Does the liberal idea which is such a significant part of our modern conception of democracy that all people are created equal and are therefor endowed with the same rights have a philosophical or an empirical foundation? I've noticed it took a while for this concept to develop even though it has a pretty clearly written out partial foundation within the constitution of the U.S. "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal" Did the "founders" believe despite other powers that they couldn't control that slavery should be banned under this principle? I don't see how such a thing is self-evident and anyhow do we really think that severely mentally challenged people have the same rights for example? I even know that in at least one state some people can be adjudicated as unfit to vote - although I personally think that as a matter of principle even people who are very mentally challenged should be able to vote. But I think that there are other realms where very mentally challenged people do not have the same rights - but then there is a certain circularity there isn't there? I mean if not everybody has the right to something then we call it a privilege and not a right. But I think that some severely mentally challenged people do not have the same right to engage in contractual agreements.