Obedience to the state

Discussion in 'Faith, Devotion & Formation' started by bwallac2335, Oct 25, 2021.

  1. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Thoughts I am working through right now.
    We should obey all laws that are not contrary to God and are not against mans natural rights, as those rights are given by God. Hence if a dictatorship arises and asks us to implement a one child policy and tells us we can't say Happy Birthday (or any other violation of our human rights) we are no longer morally obligated to follow those laws.
     
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  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I think many of the covid laws violate our natural God given rights and hence we are under no obligation to follow them.
     
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  3. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Such as?
    I am assuming you are prepared to argue that such things are:
    (1) "Natural";
    (1a) Why something that is "natural" is also morally obligatory;
    (2) God-given, and;
    (3) Rights, i.e., things which impose obligations on others' freedom of action
     
  4. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    First off I am vaccinated so I should say that. But some of the vaccine mandates coming out for students, and for federal or state jobs. Of course in those instances you lose your job or can't go to school but they are immoral and against our natural rights and so we should resist them, even if they don't affect us.
     
  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I edited my original question (see above). On what grounds are they "immoral" or "against our natural rights", why should they be "resisted", and how can they be resisted and yet obeyed at the same time (since you mentioned you are, yourself, vaccinated)?
     
  6. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    There are a number of prior questions that we need to answer before we can address the specific issues.
    • Is it moral for the Government (the people) have a right to protect the people generally or only specifically?
    • Is it moral for the Government to raise/maintain an army to defend borders and and ultimately it's citizens?
    • Is it moral for the Government to address health issues at a macro level?
    • Is it moral for the Government to require people not to endanger others? (say like speed limits on the road?)
    • Is it moral for the Government to require (and fund) actions by people to protect the citizenry generally and specifically?
    How do you determine what rights are God-given? And out of interest how would you relate these the to UN Declaration of Human Rights.

    My questions may be clumsy, however we in Australia have neither your 1st or 2nd Amendment rights.
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Those questions may be rendered inapplicable when the person believes that his government is acting immorally, or contrary to the best interests and God-given rights of the citizens.
     
  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    An illustration: if the government announces tomorrow that every resident of the nation must receive a trackable ID implant in the hand or forehead, without which no one will be allowed to buy so much as a loaf of bread, and the reason given is that this is for the protection of all citizens from diseases and crimes, will we consider it a just and moral order?
     
  9. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    It is against our natural rights to mandate said things. I took it because I thought it was the best route but never should it be mandated. The government should not be mandating our health.
     
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  10. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Ok, but according to what/whom? (I’m assuming this is a position you’re willing to defend, as opposed to relying on bare assertions. What are the arguments in favor?)

    I will counter that, in line with Locke’s Second Treatise, government’s first responsibility being the preservation and protection of life, it inherently has the authority and the power to mandate health policies in the interest of saving lives, and to impose penalties for noncompliance. I’m not sure what government could be for if it can’t carry out functions that basic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  12. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    That seems to provide a self authenticated autocephalus measure. Such rank individualism is very modern. You have not given me a way to understand what rights are God Given.
     
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  13. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    The government should make available things and not deny them if sought but not mandate them. I think it would be a better understand of Locke's second treaties, and if not to beat a worn out horse his under standing of life, liberty, and property, if their responsibility was to not get in the way of people availing themselves medical procedures, like I did, but not using the power of the state to coerce compliance.

    But I want to digress. Where do you draw the line on the actual obedience that we need to give the state as a Christian.
     
  14. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, that is what I have given you. Here is why. Man has been given free will by God to determine his own path, whether for good or for ill. Man has also been given a conscience, and redeemed men have both the Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit counseling them, but it is incumbent upon the individual to govern his own life and to listen to & follow that good counsel as he is able to understand & discern it. Individuality and self-determination are God-given human rights. Therefore, when a Christian individual feels that it would go against his conscience to do something which the government has mandated, the Christian is free to follow his conscience (enlightened by the written word of God and the inward witness) even when it would be in disobedience to the state.

    Applied personally, I feel it is contrary to God's will for me to take the current vaccines, and if the government mandates it I will disobey the order with a clear conscience.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In addition to what I posted above, it is plain from scripture that God created man in His image, and He decreed that it is wrong for one man to injure or kill another man. This illustrates that man has a right of freedom from harm caused by others; if others harm him, he has a right of redress and they have a responsibility to make reparation. From this principle it may be seen that there is a right to be secure in one's body and a right to maintain dominion over one's own body (thus, for example, it would be wrong to rape someone while the person is unconscious even though no physical injury or pregnancy resulted therefrom).

    Could the government legitimately decree that women must accept physical relations with men, accept the insertion of an object into the woman's body, against the woman's will? Of course not.

    So then, what about a government decreeing that all residents of the country must accept insertion of a foreign substance into their bodies? Is such a decree legitimate? No. Is the content of the foreign substance even relevant? No. It would be tantamount to rape by instrumentation. Just as a woman has the right to control what will be inserted into her vaginal cavity, every human has a right to control what will be inserted into his body by needle. (Doctors and hospitals observe this right of consent and of medical self-determination, for they are not allowed to force medical attention upon a person against his will.) If the person is convinced it's for the best and his conscience does not say otherwise, then by all means he should take it. But if the person is convinced it's not for the best, or if his conscience says to avoid it, then by all means he should not be required to take it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2021
  16. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Ok, but again, why? I just gave you an argument above to favor the opposite position:

    (Major Premise) Preserving life is one of the legitimate activities of government.
    (Minor Premise) Mandating health measures is sometimes necessary to preserve life.
    (Conclusion) Therefore, mandating health measures is one of the legitimate activities of government.

    The syllogism is valid. You will need to maintain that either the Major or the Minor premise is false in order for the Conclusion to be false (even though it's formally valid in any case). Do you maintain either (1) that preserving life is not one of the legitimate activities of government, or (2) that mandated health measures are never necessary to preserve life? Are you prepared to make that kind of statement, in the face of all that we know today about communicable diseases and how they are spread (and can be prevented)? It's a legitimate question, and, with respect, I genuinely don't understand where you're coming from on this.

    I agree - in common with the historic liberal position - that in a well-constituted State, coercion should be kept to a minimum. But, unless or until every individual's will is perfectly aligned not only with the common good but also with everyone else's will in a given polity, I don't see how coercion can be realistically eliminated, and neither did the great libertarian theorists of the 20th century such as Hayek and Nozick. And the reason they didn't see that as a goal of libertarian political philosophy is because "ought implies can", i.e., if something is impossible to do, whether practically or theoretically - like eliminating coercion by the State - then it cannot be a morally imperative goal, which further means that opposition to State policy that employs coercion cannot, on that basis, be morally obligatory either. What you ultimately seem to be arguing for is anarchism, which is fine, but let's at least be clear that that's what it is, along with the fact that it is incoherent to argue that the government should merely "provide" things but not have the minimal power to coerce citizens to make available the means for the government to provide those things. That's not the vision of the State that Locke, Smith, or the Founders argued for.
    That's a different topic for a different thread. Right now I'm talking about the State's role in health care, since that's the issue you raised in beginning this thread. I will say that I recognize the distinction between a legal obligation and a moral one. If a person believes that as a matter of conscience they must civilly and peacefully disobey a law, they still have a moral obligation to submit to the penalty imposed by the State for that noncompliance if they wish to continue to enjoy the protection offered by the State, even if their position turns out ultimately to be correct. If, for example, they get pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, they still have a moral obligation to pay the ticket and the court costs, whether they agree that the State had the authority to impose seatbelt requirements or not.
     
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  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I think the flaw is in the minor premise. Mandating health measures could in some cases preserve life. But it is not legitimate to do so (see my reasoning in post #15), and therefore it can never legitimately be "necessary" to do so.

    You might say, "What about the state requiring MMR and polio vaccines before enrolling in school?" Yes, they do this. However, one is not required to enroll one's children in school if one opts to home-school them. And the fact that the state gets away with doing something illegitimate like this is not generally objected to because, quite simply, virtually everyone recognizes the efficacy and relative safety of those vaccines as well as the advantageous risk-to-benefit ratio of taking them. But not everyone recognizes the efficacy and relative safety of the current vaccines, and not everyone sees the risk-to-benefit ratio as being to their advantage, so now the fact that the government has successfully "skated on thin ice" for decades (in terms of legitimacy in that mandate) is being falsely touted as a conclusive precedent.

    Did I miss something? I thought bwallac2335 started this thread. Doesn't he get to frame his own thread's topic? :confused:
     
  18. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    No that is not for a different thread. It was literally the premise of the thread. I brought in health care later.

    But I would hold that the minor premise is false. Even if we can't realistically eliminate it we should try to fight it at all terms.

    You bring up a interesting point. We have lots of information about the spread of diseases. Your average person on the street knows about communicable diseases. They are adults. Let them make their own decision. Let business make their own decisions, let families make their own decisions, but don't let the government make that decision for us all in toto.
     
  19. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    1. Thoughts I am working through right now.
      We should obey all laws that are not contrary to God and are not against mans natural rights, as those rights are given by God. Hence if a dictatorship arises and asks us to implement a one child policy and tells us we can't say Happy Birthday (or any other violation of our human rights) we are no longer morally obligated to follow those laws.

      bwallac2335, Today at 3:15 PMReport
      #1Reply

    2. [​IMG]
      bwallac2335Well-Known Member
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      I think many of the covid laws violate our natural God given rights and hence we are under no obligation to follow them.
    Literal first two posts
     
  20. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Even with he MMR and polio vaccines you can opt out in a variety of different ways at least in Alabama.You can home school, you can file a religious exemption, you can get your doctor to exempt you, and yes there are doctors that will do that for you. Although even here I still find the minor premise to be false even here. But I do find the major premise to be correct and that is why I am in favor of some form of universal health care.