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The [American Constitution] Justifies Itself

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Posts

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    If you subscribe to the social-contract view of governments, the constitution is literally that contract. You can argue for amending the contract, but breaking it is different. And thus the arguments you have to present are different.

    You aren't arguing cost-benefit analysis like with most laws. You are arguing fundamental rights.

    The OP is not arguing to break it though.

    The OP is arguing that the things the constitution enumerates are not inherent rights beyond their existence in the constitution. That because the constitution is changeable, so are those rights.

    The right to bear arms is a right because the constitution says it is and that's it. And since what the constitution says can be changed, so can that right. Therefore if you don't want that right to change, you can't just say "you can't change it because it's a right".

    No but you can say that you shouldn't be able to change it without changing the Constitution.

    Which in the case of firearms, is exactly the same thing as saying you can't change it.
    When enough of the country feels differently, the situation will be different. Right now though? Just wishing won't make it so.

    The difficulty in changing the Constitution has also kept some shitty amendments out. We would probably have a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage if it were easier to pass a new amendment, for example.

    No it's not. It is, in fact, saying that you CAN change it beacuse the constitution can be altered. It merely lays out a way to change it that is currently extremely difficult.

    But none of that is an argument for how things SHOULD be.

  • RiemannLivesRiemannLives Registered User regular
    hehehe

    It's great how with the 2nd amendment a certain kind of person always puts in those elipses at that same part.

    Despite only being a single sentence they still feel the need to leave out everything before the second comma.

  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    If you subscribe to the social-contract view of governments, the constitution is literally that contract. You can argue for amending the contract, but breaking it is different. And thus the arguments you have to present are different.

    You aren't arguing cost-benefit analysis like with most laws. You are arguing fundamental rights.

    The OP is not arguing to break it though.

    The OP is arguing that the things the constitution enumerates are not inherent rights beyond their existence in the constitution. That because the constitution is changeable, so are those rights.

    The right to bear arms is a right because the constitution says it is and that's it. And since what the constitution says can be changed, so can that right. Therefore if you don't want that right to change, you can't just say "you can't change it because it's a right".

    That's NOT what he's arguing. He's arguing that the right to bear arms is NOT fundamental right, but that whenever this is disputed it gets pointed out repeatedly that it sure is according to the US Constituton. He's pointing out that, shockingly, being interpreted as a fundamental right by that particular source doesn't make it so indisputedly any moreso than if it were included as such in the North Whogivesafuckistan Constitution.

    In other words he'd like to debate whether the rght to bear arms is a fundamental right or not wothout being 'trumped' by "but but US Constitution” which is irrelevant - that document has an opinion on the matter, but it is not the ultimate authority on the subject. I happen to agree with him; our democratic system would not suffer one bit from fairly draconian gun regulation and you don't have a basic right to own a specific weapon, even though you most certainly have had that rot protected as if you do based on the interpretation of the US Constitution.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    spool32 wrote:
    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    I'm not saying that, though. What I'm saying is the fact that second amendment exists is not justification of it's continued existence.

    As in, if I say "Guns should be restricted for reasons A, B and C" the response "But the constitution says no, so nyah!" does not a good argument make. Rights should be justified by their consequences, good and bad, in society, not because it is written down somewhere.

    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Like, they are equally bad. Both you and whoever you are arguing with are both making bad arguments.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    spool32 wrote: »
    You're using "establish", "describe", and "enumerate" as if they are interchangeable terms when in this context they are not. The 2nd says that "... the right of the people... shall not be infringed". Implicit in this is the idea that the right exists, and the Constitution does not "establish" that right. It exists, inherently, for all people. The 2nd makes clear the limits that exist on our government when they wish to restrict that right.

    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    You are not getting it.

    If the constitution can be altered then the 2nd amendment can be done away with. In fact, the constitution itself says it can be done away with. That right can't be inherent simply by existing in the constitution.

    The people defending it's existence as an inherent right, and those saying the constitution should not be altered to remove it, need to justify it's inherentness beyond simply saying it's part of the constitution.
    spool32 wrote: »
    The Constitution emphatically does not say that the keeping and bearing arms is a right.

    The Constitution acknowledges that the right exists, and describes the limits on government's power to infringe on that right.

    And once you alter it, which can be done according to the constitution itself, it no longer acknowledges this supposed right.

    That the constitution "acknowledges that the right exist" doesn't really matter that much.

    shryke on
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Why? What's so special about the constitution?

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    The right to bear arms is a right because the constitution says it is and that's it. And since what the constitution says can be changed, so can that right. Therefore if you don't want that right to change, you can't just say "you can't change it because it's a right".

    Of course, interpretations of the Constitution may differ, sometimes quite dramatically.

    Up until the last few years, the standing Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment was that it confers a collective right, not an individual one. It's only been as recently as 2008 (DC v. Heller) that the right to keep and bear arms has been considered an individual right.

    Through most of the 20th Century, the courts held that the Second Amendment was connected to militia service. It was permissible, for instance, for a state to pass a ban on certain barrel lengths of shotgun because such weapons did not serve a military purpose and consequently, such bans did not interfere with a private citizen's militia duties. In Heller, this standard was reversed and the Supreme Court said that the right to keep and bear arms is independent of militia service.

    Even then, the Court reaffirmed that individuals do not have "the right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose." They reaffirmed several different broad types of gun control.

    When you said in another post, "just because it is doesn't mean it should be," you were absolutely right. The actual decisions made on Constitutional matters often come down, at least in part, to what should be rather than what is. A strict adherence to precedent in 2008 would have rendered a different decision in Heller - they would have upheld the 'collective rights' and militia-related interpretations of the Second Amendment. The law changes partly because the members of SCOTUS thought it should be changed. If they didn't think that, then they wouldn't have heard the case at all.

    The interpretation may yet reverse again, in some year in the distant future.

    Which makes the whole thing even more interesting because even outside the amendment process the constitution is malleable. The SCOTUS literally changed what the constitution said by altering the presumed meaning of the clause.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Why? What's so special about the constitution?

    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    If you subscribe to the social-contract view of governments, the constitution is literally that contract. You can argue for amending the contract, but breaking it is different. And thus the arguments you have to present are different.

    You aren't arguing cost-benefit analysis like with most laws. You are arguing fundamental rights.

    The OP is not arguing to break it though.

    The OP is arguing that the things the constitution enumerates are not inherent rights beyond their existence in the constitution. That because the constitution is changeable, so are those rights.

    The right to bear arms is a right because the constitution says it is and that's it. And since what the constitution says can be changed, so can that right. Therefore if you don't want that right to change, you can't just say "you can't change it because it's a right".

    As is the right to participate in your government, or speak freely.

    If these rights are inherent to the human condition then there reason to criticize any government that does not recognize these rights is flawed because of that. Otherwise the only justification for the rights is instrumental, that they simply happen to provide for the greatest good, but as times and situations might change perhaps some day it might not be for the best that people ought not to be slaves, or have laws of the government apply equally to them as well as others.

    Is that what you want to commit to?

    But these rights are not "inherent to the human condition" because they are enumerated in the constitution. Nor is every right enumerated in the constitution "inherent to the human condition".

    Neither of these concepts implies the other.

    You are making a false assumption about what I am committing to.

    Of course that simply by being enumerated in the constitution of the United States does not make a right some inherent human right. I never claimed that the Constitution correctly identifies the inherent rights of human beings. However, I think that's the intention behind it. You can argue about what rights should or should not be contained in a list of "inherent rights" but the notion is that the right to bear arms isn't simply a coincidence of the US constitution, but that it is a human right. I take it that you don't agree with that, and I don't either, but that's the purpose behind the Constitution, I think.

    I know perfectly well what each of those statements implies.

    If you don't commit to their being inherent human rights, then what is left but rights being instrumentally valuable toward some other good?

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    There's two issues here really.

    The first is the difference between fundamental right that exist inherently and the fundamental protections built into the system of government. The thing is that fundamental rights are laid out in the Bill of Rights, but not everything in the Bill of Rights speaks to a fundamental right. First Amendment? Fundamental right underlying the entire philosophy behind Democratic/Republican/egalitarian government. The Third Amendment - "No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law" - completely irrelevant now, and fundamentally a product of that era. The 4th through 8th? Limits on the government's ability to intrude on individual liberty/the implementation of law. The Second Amendment? Some would argue its a fundamental right. Others would argue that its a limited right relating to militias. Some would argue its a clarifying amendment like the 9th, 10th or 12th Amendment where the relationship between the federal government state governments and people are defined more clearly. I personally don't see how it could be viewed as fundamental like the first or 13-15 but some people do.

    The second is the United States, unlike Canada or the UK or many other nations, has a coherent system of government. In most other countries everything is ad hoc. For instance, the United Kingdom's police powers in a real way could be viewed as fundamentally illegitimate. The Parliament is elected but they base their power not on the people but on the consent of the monarchy. Is a de facto democracy legitimate if de jure its a monarchy? Often its stylized a "Constitutional monarchy" but the laws of parliament that limit the monarchy are only applicable due to the consent of the monarch. The monarch technically has a veto that can not be overridden under the law. Under the law, the monarch could refuse assent for all laws passed by Parliament, dissolve Parliament or declare any one he/she wanted Prime Minister. All laws are in the name of the monarch. Parliament could ignore these directives - but only in violation of the basis of their own power.

    And even if we accept that parliament is supreme, its not bound by any limitations. Parliament is within its power to declare itself elected for life. There is no real check on these powers, including the length of service. Their actions might be wrong but they would not be illegal.

    The answer to this is generally "but they wouldn't do that." I would argue that when you must depend on people to govern under a system of government such that it is egalitarian (which obviously the UK system is not fundamentally but mostly is) and democratic, then you don't actually have a democratic and egalitarian system of government.

    And I would easily point out that just because you have a piece of paper saying they can't do that doesn't mean they can't. It's no different.

    Prime Minister Cameron isn't going to declare himself Prime Minister For Life for the exact same reasons Obama isn't going to declare himself President for Life and you are kidding yourself if you think a 200+ year old piece of paper makes a huge difference in that matter.

  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    It's not, except that Americans represent the majority of PA users (and consequently the majority of people in these discussions), and gun control is a particularly controversial issue in the US.

    If you want to talk about gun control in the context of another country, you'll probably need to explicitly set that context.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • never dienever die Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    Probably because you normally argue with people from the U.S., who have a hard on for their own constituion over a different one. Do you feel like the Canadian Constitution is better than the U.S.? At least in terms of the gun laws? Why is that? Because you grew up with it? The things a person experiences in life and what the education teaches them about how their constitution is right makes them think that their laws are best.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    spool32 wrote:
    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    I'm not saying that, though. What I'm saying is the fact that second amendment exists is not justification of it's continued existence.

    As in, if I say "Guns should be restricted for reasons A, B and C" the response "But the constitution says no, so nyah!" does not a good argument make. Rights should be justified by their consequences, good and bad, in society, not because it is written down somewhere.

    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Like, they are equally bad. Both you and whoever you are arguing with are both making bad arguments.

    Why? The things in the constitution are merely laws written down somewhere. They are just much harder to change ones.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    I guess I don't see that anything does on a legal basis. Even in a debate about amending it it shouldn't.

    I don't know that in a courtroom it would either.

    Basically, I would expect a constitutional question in Canada's courts to get the same (but obviously in a Canadian way) treatment as one in America.

    Abe Lincoln was right, the Constitution isn't a suicide pact and it isn't above amendment.

    The only thing I would think is above that are the natural rights we add, which I imagine are similar to all western nations. It's comparing apples to slightly colder apples.

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  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    You're using "establish", "describe", and "enumerate" as if they are interchangeable terms when in this context they are not. The 2nd says that "... the right of the people... shall not be infringed". Implicit in this is the idea that the right exists, and the Constitution does not "establish" that right. It exists, inherently, for all people. The 2nd makes clear the limits that exist on our government when they wish to restrict that right.

    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    You are not getting it.

    If the constitution can be altered then the 2nd amendment can be done away with. In fact, the constitution itself says it can be done away with. That right can't be inherent simply by existing in the constitution.

    The people defending it's existence as an inherent right, and those saying the constitution should not be altered to remove it, need to justify it's inherentness beyond simply saying it's part of the constitution.
    spool32 wrote: »
    The Constitution emphatically does not say that the keeping and bearing arms is a right.

    The Constitution acknowledges that the right exists, and describes the limits on government's power to infringe on that right.

    And once you alter it, which can be done according to the constitution itself, it no longer acknowledges this supposed right.

    That the constitution "acknowledges that the right exist" doesn't really matter that much.

    I don't think you're getting it. The right is inherent, not because it is written into the Constitution, or because limits on restricting the right are written into it, but because the ability to possess the tools needed to defend life, and liberty is one that all people hold by virtue of being people. We all have the right to secure ourselves, our freedom, and our society against those who wish to oppress us. To disagree with this is to believe there is no moral justification for resisting tyranny.

    If we altered the Constitution such that there were no limits on government's ability to restrict our right to defend ourselves and our liberty, the right would still exist.

  • zerg rushzerg rush Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    It's American, duh!

  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    PantsB wrote: »
    And even if we accept that parliament is supreme, its not bound by any limitations. Parliament is within its power to declare itself elected for life. There is no real check on these powers, including the length of service. Their actions might be wrong but they would not be illegal.

    The answer to this is generally "but they wouldn't do that." I would argue that when you must depend on people to govern under a system of government such that it is egalitarian (which obviously the UK system is not fundamentally but mostly is) and democratic, then you don't actually have a democratic and egalitarian system of government.

    How is that in any way relevant - they could do that if they had overwhelming support, but then someone with that level of support in the US could amend the constitution however the fuck they like too.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    I don't think anyone other than the same kind of nationalists that think that America is the best country in the world think this. Then you aren't really arguing about the Constitution, you're arguing about the supremacy of America.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Basically, I don't think that Constitution, QED is necessarily the end of a conversation.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Feral wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    It's not...

    It is, because here we place it at the top of the pyramid, and require all government to be subordinate to it. I'm not familiar with the structure of every democracy in the world, but my limited understanding is that this arrangement is unique among the democratic nations. PantsB described the the UK's Constitutional monarchy earlier, and it's a good example of how we're different.

    spool32 on
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    spool32 wrote:
    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    I'm not saying that, though. What I'm saying is the fact that second amendment exists is not justification of it's continued existence.

    As in, if I say "Guns should be restricted for reasons A, B and C" the response "But the constitution says no, so nyah!" does not a good argument make. Rights should be justified by their consequences, good and bad, in society, not because it is written down somewhere.

    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Like, they are equally bad. Both you and whoever you are arguing with are both making bad arguments.

    Why? The things in the constitution are merely laws written down somewhere. They are just much harder to change ones.

    It's pretty basic jurisprudence; the higher up a law is, the important it is. The more effect any change to it will potentially have. Nova is straw-manning me to an extent. I am not claiming, and have not claimed, that the Constitution cannot be changed, or that the American Constitution is more sacrosanct than that of other countries.

    I have already agreed that "But, the Constitution" is a poor argument against changing it.

    Equally so "But, it's just a piece of paper." is a poor argument for changing it.

    Regina Fong on
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Dis' wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    And even if we accept that parliament is supreme, its not bound by any limitations. Parliament is within its power to declare itself elected for life. There is no real check on these powers, including the length of service. Their actions might be wrong but they would not be illegal.

    The answer to this is generally "but they wouldn't do that." I would argue that when you must depend on people to govern under a system of government such that it is egalitarian (which obviously the UK system is not fundamentally but mostly is) and democratic, then you don't actually have a democratic and egalitarian system of government.

    How is that in any way relevant - they could do that if they had overwhelming support, but then someone with that level of support in the US could amend the constitution however the fuck they like too.

    This is incorrect. In the UK, they can just do it and there would need to be overwhelming opposition to stop them, after the fact. Here, they cannot without earning the consent of the governed prior to the change.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Feral wrote:
    It's not, except that Americans represent the majority of PA users (and consequently the majority of people in these discussions), and gun control is a particularly controversial issue in the US.

    If you want to talk about gun control in the context of another country, you'll probably need to explicitly set that context.

    Then what you're saying is, when I'm speaking about the downside of the proliferation of guns in the US and how I think that certain controls or restrictions would improve the situation, Americans can respond "Our constitution doesn't allow that." and that ends the debate?

    Really?

    Because that is flat out retarded. I honestly don't give a damn what the Canadian constitution says versus the US constitution when I would like to debate the merits of certain laws and their effects on freedom versus public safety because neither document means shit. They really don't. It is the implementation of what is laid out in the documents that has actual consequences in society. The document itself means nothing. Nothing at all. NOTHING.

    We give it value by applying its ideals and then we find out what works and what doesn't and we should evaluate that on the basis of what effect it has and how we can do it better.

    So many of you guys treat the US constitution the exact same way Christian zealots treat the bible.

    Nova_C on
  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    spool32 wrote:
    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    I'm not saying that, though. What I'm saying is the fact that second amendment exists is not justification of it's continued existence.

    As in, if I say "Guns should be restricted for reasons A, B and C" the response "But the constitution says no, so nyah!" does not a good argument make. Rights should be justified by their consequences, good and bad, in society, not because it is written down somewhere.



    1)Rights don't need to be justified, that's why they are rights. Restriction on those rights need to be justified. If they needed to be justified they'd be called privileges.

    2)Its a good argument because it stems from the will of those it effects. There is no final arbiter of rights to appeal to(well God if that's your view but lets not go to God's will as justification). If American's collectively agree it is a fundamental right it is, in the USA. There's no one to award you points for having a more convincing argument, besides the people who are collectively saying "nyah".

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    I'm also sensing a feeling that the gun control debate is an argument that has been had and won already, and the pro side merely feels like the Constitution is holding them back from institution of a just victory celebration. That is simply not the case.

  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Man, page two and people have already gone for the ridicule and condescending snide remarks.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    If you subscribe to the social-contract view of governments, the constitution is literally that contract. You can argue for amending the contract, but breaking it is different. And thus the arguments you have to present are different.

    You aren't arguing cost-benefit analysis like with most laws. You are arguing fundamental rights.

    The OP is not arguing to break it though.

    The OP is arguing that the things the constitution enumerates are not inherent rights beyond their existence in the constitution. That because the constitution is changeable, so are those rights.

    The right to bear arms is a right because the constitution says it is and that's it. And since what the constitution says can be changed, so can that right. Therefore if you don't want that right to change, you can't just say "you can't change it because it's a right".

    As is the right to participate in your government, or speak freely.

    If these rights are inherent to the human condition then there reason to criticize any government that does not recognize these rights is flawed because of that. Otherwise the only justification for the rights is instrumental, that they simply happen to provide for the greatest good, but as times and situations might change perhaps some day it might not be for the best that people ought not to be slaves, or have laws of the government apply equally to them as well as others.

    Is that what you want to commit to?

    But these rights are not "inherent to the human condition" because they are enumerated in the constitution. Nor is every right enumerated in the constitution "inherent to the human condition".

    Neither of these concepts implies the other.

    You are making a false assumption about what I am committing to.

    Of course that simply by being enumerated in the constitution of the United States does not make a right some inherent human right. I never claimed that the Constitution correctly identifies the inherent rights of human beings. However, I think that's the intention behind it. You can argue about what rights should or should not be contained in a list of "inherent rights" but the notion is that the right to bear arms isn't simply a coincidence of the US constitution, but that it is a human right. I take it that you don't agree with that, and I don't either, but that's the purpose behind the Constitution, I think.

    I know perfectly well what each of those statements implies.

    If you don't commit to their being inherent human rights, then what is left but rights being instrumentally valuable toward some other good?

    If that was the purpose behind the constitution, why can it be changed? Again, the constitution as originally written had some awful shit in it no one would ever claim are inherent rights (like the whole slavery thing).

    I have no idea what you mean by your last sentence. I'm saying their existence in the constitution says nothing about them being inherent human rights. From a legal point of view what the constitution says matters. That's about what is legal. It's nothing to do with what should be legal.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Why? What's so special about the constitution?

    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    The UK doesn't. Although I supposed one could say it's got a sort of loose collection of documents that essentially accomplish the same thing.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    zerg rush wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    It provides the backbone of our legal system. Every law in the United States must comply with the Constitution. All countries have a constitution that is a part of their laws that things must comply to. Ours is just written down and super hard to edit.

    No I get that, but what about the US Constitution makes it a more valid authority on rights than any other nation's constitution?

    It's American, duh!

    See this?

    This is exactly the kind of thing that doesn't further a discussion. No one in the thread has made a case for American Exceptionalism in this thread, but it's so obvious that a number of people from other countries are so eager to trot out their distaste for it that they can't even wait for it to show up, can't even be bothered to throw out a fucking straw man, and they start beating it.

    Pathetic.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Feral wrote:
    It's not, except that Americans represent the majority of PA users (and consequently the majority of people in these discussions), and gun control is a particularly controversial issue in the US.

    If you want to talk about gun control in the context of another country, you'll probably need to explicitly set that context.

    Then what you're saying is, when I'm speaking about the downside of the proliferation of guns in the US and how I think that certain controls or restrictions would improve the situation, Americans can respond "Our constitution doesn't allow that." and that ends the debate?

    Really?

    Because that is flat out retarded. I honestly don't give a damn what the Canadian constitution says versus the US constitution when I would like to debate the merits of certain laws and their effects on freedom versus public safety because neither document means shit. They really don't. It is the implementation of what is laid out in the documents that has actual consequences in society. The document itself means nothing. Nothing at all. NOTHING.

    We give it value by applying its ideals and then we find out what works and what doesn't and we should evaluate that on the basis of what effect it has and how we can do it better.

    So many of you guys treat the US constitution the exact same way Christian zealots treat the bible.

    That's actually not too inaccurate of a comparison.

    But for serious people, of course that isn't the end of the argument. We have all kinds of laws dealing with speech, property, religion, etc. There is a case for a reasonable restriction on fire arms, for example taking them into court rooms or theme parks.

    Lh96QHG.png
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    spool32 wrote: »
    You're using "establish", "describe", and "enumerate" as if they are interchangeable terms when in this context they are not. The 2nd says that "... the right of the people... shall not be infringed". Implicit in this is the idea that the right exists, and the Constitution does not "establish" that right. It exists, inherently, for all people. The 2nd makes clear the limits that exist on our government when they wish to restrict that right.

    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    You are not getting it.

    If the constitution can be altered then the 2nd amendment can be done away with. In fact, the constitution itself says it can be done away with. That right can't be inherent simply by existing in the constitution.

    The people defending it's existence as an inherent right, and those saying the constitution should not be altered to remove it, need to justify it's inherentness beyond simply saying it's part of the constitution.
    spool32 wrote: »
    The Constitution emphatically does not say that the keeping and bearing arms is a right.

    The Constitution acknowledges that the right exists, and describes the limits on government's power to infringe on that right.

    And once you alter it, which can be done according to the constitution itself, it no longer acknowledges this supposed right.

    That the constitution "acknowledges that the right exist" doesn't really matter that much.

    I don't think you're getting it. The right is inherent, not because it is written into the Constitution, or because limits on restricting the right are written into it, but because the ability to possess the tools needed to defend life, and liberty is one that all people hold by virtue of being people. We all have the right to secure ourselves, our freedom, and our society against those who wish to oppress us. To disagree with this is to believe there is no moral justification for resisting tyranny.

    If we altered the Constitution such that there were no limits on government's ability to restrict our right to defend ourselves and our liberty, the right would still exist.

    No spool32, you think those are inherent rights. That is an assertion you must justify. Not all people agree.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Man, page two and people have already gone for the ridicule and condescending snide remarks.

    This post is so meta. It may deserve an award.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    But for serious people, of course that isn't the end of the argument. We have all kinds of laws dealing with speech, property, religion, etc. There is a case for a reasonable restriction on fire arms, for example taking them into court rooms or theme parks.

    Has any one claimed that it was in this thread? I can't help but feel that I've wandered into a thread that is really just a place for some people to vent their frustration at American forumers from some other internet forum.

    Change the thread title to indicate that it's a rant thread.

  • Dis'Dis' Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Dis' wrote: »
    PantsB wrote: »
    And even if we accept that parliament is supreme, its not bound by any limitations. Parliament is within its power to declare itself elected for life. There is no real check on these powers, including the length of service. Their actions might be wrong but they would not be illegal.

    The answer to this is generally "but they wouldn't do that." I would argue that when you must depend on people to govern under a system of government such that it is egalitarian (which obviously the UK system is not fundamentally but mostly is) and democratic, then you don't actually have a democratic and egalitarian system of government.

    How is that in any way relevant - they could do that if they had overwhelming support, but then someone with that level of support in the US could amend the constitution however the fuck they like too.

    This is incorrect. In the UK, they can just do it and there would need to be overwhelming opposition to stop them, after the fact. Here, they cannot without earning the consent of the governed prior to the change.

    No? They would need to make the bill and run it past the Lords and the Crown, and have to publish their proceedings, there would be quite a large window for it to be stopped. Look at the 2004 Asylum and Immigration bill, that the courts just straight up revolted.

    Also the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy cuts both ways - since the current parliament is supreme to all past ones, the new one that gets elected after the lot who declared themselves dictators were hung from the highest gallows can just reverse any decisions made.

  • FeralFeral That's what I do. I drink, and I know things. Location: ByakkoyaRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Nova_C wrote: »
    Feral wrote:
    It's not, except that Americans represent the majority of PA users (and consequently the majority of people in these discussions), and gun control is a particularly controversial issue in the US.

    If you want to talk about gun control in the context of another country, you'll probably need to explicitly set that context.

    Then what you're saying is, when I'm speaking about the downside of the proliferation of guns in the US and how I think that certain controls or restrictions would improve the situation, Americans can respond "Our constitution doesn't allow that." and that ends the debate?

    Really?

    Because that is flat out retarded.

    No, that's not what I said. I inferred from your post a frustration at American exceptionalism, and my post was based on that inference.


    Nova_C wrote: »
    I honestly don't give a damn what the Canadian constitution says versus the US constitution when I would like to debate the merits of certain laws and their effects on freedom versus public safety because neither document means shit. They really don't. It is the implementation of what is laid out in the documents that has actual consequences in society. The document itself means nothing. Nothing at all. NOTHING.

    You seem to have a very black and white viewpoint on this.

    The existing laws do not represent the end-all of discussion on this (or any other matter). I find it frustrating as well when somebody conflates what is with what should be. However, the reasonable response is not that the law has NOTHING to do with it and carries no weight. There's a middle ground between dogma and irrelevancy.


    Edit:
    Has any one claimed that it was in this thread? I can't help but feel that I've wandered into a thread that is really just a place for some people to vent their frustration at American forumers from some other internet forum.

    Yeah, I kind of feel that way too.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    If you subscribe to the social-contract view of governments, the constitution is literally that contract. You can argue for amending the contract, but breaking it is different. And thus the arguments you have to present are different.

    You aren't arguing cost-benefit analysis like with most laws. You are arguing fundamental rights.

    The OP is not arguing to break it though.

    The OP is arguing that the things the constitution enumerates are not inherent rights beyond their existence in the constitution. That because the constitution is changeable, so are those rights.

    The right to bear arms is a right because the constitution says it is and that's it. And since what the constitution says can be changed, so can that right. Therefore if you don't want that right to change, you can't just say "you can't change it because it's a right".

    As is the right to participate in your government, or speak freely.

    If these rights are inherent to the human condition then there reason to criticize any government that does not recognize these rights is flawed because of that. Otherwise the only justification for the rights is instrumental, that they simply happen to provide for the greatest good, but as times and situations might change perhaps some day it might not be for the best that people ought not to be slaves, or have laws of the government apply equally to them as well as others.

    Is that what you want to commit to?

    But these rights are not "inherent to the human condition" because they are enumerated in the constitution. Nor is every right enumerated in the constitution "inherent to the human condition".

    Neither of these concepts implies the other.

    You are making a false assumption about what I am committing to.

    Of course that simply by being enumerated in the constitution of the United States does not make a right some inherent human right. I never claimed that the Constitution correctly identifies the inherent rights of human beings. However, I think that's the intention behind it. You can argue about what rights should or should not be contained in a list of "inherent rights" but the notion is that the right to bear arms isn't simply a coincidence of the US constitution, but that it is a human right. I take it that you don't agree with that, and I don't either, but that's the purpose behind the Constitution, I think.

    I know perfectly well what each of those statements implies.

    If you don't commit to their being inherent human rights, then what is left but rights being instrumentally valuable toward some other good?

    If that was the purpose behind the constitution, why can it be changed? Again, the constitution as originally written had some awful shit in it no one would ever claim are inherent rights (like the whole slavery thing).

    I have no idea what you mean by your last sentence. I'm saying their existence in the constitution says nothing about them being inherent human rights. From a legal point of view what the constitution says matters. That's about what is legal. It's nothing to do with what should be legal.

    To my knowledge, no one has disputed this.

    The reason behind the ability for it to be changed is fairly simple. Fallibility. The intention was for it to enumerate the rights that are inherent to human beings, but perhaps they were incorrect. It seems reasonable that the people writing down these rights thought that perhaps they might be wrong about some, or have forgotten something. The document needed to accommodate the fallibility of its authors.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    But for serious people, of course that isn't the end of the argument. We have all kinds of laws dealing with speech, property, religion, etc. There is a case for a reasonable restriction on fire arms, for example taking them into court rooms or theme parks.

    Has any one claimed that it was in this thread? I can't help but feel that I've wandered into a thread that is really just a place for some people to vent their frustration at American forumers from some other internet forum.

    Change the thread title to indicate that it's a rant thread.

    Huh? I was just responding to Nova's question about constitutional fundamentalists.


    But, in all honesty, there's no further answer to the OP than American's believe in, for better or for worse, in American Exceptionalism and the Constitution is basically our national religion. You'll have hard luck trying to change any of our minds about that, and frankly I don't think you should any more than we should try to shame other countries about theirs.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    spool32 wrote:
    Of course something being part of the Constitution now doesn't mean it must be forever and always, but right now, it is. The burden rests on those who wish to change or remove the 2nd to demonstrate why the government should be allowed more power to restrict that right. That is a fundamental difference and you really can't just wave it away by going nun-uh. It's how we operate with respect to the Constitution.

    I'm not saying that, though. What I'm saying is the fact that second amendment exists is not justification of it's continued existence.

    As in, if I say "Guns should be restricted for reasons A, B and C" the response "But the constitution says no, so nyah!" does not a good argument make. Rights should be justified by their consequences, good and bad, in society, not because it is written down somewhere.

    I think that claiming the Constitution is merely laws written down somewhere is just as stupid and bad of an argument as saying "But the Constitution says no, so nyah!"

    Like, they are equally bad. Both you and whoever you are arguing with are both making bad arguments.

    Why? The things in the constitution are merely laws written down somewhere. They are just much harder to change ones.

    It's pretty basic jurisprudence; the higher up a law is, the important it is. The more effect any change to it will potentially have. Nova is straw-manning me to an extent. I am not claiming, and have not claimed, that the Constitution cannot be changed, or that the American Constitution is more sacrosanct than that of other countries.

    I have already agreed that "But, the Constitution" is a poor argument against changing it.

    Equally so "But, it's just a piece of paper." is a poor argument for changing it.

    "It's just a piece of paper" is a response to the first argument. It's asserting exactly what this whole thread is about: that just because it's in the constitution doesn't justify it's existence.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Feral wrote:
    No, that's not what I said. I inferred from your post a frustration at American exceptionalism, and my post was based on that inference.

    That is likely part of it, but I see the reverence towards the US constitution as dangerous in the same way as reverence to the bible as dangerous. The US constitution can be amended which automatically makes it better, but there is this notion that the constitution really is divinely inspired, that the forefathers were brilliant geniuses who were incapable of making mistakes and that it is, on its own, a justification for the implementation of law in the US.

    This is the part I don't understand. Isn't it better to implement law based on the effects that law has on society rather than the utopian ideals of several men that died 200 hundred years ago?
    You seem to have a very black and white viewpoint on this.

    The existing laws do not represent the end-all of discussion on this (or any other matter). I find it frustrating as well when somebody conflates what is with what should be. However, the reasonable response is not that the law has NOTHING to do with it and carries no weight. There's a middle ground between dogma and irrelevancy.

    Perhaps, but the law itself is only justified by the effect it carries. That is, laws are made or repealed based on some need within society, not because the law itself should exist.

    And I do see it black and white, but that's because I believe there's no such thing as inherent rights, that they are a construct of society and while certainly mankind is better off by guaranteeing certain freedoms, that guarantee is contingent on society at large agreeing that we should have that freedom.

    Nova_C on
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