Last term I posed an ethics problem. The problem concerned an apparent contradiction within the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and appeared in Volume 1 Issue 5. The declaration both provides the right to free expression of opinion and protection to individuals from attacks on their honour.
I received two solutions. The editors and I liked Carl C.'s the most but Amadeusz W. gets an honourable mention. Mr. C. wrote:
Since article 30 states that "nothing in the declaration may in any way be used to destroy the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration", article 30 shall thereof be void in this matter. The reason being is because that article 30 is used to destroy the rights of both individuals.
If article 30 is void then that still leaves the remaining articles. If one reads articles 12 and 19 carefully then one can know that article 12 "protects an individual from `attacks upon his honour and reputation'" and states the right to protection of the law from such attacks" while article 19 "provides the right to freedom of opinion and expression,"
including the right to "impart information and ideas through any media". The keywords are found at the beginning of each article. To protect means to shield and article 12 does state that the law can be used. In the case of article 19, to provide means to just give them the right to express their opinions.
Since the individual who expressed their opinion already did so, he or she will be subjected to the article 12 protection since he or she has already expressed his or her opinion.
Once again a prize is awarded. For his exacting analysis I will reward a set of scales for Carl C. I had considered a blindfold or Themis' sword, but the delicate balance struck by his solution made scales seem the most appropriate choice.
by Charlie Chaplain