Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Really? You'd have thought that someone who's a professor of law at a fairly decent university would be capable of a fair amount more subtlety of thought than that which is apparent in this opinion piece. The idea that people sacrificing themselves is in any way an indication of human rights being nonsensical is ... absurd. The Fukushima samurai as they are being called are not, as best as I can tell, being forced to work in unsafe conditions. They are volunteers. They are doing something incredibly brave, something most people would completely understand if they opted out. If, in fact, they were civilians being forced to work there, then yes, their human rights would be being abrogated and there would be ramifications, someone would have to be held responsible for what would definitely be a crime.

To state that those who sacrifice themselves for others demonstrate the pointlessness of human rights because each individual has a right to life to disengenuous at best. The same argument could be used to show that the existence of the armed forces of any country demonstrates the futility of human rights. When someone signs up to the armed forces there is an understanding that their life may be put on the line if necessary, if in the judgment of their superiors it is worth it, to preserve society. This same level of dedication is not asked of civilians, though it does not prevent civilian from offering it. The question of rights doesn't even enter into this.  For Mirko Bagaric, a
professor of law at Monash to get it this so wrong? Appalling.

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