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Showing posts from April, 2011

Tim Minchin's Storm

Absolutely brilliant, a hilarious ‘beat’ poem that nails how I feel on a number of subjects. Check out Tim Minchin and some of his other stuff.

Human Rights and Cultural Relativism.

The modern view of human rights is the result of successive struggles within Western society. Hence, in historical terms, human rights are a ‘Western’ construct. However this does not undermine the claim of cross-cultural validity, but merely problematizes the issue of cultural rights and their relation to the universal claims of the human rights tradition. This tension and the normative variety of cultural relativism have been crucial points of contestation in human rights theory. Thus, the extent to which human rights are inherently ‘Western’ in character is of vital importance to their practical implantation across cultural divisions. To address this issue, the historical origins of human rights will be briefly sketched and their cross-cultural legitimacy will be evaluated to determine the appropriate cultural designation of human rights.

The question of historical origin, Micheline Ishay argues, is complicated because selection of this point ipso facto “privileges a specific st…