Lansing-Martin-Dike-Aff-Colleyville-Round4

37 finally two more fundamental objections could be

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obligations or the failure to cease doing some- thing harmful, not to bring about something good.37 Finally, two more fundamental objections could be raised against the idea of a legal protection of the inter- est of future generations. It could be argued that what would be represented (in a time-universalistic mode) is not the interest of future generations, but rather the interest of a particular fraction of the present ones, dis- guising itself as standard bearer of those people to come. On the one hand this should be taken into account as critical point of view in the public debate on those inter- ests. On the other hand, this criticism, strictly speaking, would also delegitimize such an ancient principle of Roman and Western law as the protection of the child. In morality it would affirm a radical skepticism that denies the possibility of slipping into another person’s clothes and acting from a non-egoistic stance. This can be obviously upheld, but at the price of the disappear- ance of morality as well as of the polity, which is – in any case and among other things – a solidaristic association. A second problem, which is more difficult to deal with, is that we do not know as a general piece of knowl- edge what the interest of future generations is; whereas in the case of legal protection of the child we share a generally accepted knowledge of his or her future in- terest (to remain healthy, to get sufficient education, to be free to make the best of him/herself). What the real life conditions and the presumable vital interests of fu- ture generations will be can only be tentatively argued from what the several branches of natural and economic (e.g. demography) science are able to tell us about what is likely to remain constant in physical and cultural anthropology and what is likely to be most endangered. As such, it is important that moral and political theory renew their relationship to the natural sciences after a time of reciprocal disdain between the two. While sci- ence cannot by itself draw an encompassing picture of future life under global threats, philosophy should learn from science what those future problems are likely to be and elaborate on them, instead of reflecting on the future of humanity by just moving from the doctrines of past philosophers or relying on the hearsay about it based on media reports or the philosopher’s personal divinations. 6. My philosophical proposal to fill a hole in human rights discourse and legislation by introducing a first or meta-fundamental right of humankind to survival and positivizing it in national, international and world law38 resonates with two legal developments. The first related to ‘humanity’, the second to ‘human rights.’ The latter resonates with the novelties in constitutional law men- tioned in §5. The first one began in 1970 as the UN General As- sembly adopted Resolution 2749, the
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  • One '10
  • TaylorJ
  • Republic of China, People's Republic of China, Nuclear weapon, Political status of Taiwan

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