Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States (part IV )

Constitution Preamble

I have never been an advocate of the principle of “The end justifies the means.” We have always been a nation that those who use this principle should be penalized in some manner. In fact the very idea of the need for laws in this nation rejects this principle. It is an immoral principle of getting the things you want for yourself or for what you want for others. And it makes for bad laws when this principle applies.


The use of coercion or the use force are but two examples of a person using this principle to justify their ends. Bribery and blackmail describes another couple of means used that we consider as unjustifiable means to an end. Wars and acts of self defense are probably the most basic acts that allow this principle to be used justifiably. For they allow the use of force to achieve their ends.

Governments are the instruments of legalized force. It was George Washington that defined government in this manner. I defer to his definition of government, not because it supports my viewpoint of government but because I consider him an expert on the use and the meaning of force. His expertise comes from his life as an army officer and as a slave owner. No government, in his mind, can act, whether as a Master or as a servant, without the application of force. Since he was our first President then he knew that his every act, as President, was to be an act of force.

It is the application of force that denies another of his right of life. It is the application of force that denies another of his liberty. It is the application of force that denies another of his opportunity for happiness. And it makes no difference if that act of force is used by an individual or it is used by a government.

If there was no need of the use of force, governments would have no legitimate purpose for existence. It is governments that determined a society as being civilized. Anarchy would be the rule of the land in a society where the use of force did not exist therefore governments are not necessary.

Yet if governments are necessary this brings up another dilemma. If the use of force is wrong does that justify the second application of the use of force to combat a first application of a use of force? And this brings up a second moral principle.

It brings up the principle of “two wrongs do not make a right.” Does necessity justify the use of force? Does the overwhelming desire for a civilized society justify the use of force? What issue is so important as to justify the use of force to resolve it?

There are those that declare that the War between the States resolved the question of slavery in this nation. Yet the founding fathers added the amendment clause into the Constitution for the purpose of resolving these type of issues. Was there any attempt to use that means to resolve the issue prior to the use of war to resolve the issue? If not, then I can only ask, why not?

If, as the left would claim, the Constitutional intent was to insure domestic tranquility of the individual I can only ask this question. How is the use of war and the loss of 600000 lives of individuals to resolve a domestic issue insuring that tranquility when a more peaceful and more tranquil means was provided for them to resolve issues?

To me, it is one thing to use war as a means to resolve an issue when there is no other means to resolve them. It is quite another thing to use war as a solution to problems when there are other more peaceful means available to use and they were not used. This would be a situation where the principle of two wrongs do not make a right definitely applies.

27 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

Interesting commentary. In hindsight, the 'ends justifying the means' apply
equally to those states whose ends were defense of slavery, for they seceeded and fired on Ft. Sumpter.
It is instructive that the
secession, while it took place in various state legislatures, resulted in
the rapid formation of a
'new nation' wherein states rights were again
placed lower in the 'heirarchy'.
A fair question-
"Was there any attempt to use that means to resolve the issue prior to the use of war to resolve the issue? If not, then I can only ask, why not?" No serious effort, both sides no doubt realizing a 2/3
ratification impossible.
..both sides positing that slavery ultimately was 'either/or'.
From history's other end, we note the foreboding,
'In a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, George Washington wrote, "Your late purchase of an estate in the colony of Cayenne, with a view to emancipating the slaves on it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity. Would to God a like spirit would diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country; but I despair of seeing it."
Given the history of compromises, it seems that the Civil War was inevitable, for the continuing compromises ultimately led to no compromise at all. I guess it would be interesting to
ponder what the 2010 Confederate States of America would be like...
..and there are some who
do ponder the question
But, as he notes and given the inexorable vector of history, such ponderings are 'counterfactual'.

The Griper said...

BB,
"No serious effort, both sides no doubt realizing a 2/3
ratification impossible."

both sides? why would the South be interested in an amendment to the Constitution? Slavery was already Constitutional. it is those who wanted to make it unconstitutional that has the responsibility to propose the amendment, not those who do not. and that was the Northern States or the federal government if you are saying that the federal government was not for slavery.

and if you agree that it was constitutional then the U.S. Congress had no right to pass laws for the purpose of banning it from any State or take the individual's right to own a slave away from him.

and by your own letter from Washington, as it stood then, from a Constitutional basis, only a slaveowner had the right to free a slave.

that declares it as a recognized "right of individuals" and by your ideology the federal government has the obligation to protect the rights of individuals. that was the whole purpose behind the bill of rights, wasn't it?

is that what the war did, did the federal government protect the rights of those individuals had as recognized in the Constitution?

or did the federal government take away those rights?

BB-Idaho said...

By my 'ideology', I agree with-
"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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men..."
By my ideology 'ALL men' 'life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness'. By the ideology of the slave owner, we need rephrase that to 'MY life, liberty and pursuit of happiness
is so important to ME, that
it is critical that I enslave others. Even if
I hide behind 'state rights', for those 'others' are property. MY property.
I care not a wit for their
life, liberty or pursuit
of happiness' I suppose
enslaving others is an excuse for states rights,
but a very poor one, and ugly one. An excuse so mired in hypocracy that when Kansas became a state, the south wanted it to be a slave state to maintain their balance of power in congress. The citizens of that state
voted against slavery..
and suffered Quantrill's
criminal raiders. Such was the southern belief in
'states rights' that they
tried to deny it to another state. You see the quandry, Griper..to justify states rights using
slavery, you need to justify slavery.

The Griper said...

"You see the quandry, Griper..to justify states rights using
slavery, you need to justify slavery."

that is a moral philosophy and one that I agree with you on.

to declare i have to justify slavery is to declare i have to justfy the morality of it, not the constitutional legality of it.

if this is so, then what authoritive source of morality am i allowed to use? would you allow me to use Christian morality, thus quotes from the Bible? Would i be allowed to use Jewish morality thus quotes from the old testament? How about Muslim morality? would i be allowed to use the koran?

as for secular morality i have no idea of what source to go to determine this with authoritive quotes.

from a legal justification

to justify state rights using slavery i only need to justify "choice," not slavery.

it was the choice of each State per the Constitution to choose to ban slavery or not.

if each state did not have that right of "choice" then any State who banned slavery would be acting in an unconstitutionally, thus every State at the time of the Civil war was a slave state since the U.S. Constitution recognized the right of a man to have slaves and continued to recognize it until the thirteenth amendment passed.

there were no free States at that time if the U.S. Constitution supercedes the Constitutions of the States when the two constitions are in conflict.

free States could only be declared as existing if the State Constitution superceded The U.S. Constitution when the two was in conflict.

Lista said...

I have to Really Concentrate when I Read what you Write, Griper. Tell me if this is what you mean.

First Paragraph, (Ends and Means),
It Makes for Bad Law when the End (Self Centered Goal) Justifies the Means (the Law).

Paragraph Two, (Ends and Means),
Coercion, Force and War are Negatives, except in Self-Defense. Self-Defense is an End that Justifies the Means of Coercion, Force and War.

Paragraph Three, (Means),
Governments are the Instruments of Legalized Force.

Paragraph Four, (Means),
Force Denies Liberty and the Opportunity for Happiness.

Paragraph Five, (Ends and Means),
Sometimes Force is Necessary in Order to Keep a Society Civilized.

In the Second Sentence of Paragraph Five you Lost me, Griper, and I'm too Tired to Read On. This Happens Often When I read your Posts. It's just something about the Way you Talk and Write that is at Times Hard to Follow.

Don't Say much to me yet, though. I'll be Back.

BB-Idaho said...

Addressing,
"it was the choice of each State per the Constitution to choose to ban slavery or not."
That is the implication of the clause,
"Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."
I say 'implication' for
we believe the purpose was one of economics; that slaves were 'property', hence NOT persons...yet
we note 'all other persons'. My only experience in the law was a brief stint as counsel in military courts-martial, but I believe that 'law' can be influenced by jury..so
it seems appropriate to
at least sow the seeds of doubt regarding slavehood and personhood...only the latter being mentioned in the constitution. You need not address the morality of it, I suspect
you dislike slavery..as I suspect Dawg enjoys the
privileges of being spoiled by your largess. :)

The Griper said...

thank you, BB. i like your thoughts in regards to the intent in regards to that section of the Constitution. :)

that thought may have served as incentive to keep the issue alive and maybe that was indicative of hope and faith in people that the founders had.

but one thing more, your demand for justification inspired me in regards to the next post.

have to say this discussion has been a really interesting discussion. it has changed a lot of thoughts within me.

and Dawg just smiled about your remark of her. lol

The Griper said...

lista,
i understand your dilemma when reading my posts but unfortunately that is the way i think.

just be patient with me. just know that what i am saying is not an attempt to demean anyone's beliefs. but that they just an attempt to understand all sides of an issue even though i must accept that what i write is subject to the biases of my own sincerely held beliefs.

Lista said...

Well, it Looks Like I'll be Responding to your Post just a Little at a Time, since I've had such small Chunks of Time at the Computer. I have Read the Entire Post, yet Still don't have time to really Respond to it.

I guess I'll just say Thank You for Now for the Humility in your Last Comment. I Never thought that you were Trying to Demean anyone's Beliefs, only that the Way You Write is at Times Hard to Follow.

Lista said...

I don't know if I should be Talking to you about my Busy Weekend on a Post about the Constitution, yet I'll just Tell you that I Sang at a Rest Home and then Led Worship at a Church Other than the One I Normally Go to. I Spent a Good Part of the Weekend Organizing Music and Looking for a Few Certain Songs that I Wanted to do for This Morning at this Church. It went well and was Fun.

I've also been and will Continue to Study for the Elections. This is why I have been away from the Computer.

Getting Back to the Subject at Hand, here is the First Part of another Two Part Comment.

Getting Back to the Post, though, What I got out of the First 4 1/2 Paragraphs is that the End does not always Justify the Means, and by Means, you Mean Laws, and I would Agree with you, for Indeed, not all Laws are Justified. I would not go So Far as to say, However, that there is no such Thing as a Law that is not Justified.

What you have Suggested is that Self-Defense is an End that Justifies the Means of Force and thus also, Law. This is Correct in that Most Laws are Made in Defense of Someone's Safety and/or Rights, so even though Laws may Deny Someone, such as a Criminal, of Liberty, Freedom and the Opportunity for Happiness, Even so, they are Necessary in Order to Keep Society Civilized.

"Anarchy would be the rule of the land in a society where the use of force did not exist therefore governments are not necessary."

This Statement, Griper, Makes no Sense and I don't see anything that was Stated Previous to it that would Lead to that Conclusion.

"If the use of force is wrong,"

Awe, but we have already Established that in the Case Defense, it is not Wrong.

Lista said...

I've Decided that I'm going to Post the Other Half of my Comment Tomorrow. I'm Tired, so that's all you're going to get right now. :)

Lista said...

Wow!!
Between the Election and the Intelligent Design vs. Evolution Discussion on my Own Blog, My Mind has been Kept Quite Busy, yet I decided to Take a Minute Tonight to Finish what I was Saying in Relation to This Post.

"two wrongs do not make a right."

This Statement is Usually Used in Cases in which a Person is Considering Revenge, and yet no One's Life is in Danger. Also, the Government is Allowed to Discipline Adults in ways that Adult Citizens are not supposed to Discipline Each Other, that is unless they are Renting and Regularly Using something we Own, such as a House, Apartment or even a Vehicle. In this Case, we are Allowed to Impose Rules and Enact Consequences when they are not Followed.

"What issue is so important as to justify the use of force to resolve it?"

That is a Question that is at the Very Core of the Debate over what Laws and Regulations are Justified and which ones are not.

That as well as, What exactly is "Necessity" and What exactly is "Civilized". I would say that these Things do Justify Laws and Regulations, yet they are Subjective Words that may be Hard to Define.

"Was there any attempt to use that means to resolve the issue prior to the use of war to resolve the issue? If not, then I can only ask, why not?"

I don't Know History well enough to Answer these Questions, nor am I Aware of what more Peaceful and Tranquil means there was for them to Resolve the Issues.

I Look Forward to Reading the Comments to see if any of these Questions were Answered.

Lista said...

Well, I just Finished Reading your Most Recent Post, Griper, and Found it Interesting. I'll Tell you my thoughts on that a Little Later, yet Let me Finish what I'm Doing here and Read some of the Comments.

In Response to BB,
What you are saying is that both Sides of the Civil War Conflict Felt that the Ends that they Individually Believed in Justified the Means of War.

I guess that the Slavery Issue was a Hard One to Find a Compromise on because it is sort of an "Either or" sort of Issue. Either Slavery is Allowed or it is not. How do you Compromise Something like that?

I Agree with you, BB, that the War was Probably Inevitable and that the Continuing Attempts at Compromise "ultimately led to no compromise at all."

Hmmmm. Interesting. It Looks Like Due to my Schedule, I'm Only Mentally Digesting one Comment at a Time. Oh well. Maybe in a Couple of Days my Schedule will Improve.

Griper,
I'm Hoping that you will Eventually Respond to all that I've Said, so I don't Feel like I'm just Talking to myself.

The Griper said...

lista,
"I Agree with you, BB, that the War was Probably Inevitable and that the Continuing Attempts at Compromise "ultimately led to no compromise at all."

there is the problem with compromise. people are so intent on the idea of compromise they do not look outside of the box to find out if another solution is available that would solve the problem without compromise.

"Awe, but we have already Established that in the Case Defense, it is not Wrong."

that hasn't been established. it has only been accepted as an exception. a pacifist would never agree with this.

Lista said...

I shouldn't Still be Awake, but I am and what Solution would you Suggest in this Case, Griper, and what makes you so sure that it would Work?

Are you a Pacifist, Griper?

I don't know if you are aware of this, but you Rarely Ever Make it Clear what you believe and it just so Happens that Pacifism is another Extreme.

Lista said...

I wonder if I should Read One more Comment. This Particular Post is Taking me Forever.

In Response to Comment # 2, by The Griper,
Could it be that less than 2/3rds Wanted to Ban Slavery, but they Wanted it Badly Enough to go to War Over it? That is the People, not the Government. If so, what do you do with that? How can such a War be Prevented?

Who Acted First, anyway? Was it the Congress or the People who Wanted War? Was the Congress in Disagreement about whether or not the Owning of Slaves was Constitutional?

If the Government is Supposed to Protect Individuals, then which Individuals are they to protect; the Slave Owners or the Slaves? Which of these Two was Infringing on the Rights of the other?

I'm asking a Lot of Questions at First because History is not my Strong Point and then Later because that is really the Only way to Stimulate the Appropriate Thoughts in this Matter.

The Griper said...

lista,
your questions are very good questions and deserve an answer.
"How can such a War be Prevented?"

Congressmen take an oath of office to abide by and uphold the Constitution. War could have been averted if those men had done so.

"Was the Congress in Disagreement about whether or not the Owning of Slaves was Constitutional?"

no, every member of Congress knew that slavery was Constitutional.

"Which of these Two was Infringing on the Rights of the other?"

from a Constitutional basis, neither were infringing upon the rights of either party. slaveowners possessed rights and the slave possessed no rights.

Lista said...

I do not Know Enough about History in Order to Know how these Early Congressmen Failed to Abide by the Constitution.

Perhaps the Problem, though, is that the Constitution, as Originally Written, did not Uphold the Stated Goals that were Written in the Declaration of Independence about the "Unalienable Rights" that are Endowed on "All Men" by their Creator.

If the Declaration of Independence Offers us more Rights than the Constitution does, then we have a Hypocrisy Problem that Needs to be Reconciled.

The Griper said...

per the Constitution, lista, the way the founding fathers determined to be used in order to give freedom to the slaves was through a Constitutional amendment, not war.

no hypocracy problem, lista.

Lista said...

It Sounds as if you are Implying that the Founding Fathers are the Ones who Declared War. Like I said, I do not Know the Details. I am Horrible in the Area of History. I Know that Ab Lincoln did Try to Prevent the War, but I just do not Know the Details.

I still Think though that the Inconsistencies between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution is a Hypocrisy Problem and that it shouldn't Require a 2/3rds Vote in Order to Fix this Hypocrisy. Apparently, they were not Able to get the 2/3rds Vote that they Needed and so what that Tells me is that More than 1/3rd of the Leaders were in Support of this Hypocrisy.

There were enough People Upset about the Problem, though, in Order for War to Result.

You say that the War was Caused by Compromise. I say it was Caused by Hypocrisy and Inconsistencies between Two Very Key Documents.

The Griper said...

there is no hypocrisy, lista.

Lista said...

I Disagree.

Lista said...

The Inconsistency and Hypocrisy that I Speak of is in the Fact that the Declaration of Independence States 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." and yet if the Constitution does not Uphold the Rights of Negroes, then this is an Inconsistency, and if the Same People Agreed to Both Documents and yet more than 1/3rd of them were not Willing to Add an Amendment, that would make the Two Documents more Consistent, then this is Hypocrisy.

The Griper said...

then disagree, lista. this blog was not set up for the purpose of convincing a person to my way of thinking. it was set up just to get other to think a little deeper into their own thoughts.

Lista said...

Hi Griper,
I see that your Blog is still moving Along and I'm Still Bogged Down on the 6th Post Down, even though, when I First Wrote the Below in my Word Processor, it was only the 4th Post Down. I Really do Need to Finish this, so that I can Move on.

You are Definitely Causing me to "think a little deeper into my own thoughts", Griper.

I don't Feel Finished with the Post yet, though, because I Never did Finish Reading the Comments, from Comment 3 to the First of My Comments, so here we go.

To my Relief the Comments that I had Missed Reading were only Comments 3 & 4.

I Agree Fully with BB-Idaho and I am not at all Surprised that he Mentioned the Word Hypocrisy, for I Mentioned that Word too, without ever Looking at the Comment in which he also Mentioned it.

To Value Freedom and Yet to Deprive the same from the Slaves is Hypocrisy and not Only that, but it is also Morally Wrong and Evil.

Comment 4, made by BB-Idaho is a Very Good One. I Especially Liked the Hypocrisy that he Pointed out in Relation to how they Treated the State of Kansas in that "The citizens of that state voted against slavery.. and suffered Quantrill's Criminal Raiders. Such was the southern belief in 'states rights' that they
tried to deny it to another state."


I Relation to Comment 5, by you, Griper, I want to Respond like this...

"to declare i have to justify slavery is to declare i have to justify the morality of it, not the constitutional legality of it."

This so Reminds me of one of my Favorite Scriptural Verses...

"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (2 Corinthians 3:6, KJV)

If this is said of the Bible, than how much more so would it be True of the Constitution.

Could it be that there is a Certain Legalism Relating to the Constitution, just as there is in Relation to the Bible?

Lista said...

Our Country was actually Set Up Based on Christian Principles, Griper. Even though there are many that do not want to Accept this, that doesn't Change the Fact that it is so.

In a Democracy, though, the Standard of Morality is Based on the Opinion of the Majority. The Constitution was Never Meant to be Set in Concrete. The whole Amendment Process was Placed there for a Reason.

"to justify state rights using slavery, i only need to justify 'choice,' not slavery."

Whose Choice, Griper? Certainly not the Choice of the Slaves. Do People have no Rights at all, but only the State Leaders and no One Else?

To believe in Rights, yet Exclude such from Certain People is a Hypocrisy Plain and Simple.

And it is just as I said Earlier, to Enter into a Treaty is to Forfeit a Portion of Ones Sovereignty, that is the Freedom to Break and go Against that which is in the Treaty. Treaties are Often Necessary in Order to Keep the Peace and yet Treaties Hinder Freedom, just as Laws are Necessary in Order to Keep the Peace in a Society and yet Laws are Necessary.

In Short, Total and Complete Sovereignty, Liberty and Freedom doesn't Ever Really Occur and is not Even Desirable because the Result is Anarchy.

So yes, there were and are no Totally Free States, due to the Fact that the US Constitution Supersedes the Constitutions of the States, yet that's just how it is, so Deal with it.

If the State Constitutions Superseded the US Constitution, then there would be no Treaty and the US Constitution would be Useless, now wouldn't it?

Lista said...

Perhaps just One more Comment and then I'll move on.

This Issue is Still Occurring in a Way, for the Unborn are now Considered "Property", rather than Persons, which is Evident in the Statement "MY OWN BODY".

BB made an Interesting Comment, though, in Comment #6, that is the One just below mine. He Said that the Constitution says "All other Persons", which is Referring to the Slaves.

Boy would I ever Love to Read these Comments again, for there is so much here to Digest, but that will have to Occur on another day and I AM Going to Move on now and Read some of your other Posts.

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