1994-06-11 - Re: Crime and punishment in cyberspace - 3 of 3

Header Data

From: Edward Hirsch <diseased@panix.com>
To: Jim choate <ravage@bga.com>
Message Hash: d071a6a0cdec7f611c463eaaa8a951c853ccbb4dff8e9f5355b57cc402ac09ad
Message ID: <Pine.3.87.9406110009.A14159-0100000@panix.com>
Reply To: <199406101313.IAA16876@zoom.bga.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-11 04:49:09 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 10 Jun 94 21:49:09 PDT

Raw message

From: Edward Hirsch <diseased@panix.com>
Date: Fri, 10 Jun 94 21:49:09 PDT
To: Jim choate <ravage@bga.com>
Subject: Re: Crime and punishment in cyberspace - 3 of 3
In-Reply-To: <199406101313.IAA16876@zoom.bga.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.3.87.9406110009.A14159-0100000@panix.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

On Fri, 10 Jun 1994, Jim choate wrote:
> > 
> >
> Seems to me the 'inalienable rights' that are mentioned in our founding 
> charter carry this argument quite well. I suspect they also 'prove' them
> as well. 

Claiming that certain rights are inalieable is hardly the same as 
"carrying the arguement" of their inalienablility.  I hold that man has 
an inalienable right to free and 
unlimited supplies of cheesecake... does the fact that I say so "prove" that this is an inalienable right?

>I am really not saying anything about 
>'natural' rights though.

Well, by claiming that rights exist prior to the formation of the state 
or charter, you are claiming that they come from the state of nature, or 
are inherent to the human condition.  This is what is meant by the phrase 
"natural rights."

> The point I am making is that a government is defined by what it can and
> can't do. This distinction is made at its creation through its charter.> 

Exactly.  Which is why rights come into existence only *after* the 
charter which declares them is accepted, not before.  

> Since when isn't the Constitution a legal context?

The Constitution is a "legal context," that's why we can use it to 
justify the existence of a right... we can say, for example, freedom of 
the press is a right because the Constitution says so.  However, freedom 
of the press became a right only when the Constitution declared it, and 
not before.  This is why, for example, housing is not at present a right, 
no matter how much some people think it should be. Housing will become a 
right only if and when the state decides to declare it a right.