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Human Rights/Political Rights - Essay Example

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Without a doubt, one of the most fundamental needs of humans is that of autonomy. The concept of autonomy is one that is variable and extremely dependent on the individual in pursuit. In his noted work, "On Liberty", John Stuart Mill, discusses freedom with regard to individuals charged with the governance of others…
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Human Rights/Political Rights
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Download file to see previous pages In his writings, he deals with the concept of just actions on the part of government officials and defines just actions as actions undertaken for the good of the majority. In dealing with the concept of governmental freedom and boundaries, he conceived of the concept of utilitarianism whereby the actions are men are judge based on their ability to bring good to the vast majority. In his conception of freedom, he viewed men as dynamic beings-beings capable of making autonomous decisions and assessing whether those decisions will benefit the vast majority. He embodied the notion that in benefiting the majority, a minority might be harmed. He expressed the notion that the harm brought to the minority is simply a casualty of undertaking the correct action.
Simone de Beauvoir however expresses a diametrically opposing point of view on freedom. In "The Ethics of Ambiguity" she exhibits the viewpoint that of freedom as an absolute entity-one that should not be bounded. She is the embodiment of the existentialist philosophy which dictates that humans are totally free to make choices and are to be held responsible for the resultant of those choices. Essentially she does not see freedom as one which should be bounded by the constraints of laws and governance of a society. It should be bounded only by the decision of the individual who has to live with the consequences of his/her actions. She purports a duality of freedom wherein there is natural freedom and moral or ethical freedom. Natural freedom according to Ms. de Beauvoir is innate and a quality each of us possess. She describes it as the notion that we are free in that we can spontaneously cast ourselves into the world. Moral or ethical freedom, however, is the ultimate freedom one can have and should strive for. It is the ability to will oneself free and to change from a mere existence to a moral one-one in which we act in the manner we see fit and face the consequences of those actions.
Mohandas "Mahatma" Gandhi presents a more concise picture of freedom in that he discusses political freedom and the concepts of sovereignty of a nation. In his examination he arrives at the precept that the concept of liberty is one that is prevalent in each and every society-one that is very much innate in nature. At the heart of philosophy is the notion that freedom is the driving force of all progress and in order to achieve true freedom, one must do so by nonviolent means. He feels that the act of violence serves to subjugate an individual or group of individuals to the very same loss of freedom you are fighting against. His views of freedom embodies the notion that freedom is an absolute entity-one that can not be partially attained. Freedom entails the ability to fully express one's personality and desires to do as one wishes. In his conception of freedom he inevitably examines the role of morality and is adamant about the fact that involuntary (actions not undertaken by free will) can not be seen as moral actions in that there is no thought and contemplation of consequences involved.
Mill, de Beauvoir and Gandhi all exhibit an indelible link between freedom and morality in their writings. The concept of morality has stringent human rights implications in that moral actions are actions undertaking utilizing the theoretical framework of right and wrong. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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