Thursday, June 30, 2005

On human rights - the end, at long last

Okay, so Human Rights Month was a roaring success in the sense that no one sent me any computer viruses for wasting so much blog space on something that no one really disagrees with anyway. Thirty days hath June, and what have we learned?

- That it's best to analyze declarations with way fewer than thirty articles. Think, like, ten, maybe.

Besides that.

- That a person is a person, and it's the fact that you're a human being that grants you all of these rights and protections.
- That torture and slavery are right out, along with any other kind of degrading treatment.
- That rights can't be taken away, and if they're to be limited, those limits are subject to fair, public, and equitable due process.
- That at the very least, everyone deserves a roof over their head, food on the table, a place to call home, and the wherewithall to support their family.
- That everyone is free to speak their mind and practice their beliefs, and everyone is similarly free to shut up and not to practice beliefs that they don't support.
- That no matter who you are and what you do, some human rights are basic and necessary and can't be taken away, period.
- That human rights are guaranteed only by the benevolence of the world as a whole; that starts at home, by teaching our children tolerance and respect for others and demanding same out of the government that serves at our will.

Here's the upshot: no one disagrees with these rights. No one says, "Hey, y'know, as a rundown of basic human rights, I think the UDHR gives a lot of people way too much freedom" (or, at least, no one has yet). If that's the case, why do we have so much trouble actually honoring those rights? Why should we enjoy all of those freedoms, but object when they're extended to others? Anyone who can answer that question to my satisfaction gets guest blogging priveleges, my eternal gratitude, and a nice crisp five-dollar bill.

Thus endeth the lesson.

Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V Part VI Part VII Part VIII Part IX Part X Part XI Part XII Part XIII

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