Author Topic: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'  (Read 2199 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Online HoustonSam

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
  • old times there are not forgotten
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #100 on: July 11, 2019, 10:37:21 PM »
@HoustonSam @IsailedawayfromFR
Doesn't require that anyone have a religion or change any they might have nor does it "establish" a state religion.

Then what does it mean?  Could it mean, for example, that homosexual behavior is outlawed because it is condemned in the books of Leviticus and Romans, but you don't have to be a Jew or a Christian to live here?

I've never lived outside the US so I honestly don't know how this sort of thing is managed elsewhere.
James 1:20

Online roamer_1

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16,276
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #101 on: July 11, 2019, 10:41:40 PM »
But this is a slippery slope.  I was happy to see recently that a court in Maryland ruled that a memorial Cross could remain on public property.  But that Cross doesn't fit into the "Judeo" part of our founding tradition.  So this can get pretty tricky pretty fast.

@HoustonSam

This was a terrific post - But your conclusion is in error.

Law is necessarily a reflection of ethics.
the Judeo-Christian Ethic - not religion now - the ethical norms generated by that religion, are the prism through which all of our laws, to include our matchless constitution, are viewed.

Another ethic - say, Secular Humanism, is by its nature a different prism.

The Judeo-Christian Ethic, our sense of right and wrong, has served us well since before we were a nation, and is highly tolerant... Muhammad has been here from the very start (free Moors), living in peace underneath that very ethic. The same with Sikhs, and Chinese Ancestor worship, Buddhists and etc, though they came later. But all were content to live within a just system of laws as generated through the prism of the Judeo-Christian Ethic.

We were not a pluralistic society. We were a tolerant Christian society.

And the prism we are looking through now, is nothing like it. And that is our doom.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 10:42:49 PM by roamer_1 »

Online Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 33,433
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #102 on: July 11, 2019, 10:44:58 PM »
@HoustonSam

This was a terrific post - But your conclusion is in error.

Law is necessarily a reflection of ethics.
the Judeo-Christian Ethic - not religion now - the ethical norms generated by that religion, are the prism through which all of our laws, to include our matchless constitution, are viewed.

Another ethic - say, Secular Humanism, is by its nature a different prism.

The Judeo-Christian Ethic, our sense of right and wrong, has served us well since before we were a nation, and is highly tolerant... Muhammad has been here from the very start (free Moors), living in peace underneath that very ethic. The same with Sikhs, and Chinese Ancestor worship, Buddhists and etc, though they came later. But all were content to live within a just system of laws as generated through the prism of the Judeo-Christian Ethic.

We were not a pluralistic society. We were a tolerant Christian society.

And the prism we are looking through now, is nothing like it. And that is our doom.

@HoustonSam

@roamer_1 says what I was trying to say above but much better!

Online Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 33,433
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #103 on: July 11, 2019, 10:50:44 PM »
Then what does it mean?  Could it mean, for example, that homosexual behavior is outlawed because it is condemned in the books of Leviticus and Romans, but you don't have to be a Jew or a Christian to live here?

I've never lived outside the US so I honestly don't know how this sort of thing is managed elsewhere.

I have but in a company (ARAMCO) compound.  We were allowed wide latitude in the things we did inside that compound but when we ventured out side it was an entirely different matter and you simply did not do certain things.

Online roamer_1

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16,276
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #104 on: July 11, 2019, 10:59:27 PM »
Stated perhaps more clearly, given that life can only be taken by due process or just cause, and abortion cannot be the latter, if a woman's life were jeopardized by a pregnancy should due process be required to procure an abortion?  Would approval by both Doctors *and* Lawyers be required, or only Doctors?

@HoustonSam
No... Life of the mother, properly applied, would be within a doctor's capacity. An ectopic pregnancy as an instance - obviously it makes sense to abort the child and save the mother, as without that decision, the only outcome is the death of both.

But neither is he immune. He may have to stand and defend his decisions, as with any case of malpractice... So he had best be sure.

So yes, there can be room for exceptions.

Offline Absalom

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1,409
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #105 on: July 11, 2019, 11:02:45 PM »
History is an opinion. Written by the victors. Capitalism was an ingenious invention, coupled with the industrial revolution, that turned serfs/slaves into masters of their own destiny. So much so I sold my soul to the company store.
We can parse it. All you want. Right to life. Property. Happpppinessss.
Education is the key here. The open availability to access information.
The Constitution of the United States of America is a magnificent document. As western Europeans killed, maimed, and destroyed from coast to coast with those "unalienable rights".
This may be somewhat of a thread hijack. There is a large group of people saying they are going to raid Area 51 to find aliens.
You want to find aliens go to our southern border. Take your guns. Aliens by the millions.
I don't know what the ones in the spacecraft want. But the ones from down south are coming for your gold.
-------------------------------
* History is a record of the past which defines its very essence!
* Capitalism is an economic system, period; its worth is an opinion.
* Serfdom, warts and all, was also an economic system exchanging
   labor for the protection/security of the Lord. We moderns label it a job.
* Mankind for some 9,000 years was self-educated if he chose to be,
   w/o academic credentials; the poor things.
* the US Constitution is another historic document, including the
   Code of Hammurabi, the Magna Carta, the Gita; among dozens.
Books are in the library!!!

Online roamer_1

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16,276
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #106 on: July 11, 2019, 11:03:22 PM »

@roamer_1 says what I was trying to say above but much better!

 :beer:

Online HoustonSam

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
  • old times there are not forgotten
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #107 on: July 11, 2019, 11:04:49 PM »
@HoustonSam

This was a terrific post - But your conclusion is in error.

Law is necessarily a reflection of ethics.
the Judeo-Christian Ethic - not religion now - the ethical norms generated by that religion, are the prism through which all of our laws, to include our matchless constitution, are viewed.

Another ethic - say, Secular Humanism, is by its nature a different prism.

The Judeo-Christian Ethic, our sense of right and wrong, has served us well since before we were a nation, and is highly tolerant... Muhammad has been here from the very start (free Moors), living in peace underneath that very ethic. The same with Sikhs, and Chinese Ancestor worship, Buddhists and etc, though they came later. But all were content to live within a just system of laws as generated through the prism of the Judeo-Christian Ethic.

We were not a pluralistic society. We were a tolerant Christian society.

And the prism we are looking through now, is nothing like it. And that is our doom.

Many thanks @roamer_1 for your kind assessment of my efforts.

Although I generally prefer definitions to examples, I am forced to ask for the latter. In practical terms, if we were still looking today through the prism of a tolerant Christian society, not a pluralistic one, what would be different?  I'm not challenging you, I'm sure some things *would* be different.  But I need your help in understanding clearly the practical impact of that distinction.

Would we have monuments to the Ten Commandments outside all the courthouses?
Would homosexual behavior be illegal, or regulated?
Would we have prayer in public schools?
Would divorce be less common?
Would "blue" laws be more widely practiced?
Would church membership and regular participation be more common?

How would our day to day civic experience actually be different?
James 1:20

Online roamer_1

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16,276
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #108 on: July 11, 2019, 11:22:43 PM »
Many thanks @roamer_1 for your kind assessment of my efforts.

Although I generally prefer definitions to examples, I am forced to ask for the latter. In practical terms, if we were still looking today through the prism of a tolerant Christian society, not a pluralistic one, what would be different?  I'm not challenging you, I'm sure some things *would* be different.  But I need your help in understanding clearly the practical impact of that distinction.

Would we have monuments to the Ten Commandments outside all the courthouses?
Would homosexual behavior be illegal, or regulated?
Would we have prayer in public schools?
Would divorce be less common?
Would "blue" laws be more widely practiced?
Would church membership and regular participation be more common?

How would our day to day civic experience actually be different?

Ah, @HoustonSam ... I can give you no examples so your inquiry will remain unanswered in the specifics.
I am a firm federalist and I thoroughly believe that government belongs as close to the people as possible.

So there is no sure thing. But rather, if the federal impediments were removed, states and localities would be free to enact what they will - within the boundaries of law.

For all of your questions, the answer would largely be dependent upon what the people want in their state or county.

As it should be.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 11:23:37 PM by roamer_1 »

Online roamer_1

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 16,276
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #109 on: July 11, 2019, 11:35:29 PM »
Good night everyone!
I am heading for the crib. I spent way too much time coding night before last, and I am still feeling the effects.

I will see y'all tomorrow.

This is a fantastic thread.

 :beer: :seeya:

Online Bigun

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 33,433
  • The income tax: Root of all evil!
    • The FairTax Plan
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #110 on: July 11, 2019, 11:37:46 PM »


Would we have monuments to the Ten Commandments outside all the courthouses?
Would homosexual behavior be illegal, or regulated?
Would we have prayer in public schools?
Would divorce be less common?
Would "blue" laws be more widely practiced?
Would church membership and regular participation be more common?


All I can say with certainty @HoustonSam is that in my lifetime (70+ years at this point) I have witnessed the withering away of all the things you mention and more.  I am quite sure that none of it happened by accident.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 11:38:41 PM by Bigun »

Online HoustonSam

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
  • old times there are not forgotten
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #111 on: July 11, 2019, 11:41:13 PM »
Ah, @HoustonSam ... I can give you no examples so your inquiry will remain unanswered in the specifics.
I am a firm federalist and I thoroughly believe that government belongs as close to the people as possible.

So there is no sure thing. But rather, if the federal impediments were removed, states and localities would be free to enact what they will - within the boundaries of law.

For all of your questions, the answer would largely be dependent upon what the people want in their state or county.

As it should be.

Thanks @roamer_1 , that is a clear and helpful response.  I join you in lamenting the growth of conforming, centralized political power from DC, and its equally malignant cultural sibling emanating from the nation's media centers, both imposing a secular "progressive" philosophy of emotion, narcissism, solipsism, and indulgence, at the expense of local preference and ordered liberty under God.  Were they properly constrained there would be opportunity, but not promise, of some locations experiencing renaissance and revival.

Still, we would be left with fundamental questions about what, if anything, actually binds us together.  The US Constitution, as much as we should revere it, is but a mechanism, not a sentiment or a faith or a shared identity.
James 1:20

Offline Smokin Joe

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 24,329
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #112 on: July 12, 2019, 03:59:43 AM »
That's a good catch @Bigun, and I sure overlooked it.  Of course there are plenty of pro-life Conservatives who advocate not just a repeal of Roe, but a Constitutional Amendment forbidding abortion.  That doesn't mean you have to align with them.

But let me ask you, if some state repealed its state law against murder, what do you think would be the proper response, if any, of Conservatives in other states?
That's where I will jump in on the abortion issue.

That difference being whether that 'lump of tissue', with all we know is a human life, or is it just a few stray cells.

We certainly have no compunction about removing clumps of cells, whether that be removing malignant or benign tumors, warts, even extra fat or just to change the shape of our bodies (as a culture). However, those clumps of cells lack one thing which an embryo does have: the ability to develop into a human being easily recognized as such by other human beings. That embryo does not have the genetic match with the mother, just some shared genetics: it has a unique human DNA, and is a unique human.

Prior to implantation in the uterine wall, though, it is just a fertilized egg, running and developing by virtue of its onboard systems, insufficient to take it to maturity in a placental mammal. Once implanted in the uterine wall, once the placenta starts to develop, the game is changed. Now, at whatever stage of development we wish to define as "life", that embryo has/will become a human being unless outside forces or medical issues intervene to stop that development.

If we are to safeguard the lives of those least able to defend their own, then the only question becomes one of at what point in that development do we consider human life to be human life?

Genetically, the embryo is the same as the fetus which is the same as the baby which is the same as the adult.
There can be no denial that that unique human is the same at all stages of its development in genetic terms.

That takes us, backtracking to the simple enough conclusion that that life begins at conception, at the combination of gametes to produce that unique DNA.

To set that aside for a moment, let us consider that, of the mammals, it is rare to find a mother who will not die in combat to protect her young. That isn't saying that if food is scarce, or disease taxes the health of the mother, that spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) do not occur, but the bears don't line up at the ranger station to get D&Cs.

It seems unnatural that (some) humans would willingly destroy their own offspring in the womb, not because they could not survive themselves, but for motives which often are nothing more than inconvenience or the pursuit of lucre or status. Promiscuity, of course, might have women and men using one another for sexual gratification when they might never otherwise consider being paired with that person, and certainly not for the purpose of producing or raising offspring, even though there exist several methods of preventing conception, something which certainly simplifies the equation.

And it seems strange that humans, who normally value above all else the lives of children, would so callously slaughter some 60,000,000 of their own (in the USA alone) since Roe, provided, of course, that we recognize those individuals uniquely defined by their DNA to be "lives".   

While accounts vary, with proponents of abortion and those with an interest in keeping the process unfettered claiming there are no physical or mental health problems associated with the procedure for the woman, there are others who claim otherwise, who cite serious increases in mental health issues and even links to an increase in risk of developing breast cancer from "none" (Planned Parenthood) to 5X more likely ( A.E. Laing et al., “Breast cancer risk factors in African-American women: the Howard University Tumor Registry experience,” Journal of the National Medical Association 85, no. 12 (1993): 931-939) Chinese studies placed the increase of risk of breast cancer at as much as 20X.

We often refer to a miscarriage (at any point in development) as "losing the baby", not as dumping a lump of tissue, or losing a clump of cells.

When we quit playing word games, we find that yes, there was a human being who failed to survive its prenatal development.
If a natural thing, that may be because of health problems with the developing baby or the mother, or both, but that is natural. The body hormonally shuts down the stem cell development that was occurring in the breast in anticipation of lactation, and things return pretty much to normal.  If done by clinical means, that shutdown is not performed the same way, hormonal balances are different, and that may produce an increase in risk of breast cancer.

If there was another 'medical procedure' that carried increased risk of cancer, of psychological issues, and, if successful, ended in the termination of at least one human life, would we sanction it? Or would we prohibit it, for the good of our society, both now and down the road.

Then there is the question of how one rationally justifies the sanctioning of the taking of a human life in the absence of any guilt, of any crime, of anything worse than being inconvenient or a souvenir of a night with someone they might rather forget. How do we justify that the only arguably innocent one is condemned to die for the irresponsibility or even crimes of others?

Taking that life cannot be justified within our framework of Rights or jurisprudence except by deciding to define a prenatal infant as something other than a human life, something we inherently and instinctively know to not be true.

Otherwise, all that need to be done to justify killing off any group, based on age, eye or skin color, genetics, or ANY other factor is to declare those in the category desired to be fair game for elimination as something less than human.

We have seen where that slippery slope leads and it hasn't been so long ago, yet by so doing, by defining the unborn as less than human, the number of lives taken exceeds the body counts of even the most heinous of totalitarians of the 20th century. Here, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression


There are no "Socialists", no "Progressives", only Communists, with every negative image that totalitarianism might muster, demanding fealty and conformity to their views, with a legacy of 150,000,000 dead and counting.

Online IsailedawayfromFR

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9,794
  • Sept 11 2001 or March 6 1836
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #113 on: July 13, 2019, 08:05:03 AM »
Yearning to stay free takes place in many ways at many different times, whether by withstanding planes or bayonets

Online HoustonSam

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
  • old times there are not forgotten
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #114 on: July 13, 2019, 01:06:05 PM »
Some more discussion
What Are Human Rights?
https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/07/what_are_human_rights.html

Thanks @IsailedawayfromFR.  Based on a couple of quick reads of the link, it looks like the so-called "experts" *don't* agree on what rights are, or where they come from, or whether everyone has the same rights.  I'll concede it can be difficult to sort out in a particular situation whether one man's rights should prevail over another's, but I didn't realize that the leading lights of One World Tolerance and Diversity are this confused.

I think all of us here would probably agree that rights come from God and that everyone has the same rights.  However it might be very difficult for us to agree on a definition of "right" or even a list of examples, and it is likely even more difficult to sort out which right of one individual should take precedence over which right of some other individual, or over an authority of government, in a given situation.

I'll boldly take a stab at a definition here : a "right" is the social recognition that an individual or group should not be impeded.

Social recognition?  What does that mean?  I say it's a social recognition because it isn't feasible for individuals to declare unilaterally their own rights. Whether or not something is a right is not for us to decide, neither unilaterally for ourselves nor by consensus for others, since rights come from God; but we must  achieve a consensus recognition of a right, a shared philosophical, social, political agreement that something is a right, in order to treat it properly as a right.  Achieving that shared consensus recognition is the hard part.  I don't think God endows us with rights today that he did not endow to earlier generations before us; the question is whether our recognition of His endowment is becoming more trustworthy or more deluded.

One question raised in the article is whether or not rights might vary from one culture to another.  My opinion is that the recognition of a right might vary from one culture to another, because the expectations men have of themselves, their families, and their institutions do differ across cultures; but the fact of a right will not vary from one culture to another because all men are equal before God.  And I note @IsailedawayfromFR that this leads directly back to your appeal for respect for the distinct Judeo-Christian culture which was the intellectual and social foundation of the country.  We should not refrain from asserting, even through government and law, that our ability to discern rights is perhaps *the* key distinction of our culture, and people all over the world regularly demonstrate their assent by immigrating here, within or without the very law that encodes our, yes superior, recognition of rights.

Individual or group?  What is the importance of the individual, or the group, in this proposed definition?  Do only individuals have rights, or do groups have rights?  Again, when we recognize that different cultures pay greater or lesser respect to individuality, the interaction between individual and group certainly is very important, particularly in the ability to *recognize* a right.  But for our discussion here the important application is probably the individual in comparison to government.  Government is the entity we all live with which is authorized to use force against us - our employers, churches, or families cannot - so how we as individuals interact with government is the critical scenario for understanding rights.  I say intentionally that government is authorized to use force against us - individuals have rights, government has authority.  When a right is recognized as such, it functions as a check on government authority.

Many of us on this board remain staunch believers in the federal system created in 1787.  I maintain my belief in that system, although I think it's practically on its last legs; still, a federal system sheds additional light on this question of individuals, groups, and government.  There used to be a position in this country which favored "States Rights."  Although my own ancestors brought the term into disrepute because of the context in which they asserted it, I'll argue that a right which is abused does not therefore cease to exist.  In the case of the federal system, a State does have rights which should check the authority of the Federal Government.  So while the application of rights to individuals is, I think, the most fundamental case and the best case for creating a definition, it's not the only meaningful application of these concepts.  The key point I think is that a right *functions as* a check on authority; while I believe it *is* an endowment of God to individuals, a group of those individuals might have some aggregate of the rights of the individuals themselves.  However different groups have different natures - the high school chess club is a group, and the state of Texas is a group.  The latter is authorized to use force against its citizens, the former obviously not.  How does that change whether the individual rights of the members accrue to the group?  Of course that's an extreme case, but extremes help us define.

Should not be impeded.  This part certainly gets difficult, and comes down to specific cases.  Impeded by whom, and for what purpose?  Again thinking about individuals and government, an individual might be impeded by some other individual or group of individuals, or by government.  Remember that government alone is authorized to use force, and will also interact with the second individual or group which would propose to impede the first individual.

What authority does government have to impede an individual?  I think it's basically the authority to prevent harm.  If an individual acts in a way that causes harm, government has the authority to impede that behavior.  Sometimes government can impede before the behavior, sometimes it punishes after the behavior, but I'm calling both "impede."

Can individuals legitimately impede other individuals?  It seems to me there are three scenarios where an individual, or group of individuals, might impede another individual or group - where a contract exists providing that authority, where property or property rights are being protected, and where life is at stake.  I don't find the first scenario particularly relevant to my thinking and I think the second is normally pretty clear.  However recent cases argued extensively on this forum depend on how we interpret these specific scenarios.  The third case is self-defense or perhaps defense of one's family or some other person in an urgent situation.  I think it's clear that the person taking another's life in this circumstance is doing so in order to protect the unalienable life and liberty of others.

Whether or not something should be protected from impediment will usually be a matter of specific circumstances, but can we find some limiting cases?  Is there an absolute, inviolate *right* that can never be impeded, by anyone for any reason?

I think there is one such truly absolute right, and that is the right to think.  Not to say what we think, and not to act on what we think, but to think.  No individual and no government, no earthly power, has the authority to regulate thought.  We answer for our thoughts to Almighty God alone.  I would place this as the "greater than unalienable" right.

Next would be the unalienable rights, and I have suggested up-thread those rights can only be impeded by government through due process, and cannot be impeded by individuals or groups of individuals other than for self-defense when lives are threatened.

Then would come the "alienable" rights, which can be impeded by individuals to protect property, and impeded by government with no requirement of due process.  These "alienable" rights would be where the vast majority of problematic cases would reside.  While they can't be listed or considered here, I think a concept of harm is necessary to guide clear thinking, and I don't have that thinking in place yet.  There can be no right to live free of being offended; harm should not include limitations on speech or on routine and expected use of one's property which are materially irrelevant.

I have beaten this thread up with several very lengthy posts.  I hope anyone reading them will have gained some helpful ideas.
James 1:20

Online IsailedawayfromFR

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9,794
  • Sept 11 2001 or March 6 1836
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #115 on: July 13, 2019, 06:31:31 PM »
Thanks @IsailedawayfromFR.  Based on a couple of quick reads of the link, it looks like the so-called "experts" *don't* agree on what rights are, or where they come from, or whether everyone has the same rights.  I'll concede it can be difficult to sort out in a particular situation whether one man's rights should prevail over another's, but I didn't realize that the leading lights of One World Tolerance and Diversity are this confused.

I think all of us here would probably agree that rights come from God and that everyone has the same rights.  However it might be very difficult for us to agree on a definition of "right" or even a list of examples, and it is likely even more difficult to sort out which right of one individual should take precedence over which right of some other individual, or over an authority of government, in a given situation.

I'll boldly take a stab at a definition here : a "right" is the social recognition that an individual or group should not be impeded.

Social recognition?  What does that mean?  I say it's a social recognition because it isn't feasible for individuals to declare unilaterally their own rights. Whether or not something is a right is not for us to decide, neither unilaterally for ourselves nor by consensus for others, since rights come from God; but we must  achieve a consensus recognition of a right, a shared philosophical, social, political agreement that something is a right, in order to treat it properly as a right.  Achieving that shared consensus recognition is the hard part.  I don't think God endows us with rights today that he did not endow to earlier generations before us; the question is whether our recognition of His endowment is becoming more trustworthy or more deluded.

One question raised in the article is whether or not rights might vary from one culture to another.  My opinion is that the recognition of a right might vary from one culture to another, because the expectations men have of themselves, their families, and their institutions do differ across cultures; but the fact of a right will not vary from one culture to another because all men are equal before God.  And I note @IsailedawayfromFR that this leads directly back to your appeal for respect for the distinct Judeo-Christian culture which was the intellectual and social foundation of the country.  We should not refrain from asserting, even through government and law, that our ability to discern rights is perhaps *the* key distinction of our culture, and people all over the world regularly demonstrate their assent by immigrating here, within or without the very law that encodes our, yes superior, recognition of rights.

Individual or group?  What is the importance of the individual, or the group, in this proposed definition?  Do only individuals have rights, or do groups have rights?  Again, when we recognize that different cultures pay greater or lesser respect to individuality, the interaction between individual and group certainly is very important, particularly in the ability to *recognize* a right.  But for our discussion here the important application is probably the individual in comparison to government.  Government is the entity we all live with which is authorized to use force against us - our employers, churches, or families cannot - so how we as individuals interact with government is the critical scenario for understanding rights.  I say intentionally that government is authorized to use force against us - individuals have rights, government has authority.  When a right is recognized as such, it functions as a check on government authority.

Many of us on this board remain staunch believers in the federal system created in 1787.  I maintain my belief in that system, although I think it's practically on its last legs; still, a federal system sheds additional light on this question of individuals, groups, and government.  There used to be a position in this country which favored "States Rights."  Although my own ancestors brought the term into disrepute because of the context in which they asserted it, I'll argue that a right which is abused does not therefore cease to exist.  In the case of the federal system, a State does have rights which should check the authority of the Federal Government.  So while the application of rights to individuals is, I think, the most fundamental case and the best case for creating a definition, it's not the only meaningful application of these concepts.  The key point I think is that a right *functions as* a check on authority; while I believe it *is* an endowment of God to individuals, a group of those individuals might have some aggregate of the rights of the individuals themselves.  However different groups have different natures - the high school chess club is a group, and the state of Texas is a group.  The latter is authorized to use force against its citizens, the former obviously not.  How does that change whether the individual rights of the members accrue to the group?  Of course that's an extreme case, but extremes help us define.

Should not be impeded.  This part certainly gets difficult, and comes down to specific cases.  Impeded by whom, and for what purpose?  Again thinking about individuals and government, an individual might be impeded by some other individual or group of individuals, or by government.  Remember that government alone is authorized to use force, and will also interact with the second individual or group which would propose to impede the first individual.

What authority does government have to impede an individual?  I think it's basically the authority to prevent harm.  If an individual acts in a way that causes harm, government has the authority to impede that behavior.  Sometimes government can impede before the behavior, sometimes it punishes after the behavior, but I'm calling both "impede."

Can individuals legitimately impede other individuals?  It seems to me there are three scenarios where an individual, or group of individuals, might impede another individual or group - where a contract exists providing that authority, where property or property rights are being protected, and where life is at stake.  I don't find the first scenario particularly relevant to my thinking and I think the second is normally pretty clear.  However recent cases argued extensively on this forum depend on how we interpret these specific scenarios.  The third case is self-defense or perhaps defense of one's family or some other person in an urgent situation.  I think it's clear that the person taking another's life in this circumstance is doing so in order to protect the unalienable life and liberty of others.

Whether or not something should be protected from impediment will usually be a matter of specific circumstances, but can we find some limiting cases?  Is there an absolute, inviolate *right* that can never be impeded, by anyone for any reason?

I think there is one such truly absolute right, and that is the right to think.  Not to say what we think, and not to act on what we think, but to think.  No individual and no government, no earthly power, has the authority to regulate thought.  We answer for our thoughts to Almighty God alone.  I would place this as the "greater than unalienable" right.

Next would be the unalienable rights, and I have suggested up-thread those rights can only be impeded by government through due process, and cannot be impeded by individuals or groups of individuals other than for self-defense when lives are threatened.

Then would come the "alienable" rights, which can be impeded by individuals to protect property, and impeded by government with no requirement of due process.  These "alienable" rights would be where the vast majority of problematic cases would reside.  While they can't be listed or considered here, I think a concept of harm is necessary to guide clear thinking, and I don't have that thinking in place yet.  There can be no right to live free of being offended; harm should not include limitations on speech or on routine and expected use of one's property which are materially irrelevant.

I have beaten this thread up with several very lengthy posts.  I hope anyone reading them will have gained some helpful ideas.
Thanks, @HoustonSam .  You serve this forum well as you bring forth reasoning well thought out and versed, much better than most of our forum participants, including me.  The bonus for me it matches pretty well my own conservative thinking.

The only issue I see with the final discussion you have on "greater than unalienable, unalienable and alienable" is that thinking is first and foremost.

I am somewhat bothered by that idea as how would someone incapable of thought like a fetus in the womb or someone in a coma or for that matter someone asleep be able to exercise that right?

I understand what your excellent elucidation is attempting to capture; however, I would offer since the examples I mentioned cannot have that right by necessity, I would not wish to lower those beings from being any less possessing rights than any of us.
Yearning to stay free takes place in many ways at many different times, whether by withstanding planes or bayonets

Online HoustonSam

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
  • old times there are not forgotten
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #116 on: July 13, 2019, 07:43:51 PM »
The only issue I see with the final discussion you have on "greater than unalienable, unalienable and alienable" is that thinking is first and foremost.

I am somewhat bothered by that idea as how would someone incapable of thought like a fetus in the womb or someone in a coma or for that matter someone asleep be able to exercise that right?

I understand what your excellent elucidation is attempting to capture; however, I would offer since the examples I mentioned cannot have that right by necessity, I would not wish to lower those beings from being any less possessing rights than any of us.

Thanks @IsailedawayfromFR , that is an excellent observation, and the thinking I've laid out does not do justice to that observation, probably because I'm thinking more about how the rights of individuals check the authority of *government*, rather than how the rights of individuals check the desires of *other individuals*.  Both scenarios are necessary.  When we consider the right to life of someone who is incapable of thinking or perceiving, that person's life is usually in the hands of some other individual, not in the hands of government; government doesn't *decide* to seek an abortion, or to "pull the plug."  So to get this individual-and-individual part of the theory correct, the individual's ability to think or perceive is less important than some shared understanding of what the individual *is*.

So obviously this brings us to some consensus understanding of human life, a consensus which unfortunately eludes our society today.  I'm with the position @Smokin Joe laid out up-thread - distinct human DNA makes a distinct human, not "viability."  To apply my overall thinking to this question, I look forward to the time that there is enough of a shared recognition about the right of a being with distinct human DNA to exist that government will prevent another individual from violating that being's unalienable right to life.

I find it odd that the "progressives", so quick to assert a moral monopoly by equating everything to slavery, justify abortion by trying to argue that the fetus is something less than human, when the  defenders of slavery said the same thing about the slaves.  In fact, the next time a "progressive" tries to stifle an argument against the legality of homosexual marriage by arguing "that's what people said about inter-racial marriage", I'd like immediately to put them on the defensive about the less-than-human-status they accord to the fetus by arguing back "that's what the slave owners said about the slaves."
James 1:20

Offline Smokin Joe

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 24,329
Re: Mike Pompeo unveils panel to examine 'unalienable rights'
« Reply #117 on: July 14, 2019, 05:11:41 AM »
@HoustonSam

I guess one thing which might define a Right, is the sense of Wrong when it is violated.

If someone's stuff is stolen, they feel wronged.
If someone is convicted of something with little or no evidence, without the opportunity to defend themselves, they have been wronged.

If someone is deprived of the means to defend themselves, or, for that matter, any property for no reason, they will have been wronged.

If someone (or a group) invade your home, and by force, eject you and/or your family, or force the occupants thereof to suffer their invasive presence with neither invitation nor welcome, they have been wronged.

If someone is required (by force if necessary) to pay for government, but denied a say in how that government operates, they have been wronged.

The basic wrongs, or at least a few of them, are to be found in "The Charges Against the King" in The Declaration.

For someone's life to be forfeit for the actions or crimes of another, is for them to be wronged...

and even more fundamentally, for someone to harm or kill a child is a wrong which shrieks it's nature almost universally.

We freely acknowledge the opposite of those situations, to be a gift from our Creator, but even more, something which we should possess, and something which our Government we have selected should work to enhance or simply leave alone.

How then can any Government based on those Rights be so wrong when it comes to the one issue we have oft sidetracked into on this thread? Only through the devious persuasion of so many that it is only" a lump of tissue" (as are we all) that is being removed and destroyed, and not a human life.

If we examine the eugenic roots of evils perpetrated in the 20th Century, we find that fundamental to the enslavement or extermination of massive numbers of people, was the redefinition of those people as "not-people": Subhuman--something less than what was considered in that context to be human, and thus fair game. Defining humans thus in utero, if disabled, developmentally or otherwise, or via some genetic marker, bloodline, or belief, has ever been handy in slaughter, and in inciting others to take part in that action.

Fundamentally, it is wrong to deny their humanity before God, and use that denial to deprive them of their Rights.

It is only when people perform (or are assumed to perform) acts which mark them as people who, in our society, behave below the standards our culture has established as 'human' that we tend to use that behaviour as a reason to deprive those individuals of their full interaction with, freedom among, and even life among, other people.

But even then, in the instances where we have punished those who violated the Rights of others, only in select instances do we deprive them of the most fundamental Right of all, that we have possessed ad humans from The Garden: the right to choose whether we would live according to the will of our Creator or not, a choice He gave all of His Creation.

As for the existence of Rights for those unable to communicate their beliefs, desires, etc., by virtue of injury, disease, state of consciousness, or development, does that make a person any less human? Being a member of a species, in this case Homo Sapiens is defined by genetics, by DNA, not by whether they are awake, alert, or comunicative enough to answer the question.
How God must weep at humans' folly! Stand fast! God knows what he is doing!
Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression


There are no "Socialists", no "Progressives", only Communists, with every negative image that totalitarianism might muster, demanding fealty and conformity to their views, with a legacy of 150,000,000 dead and counting.


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf