What is Natural Law? I was reading a post written in reply to my argument that there can be no liberty without religion. The author uses my post to ‘demonstrate’ how I contradict myself and to show I have no understanding of Natural Law, logic or reason. Sadly, this person firmly believes they are correct — as much so as I do. This creates an apparent impasse from which there might appear no escape save who can use force to ‘beat’ the other one down. Fortunately, this is not the case: there is a way out of this confrontation — for those who seek the truth, anyway. The essence of the problem here is one of fundamental misunderstand over the definition of Natural Law. Whether this misunderstanding is since or intentionally allowed, I do not know, nor am I qualified to pass judgment on that matter. Either way, asserting a false definition is lawlessness. The correct definition is known and can be learned, so when it is misused by someone claiming their perversion is the truth, it can be set straight by those whose true allegiance is not to personal or political desire, but to the truth. That is what I propose we do now: to set this matter straight by clarifying the definition of Natural Law.
Let’s start with the definition of Natural Law:
: a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature and binding upon human society in the absence of or in addition to positive law.
Now, to those who understand logic and the English language, the meaning of this definition would seem self-evident: Natural Law is an inherent part of this universe which governs the behavior of humans living in a society. But there are those who balk at any suggestion of God or God’s hand in setting these laws. They will accept the ‘Natural Laws’ of physics, but not those of morality. Therefore, they seek to restrict the set of possibilities before entering into any debate over this matter, and the possibility of anything outside the material world is always excluded. This is fallacious reasoning, and I will write a post about it in the near future. But — for now — I accept their false assertions. Now let me show that I can still make my case — even when I am forced to play according to their rules.
By definition, anything that exists as a part of or which functions in this universe would be ‘Natural.’ In other words, is ‘naturally’ occurs as an inherent part of the universe’s existence. Now, whether the materialist likes it or not, there is much more to this universe than just matter. Therefore, it naturally follows that there are more than one set of laws in this universe. The laws governing physics apply to matter and even to energy and waves, but they do not govern mathematics and logic. In fact, mathematics and logic are on a higher level than the laws of physics. They are over the laws of physics. But the laws governing mathematics and logic exist as a natural part of this universe, therefore, there are Natural Laws governing mathematics and logic. The same applies to language and even economics.
Now, if there are Natural Laws governing mathematics, language, logic and physics, might it also follow that there are Natural Laws governing biological life? I think the Materialists admit to a ‘law of Nature.’ Is this not the Natural Law of biological life by another name? I submit it is. Now, are humans biological life? Again, I hope this is self-evident. So there is a Natural Law governing human life. And there is a Natural Law governing economics. But here is where we have to demonstrate that we actually understand these laws and can properly apply them. This is the point where the Materialist goes astray.
What is economics? Essentially, economics is a ‘science’ (application of logic) concerned with the rules which govern the way goods and services are produced, sold and bought. But what is production, selling and purchasing? It is human activity. Now, why don’t animals produce economics? What is it that makes humans different from all other known life forms? Well, what does the existence of a law of economics suggest? As with all law, it suggests there is a right and a wrong. Now, at this point, I do not care about what that right and wrong is. It does not matter. What matters is that we can deduce that, because economics exists, then ‘right and wrong’ exists — at least in some form.
Now, when it is placed in connection with human activity, the notion of right and wrong is defined as morality. That is the definition, and we just showed that morality exists as a Natural and inherent part of this universe. We have also shown that there is a Natural Law governing economics. Therefore, everyone who knows and understands the Natural Law of logic knows that it Naturally follows that there must be a Natural Law of morality. In fact, economics would be a sub-set of that Natural Law of morality. And, as an added bonus, we just discovered the difference between humans and animals: humans are subject to the laws of morality. In other words, they are moral agents whereas animals are not.
We have just shown that there is a Natural Law of Morality and that it exists as an inherent part of the universe. We even did it under the restrictive conditions placed upon me by those who wish to define the conditions of the discussion so that they must win the argument. But what follows next is the part that really bothers the Materialist. If this Natural Law governing morality is inherent as a Natural part of the universe, then that — by definition – makes morality a universal law. And if morality is a universal law, then it applies to all humans — even those who place themselves above it by denying God and putting themselves on His thrown.
You see, that is what this is really all about: it is not about whether or not Natural Law exists. Romans 1 and 2 clearly says we are all born with an innate sense of right and wrong. In other words, we are born knowing this moral law. It isn’t even about whether or not I know and understand the rules of logic. I just demonstrated that I do. No, what this is really all about is a rebellion against the Law Giver. Those who want to be the ones making the law simply cannot stand those of us who acknowledge and obey the Law Giver and His laws. They want to be the law giver. This is why they assert that the only law is positive law — or man-made law. But the moment they make that assertion — and they all do — they admit that they have renounced the use of reason and embraced the use of force. You see, logic alone is incapable of defining a universal set of moral laws, so the only way to enforce a positive law is with force. Positive law denies the existence of universal morality. It only recognizes the law of force. So to embrace positive law is to renounce the use of reason and embrace the use of force.
Now, I ask you, why would you listen to someone who is openly declaring to you that they are willing to renounce the use of reason in favor of the use of force? If you doubt this is what they are doing, go read the blog post and comments that motivated this post. Then ask yourself: am I as insulting to them as they are to me? Do I accuse them of wanting to kill me? These are called ad hominem attacks and they are all fallacious assertions. Fallacies are mistakes in the use of logic. So they are demonstrating they do not care about logic right there. How many times and how many ways do they have to show — through their actions — that they do not care about reason, only force? And what does force have to do with the truth? Doesn’t the truth stand for itself and on its own? Have I not just demonstrated that, and plying by their rules, no less?
I’ll leave it to you to decide, but choose wisely, please. One position is in line with Natural Law; the other is utter and complete lawlessness. One can allow for peaceful coexistence with others; the other demands the extermination of any and all who disagree. Look to the history of the 20th Century and ask who it was that murdered 150+ MILLION souls: those who believe in God, or those who deny God or His law exists? then decide where you stand.
34 thoughts on “DEFINING NATURAL LAW”
If you are referring to the Mr Magoogoo or whatever he calls himself blog…..the one called ‘Random Thoughts : random musings about everything’, I would say his post is more “random phrases about nothing”.
Mr Magoo is a clear a Statist utopian Progressive with all the requisite predilections towards violence. And true to all Leftists ( gays, democrats, environmentalists, Race-baitors and the rest of the Communist Circle-jerk club) his own ‘allies’ include a die-hard muslim ( calling itself “inspiredbythedivine” … while spewing hatred ).
Same cast of disreputable characters….spewing the same Anti-Christian and Anti-Jewish garbage that we see in our own press.
pretty much how I see it, too.
Sir, you wrote:
“…But there are those who balk at any suggestion of God or God’s hand in setting these laws. They will accept the ‘Natural Laws’ of physics, but not those of morality….”
As author (or co-author) of “The Rio Norte Line”, you seem to be a fan of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism. If this is correct, how can you make such a statement. Rand specifically separated religion from morality. Because the basis of religion is b e l i e v e, we cannot argue on this subject by using reason. In the west, moral codes may have s p r u n g from religions, but in the Far East, i.e., morality does not base on religion, but on acceptable standards of communal life (confucianism).
I do appreciate Rand’s objectivism, but I have also said — many times — that she suffers from the same problem as all others who have tried to devise a system of morality without God. Rand should have known this. She was a brilliant philosopher, and as such, she knew full well that logic cannot create a universal moral code without committing the fallacy of appeal to authority.
I am well aware of the differences between the East and West, and in many respects, the East is closer — at least in approach — to Natural law than the West. Perhaps it is precisely because the West tries to reason its was to a conclusion instead of looking to what exists in nature. But even then, there is human reason in confucianism, as well as ‘spiritual insight’ in the West’s reason. All things are a blend, even is some of us fail to acknowledge it.
Now, I am not sure whether or not this is making sense to you. I have only a superficial understanding of Confucius, so I am not sure I can properly address your comment in those terms. But what I can and have said is that Rand was wrong, and she should have known better. She was a brilliant observer of how human nature is and works, and at one time in my life, I embraced her thinking. But I am also a student of philosophy and logic, and as I studied further, I realized Rand’s entire body of work is built on a fallacy. Unfortunately, this makes all of her work fallacious, and this includes many of her conclusions. Still, this does not mean there is no value in her work, as there is even value in the work of Marx. Whether or not we find the value, however, depends on whether or not we see God’s Hand in this world. If we do, we can see the kernels of Truth, but if we do not, then all we ever see is reflections of our own desires disguised as truth.
I hope this answers your question. If not, then you will have to be more specific, sorry.
Thank you for your kind answer. With respect, in my view objectivism does not ‘suffer’ from this problem at all – rather it is a problem for those whose world only works with a god. There is nothing wrong in philosophical syncretism, but to meld Rand’s ‘scientific’ approach
to morality with belief means to destroy her e n t i r e system of reason. This would simply be one huge contradictio in adiecto, butchering the entire thesis.
It seems incredible, that a “student of philosophy and logic” would ‘arrive’ (presumably after a longer journey via the classic greek, Aquinat, Descartes, Rousseau, Hobbes, Hume, Locke, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel, James, etc, etc).
There are many arguments against this morality-god connection. Firstly, there are many gods, pantheism, paganism and the mentioned asian social-codes. Every society has a belief-system of some sort among their cultural institutions; not all of them received their ’10 commandments’ from a deity.
Residing in various asian nations since 1975 I found no ‘blending’ at all – except for a few intersections in the field of ethics, yes; but nothing more mutual interests of survival among the same species – Rand argues this point in matchless fashion, as well as the
incompatability of belief and reason.
Natural law is (at least was) required for communities of man to survive, in absence of inborn animal instincts; reason replaces the instinct in humans, natural law is reason, there is no need for a higher authority. In the times of Thomas Hobbes, there were heretics and heathens, but no real ‘atheists’. Yet, Hobbes wrote: “The unformed matter of the world was a god called chaos” What more accurate description of god do you have today?
That religion is not a ‘good thing’ per se can be seen since the inquisition to today’s fundamentalism. I think, if we could strip morality from belief, the world would be more moral. There lies the weakness in Rand’s concept: It requires people to think, instead of
believe and follow.
My friend, with respect, Rand’s philosophy is fallacious. If morality is to have any binding force on the actions of man, it must be universal. It must apply equally to all men at all times. But logic and reason cannot do this. John Stuart Mill tried, and the result is that his philosophy (Utilitarianism) can and does justify Hitler’s actions. The same problem dooms Rand, only for a different reason. She posits that the only moral action is self-interest. You might as well call that selfishness, which contains an inherent aspect of being an immoral trait.
At the heart of this issue is the need for a law giver. Now, what man can presume to be the law giver for all men, everywhere and for all time? None! Yet Natural Law does exist, so universal morality exists. Therefore, there is a Law Giver, and that is God. From there, we are left to discuss the true nature of God, but we cannot deny His existence.
The Bible even says this is the case. In Romans 1-2, we are told God has 2 sets of laws: Natural and Revealed. Locke drew his ideas from Romans. HE said so, not me. And Cicero arrived at much the same conclusion without benefit of having read the Bible. This affirms the validity of the Bible’s claims. So there is nothing inconsistent with what I am saying. In fact, once it is understood, the Eastern view of morality blends quite nicely with Scripture and what the Bible teaches. It is the West that is trying to kill God, and this is why the West is in decay.
Now, I will agree: RELIGION is not a good thing, but there is a problem of definitions here. The Bible is not a religion. It is God’s Revealed Word and His law. When men pervert this, they make it into religion. The same applies to men who make a pagan religion. In all such cases, what we have is a man-made morality. This is exactly what I am trying to explain, and why man can never ‘reason’ his way to moral law.
This is a deep subject, and it is addressed on this blog. This is the very reason for this blog: to explore the foundations of Natural Law. But it is also a subject that takes time to explore. If you have not already done so, I invite you to start reading the posts under my heading Natural Law at the top of this page. They may help answer some of your objections 🙂
Either way, I am very happy to have such a reasoned reader as yourself visiting my blog. Even if we do not agree, we can learn from each other. As Scripture says, iron sharpens iron.
Peace to you
P.S. I do not wish to offend people who believe, I therefor rather focus on the question of the dualism of reason and belief.
I do not mean to offend, either. But it is a matter of logic that we cannot ‘reason’ our way to a universal unless it is an inherent part of the universe. Now, if there is an inherent set of laws governing the right/wrong of human action in this universe, that means universal moral law exists. But logic also dictates that this requires a conscious act by a Law Giver. This is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of logic, and I actually learned it from liberal professors in philosophy school.
Think about this: if man is just a ‘graduate animal,’ as Marx claimed (i.e. just an animal who can think), then why bother with worrying about laws at all? We do not arrest a lion when it kills a zebra, so why arrest a man for killing another man? That is irrational — unless man is a moral agent. HOWEVER, if man is a moral agent, then the ‘says who” question must be answered. WHO says murder is wrong? And on what grounds?
If one man reasons it is wrong, another can justify it by simply changing the definition of murder or man. In fact, this has been done — it is still done. Muslims do it by saying non-Muslims are ‘lesser’ humans and can be legally killed.
This is another thing: if man’s reason is the source of morality, then how can we object to slavery? If I argue that it is better for the majority that a minority be made slave, then that is a VALID argument. How do you object to it? On what grounds? LOGICALLY, you cannot. All you can do is try to convince others your idea is better, or use force to make your case. And this is the heart of my claim: you cannot have liberty without a Creator. The only reason I said religion is our founders used the term interchangeably with faith in God. I was tagging my post to the founders, so I used their language. It is assumed that the reader knows this, as some things must be assumed or nothing can be written without books of explanation of what has come before.
AS the Irish are want to say..Is this a Private “fight” or can anyone join?
The Duality of ‘reason’ and ‘belief’?.
At some point there is an intersection of the two no ? Meaning that ‘reason’ eventually depends upon some form of evidence, which eventually leads to some form of ‘belief’ that the ‘evidence’ will continue with continued observation and similar ‘reasoning’.
You know full well there are no private fights here. You are always welcome to join in the fray. Besides, it makes for a target rich environment 🙂
Moi ? A target?…Surely you jest.
Well, I certainly won’t set my sights on you, but I can’t say other won’t. But not to worry: my queer and I will clear your six should someone else try to lock on to you. 😉
Thank you. Firstly, let it be understood, that all comments are made with respect and not to be taken as curt, because I try to keep it as brief as possible.
You skirted my questions and did not really address my issues. I also get worried when a man thinks he ‘arrived’ – that imprisons you inside a dogma and discussions turn into debates, which I am not prepared to follow.
1. Rand has eluded you, either by lack of understanding or abbreviated reading. The originator of Utilitarianism was Bentham and the philosophers holding the stirr-ups for fascism were Kant, Hegel and James, Mussolini’s house-philosopher and the father of Pragmatism, b e c a u s e of their dualism of reason and belief. (Sir, there is a difference between ‘reasonable’ assumptions leading to analytic thought-processing and blind faith.)
2. “…It must apply equally to all men at all times. But logic and reason cannot do this…”
Mr. Mill could not but Rand obvioulsy did. Islam proofs that gods are unreliable sources of morality and justice. Man can choose among deities, because all eminates from his mind alone. Man wrote the holy books and man issued laws. (If you come here with burning bushes or Moses’ tablets, I am out of this discussion 🙂 )
3. “…so universal morality exists. Therefore, there is a Law Giver, and that is God.”
Your chain of causality seems skewed or broken throughout and I cannot endorse your use of ‘logic’. Why not say: “there is one red cloth and there is a white piece of cloth, therefore the third piece must be blue color, to make up my tricolored flag!” This is is not logic, but sophism.
4. “…And Cicero arrived at much the same conclusion without benefit of having read the Bible. This affirms the validity of the Bible’s claims.”
That seems to contradicts you and rather confirms that man always had moral choices, bible or not, monotheists or pagans. Morality itself is a h u m a n concept, it still needs human definition and implementer. Plato, i.e. was undoubtly a deeply moral man – which god sponsored his actions, Zeus? Me-Ti lived 500 B.C. and never heard about t h e god. Is China, one of the world’s greatest culture
therefore a cesspool of 1.4 billion immoral morons?
5. “…This is exactly what I am trying to explain, and why man can never ‘reason’ his way to moral law….”
But this is what you are doing here. Morality changed fundamentally over the past 5000 years. How could that be? What about the pagan sacrifices – highliy moral within their communities. Hitler had some social programs, highly advanced and moral that FDR copied them! Surely, Hitler did not get them from god or the bible. Morality makes sense and is a cultural institution in every society. As natural law only applies to man, it seems illogical to assume it would not eminate from him, either as inbred instinct or by reason. If you say, it all comes from god we have no discussion, as I could say it comes from ‘alpha centauri’.
6. “…We do not arrest a lion when it kills a zebra, so why arrest a man for killing another man? That is irrational — unless man is a moral agent. HOWEVER, if man is a moral agent, then the ‘says who” question must be answered. WHO says murder is wrong?”
(i) Lions do not kill for emotions, but as part of a sustaining system which balances and advances the entire biological sphere. (ii) Lions don’t have money to buy groceries. (iii) Man has emotions and choice. The first guy who crashed the skull of another with a club in a cave did n o t commit ‘murder’. But it must have become apparent, that they will die out without some rules on random killing. All that worked out ‘reason-ably’ well without the idea of a ‘creator’ as suggested by scriptures or theologists.
7. “…Muslims do it by saying non-Muslims are ‘lesser’ humans and can be legally killed.
And they have no god? Doesn’t it all come down to “might is right” – in which god has no say. Read the ‘House-papers’ of Germany’s moral condemnation after WW I. In Versailles, where the standard was shifted from International Law to the concept of ‘common law’.
8. “…if man’s reason is the source of morality, then how can we object to slavery? If I argue that it is better for the majority that a minority be made slave,…”
Exactly! If non-slavery is a moral axiom, then why was slavery a major cultural institution around the height of christianity, whereas now – that religious faith in the west has faded – slavery is condemned and (almost) gone?
William James argued in “Will to Believe” that “… if what was true was what worked, we can scientifically investigate religion’s claim to truth in the same manner.” I have no problems wirh child-like faith as a palliative medium to relieve man’s emotional pain and reason for hope, just don’t mix it with logic and reason. If faith is good, it can stand on it’s own.
You seem to say ( imply) that “belief” is flawed because it ultimately comes from the Mind of Man.
And the process of “reason” does not ?
In other words you seem to imply that the process of “reasoning” has some kind of Objective reality beyond the mind of Man. Which in itself is a kind of “believing” in something outside of Man that holds a “greater” Truth.
A position not that different than others “believing” in a God outside of Man who also holds a greater Truth.
His objections are an old song. However, I – for one — am VERY happy to have our new friend. At least alpha has some understanding of reason and is civil in his presentation. I do not need him to agree with me to value and even learn from him, so he/she is VERY welcomed here 🙂
Absolutely welcomed !!
Odd they don’t respond though. You see my point right?
Duality was brought up ( which is different from Dualism BTW). Both have applications in the discussion. Dualism as the existence of “assumed” opposites…..and Duality as in Mathematical Logic which “translates” Concepts into other concepts.
Thus belief and reason at their root are products of the Mind of Man. So to assume Dualism on the one hand, one must investigate deeper not just say it is so and leave it at that. And if one TRULY accepts “logic” then there is a clear avenue for investigation via mathematical logic for expressing what appears as a separation but is more of a Duality wherein because of the root of both Concepts, the gulf between them is more an artifact of choice than an expression of reality.
Yes, but I have always dealt with this issue on a more simple level.
If faith is incompatible with reason, then NEITHER side can claim to be using reason — not just the side which denies God. God cannot be proven to exist, but neither can He be proven NOT to exist. SO to just assume He does not is as much an act of faith as to not believe, therefore, everything based on that assumption is just as irrational as they claim believers are.
The other thing I have always objected to is the notion that they can define reason in such a way as to exclude the belief in a Creator. Voltaire would certainly have a thing or two to say about that, as evidenced from his poem. Yet Voltaire is frequently cited by Atheists who think he supports their skepticism. The point here is that there is NOTHING unreasonable about working for a perspective that assumes a Creator exists. In fact, an argument can be made that it is the more reasonable of the two.
I believe the heart of the issue here is exactly what I keep trying to help people see: logic is neutral. It does not take sides. It can and does support BOTH! But the side that claims it excludes the other is the one that admits to renouncing the PROPER use of reason in the pursuit of agenda as opposed to seeking the Truth.
I think it is time to write those posts now: the one on why belief in a Creator does not equate to a lack of reason, and another showing how the other side has turned science into a religion which worships man.
BTW; I would argue that logic exists outside of the existence of this universe (so do the laws governing mathematics and morality). It is not created by any of the four dimensions (time being the 4th), nor is it created by matter or energy. It is a set of rules that exist outside of time and space.
Now, reason, on the other hand, IS a product of the mind — and not just man’s, but any conscious mind. Reason is the proper application of the rules governing logic so as to arrive at sound, valid and rational conclusions which are consistent with observed reality.
We need more ingsthis like this in this thread.
Thanks for your reply….when you say you have dealt with this on a more “Siple” level….you don’t mean Cap’n Morgan and such right… ;- )).
Dropped an ‘m.’ It’s fixed now (smart – hick-up — alleck) 😉
It IS possible that these exist “outside” the existence of the Universe. It is also possible it is a “reflection” of the Larger Existence. Two-state Logic is very powerful…. (A….NOT A… Existence / NON-Existence ). But that Larger Existence you’ll agree is not completely defined by logic alone.
Reason as discovery of the rules governing logic, and their proper application I would agree with.
I understand you are not trying to be curt. It shows. I trust you will understand the same from me.
If you oppose someone who has ‘arrived,’ then why write to me? If you can never find a truth and then stand on it, then why bother expressing an opinion? You would be contradicting yourself — as you have done here. Only, you have created your argument such that it accuses me while excusing you for doing the same thing. Now, with that said, let me address your points individually.
1 — Rand has not eluded me. Rand is simply wrong. As for my use of Mill instead of the others you named: it is because Mill claimed to have ‘solved’ many of the problems those others had in their work. It is for this reason many Libertarians like Mill, but his work was as subjective as Rand’s. In the case of Rand, an atheist, she has attempted to re-write our founding father’s belief system in a way that does not require a Creator. The problem is, she fails to do so. All she really does is replace a single Creator with the individual. In short, whether she realizes it or not, she argues that every person is their own god. Which brings us to your assertion about assumptions. You seem to think your beliefs are based in reason, and that mine are based in blind faith. But, by your own standard, you’re based in blind faith every bit as much as you think I am. Since you can no more prove there is NOT a Creator as you can prove there is, any line of reasoning must therefore be based in an assumption of blind faith: that there is or is not a Creator. This is by definition, yet the skeptic always acts as though he is exempt from this definition. That is fallacious to the core.
2 — No, Rand didn’t. As I stated above, Rand simply replaced a single creator with the individual — but she is still making an appeal to deity. You claim ALL gods come from the mind of man. Prove it! All FALSE gods do, but the One True God does not. To assert He does not exist and them presume you are correct and all others are wrong is the very fallacy I mentioned in 1 above.
BTW: in this comment, you make an assumption that — were I arguing from your perspective — would seem to indicate you believe you “have arrived.” 🙂
3 — Read the series of posts in the header NATURAL LAW at the top of this page. It starts with a self-evident truth and expounds upon it: that we all have free will. Universal morality naturally flows from that point, and it is a point you are proving now in expressing your will. I have no control over it. Yes, I may be able to convince you to cave, but a stronger man than I may refuse to cave unto death. Therefore, he exerts his free will. From the existence of free will, Universal Morality naturally follows. But then, you have admitted to the existence of Universal Morality by engaging me in argument. If you believed what you are saying, you would have not commented. Or, if you had, the best you could have said was “Well, that may be true for you, but it isn’t true for me.” but you didn’t say that. Instead, you have argued that there is a universal standard addressing the interactions between people. That, my friend, is a universal statement. Worse, it is a self-contradicting statement. By claiming there is no universal truth, you are making a claim of universal truth. That is fallacious reasoning (which might also explain why you have difficulty following the logic in my argument: because you do not have a firm grasp on reason, yourself).
4 — The Bible tells us man has 2 sets of Laws — both come from God. They are Natural Law, which Cicero found and lived by (as have many others — including Job). The other is Revealed Law. There is nothing contradictory between the two sets of laws. You need to read the Bible to see and understand you are arguing from ignorance, and that is a fallacious argument.
5 — NOPE! We cannot create a moral law through the use of logic — BUT WE CAN DISCOVER IT! If we cannot create it, but we can discover it, then it follows that it is a NATURAL LAW! This is nothing more than applying the same science of economics to the subject of morality. The problem is, once this Natural Law is discovered, man balks because he does not want to follow it — because it implies God wrote those laws and man wants to deny God. Again, you have already conceded this point by your very act of arguing with me. By arguing I am wrong and you are correct, you are arguing that there is a universal principle governing human action. But that contradicts your claim that there are no universal laws governing right/wrong (i.e. morality). So, again, you are arguing a self-contradicting assertion.
6 — Animals have emotion, therefore your premise is false and thus, your argument does not stand. You are also assuming facts not in evidence: in this case the assumptions of evolution. It is NOT apparent that man would die out without laws against killing. It is more likely that what would naturally follow from your example is tribalism and the quest to be stronger than the next guy/tribe. Your reasoning here is flawed from the start: because it is based on false assumptions (which, by the way, is a form of blind faith).
7 — You have just demonstrated Muslims worship a false god. As for the use of common law, that is a case of might makes right, as has been exhibited in America’s courts since she devolved into it, herself. What you should be trying to do is understand that man-made laws which are contrary to Natural Law are not ‘law’ at all, but a rationalization of ‘might-makes-right.’ In other words, they are immoral acts which immoral men have tried to camouflage by cloaking them in the idea of legalism. But then, legalism is nothing more than man’s attempt to get around just laws.
8 — You REALLY need to read the Bible. Then you need to research which religious faith crusaded against slavery and — by-in-large — ended it in the Western world. If you look into this, you will find that Christianity was the driving force behind the global abolition movement. This also explains why slavery is still practiced in most of the non-Christian regions of the world. Your objection does not stand in the face of actual history.
Funny you claim religion cannot be mixed with logic and reason. God says otherwise in the Bible. And the ‘science’ that so many worship today was created by and because of Christian beliefs! The men and women who developed the process of investigation that came to be known as ‘science’ were seeking to learn and understand more about the God of the Bible. Which means they were testing their faith: something you claim cannot be done. Again, your objections cannot stand up under the historic record, and neither do your assertions. You are arguing from a point where you have already denied my position without anything more than saying I’m wrong and therefore — by implication — you must be correct. The same cannot be FACTUALLY said for or of me. This is why you are having so much trouble understanding where and why you have gone wrong. It is like saying you are going to study climate change, but you will reject any evidence that the earth is not warming because you have decided it is and that anyone who claims otherwise is has to be irrational. BTW: that is an approach many who claim ‘science’ as their religion take: start with an assumption, then try to force ‘evidence’ to fit their conclusion and ignore, reject or attack anything
1. I replied, because a) to give you the benefit of doubt, b) for a chance to reflect. For the same reason that the British would reassign their governor to Hong Kong, when he would utter: “I finally understand the Chinese”. I cannot see mortals ever ‘arriving’.
2. Agreed, prove of god cannot be achieved through any human faculty. This is why it seems dicy to base the fait of a community on assumptions.
3. We should avoid rhetoric: I did not use the term ‘must’ nearly as often as in your texts and I did not write: “This is not a matter of opinion”. Please do not insinuate a dogmatic stance from my propositions.
4. I have, not all, but most. I did write that I do understand your points, but can’t agree with all propositions which seem very hard-cast and exclusive. I prefer to probe them against my concerns. Otherwise I agree with the contents of this paragraph 🙂
5. I cannot accept other than a book must have been written by man and therefore cannot consider a book to be my master. Even if we do allow the bible, then which – and by what means did you select – the babylonian Talmud, Pentatuch, the Catholic, Lutheran, Old Testament (“eye for an eye”), New Testament (“if someone strikes you, give him the other cheek”)? which translation, interpretation, knowing that elements like guilt, atonement and purgatory are inventions of the early medieval church? And I did read the bible, as I read the Quoran, Pentatuch, Buddha’s teachings, Gilgamesh, Narayana and Homer. However, for truth, reason and my view of the universe I draw from other books – call me a devil!
HOWEVER, your § 5. did not answer my § 5.
6. I cannot find my reference to your § 6. I did NOT write that we can ‘create logic’ – that would be highly unscholarly. The mind can only discover.
7. Your § 7. refers to my § 6. (animals). You may assume that I do possess basic zoological knowledge. What I meant, was of course, emotions of the h u m a n kind. Here again: it is me who (wrongly) assumes and you who ‘knows’. O.k.
8. Yes, but the intriguing thing is, that Allah ‘governs’ 1/3 of mankind and there – that little atheist soul of mine determined all by itself that Allah must be the ‘wrong god’ – by ungodly reasoning and applying moral standards!
9. “…You are arguing from a point where you have already denied my position without anything more than saying it is so. The same cannot be FACTUALLY said for or of me. This is why you are having so much trouble understanding where and why you have gone wrong…”
This hypocrisy is the kind of mental damage religion does to a man. My actual point seems hereby made. Respectfully.
N.B.: I wrote my points 1. to 8. merely as an exercise and a reminder to refrain from any future religious debates on www.
Thank you for your thoughts.
Logic is filled with absolutes. We use them all the time in formal definitions. Definitions are absolutes. They are not a matter of opinion. If you consider a definition to be dogmatic, then how do you presume the use of logic or reason at all?
I doubt you read the Bible, but you may have. However, if you did, you did not understand it. The Old and New Testament do not contradict. They are in perfect harmony with each other, one merely has to understand the language and culture in which they were written. That said, the notion that translation changes meaning has been dealt with by apologists many times. It has been thoroughly debunked as an objection to the Bible. And yes, I have read the Qur’an — and Hadith. It is how and why I know Islam is the work of a power-hungry man who cloaked his politics in religion. I have not read any other religion as I do not believe they will result in anything that will convince me the Bible is wrong.
Hypocrisy? Mental damage? You mean like assuming there is no God so that the only right and wrong are what an individual wants to believe, and everything else is wrong and reason to force your opinion on others? My friend, I understand why you reject the existence of God — I understand better than I think you understand it, yourself 🙂
“2. …This is why it seems dicy to base the fait of a community on assumptions.”
Should read of course: “fate”.
We understood. We also understand you are perfectly willing to base it on an assumption — the assumption that God does not exist. But wouldn’t reason dictate that, if we cannot know one way or the other, then the best choice is to assume God DOES exist and endeavor to discover which religion is the most likely to represent the One True God? If we assume He does not exist and are wrong, then we risk eternal penalty. But if we assume He does exist, even if we choose the wrong God, at least society will live according to a common moral code. This is not possible in a world where people reject God and do as they please, each arguing for his own notion of right and wrong. This is what you are implying is better for society than to assume a common morality — even if it is based on a lie. And that brings us right back to Voltaire.
Luckily for me, I am not the one advancing the precepts of Natural Law. They have been discovered and re-discovered throughout history. This is because Natural Law exists. It is written on the hearts of man and can be ‘discovered by the use of observation and reason. This is affirmed by the fact that, on terms of general principles, many different people have discovered the same general Natural Law. If Natural Law did not exist, then there is no rational explanation for how or why different people, in different times and different locations keep finding the same law. 🙂
“…A Collection of Individuals with a shared interest in “international affairs” and philosophy..”.
You know who you are dealing with right? The pejorative tone alone is sufficient as a locator. This is why I like to appeal to Mathematical Logic with such actors. Because they use the term logic ( reason) as if it were their own kind of God while using it to “disprove” the notion of God. But in reality the deconstruction of their arguments lies within the very tools they purport to understand.
Yes, I caught on a while back. I have tried to show the same thing you just said but — as usual — you do it so much better than I do. You are short and to the point. I envy that about you. 🙂
But this reader is still an excellent illustration of the things I have been writing about. He denies God, then proceeds to take God’s place by presuming to be the sole authority of what is and what should be. In doing so, he is no different from Marx: tell the Capitalist he is wrong, then proceed to tell everyone how the economy should run with him as the queen bee (reference intended). Even if a person does not accept God or God’s Law, at least it is an objective standard by which to anchor one’s self. But this person — and those like him — not only refuse to acknowledge God, but they refuse to acknowledge any restraint on their actions save those they are willing to impose on themselves.
This discussion is important because readers can see the evolution of ideas and the pretension of dialogue on the other side.
You mean devolution, don’t you? ALL those who divorce themselves from God in the name of ‘Progress’ ALWAYS seem to devolve in their thinking and morals, and they drag society down with them. They just don’t see it, but then, maybe Scripture has the answer as to why: they are depraved.
however you phrase it, it boils down to someone else telling me what is right, and the built-in terror is that under most systems of government that translates into the power to do some really mean things to me if I do not agree with you. As George Washington said, government is not eloquence, it is not reason, it is force – a dangerous servant and a fearful master. However it starts out, it will end up as a duplicitous tyranny darkening every aspect of our individual lives and the national culture.
Without some form of govt., you will have no rights save those you can defend by force — and then only for as long as you can successfully defend them. This means man must find some measure by which to decide what is and is not a right. That is what Natural LAw is all about: conforming to the natural laws which govern human interaction. When we reject this Natural Law we get tyranny. Even if we have Anarchy, we still have tyranny, as Anarchy throws us back into a state of war with everyone around us and what is a better definition of Anarchy than war?