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Stupid old fart
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grufty jim
grufty jim
1947 posts

Edited Feb 10, 2008, 23:01
Re: Stupid old fart
Feb 10, 2008, 22:35
IanB wrote:
What do you think informed the Magna Carta in the first place? They didn't pull that out of their ass. Any idea of natural rights is an illusion. The rights we are suppsed to enjoy derive from a constantly developing reading of the Bible. The idea that our laws are based any anything other than Christian doctine is an illusion.

Indeed. I was quite confused by dodge one's reference to the Magna Carta. Although it certainly does establish certain rights for the King's subjects (habeus corpus being the one everyone knows), it is as much about establishing the Church's central role as it is about "the people". In fact, it was only drawn up as part of a process to placate the Pope (the process continued with King John declaring that England was a Papal territory).

It's also worth examining the phrase "King's subjects". At the time, the King was assumed to rule by Divine Providence, and by legally codifying the people of England as "subjects of a Divine representative" (something that was actually done earlier, but reiterated in the Magna Carta), if anything it reinforced the central role of Christianity in politics and society.

EDIT: Holy crap. I've just gone and read the Magna Carta (probably for the first time since High School!) and it's one of the most religious, christian documents you'll ever read. I can't see how anyone can think it's a secular document when the first paragraph announces that the whole reason it's being written is "out of reverence for God and for the salvation of our soul and those of all our ancestors and heirs, for the honor of God and the exaltation of holy church..." And it goes on and on like that. I'd forgotten just how religious it was.
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