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Natural Rights

Script of ￿Natural Rights￿ on the DC Treybil Youtube Channel

As I understand it, the term natural right refers to any area of your life that you do not want others to interfere with.

In the Declaration of Independence life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness are deemed unalienable rights.￿ The fact is individuals can be alienated (as in separated) from their life, liberty, or property.￿ This happens with annoying regularity in the course of human events.

But who wants this for themselves?!

Who wants to have enjoyment of their life interfered with, as in interrupted by homicide?

Who wants to have enjoyment of their liberty interfered with, as in interrupted by abduction?

Who wants to have enjoyment of their pursuit of happiness interfered with, in any manner?

Not to take issue with Jefferson￿s choice of words here, but those things he deemed unalienable rights happen to fit the definition of natural rights proposed here.

Jefferson prefaced his abbreviated list of unalienable rights with a qualifying phrase, "that among these are".￿ Based on this qualifying phrase, I gather that Jefferson knew, or felt strongly, that his list was not complete.￿ ￿Just as Jefferson did not view his list of unalienable rights as being complete, neither did the Anti-Federalists view the rights enumerated with the original seven articles of the Constitution complete.

Other rights retained by the people were neither to be denied nor disparaged, according to the language of the 9th amendment.

Those other rights retained by the people are natural rights.￿

It being that neither Jefferson nor the framers could produce a complete list of natural rights, I won￿t make any attempt to do so here.

To get much further than Jefferson and the framers got, you￿ll have to look into that aforementioned mirror a long time ￿ a very long time.￿ Good luck with that.

It was a hard decision when it came to choosing which to discuss first ￿ native justice or natural rights.

There￿s that oft-cited Biblical passage, ￿When I was a child, I thought as a child . . .￿.￿ When it comes to making your list of natural rights, there comes a point at which you must choose to want what you can have.

Young children tend toward total ego-centricity, total self-centeredness.￿ It is normal for a child to think that when they￿re happy, the whole world is happy.￿ Nobody of average endowments needs to spend much time on this rough rocky space-hurtling orb called Earth to realize that this is not so.￿ Nobody gets to have everything exactly the way they want it all the time.￿ Sometimes, and rather often at that, purely as a matter of enlightened self-interest, each of us must rise above this child-like tendency of total ego-centricity, look outside ourselves, look beyond ourselves and consider the likely effects upon others of our contemplated actions and how those others might in turn respond.

Any lapse in the observance of the foregoing advice may be followed by interruption of your unfettered enjoyment of your natural rights.

Back to the decision of whether to discuss native justice or natural rights first.

I think that each of us possesses an invisible compass, an invisible compass which I dubbed native justice.￿ I think the needle of that invisible compass points toward survival.￿ I think it points toward survival because survival is along the same path as pursuit of happiness.￿ And I think co-operation among individuals is one of the keys to survival.￿ Due observance of the natural rights of others is a form of co-operation.￿ Such due observance of the natural rights of others can be readily achieved without reducing the enjoyment of our own natural rights.

True, what I've said here about natural rights is somewhat wanting.￿ I made no attempt to make a complete list.￿ I leant upon Jefferson and the anti-federalists to get past that.￿ I hope my opening statement about any area of your life that you don't want others to interfere with is of some help to you.

If you have what it takes to find your way to a computer and the attention span it takes to watch this video, you have what it takes to consider what has been said and form your own opinion.￿ You can do as well as I can in the area of natural rights.

Nonetheless, for what it may be worth, I will conclude by stating that my own list of natural rights is abbreviated by a clause which says, ￿if I can, and am willing to, extend the same consideration to others.￿


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