In order to survive people need at a bare minimum food and water. Shelter from natures elements or dangerous animals in the form of buildings and clothing are also very important. These are required for survival. Survival is the foundation of life. Upon this foundation is a progression that can be called thriving. Thriving includes social interaction, enriching relationships, understanding of nature’s laws and guiding principles. The progression continues with music, art and scientific exploration. It seems as though it would be nearly impossible, very difficult at least, for a person to attain the higher levels of progress alone. Man alone cannot do as much as man in a society. Family is the fundamental unit of society, providing access to human progression. Just like individual people joining together to improve their situation, individual families can also join together to improve their greater situation. Society.
Within a society some rules are necessary to maintain order and protect everyone alike, vulnerable or strong. Ideally, these rules will be universally accepted and followed, to the benefit of everyone. This is not likely to be the case because of the independent will of every person, which is one of the greatest gifts people have next to life itself. The ability to think and to reason is very valuable; this, coupled with decision making and action is how learning occurs. Without an independent will a person can be told what to think, but they can’t learn. So society helps to meet the basic needs and provides support, but the wonderful gift of independent can pose a threat from one person to another. Alone, man is constantly engaged in surviving, in society he is able to relax a little in surviving, until another member of society becomes a threat.
The Creator has set in motion a force of opposites. Opposition in all things is the only way good things can be experienced, for without bad there can be no good. Opposites oppose, and all things have influence. Man is constantly bombarded by good and bad influences from all angles. Nature has influence, the human body has influence, society has influence. Each of these influences competes for the attention of the individual will. Man is left to decide what to do with the influences in the exercise of his will. This freedom cannot be taken away, it is innate and natural. However, it is regulated for the safety of the society at large. Once again, it would be best if these regulations and rules were widely accepted and followed, but they are not. Even when based upon natural law and the consequences attendant to it these rules are not followed.
If a member of society kills another member of society then the society is weaker, fear is increased and trust diminished. The same goes with stealing, dishonesty, greed and immorality. There are natural laws regarding these actions. Societal laws that follow these natural laws are good. Societal laws in modern language are usually referred to as being legislated. As long as legislation follows natural law it will have the most success. When legislated laws deviate from the course of natural laws they begin to encroach upon individual will. It can be argued that natural laws impede individual will, but it would be a weak argument. Law does not limit will, it only imposes consequences on certain actions. Natural law has natural consequences. Man-made law has man-made consequences which are sometimes unfair and unjust, just like man is, generally speaking. Natural law is objective and man-made law is subjective.
People join together in societal bonds to gain in security and experience progress. Laws exist to protect people within these bonds. Laws also serve as guidance posts for beneficial behavior, counteracting negative opposition influence from various sources. Governance is the process of establishing and enforcing these laws. The question becomes whether it is better to have individuals govern themselves or have them governed by an outside source, by congress, parliament, or king.
*The next post will address this question. It will be posted on Tuesday February 5th.