Reading Human Rights Through Emmanuel Levinas’s Theory of Ethics and Existentialism
- 10.2991/assehr.k.200729.027How to use a DOI?
- Human Rights, Social Inequalities, Individualism, Collectivism, Levinas
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (hereinafter referred to as UDHR) is meant to guarantee equal rights for everyone, including women and minorities. While the UDHR stipulates protection from racial discrimination and other issues of social inequality, human rights violations are found everywhere. The author found that the issue of human rights is usually focused on “right-holding.” As a result, the claim of protecting one’s human rights can be used to justify selfish actions. This issue is exacerbated by the development of communal culture throughout Asian society, including Indonesia. A hostile majority group may declare they are exercising their human rights even if their actions affect minority groups in negative ways. Majority groups, therefore, may declare that their actions, rather than violating minority rights, are carrying out their own rights, and thus the minority group should be considered “wrong” and even deserving of punishment. This article uses the refutation method by describing deficiencies in the understanding of human rights which emphasize the right to hold. “Encountering with the other’s face,” a theory by Levinas, has the potential to produce a new understanding: the basis of human rights is the obligation of each individual to look after “others.” One cannot escape this responsibility, even if it is seen as a burden, for it provides meaning to one’s life.
- © 2020, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
- Open Access
- This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Cite this article
TY - CONF AU - Sulfiah AU - James Farlow Mendrofa PY - 2020 DA - 2020/07/30 TI - Reading Human Rights Through Emmanuel Levinas’s Theory of Ethics and Existentialism BT - Proceedings of the International University Symposium on Humanities and Arts (INUSHARTS 2019) PB - Atlantis Press SP - 137 EP - 141 SN - 2352-5398 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.200729.027 DO - 10.2991/assehr.k.200729.027 ID - 2020 ER -