Category Archives: Ethics

How the Law Promotes Crime (Part Two)

The law, by making right and wrong a function of obedience, thus nullifying morality by nullifying choice, does not provide any fundamentally rational incentive for the individual to avoid the behavior the law forbids under threat of punishment via the state. The law tacitly proclaims the individual irrelevant. Even more than irrelevant. Counter productive; an aberration; anathema; a mistake; unnatural. The individual, you see, is self-aware, which means that he thinks for himself, and has an absolute frame of reference from himself (singular) that demands that he exist and act to and for himself. This is of course not what the state wants; it is not reflective of what the state needs and what the state is. The state, by its nature, demands that all individuals view reality from the perspective of the state, and act to and from and for ITSELF. Because the state is Authority. It is the incarnation of the collective ideal to which all men are then bound. The collective ideal is the reality which necessitates the Authority of the state…to compel individuals out of their individuality and into the collective.

But the individual of course cannot do this…for he only observes reality from a single existential position: himself. By his nature and because of that nature the individual chooses. He must chooose. He must will.

Because knowledge (thought) is rooted in distinctions between truth and lie, and good and evil, knowledge is the practical working out of these distinctions. And the practical working out of these distinctions implies choice. But the law sees choice as anathema…as completely unnatural. The law is force, and force has nothing to do with choice. Man cannot choose to obey because obedience implies force, and force makes choice irrelevant.

Absent choice—absent will—man has no frame of reference for himself. A man whose choice is considered illegitmate must also consider his existence illegitimate. For absent choice the distinction between right and wrong and true and false and good and evil are irrelevant to him, and thus any knowledge, even that of his own SELF, is entirely meaningless. And this, taken to its logical intellectual conclusion, means that no one actually exists to obey the law in the first place. As soon as the law becomes the ethical standard the individual ceases to exist. He cannot obey because he isn’t real. His very nature is anthethical to reality as defined and accepted by the state. And thus the state’s law delegitimizes man at the level of his root existence. And because he has been delegitimized, he cannot be truly, rationally, incentivized to obey.

The state will claim that the law safeguards the best interests of the individual (sometimes by explicitly collectivizing him, a la Marxist totalitarianism). But this is impossible because it cannot recognize him. And the individual, I submit, understands this fact in his base instinct, and therefore the market for crime goes up because the law provides no meaningful reason to obey it. All it can offer as a disincentive is punishment, but this inevitably fails because for man to be perpetually under law he is, implicitly, already punished, and perpetually so…for existing. And so if the desire or reward for committing a crime outweighs the chances of getting caught or the penalty, then crime, by the very ethics which underwrite the law, is going to be worth it. Crime thus has implicit value. And this, dear readers, is why there is a market for crime.

Further, and even more troubling, is that a given individual may view the commission of a crime—the disobeying of the law—as an expression of his truth…of his individuality. And thus he may feel empowered and even free by his crime. Of course certain acts defined by law as criminal can certainly also be immoral—as in the case of theft or murder, for example—but the criminal, should he intuit in his soul nothing more than that the law renders his individuality meaningless, will not apprehend this. He may engage in crime as a sort of means of self-expression, not understanding that just because an act is illegal does not mean that it is not also actually immoral.

Now, for those of us who do understand that violations of other individuals are immoral, the law at root has nothing to do with why we do not commit such acts. We do not commit them because they are illegal but because they are immoral. We reject them upon the truth of their immorality in spite of the law, understanding that the law has nothing to do with evil or good, but only with power. I submit that if someone refrains from murder simply because he does not want to be punished then he has committed murder already in his heart…because he has conceded the law’s false morality and rejected the value of the individual. For there is nothing truly immoral under law because the law does not recognize morality’s one true and rational standard:

You, and me.

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How the Law Promotes Crime (Part One)

We are led to believe, in western Democracies, that legality and morality are related.  We are taught that our governments make something illegal because it is, at root, immoral.  We pride ourselves in our ability to discern true evil from true good and then dictate behavior to men, through the coercive power of the state and according to the law, in the service of the good, where the good is not merely what is subjective according some ultimately unproven/unverified root assumption about the nature of reality (metaphysics), but is Absolute…or as close as humanity can come to it.

The truth, however, is that legality and morality are entirely different ethics, as I have discussed in previous articles on this blog. If something is illegal, then it is only immoral apart from the law. That is, what is illegal may be immoral, but it can be so only when it is removed out from under the auspices of law and the metaphysics from which law stems.  That is, though an illegal act may also be immoral, the law cannot recognize it as such.  It is NOT immoral according to the law.  This is because ethical behavior dictated by law precludes choice, because the law FORCES behavior via the coercion of the state regardless of one’s will to engage in it or not.  This is the nature of law…this is the whole POINT of law.  Obedience, not choice, is how the law is fulfilled.  And obedience means that ethics are rooted in authority—the State—and the authority’s legal imperative to compel man to submit to the law by violence, if necessary.  To underwrite ethics by requiring submission to authority as the means by which ethical behavior will be brought about renders choice irrelevant.  “Obey or die” is the fundamental mantra…meaning that under law the authority, the State, has the right to force you to act in specific ways that the law deems ethical, up to and including your death.

Morality on the other hand—that is, true good—demands choice, and so it can have nothing fundamentally to do with law.  To be moral means necessarily to act morally.  And the only means by which one can act morally is to will it.  To choose it.  Only choice makes an act truly moral or immoral.

The reason that crime is never eliminated in a society ruled by law and not by choice has nothing to do with human nature—that “there will always be bad people” as we are so often told.  This is merely a form of ethical determinism which ultimately renders morality irrelevant, and paves the way for rapacious and mendacious men to seize power under the guise of “keeping the peace” or “ensuring a civilized society”.  It’s all a lie.  If you don’t belive me, take a cursory look at America’s national debt and then ask yourself how a financial liability like that happens in the absence of selfish, power-drugged, self-worshiping boobs.

The answer is, it doesn’t.

Further, the argument “there will always be bad people” is non-falsifiable, which makes it tautological, and ultimately nonsensical.  The argument is that there will always be bad people because man is inherently bad.  In other words, there will always be bad people because there will always be bad people.  But here’s the truth:  The reason why crime is never eliminated under the rule of law is because law, by necessarily excluding choice, wrecks morality.

The only way to eliminate crime, you see, is to eliminate the market for crime.  The only way to eliminate the market for crime is to incentivize people to stop buying it, as it were, which in turn demands that men will stop selling it.  And the only real and fundamental way to disincentivize crime is to define and value it according to what is truly immoral; and the only way to do that is to make ethics a function of choice, not obedience to the law. Once we define crime as truly immoral, and rationally and objectively so, and value it as such, man can understand that it is rationally and objectively destructive to himself, at all times and in all contexts.  And thus, the consequences for crime are real, absolute, and existential. [Note: A discussion of morality as a function of an objective metaphysical premise—that is, a rational definition of the nature of reality—is beyond the scope of this article; please reference this blog for other articles dealing with this topic.]

Law cannot make crime immoral, as I said, because it invalidates choice.  And so, at root, law cannot give a real, rational reason why people should avoid it.  “So you don’t get punished by the authorities” is not a real, lasting, or fundamentally meaningful incentive because the consequences for crime defined by law are not really objective, and thus have nothing to do with the fundamental nature of reality.  The consequences of crime defined according to the law have nothing to do with any real devaluation of man qua man.  The law serves the authority at root, not the individual.  It has nothing to do with man, and thus it says nothing about his true worth and his true value and his true morality.  And I submit that men instinctively know this.  And that is very, very important.

The law is not “to the man”, so to speak, but to the state.  To the authority.  Violations of law are not violations of morality when morality is defined according to the ethics of law, which is the only way the state CAN define it, because  the state is FORCE, by its very nature, not choice.  Thus, the commission of crime is really only bad for the state—the authority—not for man, himself, as far as the law is concerned.  And I believe that men instinctively know this as well.  Therefore, as far as the individual is concerned, who has been taught that morality is a function of law, breaking the law is only “bad” if he gets caught.  So crime becomes a gamble, not an act of immorality.  If one can commit a crime beyond the eyes of the authority, then there is no consequence for crime. The commission of a crime says nothing about the individual, morally and existentially speaking, because the law is not about recognizing his individuality and therefore his will and choice, but rejecting the legitimacy of these things, and thus is about nothing more than subordinating him to the authority.

Without the authority to enforce it, the law is neutered, and the law cannot define moral and immoral behavior, so a man not caught hasn’t actually done anything wrong, according to the law.  Unless you are caught and punished, you never did anything bad, because “right” and “wrong” are only relevant if the law judges you.  And before the law can judge you the authority must catch you.  So crime, again, legally speaking, is merely a gamble.  A game of chance; or a game of desire.  A high chance of evading the law can make the commission of a crime very rewarding; a desire that transcends the fear of getting caught and/or the pain of punishment makes it worth committing the crime.  But a truly immoral act is never worth it…and can never be worth it.  Period.  A truly immoral act can destroy the individual at his very root Self, now and forever.  And this, and only this, will ultimately deter men from acts of immorality, and eventually weed out from humanity those who would choose such acts for whatever vile reason.

I am, of course, not suggesting that men break the law…that would be an entirely false and foolish interpretation of my arguments here.  I am suggesting that if society’s objective is the elimination of crime, then we must understand the difference between morality and legality, and why the two are not compatible, and why the former is rational and the latter is not, and how thus the latter ironically guarantees the perpetuation and promotion of that which it seeks to end.

Why Athiesm is Exclusive of Morality

Morality and ethics are not equivalent.  Morality is, in fact, simply a TYPE of ethics. Therefore it can be logically asserted that not all ethics are moral.

The other day I was watching a debate between Walter Block and Stefan Molyneux, both atheists and libertarians, on the Non-Aggression Principle, a specious code of libertarian ethics that includes both morality and legality.  Which…should tell you right there that libertarians either A. Haven’t thought their premises through, or B. They HAVE thought them through and simply don’t see the contradictions.  I’m not sure which is worse.

You can’t do that.  You either have moral ethics or you have legal eithics.  You can’t have both.  You cannot ethically obligate man to BOTH obedience AND choice.  Man cannot be free to choose how he shall act AND be forced to obey a legal code under pain of punishment.  And this is just one of several disturbing rational contradictions evident in libertarianism.  It may not be the most egregious, but it’s certainly rank.

During the course of the debate, the topic of morality came up, naturally, and Walter said something that was quite startling to me, and quite interesting as well.  He said he “didn’t understand this morality thing”…or something to that effect…if not those words exactly then it was pretty darn close. And it got me asking myself.  Does Walter not “get morality” because he’s a libertarian, or because he’s an atheist? Or both?

Well, I figured it couldn’t be libertarianism because libertarianism asserts the existence of moral behavior. So that left me with atheism…as a hypothesis, I mean. I understand there could be other reasons, like ignorance or personal experience or a different definition of what constitutes libertarianism, but going on what I can truly know for a fact about the man—that he’s an admitted atheist, and having some understanding of what that means in the formal sense—I decided to examine atheism.  I had some free time on my hands…my daughter was in a two hour dance class, so I slouched down on the stiff leather couch in the waiting room and had a think.

And it hit me.  The Christians are right.  Atheists cannot define morality.  Atheism, in fact, utterly precludes morality. Now don’t get me wrong, Christianity (as practiced by Christians in the Augustinian sense, which is pretty much all of it) precludes morality, too, and for the same fundamental reasons, just with different semantics.  But of course in this article we are discussing atheism.

Without going into the minutia of metaphysical premises (reality from fantasy) leading to epistemological conclusions (truth from lie) leading to ethical principles (right from wrong), I will, to keep things relatively short and accessible here, simply define the terms this way:  Morality is an Ethic which is referenced to the individual; Legality is an ethic which is referenced to the Law. At the root level of Ethical principles these two are completely incompatible, for the reasons I gave above. Man cannot be ethically obligated to both choice and obedience.  Moral action demands man choose his behavior for himself.  Legal action demands he obey an authority which dictates behavior.  In other words, morality is chosen good and legality is dictated good.

Morality demands thus that man must own himself, based on the premise that the individual—the Self qua Self (the singularity of “I”)—is the epistemological reference.  Reality is true because the individual is the Constant—that is, the reference for truth—which in turn makes the individual also the reference for ethics, as epistemology and ethics are corollary (truth has meaning and meaning has value; meaning is epistemology and value—the extent to which a thing is considered good—is ethics).

Legality on the other hand demands that an authority—the most obvious example being the state—must own the individual, based on the premise that there is no such thing as the Self qua Self, but that the individual is a function or product of some external-to-the-Self process or power, which makes epistemology and ethics entirely beyond the individual’s INDIVIDUAL (singular and conscious) frame of reference.  These processes or powers can be anything from the Laws of Nature or Physics to God’s Divine Will ex nihilo to some form of collectivist Ideal—the Nation, the Race, the People, the Workers, the Church, the Chosen, the Enlightened, etc.. Man thus, as an individual and the singular consciousness which he possesses (manifest through the natural use of the pronoun “I”), is an illusion, and all his thoughts and his will are therefore irrelevant and, more importantly, inadequate to EXISTENCE. This being the case, he must be compelled into ethical behavior by force.  And so with legal ethics, man’s obligation is obedience to the law, the law being whatever principle(s) the authority has decided to codify so that the metaphysical premise (natural law, collectivist Ideal, etc.) can be practically (socially) implemented. The law then is dictated in order that man can know those behaviors which he must perform, upon threat of punishment, in order to properly exist.  As a side note, notice the inherent irony here.  Man is given a law so that he can know how to behave. But if he needs a law to know how to behave then obviously “knowing” is an activity for which he is entirely insufficient.  The whole point of the law is to circumvent what I call the collectivist or determinist “Lie of Man”…that is, his irrational and illusory consciousness.  Thus, appeals to his “knowing how to act” are entirely hypocritical.  And you get this from Christians all the time, too, it’s not just a statist thing.  Man needs God to tell him what to do. But if God needs to tell man what to do then it’s implied that man cannot fundamentally know what to do on his own, which really means that he cannot know truth for himself.  In which case, he cannot really know ANYTHING, so God telling him what to do is hypocritical, irrational, and pointless.  Not exactly the characteristics of God I would pick, but that’s just me.

With moral ethics, man’s ethical obligation is to the individual. Thus, he himself, being an individual, is the ethical reference, and so he cannot obey a law OUTSIDE of himself, but instead CHOOSES to act in ethical ways within the context of his individual, not collective, existence.  That is, ways which do not violate the individual (and we will save the specific explication of what those ways are for another article). In short, moral ethics demand choice and preclude obedience; legal ethics demand obedience and preclude choice.

And, by the by, obedience is NOT a choice, or a form thereof.  You cannot choose to obey; because if you are choosing, then obedience is a moot concept; and vice verse.

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I submit that atheism cannot be moral because it cannot recognize the existence of the individual qua the individual. Atheism MUST appeal to empiricism as a means of defining reality. For an atheist to assert that reality is rooted in anything other than the tangible, the observable, and the material is to assert that reality must be INTERPRETED, which means to appeal to a power or truth—that which provides and defines the interpretive lens—beyond what can be known by human observation. And as soon as we concede that reality is interpreted, not de facto as it presents itself ostensibly, then we must concede the reality of such an underlying power or truth. We could even claim it “transcendent”. Such a power/truth can indeed RATIONALLY be called “God”, whether it be God in the Christian sense—that is, in the sense of a deterministic, omnipotent, creative and causal agent—or simply as a general reference to that which utterly informs reality beyond mere perception.  In either case, “God” is a perfectly acceptable nomenclature for such a thing, despite the fact that most atheists, being on the whole average thinkers like most people, usually only think of  “God” in the narrow religious orthodox sense.

Now, here is where I will need to get a bit technical, because Athiests are very specific—pedantic even—about their definitions, so bear with me.

It is impossible that one concede the existence of an aforementioned power or truth whilst simultaneously claiming a lack of a belief in God.  Now, the reason I put it this way—a LACK of belief—and not merely a disbelief, has to do with how atheists, themselves, specify their position. Atheists do not disbelieve, as they explain it, but they LACK belief.  It may seem a merely semantic difference, but it’s actually quite profound. To disbelieve is to say that God does not exist. To lack belief is to say that God CANNOT exist.

“Does not” implies that whatever you’re referring to possesses some kind of underlying ability to act, making “ability” a possible root metaphyscial premise. But “cannot” takes ability out of the metaphysical equation. You see, if a thing doesn’t do existence, the subtle implication is that it DOES do other things. This naturally legitimizes the thing by tacitly conceding its inherent it power to act. Which in turn tacitly subordinates existence to the power to act, rendering the claim that it does not exist of no fundamental significance. But if a thing CANNOT exist, then there is no tacit concession that it does something else because “doing”, or “ability to do” never factors into the claim.  In other words, “does not” metaphysically subordinates existence to ability, whereas “cannot” makes ability existentially moot, and thus ipso facto makes existence the metaphysical premise, which is important since the whole point of atheism is to propagate the idea that God’s existence is a lie. If “existence” isn’t the plumbline for reality and truth, then atheism itself is basically irrelevant. Again, it’s technical, but VERY, VERY important, and allows us to make some extremely important assumptions about atheism, particularly with respect to morality.

When atheists claim that God CANNOT exist they are tacitly admitting that they define reality as entirely empirical. How on earth can they KNOW that God cannot exist? How on earth can they demand that only the theist is on the hook for giving proof for his assertions?  Simple. Because the atheist accepts only an empirical framework for reality. They make a metaphysical assertion and then demand that everyone accept it or they reject your ideas out of hand. This is an example of incredible intellectual dishonesty and hubris, not to mention hypocrisy, but it explains why their platform is first and foremost established upon a negative—what they DON’T believe, or beliefs they lack, instead of what they do or have. And why they focus on being disproved instead of proving themselves. It’s easy to claim a metaphysical primary and demand everyone agree to it. It’s much more difficult to prove your metaphysic and make THAT, not merely what doesn’t fit into it, the root of your movement.

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Atheism by its very nature must assume that reality is empirical.

Now, merely proclaiming empirical reality doesn’t ACTUALLY EXPLAIN anything with respect to reality. Saying reality is empirical is a metaphyscial premise; the reasoning behind it is what matters, though. And this is why I have told atheists a thousand times that I don’t care about what the don’t believe, or what beliefs they lack, but what they DO…and by that I mean I want to know specifically WHY they believe that I should accept THEIR metaphysic. “Observation is truth” is not, itself, an argument. At all.

“Seeing is believing” begs the question: Seeing what? Of course, atheists cannot ultimately rely on concepts generated by mere human consciousness to define things, as consciousness not only says a tree is a tree but also spawns fantastical and irrational notions like “God”.  Consciousness is much too subjective, in other words, to provide an objective definition of what IS. Thus, atheists instead appeal what they accept as empirical systems of measurement, such as the scientific method, which allows the observable to be organized mathematically in order to give specific things common values…values which then can be transferred from one object to another, and from one place and time to another, with predictable results.

But find it a remarkable oversight of reason and common sense to presume, as atheists do, that A. Mathematics, though an utterly cognitive process, is somehow outside of human consciousness, and B. That mathematics is somehow a part of observable reality, when it exists precisely to translate the observable into ABSTRACT terms. And that’s translate, not transliterate. But I’m not sure they understand the difference.

It is so strange to me that atheists do not understand the scientific method and mathematics are a product of human consciousness. And to compound the flaw, this allows scientists to commit blatant fallacy by making the observer a product of what he observes. Somehow mathematics gets exempt from human consciousness and exists “outside” of man, even though it, like “God”, is, in such a context, infinite, omnipotent, and thus, utterly beyond the scope of human perception.

But what’s a little hypocrisy going to hurt, right? After all, 99% objective truth to a paltry 1% contradiction is a ratio that any reasonable person can live with. We can’t be expected to know everything? I mean, in our own narrow dimension and with a whole multiverse thing going on out there the complete truth is bound to be to some degree a perpetual mystery, right?

Hmmm. Now where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah. In church.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that empiricism naturally leads to science and mathematics as atheism’s de facto apologetics given that these are understood to be the plumbline for what constitutes objective reality.  And thus the assumption is that at root reality can ONLY be valued by mathematical measurement.  Math, the “language of the universe”, becomes for the atheist, the ghost in the machine…what gives all things their true essence. And yet somehow, in this case, it’s perfectly rational and empirical to believe in spirits. Through the  “Holy Ghost” of mathematics man can somehow know and define himself OUTSIDE of himself, which proves that there is no actual “outside” of himself at all, because “himself” is just a fluke. An illusion.  All things that ARE exist empirically and objectively. And “empirical” and “objective” do NOT include you qua you.

It’s an amazing display of rational gymnastics. Believe me, it’s not a trite, cute little argument to say that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to believe in God.  It’s an axiom.

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Because atheism = science = mathematics = scientific determinism, there can be no morality compatible with atheism because atheism precludes choice. It makes consciousness a product of natural law, which renders the individual’s will moot.  Thus, ethics cannot imply moral responsibility because determinism is about what you MUST do, not what you SHOULD do. And what you MUST do is an obligation, and obligation is not choice, but OBEDIENCE. He who is obligated to act in a certain way—because he is not a willful but a DETERMINED creature—cannot then be called “good” for acting that way. From the atheist’s point of view, you don’t choose to act, you simply act.  And the way in which you act you MUST act. You are FORCED to act by powers beyond the illusion of your Self. And this being the case, whatever you do, then, is ethical by definition. It’s not moral…that is, it cannot be given a value of good or bad, or right or wrong. But it is behavior that affirms the metaphyscial premise, and thus it IS ethical.  It is what is necessary; what is SUPPOSED to be.

The “natural law” of atheism thus necessarily strips morality from ethics.  And in the absence of morality, the only practical application of ethics is legality.  And this is why ethics debates amongst atheists like Stefan Molyneux and Walter Block are always centered either explicitly or implicitly around CODES of conduct…that is, ethical principles that are COLLECTIVE, applying to all men, because all men are, by virtue of natural law, ONE…that is, individuality becomes collective “oneness”. Ironic.

Some call these codes “laws”, and others, like Molyneux, call them “Universal Principles”. But they all mean one thing: obedience to authority. Atheists debate distinctions between “criminal behavior” and “moral behavior”, as if somehow these behaviors can co-exist at all, let alone in a single socio-political context. As I have already said, you can define behavior as legal or moral, ethically speaking, but you CANNOT define it as both. It is a rational impossibility.

Finally, I submit that since the notion of “law” implied by the empiricism of atheism is implicitly collectivist, any eithical system derived from atheism must also be collectivist. And collectivist ethics always manifest as an authority-submission dynamic, which demands that man COLLECTIVELY obey the law, not choose for himself to act morally.

Thus, atheism is tyranny.

Stefan Molyneux’s Noble Failure Definitively Explained: Why Universally Preferable Behavior is not a System of Ethics

Scattered within Stefan Molyneux’s voluminous monologues and conversations are references to his “defense of secular ethics” which he has organized into a formal work he calls “Universally Preferable Behavior” (UPB). I have taken issue with UPB before on this blog, but my arguments have never fully satisfied me.  But neither has UPB ever fully satisfied me either.

The more I thought about it, something continued to feel off…specious, about his arguments, yet for all my articles, I still struggled to put my finger definitely on the problem. For a while I was content to let the issue go, satisfied that I had rebuffed enough of Stefan’s ethical system to at least cast a reasonable doubt as to its rational consistency.  Still, the more I listened to Stefan and the more he promoted UPB to the various viewers and listeners of his podcast and YouTube channel, I felt compelled to put the issue to rest once and for all.  Stefan seemed (and seems) so confident that UPB is the answer to the problem of secular ethics, and yet the more he talked, the more confident I became that there was something seriously wrong with it. His arguments sounded reasonable, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that he was missing something crucial…that he was, as Sallah said to Indiana Jones, “digging in the wrong place”. So I put my nose to the grindstone, determined to root out the issue once and for all.

Here I go.

Stefan, a self-admitted atheist, argues, rightly, that atheistic philosophies inevitably boil down to hypocritical scientific determinism. He then also rightly points out that before atheistic philosophies can be considered fully legitimate, let alone provide any real value to humankind, they must address the problem of scientific determinism nullifying morality by removing will.  Because without will there is no moral choice.

Stefan attempts to correct this discrepancy by providing a “defense of secular ethics” through his own system, Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB).  He gives us, as he says, an ethical system “without God”.  Which is weird because what he really means is “without Authority”, because “God’s ethics” are the ethics of a supreme Authority which possesses the infinitely superior power to compel human behavior by force.  Interestingly, though, this ethic is adopted by ANYONE who concedes that the State is a legitimate means of organizing human behavior, as the State is such an authority.  Which naturally includes both those who hold secular beliefs and those who are religious, as anyone can see by merely perusing a cross section of the population of almost any nation on earth.

Stefan’s fundamental defense of his secular ethics is rooted in the following example: Stealing isn’t stealing if you WANT to be stolen from.  Stealing, he says, is not a mutual agreement.  Therefore, it cannot be preferred by all parties.  But, conversely, the voluntary exchange of property IS, and thus voluntary exchange of property IS a universally preferred ethic.  Of course, this argument also works if we substitute “theft” with fraud, murder, rape, etc., because “property” rationally includes one’s truth and one’s body, and this is how the example of theft can be extrapolated to apply to volition vs non-volition as the essence of ethics, which is implied by UPB. Stefan asserts that he’s successfully argued an ethic without God, because we can use pure human reason to prove that theft cannot be ethical because it cannot apply to all individuals at all times.  Corollary to this, voluntary exchange of property has simultaneously been proven to be ethical because it DOES apply to all individuals at all times.

But has Stefan really argued successfully for a UNIVERSAL ethic here?

No, he hasn’t. And here’s why:

Now, it is true that I cannot WANT you to take my property without permission because giving permission—which is implied by “wanting”—and not giving permission is a contradiction in terms.  The operative concept in Stef’s example is not really “theft”, then, but “permission”.

You see, the concept of theft inherently assumes the existence (reality) and legitimacy (morality) of private property.  The fact that I cannot WANT you to steal from me doesn’t have anything to do with theft, in particular, at all.  “Theft” is merely one of virtually any activity you could use in Stef’s example, because when I say that I cannot want you to steal from me I’m merely saying that I cannot give permission for a thing and NOT give permission for a thing at the same time.  I cannot both give you permisssion and not give you permission to mow my lawn, or to sell me a teapot, or to offer me a cookie, or to tell me your favorite color.  In other words, Stefan makes “theft” the primary issue and sews a whole Ethic out of it, when the primary issue is really the implied contradiction in “desired theft”—the inability to want and not want/to give permission and not give permission at the same time.  “I want you to take without permission that which can only be given with permission” is not a root of Ethics but merely a contradiction in terms. Period.

The very claim that “I want you to steal from me” implies that the speaker assumes that private property exists, and thus he must ALREADY accept it as legitimate.  You see, if I say that I think theft should be ethical I’ve already implicitly contradicted myself by legitimizing  private property through my very use—and thus corollary acceptance of its meaning—of the concept of “theft”.  Through the concept of theft I concede the existence and legitimacy of private property, thus OBVIOUSLY I cannot also claim that theft should be ethical.  That is, I’ve already conceded, by calling theft by its name, that it is UNETHICAL by tacitly admitting the existence of private property.  The contradiction of desired theft, is, as I stated above, the contradiction of “giving permission” whilst simultaneously “not giving permission”.  Desired theft is nothing more than the contradiction that says private property isn’t private.

There is nowhere else to take the idea of “desired theft” beyond the contradiction. The contradiction is its own end.  By definition contradictions are circular and thus nothing can be inferred.  You cannot formulate an entire ethical system from that which is meaningless. All you can do is simply point out its meaninglessness. The fact that theft cannot be universally preferred is not an ethical claim but merely the stating of the obvious fact that it is a contradiction in terms to say that both private property AND theft are moral.

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Not stealing can only be a universal ethic if we accept the existence and legitimacy of private property. But if we don’t, then the “universally preferable behavior” of not stealing is meaningless.  If I reject the existence and legitimacy of private property then there is no such thing as an ethic of “not stealing” because according to my philosophy there can be no such thing as stealing in the first place.

What Stefan is arguing is simply that private property exists and thus has legitimacy, and thus is ethical, and in HIS SPECIFIC philosophical context theft MUST be unethical and illegitimate in order to be rationally consistent TO the philosophy as a whole. Which is fine, but again, this point holds no relevance for those who reject private property. UPB is not a rebuttal of divine ethics, it is really an obvious and unremarkable commentary on his own personal ethical beliefs and implicitly appealing to a metaphysical premise he never explains.  Those who believe that God fundamentally owns everything and IS everything don’t believe in private property.  They don’t have any real frame of reference for theft, so they don’t care that it’s an ethical contradiction in Stef’s personal belief system. In other words, Stefan’s “universally preferred willful value exchange” cannot possibly be preferred by those who do not concede the existence of private property. And this is why universally preferable behavior is not in fact universally preferable. It’s only CONDITIONALLY preferable. It depends on your metaphysics.

Now, the problem isn’t that Stefan’s implicit claim that private property exists is necessarily false, the problem is that he extracts an ethic from a metaphysical assumption that must be accepted BEFORE the ethics can then be said to be universal.  That is, the problem is with the use of the term “universal” to describe an ethic that is only universal to people who concede the same metaphysical premises Stefan does. To call your ethics UNIVERSALLY preferable without first proving your metaphysics is to implicitly demand that people accept your metaphysics before you’ve actually proved them. This smacks of arrogance.

Further, it’s uneccesary and presumptuous AND contradictory to refer to your ethics, or anything about your philosophy at all for that matter, as universal. If your metaphysics are truly consistent then your ethics are true. Nothing else should be said. Period. I mean, Universally Preferable Ethics implies a Universally Preferable Reality,  because you don’t get ethics without metaphysics first. But Universally Preferable Reality is simply another contradiction in terms…on top of the arrogance. “Reality is Universal” is redundant, and thus the universal ethics stemming from this universal reality then are also redundant. So, if reality is universal (redundancy) and thus the ethics are universal (redundancy) then preference is impossible (contradiction). Any way you slice it, it doesn’t work.

To conclude: Stefan’s argument isn’t really that theft is unethical, but that private property EXISTS.  But “private property exists” is not an ethical claim, it’s a metaphysical one.  And believe me, “Universally Preferable Reality” is an entirely different ball of wax…not to mention an inherent contradiction. In summary, Stefan is digging in the wrong place. He’s thinks he’s rooting around in ethics when he is really in the land of metaphysics.

Metaphysically, though, I can tell you that Stefan is no closer to any sort of universal truth than he is to a universal ethic with UPB.  Because if he was, he would not be appealing to a contextual assertion about the nature of reality stated as a contradiction in terms in defense of an ethical system with a redundant title.

The Only Moral Plumbline

The only efficacious and rational moral question you should be asking yourself, which applies to every instant and instance of your life, is not “What should I be doing?”, or “What have I done?”, but “Is what  I am doing right now a direct violation of another human being (and a simple “cause and effect” concept can be applied here…to wit, is it a lie, a theft, a damage to property or body/mind, a murder)?” If the answer is “no” then you are acting morally; you are being moral.

No other moral question is rational, and therefore no other moral question is relevant. The reason for this is simple: What isn’t–that is, what you are NOT doing–cannot subject you to any moral valuation–because it does not exist.

Now, certainly, what you have done in the past, though it does not exist (as such…without getting into the sticky tentacles of the purely abstract nature of time) can be used as a legal and pragmatic standard. But it cannot be used as a moral standard for the simple reason that it does not necessarily represent your moral nature, which is now (and now is where everyone perpetually exists). Now is where man’s nature resides, and man’s nature is the only rational target of moral judgment. You might judge a past action as “moral” or “immoral”, but the “morality” or “immorality” of a past action does not necessarily have any rational bearing on the moral state of your person, because your person is always now. And the moral state of your person is the only thing that can be valued as moral with respect to morality qua morality. Past actions, which we might judge as moral or immoral can, again, be used for pragmatic or legal reasons, but not to judge one’s root moral state. And there is no rational moral condemnation for anything besides the root state–or the nature–of an individual.

So…unless you are directly violating another human being at the moment, you are not acting immorally. (Certainly and obviously, if you have a history of direct violations of others, reason would instruct you to change, or face the very real legal and practical ramifications of your behavior, which you have earned; also, existential condemnation is the consequence of an evil nature…so, if you are a repeat violator, you are in danger of throwing yourself into everlasting hell. And I’m not kidding. But that’s a topic for another article.)

Further, the reason I stipulate “direct” violations is because indirect violations are by definition subjective violations; they require conditional truth, as opposed to absolute Truth, and hence their innate insufficiency as moral qualifiers. In other words, indirect violations are those which must be qualified by an “if”: IF we assume that behavior X occurres in context Y, THEN we can call behavior X a moral violation. For example, IF we assume that the military is a fundamentally murderous enterprise, THEN we can say that all soldiers who have killed in battle are murderers. Of course, we can see the dubious integrity of such a standard, and the implicit collectivist ideology which undergirds it. The idea of claiming that ALL people who act under the auspices of a given ideology are all individually evil, while it may be true, is not necessarily true. I would argue that since immorality is a violation of individuals, then immorality must be gauged by its specific effects on specific individuals. This makes ideological context fundamentally irrelevant with respect to moral violations; but not “morality” per se…that is, morality as ethics–the ethical gauging of ideas which may lead to specific violations of specific individuals.

I submit that members of every group, no matter what its ideological basis, can be morally judged only according to their specific individual actions. This is why I completely reject armed revolution against governments, for example…it ends up hurting, punishing, or even murdering those who cannot rationally be said to have directly violated another individual. Cops, soldiers, various sundry workers and politicians…people with families who may have never done anything other than live and work within a given sociopolitical context, which, though it may be ideologically false, does not make living and working under it a moral violation. This is because ideologies are by nature collectivist, and collectivism cannot serve as the plumbline for individual acts of immorality (or morality at all for that matter). And morality qua morality only exists at the level of the individual.

Apropos to this, I believe that to collectivize immorality means to risk condemning men by nothing more than their group identity. And that is the root of every evil  that has ever existed.

(Part 3: Quick and Easy Criticism of UPB) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

 

UPB begs the question: Why should preferable behavior be preferable? Or, said another way: Why is preferable behavior good? If we say: UPB is good because it’s UPB, then we have a circular reasoning (tautology), which is a logical fallacy. If we say that UPB is good because it’s good for individuals, then the individual, not UPB, is the ethical standard. In this case “universality” is an irrelevant ethical concept. Since individuals are individual, collectivizing their actions (demanding or even suggesting universal compliance) contradicts their existence. Which implies that the individual is not actually the ethical standard. Pursuing UPB then demands the collectivization of humanity, and once this happens, “preference” goes out the window. Since preference is a parameter of consciousness, and consciousness is and can only be singular (a function of the Individual qua the Individual), it has nothing whatsoever to do with Universally Preferable Behavior.

Trust NO philosophy from anyone which implies the collectivization of humanity. No matter how warm and fuzzy and peaceful it may sound, it’s all utterly evil. There is no rational apologetic for ethics which demand or imply universal compliance. They are all the spawn of hell. Period.

(Part Two: Why UPB Self-Nullifies) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

[I apologize in advance for the tedious and highly technical nature of the following article. Bear with me. There really isn’t an easy way to do this. Thanks.]

1. If UPB is simply a set of possible choices, but does NOT reference an absolute moral Standard which makes compliance with UPB not simply preferable, but necessary in order to avoid some kind of irreparable existential contradiction, which thus implies and necessitates some irreparable existential injury (however that is defined…if it even needs to be defined at all), then UPB cannot claim to be either universal nor preferable, since there is no fundamental existential difference between compliance and non-compliance. In which case, UPB self-nullifies.

2. If UPB IS considered an inexorable natural law–referencing itself as its own absolute moral Standard–to which the individual is obligated or face some form of irreparable existential injury (however that is defined…if it even needs to be defined at all) then UPB is not preferable, but necessary, and perfunctory, and it self-nullifies.

3. If UPB is a legal (as opposed to ethical or moral) Standard–that is, Law as defined by a legal Authority, like the State–then by definition the individual is legally obligated to comply, and non-compliance results in punishment which, though legal, is, for all practical purposes, existential in its effect, since the manifestation of the ownership of oneself–i.e. free will/choice–while under State sanction is impossible. And therefore, UPB is not preferable and therefore self-nullifies.

Now, to expand upon point number two; and the reason is because this argument is, as I observe, the primary argument utilized by apologists for secular ethics:

If UPB is considered merely a de facto parameter of (one’s) Existence–that is, the perfunctory behavior of (one’s) Existence which affirms that (one’s) Existence actually exists, then UPB is nullified. Meaning, if we use the argument that because we observe that species or the individuals of that species behave in ways which are consistent with survival and reproduction and then claim that this behavior is actually preferable…we’ve contradicted ourselves and shown that such behavior cannot possibly be preferable, let alone ethical, and is only universal in that it is simply a de facto function of Existence qua Existence. In other words, if we remove choice–moral agency–from ethics entirely, or make it purely a function of the laws of nature, then a choice is never actually chosen. However, removing choice contradict ethics as meaningful in any rational or practical way, because amoral ethics imply behavior which doesn’t make a distinction between good behavior or bad behavior. So…why would any given behavior be preferable? It wouldn’t.

Also, notice how in scientific terms, which are the secularist’s terms of epistemology, ALL action is merely “behavior”…”choice” as a vehicle is sophistically smuggled in later–a bromide meant for and used by the small minority of non-communist atheists as a nod to the non-aggression principle; but UPB pairs with the NAP like salad pairs with Guinness.

If we accept Existence as the Metaphysical Primary, and therefore objective (empirical) reality and natural law as its practical Ethical and Epistemological derivatives , then we must admit that one cannot act via his Existencee in a way which contradicts his Existence…so regardless of what one does, and therefore what one chooses, one must necessarily always be acting ethically. To claim that one can somehow violate the terms of his or someone else’s (absolute) Existence by Existence, itself, is a contradiction in terms. Therefore, if UPB is said to be an Ethic derived from Existence, it is impossible for one to violate it, since one cannot violate the very thing that makes all behavior–like the “violation” itself– ultimately possible.

On the other hand, if we were to place UPB outside of (one’s) Existence and then argue that, as an Ethic outside of Existence (which is its own giant fallacy, given that Existence is the Metaphysical Primary for all apologists for UPB, I think), failure to follow UPB somehow amounts to an Ethical, and therefore moral, violation, and therefore is evil, and therefore obliges men to “prefer” UPB,  then the individual–as a rank existant–could neither be the source nor the reference for UPB, which makes whatever the individual prefers, and thus ultimately chooses, entirely besides the point…since his choice and preference are a function of himself. This again, as I asserted above in point 3., relegates UPB to the status of a Legal Code–the Legal Law–which means that coercion by a legal Authority, not preference, is the only legitimate and rational means of fulfilling the Law.

Now, if we claim that (one’s) existence is not in fact absolute, but somehow transient–an effect and not a cause, as it were, or a function of some Absolute Cause outside of (one’s) existence, then we would have no logical reason to conclude that behavior which promotes one’s existence is preferable to behavior which does not. For (one’s) existence, being non-absolute, is no more valid a state of nature than is his non-existence. Non-existence, because existence is not absolute, does not violate the Absolute Cause (that of which (one’s) existence AND non-existence is a direct effect), and therefore it can be no more rationally nor morally preferable to behave in ways that promote existence–of either oneself or others–than to behave in ways that do not. And therefore by what basis can we argue that UPB is actually preferable at all? No basis.

Interestingly, I have noticed that those who promote Existence as the Metaphysical Primarily DO, irrationally, make the distinction between Existence, the Primary, and one’s individual existence–because they understand that individual existence necessarily incorporates consciousness, and therefore they reject it as having anything to do with Existence qua Existence, because consciousness they assert is not objective, because it’s not empirical. But you see as soon as one makes the distinction between conscious existence (consciousness) and Existence the Primary, then whatever the individual consciously prefers--and all preference is conscious by definition–is beside the point. When you reject consciousness as fundamental to Existence you necessarily reject choice. Which means that you reject choice as fundamentally meaningful, which not only wrecks UPB but wrecks morality entirely, and makes any discussion of Ethics pointless.  I submit, however, that if we oblige consciousness to rational consistency, which is entirely logical (and a separate article), then reason alone serves as a perfect and categorical guide to Ethical behavior, because it makes Truth actually and objectively possible.

Part three very soon.

(Part One: Introduction and Ironic Metaphysical Roots) The Multitudinous Problems with Secular Ethics: A critique of Universally Preferable Behavior

There’s no short way of doing this. At least not one that I prefer (see what I did there?), so I will just get to it. A while ago I was introduced to something called Universally Preferable Behavior (UPB). This, I understand, is more or less a formal apologetic of what is termed “secular ethics”. Which really is simply an Ethic derived from the metaphysics of Atheism (which are the metaphysics more or less of Aristotle…more on that later). There is no God to declare what is good behavior and what is evil behavior. Without such an arbiter of morality, it is assumed, there is no anchor for moral behavior.   Enter UPB stage left. UPB purports to fill the role of Arbiter, and hence the term “universal”. Which is an odd term when coupled with “preferable”. I understand that in the handbook of UPB some attempt is made to address this oxymoron, but the explanation left me pretty unsatisfied. It qualifies itself by claiming that behavior is only universal once a given objective has been defined. Like, IF I want to get to work on time, it is preferable that I drive, not walk. And within that context, it is universally preferable to drive and not walk. Of course the inconsistency is clear. Since the preferable behavior is contextual, it isn’t universal. It is only contextually universal…which is a contradiction in terms.

Here are some links that you can examine to give you some reference for this article. The first is the handbook for UPB (you may have to copy and paste this link into your search bar), by Stefan Molyneux, who purports to be the progenitor of UPB…I have some doubt about this, however. I think most of his apologetic for secular ethics has been around for some time. I could be wrong, and ultimately I don’t really care. Perhaps he coined the phrase and then added his own spin. Whatever. He can have the credit. It’s okay by me. The second source is a very condensed version of the basic assertions and conclusions of UPB. It gives you a good summary of what secular ethics is all about.

http://cdn.media.freedomainradio.com/feed/books/UPB/Universally_Preferable_Behaviour_UPB_by_Stefan_Molyneux_PDF.pdf

https://rudd-o.com/archives/the-twelve-principles-of-universally-preferable-behavior

I was tempted to ask my readers if they could spot the big problem right off the bat, but the more I examined UPB the more I realized that it was so terribly fraught with inconsistencies that this amounted to a trick question. It also makes it difficult, at least for my scatter-brain, to know where or how to begin, so I apologize in advance if this article seems somewhate disconnected. The more I wrote, the more I had to go back and add things to the margins of my notebook. So…I’m going to start and hope that some semblance of order reveals itself. In any case, all my points will here, somewhere. 🙂

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One of the first problems I noticed with UPB was that it doesn’t explain why preferential behavior is good behavior. That is, it doesn’t provide a convenient moral reference. This is a troubling and stark omission for a behavioral code which claims to be a universal Ethic. But I think I understand why the omission is there. A. Because it presumes “Objective Reality” as an ipso facto epistemological primary (that empiricism is proof of itself…which is a contradiction); and B. Because to include it highlights some serious inconsistencies with “Objective Reality”, which atheists and others, like those with Objectivist sympathies, don’t want to discuss (though they love to rant) and never resolve. Ever. And C. Because Atheism simply has no place for Good. It has an Ethic, but this is not the same thing. Behaving ethically does not necessarily equal behaving morally. And that’s the whole disaster of secular ethics in a nutshell. Not that religious ethics are any better. It’s just that they aren’t worse.

We understand that an Ethic gets its moral value from its foundational Metaphysic–metaphysics being the nature of what exists, and ethics being behavior that is ultimately consistent with the metaphysical primary, what I simply call the Metaphysic…and in between them is epistemology, which answers the question “What is Truth?” where Truth must be a necessary and ipso facto derivative of the the given Metaphysic. For example, Aristotelian philosophy essentially assumes that the Metaphysic is Existence, and its Epistemology thus is Objective Reality; it’s Ethic then is behavior which affirms the existence of Objective Reality–and of course one very common behavior is known as “being atheist”…and “being smug” is usually a corollary to this.  Unfortunately Aristotelian philosophy implies that Objective Reality is utterly empirical, which it’s not, and cannot be–which is why I respectfully reject Aristotle’s philosophy–and this presents a big problem for UPB because it implicitly relies upon the Aristotelian Metaphysic for its apologetics.

UPB seems pretty clearly to imply that the individual is the moral reference. That is, that UPB is “good”, or really, ethical, because it serves and affirms the individual. Unfortunately, while this sounds “so far so good”, this is as far as any semblance of rational consistency goes…at least for anyone who then has the intellectual foresight to ask the question thus begged: What is the individual? Or asked another way, what is the root nature of an individual’s “individual–ness”? (What is the nature of “I”?) This question naturally brings us to metaphysics, where atheism–remember, UPB’s roots are fundamentally atheistic–relies upon “Objective Reality”, which itself relies upon Scientific Determinism…which ends up being what is really meant by “Existence”. Scientific Determinism is the causal Platonic offspring of Science…the “why” to science’s “how”. Which is pretty ironic given how atheists love to name drop Aristotle as the philosophical father of their ideology. Ever since science decided to masquerade as philosophy and people decided to worship at the feet of lab-coated priests, we’ve gotten Scientific Deteminism as the Great Transcedant Cause in the Sky. Which is exactly like Divine Determinism. Oh, how the rivers of irony flow deep and thick and wide ’round here.

Part two real soon.

 

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?

The “Law” is a Null Concept in any Context

To explicitly (as in communism and Islam), or implicitly (as in our own democratic system and Christianity) claim that man’s morality is a function of obeying the Law (which necessarily demands of man his property and time, to be taken not asked for, as we can clearly see ) is to claim that man’s natural state is Evil. For it says that man’s sole moral purpose is to subordinate the very thing that separate’s him from the beasts, and makes him man: his conscious will.

Further, if the Law is what makes man good, then of what use is the Law to man or man to the Law? For the implicit or explicit claim is that man, himself, alone, is utterly evil; and therefore how can what is good, the Law, make man good if man is utterly evil?

It can’t. Because absolute evil is by definition exclusive of what is good. It cannot be made good without contradicting itself.

Therefore, if man can be made good by the Law–his obedience thereto–then man is, himself, NOT actually evil. It is impossible that he should be in any way labeled an immoral creature at the natural level without ALSO nullifying the Law as a rational moral standard. And if man is not an immoral creature at the natural level then his morality is not a function of the Law, but a function of his nature–of himself. And this too nullifies the Law as any rational moral standard.

Any attempt then to create a moral society by obligating man to the Law will fail. Because an idea which contradicts itself (e.g. that morality = Law) cannot exist.