Chapter

The Secular Argument

Arvind Sharma

in Are Human Rights Western?

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195679489
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081714 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195679489.003.0007
The Secular Argument

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This chapter examines the secular argument for the claim that human rights are Western. This argument can be broken down into three distinct strands: (i) human rights are Western because they are intimately connected with the process of secularization, which the West alone has fully undergone; (ii) human rights are Western in the sense that they involve a secular philosophy of life, which so far can be identifiably recognized only in the West; and (iii) human rights are Western in the sense that they are integrally connected with the concept of a secular state, a political concept which remains largely restricted to the West. Each strand is examined in turn in this chapter.

Keywords: human rights; Western idea; secularization; secular philosophy; secular state

Chapter.  4946 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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