This could potentially be my most contentious blog yet, but the very thing I am railing against (somewhat) is the very thing that allows me to post this in the first place; human rights, as enforced by my country’s laws.
My issue is not with human rights per se, they are a concept that should only become more important as the world gets smaller. Shared information available to an enormous distribution of mobile devices will, in theory, combat the rampant ignorance across the globe, often enforced by oppressive government entities themselves. Just look at the ridiculous Twitter ban in Turkey for one of the milder examples. When everyone on the planet knows that they shouldn’t have to live under any totalitarianism regime, human rights provides the long-term road map for their first steps towards freedoms.
My issue with human rights is the equal enforcement of them. As an extreme; why does someone convicted of multiple murder have the same rights as someone who spends their whole life helping the poor? Yes, the murderer may (if caught) loose their freedom, but their rights as a human being are still in full effect. You take from someone everything they are ever going to have, and in my opinion, you are giving up some – if not all – of your rights to be treated equally AS a human.
No, this is NOT a case for capital punishment, that’s too specific a judgment, this is about the fact that as humans, there is no way we will EVER reach a consensus on right and wrong therefore the majority opinion rules. If that opinion is against yours, tough. Thieves, murderers, rapists and so on ALL have an opinion different from the majority of us, and it’s one they have acted upon. They think they are somehow exempt from doing the right thing, and in most ‘civilised’ nations those right things are written into laws.
Do NOT steal, do NOT kill, do NOT take anyone by force and so on, but what about those countries where the laws are different? Can anyone reading this blog POSSIBLY justify the non-illegality of the practice of FGM, yet it is still prevalent in 27 African countries. And even worse, what about horrific act perpetrated for religious reasons, like terrorism? Possible inaccuracies and exaggeration aside, these things are REAL, but what makes US right?
We need to stop pretending that as a species we are that evolved, that neither religion nor Government has the final say in what’s right and what’s wrong, and the majority DOES rule regardless of where
Born with rights, but from that point forward they become a privilege which every individual has the responsibility to maintain.
The internet is another of those privileges, and like all of our freedoms, come at a cost.