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 Unalienable Rights Defined

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ScoutsHonor

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PostSubject: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sun 12 Aug 2012, 6:07 pm

Unalienable Rights
Deborah Venable
March, 2010

****
ASK the average American to define “unalienable rights” and you might be surprised at how many can’t give an accurate definition. The ability to break down unknown language and get in the ballpark of an accurate definition for specific words is becoming a lost art. Once again, thank the education system.

Take for example, defining the difference between unalienable and inalienable rights, which one do you hear the most about? Or do you incorrectly use them or hear them used interchangeably?

Does that famous line in the Declaration Of Independence ring a bell now? Ask yourself, does that line mention unalienable or inalienable rights?

Hope you have your thinking caps on for this one, because it’s really deep!

Look in a modern dictionary and you may find the words are interchangeable, with one even being used to define the other. Sad but understandable in the modern world of disintegrating language.

The Declaration Of Independence states:

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.

With very little research we can find that Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration, initially used the word, “inalienable” to describe the rights to be secured by the Founders’ efforts. There exist, in fact, drafts of the Declaration to prove this. But remember, the signers, who pledged their “sacred honor” when they affixed their names to the document debated it first. Jefferson willingly changed his first draft to reflect the different wording. (It is sad to note here that the Jefferson Memorial incorrectly reflects the final wording as “inalienable.”)

This "history" site is blatant in its insistence that the two words mean exactly the same thing. The truth, however, is that they don’t. To put it in the simplest terms possible, neither unalienable nor inalienable rights may be taken away by another, but only unalienable rights may not be given up by the owner of those rights. There is a difference.

The importance of that difference may escape some, but remember that the purpose of the Declaration was to establish the unequivocal right to be free of the ruling monarchy of England, and free from the tyranny of any government that would replace it. If any of the signers had been willing to give that up at any time, the document would have been essentially meaningless, and our country could have never survived.

In order for the “all men are created equal” part of the statement to be true, the rights had to be unalienable. If they could be “given up” by anyone, (inalienable) then they could easily be taken away from all.

This source discusses the dictionary bastardization of the two terms, unalienable and inalienable and raises a good point:

. . . human beings are imbued with unalienable rights which cannot be altered by law whereas inalienable rights are subject to remaking or revocation in accordance with man-made law. Inalienable rights are subject to changes in the law such as when property rights are given a back seat to emerging environmental law or free speech rights give way to political correctness.

Arguments have been made since the beginning of time that natural law, such as that defined by the declaration, only exists as a tool of religion – that it is man’s attempt to define his relationship with his Creator and with his fellow man. But those who would argue most strenuously against any natural law over man-made law seem to be the very ones who would wish to bend the will of others to their own beliefs.

This little discrepancy between unalienable and inalienable rights is perhaps the most serious problem not currently being dealt with today. It is probably the very reason that our Constitution and especially the Bill Of Rights has been under almost constant assault for a very long time. Look at how easily inattention to language and true knowledge of meaning began to set us up for so many things that would lead to our current crisis.

In Franklin Roosevelt’s 11th State of the Union address, just 6 days before D-Day, he said:

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights—among them the right of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

And:

As our Nation has grown in size and stature, however—as our industrial economy expanded—these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.

He went on to put forth his proposal for a “second bill of rights.” If you are not familiar with what those were, look it up in the link provided and read his whole speech.

Our current crisis has the modern American public debating the difference between rights and privileges. Thought processes, foreign to those that formed and defended the greatest form of government the world has ever known, have been allowed to infiltrate every major system in this country and continually work to “bend the will” of the American people. We should be able to pay homage to a government that protects our unalienable rights, but are now both suspect and mistrusting of a behemoth government that seeks to control us through relinquished inalienable rights!

If your thinking caps are still on, respond to this little essay and tell me if it helped at all.

***
http://www.debv.com/rantdkv030510.htm
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mike lewis



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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Mon 13 Aug 2012, 1:07 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:

If your thinking caps are still on, respond to this little essay and tell me if it helped at all.

I think Natural Rights are just as contrived and meaningless as the concept of "Divine Right", in fact, the concept is nothing more than an absurdist counter to the Divine Right assertion. No take backs, do overs, quitsies, or anti-quitsies. Triple stamped it, no erasies, touch blue make it true.







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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Mon 13 Aug 2012, 1:23 pm

Quote :
Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you conceive the objects of your conception to have. Then, your conception of those effects is the whole of your conception of the object.

The entire intellectual purport of any symbol consists in the total of all general modes of rational conduct which, conditionally upon all the possible different circumstances and desires, would ensue upon the acceptance of the symbol. - Charles Sanders Peirce
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Thu 16 Aug 2012, 4:43 am

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:

If your thinking caps are still on, respond to this little essay and tell me if it helped at all.

I think Natural Rights are just as contrived and meaningless as the concept of "Divine Right", in fact, the concept is nothing more than an absurdist counter to the Divine Right assertion. No take backs, do overs, quitsies, or anti-quitsies. Triple stamped it, no erasies, touch blue make it true.









Your post is a symphony of absurdity.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Thu 16 Aug 2012, 7:56 pm

Natural Right is both metaphysically and epistemically unsound, i.e., philosophically invalid. Natural right can be asserted as a belief but cannot be defended with logic.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Fri 17 Aug 2012, 10:47 am

Quote :
The concept of inalienable rights was criticized by Jeremy Bentham and Edmund Burke as groundless. Bentham and Burke, writing in the 18th century, claimed that rights arise from the actions of government, or evolve from tradition, and that neither of these can provide anything inalienable. (See Bentham's "Critique of the Doctrine of Inalienable, Natural Rights", and Burke's "Reflections on the Revolution in France"). Presaging the shift in thinking in the 19th century, Bentham famously dismissed the idea of natural rights as "nonsense on stilts".

Quote :
Jonathan Wallace has asserted that there is no basis on which to claim that some rights are natural, and he argued that Hobbes' account of natural rights confuses right with ability (human beings have the ability to seek only their own good and follow their nature in the same way as animals, but this does not imply that they have a right to do so). Wallace advocates a social contract, much like Hobbes and Locke, but does not base it on natural rights:

We are all at a table together, deciding which rules to adopt, free from any vague constraints, half-remembered myths, anonymous patriarchal texts and murky concepts of nature. If I propose something you do not like, tell me why it is not practical, or harms somebody, or is counter to some other useful rule; but don't tell me it offends the universe.


Last edited by mike lewis on Fri 17 Aug 2012, 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Fri 17 Aug 2012, 11:01 am

mike lewis wrote:
Natural Right is both metaphysically and epistemically unsound, i.e., philosophically invalid. Natural right can be asserted as a belief but cannot be defended with logic.


Fine. Then state which moral philosopher you think is correct --not via Youtube, but in your own words, please.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Fri 17 Aug 2012, 12:42 pm

Quote :
The pragmatic approach requires that we locate the conditions of warrant for our value judgments in human conduct itself, not in any a priori fixed reference point outside of conduct, such as in God's commands, Platonic Forms, pure reason, or “nature,” considered as giving humans a fixed telos.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dewey-moral/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pragmatism/
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sat 18 Aug 2012, 2:22 am

Or maybe we should just learn to know our place in The Great Chain of Being ?

The chain starts from God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, men, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals, and other minerals.

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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sat 18 Aug 2012, 6:44 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:

Your post is a symphony of absurdity.

This is meaningless, are you unable to deal with the material in a straightforward and honest way? Taking after Ayn Rand I see.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sat 18 Aug 2012, 11:09 am

Gee-another Ayn Rand victim. So tragic.

What's stopping you from entering the discussion, anything?
PLEASE DO go ahead and defend natural/individual rights if you can.

P.S. Your virulent hate is very disgusting, but you should get along great with Mike Lewis.
Ciao.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sat 18 Aug 2012, 11:19 am

I'm not going to defend natural rights because they don't exist in the way they are normal talked about. If I was going to defend them, I would define them as what rights you natural have based on the situation you are in. People do not have equal natural rights, and there is no baseline of what rights everyone "should" have. We can say what rights we *want* everyone to have, but what authority does that come from, other than the mouth who says it?
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sun 19 Aug 2012, 12:56 pm

mike lewis wrote:
Or maybe we should just learn to know our place in The Great Chain of Being ?

The chain starts from God and progresses downward to angels, demons (fallen/renegade angels), stars, moon, kings, princes, nobles, men, wild animals, domesticated animals, trees, other plants, precious stones, precious metals, and other minerals.


---
The question "Does man have unalienable rights?" involves a subtle principle which I will attempt to make clearer. I am presently composing a reply that I hope will accomplish that. Please be patient.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Thu 23 Aug 2012, 12:37 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:

The question "Does man have unalienable rights?" involves a subtle principle

I agree, but I think the principle involved has less to do with rights than it does with the natural inclinations of all creatures to be free and unobstructed, unconstrained in acting according to their own nature and developing at their own natural pace in their own natural way. I don't think man has any creator endowed rights but I do believe man has a naturally imbued inclination toward freedom. This natural inclination is unalienable insofar as man can never ultimately divorce himself from this inclination and this inclination toward freedom supersedes and nullifies any social contract that conflicts with it. No social contract is binding, no contract is binding, the only truth is in nature and nature will always out, right or wrong. If freedom is wrong then I don't want to be right. I do not declare these truths to be self evident, these truths are well founded in objective evidence found in every war and revolution ever fought in history where men broke the contrived social contract and gave their lives to either retain their freedom and sovereignty or gain it for the first time ever.
Quote :

The social contract or political contract is an intellectual construct that typically addresses two questions: first, that of the origin of society, and second, the question of the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory.

Although the antecedents of social contract theory are found in antiquity, in Greek and Stoic philosophy and Roman and Canon Law, as well as in the Biblical idea of the covenant, the heyday of the social contract was the mid-seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, when it emerged as the leading doctrine of political legitimacy. The starting point for most social contract theories is a heuristic examination of the human condition absent from any political order that Thomas Hobbes termed the “state of nature” In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point social contract theorists seek to demonstrate, in different ways, why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up his or her natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

We are always in the state of nature, we have never left the state of nature and can never leave the state of nature. We can never alienate ourselves from the state of nature. The state of nature is founded upon power and conscience, not rights, never rights, there are no such things as rights. All states, all societies are contrivances that we either consent to or resist according to our natural inclinations.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Thu 23 Aug 2012, 9:41 am

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:

The question "Does man have unalienable rights?" involves a subtle principle

I agree, but I think the principle involved has less to do with rights than it does with the natural inclinations of all creatures to be free and unobstructed, unconstrained in acting according to their own nature and developing at their own natural pace in their own natural way. I don't think man has any creator endowed rights but I do believe man has a naturally imbued inclination toward freedom. This natural inclination is unalienable insofar as man can never ultimately divorce himself from this inclination and this inclination toward freedom supersedes and nullifies any social contract that conflicts with it. No social contract is binding, no contract is binding, the only truth is in nature and nature will always out, right or wrong. If freedom is wrong then I don't want to be right. I do not declare these truths to be self evident, these truths are well founded in objective evidence found in every war and revolution ever fought in history where men broke the contrived social contract and gave their lives to either retain their freedom and sovereignty or gain it for the first time ever.
Quote :

The social contract or political contract is an intellectual construct that typically addresses two questions: first, that of the origin of society, and second, the question of the legitimacy of the authority of the state over the individual. Social contract arguments typically posit that individuals have consented, either explicitly or tacitly, to surrender some of their freedoms and submit to the authority of the ruler or magistrate (or to the decision of a majority), in exchange for protection of their rights. The question of the relation between natural and legal rights, therefore, is often an aspect of social contract theory.

Although the antecedents of social contract theory are found in antiquity, in Greek and Stoic philosophy and Roman and Canon Law, as well as in the Biblical idea of the covenant, the heyday of the social contract was the mid-seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries, when it emerged as the leading doctrine of political legitimacy. The starting point for most social contract theories is a heuristic examination of the human condition absent from any political order that Thomas Hobbes termed the “state of nature” In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point social contract theorists seek to demonstrate, in different ways, why a rational individual would voluntarily consent to give up his or her natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

We are always in the state of nature, we have never left the state of nature and can never leave the state of nature. We can never alienate ourselves from the state of nature. The state of nature is founded upon power and conscience, not rights, never rights, there are no such things as rights. All states, all societies are contrivances that we either consent to or resist according to our natural inclinations.


"Rights" are a MORAL issue. As such it is not something solid, like an apple that I can hold up and say
"SEE, it exists." They are *abstractions* and *conclusions,* the end result of a chain of reasoning.
Don't expect you to understand, as you are incapable of understanding the meaning of "please be patient and I will answer your post in due time." Thus, this conversation is now at an end.

Over - goodbye, and don't send me any more of your insulting little videos.....jerk.

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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sat 25 Aug 2012, 7:54 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:

you are incapable of understanding the meaning of "please be patient and I will answer your post in due time." Thus, this conversation is now at an end.

This is a major breach of forum etiquette, you cannot delay a thread with an assurance to: "answer your post in due time" and then expect all activity on the thread to cease.




ScoutsHonor wrote:
Over - goodbye, and don't send me any more of your insulting little videos.....jerk.

First off, I don't appreciate the insult, Second, I have never sent you an insulting video, I can only assume you are referring to the Dumb and Dumber youtube clip I posted earlier in this thread? If so then you should be aware that I did not intend to insult you personally, my purpose for posting that particular video was to satirically highlight the contrived nature of such fabricated concepts as divine and natural right, if you felt I was targeting you personally then I do apologize.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Sun 26 Aug 2012, 12:16 pm

Quote :
This is a major breach of forum etiquette, you cannot delay a thread with an assurance to: "answer your post in due time" and then expect all activity on the thread to cease.

LOLOLol.

----
Quote :
First off, I don't appreciate the insult, Second, I have never sent you an insulting video, I can only assume you are referring to the Dumb and Dumber youtube clip I posted earlier in this thread? If so then you should be aware that I did not intend to insult you personally, my purpose for posting that particular video was to satirically highlight the contrived nature of such fabricated concepts as divine and natural right, if you felt I was targeting you personally then I do apologize.

The Scorpion and the Frog ...
is a fable about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. The fable is used to illustrate the position that the behaviour of some creatures is irrepressible, no matter how they are treated and no matter what the consequences.

So of course, I trust you implicitly. Haha.

PS. The Hounds of Hell send bestregards Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Tue 28 Aug 2012, 2:17 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:
Quote :
This is a major breach of forum etiquette, you cannot delay a thread with an assurance to: "answer your post in due time" and then expect all activity on the thread to cease.

LOLOLol.

So you find it amusing to be rude and unreasonable? Frankly, I was surprised with your angry response to me when I ignored you and continued posting in the thread, my reaction was: LOLOLol, does this person really mean to hold up the thread and demand that everyone wait on his response, Is this guy for real?


ScoutsHonor wrote:
Quote :
First off, I don't appreciate the insult, Second, I have never sent you an insulting video, I can only assume you are referring to the Dumb and Dumber youtube clip I posted earlier in this thread? If so then you should be aware that I did not intend to insult you personally, my purpose for posting that particular video was to satirically highlight the contrived nature of such fabricated concepts as divine and natural right, if you felt I was targeting you personally then I do apologize.

The Scorpion and the Frog ...
is a fable about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. The fable is used to illustrate the position that the behaviour of some creatures is irrepressible, no matter how they are treated and no matter what the consequences.

So of course, I trust you implicitly. Haha.

PS. The Hounds of Hell send bestregards Smile

I was offering an olive branch in the interests of civility, not asking for your implicit trust or that you put your life in my hands. I'm not quite certain as to the meaning of your "hounds of hell" response so I'm just going to conclude that you are a little off in the head and avoid engaging with you in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Tue 28 Aug 2012, 12:12 pm

You sir, are a Troll.

Since you insist on inhabiting my forum, I have no choice but to leave.
Congrats.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Tue 28 Aug 2012, 8:20 pm

Concepts such as Divine and Natural Right are known in Social Dominance Theory as "legitimizing myths'. Divine Right is a hierarchy enhancing myth while Natural Right is a hierarchy attenuating myth.
Quote :

Social Dominance Theory (SDT) is a theory of intergroup relations that focuses on the maintenance and stability of group-based social hierarchies . According to the theory, group-based inequalities are maintained through three primary intergroup behaviors—specifically: institutional discrimination, aggregated individual discrimination, and behavioral asymmetry. SDT proposes that widely shared cultural ideologies (i.e., legitimizing myths) provide the moral and intellectual justification for these intergroup behaviors. There are two functional types of legitimizing myths: (1) hierarchy-enhancing and (2) hierarchy-attenuating legitimizing myths. Hierarchy-enhancing ideologies (e.g., racism and nationalism) contribute to greater levels of group-based inequality. Hierarchy-attenuating ideologies (e.g., socialism and feminism) contribute to greater levels of group-based equality. People endorse these different forms of ideologies based in part on their psychological orientation toward dominance and their desire for unequal group relations (i.e., their social dominance orientation; SDO). People who are higher on SDO tend to endorse hierarchy-enhancing ideologies, and people who are lower on SDO tend to endorse hierarchy-attenuating ideologies. SDT finally proposes that the relative counterbalancing of hierarchy-enhancing and -attenuating social forces stabilizes group-based inequality.

Various processes of hierarchical discrimination are driven by legitimizing myths (Sidanius, 1992), which are beliefs justifying social dominance, such as paternalistic myths (hegemony serves society, looks after incapable minorities), reciprocal myths (suggestions that hegemonic groups and outgroups are actually equal), and sacred myths (the divine right of kings, as a religion-approved mandate for hegemony to govern). Pratto et al. (1994) suggest the Western idea of meritocracy and individual achievement as an example of a legitimizing myth, and argues that meritocracy produces only an illusion of fairness. SDT draws on social identity theory, suggesting that social-comparison processes drive individual discrimination (ingroup favouritism). Discriminatory acts (such as insulting remarks about minorities) are performed because they increase the actors' self-esteem.

Social myths are common knowledge-based reasons for the subjugation of one particular person or group (=genocide), for a particular purpose, or it can not be defined as discrimination, only "bias", which will have to be talked about at length itself if a real in-depth approach is to be taken to this subject. The chaos involved in this discussion can be explained by saying that society first is based on reason supported by facts and followed by acts and made up of people: Class, order, neighborhoods, work sites, government, local state and federal, accompanied by the mischievousness of life they all produce when they interact together as one reason to be.

The reason that social hierarchies exist in human societies is that they were necessary for survival of inter-group competition during conflict over resources. Essentially, groups organised in hierarchies were more efficient at combat than groups who were organised in other ways, giving a competitive advantage to groups disposed towards social hierarchies.

Social Dominance Theory explains the mechanisms of group hierarchy oppression using three basic mechanisms:

Aggregated individual discrimination (ordinary discrimination)
Aggregated institutional discrimination (discrimination by governmental and business institutions)

Systematic Terror (police violence, death squads, etc.)

Behavioural asymmetry

systematic outgroup favouritism or deference (minorities favour hegemony individuals)

asymmetric ingroup bias (as status increases, in-group favoritism decreases)
self-handicapping (low expectations of minorities are self-fulfilling prophecies)
ideological asymmetry (as status increases, so beliefs legitimizing and or enhancing the current social hierarchy)

These processes are driven by legitimizing myths, which are beliefs justifying social dominance:

paternalistic myths (hegemony serves society, looks after incapable minorities)
reciprocal myths (suggestions that hegemonic and outgroups are actually equal)
sacred myths (Divine right of kings – religion-approved mandate for hegemony to govern)

Meritocracy and social dominance

It is suggested that the Western idea of meritocracy (individual achievement) is an example of a legitimizing myth, i.e. meritocracy is false and produces only an illusion of fairness. SDT draws on social identity theory, suggesting that social comparison processes drive individual discrimination (ingroup favouritism). Such acts are performed because they increase the actors self-esteem.

SDT states that an individual's level of discrimination and domination can be conceptualised, or measured, with the social dominance orientation. This is an individual set of beliefs, sometimes viewed as something akin to a personality-trait, which describes the actors views on social domination and the extent to which they will aspire to gain more power and climb the social ladder. For instance, the SDO6 scale measures social dominance orientation by agreement with statements such as "Sometimes other groups must be kept in their place" and "It's probably a good thing that certain groups are at the top and other groups at the bottom."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Dominance_Theory
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Tue 28 Aug 2012, 10:46 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:
You sir, are a Troll.

Since you insist on inhabiting my forum, I have no choice but to leave.
Congrats.

You have been entirely unreasonable since our first encounter, storming off in a huff is just the all too predictable finale. Why not stick around and learn something? Perhaps your ego is too large and too bruised? There is no shame in that, my large ego had to be forcibly deflated as well before I was able to learn.
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PostSubject: Re: Unalienable Rights Defined   Tue 28 Aug 2012, 11:06 pm

Well it took what, a couple years? But this forum finally has a drama thread. I have definitely found Mike's posts to be quite thought provoking.
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