22 March 2011 (Tuesday) - Human Rights
I had an interesting discussion on Facebook Squabble (otherwise know as “chat”). A young lad of my acquaintance decided that the world would be a better place if “we” (presumably the United Kingdom’s armed forces) didn’t get involved with the ongoing civil war in Libya: his reasoning being that our lifestyles are fine and dandy, why should we get involved in somebody else’s problems. I suggested that he might like to pull up his drawbridge, shout "screw you, I'm all right" out of his window, close his eyes, put his fingers in your ears and hum loudly until it all went away.
Someone I’ve never actually met who was involved in the “discussion” gave a rather ill-informed rant about how “we” only ever get involved with wars in which oil is involved. After several comments, each more bigoted than the last, he utterly failed to understand the geopolitical consequences of the Falklands War of 1982. Instead he dismissed the matter with the comment “I don't really know..”
A young friend of mine came on-line and gave a very good defence of western (UK and US) foreign policy citing the need to defend the human rights of the oppressed. Which is a good and laudable idea. Or is it? This got me thinking. What exactly are my “human rights”?
There’s no easy and concise definition (that I can find) of what my “rights” are, but Wikipedia has lots of woolly-minded blather on the subject. It didn’t take long for me to find out that I’m not sure that I agree with the internationally accepted concepts of human rights.
It seems that I, together with all of humanity, do have the right to believe in whatever crackpot superstition I choose. Surely that’s nonsense. Surely people have the right to an education to develop the intelligence to allow them freedom from ill-informed religious brainwashing? (Didn’t I do that rant yesterday?)
It turns out that people do have a right to an education to develop the intelligence to allow them freedom from ill-informed religious brainwashing. But having that education forced upon someone ipso facto contravenes that person’s inalienable human right of a person to peacefully follow their own interests (article 26).
Also taxing people in order for a country to have an infrastructure (such as schools and hospitals) also contravenes the inalienable human right of a person to do whatever they please with no thought for anyone else.
At this point I felt myself getting angry. I didn’t bother reading up any more about “Human Rights”. I’ve read enough. What is wrong with the concept of “human rights” (and society in general) is that everyone has “human rights” and no one has “human responsibilities”…
Meanwhile last night I went out telescoping. Not so much a successful night as a fun night. I got today’s photo by sticking my camera-phone over the eyepiece of the telescope and hoping for the best. I did have a go with the web-cam, but that will require image processing. I’ll do that over the next few days….