Justificication as a necessary condition for the existence of a human right.
For HR, to be is to be justified
Justifications (arguments) can fail in two ways
•Premises are unlikely to be true
•Inference weak (inadequate link to conclusion)
•Moral arguments have to meet ethical standards
o "Golden rule" - universality -> apply rules to yourself and everyone
o "Silver rule" - non-maleficence (cannot cause unnecessary harm)
• If it causes harm, give it a second thought
•Human rights tell us what is wrong if it is not protected
•It is wrong not to protect everyone
•Prudential arguments for human rights
o Implement and conform to HR standards, because we all have basic interests in
having them accepted and implemented by each other
o Logical gap: What is good for us vs. what's wrong to do
•Utilitarian argument for HR
o ‘Human Right’ means a social protection everyone ought have.
o Having social protection of X (for all) would maximize well-being overall.
o Whatever would maximize well-being is what ought to be done.
o So, X ought to be protected for all.
o So, X is a human right
o Which rights are basic, argue basic rights vs. human rights
o Conflict with others
o Morality, we are not born into it, we grow up learning it from other rules
o Unjust consequences
•One thing we were taught to do as 'good moral people' was to keep premises
•Utilitarianism can often have unjust consequences
•Without slavery in ancient Greece and Rome, modern slavery would never have
existent. Slavery being an unjust institution:
o But There were many benefits of modern civilizations
o Can argue that benefits of modern civilization is greater than the suffering of
•When moral presmises should not be apply
o When the application involves following a rule that can't be followed by all.
• "It's best for me to steal your book so that's exactly what I'm going to be
• Lack of Universalizability
• Violates "golden rule"
•Non-maleficent: more moral concern than with strictly keeping pr