Wilderness Wanderings: Towards a Libertarian or Moral Society?

As I study and re-study the marriage and family law [read: divorce] law of Louisiana, I can't help but ask, aren't these just the laws of another wilderness generation? Between the 10 Commandments and the Deuteronomic Law, the law of the Hebrews grew exponentially in length, complexity, and bad-ness. What began as a law of freedom became merely concessions to the "hardness of their hearts." Is not the same thing happening to America?

Raft of the Medusa by Théodore Géricault, 1818-19
Instead of wandering in a wilderness for 40 years fed on the manna, America has been wandering in a land of plenty for almost 250 years. We began with a Declaration of Freedom (Independence) and our laws have since become a wilderness.

We have, for some time, been standing on the brink of oblivion, and this is the fundamental question facing our law: Should our laws continue to be based on objective truth and morality OR should we complete the work of creating a Libertarian society? Should we be the shining city on the hill? Or, should we level the hill, and wander in the wide, open wilderness we've created for ourselves?

I'll address this in a rough imitation of the Scholastic method of premise and refutation:

Libertarian Premise: Whatsoever a man does that does not harm his fellow man should be legal.

Morality Premise: Whatsoever a man does that does not violate the violate objective moral truth, as befits the public good, should be legal.

Libertarian's Counter-Argument: There is no place in the law for morality. Even if there was, so much of society has been harmed by deviations from the moral code (divorces, sexual abuse) as to render the moral code untenable. That is, we've finally reached the tipping point in our society in which deviation from the moral code is greater than adherence to the moral code; subsequently, the moral code can no longer be propagated or sustained by good example. Therefore, the only remaining option is legalization of all drugs and immorality, the banishment of morality from the public order, and radical reliance on the individual free will.

Morality's Counter-Argument: No man is an island. An individualist society is an oxymoron, a contradiction. Ultimately, it is an illusion to think man will not harm his fellow man in the absence of objective moral truths. This is not the end of the tyranny of morality and the beginning of shining new libertarian society. This is the beginning of anarchy and the end of public order as we know it. In short, this is how a nation commits suicide.

So, I've tried to present the two sides with equal passion. I think this pretty well sums up the two paths of divergence in our society. 

A Third Path?
Unfortunately, there is a third path, which may use the other the divergence of the above two paths to its advantage. The third path is Socialism, i.e. dependence on the government for everything. The government will simple create its own a-morality, a horrible combination of the vestiges of objective truth and an ever-changing libertarian consensus. Historically, it may even be that Socialism arises from the divergence of Moral and Libertarian philosophies.

What's the answer? How did Jesus resolve the Hebrew mess of untenable, labyrinthine laws? Mathew 19:8:
He said to them, “For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so."
So, how did Jesus resolve the crisis of Hebrew laws? The Fourth Path! By the power of God and His own self-sacrifice, He established a radical change in society, a restoration of the law and the people to their original state, as before the Fall of Man. 

Does America just start all over again, restoring itself through Civil War-scale societal upheaval to the era of the Declaration of Independence? Well, I guess that would be a start, but in the end, not nearly enough. We would need to go back even farther, to the beginning and to Christ. 

A Lesson of Restoration ...

No comments:

Catholic Beard Balm