The Law Always, Necessarily and Inescapably Legislates Morality

[Note: the date stamp on this post has been changed from the original, so as to keep it on the main page and further enable the argument that has been taking place in the comments.]

There’s one thing we separate in our public consciousness here in the U. S. (and industrialized West more generally): the law and morality. We bristle at the suggestion that someone or some group “legislate their morality” on us. The law is simply a conventional code, in many peoples minds, that is agreed upon through the terms of a representative democracy, containing many items we can change, omit, and revise at the demonstrated will of the people and/or their elected representatives. A legal code is merely a convention for getting along.

This understanding, however, is sheer fantasy.

The law is not mere convention–though clearly there are conventional aspects to the law. The law is much more powerful than that, as Plato, Aristotle and many important thinkers have recognized throughout history. No, in point of fact, the law is a paedegogus, a tutor, instructing us in morality, inculcating in us notions of right and wrong, virtue and vice.

So the current understanding in the U. S. of the separation of Church and State is both philosophically unsound, and, ultimately, unworkable. And as the culture wars continue to flame, this is becoming more and more obvious.

We’ll start first with Aristotle:
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The Inconsistency of Abortion as “Safe, Legal, and Rare”

[Note: the date stamp on this post has been changed from the original, so as to keep it on the main page and further enable the argument that has been taking place in the comments.]

The Washington Post highlights that Kerry Says He Believes Life Starts at Conception.

Presidential candidate, John Kerry, has, I believe, just put his foot in it again. As do many pro-abortion politicians, he tries to straddle the fence on the issue. Instead, all he does is show either the irrationality and inconsistency of the abortion advocacy argument or his own inconsistency on social policy. Perhaps both.

The WP notes:

But even as he tried to avoid making news Sunday, Kerry broke new ground in an interview that ran in the Dubuque, Iowa, Telegraph Herald. A Catholic who supports abortion rights and has taken heat from some in the church hierarchy for his stance, Kerry told the paper, “I oppose abortion, personally. I don’t like abortion. I believe life does begin at conception.”

I’m sure Kerry’s campaign wishes he’d left off that last sentence.
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