bbluewi wrote:You're right, it doesn't explicitly say that, depending on your interpretation of the word right. (And of course, the founding documents of this country are remarkably vague, but that's another thread.) The definition I (and others on the left side of the spectrum) tend to use for "right" is something that all should have equal access to, such as the statement "health care is a human right." Following from that definition, the right to the pursuit of happiness would be "everyone gets access to the resources required to be able to look beyond basic needs and find fulfillment," which isn't something that happens in America right now (and to be honest, hasn't been for at least a century, since getting beyond basic needs became a "simple" enough task to not be fulfilling in and of itself).
It's the only one where they bother to spell out pursuit rather than simply enumerating the right itself. That indicates that they didn't think a guarantee of happiness was reasonable or practical. So, sure, everyone gets to pursue it.
The concept that everyone getting to pursue it is the same as an equal chance at winning is odd, though. Certainly not a historical viewpoint. You can certainly view it as including property, wealth and material success, as that's pretty consistent with usage at the time, but jumping from "right" to equality skips over the specific inclusion of pursuit. Guaranteeing pursuit rather than the goal is explicit acceptance of unequal results.
Disproportionate impact certainly wasn't doctrine at the time. Circumstances of individuals then varied immensely, and the use of this clause to suggest that we ought to have income equality or the like is definitely a modern invention. All in all, it seems a really strange basis of justification.
ucim wrote:"Not merely" isn't the same as "not". And what something appears to be is not the same as what it is.Tyndmyr wrote:It's not merely an addictive property, as the poor also exhibit this behavior. One does not need to have millions of dollars to see the appeal in winning the lottery. If those who are not habituated to wealth still desire it, it cannot be "addiction".
Fine, if it's addictive enough to explain literally everyone who is wealthy, show me the research.