The opening paragraph of the essay reads as follows:
“Attempts by the United States State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights to identify a subset of proper “unalienable rights” within the broader category of human rights are sometimes perceived as an almost reactionary effort. The adoption of a historical-philosophical perspective reveals that, on the contrary, even if applied within a natural law framework, natural rights are a fundamentally modern idea. Today, it is sometimes feared that this modern constitutionalism has, from the beginning, been little more than an experiment that was doomed to fail. Given such concerns, the U.S. State Department “unalienable rights” debate represents a reasonable inquiry into how the ideal of human rights can be carried on into the twenty-first century.”
The essay is the first in a series of posts on the relationship between natural law and human rights in light of the U.S. State Department’s recently established Commission on Unalienable Rights.
Read the whole essay here:
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