j i absolutely agree that the foundation of law is mostly objective,but the subversion over the past few centuries is not.if you can get more objective than a framework based upon nature and the laws of the universe,we would all be gods.
The idea of a 'natural order' or 'laws of the universe' I've always found to be rather meaningless unless we're talking about something like physics.
If we're talking about people, there may be some genetic predispositions to certain activities (cooperation, tribalism, sex, territorialism, aggression, altruism, violence, caring for our young etc.). But we're most commonly a product of our culture
Generally speaking large groups of people use directed reasoning, where we assimilate only that which we already agree with. Individuals vary more widely on this. So when interpreting the 'laws of nature', they usually interpret them in such a way to confirm what they already believe.
A warrior society might look at the violent conflict in nature and see confirmation of the virtue of martial prowess. A religious society might see cooperation in insects, or caring for offspring of a forest animal as an affirmation of a more altrustic 'law of nature'. In short, laws of nature are little more than a cultural Rorschach test that we project ourselves upon.
It reality, its just us. While there may be a God up there watching over us after having created us, he's not hanging around for us to ask questions. WE interpret what 'He' is supposed to be saying. Which, like the laws of nature, always seem to reaffirm what we already believe. We decide what is moral, we decide what is ethical. We define the social mores of a given civilization.
When I speak of a 'more objective' society, I don't mean completely objective. I simply mean that a civilization that establishes for itself a particular set of enforcible social standards. As long as people are involved, its impossible to remove al subjective interpretation. But it is possible to have a *mostly* objective system of laws and moral codes.
The standard of that moral system for a given society....is whatever we believe it is. Not as individuals. But as a civilization. If we believe in the divine right of kings, or that the emperor is the literal son of the sun goddess, or that the people are the supreme authority or that god's prophet decides all moral standards....we create an relatively objective moral standard. And it is from this that laws are codified and enforced.
The 'power of the people' basis is in my opinion, the least bullshyte of the various options. I mean, if you believe that a carved log is the basis of your moral system, you're using a proxy for what is essentially a human decision. The log doesn't have much to say. How we 'interpret' its wisdom is where our moral code comes from. Meaning once again, its just us.
So when you *start* with the idea that the people are the authority from which all other authority is derived, you cut out the middle man and nonsense proxies and get right to the point. I like that. I also like the focus on the individual liberty of man....as it acts as a balance against the tyranny of the majority. The majority gets to make choices that effect society but there is push back in the form of individual liberty. The majority can't, say....decide that all gingers should be castrated. The majority lacks that authority. At least in theory.
Even in the US system, the people have the ultimate authority to strip away any right. Its just *really* hard to do: an amendment. And its difficult to convince a sufficient number of folks that the gingers need to go. But the fact that we *could*, underlines the fact that *all* morality is ultimately a judgment call made by us.
The genius of the US system (and most systems that it emulates or emulate it) is its inefficiency. Power is *really* really hard to wield. I mean, a BI-cameral congress? Each that have to agree? AND a signature by an executive? And eventual tacit or explicit sign off by the judiciary?
That's insanely complicated. And that's just the bare bones of the federal system. Add 50 additional state governments, various municipalities, their election processes, their judiciaries....and you have a system that is balkanized almost to the point of uselessness.
Which is actually why we're still around.
Its the kind of system that makes any real change *glacial*. Significant movement on the issue of rights for example could take a generation. Its that slowness, that ineffeciency that prevents the tyranny of the majority from infringing too much on the rights of the individual. We might have a spasm of hysteria here and there (freedom fries anyone? How about that 'Victory Mosque' in NY)....but it takes long term, sustained change to society itself to actually see any real change.
It also allows injustice to continue for *way* to freakin' long when it exists institutionally. I mean, America's hang up with gays has lasted for centuries. And only now are we even *starting* to address it with any consistency. Black folks had to endure generations of bullshyte even after slavery...and of course slavery is one of the most hideous institutions to every cast its shadow on our national character. The south was punished for generations by an angry north, women had to eat shyte for well over a century on paper, and closer to two in practice....and don't even get me started about the Native Americans.
So its not a perfect system. But its far, far better than a system of *subjective* morality. Where every one gets to do whatever they want to each other. The entire concept of individual liberty becomes little more than ivory tower intellectual exercise....and in practice, the strong dominate the weak. Utterly. Where there's no stabilizing standards of cultural moral codes or ethical codes, no effective method of conflict resolution. Its the recess schoolyard, all day, every day....and no over arching leviathan like 'teacher' to make sure folks behavior. And while *most* folks would abide in a polite, dignified manner (as long as their basic needs were being met), it doesn't take many bad apples to flush an entire civilization.
Which is why I value the rights, freedoms and laws that we possess today that protect those freedoms.