I guess we disagree on... the moral quality of natural law...
I wasn't necessarily imputing a moral quality... just observing that since men are approximately equal in terms of their attributes there a arises the need for a system of mutual forbearance.
Let me rephrase, then. The only "natural law" I think is sustainable is one that doesn't have a "should," stated or implied, in the law. There's no question that in a gravitational field an object of any mass will move towards the greatest concentration of mass. There's no "should" in that, or any "there arises the need for," which I hear as the equivalent of "should." What I mean by "moral quality" is what's conveyed by the "should."
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
... "there arises the need for," which I hear as the equivalent of "should." What I mean by "moral quality" is what's conveyed by the "should."
There are some if not a preponderance of thinkers who would impute a moral dimension to natural law. My position however was intended to be neutral on that point so that to say that something 'should' happen takes on the meaning that it needs to happen for the one immutable constant of human nature to be fulfilled which is the desire for survival.
As you point out one can say of an inaminate object that by nature it should, indeed, must, gravitate towards on object of greater mass for it didn't what was thought of as a law of nature would need to be revised. In human activity natural law requires that something should or must happen for the teleological objective of survival. For this aim to be realised natural law has a minimum content which Hart expressed as 'forbearances' such as the acceptance of a prohibition on the infliction of death or bodily harm, for example, and acceptance of the equality of man.
Hitler and others like him can thus be seen to have broken not positive law but natural law because whatever legal powers he assumed for himself he should have conformed to those higher prohibitions given that his failure to do so was a threat to the survival of men and indeed of man. You will appreciate that in this sense one can say what he should have done, or should not have done, without asserting a moral obloquy with regard to his behaviour, although many would do so.
Any telos involves a moral element, IMHO. Obviously I'm not using "moral" in the sense of "good," just in the sense of obligation.
Well, there's an obligation to observe positive law as long as it doesn't conflict with natural law imposing as it does a higher obligation based on survival of the species as the teleological objective. Actions that tend to fulfill the objective are good whereas actions that threaten it are bad. This is because if actions that threaten survival are allowed to prevail by law then all law breaks down and gives way to a state of anarchy which is the biggest threat to survival. This is what I was trying to explain to Blair and Dubya in language they could understand when they wanted to go around bombing Arabs for no good reason. Acts of Parliament and of Acts of Congress or any other assembly that break natural law are ultimately null and void so, speaking for myself, I'm never going to take any notice of them.
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