Moral Problem in a Contemporary Society
University of Minnesota
War on Terrorism and Basic Human Rights
The essential moral fact about war is that the innocent are suitable targets of physical violence. The morality of the battlefield discriminates not between the innocent and the guilty, but between the combatant and the noncombatant. Combatants, however, cannot be equated with the morally guilty, since opposing combatants are likely to have equally legal entitlements to moral innocence. Each is licensed, legally and morally, to try to kill as many of the other side as possible. Each enjoys this license because each acts in self-defense against the other. The reciprocal burden of risk generates the space that permits injury to the morally innocent. Yet, every military force also has a persuasive ethical duty to abate the risk of injury to its own forces. Each endeavors to create an asymmetrical state of affairs in which the enemy suffers the risk of injury more while its own forces remain safe. The absurdity of riskless warfare arises when the chase of asymmetry undermines reciprocity. Without reciprocal imposition of risk, what is the moral underpinning for injuring the morally innocent? Human rights belong to each and every member of humankind irrespective of sex, race, nationality, socio-economic group, political opinion, sexual orientation or any other status.1
Unconventional, if that is a word in the same sentence with strategic warfare, pushes against the parameters of the traditional (old fashioned) moral justification of war. If it passes those limits warfare must become regulated. Policing is the application of force to the morally guilty. The moral difference between rules of engagement also requires different organizations to govern the resolution to use force. A national military is not an international police force. Effective international policing requires a reliable departure of force from national political securities. Failures to regulate the military to moral grounds of combat will likely result in accumulative attacks on our own civilian populace.
The terms “guilt” and “innocence” don’t drop all sense in the arena. Rather, they denote a distinct moral code that stipulates war crimes. After all, the essential reality of the battle arena is a license to kill. That which is forbidden in everyday life is the point from which moral negotiation begins on the battlefield. Nonetheless, the separation of the political ends of warfare from the moral fabric is always fragile. The more we consider having a stake in the consequence of a war, the less eager we are to uphold this ‘otherness’. Them against us. If we believed that loss of the war would mean the massacre of all the males, and the selling off and raping of the women and children into slavery we would not be eager to respect the distinction of jus ad bellum (principles concerning the just resort to war) from jus in bello (principles of just conduct in war). Restraint in political arena is a required circumstance of preserving the distinct morality in the killing field.
The right of combatants to wound and kill is founded neither on decisions of their own moral guilt nor on conclusions of the moral evil of the end for the sake of which their force is used. Combatants are permitted to harm each other just as long as they stand in a correlation of shared risk. The combatant who removes himself from combat should no longer be an appropriate aim. The morality of the killing field is a variant on the morality of personal self-defense. Harm outside the point required for self-defense is disproportionate and therefore, verboten.
The soldier’s opportunity of self-defense is subject to a situation of reciprocity or mutuality. Soldiers cannot protect themselves by menacingly threatening to do harm to noncombatants; they are not allowed civilian retaliations. Combatants cannot...
Moral Problem in a Contemporary Society
University of Minnesota
War on Terrorism and Basic HumanRights
The essential moral fact about war is that the innocent are suitable targets of physical violence. The morality of the battlefield discriminates not between the innocent and the guilty, but between the combatant and the noncombatant. Combatants, however, cannot be equated with the morally guilty, since opposing combatants are likely to have equally legal entitlements to moral innocence. Each is licensed, legally and morally, to try to kill as many of the other side as possible. Each enjoys this license because each acts in self-defense against the other. The reciprocal burden of risk generates the space that permits injury to the morally innocent. Yet, every military force also has a persuasive ethical duty to abate the risk of injury to its own forces. Each endeavors to create an asymmetrical state of affairs in which the enemy suffers the risk of injury more while its own forces remain safe. The absurdity of riskless warfare arises when the chase of asymmetry undermines reciprocity. Without reciprocal imposition of risk, what is the moral underpinning for injuring the morally innocent? Humanrights belong to each and every member of humankind irrespective of sex, race, nationality, socio-economic group, political opinion,...
...Are humanrights innate and universal?
Post WWII on the 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) was espoused by the General Assembly of the United Nations in order to agree on the notion that such atrocities that occurred throughout the Great War and the Second World War would not ever be reciprocated. The document that was drawn up in less than two years by the UN and Western states, and although ambitious it would guarantee a premise for life and living for every individual all over the world. The UDHR are founded on nobility, equality and reverence, and are said to be aimed at all cultures and religions within the West and East of the globe. However there is great discrepancy regarding the justification and practicality of humanrights all over the world due to political, economic and cultural differences and limitations. Universal means that ‘something’ affects, applies or is completed by everyone all over the world – there is no distinctive bias shown and equal policies are applied. Innate, in relation to humanrights, means that people are given natural rights purely based on the fact that he/she is human and alive. Therefore, are humanrights universal and innate or is the Universal Declaration...
...Declaration of HumanRights
Though humanrights as a whole (or for most of history, the idea of humanrights) have been present since the beginnings of civilization, its prevalence as a “normal” and “obvious” component of international relations did not emerge until much recently, with the ratification of the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) in 1948. The Universal Declaration of HumanRights was created by the United Nations in order for all people in all nations to recognize each individual’s humanity, and the equal rights that are given to them on the basis of that humanity. As the UDHR’s preamble articulates, the Document aims for the “recognition of inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family”, grounded by the “foundation of freedom, justice, and peace”. 1 In other words, no human is excluded from possession of humanrights; regardless of age, sex, gender, ethnicity, religion, or class, so long as one is a member of the human race, they are inherently entitled to the rights listed in the UDHR.
Today, the UDHR, legitimized by the United Nations in 1948, is widely regarded as one of the most important documents of the twentieth century. The UDHR was drafted...
...slavery, sickness and other arbitrary executions. To prevent such atrocities in the future, there are legal responses and non-legal responses to deal with the contemporary humanrights issues which is genocide.
First of all, legal responses refer to the UN humanright treaties and Genocide Convention that were adopted in 1948 and approved the Universal Declaration of HumanRight (UDHR) by the United Nation.
The Genocide Convention (1948) outlaws genocide, crime against humanity and crime under international law . All participating countries that ratified the convention will be prevented and punished the genocide in the war or a peace of time.
The Declarations defines the civil and political rights ( including the right to life, the right of liberty, and a fair trial) as well as the economic social and cultural rights( including the right to social security and participating in cultural right in one’s community).
In this case, Cambodia was a party that ratified the Genocide Convention on 14.10.1950. It was enforceable where the Senior Leader of Khmer Rouge between1975 -1979 under the definition of Convention. In contradiction, it was enforceable but it could not desist the massacre that happened in the 1975-1979.
Next, Cambodia was ratified the UDHR and International Convention on...
...Following World War II and the Holocaust where millions of Jews, homosexuals, communists and Slavs were exterminated by Hitler’s Nazi regime, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights was adopted and proclaimed on December 10th 1948 to prevent a another holocaust and to achieve a universal standard of humanrights. Over the last sixty years various regional and international treaties and conventions have been adopted to protect and advance humanrights towards universality. Furthermore, it equally important to mention that there has been a western dominated movement to universalise humanrights. Nevertheless, Universal Human remains a contentious issue of debate among intellectual and policy circles. The purpose of this essay is to outline a few of the prominent issues and problems that are associated with the concept of Universal humanrights.
“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” (UDHR. 1948. P.2) Humanrights in its contemporary perception is a fairly recent concept. In fact the Universal Declaration of HumanRights which is often cited as the corner stone of humanrights only came into force following World War II and the most “systematic and...
What are HumanRights
What are humanrights?
Humanrights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our humanrights without discrimination. T hese rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible. Universal humanrights are often expressed and guaranteed by law, in the forms of treaties, customary international law, general principles and other sources of international law. International humanrights law lays down obligations of Governments to act in certain ways or to refrain from certain acts, in order to promote and protect humanrights and fundamental freedoms of individuals or groups.
Universal and inalienable
T he principle of universality of humanrights is the cornerstone of international humanrights law. T his principle, as first emphasized in the Universal Declaration on HumanRights in 1948, has been reiterated in numerous international humanrights conventions, declarations, and resolutions. T he 1993 Vienna World...
...Humanrights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Humanrights are thus conceived as universal (applicable everywhere) and egalitarian (the same for everyone). These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in local, regional, national, and international law. The doctrine of humanrights in international practice, within international law, global and regional institutions, in the policies of states and in the activities of non-governmental organizations, has been a cornerstone of public policy around the world. The idea of humanrights states, "if the public discourse of peacetime global society can be said to have a common moral language, it is that of humanrights." Despite this, the strong claims made by the doctrine of humanrights continue to provoke considerable skepticism and debates about the content, nature and justifications of humanrights to this day. Indeed, the question of what is meant by a "right" is itself controversial and the subject of continued philosophical debate.
Many of the basic ideas that animated the human...
We will deal with each of these in turn, with reference to international legal instruments and bodies. We will observe first of all how the rights of individuals, although falling outside the province of international law as it was conceived in the1600s, began to seep into the framework of international legal rules over the centuries, eventually coming to prominence during the 'humanrights era' that followed the end of the Second World War. We will consider secondly the various mechanisms that have been put in place by the international community in order to deal with the enforcement and observance of individual rights enshrined in international legal instruments. Lastly, we will critically assess the claim that questions about individual rights should be the sole concern of domestic legal systems.
The scholars who laid the intellectual foundations of international law in the Western world, like Hugo Grotius (1625) and John Locke (1690), all stressed in their writings that legal systems, be they domestic or international, were founded in natural law and commonly accepted standards of (Christian) morality. It may seem surprising, therefore, that for centuries the rights of individuals played no significant role in the framework of international law. International law, as the name suggests, was the body of legal rules governing the...