Rafed English

Social Rights

The position of human beings, in regard to their social rights other than family rights, is not always the same. In certain cases they enjoy similar rights, but in certain others they have dissimilar, but equal rights. In the society elementary rights are common to all. Everybody, for example, has a right to utilise his or her talents, to work and take part in the competition of life, to be a candidate for a social post and to secure it by lawful means, and to show his or her practical and intellectual worth.

But this very equality of all in regard to elementary rights puts them in an unequal position with regard to acquired rights. For example, everybody has a right to work and take part in the competition of life, but, as far as the actual performance of work is concerned, all cannot acquit themselves equally well. Some are more capable and others are less. Similarly, some are more efficient and some are less. Again, some persons are more knowledgeable, more competent, more efficient and more suitable than some others. Naturally their acquired rights cannot be similar. To try to make their acquired rights as similar as their elementary rights will be nothing but sheer injustice.

The reason why all human beings have equal and similar rights is that a study of human affairs proves that nobody has been created a boss or a subordinate. Nobody is born a worker, an artisan, a teacher, an officer, a soldier or a minister. These various positions and grades are a part of acquired rights. Individuals have to acquire them in accordance with their ability, talent, effort and exertion.

Here lies the difference between the social life of human beings and that of such gregarious animals as bees The formations of the life of the latter are a hundred per cent natural. Various functions and duties have been distributed among them by nature itself. Some of them have been created chiefs, and others subordinates. Some of them are born as engineers, some as administrative officials and others as simple workers. But the story of the life of human beings is quite different.

That is why some intellectuals have entirely denied the old philosophical theory that man is social by nature, and have presumed that the human society is purely contractual.

Adapted from the book: "Woman and Her Rights" by: "Shahid Murtaza Mutahhari"

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