“For thousands of years, great political thinkers of East and West tried to harmonize human differences.”, p. 528They start with the ancient Chinese.
“For Confucius, society was like his conception of family.... People were defined by their place, whether in the family or the community.” p. 528And that is extended for centuries and around the world.
“So too for the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers: place was all. All great religious traditions define a place for everyone, if not on earth then in heaven.” p. 528The Ancients saw man in terms of their place in society. Moderns see people in terms of their rights. Even this has gone through a progression.
“They are equal in rights, Locke proclaimed, though they be unequal in everything else. Those rights however, are negative rights (to impose contemporary terminology): They give all human beings the right not to have certain things done to them by the state or other human beings,...” p. 530Today we have evolved to the point where rights are totally different. It is not the right to “the pursuit of happiness”, it is now the right to happiness, guaranteed.
“The original concept of equal rights is said to be meaningless cant, outmoded; taking equal rights seriously, it is thought, requires enforcing equal outcomes.” p. 530The Christian concept is totally different, although most Christians take a stand on the idea of rights. The Bible see people in terms of their righteousness. We have no “rights”. We are hopeless sinners, helpless to change without God’s help and when we change the success is measured in terms of righteousness. The question is how well we conform to the ethical standards that God demands.
We have value, but only in relationship with God. If there is no God, we are just smart animals as the evolutionists say. If there is a God, it does not matter what our rights are.
Herrnstein, Richard J. and Murray, Charles. The Bell Curve. New York:
The Free Press, 1994.
homo unius libri