Fundamental rights are those rights that simply go with being a person. That is, rights that are inherent in the basic situation of every person (man or woman) born into the world. Such rights therefore come before government or its laws and are sometimes called “a priori” rights. Through recorded history and probably before, attempts were made to enunciate these rights. In the 20th century the effort went in a particular direction because the people who guided the identification and proclamation of human rights were focussed on designing a benevolent as well as protective society in accordance with their values. They simply invented rights to support their vision. Unfortunately, rights that come from some people’s morality and cultural values will not necessarily be universal because such factors differ around the world. Consequently, some proclaimed rights – even in the most prestigious literature – are not true human rights. Real fundamental rights are perceived by objective analysis of a single person’s basic status in the world and what natural ownerships accrue to him/her. Those ownerships are the source of natural rights. On a foundation of natural rights other, more specific rights can be derived by implication. Being rational and objective they do not come from any particular philosophy or culture and are true for all time and places. This is the required characteristic of true human rights.
Filed under: | November 19th, 2012