JULY 4TH. EVERY JULY 4TH: The Geometry of Liberty: The Declaration of Independence Is a Logical Argument Based on Jefferson’s Axioms.
I was thinking about “We hold these truths to be self-evident” and remembered I’d written about it in 2019.
The Declaration as a whole is a logical argument that begins by stating its axioms:
- That all men (by which Jefferson meant humanity, humankind) are created equal;
- that by the very fact of their existence they have rights that inhere to them by their nature;
- that among these right — that is, there are other natural rights that Jefferson doesn’t assert for the purposes of his argument — are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness;
- that governments exists by the consent of the governed to secure — protect — those rights;
- that a government’s only reason or justification for existence is to secure those rights;
- and that a government’s only legitimacy and authority derives from that consent.
In that one sentence, Jefferson changes the world.