editor wrote:I think this topic is fine where it is. In fact, I like it so much, I made it 'sticky'.
Firestarter wrote:I believe that all “real” religion is essentially the same (and I think that in essence there is no difference between religion and philosophy).
I agree that philosophy does at times overlap with religion , but while philosophy pertains more to a love for intellectual knowledge and wisdom, religion is more of a physically manifested spiritual knowledge and wisdom. I'm not sure what you mean by "'real' religion", but I agree that there are similarities in all religions, as the Laws of Nature are universal, even for those who choose not to believe in Nature's God.
Even the citations you provided from Tao Te Ching point to "natural order."
There is a topic for nature and natural law here
, but I'm going to expand on it some more.
Sometimes "systems of man" recognize (in word, if not deed) the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God. Such is the case with The Declaration of Independence which states:
“When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation.”
Bouvier’s Dictionary of Law, 1856, defines “Law of Nature” as:
The law of nature is that which God, the sovereign of the universe, has prescribed to all men, not by any formal promulgation, but by the internal dictate of reason alone. It is discovered by a just consideration of the agreeableness or disagreeableness of human actions to the nature of man; and it comprehends all the duties which we owe either to the Supreme Being, to ourselves, or to our neighbors; as reverence to God, self defence, temperance, honor to our parents, benevolence to all, a strict adherence to our engagements, gratitude, and the like.
Bouvier’s then itemizes six specific areas of the Laws of Nature, namely:
1. Comparative sagacity, or reason - When man is properly organized, he is able to discover moral good from moral evil; and the study of man proves that man is not only an intelligent, but a free being, and he is therefore responsible for his actions. The judgment we form of our good actions, produces happiness; on the contrary the judgment we form of our bad actions produces unhappiness.
2. Self love - Every animated being is impelled by nature to his own preservation, to defend his life and body from injuries, to shun what may be hurtful, and to provide all things requisite to his existence. Hence the duty to watch over his own preservation. Suicide and duelling are therefore contrary to this law; and a man cannot mutilate himself, nor renounce his liberty.
3. The attraction of the sexes to each other – The attraction of the sexes has been provided for the preservation of the human race, and this law condemns celibacy. The end of marriage proves that polygamy, (q. v.) and polyendry, (q. v.) are contrary to the law of nature. Hence it follows that the husband and wife have a mutual and exclusive right over each other.
4. The tenderness of parents towards their children - Man from his birth is wholly unable to provide for the least of his necessities; but the love of his parents supplies for this weakness. This is one of the most powerful laws of nature. The principal duties it imposes on the parents, are to bestow on the child all the care its weakness requires, to provide for its necessary food and clothing, to instruct it, to provide for its wants, and to use coercive means for its good, when requisite.
5. The religious sentiment - The religious sentiment which leads us naturally towards the Supreme Being, is one of the attributes which belong to humanity alone; and its importance gives it the rank of the moral law of nature. From this sentiment arise all the sects and different forms of worship among men.
6. Sociability - The need which man feels to live in society, is one of the primitive laws of nature, whence flow our duties and rights; and the existence of society depends upon the condition that the rights of all shall be respected. On this law are based the assistance, succors and good offices which men owe to each other, they being unable to provide each every thing for himself.
Most religions agree with the basic tenets of these "Laws of Nature."
For Christians, the Law of Nature’s God is summed up in Matthew 22:36-40 as follows:
"Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him,
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
The first commandment encompasses Laws of Nature 1 and 5. The second commandment encompasses Laws of Nature 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.
Richard Maybury, author of the Uncle Eric series of books, summarizes Natural Law as such:
1. Do all you have agreed to do. [i.e. contract law]
2. Do not encroach on other people or their property [i.e. tort law]
These basic Laws are understood by every religion.
Firestarter wrote:While I mainly agree with the Original Post, I do not understand what kind of “order” you get in a “godmade” (as opposed to a “manmade”) government…
Nothing in the Law of Nature and Nature’s God is whimsical, arbitrary, or capricious. It does not destroy liberty, but rather promotes it. It does not devastate civilization, but enables it to advance. The Law of Nature and Nature’s God does not give privileges to a select few, but instead sees all Men as being created equal. It is perfect Law.
One last quote, from Lysander Spooner:
“Honesty, justice, natural law, is usually a very plain and simple matter, easily understood by common minds. Those who desire to know what it is, in any particular case, seldom have to go far to find it. It is true, it must be learned, like any other science. But it is also true that it is very easily learned. …
“Children learn the fundamental principles of natural law at a very early age. Thus they very early understand that one child must not, without just cause, strike or otherwise hurt, another; that one child must not assume any arbitrary control or domination over another; that one child must not, either by force, deceit, or stealth, obtain possession of anything that belongs to another; that if one child commits any of these wrongs against another, it is not only the right of the injured child to resist, and, if need be, punish the wrongdoer, and compel him to make reparation, but it is also the right, and the moral duty, of all other children, and all other persons, to assist the injured party in defending his rights, and redressing his wrongs. These are fundamental principles of natural law, which govern the most important transactions of man with man. Yet children learn them earlier than they learn that three and three are six, or five and five are ten. Their childish plays, even, could not be carried on without a constant regard to them; and it is equally impossible for persons of any age to live together in peace on any other conditions.”
In light of this post
, I want to qualify my statement "The Law of Nature and Nature’s God does not give privileges to a select few, but instead sees all Men as being created equal." Obviously, some of men's characteristics are unequal, some being taller, stronger, smarter, more creative, or more beautiful than others. I was strictly writing of the equality of men under the Laws of God, with Him equitably
judging all sin and righteousness, bringing each their just deserts equally.