Quote of the Week: Michael Whelan, “Without God All Things Are Lawful”


There is, if you like, an inescapable logic implicit here. It goes something like this:

♦ when God (the transcendent, the ultimate, the divine dimension) recedes from the consciousness of society, that society has no ultimate or objective reference point for morality;

♦ when that happens, the society has no reason to be moral;

♦ when it has no reason to be moral it becomes more litigious (i.e. it places more and more emphasis on laws and law enforcement);

♦ the more litigious it becomes, ironically, the more lawless it is likely to be in the end. ‘What can I get away with?’ becomes the crucial question, ‘Don’t get caught’, the crucial law. To be truly law-abiding people must first be moral.

Such a society has unrealisable expectations of its law makers and enforcers – especially the latter. Such a society will also bread strange sects and bizarre theories as people struggle to find some connectedness with a bigger reality, a wider order that will give meaning and value to their lives. As Nietzsche noted last century: ‘He who no longer finds what is great in God, will find it nowhere – he must either deny it or create it’.

▪ Michael Whelan, Without God All Things Are Lawful (St Pauls, 1995) extract from page 55.

SydneyTrads is the internet portal and communication page of the Sydney Traditionalist Forum, an association of individuals who form part of the Australian paleoconservative, “traditionalist conservative” and “independent right”.

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