Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

On Human Rights

Posted by w_thames_the_d on February 10, 2011


Universal Human Dignity Some Reflections in the Asian Context
“…of how the Americans and the Continental Europeans differ in their views on human dignity, thanks to their different understanding of the notions of liberty and privacy. For example, while Americans in general derive their sense of personal dignity from the “liberty against the state”, Europeans tend to build their sense of dignity upon personal integrity and honour. Therefore, the Europeans may be baffled by how undignified ordinary Americans appear in easily divulging their personal data including salary and credit history. This perception may arise because for Europeans, privacy to personal life is part and parcel of their human dignity. On the other hand, Americans may consider the fact that Europeans allow state officials to frequent their doorsteps and tap their telephone wires as violating human dignity because of their deeply ingrained 75 Chris Brown,

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