Human Rights And The Western World

1846 Words8 Pages
Human rights are a big topic for discussion in today’s society, especially in those areas that are suffering from turmoil involving war, strife, drought, and social stigma. According to Jack Donnelly, the most basic definition of human rights is that they are “the minimum set of goods, services, opportunities, and protections that are widely recognized today as essential prerequisites for a life of dignity, and a particular set of practices to realize those goods, services, opportunities, and protection. No more. No less” (Donnelly, 2007). Some consider human rights as strictly western phenomenon because of the consideration of the western world on human rights issues. However, human rights are not western phenomenon because it is harmful in recognizing that universal rights are actually universal, because the thought that human rights are strictly western has more political power than historical fact, and because human rights are created and considered by those in the non-western world as well as the western world. The thought that human rights are a western phenomenon, meaning it excludes contributions and peoples of the non-western world, is inaccurate because that would mean that universal rights are not actually universal. Donnelly provides the definition of universal, writing, “Universal means ‘applies across all of a particular domain’ (rather than everywhere in the universe). Universality is relative to a particular ‘universe of application’” (Donnelly, 2007).
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