Libmonster ID: U.S.-1229
Author(s) of the publication: E. M. RUSAKOV

E. M. RUSAKOV, Candidate of Historical Sciences

Despite the fact that during its existence the United Nations has adopted a number of fundamental documents relating to universal values, first of all, the UN Charter and the Declaration of Human Rights, the concepts of "democracy", "freedom" and "human rights" are interpreted differently by both scientists and politicians, sometimes in diametrically opposite directions. meaning.

And sometimes the discussion about universal values, as well as the dialogue of civilizations, take on the character of a conversation of the deaf. Last but not least, this is caused by insufficient attention to the basic, fundamental principles on which the approach of representatives of different civilizations and cultures is based.

In this regard, the opinion of an Iranian researcher on the interpretation of human rights by Islam is not without interest, although, of course, there are different points of view in the Muslim world itself.

It seems that the core of the philosophical and theological understanding of human rights presented by A. Saberi is that a truly spiritual, moral approach to human rights is possible only if we rely on religion and recognize a person as an unparalleled creation of God. "Human rights in Islam, as in other religions, have stronger foundations than those professed by Western society and international organizations. The fact is that they base laws and humanity in the protection of human rights only on the dignity of the individual (essence) of a person as such, and Islam and other religions recognize both the dignity of a person's personality and the value of his dignity as the most perfect creation of God," Saberi says.

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The contribution of religions-Christianity, Islam and other confessions-world and local-to the treasury of civilizations, to the moral improvement of man is indisputable. Both Christianity and Islam were declared equal before God. But even before the emergence of monotheistic religions in pre-state societies, including in Russia, there were the beginnings of democracy-even in a communal form like veche-and certain norms of behavior and people's rights were observed: without this, the survival of human groups would have been impossible. And in pagan ancient Athens and Rome during the Republic, the foundations were laid for both the democratic structure of the political system, including representative power, and the protection of the rights of free citizens.

According to the canon of monotheistic religions, God (Allah in Islam) it does not save the human race from the earthly vale of suffering, sorrows, and injustices. And real life speaks for itself more than eloquently: wars, famine, still quite widespread gross violations of the basic rights of people-Muslims, Christians and representatives of other faiths, believers and non-believers. In other words, people have to solve their own earthly problems, including the problem of ensuring human rights. This is perfectly said in a simple Russian proverb: hope for God, but do not be bad yourself.

The general line of development of society (as well as the evolution of the living world) is complication, although, of course, this is not a linear process, it has its own zigzags, deviations, etc. Perhaps the most essential feature of a person is his adaptability, adaptability, and he is not only forced, but also able to change society and adapt to the complexity of society. Paradoxically, this process was most clearly manifested in the so-called prehistoric ("primitive" in Marxist terminology) period-approximately 12-6 thousand years ago, especially in connection with the transition from appropriating hunting and gathering to productive agriculture (the "Neolithic" revolution) .1

In our time, such adaptation is denoted by such concepts as" modernization " (economic, social and political), "democracy", "ensuring human rights" , etc. It is objective, and to a certain extent even unavoidable. In this sense, the contrast between the West and the East is artificial.

Another thing is that despite the universality of these concepts and principles, in reality they are not just interpreted very differently, but life itself forces us, depending on the historical dimension of a particular civilization, culture or country, to implement them in relation to a specific situation.

Different interpretations reflect real contradictions, differences in the degree of complexity of economies and socio-political systems, historical features, etc.

It is not very clear why "Western societies and international organizations" are indiscriminately classified by Saberi as denying the "dignity of human values", i.e. a religious approach to the origin of a person.

In fact, the" heralds " of the struggle for human rights - the United States of America - belong to the most religious Western countries, and there is a large and influential wing of fundamentalist Christians who profess a literal approach to the Bible. Surveys show that 98% of Americans consistently answer "yes" to the question: "Do you believe in God?"2. By this measure, Americans are closer to the Muslim world than to most Western European countries, especially Protestant ones.

Ever since the first Puritans set foot on the famous "Plymouth Rock" in what is now Massachusetts in 1620, the consciousness of many Americans has been permeated with a Messianic belief in the destiny of their country as the "New Jerusalem", the "Heavenly City" on earth. When Ronald Reagan was president, the motto " We believe in the mission of America. We believe that in a world torn apart by hatred and crises, it is America that holds humanity's brightest hopes. The eye of history is on us"3. He also spoke about this in a purely religious context: "... I constantly return to the prophets of the Old Testament and the signs foreshadowing Armageddon. I find myself wondering if we are the generation that is going to do all this. " 4

Does the intensity of religious passions in America entitle Washington to a monopoly in the interpretation of human rights?! The answer to this rhetorical question is obvious. But Islam also has no advantage in its interpretation of human rights.

page 59

In other words, the point is not the degree of religiosity, but the specific practice of observing human rights.

Moreover, both atheists and materialists do not neglect the high mission of Man, considering that Man is the highest stage of the evolutionary development of living Nature.

A well-known Russian anthropologist, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences V. P. Alekseev noted back in Soviet times that in the history of scientific discussion of the place of man in nature, there has long been a tradition that " ... proceeds from the uniqueness of man in comparison with the entire organic world, as a social being, as a fundamentally new phenomenon in the history of our planet, thought, language, social relations, who made an active impact on nature, in a word, the creator of civilization with all its attributes." It is interesting that he noted the connection between the theological and rationalistic approach to the essence of man: "... the idea of the exclusivity of man ... in one form or another, it has passed through the whole of European philosophy. In the form of the idea of the divine essence of man, it appeared for many centuries in theological works, then giving way to a completely sober and realistic idea of the power of the human mind and its transformative effect on nature. " 5

Science based on a huge amount of research material, primarily paleontology and paleoanthropology, has proved quite significantly that man is the highest point in the evolution of the living world, although he is inextricably linked with his evolutionary predecessors. This opinion is also shared by supporters of a rational worldview - atheists.

Moreover, if earlier, even in the age of Enlightenment, the idea of man as the highest stage of evolution was justified mainly philosophically, now the efforts of paleoanthropologists, biologists, geneticists, archaeologists and scientists of a number of other disciplines have restored almost the entire picture of the origin of man, although, of course, many essential "details"remain unsolved. Just in recent years, molecular biology, the decoding of the human genome, and the discovery of the remains of the oldest Australopithecines, using different research methodologies, have come together in a fairly accurate determination of the time (6-7 million years ago) and signs of divergence between the chimpanzee and hominid lines (the human line) - australopithecines that preceded the oldest human species. 6 There are strong arguments in favor of the fact that ethics, morality, as well as thinking, are a product of social development of society and even its biological nature, inherited from the predecessors of man in the evolution of the living world.7

Do these findings call into question the exceptional role and place of humans at the pinnacle of evolution? Of course not.

Perhaps here it is appropriate to recall the famous saying from the Gospel: "To God is that which belongs to God, but to Caesar is that which belongs to Caesar." The separation of Church and State adopted in many countries does not necessarily belittle the feelings of believers and the role of the church in the modern world, nor does it make the approach to human rights flawed.

Religion, especially in Muslim countries, has a strong impact on this process. But life has shown that even without going beyond the limits allowed by Islam, one can successfully move along the path of democratizing the political structure and economic activity, ensuring human rights, equal rights of men and women, etc. What is possible is to focus more on concrete matters along this path, rather than abstract arguments about the superiority of Islam, justifying such superiority only by referring to the opinion of certain theologians.

Adopted in 1948. The Declaration of Human Rights, for all its declarative nature, with significant differences in interpretation and law enforcement, remains the basis of a modern universal approach to this problem. It needs to be improved, but humanity as a whole does not seem ripe for a decisive step forward in this direction.

Faith can help believers, but the problem of further progress towards ensuring human rights will have to be solved, first of all-in practice, not by God, but by people themselves. And decide together, with the whole world, including atheists, who are also not devoid of spirituality and morality, although their understanding is not identical with the religious one.

Only on this basis is a dialogue of civilizations possible, which implies a dialogue not only between representatives of different faiths, but also between believers and atheists.

Gibson D. Blair, Geselovitz Michael. 1 The Evolution of the Complex Society in Late Prehistoric Europe: Towards a Paradigm // Demography, Production and Exchange in the Evolution of the Complex Social Systems in Late Prehistoric Europe. Based on the Proceedings of a Society for American Archeology on Demography, Production and Exchange in the Evolution of the Complex Social Organization in Late Prehistoric Europe, held in May 9, 1987 in Toronto, Canada. Plenum Press, N.Y., L, 1988, pp. 6-28.

2 Modern United States of America. Encyclopedic dictionary, Moscow, 1981, p. 133.

Rusakov Evgeny. 3 America without stereotypes. Mysl', Moscow, 1988, p. 21.

Rusakov E. M. 4 In the nuclear trap of the Pentagon, Moscow, 1984, p. 116.

Alekseev V. P. 5 Stanovlenie chelovechestva [Formation of humanity], Moscow, 1984, pp. 84-85.

Leaky Richard. 6 The Origin of Humankind. N. Y., 1994, p. XI - XV, 22 - 58; Boaz Noal T. Eco Homo. How the Human Being Emerged from the Cataclysmic History of the Earth. N. Y., 1997, p. 89 - 166; Obon Steve. Mapping Human History. Genes, Race and Our Common Origins. Boston, N. Y., Mariner Books. 2002, p. 19; Wells Spenser. The Journey of Man; A Genetic Odyssey. N. Y., Random House, 2003, p. 27 - 41; Fagan Brian M. People of the Earth. An Introduction to World Prehistory. 12th ed. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, 2007, 33-109; Hrisanfova E. N., Perevozchikov I. V. Antropologiya [Anthropology]. 4-e izd. Moscow, 2005, p. 39-76; Kharitonov V. M. et al. Antropologiya, Moscow, 2004, p. 14-48.

Leaky Richard. 7 Op. cit, p. 101 - 118, 139 - 157; Boaz Noal T. Op. cit., p. 216 - 239; Bloom Howard K. Global Brain. The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century. NY. etc., 2000, p. 62 - 63; Kenneally Christine. The First Word. The Search for the Origin of Language. Viking, N.Y., 2007, p. 71-161; Khrisanfova E. N. et al. Op. ed., pp. 108-125; Kharitonov V. M. et al. Decree. soch., pp. 49-68.


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E. M. RUSAKOV, HUMAN RIGHTS AS A UNIVERSAL HERITAGE (AFTERWORD TO THE ARTICLE BY A. SABERI) // New-York: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 15.07.2023. URL: (date of access: 21.06.2024).

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