On the supremacy of civil law

On this count, I agree with Spinoza again on his conclusion when he writes, regarding what laws should have supremacy

We conclude that the sovereign power, which alone is bound both by divine and natural right to preserve and guard the laws of the state, should have supreme authority for making any laws a bout religion which it thinks fit; all are bound to obey its behests on the subject

The above is so that the likes of Davis cannot fail to do their civic duty by cutting religious reasons for then everyone would cite a religious reason for disobedience to the state. And in such a scenario, only chaos would result.

Elsewhere he writes, and I think agree

No one knows by nature that he owes any obedience to God nor can he attain thereto by any exercise of his reason.

In another place, he writes

It is not only in respect of ignorance that we conceive the state of nature as prior to, and lacking the divine revealed law and right, but in respect of freedom also, wherewith all men are born endowed.

Say what you will, but one must agree that Spinoza was a head of his time and maybe even ahead of some of us in respect to freedom of thought and separation of church and state.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

4 thoughts on “On the supremacy of civil law

  1. Indeed. He seems to have been quite the wise fellow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. >>> “… Spinoza was a head of his time and maybe even ahead of some of us in respect to freedom of thought and separation of church and state.”

    i.e. secularism. Those Enlightenment philosophers knew well the Achilles heel of institutionalized religion. Its arbitrary authority could be severed from legal systems, and its popular support minimized through education.

    In The Art of War, Sun Tzu stressed deep understanding of both oneself and one’s enemy as vital keys to victory. Through this knowledge of each side’s strengths and weaknesses, material and otherwise, force can be applied to achieve its greatest effect. Strike one’s opponent where they are most vulnerable, not where they are most mighty – to paraphrase the Chinese general.

    Attacking religion head-on by confronting the theistic beliefs of its followers is precisely what Sun Tzu warned against. People – particularly those who are poor and uneducated – are susceptible to the allure of a protective, omnipotent god especially in a hostile world such as ours. It is religion’s greatest strength.

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      Great comment Bob!
      These men and women of the enlightenment had a good dream for humanity, a world where religious expression was a private affair and each person had freedom to think and speak freely.

      Liked by 2 people

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