Jenifer Johnson wrote:
People believe that the right to life, liberty, and property do not exist, only because of the collective force to make laws. On the contrary, it is the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
A rather odd "fact" -- if it be one. To talk of "rights" in a pre-social "state of nature" is to posit something that makes little sense. The primordial cave dweller may indeed have had "rights" to life, liberty, and property, but those "rights" were only co-extensive with his ability to protect those rights. In this respect, Hobbes, who understood that the state of nature was a state of war, was far more insightful than Locke. For Locke (and Rousseau), the sagacious, rights-bearing savages got together to form governments because a few troublemakers would inevitably take advantage of the good nature of the majority, whereas Hobbes recognized that everyone
had an incentive to take advantage of everyone else, and so formed governments more from fear than from hope or empathy.
Both Locke and Hobbes, however, were convinced that there were "natural rights" possessed by all humans. Yet rights without a corresponding obligation on the parts of others to respect those rights are no rights at all, and, in the states of nature posited by both Locke and Hobbes, no one had such a binding obligation. In such a state, the "rights" to life, liberty, and property are simply the same as one's capacity to protect one's life, liberty, and property, which mean that "naturel rights" might be inherent but they are also inconsistent and uncertain. Everyone might be created equal, but some would clearly be more equal than others. For Locke that was unfortunate, for Hobbes that was inevitable. Neither, however, saw that paradox as fatal to their view of "natural rights."
Objectivists, like Rand, have never been able to solve that paradox -- not that they've been particularly interested in solving it. Rand took it as a given that humans had natural rights without really looking at the meaning of "natural rights" or attempting to explain their nature. That, I suppose, comes from the certainty that one has upon discovering the immutable (and empty) tautology that "A = A." When one bases one's entire philosophy on such vacuous truisms, one is inclined to believe in all sorts of nonsense.