5
   

Separation of State and Church?

 
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 05:52 am
@Pukka Sahib,
Pukka Sahib wrote:

Real rights exist only by law. You will learn for yourself the true nature and source of your rights when you need to enforce them. God-given rights are only good in heaven; and you will have to wait a long time to take your claim of right to that high tribunal. In this world, one need have recourse to the law.
Rights and the idea of rights existed long before law as we know it...Witness the names for Law in German and French which are: Right... It is rather law that should give force to right, but we see how often law has given force to wrong, and it is for that reason that no sensible person will trust law on its face, and every intelligent person will reject law as costing too much and doing too little good... The hangman is seldom better than the criminal, and the legal system produces more and worse ciminals... How can you believe that a system that protect only those with the money to protect themselves is any defense of our rights... It is by law that the majority lose their rights and their respect of law... It is order that make disorder inevitable...
Pukka Sahib
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 06:38 am
@Fido,
“Rights are the fruits of the law and of the law alone; there are no rights without law - no rights contrary to law - no rights anterior to law.”
- The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring, Vol. III, p. 221 (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1843).
. . .

The problem with the concept of natural rights is that it is egocentric; i.e., it places the individual in the center of importance. It assumes, falsely, that man, as Locke espoused, has certain inherent rights; or, as Jefferson phrased it, unalienable rights. However, that is not how things are ordered. There are no inherent rights; there are no unalienable rights; there are only legal rights. The words “inherent” and “unalienable” do not appear anywhere in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution created a nation of laws and not men. It is the recognition, from the time of Magna Carta to this day, that no person can be above the law; for it is not the individual that is sovereign, it is the law. To say that one has a right to anything needs must admit that such right exists by law. Indeed, there is nothing in the varied course of human events, from the moment of life’s conception to the final disposition of one’s mortal remains and property after death, that is not governed by law. Natural rights are a fiction - a philosophical construct - airy nothings. Real rights are legal rights; rights that are provided and protected by law. As Bentham put it: "Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense - nonsense upon stilts." Jeremy Bentham, Anarchical Fallacies (1816).
Renaldo Dubois
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:16 am
@Thomas,
Ever read the Delcaration of Independence?
Renaldo Dubois
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:18 am
@Pukka Sahib,
I think I'll take the words of Thomas Jefferson over Puka Sahib.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:21 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
Renaldo Dubois wrote:
Ever read the Delcaration of Independence?

I have, but the Declaration of Independence is not law in America. The US constitution is. And the US constitution does not claim that our rights come from god. Additionally, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776. He could not know that our creator is neo-Darwinian evolution, which cannot bestow rights in any meaningful way.
Renaldo Dubois
 
  0  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:25 am
@Thomas,
The declaration of independence states our rights come from our creator. If you want to parse words then you don't have much of an argument. Ask the English if the Delcaration of Independence is law or not. An 8 year war was fought to make sure it was law.

So basically what you are saying is you're smarter than Thomas Jefferson because you believe in evolution. Amazing.
Pukka Sahib
 
  3  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:35 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence - George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention - and James Madison, who drafted the First Amendment - all declared that our nation was not founded on religion. Know this: the surest and swiftest way to lose our religious freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment is to make Jesus lord of us all.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:35 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
The Declaration of Independence doesn't say who the creator is. I think they meant the Flying Spaghetti Monster, since he is the creator.
Renaldo Dubois
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:52 am
@Pukka Sahib,
I agree that our nation was not founded on religion and Thomas Jefferson wrote that. Do you agree that Thomas Jefferson wrote that our rights come from our creator?
Renaldo Dubois
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 07:54 am
@parados,
In America, you have the right to believe in the God of your choice. Thank you Thomas Jefferson.
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:02 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
Renaldo Dubois wrote:
So basically what you are saying is you're smarter than Thomas Jefferson because you believe in evolution. Amazing.

Almost. I may not be smarter than Thomas Jefferson, but I'm certainly better informed than he was. After all, I have access to 235 years of scientific progress that he couldn't know about. And yes, this progress very much includes the discovery of biological evolution.

Jefferson would have been the first to acknowledge this, being a man of science rather than a prophet.
Renaldo Dubois
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:04 am
@Thomas,
You assume that believing in evolution automatically makes a person a nonbeliever of a creator. That's a problem.
Pukka Sahib
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:06 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
The question is inapposite. The relevant point is that the Constitution - not the Declaration of Independence - is the foundational document. It is the Constitution that is the framework of our government of laws and the guarantee of our rights under the law. That’s the way it is; get used to it.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:11 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
Renaldo Dubois wrote:
You assume that believing in evolution automatically makes a person a nonbeliever of a creator. That's a problem.

No it isn't, because the Declaration of Independence is not law, and the US constitution makes no reference to a creator. It doesn't matter if one accepts or represses the fact of evolution.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:37 am
@Pukka Sahib,
Pukka Sahib wrote:

“Rights are the fruits of the law and of the law alone; there are no rights without law - no rights contrary to law - no rights anterior to law.”
- The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring, Vol. III, p. 221 (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1843).
. . .

The problem with the concept of natural rights is that it is egocentric; i.e., it places the individual in the center of importance. It assumes, falsely, that man, as Locke espoused, has certain inherent rights; or, as Jefferson phrased it, unalienable rights. However, that is not how things are ordered. There are no inherent rights; there are no unalienable rights; there are only legal rights. The words “inherent” and “unalienable” do not appear anywhere in the Constitution. The framers of the Constitution created a nation of laws and not men. It is the recognition, from the time of Magna Carta to this day, that no person can be above the law; for it is not the individual that is sovereign, it is the law. To say that one has a right to anything needs must admit that such right exists by law. Indeed, there is nothing in the varied course of human events, from the moment of life’s conception to the final disposition of one’s mortal remains and property after death, that is not governed by law. Natural rights are a fiction - a philosophical construct - airy nothings. Real rights are legal rights; rights that are provided and protected by law. As Bentham put it: "Natural rights is simple nonsense: natural and imprescriptible rights, rhetorical nonsense - nonsense upon stilts." Jeremy Bentham, Anarchical Fallacies (1816).
Betham was a fool to think that the enforcment of a right was the right itself... What of all the rights that are not enforced... What of the rights denied by law that must be worked for generation after generation... If they can be accepted as right, where they not always right denied... Black people at one time did not have rights in this country that any white man had to recognize... If now they do, was it only law that gave them right, or was the right there, and only by law denied???

Bentham was a kook... Natural rights are clearly traceble to the Roman law of Nations, and that only held what each native community demanded, its own honor, and its power over its own, and with that, responsibility for the behavior of their own... You should consider what makes law so often identical with right in people's minds... It is the fact that it enforces natural moral forms, morality if you would prefer...It is justice, a quality no people can live without that is the force behind law...As Abalard said: Ius (justice) is the Genus, and Lex (Law) is a species of it... All rights are justice... No right can be conceived of as greater for one than another, and it is in the possession of that property in common that we are found equal... Law does not make right unless it is right... Law does not make for justice unless it is justice...

It is possible for a thing to be considered as a law that is neither just nor right which means it is not law, for only a just law can be a species of justice; and yet some will consider a law a law only because it can be enforced... The community is not always correct, but it is always the community, and traditionally has power over its own... If that power is used unjustly it is the whole community who must suffer with the victim of injustice... But it is because injustice is poison that communities have have always concerned themselves with the enforcement of justice, and made moral precepts of right into social forms of law...
Pukka Sahib
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:44 am
@Fido,
"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, . . . "the law is a ass - a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience - by experience."

- Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist, Chapter 51 (1838)
. . .

I think your reply underscores the difficulties in dealing with the problems of society as a monolithic institution. The law, which defines our rights, does not exist in a vacuum; but only within the framework of established social order. Society is a dynamic (not a static) structure; but at the same time it represents man’s resistence to change. In this, one must be mindful that the progress of every civilization has been a constant struggle to bring stability to an uncertain world. The invention of banking and credit brought standards of reliance and accountability in trade and commerce; while government and laws based on precedent provided some predictability in applying the rules of social intercourse; and established religion perpetuated the myth of the triumph of good over evil. The law is but one form of social expression that exists as an integrated system; one cannot abstract it from the whole. It is self-reflective; i.e., it is a reflection of societal values. Is the law fair, or just? No. Is the law, as Mr. Bumble says in Oliver Twist, "a ass - a idiot" (is it blind to experience that men use it to their own perverse ends)? Yes. But that merely begs the question; for to say that the law is bad is to say that the society it serves is bad, and, ultimately, that man is bad. As with any man-made institution, the law comes cap-a-pie with all the faults and failings of human nature. Would you change things, you must change man; and human nature being what it is, that is not likely to happen any time soon.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 08:49 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
Renaldo Dubois wrote:

I agree that our nation was not founded on religion and Thomas Jefferson wrote that. Do you agree that Thomas Jefferson wrote that our rights come from our creator?
That is a metaphysical conception of rights as the quality that makes all men the equal of all other... In fact, no one ever bought it, and if they did not want to extend equal rights to any class they simply defined them out of their manhood... We are all human by definition, but it is science rather than metaphysics which best defends our equality...And in general terms it shows we are the equal of the great apes, as well...Ultimately, our rights rest on our ability to demand them, and on the willingness of other to defend them on our behalf...

Since most rights are seen as alienable by those who do not see their value, as we have it, in this divided society people must expend a lot of energy and interest to have rights only so long as they can hang onto them...Democracy could protect our rights, but majority rule is like any other rule, and a decent into tyranny!!! We should have every right we feel we need that injures no one... One must be able to make the argument of substantial injury to abridge some rights, but to have so many, churches and politicians and pundits trading on our rights is outrageous... To attack a right you do not feel you need, and to force others to give up their peace and tranquility to defend rights they cannot live without is treason... And the Churches are all guilty of treason, using their privilaged status to attack civil and personal rights...
Renaldo Dubois
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 09:09 am
@Thomas,
I understand that the US Constitution is law. I'm pointing out what Thomas Jefferson believed. That's my point. Jefferson believed we get our rights from our creator. The fact that Darwin had not invented his theory yet makes no difference. People have "the right" to believe in a creator.
Renaldo Dubois
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 09:10 am
@Fido,
What do you mean "no one ever bought it"? Millions of Americans in our history have bought it.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2011 09:11 am
@Renaldo Dubois,
If the Declaration of Independence isn't law, why should we care what Thomas Jefferson wrongly believed?
0 Replies
 
 

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