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November 10, 2004

Cutting the Immoral Pie

Over on Anchor Rising, I ponder a Rhode Island columnist's strange notion that the federal government should have subsidized embryonic stem cell research in order to spread the wealth that the immoral research will now concentrate in California.

Posted by Justin Katz at November 10, 2004 12:46 AM

"Note that Bloom sublimates life and liberty to another right that isn't even in the Declaration: property. Perhaps we have succeeded in finding an essential difference of belief of the sides in this debate; I'm surely not alone in believing that — far from being subordinate to property — life, liberty, and especially happiness don't ultimately require it. "

I am embarrassed that I can not point a finger directly at the documentary evidence. But, I have always understood that the original text of the Declaration read "life, liberty and the pursuit of property". I also understand that "pursuit of hapiness" was a later compromise among the drafters. This has been in my memory for so long that I cannot remember its source. I hope it is not American mythology.

I have done a Google search on this and find that, if I labor under a misconception, I am joined by many. There are some who suggest that John Locke coined "life, liberty and the pursuit of property". In a world still emerging from feudalism, "private property" was a mysterious concept.

Posted by: Warrington Faust at November 10, 2004 11:59 PM