Valuing Human Beings

Last week's discussion gave us a very interesting sequence of questions.
This week we're going to take a look at them:


"Are rights as a concept the best way we can go about describing valuing human beings?"

To answer this question, first we probably should ask:

What's the reason we should value human beings?

If in the answer we find we do need to value human beings, then we need to find a way to value them, and that's when we get to rights as a concept. So, then the real question is,

"Are human beings fundamentally valuable?"

If we can answer this question, then we can talk about the methods of how to value them, and deciding if rights are a good way to go about doing that.



The Children's Rights Problem

All of the material for today's discussion came from a PDF document on a website called www.worldwewant2015.org. The PDF is called, "What Does 'Equality' Mean for Children in Relation to Adults?"

So for our discussion today I have three questions that maybe ask the same thing:
Can the concept of ‘equality’ be meaningfully applied to relationships between children and adults?
How do we raise children in a way that acknowledges the cognative/developmental limitations of children while at the same time respecting children as autonomous individuals?
Do children have certain inalienable rights?
Is there a better way to ask these questions?

Recognizably Human

Well-being is not just a question of the wealth or pleasure that a person has; it is a question of how people manage to live their lives and the ability they have to do certain things that are important to them. -Professor Amartya Sen, 1979.

Human worth or dignity has implications for all types of relationships, including political ones. At the same time recognising and respecting this fundamental equality of worth or dignity means arranging social relationships in a way that recognises and respects the differences inherent to human beings.
The social arrangements that may best provide the conditions for recognising and respecting that equality should involve the provision of equal basic capabilities, which allows each person to stand as equal in her society. [This should take into] account both freedom and well-being, [but also take into account social] processes that can impact the idea of justice.
Recognising fundamental human worth and the need to create social relationships that respect this is accompanied by the demand that society work actively to remove existing socially derived inequalities.
p. 73 Justice as Equality: Michael Manley's Caribbean Vision of Justice by Anna Kasafi Perkins

Human beings are of fundamental worth simply by being human. Human society should be arranged to recognise and respond to this underlying equality.
--p. 73 Justice as Equality: Michael Manley's Caribbean Vision of Justice by Anna Kasafi Perkins

Agree or disagree?