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.
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.