On the "Rights Schmites" post below, Troy Jones, who traditionally posts and comments on the SDWC checked in today as follows. Note, the capital letters are edits to his reply which he asked me to make, backchannel. They are not necessarily for additional emphasis, beyond that, are they Troy?
"Bill, I hope I'm not to late to the thread to be relevant even if my comments are not relevant.
First, the concept of "inalienable rights" is rights that, if denied, is an affront to our humanity (whether endowed by a Creator or not). A government that denies "inalienable rights" ceases to be legitimate because it is an affront to humanity.
Second, when two or more people come together and agree to define the application of these rights as well as a system of reconciling conflicts in "inalienable rights" as well as provide for certain other "rights" (I don't remember the term used to describe secondary rights) THEY ARE FORMING A SOCIAL CONTRACT WHICH IS THE GOVERNING DOCUMENT OF THEIR LIVING TOGETHER. A SOCIAL CONTRACT MUST BE HONORED EVEN IN CONFLICT WITH THE WISHES OF THE MAJORITY (UNLESS AMENDED UNDER THE TERMS OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT). A SOCIAL CONTACT NOT SO HONORED IS MEANINGLESS AND THUS ABROGATES THE ESSENCE OF THE SOCIAL CONTRACT AND BECOMES ILLEGITIMATE. I for one ascribe to the concept that "right to privacy" is an inalienable right but disagree that its application extends to abortion rights because of the impact on another human being's inalienable right. Inalienable rights are not always unlimited.
Third, the "wholecloth" is an articulation of the reality that no single inalienable right is unlimited but requires reconciliation wiht other "inalienable rights" and that some rights supercede other rights, ala the right to life and right to privacy.
Fourth, a social contract is not ever perfect as it is formed by imperfect humans. The failings of the Constitution to protect the rights of Black Americans.
Fifth, I don't buy the argument of "evolving rights." They are fundamental and unchanging. However, because of imperfect understanding or knowledge or the imperfection of those who author the "social contract", there needs to be a means for making adjustments that improve the application and protection of inalienable rights.
Finally, I want to stress that no piece of paper creates rights. It only defines the rights to be protected under the social contract and how they are to be reconciled. The piece of paper should never be expected to include everything but requires discernment and discretion of "inalienable rights" in light of the "whole cloth."
This said, it doesn't mean that we all shouldn't be "strict constructionists" of the document as defined. The introduction of the idea that certain components of the document is "archaic" or not relevant destroys the social contract and leads to mob rule.
Liberals have as much to fear as conservatives when the documents enumerating the social contract are not relevant. I really think they are opening a can of worms that are as threatening to their views as conservatives."
Alrightie then... welcome Troy! This discussion started on Mt. Blogmore, transferred to the Forum to get a better hearing, and has now fielded response from one of SDWC's most thoughtful and articulate conservatives. Now THAT's what the Decorum Forum's really all about! Okay, so let's discuss.