No. They were denied their natural rights. If you are made a slave, does that mean someone actually owns you and controls your thoughts and your body and the identity that you is you no longer exists? Of course not, what they have is the power, granted by government, to use whatever method of coercion is necessary (or desired), including violence, in order to obtain compliance from you. Natural rights stem from self-ownership in that they provide a framework for identifying when one is being prevented from fully exercising one's self-ownership.
Originally Posted by Wolverine
I would argue that it's the same for owning a gun. There is no harm in owning one. Assuming they don't use it to threaten or harm an innocent person, ownership and possession is entirely benign.
What harm comes from allowing people such freedom? Assuming they keep it out of government, such beliefs are largely benign.
And, why should they keep it out of government? If the majority wants religion, it's right, and your belief that it is wrong is irrational.
The majority of whom? Who decides what is a majority? The fact is, "the majority" has no power at all. Power is concentrated in the hands of the few, and if they choose to listen to "the majority" they will do so, if they choose otherwise, how will "the majority" stop them? If the majority could direct power, then it would not change my contention that your basic principle is that might is right. I'd also ask you then, how you would declare it wrong to put Jews, or anyone else, into gas chambers if the majority agree that it is a good thing to do it?
Rights are decided by the majority.
If you have no objective determination of right and wrong for human interaction, then you have the same problem as a religious person. Your morality stems from pure emotion and is irrational, or it is guided entirely by demagogues/priests.
"The principle that the end justifies the means is, in individualist ethics, regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule" -- F. A. Hayek.
"A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity in bondage" -- Joseph Addison's "Cato, A Tragedy" (1713)
"The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion." - Albert Camus