Thebastidge: Where do rights come from?
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    Monday, June 04, 2007

    Where do rights come from?

    While debating on the thread I mentioned yesterday, some comments there made me want to clarify a point about the American system of governance.

    Our system believes that rights are inherent, not granted by our Constitution or system of governance, which is merely a document conceived of by the limited mind of man, imperfect and historically contextual, and occasionally in need of amendment to acknowledge other independent truths. The Constitution merely acknowledges some of these rights specifically, given their clear importance. It also notes that certain powers are delegated to the government, but only at the consent of the people, which implies that such delegation may be revoked, or that those powers may be used without recourse to the government. For example, our second Amendment addresses an implied right: the right to keep and bear arms only makes sense in light of other rights: to self defence (right to life) liberty (freedom of association, speech, to "dissolve the bonds" of government). Were it not to guarantee these other rights, and the historical record which shows how often and likely they are to be infringed, the @nd Amendment might not be necessary.

    Other rights, like "privacy," are not mentioned specifically, (Freedom from search is peripheral to it, and the 10Th Amendment explicitly notes that other rights not enumerated exist) and are not but it has become clear over time that it is indeed a right, albeit of uncertain scope.

    Also note that while rights are inherent, they are also not absolute. One's rights end where another's take up. Rights can be abdicated or lost through one's own action.

    Tag: Patriot's Journey (with JimK, Scott, Lil, Doug, Moorewatch and our fearless leader Drumwaster)


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