Might makes right governmentWhen 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 the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…
The United States was founded upon the notion that certain things were right and certain things were wrong. The founders said that, according to this objective standard, they were being treated unfairly and had a right to leave and create a new government that would rule in line with the principles of the Creator.
Before that, the kings of England and other powers claimed a right to rule based on the fact that their governments were ordained by God. He had placed them and their ancestors in those positions, and the people were obliged to obey them as they obeyed their Maker.
Before that, kings ruled by virtue of the simple fact that they were, in fact, gods – or so they claimed.
Throughout history, rulers appealed to divine right or divine principle to justify their rule. It was recognized that people needed to know why they should obey – because either the king was a god or was instituted by God. What happens when they can’t do that?
One of the results of naturalism is the loss of the idea of an objective standard for morality or anything else. You don’t just lose God; you lose good. Why is murder wrong? What’s so bad about stealing? Who’s to say we can’t bury inconvenient facts?
In this realm, there is no unalienable right to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness because there is no creator to endow us with them. At this point, there is no good reason for anything government wants to do, nor is there anything wrong with anything it wants to do.
There is no obligation to protect the innocent or punish the guilty. There is no fundamental right to what you own and so no reason to justify taking it away from you.
So why does government get to rule? Because it can. Because it is powerful. Government based on objective principles or divine prerogative is replaced by might makes right.
Eventually you get to the point where whatever the leaders want to do is right because they have the might.
Am I exaggerating? Reflect on Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia for a few minutes. Millions were killed because the government deemed it to be in the government’s best interest.
What moral argument could be brought against that policy? “Thou shalt not kill”? Fairy tales and superstition. Men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”? Men are created by undirected biological processes that endow them with nothing.
Naturalism has many problems both philosophical and logical, but the greatest problem is moral. Naturalism is the path to government of the powerful, by the powerful, and for the powerful.
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