THIS IS THE SECOND OF A FOUR-PART SERIES
(you can find the first post here)
This post is primarily addressed to those readers who may be new to the Theory of Natural Law and Natural Rights as the Framers understood them. This series is intended to start the reader off by asking them to give some careful and considered thought as to what they actually believe about several cornerstones of Natural Law Theory. We ask that those readers who are new to Natural Law please take a few minutes to read through each of the four posts. Feel free to post questions or answers ours. We will do our best to answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. If at any time you feel that you are being personally attacked on this board, please let the admin know about it. Personal attacks are a violation of Natural Law and will not be tolerated. However, we caution all of our readers: this does not apply to ideas. Ideas can and will be challenged. The important thing for all of us is to learn how to tell the difference between personal attack and an attack on an idea. Hopefully, readers will learn this over time. Now, with that said, shall we begin challenging you? We’d like to start by asking you to answer a series of questions:
For the moment, I’d like to set aside any discussion of what a right is or isn’t. Instead, I’d like to star by asking a couple more basic questions:
First, do you believe that such a thing as a ‘right‘ even exists in the first place?
If your answer to my to this question is no, then please, you are welcome to read along, but do not try to disrupt the board — please. However, if you do believe that such a thing as a ‘right‘ exists, I continue with my questions:
If you believe that ‘rights’ exist, then what is the origin of a ‘right;‘ from where does it come?
Regardless of where you believe I right originates, by what means do you think a ‘right‘ is derived? How is it created?
Regardless of where you believe I right originates, by what means do you think a ‘right‘ is imparted? How is it granted?
My next series of questions are designed to help the board (as well as yourself) better understand your concept of a ‘right:’
If you answered rights come from the Creator (whoever you may believe that to be), then do you believe the Creator defines and grants those rights to the individual, or a collective?
If you answered rights come from the government, then how does the government decide what is a right, and does it give those rights to the individual, or does it give them to society, in general?
If you answered rights come from some other source, then how is a right defined and to whom is it assigned: individuals or groups?
Finally, my last series of questions are simply a continuation of my last, they’re just a little more specific:
Whether you believe rights are vested in the individual or a group, do you believe a right is a part of the individual/group, or can it be separated from the individual/group?
Whether you believe rights are vested in the individual or a group, do you believe a right can be justifiably restricted or taken from the individual/group?
Whether you believe rights are vested in the individual or a group, under what conditions do you believe a right can be justifiably restricted or taken from the individual/group?
Whether you believe rights are vested in the individual or a group, how would such an individual/group right be restricted or taken? By whom? And by What process?
That’s it: those are all the questions we wanted to ask in this post. Whether or not you post a reply is entirely up to you. Our only request is that:
If you decide to continue reading TRTC, please do so with an open mind. By that we mean that you will come to our arguments with sincere desire to give them fair and honest consideration and, if any of our arguments make sense to you, that you be willing to change your mind about your own beliefs. And if you have questions, you will engage in a civil and reasonable discussion. This means we both get to answer questions and present support for our positions, and we both have to answer those questions and consider the other party’s evidence. We can assure you, if you can provide us with a reasoned argument that is stronger than those we present, we will do the same. In fact, we already have — many times. Will you do the same?
Read the third post in this series.