9.6.11

A fulfilling life.

I've been studying jursiprudential theories in the last few days, for one of the sections in my Laws121 exam. This morning I was in the shower, pondering over liberalism (as you do). And I thought...much of my passion is directed toward the basic human rights that many people in the world lack access to. SO much of our world, so many charities, are so obsessed with those three words; "basic human rights."


But what are these rights? Who defines these rights? Do we, tiny humans, even have any rights? Are we entitled to such rights by merely being human?


The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that all humans have the right to freedom of speech, religion, thought, free access to education, to housing , to clothing and water and food and family, to property. Human rights proponents assert that everyone is endowed with these, and other, entitlements merely by being human. Liberalists have for centuries claimed basic human rights and individual equality for centuries. Communists have suggested the overthrowing of the state in order to establish a fair and equal society in which all classes are abolished and all citizens are recognised with individual rights, whilst feminists claim equal rights for both men and woman. So where did this idea of "rights" come from? This moral or legal entitlement? In such a secular, global world, when the naturalist claim of a "higher moral purpose" has been scoffed at as "too religious," and Jesus' teachings of equality and justice have been spat at, where do we get our oh-so-secular ideas of basic human rights from?


I guess what I am trying to get at, is the irony that such a secular society claims the "right" to something, merely because of our modernity and the fact that we are at the top of the food chain. How arrogant! Do not get me wrong - I am not against human rights, I am not anti-liberal, and I definately do not support the oppression of any of God's creation in any way, shape or form!
But, its strikes me that, as humans, we have no rights. We are not rulers of this world (as much as we would like to think that we are). We are not sovereign, nor are we really that powerful. We are merely 7 billion tiny humans in a huge, vaste universe, as helpless as the next.


As humans, we have basic human NECESSITIES; water, food, shelter, health and learning. But to claim that we have rights blatantly contradicts God's purpose for us. In a sense, followers of Christ have no “rights," because we have surrendered our lives to Christ. Christ has all dominion over us. “You are not your own; you were bought at a price” (1 Corinth. 6:19-20). God’s authority over us does not negate God’s image in us, and our submission to the will of God does not nullify God’s love for us, or his command for us to love others as we love ourselves. But it definately should cause us to rethink our arrogance in claiming a certain 'right' as a human being. Isaiah 2:11 says "The eyes of the arrogant man will be humbled and the pride of men brought low; the LORD alone will be exalted in that day." I passionately believe that God made all creation equally ("Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all” Proverbs 22:2), and I passionately believe he weeps at the unjustices of the world.


But what I DO NOT beleive, is that we are the rulers of our own world. I do not beleive that we are entitled to life, or that we are in fact entitled to anything! Our lives are koha, and they are precious. Our lives, our communities, they are beautiful and they are gifted to us by the most Supreme Father who loves us in heaven. He calls us not to claim the inheritance that we have the 'right' to, but to seek our inheritance with humility and in love, and to share that inheritance with the rest of his children...


And now the UN has declared that access to the internet is a basic human right. (http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/un-declares-internet-access-a-human-right/) I just weep, because how can internet be a human right, when a baby girl in Palestine is crying for hunger, a hunger her mother cannot satisfy? How on earth is the internet "an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress" (UN Secretary General Frank La Rue) when young girls in Africa suffer female circumcision, when kids in our very own cities are denied access to a decent education? Internet is not a right, internet will not combat inequality! Love will combat inequality. I assure you, a full meal a day will ensure that humankind progresses. But the internet?


Mahatma Gandhi said "poverty is the worst form of violence." I think that spitting in the face of that poverty, belittling that poverty, claiming power over that injustice and claiming 'rights,' is almost, almost worse. When our God, who sacrificed His Son for us, is yearning for our love, it is but arrogance to claim his world as our own. This blog simply cannot express my thoughts the way I desire...but I'll finish off with another Gandhi quote;

"To a man with an empty stomach, food is god."

4 comments:

  1. You are amazing Olivia! You have so many gems of wisdom and encouragement and challenge! aaaaaaaamazing!
    I have thoroughly enjoyed procrastinating by stalking your blog for the last half hour.
    xx

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  2. The UN is bullshit.

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  3. The UN is flawed...but it's one of the most impressive examples of international cooperation and it does good things, despite its weaknesses.

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  4. I'm not going to comment on the rest of your post, because most of it is contingent on having a belief in a God, but-

    "And now the UN has declared that access to the internet is a basic human right. I just weep, because how can internet be a human right, when a baby girl in Palestine is crying for hunger"

    I'm not sure where you're getting this, but the UN declaring the internet a right does not in any way diminish the right to adequate standard of living, i.e. food, so that baby girl in Palestine isn't any worse off for it.

    I don't have a problem with the internet being declared a human right. The world has moved on, and rights should be adjusted accordingly. For a country to develop, socially or otherwise, the internet is critical. For many people, the internet is the only way ensure freedom of speech. You've only got to look at what's going on in dictatorships around the world to see that.

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