rights', repeats Julien Freund, 'can only proceed from the following fundamental fact: they have not been established scientifically, but dogmatically'. 'Human rights', adds Francois de Smet, 'cannot escape their categorization as an ideology. On account of this they are exposed to criticism'.

Even the definition of man of which the theory of rights speaks is less evident than it appears. The proof of this is that many 'human rights' have been extended only progressively to women and to diverse other categories of human populations....




I will include the entire uncut chapter later in which he also talks about some of Kant's views in detail

Quote :
...The notion of dignity is not less equivocal. We know that the modern theoreticians of human rights, even when they do not refer explicitly to the philosophy of Kant, make great use of it. The word 'dignity' absent from the Universal Declaration of Rights of 1789, figures in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of 1948 which expressly evokes 'the dignity inherent in all the members of the human family'. This dignity is evidently the character of an abstract humanity. It 'is always attached to the intrinsic humanity freed from all socially imposed regulation or norm', writes Peter Berger. We know that, historically, dignity, attributed to everybody, has replaced honour, which is only present in some.

In its present definition, the term possesses a certain religious resonance. The idea of a dignity that is equal in every man belongs in fact neither to legal language nor to political parlance, but to the language of morality. In the biblical tradition, dignity has a precise meaning: it elevates man above the rest of Creation, it assigns to him a separate status. It posits him, as the sole titular of a soul, as radically superior to other living beings. It also has an egalitarian significance, since no man can be regarded as more or less worthy than another. That means that dignity has nothing to do with the merits or the qualities which are proper to each person, but that it already constitutes an attribute of human nature. This equality is placed in relation to the existence of a single god: all men are 'brothers' because they have the same Father (Malachi 2:10), and because they have all been created 'in the image of God' (Genesis 9:6). As the Mishnah says, 'Man was created as a single specimen so that nobody can say to the other: my father is superior to yours' (Sanhedrin 4:5). Although insisting on love more than on justice, Christianity has taken responsibility for the same idea: dignity is, first of all, the quality by which man can rightly be posited as the master of those without a soul, the centre of Creation.

In Descartes, the affirmation of human dignity is developed from the evaluation of interiority as a place of self-sufficiency, as a place of the autonomous power of reason. In the Moderns, dignity is always an attribute, but instead of this attribute being received from God, it becomes a characteristic trait that man possesses directly from his nature. Finally, in Kant, dignity is directly associated with moral respect. 'One could say', writes Pierre Manent, 'that the Kantian conception is a radicalization, and therefore a transformation, of the Christian conception that St. Thomas Aquinas in particular had stressed. If for St. Thomas Aquinas, human dignity consists in freely obeying the natural and divine law, for Kant it consists in obeying the law which man gives to himself'.

Whatever the meaning one gives to it, dignity becomes problematic as soon as one posits it as an absolute. One understands what being 'worthy of' means relative to such and such a thing, but 'worthy' in itself? Is dignity, such as the theory of rights conceives it, a right or a fact? A quality of nature or of reason? In Rome, dignitas was closely bound to a relation of comparison necessary to determine the qualities that caused one to merit something, to be worthy. Cicero: Dignitas est alicujus honesta et cultu et honore et verecundia digna auctoritas. [55] In this view, evidently dignity could not be equally present in everybody. Modern dignity, on the contrary, is an attribute which cannot be increased or decreased since it is the reality of everyone. The man who is worthy is no longer opposed to the man who is unworthy, and the 'dignity of man' becomes a pleonasm since it is the fact of being a man, whoever one maybe, that makes on worthy. However, if man should be respected by virtue of his dignity and what his dignity is based on is his right to respect, one is in a circular argument. Finally, if everybody is worthy, it is as if nobody were: the factors of distinction must simply be sought elsewhere.

[55] 'Dignity is the honourable authority of a person, combined with attention and honour and worthy respect paid to him'.


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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:41 pm

I have excerpted from that book in the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] thread.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:15 pm

Reminded me of this scene; the 'sacrosanctness' of human rights from the Twilight Zone


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:04 pm

This phrasing had me read it out loud 10 times just to make sure I wrote and understood it right, I even began to think for a while that the book had a typo. It's just me, very difficult text for me at times.
Quote :
However, if man should be respected by virtue of his dignity and what his dignity is based on is his right to respect, one is in a circular argument.
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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Thu Apr 14, 2016 5:35 pm

Same chapter
Quote :
...It is precisely this double contradiction that those who fight for 'animal rights' have not failed to exploit, and even to the point of attempting to grant human rights to the great apes. Denouncing as 'speciesist' the doctrine according to which only humans should be recognized as possessors of rights, they consider that there is nothing moral in attributing a particular moral status to living beings on the basis of their membership in a group alone, in this case the human species. They affirm on the other hand that the great apes belong to the 'moral community' to the extent that they possess, at least in the rudimentary state, characteristics (self-consciousness, moral sense, elementary language, cognitive intelligence) that certain 'non-paradigmatic' humans (that severely handicapped, disabled, senile, etc) do not possess or no longer possess. In other words, against the partisans of the Classical theory of human rights, they return the argument used by the latter to discredit infraspecific membership.

'To attribute a special value or special right to the members of the human species based on the sole fact that they are members of it', writes Elvio Baccarini, 'is a morally arbitrary position which cannot be distinguished from sexism, racism or ethnocentrism'. 'Are we disposed', adds Paola Cavalieri, 'to say that the genetic relationship which the membership in a race implies justifies according a particular moral status to the other members of one's race? The negative response leads thus to a rejection of the defence of humanism based on relationship'.

The classical response to this sort of argument, which rest on the deconstruction of the notion of humanity by recourse to the idea of biological continuity among the living, is that the animals can be objects of rights (we have duties with regard to them), but not subjects of rights. Another reply consists in deepening the notion of the human species, a third pushing the reasoning ad absurdum: why stop at the great apes and not attribute the same 'rights' to felines, to mammals, to insects, to paramecia? The discussion can in fact only come to a sudden end insofar as the problem is posed in terms of 'rights'.


Pope John Paul II, in the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, affirms for this part that all men and only men are proprietors of rights, for they are the only beings capable of recognizing and adoring their Creator. This affirmation, apart from being based on a belief that one is not obliged to share, comes up against the objection already mentioned above according to all evidence, neither the newborn nor the old afflicted with Alzheimer's disease, nor the mentally ill, are capable of 'recognizing and adoring God'. Certain authors do not, for all that, consider it less necessary to recognize that the basis of the ideology of human rights is inevitably religious.

Michael Perry, for example, writes that there is no positive reason to defend human rights if one does not posit straightaway that human life is 'sacred'. This affirmation makes one think when it emanates, as it often does, from a declared atheist. Alain Renaut has, not without reason, mocked these theoreticians who, after having decreed the 'death of man', nonetheless defend human rights, that is to say the rights of a being whose disappearance they themselves have proclaimed. The spectacle of those who profess the 'sacred' character of human rights, even while flattering themselves for having suppressed all forms of the sacred in social life, is no less comical.

Quite at the other extreme, certain people think, on the contrary, that the defence of human rights does not need any metaphysical or moral foundations. For Michael Ignatieff, it is useless to search for a justification of rights in human nature, just as it is unnecessary to say that these rights are 'sacred'. It is enough to take into account what the individuals consider in general to be right. William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty international, also assures us that human rights are nothing else than what men declare to be rights. A. J. M. Milne, in a similar manner, tries to define human rights based on a 'minimum standard' determined by certain moral exigencies proper to all social life. Rick Johnstone writes that 'human rights do not "win" because they are "true" but because the majority of men have learned that they are better than others'. The modest propositions, of a pragmatic character, are not very convincing. To consider that rights are nothing else but what men consider to be rights is tantamount to saying that the rights are of an essentially procedural nature. The risk is then great of causing the definition of human rights to fluctuate according to the subjective opinions of each person. That amounts, at the same time,. To transforming natural rights into vague ideas or into positive rights. Now, positive rights are still less 'universal' than natural rights, since it is often in the name of a particular positive right that the discussion of human rights is challenged.
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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Sun May 15, 2016 2:30 am

This should help Jarno:
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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Sun May 15, 2016 4:36 am

It does...A lot, thanks. I had written like 30-40 pages to a notepad and that was only one chapter, not to mention I have to proofread it many times.
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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:12 pm

Alain De Benoist wrote:
From Augustin Cochin to Joseph de Maistre, from Edmund Burke to Karl Marx, from Hannah Arendt to Michel Villey, the majority of the critiques of the ideology of human rights have denounced its universalism and abstract egalitarianism. They have equally called attention to the fact that, in depriving all concrete characteristics from man, whose rights they  proclaim, of this ideology, they have risked ending  in levelling and uniformisation. If one admits that the affirmation  of  human rights essentially aims at guaranteeing the autonomy of individuals, one understands at the same time that there is a contradiction there.

The abstraction of human rights is what threatens most to render them inoperative. The principal reason for this is that it is contradictory to affirm, at the same time, the absolute value of the individual and the equality of individuals in the sense of a fundamental identity. If all men are equal, if they are all fundamentally the same, if they are all ‘men like others’, far from the unique personality of each of them being able to be recognised, they will appear, not as irreplaceable, but on the contrary as interchangeable. Not  being different from one another by their particular qualities, only their more or less great number will make a difference. Abstract equivalence, in other words, necessarily contradicts  the  proclamation of the absolute individuality of the subjects: no man can be at the same time ‘unique’ and basically identical  to every other. Inversely, one cannot affirm the unique value of an individual even while considering his personal characteristics as  indifferent,  that  is  to  say,  without specifying what makes him different from the others. A world where all are equal is not a world where ‘nothing is worth a life’, but a world where a life is worth nothing.
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PostSubject: Re: Human Rights And Dignity Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:00 pm

Globalism is an international Marxist force that Exploits the Uneven scale of evolution and social development, and then applies issues universally, over-turning and turning-over its own principles perpetually, to keep perpetuating itself.

For eg. Feminism is a real issue, of horrible animal atrocities by the uncivilized in third world countries, and where it takes the meaning of justice in terms of fighting against sheer blind barbarism of the weak.

Marxist International forces have for years exploited such real issues, into pushing for radical western feminism that has nothing to do with ill-treatment or abuse or lopsided exclusion or gynocide or female infanticide, but it becomes a case of justice Within privileges in the developed countries.

Exploiting this uneven scale, it uses the basis of the developing nations to push for radical ends in the developed nations; citing examples from the former to systematize cultural marxism in the latter.

Human rights as such have no meaning.

Within social systems of governance, Human rights in the developing nations means one thing [emphasis on the human], and another in the developed nations [emphasis on rights, humanity].

The global forces that funded and created ISIS, Also, playing the role of Human Rights courts is nothing short of a travesty of liberal two faced-ness.

By sponsoring thugs, it also sponsors justice courts against the thugs.

International Marxism, the UN, etc. is a sinister circus.
There is only staging here.

It can forever use the injustice at the hands of the thugs It created, to perpetuate its necessity, and universalize the myth of Humanity in an endless self-sustaining cycle...

Liberals like her can look admirable, and genuinely, rightfully feel good they made a difference to somebody for the better, which feeds into Their myth of humanity as precious and becomes univeralized this way…
Justice that occurs there, becomes Injustice of immigration here.

To stop some injustice where one sees it, is turned-over into a commercialism…
Marxism is a commercialism of 'universal rights', and glamourizing justice.





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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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