Human Rights – Some Thoughts.

There is no such thing as human rights. We do not have the right to be born, to live or to die. We do not have the right to not be abused, tortured, starved or beaten. We have no rights.

There is no such thing as a human right.

We are animals. Nature does not confer rights. It is simply the survival of the fittest. Eat or be eaten. If you are unlucky you get mutilated and tortured first. If you are lucky you escape death and get enough to eat. You do not have a right to anything. You have to fight for every bit. Survival is not a right.

Fortunately we live in a civilised world where we can lift ourselves out of that natural cycle. We, as moral sentient animals, make decisions what rights we confer on others.

In the Western world those rights were never given freely by those in power. They had to be fought for. In the UK there has been a long struggle by ordinary working people to gain these rights. People were tortured and killed. People were threatened and abused. People were prepared to face down power in order to gain these rights.

Rights that we have gained through this bloody struggle include:

The right to have freedom of religion or hold no belief

The right to vote for men

The right to vote for women

The right to be part of a trade union

The right to be presumed innocent until found guilty

The right to a fair trial

The right to a fair wage

The right to free speech

The right to have reasonable working conditions and hours

The right to holidays, pension and sick pay

The right to be safe from abuse, hate, threats and violence

The right to have possessions

The right to protest

The right to free education

The right to free healthcare

The right not to be discriminated against

The right not to be enslaved

These rights have been well documented in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights:

http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

Through the Magna Carta, The Swing Riots, The Peterloo Massacre, the Chartist Movement, The Jarrow march, The Suffragettes, Habeus Corpus, Wat Tyler, William Morris, William Wilberforce, Peasants Revolt, Trade Unionism and a long history of civil disobedience and protest we have won these rights.

They were hard fought for with blood and murder, torture and threats.

They are easily lost or eroded.

2 thoughts on “Human Rights – Some Thoughts.

  1. Opher, you and I have come to very similar philosophical conclusions about human rights. I like to phrase it as, “You don’t have a right to life. Life has a right to you!” Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

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