Respected cabinet minister David Parker issued a sensible update just before Christmas on the health of our rivers and efforts being made to maintain them.

Regrettably he marred it by including a silly fiction, namely that clean rivers are our birthright. They’re no more our birthright than having breakfast in bed, for the very good reason there are no such things as natural birthrights. When we’re born we inherit legal rights, these being the only rights which are a reality. So-called human rights are simply a wish-list by shallow thinkers.

I was invited last year to address the New Zealand Philosophy Teachers annual conference on this topic. While the audience readily accepted there’s no such thing as human rights my salient point was the danger in spreading this fiction. Why? Because if you tell people it’s their human right to have say, a waterproof home, one incidentally of the numerous nonsensical assertions our farcical Human Rights Commission has come up with in recent times, there’s an element of society that will then sit on their bums and do nothing about achieving such a goal. Instead they will demand the state, that is their fellow taxpaying citizens, deliver this for them because it’s their natural human right.

We should wipe out the Human Rights Commission pronto for its sole purpose is spreading fictions.

One Comment

I couldn’t agree more. In fact in my view we are born with no rights, just as the lion in the jungle is. Eg the supposed “right” to an education presupposes that it is OK to force someone else to pay for said education. Bollocks!

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