Natural Law Society of America

Nonprofit Organization

Natural Law, Legal Theory & Philosophy, Moral & Religious Philosophy, Universal Law, International Law, Noachide, Allan Richter Doctor of Law, Philadelphia


The Noahide Code is the historic source of natural law and the basis of the American revolution. Throughout the ages, scholars have viewed the Noahide Laws as universal norms of ethical conduct, as a basic concept in international law, or as a guarantee of fundamental human rights for all. Encyclopedia Britanica – 1991 – “Noahide Laws.

The Stoics conceived of an entirely egalitarian law of nature in conformity with the logos (reason) inherent in the human mind.this notion was reflected in the writings of St. Paul (c. 10–67 ce), who described a law “written in the hearts” of the Gentiles (Romans 2:14–15). The Apostolic Decree recorded in Acts 15 is commonly seen as a parallel to Noahide Law.

The 18th-century rabbi Jacob Emden proposed that Jesus, and Paul after him, intended to convert the gentiles to the Noahide laws while calling on the Jews to keep the full Law of Moses.

“Then Jesus spoke to the multitude, and to his disciples, saying, the scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do.” Matthew 23:2 and 5:18-19.

Hugo Grotius the philosopher and legal theorist of the Dutch Renaissance was familiar with the Oral Torah and the Noahide Code. His masterwork, On the Law of War and Peace, is the basis of international law.

Grotius’s faith in the God of Moses, and his belief in a basic God-given universal Law permeates his writings and influenced thinkers like Hobbes, Paine, and Locke which gave birth to the American Revolution.

Is there a Rule of Morals, or Law of Nature given to us? Yes. JOHN LOCK ESSAY ON THE LAW NATURE: This law of nature can be described as being the decree of the divine will discernible by the light of nature. It appears to me less correctly termed by some people the dictate of reason, since reason does not so much establish and pronounce this law of nature as search for it and discover it as a law enacted by a superior power and implanted and implanted in our hearts. Neither is reason so much a maker of that law as its interpreter…It is not known or made known in the same way as positive laws … it is ... known to men because it can be perceived in the light of nature itself.

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WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS The opening phrase "We the peoples of the United Nations .." echoing that of the United States Constitution, was suggested by US congressman and Conference delegate Sol Bloom. The preambulatory phrase "In Larger Freedom" became the title of a UN reform proposal by the seventh Secretary-General, Kofi Annan. Jan Smuts from South Africa originally wrote the opening lines of the Preamble as, "The High Contracting Parties, determined to prevent a recurrence of the fratricidal strife which twice in our generation has brought untold sorrow and loss upon mankind. . ." which would have been similar to the opening lines of the Covenant of the League of Nations. After considerable argument at the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco, Virginia Gildersleeve was successful in changing and shortening the Preamble, however, with much of Smuts' original text reattached at the end. WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom, AND FOR THESE ENDS to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and to employ international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples, HAVE RESOLVED TO COMBINE OUR EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE AIMS Accordingly, our respective Governments, through representatives assembled in the city of San Francisco, who have exhibited their full powers found to be in good and due form, have agreed to the present Charter of the United Nations and do hereby establish an international organization to be known as the United Nations. http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/preamble/index.html
9 months ago
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JOHN LOCKE - NATURAL LAW - THE LAW OF NATURE - Jewish orthodox religious authorities and Hindu religious authorities, recognize each other as legitimate religious and cultural expressions, both recognize a single unified divine source as the sole underlying reality. Neither seeks to proselytize the other. "There are "certain rules, certain dictates which it is his will all men should conform their actions to" and "this will of his is sufficiently promulgated and made known to all mankind." Like divine positive law, natural law is binding because it is "the will of a supreme Godhead" it is the will of an "omnipotent lawmaker, known to us by the light and principles of nature." The archaeological record of India is of a monumental civilization that persisted from 3000 BCE (if not earlier) into the late ancient era, (Egypt), with a continuity to the present. In India, today we find the same types of rituals and temple worship still being practiced as once occurred in ancient Egypt and Babylonia (both nations in antiquity in which Judaism developed). The Bible places Abraham, about 1800 B.C., in a Vedic land at the time the Rig-Veda (early Hindu scripture) was created. Abraham migrated west into Canaan (Israel), and into Egypt (the Exodus). This corresponds with the migration of the “Mitanni” people, many of which settled in Canaan and Egypt. At about this time the Mitanni and Egyptian Monarchies intermarried and the Egyptians adopted Vedic (Hindu) Gods. Vedic gods were also worshiped in Canaan. Philosophy in India, in contrast to philosophy in the West, is focused on “the basic questions”, what is this world, from where does it come, what is its value, and what is man’s place in it. Indian philosophy shares such questions with the Kabbalah. There are many parallels between the traditions of India (Hiindu, Jaina, and Buddhist) and the Kabbalah. These include an extensive set of fundamental principles as well as specific concepts and symbols. Indian philosophy reveals that it embodies the same concept of unity in difference that is expressed in the Kabbalistic concept of the Sefirot (Divine architypes). Indian philosophy and all the higher religious traditions of Asia, while not discarding their early polytheistic mythologies, reworked those mythologies into a monism in which a single energy or principal, usually spoken of as “Brahman”, is regarded (like the Kabbalists regarded Ein-Sof) as the sole underlying reality. Each of the Hindu gods and goddesses are understood to be just another aspect or manifestation of this single unitary principal in Brahman, much as, for the Kabbalists, Sefirot of Partzufim, (personalities of God), are understood as aspects of Ein-Sof. In a section of the Rig-Veda known as “The Song of Creation” (1,800 B.C. – The time of Abraham’s migration) we read that “at a time when there was neither nonbeing or being, when darkness reigned in chaos and all that existed was hidden in the void, the One evolved and became desire.” Desire the Rig-Veda affirms, is “the first seed of mind”. In the Upanishad, we find the entire world was brought forth through “death” for out of “death” there emerged “desire” and death discovered that he was desirous of a “self”. In this myth of creation, we have a dialectical development (every concept gives rise to its opposite, the synthesis of opposites creates a new concept which gives rise to its own opposite), that in many ways anticipates the Kabbalistic movement from Ayin (nothingness) to Keter (desire and delight). What is most interesting from the perspective of the Kabbalah, is the fact that the world that, per the Uupanishad, emerges from death’s desire which takes the form of a cosmic, primordial man. The primordial man enters a cosmic erotic relationship (merger of opposites) which results in the creation of a temporal finite world (a new synthesis). This parallels Kabbalistic thought. In Kabbalah, we have the union of “Wisdom” and “Understanding”, in the Hindu we have the union of “desire” with “speech”. In both accounts his union results in the (dialectical) creation of a temporal, finite world. In the Upanishad, the self of man reflects or even embodies the self of the cosmos. This idea appears in Kabbalah in the idea that the human soul is a perfect reflection of the divine cosmic order. Man is created in God’s image. Sanford Drob proposes Indian/oriental religion including Gnosticism (which may have originally had Jewish origin), Greek thought, and the Biblical tradition interacted to produce the prototypes for the symbols and ideas that later came to be embedded in the Sefer Yetzirah (first century Jewish) mysticism and much later in the writings of the first Kabbalists in Provence and Gerona which were transmitted through written and oral form and reappeared in a new and more powerful form in the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria. It is noted that another line of Jewish thought represented by Moses Maimonides, also grounded in the biblical tradition but understood through the lens of Greek philosophy, rejected kabbalah.
3 years ago
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Allan Richter, Doctor of Law - paraphrase of Sanford Drob - Jewish Mysticism and the Philosophies of India. Like Ein-Sof (ALL), the principle called Brahman (or in its creative mode, Atman), is infinite and beyond all qualities and distinctions. It transcends all oppositions (opposites). Like Kabbalah, this spiritual principle is identified with a "no-thingness" and is "life energy" (prana) of the cosmos. The gods are just another manifestation of this unitary principal. For the Kabbalists, the Sefirot or Partzufim are aspects of Ein-Sof. Like Kabbalists their is a struggle to avoid describing the infinite in grandiloquent terms. Such an ambivalence - a desire to attribute everything especially of significance and value is characteristic of many mystical traditions. "Nothingness" is very significant in Kabbalistic thought and is also developed deeply in the traditions of India. The Upanishads refer to "netr,neti, "neither this nor that." In Kabbalah Ein-Sof is equated with nothingness inasmuch as it is completely beyond description. Buddhist reflection of Nagarjuna "It can not be called void or not void, but in order to indicate it, it is called void."Sunyata". It however, phenomenalizes (reveals) itself as the Buddha and empirical reality, just as in Kabbalah Ein-Sof manifests itself as the God of Israel and the world. In the Rig-Vida the One "evolved and became desire, the first seed of mind." In Kabbalah Ein-Sof is equated with its highest manifestation is understood to be Desire (Ratzon) and Delight (Tinug). In Indian thought "nothingness" is an existential manifestation of death which is dialectic-ally understood as implicitly containing desire within itself. The Kabballah dosn't use the term death but has a dialectical movement from Ayin (nothingness) to Keter (desire delight). In both systems of thought what emerges is "primordial man". In both Hindu and Jewish mystical accounts the result of the formation of Primordial Man, who in turn enters ino a cosmic erotic relationship representing the union of abstract entities. In Kabbalah the union is between Wisdom and Understanding, in Hindu the union is between Death/desire with Speech. In both this results in the creation of a temporal finite world. Like the Kabbalah, several schools within Hindu-Brahmanic tradition hod the world o be an illusin created through a limitation in the infinite "All". Like the Kabbalists, the ancient philosophers of India held that the infinite divine principal is mirrored and actually contained in the human heart. The self of man reflects or even embodies the self of the cosmos. While the kabbalistic Primordial Man (Adam Kadman) is spiritual (being composed of Sefirot). The Cosmic Man of Jaina and Hidu thought is coceived of in more material terms. An interesting parallel to the kabbalistic notion of unification of the Sefirot in Adam Kadman is found in the Jaina myth of the "seven life energies." - make within "men" (i.e., themselves) one man ... He it was who became th Lord of Progeny. Like the Kabbalah, in its doctrine of the Sefirot and Partzufim (divine Persona), the Upanishads speak of a number of secondary manifestations of the Absolute that embody particular characteristsics or traits. The various symbols of Indian philosophy provide for a ready transition from meaphysics to psychology. This is found in Yoga where it is the microcosmic mind that is the chief focus. This psycholgization is even more prominent in Buddhism, which is strictly "theraputic". The Budddha preached a doctrine in which all that is significant occcurs on the level of the microcosm, in the release of buddhi (enlighment) of the individual. It is a fundamental ethical axiom of both Indian and kabbalistic thought that man must integrate into his life and consciusness an aspect of himself (Atman in Indian thought: Tzelm, divine spark, or Godly soul in the kabbalah) that normally remains hidden. One of the most important images of spiritual liberation in Indian thought is Karma, several aspects of which finds lose paralels in the kabbalistic concept of Kelippot.
3 years ago