Wednesday, January 19

Alternatives to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit (Part 3)

Find part 2 (here) and from there the start of this particular project. We had arrived at a set of "rights" derived mainly from Torah (except I took a right to charity , they were:
  • A right to worship my God, or freedom of religion.
  • A right to raise my family in a righteous manner
  • A right not to be killed
  • A right to property
  • A right to a fair system of jurisprudence.
  • A right to charity
  • Finally we note, sexual freedom is not a right.
There was one unanswered question to address before diving in and trying to devise a system of government which supports these rights.

The first question was one raised by Mr Pierce (Parableman) two weeks ago when I came up with this list of rights. He asked, when does a moral right imply a legal right? Always? The answer seems forthright. These rights are (literally) God given. However, having been given these rights, I may still (not under duress) yield them in part to social contract. Thus it seems those moral rights are should also be legal rights where not ceded by all to the collective community for safety and security.

What form of government if any does this suggest. These rights as given do not in fact go far towards helping us establish the type of government, except that it needs some established common law and that all members of the society should be under that law for in order to maintain those rights all members must respect the structures put in place to establish these given rights. While the clan/patriarchy, judgeship, and finally kingdom was established by the people of Israel, there is never (to my knowledge) a firm indication from God that this is how things must be aligned. In fact, when the kingship of Saul is first established by Samuel, there is some indication that this is pressed upon Samuel, who doesn't think very highly of this idea.

How would this change our feelings about our government? Well, for our legislators and jurists instead of holding the truths self evident as stated in our Declaration, we would have to consider a different set of guiding principles (those listed above). I would imagine that common law would evolve quite differently in this philosophical environment. For the final essay in this series I will attempt to imagine how that might evolve. As for the rest of the government, a system much like that established by Mr Adams and perfected by Mr Madison et al, with checks and balances would be wise, because our set of rights and their origin (Scripture) indicate that man is inherently sinful. This was in fact a guiding principle for our founders which has held for some time now.