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A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.

The Declaration of Independence

Have you ever read the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America? The most famous sentence from this declaration states that "We [America's founding fathers] 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." Maybe I am being way too picky, but doesn't this sentence have several obvious mistakes?

For instance, are all men truly created equal? Are babies, who are born of two different races, equal? Do not children of wealthier families get better medical care and schooling, thus start off much better than their counterparts? Children are not equal and are definitely not treated equally.

Second, this declaration refers to a Creator or God, however the founding fathers insisted on the separation of church and state. Do you agree this is a bit hypocritical?

As for man's rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, this seems repetitive and incomplete. First, does not liberty include the freedom to pursue happiness? Second, the original saying is believed to be life, liberty, and estate. Estate, meaning ownership of ownership, is no longer a person's right? In an extreme twisting of words, this could mean anything (including land, personal possessions, wealth, etc.) that you own could be taken away by your government. Third, what about a person's right to be treated equally by all branches of government? Do famous and wealthy people entitled to preferential treatment by the judicial courts or law enforce? I do not think so. Therefore, the Declaration of Independence should have been written as life, liberty, estate, and equality.

Of course, the United States Declaration of Independence was written as a consensus of a committee where compromises were probably very numerous, so conflicting and unclear wording was bound to appear. So, I'll get off my soap box now.

by Phil for Humanity
on 11/18/2006

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