Natural Law And Society

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”—Carl Sagan

The universe is ordered and governed by fundamental physical, mathematical, and biological natural laws. Laws which are scientifically and empirically constant, repeating, and universal. The ancient Greek and Roman stoic philosophers referred to this natural law and order as “logos”, the divine and natural logic which governs the universe. Thus, the concept and acknowledgement of natural law and order is one that has existed since antiquity. Modern physicist Dr. Paul Davies describes the concept of universal natural law by stating: “The universe is governed by dependable, immutable, absolute, universal, mathematical laws”. Furthermore, physicist Dr. Sean Carroll refers to these natural laws as: “pattern[s] that nature obeys without exception”. Ultimately, how people choose to view or interpret these universal natural laws really makes no difference—whether one chooses to view them as a divine God’s law, the laws of the universe, the laws of physics, mathematics, and science, or just simply as objective reality. Because in the end, all of these terms are essentially referring to the same basic idea: the universal laws and principles which bring order and stability to the natural world—natural law. The existence of which is undeniable.

So although the universe may at times appear random and chaotic, in reality it is actually quite constant, stable, and ordered—although complexity is often confused with chaos. In his well-known book Cosmos, renowned physicist Dr. Carl Sagan wrote: “Cosmos is a Greek word for the order of the universe. It is, in a way, the opposite of Chaos. It implies the deep interconnectedness of all things. It conveys awe for the intricate and subtle way in which the universe is put together.” Where chaos does exist, it is temporary and will ultimately result in new stability and order. Psychiatrist Carl Jung, in describing this natural truth, wrote: “In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” There is also an old Latin proverb which states “From chaos comes order.” And in those ancient words there is an absolute truth. For all chaos, no matter how severe, will eventually re-stabilize into some sort of system of balance and order. Nature hates a vacuum and is therefore inherently stable and ordered, even in its infinite complexity. So even when the laws of physics dictate that closed systems will inevitably move towards entropy and disorder, in the end balance and a new order will always be achieved. For with nature, from chaos comes order.

On a smaller human social and societal level, the natural laws of physics and mathematics may not have a direct impact on influencing the nature and structure of society—aside from intellectual, scientific, and technological advancement of course—but the laws of biology and nature certainly do. And as such, human interactions and social structures are not absolved from obeying the absolute truths and realities of natural law. Or, as Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” And so for thousands of years human beings did indeed look deep into nature. And in doing so, they were able to survive, evolve, and thrive in a dangerous and unforgiving world solely because they adhered to and obeyed the laws which nature dictates—the laws of the jungle. For as Fyodor Dostoyevsky once wrote: “Nature does not ask your permission, she has nothing to do with your wishes, and whether you like her laws or dislike them, you are bound to accept her as she is, and consequently all her conclusions.

In primitive humans, such obedience to natural law was largely instinctual and without much conscious thought. However, over time as humans evolved and advanced, such adherence would eventually transform into functional sociocultural structures and systems—systems which acted in accordance with evolutionary biology and natural law. Really, the very fact that humans were able to survive and advance at all is a testament to the natural laws by which they lived. For, to once again quote Carl Sagan, “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” Therefore, as humans progressed over the millennia and continued to build increasingly complex societies, civilizations, and empires, the ones that had the best chances to thrive and survive were the ones that structured themselves in accordance with the laws of nature and survival—as opposed to defying them.

Thus, a successful society or complex civilization is one which structures itself in accordance with natural law and the truths which govern objective reality—structures which include internal social, cultural, moral, and political systems and principles. The simple reason being, social structures, systems, and principles designed to work in accordance with natural law provide a society with the stability, order, structure, and survival mechanisms which nature intended. Simply put, obeying natural law equals stability, order, and survival. From a sociological perspective, such sociocultural structures and values are structurally-functional and organic, and are reflective of the ways which humans naturally evolved to exhibit. Therefore, a prudent society or civilization is one that acknowledges this truth, and structures itself accordingly.

Various examples of such natural sociocultural structures and values a society should maintain includes: a strong patriarchal system and order, a hierarchal and meritocratic system and order, the promotion of a strong work ethic, a strong system of law and justice, a strong code of honor among men, a predominantly barter and trade or free market economic system, social Darwinism, the promotion of marriage and family, traditional gender roles, healthy birth rates and reproduction, the promotion and maintenance of a strong internal group identity and cohesion—as a necessary mechanism for group altruism and survival, and finally the healthy understanding and respect for righteous violence. All of the above listed structures and social values are derived straight from the universal laws of nature, evolutionary biology and psychology, and human survival. And they are as natural and essential to a successful, thriving human society as is the individual’s need for food and water. Such natural structures and principles have instinctually governed successful human societies and civilizations since the dawn of time.

Yet as natural instincts in humans evolved into higher capacities for self-awareness, intelligence, and reasoning, and as human societies grew more complex and advanced as a result, there is always an ever-present tendency in many—both individually and as a society—to move away from the structures and principles of instinct and natural law towards the fallacy of ideological reason. This is because the structures and principles of instinct, natural law, and survival require hard work, sacrifice, and a long-term outlook and future orientation. Natural law is also inherently unequal and unfair. Ideological rationalization is far easier.

The structures and principles of natural law require hard work and sacrifice on the part of men in the present in order to provide for and ensure the long-term survival of their family, tribe, society, or civilization in an uncertain future. Due to this required sacrifice, men should naturally be honor bound to each other and feel a connection and investment towards their society. In turn, their society should be a reflection of their shared identity, values, and interests. This mutual connection between man and his society helps to inspire the sense of social duty and loyalty necessary to allow for the work and sacrifice required by natural law. Furthermore, it also contributes to a long-term and future oriented outlook of social survival, permanence, and the eternal—a duty to a future beyond the scope of individual lives. Or, as the ancient proverb goes, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

A social connection to the future is critical to inspiring the drive for hard work and sacrifice in the present—the work of natural law and survival. Working to support a family is hard and requires personal sacrifice. Raising children is hard and requires personal sacrifice. Delaying instant gratification requires discipline and personal sacrifice. Social and economic competition is hard and requires personal sacrifice. A social system of merit and honor is hard and requires discipline and personal sacrifice. And the strength and courage necessary for group military defense is hard and requires personal sacrifice. Survival itself—both individual and group—is hard and requires great personal sacrifice and is never guaranteed. Survival is also inherently unfair. Such is natural law.

But the survival drive, whether reflexive, instinctual, or conscious and rational, is inherent in all living things, and is perhaps the most basic element of natural law. In humans, discipline, a strong work ethic, and a sense of future orientation is therefore the modern evolution of the primitive will to survive and propagate in an unforgiving natural world—where the lazy and the parasitic would simply lay down and die. And this survival instinct to work hard and sacrifice for the future, for one’s offspring and society, generally stems from the natural belief and connection to something greater than one’s self. And a society grounded in natural law understands this fundamental truth—and harnesses it.

However, if the structures and principles of natural law and survival are inherently unfair and require great work and sacrifice on the part of both the individual and society, then the human tendency to gradually replace such things with the ideologies of pure reason is often times the search for the easier, more equal, and less stressful course. Or, in other words, the elimination of the hardships, inequities, and sacrifices associated with natural law. This is largely accomplished—both individually and as a society—by consciously or unconsciously rationalizing away the fundamental truths of natural law—all in the name of progress, comfort, and “equality”. Ironically, such widespread sociocultural rationalization can’t even begin to occur until a society or civilization has already reached a certain level of stability, order, safety, permanence, and resource abundance. Or, simply put, until it lacks any major real problems or serious threats to its survival while also enjoying a relatively high standard of living—a status achieved and built upon the foundations, structures, and principles of natural law.

But before I move on, let me first be very clear. Reason, logic, and rational thinking, both on the individual level and as a society and culture, can absolutely be a good thing. Reason can further human understanding and advancement—when it is used impartially and objectively to further one’s search for knowledge about the true nature of reality. Reason, when used to further the quest for knowledge and truth in accordance with reality and natural law, is a powerful force for science, mathematics, and human ingenuity and advancement. And of course such advancement for a society or civilization is a positive thing—when such advancement is still in accordance with the truths of natural law. The airplane does not fly because it defies natural law, but because it harnesses it.

But as I stated above, this is often not the case. All too often progressive societies have a tendency to abandon reason as the honest and objective search for knowledge and truth, and instead use it as a false rationalization or justification for the ideological elimination of the hardships, sacrifices, and inequities of natural law—of survival itself. And it is the hubris and delusion of man, driven by pure reason and false rationalized ideology, which allows him to convince himself that he has somehow outsmarted nature or evolved beyond it—that the old ways and structures are archaic, barbaric, and unfair and therefore must be reformed or replaced. Such thinking allows man and society to foolishly believe that they can abandon their true nature and natural law in favor of ideologically creating their own new rationalized false “reality”. Reason then becomes the delusional, emotional, and ideological means for such deception, as opposed to the emotionally detached and objective search for truth.

And while such deceptive rationalization is generally a social or ideological attempt to eliminate the hardships, inequities, and sacrifices of natural law, it is also a major divergence in the overall social outlook and orientation as well. This is because at the heart of this social rationalization is the lazy, selfish, and nearsighted desire to forsake the natural work ethic and sacrifice required for future, long-term survival in exchange for a temporary increase in social ease and comfort today. Essentially, when a society devolves too heavily into the ideologies of rationalization, the focus generally shifts solely to the present, the here and now. The future or eternal outlook is outright replaced or naively disregarded. In doing so, this new outlook and orientation seeks to reduce the stress, strain, and inequality of present-day existence while simultaneously maximizing the pleasures and enjoyment of this life—often with little conscious regard for the inevitable dire future consequences to come. Much like the old fable about the ant and the grasshopper, the inevitable consequences and doomed future for society are downplayed or ignored.

And like society as a whole, the individual too is ultimately ruined by the false ideologies of rationalization and the elimination of natural law. He becomes spoiled and selfish by the short-sighted comfort, pampering, and dependency provided by such a society, and his sense of a work ethic, sacrifice, and survival begin to atrophy as a result. The individual then quickly loses his outlook of future survival because all of his immediate needs are effortlessly being met. This inevitably leads to a loss of legitimate investment and connection to society—beyond sheer dependency. And ultimately, this loss of investment leads to the individual losing his sense of pride and duty to a social future he will never see—the connection to the eternal and a future beyond his lifespan. Because there becomes little conscious concern for the future when the individual no longer has to work and sacrifice for it. Survival and the future are taken for granted in a society that forsakes natural law through rationalization. And without an orientation for the future, the individual eventually ceases to be invested or view society as something greater than himself.

So in essence, the individual, like society as a whole, exchanges a long-term sense of sacrifice for a selfish temporary ease. And in doing so, the individual’s sense of strength, duty, sacrifice, and investment transforms into nothing more than social dependency. Dependency then becomes the individual’s only real connection to society, and from a natural law and survival perspective, dependency equates to weakness and death. And a short-sighted society overwhelmingly comprised of selfish and weak dependent parasites is ultimately a doomed society.

Because the rationalized elimination of natural law is a Faustian deal with the devil. It is a suicidal loan which provides temporary social comfort today in exchange for the assurance of societal decline and death in the future. Because the abandonment of natural law is the abandonment of the laws of survival itself. And this myopic social attitude has the natural guarantee to ensure that a society or civilization becomes self-centered, lazy, infertile, hedonistic, degenerate, socialistic, and weak. This trend is sometimes referred to as social or cultural entropy, and is a common factor in the decline of civilizations throughout history. And while the exact ideologies and details may differ slightly by period and civilization, the overall trends and similarities are uncanny. Today, although we have the luxury of analyzing the causes and similarities of doomed civilizations of the past, we seldom choose to understand or learn from their mistakes. Or, as Roman Emperor and stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius once prophetically stated, “Look back over the past, with its changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the future.

Yet although all advancing societies or civilizations possess the innate or latent potential to move towards rationalized sociocultural entropy, human evolutionary psychology and natural law have provided a universal resistance to such tendencies in the form of the religious motive. Religion, or some form of spiritual mythology or superstition, is universal to all human civilizations and cultures around the world and throughout time. This is because religion, or some sense of spirituality, the eternal, and the inevitability of death, is a fundamental aspect of human nature and the human thought processes—a byproduct of evolutionary psychology and self-awareness. Therefore, generally speaking, all human beings possess the innate ability to conceptualize such religious ideas. Even the staunchest atheist, or someone who adamantly does not believe in any form of spirituality at all, is still able to conceptualize and think is these terms as a result of this evolutionary process—even if they themselves choose to reject it.

On the sociocultural level, the religious motive universally evolved in human societies to serve a distinct structural-functional purpose—both psychologically and socioculturally. Essentially, the human ability for self-awareness and to comprehend one’s finite mortality, while still recognizing that life will go on for those left behind, is what most likely sparked this evolutionary psychological process. Due to the individual’s ability to understand such things, there is an internal psychological conflict between one’s selfish desires for short-term instant gratification versus the long-term future orientation required to act in the self-sacrificing benefit of one’s family or society—even though the individual’s own life is finite and their reward for future investment is limited. I already discussed this concept in detail above. So simply put, the religious motive in humans evolved to help act as a further psychological resistance to acting on one’s selfish base desires by serving as another form of internal restraint, future orientation, and social investment and consequence.

The religious motive, by providing another psychological and social link between the present and the future—as well as the past—provides the individual with an additional sense of connection and investment to his society—beyond those already discussed. Such a connection and investment then further allows for the work ethic, delayed gratification, and sacrifice necessary to ensure long-term social survival. It also helps contribute to the individual’s sense of belonging to something greater than himself by promoting the idea that his identity and society are eternal and more than just geocentric. Which then also helps to produce individual and social restraint.

Furthermore, given the intellectual and self-awareness capacity in humans, and therefore our inevitable tendency towards sociocultural entropy and myopic ideological rationalization, the religious motive also serves as a means of countering this tendency by providing the individual and society with a system of morality, ethics, values, and healthy social behaviors that are in line with natural law. Because, as I will discuss further below, healthy religiously motivated social values are those which are indeed aligned with natural law. Additionally, the religious motive, due to its eternal oriented focus, then also provides the individual and society with a source of eternal judgement, accountability, and consequence to go along with its system of morality and values. Thereby further helping to restrain both the individual and society.

The above points are not intended to debate the existence of god, the validity of spirituality, or the supremacy of one particular religion. They are merely to point out the evolutionary psychological and structural-functional purpose of the religious motive. This is also, of course, not to say that the religious motive, or religious dogma, is a foolproof safeguard against the rationalized sociocultural entropy discussed above. It clearly is not. It is simply a natural and functional potential resistance against it. But again, the religious motive can very easily be bypassed or outright destroyed by the ideological rationalization of a progressive or leftist society or civilization. And that is essentially what leftism is, the ideological rationalized elimination of natural law.

To the structural-functionalist or paleo-conservative minded political philosopher, the religious motive serves a perfectly natural sociocultural function: keeping a traditional society aligned with the rules of natural law and survival. But to the Marxist or modern leftist, the religious motive is an obstacle standing in their way of ideological rationalization: sociocultural entropy, deconstruction, and transformation. Of course this “obstacle” is the exact resistance which the religious motive psychologically evolved to be. So whereas the structural-functionalist views the religious motive as a functional and necessary part of a healthy, traditional human society; the Marxist or leftist views the religious motive as the “opium of the masses” or a tool of elitist control and hegemony. Therefore, one of the first steps in leftist ideological rationalization is the destruction of the traditional religious motive.

But the Human mind, thanks to evolutionary psychology, is still wired for the religious motive. And there is an innate need in most humans that is met by the religious motive. For the overwhelming majority of people there is a deep-seeded psychological and emotional need to believe in ideas based on faith and hope, and to belong to a religious identity or group, and to believe in something larger than themselves. And most people have a desire to meet such needs, even if they are completely unaware they are doing so. So when the traditional religious motive—the one that keeps society grounded in natural law and survival—is socioculturally destroyed, it is not outright eliminated. It is simply replaced with another religious ideology—the religion of leftism. The religion which ideologically forsakes natural law.

And make no mistake, leftism is nothing more than another form of the religious motive. It is the faith-based ideological rationalization for the corruption and elimination of natural law—as discussed above. Leftism provides its followers with the opportunity to meet many of the same psychological needs discussed above, without actually identifying itself as a religion. Leftism offers its followers the opportunity to possess a special identity, to belong to a movement larger than themselves, and to adhere to utopian beliefs based solely on faith, hope, and emotion. Because like religion, the majority of leftist dogma is based on nothing more than hope and faith. The difference, however, is that the traditional religious motive serves to strengthen and stabilize a society by keeping it firmly rooted and aligned with the fundamental rules of natural law and survival, while the religion of leftism serves to weaken and destroy a society via sociocultural entropy and the rationalized elimination of natural law.

But perhaps the timeless leftist ideologies which contribute to sociocultural entropy and civilizational decline are unavoidable and inevitable. As is thermodynamic entropy within a closed system. And perhaps such entropy is then just a natural part of the cycle of civilizations. For, as many historians speculate, the rise, apex, and decline of civilizations and empires are cyclical and a normal part of history. Maybe, in the end, this very cycle is simply part of the natural laws of which I have spoken. By obeying the laws of nature a society or civilization may perhaps be able to slow this process of entropy, while those societies that arrogantly believe they can outright stand in its face are doomed to decline and fall. Still, societal decline and death may be very rapid or it may be very slow, depending on a variety of factors and variables. And decline can take on many forms: from economic, to sociocultural, to demographic, to outright conquest by a stronger civilization still playing by the rules of natural law. But in the end, when a society abandons natural law for the false promises of leftist ideological rationalization, the ash heap of history awaits.

Nature always wins, one way or another. Civilization is actually quite fragile, held together by threads and practically an illusion. And when it finally collapses, it all reverts back to the law of the jungle. And nature is waiting to reclaim her prize. For from chaos ultimately comes order.

We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.”—Jules Verne

© 2016 By AB Frank, All Rights Reserved

 

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