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Webinar: Facing the growing global threat to human rights – A holistic perspective #2

September 25 @ 2:27 pm

FREE 90-minute webinar led by Dr Claudius van Wyk

Register here

The province of Gauteng in South Africa is regarded as having become a hotspot of global human trafficking, according to a report of the Borgen Project (Feb 2021).

And yet, given the horrific details emerging from the report, South Africa has what is considered to be one of the most advanced constitutions in the world, including a Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights is declared to be a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It claims to enshrine the rights of all people and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. According to the South African constitution the state must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the commitments in the Bill of Rights. But clearly the evidence shows that at the ground level where ordinary people live, this is not happening.

The question we will examine in our on-line Holos Earth webinar26th July 2022 @ 6pm 18h00 BST, concerns the usefulness and value of a Bill of Human rights. The question is particularly germane since South African Prime Minister, Jan Smuts, drafted the Preamble to the UN Declaration of Human Rights at the San Francisco Conference in 1944 where the United Nations Organisation was founded.

The UN was intended to be the custodian of global human rights, but the vision Smuts was holding for the UN organisation and the Declaration of Rights differed from the document that was ultimately adopted. It differed in this respect that the spiritual dimension of human personality was hardly comprehended, and what emerged was a more materialistic and legalistic framework.

Today the world observes the regression in human rights and freedoms globally in horror. We stand aghast at reports of human rights abuses taking place with the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

We will examine therefore whether human rights is a function of the state, or of society. And if then it is indeed a function of society, what are the individual and shared social responsibilities? Does the notion of human rights even make sense when not accompanied by human responsibilities?

We will position this examination in the frame of Smuts’ philosophy of holism that considers human Personality to be the most advanced expression of cosmic evolution, and is therefore to be considered sacred.

Ultimately we will show that the secularisation of society that largely abandoned an enabling Christian ethos, ‘love thy neighbour as thyself’, of ethical mores in favour of state managed legalistic rights, has emasculated society of both its freedom and the accompanying responsibilities.

The narrative of ‘Imago Dei’ (in the image of the creator) surely wants to be rekindled in a holistic framework that will talk to the intrinsic good in human nature.

Register here

About Dr Claudius van Wyk

Claudius van Wyk has a Masters Degree in Philosophy – Applied Ethics.

He was awarded a PhD by the Indian Board of Alternative Medicine for his inquiry into the holistic revision of the prevailing biomedical epistemology of health and wellbeing.

FREE 90-minute webinar led by Dr Claudius van Wyk


September 25, 2022
2:27 pm