First, let me say thankyou for your patience and understanding while I undertook a move one quarter of the way around the world. While not completely settled yet, we are starting to get back some of the things we have been without (my computer is just about back to the state it was in when I last shut it down in Hawaii). It has been a challenging time and there are many challenges ahead, but at least I may now return to LRPSP.COM while facing those challenges.
But enough of boring you with my personal life, I am anxious to get back on track with discussing the more interesting things in life. And one of the things that interests me (and I believe a lot of people) is Human Rights – specifically Our Rights as inhabitants of planet Earth.
I just read Glenn Greenwald’s book “No Place To Hide” where civil rights are referenced no less than 21 separate times and in every chapter. He quotes Supreme Court Justices (Justice Louis Brandeis – page 187) and hammers the rights of a free people.
The building I work in has some writing on the wall when you first enter the main doors, the writing says: “We hold these truths to be self-evident …“, which, of course comes from the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase is: “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.”
There are those amongst us that want to argue the rights of the people of the Earth. But they never want to stop and consider where those rights came from, who bestowed the right? What gives individuals the right to even claim rights? And what happens when your rights are contradictory to my own rights? What gives any of us the right to express what is right and what is wrong?
So let me get this straight. All of us can agree that we all have the right to life, to live, to continue to exist, to not die (at least unjustly)? And thus we know it is wrong to kill, to murder, to take a life? And we gained this ground truth when? At the point of “consciousness” of human-kind?
This is rather amazing to me because, without even realizing it, these folks have stumbled into the one common denominator for all human life. Our DNA is different, our world-views are different, our finger-prints are different, our retinas are different, we are all the most unique set of creatures ever encountered, but the one thing we all managed to get exactly the same comes down to basic human rights.
Which is an amazingly structured piece of code. It tells me, and it tells you, that we each have a right to life. And there is little to no ambiguity there. And where do our religious dissenters find this code? Is it in the DNA? Is it part of a blood type? Is it structured in some social engineering? Why no, it seems to be innate within each and every one of us from birth, embedded as it were, within our very beings, and readily grasped and expressed by our consciousness.
In other words it is embedded in our spirits. That part of our being that is Spiritual in nature. That part of our being that is explored and understood through our Theology. Or at least I have yet to have an atheistic friend try and explain spiritual matters via a non-Theistic line of reasoning. How else would one argue the finer points of a human nature that is expressed by more than what we can tangibly see, taste, smell, touch, hear, or mentally visualize of the physical world around us?
In the words of an atheistic friend of mine, it is a gift … this great consciousness that we all share. This awareness that allows us to propagate the notion that we are somehow all entitled to rights. Which is the greatest irony of all time, that the Universe would explode into existence at the point of the big bang, that matter would bump around through 13 billion years of time until life were sparked into existence, and then poof! That matter bumping around against itself would bestow a gift upon the life it accidently created.
All right, lets say I accept your model for the sake of argument. I then assert that my rights have not been fulfilled. My rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (as understood and expressed by my consciousness) have been taken away and trampled upon. To whom do I turn? To whom do I take up my grievances with? Where is Justice? As Dr. Ravi Zacharias has said on a number of occasions (and I paraphrase), Atheism makes a mockery of justice. And the only logical conclusion from there is that it doesn’t really matter anyway. After all, there is no meaning, can be no meaning, since everything is merely a result of physical laws set into motion so long, long ago.
So today I ask the question: Where do YOUR rights come from? The emphasis on the individual nature is important here. Because if your rights are just some cosmic accident, some whimsical fluke of natural laws, then I say “So what?” What makes your rights any more or any less valuable or important or necessary of enforcement or protection than any others on this Earth?
However, for those that join me and the framers of the U.S. Declaration of Independence in understanding and believing that my rights are endowed by my Creator (God), then you, like I, have a champion, a defender, a Judge, and an arbitrator of those rights. The same God that bestowed them on me, that gave them to me as a gift, is the same God that is going to ensure that Justice is served. My rights did not come from some cosmic consciousness (which doesn’t make sense or match any model its defenders purport to begin with) or by some accident of physical nature. My rights are fabricated into my very being by God himself and he will, one day, hold me accountable for them.
Fortunately, I have an understanding, and an answer for him.