9/18/05

Faith based legal interpretation


Have just been reading Euthyphro in my class, trying to help students see the distinction between gods making something pious and gods recognizing piety, pre-existent. It's the fundamental difference between groundless and rationally grounded authority.



I was just reading a piece in a recent Harpers by Cass Sunstein about the shift rightward in America's Supreme Court, when I realized that the exact program of the "strict constructionists" or the "originalists" is the same as what is happening in the Euthyphro.



When someone argues for these types of literalism, they are essentially saying, like a priest, "we know what original intent was" or "we have access to the real meaning--and you don't." It is as groundless as the view Socrates is inveighing against, groundless in the sense that ultimately it does not rest on reasons accessible to all through dialectic, but only through some special form of access granted to those with power.

No comments: