The rights of man-fact or fantasy


“I have a right to……”

How often in life do we heat this time-honoured phrase, how often do we rant and rave about the rights of the common man, versus the greater will of society. All the time I suggest , yet what rights do we really have that are separate from the rest of life around us, and if we were to share such rights by embracing a universal code of Liberté, égalité, and fraternité, what might the results be?

Heresy, I hear some readers shouting, but are such questions so fantastical or heretical, or are they simply a cold hard reality check on some of our most precious dreams.

In a subsequent blog I will be discussing the effectiveness of Human rights legislation, but in this blog I will be concentrating one  basic right that affect us all, i.e life, and  the need for food, water, and sustainable breeding territory.  Why such basic building blocks, why how can it be otherwise? Once a house is built, the owner may well begin to think about fixtures, fittings, and furnishings, but to begin with, he or she still needs the basic building to be there.

So first things first, do we have a right to life?

I don’t see why.

We are, at least in some part an animal. Just because we ascribe such a right to ourselves it doesn’t mean that we can justify such a claim. We may want to believe we are special, and  that such an elevated status brings us certain privileges, but in doing so do we not act as judge, jury, and executioner? Furthermore do we not do so in the full knowledge that no other life form, outside of our species, can object or make a different claim?

What would happen if such gifts were shared amongst all life that surrounds us, just think of the court cases that might arise.

Imagine if you will that a lion has just eaten a gazelle. The lion is now sitting, or rather lounging in the dock with a full belly, while  from the prosecuting bench, a recently bereaved gazelle is agitatedly talking to the prosecuting team so as to find out what can be done. A charge is read out, and it is that of Murder in the First degree. So far so good, after all the gazelle, due to our generosity, had  a right to life, as well as to live that life free from the jaws of a lion or similar predator. The lion had no legal right to pursue such an action, even if he was hungry, or just feeling a bit peckish at the time, and the gazelle had in no way instigated the proceedings or given any provocation.

So we have it, an open and shut case, and with a flourish of black gown and a glare towards the lion, the prosecutor rises to his feet and the show begins.

Or it would if it weren’t for one or two problems.

Whose laws do we follow, man-made or natural? Where can a lion-ese, or gazelle-ese speaker/ translator be found? Do such animals have the same rights that are ascribed to man? If not, why not, and if so, whose rights take precedence, and by what means can a jury be found.

The lion states that he must eat when he is hungry.  That is natural law, he states, a far older law than any made by man, and if some tasty bit of lunch on the bone trots by him, them what is a hungry chap supposed to do. The prosecution counters such an argument. What of the rights of the gazelle they proclaim loudly. Did he not have a right to life , and the right to sate his thirst as his recognised watering hole?

This is of course, just  fantasy, but imagine, if you will, that a cognitive mouse is all the time, listening from behind a skirting board. If he was aware of the proceedings of a normal court case, what would he think if our legal system and our assumption of rights of man? Might he not think it immoral, unethical, hypocritical, and insane

That’s all folks, have fun thinking about this one. Take a good look in the mirror,  and leave some replies

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Categories: Growing pains, Just a thought, What if...

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