The Evidence of Self-Evidence
August 30, 2023
When I was in elementary school, I had to memorize the Declaration of Independence. My teacher thought the document that started our nation was so important that as young Americans we had to know every word.
The second paragraph starts with this powerful sentence,
“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 word is what it sounds like – anything that is so obvious that there is no need for proof or explanation. Gravity is self-evident. There is nothing to argue there. Oxygen is also self-evident. It exists and we need it to breathe. In math, it would be that any even number is divisible by 2.
Today there is a battle over things that should be self-evident but are not. Gender, right and wrong, and murdering unborn children in the name of convenience are just a few.
When we start allowing groups of people to threaten what is self-evident we lose our compass and what is up is down, what is down is left, what is left is diagonal and what is diagonal is a unicorn. Pretty cool logic, right? Everything breaks down.
Somehow, we have allowed facts and opinions to get confused. When my children were young and they would share things they were learning, I routinely asked them, “Is that a fact or an opinion?” Their minds were not mature enough to know how to discern between the two and they had to learn the difference.
All Men are Created Equal
Unfortunately, this is not as obvious to some as you would think.
Equality should be the lenses in the glasses of life that we all see through. A lot of things get in the way, whether it be your family of origin, town you grew up in, or people you hung out with.
Everything influences the way equality is viewed. Ultimately, we know that God created humans equally and what He says goes.
Unalienable is another term we don’t hear much. It means that it is true ALL the time. It is unchanging. The Founders said we had three of these rights that were given to us by God – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Our culture does not believe in unalienable rights. Instead they believe that rights change based on individual choice. That’s not how it works.
EVERYONE has the right to LIVE. Period. Whether you are born or unborn it does not matter and the truth does not ever change. Situations and preferences cannot and should not dictate whether or not anyone has an actual RIGHT to live.
Liberty is also unalienable. It does not change. Moral relativism and Liberty, as the Founders believed it was, could not co-exist. The vision of self-government requires acceptance into absolutes and virtue. They are self-evident and unalienable. In order to have "rights" then citizens also must have responsibilities.
To live in a peaceful, civil society there must be morality and virtue. A moral code ultimately comes from our Creator, the One who gave us our Rights to begin with. As a society, if we reject the Creator's design for individual rights, then it is easy for moral relativism to creep in and actually corrupt and destroy those same individual rights.
Does Liberty mean you can do whatever you want whenever you want?
No, that’s anarchy.
Liberty acknowledges a system of order in place and then allows freedom of choice within that system. Somehow culture has been duped to believe that anarchy and Liberty are synonymous. I hate to break it to you but that’s not the case.
There is a large group of people who want a cocktail of socialism mixed with a shot of anarchy. That is a dangerous aperitif that destroys what countless Americans have fought and died to protect. Our children deserve better and we must protect what we hold dear.
Our system of Laws and justice are based on the Laws of Nature and Nature's God. The breakdown of a civil and free society as our Founders envisioned is easily done when self-evident principles have to submit to moral relativism, personal opinions and feelings. Founder and President, John Adams said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
The Founders fundamentally believed that the ability to govern ourselves rests with our individual and collective virtue (or moral character). I think Benjamin Franklin put it best when he simply said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”
Finally, the Pursuit of Happiness is something that does not change. We all want to be happy and are given the right to chase it. No one pursues sadness or wants to live a miserable existence.
The problem though is when people want to pursue “their” happiness with no regard to how it infringes on another person’s individual rights, that is a problem. To put it another way, it impacts the systematic order that has been established by our Rule of Law.
For instance, if I want to pursue a happiness that includes recreational, illegal drugs that does not work. The same is true if I think getting drunk and driving is the way to go. That decision goes against the Liberty of every person on the road and could end in a smoking pile of metal with someone’s loved one dead inside.
Do you see it?
The only way to pursue our Founders’ self-evident truths that are unalienable is to hold ALL THREE IN BALANCE. Respect life, live with liberty, and pursue happiness. Try taking one of them out. It does not work. They are not mutually exclusive but instead lean on each other to provide a perfect symbiotic relationship.
Let us commit together to live out and defend all three so that we can protect what we hold dear.
Posted in The Liberty Dispatch Blog By M is Good