Every year on July 4th, our nation celebrates the birth of its original purpose to announce independence. On July 4th, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the statement for our Declaration of Independence which was signed by 56 delegates and authored by Mr. Thomas Jefferson. We are thankful for the opportunity to live our life to the full, embracing the right for liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Philosophers from the earliest of times have considered the question of liberty. Aristotle linked the original Greek concept of Freedom with the concept of Democracy. The idea of unalienable and universal liberties had to wait until the Age of Enlightenment. One of the most well-known statements can be sited to the second sentence of the Declaration.
“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 Happiness.”
The United States of America was one of the first nations to be founded on principles of freedom and equality, with no king and no hereditary nobility. According to the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, all men have a natural right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.
According to Mr. John Locke (1632 – 1704), an English philosopher who is considered to be one of the most influential of enlightenment thinkers provides us with his definition of liberty:
“In the state of nature, liberty consists of being free from any superior power on Earth. People are not under the will or lawmaking authority of others but have only the law of nature for their rule. In political society, liberty consists of being under no other lawmaking power except that established by consent in the commonwealth. People are free from the dominion of any will or legal restraint apart from that enacted by their own constituted lawmaking power according to the trust put in it. Freedom is constrained by laws in both the state of nature and political society. Freedom of nature is to be under no other restraint but the law of nature. Freedom of people under government is to be under no restraint apart from standing rules to live by that are common to everyone in the society and made by the lawmaking power established in it.
Persons have a right or liberty to:
1) follow their own will in all things that the law has not prohibited and
2) not be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, and arbitrary wills of others.”
As you celebrate our nation’s monumental achievement, we incline you to continue expressing gratitude for all whom have contributed to make our great nation’s purpose a reality for us to enjoy today. We also incline you to be steadfast in your approach to contribute in order to continue progressing the idea and realize its benefit for our future generations.
Happy 4th of July!