Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Is the concept of human rights a nonsense?

Oh dear.  What does this all mean?  You pays your money and takes your chances? You bribes your judge and you gets the judgment you paid for?  Let us do away with legal precedent and deal with each case on an ad hoc basis?  I hardly think Lord Justice Moses is going to bring the law or the legal profession into repute with this bright idea.

As for human rights, is this not in some way tautological or nonsensical, rather like the people who call themselves animal rightists?  Animals cannot claim their animals rights except through a human, and they cannot actually speak, can they?

As for human rights, well, aren't all rights human?  Humans conceived of having laws.  Laws are conceived of by humans, passed by humans, broken by humans, enforced by humans, litigated by humans and interpreted and applied by humans.

The only thing we need to worry about, logically, is what should be made illegal, and this is a matter of politics.

Politics is of course the art of imposing on others your ideas of right and wrong, and this must always be changing, because people and societies do change their minds about things and are often made to change their minds either by others, or force of circumstance.

What is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad?  What is moral and what immoral? Have we quite worked that out yet?  Is our liberal political establishment well on top of this and the running of the government?  Judging by the hatred, ridicule and contempt the politicians are held in by the average voter, I would suggest not.

Soon, same-sex couples will soon have a right to call their relationships "marriage".  Indeed, they already have a right to acquire rights that are in every way identical to that between husband and wife with the same package of tax breaks if they enter into a civil partnership with each other. They also already have the right to adopt children and compel people who do not want to do business with them to do business with them.

Perhaps it is now time to revisit the age old debate between Natural Law and Legal Positivism.

I could never get the point of this debate.  I held this rather simplistic view that comes from an ancient Chinese saying:

"The people are the grass and the law the wind.  When the wind blows, the grass will bend."

As far as I was concerned, those who said the law ought to be moral and enforce morality had a point. Even if what it enforced was in fact immoral, the government would want us to think that the law was right and good to make us more likely to obey it.

Then there were the Legal Positivists, who said that the law did not have to moral to be "legitimate". What did this mean?  As long as we knew unpleasant consequences would be visited on us if we were caught doing what we wanted to do, thought we had a right to do and should in fact do for the greater good, eg hang corrupt and immoral politicians by his or her neck until dead in the gallows to be erected  on Parliament Square, we would refrain from doing such a thing.

The average citizen would have no time for such nuanced discussions about what constitutes "legitimacy" or "morality", and would focus mainly on the likelihood of getting caught and being punished.

Of course, this does not mean to say PC Liberals think they are evil people bent on doing evil, since they are the most self-righteous and sanctimonious people around.  I am sure they are hell-bent on building their idea of a Liberal Paradise on Earth and paving the road to hell with their good intentions.

The ones who oppose them are social conservatives, and social conservatives tend to be adherents of the Abrahamic faiths who respect marriage and are diametrically opposed to the proponents of Free Love that are Liberals.

So there we have it: the debate is really between those who on one extreme believe that sex between consenting adults (even if it involves incest, bestiality, necrophilia and those who are under-aged but who also consent eg the Labour PaedoThree known as the MPs Dromey, Hewitt and Harman) is OK and those who say all forms of extramarital sex must be forbidden and who say that marriage can only mean the union of a man and a woman.  These would be social conservatives who tend to be the adherents of the Abrahamic faiths and take their moral precepts of their religion seriously enough to know what they are, unlike Anglican clergy.

Who is right?

There must be a reason that all advanced civilisations who practise marriage are patriarchal.

Primitive societies and animals do not practise marriage and indulge in Free Love any time any place, anywhere.

It is just a question of our wanting to affirm our identity as the species that created God Himself, or preferring to be the species that lacks the intellectual sophistication to conceive of a unique, omnipotent and perfectly moral supreme being.  I know which I would rather choose, preferring to live in an advanced and necessarily patriarchal civilisation than a declining, demented and matriarchal one.

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