Christian Ethics Essay

Submitted By rlaura711
Words: 1476
Pages: 6

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out firm rules and guidelines that govern human nature. Stemming from the horrific experience of the Second World War, the international community vowed never again to allow that to happen. Clearly those atrocities were not the only ones that we should take into consideration. The past as taught us that disregard for human rights has resulted in war, slavery and destruction, thus, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights allows all humans the same equal and fair rights. It consists of 30 articles that cover areas of human nature and dignity such as free speech, education and family. The Declaration then goes beyond the “self” and considers how nations respond to each other and the importance of treating each other with respect. The UDHR was adopted by the General Assembly on December 10, 1948.
Anthropology in regards to the Moralscape focuses on the perception of human nature rather than the study of human origin and evolution. It is how we view people, not how people came to be. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” (Article 1). All humans are created equal and this is how all humans should be seen. There aren’t different rules for different people which is why the UDHR uses the terminology “ALL”. This terminology is consistent throughout the UDHR. The Articles are very straight forward and direct in their messaging. This implies that humans have not always treated each other with due respect or dignity. Our history books corroborate such statements. Human beings have always had free will and have not always used that free will appropriately. The statements in the UDHR may seem simple to some readers, silly in fact because they truly are basic in nature. For example, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person” (Article 3). In an idealistic world, of course, everyone has that right. It appears to be a basic statement, however, our past mistakes have made it clear that a statement such as this needs to be put on paper and be made a rule of sorts. It is easy to believe and say one thing while doing another. That is the way that human nature works. Our world is constantly evolving and humankind needs to evolve with it. Now, in saying that, there are inconsistencies in the UDHR when it comes to “the right to” and “legally allowed to”; for example, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution” (Article 16:1). At a glance this states that all persons can marry regardless of who they love, however, it is missing 2 key words: Gender and Sexuality. When the UDHR was written it is likely that homosexuality was not considered “moral” and was therefore left out of the wording, whether on purpose or otherwise. In 1948, the world had its problems and a clear cut way to solve them and although the UDHR is still relevant, it needs to update its viewpoint in order to adapt to the changes in humankind.
There are two ways of looking at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights when considering the mode of decision-making. Deontologists put the primary emphasis on rules and laws while Teleologists are concerned with realizing an end goal. While some could argue that the UDHR has the end goal of peace and harmony in mind, other may argue that it is a list of rules that need to be followed. It is not rule based in the sense that legalistic laws are being broken in all cases but in the sense that these are specific guidelines that could have serious repercussions if not followed. “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, in human or degrading treatment or punishment” (Article