Sunday, June 3, 2012

Inalienable Rights

It was pointed out to me that some people might have no idea what inalienable rights are. Inalienable rights are the rights that we are born with (among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). Thomas Jefferson cites three important examples in the Declaration of Independence, but the actual number is indefinite.

The word inalienable means "incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred". From this we know:
  • Government cannot grant rights: We the People retain our inalienable rights (by definition!), and with those, we voluntarily grant specific authority to government. We did that when we ratified The Constitution of the United States, and subsequently, the state constitutions, and county and city charters. The only way that government can legally and morally assume more authority is through the informed consent of the governed; that is, by constitutional amendment.
  • Government cannot create rights: We do not have a right to food, clothing, shelter or health care. We have a right (and a responsibility) to obtain those things by honest labor, but to demand that someone provide them for us, would infringe on their right to keep what they earned -- it is called theft. We have a moral obligation to help those who are down on their luck, and unable to provide for themselves -- this is called charity. However, government hasn't the authority to compel us to provide for anyone -- not even ourselves -- that is called slavery.


  1. Well said Karl!

    I love the way Jefferson gave voice to it:

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ..."

  2. So thru some possibly devine action I am now a living being. That in itself is an imeasureable gift. To expect or want more than the chance to simply 'exist' and make my own way would be asking for special favor beyond the gift of life.

    If I choose to struggle and improve the quality of my life it's payback for the gift, to make my creator proud and enjoy the gift of life.

    If I expect to be given any luxury beyond what I have already been granted, just exactly who do I think I am? Someone special? More special than someone else? Free to mooch off others lives?

    To do that, I would 'suck' from others lives.
    I would live in the 'suck zone'.

    People who suck, blow, amen.

    Don't suck, it blows.

    Just sayin'.

  3. You have hit on why we are so uneasy in this country and why those who are attempting to operate within the law say government has become too invasive. All of the laws we have enacted over the last 200+ years to control "stuff" feel like enslavement because that is what it is. Not a good feeling.


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