chapter  4
11 Pages

Criticism: Human Nature as the Source of Hope

ByJan Gorecki

The foregoing comments bring about an important conclusion: human nature, at least as understood here, does not justify human rights. However, human nature is, for a reason not as yet debated, a source of hope; due to a peculiar, empirical characteristic of human nature, the idea of human rights can be universally accepted by all nations and all governments as well. This peculiar characteristic consists in human polymorphism—the innate plasticity of human behavior and, subsequently, the potential diversity of social behavior learned by individuals and societies. Owing to this characteristic, the implementation of human rights can successfully occur, irrespective of whether the implementation is objectively justified. Which easily brings about criticism of the perennial search for justification. If the plasticity of human behavior makes implementation of human rights feasible, the search for justification is not really important and may well be forgotten. We ought to do what is right if doing so is feasible rather than to speculate on why doing so is right. This stand has been forcefully voiced by various social philosophers, and it has been at least implicitly accepted by many lawyers dealing with human rights from a pragmatic perspective. To make this criticism clear, I will elaborate on polymorphism.