Freedom–Part III


On this Independence Day, we continue the discussions of the last two days regarding equality and freedom …

First of all, Eric was correct in saying that they are two different concepts. Using cartoon character Hagar’s statement that there might be peace between the Vikings and the English IF the English allowed the Vikings to take what they wanted … This considers only the Vikings’ welfare. Peace, of course, is another concept which will have to wait for another day.

But to enjoy the freedom of which we speak, there must be a measure of peace, built on the Founders’ “self-evident truths” … based on the belief that “all men (and women) are created equal” and because of that equality, we each have been endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.

Four

SW China, where believers are hounded and churches destroyed.

momentous words. I am not a philosopher and hope not to lead us astray but we must pursue this discussion. Unless we have some grasp of their meanings, how will we know if a tyrant or deceiver is taking them away? We recognize their preciousness but that is not enough.

Let us begin with rights. The only inalienable rights the Founders stated were: 1) the right to life, 2) the right to liberty (freedom), and 3) the right to pursue your own happiness. Any or all of these could be taken away for just cause (e.g., violation of the law). But we were endowed by our Creator with those basic rights.

You might ask about the people who don’t accept the idea of a Creator God—do they have those same inalienable rights? We won’t go deep here, other than to say that they have a very different idea as to what the purpose of government is. Rather than acknowledge a higher authority, atheists believe that man himself is sovereign and that government is subordinate to the people. They believe man endows himself with inalienable rights. This would mean that morals, standards, and values are regulated by the individual conscience or collective agreement. Hence, variable standards of right and wrong.

It seems clear that the Founders were primarily God-believers, simply based on how they wrote the Constitution. The Declaration goes on to say that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men …”

If our government fails us, as it did for those under the thumb of King George III, we should assume the right to change that government. Which they did, at great cost to themselves. We are the beneficiaries of that cost.

Please add your thoughts to what I have attempted to address. We shall continue this discussion as long as there is sufficient interest to warrant it.

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Finding me ... and you and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Freedom–Part III

  1. Jerry says:

    Your comment, Sam, about the “law doesn’t treat the atheist differently than the theist,’ was apparently not true in the early days of our land. The following information, including misspellings, was found in my 50-cent second-hand book called “The Great Thoughts” by George Seldes:

    “Massachusetts Colony

    Body of Liberties (1641)
    94. Capital Laws.
    1. If any man after legall conviction shall have or worship any other god, but the lord god, he shall be put to death.
    2. If any man or woman be a witch, (that is hath consulteth with a familiar spirit,) They shall be put to death.
    3. If any person shall Blaspheme the name of god, the father, Sonne or Holie ghost, with direct, expresse, presumptuous or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse God in the like manner, he shall be put to death.”

    We can talk about equality and freedom in government, but I don’t find much of it in that quotation. Fortunately, I think that we have improved in that regard.

  2. phop247 says:

    Hello,

    Thank you for your comment first of all. I have not read all of your posts in this series but I liked the topic and thought I would share a bit on my behalf if I may. I agree equality and freedom are different, although I think in order for people to be free there must be equality. Or perhaps the most freedom may occur when all are equal.

    I do not think the law is any different for a theist versus an atheist. The laws are the same for both groups, although the interpretations will surely differ on a personal basis. This does not mean homicide is okay for atheists but rather the atheist will not think he is violating the commandments, and so forth and so on.

    • samuelehall says:

      Thanks to my truth-seeking friend. Some very interesting points.
      Freedom and equality: I haven’t yet fleshed out a complete definition of equality. I see that’s needed. The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence states “that all men are created equal …” That means equal in the eyes of God, the Creator. We are all valued highly by the loving God who created us–whether we’re free or in chains. There are many ways that we are unequal: I’ll never be an Olympic athlete and many writers out-shine me, etc. But we in America are free, despite our inequalities.
      Also, the previous paragraph was couched in terms of theists, which most of the signers of the Declaration were, and which I am. An atheist could not make that assessment…

      You’re correct that the law doesn’t treat the atheist differently than the theist. What I was trying to say is that the atheist looks at the law (and government) differently than the theist. The previous should attest to that, and your last sentence shows your understanding of that.

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