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Is it self evident that "all men are created equal" ?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 12:57 pm
By the way, your remarks and those of your quoted sources suggest that black people in the United States did not want or were unaware that they might have their civil rights until international opinion, and international communist condemnation brought it to their attention. Nothing could be more absurd. The evidence that blacks were dissatisfied with their civil condition from at least the era of the First World War is everywhere in history and literature.

The crucial difference between the 1960s and earlier eras is the leadership provided by men of religious conviction. One might argue that the rank and file of the marches and demonstrations and boycotts were not motivated by their religious convictions (although i'd take a skeptical view of any such claim), but it would be too much to expect anyone to believe that the men of the Southern Christian Leadership Council were not motivated by religious conviction.

The suggestion that blacks in the Old South did not want their civil rights until the communists of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union ridiculed their nation for hypocrisy is too absurd to be believed.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 01:15 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
By the way, your remarks and those of your quoted sources suggest that black people in the United States did not want or were unaware that they might have their civil rights until international opinion, and international communist condemnation brought it to their attention.


I am unaware of making any such suggestion.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 03:41 pm
That was the inference i not unreasonably took from you insistence that the civil rights movement would have taken place as it did even had there been no religious leadership, combined with the paragraphed you quoted from Wikipedia. I imagine that it would not be difficult to do a web search to find literally thousands of claims supporting the contention that religious leadership was crucial to the civil rights movement at that precise time--the 1960s. However, i don't think this is worth the effort. It is also not germane to the topic of the thread. I don't, though, feel that i was unjustified in arguing my position since the author of the thread took up the cudgel.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 04:12 pm
@Setanta,
I think that the use of the word "created" is as important in this discussion as the concept of "equality". If "creation" is removed from the realm of "a deity", the concept of "equality" becomes a "political creation". It is this distinction which provides the subtext for the separation of those who promote the role of religion from those who would not.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 04:27 pm
I see equality as a goal to strive for, although in effect, it is somewhat arbitrary, dependant on the whims of changing times.
0 Replies
 
Letty
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 04:37 pm
All men are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 06:39 pm
@fresco,
fresco wrote:
I think that the use of the word "created" is as important in this discussion as the concept of "equality". If "creation" is removed from the realm of "a deity", the concept of "equality" becomes a "political creation". It is this distinction which provides the subtext for the separation of those who promote the role of religion from those who would not.


If your interest were in the religious implications of the statement, i think you ought to have made that more clear at the beginning. The Declaration of Independence was largely the work of Thomas Jefferson, but despite the protestations of those who fawn over him, it was not exclusively his work. He borrowed heavily, of course, and his final product was heavily redacted by a committee of the Second Continental Congress.

Many, and perhaps most of those men were deists. I can think of no other term which could reasonably be applied to Jefferson himself. I suspect that the theological implications of the phrase were not uppermost in the minds of the authors. The members of the Second Continental Congress, and of the constitutional convention which sat a little more than a decade later were very much aware of the divisive and destructive effect of sectarian strife, especially as it was played out in the English civil wars of the 17th century. This is made more apparent in their private correspondence and their public remarks on religion. The constitution was only ratified because of a promise to provide a bill of rights, and, faithful to that promise, the First Congress made that their first order of business. The two opening clauses of the first amendment to the constitution make clear that the framers and the members of the First Congress intended, insofar as they were able, to prevent sectarian strife, and to remove the taint of sectarian prejudice from their polity.

So, i doubt that this phrase was intended to be a theological statement, but rather a political statement. It is difficult to see it any other way in the context of the entire document, which is a political statement written to justify the most extreme of political measures--secession of one portion of a polity from the rest of the polity.

That was the basis upon which i made the remark that this is a political statement to the effect that all men are equal politically.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 07:46 pm
@Setanta,
My introductory post ...
Quote:
A concurrent thread has touched on the the role of religion in the US Civil Rights movement, and its place in the US constitution. Is the "equality" issue "religious wish fulfilment" which flies in the face of biological and sociological "fact" ?

...did make it clear.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 07:51 pm
@Letty,
Letty,

Especially the pigs ! Wink
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 08:06 pm
@fresco,
Actually, the phrase "all men are created equal" does not appear in the United States constitution. So, i decided to ignore you appalling ignorance (you seem to be steeped in that today), and address the titular question.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Jan, 2010 08:24 pm
@Setanta,
Laughing
0 Replies
 
 

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