Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Essay

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On December 10th in 1948, the general assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration, although not legally binding, created “a common standard of achievement of all people and all nations…to promote respect for those rights and freedoms” (Goodhart, 379). However, many cultures assert that the human rights policies outlined in the declaration undermine cultural beliefs and practices. This assertion makes the search for universal human rights very difficult to achieve. I would like to focus on articles 3, 14 and 25 to address how these articles could be modified to incorporate cultural differences, without completely undermining the search for human rights practices.
Article 3, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, states “everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person” (Goodhart, 379). This article creates cultural discrepancies that are rooted in interpreting undefined and ambiguous language. For example, there are cultural disputes concerning the definition of a “person”. In many monotheistic cultures abortion is considered a crime. Advocates of this opinion support that a fetus is a human being from conception. Under these pretenses it is the right of a fetus to live, and any women who commits abortion, regardless of the circumstances, is in violation of the fetus’s human rights. To eliminate this cultural disagreement, it is necessary to succinctly define the terms in the article. For example, the article could read: “every breathing human has the right to life, liberty and the security of a person”. Under these changes, the definition protects the life of all breathing human; eliminating the cultural discrepancy of what constitutes a life. In due course, the ...


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...stern ideology is the supreme law would be an ethnocentric ideology, undermining the concepts of diversity and acceptance. Furthermore in a globalized society, it is important to respect and understand other cultures. For this reason, major cultural difference need to be taken into account when generating a security system to ensure a cohesive global society. I believe the best way to account for major cultural differences, without completely undermining the search for a universal declaration of humans, is through the democratic majority.



Works Cited

Friend, Celeste. "Social Contract Theory [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]." Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Hamilton College, 15 Oct. 2004. Web. 01 Oct. 2011. .
Goodhart, Michael, ed. Humanrights: Politics and Practices. Oxford: Oxford University Pres, 2009. Print.

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