Human rights, of one person and of many people


Human rights, of one person and of many people

We said that Rights means to be able to do what someone wants and no need to do what he or she does not want to.

But in real life, humans always have conflicts with each other over what they want. In reality, there are many things which people do not do which endanger society. (Criminality of no action, The Codes of Criminal 2015 Vietnam).

The people next door want to sing karaoke noisily for fun. I want to be quiet to study and convalesce. The people next door do not want to sing in an unhappy closed room, and all the neighbors listen to it happily. I will get mad if I continue to hear the sounds that I dislike. These two ‘wants’ are opposite. I and the next door cannot negotiate. So, in this case, we need the authorities to be an intermediary. If the authorities give me what I want, then the people next door will lose their human rights. If the authorities judge as they want, I will lose my human rights. Or the authorities will issue an environment law  that allows the noise within certain decibels. For me, a few decibels are also annoying. I need to be completely quiet.

Not everything that a person wants is good. Humans often want to do wrong things. Humans are not saints, so they also have many wrong wishes. If we assert that because of human rights then everyone can do what they want, then it needs only three days for them to burn all the Earth.

Now we modify that, the rights of human freedom need to be limited to legitimate things, and not cause harm to others’ legal interests and rights. This point of view is a progression in human law. Obviously, the rights of human freedom are not limitless. If everyone can have their own limitless freedom, the conflict between them will be extremely fierce. The rights of human freedom must be limited in an appropriate range.

What is an appropriate range for a person?

This is a difficult problem.

We can answer that, the range of the rights of a person’s freedom stops at the border of other’s legal benefits and rights. If the legal interests and rights of the other end at the fence, so my freedom will stop at the fence too. It is not for me to touch the fence. Apart from that, I can do what I want.

But it is very difficult because the legal interests and rights of other people are not as stable as the fence. They include many other things that are very flexible. The others chat on social networks about everything on earth, and touch my life. They talk loudly in their house but the sound reaches my ears and bothers me. When they repair their house, I live in hell. It seems that the fence of their rights has spread over my life. I cannot find a place to get away from their rights.

Here, the national law is practical and adjusts to the common benefits of everybody in a society. The national law, represented by the Constitution, has assigned Rights and Obligations of people in detail. Thanks to the balance of Rights and Obligations, the society can reduce its conflicts. To the contrary, the international human rights are not that practical because they are not put in the real circumstances of conflicted society. Human rights for only a person are very easy, we can ask for anything. But when we put human rights in a community, it will be different, because everyone has the same rights, and their desires are often in opposition to each other.


Source Thien Ton Phat Quang

Human rights of children
Human rights in relation to Animal rights

Other posts of the serie