Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Save $ by Not Killing People

            I’ve talked about it enough that I feel the need to devote an essay to Natural Law. This isn’t intended to force the idea on you, humble reader, but merely to provide you insight into what I believe to be true. I strongly encourage any questions I drum up or gaping holes in my logic to be posted in the comments, and I will be happy to respond and correct or answer them.
            If I wanted to make this extremely pithy and unappealing, I would write only one statement that not many people would agree with.
            The Bible says that all men know God’s nature, and Natural Law is the expression of that knowledge.
            Did I lose you? No? Good! Let’s move on to explaining this in secular terms for people who don’t want to take a leap of faith 96 words into an article. Natural Law is the embodiment of reason and efficient economic ideals. If we call it conscience or good business strategy, both would yield the same end result in the long run. Man will naturally act in a way that furthers the species and increases his standard of living. Whether it’s due to logic or God – because God is the creator of logic, Natural Law is present and opposes the arguments made for moral relativism.
            No business would openly cheat or short-change a customer because it would be detrimental to their bottom line... and morally wrong. Look at the chaos that ensued when American consumers discovered what “Lean Finely Textured Beef” was. Kroger, Safeway, Supervalu, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell all stated that they would no longer sell food containing a relatively harmless additive (in small quantities, granted) in lieu of more expensive beef products so customers would continue to walk through their doors. Think about that; if public opinion can make businesses stop using additives that aren’t even illegal, why do we need laws telling them what they can or cannot put in their food? Why do we need laws stating how much minimum wage should be? Workers would protest if wages dropped below those suitable to sustain adequate living conditions. Wages may even go up because workers who are currently making enough may feel uncomfortable about their situation and protest for better wages with those who aren’t currently making enough. The free market is one of the ways through which Natural Law reveals itself.
            Very few people would kill if murder was legal because it's, you guessed it, wrong. If America initiated a Murder at your Leisure holiday like Texas has with its tax free weekend, there wouldn’t be a spike in murders like there is with shoe and school supply sales. No one wants to associate with someone who openly murdered, and even less people would want to associate with one who may have murdered. At least people who hang out with convicted felons know who they’re dealing with; it’s the possibility that the person in the cubicle next to you bashed his old boss’s head in with a stapler that keeps you from asking him to join your crew at the bar tonight. If we only dealt with Natural Law, everyone would tread more carefully because it would be impossible to say, “I’m innocent; courts have said I ain’t the one that done it.” Since we must agree that logic is universal, and Natural Law is born from logic, this argument has always held up. Murder wasn’t okay “back then,” and won’t be okay in the future when Nike finally makes those self-zipping shoes from Back to the Future II.
            This has only been two examples as to why I support the idea of Natural Law; I could go on for light-years (did that unit of measurement make you nerds cringe?) with other examples, but they’d be superfluous. I hope you can see why I find a universal morality through logic and market activities, but his has turned into what seems like a plea for anarchism, so I’m going to close this like I closed my earlier piece The Magic School Bus. We’re not ready for no government, but any government that tells its people things that don’t oppose the Natural Law are illegal is stepping beyond its bounds. I hope this has been some food for thought.

-Jason Rossiter

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  1. I like this idea. 'Tis so simply, subtly pert... I don't know, something like that. Words and stuff. It's just that over time, new things become Natural Law. That sort of ruins the whole thing for me because my favorite part was your closing, but laws which overstep Natural Law that may not be particularly popular have a chance at blending into Natural Law over time just because of habit. But then again, that's just the whole pot pie continuing to evolve into what it will be tomorrow if there is one. So why am I questioning it? Feels like a dead end. Whada you got?

  2. I'm not sure I would agree with your last statement. I firmly believe that Natural Law is unchanging, and society as a whole is only getting closer to it in the long run. We, as an American society, at least, have, for the most part, moved closer to a society defined by the rules in the Bible. If the Bible ain't your thang, you could certainly say that Natural Law evolves, and I wouldn't have any simplistic way of disagreeing with you.

    -Jason Rossiter

  3. I see where you are now. It's as if society as a whole is whirl-pooling around a center mass that is this Natural Law and, while there are many eddies pulling things away from the vortex, they eventually swirl out of sight. I dig what the Bible is about, but not so much where hunger for power has taken its word. I am in agreement, but the idea of a definite rule of life still makes me a little itchy.