Friday, January 05, 2007

Nihilism and the End of Law - an essay by Phillip Johnson

Quotes and comments;

1. "What Leff said is fascinating, but what he failed to say is more fascinating still. If there is no ultimate evaluator, then there is no real distinction between good and evil. It follows that if evil is nonetheless real, then atheism --i.e., the idea of the nonexistence of that evaluator or standard of evaluation-- is not only an extraordinarily unappetizing prospect, it is also fundamentally untrue."
- It's the atheist (and not the christian) who can't explain evil. Christianity explains evil by way of man's ability to choose to reject god; and to reject the moral in favor of the immoral. The atheist has no way to explain evil. If all is matter, as he claims, then evil can't exist, and is only an illusion. If the materialist admits evil exists he has just refuted his own worldview. How? To call something evil we must use an unchanging moral standard. An unchanging moral standard can't exist in a material, ever changing universe... as it's non-material, and unchanging.

2. 'In the same spirit, Yale Law School's Bruce Ackerman writes disparagingly of those who want to restrict abortions "on the basis of some conversation with the spirit world."
- this argument depends upon the spurious idea that humanism is not a religion. Secularists exploit the confusion over what constitutes a religion with enthusiasm. I prefer dumping all reference to religion, and replacing the term with the word worldview.
- Ackerman tries to disparage religion by defining it as 'conversation with the spirit world.' This isn't any definition anyone agrees on; it's merely humanist ridicule of theism. (It's simply an attempt to win an argument by using a private definiton; by defining terms in a private manner.)

3. 'Greenawalt concedes that "legislation must be justified in terms of secular objectives."
- one of the great games of secularism is to divide life up into the 'sacred' and the 'secular.' These are humanist concepts and categories; and to use them is to lose the game before you start. The bible knows nothing of these categories. As an example is peace a secular objective or a religious objective? There is no objective answer to the question; one can only answer it in terms of one's wview.

4. 'He (G.) assumes the modernist position that only secular reasoning can be completely rational, because he thinks that "a critical nonrational element" is always present in religious belief.'
- this is nothing more than secular bias. To the christian it's the atheist who's irrational. As an example; he claims to be a materialist, but then he wants to talk about ethics, moral law, justice, universals, logic, reason, etc. This is irrational as he has no basis for doing so. To argue in complete contradiction to your stated worldview can only be seen as irrational. (The classic tests of rationality include; non-contradiction and coherence.)
- all humanist critiques of religion in our day depend on the fallacious idea Humanism is not a religion. (Humanists themselves once demanded the right to be called a religion.)Without this distinction their arguments would fall to pieces like tissue paper. The distinction is illusory; based merely on a modern definition... one that was invented purely for polemnical and political purposes. All worldviews are religious in that they are based on unproven, unproveable presuppositions or assumptions. In terms of philosophy we say that because man is inherently finite and fallible he cannot be anything but a religious being. In christian terms man is inherently religious because he was made in the image of his Creator.

5. 'By implication, Greenawalt accepts the crucial modernist assumption that there exists a common secular rationality capable of resolving some important public issues without relying upon controversial and unprovable (i.e., nonrational) assumptions.'
- the claim reason is 'secular' is another game materialists like to play. There is nothing secular about man's ability to reason; as it's a gift from god, and related to the image of god within man. All men reason; therefore reason cannot be secular. (Does it surprise you a law professor would make such a blunder?)

6. 'What Greenawalt accepts as "rationality" is actually the irrational assumption that we can get along very well without employing any controversial assumptions about the nature of ultimate reality.'
- the secularist can 'get along very well' only if he's willing to be irrational; only if he's willing to employ an ethic and morality that he can't account for in terms of his own worldview.


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