The nature of man is the same as the nature of a leopard; we are simply more highly sophisticated in our ability to abstract it beyond all relationship to the natural world in which we live.
Rubbish. The natures are quite different. Though I prefer lions as an example.:-)
Originally Posted by issodhos
Using the words or the Declaration of Independence that recognizes and references pre-existing natural Rights, can we say, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all lions 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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Lions, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--" and have it hold meaning?. When we read that all lions are created equal, this means that all lions are born with the same Rights as all other lions -- neither more nor less.
I would postulate that for individual lions to have Rights, lions as a whole must know that each lion has the Right to life. Lions as a whole must recognize that if they infringe upon the Right to life of another non-aggressor lion (by killing it for example), they could be held accountable by other lions for having done so. Is there any evidence that lions hold each other accountable for killing other non-aggressor lions? Not that I know of. Do lions aggress against and kill other non-aggressor lions? According to researchers, male lions will kill the cubs of other male lions, so yes, they do. In doing so are they held accountable by other lions? No, because it is the nature of a male lion to kill the cubs of other male lions. I would suggest that because a lion cannot recognize the Rights of other lions, neither it nor any other lion can have Rights as expressed and recognized by a human for other humans.