The Concept of Human Rights as a Prerequisite for Protecting the Value of Human BeingsJune 28, 2021
Kuçuradi finds that in various international documents and constitutions, under the title of “fundamental rights”, besides individual rights, civic rights, social-economic-cultural and political rights are also included -under these headings, there are various individual rights, some of which are common and some are separate.
Looking at these documents, he sees that some rights do not seem like “fundamental” rights, while some claims that should be considered fundamental rights are not included in these documents. This determination leads Kuçuradi to ask the following question about the human rights criterion: “What can be used as a criterion to review the human rights lists we have and to identify ‘new’ rights? What would be the criterion that would not leave much room for contention about the ‘fundamental’ of some rights – or vice versa?’ (Kuçuradi 2007, p. 3).
According to him, “The systematic knowledge of human possibilities, which we have acquired by looking at what we have achieved as humanity, and the knowledge of the conditions that enable these possibilities to be realized, provide us with this criterion. With this criterion, we can distinguish fundamental rights from non-fundamental ones, which constitute a whole but impose different requirements in relation to human possibilities. Conversely, this knowledge, supported and grounded in seeing how these possibilities are being blunted today, not only provides us with a criterion for distinguishing which claims are and can be fundamental rights, and which are not and cannot be; it also opens up a way for us to see more and more clearly the essence of fundamental rights.” (Kuçuradi 2007, p. 3-4).
When Kuçuradi looks at human rights, each of which is a person’s right with this criterion, and which always expresses some demands regarding the individual, he finds that they differ significantly among themselves as claims. While some of these claims are directly related to human possibilities, another part of them is related to generally necessary prerequisites for the development of these possibilities, and another part of them is related to some variable conditions. Kuçuradi thinks of limiting the term “human rights” to only the first two types of claims. In other words, under the concept of human rights of Kuçuradi, “demands for the security of the person and/or the demands for ‘fundamental freedoms’ and the general preconditions of protecting the possibilities of human beings (living level necessary for health, education, work, etc. rights)” (Kuçuradi 2007, p. .4) puts. It tends to limit the scope of the concept of “human rights” to these two groups of rights.
These demands for the safety of the person are directly related to the realization of the possibilities that the person has in himself. The person possesses these possibilities as a member of the human species, or is assumed to have them, since it cannot be said or predicted that he does not. The protection of these is possible by not preventing or touching people while they are realizing these opportunities.
Human rights are generally defined as the rights that a person has as a human being – simply because he is a member of the human species.
Kuçuradi says that these rights are the rights that all people are equal, but apart from these, there is another group of fundamental rights that all such people are equal and that every person has as a human being. “These are demands on the prerequisites that enable each person to develop his possibilities as a human being. The level of living necessary for health and education are among such rights. The difficulty with these rights is that their realization is dependent on other kinds of rights. These fundamental rights can only be protected indirectly, through the rights granted by the state to individuals – social-economic (and some) political rights – and through public institutions that are often, if not always, established by political decisions.
Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology Lecture Notes for Grade 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” and Grade 3 “History of Contemporary Philosophy” (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook