Wednesday, May 14, 2008


When talking about the Declaration of Independence and American law, I often feel that the word "inalienable" is glossed over. To me, that one word in the Declaration is far and away the most important. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness are fantastic ideas, but the word inalienable lends these words the weight they deserve.

Inalienable, as defined by Merriam Webster, means: "incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred"1

Sometimes dictionaries irritate me. That definition just doesn't get across the gravity of such a concept, so I thought I'd lend my own.

Inalienable, in the context of the Declaration of Independence, means that the rights ennumerated in the document are guaranteed. That just by being born a human being on Planet Earth, you are entitled to Life, Liberty, and property. That these rights are not granted, not given, not a "privilege" - they are absolute and inherent, no matter what.

I am, therefore I have rights. Simple concept that is often forgotten.

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