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Mar 23, 2005 6:23 pm All people (humans?) are declared to have equal rights to: independence, freedom to pursue ones own
steve chichester
Dear Madam Betty; All people (humans?) are declared to have equal rights to: independence, freedom to pursue ones own happiness, take ones own risks, live ones own dream, as long as it does not directly interfere with those rights for others.

I think it said "men," which was a product of the times, but which therefore excluded women...thankfully we have evolved from that at least in principle, but every time anyone uses "men" or "mankind" the subconscious mind excludes women. The conscious mind has to add them in. If the issue is perceived from the perspective of Nuero Linguistic Programing, then the harmful effect on both men and women in relationships, in mutual support, in opportunity becomes apparent.

The use of the word "men" also allowed moralists to conclude that Negroes/blacks, /aborigines/heathens were not actually men, but of some lesser class of humans; or perhaps not even human. While Thomas Jefferson had slaves, I don't recall him writing the philosophy that some people aren't equal. I think his was purely economic, profit motivated, which relates to potential dangers in Free Enterprise you spoke of.

I think the use of "man-mankind" to envelope humanity is the greatest limitation of freedom world wide. At the risk of sounding frivolous, the statement that "if momma ain't happy, nobody's happy" bears out. There is a war of inequality between the sexes, people arguing that one is superior to the other, and though I don't recall it flaming into physical outbreak in a collective (yes I do, see next paragraph), is still a significant root of animosity which spills over into other activities. Of course, if "momma" loves the conflict, then conflict makes her happy. An ethical problem.

Flaming physical outbreaks exceptions: Those anti abortionists who violently attempt to make women have babies treat them as a vessel of procreation, not as humans. What ever moral basis the anti abortionist works from, their unwillingness to take over the care and maintenance of the resulting children makes them ethically equal to slave makers, but not as responsible as slave holders. Of course, some anti abortionists are women. A great irony in that inequality is that many women believe in their own subordination, usually for moral reasons. Many of those women will say that they are living their responsibility as procreators in the name of some higher power, and treating others as such is simply an active expression of the Golden Rule.

I realize that great numbers of men and women refuse to engage in that "war," instead take the course of collaboration and mutual goodwill, for the benefit of all. I believe they are people that want to live peacefully and responsibly. Some, like Bonnie and Clyde, will collaborate for ugly and violent behavior. So there must be a system of law and judges to evaluate and enforce equality of rights, fairness, attempt to maintain balance. Of course, since tribes had "elders" that has been in effect.

I prefer to see the judicial system as primarily to establish rules and maintain fairness and balance, to establish rules and adjudicate disputes and differences of opinion, rather than a force for retribution. The reality of course is that the people in congress and the House make the rules, and laws like antitrust laws have large teeth for retribution when the laws are violated. I also think that the primary purpose of police departments should be to facilitate harmonious interactivity within the community, like Andy Griffith did on that TV series. Fortunately that's not just my Utopian thinking, for I suspect a large percentage of law officers work that way. The just don't get a lot of play in TV shows or in the media. Because that's not what people want to watch.

Though we seem to have evolved as a society from throwing Christians to the lions.

Which goes back to my beginning statements. It is my response to my question, "Why don't people just look to getting along together, living in mutual cooperation, look at solving problems as a process of mutual benefit? Why do people look toward adversarial conflict as a way of life?"

I think peace, and war, begins at home. The tools and mental attitude of cooperation, collaboration, mutual benevolence, even live and let live must be instilled there. I don't think a world of peace will be produced from conflict at home, from handling disagreements with emotional blackmail, subterfuge, retribution, and domination.

P.S. I'm for individual rights. Individual rights recognizes no ethnic, sexist, philosophical, religious or any other collectivist boundaries. I don't think that will end conflict, but it could reduce war. I think collaboration and collectivism are in conflict, because collectivism depends on giving up individual rights.

To elaborate: I assume from your name that you are a woman, conditioned in some ways by the World, upbringing, and personal history; as I am as a man. I also assume that as individuals with our own perspectives, we can choose to collaborate without being buried under the collectivist "Women" and "Men," and all it's foolish idiotic prejudices. Whatever differences are best treated as individual, respected as individual. The power of those energies focused on a mutually identified objective are far too valuable to waste in internecine battles. To quote from myself, "The superior mind always seeks the superior in others. That is the only relationship superiority worth pursuing."

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