Of the many difficult questions a person can ask about the rights of man, one of the toughest is whether the people of a country are ever their own supreme authority. To err toward an absolute “yes” or “no” seems to lend credibility to a variety of atrocities, and trying to strike a balance between the two extremes can plunge the answer into useless subjectivity. But a good answer is readily available for those who concern themselves with sound principles. (more…)
27. March 2011
15. March 2011
Most people in the West agree that a human should not be subject to cruel and unusual punishment, as maintained by our eighth amendment and supported by an overwhelming number of Americans. But is it possible that the process of defining “cruel and unusual” has done Americans more harm than good? To understand whether or not this is the case, it is imperative to consider the concept of war, the purpose of law, and then eventually examine the unalienable rights which all human beings possess.
John Locke once described man’s natural rights as being the right to work for his food, to enjoy the products of his labor, and to live within the positive laws of Scripture (Second Treatise, sects 135 and 136). But since man cannot survive without the right to property and to secure the benefits of his labor, an assault on these rights is an assault on survival, an act Locke recognized as a declaration of war. He wrote of the matter, (more…)
7. March 2011
The other day, I greatly offended an Arabic associate of mine. During a conversation about the social contract, I tried to use an example of a group forming themselves into a nation, and I had begun the example with the statement, “suppose that a group of people like you were to get together, and decide to build your own country, with your own laws.”
His objection to my statement was that Christians and conservatives oftentimes enjoy separating themselves from everyone else, that we believe that people like him are not part of our group, that we in essence discriminate. In this particular instance, I referred to him as people like you, leading toward an idea and an effect which I had not intended. Why, he asked, could we not just all be considered human, and on the same team? (more…)