Human Rights as Mutual Self Preservation?

June 23, 2010

I was communicating with an atheist about where human rights come from. They said that human rights exist “because our survival is dependent upon our ability to work together.”
The problem with this is that, while perhaps us little people need to respect each other to survive, the whole point of human rights is to protect the minority against the government or against the majority.
The people who can violate human rights are the very people that do not need them to survive.
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3 Responses to “Human Rights as Mutual Self Preservation?”

  1. rewinn Says:

    You confuse reasons for WANTING human rights to exist with reasons that the concept of human rights DO exist.

    Our concept of what is human and what is a right is bound up in our biological history.

    And BTW obviously the people who don’t believe in human rights may not use them to survive.

  2. DuDe Says:

    so say if i was a majority and someone did a humans right violation against me i wouldn’t be able to say it was a human rights violation cause i am a majority and am not human or have no rights or something?

    • W. Vida Says:

      Hi DuDe, no that is not the point. The point is that the majority rarely has to fear the minority. Usually it is the other way around. Human rights can’t be the result of the need for mutual self preservation because the majority doesn’t need the minority to survive. Neither do dictators, tyrants, and warlords.


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