Renowned lawyer, jurist, and political commentator Alan Dershowitz reflects on the nature of human rights in this 92nd Street Y seminar. Dershowitz knows a thing or two about rights, having worked on precedent-setting cases regarding genocide, hate crimes, censorship, and defamation. Here, however, Dershowitz looks beyond mere law books, and attempts to situate human rights in a context that is more fundamental. Dershowitz argues that rights are a product of humanity’s ability to recognize incredible injustice - as in the case of the Holocaust or American slavery - and learn from its experiences and mistakes. Reflecting on the status of civil liberties in post 9/11 America, the legal expert is dour and forthright, warning listeners that "the first casualty of fear is often rights".
This event took place on December 12, 2004.
What listeners say about Alan Dershowitz on the Origins of Human Rights
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This is an excellent opportunity to see how brilliant men can hold such foolish ideas. Alan Dershowitz is simply amazing in his ability to communicate clearly his false, relativist based notion that human rights are derived or agreed upon by experience. His thoughts are so far from the truth that you have to hear it from his own mouth to believe that he actually said it. This was great to listen to but in no way should be taken as fact.