Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Faith and the Founding

"Liberty and Tyranny" by Mark Levin
Chapter 3:

"REASON CANNOT, BY ITSELF, explain why there is reason. Science cannot, by itself, explain why there is science. Man's discovery and application of science are products of reason.

"Reason and science can explain the existence of matter, but they cannot explain why there is matter. They can explain the existence of the universe, but they cannot explain why there is a universe. They can explain the existence of nature and the law of physics, but they cannot explain why there is nature and the law of physics. They can explain the existence of life, but they cannot explain why there is life. They can explain the existence of consciousness, but they cannot explain why there is consciousness.

"Science is a critical aspect of human existence, but it cannot address the spiritual nature of man. In this respect, science is a dead end around which the Athiest refuses to reason. Reason itself informs man of its own limitations and, in doing so, directs him to the discovery of a force greater than himself- a supernatural force responsible for the origins of not only human existence but all existence, and which itself has always existed and will always exist..."

"Man is more than a physical creature. As Edmund Burke argued, each individual is created as a unique, spiritual being with a soul and a conscience and is bound to a transcendent moral order established by Divine Providence and uncovered through observation and experience over the ages. 'There is but one law for all, namely, that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity- the law of nature and of nations'. This is the Natural Law that penetrates man's being and which the Founding Fathers adopted as the principle around which civilized American society would be organized.

"The Declaration of Independence appeals to 'the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God.' It provides further, 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.'

"The Founders were enlightened men, but not men purely of the Age of Enlightenment. They were highly educated, well-informed men who excelled at reason and subscribed to science but worshipped neither. They comprehended them- their strengths as well as weaknesses. The Declaration's signers were congregationalist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Unitarian, and Roman Catholic. At least two Founders, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, are widely believed to have been Diests. They were men of varying denominations but united and emphatic in the belief that the Creator was the origin of their existence and the source of their reason.

"Is it possible that there is no Natural Law and man can know moral order and unalienable rights from his own reasoning, unaided by the supernatural or God? There are, of course, those who argue this case- including the Atheist and others who attempt to distinguish Natural Law from Divine Providence. It is not the view adopted by the Founders. This position would, it seems, lead man to arbitrarily create his own morality and rights, or create his own arbitrary morality and rights- right and wrong, just and unjust, good and bad, would be relative concepts susceptible to circumstantial applications. Moreover, by what justification would 'Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness' be 'unalienable Rights' if there is no Natural Law, since reason alone cannot make them inviolable? What then is Natural Law if its origin is unknown or rejected? It is nothing more than a human construct."

I wanted to practice my typing skills with some good reading! I liked how he incorporated some good old fashioned apologetics into the politics! He goes on to say that even if a person rejects this belief in Divine Providence, he still benefits from the Law that society has set up in this way... In the same way, even if a person rejects the idea of a Natural Law altogether, he can still benefit from it if it is practiced around him because it STILL exists! But civililized society cannot be set up and organized without believing in a Natural Law that was given to us from a Divine Being because inevitably it would lead to anarchy and tyranny. Either a Survival of the Fittest, or a take charge, " I will do what I think is best for you" type of mentality.

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