“What We Can’t Not Know” by Budziszewski





“What We Can’t Not Know” by Budziszewski

Question 1

The Book What We Can’t Not Know written by Budziszewski is an ethical literature, which expound on morality and the manner in which it is intertwined with culture. The moral absolutes are also discussed in-depth. He opines that people cannot claim not to be aware of the fundamental moral foundations that are defined by their cultures and beliefs (Strohm 34). This is despite the fact that in the recent times there has been a paradigm shift in the cultures hence creating what the author terms as “situational ethics.” People cannot feign ignorance of the moral foundation because of the existence of the conscience that he perceives as a moral regulator (Stanlis 2). He further explains that the conscience is an inbuilt human element that conforms to God and nature whereby the moral laws are deeply scripted so enable a person to set apart right from wrong. This is validates the reason why a person is able to understand that committing adultery, stealing, lying, murder and other sins are wrong (Budziszewski 9). The effects of having a system whereby there might be or lack of moral precepts is that people fail to acknowledge the existence of this moral regulator known as the conscience. This effect is created by the failure of the ethical systems to instill the belief that the absolute law of nature and God is written within the conscience (Budziszewski 4) and heart hence we, as humans, are empowered with the ability to discern t he morality of any situation.

Question 2

The furies of conscience serve as a consequent of the cycle of torment as explained by the author. The manner of portray on the manifestation of the furies can be considered as accurate because practically it is observed to actualize in the life of human beings. The effects that stem from these furies directly affect those that are involved in the cycle of torment (Stanlis 3). There are elemental aspects that are synonymous with these furies. They include remorse, feeling indebted, confession, reconciliation, and justification for the action that has been committed. When evaluating these aspects, it is notable that remorse is the primary fury, which is reinforced by the others. This is manifested when an individual commits a deed they morally consider wrong (Strohm 32). For them to console themselves, they are likely to commit the same action. Additionally, the repetition of the same transgression is likely to be facilitated by the desensitization of the transgressor to the act and its repercussions. An exemplary instance that clearly elaborates this is a young teen gets involved with a street gang. The first crime committed such as robbing a store is likely to facilitate the development of feelings of shame and guilt. However, with continuous robberies, it is likely that the teen will no longer harbor the feelings.

Question 3

This book is relevant for believers of any denomination and religion in the world. This is especially because it reinforces of the reality of natural law, which is applicable to all persons regardless of race, color, denomination, or ethnicity. He is strongly grounded on Christianity. However, he provides a platform where non-Christian audience is able to relate with the contents within the book (Budziszewski 7). Through the socialization process, the author is able to develop the element of the socialism amongst people that permit them to learn on various issues based from a religious angle (Stanlis 4). For the audience that values the authenticity, meaning and importance of religion, the book is especially recommended to them, as they trust in the doctrines taught within the book pertaining to the natural law and its relation with religion. Some of the meaningful texts that can be derived from the text are when the author discusses on the Ten Commandment. Universally, this event is elaborated in the Bible hence it is Christian-based story and serves as a valid example for the reader to adhere to the principalities of this holy book as God commands. The non-Christians are also considered because through this imperative example, they are able to have a broader perspective on the impact of come of their actions and reasons out the teaching from a Christianity angle.

Question 4

The author indicates that the natural law is intrinsically placed with the subconscious mind. It enables a person to perceive the right and wrong actions. Explaining the meaning of this law requires further understanding in the religious texts that elaborates on the topic. This is especially true because most people hold the belief that the origin of these laws is from God hence the reason for the explanation to have religious connotation (Stanlis 5). The natural law sets precedence to the consequential results of an action. These results, as previously stated, include the five furies, which occur when an individual fails to heed to the natural law hence committing morally wrong deed. Ultimately, the book indicates that the natural law is a basic aspect in humanity regardless of the religion as it empowers people to perceive their morality as they go through life as indicated in the book.


Works Cited

Budziszewski, J. What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide. Spence Publishing Company, 2011. Print.

Stanlis, Peter J. Edmund Burke, and the Natural Law. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, 2011. Print.

Strohm, Paul. Conscience. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.


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