You can believe in evolution. You can believe in human rights. Not both.
August 13, 2017 at 4:08 am #4135
According to Prof. David Stamos, if you accept the the terms of the usual definition of human rights and run evolution backward, things begin to fall apart.
August 13, 2017 at 9:43 am #4138
- This topic was modified 1 week ago by Unseen.
OF course they dont exist – in the sense that gravity exists or light exists. They are a social (and sometimes legal)construct that is highly contextual.
The aim of things like the UN charter is primarily to provide a minimum paradigm that would enable different societies to co-exist.
August 13, 2017 at 10:30 am #4140
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by David Boots.
Blah blah blah, incoherent bullshit.August 13, 2017 at 12:57 pm #4144
He is dead wrong. Human rights evolved like everything else that is social in primates.August 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm #4145
I think in this video he doesn’t get round to making his point: he doesn’t say why human rights and evolution are incompatible. However, it is an interesting issue: what are human rights, and why do we feel it is the highest ethical good, to respect them?
I think the first question can be answered schematically by looking at the properties of the natural pressure to thrive: it is 1) universal; 2) individual; 3) maximising. So the effect is to maximise the individual thriving of everyone. When we talk about human rights, this is what we are respecting: both the need to thrive, and the emotional attachment people have to their own thriving: it is upsetting to have this compromised unfairly.
The second question is roughly equivalent to, why do we show concern for others. Basically because of the evolutionary environment which gave rise to our specifically human values of fairness and mutual respect, within small groups, and now, our group has stretched to encompass the entire planet. In this small interpersonal world of our distant ancestors, where each person depended upon the people they cooperated with, in order for people to stay motivated to cooperate, it was necessary to have: self-other equivalence, mutual respect as equals, and equal deservingness as team members. In other words, it was necessary to respect each other’s human rights, otherwise the whole cooperative enterprise falls apart.August 13, 2017 at 3:50 pm #4148
My position has long been this: There only two kinds of rights, a) ones gained through legislation, struggle, or endowment; and b) imaginary rights.August 13, 2017 at 3:56 pm #4149
He is dead wrong. Human rights evolved like everything else that is social in primates.
Then the usual definition of human rights is wrong in that human rights are viewed as the same for all men regardless of their station in life or position in time. My rights today are the same (it’s believed) as they were yesterday. They are exactly the same for me and you. For you and me as Thomas Jefferson and one of his slaves. For Thomas Jefferson and a neanderthal, and so on back through their evolutionary predecessors, the dinosaurs and amoebae. See, the only way to hold onto human rights is to give up part of the definition, as you are rightly pointing out.
You still haven’t made clear where human rights come from, though. God?
August 13, 2017 at 4:13 pm #4152
- This reply was modified 1 week ago by Unseen.
I will agree we did not really evolve “rights” but social norms..and then we simply formalize them into law because it’s the moral thing to do. So no, god is not needed.August 13, 2017 at 6:23 pm #4154
The strange thing is that Evolution does not require belief. “Do you believe in Evolution?” is a question that misguides and misses the point.
Do I “believe” in Evolution? No. I do, however, accept it as scientific fact.
Do I “believe” in human rights? No. I do, however, accept that it is a major necessity in our modern times.
The word “believe” is too shaky and is often misused. I “believe” that my car will be in the garage when I go out to get it in a few minutes. This is based on historical experience that I’ve had. It could be stolen. But believing that my car is in the garage is immensely different from believing in a god.
Evolution doesn’t need my belief, or even my acceptance. It’s scientific fact, regardless.
Human Rights don’t need my belief, but it’s a concept that does need my support.August 13, 2017 at 9:48 pm #4158
@unseen – “For Thomas Jefferson and a neanderthal, and so on back through their evolutionary predecessors, the dinosaurs and amoebae.”
– do people really say that? I don’t think they do. I think the whole argument is a bit “straw man”, and his definitions are all a bit weird. For example, he doesn’t attempt (or maybe he is cut short) to give any coherent idea of human rights.
I agree that the definition of rights is a definition of how somebody is treated by others.August 13, 2017 at 9:57 pm #4159
“the definition of rights is a definition of how somebody is treated by others.”
– that’s why it can be enshrined in law: we can pass laws that prescribe how people should behave towards others.August 13, 2017 at 11:36 pm #4163
I see the following in the video:
Human rights are… Universal, Innate
But, are they? Are they really? I have to disagree. Human rights are only universal if and when we make them universal (i.e. they aren’t innate, either. They come from us).August 14, 2017 at 12:54 am #4165
I see the following in the video:
Human rights are… Universal, Innate
But, are they? Are they really? I have to disagree. Human rights are only universal if and when we make them universal (i.e. they aren’t innate, either. They come from us).
Exactly. You, like most here, in arguing against him, are denying that rights are universal and innate.
THAT’S HIS POINT!
You’re also agreeing with me that you aren’t born with rights, you get them somehow.
August 14, 2017 at 1:10 am #4167
- This reply was modified 6 days, 19 hours ago by Unseen.
“the definition of rights is a definition of how somebody is treated by others.” – that’s why it can be enshrined in law: we can pass laws that prescribe how people should behave towards others.
You are quoting a definition of “rights” which is about the most general sort of definition and it’s totally congruent and compatible with my position that we have no inherent rights by simply being human (so-called “human rights,” but that we GET rights in various ways).
You think you are arguing against him but you are actually making his argument for him.
The UN, the US Declaration of Independence, and others claim that we have rights merely by dint of being human beings, and that such rights are innate, equal, universal, and inalienable.
His point is that if you follow those qualities to their logical conclusion, it becomes absurd. Sure we can comfortably apply those stipulations to ourselves, to people one or two centuries ago, even thousands of years ago, but if you keep going back it starts becoming untenable. If we can’t imagine some proto-human, one step removed from a chimpanzee, having such rights, what does that mean? Does it mean that ancient Egyptians had the same rights only somewhat diluted? What about neanderthals?
He’s using the argumentum ad absurdum (following an argument to an absurd conclusion) to show that the belief in human rights is illogical and unsustainable.August 14, 2017 at 2:02 am #4168
Well for those who don’t think human rights should be universal Im sure we can arrange to take away yours! Lmfao
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