Today, as many of you probably know, is Human Rights Day. Personally I didn't know until I happened upon one @anca_foster and her One Day For Human Rights campaign on twitter. At least I think it's a campaign, maybe it's more of a marketing scheme for an already universally accepted day - I'm too cynical to ever have managed reading what it's about, but I did sign the petition, because I believe in sticking it to The Man even if I don't believe in human rights.
The problem with human rights is that they do not exist. I'll say it again: There is NO such thing as basic human rights! See there is a subtle distinction between what most of us understand basic rights to be and what they actually are. Most proponents of human rights seem to believe that they're universal even though they're far from being universal. Firstly even though we have a Universal Declaration of Human Rights that's supposed to ensure the same basic rights for everyone. But upon closer inspection you'll notice it was only accepted by the United Nations. Now, even though that might seem universal to us western people but to be honest Slovenia, for example, was only accepted into the UN some years ago (within my lifetime) and most of the world still isn't part of it.
What this means is that whatever country isn't a part of United Nations is not legally obliged to uphold basic human rights. Let's not even get into the whole discussion of a country not necessarily being a nation right now. Furthermore, even the countries within the UN don't give their citizens the same kind of basic rights. Each declaration is different in many subtle and less subtle ways. Just for an example, in the US the right to bear arms is a "basic human right" whereas nowhere in Europe does anything like it exist.
Ok, so basic human rights aren't the same anywhere and thus are in no way universal - let me mention at this point that even if the whole world would agree upon the same basic rights they still wouldn't be universal because we have no way of knowing what other sentient beings might there be in the universe and what THEIR basic "human" rights are.
Notice I mentioned "agreed upon rights", but when people hear the words "basic human rights" they don't think of something that's agreed upon. They see it as coming from an outside source, they'll either say "they just are" or eventually, after enough pressure, will go to the last argument of an idiocy sputtering man of "Well they come from god, they're god given rights" (yes I stole this bit from George Carlin). Well if this so called god were the one giving rights, everyone would get the same and most of all, they wouldn't differ religion to religion, let alone civilisation to civilisation. They don't come from god, nor are they universal, the only thing these "rights" are, is an agreed upon set of privileges a certain society decides to give its members in order to sustain relative peace and ensure functioning as a society. They're, so to say, rules and even then they're more actual guidelines than rules. Laws try to amend this problem by enforcing actual rules.
But my biggest problem with "rights" is the amount of wars started in their name. You'll notice a leader or two, or even a whole civilisation, every few decades decrying a neighbouring country as "OH NOES, THEY DON'T RESPECT BASIC RIGHTS" and suddenly, out of nowhere, attack that country and attempt to "civilize" those people. Stop it.
And all you new age activists are no better, you're all enforcing your will and opinion upon others with your senseless activistic endeavours. Far as us westerners go, don't we have a so called "right to one's own opinion", so why do we waltz in so many other countries and cultures, like say the African cultures, and try to teach them what to think and how to act? Don't THEY have a right to have THEIR OWN set of rights (call it an opinion if that makes it easier)?
So please everybody, before you make another big fuss out of something that doesn't really exist, think about what you're actually doing and let people have a culture where everyone has the right to rape anyone in the streets.
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
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