The Invention Of Human Rights Essay example

1182 Words Jul 24th, 2015 5 Pages
According to Hunt, new types of individual experiences of empathy were created, during the eighteenth century; consequently, making the invention of human rights possible. Many of the advances in the founding of human rights that were made in the late 18th century were undone in the 19th and 20th century. As illustrated in the book, there was a new wave of racism, sexism, xenophobic and nationalist discrimination.
The rights of humans in society are one of the most important distinctions that Hunt makes. Dutch Calvinist jurist, Hugo Grotius defined “natural rights” of human rights in society as something “self-possessed and conceivable separately from God’s will. People could use their rights – unaided by religion – to establish the contractual foundations for social life,” (p 117). It is extraordinarily secular thinking about how it all evolved. Monarchs in power were beginning to make less sense to the people at this time. People began to view themselves as separate from the “sacred” things. Hunt describes this as “inalienable” which is defined as something that is not transferable and is not refutable. This powerful perception was the groundwork of the concept of liberty and the rights of man. In chapter one, Hunt provides many examples of how empathy began to take root. One that stood out to me was the transformation of opera goers from social beings, who chatted with their friends during the performance, to individuals who listened to music in silence, allowing them to…

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