Are Human Rights Universal?

Topics: Human rights, United States Declaration of Independence, Culture Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: November 8, 2009
Whether human rights are universal or culturally relative has been highly debated for decades. Increasingly, there are have been a large number of individuals and societies who oppose the notion that all human rights are universal. To protect the universe and those living among it from tragedies such as genocide, war, and domestic violence, it is critical that all nations abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration of Human Rights was drafted in 1948 to recognize the dignity and unalienable rights of all members. This document was created to serve as a foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. In order to promote the development of friendly relations between nations, it is essential that all nations cooperate with the declaration. To say that all countries abide by the Declaration would not only be naïve, but simply false. But to declare that Human Rights are not universal would prevent further growth to a peaceful universe. Slavery was legal for over 2,000 years before it was outlawed. The Declaration of Human Rights was only written roughly 50 years ago. Change for the better is a process, not an instant solution. Those who disagree that human rights are universal believe that human rights are relative based on your culture. This idea says that different cultures have different moral codes. What is thought right within one group may be utterly abhorrent to the members of another group, and vice versa. (Rachels, 1) Although this is a valid statement, it is irrelevant that conditions are different. The intention of Universal Human Rights is still the same. If it was truly necessary that we, as people, accept cultural relativism than why was the Declaration of Human Rights created in the first place? If we simply ignored abuse in other cultures just because it was not our own, slavery would still exist. There would still be a Holocaust. According to Pannikar in the article, Is_ The Notion of Human Rights a Western...
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