Something has weighed on me for some time now.
I attend a liberal law school. To say that I am nearly alone in my theistic views is an understantement surpassed only by the fact that I am alone in my theological views. If you're unfamiliar with me, and somehow reading this blog, you'll find out eventually where I stand on those issues, but that's mostly peripheral information for now.
I was sitting in class earlier this semester and one of my classmates, a very nice, affable fellow, begins to answer a question with, "Well, if truth exists..." One might think I'm getting excited over nothing, but consider what he's saying, and also consider the position he's in.
This particular student, and I'm willing to wager the vast majority in the classroom and many across this nation and the Western world, is unsure about the existence of truth, of objective truth. In four words, he conveyed his skepticism of objectivity, of the ability of one answer to be right over an alternative. On top of that, all of us in that classroom aspire to be arbiters of law.
What is law? Simply, it is the authority of a sovereign manifested over inferior subjects. If there is no objective truth, then the reason for that power being manifested is merely due to either assent or assertion of superior power. All we are, or all we will be, as attorneys, are tools of enforcement for a system of rules that really have no reason to be in existence in the first place. After all, they can't be true, and they can't be right.
This can be examined in another layer as well; why do we punish murderers? Naturalistically speaking, if we examine a serial killer through Darwinistic lenses, the serial killer is a genetic abnormality. There is nothing wrong with him at all; he is only a statistical anomaly. Hitler was not wrong, and neither was he right, he was merely statistically in the minority.
What does this have to do with anything? Well, I have trouble imagining a lawyer that doesn't have a basis for saying murder is wrong.
I'm sure the student in question would answer with fervor and zeal in proclaiming murder is wrong, but he has no basis to. It would be inconsistent for him to do so at this point. I find that troubling as well.
Objective truth is the bedrock that the law stands on. We must allude to something higher than us in order to justify our assertions as being superior. We commonly do this with tools such as logic. We rely on logic and logic is a natural order which makes sense to everyone.
A simple example is the epistemological Law of Non-contradiction. Basically, A cannot be both A and non-A at the same point in time. If you think this is wrong, then you'd have to rely on some logical basis to prove otherwise, but you'd still have to appeal to a higher, objective authority, i.e. logic. It would not suffice to say that you don't agree because you said so; that wouldn't make sense. But really, if you're skeptical of objective truth, isn't that merely all that you can do? You can't assert something else is wrong, because you have no basis to.
God's grace be upon you.