OT - I don't _hate_ McMansions

Levi Pearson levi at cold.org
Fri Jun 27 23:34:15 MDT 2008

Andy Bradford <amb-plug at bradfords.org> writes:
> And unless one is atheist, one  believes those rights come directly from
> God or  The Creator (as hinted  at in the Declaration  of Independence).
> But then, who ever reads such antiquated documents anyway?

Even atheists can give rational justification for inalienable rights,
which exist due to rational codes of ethics.  Indeed the wording of
'We hold these truths to be self-evident' suggests that God is not
actually part of the reasoning.

This isn't to say that I don't believe the rights came from God, but I
believe it is useful to be able to argue politics without an appeal to
divinity.  A government that supports freedom of religion should not
rely on religious tenets.

Here are some other interesting passages from the Declaration of

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed"

This suggests to me that the government may justly develop powers
beyond the basic protection of natural rights through democratic

"... institute new Government, laying its foundation on such
principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Again, government may be organized by its constituents in such a way
that they perceive likely to bring about their safety and happiness.
I interpret this rather more broadly than you seem to.

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established
should not be changed for light and transient causes;"

Our government has, by now, been long established itself.  Not that
I'm accusing you and Von of being on the cusp of revolution, but you
do propose fairly radical change.  Perhaps you don't view your cause
as light or transient, but opinions certainly vary on that, and at the
moment I believe you are in a small minority.


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