home > archive > 2011 > this article


A Call for Reason (Part II) - Why Inalienable Rights?:

You no doubt have the reason to understand why inalienable rights exist and why their pursuit and defense once captured by the public is true and noble.  As a reasoned being you have no doubt the wisdom to understand that of which I just spoke where societies that promote liberty are good and those that seek oppression are bad and that such good or bad stems from how well inalienable rights are preserved within the citizenry.

But indulge me if you will as I put my own thoughts, which I am sure are your own, out before you naked and boldly for the purpose already stated; to leave no doubt that such is not illogic masquerading as reason.

I hold not that inalienable rights are best because they are simply said to be immutable.  Perish that thought from you minds, because anything can be contrived as being such.  Rather I hold that they are best because they are just as well as truly immutable.

One must consider diligently what the best foundation for a society to be based on is.  Should it be based on the foundation of simple decrees by a man or groups of men as to what the rules for the day should be?  Would these rules most likely be as ever changing as the loose and shifting sand on the beach as it is pounded by the ocean waves?  Would they not stand the highest chance of change with each new ruler bringing in a new tide?

What becomes of any structure based on such a foundation?  Does it not crack and eventually fall if the groundwork is not sound and immutable?

But immutability alone is not, as I have said, a good enough standard.  For it is true that a long succession of like minded rulers unkind to liberty would likely maintain potentially very similar rules, if not exactly the same ones, if all were inclined to the same purpose.  If such rules, which are now essentially immutable, are bad the structure that is built upon them, such as any foundation poorly constructed, may not fall at the moment but those living within would surely suffer.  This is true because in the long term these rules shall fail to properly support the society.

So I say and confirm your own reasoned thoughts that only immutable and good laws provide the stable foundation for any structure and also a good quality of living for those within it.  At the risk of offending those in the vast minority who have decided that they shall not believe in the clear and present God, I submit that such laws from God fit just such a purpose and a means by which to build a great society.  Such laws become inalienable; beyond the reach of any man or society of men to grasp and take away.

I submit to you that God in commandments five through ten speaks of how man should interact with his fellow man.  The first four commandments I submit to you are God's commandments to the individual as to how to conduct their own relationship with God.  Thus God gave us a blueprint for both society in the latter and a blueprint for the personal in the former.

This however is not a dissertation on how man should worship his God and the first of these commandments.  Such would be a fool's errand as from man to man few have ever agreed upon the proper way to pay homage to the Creator.  It is best that we leave such be and consider that we should start from a basis, considering each of the major religions agree in principle upon these commandments, that our first principle should be to respect the right of others to pay homage to God in our own way so long as we are not violating the later laws.

Instead we should focus on and examine how God commands us to interact with our fellow man and determine if they be just and good for the formation of society.  In the later commandments He speaks that we should honor our parents and our elders, not commit murder, not steal, not lie, and not to covet the belongings of others.  He also dictates that men and women should not commit adultery which, I profess to you, falls under the category of not lying since the act requires at least one of the offenders to have broken an oath of faithfulness to another.

Even just a cursory examination of these basic tenants shows that they are good.  How can anyone rooted in reason claim that it is not good to refrain from lying or taking from someone else that which has not been worked for and earned through contract or been given through voluntary charity?  How can anyone with the highest of reason claim that it is not good to refrain from willfully taking the life of another that has not infringed upon you, your neighbor or another without cause such as in defense against aggression?  How can one say that it is not good for children to be respectful of their elders or each of us respectful of each other?

I, as just one of you, do not see how these can be seen as otherwise good and I dare say that such theories are not even offensive to those who chose to ignore the evidence and wisdom of God's hand and Creation.

Now, just as I risked offended any of you who have chosen to not believe in God I do not want those ardent in their faith to decry the exception of the first four laws from this examination.  I mean you certainly no disrespect considering my own faith in the laws of God.  But as I have mentioned, those commandments are dictates from God to the individual and should remain so.  To make them anything more runs the risk of offending any of the various sects and their means of honoring God, their modes worship, their rites of keeping the Sabbath Holy and so on.  It also grants too much potential power to those in authority who may see such practices as not in line with the way that they believe such practices should be.  As a race of beings we have been down the road of national Churches and such a failed experiment was indeed a cause for many to have emigrated from foreign lands to these shores in order to avoid its strangling grasp and who did seek the ability to worship the Creator in their own way.  One's faith in God should be between that person and God and not between society and that person so long as their faith does not violate the laws that govern how man should interact with others and which are amiable to all regardless of whether they believe in the Creator or not.

Thus we have set forth the form of good government by defining which rights man has; life, property, self-defense, to be free from being falsely accused or slandered and to worship God as he or she sees fit.  In essence man has the right to purse his own happiness as long as he does not infringe upon these rights of others.

What could be more true and just than that?

A Call for Reason (Part III) - Why Not Arbitrary Rules?:

Some of you, despite being persons of reason, may still ask the question – what is so wrong with arbitrary rules.  Although I am not certain how anyone of reason could still be asking such a question, I will indulge it briefly.

If life should be like a game and have rules that should govern it like such a contest, is it conceivable that one may participate and have a chance at victory if the rules are to change from start to finish?  Is it conceivable to imagine that one may be able to plan for the future and plot a course to victory if the laws are subject to change, perhaps in favor of the opponent, upon the whims of those in charge?

Of course not.  And life is indeed like a game played on any field, table or board.

Only when rules are immutable can one, except by the sheer preponderance of luck or through the exertion of influence upon the judges, hope to have any chance at obtaining their pursuit be it victory in the game or a shot at their own happiness.  Thus arbitrary rules are abhorrent to any reasoned man and we shall lay such foolishness that may promote otherwise to rest.

1 | 2 | 3

Send a link to this page!
Send a link to this story





Site Map

E-mail ESR


Send a link to this page!
Send a link to this story


Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!



1996-2018, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.