Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPhilosophy · 1 decade ago

Do you believe humans possess *unalienable rights; like, the right to life, to liberty, & to pursue happiness?

* indicates a net searchable term


Those rights are mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, not the USConstitution. But these rights are inalienable which means we have them by virtue of being living sentient beings. Some say they should be limited to humans. But I think otherwise. In any case, they are not "paper rights" and they existed before paper and documents of any kind (eg clay tablets, etc) came into existence.

Update 2:

note: Some use inalienable as a synonym for unalienable

17 Answers

  • Fr. Al
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes I do. As Jefferson wrote these are only some ("among these") of the rights with which humans are endowed by their Creator. He, as I, held these to be incontestable and valid reasons for revolution, i.e. the Declaration of Independence. Inalienable rights can't be taken or given, they don't lie within the power of any government or jurisdiction, but within the Conscience of the individual person (even that person can't give them away). Jefferson took this from Hutcheson, an English philosopher who wrote in 1755. The concept goes back to the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca. To be human means to be these things, anyone who denies them denies your humanity, and those are fighting words.

    \[Governments, documents and armies are derivative. They, of themselves, in no wise provide nor guarantee these Rights. It is only the people who act upon these rights who have a valid government, which we unfortunately do not possess at this time. Taxation and general welfare are derivatives of Government, they are part of the rights which are alienable within the social contract.]

    [edit: I take from "living sentient beings" that you believe the limitation rather than the rights themselves to be a contestable point, with which I totally agree. If you mean the rights a fight is inevitable for something so inherent. Even a lion in a cage will claw and bite.

    [For this I would put a risk nothing less than "our Lives, our Fortunes, our Sacred Honour".]

  • 5 years ago

    1) Liberty - Since liberty means freedom, you put liberty first probably because having freedom is the first thing anyone would want. 2) Life - Then comes life, since you have liberty already, you can live and do what you want and no one can boss you around anymore, I don't mean parents and older relatives, though. 3) Pursuit of Happiness - Now that you have freedom so you can live your life, you can be happy with and in your life. No one can take these rights away because everyone must have them in order to live a happy life. Liberty, Life, Pursuit of Happiness. Long ago, slaves also wanted liberty, life, and pursuit of happiness. They wanted liberty first because they want to be free and not have people boss them around. Then life, because after they have liberty, they can live any kind of life they want and get a money to raise their family and feed them. Last of all, the pursuit of happiness, after they have liberty to live the kind of life they want, they can live a life and be happy - basically live a happy life. Hope I helped.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, whether the written law says so or not. This is a fundamental right you are born with, that is not for any state to grant or take away. Any that does is not worth sustaining.

    Yes, I realize I've opened a can of worms with that statement, but that is the truth.

  • Nothing in this world is a right. Most if not all are PRIVILEGES, which can be taken away.

    "Rights" implies non transferable or impossible to deny.

    Yet in this world there are people who are denied such thing as life, liberty and even happiness.

    This is why we have documents and people guarding our life, liberty and happiness. We call it Rights just because it sound pleasing to the ears, but it's a privilege to be alive, happy and free each and every day.

    Because a low-life terrorist can spoil it at anytime!

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  • 1 decade ago

    The claim that these rights are simply grounded in our humanity is a weak one if there is not a transcendental reality from which that humanity is derived. The derivation of these rights from a merely immanent reality leaves these rights susceptible to manipulation by our own subjective preferences and the will of the state.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, I do not believe any government anywhere has the right to tell anyone how to live their lives, aside from regulating actions that interfer with the rights of others. The ONLY thing the government, at any level in any country, should do is protect the boarders from foreign invaders, regulate trade in a manner that minimizes interference and maximises fre-market competition, and protects the rights of other from infringement by criminals. The government has no right to take huge parts of your paychecks to fund "social programs" or welfare or state-provided heathcare etc.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, rights are considered inalienable because they cannot be separated from the nature and dignity of a person as a human being. That is, (the declaration) by nature I have

    Life: I am alive, and this energy, or whatever it is, is mine, and not given to me by another

    Liberty: I have the ability to choose my own course of actions, therefore do not need to be ‘dictated’ to.

    Pursuit of happiness: ‘I want to be happy’ is a primary human motivation, and another cannot hand me a box of happiness, I have to find it on my own.

    Such things were not given to me by the constitution. These are mine, by nature, and not the decree of government. They cannot be taken away from me without violating me as a human being, violating my very nature. Therefore, they are considered ‘human rights’ because the only means of preventing me from exercising them, would be to violate me as a person.

    For example, speech. Even in the harshest and most tyrannical dictatorship a person, has a right, or inborn ability to speak (or express themselves). They, at anytime, may choose to stand up in a crowded room and give a speech denouncing the government. And if they are determined enough nothing short of a bullet in the head could stop them. While this right ‘given to them by their Creator’ is theirs by virtue of being a human, the freedom of exercising that right is not. In such a society it would be expected that they would have to pay a cost (prison, torture, death) for the exercise of that right. That is why they still have the ‘right’ in the sense that they could do it at any time, they are not free to do so because of fear of punishment.

    We often mistake right with freedom. The right, is given to us by our ‘Creator’, by our nature, but freedom, or lack there of, is determined by the society.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    especially the right to freedom of SPEECH, WORSHIP, PRIVACY and tp be INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. that last one is especially tough in today's quick to convict based on the emotional media but these are what we need to work on today. we have a military that is trying to cram christianity down our troops's throats encouraged by a pres and vice pres who have been the worst hyporites since the clintons, yet they get to say what's american and what isn't.

  • 1 decade ago

    Oh Hell no.

    We have rights only because we have dangerous men with guns defending those rights.

    Move to Iran and try and start a new religion. You will discover exactly how unalienable you rights are.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    "Rights" are just limits to how far your freedom goes. Since we are born free, we are born with unlimited rights; therefore, simply having rights is a way of limiting your rights, meaning rights can be taken away.

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