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 Are ALL men created equal?

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Aaron
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PostSubject: Are ALL men created equal?   Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:41 pm

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"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...."
-Declaration of Independence

This is a quote that in near and dear to most Americans, however is it really true? Are all men really created equal and is liberty really an "unalienable" right? Or is it a right that needs to be earned to be given and kept?

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Travis Clementsmith
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:26 pm

Although its an old saying, it really has to be taken "in context". First of all, "all men" was not really "all men" and as far as the "unalienable Rights", it was in direct reference to the concept of clergy and royalty being more deserving of life, liberty and happiness. In the context of the French Revolution, it is leveling the playing field between the first estate (clergy) and the second estate (royalty) with the third estate, the subjects/citizens/freemen.

So to me, what it says is that it is not, or at least shouldn't be, birth or association that determines your claim to life liberty and happiness, you have them because you exist, and that existence is credited to the Creator.

-TC

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Sam Borchon



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:40 pm

Well, obviously I have to disagree with the literal statement, being a woman and all. :-)

But leaving aside the lack of gender-neutral language -- since that would have been anachronistic for the time anyway -- I think they probably would have made the claim that equal rights do not necessarily imply that everyone is equal in other respects.

Sam
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:15 am

It is actually a brilliant quote. It doesn't mean all men (and women, Sam!) were created equal. You have to read between the lines on this one. It means they are all equal under the law, all equal under God.

It doesn't mean if they were all to play hockey, the score would be a draw (since they were all made equal).

It doesn't mean if they were all to play poker, the money would be evenly split (since they were all made equal).

I would fully expect in the deist forums that I've played in, that any hockey team I was on would finished unequally ahead and any poker table I was at, I would finish ahead.

But the point is, we're all equal under the law. Equal treatment. Democracy and capitalism allows to flower to our greatest potential. Unfortunately it also lets us reach our lowest depths - even encourages it. But hey, that's democracy.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:52 am

Hi BH (Helium) Smile , and welcome!

What about liberty? Is that a right that we are born with? Do we let our children do whatever they want?

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:13 pm

Thanks!

I do not believe life, liberty, property or anything are inherently owed to you.

Rather they are concepts or ideals that have emerged in our civilization as being important.

So that's a big difference between saying that life, liberty or anything are inherently owed to you rather than our civilization has deemed that they are important and, yes, inalienable, rights. But it is important to note that it's a continuously evolving pact between civilizations and its citizen.

So to this extent, we're horrified by the concentration camps exactly because of the ideals and principles inherent in our civilization.

You raise the issue of children, I assume somewhat to play the devil's advocate!

As in most speceis, and especially so in the human race, the young are born completely dependent. In essence, we are guardians of their future liberty.

What I will say categorically is that all children would be equal in any kinda law I would deem appropriate and that they are all equal under the eyes of any God I would envision.
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:36 pm

I'm sure they didn't mean that all men were created with equal talents, abilities, looks etc. They could only have meant equal rights--to life, liberty and property (which was changed to pursuit of happiness--human "property" being a touchy subject at the time). And further, we are "endowed" with them only as nature and reason indicate. They are naturally in/unalienably ours.

Since they are naturally derived, they must be deduced and then taught to and defended by succeeding generations. It takes time for each individual to learn that his rights are not superior or inferior to anyone else's. Some don't/won't learn it and that's what jails et al. are for. The double standard is the root of all evil.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:05 pm

Hey Stew? Welcome. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:43 pm

Thanks, good to be here.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:16 pm

How'd I guess. Wink

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:54 am

Shamelessly stealing the identity re-invention from me.

No doubt, he will also be stealing my reasonable, centric, concensus political approach as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 20, 2007 7:02 am

Hello Don! About time you followed us here. I am glad you made it. Now if only we can get you to admit that government is created by men to improve their lot....
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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:11 pm

Aaron wrote:
How'd I guess. Wink

Who else is as reasonably grounded? I didn't figure I'd be able to hide my light that long. sunny (Guess that sets me off on the right foot.)

Nice site btw. Got all the good commands and stuff, and you don't have to go through debug for every post. Evil or Very Mad

Double proton wrote:
Quote :
No doubt, he will also be stealing my reasonable, centric, concensus political approach as well.

If only to bury it. Cool Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 20, 2007 12:55 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Nice site btw. Got all the good commands and stuff, and you don't have to go through debug for every post. Evil or Very Mad

Thanks! Glad you like it! Smile

It's much easier to administer too.

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The Paineful Truth

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 20, 2007 5:15 pm

Quote :
Double proton wrote:

Hope that isn't too suggestive, but I thought I restrained myself. The mind boggles at the possibilities:

Finally got the second proton
Particle accelerator
Nuclear fission
Heisenberg uncertainty principle
Neutron
Arrow Very Happy
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:36 pm

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[If only to bury it. Cool :roll

The truth will not be buried No
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Fri Sep 21, 2007 12:56 pm

Some Truth, both philosophical and political, remains buried since civilization began. But of course disinterring it is my goal--as well as burying misunderstanding, however well-intentioned. Rolling Eyes
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:25 pm

Actually all kidding aside, as I recall I think we had similar opinions on truth, at least the concept of it.

To define the term, it usually breaks down into an objective and a subjective truth.

The objective truth is simply there no matter what our opinions of it, or even if we do not have the cognition to be aware of it.

To me it's the equivlent of the physical laws of the universe, which continue to operate (i.e., heavenly motion, cause and effect, etc) regardless of our ability to document and figure them out, in fact they operated quite nicely before our species was even a gleam in an ape's eye.

Then there's the subjective truth which,I suppose, which is our sometimes inspiring, sometimes feeble attempts to harmonize our own subjective truths with THE objective truth,which we could label as the one truth, so long as the terms were defined.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:34 pm

That's what the four quadrants represent with the added dimension of individual and plural aspects.


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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:48 pm

Quote :
Actually all kidding aside, as I recall I think we had similar opinions on truth, at least the concept of it.

Yes. It was the political realm where we tended to diverge if memory serves. But of course Truth is as important in politics as it is in philosophy. The latter sets the course for the former.

Aaron, I'm not sure what the chart represents. At first glance it seems to be an unnecessary complication. I mean, collective subjective is nothing more than the averaging of the individual subjective, and networks/systems is just a restatement of the physical universe. (Odd, I always place the objective and subjective on the opposite sides/ends.)

Interiors & exteriors?
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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:27 am

Quote :
Truth is as important in politics as it is in philosophy.

Yes, but just as a general thought, there may be only one truth but still may be several ways up the mountain. I'm not sure you give that possibility enough consideration.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:41 am

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Interiors & exteriors?

Yeah, another way to state it is 1st person and 3rd person. "The subjective" is what things look like from an interior 1st person perspective and "the objective" is what things look like from an exterior 3rd person perspective.

The individual and communal aspects are important because they show that we not only exist as individuals but we are also a part (and product) of something larger than us like families, groups, cultures, societies, nations, etc...

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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:07 pm

Helium wrote:
Quote :
Yes, but just as a general thought, there may be only one truth but still may be several ways up the mountain. I'm not sure you give that possibility enough consideration.

Absolutely. I've mentioned several times that there are infinite combinations of talents and interests displayed by humans, and therefore an infinite number of paths to the Truth. THE Truth is truly one from many.

I feel I'm pretty good at picking up on personalities and the intrinsic quality of things and expressing myself about them. But I'm not an artist and appear to be unable to convey the emotional component of what I consider to be an epiphany, or its simple beauty. My approach is to keep pushing until it strikes a cord with such an artist or "charismatist" who can pick up the ball and run with it....Uhf, it sounds like I'm looking for my own version of Paul, who'd probably screw it all up too.

Hmm, sorry to self-medicate in public like that.

Aaron wrote:
Quote :
"The subjective" is what things look like from an interior 1st person perspective and "the objective" is what things look like from an exterior 3rd person perspective.

But 3rd person and 1st person are irrelevant to the Truth. It confuses the issue. Subjective Truth can be communicated and accepted by other individuals or groups, or not, and in both cases it is still subjective Truth (beauty). An objective Truth (natural law) applies to one and all, even if no one is aware of it, or if everyone believes it not be the case.
Quote :

The individual and communal aspects are important because they show that we not only exist as individuals but we are also a part (and product) of something larger than us like families, groups, cultures, societies, nations, etc...

Yes we are social animals and we are influenced by the groups we belong to; but we are born, live, think and die as discrete individuals. It is a purely subjective influence on the individual mind (she's ugly), many times to the point of inducing irrationality (she's ugly because she belongs to another clan and deserves to be killed), and nothing more.
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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sun Sep 23, 2007 10:05 pm

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Aaron wrote:
Quote :
"The subjective" is what things look like from an interior 1st person perspective and "the objective" is what things look like from an exterior 3rd person perspective.

But 3rd person and 1st person are irrelevant to the Truth. It confuses the issue. Subjective Truth can be communicated and accepted by other individuals or groups, or not, and in both cases it is still subjective Truth (beauty). An objective Truth (natural law) applies to one and all, even if no one is aware of it, or if everyone believes it not be the case.

Yes, it's been joked that the 3rd person perspective is the view from nowhere. 3rd person and 1st person are just different ways of saying objective and subjective.

So what this means is that truth is largely based on one's perspective.

The Paineful Truth wrote:
Quote :

The individual and communal aspects are important because they show that we not only exist as individuals but we are also a part (and product) of something larger than us like families, groups, cultures, societies, nations, etc...

Yes we are social animals and we are influenced by the groups we belong to; but we are born, live, think and die as discrete individuals.

Yes we are discrete, but we aren't separate, we don't live in a vacuum, we are part of a larger whole. Therefore we have two aspects or drives, one's individual and one's communal. They're like two sides of the same coin, you can't have one without the other. Individuals influence the community and the community influences the individual.

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Helium



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PostSubject: Re: Are ALL men created equal?   Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:22 pm

Quote :
So what this means is that truth is largely based on one's perspective.

Subjective truth is entirely based on one's perspective.

But what I'm postulating, and I think Stew, er paine, is, is that there is an objective truth that is beyond and not dependent upon ourselves.

Again to use my well worn example, Sir Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein discovered truths about the physical universe. But it's important to note that they discovered truths about how the physical unvierse operates. The actual operation of the universe was quite unaffacted by thier discoveries and in fact operated quite nicely befoere they came along, in fact before us humans were smart enough to start figuring things out.

So I'm postulating the same is true for the moral universe. That great men with moral insight such as Buddha and Jesus come along and they indeed shed light on the moral underpinnings to the world.
But those underpinnings are already there and are the objective truth or God.
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