Someone asked: "any country that practices sharia law is in breach of the human rights declaration?"
Cultural relativism can be used to justify paedophilia, rape, incest, and just about any behaviour, but that doesn't mean we can't formulate a charter that forms a lowest common denominator for a particular society to go by and shun people who do not follow it to various degrees.
People say "Sharia Law", or similar laws from divine revelation, as if it is one immutable and indivisible monolith. I do not buy that argument. I believe that there is the letter of the law as it was written at the time, and the spirit of the law as it is interpreted by the people. The fundamental spirit of all civilised laws is to protect the rights of certain people without favouring one or the other for some arbitrary reason. Punishments exist to discourage people from messing up other people for no good reason. No sane person can deny that different theoretical methods were necessary to persuade people to behave in a certain way best for survival in a certain environment at a certain time. What is the spirit that remains unchanged over all this time that all humans would respect at a glance and submit to? I would say it is a mutual agreement between humans of mutual non-aggression and a fair system of rules to resolve disputes and enforce rights. That is what we aim to maintain our laws as, like the pruning of a tree, in the face of great technological and societal change.
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