I have a problem with the following paragraph:

As a free and democratic country, continuously striving to be a role model for the world, it is America’s moral obligation to stand for The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was proclaimed in 1948. Thus, it is America’s responsibility to abide by the proposed fundamental human rights.

Is using the verb: to abide by, justified in this context. Frankly speaking, it seems like it is semantically wrong.

  • 2
    to abide by [sth] = obey [sth]. – Alejandro Feb 12 '16 at 20:05
  • Rather than just say you think it is wrong, add your reason why you think to abide by is wrong. At least definition(s) that don't seem to apply would be helpful. – user3169 Feb 12 '16 at 20:40
  • What is your confusion? Simply looking up the word in a dictionary would show what its meaning is and that it is perfectly correct here. – Kevin Feb 12 '16 at 22:33
  • 1
    The semantics are wrong, but not because of the grammar of how "to abide by" is used. "We the People of the United States" have bound our governments to follow our federal Constitution. We often try to live up to our Declaration of Independence. Both are nationalist documents that contradict -- and override -- the transnational progressive agenda of the so-called "Universal Declaration of Human Rights". (By the way, the United States consists of republics; it is not a democracy.) – Jasper Feb 13 '16 at 3:11

It's not incorrect.
It's just another way of saying obey in this context.

  1. ... responsibility to abide by the proposed ...
  2. ... responsibility to obey the proposed ...

But I think #1 is a more formal way to state it.

  • 2
    You're correct in this context, but the words aren't always interchangeable. For example, I would not say, "Children, abide by your parents," or, "I will abide by the speed limit." In the context of legal decisions and policies, though, abide by is fairly common. – J.R. Feb 13 '16 at 10:41
  • @J.R. I've added a few words to make the distinction. Thanks for the catch. – Alejandro Feb 13 '16 at 12:46

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