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< Back to question Does the West still value human rights in light of its dismissal of Khashoggi's death? Show more Show less

The West used to be the loudest voice advocating for human rights. But Western governments' evasive stances on the horrifying death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi government dissident, suggest this is no longer the case. In the light of huge economic links and political turbulence, are human rights still valued in western civilization?

Yes, despite that Western countries and non-Western countries perceive human rights differently Show more Show less

Human rights in Western standard might not be accepted by other cultures.
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Human rights are expressive of Western norms

Human rights are meant to protect individual dignity, but every culture has a different definition of this principle. We often perceive the Western definition of human rights as universal, ignoring cultural differences. This idea could destroy cultural values in an effort to "westernize" belief systems.
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It is asserted that human rights are expressive of Western values and norms, thus could be contradictory to other cultures.

The Argument

The concept of human rights came from Judeo-Christian (which has contained as part of Western culture) and The Enlightenment. These rights reflect Western interests which cannot be practised smoothly by other nations that don’t reproduce the conditions and values of Western societies. For example, the premise of Asian values argues that "the civil, political, social, and cultural norms advanced by the international human rights legal framework are Western, rather than universal. " For such reason, human rights are often imposed on non-Western countries by Western governments. We are living in a world of plurality of cultures, where western is centred on the individual whereas most African and Asian value the community. Considering disparities in the notions of human rights carried across by different countries, it is impossible for the West to implement such a non-universality concept in other nations.

Counter arguments

1.Human rights are defined to have universal validity, regardless of its originality. 2. The simplified view that human rights are western overlooks the fact that a majority of the countries involved in the formation of UDHR were non-western countries like India and China, suggesting that "All cultures—Western or otherwise—beget demands for the recognition of human rights from oppressed populations that later give rise to human rights reforms."


Rejecting the premises


    This page was last edited on Wednesday, 10 Jun 2020 at 15:43 UTC


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