Do Natural Rights Exist Without Government ?

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Listening, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    While I believe in God, I have struggled with the idea that Thomas Jefferson put forth:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    Unalienable means (from the net): incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another.

    Now, if China chooses to be communist....and forbids your rights, what difference does it make if they can't "repudiate" them (refuse to accept that they exist) ? You still don't get to exercise them....and, in effect, they have been removed.

    While recently reading Ezra Taft Benson's talk on the proper role of goverment, he states that the most important function of government is to secure the rights and freedoms of individuals.

    Can someone explain to me how we don't have secure rights without government ?

    I just don't see it.
     
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  2. norwegen
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    norwegen Gold Member

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    A concept that even conservatives get wrong is that government is supposed to secure our rights. That is wrong. Government is supposed to leave our rights alone.
     
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  3. percysunshine
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    percysunshine Gold Member

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    Do Natural Rights Exist Without Government ?

    Define 'Government'.

    From a general evolution point of view, Australopithecus never had to produce a voter ID.

    .
     
  4. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    This is from Thomas Jefferson:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men.

    In Federalist 2: John Jay states:

    Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers.

    Now, I would be curious to know how government does not secure our rights..

    And how securing them and leaving them alone are somehow mutually exclusive.
     
  5. TheOldSchool
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    TheOldSchool Diamond Member

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    The problem is... everyone has a different definition of natural rights :dunno:
     
  6. Mojo2
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    Mojo2 Gold Member

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    No, Govt. is supposed to enforce the laws which protect and assure those rights.
     
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  7. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    Government is characterized in many ways.

    George Washington stated:

    Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

    Read more at Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous... - George Washington at BrainyQuote
     
  8. Mojo2
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    Mojo2 Gold Member

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    No, Muslim countries and dictatorships have a different definition than Americans and other free societies.
     
  9. Listening
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    Listening Gold Member

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    Be that as it may, government is still necessary to secure those rights.

    Is there a set of natural rights government is not necessary to secure ?
     
  10. Luddly Neddite
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    Luddly Neddite Diamond Member

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    "rights" are a human construct.

    They're not "god given". I get expecially annoyed at the whole "god given" thing because its such a thoughtless slap in the face to all those who fought for the rights we're so lackadaisical about. Millions of died, sacrificed, been maimed and lost any possible future that includes a normal life, all so we can sit here and talk about it.

    "Rights" are hard fought for and we're always at risk of losing what we have.
     

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