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Commonly Misconstrued Intent of the Constitution

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posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:20 PM
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I agree, any right that is given by a government can be taken away by said government, so either you can walk by your own free will or someone walks for you, meaning you can't really walk at all.




posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 08:42 PM
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Airspoon,

One way or another Government has assigned a set of rights. Its unavoidable. Sure, it's worded in a way where it says "we are born with these rights" but they are saying that we are born with them.

When a direction is given, followed, and defended its protecting something created by a Government. Plain and Simple.

Democracy is when people get to choose their rights. As it stands you only get a to choose a politicians, who in some cases, lie to get into office. Then, laws are voted on by these voted in politicians whom lie to get into office.
Lets not forget that the more money a candidate has and can raise, the more likely they win. Which means those who fund them will be the ones whom the politician will please the most, even tho the money is spent to get votes from the people.

Right now even in my country its the same thing. No one here wants to pay taxes, no one wants to see a murderer be given lenient sentences, or even a child molester but guess what...thats the way it is.
I see it all the time, where people expect things different then what is dictated by law. In this city, people don't like the fact we got to pay a meter to park. They think its stupid, its government land though, not the land of the people so we pay a tax to use it.

Honestly, the idea of democracy is just that. An idea. Reality to me dictates that we are dictated too even though we have the guise of choice, in the end the world doesn't seem to change much based on the populace's demands. Therefore freedom to me, is just an Idea.

We might as well face facts as well, even if we could vote on our laws we would probably do just as bad in the end, because we all don't see the bigger world picture we would end up in a "silo" type world, where perhaps our neighbours and those that are different then us would become problems for our freedoms, repeating a vicious cycle.

/Rant over.


Originally posted by airspoon
Again, this isn't a matter of interpretation or my own personal beliefs, rather it is the beliefs of those who created the supreme law of the land.


This says to me that the bill of rights is in fact a legal binding document created by the government for the people.

Edit: Added quote.

[edit on 15-8-2010 by EspyderMan]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by EspyderMan
 


I think you are misunderstanding what I was saying. The first 10 Amendments of the Constitution, better known as the "Bill of Rights", only states what government can't do, as opposed to what you can do. Not one single Amendment, I-X, gives you any rights, nor were they intended to. Rather, they simply state what government can't do. For instance, the Constitution doesn't allow you to speak your mind wherever and whenever you want, rather it only prevents government from impeding your right to speak freely.

We can easily see this in our everyday experiences, even right here on ATS. If the law gave you the right to free speech, then the moderators here on ATS wouldn't be able to *snip*, or delete your posts. If you come to my house, I can prevent you from saying the word "bingo", as long as you are on my property. If the Constitution gave you the right to free speech, then I or ATS would be breaking the law by preventing you from saying whatever you want, whenever you wanted.

Instead, the "Bill of Rights" clearly states what government can't do, only. When the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, many of our founding fathers were worried that it didn't go far enough in protecting the people from tyranny or protecting the people from the government itself. Enter the "Bill of Rights", which didn't come into effect until December 15, 1791, a good four years after the Constitution was adopted. This "Bill of Rights", otherwise known as the first 10 Amendments was created only to protect the people from government itself. Nothing more.

--airspoon



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:00 PM
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reply to post by airspoon
 


"rather we were born with those rights"

"the 1st Amendment doesn't give you the right to free speech"

"the 1st Amendment doesn't really matter much in cases that don't concern the government"

Now that's just crazy talk.

So, let me get this straight. Were born with rights that we don't have, and don't have a "right" to use?

I remember hearing something about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." No one has the right to infringe on the god-given rights of all of us. Including those who attempt to narrow, or reduce the value of those rights. I.E. the original poster. My rights are: not to be interpreted by anyone. Rights in most cases are (and they should be) arbitrary. It doesnt matter who you are, what you're doing, or what you stand for. Simply by allowing the opposite, you're giving in to--and giving power to whatever government you live under.

These rights are given to us by god. No one has the right to take them away--or infringe upon them.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:15 PM
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reply to post by airspoon
 


I believe your interpretation is the one that needs some refinement. The Bill of Rights lists STANDARDIZED RIGHTS GIVEN TO YOU BY GOD, these rights were written to protect you from the government. But...what you're not seeing, is that these rights were GIVEN TO US so that we could prevent the government from doing so.

What your saying doesnt make sense.


This was not a "Bill of Non-Rights" of the government. This was the "Bill of Rights" for the people.

This was a list of the rights that every person born has, and has a right to use, to prevent others (including the gov) from pissing on your life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--i.e. your freedom.

This was a list of rights given to the people --us. By design we were given these rights, because it was deemed that this was the only way to ensure that the individual has a right to do what they want, believe what they believe, and for that not to be taken away.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:20 PM
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Originally posted by airspoon
reply to post by EspyderMan
 


I think you are misunderstanding what I was saying. The first 10 Amendments of the Constitution, better known as the "Bill of Rights", only states what government can't do, as opposed to what you can do. Not one single Amendment, I-X, gives you any rights, nor were they intended to. Rather, they simply state what government can't do. For instance, the Constitution doesn't allow you to speak your mind wherever and whenever you want, rather it only prevents government from impeding your right to speak freely.

We can easily see this in our everyday experiences, even right here on ATS. If the law gave you the right to free speech, then the moderators here on ATS wouldn't be able to *snip*, or delete your posts. If you come to my house, I can prevent you from saying the word "bingo", as long as you are on my property. If the Constitution gave you the right to free speech, then I or ATS would be breaking the law by preventing you from saying whatever you want, whenever you wanted.

Instead, the "Bill of Rights" clearly states what government can't do, only. When the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, many of our founding fathers were worried that it didn't go far enough in protecting the people from tyranny or protecting the people from the government itself. Enter the "Bill of Rights", which didn't come into effect until December 15, 1791, a good four years after the Constitution was adopted. This "Bill of Rights", otherwise known as the first 10 Amendments was created only to protect the people from government itself. Nothing more.

--airspoon


On ATS, you agree to bide by the rules in order to use their service. Therefore, they have a right to enforce the rules that you agree to. It's not like we don't have freedom of speech on ATS. Actually, it's quite the opposite. This site is the epitome of Freedom of Speech. The rules ensure that you don't infringe upon other people's rights by attacking others, plagiarizing , and in general being disrespectful.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:12 AM
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For everyone (the very few or all three) trying to argue against what I'm saying, just read the Constitution, particularly the "Bill of Rights". If you still can't understand, ask someone who can. The Bill of Rights wasn't created to give you rights, rather it was created to protect those rights from government infringement, thus allowing you to keep those rights. It isn't really debated by anyone who has read and understands the Constitution. It is however debated by those who have never read, nor understood the Constitution and instead, feed off of the common misconception.

I didn't want to have to do this, but unfortunately people will fail to research on their own, yet claim they are right because of subjective reasoning. If you believe it and have believed in it for a long time, it's right, right? For this reason, I will type out the 1st Amendment as an example.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Tell me, what part of that gives you the right to free speech, as opposed to preventing government from impeding that right? This Amendment only prevents government from impeding your right to free speech and nothing else.

 
 
 


reply to post by doctorjamesy
 



So, let me get this straight. Were born with rights that we don't have, and don't have a "right" to use?


Lol, I don't know how you came up with that being my implications. I think you are way off base and to be honest, I don't even know how to respond to that, seeing that I have no idea where your head is.


I remember hearing something about "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." No one has the right to infringe on the god-given rights of all of us. Including those who attempt to narrow, or reduce the value of those rights. I.E. the original poster. My rights are: not to be interpreted by anyone. Rights in most cases are (and they should be) arbitrary. It doesnt matter who you are, what you're doing, or what you stand for. Simply by allowing the opposite, you're giving in to--and giving power to whatever government you live under.


You are speaking philosophy, while I'm speaking about the law. Irregardless of what you or I believe, the law is the law and the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. You don't have to agree with it, especially for the point of this thread but the law is the law.

My intentions aren't to debate philosophical principals or ideals, rather to point out a truism, or at least a truism for anyone who has actually read the Constitution.

For the sake of this thread, I don't really care what each and everyone's ideals are on their rights. This thread is only to discuss the intent of the first 10 Amendments.

 
 
 


reply to post by doctorjamesy
 




The Bill of Rights lists STANDARDIZED RIGHTS GIVEN TO YOU BY GOD, these rights were written to protect you from the government. But...what you're not seeing, is that these rights were GIVEN TO US so that we could prevent the government from doing so.


No, the "Bill of Rights" are standardized protections of the rights necessary to prevent tyranny. The "Bill of Rights" doesn't give you any rights, rather it protects government from taking them away. There is a critical difference here.

The "Bill of Rights" only says what government can't do, as opposed to what you can do.


This was not a "Bill of Non-Rights" of the government. This was the "Bill of Rights" for the people.


Again, no. Really, the "Bill of Rights" is a misnomer. It is really a bill of protection for your rights. If you withdrawal $100 from the ATM and I stop a robber from taking that from you, I'm not giving you that money, rather I'm protecting you so that you can keep your money.

As I've said in my previous post:


Originally posted by airspoon

When the Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, many of our founding fathers were worried that it didn't go far enough in protecting the people from tyranny or protecting the people from the government itself. Enter the "Bill of Rights", which didn't come into effect until December 15, 1791, a good four years after the Constitution was adopted. This "Bill of Rights", otherwise known as the first 10 Amendments was created only to protect the people from government itself. Nothing more.




This was a list of rights given to the people --us.


No, this was a list of protected rights for the people, protected from government itself. The 1st Amendment isn't giving you the right to free speech, just as I wasn't giving the $100 by keeping the robber from taking it. Rather, the 1st Amendment is protecting your right to free speech from government (i.e. "Congress shall make no law ").

 
 
 


reply to post by doctorjamesy
 



On ATS, you agree to bide by the rules in order to use their service. Therefore, they have a right to enforce the rules that you agree to.


Yes, but if the supreme law of the land said they couldn't, then they wouldn't be able to do that. Because the 1st Amendment only prevents government from impeding your right to free speech, ATS can establish these rules. If the 1st Amendment gave you the right to free speech, then ATS wouldn't be able to trump this supreme law. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, or is supposed to be anyway, therefore nothing can trump that law, ever. If something is going against this supreme law, it is ruled illegal and thus not permissible. ATS is in no way infringing upon the 1st Amendment, though if the 1st Amendment gave us the right to free speech, they would be.

It really is a simple concept, one that can easily be remedied by simply reading through the first 10 Amendments. They only protect you from government and state what government can't do, as opposed to what you can do.

--airspoon



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 05:42 AM
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Originally posted by filosophia
I agree, any right that is given by a government can be taken away by said government, so either you can walk by your own free will or someone walks for you, meaning you can't really walk at all.


Airspoon has been both correct and logical in his OP and replies. I cannot see why so much confusion exists. IMHO the Founding Fathers were logical and rational in their drafting of the Constitution and Bill of Rights that it still doesn't fail to amaze me every time I read that "national treasure"! Truly they were some of the most brilliant legal minds that existed at the time that it makes me ill to think of those politicians, judges and lawyers, etc. since then that have made deferential platitudes to the Constitution and the Founders in their speech, but then have acted like "it's just a goddamned piece of paper." I guess it's true what they say about knowing a tree by its fruit.

But, to reply to your comment filosophia:

1) Our liberties and (birth)rights are God-given so no man may give us what is not theirs to give (or take) and what is naturally ours by birthright as the "Declaration of Independence" stipulates: "all men...are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights..."

2) Government entails the consent or approval of the governed. So "we the people" by our action or inaction, protest or silence sanction the policies of our government: "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed" Remember they created a Constitutional Republic not a democracy as Franklin warned, "if you can keep it." So if we have become unmoored from our roots it's because "we the people" have failed to exercise our right, indeed duty, to reclaim what was ours to begin with.

3) A lot of problems America faces today is because so many have misinterpreted the Constitution or outright betrayed it in spite of putting their hands on a Bible and vowing to uphold it. By studying the original intention of the Founding Fathers we can better understand what was meant rather than interpret the Constitution based on our own faulty reasoning as Thomas Jefferson once explained to a Supreme Court judge: "On every question of construction, carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed"

Just sayin'...



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 10:03 AM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
Ok, I'm confused here. I'm not American, and I know I may get flamed for what I post, but...

If you believe that natural rights are ''God-given'', then surely that depends on your own personal interpretation of God ?
I'm sure there are many religious teachings that would contradict the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.

How can you have a consensus on what ''God'' wants, if every believer's interpretation is different ?


If you don't believe that natural and inalienable rights are ''God-given'', then you surely accept that they were just the philosophical and ethical opinions of the Founding Fathers.

Why do you unquestioningly accept a supposed ethical document that was drafted by people who thought that it was acceptable to keep other human beings as ''property'', deny women the vote, treat people as lesser human beings purely because of their race, rape women and endorse other such nefarious activities and beliefs.


I understand that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights are revered amongst Americans because of their symbol as part of the USA's national identity.

But, the US constitution was adopted in 1787, and what year was slavery abolished ?

I know that there have been amendments since, but why would anyone accept, unquestioningly, the ''natural laws'' outlined by people that thought it was ok to ''own'' another human being ?


What a lot of us outsiders can't understand, is the fact that a centuries old document is still held up as the epitome of ''freedom'', ''justice'', and ''rights'' by most Americans, even so times and attitudes change over the decades.

How is it logical to hold up this document as the anything other than a group of people's ideology ?
And why are people that disagree with it automatically called ''traitors'' and ''treasonous'' ?


“I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery].”
      -George Washington

"[M]y opinion against it [slavery] has always been known... [N]ever in my life did I own a slave."
      -John Adams

"[W]hy keep alive the question of slavery? It is admitted by all to be a great evil."
     -Charles Carroll

"As Congress is now to legislate for our extensive territory lately acquired, I pray to Heaven that they ...[c]urse not the inhabitants of those regions, and of the United States in general, with a permission to introduce bondage [slavery]."
      -John Dickinson

"That men should pray and fight for their own freedom and yet keep others in slavery is certainly acting a very inconsistent as well as unjust and perhaps impious part."
      -John Jay

"Christianity, by introducing into Europe the truest principles of humanity, universal benevolence, and brotherly love, had happily abolished civil slavery. Let us who profess the same religion practice its precepts... by agreeing to this duty."
     -Richard Henry Lee

"[I]t ought to be considered that national crimes can only be and frequently are punished in this world by national punishments; and that the continuance of the slave trade, and thus giving it a national sanction and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of Him who is equally Lord of all and who views with equal eye the poor African slave and his American master."
     -Luther Martin

"Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity... It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father. It is a practical denial of the extent and efficacy of the death of a common Savior. It is an usurpation of the prerogative of the great Sovereign of the universe who has solemnly claimed an exclusive property in the souls of men."
     -Benjamin Rush


[edit on 8/16/2010 by ComeAndGetMe]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 10:23 AM
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"Slavery, or an absolute and unlimited power in the master over life and fortune of the slave, is unauthorized by the common law... The reasons which we sometimes see assigned for the origin and the continuance of slavery appear, when examined to the bottom, to be built upon a false foundation. In the enjoyment of their persons and of their property, the common law protects all."
     -James Wilson

"It is certainly unlawful to make inroads upon others...and take away their liberty by no better right than superior force."
     -John Witherspoon

“Politicians, news media, college professors and leftists of other stripes are selling us lies and propaganda. To lay the groundwork for their increasingly successful attack on our Constitution, they must demean and criticize its authors. As Senator Joe Biden demonstrated during the Clarence Thomas hearings, the framers' ideas about natural law must be trivialized or they must be seen as racists.”
-Walter Witman (Black professor of George Mason university.)

You see slavery was not introduced by our founders, it was adopted, from the British nearly two centuries prior. There had intact been many attempts to rid of slavery prior to the Constitution, all of which were reversed by the British. Yet another reason they yearned separation. Immediately following separation many founders released their slaves, prior to the constitution, as well as starting antislavery societies. Pennsylvania and Massachusetts abolished slavery in 1780; Connecticut and Rhode Island did so in 1784; New Hampshire in 1792; Vermont in 1793; New York in 1799; and New Jersey in 1804. Furthermore, the reason that the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa all prohibited slavery was a federal act authored by Rufus King and signed into law by President George Washington which prohibited slavery in those territories.

Do you also believe slavery was the only issue of the civil war?


[edit on 8/16/2010 by ComeAndGetMe]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by Sherlock Holmes
I'm pretty sure they didn't legally define slaves as ''persons'', therefore they weren't legally covered by the Constitution.


This is why it was changed from "the pursuit of property," too "the pursuit of happiness." It was feared slave owners would use this, "property," as a proslavery argument.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal...."

Not all white men, not all Americans, but ALL men.

For further evidence that the founders were anti slavery, please see the 2/3s clause.

[edit on 8/16/2010 by ComeAndGetMe]



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:48 PM
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reply to post by doctorjamesy
 


Can you remind me where we have the right to be respected universally and any form of disrespect is an assault on a persons liberty?

Don't really remember that in any philosophical tradition of natural rights or the constitution.



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