Human Rights and Inhuman Wrongs


From the Rev’d Dr Peter Mullen:

The European Court of Human Rights has declared that a whole life tariff, which means that convicted murderers are never to be released from prison, is ‘inhuman and degrading’ after an appeal brought by Jeremy Bamber, who killed five members of his family in 1985. The court proposed that those serving life with no possibility of parole should have their cases reviewed after 25 years, following which they might be freed. This decision means that prisoners serving whole life tariffs, including some of Britain’s most notorious killers such as Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, and Ian Brady, the Moors Murderer, could be granted permission to seek parole.

Forget your revulsion at the prospect of evil men being rewarded for their wickedness by the prospect of freedom. Forget also the utopian totalitarian ambitions of international bureaucracies such as the ECtHR. Forget even the fact that Britain is a committed member by signature to this international conspiracy, and remember only that no person or state is obliged to give assent to something which is fundamentally irrational and therefore incoherent and finally meaningless. For the doctrine of human rights as defined by the ECHR and upon which the judgement was based is a palpable nonsense.

According to the Court’s doctrine, everyone is born with a right to freedom and dignity. This is not true. It is not a fact. For ‘freedom’ and ‘dignity’ are qualities which can exist only within the context of a previously established reality. They are not facts of nature, such as a person’s having hands and eyes. If they are to exist at all it is only because they are part of an already existing political reality, the res publica. It is simply not true that such a reality as defined by the ECHR does exist. So statements about freedom and dignity are not statements of fact but aspirational. When the constitution of the ECtHR declares that everyone is born with a right to freedom and dignity, it does not thereby declare a fact – something which can be verified by going and taking a look – but merely expresses the hope that this might become the case.

The difference is crucial. A fact cannot be denied except on pain of absurdity: once something is accepted as a fact, then all reasonable people are obliged to accept it as such; and anyone who does not accept it is either being willfully blind or simply does not understand the meaning of the words being spoken. An aspiration is not a fact but an emotion; and some emotions may be deemed desirable and others not so. That is, if someone expresses an aspiration, anyone else who wishes otherwise is entitled to disagree. The reasonable way of expressing disagreement is by framing an argument. Of course the argument must be valid – constructed on the principles of logic and non-contradiction. And the disputants will be enjoying a meaningful debate if and only if – though each argues a different case – both are arguing logically. Otherwise, they are wasting their time and that of anyone listening by talking nonsense.

This judgement by the ECtHR was nonsensical. We are therefore under no obligation to listen to it. The pope of unreason hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England

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