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Rebuttal to Epoch Times article “The Fallacy of Human Rights”

William Gairdner’s lengthy article “The Fallacy of Human Rights” was considerably off the mark. There are inherent rights that come from Nature in the sense that the ability of humans to reason developed from Nature and reason can generate rights by identifying linked cause and effect. For example, it is a fact and therefore an axiom that all human beings came into the world by the same indiscriminate process of Nature. Consequently, all human beings have the same basic status, which implies that no one has intrinsic authority to assault another person in any way. This deduction can be worded as a right to security of one’s person and is the first basic right. There are others, determined in the same manner, and presented in my paper “The Theory of Human Rights” that can be read at the Researchgate web site. Because such rights are developed from an axiom and discursive reasoning, like developments in mathematics and arithmetic, they are similarly absolute and therefore come before governments and their laws. Indeed, abrogation of true basic rights defines the meaning and extent of “oppressive government”.
The United Nations approach to fundamental rights was to conceive of an ideal society and compose the rights to support it- a very different approach that produced different rights. They are not universal as claimed unless they coincide with true basic rights. Articles 22 to 29 are not consistent and therefore not universal. Other organizations and governments have invented rights that are sometimes at odds with true rights and result in oppression. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is such a case because it omits the basic right to own property, with the sole right to possess and control it.
Finally, Jeremy Bentham was wrong per arguments presented in the first paragraph.

Filed under: Comments on News Stories | January 15th, 2023

On Calgary mayor using taxpayers money against Bill 21

Posted 2021 Dec 20 at Rebel News web site…
I have another reason for disagreeing with the Calgary mayor, and with Adam Soos (Rebel News) BTW. One true human right is that a person may set the rules of behaviour in premises that he/she/they own. The rules may limit religious symbols, including ostentatious ones like a hijab. In public premises such as schools, which are owned in common by the citizens (thru their government), the rules are set by consensus. They may limit religious symbols and attire. Bill 21 of the Quebec government therefore conforms to true human rights.
The opposition tacitly posits that the government’s role is to design society, which implies that rules may be set up for achieving a total condition in society that meets the design, irrespective of rights. The design includes the notion that a person may practice his/her religion wherever he/she is. Such a condition conflicts with true fundamental rights as described above.

Filed under: Comments on News Stories | December 20th, 2021

You-Tube Course in Human Rights

A condensed version of “Human Rights, What Are They Really?” has been uploaded to You-Tube as a short course in human rights. It is in 3 segments-

Segment 1: Elements of a right and natural rights

Segment 2: Subsidiary rights

Segment 3: Comparison with prevailing human rights doctrine

Go to:

      Segment 1:

      Segment 2:

      Segment 3:

A 4th segment is planned and will appear later.


Filed under: Notices, Uncategorized | February 9th, 2021

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About The Author

Robert Stephen Higgins was born into a coal-mining family in Nova Scotia but grew up mostly in Southern Ontario. In 1964 he graduated from the University of Toronto in Mechanical Engineering and began his engineering career in the aero engine and aircraft fields. This included a period at the Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle as a material stress analyst on the 747 jetliner project. Worried that aircraft design projects were too discontinuous for raising a family he moved to the power industry. Through the 1970’s he was a design and project mechanical engineer on new oil and coal-fired power stations in Canada and the USA. Much higher pay and adventure called to him in taking a project engineering position for the construction of a nuclear power station in Argentina. He remained in the Canadian nuclear power industry as a design engineer until taking early retirement in 1999. Afterwards, he completed two consultant contracts in the nuclear field, the latter taking him to South Africa to manage a mechanical engineering department on a project to design and build a demonstration pebble-bed modular reactor (nuclear) which, unfortunately, was cancelled in 2008.

Robert was not just an engineer, however, but an interested student of the whole human story. History and archaeology were fascinating subjects, but closer to home the direction in which politicians, judges, and others in positions of power were taking society was of more serious concern. A public confrontation with the president of the large company (23,000 employees) for which he worked was a tipping point. Robert suggested that the employment equity program which the president was promoting would discriminate against white males. The president replied that he did not care if it did, he was going to implement it anyway. Reflecting on this interchange afterwards, Robert concluded that employment equity programs were more about designing society than about individual rights.

After retirement, he applied his long experience with objective analysis to discover what human rights really were. His book Human Rights, What Are They Really? was published in late 2008. Returning to this effort years later, he published Governance for a New Era in 2020. Amid his own technical projects he strives to achieve recognition for his books and ideas.

In April, 2014, Robert became a member of the board of the Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa.