Self evident truth
I got this question in my english class and I wanted
to know what you thought about it. I want to answer it
as best I can and really be able to grasp the whole
thing. So right now I am in the pondering stages and
wanted to know what you think. Get back to me when you
can. Thanks buddy. Here is the question and some info
to go along with it to get some brain juices
We 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
Can a truth be self-evident if all truth is relative?
Would we all arrive, individually, at that truth? Some
of you believe truth to be universal and to exist
independent of our knowledge or understanding of it,
and some of you believe truth to exist only at the
individual level (whatever one believes is true, is
true for that person and that is the extent of truth, ie:
all truth is relative). Thomas Jefferson made some
assumptions about truth as revealed in his phrase
"self evident truths". He assumed his audience shared this
concept of truth. How are our assumptions different
today? Weigh the gains and losses in this shift of
perspective on truth. And, finally, could the
Declaration of Independence be written without
reference to truth as a compelling element?
You know your question is tough! I wish I knew a bit more about the
discussions Thos Jefferson and the framers of the constitution went
through before they arrived at this exact wording.
I don't find the Bible talks about "endowed rights" in mankind. The
Law of Moses certain presupposes some rights everyone has because
there are clear punishments listed when those rights and boundaries
are violated by others.
Fallen sinners have God's protection and His grace and mercy. But we
dare not ask for God's justice or we would be ashes.
We bear the image of God so when this is combined with grace we have
lots of potential. But what we actually become is up to God.
Re Common grace: see James M. Boice, http://ldolphin.org/common.html
"Equal" in what sense? Not all are equal in intelligence, we do not
have all the same gifts. "Created equal" sounds like we are all
Do you have the "right" to our own pursuit of happiness? I don't
think so. We have the privilege of serving God and being His
instruments. But Ecclesiastes makes clear that God gives peace and
contentment only to those who please Him. It is futile to "pursue"
personal happiness in a fallen world. It leads to emptiness and
despair, and we pursue our own self interests only at the expense of
Liberty is the gift of God. "Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin."
"If the Son of man sets you free you will free indeed."
Romans 1 says all men have enough knowledge of God to be without
excuse. Thus there are some things about our humanity and our
culture, and concerning God that are "self-evident" I suppose.
But the constitution was written for a secular society and the intent
seems to have to do with giving everyone the same chances regardless
of race or background.
I am ignorant of how to address this topic (as it obvious by now) so
I am sending your inquiry to the Illustrious Paraclete Forum team. I
am eager for their responses so I can learn something from their
erudition and knowledge.
Thanks for writing, bro,