ASSIGNMENT: REPLY TO THE PROFESSORS REPSONSE TO MY INITIAL DISCUSSION POST ON DEBATING HUMAN RIGHTS: UNIVERSAL OR CULTURALLY RELATIVE? PROFESSORS RESPONSE TO MY DISCUSSION POST Do you think the fact that there are people who will not negotiate in the areas of human rights actually causes less human rights? If you are willing to negotiate and find ways to come to some sort of agreement, isn’t there a chance that you will actually promote human rights that people wouldn’t get at all if there wasn’t an agreement or a negotiation? MY INITIAL DISCUSSION POST Human rights should be enjoyed by all human beings without discrimination by race or culture. By the virtue of being human, one should enjoy these rights. There is a perception of the western culture, whereby some people fear that there are special circumstances when their universal rights can be curtailed. Depending on different local needs, there may be need to violate some human rights in order to have others strengthened. This would allow peaceful co-existence among different social groups. Rights are not universal; they are culturally relative. Some groups may abuse human rights for them to succeed in their quest to achieve something. For instance, some Asian countries feel that, for political stability to be gained, some detention-without-trial must be undertaken (Thomas 2001). Detention without trial is an infringement of human rights (Donelley, 2013). This curtails freedom of movement and that of speech. Such curtailment also drifts away from the western idea of human rights universality. There may also be rights threatening national sovereignty, if considered in a wider perspective (Talbott, 2007). In essence, there is no choice but to curtail them to protect the sovereignty of a nation. The right to live anywhere in this world can be curtailed when some countries feel that they need to protect their natural resources and internal affairs. This would see governments restricting people from moving into forests and water catchment areas. Communities that depend on such areas for shelter would feel that their rights have been denied, but this is for the greater good of the society (Bell, 1996). An example is when the Malaysian government took such a move, and it worked well to protect their natural forests. In another perspective, the violation of human rights in forced labor helped in the development in China. The coast region, for instance, attracted many investors due to availability of labor ((Bell, 1996). The impact was rapid development of the Chinese economy. Had there been regard to human rights, this would not have been possible since cheap labor would not be available for industries to operate effectively. East Asian countries have denied participation of the hearing-impaired people in politics for quite some time now (Thomas, 2001). This is not a deliberate move, but one informed by lack of enough resources. Buying hearing aids or providing sign language interpreters is a tall order for them (Bell, 1996). This makes the human rights movement and democratic participation in the political process a difficult task in East Asia. Another aspect of limitations regards the rights to food and healthcare. These rights should be enjoyed by every human being (Donelley, 2013). However, there are circumstances that lead to human beings failing to enjoy these rights. This is because there could be famine that causes failure of crops in the fields or even natural disasters that destroy crops. Further, political instability in some countries in Africa and Asia may also hinder agricultural activities in a country, bringing about hunger. It is not possible to reconcile the argument that rights are universal with the proposition that rights are relative. This is because there are quarters that believe that there is no justification that can be put forward to explain violation of human rights. They believe that rights cannot be substituted or reduced in any way (Donelley, 2013).Others have never experienced human rights in fullness. Those that fight for rights entitlement must accept the fact that not everybody is aware of them (Frick, 2019). Alternative solutions to social problems must be sought and used instead of solving social problems by violating human rights. Many Asian countries feel that the bill of rights in the United States’ constitution may never apply in their countries (Thomas, 2001). They feel that many social ills have been experienced simply because people were exposed to many rights. These and other peoples around the world, who have never experienced a fair share of human rights, have the wrong perception concerning the enjoyment of rights by human beings. R/ Justin References Bell, D. A. (1996). The East Asian challenge to human rights: Reflections on an East West dialogue. Hum. Rts. Q., 18, 641. Donnelly, J. (2013). Universal human rights in theory and practice. Cornell University Press. Frick, M. L. (2019). Human Rights and Relative Universalism. Springer. Talbott, W. J. (2007). Which rights should be universal? Oxford University Press. Thomas, M. F. (2001). Are Human Rights Universal? Foreign Affairs, 80(1), 191-204.
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