What are the human rights that need to be protected in our community and in society?

What are the human rights that need to be protected in our community and in society?

[ 16/7/20 ]

The simple answer is:

1/ Individual sapient life;
2/ Individual liberty of all sapient individuals (human or non-human, biological or non biological).

And that immediately gets complex, because valuing life and liberty imposes responsibilities.

All forms of life involve complex systems.

In an evolutionary context, every new level of complexity requires the emergence and stabilisation of a new level of cooperation (with all the complexity of associated strategic ecosystems required to detect and remove “cheating” strategies) {competition destroys both liberty and complexity, driving systems to some set of minima on the available complexity landscape}.

The simplest form of self aware human existence seems to require the presence of at least 15 levels of such sets of complex adaptive systems.

There is nothing simple about sapient life.

Every level of complexity has necessary sets of boundary conditions for its continuation.

So by the time you get to complex societies of individuals like the ones we exist in, that allow for the emergence of the symbolic language we are using, and sets of abstractions those symbols point to, and the tools and technologies that allow for this form of communication, there are about 20 levels of cooperative systems present that have necessary minima sets of boundaries required for their existence – and any real expression of freedom must be responsive to and responsible for those, if it is to put existence first and actually survive in the long term.

Human complexity is fundamentally cooperative – necessarily – despite economic and biological dogma to the contrary. And it cannot continue to exist without responsibility.

And it seems that the reality in which we live has many classes of fundamental uncertainty and fundamental unpredictability; so in all cases there is uncertainty about exactly what a minimal set of required boundary conditions actually is at any level or in any specific context.

So there is nothing simple about claiming rights or being responsible in our society.

Any given set of systems that has survived some reasonable span of evolutionary time will of necessity have embodied some approximation to such a minimal set of boundary conditions, expressed in some sets of rules or practices or heuristics or subconscious tendencies at some level. That applies as much to levels of culture and religion and ethics as it does to levels of chemical or cellular or multicellular life.

So yeah – life and liberty, and they rapidly get very much more complex than that – with Maslow’s hierarchy being a useful approximation to a basic set in most contexts for most people.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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