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Nature's Law: Inalienable Rights vs Civil Rights; Constitutional Republic vs Democracy

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posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 10:17 AM
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Full Title: Nature’s Law vs. Man’s Law; Inalienable Rights vs. Civil Rights; Constitutional Republic vs. Democracy

A recent segment on CNN regarding the source of our rights (Man or God?) reminded me once again that we as a nation have lost touch with our most fundamental truths… a sore spot with me. Specifically, I’m speaking of Natural Law – usually summed up as “freedom” or “liberty” -- the heart and soul of our nation and the foundation for our Constitution and Bill of Rights, as declared in the Declaration of Independence:


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


Adopting and adapting the laws of nature in the tradition of John Locke and other great thinkers throughout history, Jefferson went on to declare the absolute nature of our rights inherent in the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God:


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.


In a recent exchange between CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and Judge Roy Moore, both cite our organic law --


Law determining the fundamental political principles of a government.


-- Otherwise, however, both got it wrong. Our rights are not granted by government, as Mr. Cuomo asserted, nor are our rights endowed by the Judeo-Christian God, as Judge Moore asserted; our rights are granted by our Creator – however one defines “Creator.” Unfortunately, as exemplified in the above exchange, both parties want to identify “Creator” with “God,” despite the well documented efforts of our founding fathers to keep religion and its dogma out of government.

Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, considered the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom one of his greatest accomplishments, and related the following in his autobiography:


Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion," the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Muslim, the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination


Indeed, the founding fathers considered legislation of religion a weakness:


"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." – Benjamin Franklin


Further, they noted the trouble caused by state religions:


"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." – Thomas Jefferson



"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Roman Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. The Puritans found it wrong in the Bishops of the Church of England, but fell into the same practice themselves in New England [in America]."– Benjamin Franklin, in an essay on "Toleration"


Source: Quotes from the Founding Fathers Regarding Religion

The bottom line is that our founding fathers recognized that nature’s law applies equally to us all, and natural rights are absolute and unalienable (by government)… whereas man’s law is arbitrary and civil rights are taken away as easily as they are given, by the same people.

Thus the reason we have a Constitutional Republic – NOT a democracy -- with a Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect and promote the absolute inherent rights of everyone, including the smallest minority: the individual. And while our Constitutional Republic embraces a democratic process, the rights of the individual are unalienable. Not so in a democracy, in which the majority can (and will) bully and oppress the minority:


“Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” ― Benjamin Franklin


Granted, we have not always lived up to these noble words and concepts. But our Constitution and Bill of Rights also empower us to grow and evolve and do better. Much the same way as our understanding of natural law has evolved from the time of Plato to Cicero to Locke, up to and including today. There is still room for debate, interpretation and defining of terms, especially in terms of implementation with modern technology.

What is not subject to debate or conjecture is that natural law and inalienable rights are the law of the land. We can debate if natural law should be the law of the land… we can debate how it can and should be addressed by government… we can debate many aspects of natural law. But if we choose to forsake this basic foundation of our government, then we are talking about fundamentally transforming our government; a revolutionary act, even if a peaceful intellectual revolution. And if we do that, what will be our organic law? What fundamental principles will guide and inform our legal system? If not natural law, then what?

My question is not simply academic… there are those on both sides of the aisle who are trying to do exactly that under an Article V Convention of the States.




posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 10:25 AM
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Very well put together thread. S&F.

If the Revisionist have their way history will be rewritten and so will the intent of the Constitution.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 10:30 AM
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originally posted by: 727Sky

If the Revisionist have their way history will be rewritten and so will the intent of the Constitution.


Thank you! That is exactly what I fear... as I see it happening before our eyes.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 10:47 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

S&F brother.

Ethics, personal growth, tolerance, education, diversity, philanthropy, family, community.

8 codes that emulate (human) natures laws that have not been practiced by any US government since the founding fathers.

Awaiting to be proved wrong..........please..



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 10:50 AM
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originally posted by: Sublimecraft

Ethics, personal growth, tolerance, education, diversity, philanthropy, family, community.

8 codes that emulate (human) natures laws that have not been practiced by any US government since the founding fathers.


That's absolutely perfect. I love that! Thank you for sharing that wisdom!!!



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

OK I am British but watched a TBN documentary that astounded me, it was about the NATIONAL MONUMENT OF THE FOREFATHERS, this is also proof that though a Secular nation the US was founded as a Christian nation with all the freedom's that intended and was meant to be ruled from the people to the government and not the government to the people, This is an America I wish I could have been a part of.
This monument was funded and built by the US congress and even as just a work of art I personally find it far more impressive than the Statue of Liberty.



Just in case the embedding does not work here is the full url to part of a film called monumental.
www.youtube.com...



edit on 17-3-2015 by LABTECH767 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:15 AM
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originally posted by: LABTECH767
a reply to: Boadicea

OK I am British...


As were our founding fathers, who learned well from their proud and noble forefathers, who brought the world the Magna Carta and the Bill of English Civil Rights as shining examples of freedom and absolute rights for all. A very honorable heritage indeed!


...but watched a TBN documentary that astounded me, it was about the NATIONAL MONUMENT OF THE FOREFATHERS...


I am very saddened to say that I have never even heard of this. So thank you for posting it here. I'm looking forward to watching it now.


...this is also proof that though a Secular nation the US was founded as a Christian nation with all the freedom's that intended and was meant to be ruled from the people to the government and not the government to the people, This is an America I wish I could have been a part of.


Me too!
edit on 17-3-2015 by Boadicea because: clarification

edit on 17-3-2015 by Boadicea because: grammar



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:40 AM
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As a side note , it used to be all attorneys in this country were taught the primary basis for all laws in this country "
They are derived directly from the Laws of Moses



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:48 AM
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a reply to: here4this

Interesting -- I've never heard that. Were they speaking strictly of the Ten Commandments? Or the laws as given in Deuteronomy and Leviticus as well?

In theory at least, that would have served the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam); and if one believes that Abraham is also Brahma, then Hindus as well...



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

The Laws of Moses were separate from the Ten Commandments . The Laws of Moses were given to Moses as the laws in which to govern . I just know a lot of attorneys,judges , and law officers and have been told that from all. And , yes that does cover Judaism , Christianity , and Islamic law . (there was an underlying principle to that being the case. It would include all 3 major religions found in this country at the time)

edit on 17-3-2015 by here4this because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:01 PM
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originally posted by: here4this
a reply to: Boadicea

The Laws of Moses were separate from the Ten Commandments . The Laws of Moses were given to Moses as the laws in which to govern . I just know a lot of attorneys,judges , and law officers and have been told that from all. And , yes that does cover Judaism , Christianity , and Islamic law . (there was an underlying principle to that being the case. It would include all 3 major religions found in this country at the time)


Thank you! I can see the reasoning and logic, as it unifies the populace, and they are more inclined to respect and keep the law if it's already their moral code. It's good to know and keep in mind as we muddle through these issues.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:11 PM
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originally posted by: here4this
a reply to: Boadicea

I wish I had more info on that. I just know a lot of attorneys,judges , and law officers and have been told that from all. And , yes that does cover Judaism , Christianity , and Islamic law . (there was an underlying principle to that being the case. It would include all 3 major religions found in this country at the time)


From the history of taxation, the precursor and foundation of our law is the common law of the northern European peoples alloyed with Roman Law by way of the Catholic Church.

The northern European kings wanted the culture, wealth, and power that the Roman Empire had. The Catholic Church gave the kings what it could in return for enforcing Roman Law. Roman law was mostly that the state enforces the law, not the plaintiff. Personal retribution was illegal in Roman Law. This orientation prevented a lot of collateral damage, especially to the church.

For Good and Evil, The impact of taxes on Civilization by Charles Adams



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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a reply to: Semicollegiate

You are correct. But you are speaking of financial laws specifically. I was speaking of judiciary law .



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Great thread and one of the more hotly debated aspects of both the definition and origin of rights.



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.


A frequently misunderstood explanation of the intended meaning of this passage is the direct result of Jefferson's failure to leave Locke's original phrase alone which read, "life, liberty, and estate".

It is widely presumed (and I agree) that he was intending to include property as well as some other as yet undefined unalienable negative rights.



In 1689, Locke argued in his Two Treatises of Government that political society existed for the sake of protecting "property", which he defined as a person's "life, liberty, and estate".[7] In A Letter Concerning Toleration, he wrote that the magistrate's power was limited to preserving a person's "civil interest", which he described as "life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things".[8] He declared in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding that "the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness".[9]

According to those scholars who saw the root of Jefferson's thought in Locke's doctrine, Jefferson replaced "estate" with "the pursuit of happiness", although this does not mean that Jefferson meant the "pursuit of happiness" to refer primarily or exclusively to property. Under such an assumption, the Declaration of Independence would declare that government existed primarily for the reasons Locke gave, and some have extended that line of thinking to support a conception of limited government

edit on 17-3-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: greencmp

I tend to agree also. I read quite a bit about this too, so it's funny you brought this up! I thought about using it as an example of what is still debated/debatable. I just couldn't find a way to sum it succinctly for the OP!

Which makes me appreciate these great thinkers that much more.... what a challenge for Thomas Jefferson to find a way to sum up the totality of our natural rights in a way that precludes nothing and encompasses all. And it's still subject to interpretation...

ETA: I'm personally grateful that Jefferson understood our rights and our happiness were about much more than simply personal possessions and materialistic needs, and his efforts to protect our rights of -- what? how do I say this? -- of conscience? of spirit?



edit on 17-3-2015 by Boadicea because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:50 PM
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originally posted by: here4this
a reply to: Semicollegiate

You are correct. But you are speaking of financial laws specifically. I was speaking of judiciary law .



I guess that the Hebraic Law was incorporated into the Christianized Roman Empire Law and so became some part of our heritage during the hundreds of years of the Universal Christian Church.

The scope of Roman Law was not only financial, it eliminated lawful personal revenge, which was legal in the post Roman Barbarian West.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: greencmp

I tend to agree also. I read quite a bit about this too, so it's funny you brought this up! I thought about using it as an example of what is still debated/debatable. I just couldn't find a way to sum it succinctly for the OP!

Which makes me appreciate these great thinkers that much more.... what a challenge for Thomas Jefferson to find a way to sum up the totality of our natural rights in a way that precludes nothing and encompasses all. And it's still subject to interpretation...


I would like to be able to say authoritatively that all rights afforded in the constitution and the bill of rights are exclusively negative rights.

I know in my heart that that is what was meant at least in spirit but, there are some nagging exceptions and, short of simply keeping government to the absolute bare minimum, how do we address the problem of positive rights?

Ultimately, I have decided that state's rights is the way to handle pretty much everything, that way has always been our saving grace.

Keep these decision at the local level, states do have their own constitutions which stand unless contested as unconstitutional.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:55 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp
a reply to: Boadicea

Great thread and one of the more hotly debated aspects of both the definition and origin of rights.



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.


A frequently misunderstood explanation of the intended meaning of this passage is the direct result of Jefferson's failure to leave Locke's original phrase alone which read, "life, liberty, and estate".

It is widely presumed (and I agree) that he was intending to include property as well as some other as yet undefined unalienable negative rights.



In 1689, Locke argued in his Two Treatises of Government that political society existed for the sake of protecting "property", which he defined as a person's "life, liberty, and estate".[7] In A Letter Concerning Toleration, he wrote that the magistrate's power was limited to preserving a person's "civil interest", which he described as "life, liberty, health, and indolency of body; and the possession of outward things".[8] He declared in his Essay Concerning Human Understanding that "the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness".[9]

According to those scholars who saw the root of Jefferson's thought in Locke's doctrine, Jefferson replaced "estate" with "the pursuit of happiness", although this does not mean that Jefferson meant the "pursuit of happiness" to refer primarily or exclusively to property. Under such an assumption, the Declaration of Independence would declare that government existed primarily for the reasons Locke gave, and some have extended that line of thinking to support a conception of limited government


I thought that rights were negative rights only. A right is non interference with another person.


Positive rights all seem to be demands and therefore coerce another person into action. Slavery de facto.
None of the positive rights are rights to my way of thinking.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: Semicollegiate

originally posted by: here4this
a reply to: Semicollegiate

You are correct. But you are speaking of financial laws specifically. I was speaking of judiciary law .



I guess that the Hebraic Law was incorporated into the Christianized Roman Empire Law and so became some part of our heritage during the hundreds of years of the Universal Christian Church.

The scope of Roman Law was not only financial, it eliminated lawful personal revenge, which was legal in the post Roman Barbarian West.


Again you are correct. (and thanks for the reminders) . A lot of the basic laws started with the original laws . That is not to say they have not been added to as a necessity for the changing times ( and personal revenge is covered in those laws. They definitely state the basis for lawsuits for personal loss in the Laws of Moses)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: greencmp

I would like to be able to say authoritatively that all rights afforded in the constitution and the bill of rights are exclusively negative rights.

I know in my heart that that is what was meant at least in spirit but, there are some nagging exceptions and, short of simply keeping government to the absolute bare minimum, how do we address the problem of positive rights?


It's quite the conundrum, yes? I agree ultimately, that in the context of this union -- and therefore the Constitution and Bill of Rights -- that all rights were negative rights. I've tried to look at it from various perspectives, but I believe their specific perspective is that each colony-now-state was a sovereignty unto itself, and the union was for specific purposes only, enumerated within the Constitution... In other words, they did not trust each other to a certain extent, and basically agreed: This is what you cannot do to us. So in the end it does come down to federal powers vs. state powers.


Ultimately, I have decided that state's rights is the way to handle pretty much everything, that way has always been our saving grace.

Keep these decision at the local level, states do have their own constitutions which stand unless contested as unconstitutional.


Yes. Which raises its own questions/problems. There are those who believe (mistakenly in my opinion) that because it is forbidden to the federal government, that it is also forbidden to the states... and those at the other end of the spectrum who believe that just because something is worthy that the federal government has the responsibility and the power to impose it on the nation. The states have always been the "laboratories" so to speak, as states implement laws or programs to benefit their populace, and other states learn from their mistakes and successes.

One of the beauties of this is that states can adapt and modify to fit the unique needs of their states and communities, with the insight and input of the people, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach of the feds, which seldom serve our best interests.
edit on 17-3-2015 by Boadicea because: spelling



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