Richmond Reason and Naturalism Association Message Board › Creator, Supreme Judge

Creator, Supreme Judge

Bryan T.
bptunnell
Group Organizer
Richmond, VA
Post #: 97
Quotes from the US Declaration of Independence:

". . . that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . . ."

". . . appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions . . . ."

Lacking a belief in a Creator or Supreme judge, what are our bases for our cherished rights and principles of governance?

This is a preview of the May 5 meeting, but I welcome your responses here.

Bryan
Arthur B.
ArthurB
Beaverdam, VA
Post #: 54
Great topic. There have been many philosophical approaches to these issues, from Kant's Categorical Imperative, to Rousseau's social contract.

I think Socrates put his finger on it when he asked about piety, "Do the gods love it because it is pious, or it is pious because it is loved by the gods?"

I've always held that the "good" super-cedes any possible deities. That is, one can judge the goodness of a "Creator" by whether that creator has endowed his creations with "unalienable rights". No matter how omnipotent, a creator who denies those rights could hardly be considered "good".

The answer in my mind is that we deserve those rights, whether there is a creator involved or not; thus making the issue of a creator moot. If we were not "endowed" with those rights, then it is up to us to seize them for ourselves.

I think the more complex question is, why do we owe those rights to one another? It is one thing to demand rights for oneself. Demanding them for our brethren is a separate matter. Is it merely a matter of self-preservation? I.e. what is denied to another, can be denied to me? Or is there something more "mystical" about it... something that super-cedes logic.

Faith doesn't have to be about belief in the supernatural. It can simply be about how we wish to live in the world.
Bryan T.
bptunnell
Group Organizer
Richmond, VA
Post #: 105
I don't know why it took me so long to see your post, Arthur, but I really enjoyed it. Thanks.
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