Autonomy – A Law Unto Oneself

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“We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody.”

I’m not going to search out other examples of violence.  I think the recent murder of a passing jogger referenced above is a sufficient example of the lack of valuing the sanctity of human life.  It might be said that the killers lack a moral compass, but that wouldn’t be true.   They lack a moral compass that many possess, but act true to their own.  

Judges 17:6: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” (NASB). 

In short, they were autonomous, which, from the root, means self-law, or a law unto oneself.   Events such as these remind me of a poem by Steve Turner, primarily a music journalist and author who has written about The Beatles, U2 and others.  This was published in his book of poems, Up to Date, in 1983.



We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin.
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone,
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before during
and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy's OK
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated.
You can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes,
UFO's and bent spoons;
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha
Mohammed and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher although we think
his good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same,
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of
creation sin heaven hell God and salvation.

We believe that after death comes The Nothing
because when you ask the dead what happens
they say Nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied,
then it's compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin and Genghis Khan.

We believe in Masters and Johnson.
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between
warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors
and the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behaviour that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth
that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust. History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds.


Thoughtful, and I enjoy it every time I read it.  Driving the point home, though, is his postscript, entitled “Chance”:

If chance be the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear:

“State of Emergency!”

“Sniper Kills Ten!”

“Troops on the Rampage!”

“Bomb Blasts School!”

It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.


In keeping with the musings of journalists, Malcolm Muggeridge was another, also from Britain, who wrote for much of the 20th century.

“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place.  It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.”

One journalist focused largely on world powers, the other on entertainment, both, in their ways, speaking to the perils of self-law.

Now, let’s see what other amusements I can blog about...

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