The Instigator
Pro (for)
3 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
7 Points

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be taken more seriously.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 984 times Debate No: 56819
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




1st Round - Acceptance. 2nd Round - Opening Statement/Arguments. 3rd Round - Rebuttals. 4th Round - Closing Statement/Supporting Arguments.


Thank you Pro for bringing a very important subject to the debating floor.

The United Nations' (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) cannot "be taken more seriously" until the UN recognizes life's Unalienable Rights of "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of positive-feedback (aka Happiness for us humans)" as a prerequisite.

Until they resolved this problem, UDHR is just political window dressing rhetoric for "New World Order" dogma.

So Con's position during this debate, is that Unalienable Rights "must be taken more seriously" rather than UDHR.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you, Con. This should be an interesting debate.

First off, let me start with providing a link to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Under the leadership of Eleanor Roosevelt in 1945, the Human Rights Commission was charged with drafting the declaration. Representing starkly contrasting backgrounds in culture and philosophy, the members were able to arrive at common understanding of human rights.

Thomas Jefferson's Inalienable Rights encompass a very broad spectrum and therefore, become very vague. Also, they came from one man and one mind. All in all, the Inalienable Rights, having come from one man and being as vague as they are due to the broad spectrum of coverage, can become a type of "dough" that anyone can shape.

The drafters of the UDHR took into consideration Jefferson's Inalienable Rights, but as for the reasons stated above, they knew that it could not encompass everything and the populace would desire a more finite declaration.

Many cultures were drawn upon to draft the UDHR and ultimately ratify it. They took into consideration the battle cry of the French Revolution, "Libert", "galit", fraternit"," Hammurabi's Code, the work of Aristotle, Cicero, Plato, and Socrates, and other things such as the teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism.

The first nineteen articles addressed rights related to various personal liberties (life, security of one's person, diverse protections against cruel treatment, equality before the law, etc.), articles 20-26 addressed rights related to social and economic equity, and articles 27-28 addressed rights associated with communal and national solidarity. According to Ren" Cassin, these groups of rights embodied generations of rights.

It is due to these reasons that Con's statement above that, "[The] UDHR cannot "be taken more seriously" until the UN recognizes life's Unalienable a prerequisite," is an outright foolish claim. Con is insinuating that the Human Rights Commission did not recognize the Inalienable Rights in any way.

In conclusion to my first argument, the UDHR is a beautiful, finite document that encompasses the whole of human rights and presents them in a unified, cross-cultural way. Drawing from the considerations taken into account above for the drafting of the UDHR, the drafters also took into account various religions and found the similarities within them that drew upon basic human rights.

Therefore, when comparing Jefferson's Inalienable Rights to the UDHR, it is clear that the one that must be taken more seriously is the UDHR because it draws not only from religious standpoints, it also draws upon historical understandings and philosophers' works to become a non-vague, universal understanding of human rights.

I look forward to Con's arguments.


First let me start by agreeing with Pro, “This should be an interesting debate.” In addition, I look forward in a learning experience, for the both of us, in a constructive debate.

In Round 2, please bear with me on a brief history of human rights up to the UN's UDHR, where I will comment on your statements in Round 3.

The evolution of Unalienable Rights, through recorded history, started as early as Democritus 460BC where he stated:

“Freedom from disturbance is the condition that causes human happiness, and this is the ethical goal.”

Throughout the ages from the scholars of Democritus to Thomas Jefferson there were many similarities in metaphysics during the evolution of our Unalienable Rights to the celebrated form of: “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Jefferson). Jefferson's view emphasizes these Rights are not man-made, but “self-evident” where all humans are equally endowed with them. The recent evolution of these Rights (Takac 2012) took the form, via the physical Constructal Law, that all living-systems (from single cells to humans to social systems) have the following bio-primitives of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of positive-feedback,” where these primitives are part of the physical Laws of Nature. Positive-feedback includes: survival, chemical/electrical, to Happiness for us humans, to social cultural norms, to corporate profit, to government desires, etc; where these bio-primitives have symmetry with Jefferson’s Unalienable Rights.

That is the evolution of life's Unalienable Rights, from metaphysics to the physical Laws of Nature.

Takac demonstrates life's Unalienable Rights is a bio-program having the natural tendency during the struggle of survival to support, prolong, and improve Life. At the same time, there is an inherent drive to increase Liberty, with an ongoing effort to reduce and optimize the energy expended during the pursuit of an objective, while increasing and exploring new levels of Happiness, fulfillment, pleasure, and anything to do with positive feedback (aka evolution).

As for the Unalienable Rights of institutions for social control (governments, royalty, theocracies, etc) there was a moment in history of a society starting with a “clean slate.” That society was the 13 Colonies of the New World maturing in the 1700s to form a Constitutional republic known as the United States of America. Jefferson, one of the founding Fathers of the US, influenced the design of the US Constitution to include Unalienable Rights. This Constitution was the first in history to limit a government having the objective to embrace and protect the individual's Unalienable Rights from the crimes of others and from the crimes of government, no more, no less.

That event sparked a social experiment within a short period of 200-years, changed the world like no other society in recorded history, through the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, the stables of human existence throughout the world today. This social experiment offers a compelling example of what happens when our Unalienable Rights are free to operate within the awesome machinery of nature.

However, since both the government and the individual share the same Unalienable Rights, there will be conflict and competition of Liberties between the two opposing entities, and there is no reason why such conflict will ever end.

For example, about a hundred years ago, during US President Woodrow Wilson's dynasty, the League of Nations was formed (later became the UN), the concept of a progressive “living constitution” came into existence, among many other new philosophies that started a slow and subtle, may I use the term, “fundamental change.”

Jefferson viewed the foundation to the rule of law to be stable as in a Newtonian context making the structure of a constitution difficult to change via the Amendment process, where Wilson was an advocate of Social Darwinism, little resistance to change, stating the following in his book:

“Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.”

In his book, Wilson also took issue with the individual's Unalienable Rights:

“No doubt a great deal of nonsense has been talked about the inalienable rights of the individual, and a great deal that was mere vague sentiment and pleasing speculation has been put forward as fundamental principle.”

Clearly, Wilson rejected Jefferson's Unalienable Rights, the foundation of the US Constitution. Wilson went on to say:

“Government is a part of life, and, with life, it must change, alike in its objects and in its practices; only this principle must remain unaltered, - this principle of liberty, that there must be the freest right and opportunity of adjustment. Political liberty consists in the best practicable adjustment between the power of the government and the privilege of the individual; and the freedom to alter the adjustment is as important as the adjustment itself for the case and progress of affairs and the contentment of the citizen.”

Unbeknownst to Wilson, he was supporting the very thing that he was dismissing as “nonsense.” He promoted the Unalienable Rights of the institution of government, while dismissing the Unalienable Rights of the individual.

To paraphrase Wilson, the government “a part of life,” must have “political liberty,” in the pursuit to make “adjustments” to the “privilege of the individual.” The accomplished objective by defining the individual’s privileges, results in institutional Happiness, having more control. In addition, the individual now has privileges, defined by government, in place of Unalienable Rights.

Over the following decades came Eleanor Roosevelt, of the same political Party as Wilson, became involved with the UN in establishing UDHR. None of the UDHR 30 Articles contains any mention of Unalienable Rights. However, in the Preamble of UDHR did mentioned the term “inalienable rights,” but there were no reference to a definition.

The terms “unalienable” and “inalienable” are often used synonymously. However, legally there is a subtle difference:

There is a “fine distinction, with unalienable being stronger and absolute, while (in this usage) inalienable is weaker and conditional.”

However, searching the UN’s website for a definition of “inalienable rights” we have the following:

“Inalienable rights are generally distinguished from legal rights established by a State because they are moral or natural rights, inherent in the very essence of an individual. The notion of inalienable rights appeared in Islamic law and jurisprudence which denied a ruler “the right to take away from his subjects certain rights which inhere in his or her person as a human being” and “become Rights by reason of the fact that they are given to a subject by a law and from a source which no ruler can question or alter.”

In addition, there are striking similarities between the UDHR’s 30 Articles relative to Articles 118 through 128 of the 1936 USSR's Constitution.

The history of the former USSR was deep in tyranny and the institution of government murdered millions of its own citizens.

You do not learn this history in most schools, where most educational systems are controlled by government.

It causes one to wonder, in the fading of Jefferson's discovery of Unalienable Rights, to promoting UDHR 30 Articles in the shadow of Islamic law and the USSR's Constitution.

Putting such shadow aside, the UDHR 30 Articles do sound inviting, however, the implementation of them will not be possible without the understanding and embracing the individual's Unalienable Rights, which are part of the physical Laws of Nature.

And in conclusion of this thesis, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights must NOT be taken more seriously compared to the individual's Unalienable Rights; otherwise, UDHR will be unachievable resulting in misery and bloodshed as demonstrated by the empirical history of the USSR.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you, Con.

First off, let me state that the first part of Con's argument is simply scientific proof of life's Unalienable Rights. This is entirely irrelevant to this debate as we are debating which must be taken more seriously. Not whether or not there is scientific proof to justify one or the other. I do not think that people will argue that scientifically, there are factors within us that create our happiness. Nor, that people do not try to better their lives.

Also, much of Jefferson's Unalienable Rights are "endowed by their Creator." "Creator" referring to both natural occurrences and God. Religious justifications regarding human rights must be ignored when dealing with the aspect of human rights. Simply because people have many different belief systems and using one system to justify a view on human rights does not include the vast majority.

Life's Unalienable Rights occurs only in American documents. While the UN's UDHR encompasses an international spectrum. Also, it is simply reminded that Jefferson's Unalienable Rights really took no true meaning as slavery existed and to the gay marriage debate today. Aren't these rights, as Jefferson stated, "self-evident" and not man-made? Being man-made allows man to shift and manipulate the meaning of this phrase. While self-evident takes on the meaning that these rights are fixed, everyone possesses them. Even the United States did not recognize Jefferson's Unalienable Rights and the country still does not recognize them. At least, does not abide by them.

Onto another point. The UDHR deals with individual's rights as they are the ones suffering, not large entities such as governments and companies. Con states that government and the individual share the same Unalienable Rights and that will always lead to conflict. Isn't that what we're trying to avoid? Humanity is still in the process of finding a "happy medium" to which individuals can lead their lives according to how they want and not be burdened with over-control from the government. Giving these two the same rights causes much confusion and once again, supports my claim that the Unalienable Rights are too vague to be taken more seriously over the UDHR.

Wilson seems to have the same views as I do when it comes to the Unalienable Rights being too vague. And to Con, he is not rejecting Jefferson's view, Wilson was simply implying that they are too vague.

Also, as to the terms "Unalienable" and "Inalienable," they are the exact same thing. Inalienable is just use of proper grammar.

And to Con's comparison of the UDHR to the USSR's Constitution of 1936; I do not find this to be a strong argument at all. Let alone even relevant. One cannot compare the UDHR's articles to only 10 articles of the USSR's Constitution. And, for Con's claim that if the UDHR was taken more seriously, it would result in "misery and bloodshed," is outright foolish.

Really, I saw not much to refute here. Many of Con's arguments were irrelevant and extremely misguided. I really had a hard time coming up with my rebuttal as I saw really nothing to refute. And, if there was something to refute, it was fairly easy to point out flaws in Con's thinking.


Thank you Pro for your short rebuttal and your closing point about, “I really had a hard time coming up with my rebuttal as I saw really nothing to refute.” Seldom do I receive such complement on any debating website.

Recorded history about the social empirical outcome as a function of institutional configuration of governance is hard to refute. There is clear historical empirical outcome between an institution implementing Unalienable Rights (the institution of the USA) compared to an institution implementing many parts resembling the later defined Universal Declaration of Human Rights (the institution of the USSR). Before implementing a set of man-made rights, it would be prudent to search history of any institution attempting to do the same.

Pro went on to say, “One cannot compare the UDHR's articles to only 10 articles of the USSR's Constitution.” Pro should realize, there is not a one-to-one relationship between the articles. Those USSR articles cover a scope of 17 UDHR's articles, where the USA's Constitution covers none.

It is interesting to point out the following Article 124 of the USSR's Constitution is in alignment with the USA's paradigm on the separation of church and state; however, such is not found in UDHR:

“ARTICLE 124. In order to ensure to citizens freedom of conscience, the church in the U.S.S.R. is separated from the state, and the school from the church. Freedom of religious worship and freedom of antireligious propaganda is recognized for all citizens.”

Without separation of church and state UDHR Article 2 will be impossible to implement, along with Article 3. In Article 3, how does one have the right to life, liberty and security of person in a theocracy? Just look at the empirical social climate in those theocracies today.

The implementation of UDHR is dependent on the configuration of governance. Con is taking the position that what “must be taken more seriously” is not UDHR but the prerequisite to UDHR, and that prerequisite, being the configuration of governance!

Con like Pro, understands the world would be a better place to live, if the world moves in the direction of UDHR. Pro is taking a 1948 position about the world should take UDHR “more seriously;” that is easy to say. Con is taking the twenty-first century position, and “seriously” examining the prerequisite to make it happen.

Let's start with the fact that today's understanding of our Unalienable Rights are part of the physical Laws of Nature (Takac). We need not dwell on the metaphysical evolution of the concept of Unalienable Rights through the ages, but our current understanding of them is more important.

Within our 10,000 character debate limit, let's focus on two data points: USA and USSR.

The design of the USA, came from the people forming a contract (US Constitution) to define the configuration of governance. During the design of the US Constitution, Unalienable Rights were the “stake in the ground” (Amendments 5 and 9). The people defined what rights the government had to govern with the objective to protect and defend the individual's Unalienable Rights, no more, no less. The state governments did all the rest, competing with each other for the best and brightest to move to their state.

In the USSR's case, the government dictates what man-made rights the people had.

In summary, in the USA's case, the people defined what rights the government has; in the USSR's case, the government defines what rights the people have. Big difference!

One should note, attention to the development of UDHR came from a set of governments (UN).

The newly established USA having the mission to embrace and protect everyone's Unalienable Rights started with a difficult task relative to the cultural reality of the day. Cultural norms do not change overnight. In the beginning, slavery and woman's standing in society was deeply rooted in the culture. Jefferson, knew the “vagueness” (a term Pro used) of our Unalienable Rights will move those cultural ills of slavery, the treatment of woman, and today's treatment of gays, etc, in time during the evolution of culture as a function of our Unalienable Rights in the dynamics of Congress, representing the people, and the only branch of government to make law correcting such cultural ills.

Life's Unalienable Rights are the engine controlling the evolution of life (Takac). It only stands to reason these Rights are also the engine for social evolution, if, and only if, the configuration of governance supports such an engine of nature at the social level. The Founding Fathers develop a configuration of government supporting Darwinism before Darwin came on the stage.

Today, due to social evolution, UDHR is out dated relative to Article 16. Article 16 starts off with the following, “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry...” There is no mention to gender preference, therefore, gays have no man-made rights pertaining to marriage. Also, there is no amendment process outlined in the preamble to make such changes. Pro's position is UDHR maintains the desired “finite declaration,” where Con takes the position, perhaps, UDHR is too finite, stifling social evolution of a culture's freedom of moral choice on their road to utopia.

It is sad to find Pro does not support cultural evolution by stating, “Wilson seems to have the same views as I do when it comes to the Unalienable Rights being too vague.”

On the subject of Woodrow Wilson, too bad Wilson's slow cancer of “living constitution” is starting to metastasize. Today's Congress represents the lobbyist more than the people, while the President has a “pen” to make law, and also, the administration branch (not part of the US Constitution's three branches) that is made up of hundreds of departments (IRS, Education, NSA, Energy, EPA, etc.). These departments employ hundreds of thousands of government employees, who are not elected, writing regulations, having the same power as law, to control us, etc. Today, the people are essentially out of the loop, except on Election Day, and look what choices we have.

Too bad the US government educational system promote “living constitutional” concepts, to benefit the freedom of government, while reducing the freedom of the people, moving in the opposite direction from UDHR.

If Pro is serious about, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights must be taken more seriously,” then get serious in understanding the configuration of governance. Otherwise, and with all due respect to Pro and those like him, if you refuse to understand the prerequisite to UDHR, you are just shooting off a lot of hot air.
Debate Round No. 3


Laprlev forfeited this round.


Again I thank Pro for bringing a very important subject to the debating floor.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights sounds inviting, and one could only hope such a list will one day make a difference. The point I (Con) is stressing is knowing the prerequisite for UDHR, where it is the prerequisite that "must be taken more seriously" for UDHR to stand a chance.

The discussion I presented in the previous Rounds, is the debate the UN should be having to move UDHR forward.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
Rebuttals and Conclusion
I don't know if Pro didn't understand Con's line of reasoning, or purposefully tried to hide it up. Pro choose to scape goat the things around the crux of the argument. Definitions, ect. The main argument, that restriction to change is bad, was dropped. A dropped point is almost always a failed BOP, and in this case it certainly was. There isn't much more to say. The point on Wilson was summed up in one sentence, that didn't actually have anything to do with his theory. This was unacceptable in my eyes, and Pro knew better than this. As a societal debate, philosophy arguments are perfectly alright. And MUST be argued.

This gave Con an entire round to affirm his resolution. If Pro chooses to only go guerrilla on certain points, or beating around the bush, then Con can as well. As I said, I didn't really win R3, as I saw by the forfeit, that the resolution was negated. Yet, if Pro came back that round, with an understanding of Con's contention, then he could of won. There were dozens of arguments he could of made on unset international guidelines, yet he chose not to. Instead, forfeiting, presumably from when he deactivated his account. Overall poor debate on Pro's part. Moderate debate by Con, and he still has some ways to go, but I enjoyed reading his unorthodox argument. Wasn't expecting that.
Posted by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
Main Argument (con)
This was the section where things became interesting and enlightening. I agreed with Pro at first, and highly disagreed with most of what Con was saying. Oh no mike, you're going to lose this one. Trying to debate the constitution should constitute (lol) one contention. Not a whole paragraph. Then I started to understand what Con was getting at. The idea was essentially that international rights, hinder social progression, or can hinder social progression. He actually was using the US as his reference. The new world was a fresh slate for the world, where new theories like populism, democracy, social welfare, ect. were attempted and succeeded. This argument was very intriguing. Basically ended by saying that holding nations to international standards is holding them to one standard. I liked this.

Which led him to an argument from Wilson on social darwinism, which basically affirmed what I stated above. In honesty, this debate comes down to resistance to change, or change of resistance. It was very compelling, but not enough to negate a hypothetical good contention by Pro. Whle Con made a good case here, I was disappointed by his use of rhetoric on the USSR. Yeah, they were dickz, but that was a vote scape. Or point the finger to communism, and receive sympathy. I was going to knock conduct, but Pro forfeited, which is a FAR worse offense.
Posted by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
Opening arguments
I want to clarify now, that I didn't read cons R3, as the resolution was affirmed since laprev forfeited. Here's my understanding of this debate. Laprev took R2 to go through all the benefits of international rights, and briefly expanded on why they are needed. I personally found this weak, as Pro actually gave little more than his opinion for R2, which made me very disappointed. He didn't actually show any reasons on why nations should take it more seriously, besides rhetoric on its contents. Or in layman's terms. Pro spent the whole R2 arguing why a document is great because it has inalienable rights contained in it.

I didn't buy it. I believe in inalienable rights, but with every premise and assertion you make, you must fill an individual BOP. If you assert that inalienable rights are "good", which is subjective, then you must tell us why they're "good". Pro didn't do this, and that really hurt his case. Which led to a whole baseless argument. I don't recall being told why we need to enforce a supposedly "beautiful document". Likewise, can someone tell me when Pro even defined in what ways we should take them more seriously? Enforce them. Con would of been wise to take advantage of this and argue that "enforcing" this would take us into wars with half of the world who doesn't provide these. Even if they're not wars, political tension for the UN.

In conclusion, Pro's opening arguments were a train wreck. He didn't prove that the UDHR was "good", nor could he of done this, as it's subjective. There was no arguments on why or how we need to enforce it. Finally, there was a huge confusion on several aspects of pro's own debate. This frustrated me having to read this.
Posted by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
Remind me to vote on this later
Posted by Laprlev 3 years ago
I will not continue this is the comments.
Posted by Mike_10-4 3 years ago
Pro the burden of proof pertaining to the phrase "must be taken more seriously" was on you. I gave the debating floor my reasons why the prerequisite to UDHR "must be taken more seriously."

Out of the gate you disagreed with me and offered no other reason why UDHR "must be taken more seriously."

I could only hope some of the ruling-class throughout the world and someone from the UN was monitoring our debate.
Posted by Laprlev 3 years ago
Con, if you happen to read this, I just want to point out a few things... 1) What you said about me complementing your argument, was not a complement. Just to clear up any miscommunication, I really just saw nothing to refute, I do not see how any of it dealt with the debate or had any relevance to your main "prerequisite" argument. 2) I apologize for forfeiting the last round, but I saw no reason to continue as the same problem occurred with your second argument.
Posted by JustinAMoffatt 3 years ago
It's true, though. I'm not a huge fan of the UN, but UDHR is a beautiful document. I wish it meant something.
Posted by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
Only a troll will take this man
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ChosenWolff 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by joepbr 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Since Pro forfeited, conduct go to Con, however, Pro still wins arguments, since the only real argument made by Con, claiming that some similarities between the UDHR and the USSR constitution will lead to "misery and bloodshed", is fallacious. The other claims made by pro were sometimes contradictory (first supporting Jefferson's Unalienable Rights, and them claiming that human rights are too finite and stifles social evolution), fallacious (differentiating between inalienable and unalienable), supporting Pro ("Con like Pro, understands the world would be a better place to live, if the world moves in the direction of UDHR"), but, most of the time, completely irrelevant (scientific proof of unalienable rights and anything regarding Woodrow Wilson).