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Are there universal values of right and wrong, good and bad, shared by virtually every human? The tradition of natural law argues that there is. Drawing on the work of psychoanalyst Melanie Klein, whose analyses have touched upon issues related to original sin, trespass, guilt, and salvation through reparation, in this 2006 book C. Fred Alford adds an extra dimension to this argument: we know natural law to be true because we have hated before we have loved and have wished to destroy before we have wanted to create. Natural law is built upon the desire to make reparation for the goodness we have destroyed, or have longed to destroy. Through reparation, we earn salvation from the most hateful part of ourselves, that which would destroy what we know to be good.
C. Fred Alford is Professor of Government and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of a dozen books on moral psychology, including Rethinking Freedom, What Evil Means to Us, and Think No Evil. A recipient of three Fulbright Fellowships, Alford is Executive Director of the Association for Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society and serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals.