Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Value of Human Rights is Cultural

The following is an excerpt from a paper I wrote, in reference to the ESPN E60 Documentary
E60 – Female athletes in South Africa - http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/e60/news/story?id=5177704

The American population has a complex understanding of human rights. Through time, the western culture has defined the necessary standard for its belief in the morals of humanity. There is a very different perspective of human rights within countries that are not held to the western cultural beliefs. Human rights are often present within their social condition, rather than by a law for which the population does not value. The importance of understanding human rights within a culture is shown by the concept of rape. Within the United States, rape is seen as a monstrous act which devalues a human being and is punishable by time in jail. Rape in countries that are not governed by the same moral concepts may be seen as part of the culture, and used for control and or the self pleasure of the rapist. Human rights have a place within all cultures, yet the actual value of what is a human right is strongly determined by beliefs.

Human rights is a concept for which people want to demand immediate change, yet history takes time to unravel and regroup within the concept which s best for all. The tribal peoples were involved in a concept of change, in which the religious reformation became quite apparent. Over time, the conversion of the tribal peoples from their native religion to forms of Christianity became permanent. The more the local white population and the tribal populations intermixed, the closer the two groups came to believing in the same moral ideals. It is these moral ideals that have been entrenched into a culture which does not align with the human rights values that the American culture believes in.

E-mail me for the rest of the article: cjresnick@gmail.com

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