Human Rights Essay

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Rights have been emphasized as fundamental building blocks of the social order of society. These are both moral/ legal norms, which are aimed at protecting people from various forms of abuse. The idea of human rights is often taken for granted, these human rights fall into two categories; legal and moral. When looking at rights one must consider, whether we have rights, what these rights are, where they come from, what it means to have rights and whether or not they are timeless or context specific. On top of this there are two types of rights that will be looked at in relation to gay rights and others in this essay, these are the Utilitarian idea and the Natural idea.

Rights are generally considered to be a given, particularly those of the legal/ moral variety. These legal rights refer to the rights “ which are necessarily enforceable because they exist in law” (Vincent, 2012: 136), these laws that govern us are also referred to as ‘positive’ rights. Moral rights are the things we believe we have justifiable claim to but may/may not be upheld by the law, as not all are “codified in law”(Vincent, 2012: 136). Rights are further considered as “entitlements that belong to all human beings simply because they are human” (Nussbaum, 1997: 273), this ties in with natural rights as unlike those of the utilitarian variety, the group does not thrive at the cost of the individual, simply because they have more followers.

Furthermore the question of who has rights has a constant impact on what it means to have rights, as the definition of it varies from person to person, and society to society. This question is contested and debated, as it tends to effect the unity of a nation, as is shown in the case of gay rights activists and those in o...

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... all should be allowed to show their affection as they so please, as everyone has the right to autonomy within that area of life. Another example would be that of the Bonobos Monkeys who share 98% of our DNA, as well as conduct life through the use of human mannerisms, and show affection to resolve disputes through homosexual and heterosexual contact. Which provides evolutionary proof, in favor of homosexuality through the application of natural rights.

The debate between whether to follow the utilitarian view of rights or the natural view of rights is one of the many puzzles associated with rights, which include; whether we have rights, what these rights are, where they come from, and whether or not they are timeless or context specific. These have an effect on both natural and utilitarian rights in the way they mould the human mind, our values, morals and ethics.
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