Monday, August 26, 2019

Justice, Ethics and Law - critical evaluation of one of the three Essay

Justice, Ethics and Law - critical evaluation of one of the three topics below - Essay Example They insist that the idea of all people possessing certain rights by virtue of their humanity, even in the absence of legislation, is baseless and only loose talk.2 The ambiguity regarding the credibility of human rights dates back to the 18th century shortly after US Declaration of Independence in 1776, and thirteen years ahead, the French declaration of ‘the rights of man’. The US Declaration stated that every man is ‘endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights’ while the French Declaration asserted ‘men are born and remain free and equal in rights’. Not long afterwards, Jeremy Bentham, in his writings between 1791 and 1792,3 differed with the concept of human rights and called for its dismissal. Bentham claimed that the idea of human rights was borrowed from the Americans and was not practical. Even today, there is still widespread disagreement on issues relating to human rights. Most critics maintain that human rights lack coherence, cogency and legitimacy while some still point out grey areas such as social and economic rights.4 Amartya Sen5 proposes several guidelines for the elements of a human rights theory that adequately address the issue of legitimacy of human rights. I will consider these six guidelines as conclusions to arguments which he bases on one or more premises explained under each subheading. The paper will analyse each of these conclusions and their supporting premises and critically assess their legitimacy and any alternative suggestions. Sen claims that human rights are primarily ethical demands rather than legal commands.6 He makes this conclusion based on two premises. First, even though human rights have often resulted in legislation, it is considered a further fact, as opposed to a characteristic of human rights. Second, Sen states that human rights are agreements on certain ethical affirmations and the

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