Saturday, January 14, 2006


In this series of articles, I will be addressing some of the more egregious nonsense propounded: that atheists are not Americans (I will try to stay detached, but no promises; statements like that are likely to promote some enmity, at the very least).

Let’s examine this statement:

From the Declaration of Independence, paragraph the 2nd – “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.”

When I first encountered this argument on the NGB, I thought it somewhat clever, and said as much.
“If you as atheists do not believe in a Creator, therefore can not agree with the Dec. of Independence statement that we are endowed with certain rights from the Creator, "Where do our rights originate from"?

To which (in abbreviated format) I responded: “We have to (yet again!) apply the yardstick of moral relativism here. 1st, I am guessing at the time of writing, it was fairly inconceivable that anyone would be an atheist. Deism/Spinozan concept would be the closest approximation. 2nd, note that it says 'All men'. (Thru the use of sophistry, this could be construed to mean males, & only males. No, no one said this. Just pointing out how open-ended the sentence is). Ergo, even if I DO reject the Creator concept, the FF did not, so in their eyes, I AM entitled to those inalienable rights, regardless of what I believe or disbelieve. Allow me to top this off w/a quote.
I have often expressed my sentiments, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience. George Washington, letter to the General Committee of the United Baptist Churches in Virginia, May, 1789.
Leave me then, sir, to the dictates of my own conscience, as is my unalienable right.”

But I ran across this argument yet again. I’m going to guess that it’s going to circulate, as on the Internet, these things take on a life of their own.

So let’s put this puppy to rest.

For you strict constructionists out there, if you take away my (or anyone else’s) inalienable rights, because we don’t believe as the Founders did, then you are violating the Original Intent.

The intent, for all intents & purposes, is that all men have those rights, regardless of their belief system(s).

So back off. It’s enough the Founders said it, it’s enough they put it into writing, and there are no, I repeat, NO escape clauses built into the bloody thing.


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The Intolerant One said...

I agree. You make a good point and a solid arguement. I cannot speak on behalf of other religions but I have read the Bible many times over and even God does not want to "force" man's acceptance of him. He want's man to willingly choose.

This is why I agree with your statement about the forfathers original intent that the Declaration was for everyone. George Wahsinton was a Christian man who also recognised this Biblical truth.

I know you do not believe in God yourself but I am speaking from my perspective.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Not a huge fan of Xtian Reconstructionism (that's a movement here in the US, to rebuild America in accordance w/'Xtian' values).
Everything I've researched/read disagrees w/these efforts.
'To each their own', I believe the old saw says.