Toward Universality; Human Rights and the Necessity of Natural Law 公开

Eye, William E. (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/gt54kn89g?locale=zh
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Abstract

The central argument of this thesis is that the moral universality of human rights
requires a single, universal foundation. First, we must prove that a single
foundation is possible. Chapter One argues that it is, and that liberal natural law is
the most fitting moral framework in which to secure the universality of human
rights. After demonstrating the possibility of a single foundation, we turn our
attention to its necessity. This project seeks to show that the consensus theory of
human rights - that human rights are universal in reach across myriad, culturally
specific foundations - is inadequate in its historic contingency. If we are to take
human rights' claim to universality seriously, there must be an appeal to a non-
contingent basis.
The merits of a natural law foundation to human rights are numerous.
Natural reason as a fundamental moral criterion is not peculiar to any particular
culture or time period and as such is an apt measure of international black-letter
law. Though natural law does categorically reject cultural relativism, it need not
necessitate cultural chauvinism. Rather, human rights as expressions of practical
reasonableness can be conceived of as limitations on cultural pluralism, promoting
disparate cultural practices insofar as they are in accord with reason. Finally,
human rights as an outline of the common good serve as a measure of a regime's
legitimacy, specifying when it may be justified for a state to limit individual or
collective rights in the name of public order (which itself is reducible to rights-
claims).

Table of Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………………….…………………….………..1

Chapter One: The Natural Law Foundation of Human Rights………………..….....…….7

1.1 A Brief History of Natural Law……………………………………………………………….…......8

1.2 The Principles of Liberal Natural Law………………………………………………….……. …10

1.3 Basic Goods and Practical Principles…………………………………………………….…...…12

1.4 Practical Reasonableness and Natural Rights………………………………………..………15

1.5 The Etymology of "Right".……………………………………………..………………………………17

1.6 The Grammar of Rights…………………………………………...…………………………….………19

1.7 The Limitation and Derogation of Human Rights…………………………….…….……...21

1.8 Cultural Relativism and the International Community…………………………...………24

1.9 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………..….....26

Chapter Two: A Debate within the Class of Human Rights………………………..……….27

2.1 The Content of the Covenants……………………………………………………………...……..28

2.2 The Full-Belly Thesis…………………………………………………………………...………..……..29

2.3 The Relationship of the Covenants………………………………………….…………...……..30

2.4 Third Generation Rights………………………………………………………………....………..…..33

2.5 The Question of non-Derogable and Inalienable Rights……………………….….…….36

2.6 Absolute Rights………………………………………………………………………….…………..………38

2.7 Equality and Priority…………………………………………………………………………......………41

2.8 Fundamental Rights.………………………………………………………………………......…………42

2.9 All Rights are Created Equally……………………………………………………………....……….43

Chapter Three: The Necessity of a Universal Foundation……………….……………………45

3.1 Rawls' Theory of Justice…………………………………………………………….….……………….46

3.2 Rawls' Principles as Requirements of Practical Reason…………………………………..47

3.3 Rawls' Eschewal of Foundationalism………………………………………………..……………..49

3.4 A Natural Law Reading of Rawls…………………………………………………….………..……..51

3.5 Apostasy and Shariah Law………………………………………..………………………..………….53

3.6 A Historical Approach to Islamic Law……………………………………………..….……………54

3.7 Consensus through Reemphasis………………………………………..…………..……...……….56

3.8 The Contingency of Consensus………………………………………………………..….………...57

3.9 The Necessity of a Universal Foundation…………………..……………………………………59

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………...…...……….62

Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………………….....……...…..66

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