The word “ought”, used twice in the conclusion, implies moral correctness and makes a final appeal to Natural Law. Its authors call upon divine intervention to aid their cause and appeal to God in order to persuade the nations of the world of the justness of their act.With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America.The declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.I hereby proffer this plea, with the understanding that I will gladly discuss this controversy in more detail in the Comments section of this page, should readers be interested.The epistemological interpretation might be credible if Jefferson had confined his self-evident truths to the inalienable rights of “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” but he doesn’t stop there.Zuckert maintains that “self-evident” should be understood in a “practical” sense, not as an epistemological theory.This ongoing hermeneutical exercise is complicated by the fact that “self-evident” was a later revision of Jefferson’s Rough Draft, which originally read “We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable….” So who crossed out “sacred & undeniable” and wrote “self-evident” above it? Some historians believe “self-evident” is in the handwriting of Benjamin Franklin. Boyd disagreed, maintaining that the alteration bears the distinctive characteristics of Jefferson’s handwriting.As Jefferson put it many years later, the revisions made by Franklin and Adams were “merely verbal” and did not affect the meaning of the text.Jefferson knew that the Declaration would be read aloud to throngs of people throughout the colonies, so he was writing as much for the ear as for the eye.Interpretation: It’s important to remember that the primary audience was not King George, but the world.In order to make their cause just, enlist the help of foreign powers, and win the sympathy of British commoners, the document’s writers needed to clearly state their cause and clearly state King George’s misdeeds. His original draft includes several more grievances than the final copy, many of which were obscure and unknown even to the most ardent supporters of American Independence.* *For an excellent treatment on the origins of the Declaration, check out Pauline Maier’s outstanding work.