Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On Morality (Part One)

So we have made a decision as to London Vs London (that's Ontario versus the Merry Ol').  I won't make any announcements as of yet because we haven't received the official letter.  For whatever reason they make that part of the process and before that you have to fill out a form.  So I won't be telling you the whys at this point either.  We're expecting something by the end of the week so maybe it will be a quick take.

Morality.  Since I'm lurking at the Eden Foods Facebook page, morality has naturally come up.  Particularly from the atheist group who don't understand it too well themselves.  And then there's the article my pantheist friend posted along with commentary (see two weeks ago Quick Takes below).  Her religious views naturally explain her comment about morality.

Since this is a two parter, I plan to address what morality is.  In the second part I will address why only having human-derived morality (ie I can make my own moral compass, thank you very much) is a bad idea.

What is Morality


Morality is essentially a code of conduct for behavior.  Usually it refers to good or right conduct whereas immorality refers to bad conduct.

There are two basic camps to morality: natural law and everything else.  Both involve God in some form or fashion.

Natural Law

Natural law is a code of ethics based on the physical, natural world.  Examples of natural law include survival (no killing, no stealing, no greed, ect.).  And some argue that it also includes homosexuality since homosexual sex doesn't involve children or the joining of sexual organs.

A large part of our judicial system relies on natural law. 

One does not need divine revelation to discern natural law as it is common sense.

Everything Else

The flip side to natural law is positive law.  Positive law, according to Thomas Aquinas, is man-made laws.  But positive law is broader than that.  It can be divided into divine positive law or laws created through divine revelation, or positive law of independent states or rules established by the government.

In other words, you have laws that aren't so clear willed by Our Creator like not fornicating.  And then you have laws like what age constitutes adulthood willed by the State.

The Divine Creator is perfect.  It's a lot easier to know that His laws are the correct moral and ethical way.

Laws of the State are not perfect.  They are created by fallible men.  They are easy to change.  They go with the sway of public opinion.  They are formed through consensus and cultural mores.  

Stay Tuned to the Next Part where I tease out positive law.

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I love to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!