The inalienable right to life possessed by every human being is present from the moment of initial formation, and all human beings shall be entitled to the equal protection of persons under the law.
The Personhood Debates
Debate 1: Endowed by the Creator
The argument that life begins at conception can certainly be made from a legal or scientific standpoint, and indeed that very argument has been made for centuries. However, the evidence from law and science is insufficient for the complete pro-life argument. Science can tell us that the unborn child is a living human being, but it cannot tell us if that child has an inalienable right to life. Our founding fathers recognized correctly that rights can only be inalienable if they come from God. Without Him, all rights are dependent upon the whims of society.
"The acknowledgment of the unalienable right of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, is at the same time an acknowledgment of the omnipotence, the omniscience, and the all-pervading goodness of God." - John Quincy Adams
[John Quincy Adams, An Oration Delivered Before the Cincinnati Astronomical Society, On the Occasion of Laying the Corner Stone of An Astronomical Observatory, On the 10th of November, 1843, at 12-15 (Cincinnati: Shepard & Co., 1843)]
God has no place in law.
Is the right to life an unalienable right or not?
Considering that the death penalty is still legal, I guess not.
Are you saying that you agree with the death penalty and that therefore the right to life is not unalienable or the right to life is unalienable but society violates that right when the death penalty is instituted?
Basically the latter: If the right to life is believed to be unalienable, then how do we justify the use of the death penalty in this country?
Okay. So we at least agree that the right to life is unalienable. That's good to hear. We may disagree on some other points like the death penalty and abortion, but at least we have some common ground to proceed from. Now, let me ask another question. In an earlier comment, I quoted John Quincy Adams as saying that the claim that the right to life is unalienable is the same as claiming that God exists. I would assume that you disagree with this claim. Would you mind explaining how the right to life could still be unalienable even if God did not exist?
Yes, I'd agree that a person's right to life is unalienable.
And your assumption regarding my thoughts on the quote is spot on: I do disagree with that claim.
Being that I simply do not believe in a god, I don't see any reason in trying to explain that particular belief.
I can, however, attempt to relate the idea that unalienable rights are simply an exercise in moral turpitude rather than God-given. Just because I do not believe in a god does not mean that I am morally bankrupt. I can look around at the world and determine right from wrong, including the observation that a person has a right to life.
Simply put: a person's right to life and the existence of God are not mutually inclusive.
If the unalienable right to life is simply an exercise of your moral beliefs, then it cannot be unalienable. Those who do not share your moral beliefs would have just as much justification in denying you the right to life as you may have in claiming that right.
To say that the right to life is unalienable only because a certain moral code states as much is the same as recognizing that this right might not be unalienable under some other moral code. In order to be unalienable, however, this right must hold true regardless of one's moral code. Your position is therefore self-contradictory. It in essence claims that a right which exists regardless of one's belief is at the same time contingent upon one's beliefs. The two cannot coexist.
John Quincy Adams' explanation, on the other hand, does not suffer from such a contradiction, for he recognized God as an individual person who exists regardless of one's beliefs rather than as a moral construct dependent upon one's belief. Therefore, his argument is that the person who created life and grants it to each individual creature has the sole right to determine when that life should end. The unalienable right to life referred to by our founding fathers is thus a recognition of God's command "Thou shalt not kill."
If I am understanding the direction you are headed with this conversation, then wouldn't it be a contradictory act to declare wars on countries or a people? If not then your explanation is lost on me. As per your definition it either is or is not?
This is legal definition:
UNALIENABLE. The state of a thing or right which cannot be sold.
2. Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable, in consequence of particular provisions in the law forbidding their sale or transfer, as pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable.
Not at all. The literal definition of the word "unalienable" is "unable to be alienated from" or rather unable to be made the possession of someone else. The right to life is unalienable in that it is jointly owned by each individual and his Creator, and that ownership cannot be claimed by anyone else. However, just as either owner of a joint bank account can withdraw all the funds from that account, so in life both the individual and his Creator have the power to surrender that life without the consent of the other.
The individual exercises that power when he either sacrifices his life for the benefit of others or takes his own life in despair. The Creator exercises that power by ending the life of an individual as a consequence of certain actions. Included among those actions are all those things which the laws of nature tell us will cause a person to die as well as three additional categories stated in Scripture - capital punishment (Genesis 9:6), self-defense (Exodus 22:2) and war (Deuteronomy 20:10-14).
So it is determined upon convenience of necessity. It would seem one rule would apply for all rather than on certain circumstances and needs. This seems more like the excuses made up for the needs of men, than the laws to abide by, set down by a creator.
I'm not sure where you're coming from when you say that it is determined by convenience or necessity. Perhaps you are misunderstanding me. Let me recommend that you read this excerpt from the commentaries of Blackstone:
I'm somewhat surprised by your response. Are you familiar with the works of Blackstone? Perhaps you thought I was referring to a commentary on the Bible.
Just seems to ask the reader to accept to many unprovable assumptions or opinions. Facts are a more palatable form of digesting an exact and unassuming certainty. That being said, the topic is really based on an opinion, accepted, or not, I think.
Every philosophy is based on assumptions. The point that I was trying to make is that the concept of an unalienable right to life is incompatible with a philosophy that does not assume the existence of the Creator. Without a creator, there are no unalienable rights.
I think even without a creator there are still unalienable rights, my opinion is certain people are carrying their definitions to a point of what is a person to an extreme, and using philosophical arguments to try to verify their definitions. You cannot deal in facts and philosophy at the same time when trying to justify this point. If that is done in all things, the philosophy end of the argument would make nothing absolutely true.
That is a very interesting proposition. Would you mind enlightening us on how that is possible?
I hope this example explains my position. The Declaration of Independence Affirms Unalienable Property Rights. A creator is not guaranteeing this, people are. If your Unalienable rights are taken away or actually infringed upon the human being or group of human beings are the ones responsible for doing it, not a creator. Your basing again all of your assumptions that a creator is giving you these rights, I fail to see that happening in actuality at anytime in our history. Never has it been said in actual history books that the creator took away our rights.
You are mistaken. The Declaration of Independence specifically states that unalienable rights come from the Creator and not the people.
If you are not going to read my entire explanation, please do not ask me to explain something, what I said was anytime these rights are being taken from you it is not a creator that is doing it, it is man. Try reading the complete statement.
I did read your entire explanation. I simply chose to limit my response to a single one of your mistakes. If it will make you happier, I will list a few others for you:
1) The Declaration of Independence does not even mention a right to property much less claim that it is unalienable.
2) The Declaration does not state that unalienable rights are guaranteed by the people but rather that governments are created in order to provide security or defense of those rights.
3) The Declaration indicates that the unalienable rights are superior to rather than subject to the laws of men and thus cannot claim such laws as their source.
4) The Creator cannot infringe upon any of our rights for He is the one who endowed us with them, and He retains joint ownership of them.
If you really do not think that unalinable rights are in the Declaration of Independence then I am sorry we even started this conversation. The rest of your mistakes are not worth the effort find someone that may want to think you know something.
Read below: Maybe this will help you.
That which cannot be given away or taken away.
Here is a listing of known versions of the Declaration, showing which word is used:
The question is often asked, "Is the word in the Declaration of Independence unalienable or is it inalienable?"
The final version of the Declaration uses the word "unalienable." Some earlier drafts used the word "inalienable," which is the term our modern dictionaries prefer. The two words mean precisely the same thing.
According to The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style from Houghton Mifflin Company:
The unalienable rights that are mentioned in the Declaration of Independence could just as well have been inalienable, which means the same thing.
Th,Th, Th, That's all folks. I again misunderstood the G2 level of the person I was dealing with, thanks for the conversation and have a good whatever!
I thank you for the conversation as well, but for the benefit of those reading, I would like to briefly present the conclusion toward which I was pressing.
The argument is often made (and it has been made in this very forum) that the pro-life position is a religious position which should not be forced on those who do not share a similar belief. The first part of this argument is true. Regardless of how much scientific evidence we may present to prove that the unborn child is a distinct and living human being, there is no scientific evidence for rights in general or unalienable rights in particular. We can turn to the law and find that recognizing an unborn child's unalienable right to life would be fully consistent with both constitutional and statutory law. We can turn to court precedent and discover that the courts have affirmed that the recognition of an unalienable right of the unborn child to life is a viable legal position. However, none of these branches of evidence is sufficient for the claim that the unalienable right of an unborn child should be recognized and that it would be wrong for us to fail to do so.
To argue that claim, we must turn to philosophy. We must ponder why some rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) are unalienable while others (suffrage, property, double jeopardy, etc.) are subject to the constructs of society. When we consider the idea of unalienable rights, we must arrive at the same conclusion as our founding fathers. Rights can only be unalienable if they are granted directly to the individual from God. Indeed, there is no philosophical case for unalienable rights apart from God.
It was God who decreed that the right to life should be unalienable. It was by the authority of God that the founding fathers declared their right to alter or abolish any government that became destructive of unalienable rights. And it is by the authority of God that the pro-life community claims that same right in defense of the unborn. You may scoff, and you may scorn, but it is imperative that you remember this: Without the authority of God, your right to life is not unalienable either.
Again it is assumed that everyone believes your God.
Not at all. I'm simply claiming that you cannot have unalienable rights without God. If you would like to propose some way to derive unalienable rights without Him, I would be more than willing to consider it.
Men should not even be allowed to vote on this - not one of you really even know what you are saying.
A man has not had a baby yet - I say let women decide this issue. We can say he said, she said and you know what no body knows - we are just all humans with opinions - I do think abortion is not a good thing, but I that is my opinion.
Human laws should adhere to God's Law:
"Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human law should be suffered to contradict these."
- Sir William Blackstone, http://increasinglearning.com/Documents/01_SourceoftheLaw.pdf
I don't give a care what Sir William said - he is just another person in this world - what makes him special? When I get on here I give my opinion, not someone elses.
I am like "Wondering" I have no need to discuss a topic with you, you don't really have your own thoughts.
Blackstone's commentaries were the second most quoted source in the writings of the founding fathers.(The first, of course, was the Bible.) I quote him for the same reason that they did - not because his opinion is more important than that of anyone else but rather because I share an identical opinion and his wording is much more precise than mine.
If you have an opinion then just give it - plain & simple. We are not writing the Constitution here, just having a discussion.
The problem with that is you are looking at what you determine God's law to be, there are so many different views on this and some say there is no God at all. That is why I said this is a law that is going to be finally decided by Human Beings. Human Beings are the ones that find men guilty of crimes and put them to death, not God, same situation, the law is going to be decided by people. I agree with Cipsaw the women should decide, I have said that before and I still believe it. I guess the bottom line I just disagree with your reasoning, I understand it, just disagree.
I don't mind at all that you disagree. In fact, I welcome it. I do so, however, while pointing out that you are not able to defend your position logically. The fact that there is disagreement over whether God exists or in what form He exists does not in any way negate the fact that unalienable rights are a pure misnomer unless He exists. If you do not accept the existence of God, then you cannot claim to have any unalienable rights.
There are no rights that can't be taken away under certain circumstances. Hunting licence, voting privileges, even your home may be taken away if you commit a certain crime over a certain amount. The only true rights you have with mankind is what they allow you after arrest.
Are you saying that the Declaration of Independence is wrong and that there are no unalienable rights?
I'm only saying I haven't found any manmade laws that can't be taken away. Otherwise, I totally agree with you.
Actually (Blackstone) was a Tory politician, but fairly well respected commentaries gave him some recognition, but I do not think I would give him the credit or admiration that you give him. Not someone I would emulate.
You are exactly right Scoop, the only rights that can be taken away are man made rights.
Do you think that all rights are derived from the laws of men?