Hey all,

I'm working on creating a Universal Charter, sorta like a Constitution for humanity that could cover my views, and hopefully everyone else's, in a single governing document.  I don't have it finished, I only just started it this morning, but I figured I'd post what I have so far (I'm stuck in a roadblock on structuring) just to see if there are any confusions or problems so far.  Input is appreciated, even if its from people who have extreme viewpoints on such issues; just don't criticize that its not done yet, because I already freakin' know that.

 

Btw, the problem I'm stuck on is how to address the situational structures of redress, sorta like "these are the different ways things can go wrong, and we'll address each way differently~ here's how we do it."  Its at the end (so far) that I actually outline them, such as global, communal, individual and so on.  I'm trying to figure out whether to outline and define those before or after I actually address the definitions of the "Rights."

 

Anywho....

 

 

(preamble)

  Since the before the beginning of recorded history, humanity has shown an innate tendency to form communities and societies; bodies of authority which, in principle, are to act in the interest of the adherents.  Recognizing this inborn drive to structure authority, be it individual or communal, and to act in the best interest of those who live within and/or support the schema, We seek now to establish and charter a universal body which represents and acts, with good faith and best interest at core, the people of the human race~ a body that does not recognize sovereign states or cultures, in judgement, but recognizes only the indelible common experience of human life and will; a body that seeks to establish a fundamental quality of this experience, one that is compelled to uphold, bolster, and defend the inerrant rights of all sentient beings to exist, find comfort, and pursue personal and universal endeavors; that these rights, granted not by nature or creator, but by humanity itself, to itself, shall be defended and upheld each unless in conflict with each-other, and that the highest order is to limit these to none, and to grant them to all.  Recognition of the complexity of such an order is to be expressed; when conflict of these rights occurs between two parties, that neither party is free from redress and reprimand, but that a common solution must be found that resolves inequity and turmoil.  Having it been said, that the fundamental objective of this benevolent institution is to ensure not only universal quality of life, but the advancement and progress of the human species, in harmony with their environment, we declare this Universal Authority in Defense of Humanity established.

  These Rights, now established, are to be upheld, propagated, and defended to the highest possible degree; to make these ideals explicit, with the least ambiguity, so that there may be no incertitude in this authorities actions in regards to each.

  The Right of all Sentient Beings to Exist is one of the highest order~ The common goal, amongst all living things, of continued life shall not and cannot be ignored or abolished.  This Council shall not endorse any authorities actions to take life, or threaten bodily mutilation, to any individual who meets the definition of a sentient being~ this right is only subject to abolishment when an individual or party makes imminent threat, without life-threatening provocation, against this Right of another; The proliferation of individual arms is to neither be encouraged, nor discouraged, as the imminent use of these arms, unjustly, against another, forfeits said individuals right to protection from thereof.  This Right cannot be abolished retroactively, but only in the event of an individual, or parties, immediate threat against another.

  The Indelible Right to Comfortis one extended to All sentient beings; that all may live a life free from unnecessary suffering and turmoil, compulsory or voluntary exploitation, or un-relinquishing abject poverty, as defined by this charter, and that all may seek solace in redress for their pains and sufferings.  These sufferings of address can be categorized into categories of situation and causation, being global, communal, individual, inherent, extraneous, and causal. 

  Suffering on a Global scale warrants immediate address from this authority~ Those groups which may experience such hardships as defined above compel the courts to find an immediate, albeit often temporary, solution to the situation in which they reside.  

 

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Haven't gotten that far yet lol
Ok, problem #1: HOLY FUCKING CRAP! "with good faith"? get that fucking shit outta there this minute! I don't want to see that fucking word any more, anywhere, under no circumstances. You couldn't use the word "trust"? Seriously, there is never a good reason to use the word faith, it is a bad bad word! Never use that word!
lol its a turn of phrase, "in good faith" as in "with good intent" but you're right, it can be swapped out for the latter.
Problem #2: You might want to consider that your first "right" (and I may take issue on a more philosophical level with the use of the concept "right" at some later point) may entail that abortions would be extremely limited. Did you consider this?
It has been considered, which is why "sentient beings" is explicit in the elaboration.  I'd like it to have a glossary of sorts, so that there is no ambiguity involved.
There are a lot of major problems with an endeavor of this sort. I haven't seen any (and I've seen more than a few) which I have found very satisfying. And really, what's the point? Take the UN's charter for example. As soon as it comes down to putting it into effect, you start running into practical problems which go well beyond the scope of a set of theoretical guidelines for how we should make such decisions. Even if you can find a starting point which we could all agree with (a huge IF), it seems unlikely to change anything. Not to piss on your parade or anything. But so far all you've said is that we should respect life and some minimal degree of positive experience in that life. Nothing that hasn't been said a million times before. What is a satisfactory "minimum" sort of life experience which we should uphold? How do you plan to solve those problems which arise when that minimum is not met, problems such as, oh I don't know, poverty, lack of water, food, disease, war, yada yada yada? Where do you stand on population controls? How authoritarian/democratic should we be? There are problems with both approaches, so how do you find a balance? I dunno man, I'm with you but this is a major project. I do like the part about not respecting any sovereign states or cultures, that was a very nice touch I think. You can expect a lot of feedback from me on this.

I understand its a large undertaking, I'm really writing it so that I can put my thoughts into one document~ who knows, maybe it would take off~ thats overwhelmingly unlikely, but having a document that makes sense couldn't hurt anything, plus it helps me inform my other ideas.  The idea behind it would be a stateless organization that is interwoven throughout the world, acting as a UN type organization but more involved, with a more humanistic definition...  If there was such a thing, people could still be petty and involve borders, but at least there would be some record that people tried, as an organization, to make things better.  As far as solving these problems, if enough people would get behind it (states and such, any gov't really and individuals) then it would be their responsibility to solve those problems, and work with the factors and parties involved to solve them.  Think 'Universal Arbiter' that has a clear cut definition and guidelines to work within, protecting only those interests its chartered with (the 'rights' ) with authority vested in it by people and common values..

 

The body itself would be a mixture of representative and performance based~ the problem I see with fully representative is that it is up to a judgement of popularity, not based on merits or wisdom.  So maybe lower levels of representation could be assigned by popular vote, but much like our 'supreme court' the ultimate judgements are made by a panel of people appointed because they have a record of following the values set in the charter, not just because people like them.

 

[edit] oh, and btw, it would respect the sovereignty of a nation by default except when making judgements~ its not to dissolve borders in regards to a peoples rights to rule themselves; it would only come into play when there are violations of the charter~ if a society wants to be libertarian, whatever~ communist, whatever~ but when they cross that threshold of violating the 'endowments' or whatever (I dislike 'rights' as well, but in context it works~ liberties given to the people by the people) it doesn't matter what their society wants, the body works towards helping the people~ none of that "oh, well thats just the way they do it over there" bullshit.

inb4 "I know, it does sound like the UN."

good response. i had this idea, let me run it by you - say we had a global organization which was funded by every nation on earth. in other words, it would require a set of taxation which would have to run over and above any individual nation's tax laws. the bad news is, obviously, more taxes. the good news is that eventually this organization would begin to lessen the burden on individual nations to even have to tax their own people. and of course we would want to begin by taxing the richest nations more than the poorest, maybe even not taxing the poorest at first based on what their needs are. think of it as a global investment in humanity. setting aside the obvious problem of making life harder for some in the short term to make life easier for others in the long term (any long-term investment requires sacrifice, and this is i think a worthwhile long-term investment), the next problem you run into is that this essentially means wealth redistribution. getting past that (i have no problems with wealth redistribution per se, though there are many here of the libertarian variety that surely would), what this enables us to do is to place less emphasis on often arbitrary notions such as nations (heh, notions of nations), and to reorganize around more important things, like sources of resources (man i am just full of these today), power, energy, wealth, etc., as well as cultural lines (religious or lack thereof, political, moral, ethnic even, etc. Power would concentrate centrally in this new global organization (perhaps an extension of the UN or something), which would allow for a global peacekeeping force/military but reduce the need for national militaries, much the same way our national military/police force reduces the need for individuals to carry firearms themselves (NRA aside). and the same principle applies to other areas as well. further, though power would be centralized in this and other fashions, power could also be decentralized in other respects. in other words, it allows for a great amount of reorganization, which is i think something we don't have and which causes a great number of problems. anyway, food for thought

 

i'm also glad you decided on a mix of pure democracy and meritocratic authority. each one to their extremes are obviously faulty, but even this mix, whatever we want to call it (weighted democracy, democratic meritocracy), etc.) is rife with problems. it essentially becomes class warfare, but not between classes of wealth but classes of merit. obviously the merited will want to gather more power for themselves, thinking themselves best fit to rule, and would want to vote themselves more power. the non-merited (meritless?) would pull in the opposite direction towards a purer democracy, for fear of being taken advantage of by the elites. my solution for this problem only works when there are many different organizations in competition with each other - the ones with the organizational form best suited to reality (e.g. human nature) succeed relative to those that fail, and the best strategies rise to the top. in a global society, with only one monolithic organization, this competition cannot arise. the way you phrase the problem, if "ultimate judgments" are made by the elites, then truthfully the non-elites hold no power at all. the good thing is, if we even get started in the right direction here, merit becomes something which is highly sought after, and even most commoners (ah such wordplay) would become far more merited than if we look around us today. perhaps this all means that we need two things - we need a global organization to actually have any semblance of organization amongst humanity, but we also need to retain much individuality so that there is still much room for social evolution.

Thanks The Nerd! And yes, exactly right. But we haven't even begun to try to strike any sort of a balance. We have no social evolution - we just do what our Constitution says we should do. Democracy doesn't mean just voting for the guys who write laws, it means also being able to vote on the system of voting. It seems its the system itself which is most broken. We have the same form of indirect democracy we've had for over 200 years. And changing this doesn't even seem possible given the constraints of the Constitution. I see this as one of our biggest problems as a nation. We need to reorganize!

oh, right, the meritocracy thing~ I'm thinking a weighted voting system involving representatives getting lesser votes (because there would be so many) and then the other 'judges' get more weighted votes, maybe something equalling 50%~ that way there would have to be a total split in both 'houses' for a deadlock to ensue~ but again, they would be following a charter, so logical arguments shouldn't typically break down to that point..

 

it certainly is a big fuckin' idea.  trying to figure out how to mediate disputes without sanctions is a tough one... Plus I'm trying to think whether it should have  a centralized location (maybe land that is donated by a country) or whether it should be localized and scattered.. I'm thinking more the former, since a huge ass campus dedicated to human rights and progression would be freakin sweet.

I like what you mention in your first paragraph~  although I'd hesitate to phrase it "making things harder for some" because when we talk about the wealthy, they are so far above a standard that could be considered ordinary that calling taxation "making it harder" is really like decrying losing something you already have more than enough of.  But agreed~ I guess, with organization, you could even replace programs like FEMA for something much more efficient and unburdened with the politics that surrounds it (hurricane Katrina comes to mind).  That really is the concept though, to create a universal organization to raise the standard of human existence, regardless of borders~ it would also have to be completely transparent from the start, with anyone in the world being able to scrutinize even the smallest of memo's, to help dissuade conspiratorial notions of supremacy.  Even more important would be making sure that its known that this organization has no power to compel legislation, only to operate in the interest of the people it intends to help.  For some situations (like in Libya) it might be setting up a defensive parameter to help people escape or live safely~ in others (such as africa) it would be working to boost agricultural programs and create self-sufficient communities.

 

My thoughts on its structure have yet to solidify, but allowing anyone who is a member to represent their side on an issue to a lower judge on disputes (think global court system) and then have it move up a ladder of appellates to a supreme court kinda thing for big disputes.  

Even more importantly, any peacekeeping force should be armed with 'non-lethal' weapons, primarily, and only lethal weapons as a backup.  I'm thinking microwave heat guns to stop advancing troops, beanbag guns, riot control stuff.  People in a protest situation get an ambassador to represent the organization and keep the peace, arbitrate on behalf of the individuals, that sorta stuff.

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