The Fight for Human Rights Essay

The Fight for Human Rights Essay

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Can you imagine a life without pre-meditated murder? In his movie Minority Report, Steven Spielberg brings this vision to reality in the trappings of a police state. The pre-crime unit is charged with the elimination of pre-meditated murder using three pre-cogs, humans with the ability to predict violent crime. Minority reports- sporadic, erroneous predictions- indicate the fallibility of this system of imperfect procedural justice. Civilians have their rights to privacy violated on a regular basis for collection of intelligence. This movie is chillingly pertinent in the real world, as today African-Americans and Muslim-Americans have their rights violated regularly in the name of security.

Thankfully, we have more than a Hollywood protagonist to fight for the protection of rights. John Stuart Mill, Robert Nozick, and John Rawls provide a philosophic framework for evaluating the security-for-rights compromise. Though their respective theories vary greatly in theory and in practice, they provide models to condemn this exchange. Nevertheless, each differs in the persuasiveness and effectiveness of their tools for argumentation. Mill’s utilitarianism, Nozick’s libertarianism, and Rawls’ egalitarian liberalism reject the tradeoff of security for a majority in exchange for the violation of the rights a minority. John Stuart Mill outlines a sometimes dubious plan for protecting rights and lacks the a priori protection of rights that Rawls and Nozick afford. John Rawls presents the most convincing and solid argument for the omnipotence of rights in the confines of a welfare state. His philosophy acts as an ideal synthesis of libertarianism and utilitarianism; he demands the utmost respect for rights while trying to maximize utility f...

... middle of paper ...

...t for rights because Tom Cruise says so and because Mill, Nozick and Rawls prescribe it.

Works Cited

Bentham, Jeremy. Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation. Published online by Constitution Society. Web 18 June 2015.

Mill, John Stuart. "Utilitarianism." Web 20 June 2015.

Nozick, Robert. “Distributive Justice.” Macquarie University, Modern Political Theory. Web 18 June 2015.

Rachels, James. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. Birmingham, Alabama: Mcgraw-Hill College, 1999.

Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999.

Minority Report. Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Tom Cruise, Max Von Sydow, Steve Harris. Videocassette. 20th Century Fox, 2002.

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