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Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Nature of Rights

"The American Founders and Lincoln took seriously the notion of 'natural rights'—that certain rights were grounded in the very nature of human beings, and those rights would remain the same in all places where that nature remained the same. They would hold even in exotic places, as long as human beings were still distinguishable from the subhuman and the superhuman. And so, the concept of 'human rights.'

"Lincoln understood then that the republic did not begin with the Constitution, but with the Declaration of Independence and with that 'proposition' from which everything else emanated: 'all men are created equal.'" ...

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