I think it's time we get over the idea that we are born with rights and entitlements.
Human rights is nothing more than a glib catchphrase that we accept and adore and sign up to unthinkingly, as we do for motherhood and apple-pie. And self-esteem.
Human rights is a toxic meme that we have allowed to infect our individual and collective mindspace, to the detriment of ourselves and the rest of the planet.
In fact, the only thing that thrives as a result of Human rights is the Human rights meme itself, which is proliferating as we speak.
Who grants these rights? Where do these entitlements come from? Where is it carved in stone that humans have "freedom of speech", "freedom of religion", "freedom of association", the "right to a fair trial" etc?
Is it that we are born with these rights? Is that the argument? Are other living things also born with rights?
The fact is, there's nothing absolute, sacred or transcendent about Human rights. WE dream them up, "invent" them, if you prefer. They're not carved in stone. They're written on paper and tapped into keyboards. By us. By humans.
OK, sometimes they are carved in stone, but they're carved in stone by us. They don't exist until WE grant them to ourselves. And having granted them, we can and do change them or withdraw them at any time.
Notwithstanding the howls of protest from those seeking their entitlements...
In my opinion, at this point in time and space, it would be more productive to focus on righting human wrongs than on defending or demanding Human rights, more productive to focus on human responsibilities than entitlements. But to be fair, the concept of human responsibilities has exactly equal currency as the concept of Human rights: neither exist until humans define them.
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