Christian Relaunch

Human Rights

Human rights is not an alternative principle that could rival kataskeuanism and political consequentialism.

The 30 rights claimed in the 1948 U.N. Declaration, which is still the basis for most talk of human rights, fall into two groups.

It also asserts rights for women, but I address that elsewhere and omit it here.

1-20 are mainly rights to be free from interference (as regards expression, movement etc). These limit state action, and concur with kataskeuanism so are of no concern here.

21-30 are mainly rights to be given others' products (or services purchased with those products). These extend state action, and conflict with kataskeuanism.

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family".

United Nations, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights 25:1 (1948)

Now "health" is vague enough given that 100% of the world's resources could be spent on healthcare without exhausting the possible improvements, but "well-being" is wonderfully flexible. In effect, this approves seizing an unlimited proportion of assets; we need only believe that they will be used to improve well-being. So this group amounts to "do whatever leads to good outcomes". That is, it is consequentialism, not a distinct principle.

Back to No man should encroach on another.