Quote by Terence McKenna: “If the words life, liberty, and the pursuit of...”
Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - US History - Khan Academy
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
Got happiness? What the Bible says about the good life Dec. The economics of happiness Jan. Happiness: World religions take different paths to same destination Oct. First, the most important thing is to realize that the happy life is about more than just me: my health, my wealth, my safety and security. We would not permit, say, one political party to flourish and deny the chance for another to do the same. Or, to shift the imagery, we would not want our daughters to flourish but not our sons.
Because today, nearly years after the Declaration of Independence, we still do not have equality—even for "all men"—and we have not secured for all the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These inalienable rights are still out of reach for many, especially for historically and persistently marginalized populations, low-income families, and immigrants looking to the United States for a better, safer life as did our own families. By this measure, we the people are far from ensuring these rights for our nation's children and families. Nearly 21 percent of children in the United States live in poverty, and about 43 percent live in low-income families. Poverty is destabilizing for families and detrimental to child well-being.
It was then further edited and adopted by the Committee of the Whole of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, Jefferson's "original Rough draught" is on exhibit in the Library of Congress. Their version survived further edits by the whole Congress intact, and reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men 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. A number of possible sources or inspirations for Jefferson's use of the phrase in the Declaration of Independence have been identified, although scholars debate the extent to which any one of them actually influenced Jefferson. Jefferson declared himself an Epicurean during his lifetime: this is a philosophical doctrine that teaches the pursuit of happiness , here meaning "prosperity, thriving, wellbeing",   and proposes autarchy , which translates as self-rule, self-sufficiency or freedom.
The Declaration specifically mentions three rights which human beings possess by birth or by nature-life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. No one may rightfully deny us these things. Nor, since they are "unalienable," may we rightfully surrender them. It is worth remarking that the Declaration does not proclaim a right to happiness itself. Happiness is not something we have by nature.
On the Fourth of July, we Americans celebrate the Declaration of Independence, the birth announcement of America to the world. In other words, the rights to life and liberty do not come into being with the force of government fiat; life and liberty are pre-political rights already granted by God. Today, we have lost that concept. Almost a quarter-millennia later, these rights are no longer considered self-evident, and neither is a Creator. Once God and the natural law are disassociated from rights—once the idea of justice and goodness are separated from rights—we are left with a political environment in which anything could be considered a right, or nothing could be considered a right.