Mtngirl, neither Westerners nor cannibals get to decide what is "Natural"; God does that. It is man's duty to recognize it, and obey it. One could likewise ask you whether the Bible or Qu'ran is God's special revelation. The fact that many mistakenly identify something as revelation ( whether it be natural or special ) does not negate the fact that the truth has been revealed to ALL men ( murder & marriage included ) and we have a duty to recognize and respond to it, regardless of how we have corrupted our faculties. It is not the fact that people agree on something that makes it the naturally revealed law of God.
Natural law is not really a "non-Biblical ethic", for whether the law is revealed by nature or Scripture, it is still the same law. The use of them proceeds from different principles ( one from reason, one from simple statement ), but the content is the same. The law as it is revealed naturally has the use of restraining and directing those societies which do not have special revelation; it serves to stop the mouth of all and leave all without excuse; it provides us with a means of arguing for societal laws within our own country where a majority does not accept Biblical authority as a basis for morality and law; it serves to confirm us in our faith when we falter.
So, yes, even the cannibal in the dark jungle KNOWS that it is wrong to murder. His problem, like all people: he suppresses what he knows, murders anyway.
The end of natural law is to render people inexcusable, "the judgement of conscience distinguishing sufficiently between just and unjust, and by convicting men of their own testimony, depriving them of all pretext for ignorance.
So, when you stand before God, your Sin will not be excused. Period.
As far as minors giving consent: You do know that the state is certainly ok with Skipping over parental consent when it comes to birth control for said minors, mtngrl. The state has no issue with them NOT getting pregnant; why should they ultimately care that they should marry ?
mtngrl. It is true. Scripture is FULL of incest and polgamy, but any novice can read that scripture and know that Scripture NEVER condones those things. In fact, Scripture tells the truth and corroborates the story of man as a sinful being by putting such things "IN" Scripture.
Scripture does not sugar coat the awful plight of sinful man. What it does do is tell a truthful story of those men, the horrors of their sin and suggest it is well short of where a Holy & Good God would have us to live.
Fair enough ikeithlu: Given that logic, why is it morally wrong to marry MORE than 1 person, why is it morally wrong to marry a person we would consider "too young" ? What would it be wrong to marry a close relative ? All these things exist in the "natural world." Each of these can give consent, even the young person. Now you can say all day long--till you are blue in the face that she can't give consent because of her age. What is moral or immoral about youth giving consent given that logic ?
So, when you say "a set of standards that govern how we treat each other," tell me where this "book of standards" is written down so that ALL should know it ikeithlu ? Standards vary from person to person, group to group, culture to culture if they are "man made."
Your idea is preposterous. It is humanist based. Modern humanist are all hostile to any notion of law that is external to the legislative organs under human control, and this means that morality cannot be predicated on universal codes.
Laws are ALWAYS theologically based whether or not they are so acknowledged. I posit that you know that as well as all people do. For sure: we ALL suppress what we know simply because we'd rather stand somewhere else. It's the default setting of the human race: To play God.
Here in the west however it is well known where we get our laws. The West: It is not superior because it is wealthy; it is wealthy because it is superior, because it believes that work is a calling, that matter is important, that reason is a gift of God. This culture, God's gift, transmits its material blessings along with its interpretation of reality. Animist cultures, to cite one example by way of contrast, are not likely to produce large numbers of skilled engineers as long as they believe that physical objects have spirits. There is a reason why the U.S has been particularly blessed of God in the past. That blessing is fast fading, however.
If there is no God, as you likely probably presuppose,given your answer, then all is permissible. There is no logic one can muster up to suggest I can't marry anyone & anything. If God created man in His own image, then the law says, "You shall not kill," has meaning; there is a logically persuasive nexus between the stated reality and the ethical injunction that is derived from it. But if man is a product of chance and time, as the modern materialist scientisms have it, then killing is an action, like any other ( along with marrying whom ever ), that must be judged on pragmatic grounds. We are entitled in that case to compare benefits in that case to compare benefits with risks and costs and to decide if killing is warranted. In humanitarian theory and practice, the decision is more likely to be made on the basis of sentiment than on cost-benefit studies but either is possible.
Marriage is a creation institution between a man and a women. Function and design are inter-twined. If we can say this is moral and change it--there is absolutely no reason why "the state", the courts, the people-- cannot rule and say: the number being married is no longer an issue( I can marry as many as I like ), that age is no longer an issue, that species is no longer an issue, inter-marrying is no longer an issue. In other words: if this is not according to design and function and "from the beginning," what is the moral problem with marrying anything, and anyone we so desire. I'd like to see someone make an intelligent argument here. Problem is: there is not an intelligent argument for debauchery.
The whole meaning of morality is a norm which obligates us whether we like it or not. If we create it, then we can change it to suit ourselves. But if we change it to suit ourselves, then it is not morality.
Oh, that we could have fiscal Clinton back on board !
Well said, Andrew Lohr
"Meanwhile, Democrats are fixing to tax healthy young people to pay sick people to be sick. Social Security taxes working black and poor people to pay longer-lived white and white-collar people not to work. It's going broke too."
The Providence of God has a lot to say about work:
Now the Providence of God with respect to our civil callings may be displayed very takingly in the following particulars.
From an Old Puritan who understood the Puritan Work Ethic:
"In directing you to a calling in your youth, and not permitting you to live an idle, useless and sinful life, as many do who are but burdens to the earth, the wens of the body politic, serving only to disfigure and drain it, to eat what others earn. Sin brought in sweat (Gen. 3. 19), but now, not to sweat increases sin. He that lives idly cannot live honestly, as is plainly enough intimated (1 Thess. 4. 11, 12). But when God puts men into a lawful calling, in which the labour of their hands or heads is sufficient for them, it is a very valuable mercy; for in so doing they ‘eat their own bread’ (2 Thess. 3. 12). Many a sad temptation is happily prevented, and they are ordinarily furnished by it for works of mercy to others, and surely ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’
^ Indeed, where are ALL the OLD hippie / liberals who at least had a concept of what it meant to be "Free" from the government, free of all the government intervention in our lives. Seems we'd rather be Free to be slaves to government and regulation than at Liberty to be "un-equal."
To be "un-equal" is the statist devil.
Cursed be the chains that bind,
Our hearts in statist love,
Malevolence of dumbed-down minds,
Is unlike that above
Exactly, Firmon. Bingo