Posts Tagged ‘morality’

 

We know there is a moral law because:

1.                          absolutes are undeniable. Absolute moral truth is best known by our reactions not our actions.

2.                          we cant know injustice unless we know justice. You can’t know what is wrong unless you know what is right. The reason we know whether a map of Australia is accurate or true is because we have an absolute standard (the country of Australia) by which to measure.

3.                          real moral disagreements imply an objective moral standard. We can debate map A verses map B of Australia, because we have a real unchanging standard to compare them. Without a real unchanging standard of good the difference between Mother Theresa and Hitler is nothing more than a matter of opinion.

4.                          we would not make excuses for doing wrong if there was no moral law. What is the point?

5.                          we wouldn’t know the world was getting worse or better if there was no moral law. Secular humanist love to tell us that the world is so much worse because of religion. How do they know what worse is if they deny a standard of good?

6.                          there would be no human rights without the moral law. There would be no way to judge the Nazis, Saddam Hussein, or other war criminals without a standard beyond government or international law.

Many people claim that morality cannot be legislated.  However, all laws legislate morality, this is unavoidable. The question is whose morality should be legislated. The case will be made that legislating morality is Constitutional, it is enforceable and it is ethical.

Legislating morality is Constitutional. All laws determine one behavior right and its opposite wrong. All just laws uphold a moral standard. It is the responsibility of government to impose just laws to ensure a safe and civilized society. Our Constitution sets the standard for a national morality. As we author laws today we should use the same standard.

Legislating morality is enforceable. Whether a law is easily enforced does not determine morality. People who argue this point say, “you can’t legislate morality, look at prohibition.” But prohibition was more successful than most people think. Domentic problems due to alcohol plummeted during this time in American history. This case of over-legislation does not prove that we should not legislate moral views. We legislate against other things that are hard to enforce like murder and child abuse because those behaviors are wrong. To say people will do it anyway misses the point of legislating morality. We should not withdraw laws against these behaviors because they are not easy to enforce. Ease of enforcement does not determine morality.

Legislating morality is ethical. First, our American forefathers determined that we cannot establish a national religion, but requires that we establish a national morality. Secondly, all just laws uphold a moral absolute. Even people who argue against this point use it. All laws legislate morality, this is not only unavoidable, it is ethical. It is the responsibility of government to establish a just morality to ensure a safe and civilized society.

Objections:

You can’t legislate morality, just look at prohibition. 

Prohibition was more successful than most people realize. The 18th Amendment was ratified due to concern about a morally reprehensible behavior endangering our health and safety. Due to prohibition most people obeyed the law and family crisis due to alcoholism dropped, admissions to mental hospitals due to alcoholism diminished and health problems and death due to alcohol dropped. The law acts as a good teacher regulating behavior. We still regulate alcohol today with age restrictions and consumption laws. This case of over legislation does not prove that moral views should not be legislated.

You can’t make people be good.

No, but most people obey the law which is good. The law acts as a teacher restricting and regulating behavior and most people do obey the law. For instance, if all the speed limit signs were removed tomorrow, most people would continue obeying at the previously posted speed limits because they have been trained to drive at a safe speed. Obedience ensures a good and safe society.

It’s a violation of the separation of church and state.

Our Constitution disallows establishing a national religion, but sets the standard for a national morality. Our American forefathers ensured that religion would be free from regulation, not that the government would be free from religion. Twenty-seven of them went to seminary so naturally their Christian worldview influenced the construction of our federal laws. Our government even funded missionaries. If we could not legislate against laws that are consistent with religious laws we could not legislate murder, rape or incest, etc. Our religious laws and our national laws are similar because the source of our morality is the same. James Madison wanted to ensure that we would be free to worship as we chose. The current interpretation of the law did not formalize until 1947 with Everson vs. the Board of Education. Jefferson’s letter to Danbury stating his desire for a impregnable wall of separation between the church and the state was taken out of context. He wanted to protect the church from the government not the other way around.

You ought not impose your morals on me!

All laws impose someone’s morality on someone else. Even someone arguing this point is imposing their morality. All just laws uphold a self-evident moral standard – our morality, not just mine or yours. Don’t confuse “what ought” with “what is.” Laws are prescriptive telling us the  way we ought to behave, not descriptive. To legislate laws that uphold a moral standard is not only unavoidable it is ethical to ensure a safe and civilized society.