Creating a list of human duties
The remedy for the imbalance of course is creating a list of human duties, similar to the list of human rights, based on present day (21st century) insights and experience. On the internet , numerous proposals to this effect can be found, based on the principles of a variety of individuals and institutions. This website (humandutiesnetwork.com) is pioneering a different route: asking people themselves to discuss and eventually agree on such a worldwide list of duties.
Reinforcement for this route
Recently the case for human duties received a strong boost from a book by Thomas Suddendorf (“The Gap”, Basic Books, 2013) The author demonstrates convincingly that homo sapiens is the only species on Earth that possesses the capabilities of looking back at the past, looking ahead at the future and looking around at the present, capabilities that are required for guiding the decisions (choices) of 7.400.000.000 inhabitants of planet Earth. These capabilities designate homo sapiens as the Guardian of planet Earth.
Organizing mankind's function as the guardian of planet Earth
In the time-honoured manner such organizing requires (a) a generally accepted objective, and (b) specifying the tools available. As to the objective, no sensible human being will not agree to describing the objective as:
Realizing a community of humans on Earth that is: just and orderly, peaceful and productive, and harmonious.
As regards the tools (b), these are the lists of universal human rights and universal human duties.
Inspiration from a photograph
Mankind’s guardian role cannot better be illustrated than with the Earthrise photo shown on this page. That blue jewel is still the only known object in the Universe where human life is possible. Joining this website’s project for developing a list of human duties will enable people to say, with some pride, “That planet is my responsibility”.