Some Laws Regarding Laws of Nature

United States Declaration of Independence

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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Institutes of Justinian 2.1.1

By the law of nature these things are common to mankind—the air, running water, the sea and consequently the shores of the sea.

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Georgia Code § 5-5-41.

[DNA testing permitted if . . .]  (F) The testing requested employs a scientific method that has reached a scientific state of verifiable certainty such that the procedure rests upon the laws of nature; and

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La. Stat. Ann. § 15:422 (now repealed)

Judicial cognizance is taken of the following matters: . . . The laws of nature

(Note, in general, courts still take judicial notice of laws of nature).




67 thoughts on “Some Laws Regarding Laws of Nature

    1. 5.1

      Well, Ned, have you taken the time to catch-up on the other foundational items that inform the advance in politics on par with (or even greater than) the Magna Carta, or are you still trying to shoehorn the US into some “England-lite” version in order to appease your own sense of anti-deism?

  1. 4

    Confusions of “laws of nature” “naturally existing” “natural rights” and “natural laws,” plus arguments as to what each includes or covers.
    As examples, try getting fundamentalists to accept evolution or modern genetics or even scientific age dating nuclear decay bases as “laws of nature,” or try getting many patent attorneys to agree that anything purified is “naturally existing,” or getting many folks these days to agree that “natural laws” are not based on beliefs of particular religions and societies.

  2. 3

    English Kings ruled by right of conquest — albeit, by 1776, they ruled by the consent of Parliament. I don’t know how a conquered people can assert any legal or natural right to be free of the sovereign unless they are willing to fight for it like Spartacus of old.

    There is little doubt that Cromwell and the Glorious Revolution had a lot to do with the “natural rights” of Englishmen. They had obtained these “natural rights” just like Spartacus did, at the point of a sword.

    In truth, there are no “natural rights.” There is only force and power. We institute government that we organize a common defense and provide a rule of law. But if that common defense fails, and we are conquered, we have no better status that that of any conquered people throughout history. We all know this to be true, but pretend it not to be true. Why?

    1. 3.1

      Maybe because some had this notion of enlightenment and unalienable rights.

      (Your “might makes right” view is directly contrary to the basis of this nation, as you surely must be aware)

      1. 3.1.1

        anon, you forget that Washington, the army he commanded and financed, and the French fleet are the reason we are independent. We can talk all we want about “rights.” But without swords, there are no rights.

        It is important to understand as well, that without America and its armies, the world would not today be “free.” Freedom, and any rights we enjoy as free men, are purchased through blood, and held through strength. There is no natural right to anything.


          As well we patent attorneys know as we have seen the powerful corporations buy judges and politicians so that we now barely have any patent rights left.


          Again – your view is just not correct at its core.

          Yes, freedom is fought for.

          No, we base the reason for that fighting as subsidiary to natural rights.

          These truths we hold self evident.

          If you don’t like it, you are free to go elsewhere.

          You are not free to have different facts.


            It appears to me that anon and Ned are talking past each other here. But as a practical matter, Ned is correct. If the institutions of government–federal/national, state/provincial, and local–were to fall and anarchy ensue, then we have no rights, natural or otherwise, because the strong can run roughshod over the weak (absent divine intervention, if you believe such is possible). “Might makes right” sounds offensive to our acculturated ears, but it has been a truism for the vast majority of human history. And whilst it may be trite, it is nonetheless true that nature is red in tooth and claw.



              We are not talking past each other and Ned is not correct.

              So while there is indeed a “practical nature” that force may be required to preserve rights, it is NOT the force that generates the rights to begin with, nor is force the raison d’etre for the rights (or ANY system of government).

              To hold otherwise is to ignore the very foundation of this country’s reason for being.

              Natural rights exist whether or not force is required to uphold those rights. The line that we “have no rights” is simply – and unequivocally – false.

              Yes, nature comprises its ferocity.
              But take a serious and critical view of the writings of those that built this country, and see the difference.


                As an intellectual, I appreciate the philosophizing of the Founding Fathers and others on the nature of government, rights, and the like. Truly, I do. And as a property-rights absolutist, not to mention an individualist and libertarian, I am sympathetic to the Lockean natural rights perspective.

                But, what good are the natural rights conceptions of life, liberty, and property when someone can just take them from you by force? Either you can protect your rights and stop them or you cannot. If a roving band of displaced humanity threatens you and your family, all the written word in the universe about natural rights will not mean squat. Philosophizing is a luxury of civilization.

                1. Your question of “what good” is in misdirection to the topic.

                  The “ability to protect” is NOT the genesis of the right.

                  This is a simple concept.

                2. PVT, all the law the Romans had, all their civilization, everything that they were, vanished the moment the Roman Army ceased to exist.

                3. Ned’s comment reminds me of my economic professor’s joke regarding a Keynesian view:

                  In the long run, we are all dead.

                  In other words, Ned is in the weeds, and talking about the stat of Rome after the fall of Rome has ZERO to do with the topic at hand.

                  He continues to be wrong – and wrong about a foundational legal element of our US jurisprudence, so it is not some small inconsequential error here. For someone like Ned who likes to pride himself for a grasp of history, this error is rather shocking.

                  What is he thinking?

                4. anon, Rome was lost when the Romans themselves refused to join the army forcing the government to rely on mercenaries. When the money was gone (the Eastern Empire had the money, the West had none), the army disbanded and there was no one left to defend. (In the late empire, the right of the people to keep and bear arms was removed.)

                  When the likes of Kerry disparage military service by calling those who join …. (you know what he said), and organizations like the NFL tolerate kneeling protests of the American flag and anthem, we are nearly done ourselves.

                  We can enjoy liberty and rights so long as we have a nation, and we will have that so long as we have citizens willing to fight and die for that nation. Rights and liberty, like money, are not like fruit that grows on trees.

                5. Ned,

                  Your view remains unmoored and you indulge what you feel as somehow being on point with the concepts upon which this nation was built.

                  Your feelings are nowhere close to being on point.

                  I grant that you feel them (and even believe them to be some measure of being “true”), but it remains a fact of the matter that those feelings have absolutely ZERO to do with inalienable rights and whether or not those rights arise from power of the government, or are – in fact – inalienable (as that term means).

                  You are sadly, deeply, and thoroughly confused on this topic.

                6. anon, to the contrary, it remains that no one has any rights without first forming a government that can provide a collective defense. It is the mutual, contractual obligation that we owe to each other that provides a defense of life, liberty and property.

                7. bass ackwards Ned.

                  Plain and simple, you are very much mistaken.

                  I suggest that you take some time and actually learn about the foundation of this country.

                8. Providing a defense OF or FOR is simply not the same as generating the rights in the first place.

                  This is an amazingly simple concept, and one that you should have grasped well before you passed a United States (any State within) bar exam.

                  One HAS rights first.
                  THEN one organizes to protect and preserve those rights.

                  By attempting to put this backwards, you weaken and debase the rights and you elevate the protection mechanism.

                  That path leads to evil and tyranny, as you place the State at too high a level.

                  You also place (necessarily) ALL rights within the power and control of the State – and your slippery slope yields the result that whatever the State dictates, must be the rights that you must accept. After all, without that State, you would have it that no one has anything. and therefore, one should be happy to meekly accept whatever level of whatever is deemed “a right.”

                  This is so contrary to the United States system of government that your not understanding this – your finding out now about this with the view that all of this is somehow odd – strains credibility to a breaking point.

                  That you would parse the larger system of US government at such a fundamental level just shows your lack of understanding of that system in its integrated whole.

                  No wonder then that you are so misguided when it comes to patent law and your desire to parse patent law to obtain your desired Ends.

                  If you could “get away with it,” and have the State at your desired “Ends,” then in your mind that would be sufficient, and whatever “rights” are then doled out would be somehow appropriate – regardless of inalienable rights (which you do not believe even exist).

                  The slippery slope of your “Might makes the Right” leaves you at the bottom of whatever those with Might tell you.

                  THAT is expressly anti-American.

                  Sadly, you seem incapable of understanding why – and from an historical perspective, of which you profess not only to be a student of, but you turn and dare to assume the mantle of someone learned of history and you use history as your platform of advocating.

                9. Isn’t than a libertarian conundrum? Needing strong governmental systems to protect and enforce one’s civil rights and other rights? Look what happened in the South for long after the civil war once union troops were withdrawn.

                10. anon, you completely ignore English (and world) history. The right not to be taxed without representation came out of a deal between Parliament and King Edward I in 1307, just for example. The idea of due process, where subjects had a right to trial by jury according to law was the whole point of the Magna Carta. King George was taking these rights (negotiated by contract after “rebellions”) away and that is why the English colonies revolted. Jefferson did not need to provide a source of these rights independent of their hard-won victories over tyranny.

                  Even back in the Roman Republic there were constant struggles between the plebs and Senate. The Senate soon found that they had to obtain the consent of the plebs to the laws and taxation or else they would simply strike. These rights to vote on laws and taxes are hard-won victories, non inalienable rights. They are negotiated as a result of revolts, peaceful or armed.

                  The idea that we need some Creator to justify these hard-won victories is complete nonsense.

                11. First, Paul, whether or not something is a conundrum to a particular political philosophy is not the point of the dialogue. I would view the need as real and one merely reflecting the reality of society today, quite apart from any political philosophy.

                  Second, Ned, you continue to be as wrong and as off base as possible.

                  I ignore NOTHING.

                  I merely take what you claim that I ignore and view it WITH all of this country’s foundational writings.

                  All of them.

                  As you should.

                  One does not need to get stuck in any single one historical lineage of a US right in order to appreciate the fundamental difference that was critical to the start of THIS country.

                  You hew FAR TOO MUCH to some odd view that our country is some mere replica of England. I do not care where this per vers10n stems from. That you “feel” that Jefferson (and I note again that you are slipping into the mode of disparaging the person who represents beliefs that you do not want to accept) “needed” anything is absolutely immaterial to what Jefferson – and all the others – actually DID. Your feelings do not get to rewrite actual history.

                  As clearly and distinctly as possible: the SOURCE of the rights is NOT the “protection of” OR “the fighting for.”

                  You really do need to understand the difference. That difference established the foundation of US law – and is every bit – if not more so – as important as the Magna Carta. I do NOT ignore the Magna Carta – I simply recognize, acknowledge, and integrate the FACT that our country was established on MORE THAN JUST the Magna Carta.

                  So to your accusation, No Ned, it is not I that is engaged in any type of ignoring anything.

                  Please give Malcolm back his Accuse Others meme – it is you that is engaging in the ignoring of something foundational.

                  Lastly, your statement of “ The idea that we need some Creator to justify these hard-won victories is complete nonsense.” reveals YOUR anti-deist prejudice.

                  Whether or not you or I believe in a deity matters not at all to the plain facts of history.

                  Even if for arguments sake that you are “factually” correct in that there is NO need for some Creator, you are plain wrong as to the view that any such belief serves as any type of REPLACEMENT for the “defense of” of “fighting for” rights.

                  You again err in getting things bass ackwards in flipping the power of the State as some SOURCE of the right itself.

                  That is just not so.

                  You impugn “justification” where no such justification is necessary, as the attempt to switch the state as protector with the state as generator is a fallacy of the first order.


                “nor is force the raison d’etre for the rights (or ANY system of government).”

                Despots would disagree I think.

                1. Yes, despots and those seeking something in the name of the commune might disagree.

                  I relinquish the point that the US raison d’etre does not fit with THOSE systems of government.


          It is our natural inalienable rights under nature’s laws that gave Washington and the revolutionaries the moral justification for declaring independence and fighting to establish it. The swords didn’t grant us these rights, but the swords secured our enjoyment of those pre-existing inalienable rights.

          Our rights as human beings do not come from government, or from whomever exerts the greatest physical power. The Declaration asserts this very concept, and the Bill of Rights is founded on it (e.g., the inalienable right to life and thus self-defense is assumed by the 2nd amendment phrasing of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms”).

          To believe that our rights as humans are granted by government (or by mere power) is to accept that we are subjects rather than citizens, and serfs rather than free people.


            Bravo – you get it.

            Sadly, Ned seems incapable of understanding this – and this atop his penchant for history.


            It’s unclear what you say about the 2nd amendment is true:

            A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

            It was apparently believed there would be no true national/State army/Militia, and instead would be made of everyone with their own Arms. We were all in the Militia. That turned out not to be true.

            It’s unclear under this theory how self defense relates to a “well regulated Militia” that is “necessary to the security of a free State”. Unless you mean self defense for the State.



              Not my area of expertise, but has not the tie “to the militia” been deprived of having any force as being merely hortatory (and not an actual requirement)?

              Also, is not “free state” indicative of the individual at the core of – and to whom – the service of the government is drawn? I do not see how you get to “self defense FOR the State.” The government does not exist for itself, and certainly does not exist as a central item to which the people would then be drawn in to serve the government – it’s the other way around.


              My point in that comment was that the 2nd Amendment did not give citizens the right to defend themselves, but that the natural right of self-defense was assumed — hence the phrasing that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms”.

              And to borrow a rationale from Justice Scalia in the Heller(!) case, the prefatory clause (“A well regulated Militia ….”) of the amendment does not limit or expand the scope of the operative clause (“the right of the people …”) under . anon makes the same point below.


                Thanks rodander – I do hope that PatentBob does chime in. As I mentioned, this is outside of my area of expertise, and if my posting is somehow in error, I would greatly appreciate the correction.


          How about the concept of ‘natural rights’ and certain ‘unalienable rights’ – being endowed by the Creator – as an animating philosophy of the American Revolution. Hence the American Experiment of Government organized to protect those rights? Why we fight. Isn’t that just as important, maybe more so, than the actual fighting for something like tribalism?


            I think, iwasthere, we were fighting for the same liberties and immunities that all Englishmen enjoyed since Crowmell and the Glorious Revolution — as embodied in the Magna Carta and the English Bill of rights.

            Englishmen had a right to representation before they could be taxed. No quartering of troops. The right to keep and bear arms. The right to a jury trial and a neutral judge.

            All these are listed in the Declaration of Independence.

            The Crown was stripping Americans of their traditional, hard won rights that all Englishmen enjoyed. That was why we fought.


              It is odd and a bit unpleasant that we are even today fighting our own government for these same rights. Those who would wield totalitarian power strip the average Joe of their basic rights.


              Ned – you continue to be in the weeds.

              CLEARLY, the US jurisprudence is founded upon MORE than merely the items you list. Similarities may surely exist – but our Constitution is more than those items you list.


                anon, no doubt Jefferson was trying to justify a complete break from the monarchy in favor of a republican form of government. That step did require some justification beyond simply redressing grievances. The English thought that Washington would end up King.

                1. But, anon, I did make the point that the reason we have governments is to provide a collective defense. This implies a contractual form of government, consent. But it does not suggest that we have natural, inalienable, right.s It only means that we recognize that without government, collective defense, we have no rights at all.

                2. Again Ned, the last statement of yours here at augments my position.

                  The reply of some “contract basis” simply does not go far enough on the specific issue at point.

                  But it does not suggest that we have natural, inalienable, right.s

                  Please refer to the original source documents of THIS country.

                  It only means that we recognize that without government, collective defense, we have no rights at all.

                  Completely, utterly, and unbelievably false. You cannot get to that conclusion if you understand the aforementioned source documents. There is simply no possible way to do so.


          link to

          “Jefferson adopted John Locke’s theory of natural rights to provide a reason for revolution” < that's why we still discuss them today. That and they are still among the best precepts to base a gubmit around (though it will allow for oppressions).

          You need to read some Locke Ned.

          Natural rights are not an "hur dur entitlement", as in "you have a right to some x" in the modern welfare state sense of the term.


            Natural rights are not an “hur dur entitlement”, as in “you have a right to some x” in the modern welfare state sense of the term.

            Absolutely hilarious reading this in a post coming from YOU, 6, given as you are the one that has most often conflated that very “modern welfare state sense of the term” in your very own attempts at denigrating the patent right.

            “hur dur” something something


            6, and you, in turn, need to read a little English history.


              …as long as you are able to separate English history from US history (which apparently is beyond the ken of Ned)….


            One of the problems we have in this country is that big segments of our population believe that various welfare handouts are inalienable rights. Hence, we hear folks claim that they have a “right” to health care. Where, pray tell, did they get that idea?


              The answer to that question is in the intersection of today’s guest post from student Lauren Kimmel.


                Anon, I must be a little dense here. How do you see Lauren Kimmel’s post as a response to my post about claims to rights to health care?

                1. The intersection comes from Lauren’s additions to the technological items.

                  People insert the philosophies not only into technology, but as Lauren indicates, into most all aspects of life (especially interactions with government). The “smudging” of what is truly an inalienable right and what any particular government has created as a “right” is a natural occurrence and result of the spectrum of “philosophies/feelings.”

                  Some (recently) have even postulated that there is no such thing as any “real” inalienable rights. Where one falls on the spectrum of Statism/Individualism may dictate how one defines the difference between an inalienable right and “right” such as to healthcare.

                  Even today (in especially some Euro circles), healthcare IS being considered an inalienable right.

                  Read again Lauren’s article and make mental note of all the times the writer presupposes (or even merely stipulates or even more broadly, merely questions) “the narrative of law and society.”

                  That “but let’s include societal views” IS where the intersection of “the idea” to your question comes from.


              I first heard of the “right to health” sitting at dinner with my Aunt who then was high level manager in HEW. This was back in the ’60s. She said that the right to health was a fundamental right.

              I was floored by the concept — there ensued a long debate, a debate that echoes today.

              It struck me then as it strikes me now that people have no idea what a right truly is and people who declare that there is a right to health either are trying to pull a fast one or they are trying to pollute our language, to corrupt our civilization.

              Perhaps both.


                Or, Ned, they earnestly believe that the “right to health” is part and parcel of the right to life**

                Maybe you should be less dogmatic and NOT immediately think that the other position must be scurrilous or ignorant (when that may be reflecting your own position).

                **not to be confused with the anti-abortion stance of “right to life.”

                1. anon, “right to life?” What right to life? There again, we can go in circles. The Magna Carta — established a right of due process before the King could take one’s life, under the law, or by a jury.

                  It is very interesting to see now just how Jefferson introduced some very strange thinking our founding documents.

                  Of course, a lot of this has to do with the tie-in to a Creator, an afterlife, where we are all born equal before the eyes of God. This argument prevailed in ancient times to bring more and more legal rights to slaves, women and the poor. It provided the basis for the movement to end slavery. It is the basis for modern liberalism, but they hate to acknowledge its origins.

                  Jefferson also wrote the French Revolution’s the Rights of Man. It is lucky that the American Revolution, particularly in laying down the foundations of our constitution and the Bill of Rights, was not lead by Jefferson, but by those who truly understood liberty and how it was and why we revolted from English rule.

                2. It is very interesting to see now just how Jefferson introduced some very strange thinking our founding documents.




                  It is curious how tainted your view of US jurisprudence must be if ONLY NOW the fundamental aspects are dawning on you.

                  You are an American barred attorney, right?

                  particularly in laying down the foundations of our constitution and the Bill of Rights, was not lead by Jefferson, but by those who truly understood liberty and how it was and why we revolted from English rule.

                  What the F are you smoking? Are you now going to attempt to besmirch Jefferson (as you do Judge Rich) because of something you would rather wish were not there?

                3. anon, all you have to do is compare Jefferson’s musings about Creators providing rights to human beings with the US Constitution that said something more akin to what I have been saying:

                  “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

                  The constitution is a compact of the Americans to create a government to “establish” justice and a common defense for Americans. Nothing is said about any Creator creating all of humanity with certain rights that we Americans have an obligation to protect. Where is it said that we are enjoined to protect the lives and property of every human alive, and that every human alive must accorded our common. defense. Governments formed by contracting parties are formed to protect the lives, the property and the liberty of its citizens because we are all equal as contracting parties. This is in contrast to the systems of Europe that virtually all operated as monarchies that depended upon the right of conquest, albeit, the did have the conceit of being anointed by the Bishop of Rome (or his delegate) who purported had that power as a donation from Constantine. (Lost in the archives, I presume.) (The truth is that when Irene became the Eastern emperor, the Pope anointed Charlemagne Western Emperor that he no have a woman boss. Thus the conceit that Western Emperors and Kings draw their power from the Pope, and hence, from God. What nonsense.)

                  Also the bit about the English government being established in the first place to protect these inalienable rights is a downright laugh. What rights the English had at all were the result of armed revolted.

                4. No Ned, the Constitution does NOT align with your view whatsoever.

                  Again – you need to understand the source documents – ALL of the source documents (and not pick and choose as you are attempting to do).

                  Seriously, how the F did you get through law school with the view that you have?

    2. 3.2

      Successful revolutions have two components: 1) The military components you speak of and 2) the intellectual components that justify the military component regarding of ideals and governing principles. You can see this especially in the various French revolutions, counter revolutions, and counter-counter revolutions and the revolutions of 1848.

      These “natural rights” are a principle that various factions can rally around, though the particulars may be different between them.

      1. 3.2.1

        That would entirely depend on how you define a successful revolution.

    3. 3.3

      anon, in the natural rights view, a person, for example, has a right to life that cannot be contracted away. So who, without government, is going to punish another for taking that life? A right without a remedy is no right at all.

      Locke and others based natural rights on the idea of a Creator. But where are violations of these natural rights punished? Well, in the afterlife?

      I have heard many conservative argues that without a Christian belief in God, we cannot have a moral society. I see too many examples in history to the contrary to agree with that. There is no doubt that Judeo-Christian ethics points to a moral life. But we had slavery; and today we debate abortion where one side takes absolutist position based on religion.

      In truth, there are only two forms of rights — the right of conquest — power, and the rights from contracts, social contracts. Moral ideas assist, especially if one understands the categorical imperative of Kant.

      English Kings ruled by right of conquest. But gradually, by contract, they ceded power and granted more and more rights to the people. The cause of the Revolution was King George taking away those hard won rights. We really didn’t need the philosophy of Locke to justify the revolution, or to form the basis for a Republican government. All we had to do was look to the Roman Republic for inspiration — and we eventually did when we drafted the Constitution.

      1. 3.3.1

        A right without a remedy is no right at all.

        A pithy saying – but one that is simply NOT correct in the context of which we are discussing: the origin of a right as opposed to any secondary action to preserve or protect that right.

        You need to get out of the weeds on this one Ned.

        You need to depend on more than a pithy statement, taken out of context, and look back into the heart of the matter at hand.

        You STILL have not done so.

        Once you realize that, then too, you may realize that your anti-deism is blocking your understanding and acceptance of the historical FACTS that pertain to the discussion of the foundation of this country.

        You are letting your personal feelings and beliefs BLOCK you from a correct understanding – you are attempting to insert your own personal current beliefs as filter to the facts of the past.

        That is plain error.

        Your “In truth, there are only two forms of rights” is simply NOT truth.

        If you want to discuss the categorical imperatives of Kant, please start a discussion directly on that – and realize that THAT would be a separate discussion, and that for THIS discussion, YOU cannot ignore the foundation of THIS country. Your personal feeling of what we “really needed” or not continues to have zero basis when you look at the plain facts and ALL of the foundation documents of this country. You simply do not get to ignore those items that you want to ignore and attempt to rewrite history based on your own personal current feelings. You cannot parse the facts that way.

        Until you accept reality, you remain in the weeds.

      2. 3.3.2

        in the natural rights view, a person, for example, has a right to life that cannot be contracted away

        small potatoes compared to your more egregious errors, Ned – but this statement as well is simply incorrect.

        You have confused and conflated “natural rights” and “inalienable rights.”

        It is the “inalienable portion that you appear to have fixated upon.

        You really do need to take a HUGE step back and become more familiar with the foundational documents and how those documents were actually – historically – informed (and not in a manner in which you are merely looking to attack them).


          Ned did not say it was his view, rather “in a natural rights view.”

          Under Roman and many other historic laws one who was desperately poor could indeed validly sell them self into slavery, even to become a novice gladiator or the like with a virtual guarantee of a very short life.


            Ned’s statement of “in a natural right’s view” is not correct for the reasons listed.

            It WAS his view of what he thought the natural rights view was.

            Your further comment just adds to how wrong Ned is (and smartly so, taking his own beloved “Roman history” to make the point.


          anon, I do not dispute that when one presupposes an afterlife where one’s station is determined by one’s moral conduct in this, then there is a form of right to life, etc., that is endowed by a creator and which cannot be alienated. We hear even today many argue that democracy itself depends upon an ethical foundation shared among the populace that in turns depends upon a common belief system, if not an identical religion. My only quibble is the use of the term “right” which in the law is a legal right. Such ethical obligations that morality imposes are not legal rights at all because legal rights do not exist without government.

          When Jefferson said that governments are instituted to protect these rights, he presupposed free individuals who then contracted with each other to form a government for mutual defense, and to agree to rules/laws that all or some majority agreed upon. But this again is merely stating that a basis (one of several) for government is a social contract. But it is clear that the English system itself did not flow from a social contract, but from a system that was based on conquest and subsequent compromises/contracts that were only achieved by assertions of force, rebellions and the like. We ourselves revolted because of a long series of abuses.

          May I also point out that if one creates the idea of rights from concepts of morality, then it follows that in instituting government, we must implement these natural rights into law. Take for example, the so-called right to health. If this right truly exists, then everyone of us has a moral obligation to take care of everyone else, and this means, every human being in existence, not just our fellow citizens. This implies that we must support universal health care paid by government and supported by taxes. We might be obligated to pay for the health care of every member of the human race.

          But is there truly a natural right to health? It cannot possibly exist because the principle cannot be generalized to all. The concept therefor fails the categorical imperative meaning, of course, that it does not exist at all, but, rather is, a fallacy.


            We hear even today many argue that democracy itself depends upon an ethical foundation shared among the populace that in turns depends upon a common belief system, if not an identical religion.

            I have never heard of such.

            Further, any such statement is besides the point: you are trying to ignore historical facts based on YOUR current anti-deistic point of view. YOU are incurring an error in view and judgment because YOU are not accepting a factual component of how this country was founded.

            My only quibble is the use of the term “right” which in the law is a legal right.

            And my quibble (not my only one) is that your version of the term runs afouls of that very same legal meaning because you refuse to accept the basis of the legal meaning.

            NO ONE is saying as you attempt here to completely merge or swap out a religious view for a legal one.

            And again – you seek to put the horse before the cart with an undue emphasis on what follows the inalienable rights as somehow being the SOURCE of those rights.

            This is pure error – legal, factual, historical, any way you want to look at it.

            As to “then it follows that … If this right truly exists, then everyone of us has a moral obligation to take care of everyone else

            This is most false.

            You extend beyond reason what an inalienable right means to some positive item that extends from within one and compels to act OVER another. That is NOT what the term means. Again, I suggest that you take some time and learn what these terms mean. Not in the sense to “fight them” and have your “Roman Conquest” version be the “be all and end all,” but instead, study them to understand them.

            You have an inordinate tendency (both this concept as well as other patent concepts) to dismiss the distinctiveness of the United States view with an attempt to make us “England-light.” That is a grievous and pernicious error. Grievous because it dismisses the advance that THIS COUNTRY created. Pernicious because we did use many elements as a base, and thus it is easier to not only get lost in the weeds, but also to lead others into those weeds. It may help you to understand if you took a look at Canon Law, or a comparative look at Sharia Law. I have not studied Sharia Law, but I have studied Canon Law. There are quite a number of concepts that the US took from Canon Law (concepts that you may in fact be mistakenly thinking came instead from English Law).

            As to “It cannot possibly exist because the principle cannot be generalized to all. The concept therefor fails the categorical imperative meaning, ” I say no – the error is NOT in the concept, it is that you have applied the concept with a fallacious understanding of what “must” or “must not” carry.

            Your use of the tool of “categorical imperatives” is flawed because you are attempting to apply that tool without understanding to what you are attempting to apply the tool to.


              …it is like declaring that a screw is nothing more than a nail because one can take a hammer to a screw and nail it in place.


                …another emphasis on the first item: this country EXPRESSLY would not hold for “an identical one” as you so erroneously postulate.

                That view cannot stand with the reality of what created the United States.

  3. 2

    I wonder if secret DNA testing has popped up. I’d guess the FDA wouldn’t allow that, but what if the FDA changes procedures to allow secret data for approval?

    My guess is that is the direction it will go.

    1. 2.1

      IIRC, the FDA does already allow for “secret” (as in redacted) items.

      Certainly at least in some of the communications to and from the agency.

      1. 2.1.1

        Yes, but I mean whether or not what the companies will do is figure out a way to keep how things are tested for a secret.

  4. 1

    Do those same courts take note that Congress has never actually used that term as a limit to patent eligibility (notwithstanding any “implicit acceptance”)…?

    Then do those same courts take notice that patent law was explicitly delegated to only one of the three branches…?

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