Monday, March 20, 2017

Center for Inquiry at the UN 2017: the True Role of the State is "to Protect Freedom of Conscience"

here, a reiteration of one of the founding principles of the United States of America, at the United Nations, as presented by the Center for Inquiry's Michael De Dora:

001. CFI's Michael De Dora is featured in the brief video "Beliefs, Individuals, and Rights: Center for Inquiry at the UN Human Rights Council" at YouTube (2017-03-13):

"[from the description] at the 34th Session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Center for Inquiry's representative Michael De Dora discusses the rights given to beliefs over individuals, and states, 'the role of the state is not to protect beliefs; it is to protect freedom of conscience' [...and from the video] Mr. President, various special repertoires [?] this session have articulated and illustrated an important point regarding human rights.  Religions, convictions and beliefs are not rights-holders, individuals are.  Not all states accept this position, which was made evident during an interactive dialog when a distinguished state representative asked 'is it possible to separate the two?'  For human rights to survive, it must be.  Individuals and beliefs are distinct objects.  Beliefs are the result of a complex interaction between an individual and the world around them.  Over the course of their lives, individuals change their beliefs often, yet they do not fundamentally change because their beliefs have changed.  In fact, beliefs cannot be rights-holders.  How could an intangible concept which could not appear before a court of law or a jury of its peers to explain or defend itself hold a right equal to that of a living, breathing person?  How could this possibly allow for a coherent system of law?   Which beliefs deserve rights, and which to not?   Is there a universally agreed upon list of beliefs which deserve protection?  Shall only religious beliefs receive protection?  If so, which ones?  And what of the beliefs of religious dissidents, and atheists?  The true role of the state is not to protect beliefs, it is to protect freedom of conscience, including the rights to freedom of religion, belief and expression.  We urge states to recognize these central truths.  Thank you."

hear, hear.  Some interesting body language in the video, and eyeballing in response!
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