Monday, May 23, 2005
I recently commented on a discussion regarding “rights of individuals”. I would at this time pass along my thanks to Eric Cowperthwaite of, Eric’s Grumbles Before the Grave, for having hosted the discussion under the title, “Rights and Dry Powder”. (linked via title bar)
The banter has been broken down into secular terms in their attempts to avoid any hint of a religious tone. These folks had broken it down as far as they could with terms that could only be considered cosmetic or collegiate. If I am to believe the text of their discussion, then there are two classifications for individual “rights”; those which are inherent and those which are societal.
I would at this time break with their decision to keep the discussion purely secular. They have used the word “inherent” as part of their understanding of what exists without the benefit of societal implementation. I had mentioned in my comment to their discussion that there are inevitable communication issues when one individual attempts to convey an idea based on an assumption that simply because they share the same language, English, that the words used will be understood in similar fashion as intended.
Inherent, as defined, “existing in someone or something as natural and inseparable quality, characteristic or right, innate; basic, inborn; as the inherent right of men to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The rood word, inherit, has as its primary meaning, “to transfer (property) to (an heir). It then adds as secondary, “to receive (property) by the laws of inheritance and then to have (certain characteristics) by heredity.
If we are then to use the word inherent within the context of any discussion of rights then it must first be expressed somewhere, “From whom are we to inherit?” Who is it that has the ability to create such characteristics and to have the power necessary to propagate characteristics? Maybe I should restructure the question; In who’s image are we created after, that we might be heirs?
It is my opinion, rather than contention since contention seems to abound, that to ignore the source of any inheritance is to abandon the right to inherit altogether. If a person was invited to the reading of a will for the purpose of receiving a portion of an estate, then it follows that he would, by virtue of his attending that reading, acknowledge the origin of any and all benefits to be received. In the case of inherent “rights”, does it not seem natural to acknowledge the Author of those rights?
On the outside chance that there are penalties for plagiarism in the eternities I would think that my secular antagonists would reconsider their having discounted the only Being capable of such all encompassing rights as to include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In spite of all attempts to dishonor the founding fathers intent to honor our Creator, it remains there in dried ink upon our most revered documents for all the world to witness. God is the author of inherent rights, to argue otherwise is folly.
“And wo unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord! And their works are in the dark; and they say: Who seeth us, and who knoweth us? And they also say: Surely, your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay. But behold, I will show unto them, saith the Lord of Hosts, that I know all their works. For shall the work say of him that made it, he made me not? Or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, he had no understanding?” (2 Nep 27:27) (emphisis added)
The text of the chapter goes on to explain the logic of listening to the teachings of the Lord and his Prophets even knowing that those filled with pride and the teachings of men alone will not accept these teachings. There is a warning and a promise,
“They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” (2 Nep 27:35)
It would be ever so wonderful to take a time out, I believe that is the current mild reprimand given to children when they are out of control, take a time out and reconsider the possibility that the words I have written are not only correct; but, have come from one of God’s prophets. That being the possibility, would it not follow that you might be better off in the eternal scope of things were you to incorporate the knowledge and wisdom offered now rather than ignore it until such time as you are on the other side of the veil of mortality? Or, you can continue with petty arguments about the origin of things you really have no understanding of, pat yourselves on the back for being great debaters of man’s tricky language and enjoy this temporary shell until the worms take over and consume your unworthy flesh, a little line from Shakespeare, mangled to some degree; but you get the idea.
As a closing thought, not originally in mind as I wrote my thoughts, I find it ironic that the discussion was hosted on a site with, “grumbles before the grave”, most illuminating.
Posted by T. F. Stern at 9:23 AM