The suicidal proclivity of our time, writes the acclaimed philosopher J. Budziszewski, is to deny the obvious. Our hearts are riddled with desires that oppose their deepest longings, because we demand to have happiness on terms that make happiness impossible. Why? And what can we do about it?
Budziszewski addresses these vital questions in his brilliantly persuasive new book, "The Line Through the Heart." The answers can be discovered in an exploration of natural law--a venture that, with Budziszewski as our expert guide, takes us through politics, religion, ethics, law, philosophy, and more.
Natural law, the author states plainly but provocatively, is a "fact" about human beings; as surely as we have hands and feet, we have the foundational principles of good and evil woven into the fabric of our minds. From this elemental fact emerges a natural law "theory" that unfolds as part of a careful study of the human person. Thus, Budziszewski shows, natural law forms a common ground for humanity.
But this common ground is slippery. While natural law is truly an observable part of human nature, human beings are hell-bent--quite literally--on ignoring it. The mere mention of the obligations imposed on man by his nature will send him into a rage. In this sense, "The Line Through the Heart "explores natural law as not simply a fact and a theory but also a "sign of contradiction."
While investigating the natural law and its implications, Budziszewski boldly confronts--and offers a newly integrated view of--a wide range of contemporary issues, including abortion, evolution, euthanasia, capital punishment, the courts, and the ersatz state religion being built in the name of religious toleration.
Written in Budziszewski's usual crystalline style, "The Line Through the Heart" makes clear that natural law is a matter of concern not merely to scholars; it touches how each of us lives, and how all of us live "together." His profoundly important examination of this subject helps us make sense of why habits that run against our nature have become second nature, and why our world seems to be going mad.