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The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction Hardcover – May 15, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
If you offered me those three books vs. this one now, I would prefer to have this one. It's that good.
Throughout this book the reader will constantly be saying "Why didn't I think of that?" and any objection you have or didn't have Budziszewski sees coming and addresses. I regularly debate on these issues and found myself using his arguments immediately. He argues with you saying "I can't believe I didn't see that earlier." He deals with homosexual marriage quite easily and the chapter especially on capital punishment is excellent.
This is a book no thinker on Natural Law can afford to not know. Natural Law consists of moral truths you can't not know. If you want to be influential in thinking on Natural Law, this is a book you can't not know.
Unquestionably, the highlight of the book comes in Budziszewski's essay, "Accept No Limitations: Naturalism vs. Natural Law." Budziszewski does not sit idly by and let secularist get away with saying ridiculous things such as "logic is a brute fact" that does not need justification or that morality or intentionality is an "emergent" quality as though this justifies sneaking them into discourse without providing an adequate metaphysical grounding. This chapter also includes a brief, but sufficient critique of evolutionary psychology and ethics, as well as a deconstruction of utilitarianism and desire utilitarianism (although he doesn't refer to it as such). This exceptional chapter ends with a firm rebuttal of the attempted secular natural law theory of Larry Arnhart.
The final chapter was also very engaging. The focus was on Liberalism and the strange paradox within Liberalism where a false pluralism of religious faith actually serves to undermine religious faith completely. Budziszewski shows through internal critique how the entire project suffers from gross misunderstandings of the very religions it seeks to support through pluralistic ideals. It also shows that Liberalism actually only presents a thin veneer of actual pluralism when in fact its aims are to promote its own "illiberal Liberal religion.Read more ›
The Line Through the Heart: Natural Law as Fact, Theory, and Sign of Contradiction spans the philosophical and theological underpinnings that hold together every individual's worldview. It is in a word (or two) a work concerning Natural Law. It is not an introduction to Natural Law or a full and complete apology for it.
The first half of the book covers Natural Law proper as it relates to morality. These first pages read as an expose and apology as Budziszewski sets up the inseparability of the moral aspect and the theological aspect of natural law as outlined in the Decalogue. He turns first to the nature of man. He looks both at what we can't help but know about ourselves and at the implication of nature on revelation and vice versa. Next Budziszewski focuses on the idea of second nature, connaturality, or more simply he considers not the nature of Man but focuses on the what of any given individual in a situation. He shows just how unnatural man can make himself when he seeks to build his edifice from his own image. From here he delves into nature herself looking at different metaphysical presumptions of materialistic and evolutionary theories and what implications can be derived from them. His focus remains intently on morality which leaves contending theories wanting to such a degree that the reader may be left to wonder how he had missed it all before. In the closing chapter of the first half the author deftly tackles what might be called psuedo-natural law; these are the imitation laws like utilitarianism.
The second half of the book takes everything that has come before it and applies it to political law.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The beauty here is the way Budziszewski ties natural law to a variety of areas, from marriage to abortion to capital punishment and more. Read morePublished 16 days ago by David
Brilliant! The first few chapters outline Natural Law and are quite technical. If your head doesn't spin a little then you probably have some training in philosophy. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Reed Richards
A must read for every thinking human being. Well written and says what needs to be said in this non-sensical age of post-modernity.Published 18 months ago by Flying Fisherman
In our modern and highly scientific civilization, it has long been a trend to discuss "the laws of nature. Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by James C Sanders
This is a good contribution to natural law thinking that has permeated much of Western ethical thinking. Read morePublished on August 18, 2010 by Ronald C. Payne
I'm an academic type and I've heard of natural law all my life, but I don't really know what it is. The author of this book drops clues along the way but he assumes you know and he... Read morePublished on December 9, 2009 by Richard P. Bonine