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Notion of Human Rights

Human rights are a product of a philosophical debate that has been argued since the beginning of mankind.Fueling this debate is the fact that many people have been unsatisfied with the notion that what is right or good is simply what a particular society or ruling elite feels is right or good at any given time.Great philosophers from the past such as Aristotle, Socrates and Thomas Aquinas focused extensively on their definition of human rights, among other ideas, and lead the way for more contemporary thinkers such as John Locke and Martin Luther King Jr. Notions of natural right were introduced by European philosophers such as Aristotle, but is was Aquinas who developed the idea more in-depth.In his Summa Theologica, he stated his belief that there were behaviors that were naturally right or wrong because God ordained it so. Aquinas's theory was that God decided what limits should be placed on the human political activity. Centuries later, Thomas Hobbes offered a different view on the divine basis of natural right by describing a State of Nature in which God did not seem to play any role. Hobbes also referred to a natural right, rather than simply natural right.There was no longer just a list of behavior that was naturally right or wrong; Hobbes added that there could be some claim which was derived from nature. In Hobbes’ view, this natural right was one of self-preservation. Further reinforcement of natural rights came with Immanuel Kant’s writings that reacted to Hobbes’ work. Kant argued that a state had to be organized through the imposition of, and obedience to, laws that appli…

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