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Lecture 5

Readings Week 5: Orend 2

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 3388E
Jennifer Mustapha

Readings Week 5 Orend REFLECTIONS ON DIFFICULTIES y Granted where human rights are also legal rights then the answer to the question of who holds them is straight forward whomever is referred to in that law as a rights holder y Are these contemptible kinds of people entitled to exactly the same baseline level of dignified treatment as the rest of us who are decent y Controversy over whether human beings who arent yet actual can be said to have human rights whether they be foetuses in the womb or entire future generations not yet conceived y Key isnt whether they are actually in art of asserting their human rights but whether we have reasons strong enough to acknowledge that we are under some kind of correlative duty towards them y Contemporary human rights movement cant defend 2 of its most cherished beliefs in universal entitlement and in a baseline level of moral equality genuinely shared by all NECESSARY AND SUFFICIENT CONDITIONS y Necessary condition for human rights holding status would be something that one cant do without if one is to have such status at allpure sense of the conditions is required y Sometimes sufficient conditions give us surplus above and beyond what we strictly require Particular interest to us is the set of conditions that are jointly necessary and sufficient BIOLOGICAL HUMANITY y The clearest way to ground the universality and equality of human rights is to insist that human rights are ultimately rooted in human biology y The main strength of this view is that it does establish a clear and uncontested necessary condition of being a human rights holder y Peter Singer and Richard Ryder suggest that limiting human rights to human beings is a form of speciesism an arbitrary and primitive preference in favour of our own kind simply because its our own kind y The main weakness with the biological humanity perspective is that while its necessary its not sufficient to ground human rights claims y Most of us want to say that a person can but committing certain crimes forfeit human rights claimsy One has rights because one has human biology then one can never give up such rights
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