Human Rights Uncategorized

Human Rights and Asimov

There\’s an awful lot of stuff written about Human Rights in this country. The UK Government has enshrined them in law, and there\’s regularly a load of tosh about them, but also some genuine concerns.


Most of these concerns rotate around people being able to exercise their rights without a concomitant sense of responsibility. Things like a killer being released from gaol but not being deported (despite various promises from government at the time), because this might infringe their human rights when they arrive.


I think the answer is quite simple. In Asimov’s Robot series he created and spent a lot of time considering the fundamental three laws of robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

You can read more here: Asimov\’s Robotic Laws on Wikipedia

But, whilst you do, please note the creation at a later time, of a zeroth Law

  • a robot must not merely act in the interests of individual humans, but of all humanity

This principle could easily be applied to Human Rights. Everyone can have their human rights, but not at the cost of the community’s human rights. Thus we can be protected from people who invoke Human Rights without having a care for their social responsibilities.


Or have I missed something?

By P J Bryant

Ramblings of a freelance IT Consultant working for some nice SME's, large organisations, resellers and the usual friends and family! Bit of

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