FRIHOSTFORUMSSEARCHFAQTOSBLOGSCOMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


Relavancy of a 225-year-old document





Afaceinthematrix
I always hear people talking about things being "constitutional" or "unconstitutional" or that the U.S. needs to go back to a government based on the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is a document that structured a government. Now don't get me wrong; it's an amazing document. It did incredibly well. However, how can a document that was written during a time where slavery was practiced, before we had a global economy, before any modern technology, and before massive global communications have any relevance in running a country in this time period? Just imagine if we still used science text books from the 18th Century... They would be about as relevant as documentation structuring a country that was written before massive globalization.
truespeed
Isn't the constitution being constantly rewritten and amended?
ocalhoun
truespeed wrote:
Isn't the constitution being constantly rewritten and amended?


Quite so, which amends some of the OP's concerns about being written when slavery was common.


On a broader note though, while some details of such a document may become outdated, others (and hopefully the core principles it was written with) remain relevant as long as society as we know it exists.
One principle, in particular -- limited government -- has been largely neglected. It is parts like these that justify calls to return to constitutionality.

(There's also the legal issue... The constitution is the core document from which all other documents and laws derive their authority... In our current legal system, if a law cannot (through however many steps) be traced back to authority granted by the constitution, then the law is invalid and does not apply.)


Now mind you, I'm not one of the constitution worshipers who seem to think that the 'founding fathers' were gods among men, writing down an infallible scripture. There are definitely things they could have done better... heck, if you showed them what today was like, I'm sure they would have some pretty major revisions in light of that.

...But in any government -- perhaps especially a democracy -- you need some (very difficult to change) document that sets the bounds of what the government can do and what it can become. Otherwise, the government can slowly (or quickly) drift off in some other direction, eventually becoming malicious.
(Not that such a document absolutely prevents such a thing -- as we can plainly see. It just helps delay the process, perhaps.)
Hello_World
A constitution is essential. It creates limits within which a government is allowed to operate, and is a very good thing.

Not everything in a constitution is always good, I'm not sure what process you have put in place in America for changing the constitution, but we have a difficult process. The greatest constitutional changes we made in Aus was to give Aboriginal people citizenship... so you can see that ours too was made in such a time that things were not exactly progressive.

The constitution is there for a very good reason, protection of our society. So right or wrong I would defend its implementation - and if wrong, get out and try to change it. Otherwise, governments are and should be bound by it.


I like your bill of rights in general.

I will say this: if I talk about rights on the internet, or anything to do with anything in your constitution, people will 99 times out of 100, say... "but its in the constitution" or alternatively, it isn't a right because "it isn't in the Constitution".

Basically, I just wanted to say, that just because it is in your Constitution, does not mean it is right or wrong in a moral sense or set in stone. And that becomes more obvious, I guess, when it isn't your Constitution.

What makes something right or wrong is not guided by what the American 'forefathers' wrote down. Which is in essence what you are saying also, and I am agreeing with.

Having said that, a bill of rights is a good thing in principle because it does gauruntee certain things, and makes it harder for governments to remove those 'rights'.

Australia does not have a bill of rights, our constitution implies a right to freedom of speech and the one thing it specifically mentions is freedom of religion (or not). Although we generally share similar rights to Americans, with the notable exception of a right to bear arms, they aren't in our constitution, I'd prefer they were. Changing it now, however, I can only imagine a multitude of court appearances with people all over the place testing the limits, so that is a bit scary.
Afaceinthematrix
It is amended although not even close to quick enough to keep up with how fast the world has been changing.

After WWII, society changed so much and so quickly. I think that the whole thing should be rewritten every 50 years.
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
It is amended although not even close to quick enough to keep up with how fast the world has been changing.

After WWII, society changed so much and so quickly. I think that the whole thing should be rewritten every 50 years.

It needed a major rewrite after the civil war as well - that's when it stopped being a conglomeration of semi-independent states and became one nation with 50 provinces.
...Which is really a huge change in the way the country's government worked.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
It is amended although not even close to quick enough to keep up with how fast the world has been changing.

After WWII, society changed so much and so quickly. I think that the whole thing should be rewritten every 50 years.

It needed a major rewrite after the civil war as well - that's when it stopped being a conglomeration of semi-independent states and became one nation with 50 provinces.
...Which is really a huge change in the way the country's government worked.


I agree; the Civil War was probably as much about States vs. Federal as it was about slavery. Actually, I think that it was probably more about States vs. Federal rights.

I also chose WWII because after WWII, we quickly developed this massive globalization, massive global communication, massive global economy, and most importantly, we had nuclear technology.
handfleisch
Just about every generation has amended the Constitution until recently. Now it's come to be seen by certain elements as some kind of holy scripture not to be touched. This goes hand-in-hand with all the "original intent" crowd and all the self-appointed and self-taught experts who like to argue all sorts of absurd things, like that the founders were all Christian and intended the USA to be Christian (see David Barton, who has been toasted by the GOP).
darthrevan
In my opinion it is important til this day and beyond. I believe if we follow it, we'd be better off. If you notice, this country is starting to ignore it and look where it is getting us. Of course this is my opinion on this subject. I believe in upholding the constitution and not tossing it aside.
JoryRFerrell
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I always hear people talking about things being "constitutional" or "unconstitutional" or that the U.S. needs to go back to a government based on the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is a document that structured a government. Now don't get me wrong; it's an amazing document. It did incredibly well. However, how can a document that was written during a time where slavery was practiced, before we had a global economy, before any modern technology, and before massive global communications have any relevance in running a country in this time period? Just imagine if we still used science text books from the 18th Century... They would be about as relevant as documentation structuring a country that was written before massive globalization.


As already stated, the constitution has been amended to correct for short comings. The constitution, or something similar is necessary, because it creates a line in the sand for the government. This line is not always effective, with violations still occurring, but it does create complications for those trying to violate their power, with the constitution serving as a baseline for what they should and/or should not
be doing.

The constitution has played a significant role in the fight over abortion (whether FOR or AGAINST the motion, this is a fact), in gun rights, in the issues involving religion in schools, and even in everyday criminal court, with the constitution ensuring against improper search and seizure, as well as unlawful detainment. Again, there are violations, but the constitution serves as a guideline and buffer against which even the most deceitful are, at the very least, going to have to spend time/money cleverly maneuvering around.

I think the constitution is still more than relevant.
slimviking
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I always hear people talking about things being "constitutional" or "unconstitutional" or that the U.S. needs to go back to a government based on the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is a document that structured a government. Now don't get me wrong; it's an amazing document. It did incredibly well. However, how can a document that was written during a time where slavery was practiced, before we had a global economy, before any modern technology, and


U.S constitution is a surprising good thing if you think when was written.
The first amendment it's his finest point.
In Europe it's not uncommon being jailed for your opinions.
deanhills
slimviking wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
I always hear people talking about things being "constitutional" or "unconstitutional" or that the U.S. needs to go back to a government based on the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution is a document that structured a government. Now don't get me wrong; it's an amazing document. It did incredibly well. However, how can a document that was written during a time where slavery was practiced, before we had a global economy, before any modern technology, and


U.S constitution is a surprising good thing if you think when was written.
The first amendment it's his finest point.
In Europe it's not uncommon being jailed for your opinions.
I'd love to see that happening in the UK however. Mind you Julian Assange did not do very well in England, so maybe I'm wrong there.
Related topics
“Alien” Embryo Removed From 35-Year-Old Man’s Back....
11 year old girl taking heroin
Wow, 13 year old kid dies of heroin overdose
6-Year-Old Minn. Boy Brings Pot to School
60 Year Old Woman wins $2 million in matchmaker suit
Former Miss Universe to go on a date with a 17 year old...
Happy birthday for the one year old bill.
Any 14 year old (or younger) web designers out there?
Are memorie of 1 year old humans less advanced than animals?
My one Year old son
25 year old BSD bug fixed :p
[Funny News] Nine year old girl mistakes love for fight
Nepal appoints 3-year-old as new living goddess
Nine-year-old writes hit iPhone app
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Politics

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.