Thursday, October 2, 2008

Natural Rights and Capitalism; CFI & Scientific Integrity

A Short Treatise on Natural Rights and Economic Capital
"Naturalism in economics requires capitalism," I wrote, back in September. Natural Capitalism; Determinism, Compatibalism, Free Will; Wm.Penn

Naturalism in ethics requires the non-initiation of force in order to make individual sovereignty work, and individual sovereignty is the natural state of every distinct human. It is what he/she would have if he/she existed as the only human on the face of the earth.

In order to "secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity," the American Founders relied on the concept of common sovereignty. " Popular [or common] sovereignty is the notion that no law or rule is legitimate unless it rests directly or indirectly on the consent of the individuals concerned. [John] Locke in his...'Second Treatise of Government,' published 1690, claimed as Hobbes before him, that the social contract was permanent and irrevocable, but the legis­lative was only empowered to legislate for the public good."

The public good was described in the Constitution as the "general Welfare." But in "securing the Blessings of Liberty upon ourselves and our Posterity," we are forced to recognize that "ourselves" are selves which belong to individuals.

There is no general, public self except as defined as being those democratic decisions of the people and/or their representatives when such decisions do not violate the individual sovereignty left to each individual after he/she has given up a tiny portion of it to the "popular" sovereignty, from which it must be derived. MORE

CFI Input Helps Craft Legislation
Protecting Scientific Integrity

H.R. 5687, Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) Amendments of 2008 was passed by both Houses of Congress. Center for Inquiry staff plus a volunteer helped both to craft the language of the bill and shape its substance.

What does that mean to us and what are FACA Amendments? The bill increases the transparency and accountability of Federal advisory committees. It is intended to counter the tendency of the present administration to put on advisory committees—especially on scientific and health-related topics—people who are politically connected rather than qualified by expertise. CFI staff made recommendations to ensure that advisory committee members are impartial and have no material or political interest in the topics on which they are giving expert opinion.

Ideas and language in the FACA Amendments were supplied by Ronald Lindsay, CFI’s chief executive officer; Derek Araujo, executive director, CFI New York City; and Daniel Horowitz, lawyer and CFI volunteer. They jointly authored a CFI position paper titled, “Protecting Scientific Integrity: An Update and Additional Legislative Proposals,” published on CFI’s Web site in October 2007. Lindsay, Araujo, and Horowitz provided language in the sections on political affiliation, committee membership, and establishment of advisory committees. In the conflict of interest section, the bill’s language differs, but the meaning is the same. In addition, each of CFI’s recommendations was adopted in some form.

Click these links to visit the Washington, D.C. branch of the Center for Inquiry, to learn more about the CFI Office of Public Policy, or to visit the CFI-OPP blog.

To view the 29-page position paper in .pdf format, follow the related link provided at the bottom of

Note: I will be the featured speaker at the CFI meeting, October 16, 2008, in Portage, Michigan. The topic is "Atheism as a 'Religion' Protected by Courts According to the Establishment Clause" CEC

The Free Assemblage of Metaphysical Naturalists is the sm of the

Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism tm, the educational arm of the Assemblage.
© 2008 by Curtis Edward Clark and Naturalist Academy Publishing ®

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