The god(s) of a society’s law.
Legislation is always a dangerous thing, because you never are always aware as to what is the foundation for legislation. What is the driving idea? There is a common misconception that law is neutral, but law by its very nature can never be neutral; there is always a moral reason/idea behind any law.
Before we even begin to formulate moral reasons for a law we must always examine the “god” behind the idea for that law. What standard and source of authority are we appealing to in order to assert the justification of that law for society? Only once we ask this question will we begin to somewhat predict and understand the impact a law will have upon the ethics of our society.
R. J. Rushdoony summed it up well;
“Behind every system of law there is a god. To find the god in any system, locate the source of law in that system. If the source of law is the individual, then the individual is the god of that system. If the source of law is the people, or the dictatorship of the proletariat, then these things are the gods of those systems. If our source of law is a court, then the court is our god. If there is no higher law beyond man, then man is his own god, or else his creatures, the institutions he has made, have become his gods. When you choose your authority, you choose your god, and where you look for your law, there is your god.”
Who or what is your god? Ideas have consequences. Sometimes those consequences can be horrible though the best of intentions were the base for those ideas.