Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Founding of the American Republic: The Enlightenment Impetus

The natural law philosophy is grounded in metaphysics. That is, it is grounded in something beyond the physical; it is not accessible to the senses directly. No o­ne can see, hear, taste, feel (tactilely), or smell natural laws. If they are real, their reality is vouchsafed in some fashion other than through direct sensual contact. Their reality should not be understood as a becoming, either, as made up of ideals which may be fulfilled in the course of time. The founders of these United States were not idealists in this sense; they did not conceive of natural laws as something it would be desirable to see established. o­n the contrary, they were understood as being already everywhere established, inviolable, and finished.

See The Founding of the American Republic: The Enlightenment Impetus


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Natural laws are the subject and, in a sense, the framework of philosophy. Within the confines of natural laws, how are men and women supposed to live? That is the driving force of philosophy.

Our senses are our means to apprehend those natural laws. We sense our environment, we measure, we record, and we learn. Through our senses, and our senses alone, we find out how we are to live within the natural world. Then we determine how to live with each other. That is, simplisticly, the function of reason.

Everything man (and woman) needs to know is available through the senses or through reason. Some of our Founding Fathers understood this, and managed to make a Constitution that incorporated the barest hint that humans really are able to govern themselves despite their recalcitrant demands that some metaphysical force control their destinies.

October 9, 2004 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger Eric Stewart said...

I agree with you. While I am short of claiming myself to be an atheist (and I do not presume that such is your view), I do believe that even if there was a god, per se, that he/she/it gave us all we needed already and it is now up to us. Of course, the religiosity that I imbue life with, with my belief system of sacredness and loving kindness, MAY be a subjective experience but I PREFER to think of it as a wellspring of nonlocal spirit that is accessible to those pure of intent, though there may be some skill involved.

Thanks for your contribution, by the way!

October 9, 2004 at 10:16 PM  

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