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9. We have seen that human rights rely heavily on both utilitarianism and cultural relativism. They present the nature of human rights, the benefits of human rights, as well as a choice of benefits related to these rights. Problems arise when a balance must be formed between the rights of the individual against the good of the community. The utilitarian view is that of the greatest good for the greatest number. We must decide if the state can command lives of its people and forfeit them for the good of the state. There are two ways the state can forgo the lives of its people. One would be because the state acts to exercise the rights of its people to defend their rights. The other would be that the state has rights to greater even than the citizens due to its duty to defend those citizens. Another explanation for the states to sacrifice their residents would come if the state had some special rights that even the residents did not have. An example of this would be a war, in which the state would put the lives of its residents on the line in defense of the state. Most of the citizens would benefit from this, as it would benefit the masses. Human rights are a part of a social contract of citizens with their society, otherwise they become civil rights and not human rights.


The Asian set of values are somewhat different from what they are here in the West. As we look to the Universal Declaration of Human rights as our framework, it focuses on western values and western policies such as democracy and liberty. Asia’s system is different. In China, Confucianism is the ideology used when discussing Human rights. The system focuses on good behavior within society and seeks to make a better social community with is responsible to itself. This is a very big contrast compared to modern Western states such as the US. Asia’s sets of responsibilities are of course different, and many Westerns critize this. It’s definitely a different system but is it worst? Of course, one can argue the pros and cons, but again that what its all about. Taking note from the discussion group on this matter is an example of Asia versus the West. The canning of Michael Faye, and how America reacted. Wrong in one view and the norm in another.

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