Someone I know, knows someone he knows, used this term in an on-line discussion about politics. Religion reared it's ugly head into the conversation. Divine Law. The term kind of stuck in my craw. It was used as some kind of ultimate authority. It certainly sounds important & definitive.
It was used to rail against "sodomites," unbelievers, socialists, abortionists, communists, and left-wingers. You know, just people. Do a bit of research and you find pretty quickly that Divine Law is a nice little concept, a set of Laws supposedly handed down from God, or a clan of Gods, to us humble little human beings.
Sounds amazing. Right? But then, there really is no reality to this little idea. It's all a nice story. An authoritative narrative concocted by human beings used to impress other human beings. Imaginary.
I mean, we all can believe whatever we want to believe, but aren't we kind of over that time where folks who tell us they know that God exists, and they know what is in the Mind of God?
I mean, Divine Law is kind of neat, wouldn't it be great if God gave us a rule book on how to live our lives? Some folks promote the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhists texts as holy texts, and hell, there is much wisdom (lots of b.s. backward, and contradictory or confusing shite too), to be found in all those texts, but it's pretty clear that all of these books were written and compiled by human beings. At best they were written by folks trying to think like God. Not the same thing at all.
Calling those texts "scripture" doesn't really make them any holier or more important or insightful or influential than "Moby Dick," "The Rights of Man," "On the Road," "Catch-22" "Catcher in the Rye," "Infinite Jest," "The Lord of the Rings." "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas," "The Communist Manifesto."
Jesus. Ahab. Heller. Frodo. Tom Paine. Buddha. Salinger. Tolkien. Yossarian. Mohammad. Melville. HST. David Foster Wallace. Karl Marx. Kerouac. Holden Caufield, Gandalf. Pick your cool guy, your prophet, your role model, and your saviour.
So, sure, we are all free to believe whatever we want to believe, that's one of the benefits of living in a secular world, where freedom of speech and freedom of thought are valued. I mean as long as your crazy belief doesn't impinge on my crazy belief everything is cool. Which of course is at the root of many of our most contentious and intractable human conflicts; when your freedom bumps into my freedom, and how do we referee the conflict, how do we live together, maximizing human liberty, and minimizing suffering? Who decides? Who gets to make and enforce the laws? Which laws do we follow? Which laws do we resist? Etc.
All man-made issues. We are stuck smack dab in the human element. Who is right? Who is wrong? Murky. Difficult. Confusing. Not so divine. One of my favorite mottos is "You Must Believe," and I truly believe that it helps to believe in something. It could be Yoga, Mood Rings, Space Aliens, A Good Day, The Invisible Hand, Pyramid Power, the Human Imagination, Astrology, Progress, Little People, Rationality, Socialism, Free Market, Planned Parenthood, the Scientific Method, whatever.
If you are going with Divine Law, that is fine. Just don't try to impose it on anyone else. You don't believe in abortion? Don't have one! Don't believe in Gay Marriage? Don't marry a Gay! You want to be ruled by a set of Laws called "Divine," fine, just don't tread on the rest of us. I mean, if you want to believe there is a God, and a set of Divine Laws, maybe let the "sodomites," unbelievers, socialists, abortionists, communists, and left-wingers face the music and account for their actions on their own. We all have to answer to whatever we think we have to answer to... and maybe some of us don't believe in answering to anything at all. That's life, right?
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