Debate Magazine

More on "Human Rights"

Posted on the 17 July 2014 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth

The previous post about the EHCR reminded me of the recent fuss on the intertubes about the CEO of Nestle saying that human beings do not have a right to water. Predictably, he's been called all sorts of names, of which "sociopath" is probably one of the milder ones.
However, sadly, he's right. Humans don't have God-given rights, they only have the rights that an authority grants them. If you were in anarchist utopia and you started explaining to the man taking away your water supply that he was infringing your human rights, he would simply continue on his job, unless you were bigger and better armed than him. To have rights of any sort, you need some sort of authority to enforce them. That authority in turn will be powerless to either enforce or deny your rights if faced with a more powerful authority which has a different idea of the rights of its citizens.
So all talk of universal human rights will remain nonsense until there is a universal authority, which is unlikely to happen any time soon.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog