Friday, January 18, 2013

Faith of our (Founding) Fathers

A conservative who was ranting --what else can we do these days?-- on another site mentioned the utopian drive of progressives to right the wrongs of Mother Nature, who is herself no egalitarian. It reminded me of the way in which the Declaration refers to the Deity as "Nature's God."

Nature, like God, is a word of widely varying definition and especially of connotation. A hippie vision of a Green life "in harmony with Nature"* is a far cry from Tennyson's "Nature red in tooth and claw." The divide is ancient. The father of Western natural law theory (which Catholicism considers part and parcel of rationality itself and which both the Renaissance and Enlightenment took as Gospel) is Cicero, who saw it as right reason in accord with human nature. His fellow Roman Ulpian took a less exalted view and saw it as "what Nature teaches all animals." For the Ciceronians, it is a matter of humans following the laws of their own nature; for Ulpians, humans following the laws of all nature.

Anyway, it's just another of my useless shooting-star thoughts, passing harmlessly and ineffectually through the firmament of my mind and blog, but if "Nature's God" were taken as described, then the foolish dreams of the equalizers would not last ten minutes.

*And as I enjoy pointing out to Goddess worshippers, if the Deity is a Sheity, please explain childbirth, menstruation and menopause.

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