CanadysPeak wrote:We live in a society of law. We make the laws, though some of us have much more input than others. The ultimate authority rests always in the government created to adminster those laws. We may individually acknowledge other authority, e.g., religious or moral, but we do so at peril of sanctions by the government. In such an instance, we must be prepared, like many Vietnam war COs, to go into exile or to go to prison.
Hume, whom you seem to admire, wrote of the original contract,
"The people, if we trace government to its first origin in the woods and deserts, are the source of all power and jurisdiction, and voluntarily, for the sake of peace and order, abandoned their native liberty and received laws from their equal and companion."
This voluntary surrender of individual authority is held by most to be irrevocable. Hume, That Damned Infidel, also acknowledged that authority from a deity was secondary to, or perhaps a thinly disguised version of, this original contract.
Now I have to speak of God and argue Hume. I am really torn, because his reasoning is excellent, and this thread might be better if I could avoid the God issue, but man is not the ultimate authority, and neither is his government the ultimate authority. God, is the ultimate authority. Unfortunately religion has given us a false God, and that really messes things up. However, during the renaissance of Athens' philosophy and reasoning, it was considered our duty to use science to reveal God, and because democracy begins with this reasoning, I think we should stay with it. Our liberty depends on that. Governments are of men and they are not always right, but can be very wrong, deadly wrong.
Our liberty is not the freedom to do anything we please, because this would lead to doing wrong things, and that would be destructive, so it is not tolerable. Our liberty is restricted to the freedom to do the right thing, and it is our God given duty, to know right from wrong. For every freedom there is a duty.
In a democracy, everyone holds the duty of knowing right from wrong, and the responsibility of governing the nation by naming The Laws (logos), and then protecting their liberty by following the laws. When a person realizes a law is wrong, a person must speak up, and reason with others why the law is wrong, until the law is corrected, because God, not man is the ultimate authority. It would not be the wrong thing, if it did not do harm. So if we have laws that enable us to suck the last drop of water from the ground, and we know this is causing problems, and could destroy our way of life, we must speak up, because we, and the gods, are subject to The Law. We violate The Law at the peril of the consequences. This is either ignorant or foolish.
We are made in the image of the gods, because we can reason, and because we can reason, we are capable of self government. This is the fundamental principle of democracy.