Robert George Essays

Sound positions cannot be ­effectively advanced and defended by citizens and statesmen who are unwilling or unable to engage moral arguments.

This volume presents twelve original essays by leading natural law theorists and their critics.

The contributors discuss natural law theories of morality, law and legal reasoning, politics, and the rule of law.

These norms equally exclude the sacrificing of the dignity and rights of persons for the sake of some supposed “greater overall good.” How do you respond to those who want to severe the ideas of limited government and moral truth?

It is a profound mistake to suppose that the principle of limited government is (1) rooted in the denial of moral truth or (2) a putative requirement of governments to refrain from acting on the basis of judgments about moral truth. Our commitment to limited government is itself the fruit of moral conviction—conviction ultimately founded on truths that our nation’s founders proclaimed as self-evident: namely “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” What’s at the foundation of this proposition?

Robert George’s books include Making Men Moral, The Clash of Orthodoxies, and Conscience and Its Enemies.

Natural law theory is enjoying a revival of interest in a variety of scholarly disciplines including law, philosophy, political science, and theology and religious studies.

What do you think about a pragmatic approach to these issues?

We must not adopt a merely pragmatic understanding or speak only of practical considerations in addressing the pressing issues of our day.

I thought it’d be worth reprinting part of it below.

What are the obligations and purposes of law and government?


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