What is Natural Law?

in philosophy •  27 days ago 

Natural Law is a set of rules inherent to the universe, much like the Law of Gravity, which govern the effects resulting from the free will choices of creatures with the capacity to reason.

Natural Law is known by many other names, such as Moral Law, Karmic Law, God’s Law, etc. Its basic premise is that there is an objective difference between right and wrong, and that while all beings are free to do as they please, they are not free to escape the consequences of their choices.

WHAT IS RIGHT & WRONG?

A wrong is an action that causes harm to another sentient creature. Therefore, a right is any action which does not harm another being. Fundamentally it comes down to consent. If your actions are likely to affect another being or its property then you had better be sure that being would likely consent to your actions.

WHAT IS HARM?

Harm is generally classified into the categories of murder, assault, rape, theft, trespass and coercion, but these all can consolidated into theft. Murder is the theft of another’s life, assault is the theft of the health of another’s body, rape is the theft of another’s choice of whom to have sex with, trespass is the theft of another’s sense of safety in their home, and coercion is the theft of another’s free will. These things all belong to the other person, not to you, and deciding to steal these things will bring to you the consequences of that action.

WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF HARM?

The consequences of choosing to harm another creature manifest on different levels and thus have several different ways of appearing in your life.

One level would be through the effect on your psychology: knowing that you are a person who would choose to harm someone else. Unless you’re a psychopath, it will be moderately important to you that you aren’t cruel to others, so exhibiting cruelty will reduce your sense of self-worth and contentment.

Another level through which Natural Law acts is the effect of your actions on how your community feels about you. Much of our satisfaction in life comes through our relationships, as does most of our physical safety, and choosing to harm someone causes you to now exist in an environment filled with people who know you willingly cause harm, thus sabotaging your access to both love and security.

A third level produces its effects through other fundamental principles of existence which effectively bring to you what you demonstrate to the universe you want through your actions. If you choose to steal from people then from the universe’s perspective you are saying you consent to being stolen from, and that you wish there to be more theft occurring in the world in general. Ask and ye shall receive.

HOW DO WE KNOW NATURAL LAW EXISTS?

Some believe we only know about Natural Law because the creator of the universe told us about it in various holy texts, but in truth the knowledge of right and wrong is inherent in all of us. It is inherent because we all have things we want and do not want to experience, and therefore it is safe to assume that this is the same for others.

The Natural Law consequences of intentional harm on the individual’s psychology and the society’s perception and treatment of them are evident even to the most ardent skeptic. The remaining levels through which Natural Law manifests are less obvious in today’s world because fundamental principles of nature are occulted (i.e. hidden) from the general population, but they can be scientifically tested and verified to be occurring by every individual willing to explore it for themselves.

Natural Law is no more a belief than it is a belief that if you drop your coffee mug it will fall downwards. Gravity is something we know to be in effect because it has been proven to each of us an uncountable number of times. Natural Law is proven to us in the same way.

IS HARM EVER ALLOWED?

Harm is only allowed in the prevention of harm from another. In other words, we all have the right to use force in order to stop someone from causing harm to us or our loved ones.

This is of course a tricky topic, as prevention of harm is how most of the wars in the world are justified. So how do we know when force is acceptable? We must first know that the individual we intend to stop has an intention to harm us and also likely has the ability to cause that harm. It is at that point that defensive action aimed at incapacitating the individual can be initiated, and not before.

CAN NATURAL LAW BE BYPASSED?

As you probably realize, there are many people in this world who would prefer that Natural Law were not in place. While in the lower levels of society most people are brainwashed to believe it doesn’t even exist, the people behind that brainwashing know very well it exists and do everything they can to mitigate its effects on them.

The primary strategy used to reduce and delay the effects of Natural Law relies on getting someone else to do your dirty work. In other words, you need order followers, or people who will do what you say no matter what it is because you provide them with something they believe they need. Order followers take the brunt of the Natural Law consequences for any harm caused, which is the opposite of the common belief that the order giver is the one responsible. The owner of the finger that pulled the trigger is the initiator of aggression from the universe’s perspective.

The effects of Natural Law can also be reduced by dispersing them across a population of people by getting their consent for the harm to occur. For example, smoking marijuana does not inherently cause harm to others, therefore it is a right. When you vote to forcibly take that right away from someone, or even consent to the existence of a system which allows any rights to be taken away at all, you accept the Natural Law consequences of all the harm that system causes. However, those consequences are dispersed across all the others like you who consent to that system, and so from your individual perspective the impact might seem acceptable.

IS NATURAL LAW A GOOD THING?

Many see Natural Law as something which prevents them from living the way they want to, and therefor consider it something which enslaves them. Seeing as the effects of Natural Law can never be fully escaped, it’s understandable that one would feel restricted. However, gravity is also restricting us in unavoidable ways, and at the same time the world would be nothing like it is now were it not in effect.

In the same way, Natural Law allows for a universe containing sentient creatures with the capacity for both suffering and joy to exist without ever going fully into a state of maximized misery for the most amount of people. In other words, Natural Law balances conscious experiences in this universe towards positivity.

It’s not necessary to think of Natural Law as only governing the results of choices we make which cause harm, because the law works in the same way for positive actions as well. If you do good for others then good will come to you and the world in which you live. This seems to me like a sensible rule for someone creating a universe to put into effect, and I consider it one of the best pieces of evidence that there is an intelligent and loving creator.

Cahlen Lee

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Great. Loved it. I'm not a fan of watching videos normally, I prefer to read, however I watched yours. And read the post.

I'd love to have a conversation around something... the idea of objectivity v. subjectivity. I'd like to go further specifically at the bit where you said that harming another is an objective, moral law.

Surely, for us to be able to say something is an objective truth (i.e. "natural law") then we would need to be able to find hard, scientific data to support this. Where is the evidence that harming another goes against a natural law? Because in the natural world, animals harm one another all the time: predators harm and take the lives of their prey, for example. And yet, we place no 'moral' judgement on such actions.

Surely morality is actually a human construct? Beavers don't have morality. Tigers don't have morality. Fish don't have morality. Plants don't have morality. Only humans. How can it be said to be an objective law thus?

I mean, I'm not entirely certain comparing the Law of Gravity with the 'Thou shalt not kill' Law is somewhat congruent, no? Even if we were devout Abrahamics, God says 'don't kill' and then changes his mind and wipes out humanity in a flood, and tells his chosen people to go smite heathens burns entire civilisations to the ground.... doesn't seem very much like an 'objective law' to me....

Would love to know more on your thoughts around this.... great stuff!!!! 😊🙏🏽☯️

Thanks for your reply @metametheus!

Natural Law applies to beings with the capacity to reason. It may seem strange that a fundamental law of the universe relies on the mental state of a being, but that's because most people are not aware that the universe is fundamentally mind. There is a different result when an individual acts knowing they are causing harm than when they don't know that. This difference in the mind of the individual effects how the universe (a larger mind) responds to it.

The explanation isn't important though. I'm recommending each individual do the experiments themselves (i.e. do the science in your own life). I have and am convinced. My or anyone else's words shouldn't be what convinces you. See it for yourself and nobody will be able to tell you otherwise.

I mean, I'm not entirely certain comparing the Law of Gravity with the 'Thou shalt not kill' Law is somewhat congruent, no?

It's called a category error.

It is important to avoid conflating Quanta and Qualia.

Otherwise you end up making ridiculous assertions, such as, 1 + 1 = 2 therefore I love you.

Problem #1

(IFF) an action is free from all previous influences (THEN) it is necessarily indistinguishable from random noise (not willed or intentional).

Problem #2

Consequentialism (mitigating harm) is purely subjective.

Problem #3

Every argument for "natural law" breaks down when asked for specifics.

You generalized "don't steal", but does that mean taxes are immoral?

I believe your best argument for "natural law" is "natural order",

  1. What we will is affected by previous influences, this does not necessarily mean the result is deterministic.
  2. Consent is not subjective.
  3. Can you give me specifics? Yes, taxes are of course immoral.
  1. What we will is affected by previous influences, this does not necessarily mean the result is deterministic.

The will is necessarily affected by previous influences. Your actions are not "pure will" though, of course. Your actions are a combination of will and unknowable factors that are indistinguishable from random noise. The result is tautological in-determinism.

Consent is not subjective.

Consent can be manufactured. I trust you are familiar with mass marketing (con-artists). LINK

Can you give me specifics? Yes, taxes are of course immoral.

Without taxes, there is no mechanism to serve the public good.

Do you believe the "wild west" or "10,000 BCE" was "more moral" than modern society?

I agree that people can be tricked into consenting to things. Most of our society today is based on that.

People do not need to be forced to help others in order for others to be helped. When you build a society where people are forced to help others then they start to believe silly things like this.

Your question about the past has too many variables to answer briefly. I'll pick 10,000 years ago in Ireland where one of the great societies from before the last cataclysm (which happen regularly) managed to restart itself. They were a society based on Natural Law, and had been for many thousands of years before the cataclysm. They did not rely on force to serve the public good, they did good because they knew it was good for themselves and everyone else.

No comment on the incoherence of freewill?

I agree that people can be tricked into consenting to things. Most of our society today is based on that.

So can your defend your claim that "consent is objective"?

People do not need to be forced to help others in order for others to be helped. When you build a society where people are forced to help others then they start to believe silly things like this.

Aren't there generally more examples of exploitative, dog-eat-dog societies (autocracies) than friendly cooperative societies?

Your question about the past has too many variables to answer briefly. I'll pick 10,000 years ago in Ireland where one of the great societies from before the last cataclysm (which happen regularly) managed to restart itself. They were a society based on Natural Law, and had been for many thousands of years before the cataclysm. They did not rely on force to serve the public good, they did good because they knew it was good for themselves and everyone else.

Do you have a hypothesis that would mitigate disruption by warlords, mafiosos, and or vikings?

The subject of free will is ta big discussion, a not one I want to do right now. Suffice to say I used to believe it was a nonsensical idea. I was very in alignment with Sam Harris in his book on Free Will. I no longer believe him to be correct about that.

Either I consent to something or I don't. Seems objective to me.

Nowadays most societies are exploitative autocracies on Earth at the moment, but it wasn't always like that. If you're familiar with the Star Wars universe, we're in a period of time where the Empire is dominant, but these things ebb and flow.

Mitigate warlords by educating your children about the importance of freedom and arming them.

The subject of free will is ta big discussion, a not one I want to do right now. Suffice to say I used to believe it was a nonsensical idea. I was very in alignment with Sam Harris in his book on Free Will. I no longer believe him to be correct about that.

So you're a freewill convert? Do you perhaps have a link to the argument that convinced you?

I'd love to see it.

Either I consent to something or I don't. Seems objective to me.

Sounds like an OPINION to me. How do you propose Quantifying consent in other people? How can you be confident that your consent was not somehow subtly coerced?

Nowadays most societies are exploitative autocracies on Earth at the moment, but it wasn't always like that. If you're familiar with the Star Wars universe, we're in a period of time where the Empire is dominant, but these things ebb and flow.

Ok, so you have no plan? We just need to wait it out?

Mitigate warlords by educating your children about the importance of freedom and arming them.

Do you have some alternative solution that doesn't involve teaching children how to kill people?

I'll add the question, "Does Free Will exist?" to my list of pending videos to make.

It is not your opinion that I just said, "No," to you. The reasons behind why each individual gives consent to something is subjective, but the consent itself is not. It is not your responsibility to determine whether my consent has been manufactured from outside of myself, it is only your responsibility to respect it.

The rebound is not guaranteed, it requires work on the part of people who want freedom.

A willingness and knowledge of how to defend oneself is a requirement for a state of freedom. I don't believe it is a good idea to shield children from reality.

Great stuff. Being a parent, it has been amazing to see how quickly children grasp natural law, and how hard us adults have to talk ourselves out of it!

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Hope you've been doing well Cahlen.

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