Brief Discuss on the Influence of Cultural Traditions towards the Development of Human Rights
October 27,2014   By:CSHRS

HUO Guihuan


No matter we consider it from the perspective of historical development or specific conditions of reality, the formation of the concept of human rights, especially the process of playing the realistic role via the concrete realization, has a direct and extremely close relationship with specific cultural values and historical heritages. Therefore, studies of human rights should not just remain at the abstract level of "from concept to concept". On the contrary, we should further promote the sound development of the cause of human rights via concretizing this kind of studies. Consequently, revealing the influence of cultural traditions towards the development of human rights by exploring and studying the relationship between the concepts of human rights and cultural traditions has great practical significance and valuable intellectual merits.

By these lights, this paper will generally explore and discuss the influence of cultural traditions towards the development of human rights in the following three aspects respectively, including historical origins, the roots of realistic roles and main effects.

I. Discuss the Relationship between Cultural Traditions and the Development of Human Rights from the Perspective of Historical Origins

Fundamentally, culture is "humanization", that is, we treat and cultivate individuals of the real world as human beings via the enlightenment of rationality, the cultivation of moralities and emotions as well as the training and nurture of social practices. Moreover, nation-states of all ages have developed their own unique culture and traditions. However, in fact, the concept of human rights of treating individuals "as human beings", which is the ethical bottom line of reality and the basic standard of evaluation, was not a common trait among the cultural traditions of each nation-state, but emerged and gradually developed in Western nation-states since modern times. Needless to say, the reason why this concept did not emerge and develop in many nation-states was not because these nation-states did not have all kinds of related and serious (or even worse) real problems or their people did not have the strong desire to fight for equal rights to subsistence and development . But it was because the cultural values and cultural traditions, which should gradually form in certain natural environment, social atmosphere and historical traditions, as well as reflect the basic structure of specific societies in a refractive way, did not provide the prerequisite conceptual basis and theoretical premise for the emergence and development of the concept of human rights.