DEMOCRACY AND THE WESTERN LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

  • Vimal Tirimanna Alfonsiana, Rome
Keywords: Social Doctrine of the Church, Common Good, Covid-19, Democracy, Human Rights, Individualism, Rights and Duties, Solidarity, Western Liberal Tradition

Abstract

Covid-19 virus has re-evoked an important social ethical point, namely, the fact that we humans are social beings and not isolated monads. In the new ‘normal’ set up all over the world, one has to learn to live with the virus but this demands a sense of responsibility from each and every human person in a given society. It is this sense of social responsibility rather than a mere insistence on the rights of a human being (that ignores the corresponding duties) that has been stressed by the Catholic social doctrine in total contrast to the exclusive individualistic interpretation of human rights in the Western liberal tradition into which human rights were born first. This article aims at pointing out that the social doctrine of the Church has something important to contribute in filling the glaring lacuna of the one-sided Western liberal interpretation of rights. For any democracy to function effectively, such a balanced view of rights accompanied by the promotion of common good is indispensable.

Author Biography

Vimal Tirimanna, Alfonsiana, Rome

Vimal Tirimanna, CSsR teaches moral theology at the Pontifical Accademia Alfonsiana, Urbaniana and the Beda College in Rome, and at the National Seminary of Our Lady of Lanka in Kandy, Sri Lanka. From 1997 to 2012, he was the theological representative of the Sri Lankan bishops at the Office of Theological Concerns (OTC) of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC), and from 2002 to 2012 he served as it Executive Secretary. In 2011, he was appointed by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity to be in the Catholic delegation to the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) of which he is still a member.

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Published
2020-12-01
How to Cite
Tirimanna, V. (2020). DEMOCRACY AND THE WESTERN LIBERAL INTERPRETATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE CONTEXT OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC. Asian Horizons, 14(4), 843–857. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/ah/article/view/3621