'Self-evident truths' was a profound concept used by the drafters of the American Declaration of Independence to insist on their rights and freedom from oppressive government. How did this Enlightenment notion of self-evident human rights come to be used in this historic document and what is its true meaning? In The Declaration of Independence and God, Owen Anderson traces the concept of a self-evident creator through America's legal history. Starting from the Declaration of Independence, Anderson considers both challenges to belief in God from thinkers like Thomas Paine and American Darwinists, as well as modifications to the concept of God by theologians like Charles Finney and Paul Tillich. Combining history, philosophy and law in a unique focus, this book opens exciting new avenues for the study of America's legal history.
The Natural Moral Law argues that the good can be known and that therefore the moral law, which serves as a basis for human choice, can be understood. Proceeding historically through ancient, modern, and postmodern thinkers, Owen Anderson studies beliefs about the good and how it is known, and how such beliefs shape claims about the moral law. The focal challenge is whether the skepticism of postmodern thinkers can be answered in a way that preserves knowledge claims about the good. Considering the failures of modern thinkers to correctly articulate reason and the good and how postmodern thinkers are responding to these failures, Anderson argues that there are identifiable patterns of thinking about what is good, some of which lead to false dichotomies. The book concludes with a consideration of how a moral law might look if the good is correctly identified.
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