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« Enough Already with the Women-Get-Paid-Less Nonsense | Main | Will Vote Fraud Win the Election for Obama? »

October 21, 2012

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JasonP

Let’s explore and describe our differences to see if we understand each other. You are correct that man’s positive law is embodied in the institution of government. However, your alternative seems to be God’s positive law. I talk about the distinction between God’s positive law (revelation) and natural law in the context of our founding fathers here. In that essay I argue that Grotius explains the distinction clearly. Your concept of moral law seems to be God’s positive law--i.e. his commandments and covenants asserted and willed by Him. X is good if He so wills it.

Reading your exposition I’m struck by symmetry between your thesis and the antithesis. You note that I can’t argue with a Marxist if they don’t hold my summum bonum of human life as the standard of value. Quite true. But you can’t argue with a Mohammadan if they don’t hold your source of revelation to the the true one. They will continue to demand that you submit or face death just as much as the Marxist will demand that I submit and serve. The inability in either case to convince our foes doesn’t prove our position is epistemologically and morally weak.

However, if you hold that life is the standard of value (let’s hold off on the “why” for now) than I think you and I would have substantial agreement on medicine, economics, political science, and (I suspect) fundamental political principles. My position (which I’m not defending at this moment) is that the “good” is by definition that which furthers human life. Good always raises the question "good for what?" I'd argue "good" means "good for life." Your position, as I understand it, is that such a definition is arbitrary; and, I think, you imply that a rights-respecting order that underwrites human prosperity would be unlikely without His commandment to make life a supreme value.

Thus, a doctor can’t label smoking “bad” unless God tells him that life is good. We can’t know that the 150 million killed by communism is bad unless God tell us. Nor can we be horrified and morally outraged at the jihadi attacks on 9/11 unless we ascertain which religious texts are the true word of God. There is no “good” until we ask God what is “the good” and correctly hear his response. Do I understand your position?

Dave

Selwyn Duke is awesome!!

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