NY Times Editorial: Are There Natural Human Rights?

From the editorial:  "Obviously, this is a very important question.  International policy would cease to be able to advocate universally for certain fundamental rights — such as those set out in the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights or the United States’ Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence or Liu Xiaobo’s “Charter08.”  And of course, the idea that NATO, France, the United States or any other country should intervene in Libya would have never arisen. Instead, each nation would be free to treat its citizens as it chooses, subject only to the rule of power.  Hitler would not have been wrong in carrying out the Holocaust, but only weak because he lost the war.  The logical result of such a position is a radical moral relativism vis-à-vis various cultural anthropologies."

Link:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/are-there-natural-human-rights/?ref=opinion

Written by Michael Boylan.  Michael Boylan is a professor of philosophy at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., and was a fellow at The Center for American Progress in Washington, from 2007 to 2009.  His major theoretical work on these issues is “A Just Society” (2004).  His most recent book is “Morality and Global Justice: Justifications and Applications” (2011).


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