By Lars Binderup & Tim Jensen (eds.)
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Extra info for Human Rights Democracy & Religion In the Perspective of Cultural Studies, Philosophy and the Study of Religions
In so far as this fact is recognized by means of empathic cognition it leads on to the intuition of others as existing in their own right and as having the same initial claim to rational administration of value as oneself. This observation provides a kind of metaphysical foundation of the idea of an original equality between individuals and corresponding rights of equality. VII On the assumption that these views provide a plausible explanation of the nature of the basic categories of human rights, it seems obvious that the metaethical theory outlined above may function as a secular and rational foundation the UNDeclaration.
It seems reasonable to assume that something similar applies to all kinds of value-phenomena (even to instrumental values due to their relation to primary values). To avoid misunderstanding, it should be mentioned that though valuecharacters like pain and pleasure are given as inner states of the subject, valuecharacters may also be phenomenologically objective in the sense that they appear as desirable or aversive properties of objects encountered in the lifeworld. Beauty and ugliness are examples of such phenomenologically objective valueproperties.
They follow directly on The Theory of Empathy presented above. A right to happiness is not mentioned in this connection, since the nature and pursuit of happiness are issues, which are in most cases best left to the individual and cannot be subject to universal legislation. However, since happiness is the positive aspect of welfare and is in fact pursued by everybody, avoidable deprivation of the conditions of happiness is obviously a violation of a universal human right. e. apart from the fact that freedom may in itself be part of happiness).