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Where did human rights came from?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

What's even is a "human right"?

A list of rights derived from God, so we all have to enforce it.
6
7%
A list of rights decided by the people, so we all have to enforce it.
40
46%
A list of rights that's just is/is inherent from nature, so we all have to enforce it.
15
17%
A list of rights made by some smart dead people, so we all have to enforce it.
2
2%
A list of rights from past processes that happen to be convenient for my liking, so we all have to enforce it.
3
3%
A list of rights from past processes that happen to be convenient for my liking, and can be trespassed if the situation demands it.
12
14%
Others (post!)
9
10%
 
Total votes : 87

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Resilient Acceleration
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Civil Rights Lovefest

Where did human rights came from?

Postby Resilient Acceleration » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:04 am

Where did it came from? As far as I can see, the arguments basically boils down to four points of view:

  1. Human rights are created by the people. Legally, i.e. in terms of actual enforceable policies, this is true. In a normal 21st century country, what constitutes "human rights" is whatever listed by that particular part of the constitution. The list is thus created by the people, or more accurately the people's representatives, in a somekind of constituent assembly. The implication is... interesting, because this means that said rights can be abolished if the people chooses to do that. Also, the list of rights that came out from the process may be quite controversial—think how would the constitution of a democratic Saudi Arabia will look like, and think of what will said constitution say about LGBT or adultery. Spoiler alert, it won't be pretty.
  2. Human rights are created by God. The problem with this argument is obvious: not all people believe in the same God, many believes in multiple gods, and a significant amount don't believe in God at all. There's also a problem of interpretation, meaning that in reality, much of the details will be outsourced to option (1) or option (4).
  3. Human rights came from nature, or is just is. This is the argument that I least understand about. I recently went on a mountain hike, and I didn't see any trees or animals that naturally came with the sentence "the right to collectively bargain" plastered on their skin. Nature is also filled with cases of incest, murder, and cannibalism, which isn't really pleasant.
  4. Human rights are created by smart people in the past. The American founding fathers, Karl Marx, you name it. They have sets of convenient ideas that sounds good and might promote stability ("long-term stability" in the case of Marx, I guess), so we believe in them. This means two problems: first, this is just a fancier version of option (1). More importantly, second, is where their ideas stopped being convenient. Many of the so-called smart people of the past may also believed that the earth is flat, or practiced chattel slavery, or are abhorrently racist, or engaged in ferocious corruption or sexual abuses. Culture and values also changes throughout the ages.

Why is this important? I believe that a lot of our political opinions are based on what rights do a human posses. If it came from the people, then a simple majority can strip your right to have a private property, or to vote, or to live. If it's more complicated, then a simple two-thirds majority can strip your rights. If human rights are decided by a holy council during the establishment of the nation with zero way of amendment, then it becomes problematic when said council also supports slavery or other Bad Ideas™. Or if their ideas are simply inadequate to deal with the conditions of say the next 10 years amid tech and societal changes.

This is even more problematic when there those who don't want human rights, or at least, want to alter them. People simply have different priorities, and "the collective prosperity of as much human as possible" isn't always on the top. Actually, should it even be on the top? Is there a divine law that bars people for prioritizing technological progress, or national and economic strength, or culture, or racial purity, over other elements?

Of course, this course of mindset can lead to horrific conclusions, but it's not irrational. China's genocide in Xinjiang for example is obviously abhorrent, but from the CCP's (or even the general Chinese state's) perspective, it's a perfectly reasonable policy that promotes long-term regional stability and national security while having very little downsides. The West's """human rights""" in fact will harm the Chinese state as it promotes anti-CCP unrest, chaos, and disintegration, with the end result being objectively worse for the people. At least, that's how the CCP's thinking goes.

That's been the state of history... until now. Well, at least until the next 30 years. Because after that, hyper-intelligence is likely to have become a thing, along with a vast amount of other technological advancements, advancing the upper class into the next stage of evolution while the bottom class languish under rampant inequality. In this era, the word "human" in "human rights" becomes questionable, generating an entirely new set of gigantic philosophical problem with dire consequences.

In the end, I believe that the question of human rights can further be boiled down to two points of view:
  1. Human rights is inherent, derived from external sources.
  2. Human rights are whatever I (or in this case, you) like. It's a question of "I like" and "I don't like".

I mean, if we're talking about reality, I believe that it's the latter. In a more personal tone, for example, the reasoning behind "why my IRL country's secular constitution and the rights that it guarantee is a thing", is pretty simple. Those who have the powers like it, and view it a a stable and reliable system to work with. If someone, e.g. the Islamists or the communists, disagree, they will be shot, the end.

What do you think? Where do human rights came from, why do us humans deserve it, will it change in the future, and should it?
Last edited by Resilient Acceleration on Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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An Alan Smithee Nation
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:08 am

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SD_Film Artists
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Postby SD_Film Artists » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:09 am

Each human right is hand-prepared by Gladice and Susan at the Human Rights factory in Kent, Ireland. The war crimes are washed away down into a pipe and the good human rights are approved by Kofi Annan before being driven to your local church.
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Postby Whitemore » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:10 am

People see something unfair and seek to change society so people are treated more equally, we can see examples of this throughout history.
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Idzequitch
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Postby Idzequitch » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:12 am

Human rights don't exist, and we can't even agree upon what they should be. Instead, we make laws that attempt to regulate shitty human behavior (regardless of whether shitty behavior is defined through religion or some other subjective standpoint) and try to ensure that people avoid the worst circumstances, to varying degrees of success, but ultimately always failing.
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Page
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Postby Page » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:25 am

Rights are won in battle. Sometimes a literal battle of blood and guns, sometimes a nonviolent battle of wills, or winning hearts and minds as they say, but in some way or another, there is always a fight. John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry was a huge moment in the fight against slavery. Workers can thank miners who literally took bullets from Pinkertons for many of the rights they have today. Suffragettes destroyed property so they couldn't be ignored.

Even those credited for nonviolent resistance like MLK took part in violence, but rather than doing the violence, they allowed violence to be done to them. They took beatings from police, they let themselves be imprisoned for the cause.

Most rights we have today are in one way or another the result of a group of people deciding to brazenly, repeatedly break the law. Stonewall was huge for gay rights, but the cause also relied on gay couples just being flagrant, two men saying "yes, we love each other, we proudly violate our state's sodomy laws all the time." The wave of legalization of weed is largely thanks to the millions over the decades who defiantly smoked up. When a thousand students gather for a 420 smokeout on their campus, the police have to either choose between arresting all of them, which would have huge financial and social consequences, or letting it happen, which delegitimizes the law.

Rights are born when defiance reaches a critical mass, at which point the state must fight or capitulate.
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Kilobugya
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Postby Kilobugya » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:57 am

Like most human institutions, they are like a tree with multiple roots.

They are in part the product of our history, especially the Enlightenment, and all the revolutionary struggles from the 18th to 20th centuries.

They are also constantly evolving, with many different "human rights declarations" (ie, France 1789, France 1793, UN 1948, Europe 1950, but also all other kinds of "bill of rights" which are not called by that name by serve the same main purpose), the exact content of a given declaration depending on many factors: who holds the political power when it's done, the material conditions in which it's made, what are the priorities of the people living at that time.

But they are not entirely "artificial", they are also grounded into human biology and fundamental psychology, and into the eternal laws of mathematics. Lots of mathematical concepts are reflected to a lesser or greater extend into human rights declaration, such as iterated prisoner's dilemma (they are, in part, a variation of a "tit-for-tat with initial cooperation and partial forgiveness" strategy), Schelling points, and Occam's razor.
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Postby Ifreann » Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:58 am

I found them in a cereal box.
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Postby Mechanikolia » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:02 am

Who cares? They are worthless anyway. Some are better than others, get over it.

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An Alan Smithee Nation
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:04 am

Ifreann wrote:I found them in a cereal box.


Hopefully not a choking hazard.
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Kubra
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Postby Kubra » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:05 am

Mechanikolia wrote:Who cares? They are worthless anyway. Some are better than others, get over it.
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Yaguaretia
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Postby Yaguaretia » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:22 am

Humans have no inherent rights, and to think otherwise is foolish. A right is anything you deem to be entitled to, and only holds value when it is enforced, wether by you alone or by another party.

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Trollzyn the Infinite
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Postby Trollzyn the Infinite » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:23 am

SD_Film Artists wrote:Each human right is hand-prepared by Gladice and Susan at the Human Rights factory in Kent, Ireland. The war crimes are washed away down into a pipe and the good human rights are approved by Kofi Annan before being driven to your local church.


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Dowaesk
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Postby Dowaesk » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:28 am

Wait. Im the only one who voted that God made them?
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An Alan Smithee Nation
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Thu Apr 22, 2021 8:33 am

Dowaesk wrote:Wait. Im the only one who voted that God made them?


You sound surprised.
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Postby Punished UMN » Thu Apr 22, 2021 11:51 am

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Czechostan
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Postby Czechostan » Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:23 pm

Human rights come from the state. They're outcomes of historical trends on what's right or wrong, and then superimposed on everyone and everything else, being seen as "universally true." CCK philosophy has a great video on the idea of human rights.
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Cetacea
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Postby Cetacea » Thu Apr 22, 2021 3:05 pm

When people stop being assholes

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Chan Island
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Postby Chan Island » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:08 pm

Humans obviously have to have a left and right side in order to exist as 3 dimensional beings, thus the origin of the human rights, lefts, ups, downs, middles, extremities and shake it all arounds.
Last edited by Chan Island on Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Tsaivao » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:11 pm

Dowaesk wrote:Wait. Im the only one who voted that God made them?

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Haja-Mishu
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Capitalizt

Postby Haja-Mishu » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:11 pm

human rights came from yo mama
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Tsarus 2142
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Tsarus 2142 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:23 pm

Human rights came from civilization.

Before, when we were hunters and gatherers, there were no such things as Human Rights. It was entirely up to us, and our tribe, to secure our sustenance. Other than that, we could do whatever the hell we wanted. There was no tyranny, no authority, no dogma, no rules, nothing. Only whatever the wise chieftain said. And that's not a bad thing. I mean, who wants to argue with the chieftain, anyway? We all trust him.

Then came agriculture, and the creation of hierarchy. We had an authority which we had to obey, and in turn they protected us, guided us, and gave us rules... as well as rights, which is almost always created to prevent tyranny in some way.

So, I would say this. Human rights come from the existence of tyranny or abuse. Tyranny comes from hierarchy, which exists in civilization, which comes from agriculture.
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Tsarus 2142
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Postby Tsarus 2142 » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:23 pm

Yaguaretia wrote:Humans have no inherent rights, and to think otherwise is foolish. A right is anything you deem to be entitled to, and only holds value when it is enforced, wether by you alone or by another party.

This
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Neanderthaland
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Neanderthaland » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:26 pm

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Middle Barael
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Middle Barael » Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:27 pm

I think Human Rights hail from the will of the people, but in specific they hail from the will of a person. If the majority of a nation is against Human Rights, but there is a small minority that wants it, then Human Rights must be respected. I.e. no tyranny of the majority when it comes to human rights
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