LAW

Modern Humanism

Biblical Theism

Philosophical Foundations

Humanistic law is legal positivism (i.e. belief that the state is ultimate authority in creating and enforcing law.) Law is always relative and disputable until declared by judges in courts. Legal and moral values are always determined by human beings.

Theistic law is both natural (i.e. based on general revelation) and theological (i.e. based on supernatural revelation). Natural law is that which is universally recognized. Biblical (Theistic) law is transcendent, constant, absolute, and understandable.

Natural Rights and Natural Law

Natural law is generally rejected. There are no natural rights. There are only civil rights.

Natural law and natural rights are both from God, as are also human responsibilities.

Legal Precepts

Law originates from mankind. The moral order comes from humanity. (Humanistic law is neither natural, nor theological, but evolutionary.) Therefore, collective man (i.e., the state) makes law. Humanists prefer the state to be democratic in order that the will of the majority be established through the state. This gives the state unlimited legal power.

Law originates from the character of God. The moral order comes from God. Therefore, man, through the state, applies & enforces Godís laws. Whatever legislation is applied by the state must be consistent with Godís law. Since the state is submissive to God, it is limited in its power to its only function delegated by God, viz., the administration of justice.

Civil government is to regulate society to produce equality under the law.

Civil government is ordained to restrain and punish evil while rewarding the righteous.

Mankind is significant by virtue of being the highest form of evolution. Humanity is over law, as its creator.

Mankind is significant as created in Godís image, but more so by virtue of potential redemption by God. Humanity is under law.

All humanity is accountable to society, i.e. to the state who grants human rights.

All humanity is accountable to God who grants human rights and responsibilities.

Law Enforcement

Legal emphasis is upon legislation, not enforcement. Society is regulated through bureaucratic policies.

Legal emphasis is upon enforcement, not legislation. Society is regulated by restraining evil conduct.

Criminalsí rights are emphasized, while victimsí rights are minimized.

Victimís and criminalís rights are protected, while a criminalís duty to victim is required.

Since law is from humanity, evolutionary and relative, then courts may make laws.

Since law is God given and absolute, then role of courts is to recognize and enforce laws.

Crime and Punishment

Humanity is considered basically good. Therefore, crime is not fault of the individual. Crime is the fault of society. Hence, criminals should not be punished, but re-educated. Society is punishable (for criminal conduct) through taxation to pay for lengthy imprisonment of criminals.

Humanity is considered sinful. Therefore, crime is fault of an individual. Criminals should be punished, not re-educated. (Punishment treats criminals as morally responsible, whereas re-education treats criminals as children, or domesticated animals, to be re-trained.)

Criminal imprisonment is perceived as payment of debt to society. It is to protect society from the criminal.

Criminal punishment should restore to the victim his loss. Imprisonment should be only until time of trial, not as a form of punishment.

Results:

Freedom perishes.
Families deteriorate.
Nations crumble.

Freedom grows.
Families flourish.
Nations thrive.

(Copyright © by Robert L. Waggoner; Revised, 02/27/99)