The Supreme Court

We need the next few appointments, ideally all future appointments, to the Supreme Court of the USA to be people versed also in some laws that were not written by man, whether in law books or in religious scripture.

The laws to which I refer are the laws of Nature. Indeed, the phrase "laws of Nature" has been criticised by some scientists as being a faulty analogy, since the fundamental regularities which are observable in natural phenomena are not amenable, like human laws, to being broken. Nevertheless, if you are the Almighty Creator, the thing that you must have created before all else, would be the set of these "laws".

The trouble with allowing religion into the government of a modern nation, i.e. one that takes note of the Enlightenment of the 18th century, is that all of the major religions accord enormous authority to texts written by people who knew so little that they referred to concepts like "the waters under the earth". It is perfectly reasonable for a herdsman to suppose that the world is flat, and that the Sun goes round it. It is not reasonable to impose such ignorance upon our schoolchildren. A few even of these same herdsmen, if taken on a visit to the zoo, might very well recognise a common ancestry between chimpanzees and their fellow humans.

The fact is that whereas it is irrelevant to a farmer whether the Sun goes around the Earth daily or that the Earth rotates under the Sun, it is vitally important that farmers know about the Natural Selection that they set in motion when they try to kill off pests with simple poisons.

Every human being in the wealthiest nation on Earth needs to know near-intuitively that humans are just as ephemeral as the dinosaurs, except that we ourselves can destroy our planet's hospitality without being visited by a huge lump of rock or dirty ice. We are in fact engaged in doing so.

We have four members of the Supreme Court who were rather obviously appointed in part for their occasionally ostentatious professions of Christianity. This must be in spite of the fact that their alleged Christ and Savior expressly forbade ostentatious displays of religious devotion.

Now, do Justices Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts actually love their enemies, hunger and thirst after righteousness, and believe that the meek are blessed? Do they love _our_ enemies? If they hunger and thirst after righteousness, do they think it righteous that there is a man in the USA whose own personal wealth is equal to the total net financial assets of 40% of the US population? Do they believe it proper to "judge not, lest ye be judged"?

On the other hand, do they indeed believe that a person with sufficient faith can give an oral command to a mountain, to cast itself into the sea, and it will do so?

I am skeptic enough to consider the Sermon on the Mount a very interesting and exceedingly novel set of principles of ethical behavior, whereas I doubt that the test of psychokinetic ability in the second text alluded to above can have come from the same rabbinical brain.

The study of the material world is as spiritual an undertaking as any study ever undertaken in a monastery, and indeed it is a great pity that the monk Gregor Mendel did not publish his genetic studies in the wider world. His work had to be rediscovered before it became part of the corpus of scientific knowledge. On the other hand, the idea that you can bribe or cajole the Almighty into suspending His own laws in order to grant you a favor is not spiritual in the least, no matter how virtuous you think it is to invoke the "super"-natural.

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