Inalienable rights

From Academic Kids

The expression of inalienable rights is a variation of the term unalienable rights which has a historic point of origin in the United States Declaration of Independence. Inalienable rights have been defined as being rights that are not alienable; not transferable to another power or capable of being repudiated.


Contents

Definitions

United States law

According to Barron's Law Dictionary:

Inalienable rights are fundamental rights, including the right to practice religion, freedom of speech, due process, and equal protection under the laws, that cannot be transferred to another nor surrendered except by the person possessing them.

According to Black's Law Dictionary:

Inalienable rights are rights which are not capable of being surrendered or transferred without the consent of the one possessing such rights; e.g. rights of free speech, property ownership, freedom of religion, personal liberty, etc..

Historical interpetations

The concept of inalienable rights was central to classical liberalism, which argued that natural law guaranteed certain rights to all. Inalienable rights played important roles in the justifications for the French and American Revolutions. It has been suggested that when John Locke who wrote about the rights of "life, liberty, and estate", that Thomas Jefferson adapted them as being the unalienable rights mentioned in the United States Declaration of Independence. However, although Jefferson has often been cloaked in the mantle of Locke, partially due to his own writings, his ancestry and ideas flowed from John Lilburne who had championed freeborn rights.

Sans Nature's God

The clash between inalienable rights and unalienable rights often surfaces due to the views of secular humanists who embrace the concept of inalienable rights, but reject any implication that such rights are endowed by a Creator defined in the Declaration as being Nature's God.

Quotes

"A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate." --Thomas Jefferson

See also

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