The Instigator
Mike_10-4
Pro (for)
Winning
13 Points
The Contender
Ratcatcher
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Unalienable Rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mike_10-4
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 885 times Debate No: 60799
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (2)

 

Mike_10-4

Pro

Pro will argue all humans are born with Unalienable Rights. Con will argue against.

Unalienable Rights, "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."
Ratcatcher

Con

I accept this debate. I will prove that not all humans are born with unalienable rights (being Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.)
Debate Round No. 1
Mike_10-4

Pro

Thank you Ratcatcher (Con) for accepting this debate and may we both enjoy a learning experience from a constructive dialog.

Less than 250 years ago Thomas Jefferson claimed that all humans have Unalienable Rights.

We may consider “Happiness” as being some form of positive-feedback after the accomplishment of an objective. Also, survival is a prerequisite for any form of positive-feedback. We may include the joy of a meal satisfying one's hunger, is a process of survival, a form of positive-feedback. In general all life, strives to survive.

Therefore, once alive, all “Life” must have the freedom (“Liberty”) in “the pursuit of” survival; otherwise, there is no life. Survival is a form of positive-feedback, and for us humans, survival is a prerequisite for “Happiness.”

It would seem, unbeknownst to Jefferson, he discovered, not developed, a primeval working function found throughout all living-systems. He claimed a polished version of this primeval function, within the scope of humanity, giving it the label of Unalienable Rights in the celebrated form of, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Jefferson's objective was to sway opinion for independence and to upset His Royal Highness King George III with such a phrase, as it flew in the face of the prevailing political theory of the day. Also, Jefferson's term of Unalienable Rights became the foundation to the US Constitutional design of governance, which sparked a social experiment within a short period of 200-years, changed the world like no other society in recorded history, through the fruits of technology, food production, and medicine, the stables of human existence throughout the world today. A compelling example of what happens when our Unalienable Rights are free to flow within the awesome machinery of nature.

From recent research, life's primeval working function (aka Unalienable Rights) is an outgrowth of the Constructal Law, which is an outgrowth of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Therefore, life's Unalienable Rights are part of the physical Laws of Nature, not man-made.

http://www.amazon.com...
http://www.amazon.com...
Ratcatcher

Con

In the name of fairness, I will not refute my opponent's points until the next round.

I will disprove the resolution that "all humans are born with certain unalienable rights" by showing that "Life" is not a right, and that the United States Constitutional rights of Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are alienable rights.

"Life" is denoted simply as "the existence of an individual human being or animal." A "right" is defined as "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something" (definitions courtesy of Merriam-Webster). The fully defined term of the right of life now reads as "a moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain existence." This creates the ridiculous notion that life is "given" to us, either by morality or by law. I say that neither grant us life. Life existed on this planet before law was instituted or morality was evolved. First, we refute morality. A moral is "a standard of behavior or belief concerning what is and is not acceptable to do." Existing is not a standard of behavior, nor is it a belief, and therefore cannot claim any entitlement to morality. Law is a rule or system of rules that regulates actions and enforces penalties. Life is not an action, it is a state of being. Just because a law decrees "a man named Marcus must begin existing at exactly this time, and cease to exist at this time," it has no claim on the truth of that, nor can a fair penalty be imposed for the lack of life. Therefore, Life is not a right.

"Alienable" is defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary as "able to be transferred to new ownership." Liberty (the power to act as one pleases) is, perhaps, the most alienable right we know of. In Victor Hugo's book Les Misrables, Jean Valjean was tried as a criminal for stealing bread, and sentenced to prison. After a series of failed escapes, his sentence grew to be nineteen years in prison. After his release, he was granted a "yellow passport", forcing him to live under severe restrictions. These restrictions brand him as an outcast wherever he goes. After a series of events, he steals silver from a church authority, Bishop Myriel. When the guards catch him and present him to the bishop, the Bishop tells the guards that he pardoned this treasure with Valjean. After they leave, he tells Valjean that with the silver, he is buying the convict's soul in the name of God. Valjean becomes repentant, and becomes a man of mercy and goodwill. This is but one example of how one's Liberty can be transferred and owned by another. The idea of having your liberty owned by somebody else is a profound paradox, but is in actuality, justified. With the ideal of justice, you are free to perform your actions as you please with minor restrictions. Should you perform an action at your own leisure which defies the law, then your liberty is transferred to judgement. This occurs in any established government, whether it is an oligarchy, a democracy, or a dictatorship. You are born with the right to liberty-- you may perform any action your heart desires-- but the consequences of misusing liberty result in its alienation.

The "Pursuit of Happiness" is a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy. This is also alienable, as described in the previous paragraph. You are entitled to the pursuit of happiness, so long as you abide within the consensus of law and morality. By breaking the law or defying moral obligations, you give up your right to those who are charged with your punishment. However, one can also lose ownership of their pursuit of happiness by being given happiness. It may seem unorthodox to lose a right by having it given to you. Think of it this way: if you were given everything you needed to be happy, and there was nothing else you needed to achieve happiness, then you would not be able to pursue happiness any further. The right to pursue happiness could no longer exist, because there is no longer anything else to pursue to make you happy. While I cannot refute that you are, in fact, born with the right to pursue happiness, I have shown that it is an alienable right.

Definitions:
http://www.merriam-webster.com...

Les Miserables:
Hugo, Victor, Lee Fahnestock, Norman MacAfee, and Charles E. Wilbour. Les Mis"rables. New York: New American Library, 1987. Print.
Debate Round No. 2
Mike_10-4

Pro

Thank you Con for sharing with Pro a logic that Pro also received from general education. There are new discoveries in research that will eventually influence general education on this subject.

Con's logical sequence is based on classical definitions, “A right is defined as a moral or legal entitlement...” The generalization of definitions could cloud the timeline of evolution. For example, the nineteenth century French philosopher Frederic Bastiat stated the following (http://ebookbrowsee.net...):

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused man to make laws in the first place.”

Property includes shelter and food via the pursuit of survival, where survival is positive-feedback and the prerequisite for human “Happiness.”

Again, unbeknownst to Jefferson, he discovered, not developed, a primeval working function found throughout all living-systems. He claimed a polished version of this primeval function, within the scope of humanity, giving it the label of Unalienable Rights in the celebrated form of, “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We could play the word game and get trapped in semantics on the definition of “rights,” however, Jefferson used the label, “Unalienable Rights,” and that is just a label to a primeval working function, or a bio-program, found in all life. “Unalienable” is the fact, when alienating any of those bio-program terms or “Rights” the result is death. Notably, it would be impossible to take away any one of the Rights while leaving the other two intact, as all of the Rights are dependent on one another. Without Life, one cannot enjoy Liberty or pursue Happiness. Without Liberty, one cannot pursue Happiness, and as this pursuit often overlaps with the pursuit of survival, one is unable to continue Life. Without the pursuit of Happiness/survival, one cannot continue Life or enjoy Liberty. Because of their interdependency and tendency to wane simultaneously with various degrees of obstruction, the three Rights define a spectrum of values. The positive end of the spectrum is a position of Life, Liberty, and Happiness (positive-feedback), while the negative end is a position of Death, Tyranny, and Distress (negative-feedback).

The spectrums between Life and Death, Liberty and Tyranny, and Happiness and Distress, entertains a natural tendency during the struggle of survival to support, prolong, and improve “Life.” At the same time, there is an inherent drive to increase freedom (“Liberty”), with an ongoing effort to reduce and optimize the energy expended during “the pursuit of” an objective, while increasing and exploring new levels of “Happiness,” fulfillment, pleasure, and anything to do with positive-feedback. Life's Unalienable Rights helps life to thrive within the matrix of the Laws of Nature and interact with other living-systems. A program, having an organically persuasive, self-adjusting, fine-tuning algorithm throughout the flux of life's Unalienable Rights; encouraging life to take the path of least resistance, in the attempt to satisfy the pursuit of its objectives, to maintain survival, or search for new levels of positive-feedback; this is the machinery of evolution.

Con mentioned “morality.” A moral event is doing something Right embracing positive-feedback relative to another's Unalienable Rights. An immoral event is doing something Wrong embracing negative-feedback relative to another's Unalienable Rights. When two or more humans form a group, the group becomes alive as a separate entity having its own Unalienable Rights. The pursuit of group Happiness through goodwill and kindness leads to a mutual moral respect for the Unalienable Rights of all the members within the group. Goodwill is a conservative force that promotes order, stability, and harmony through the pursuit of group-wide positive-feedback. Over time, group-wide positive-feedback is the genesis of traditions, values, beliefs, language, etc., the norms of society. These norms are tried and tested, and conservatively pass down from one generation to the next establishing its culture. A moral order guides an individual in the prudent exercise of judgment relative to those norms. The individual in a civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous; that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable, respecting and embracing the Unalienable Rights of others relative to those tested norms.

The evidence of morality in a wide range of independently developed cultures across isolated human tribes empirically supports the hypothesis that morality is a universal force throughout nature. This force is responsible for the diversity of traditions, values, and languages that formed the independent civil societies found throughout the world today and throughout recorded history.

Therefore, morality is an outgrowth of life's Unalienable Rights, which is an outgrowth of the Constructal Law, which is an outgrowth of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Therefore, morality is part of the physical Laws of Nature, not man-made.

Of course morality is a man-made word that simply refers to the primitives of Right or Wrong. These primitives generates mutual positive- or negative-feedback, relative to the Unalienable Rights of another. Mutual positive-feedback is found throughout the spectrum of life in the beneficial formation in schools of fish, flocks of birds, packs of wolves, tribes of humans, and even inter-species relationships, such as those between humans and their pets.

In the natural order of events first came life with its bio-program (aka Unalienable Rights), then came morality for group formation as in the human genesis of norms for a civil society, and then came institutions of governance to make man-made laws preserving those norms.

We now came full circle to Frederic Bastiat's quote:

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused man to make laws in the first place.”
Ratcatcher

Con

Ratcatcher forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Mike_10-4

Pro


Con forfeited, see comments.


Ratcatcher

Con

Ratcatcher forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Mike_10-4 2 years ago
Mike_10-4
I hope the "urgency" is not a serious matter. Perhaps, we will meet again on the debating floor.
Posted by Ratcatcher 2 years ago
Ratcatcher
Something urgent has come up and I must forfeit the debate. I apologize severely to Pro, and congratulate him for displaying such a convincing argument. I wish I could display more sportsmanship and finish the battle.
Posted by missmedic 2 years ago
missmedic
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person, not happiness.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
this is doggone impossible to argue, unless con trolls
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Mike_10-4RatcatcherTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by patrick967 2 years ago
patrick967
Mike_10-4RatcatcherTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: FF