Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What I wrote on Chris' blog...

How do we know what rights we have? Hmmm.
How do we know how many planets there are? By scientific investigation. Various theories were attempted at explaining the universe and currently we have a model that includes probably 10 planets in an heliocentric solar system.
What rights do we have? We can know by scientific investigation. The courtroom is our labratory, and judges are the scientists in a common law system. Such an arrangement existed in England off and on for several hundred years. The development of good law coincided with the development of good science. Now both are failing.
Common law got far enough to determine that life, liberty, and property are three of our inherited rights. It answered a lot of questions. But the system was destroyed before it could answer others.
So, whether Murray Rothbard is God or not, we know that we do have certain rights as a law of nature.
JN

4 comments:

2e said...

I disagree that "the development of good law coincided with the development of good science." The "good laws" you speak of have been around as long as we've had moral codes, consider Hammurabi's Code. That had the main "good laws" you speak of regarding personal property and right to life.

However, the real question is, "If it's such a 'good law' why do we break it so much?" If we see the goodness and benefit of such laws, why do we break them?

Juris Naturalist said...

Good law is the same as natural law is the same as God's law. But God is a law unto himself. He did not create laws that were contrary to his character, or arbitrary. The law of God which is written on the hearts of men is a revelation of Him.
Now, the peculiar laws given to the Jews served a purpose, many were prophetic, all of them served to make the Jews a peculiar people.
Many Christian "laws" not really laws for we are under grace, not the law, but we adopt a peculiar ethic to be sure, are likewise to emphasize our peculiarity, and thus to demonstrate to the world what they are NOT.
What I mean by saying that the development of good law coincided with the development of good science is that the PROCESS of developing law and science was purer in the eighteenth century than it is now, because the focus was upon the process rather than the end result.
Many scientists today have become convinced of global warming. But many of their experiments are biased towards this conclusion.
Many laws today have no semblence to God's law because they are not honestly seeking out a higher law. They are meerly enacting whatever seems necessary as law. Honest scientific methodology in science and law and any other discipline for that matter requires a belief in higher truth which we are trying to discover.
The Judeo-Christian revealed law is closest to what should be law because it most closely resembles higher law. If we can use scientific methods, such as honest inquiry, deduction, and experimentation to determine what should be law we will further approach that higher law. The book of Deuteronomy is basically the result of just such a process which continued in Israel until Saul became king, and which was most closely replicated by the English Common Law as practiced in England and America.
JN

2e said...

I'm not sure I understand your concept of the "process" of 18th century science and reasoning or why it was purer, per se. At one time I would have agreed with the idea that the past was purer in some way than today, but exposure to historical conflicts reveals that men were just as corrupt as they are today.

Now, I would argue that all eras had there own biases, but we are unaware of those in times past mostly because we are reaping the consequences, and whichever side "won" became the reality we live in today (sort of like, the powerful write the history, and so it's our history, and we know no better). We can't see the conflicts of the 18th century as well because we live among their results. It's like living in a forest planted by our ancestors: we can't imagine life when the forest was debated by those espousing the cultivation of a field with those advocatiing for a forest. That forest has become our culture--all we know.

And, despite my very fuzzy understanding of "process," I would hesitate to think of Deuteronomy in these terms. But I reserve that opinion until I better understand "process."

Chris said...

Hey Nathan, thought you might find this interesting: