frame

Where do your Civil and Human Rights originate?

Opening Argument

VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
edited September 19 in Politics
Surprise surprise!  According to ALL the founders of the United States...they're God given rights. 

"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".
"We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions"
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

So sit back, relax and soak in all the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness you can, so long as these God Given fundamental principles are supporting our Civil and Human Rights...we'll probably be ok.

Also feel free to read here - Short explanation of what the Declaration of Independence means to us as a Society.
https://www.cato.org/us-constitution


joecavalryDrCerealSkepticalOne
"If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

"There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

"Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


Status: Open Debate


Arguments

  • Yes, civil rights have been given by government and by God.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • Civil Rights are given by the government, Human rights are given by God.

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  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    edited September 23
    @Vincent_Costanzo

    Civil Rights are the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality.

    If our founding fathers stated as a matter of fact that "Liberty" is God given...then social freedom and equality is God given.  The Government may very well have given us political freedom but political freedom has little to do with Human Rights.  Human Rights are more heavily concerned with Freedom and Equality (Liberty).  In this case, the people who created our country, did so upon the fundamental principle that God gives us our Liberty and therefor it's impossible for the Government to infringe upon it.

    Rested solidly in this argument is the logical reasoning behind our Civil rights being "God given".


    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EdrilEdril 18 Pts
    edited December 12
    Rights are given to you by whoever has the power to protect them.

    You have the right to go on a murder spree if you have a power that enables you to do so.

    Despite what the constitution says, it isn't god who will track car thieves, punish them, and return your car; It's the police who do that.
  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts

    Cotting v. Godard, in 1901, the Supreme Court makes the case that the Constitution is but the “body and the letter” of the “thought and spirit” of the Declaration’s founding principles:

    The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: ‘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.’ While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government.

    https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/republic-found-the-relationship-between-the-declaration-and-constitution


    So the constitution doesn't say anything about God, the Thought and Spirit (Declaration of Independence) is what formally and officially acknowledges the origination of the ideology behind those Police who are going to track car thieves, punish them and return your car. 

    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • Right, but rights are just the governments public claim to protect what it says your rights are. The government gives them to you, not god. If god gave you those rights, government would be redundant and unneccessary.
  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    edited December 12
    @Edril

    Wrong I'm afraid.  Your rights are not JUST what the government claims to protect and while the government can and has created rights...they do not possess the authority to change or dictate the ones in question.  

    If the Government gives the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness...then that would mean that the Government could take it away...but they cannot.  They can try but unfortunately those rights were established above the Government.

    And you seem to be mistaking a Right with a Guarantee.  Rights can be morally or legally entitled to you, the Rights to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are rooted morally in the authority of God, afterwards they were established as Legally entitled within the Constitution through multiple amendments and legislative codes and laws.

    Just because something is a Right...that doesn't mean that you'll get it or have it.  It only means that you're entitled to it...that it's justly deserved by you.  Our laws are actually written in such a way that if the Government even attempts to deny or contradict our God given rights...we as the people have the authority to overthrow the Government justly.  So no, the Government doesn't give us our rights, they regulate some and have even created some...most of which are based firmly upon the principles already established, if they were the originating authority then we'd have no just ground to overthrow the Government for failure to respect our rights. 
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • EdrilEdril 18 Pts
    edited December 13
    @Vaulk
    The government DOES have the ability to take your rights away. The judicial system does it all the time. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are routinely revoked from criminals against their will. Its clearly a priviledge, not a right.

    The constitution states that citizens have the authority to overthrow the government but that means nothing if we don't have the power too. And the civil war shows that the federap government is not even willing to allow succession to those who feel their rights are being infringed.

    Most importantly, the burden of proof is on you to show that god a. Exists, and b. Bestowed VERY MODERN human rights on americans.
    Nope
  • NopeNope 158 Pts
    Edril From what you say could the US government arrest people then make the work and bring back slavery. That is a scary thought.
  • @Nope

    They could, but the international community would frown on that. It would also cause massive backlash from the public. It would be a poor political move and would weaken their power, probably enough to not have enough power to continue.

    Nope
  • DrCerealDrCereal 80 Pts
    edited December 14
    Why are you so adamant to "prove" that rights are given to us by a theistic god?
    Why does it matter so dearly to you?
  • DrCerealDrCereal 80 Pts
    edited December 14
    Furthermore, could you please demonstrate to us that this "creator" referenced in the Declaration of Independence was in fact "God" (i.e. the Christian god).

    (Below is an edition.)
    You do realize that invoking the founding fathers is an appeal to authority, right? Unless you could provide their reasoning and it withstands criticism, you aren't going to make much progress by mentioning the founding fathers.
  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    @DrCereal

    As I cannot demonstrate due to the disconnect that exists through our debate over the internet, I can instead explicate.

    Conclusion: The "Creator" referenced in the Declaration of Independence was in fact "God" (i.e. the Christian God).

    Premise and Rationale: 

    The reference to "Nature's God" in the Preamble.
    Please make no mistake, I am not saying that this is any definitive proof of "Which God" is being referenced to but is important in the argument none-the-less due to the context of the statement being directly linked to the next reference to a higher power.

    The endowment of unalienable rights by our "Creator".
    This is not only the first but the most prominent reference to the principles of our Country being firmly rooted in the belief in God.  Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness are all fundamental principles within our Laws, legal and justice system and within our Government.  As I've referenced before, the Constitution is merely the Body and Letter of the Spirit and Thought of the Declaration of Independence: Cotting v. Godard U.S. Supreme Court 1901.

    Does this however, prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Founding Fathers were making direct references to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?  Of course not!

    The Founding Fathers appealed to the "Supreme Judge of the World" for the "Rectitude" (Righteous and moral behavior or thinking) of their actions.
    So now who is "The" Supreme Judge of the World?  Whoever it is, they are singular for certain and have been formally and officially recognized by the Founding Fathers.  Does this statement prove that we're talking about the Christian God?  I don't think so.

    The Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortune and their sacred honor with firm reliance upon "The protection of Divine Providence".
    Divine: Of God or a God.
    Providence: The protective care of God or of nature as a spiritual power.
    Courtesy of Oxford Dictionary.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/providence
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/divine

    So from the statement above we can safely conclude that the Founding Fathers pledged everything they had (Including their lives) because they relied upon God's protection.  But which God are they talking about?  Mind you that "Divine Providence" is not a reference to a type of God or simply "Any" God, but "God".  The problem still persists though...what God?  Who is God?

    Since we're talking about none other than the Founding Fathers, what they did and what they created in this Declaration...then in order to know what "They" were talking about, we would have to ask them.  Now these guys are long dead so now we're stuck with only what we truly know about them.  Below are references for some of the facts concerning our Founding Fathers and their beliefs and opinions regarding God.

    http://libertyunderfire.org/2011/07/five-references-to-god-in-the-declaration-of-independence/
    https://www.thoughtco.com/christian-quotes-of-the-founding-fathers-700789

    Understanding the beliefs and principles of our Founding Fathers provides the context necessary to clearly grasp what their intent was behind using the terminology in the Declaration of Independence.  Does this mean that it's impossible that they weren't all Devil Worshipers?  Technically...no, what it does mean however is that this information and subsequently my conclusion passes the standards of clear and convincing evidence as well as preponderance of evidence and reasonable doubt.

    Is anyone here not satisfied with those three standards having been met on this topic?
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • Vaulk said:
    Surprise surprise!  According to ALL the founders of the United States...they're God given rights. 


    The question is "Where do you're civil and human rights originate?". The founders of the US might be considered authorities on many things, but given their disparate views on deities, ('no state religion' was a big deal because of this) "God" is not one of them.They are not a valid source for determining potential divine origins of civil/human rights.  This is an argument from false authority.

    Additionally, the Declaration of Independence was not so much an appeal to "God", but a thumbing of the nose to King George and cry of support from other nations.  The founders invoked a power that would be considered greater than a king (Take that, George!) and easily recognizable by sympathetic believing nations.  

    As to your suggestion the founding fathers were specifically referring to the Christian god, the Treaty of Tripoli, (ratified unanimously without debate in 1796) explicitly states "the Government of the US is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion". Assuming (for the sake of argument) the power of US government were derived from a god - it would not be the Christian god.
    DrCereal
  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    edited December 14
    @SkepticalOne
    ('no state religion' was a big deal because of this) 
    Independence Day 1776, nine of the original 13 colonies had established State Churches.  In 1791 when the 1st amendment was adopted, four of the fourteen States recognized an official State Church.
    https://undergod.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000069

    I have never contended that the Founding Fathers are the source of determination of divine origins on civil/human rights, only that they were responsible for the founding of this country and subsequently the founding of the fundamental principles thereof.  I've also never held the idea that the founders were an authority on God...I'm not sure how that might have been misunderstood as I'm almost positive that I never said that nor anything close enough to it to be confused.  The true origin of our civil/human rights is the ideology that the Founding Fathers held, that ideology just so happens to have been derived from their belief in God. 

    Example: If our Founding Fathers had declared that our civil/human rights were bestowed upon us by the very laws of nature and that denial of said rights was a violation of the natural order of the Earth...then one could easily say today that our Civil/Human rights were rooted deeply in Science.  One could even go as far as to say that it was the fundamental principles of Science that were ultimately the origin of those same rights because our Founding Fathers relied upon that ideology when establishing this Country and its Government.  If this were the case...I doubt any Atheist would deny that the Genesis of these rights was Science.

    I've never claimed that the Declaration was an appeal to God.  The Founders made reference to appealing to God for rectitude of their actions but this doesn't make the Declaration itself an appeal to God.  I'm not sure if I misled anyone to believe that this is my position however, if I did then please understand that it's not.

    Lastly, I've never claimed that the Government is founded on Christian Religion...and it's not.  I could go as far as to prove that it never was and still isn't.  I don't contend that the U.S. Government was founded on ANY religion, instead I contend that the United States was founded upon Christianity and Christian Principles.  And specifically, the power of the U.S. Government is not derived from God, it is derived from the People who maintain the authority to overthrow the Government should it infringe upon their God given rights.

    My argument can be summed up with a ruling from the United States Supreme Court: Cotting V Godard: 1901

    The first official action of this nation declared the foundation of government in these words: "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. "While such declaration of principles may not have the force of organic law, or be made the basis of judicial decision as to the limits of right and duty, and while in all cases reference must be had to the organic law of the nation for such limits, yet the latter is but the body and the letter of which the former is the thought and the spirit, and it is always safe to read the letter of the Constitution in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence. No duty rests more imperatively upon the courts than the enforcement of those constitutional provisions intended to secure that equality of rights which is the foundation of free government."

    So with this statement from the highest court of the United States I can safely say that: 

    1. The Constitution is merely the body and letter while the Declaration of Independence is the Thought and Spirit.
    2. The Constitution is required to be read and interpreted with regard to the Declaration of Independence.
    3. The U.S. Supreme Court maintains that the absolute highest duty of the court is to enforce constitutional provisions that secure equality of rights.
    4. The U.S. Supreme Court formally acknowledges that Free Government is founded upon equality of rights.
    5. The U.S. Supreme Court formally acknowledges that Equality of Rights is God given.

    So then the U.S. Supreme Court acknowledges that Free Government is founded upon a religious principle.
    SkepticalOneDrCereal
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • If I were to concede every word of the above, the proposition will remain unsubstantiated. The proposition goes far beyond one country and the opinions of its founders. By the same same reasoning it could be argued civil and human rights are derived from the monarchy of backwater kingdom based on the opinions of same. 

    Furthermore, the power of the US government is derived from the governed (not a god) as explicitly stated in the preamble of the Constitution (ruled by the courts as a reliable evidence for the founding father's intentions). The US government is sovereign because of its citizens.
    DrCereal
  • @Vaulk

    You argue that the founding fathers state that human rights are God-given. So if your position is that human rights are in fact God-given, then, as @DrCereal mentioned, your argument is an appeal to authority. You've only shown that the founding fathers and the supreme court may have believed this, not that it is true.

    You have not addressed my point that rights do not exist without enforcement and protection. So in actuality, who ever proclaims your rights existence and actively protects them is the entity that bestows them to you. You seem to concede that it is the government, not god, that does this.



  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    @Edril

    Again, I say again...rights are not the same as guarantees.  I'm not sure how you're misunderstanding this.  A right is simply something that is justly deserved by someone...it means you "Should" have it.  Just because there isn't an enforcement agency available to protect your rights...doesn't mean that you suddenly don't deserve them.  If there weren't any police in the U.S., would you suddenly be less deserving of your rights?  Would it somehow be justified to deny your rights to you?

    So I've explained in full how enforcement and protection do nothing to sustain or dissipate your rights...your rights exist with or without enforcement and protection.  Without enforcement and protection you'd simply have to fight to exercise your rights yourself and the lack of enforcement and protection doesn't diminish the justification of exercising a right.  

    Right (Noun): A moral or legal entitlement to have or do something.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/right

    Entitlement: The fact of having a right to something.
    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/entitlement

    This is somewhat circular but this should serve as evidence enough to show how you can be entitled to something without the means to enforce your entitlement.  If you legally own a ten acre piece of property but there's squatters living on it, if there weren't any law enforcement authorities available to remove the squatters...does that automatically mean that you don't own it?  The answer is no, your entitlement is not based upon the existence of available enforcement.
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    Furthermore, the power of the US government is derived from the governed (not a god) as explicitly stated in the preamble of the Constitution (ruled by the courts as a reliable evidence for the founding father's intentions). The US government is sovereign because of its citizens.
    Again, I've provided the exact supreme court case explaining that the Constitution is required to be read, understood and interpreted with regard to the Declaration of Independence.  The Constitution is merely the body and letter, while the Declaration is the Thought and Spirit, the fundamental principle, the foundation and bedrock of the Constitution.  The U.S. is however, sovereign because of its citizens, but it's only the establishment of the rights of the people to overthrow their government should it become tyrannical that makes the citizens able to serve as the sovereign standing.  This ability is provided by the fundamental principles of the Constitution, provided by the Declaration of Independence.
    SkepticalOne
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


  • @Vaulk
    Vaulk said:

    The U.S. is however, sovereign because of its citizens, but it's only the establishment of the rights of the people to overthrow their government should it become tyrannical that makes the citizens able to serve as the sovereign standing. 
    This is an implicit concession against your argument. It follows that a secular  government given power by the governed must also acknowledge the natural rights of the same. 

    The founders were heavily influenced by John Locke who rejected monarchy ruling by 'divine right' and endorsed the natural rights of every man. To suggest the founding fathers believed in rule by divine right of the masses rather than a king is not only dubious, but revisionist as well.
    DrCereal
  • VaulkVaulk 288 Pts
    @SkepticalOne

    I've never contended that our Government is secular and that conclusion isn't within my argument...anywhere.  I'd actually argue that it's not Secular.  I don't think it's "Founded" upon religion, but instead is founded upon religious principles...so it's not secular.  In order for our Government to be secular, it would have to be disconnected completely from religious and spiritual matters.  So then, for the simple fact that the U.S. supreme court formally acknowledges that "Free Government is founded upon religious principles" I can argue that our Government is NOT secular.  If it was secular then we wouldn't have U.S. Supreme Court case Law such as Cotting V. Godard 1901.
    SkepticalOneDrCereal
    "If there's no such thing as a stupid question then what kind of questions do stupid people ask"?

    "There's going to be a special place in Hell for people who spread lies through the veil of logical fallacies disguised as rational argument".

    "Oh, you don't like my sarcasm?  Well I don't much appreciate your stupid".


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