-7 votes

Questions for an Atheist. If there is no God/Creator where do our rights come from?

Our Founders designed America under the belief that our rights come from our God/Creator. These rights are to be unalienable and superior to government. If there is no God, where do you suppose our rights come from? Do we have any?

I believe everything was put on this earth as a gift from God, which in return makes human rights superior to animal rights. If the deer in the forest is not a gift from God, who's property is the deer killed by the hunter? What right is superior: the hunters right to provide food for his family, or the animals right to life? Without God, what right does the hunter have to hunt in the King's/State's forest? Where does this right come from, the King? Without God, could it not be argued that the hunter has no right other than to starve?

Updated 7/25. I have since edited-out a short section of my post stating Marx was an Atheist. I apologize. I've received a lot of comments stating if your an Atheist, you must also be a Communist, and I didn't mean to be interpreted that way. I wanted to stir up some discussion, but it was not my intention to offend anyone. I'm sorry.

Furthermore, I'm referring specifically to America's ethics and Natures God that the Founders often referred to as a Christian God, but at the same time was supposed to be universal/self-evident among all religions and individuals. This raises other questions. Why does Dr. Paul always refer to the "Christian Just Theory of War"? Does it not make a mockery of Dr. Paul and the Founders to talk so disrespectfully about a God that is the very foundation of America's values and morals? I believe the Founders left the term so broad that it could be interpreted by everyone, on and individual level, but certainly not denounced and made a mockery of.



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That is an assumption that

That is an assumption that the state is making without any provable evidence. The state derives all of it's "authority" at the barrel of a gun. Based on the non-aggression principle, this is a violation of every person who lives. Any argument in support of this, would be factually wrong because the state cannot justify or prove it's authority or it's ownership of you, it is simply being assumed. Unfortunately, most people are either to ignorant or unwilling(afraid) to challenge it.

BTW, I believe that it was Larken Rose that asked the question "Who owns me?". I believe I have who quoted it wrong.

I recommend that you read his book, "The Most Dangerous Superstition". He hits it on the head.

tasmlab's picture

Regardless of the answer, it's a nice proof of power

Regardless of the answer, it's a nice proof of power. If God (or the creator) grants us the rights, he's clearly powerless to uphold them on his own as demonstrated by the government's ability to violate the rights.

So whether they come from god or not is meaningless since he's not actively protecting or enforcing them.

I think rights are just concepts to inform behavior anyways. I'm not even sure they exist beyond that. Just agreed upon behavior between people.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

We have a winner

There are many intelligent comments here but I like yours the best. What individuals refer to as "god" and "rights" are cultural constructs. Even though they are very real concepts to us, they are functions of the cultural system we are born into. If god gave us rights then they're ours to lose apparently.

Awesome.

Awesome.

Interesting!

Just last night I started thinking about "rights". Where they come from? What are they? Do they truly exist? Then this morning I see this post. Last night my thoughts ran the gamut, and although I'm still considering this, I seem to have come away with some differing thoughts (at least for me, maybe others as well). But many, I'm sure, may not like how it sounds.

First, what separates us from all other living creatures in nature? It's the human's advanced consciousness; we are sentient beings. From this come all manner of thoughts, beliefs, self awareness, rationalization, and constructive/destructive conceptualization.

Next I was thinking that from within the human mind came advanced language and communication, then religions, belief systems, dogma and superstition which has led to a multitude a cultures and civilizations around the globe. All of which are unseen (at our levels) within the entirety of the rest of the animal kingdom. A thought that hit me, "do animals have rights in nature". I think most would agree, No, there are no "rights" in nature. So then, how can we claim "natural rights"?

Then, in steps the human created belief systems of religion and divine creation, and the thinking that "our creator" has endowed us with these rights. What creator? And from which religion? Or are we left to rationalize about who has what rights, and when, and leaving it completely inconsistent throughout the cultures, and belief systems around the globe. If there's one god (no matter the mass of convoluted religions), and if he endowed humanity with "rights", why isn't it global. How is it we see nothing of the likes in the rest of his creation?

More in line with reality, I think humanity, existing on this planet, is susceptible and under the rule of the natural order of things, the basic laws of nature, as are all other living creatures. And as such, there are no true "rights" as proclaimed. When a tsunami or tornado hits, where's the victim's "right to life"? Or when a wild animal attacks? Nature pays no mind to human declared rights.

What we claim as inalienable rights or human rights, are human contrived niceties that some well thinking civilized minds created, and declared were divine. As well, if humanity were truly endowed, by a god, with these divine rights, then mere humans could not deprive others of such, let alone lesser intelligent creatures in nature. We clearly know this is not the case, as we see infinite examples of this documented in history, and continuing today and onwards. From nature, and humans alike.

So where does this leave us? I think in the same struggle that the rest of the animal kingdom faces within every species; life and death, survival of the fittest, work/win for survival, and there are no guarantees, nor guaranteed rights. And also, sometimes nature(shit) happens. Our consciousness is what has allowed us to saddle a "pursuit of happiness" to our human lives, but nature does not guarantee it. When we are pursuing our happiness, and feel free to do so, we claim freedom. This as well, is not guaranteed, it is a part of the struggle of a humans life. That is, if that human desires it, and desires it strongly enough. There are many who do not and will spend their life in varying levels of so-called freedom, or none at all.

Just as in the rest of the animal kingdom, ugly, nasty, horrific things take place amongst humans. In our survival and pursuit of self (or way of life) preservation we must fight against these things, and fight for what we desire. Sometimes individually, sometimes in like minded groups. But as we do, realize that those we struggle against are fighting for their survival, way of life, preservation, and desires as well. The strongest, craftiest, so-called fittest will prevail. That's the way it always works.

I like.

I like.

They always were and always

They always were and always will be.
Nice little xtian answer for you. Uhhhh, I dunno, so gawd did it.

they come from your spine

i.e. your willingness to go to war with those who threaten them

Yep From The Threat Of Violence

The founders may have believed in natural rights but the 2nd amendment is no accident. As the expression goes, without the 2nd amendment there is no bill of rights.

An agnostics theory of rights

This is my understanding of rights. You are the agent of your body. You control (directly) by will your actions. This is a fact of circumstance. Other people are assumed to have similar first-person agency over their bodies. A right is a claim of moral priority over another person. In the case of liberty the right to liberty amounts to the claim that you have moral priority over determining your actions over other people because (god) fate gave you first-person control of your body. Others have a secondary, observer status over your actions and this a lesser claim over your body and actions. In other words rights arise fr the recognition of self-ownership (as far as i know this is an original explanation so consider this a publication for academic citation would b nice ;)

very nice answer :)

Those damn agnostics! Always getting in heated arguments and causing all kinds of trouble.

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

this is silly

I see many conflicting things about how the founders viewed the rights in the bill of rights it comes down to natural rights vs individual rights. Either way it's a silly argument honestly. Freedom of religion. It isn't limited to x vs y religion it also applies to weather or not you practice any religion as well.

http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resource...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_and_legal_rights

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

"Their creator", not "The creator".

The text says "their creator", not "the creator" for a reason. Your rights, according to the document, exist because of whichever creator you believe in. The founders didn't leave it up to chance that we would all agree on a creator, so you get to choose. For me, my parents created me, and thus, they gave me these rights. For you, God created you and thus, he gave you your rights. It doesn't matter who you believe created you, whether it was God, or man, or spontaneous generation. You have rights because as a people, we tend to agree that our rights come from whoever, or whatever created us.
The Constitution is a legal document and legal wording is used to makes sure that the document has the proper affect. It is not a religious document which promotes belief in a God as a creator. It allows individuals to hold their own belief about their own creation, even if that is not supernatural, and that act of being created, or existing, even if you owe that to your parents, means you have rights. Even if you don't agree with the government about where you came from, you still have the rights according to your creator, even if you don't believe that it is "the" creator.

Free market capitalism isn't right for America because it works better. It's right because it's free (and it works better).

The rules and laws we follow,

The rules and laws we follow, come from trial and error by other human beings trying to get along throughout history. Plenty of them are bad, and constantly needs to be updated from a more current view.

As for who created us, who knows? Scientists have a theory, and it sounds pretty solid for now. Considering they keep studying the issue as technology advances.

Anyone who tries to explain it with "the bible says" however, are simply neglecting every logical aspect of our scientific evolution due to what some other humans wrote down hundreds of years ago. I understand that it would feel nice to have someone to blame for all our shortcomings. Some people blame Jehova, Shiva, Thor and Oden, Zeus or perhaps just the Sun. Some join a cult and believe it was the aliens.

Some claim "insert random god here" spoke to them and they've felt his presence. Sure, I can take shrooms right now and get a godly experience. We have a widely accepted mental condition called schizophrenia were I can be myself one day and someone else the next.

Now in 2013, religion is more about culture than anything else. It's very obvious that religious nonsense is loosing footing thanks to the internet, there's fewer things to be afraid about, and many other view points than your local ministers to listen to.

It's perfectly ok to me if someones existance on planet earth becomes easier if they have an imaginary friend to talk to. But it saddens me that so many choose(in the few cases where it is a choice, and not indoctrination) the easy way and accept a pre-packaged god. Packaged by other humans. Who simply don't know shit, yet claim to do.

Entertaining for sure...

This thread really makes a lot of things pretty clear. The hyper religious, and the hyper science crowds are pretty much identical when it comes to levels of huberus and the "matter of fact" nature of their perspectives. Despite what you subscribe to, be it a religion or a scientific theory, I can do you one better. It goes like this....NOBODY KNOWS. It's ok to say it. Because I'm honest enough with myself to say that I don't need special edicts from a divine entity to treat people kindly. I'm also honest enough to know that science has its limits, though we've seen more scientific breakthroughs as of late than religious miracles, I again emphasize the limits science is faced with when it comes to some of the most basic functions of our existence. You see, for me, it's not a competition between science and religion, nor one between believers and non believers. The fact is, no one alive today was there at the beginning of it all. So, no one alive today really has anymore authority than any other on the topic of how it all began. Even the Big Bang theory is just a theory. I think the only real way to live is from a perspective of appreciation. Appreciate the fact that an incalculable amount of circumstances throughout time had to occur for me to be typing these words to you. If any one of these events didn't happen, we might not have been born. So the simple fact that we are here, and can perceive ourselves with some sense of self reflection and mystery is in and of itself worthy of adoration to the culmination of events that took place for us to reach this point. No need to name the actual event we owe our existence to (God or Big Bang), just be damn glad it happened. Now, back to your bickering.....

What say you my fellow countrymen?! Onward!!! TO LIBERTY!!!

Amen allthewaylive85

amen.

Debating who's more ignorant than the other...

It restores my appreciation in mankind when an individual finally inserts some wisdom into a debate that, in my view, is distinquished by who, on either side, is more ignorant than the other.

Thank you, Allthewaylive85, for sharing your wise commentary here.

Related question

If morality comes from God, and God decided to revise the 10 Commandments to allow killing and stealing, would you start killing and stealing?

“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” — Albert Camus

This is a good point for

This is a good point for discussion, I just don't like the way you present your hypotheses. I think its safe to assume that all atheists are not necessarily proponents of communism. There may be some, but that doesn't not all.

i agree

The way that it was put reminds me of how liberals explain their reasoning for gun control:
"You believe in guns? So that must mean you like to kill people."

That's what it looks like to me. I could put out a few dozen more comparisons but basically, this is a baseless presumption(read, attack).

Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

:-|

The Earth is flat, that's all i've got to say about that! p.s. sun and all the celestial bodies revolve around the center of the universe of god creation, which is earth, dinosaurs are god's ponies.

Wait till tomorrow, for our knowledge will expand even more.

Cyril's picture

Can't we leave atheists alone

I respect your opinion and concerns, but I feel compelled to say that I don't think that's helping the cause of liberty and justice, both in serious danger, likely more than ever.

All tyrannies have made great use of either atheists, or bigots, or fanatics. Eventually, the end is always the same : an almighty state of a bunch of cruel men enslaving all others. Religious or not, philosophical or not.

So, if we understand liberty and we choose to value the individual first and foremost, can't we leave atheists alone, and not tease them, nor defy them, regarding something as personal, intimate, and mysterious as faith?

Already, I regret I forced myself into making a point that could not escape group think.

As long as nobody forces "their God" onto all others, in any practical, binding way, I really don't see who, in their sane and peaceful mind, and with or without faith, could see any problem with accepting the idea of "God given rights". And there, I do mean: EVEN IF the phrase only conveys the idea by a turn of mere rhetoric, as long as it's for individual liberty's sake.

Anyway.

I'll let two quotes from Pascal speak for both my reason and feeling, in complete agreement with him :

(Gospel)

"Knowing God without knowing our own flaws makes for pride.

Knowing our own flaws without knowing God makes for despair.

Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance, for He shows us both God and our own flaws."

(Striving to think well)

"We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others."

'HTH, &

Peace.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

"atheists" have no point to make.

they are ABOVE this mere subject.

as it is not possible to prove a negative.

they simply are ignorant of the subject matter. they are sitting on the fence, and WAY smarter than us.

ignore them, fight with me instead!!!!

;)

our first fight, why should I be nice to them?
how are they not the problem?

Cyril's picture

I have ceased to rationalize

I have ceased to rationalize about my once newly found faith, to push it to others, long ago.

I almost never preach any longer at all just because it takes too much energy from me, if I start. I only happen to defend it when it is attacked, which isn't that often, in fact.

On the other hand, our individuality and liberties are attacked, destroyed by the days, hours, minutes, seconds. By collectivist division, with legions of names, in complete confusion. It's not just about faith or lack thereof. This WAR is against EVERYTHING that makes up an individual, these days. The last thing I/we(?) want is to distract ourselves by doing the same with non-believers.

Everything of my belief system is rationally summarized in these two Pascal's quotes. I think they express it all.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

OK, let me get this straight. it will take a Whiskey bottle.

and by the time we get to them bottom of it...we will know?

just for you...

Cyril's picture

LOL. Something like that, I guess... ;)

LOL. Something like that, I guess... ;)

Just wishing 1) I'd still qualify as "young dude" (melancolia...) and

2) I'd understand some phrases in that song's accents...

For something without lyrics, that's all I wish we could preserve better:


http://youtu.be/-9ap7tzw43E

Built with these building blocks:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/billofrights

Your immigrant French friend, America.

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.

http://Laissez-Faire.Me/Liberty

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

I close my eyes and I see... Blood and Roses.

there will always be a bottle of Whiskey at my home. just for you.

Property.

.

Boom goes the dynamite.

.

Phxarcher87's picture

What does Dr. Paul

The Judge
Lew Rockwell
Ben Swann
Tom Woods
and Tim Tebow
have in common?

You got it, they are all followers of Christ.

THE CLASS OF CITIZENS WHO PROVIDE AT ONCE THEIR OWN FOOD AND THEIR OWN RAIMENT, MAY BE VIEWED AS THE MOST TRULY INDEPENDENT AND HAPPY.
James Madison