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dadmonson

What do you think is the most important right in the Bill of Rights and why?

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Number two certainly provides a means for defending the rest of them.

Number nine puts into writing the fact that the 10 amendments that were adopted are not to be considered exhaustive.

Number three provides the means of avoiding having to resort to using number two as described above, as well as exploring what number nine has to offer.

All of them are derived from the more fundamental right, an individual's right to life, the source of all rights.

Edited by dream_weaver

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As Dream_Weaver says, they're all specific examples of the right to life. Some founders didn't like the idea of having a Bill of Rights for this very reason. Hence Amendment #9 and #10. One could say that those two, taken together, ought to be the most important. A reasonable person should be able to find all sorts of concrete rights within those two.

However, guys like Justice Scalia, tied to their religion and to a concrete view of the constitution can hardly find any actual rights in #9 and #10. Shame on them; but, that's a lesson why the Bill of Rights were actually useful, and that perhaps instead of 10 there should have been 100, listing all sorts of things, so that such concrete-bound judges would see things staring them in the face.

One way to consider this is to look at Western Europe and compare the U.S. to other countries that do not have an explicit Bill of Rights. I think one will find that none of the specific rights has been hugely important in explaining the differences between the U.S. and such Western European countries. Still, I think that explicit enumeration was a good thing and should be expanded. 

If I had to pick one over the others, I'd take the First Amendment.

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12 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Number two certainly provides a means for defending the rest of them.

Number nine puts into writing the fact that the 10 amendments that were adopted are not to be considered exhaustive.

Number three provides the means of avoiding having to resort to using number two as described above, as well as exploring what number nine has to offer.

All of them are derived from the more fundamental right, an individual's right to life, the source of all rights.

I meant to say the freedom to speech, rather than providing shelter for soldiers.:

The first provides the means of avoiding having to resort to using number two as described above, as well as exploring what number nine has to offer.

 

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The 2nd Amendment is important as it is what enables us to enforce our rights against thugs who want to eliminate them. The 1st gives us the right to challenge tyranny. The 10th severely restricts the powers of the federal government. I can't pick the one most important one but these three are perhaps the most important out of all of them.

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The 10th because this particular admission of power to the people points most clearly to a source of power, i.e. a right to live, that isn't delimited to a legal authority.

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Do any of you know of any essays on this topic?  Essays from an objectivist perspective (or similar) that talk about the importance of freedom of speech, the right to bear arms or any of the rights in the Bill of Rights? 

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