Friday, November 26, 2010

The Constitution, A Contract or a Document of a Set of Principles?

What is the Bill of Rights that the founders of this nation included in the Constitution? We recognize them as being the rights of every individual in this society. This leads us to a bunch of questions that should be answered if we are to say we abide by the principles of a Constitution.

The first question that must be asked is what is the purpose of a Constitution? Is it a contract or is it just a set of principles that guide us in the rule of the people? If it be a contract then who are the participants in that contract and what are their obligations? If it be just a set of principles are those principles absolute or are they relative?

If it be a contract then we can determine the participants by the means of who has the authority to make any changes in that contract. If it be a contract then we can find within that Constitution the obligations that a participating party has taken on. If it be a contract then we know that one party has a restrictive obligation. And the restrictive nature of this contract is determined by the service one party has obligated himself to perform.

We also know that if it be a contract then the party performing the service can only perform that service with the authorization of the other party or parties involved in that contract. We also know that if it be a contract then it is a legally binding contract and that all participants are bound by the terms of that contract as long as that service is needed or desired. Last but not least we know that any participant can opt out of that contract if they feel that the other party is not abiding by the terms of that contract.

If there be a moral aspect to a constitution as a contract then that morality is found in the voluntary and consensual agreement to abide by the terms of that contract. This would be true even if some aspect of that contract may be seen as immoral in the eyes of some but not in the eyes of others. This is true of any contract.

If we recognize that men are subject to the laws of morality then we cannot expect men to abide by nor agree to participate in an act of immorality if we are to recognize that we are men of free will. If this be true then there must be a way for a person to opt out of that seemingly immoral aspect of that contract if he entered into that contract voluntarily and consensually. It would also mean that the immoral aspect of that contract was not a compromise of principles but a recognition of the principles of others.

This and this alone would allow us to see that the use of force is an unjust means to what would appear to be a just end. The first amendment recognizes the fact that men may see some behaviors in a different light of morality than others. And if force is used then that government is not protecting the rights of all individuals but persecuting the religious beliefs of some.

The only way to see force as being a just means is to declare that a person did not have the right to opt out of the active participation of an immoral act but was forced to be an active participant in that immoral act. It would also mean that the person was a participant in that contract voluntarily and consensually as a result of compromise of principles.

I believe the above to be true regardless of whether a person see the Constitution as being a contract or just a document stating a set of principles. Neither way would allow the government to force some persons to act in a manner that goes against his principles of morality if we are to abide by the first amendment. Only those who believe that a person's behavior and life is determined for him would be an advocate of the use of force whether that force be active or passive.

So, my friends, are we men of free will or are we just participants in a life ruled by the laws of determinism?


buddeshepherd said...

Here is the problem with human nature that scares me. People can be convinced of anything. People can accept two completely different belief systems at the same time.
You can fervently believe in God and the teachings of love in the Bible and kill people. You can believe and support the constitution and still violate people's most basic rights.
If there is no loud voice which calls out these contradictions then it is all just accepted and then rationalized away after the fact.
That just seems to be the way it is.
I find myself believing in Nothing and believing in Everything, basically at the same time. I just happen to be somewhat self aware or (insecure) and see that I'm doing it.

The Griper said...

"I find myself believing in Nothing and believing in Everything, basically at the same time. I just happen to be somewhat self aware or (insecure) and see that I'm doing it."

this just recognizes that you do believe in something and that is good. it is the contradictory nature of man that baffles you right now and that is imperfection exemplified.

if man was consistent there would be no need of a conscience to reveal to us when we are not being consistent with our own thoughts.

the only reason to be scared of this is if we are ruled by the laws of determinism because that would mean we could not change our ways when we learn something different.

it is the knowledge we gain from free will that sets us free. and that means we can never be so set in our ways that we won't allow that change to occur.

Lista said...

What you are Talking about is Called Hypocrisy. To Believe in Freedom and yet also Believe in Slavery is Hypocrisy, because you are Only Believing in your Own Freedom, but not that of the Slaves. Also, to Believe in your Own Independence from England, yet not Believe in the Independence of the Confederacy from Oneself is Hypocrisy.

I Commend you for your Humility.

I don't know if I Understood Everything in your Above Post or not, but I'm not in the Mood to Pick it Apart, so this time, I'm just going to let it be.

I'd Still Like to do a Post Sometime on the Subject of Free Will verses Determinism. I Wonder if I'll ever Get Around to it.


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