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News What constitutes an essential liberty?

  1. Aug 21, 2006 #1
    What are those liberties that should not be sacrificed for security?

    Looking at it historically, these rights have changed over time.

    For example, slave ownership was once considered a right. Indeed, many of the landowning white males that drafted our Constitution were slave owners.

    The right to vote - of course the right to vote was limited for quite some time - being the exclusive club of the white male. It is also limited today, felons for example.

    The right to put in your body what you want - limited by prohibition (repealed ) and the controlled substances act (atrocity) - although tobacco is still legal (hypocricy).

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2006 #2
    What constitutes ""life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is a far better question, that is what has been agreed that we all are entitled to.
  4. Aug 21, 2006 #3
    The questions you are asking with regards to essential liberties are rooted in the beliefs of John Locke (and his counter-arguements to Hobbe's perspective)

    As for slave ownership, rest assured that it was not included in the original drafts. The opposition were very much excluded from the Virginia Convention by a few powerful persons.

    The restriction of substances is related strictly to control and believe it or not surveillance (numerous histories on the subject are available).
  5. Aug 21, 2006 #4
    No liberty should be sacrificed, as long as it does not infringe upon the liberty of others.

    That's because they didn't think slaves were part of mankind. They didn't think women or children were part of it either.

    And people under the age of 18. That's a lot of people we group together with felons, isn't it? We send all young people to prison, too, just like felons.
  6. Aug 21, 2006 #5
    Why not just the liberty to do whatever you want aslong as it hurts no one besides yourself. That seems to be the simplest way to include everything essential without leaving out anything important?
  7. Aug 21, 2006 #6


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    All rights have limits, though not necessarily because of the need for security. Azael provided the most straightforward test to determine those limits.
  8. Aug 21, 2006 #7
    I am pretty sure that is what we are supposed to be working towards.
  9. Aug 21, 2006 #8
    No, in the general sense, hurting people is a liberty that should be protected.

    People should be free to leave long term relationships, even though it will hurt the partner. Businesses should be free to steal marketshare from their competitors, even though it will eventually hurt their competitor's employees financially. Children should be able to choose careers they want, even though it will hurt their parents.

    Hurting people should be allowed as long as it does not infringe upon the liberty of others. Hurt is something all people have to live with responsibly in order to safeguard liberty.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
  10. Aug 22, 2006 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    That's what Azael meant by: "hurting people", Mickey (infringing on their rights). Yeah, the wording could have been better.
  11. Aug 22, 2006 #10
    thanks for clearing that up because that is exactly what I meant :approve:

    When it comes to personal rights I am 100% libertarian...
  12. Aug 22, 2006 #11
    Oh, okay. :smile:
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