[ExI] Religions and violence.

Mirco Romanato painlord2k at libero.it
Wed Aug 18 13:24:02 UTC 2010

Il 07/08/2010 19.34, John Clark ha scritto:
> On Aug 7, 2010, at 3:58 AM, Jebadiah Moore wrote:
>> After all, they [natural ethics] are clearly an intellectual
>> product of religion

> That is not true, not if natural ethics means things most people
> feel are right.

Feel and religion are not the source of Natural Law.
Natural Law date back to Romans (and probably before of them).


Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) has been
described as a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has
validity everywhere.[1]  As classically used, natural law refers to the
use of reason to analyze human nature and deduce binding rules of moral
behavior. The phrase natural law is opposed to the positive law (meaning
"man-made law", not "good law"; cf. posit) of a given political
community, society, or nation-state, and thus can function as a standard
by which to criticize that law.[2] In natural law jurisprudence, on the
other hand, the content of positive law cannot be known without some
reference to the natural law (or something like it). Used in this way,
natural law can be invoked to criticize decisions about the statutes,
but less so to criticize the law itself. Some use natural law
synonymously with natural justice or natural right (Latin ius naturale),
although most contemporary political and legal theorists separate the two.

Although natural law is often conflated with common law, the two are
distinct in that natural law is a view that certain rights or values are
inherent in or universally cognizable by virtue of human reason or human
nature, while common law is the legal tradition whereby certain rights
or values are legally cognizable by virtue of judicial recognition or
articulation.[3] Natural law theories have, however, exercised a
profound influence on the development of English common law,[4] and have
featured greatly in the philosophies of Thomas Aquinas, Francisco
Suárez, Richard Hooker, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Samuel von
Pufendorf, John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Jean Jacques Burlamaqui, and
Emmerich de Vattel. Because of the intersection between natural law and
natural rights, it has been cited as a component in United States
Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
The essence of Declarationism is that the founding of the United States
is based on Natural law.

> The Bible is full of horror, if you obeyed all its repulsive dictates
> you would very soon find yourself on death row or at a warcrimes
> tribunal at the Hague. Instead when a believer reads his bible he
> picks and chooses, when it says don't kill they embrace it, but when 
> it orders you to murder your disobedient children as it does in
> Deuteronomy 21:18-21 they just pretend its not there. So something 
> other than religion is telling them that one thing is a pretty good
> idea and the other one not so much.

The Laws in the Bible, usually, give the maximum penalty that can be
given. Not the penalty that MUST be given.
How many recorded fathers killed their disobedient sons in Israel in the
biblical times?
If I remember, the fathers needed to bring their son in from of a
tribunal of elders to be allowed to kill them.
Given my experience with "extreme cases" I can understand the need a law
like this to be in the book at the time, given the material conditions
of the time (do psychiatric drugs to keep psychotic calm and not many
jail to keep the psychopath in).
Then, by an evolutionary prospective, fathers that killed their
offspring for the wrong reasons would disappear from the gene pool, like
father allowing the wrong type of disobedient sons to live (like the too
gentle father of a psychopath that menace the rest of the family members).
The law would allow the in-between fathers to have their genes to
prosper, without favoring the law-breakers.

If I remember correctly, the Old Testament say that a tribunal giving
out a death penalty more than a time every 70 years is cruel. So, I
suppose, there were not so many death sentences or there were many cruel

>> People will tend to favor moral systems which benefit the
>> majority

People tend to favor moral systems that favor them.
They prefer moral systems that favor the individuals when they recognize
the possibility to be at the receiving end of someone else moral system.

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*Mirco Romanato*

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