Sunday, December 5, 2010

Man-Made Rights are No Rights at All

I took a brief swing through Left Blogistan the other day. I don't get over there too much anymore; just not enough hours in the day.

As usual, the lack of diversity in blog post topics really stood out. The buzz seemed to be about how government requires people working together for the collective or else all will descend into anarchy, selfish individualism, chaos...  As if we're not on the cusp of that now, two years into the Era of Obama. Such banalities pass for good blogging over there.

Some alpha liberal like Rachel Madow or some guy at HuffPo normal people have never heard of probably wrote a big blather piece on "social contracts" or some such, and everybody else had to comply with the daily marching orders. Lefties are such lemmings.

A liberal blogger said a very ignorant thing:
There is no such thing as "God given rights" because if we returned to the original state of nature, or that which was "God given" we would find ourselves bound only by our own personal power, our conscience, and or by forces superior to our own.

The rights that we enjoy today are man made rights; and as such are not "natural rights" nor are they permanently fixed.
The first sentence is incoherent, and the second absurd. They cannot be defended. The first sentence is either nonsensical or it contradicts the author's thesis. It is so poorly written that a sane person cannot tell what was intended.

The second sentence is absurd. We get our rights from man? OK. So if "man" decides to enslave all bloggers then it's OK? If man grants rights, he can take them away. This explains liberals' infatuation with strongmen like Mussolini, as well as uber-liberal Tom Friedman's current love affair with the Red Chinese politburo.  It also explains how 20th century statism was able to kill over 100 million people.

The writer didn’t even cite a philosophical work to defend his unsubstantiated claim. I know why. No credible thinker could defend this. Even if there were someone loony enough to try to defend such a preposterous supposition, it would be written in incomprehensible Cornell West psychobabble.

American liberalism is a hopeless, self-contradictory tangle, an intellectual cul-de-sac.  In contrast, our Natural Rights, as enunciated by our founding fathers, are axiomatic:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." (Declaration of Independence)
Yes, we have a social contract called the US Constitution, but our rights do not emanate from that document.  They are natural rights that preexist and supersede man-made institutions. 

Natural Law -- Our Foundation

Natural Law is a philosophy, a theory.  As such, it is open to debate and question, as is Christianity and global warming.  Natural Law is the philosophical foundation of our constitutional republic, and today it stands in stark contrast to the central economic planning and social tinkering of progressives.

Jonathan  Dolhenty explains:
What do we mean by "natural law"? In its simplest definition, natural law is that "unwritten law" that is more or less the same for everyone everywhere. 

To be more exact, natural law is the concept of a body of moral principles that is common to all humankind and, as generally posited, is recognizable by human reason alone. Natural law is therefore distinguished from -- and provides a standard for -- positive law, the formal legal enactments of a particular society.

To sum it up, then, we can say that the natural law:
  • is not made by human beings;
  • is based on the structure of reality itself;
  • is the same for all human beings and at all times;
  • is an unchanging rule or pattern which is there for human beings to discover;
  • is the naturally knowable moral law
  • is a means by which human beings can rationally guide themselves to their good.  
(Source:  Radical Academy)

The Rights of the Colonists, written in 1772, shows how natural rights were understood at our nation's founding.  It is a short document that describes man's natural rights and his entering into voluntary civil society with others for the mutual protection of those rights.  It logically follows that such a society's positive  laws ...

   "should conform as far as possible, to the Law of natural reason and equity." 

Simply put, a society needs man-made laws to protect the natural laws of those who voluntarily participate.
"The natural liberty of Men by entering into society is abridg’d or restrained so far only as is necessary for the Great end of Society the best good of the whole"
It's a balancing act, and progressives have turned us upside-down.  To get a better understanding, take five minutes to read the document at Vindicating the Founding Fathers.

Further Reading:
Locke's Second Treatise Of Civil Government

The Principles of Natural and Politic Law


Fredd said...

My largest beef with the left concerns their views on 'rights' and the looney logic they use to define them.

I always wonder why it is that supporting the left's 'rights' always costs me an arm and a leg, while the rights that are defined in the Declaration of Independence don't cost me a dime personally.

Silverfiddle said...

That is the litmus test of a right, Fredd. If it costs someone else something, then it is a phony right.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

To expand some on Fredds point, this has somewhat to do with their denial of God.

It is true that to believe in God costs not one dime but does involve 'work' which is a concept lost on liberals.

In the absence of a Supreme Being, which is what liberals desire, well they wish to fill that void and have everybody 'work' for them hence costing everybody else an arm and a leg.

As to your line Silver;
"The buzz seemed to be about how government requires people working together for the collective or else all will descend into anarchy, selfish individualism, chaos"

That pretty much sums up the current government and it's getting larger, so it is not desecnsion, they are creating it with their actions. Call it organized chaos.

Silverfiddle said...

Christopher: Belief in God does involve work, for the believer, not anyone else. Which, as you observe, is lost on many on the left.

Meanwhile, those on the left tell us that Barack is going to make us work, bla bla bla...

The very essence of liberalism.

Trestin said...

When you remove God from the equation anything is possible. This is the true desire of all power-hungry tyrants in history. Like the ancient megalomaniacs they seek to make themselves in Gods

Shaw Kenawe said...

"In the absence of a Supreme Being, which is what liberals desire, well they wish to fill that void and have everybody 'work' for them hence costing everybody else an arm and a leg."

Absurd. Liberals desire the absence of a Supreme Being? Silverfiddle talks about an incoherent sentence written by someone on a liberal blog, then has one of his commenters write one even more incoherent and absurd.

Exactly where does Christopher come up with that silly generalization that Liberals desire the absence of a Supreme Being? How can there be a discussion when SF introduces one incoherent statement and ignores a second one? Each statement is equally ridiculous.

"When you remove God from the equation anything is possible. This is the true desire of all power-hungry tyrants in history. Like the ancient megalomaniacs they seek to make themselves in Gods"

Really. What about the religion-soaked countries in the Middle East that encourage their god-loving-fearing followers to blow themselves and others up in the name of their Supreme Being vs. the mostly secular Scandinavian countries? Which country would you prefer to live in? I'd take the ones that removed gods and made a thriving, stable society possible.

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

RE: Shaw

"I'd take the ones that removed gods and made a thriving, stable society possible"

Thank you for proving my point.

I have no knowledge of a Godless society being "thriving" or "stable" , but your quote certainly gives mine much substance.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I just gave you examples of societies that are almost godless. The world's least religious countries:











I should have qualified my comment in that Sweden is among the most nonreligious, godless countries in the world.

How many of the above countries are unstable? Warring? Produce suicide bombers? None.

How that proves your point is puzzling.

Silverfiddle said...

Once again, a blog post hijacked by an unrelated subject...

Shaw Kenawe said...

Sorry, SF.

Christopher @7:25 am responded to and expanded on what Fredd wrote, and wrote that Liberals desire to get rid of a Supreme Being (in so many words), which is going off subject.

As one of the few Liberals who visit here, I responded to correct that false statement.

It appears you tolerate other people who go off subject, but not me.


Silverfiddle said...

No apologies necessary from anyone, Shaw.

I do not moderate because I believe in free speech.

Also, if you remember a post last week on gays in the military, a gay person in Italy severely chastised me for saying they were all Godless over there. He (rightly) pointed out that I was conflating religion with belief in God.

There are many believers who do not participate in formal religion or go to church. So I'll give you a friendly note of caution based on my own experience.

Finntann said...

Wow Shaw, if Ireland is the 4th most godless and irreligious society in Europe, religion is doing a lot better than I thought it was:

Roman Catholic 86.8%, No Religion 4.4%, Church of Ireland 3.0%, Islam 0.8%, Presbyterian 0.6%, Orthodox 0.5%, Methodist 0.3%, Other 2.1% (2006).

In an Irish Times Behaviour Attitudes social poll published on Sept 15 2010, 32% of those surveyed said they went to a religious service more than once a week.

If you're talking Northern Ireland:

The 2001 UK census showed 40.3% Roman Catholic, 20.7% Presbyterian Church, with the Church of Ireland having 15.3% and the Methodist Church 3.5%. 13.8% gave no religion, and other religions were 0.3%.

"How many are warring, unstable, produce suicide bombers?"

Might I suggest you research "The Troubles"


Bastiatarian said...


As a Japan specialist, I'll limit myself to this one.

The idea that the Japanese are not religious is absurd. Due to the nature of Buddhism and Shintoism, there is little regular attendance at weekly worship services as would be expected of Christians, but religious beliefs, practices, and rituals are a consistent and important part of life for the Japanese in general, both in formal and informal settings.

I teach a course called "Religion in Japanese Society," so if you want details, I've got shelve of them.

Japan's war leading up to and including the Pacific War was brought about as the religious practices of private individuals was replaced (at gunpoint) by state-directed worship guessed it: the state.

Totalitarian collectivist regimes (Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea, China, and the Obama administration, for example) always have to replace the people's object of worship with the state, through the threat of violence (State Shinto in Japan) or through bribery (the promise of goods and services financed by the work of others in Scandinavia).

At any rate, I would expect the citation of a credible study and clarification of the specific criteria for that list. (And don't act like a freshman and cite again. There's only so much intellectual slothfulness that I'm willing to tolerate.)

Bastiatarian said...

As for Silverfiddle's actual post, it's completely correct.

Even if we don't specifically call them "God-given rights" (even though they are, but I'm humoring the deniers), I am alive, and no rational argument can be made to give ownership of my life to another person; no other person can possess my life. (My life can be ended by another person violating my right to my life, but my life is gone from that sphere rather than possessed by the other person; I have it or nobody does.)

At the very least, possession of my life makes it mine to control. Therefore, my life, my ability to use my life (my liberty), and the results of that use (my property) are all naturally mine.

Rights cannot be created. A person can grant permission, but not rights. Either we have rights or we don't. My possession of my life means I have a right to my life, liberty, and property, regardless of what others (individuals or governments) say or do. An oppressive government may not give its permission for me to exercise my rights, but I still have them, and I am always justified in exercising them, because they are mine, and only I have earthly authority over them.

Naturally, the boundary of such authority is at the point at which they would violate the rights of others, but that's another issue.

director said...

There is no such thing as natural law or natural rights. The idea was invented to disguise the fact that the Americans copied the British Constitution.

People do not voluntarily enter into a social contract, they are born into real societies or, in this case, the pseudo-society, the "contract society" which is not a society.

God did not give laws to the Jews, Jews gave laws to the Jews and then wrote down that God gave them the laws. If you think that you would like to live under Jewish law, think again. You wouldn't.

Jesus + Paul = rejection of the Jewish law. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Christianity is a rejection of Jewish law and is multicultural, thus taking many different forms historically.

There is nothing Christian about the founding of America. The Constitutional Convention operated under no authority. It was a power grab.

The U.S. and American Revolutions were directed by Freemasons. They were seculars, not Christians. Freemasonry is anti-Christian. Jefferson was anti-Christian and had nothing to do with the Constitution.

Rights are only as good as the authority to back them up. Notice how little you have left in the way of rights. The whole experiment has failed you. In fact, its design is to eliminate and persecute you.

LIberty, equality, fraternity was a masonic slogan designed to create "the people" out of the existing class structure. The Enlightenment thinkers wished to get rid of Christianity. "The people" does not include Christians.

There are no rights in the bible. No freedom, no equality, no natural rights. These are just slogans.
Cooperating with any secular order is a death sentence for Christians.

Imagining that the world is going to return to 1790 is a false dream. The situation is not the same. We are facing global socialism, not the British Empire.

You all need a good education in history.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Director:

"There is no such thing as natural law or natural rights. The idea was invented to disguise the fact that the Americans copied the British Constitution."


Natural rights was discussed long before the founders were born. Looks like you're the one who needs the education. As for the rest of what you say, pure opinion that is off topic and not worth wasting time on.

Thanks for stopping by.

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