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