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Old 04-26-2013, 01:51 PM
 
20,976 posts, read 16,263,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biz901 View Post
Which g-d indeed?

I often hear that the rights - such as the right to life - come from the creator. In other words, from God. Yet, the problem is that God does not enforce such rights, e.g. 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis -
No, God does not intervene, stop the killers and save the victims.

In fact, if you were asked to get God Himself to come and confirm that He gave such rights, will He come? You know the answer to that.

This viewpoint, that these rights come from God, might be useful in a theoretical, theological discussion. But in practice, people need to concentrate more on what actually produces results - and in that sense, all these rights come neither from the government nor from God, but from people's willingness to take up arms and defend their basic rights.

It can be said that the people would first have to know what their rights by ethics and morality are, if they are to shoot at (and kill) those who would take the rights from them - after all, if you are about to use potentially lethal force against another human, you should be damn sure that it's justified; and in that sense, discussing what rights come from God is useful.

But sometimes it seems that people turned it into waiting for God to do something about violations of these rights.

How did all the constitutions came to be? Not because God gave the Constitution - any constitution - to people; but by people willing to fight to the death for what they considered to be their basic right.
Take for example Magna Carta. You have a king that behaves like everything is for him to plunder, and then when people had enough - or at least, when barons and such had enough - they rebelled. The king was forced to give to the people some rights. And later, as soon as he could, he reneged on it.. and over centuries, much of it was repealed.

So as the next step, when people see that the government - the king, in that case - could not be trusted to keep to his word - after a few centuries - what do you get? Oliver Cromwell, rebelion, king loses his head. You can bet that the kings after that time remembered it. And what else you get? In the colonies, people decide that they can do without the king, and that they can pull off a rebellion, and they do so.

This principle is not just about rebellions; imagine two countries, sharing some border, and having disputes. Eventually they go to war, neither can clearly win, the war weakens them both, so they stop, make peace, and make some document about how are these disputes going to be worked out.
It is not the document itself that guarantees jack **** there; it is the fact that each side know that if they push too far, the other side will take arms, and the outcome will be more expensive than if they simply stop pushing. And the document serves as a guideline, so that everyone knows where the limits are - the limits of patience of the other side.
The document itself is not a guarantee. A peace treaty, Magna Carta, Constitution, you name it. Same thing.

Paper does not stop bullets.

A constitution, therefore, depends on there being two sides, each willing and able to take arms in the defense of their half of the deal. This means that each side has to enforce their half.
But nowadays, somehow, it turned out to a different and in my opinion an impossible system - one side, the government, is supposed to uphold both sides of the deal - their side and the people's side? Yeah, right. The proverbial fox guarding the henhouse.

Imagine two street gangs making a deal - our turf is up to this block, yours is on the other side. Then one of them disarms itself and expects the other to police itself, while the other is still being armed. What will be the outcome? The armed gang will slowly take all of their turf. Any street kid could tell you that.
Yet we have disarmed citizens and we expect the armed government to keep itself in check.
Nope, not gonna work. Same principles of human behavior work for everyone.

Someone can say that the government would not do it because it's from the people and for the people. This is like the armed street gang claiming they found Jesus. All well and good, but not a solid basis for trusting them to the point of throwing away our guns.

The rights start from people's will to defend them. God does not do people's homework for them, pretty much like a truly wise parent does not do homework for his school-age kids - they have to do it themselves.
Simply replace the word God with the word nature.

Do you have natural rights or not?
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:52 PM
 
Location: The Republic of Texas
66,503 posts, read 33,783,099 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwkilgore View Post
Just playing devil's advocate here, but which g-d?

The one you hold in your heart, that makes you believe in yourself.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:53 PM
 
20,976 posts, read 16,263,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by summers73 View Post
That and interstate commerce.
Absolutely.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:56 PM
 
20,976 posts, read 16,263,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistorianDude View Post
Of course. We create governments and empower them specifically for that purpose.


Not really. Almost nothing regarding rights is a zero sum game. Access to rights are secured generally by the recognition that they are a negotiation, an arbitration if you will. The classic example is that your right to throw your fist ends at the tip of my nose. That may "take from you" a few inches of fist throwing, but those inches are far more valuable to me than they are to you. Taking those inches from you and leaving them to me creates a net gain for the two person community that is you and me.

All laws, all systems of morals, and all accession to rights serve the singular purpose of managing the boundaries between your fist and my nose. If sometimes that means individuals have to sacrifice something, the objective is to make as sure as possible that those sacrifices by any individual create a net gain to the nation.


We, as a community, have decided that this is an acceptable trade off between the inches of some people's punches and other people's noses. The calculus is not merely that of rent dollars. It accounts for broader societal costs of homelessness and incorporates a set of moral values as well.


Again, we, as a community, have decided that this is an acceptable trade off between the inches of some people's punches and other people's noses.


And the general answer will always be the same.

The good news is that you have been granted a powerful Constitutional remedy for your dissatisfaction with the choices we have made as a community. It is called "the vote." How effectively you avail yourself of that powerful mechanism for participating in the arbitration of all our conflicting rights depends entirely on you.
Those "inches" as you say, are not a net gain which government has authority to spread around.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
20,894 posts, read 13,653,561 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale View Post
Those "inches" as you say, are not a net gain which government has authority to spread around.
In many cases, that's exactly what they are.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
6,798 posts, read 3,408,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lycos679 View Post
If it isn't in a valid contract the landlord cannot coerce you to do anything.
Are you saying that the landlord has to put it in the terms of the lease how he's going to spend your rent money?
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:25 PM
 
11,780 posts, read 8,592,247 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieB.Good View Post
Are you saying that the landlord has to put it in the terms of the lease how he's going to spend your rent money?
I'm saying that the landlord cannot do anything that is not in the contract.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
6,798 posts, read 3,408,716 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lycos679 View Post
I'm saying that the landlord cannot do anything that is not in the contract.
That doesn't answer the question. Are you saying that if the landlord doesn't say it in the lease that your rent can be used to pay for repairs for another tenant, then he can't do it?
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:39 PM
 
15,723 posts, read 9,641,611 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale View Post
Simply replace the word God with the word nature.

Do you have natural rights or not?
How is the 2nd Amendment a natural right? I'm not sure how any of the Bill of Rights can be called "natural" rights.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:52 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,336,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HistorianDude View Post

How fascinating that you seem to imagine that "Natural Law" is any less an ideological fantasy than any other product of philosophical navel gazing. It is characteristic however of those who imagine that the Declaration of Independence is really the only foundational document within the "historical record" to which you pretend to defer. You may have never noticed this... but the Declaration is not a "legal system." Our legal system is contained in our Constitution... a document that interestingly is sterile of any mention of "natural law."
As I type this, it gives me pleasure to share with you the fact I am sitting hardly a mile from the exact spot from where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were signed.

I just want to remind everyone that the Declaration - as beautifully composed and historically significant as it is - has absolutely no weight or standing when it comes to law. It is the Constitution that the Supreme Court interprets when deciding rights and legal issues, not the Declaration.
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