Pulled out the books again some tonight - it had been too long.
Finally starting to wade into Montesquieu
So far? It's amazing how little the debate has changed.
Book One, First Section: The universe oberervationally follows fixed rules of operation. F=ma today, tomorrow, and in 2000 BC. From this we infer that there is such a thing as universal laws, for without them, the universe is not physically possible.
Mankind also has laws of our own making, but we're not so good at the "fixed" part and less good at obeying them. Which doesn't mean we're not still very subject to the universal laws. F also equals ma at the bottom of a lunar crater. ;)
Book One, Second Section: While a moral law to obey our Creator might be most important, it is not the first to emerge. Montesquieu suggests the following order
1. Peace, via avoiding of danger. He contests this point with (English) Hobbes, who had stated the natural state of mankind is war - or rather, conflict. Montequeiu believed earliest humanity would flee rather than fight their neighbors. And anything else, really.
Feel free to make French jokes, but remember in about nineteen years a wee little lad named Napoleon will be born. :)
3. Companionship. Most particularly of the ... um.... friendly variety.
That might sound a little familiar to anyone who's sat through a Psych 101 class in undergrad. :p
So far really familiar ground - but what an interesting time. More later - no more monitors tonight.
Also... my jury number still hasn't come up this week. Looking like they won't need me after all. Oh well. :)