October 26, 2009 | Can there be agreement about universal human rights? Given the diversity of religious and philosophical value traditions in today's world, is consensus possible? In his third Berkley Center lecture, Hans Joas argued that much depends on the way we talk about values with one another. We have to resist the notion that human rights controversies inevitably link to a "clash of civilizations," or that individuals and groups simply embrace and articulate the values that are right for them without reasoning or communication with others. The example of the drafting of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights illustrates the importance and possibility of productive communication about universal human rights across value traditions.
Source: Berkley Center, Georgetown University