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Prager University: America’s Values

June 4, 2009

Dennis Prager’s latest endeavor, Prager University, has just launched one of it’s initial segments. It is a brief, though thorough, explanation of what is unique about American values. Watch below:

I have only a couple quick thoughts on this video.

First, Prager mentions ‘Inalienable’ Rights – when the Declaration of Independence actually declares ‘Unalienable’ Rights. Today, these terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a subtle important difference which I wrote about before. This is a minor difference for sure, but I think it is still a useful one to understand.

Also, while some Atheists may take serious issue with value #2, I think there exist reasonable philosophical systems for non-God based values (such as Ayn Rand’s Objectivism) that may support the idea of ‘Unalienable’ Rights. I don’t have the time (or the desire, frankly) to write a thorough discussion on that topic here. At the very least we can say that, in America, it is the Atheist’s Unalienable Right not to believe in a God based system. That right is inherent and essential (incapable of being given up, or taken), and must be protected and defended in just the same way as, say, my own Christian belief system.

Other than that, I think Prager does a nice job outlaying some of the basic American values. Hopefully, his future videos will be as informative and positive as this.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Ben permalink
    October 6, 2009 2:52 am

    “I think there exist reasonable philosophical systems for non-God based values”
    I agree… but if values without deities are possible, then what are God-based values? Where do deities derive their values? Are they arbitrary values or are there laws or values that even gods must abide by? Do deities derive values the same way humans do?

    “in America, it is the Atheist’s Unalienable Right not to believe in a God based system. That right is inherent and essential (incapable of being given up, or taken), and must be protected and defended in just the same way as, say, my own Christian belief system.” Amen brother!

    As for Prager…

    Bleh! How can you stand this guy? After his God values speech, I couldn’t stand to watch anymore. 2:49 “America is founded on the notion that God is the source of values.” No it bloody aint! 100% wrong. America is founded on the notion that INDIVIDUALS have values and rights. This is a secular nation with freedom of religion. Our nation does not appeal to ANY deity to declare its sovereignty. That is the very definition of a secular government; WE determine our values, WE determine our rules, WE rule ourselves.

    Porky Pig needs to teach Prager a lesson in REAL American values and the pledge of allegiance. “In God we trust” was added in the 1950s. It’s unconstitutional. What if money said, “In deities we trust” or “In Allah we trust”? It is constitutional that this totally unnecessary phrase has been rightly removed from our currency.

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