Hobbes – Natural Law, Natural Rights / Asperger’s

How these affect Aspergers

http://www.nlnrac.org/earlymodern/hobbes Terrific site!!

The Witherspoon Institute

T. Hobbes is in your brain influencing your thoughts and behavior, and that of the people around you, so pay attention!

T. Hobbes is in your brain influencing your thoughts and behavior, and that of the people around you, so pay attention!

THOMAS HOBBES: FROM CLASSICAL NATURAL LAW to MODERN NATURAL RIGHTS Robert P. Kraynak, Colgate University

For many centuries, natural law was recognized as a type of higher law that spelled out universal truths for the moral ordering of society based on a rational understanding of human nature. As a higher moral law, it gave citizens a standard for determining if the written laws and customs of their nation or any other nation were just or unjust, right or wrong, humane or inhumane. Today, natural law is not discussed very much, at least not explicitly. When mentioned at all, it is usually rejected as dangerous because it undermines existing laws or as intolerant because it is contrary to “multiculturalism,” which requires the non-judgmental acceptance of other cultures.

This negative view of natural law can be traced to Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), whose writings are largely devoted to showing the anarchy and civil wars caused by appeals to natural and divine laws above the will of the sovereign. Hobbes rejected traditional higher law doctrines and encouraged people to accept the established laws and customs of their nations, even if they seemed oppressive, for the sake of civil peace and security. His critique has been a leading cause of the demise of natural law and the acceptance of positive law as the only reliable guide for political authority.

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Where are American “social and political beliefs” in this confusion between moral and law-given rights? Think about it.

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One may be equally surprised to learn, however, that many people today embrace a different (and seemingly contradictory) view of natural law, and this too is traceable to Thomas Hobbes. For example, when conscientious people are confronted with violations of human rights—as in religious theocracies that violate women’s rights or in countries that allow sweatshops to trample on worker’s rights—they feel compelled to protest the injustice of those practices and to change them for the better. The protesters usually deny that they are following natural law, but they obviously are asserting a belief in universal moral truths that are grounded in human nature—in this case, the natural equality of human beings that underlies human rights. This understanding of higher law originates with Hobbes because he was largely responsible for transforming classical natural law into modern natural rights, thereby beginning the “human rights revolution” in thinking on natural law. How is it possible for Hobbes and his followers to embrace seemingly contradictory views of natural law, rejecting one form as intolerant, self-righteous, and anarchical, while embracing another form as the universal ideal of social justice? Let us turn to Hobbes for an answer to this puzzle, and, in so doing, uncover the sources of our modern conceptions of law, rights, and justice.

The key to solving this puzzle is Hobbes’s famous statement about the desire for power in Leviathan: “So that in the first place, I put for a general inclination of all mankind, a perpetual and restless desire for power after power, that ceaseth only in death.” What Hobbes means by this sweeping claim is that human nature consists of ceaseless motion without a natural end that constitutes happiness or felicity; hence, Hobbes says, “there is no Finis Ultimus (utmost aim) nor Summum Bonum (greatest good) as is spoken of in the books of the old moral philosophers. . . . Felicity is a continual progress of the desire, from one object to another.”[1] Hobbes’s denial of the greatest good is the crucial point of disagreement with “the old moral philosophers,” Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, who expounded the classical natural law doctrine.

According to the classical view, man is a rational and social animal who has a natural inclination to his proper end, happiness, which can be attained by the virtues or the perfections of mind and character. Classical natural law was therefore “teleological”:  directed to the natural end of human beings and to the good life of virtue in a just political community. Hobbes rejects the teleological view of human nature as a false and dangerous illusion. Instead, he sees human nature as the restless striving for power after power that has no end and therefore no happiness or perfection. The rejection of end-directed motion underlies Hobbes’s revolution in thinking from classical natural law, and its perfectionist principle of virtue, to modern natural rights, and its minimalist principle of self-preservation.

This idea kills finding a solution to human beings living sanely, doesn't it?

Now there’s an idea that “kills” any possibility of human beings being able to living sanely, doesn’t it?

For the remainder of this fascinating discussion:

http://www.nlnrac.org/earlymodern/hobbes

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My point is that modern people forget that human ideas form most of what modern social typicals call Reality; that groups of Neurotypicals (believing that words have magical power) are operating on TOTALLY DIFFERENT systems of thought and behavior, which each group unsoundly insists constitutes the “fabric” of the universe, and that their bundle of supernatural constructs is necessarily fundamental to the operation and continuance of the universe.

This is total bullshit!

Nowhere in the Laws of Physics are human beings mentioned. We may have learned (there do remain innumerable laggards on this point) that the earth is not the center of universe, but we have yet to accept that “man” is not.

It should be obvious that Neuroexceptionals (Aspergers) and all people considered to be “lesser humans” are caught in this conflict of ideas about rights, but we must understand that rights (even natural human rights) are created by human thought and action. We need a “place” to begin organizing the utterly necessary “rules” of behavior that are manifested as bodies of laws. Humans are not socially adept and will turn into a violent mob without some system of governance. Modern systems of government simply camouflage predation, cruelty, and exploitation under the “lie” of protection, security and democracy.

This does not translate into black and white religious views that human beings are evil, born evil, or worthy of any such condemnation. We are animals; we behave as animals. Condemning animal “nature” is arrogant and idiotic. All this idea accomplishes is justification for abuse of the natural world (environments, plants, animals) and abuse of human beings.

Can there be a more perverse idea in human history than that of “Original Sin?”

We must get rid of the lie that “normal” humans are socially adept, caring, just, compassionate or capable of empathy. I’m not even going to present facts for this “lack of reason” (the blog is full of examples) because it is abundantly obvious that human beings fail to solve “living together” intellectually, but enforce behavior by means of all types of violence, whether psychological (social) or physical.

Human beings are caught in an evolutionary dilemma: we did not evolve in mass urban concentrations, but in wild environments with very few people. All the pressure, force, accommodations, policies, political will, economic planning, social planning, governments of myriad designs, weapons, police forces, prisons, wars or genocide cannot magically propel evolution of Homo sapiens into an animal that is successful in the wrong environment. Homo sapiens is a highly disturbed animal due to extremely high densities of population, “captivity” and inadequate intellectual development.

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