Friday, April 25, 2014

Atheist? No Constitution for you!

I figured out where I want to go to law school. At state school in the northwest part of the country that offers a course in advanced Constitutional law. I've also been looking over sample questions for the LSAT. There are sections on reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning. I find analytical reasoning the most difficult by far, because, in my opinion, there is a lot of presumption and inference. It's not necessarily bad to presume. Mankind would never get anywhere if we didn't presume that agriculture is worthwhile, that disease is preventable, or that God exists, to name a few. Presumptions factor into the LSAT when a situation is described and a position given. The question, then, is, "Which of these premises, if true, supports the position?" I got started thinking about premises, or principles, or core beliefs and values when I was thinking about the logical reasoning part of the LSAT. If logic is such an integral part of the legal process, I wondered, why do so many lawyers do such illogical things. The answer, I believe, lies in our presumptions. My atheist friend, God bless her heart, posted this picture on her Facebook feed not too long ago.
The conclusion made in this caption, of course, arises from the premise that the Government grants our Constitutional rights. However, it doesn't. The Constitution is does not belong to the government. It belongs to the People. In fact, the Constitution is and always has been an enemy of government, and a shield for citizens against government oppression. The government doesn't grant rights; at best, it protects them. More often, though, government infringes on or deprives the People of their rights. Where do rights come from, if not the Government? You may remember these words from the Declaration of Independence:

  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. How about that? The framers of the Constitution that our basic rights--the ones that come with simply being human--are not the gift of government, but of God. Let's do a little thought experiment based on that premise. The rights to life, liberty, and happiness are granted by the Creator. Nothing and no one else has that power. Atheists do not believe in a Creator. Therefore, atheists freely put themselves in a position in which they can be said not to have those inalienable rights. So here's a little rule for them.

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