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Poli 2014 Exam 1 Qc 1

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1)Compare and contrast the main bases on which human rights can be claimed. 


Question #1

Before starting, it is important to understand that human rights are described as being “rights that are held by all human beings by virtue of being human” (Tremblay, Kelly, Lipson, Mayer 2008, 3). They are universal, which means that they are for everyone. There are two main bases of which human rights can be claimed. Many philosophical theorists had tried to justify human rights. From all those many justifications of human rights, there are the deontological versus consequentialist and foundationalist versus socially constructed nature of human nature and human rights that are more important than the other (Tremblay et al 2008, 8). Human rights are fundamental, which support the thought that human rights are absolute rules (Tremblay et al 2008, 8). Avoiding these rules, would lead to their violation, which is wrong because human rights represents how a person would like to be treated. According to the textbook, rights can be justified by the deontological or consequentialist bases. (Tremblay et al 2008, 8)

First, Immanuel Kant offered a justification of the deontological basis of human rights. His theory is that “one formulation enjoins us to treat human beings as ends in themselves and never just as means to our own ends” (Tremblay et al 2008, 9). In other words, it is better to do the rights thing, even if it created more harm than doing the wrong thing. Second, a consequentialist justification of human rights is the contrary of the deontological basis and is” based on understating of rights as means to achieve some larger end” (Tremblay et al 2008, 9). In other words, the consequence of the action will provide the information if the action was right or wrong. The consequentialist justification brings a social and political benefit. Third, the utilitarianism theory…...

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