The Moral Arithmetic of Lawlessness
July 24, 2015 Leave a comment
“He that is not governed by the moral arithmetic of the case, or who acts from a disposition directly at war with that arithmetic, is unjust. In other words, morality requires that we should be attentive only to the tendency which belongs to any action by the necessary and universal laws of existence. ” William Godwin (emphasis added)
From the “unconstrained vision” of a product of the Enlightenment, a lapsed Presbyterian minister and an atheist…
“William Godwin (3 March 1756 – 7 April 1836) an English journalist, political philosopher and novelist. He is considered one of the first exponents of utilitarianism, and the first modern proponent of anarchism.” Wikipedia
The morally ad hoc and utilitarian William Godwin authored “Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness.” One of the chapters is entitled “The Characters of Men Originate in their External Circumstances”.
In Godwin’s writing we are told that in-the-moment utilitarian license to act guided by proper institutions surrounding us provide happiness. Proper institutions and proper sanctuaries of reason supposedly improve mankind’s felicity. So for Godwin and his latter-day Progressives, man’s unhappiness is a problem that needs solving by any means necessary and calculated by using the ‘new math’ of each man’s ad hoc reason-based morality. In effect, man is to be a god unto himself within the constraints of man-made institutions.
Per Godwin, Utilitarian Man must act from reason alone, adding and subtracting internally the merits of his actions. And, the sum of his actions must never equate to an external ‘impractical’ divine absolute. And then, somehow, good will come out of nowhere aka Utopia. Godwin’s moral arithmetic is basically the arithmetic of lawlessness within a rule-of-reason.
Now to the lawless and flippant…
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said today that San Francisco’s sanctuary city policy had nothing to do with the murder of Kate Steinle.”
Really? Think before you talk, Nancy. What you are saying doesn’t add up to happiness for the family and friends of Kate Steinle.
Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Opening Statement at Sanctuary Cities Hearing, Judiciary Committee: