Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Beckwith on Laws and Hearts [SK]

In a previous post, I quoted "Frank" (not Beckwith) as saying, "Making more rules [against abortion] will only cause greater rebellion. But attacking the heart will prevent a need for more rules. The heart won't want to follow the rules unless it is changed."

To which Francis Beckwith replies:

Then why have any laws at all?

Also, this statement is offered as a rule by which we assess laws. So, that means this rule ought not to be enforced since, on its own grounds, it would cause rebelllion. So, the best course of action is not to make any rules including rules about rules.

But Frank's rule is mistaken for another reason: it assumes a false view of human nature, one that sees human beings as one-dimensional desirers. But human beings are much more complex than that. They sometimes resent laws that later in life they are grateful existed. Were you ever angry as a teenager that your parents told you that you had to be home by 11 pm, but now, as an adult, are thankful for that rule? Of course you are. Rules must be seen in the entirety of life and not at the moment of desire at which you want to break them. To think otherwise is to embrace the philosophy of the adolescent.

Visit Beckwith's website here.

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