Template talk:Substantive human rights

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WikiProject Human rights (Rated NA-class)
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Creation note[edit]

This template was created from a section of the template:human rights (which had grown very large). At the moment, items on this template still transclude template human rights, the intention is that on those pages, the human rights template be replaced with links to this template. Zodon (talk) 01:59, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Template title[edit]

A discussion at talk:abortion#Human right or Particular human right? lead to an edit changing the title of this template to Particular human rights. In order to try to keep clear record of discussion for this template I copied portion of that discussion.
Copied from that discussion:

It's not the level of detail, it's the title. Template:Particular human rights covers the same trio of broad categories as Template:Human rights, but in addition to enumerating these rights, it replaces the short, simple "Human rights" title with the weaselly "Concepts that may be considered as human rights".

Frankly, I find the weaselly-titled template deeply offensive, as it implies that a fundamental rights like freedom from discrimination is merely something that "may be considered" to be a human right. Obviously, there is some disagreement among people regarding what ought to be considered a human right, but this is best handled in the context of each specific article, not with weasel words for the entire bunch.

The WP:BOLD thing to do would be to simultaneously remove the weaselling and roll this article back to the specific template. Since I've only been blocked twice in the last week, I've still got plenty of courage to be bold, so that's exactly what I'm going to do. Spotfixer (talk) 06:14, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I like your solution. Looking at Template talk:Particular human rights, it seems more in line with the original intent of the template. Thank you for making the change. -Neitherday (talk) 06:25, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
End of copied material.
First a quick explanation on the reversion of my own changes. I reverted the change, but had some problems so I couldn't post comments/explanation here, so put it back to changed version until I could post here. Sorry for any confusion in the record.
I am concerned about the Particular human rights title on the basis of NPOV. wp:navigation templates provide navigation, should be kept as neutral as reasonable. An extreme relativist might assert that there are no human rights; however the assertion that these have been asserted as human rights is verifiable.
For instance, see the earlier discussion on this template about whether abortion should be included template talk:human rights#Abortion as a reproductive right.
The "Concepts that may be ..." title was the title of the section of the human rights template that was split to become this template. I find it a bit verbose (hence the shorter name of the template). Something more concise is fine, but also have the reservations noted above. If there is a broad consensus for the "Particular human rights" title, I wouldn't object, but since I think it likely to be controversial I think it needs broader input. (Especially from those who take a non-universalist view or view some of these items as not human rights.) Zodon (talk) 07:59, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I have no objection to the "Particular human rights" title; but then, I'm a universalist myself, so I wouldn't object to it, though I can see how a relativist might take issue with that in ways that I don't. Furthermore, even amongst universalists there could be plenty of contention: as in the example in your quote, there is contention about whether abortion is a human right, or instead a violation of another human's rights. That said however, I would read "Particular human rights" in a descriptive context like Wikipedia as, implicitly, things that have been asserted as human rights by someone or another, and not a definitive list of what actually are people's human rights. But then, that comes with my contextual knowledge that rights are a subject of much contention; someone who's been living in a cave, somehow reading here about rights for the first time in his or her life, would lack that context, and might interpret the listing of rights here as definitive.
So I suppose if we can come up with a more neutral but still concise title that would be best. Unfortunately I don't really have any ideas for what such a solution would be just now. --Pfhorrest (talk) 10:07, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
An idea: "Purported human rights" literally conveys the idea that we want: these are things that someone or another has claimed to be human rights. The problem is that "purported" has, at least to my ear, skeptical connotations; it sounds like "things incorrectly claimed as human rights", which is not the impression we want to give. "Asserted human rights" sounds ungrammatical somehow, even though it is technically grammatical. "Claimed" sounds to my ear about as skeptical as "purported" does. Perhaps something along these lines, just with a better adjective? --Pfhorrest (talk) 10:13, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
For the reasons I've already explained, the current title makes it objectionable, which will invariably lead to the template being rejected from many of the pages it's on. I suggest turning it back. Spotfixer (talk) 17:10, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I have tried thinking up other titles, hadn't come up with anything that I thought was clearly better so far. (Was thinking along the lines of "Rights that have been asserted to be human rights," but that has problems in terms of rights vs. liberties.)
Its a small change but would "Concepts that have been considered to be human rights" help?
Spotfixer - how do any of these phrasings grab you? Any suggestions for alternative phrasings?
Is there a standard reference in human rights literature (something more far ranging than the Universal declaration), that might give a similar laundry list of human rights? (So we could cite it.) Zodon (talk) 00:10, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
The only phrasing that seems neutral and objective is "Human rights". If you want to prefix it with something like "Particular", "Enumerated" or whatever, that's just talking about your list, not downgrading human rights into something less than what they are.
For that matter, removing gay rights is a bad idea because it's a standard grouping of human rights affecting a particular group. Spotfixer (talk) 01:31, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Being WP:BOLD, I have added what I hope will be viewed as an acceptable compromise. The long highly self-qualifying title detracted from the template. However, since the topics in the template are not all universally accepted as human rights, the template should be clear about that fact or risk POV issues. I noticed that other templates have notes about their content at the bottom of the template, so I changed the title to the simplified "Particular Human Rights" and added a note explaining that the topics in the template are not necessarily universally accepted. -Neitherday (talk) 13:59, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Looks reasonable to me. Thanks. Zodon (talk) 22:17, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Good idea. --Pfhorrest (talk) 22:40, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Gay rights[edit]

Why removed gay rights - this template is a list of rights (and liberties), not a list of groups advocating for rights or groups to whom rights apply. Admittedly there are a few gropings of rights included as headings - but they are just there to help make the list a bit more manageable (dividing the list into broadly understood categories helps make it more manageable).

So yes gay rights is a standard grouping of rights, but we already have several templates that list/navigate among such groupings. (See {{rights}}, {{discrimination}}/{{discrimination sidebar}} and {{family rights}}). Don't need to have every rights article on every navigation template.

This doesn't mean that the templates can't evolve, but should coordinate changes to help make coherent, consistent navigation system. (If going to add such groupings of rights to this template in any capacity other than as headings, should add some consistent set of them, and remove from some other template.) Zodon (talk) 08:14, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm going to try to say this as nicely as possible, but I'm not sure that it'll come out all that nice, so please forgive me in advance for any unintentional insult. As of late, the changes being made to this template have moved it further and further away from its goal of being comprehensive and neutral. If this continues, either the template is going to have to change or it's going to fall into disuse. Spotfixer (talk) 08:22, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
This template needs to maintain its limited scope - specific human rights. If we were to list every group to whom these rights might apply, this template would rapidly become unwieldy. However, this template would risk POV problems if it listed some groups, but not all groups, that these rights might apply to. Listing none maintains NPOV. -Neitherday (talk) 14:17, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Right of self-defense?[edit]

Is Right of self-defense a human right? i.e. appropriate for the catch-all section of this template? Removed it from the rights template as being too narrow (if start putting individual rights like that on that template, it will get huge like this one.) But I am unclear from reading the article if right of self-defense is considered a human right or not. Zodon (talk) 00:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

In a literal sense I would say it definitely is; it is a (claimed/asserted/purported) right of humans. Are you wondering whether it should be listed because it may or may not appear on any official list of "human rights"? --Pfhorrest (talk) 10:15, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
Wasn't sure from the article if this was basically a legal right (some acts would be allowed in particular context though the law generally forbids them), or if it is regarded as a more general human right. (e.g. if it is specifically a human right, or if it is a legal concept/term used in balancing prohibitions against certain acts with the human rights of life, liberty, etc.) I have no objection to adding it to the list, thought it might belong, but wasn't sure. Zodon (talk) 22:00, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
No, humans rights are different from mere legal rights. M-W.com has it as "rights (as freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution) regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons". Spotfixer (talk) 01:33, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
That doesn't answer Zodon's question though. Is self-defense such a human right, or is it merely a legal right? Or rather, since Wikipedia is a descriptive rather than prescriptive text: does anyone (any reputable source, to be specific) count self-defense as a human right? (Remember that we're not here to say, authoritatively, what peoples' human rights are; rather, we are here to say what reputable sources claim peoples' human rights to be. This is the same concern in the above discussion section: we don't want to sound like we are asserting that everything listed on this template actually is a human right, rather, we want only to list things which, according to some reputable source or another, are people's human rights; allowing the possibility that some or all of those sources may be incorrect or contradict each other, since human rights is a highly contentious area of study). --Pfhorrest (talk) 04:38, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
The only thing we're asserting by calling the template "Particular human rights" is that these have been considered human rights by reliable sources. The current title is pure, unabashed weaseling. Spotfixer (talk) 04:50, 12 January 2009 (UTC)