Ranting on Religious Freedom and Human Rights (part 1?)

At the moment I’m writing on my thesis about weather or not we need religious freedom. Is it a viable freedom or should we just be done with it and enjoy our rights to free speech and freedom of thought? I still have not reached a verdict, as, due to slightly to many personal problems, the process is painfully slow at the mo’. Anyway, there are plenty of problems concerning this freedom as it, philosophicaly speaking, contradicts a few other “rights”.

The most obvious one is that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights beginns by stating in article 1:

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.

Then article 2 continues with:

Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

Thus it stands to reason that it is meant to be a universal declaration, just as the title claimed. BUT, then they go on to state in article 26.3: “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

Well what is is point?, I hear you say.

I’ll tell you what it is. Article 18 states:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Now, given that everyone is entitled to the human rights, and that everyone is thusly entitled to freedom of religion, thought and belief, how can parents still have a prior right to choose their childrens education. Isn’t that a complete violation of the previous statement?

Now, I am pretty sure this is not gound breaking news per se, but it still makes clear a problem: the logic of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn’t hold up. Why is that a problem? It can, in a worst case scenario undermine the entire attempt at upholding the rights. Especially in this day and age when it is starting to become unclear where the greater threat lies; at the terrorists side of the table, or with our own politicians trying to “solve” the problem by removing basic human rights?

I think it’s time for something we haven’t seen in a long time! It’s time for the liberals to stand up and defend the rights they have been fighting for for close to 300 years. And I don’t mean that as in the political parties calling them selves liberals, I mean all people who believe that they have a right to be the way they are as long as they are not activley hurting anyone, and that that right extends to everyone else. Otherwise the craysies of the world will win, and it wont matter if we have freedom of religion, because we will most likley be forced to accept one of three things: Christianity, Islam or socialist atheism. I am not judging any of the three, I am merley stating that a lack of free choice in this question is not desirable. I don’t think ‘militant’ atheists have a right to force people out of religion, nor look down on religious people as lesser surch. But neither do religious people have that right!

Well, anyway, that was just a little rant that didn’t go anywhere special I guess. I just needed to think aloud for a bit.

May caffeine never elude you in times of need!



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