We could almost believe that we are destined by Providence to an unsettled position on the globe, so invariably is a love of change implanted in the young. It seems as if the eternal Lawgiver intended that, at a certain age, man should leave father, mother, and the dwelling of his infancy, to seek his fortunes over the wide world.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The computer programmer is a creator of universes for which he alone is the lawgiver. No playwright, no stage director, no emperor, however powerful, has ever exercised such absolute authority to arrange a stage or field of battle and to command such unswervingly dutiful actors or troops.
No single character is ever so great that a nation can afford to form itself upon it. Imitation belittles. This appears in the instance of the Chinese. The Chinese are so many Confucii; in miniature. And so with the Jews. Moses, the lawgiver, is poorly represented by Moses, the old clothesman ; or even by Dives, the hanker.
Christian Nestell Bovee
Each person is entitled to some version of God that seems real, yet many versions contradict one another. The God of any religion is only a fragment of God. This has to be true, because a being who is unbounded has no image, no role to play, no location either inside or outside the cosmos, whereas religions offer many images--father, mother, lawgiver, judge, ruler of the universe.
It is a human circumstance that when we are born we have not yet come into existence. We are lured into our special human existence by a mothering presence that gratifies our innate urges to be suckled, held, rocked, caressed. But that same gratifying presence puts limits on desire and rations satisfaction. In this sense the mother is also the first lawgiver.
Louise J. Kaplan
My first fundamental premise of our faith is that God is real and so are eternal truths and values not provable by current scientific methods. These ideas are inevitably linked. Like other believers, we proclaim the existence of the ultimate lawgiver, God our Eternal Father, and the existence of moral absolutes. We reject the moral relativism that is becoming the unofficial creed of much of modern culture.
Dallin H. Oaks
Some persons hold that, while it is proper for the lawgiver to encourage and exhort men to virtue on moral grounds, in the expectation that those who have had a virtuous moral upbringing will respond, yet he is bound to impose chastisement and penalties on the disobedient and ill-conditioned, and to banish the incorrigible out of the state altogether. For (they argue) although the virtuous man, who guides his life by moral ideals, will be obedient to reason, the base, whose desires are fixed on pleasure, must be chastised by pain, like a beast of burden.
All significant concepts of the modern theory of the state are secularized theological concepts not only because of their historical development - in which they were transferred from theology to the theory of the state, whereby, for example, the omnipotent god became the omnipotent lawgiver - but also because of their systematic structure, the recognition of which is necessary for a sociological consideration of these concepts. The exception in jurisprudence is analogous to the miracle in theology. Only by being aware of this analogy can we appreciate the manner in which the philosophical ideas of the state developed in the last centuries.
The mechanism by which spirituality becomes passionate is metaphor. An ineffable God requires metaphor not only to be imagined but to be approached, exhorted, evaded, confronted, struggled with, and loved. Through metaphor, the vividness, intensity, and meaningfulness of ordinary experiences becomes the basis of a passionate spirituality. An ineffable God becomes vital through metaphor: The Supreme Being. The Prime Mover. The Creator. The Almighty. The Father. The King of Kings. Shepherd. Potter. Lawgiver. Judge. Mother. Lover. Breath. The vehicle by which we are moved in passionate spirituality is metaphor. The mechanism of such metaphor is bodily. It is a neural mechanism that recruits our abilities to perceive, to move, to feel, and to envision in the service not only of theoretical and philosophical thought, but of spiritual experience.
The fantastical idea of virtue and the public good being a sufficient security to the state against the commission of crimes... was never mine. It is only the sanguinary hue of our penal laws which I meant to object to. Punishments I know are necessary, and I would provide them strict and inflexible, but proportioned to the crime. Death might be inflicted for murder and perhaps for treason, [but I] would take out of the description of treason all crimes which are not such in their nature. Rape, buggery, etc., punish by castration. All other crimes by working on high roads, rivers, gallies, etc., a certain time proportioned to the offence... Laws thus proportionate and mild should never be dispensed with. Let mercy be the character of the lawgiver, but let the judge be a mere machine. The mercies of the law will be dispensed equally and impartially to every description of men; those of the judge or of the executive power will be the eccentric impulses of whimsical, capricious designing man.
This is the history of governments, - one man does something which is to bind another. A man who cannot be acquainted with me, taxes me; looking from afar at me, ordains that a part of my labour shall go to this or that whimsical end, not as I, but as he happens to fancy. Behold the consequence. Of all debts, men are least willing to pay the taxes. What a satire is this on government! Everywhere they think they get their money's worth, except for these. Hence, the less government we have, the better, - the fewer laws, and the less confided power. The antidote to this abuse of formal Government, is, the influence of private character, the growth of the Individual; the appearance of the principal to supersede the proxy; the appearance of the wise man, of whom the existing government, is, it must be owned, but a shabby imitation. That which all things tend to educe, which freedom, cultivation, intercourse, revolutions, go to form and deliver, is character; that is the end of nature, to reach unto this coronation of her king. To educate the wise man, the State exists; and with the appearance of the wise man, the State expires. The appearance of character makes the State unnecessary. The wise man is the State. He needs no army, fort, or navy, - he loves men too well; no bribe, or feast, or palace, to draw friends to him; no vantage ground, no favourable circumstance. He needs no library, for he has not done thinking; no church, for he is a prophet; no statute book, for he has the lawgiver; no money, for he is value; no road, for he is at home where he is; no experience, for the life of the creator shoots through him, and looks from his eyes. He has no personal friends, for he who has the spell to draw the prayer and piety of all men unto him, needs not husband and educate a few, to share with him a select and poetic life. His relation to men is angelic; his memory is myrrh to them; his presence, frankincense and flowers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson