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[77]

Lecture IV: the question of rights discussed.

  • Why it is necessary to define the term rights
  • -- the right in itself defined to be the good -- the doctrine that the will of God is the origin of the right considered -- the will of God not the origin of the right, but an expression of the right which is the good -- natural rights and acquired rights, each defined.


there are questions which lie back of this discussion — errors, as I think, which underlie the popular ideas of both government and rights. We should not consider that we had fully met the difficulties of the subject if we passed them by.

Domestic slavery, it is said, is an abridgment of inalienable rights; and legitimate government is a voluntary concession of certain alienable rights.

Natural rights are, of course, such as are inherent in the constitution of man : inalienable, because in point of fact he cannot be substantively deprived of them. The law which in any case provides to

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