Misc Thoughts on Atheism and Christianity

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Lawrence Andrade's picture
That he sought for these

That he sought for these things - if he truly did - or is that just from the movies? - only shows that he placed superstitious value on them.

I don't need to think this was anymore than a holdover from his childhood. He believed in an Aryan savior - who he no doubt thought was himself.

Did you go to the webpages I posted links to?


mykcob4's picture
Larry, are you denying that

Larry, are you denying that Hitler didn't search for those items? If you are, you are delusional. I read every reference that you posted on this thread. It doesn't change a thing. It shows me that you cherry pick in order to make your failed argument credible. You cherry picked John Locke, Franklin, and of all people Madison. Madison, Hamilton, and Franklin were atheists. All that the founders took from Locke was the idea of self-determination.
All this is unrelated to the topic of this thread.
You cannot prove that morality is based on god.
You can't even prove your god.
And you certainly can't prove that this nation is a christian nation.
Morality comes from society. Case closed!

Lawrence Andrade's picture
"And you certainly can't

"And you certainly can't prove that this nation is a christian nation."
I deny that I am cherry picking my facts. Hamilton was a Christian even though also an adulterer.
Madison's personal religious views shifted over his adult life. I think he probably ended up as a Unitarian.
Franklin was an American deist - which was probably close to early Unitarianism - which I think early on - those people would have considered themselves to be Christians.

A lot different that European Deism.
I am not claiming that America is a Christian nation - I would say that it is a nation that was heavily influenced by Christian and Biblical though during its founding era.
That the political theory -as Madison's " memorial and Remonstrance " shows - was based on New testament teachings.
We can discuss all of this if you would like but it is a side discussion. But it is a related topic.
My question to atheists is " How do you justify a belief that individual human persons have worth - the kind of worth that makes governments respect their rights of conscience?" "How do you justify your belief - if it is one of your beliefs - that good and evil actually exist?" "How would you inculcate morality on a wide scale given that philosophy has to be studied and requires thought and effort?"

I am looking for answers along these lines. But if you want to discuss Madison and Hamilton et al, that would be a discussion I would enjoy. If I were having that discussion with Christians on a Christian run board I would have to disagree with most of them as well. I have read in this area of the founder's beliefs and pride myself on doing careful research.

I believe my source original sources - and secondary sources to be impeccable.
For instance, did Madison while president issue resolves for days of prayer or thanksgiving - I say he did three or four times because the War of 1812 was on and he had to - though he was bowing to pressure and past practice. These documents do not necessarily reflect his personal beliefs - I do think they represented the religious beliefs of the American colonial and federalist era population generally.

As for Hitler - it is a matter of indifference to me what items he actually searched for - what I do care about is the underlying theory Nazism was based on. I pointed to a webpage - certainly don't agree with the effort to revive that - but I do think the assumption that these people know what that philosophical or quasi religious basis is.

If morality comes from society we have no basis to judge the Hitler's regime. In fact they passed laws that made everything legal. In their society it was legal. At Nuremberg they almost got off based on this fact and that they were obeying orders. They were convicted on the basis that a higher law exists.

Do you want to leave off discussion of the Hitlerism md go a discussion of Madison and Hamilton? We can return to out primary discussion later.


mykcob4's picture

1) You are wrong about Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin.
2) There is no good and evil. There is only life.
3) I don't know how many times we have to say and prove this, morality comes solely from society. It is dynamic and changes as societies changes. There are different moralities for different societies.

The topic is MORALITY!
It isn't Hitler, Madison, or even government.
You think that morality comes only from YOUR god. And you are completely wrong. Morality is a product of the prevailing society at large. It's dynamic. It changes over time. It isn't set in stone. It is confined to the society which devises it.
Religion has tried to hijack morality forever. Christians try and often succeed in getting laws passed that fit their morality even though they may not be moral at all according to the whole of society.
people like you that live by revisionist history and pseudo-science are criminal in your efforts to force YOUR religion on everyone else. You can't even go to a fucking baseball game without having YOUR fucking religion forced into it. Also, you confuse SECULAR for atheism. They are not the same thing.
I am an atheist. I am very moral. I don't need to describe things as good and evil to know what is right and wrong. You have to PROVE that "evil" exists. That has never been done. You have to PROVE that your god exists. That has never been done. Yet over the centuries, every society has had a moral code that fits their society. It didn't take christianity or ANY god for that to happen. Even wild animals have a moral code for crying out loud!
There are morality and immorality in every social situation.

jamiebgood1's picture
" How do you justify a belief

" How do you justify a belief that individual human persons have worth - the kind of worth that makes governments respect their rights of conscience?"
"How would you inculcate morality on a wide scale given that philosophy has to be studied and requires thought and effort?"

How can you not believe individual human persons have worth? That's the basics of a healthy society in my mind. If your talking about the right of conscience and religion, sure you have those rights as long as your not persecuting others.

instill (an attitude, idea, or habit) by persistent instruction.
"the failures of the churches to inculcate a sense of moral responsibility"
synonyms: instill in, implant in, fix in, impress in, imprint in
I think morality starts at home young as kids learn to share, listen, respect etc. I also believe schools should integrate sexuality and sexual preference into sex education. Making children knowledgeable about these differences instead of adding fire to the hatred can prevent many of the horrible things that are happening to young and old LGBT&Q. This will help to build strength and morality in our communities. Coexsist

Lawrence Andrade's picture



You wrote:

"You are wrong about Hamilton, Madison, and Franklin."



You wrote:
" If your talking about the right of conscience and religion, sure you have those rights as long as your not persecuting others."

I think its more complicated than you seem to think it is.

Go to Saudi Arabia and try to take a stand got LGBTQ rights. Or other nations that have not been influenced by Judeo-Christian ( Biblical ) values.
I can't write for long at this particular moment - have to go to the mall with my wife.
But I will ask you to take a peek at the webpage I will provide a link to here.
No need to be angry - we can have a nice discussion based on good reputable sources.

I think they are reputable, anyway. If you think I am Cherry picking with this source , please explain why.

Let's see what we can learn for each other along the way.


No need to agree with me either - its just a discussion.


jamiebgood1's picture

First of all, you get major points for going shopping with your wife. I would be bored to death!
I agree that Saudi Arabia verses America and it Biblical values in reference to how they treat LGBT&Q is very different.
People in countries like Saudi Arabian are so horribly persecuted that they seldom get to live their lives as who they believe they are. In some ways thats actually safer. Sadder but more likely to not be persecuted because of fear. Here in American where Freedom reigns people are allowing themselves to live a life true to them. They are the most kind accepting people so make some friends in that community and you may hear what its like. Transgenders are being murdered and tortured here in America. Every day kids commit suicide because of this hate.When some people are telling them to be strong and love yourself there are others are screaming DIE FAG! AS they think they are helping god to rid the world of evil homosexuals. I hate it. So the Bible isn't helping anyones plight towards freedom and acceptance.

Lawrence Andrade's picture


There are those people and some - I will not call the Christians - who are saying such horrible things. Like I said in another post there are idiots everywhere and among all groups. So let's get on the same side here. My wife has a niece who is a lesbian and we like the both girls. They just had a baby boy about a year ago. So their family consists of three people.

I suppose many if not all families have issues. In this thread I don't want to argue about this particular issue.

I will say that - this is my view - the right to free expression and to make individual lifestyle choices are not secure just because we have certain pieces of paper that say they are. I don't care how much reverence for those documents people have shown in the past.

I have four grandkids and three of them are girls. They are none of them into their teens yet so I don't know what kinds of personal choices any of them will make. But if one or more were to choose LGBT would I love them any less - I don't think so I and I sure hope not.

( BYW the trip to the mall is put off for now. But I can walk around the mall while she shops , so I can deal with it to that extent!)

But in America today we have a growing Muslim population and also it s growing as a percentage of the total population - not just in numbers.

What happens if they get to the point where they demand Sharia law or enclaves where Sharia law holds sway?

How would you argue for the ideal of individual rights and self expression in the face of determined religiously based opposition to traditional American freedoms? A whole different political philosophy and eventually a new constitution.

I would like to argue that your best argument is grounded in the New Testament and really the in Bible as a whole. The founders were inconsistent people - some of them owned salves in spite of their stated philosophy. But I think they were troubled by the inconsistency. Some argued against this from very early on and thought it would die out much earlier than it in fact did. But I also think that the documents they left us are your best hope. And the thinking behind those documents were largely grounded in the Bible esp. the New Testament.

In another thread I admitted that I have a limited formal education. I don't think I am fully up to making that case as well as it could be made. But I would like to try to make it as best as I can.

It will take a little while - we have to go slow and I will be posting Bible passages.

Do you think this might be worth a shot?


jamiebgood1's picture

It sounds like you are a liberal christian:) I agree with your views stated above about LGBT&Q and I'm glad you love and accept them.

On the subject of Muslims in America and other countries:


Is Sharia open to interpretation?

Yes. Within Islam, certain interpretations and applications of Sharia have changed over time and continue to change today. There is no one interpretation called “Sharia.” A variety of Muslim communities exist around the world, and each understands Sharia in its own context. No single official document encapsulates Sharia.

Since interpretation is a human process, it has always been pluralistic, prone to error and dependent on human understanding, no matter the religion in question. Interpretation is also subject to conditions and times specific to a particular community of believers.Interpretations may vary significantly from country to country and community to community. This explains the great variety of ways Muslims have practiced their faith all over the world for the past 1400 years.

Any theological or moral system is vulnerable to misuse by extremists to promote violence. For that reason, it is important to be familiar with the history of a religious tradition and understand the widely-shared interpretation of its beliefs and practices.

22. Is Sharia compatible with American law and values?

Many aspects of Sharia or Islamic law are consistent with modern legal rules found in American law. For example, both legal systems allow rights to personal property, mutual consent to contracts, the presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings, and the right of women to initiate divorce proceedings.

If and when religious laws conflict with American law, the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment prohibit American government, including the courts, from substituting religious laws for civil law or following religious laws that violate civil law. This prohibition applies to all religions equally.

23. Do all Muslim countries adhering to Sharia engage in stoning and amputations as punishment for crimes?

No. These penalties are not allowed in 52 countries that make up the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, encompassing most countries with a Muslim-identified government. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim majority country, along with Egypt, Turkey, and Morocco all use Sharia as a primary source of law and none allow these punishments.

In countries where extreme interpretations of Sharia are applied, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia and 12 states in northern Nigeria, stoning and amputations for adultery and theft are rarely used or enforced.

24. How do American Muslims follow Sharia?

Many American Muslims, like other religious communities who rely on scriptures and religious principles to guide their life, look upon Sharia as a personal system of morality and identity. The vast majority of American Muslims see no conflict between their religious obligations and values and the U.S. legal system.

American Muslims are part of one of the most diverse religious groups in the U.S. in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic status, education levels and political affiliation. For some, adherence to Sharia means keeping some or all of the religious observances, such as prayer, fasting or charitable giving. For others, Sharia also affects religious practices and rituals concerning personal matters, such as marriage, divorce, dress, inheritance, business transactions and property.6

25. Do American Muslims want to replace the U.S. Constitution with Sharia?

No. American Muslims overwhelmingly support the U.S. Constitution and do not seek to replace it with Sharia or Islamic law. The vast majority of American Muslims understand Sharia as a personal, religious obligation governing the practice of their faith, not as something American governments should enforce.

My education might be a step below your so don't feel incompetent when speaking with me:) I continue to learn from many of these well educated peeps.
I christian homeschooled my junior and senior year of high school (which taught me nothing) Then I started college as a physcology major when my best friend needed a roommate in San Francisco. So I bailed on college. It wasn't a priority to me back then although I was loving my classes for the first time. My goals were of a supernatural sort if you know what I mean:)

jamiebgood1's picture
Lawrence Andrade's picture
JamieB ,

JamieB ,

1) I consider myself to be a conservative Christian - not a liberal.

On Islam

I don't buy any of this, myself. I am getting it from former Muslims that this is sheer propaganda. I don't think I will see America living under the same kind of Sharia that exists in Saudi Arabia but I think younger people well may. I think it a real possibility.

American values come from the idea that a higher law exists - that government is answerable to God. That is the Christian God who only accepts voluntary worship. Allah only wants submission. Islam means submission. The follower of every religion wants to model him. Herself after the founder. Mohammad spread his religion by force. Don't be fooled by the semantics.

My source for this is "yahoo answers":

Does "Islam " mean "Peace" or "submission"?

Lesser educated Muslims sometimes claim that the root word of Islam is “al-Salaam,” which is “peace” in Arabic.

But the truth is different.

"An Arabic word only has one root. The root word for Islam is “al-Silm,” which means “submission” or “surrender.” There is no disagreement about this among Islamic scholars. al-Silm (submission) does not mean the same thing as al-Salaam (peace), otherwise they would be the same word.

Submission and peace can be very different concepts, even if a form of peace is often brought about through forcing others into submission. As the modern-day Islamic scholar, Ibrahim Sulaiman, puts it, "Jihad is not inhumane, despite its necessary violence and bloodshed, its ultimate desire is peace which is protected and enhanced by the rule of law."

"Why do Muslims try to mislead the word with their stories of "islam means peace"?
Is it a deliberate lie on their part or they do not know the true meaning of the word - definition of their own religion?"


jamiebgood1's picture
I bet your prolife too then :

I bet your prolife too then :( maybe even a trump voter. :(
I'm not saying I want to adopt this religion in my life. Muslims are close to atheists in the most hated groups. I would like people like Mohamed Ali and his son to be allowed to live peacefully amongst us.
Wouldn't you?

Lawrence Andrade's picture
For a while I went to a

For a while I went to a church that was in an industrial condo park. The next door neighbors were a mosque - same park.
The church bought a little bit of land next to the church , which was also , of course, near to the mosque. The church developed the land into a playground and the leaders of the two groups tried to it out so that they would join in the celebration for the opening. But it couldn't be done. The celebration was also open to local people who lived near the area.
there were too many barriers to what we all hoped would be a great day that would be the beginning of building mutual understanding.
We want that kind of friendly relationship.
But there were too many cultural barriers - they don't eat pork, short jeans on girls are unacceptable and it went on.
The guy that was working so hard to build the relation with the mosque - for a few years or more - met a person from the mosque who - when he used the word "Christian" - the way he said it - was chilling.
I have met many traditional Muslims who were very friendly. As church people we want that positive relationship but that event just had to be called off - the pastor had to go back to the drawing board to try to figure out something that would be a win - win for both groups.
Let's switch gears here.
last night my current church and two Hispanic churches in the same denomination got together for a wonderful church service. The pastor of one of the Hispanic churches spoke and they had to interpret into English. Songs - some on both languages taking turns A wonderful time and a wonderful social time afterward.
My church also has a Cambodian church sharing the same building as us. The church supported bringing Cambodians here during the time of their crisis.
Could some of these folks be here illegally? Maybe - but its not an issue for us to deal with. Our task is to support these people and to recognize that but for the accident of birth things could be reversed.
I can't solve all the tensions in the present ethnic/cultural mix. tensions there are. All I can do is - when I have a chance to meet these people - is to be as friendly as possible. I have some positive memories from some of my interacts with people. I met a muslim who recently came here from Palestine , for instance, and we had a nice exchange. It was a religious discussion BTW he had been reading the Quran just before we met. But we parted in a positive way.
So yes, we want all to live together peacefully.
But I don't buy the stuff you posted - there is too wide of a gap between Western values and what we see in Middle eastern nations - at a deep philosophical / values foundational level - for these folks to not want there own cultural legal ideas to prevail. Even at its most benign form that would cause a substantial cultural shift. In muslim nations there is no such a thing as separation of church and state. Its a cultural legal unity.
But I am open to correction on this if you can show me nations where this is not so. Jordan maybe?
I don't know.
I'll google "secular muslim nations" and see what I get.
BTW in the church nest to the mosque I told you about the people were all six day creationists and home schooling was big. But I am afraid I lost my respect for the homeschooling because of the rigid attitude about the six day creation thing.
Too bad because I respected a lot of what these people stood for but that kind of rigidity is just not for me.

Nyarlathotep's picture
But in America today we have

Larry A. - But in America today we have a growing Muslim population and also it s growing as a percentage of the total population - not just in numbers.

Larry A. - What happens if they get to the point where they demand Sharia law or enclaves where Sharia law holds sway?

The population (USA) of Muslims is projected to hit 2%, in 2050. The sky is not falling.

mykcob4's picture
That site proves NOTHING. So

That site proves NOTHING. So most of the colonist were religious, so what?! They were also mostly Europen. Does that mean that the new government was also European?
The fact is that you are mixing up the formation of this government with something entirely different. And that isn't even the issue of the thread that you started. You are way way way off topic.
The thread topic. In your original post, you pointed out that you accepted Dawkin's description of a pure materialist world. That isn't what he said or meant, however, but it is what YOU posted. Then you went on to interject the morality of the NAZI regime. Giving as evidence an opinion that in a material world there is no standard for morality and therefore the NAZI's actions could not be deemed immoral. That is the gist of your original post. You misinterpreted one statement and jump to a conclusion.
I have not read Dawkin's book in entire. So I really cannot comment on it. What I have read, I know that you purposely mislead the meaning of his statement. I also don't see a connection between the NAZIs and that statement.
The NAZIs: Based their practices as moral to their cause. Most of the world saw differently. Most of the world deemed them to be immoral. So you have a focus of two societies. the smaller NAZI society and the larger world society. The moralities of both are based on each society respectively.
In Sparta is was immoral to raise a baby with a birth defect. It was moral and the practice of that society to throw the baby off of a cliff to their death. That was that society's moral code. it was accepted. Hitler also believed in that practice and thought moral. The more modern and wider society thought it immoral.
So morality is subjective and dynamic. It comes strictly from the society that devises it.

You are so wrapped up in revising history to fit YOUR narrative that you completely ignore the fact and the issue that YOU started. http://atheist-faq.com/where-does-morality-come-from-if-not-god

Lawrence Andrade's picture


The bottom line of the FAQ blog is this:

"Whether one agrees with this argument for non-religious morality, the important point to walk away with is that atheists are moral people as much as theists are - regardless of where one thinks that morality comes from."

Agreed. I am not and have never argued that atheists are or cannot be moral people. Its a group and I will say that - just
as with all groups, including Christians, they have their share of the immoral among them. I hope we can agree on that.
Lets say most are moral on both sides of the atheist and theist divide.

As I understand it Bertrand Russell detested Plato because he proposed a scheme that would have advanced the stability and safety of his society. He proposed a kind of human breeding where you preselect the strongest young women and young men and let them socially mingle only among themselves. That way you only breed the strongest humans.

Russell - to my understanding - was an atheist. I wonder what the basis for his detestation was - is it in the FAQ page you pointed to? Can we get it from that answer?


mykcob4's picture
Let's just say this. No

Let's just say this. No matter where we think morality comes from it exists in every society even in the animal world. Morality changes over time and depending on which society or person that defines it.
That being said it is not right or just to force your morality on anyone else except for certain mitigating circumstances. For example, it isn't just to subject the whole of USA society on christian morality. It defies individual freedom. It doesn't matter what the personal beliefs of the founders were or not. What matters is that individual freedom is respected and protected.

Lawrence Andrade's picture
I am willing to argue that

I am willing to argue that the founders believed in objective morality - higher law that is grounded in the fact the God exists and that this is the historical basis of our freedoms.

I think the Courts have a difficult task ahead of them if they are going to preserve our political freedom. It used to be that the Judeo Christian tradition formed the philosophic underpinning of our written laws and case law. This has changed fairly recently - the last 40 years.

Right now we have two competing underpinnings - the old and a newer - a more libertarian one. So we are having this clash. That kind of a clash can only occur in Christian influenced societies because of the Christian legacy of placing such high value on individual persons. It won't occur in those that are based on Islam. But I think Islam is a religion that seeks to bring all under itself. It does this by any means it needs to - everything is justified so long as it leads to Islamic monopoly.

America has been a melting pot society so long as it had one philosophic underpinning. Possibly even with the two because of the stress on individual worth and because our legal tradition in this area is informed by Madison's "Memorial and Remonstrance" and Madison's and Jefferson's battle for religious freedom in Virginia. The same arguments were being made in other former colonies as well.

But it happens that the whole area of establishment Clause case law is fairly recent - the first such case was decided in 1948, I think - a case named Everson and if you google that you will find that the argument centered on the "Memorial and Remonstrance" and that it is attached as an appendix to it.

The history was that of Christians who did not belong to established ( official ) state churches arguing with those Christians that did. Those that did not eventually won because of all recognized that force and persecution was inimical and the worst sort of blasphemy to Christ and to God.

Whether or not the objective moral law exists is a philosophic question - certainly it cannot be proved empirically. I have to consider it an assumption. But it is an assumption that has historically led to political freedom - we no longer allow officials to open prayer in public schools, for instance. Though they did when I attended.

But I keep asking w/o an answer so far - How would we get a philosophic understanding the credibly paces a high value on individual decisions from atheist thinkers - how could they formulate that if it had not been a part of our Christian legacy.

In view of the fact that - and they are beginning to see in Europe now - that Islam will be another competitor as a basis for law.

Can we maintain separation of church and state with three competing assumptions - and which one would be most likely to eventually prevail - if only one?

All societies need some basis to preserve unity and peace - so which one or possibly - with some court battles perhaps -
will be the final one?

You wrote:

"What matters is that individual freedom is respected and protected." But you need a strong and convincing philosophy.

Plato came up far short in Russell's view. And his thinking was no different than the one you pointed to in the Atheist FAQ blog - at least not that I can see.


jamiebgood1's picture
"I am willing to argue that

"I am willing to argue that the founders believed in objective morality - higher law that is grounded in the fact the God exists and that this is the historical basis of our freedoms."

1. Before the Constitution was adopted, a Virginia or Maryland citizen had to pay taxes to help support the Anglican Church whether the citizen belonged to it or not.

2. George Washington did not believe that the United States government was founded on the Christian religion.

3. The Constitution forbids the worship of more than one god.

4. The Constitution requires a candidate for public office to be a member of an established religion.

5. The word "God" does not appear in the Constitution.

6. The facts that a) "In God We Trust" appears on all U.S. currency and b) "under God" is part of the Pledge of Allegiance demonstrate that the founders of the U.S. believed in God.

7. The Constitution permits a public school to conduct a non-denominational prayer.

8. The Constitution does not permit a public school student to pray in school.

9. A school system may require science instruction that includes teaching "alternative theories" to evolution.

10. Public financing for a church, synagogue, or mosque building is constitutional.


1. True
2. True (See first reading.)
3. False
4. False
5. True
6. False. (These phrases are products of Congressional legislation in the 1950s.)
7. False (See Case 2 in second reading.)
8. False (The Supreme Court ruling on Case 2 prohibits the official conduct of prayers. Students in public schools may pray, read the Bible or other religious texts on their own, say grace at lunch, distribute religious materials to friends, and join voluntary religious clubs.)
9. True (See Dover, PA and the State of Kansas.)
10. Uncertain (See Case 4. The constitutionality of such financing has not yet been tested judicially.)

mykcob4's picture
WHAT? You'll agree that "

WHAT? You'll agree that " higher law that is grounded in the fact the God exists and that this is the historical basis of our freedoms."
That is fucking BULLSHIT!
I can't believe you would even say that. The founding of this nation is NOT founded on the basis of ANY fucking god or any FUCKING religion. Quite the opposite as a matter of fact.
I am so goddamn mad about your last statement. I can't see straight!
The fact is that monarchies are based on a christian belief. The new nation abandoned that tenet. The fact is that this nation was based ON SELF-DETERMINATION, ON INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM.
Since christianity is not based on self-determination and in fact is based on quite the opposite, it holds that this nation is not based on ANY fucking religious tenet.
It pisses me off when people like you hijack morality, patriotism, using revisionist history to do so. It is a complete lie.
You ignore that the founders could and did think for themselves. they didn't need to turn to christianity to formulate basic law. In fact, in their efforts to accommodate ALL the peoples of the new nation, they could not turn to christianity for that basic law. They turned to logic and common sense. In particular, Thomas Paine's 'Common Sense' was just a number of influences that help them form this government.
You don't need fucking christianity to understand what is right and wrong, what is justice and crime.
Just because YOU can't get your head around it doesn't mean your question hasn't been answered. It has, multiple times, in depth!
This is a SECULAR nation. It was formed with SECULAR idealism. Its laws are SECULAR and shall always be SECULAR. Not christian, not atheist, not anything but SECULAR!
Don't try and hijack morality!
Don't try and hijack patriotism!
Quit revising history to fit YOUR narrative!


jamiebgood1's picture

Are you talking to me? I was "quoting" him.

mykcob4's picture
Nope your discussion with him

Nope your discussion with him is between he and you. I am talking to Larry.

jamiebgood1's picture
Got it:)

Got it:)

Lawrence Andrade's picture
But the Constitution and the

But the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence alike are grounded in the idea of Higher Law - the idea that a higher law exists.
Or perhaps I am letting Hamilton misinform me:
The Following is from "Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted"
"Moral obligation, according to him, is derived from the introduction of civil society; and there is no virtue, but what is purely artificial, the mere contrivance of politicians, for the maintenance of social intercourse. But the reason he run into this absurd and impious doctrine, was, that he disbelieved the existence of an intelligent superintending principle, who is the governor, and will be the final judge of the universe."

"Good and wise men, in all ages, have embraced a very dissimilar theory. They have supposed, that the deity, from the relations, we stand in, to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is, indispensibly, obligatory upon all mankind, prior to any human institution whatever.
This is what is called the law of nature, "which, being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid, derive all their authority, mediately, or immediately, from this original." Blackstone."

Am I misreading this?


mykcob4's picture
The Hamilton quote was about

The Hamilton quote was about the nature of man.
Blackstone was years later. Blackstone had a problem with interjecting god into everything.

When the founders talk about "Higher Law", they are talking about having a virtue that goes beyond a small selfish focus of the law. They are expressing the nobility of the law, the unselfishness of blind justice. The fact that the law isn't for any one person but takes on a higher duty that even goes beyond the borders of this nation. It's not that it comes from a high place but instead reaches a high place. There is a difference.

Lawrence Andrade's picture
In the excerpt I posted

In the excerpt I posted Hamilton was quoting Blackstone. According to Hamilton - read the excerpt - they could talk about "higher law" and all because it is grounded in God. God comes first and these values are grounded in God's nature in the nature of God.

Western legal / political theory was grounded in Christian theology.

Find out what philosophers the founders read and read them if you don't believe me.
because I am interested in this I actually own a law textbook. the title? " Religious Freedom: History, cases and other materials on the interaction of religion and government" - edited by John T. Noonan JR. and Edward McGlynn Gafney, Jr.

I have Bible passages in there -

There is a section on page 10 for instance entitled "Law and Prophetic Religion :The Demands of Social Justice and of Interiority ( the Circumcised Heart)"

One of the sentences - I choose this after a quick 2 second peek - "God as impartial judge becomes the paradigm for judges in Israel"

This ideal was a part of Western law since the Old Testament was written. Where is the idea of impartial justice come from? According to Noonan it is modeled after the Judeo-Christian idea of God.


mykcob4's picture
No, Larry, you are wrong.

No, Larry, you are wrong. Christianity is NOT the basis of law in the USA and never has been. It is the antithesis of law in the US.
As I explained before that English law was based on christianity. Christian laws that ordained monarchs and subjugated everyone else.
American law is based solely on individual freedom, on self-destiny and determination.
Impartial judgment was born from Athens Greece. It isn't a judeo-christian idea at all.
What the fuck do you want Larry? You want every law tested against the bible? Do you want to rewrite history? Fuck this is insane!
The US is a SECULAR nation. How many fucking times do you need to read that before you get it through your thick head?!
The thread is a about morality and where it comes from in the first fucking place! Morality comes from society! Get that through your thick head as well!
"There shall be no religious test." Article Six of the US Constitution!
The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment prohibits the respect or establishment of a religion.
Pretty clear, very evident that the founders didn't want anything to do with religion!
The Treaty of Tripoli Article 11

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

Proof positive that you are WRONG.
So quit droning on about that the US was founded on christian principles, it wasn't.

Lawrence Andrade's picture
Hi all,

Hi all,

I just found something that pertains to our discussion in this thread. I hope folks will read it.


From the "Journal of law and Religion"
Religious Foundations of Law in the West: An Historical Perspective*
Harold J. Berman
DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1051071
Published online: 24 April 2015

The fundamental changes that have taken place in our legal institutions during the past two generations are part of a transformation of the entire Western legal tradition, marked particularly by its disconnection from the religious foundations upon which it was built. For over eight hundred years, from the late eleventh to the early twentieth century, law in the West was supported by, and in many respects based on, religious beliefs, both Roman Catholic and Protestant. In the twentieth century the intimate connection between the Western legal tradition and the Western religious tradition has been substantially broken.
Sixty to seventy years ago, the connection between law and religion in the West was so intimate that it was usually taken for granted. Even in the United States, where religious diversity was far greater than in most other Western countries, and where agnosticism and atheism were more tolerated, it was generally accepted that the legal system was rooted in Judaic and Christian religious and ethical beliefs. “We are a religious people,” wrote Justice William O. Douglas as recently as 1951, speaking for a majority of the United States Supreme Court, “whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Not only law and legality in general, but many specific legal standards, principles and rules were widely thought to be derived ultimately from the Bible, from the history of the church, and from what the Declaration of Independence called “the laws of Nature and Nature's God.”

This thread has pretty much run its course, it seems.

I hope someone will respond to this so you folks have the last word in it.

Thanks for all the interactions.



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