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Old 10-29-2004, 03:56 AM
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Default Which god did the founding fathers think of?

Back to the roots
"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. "

What religious teachings/texts did they refer to? Who/what is that creator?
The answer must be easy since "these truths" must be considered and accepted as "self-evident".

Thank you for your cooperation.

PS: if a written religion, quotes/references would be a plus.
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:48 AM
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Old 11-06-2004, 10:45 AM
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There are many people that discuss Religion in this forum, I myself do not "practice religion" I believe there is a higher being and I do not have to go to church or anywhere else to have access to him/her. To me the Bible is a book of "stories", not a book of which people of our times can live by. Sure there are lessons to be learned from it, but in my opinion...not a book to live your life by!
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Old 11-06-2004, 01:58 PM
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Kind of like a users guide to living life. < My opinion on the Quran.

I guess the bible is similar then Giggely . But according to me, not to you.

"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. "

The phiolophes ^^^^^. Yes, im studying them in World Studies. Thomas Hobbes and John Locke ring a bell? They believed some crap, and most of the crap was put in the Declaration of Independance or Constitution...or whatever that is a quote from.
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Old 11-06-2004, 04:53 PM
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Self evident truths generally have very clear evidences.
Where did those beliefs come from?
Democratic people should know that.
If someone says 'I hold for self evident that some or another human beings die', it is quite easy to see why he/she thinks like that.
But here, what are the religious teachings/texts those great people are referring to base those self evident truths?
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Old 11-06-2004, 06:01 PM
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Im democratic and I dont have a clue where they came from. Is it related to christianity or is it universal or something?
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Old 11-20-2004, 04:54 AM
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Old 11-28-2004, 05:28 AM
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Old 11-29-2004, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke ring a bell? They believed some crap, and most of the crap was put in the Declaration of Independance or Constitution...or whatever that is a quote from.
It's pretty much a direct quote from "Two treatises concerning civil government" by Locke. It's really an incredible piece of work, written so skillfully it would transform a pious priest into a frothing revolutionary would he read it. The works were published in about 1690, two years after the "glorious revolution" in England, and it is very likely that Locke's writings had been the basis for what the rebels worked from. It is said that Locke had a hand in the planning of the revolution as well. In a sense, Locke does mark the change between belief in absolute power on one hand(as Hobbes and Machiavelli would argue for) and into belief in the souvereignity of the people as the answer to attain stability and security. But his ideas, however dangerous to officially have, had been brooding for a while. The problem would be that the Anglican Church and the King did enjoy a fair measure of support, as the alternative could easily turn out to be worse. Like, how Oliver Cromwell's military rule and the Protectorate turned out when the Stuarts were removed for power for a while. But in the end, mismanagement and incompetence would be the reason for yet another "coup" or revolt. The real difference this time was that when William of Orange was instated as king in 1688, it was done so with promises that the parliament would lay out the basis for how the government should work. So, this was formally the end of the absolutist rulers in Britain.

Locke argues like this: in the natural state, man is free, independent, may do what he likes and do with his property as he pleases. He is only limited by that which reason demands. To Locke, reason is the intrinsic property man has, the sense that one thing cannot be another, for instance. It is evident, therefore, that when someone assume power over another - like a king would, perhaps - then his subjects would be brought out of the natural state.

"Whosoever uses force without right, as every one does in society, who does it without law, puts himself into a state of war with those against whom he so uses it; and in that state all former ties are cancelled, all other rights cease, and every one has a right to defend himself, and to resist the aggressor."

Law and force with right, as Locke sees it, would therefore have to be sanctioned by the people. A king then(or a tyrant), who would assume power would literally wage war on his subjects as he is fighting against their natural rights. So only with consent should anyone be brought out of the natural state. And with that consent, man does not give up his fundamental rights. The laws, therefore, ensure the liberties, not limit them.

Later, Rousseau would largely use Locke's writings in his works (if perhaps restructured for use as slogans a little better than the originals) in the french revolution. So convincing is Locke that his words would be copied into the declaration of independence a hundred years later and named there as "truths" and "self- evident".

The original passage is probably this:
"The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions: for men being all the workmanship of one omnipotent, and infinitely wise maker; all the servants of one sovereign master, sent into the world by his order," ....... he goes on for some time.

A curious part is where exactly god will fit in. What kind of belief is compatible with the fundamental and undeniable rights? Luckily, Locke is very clear on this. It is perfectly evident to him that his theories only relate to earthly matters, even if they would exclude an authority figure from being given his mandate by God. And even if he flaunts his protestant faith throughout his works (at least, I think so), the government clearly is not godly at all, even if the fundamental rights that would be handed over to the government are given by the maker. Right, I seem to be getting back on topic now..

It is curious because Locke does sketch out a few limits on what exactly the government should have dominion over. Can for instance opinion and other immaterial things be decided by the government? Can beliefs be transferred to the collective authority? What about moral issues (or at least what some like to call moral issues)? Several hundred years later, it seems this discussion still rages in the US, and other countries as well. So given the basis for the undeniable and free rights, is it possible to explain how ideas, opinion and moral should still be decided by the government. Is there any justification?

</lecture mode>

Well that took a while to write.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:21 AM
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I bet it took a long while to write.

"Two treatises concerning civil government" I read about it but not what it was about. But I know Locke's general ideas. People are not selfish and greedy and have the right to overthrow a government if they fail to protect them.

And I think Hobbes is a fool cause people are not all born greedy and selfish and will kil each other without a government. Actually the declaration of Independance actually agrees more with Locke than with Hobbes.
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