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Natural Rights And Fundamental Defense Of Liberty - Term Paper Example

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In positing natural rights as foundational, their basis is in “existence” or life as experienced through the autonomous individual. The paper "Natural Rights And Fundamental Defense Of Liberty" discusses the question of whether natural rights can be justified…
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Natural Rights And Fundamental Defense Of Liberty
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Download file to see previous pages In the natural rights framework, autonomy is fundamental to individualism but the concept of natural rights is not an expression of the categorical imperative, for natural rights require no a priori other than human existence. In requiring a developed moral consciousness as an a priori of natural rights, one would limit the sense in which they would be fundamental to existence. Thus, rights would have to be developed in primitive cultures, rather than them being naturally present in the fundamental dignity of the human being.
This important distinction between the two types of rights can be attributed to Jeremy Bentham, who publicly proclaimed his opposition to the natural rights view of Locke in favor of the legal rights of the individual. In examining natural rights from the perspective of Locke and others in his tradition such as Adam Smith, the individual is endowed by nature with autonomy, and this fundamental autonomy manifests through free action, free thinking, and free living. It is a natural state and cannot be removed from human existence, as freedom is human nature. In Bentham’s views and others related to his principles of utility, human nature is a projection of whatever values are fashionable at the time. What is important is the articulation and delineation of those rights in the contemporary context so that they are recognized. Thus, the human rights frameworks such as the UDHR and others follow more clearly in the tradition of Bentham, while the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution are considered in the natural rights tradition of Locke. In international law, the State reserves the sovereignty that natural rights bestowed upon the individual through autonomy, which limits the utilitarian approach of human rights protection through international law in practice. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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