Cafe Inquiry is our monthly casual get-together to meet people and discuss topics of science and humanism.
This month's discussion topic:
Are there inalienable human rights?
The concept of “inalienable” or “natural” rights has served as a justification for revolutions against tyranny; for the establishment of egalitarian, “social contract”-based states; and for international accords recognizing the importance of human rights.
However, this concept also implies that inalienable rights come not from governments or legal systems, but either from a divine creator or arising from the self-evident, natural order of things.
There has been philosophical debate as to whether this concept of “inalienable” or “natural” rights makes sense. (http://www.ditext.com/bentham/bentham.html)
Do rights exist that have not been granted by a state and that cannot be rescinded by a state?
If one does not hold a theistic view of the universe, can one hold that rights can come from something other than an earthly authority?
If rights can only come from earthly authorities, is the concept of inalienable rights a misnomer?
Can we claim that a universal set of human rights exist outside the rights granted by governments?
No outside food or drink allowed. Free and open to the public.
Interested in leading a discussion or have someone to recommend? Please contact us at mhensley[at]centerforinquiry.net or call[masked]-0960.