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View Diary: ALERT: GOP Bill to Suspend Laws IS MOVING! (211 comments)

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  •  Positivists II (none)
    OK, I did the quick read.

    I'm happy for positivists or anyone else to disagree with me--I accord to them the same rights as I claim for myself, ie the right to exercise sole dominion over their lives and to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with my equal right to live in the manner I choose.

    They can get their rights wherever they want to.  I was born with mine.  

    "Dig within; there lies the wellspring of all good. Ever dig and it will ever flow" Marcus Aurelius

    by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 10:45:52 AM PST

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    •  Rights (none)
      "They can get their rights wherever they want to.  I was born with mine."

      Positivism isn't some crazy theory. A positivist would say that we get out rights from the Constitution. If the Constitution enumerates a right, but we amend the Constitution in a way that eliminates that right, then the positivist says you don't have that right any longer. While a positivist recognizes that there can be unjust laws, your natural law position requires that an unjust law not be considered a law at all. Are you really prepared to accept that?  

       

      •  re: Rights (none)
        YES!!!!!  ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Unjust laws should not be considered laws at all.  We each have a responsibility to refuse to obey unjust laws.

        Wasn't that in the Magna Carta?
        Wasn't that the basis of the Declaration of Independence as well as the Constitution?
        Wasn't that the lesson of the Nuremburg trials?  Wasn't that the position of the Civil Rights movement?  Rosa Parks?  Lunchcounters...

        Where does a Positivist get off saying that we get our rights from the Constitution when that document says they are inherent in the individual?  I never said Positivists were crazy, but you are making them sound silly...

        "Dig within; there lies the wellspring of all good. Ever dig and it will ever flow" Marcus Aurelius

        by Mosquito Pilot on Tue Feb 08, 2005 at 12:54:44 PM PST

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        •  No (none)
          "We each have a responsibility to refuse to obey unjust laws."

          This claim isn't inconsistent with positivism. The positivist just thinks unjust laws that were passed according to the rules the Constitution sets out are bad and should be changed. Under your view, everyone will have a different interpretation of what constitutes an unjust law because we can't reference an authoritative document. This invites chaos.

          "Wasn't that in the Magna Carta?"

          Are you under the impression that the Magna Carta is binding law for American citizens?

          "Wasn't that the lesson of the Nuremburg trials?"

          This is a good counter-example for you. The positivist response would draw on treaties and international law to ground the trials in positive law.  

          "Where does a Positivist get off saying that we get our rights from the Constitution when that document says they are inherent in the individual?"

          The idea is that the Constitution is a foundational document. When the Constitution mandates that individuals have rights, the positivist finds that binding precisely because the Constitution 'posits' that mandate. Any natural law rhetoric is just that. Anyway, it's an odd move for you to employ the Constitution as an authority to undermine the Constitution's authority in favor of natural law.    

          "I never said Positivists were crazy, but you are making them sound silly..."

          Really? Thinking the source of American law is the Constitution rather than somewhere in the ether is silly? We may have to disagree on that.

          •  er, wasn't the topic rights, not laws? (none)
            "Really? Thinking the source of American law is the Constitution rather than somewhere in the ether is silly? We may have to disagree on that."

            The foundation of our laws is the Constitution.  On that I agree.  The laws are put in place to protect our rights, which are inherent to our being.  Your Positivists say that eventhough the Constitution says our rights are inherent to our being, it doesn't really mean that.  

            If they can be taken away, they're privileges, not rights.  And the notion that they can be taken away includes the notion of classes--those who decide and those who must live with the decisions.

            The natural law position is egalitarian--saying each person can do as they please, provided they don't infringe on the equal right of others to do as they please.  Positivists must argue that rather than a simple live and let live arrangement, we must have rulers.

            What was radical and revolutionary about America was the notion, for the first time ever on the face of the earth, that we don't need shamans or chiefs or princes or priests to tell us what we may and may not do.  Using Laskoff's terms, we don't need a Strong Father or a Nurturing Parent--we are Adults and claim for ourselves the right to do as we please, bound only by the responsibility to respect the equal rights of others.

            I think your Positivism and its requisite rulers are the root of our problems in America.  Once you decide that rights are defined by some group you open the door to a President who can declare war and a cowardly Congress who can give away our rights via a law they never read.

            I say, those lives lost and those rights removed weren't theirs to give away.  Your Positivists seem to say they were.

            If what they're saying is that we should change the Constitution to reflect the Positivist view that rights are granted by law, then have at it--the Constitution contains a process for changing itself.  Write your amendment and build your base of support.  Please don't go off into the murkiness of an unwritten system, don't go into a system of ruler not rules.

            "Dig within; there lies the wellspring of all good. Ever dig and it will ever flow" Marcus Aurelius

            by Mosquito Pilot on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 06:55:18 AM PST

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        •  Magna Carta? (none)
          Unjust laws should not be considered laws at all.  We each have a responsibility to refuse to obey unjust laws.

          Wasn't that in the Magna Carta?

          Actually, no.

          It is, however, in Canon Law, in the Decretum Gratianus D10, C10; D11, C1,4. Essentially laws or ordinances that are in themselves a violation of standing ordinance, are abrogated- that is, voided. Following the precepts of the original statute is in order.

          In most cases, what people think the Great Charter says, is not what it says... but the rest of your examples appear to hold true.

          -just the resident Medievalist...

          "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

          by Lainie on Wed Feb 09, 2005 at 02:34:32 AM PST

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