It seems as though the concept of natural rights have lost credibility due to its shift from the people? s hands to the government? s advantage. During the world? s history, people have realized and identified what is necessary in order to lead a minimally good life. These essential elements have become moral truths, also known as natural justice. ? [Natural [justice] is that which has the same validity everywhere and does not depend upon acceptance. ? (Nicomachea n Ethics, 189 Aristotle). Therefore, society upholds moral truths despite government rulings.
Many ideas of human rights commence at religious texts and continue through the great philosophers of our time. The Bible claims that the divine image created all human beings; therefore, all human beings are equal in God? s eyes. Thus, it is necessary to protect equality in all human beings. By the formation of Christianity in the early centuries, Christians spread these basic rights because they are the will of God. By the diffusion of these Christian ideas, the concept of natural law was introduced to the individual before even having established a governmental structure. In recent centuries, numerous movements for political change have occurred with one of their reasons being human rights.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (U DHR), one of the most recent declarations of human rights, occurred after World War II. This doctrine was established to avoid the horrific acts of the Holocaust from reoccurring. This doctrine lists specific human rights, such as the right not to be tortured, the right to own property, and the right to asylum. These rights are fundamental and take part in various other doctrines, declarations and constitutions. From this point, one can see how human rights have slowly moved away from society? s moral code to political interests.
The beginning of the United States of America is another example of political change by means of human rights. Settlers established the United States of America in order to freely practice their religion and seek fortune. At the time, America was only a colony of England, thus forced to abide by British laws. The colonists then decided to secede from England because they did not agree with the actions of the English government.
One of these reasons was that their rights were being violated. They did not believe in housing the British soldiers free nor did the colonists agree with the inability to bear arms. The British had overtaken the major cities of the overseas colony and enforced harsh rulings and taxes upon the colonists. In the end, the discontented settlers joined forces to drive the British out of America.
That their rights were being hindered was their only excuse. The new America then set to the task of creating a Constitution. A Bill of Rights was included in this Constitution. This was done in order to refrain from any impediment on their natural human rights. The first, the third, and the forth amendments are directly correlated with basic human rights. The first amendment is? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances? (Legal Information Institute).
With these three amendments, it is clear that the Bill of Rights protects the natural basic rights of the human being. These are the rights to liberty, property, and individualism. Unfortunately, the government has taken advantage of the notion of human rights in order to satisfy their own personal self- interests. Upon a closer look, it is clear that today? s society is hypocritical. In solely the United States? actions, it is clear that, despite the elapse from a moral code to a means of changing a political system, control of the human rights issue is now in the hands of the government and not the people. The government now uses the concept of human rights to rally support from its citizens, yet this very government ignores its own actions.
Upon reflection of the history of human rights, it is unfortunate to see that hypocritical governments have infringed upon these moral principles or natural truths. The human race once believed that human rights would protect them, even against the government. In fact, some even went as far as to say the government? s sole purpose was to enforce these human rights and protect the citizens. Regrettably, humans have lost faith in their moral codes and have given the power of human rights to the government. In this sense, the government is now capable of conforming natural basic rights to fit their needs. The nations of the world should ponder over the power of moral human rights in favor of the popular masses and not in self- interest..