The Unalienable Rights of the Relativist
The single, greatest contribution to the philosophy of self-government under the American experience must be the concept of Unalienable Rights. Unfortunately, it is impossible for the average relativist to secure unalienable rights because their very existence depends upon the idea that there is a knowable, unmovable, permanent moral law and an absolute truth. These often slandered notions are the foundation upon which one’s unalienable rights are derived. Yet it is not uncommon to hear a relativist bashing the close-minded ideology of the “Moral Absolute” and then defending his unalienable right to do so. This is the height of folly, contradiction and irony all rolled into one.
The Unalienable Rights of Man
The unalienable rights of man or the divine rights of man is the idea that each individual is endowed by their creator with gifts that may not be revoked by mere men or by any institutions he might invent. This concept is an answer of sorts to the concept of the “Divine Right of Kings”. The divine right of kings was the justification behind the several royal hierarchies of prior ages. Today, we are left with vestiges of this but at one time not so long ago Europe was ruled by the privileged class. The privileged class exercised its authority under the mantle of divine appointment. The King represented the divine on Earth. In some earlier civilizations, the figure heads of government were worshipped as divine.
Unalienable rights are a key contribution because their recognition cannot coincide with tyranny and their lack of recognition will most assuredly lead to tyranny. This is the great lesson history has taught the wise man. God created man in his image and likeness. He departed to man a temporal body and an immortal soul. He created man out of love and desires that he love him back. In order for that love to be reciprocated, it is essential that it be freely given because there is no such thing as coerced love. This is the essence of free-will and the true meaning of liberty.
So we see that man was created and so he has a right to that life. He was endowed with a free-will and so he has a right to liberty. Furthermore, his purpose is to love his creator and so he has the right to the pursuit of happiness. In order to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just power, from the consent of the governed. The all important hierarchy of power therefore is: 1. The Sovereignty of God; 2. The Sovereignty of Man; 3. The Sovereignty of government duly empowered by its citizenry. This is the essence of the American Philosophy. It is also a philosophy which our government schools are incapable of teaching.
In a Republic such as ours, the God-given rights of the individual trumps all other concerns. The laws that are just, respect and reflect the sovereignty of the individual and those statutes which violate natural law are unjust because they oppose the sovereignty of our Creator.
The Relativist’s Problem
How can a relativist ever gain true liberty? If what we know to be true is relative; if what we know changes with society, where is protection of individual rights? Can true rights be conjured by society? I have heard that man has the right to education. How can this be? Does not education of the individual require the effort of others? Can the sweat of another be extracted by a just law? How can man have a right to healthcare, for instance. Truly, healthcare is a service provided by another. Unalienable rights are attached to the person and are derived through creation of the individual. Rights are not comfort. They are not security. No, they are not defined by the whim of a majority. Your rights end where another’s begins. The line which separates the rights of individuals is what a just government seeks to enforce. How can this be accomplished in a world that refuses to define an absolute line?