I don’t care where ideas come from. It’s the idea, not the source that matters. Try this for yourself. We are conditioned not to think for ourselves. Let me give you an example: suppose a legal issue comes up for the first time in one country, but the issue has already been decided in another. Some, such as former United States Supreme Court Justice Scalia would say that it should not be considered — too risky — the thinking of others might taint the decision to be made.
That’s foolish because all ideas are built on others. Language itself is built on what we are taught. So is culture. It’s a weak mind that won’t measure an idea on it’s merit. I can read any idea and have the strength to make my own decision about it.
Please do the same when you look at Unite’s draft Global Bill of Rights. Too often I see people who are too afraid to think for themselves. If you want to go one step further, imagine that you are choosing a set of rights for all people in all countries and once the rights are chosen you will suddenly appear in one of those countries, you know not which. Here is a picture to help:
Chances are, if you were picking a global social order, and you could suddenly appear anywhere, you wouldn’t pick the system we have now — the chances are too great that you will be sick, destitute, or both. Or you will be in the 80% of the people in this picture who are living off of less than $2 U.S. dollars a day.
True, rights are only a story, but they are a story worthy of the marketplace of ideas. The stories we tell create the lives that we lead.