The Fallacy of Codifying Ethics, Which Elevates Them to Morality; and the Related History of Man

I submit that Morality cannot be codified; it is ontologically endemic; it’s a function of the Self qua the Self. Morality cannot be put into a list and then applied to humanity collectively. And this is because morality, being a function of the Individual Self, is absolutely and fundamentally individual.  And it is indeed absolute…for you are nothing if not YOU, and utterly so (meaning it is impossible to quantify You…to make your ONE and ONLY knowable frame of reference for all reality a matter of parts). Morality observed and understood rationally demands that the individual, in his singular existential context, be viewed as the Moral Standard.

All this being true, morality is therefore automatically and categorically contradicted when codified. Once listed, it is removed from the individual, placed beyond his true and objective experience and reality and becomes nothing but a set of abstract rules which then attempts to define and contextualize all individual experience into a single collective category: the Law. And just like that man’s moral worth is no longer a function of himself and his own unique experiences and relationships; relationships where he honors the morality of other men by treating them with the same respect and sanctity with which he rationally should be treated…as a matter of choice, NOT threats, making violations of his fellow man TRULY immoral and himself TRULY guilty. Instead it becomes a function of obedience to the Law. And since obedience is fundamentally not a choice, because demands of obedience promise punishment for disobedience, which taken to its logical conclusion means the right of an Authority–always established specifically to force compliance to the Law–to destroy those who do not obey, then choice is removed from the individual’s existential equation. That is, once morality is a function of force and not choice, it is no longer morality by definition. You see, if one acts under the threat of death, then they are not choosing to act; they are acting as merely a necessary matter of course, invoking no more volition than they do when breathing or sweating.  For there is no such thing as a choice between death and life, because there is no true choice between nothing and something.

So the Law, in an effort to create a moral society, does the exact opposite. It strips man of his individuality, which is his entire and self-evident frame of reference for ALL things and ALL reality, which thus nullifies choice. And once man cannot choose to do good then he cannot do good at all, ever, because morality and choice are corollaries. And if man cannot do good then there is only one thing that the Authority (which always means the State, because Authority and State are corollaries, too), which is specifically tasked with manifesting GOOD, can do with man.

Annhiliate him.

And here then we have this equation:

Morality = Law = State = violence to compel Man to Law = death of man = death of Law = death of State

And this is the self-nullifying progression of collectivist ideology upon which ALL governments are based.  Notice that it demands the death of man in favor of absolute, and absolutely abstract, Authority, as the practical application of the Moral Standard: the Law. Morality, and thus the entirety of the worth of man, becomes a function of the degree to which he is sacrificed to the Law, which is (as corollary) his sacrifice to the State. Naturally then the greater the degree of sacrifice the closer he is to moral perfection. Inevitably then man is, in the latter stages of a given State’s evolution, sacrificed absolutely–his greatest moral accomplishment being his death, by the State, in order to completely satisfy the Law (and, yes, Jesus Christ is an apt example of this: His death was ultimately a POLITICAL one, no matter what mystic pablum the church spins for you). The Law thus, in the real and rational sense, is merely violence against man for the sake of violence. This is because once there are no more men left to destroy the Law becomes moot. For without the blood of man in which to bathe what is the Law? After all, the Law is not for itself, but for man…the Law for itself is a contradiction in terms.

So…the purpose of the Law is to morally perfect that which it must annihilate. (Find the contradiction in any idea and you will find the evil.) And when the consequences of attempting to implement such rank and pernicious hypocrisy collapse under the weight of years and years of contradiction disguised as regulatory and electoral “fixes”, the few traumatized and stumbling, delirious and starving survivors slowly come together and resolve to rebuild…and invariably start the whole process over again.

Humanity…when shall we ever learn?

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8 thoughts on “The Fallacy of Codifying Ethics, Which Elevates Them to Morality; and the Related History of Man

  1. Zach,

    I just wanted you to know, between us, I would love to debate Paul but I don’t have much stomach for fending off his false accusations. I have been a Monergist for many years and have never met another monergist who thought that believers don’t have to obey because Jesus continues to obey for us. And there is a ton of other like misrepresentations. If he could simply accept our statements concerning what we believe and interact with those statements, I would be delighted to have a meaningful discussion with him. The reality is that I don’t trust him because he lies. If he did this stuff in ignorance, I could understand, but I have told him probably hundreds of times and he continues to propagate the same garbage.

    It is a shame because I truly believe such a debate could have been helpful to many in that it would have helped to clarify issues. It is a pity for me because I have spent a great deal of time preparing for it.

    Truth is, I think he could be quite useful if he hadn’ t been blinded by bitterness over the perceived injustices that he has suffered. I left this message here because I has blocked me from commenting on his blog again.

  2. Hi Randy,

    Sorry it took me so long to approve your comments…I didn’t check my gmail until just now. Just so you know I wasn’t purposefully not approving you.

  3. Also I will give you my thoughts in just a bit. I think it’s sad too that the debate won’t happen, but I understand why, from both points of view.

  4. I was just reading Susan’s post at PPT. and the comment thread. Since I cannot comment there, I wanted to just let you know that it should be obvious to anyone who read that foolishness that it was an attempt to use sarcasm. If it was not an attempt at sarcasm, the person who stated those nutty ideas is anything but a Calvinist, Neo or otherwise. No real “Calvinist” would ever suggest such a method.

    Additionally, I am not sure why all you folks are so churned up about the ESV. Why do you identify that as the “Calvinists’ Bible?” Can you tell me what you think that translation states differently than any other reputable translation? I have found it to be, on the whole, a very accurate and reliable translation. Perhaps you can show me where you think the ESV gives a distinctly Calvinistic rendering that is not warranted by the text, and departs from other reliable translations.

  5. ESV talk is a black hole. The publisher and its many Neo Cal authors were promoting it as the literal translation–which is a joke. It became the official bible of Mohlers SBTS despite the fact the SBC that pays him has its own translation. Every Neo Cal was promoting it. IOW, the Cals were promoting it like crazy, everywhere.

    My guess is follow the money from publisher to published authors over the last 15 years or so. It’s big business..

    Mark Strauss wrote an excellent paper on the problems with it especially as a literal translation. There are some other issues, I forget. It’s an old argument now.

  6. This is a well-known neo-Cal hatchet job. Just another translation in a list of other “inspired” and “infallible” translations.

    Since the only rational conclusion one can draw from the assertion of Bible as Truth’s Plumb Line is that ALL translations must be infallible…because if what is Perfection can be re-written and still be Perfection, then there really isn’t any form it will take and no longer be Perfect. Unless you appeal to Perfection according to the “real” interpretive lens…

    Which is really what the argument is all about. It’s not about Scriptural Authority, it’s about who has the right to decide what it says.

    And ultimately this makes winning the debate about one thing and one thing only:

    Who can force the other to obey their “divine authority”.

    In other words, he who cries uncle first loses.

  7. Yep. I find the Chicago statement on inerrancy especially humorous considering they are scholars. The message goes like this: we claim biblical inerrancy despite the fact there are no original manuscripts. Huh? So inerrancy does not really mean inerrant.

    If only they would just let people enjoy the scripture without turning it into a life manual, club or authority.

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