Monday, July 26, 2010

The Use of Reason In America’s Founding Era Political Pulpits

Another repost to my new group blog here.

58 comments:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Cicero is key.

Jefferson is not. ;-)

King of Ireland said...

Do a post on it Tom no one responded at the other blog. We limp ahead into the future because we are not armed with the real history of Christian thought. It is a shame that there is so much bias out there.

Look at what Hugo Chavez did. He says he is the reincarnated Bolivar. Problem is that it seems that Bolivar would have puked at most of his policies. But know one bothers to check the history.

Tom Van Dyke said...

At this point I think Christian Ciceroianism is a lead, a trail. I'd like to see how Cicero and Stoicism made their way into the other part of the religion equation, Reformed theology.

But the paper is a good theological argument against the theological argument that the Founding wasn't authentically Christian, especially if you can figure Augustine in there.

But again, since these are theological arguments and not historical ones IMO, Frazer, Kraynak and the like aren't in my primary area of interest.

King of Ireland said...

You cannot prove the historical without clarity in the theological BUT there is a difference between proving validity and truth claims. I think the debate Frazer and I had on Romans 13 helped show the theological and historical validity of resistance theory and one not really need to go into truth claims for that to happen. Fine line but important one.

You should read the link Chris gave in the Muslim thread. It is awesome and goes into the same stuff about conflating theology and history but also give excellent overviews of valid Muslim and Christian theology that are much needed to even begin to debate the history.

I am on page 52 of 350 and he is still laying the theological foundations that are needed to have a proper historical discussion.

Anyway, whether you like it or not Tom, Frazer's biases are just as main stream as Barton's and one has to get theological at times to dispute him.

Pinky said...

.
I read the "other blog" carefully and had one question that hasn't been answered yet.
.
So, what's the problem you two want to play with?
.
Try to give straight answers, please.
.

King of Ireland said...

I do not get the question Phil.

Pinky said...

.
.
What is the problem you two are wanting to address?
.
That's the question.
.

King of Ireland said...

Go and read my last post. I outline it there. In short, I feel that some Christian influences on the founding are falsly label Enlightenment.

King of Ireland said...

Sorry it was not my last post it was the part three on Kraynak.

Pinky said...

.
So, are you exposing the argument as an historical one or are you wanting us to see it as in the current of our day?
.
Or as something else entirely?
.

King of Ireland said...

It is a historical argument but my personal interest is how it relates to today. The latter is not so much relevant to this blog. Some good discussions on the historical lessons that we can learn from the more rational and tolerant streams of Christianity and apply it to Islam have taken place at Jon's new blog.

I think it is shaping up that the history gets ironed out here and we take what we learn to the policy discussions there.

Go read what I said about Las Casas and Islam in the post about how Islam presents itself and you we hopefully see what I am coming from.

In short, if time and I are right and their is a difference between French Revoultion ideas of "liberal democracy" and American Revolution ideas of "a constitutional republic" we have to be ware of efforts to conflate the two.

I think the latter could be compatible with some major streams of Islam at first glance. The former never will be. Stakes are high in the "Clash of Civilizations" vs. "End of History" debate. I go with the latter but think it will take an American type Republic built on natural law to get it done.

We have a lot to learn from the schoolmen and what some would call calvinist scholatics.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Pinky, you've been reading American Creation for over a year. Enough people seem to understand the general thrust that I don't think it's a lack of clarity on the contributors' part, who fall on both sides of the issue.

For anyone still reading this, it occurred to me that Robert Kraynak [whose thesis is similar to Gregg Frazer's in alleging the Christianity of the Founding era was inauthentic] might not like Vatican II very much.

Bingo, more Catholic than the pope:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Who+Is+My+Neighbor%3F+Personalism+and+the+Foundations+of+Human...-a0186271091

For the most part, Williams presents a line of reasoning very similar to the argument that I made the last time I taught my university's 400-level philosophy course on Catholic Social Thought. In that course, I used Robert Kraynak's book, Christian Faith and Modern Democracy, to set up the problem of the semester. Kraynak offers a serious challenge to Catholic social thought and personalism.

[To] Kraynak, the emphasis in personalism on the dignity of the human person, specifically when it is coupled with the language of rights, actually has the effect of weakening Christianity and sapping its spiritual energy. According to according to Kraynak, the emphasis in personalism on the dignity of the human person, specifically when it is coupled with the language of rights, actually has the effect of weakening Christianity and sapping its spiritual energy.

Kraynak believes that, in adopting the language of rights, both Vatican II and John Paul II have inadvertently undermined Christianity both in theory and in practice.

Pinky said...

.
I don't exactly understand what you've written here, KOI; but, I'm sure I get your drift.
.
I guess I get the idea of the historical point of view; but, know that what counts is that there is no specific proof that stands up to any serious inquiry to prove that the Founders intended us to believe that our rights come from the Biblical God.
.
So, doesn't all the proof that is gathered up to prove that our rights come from the Christian theology as far as the Founding is concerned fail on close inspection?
.

Pinky said...

.
You're correct, Tom, I've been reading here for more than a year.
.
But, I have to say that what you write is kinda fuzzy to me.
.
Maybe I need better explanations that come right to the point.
.
I've noticed that when I'm reading Strauss, I have to go over most paragraphs at least three times to get what he is actually saying.
.
Maybe I need to get what you write in a better relief.
.

King of Ireland said...

"I guess I get the idea of the historical point of view; but, know that what counts is that there is no specific proof that stands up to any serious inquiry to prove that the Founders intended us to believe that our rights come from the Biblical God."

Then I am afraid you see what you want to see Phil.

Pinky said...

.
I never started out thinking I wanted to see anything but the truth of the matter.
.
Maybe we're all in that same boat?
.
There does seem to be a preponderance of circumstantial proof on both sides of the issue.
.

Pinky said...

.
"Then I am afraid you see what you want to see Phil. "
.
That's very easy to say.
.
And, it sort of puts an end to further inquiry.
.

King of Ireland said...

Pinky

I am all for further inquiry but even Jefferson said rights were from God. What other God was he refering to besides the God of the Bible? I think Tom even produced a quote once where he refered to Jehovoah or something to that nature.

As far as the rest there is not doubt at all.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It was Washington, in a letter to a Jewish congregation, Savannah, iirc, who said the same Providence that led the Jews out of Egypt was responsible for the success of the American founding.

I've just run out of time for people who simply negate, and ignore the evidence right in front of their eyes.

I don't find their arguments convincing either [mostly because they don't have any, they just pick at yours*]. That's the real conversation-ender.

I don't mind disagreeing with Jon: we trade evidence, argument and counterargument. But these epistemological black holes are a waste of time.

*The excellent RR Reno on skepticism for skepticism's sake, hitting a theme I've touched on occasionally, the belief that detecting error is as worthy as searching for truth, and what's worse, confusing the two.

http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2010/07/an-error-worse-than-error

Pinky said...

.
"I've just run out of time for people who simply negate, and ignore the evidence right in front of their eyes."
.
You know as well as any that if your position were as unable to be refuted as you seem to think, those knowledgeable persons who oppose your views would have long since given in to your superior position. There could be no argument whatsoever.
.
It could as easily be said that the same Providence that revealed the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith and that led the Jews out of Egypt was the same one who revealed the Quaran to Mohamed.
.
I hope it's still okay to be learning about these things. Or is this site reserved only for know-it-all equestrians?
.
.

Torey said...

"But again, since these are theological arguments and not historical ones IMO, Frazer, Kraynak and the like aren't in my primary area of interest."I am stunned by the truth in those words.

Tom Van Dyke said...

You know as well as any that if your position were as unable to be refuted as you seem to think, those knowledgeable persons who oppose your views would have long since given in to your superior position. There could be no argument whatsoever.

Argument from authority, Phil.

You trust "the scholars," then, the conventional opinion.

Who's the drone, brother? Who's the one who's been brainwashed and programmed? And who's the rebel, the man who thinks for himself, does some digging on his own, investigates the evidence and comes to his own conclusions?

"May the same wonder-working Deity, who long since delivered the Hebrews from their Egyptian oppressors, planted them in a promised land, whose providential agency has lately been conspicuous in establishing these United States as an independent nation, still continue to water them with the dews of heaven and make the inhabitants of every denomination participate in the temporal and spiritual blessings of that people whose God is Jehovah.

G.Washington"


http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/loc/washington.html

You've been living in this here America for 70+ years, Phil, and it looks like your "authorities" never told you that one.

They never told me neither, man. They told me they were all deists, whatever that means. Nothing.

You want to "learn about things"? Then learn. It's never too late.

__________________

"But again, since these are theological arguments and not historical ones IMO, Frazer, Kraynak and the like aren't in my primary area of interest."

I am stunned by the truth in those words.


Torey, I sure hope you consider that a good thing.

Lindsey Shuman said...

This is why I left American Creation, Pinky. Jerks who think they know everything, label the opinions of others as "ignorant," "liberal" "false" or some other crap and then hide behind the "arguments of authority/you see what you want to see and not the truth like me" B.S.

No wonder things around here have become so one-sided. The bullies are hogging the playground in the name of historical and intellectual "honesty."

For myself, I haven't missed these types one bit.

Pinky said...

.
I AM learning, Van Dyke, and I have no problems with accepting the fact that I don't know it all. I lstir the pot to get others to come to the surface with their opinions and knowledge.
.
You're the one who seems to think he knows it all and is running out of patience with me for not accepting your representation of authority. Problem is that there is more than one authority.
.
I would never come back against you if you weren't so rude in the first place.
.
.

Pinky said...

.
Fact is, Lindsey, the attitude toward authority is anti-liberal at its root. Anti-liberal in the sense that it sees America's liberal democracy as an evil that will not only fail; but, it is the cause of all the world's trouble. It wants to get back to the ultimate authority--the God that led the Jews out of Egypt. Did you miss that one by Tom?
.
.
I wonder just how far this so-called respect for authority will go. Sometimes some of us get so caught up in academic pursuit that we lose sight of the practical aspects of our existence.
.
.

King of Ireland said...

Pinky the question is what kind of Liberal democracy you are talking about.

Pinky said...

.
I wrote, America's Liberal Democracy, and I meant the one we have right now.
.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It's illiberal to quote George Washington? This is getting weird.

Pinky said...

.
If I understand the word, illiberal, it means to be narrow-minded about cherished opinions.
.
It seems you are narrow minded about many opinions you seem to cherish, Tom.
.
And, where in any comment by any person on the internet did you find anyone making such an utterly stupid claim that it's illiberal to quote George Washington.
.
You spins give this blog site a bad name for truth and honesty. Maybe you should take a break?
.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I was talking about Cicero and the Founding. You pretend to not know what's being said, that start this ad hom nonsense. Again.

If you can't stay on topic, it's you who needs to give the blog a break, Pinky. Man up or girly-off.

Pinky said...

.
Sigh
.

Lindsey Shuman said...

You guys see what I mean. Tom can't even see what a complete asshole he is. He actually thinks that people like him and that he has a point.

He's just a big arrogant jerk.

King of Ireland said...

Phil,

I have to agree, and have said it to you myself, you do stray off topic quite a bit. It is if you have your mind made up what you think and only look for confirmation of what you think at times. I do too and so do we all, but we should not get so testy when others point it out.

Socratic dialogue has room for tangents but they have to be regarding the general theme of the question being asked.

I hope you stay around Phil and I do not write any of this to put you down. But I gotta call it as I see it.

Pinky said...

.
Hugo Chaves and Simon Bolivar are on topic?
.
.
I'll just let what you wrote, KOI, stand.
.

Lindsey Shuman said...

So Batman has found his Robin! King of Ireland backing Tom. Another reason this blog has gone to the dogs. You guys remind me of Don Quixote. You think you're awesome and know what you are talking about when everyone else is laughing at what fools you make of yourself. Pinky is great. QUIT PICKING ON HIM FOR ASKING QUESTIONS!!! Why don't you do everyone a favor and go back to wherever you came from. I know that I would return (along with others) if Tom (and now his new side kick/lover) would just go away forever.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Dispatches from the Bearded Spock Universe.

Lindsey Shuman said...

And yet you're the only one with a beard.

Seriously, when are you going to leave so that us civilized folk can return, Tom? And take your puppet with you!

Tom Van Dyke said...

Oooops. Broke the cardinal rule---don't feed the trolls. Sorry, everybody.

King of Ireland said...

Lindsey,

I do not think I was ever rude to you. Why the hostilities and irrational rants? I have told Phil about 300 times what my point is when I post here. I am sure everyone gets it. They do not have to agree with it but to constantly have someone asking what your point is when it is clear does get old.

He has also more than once sidetracked a discussion by bringing of Leo Strauss out of the blue, thought Strauss is discussed a lot here, and at odd times. I always wondered why and then he admitted one day that the thinks that Tom is hiding some motive and being deceitful like Strauss.

So if you want to discuss the issues or topics here that is fine and I will do it. If you want to attack someone like me that has never said a cross word to you then I will no longer respond to you.

King of Ireland said...

Phil,

I brought up Chavez and Bolivar because you have asked me a thousand times what my point is and why getting the history right matters? I was illustrating how things can get distorted in the present when people do not know or misunderstand the past.


Lindsey,

While I am at it there is a difference between the student who asks the teacher questions because he does not understand and one that asks questions over and over again just to screw with the teacher. I am starting to lean toward Phil wanting to do the latter and hide behind ignorance when called out for it.

I hope I am wrong but I am beginning to wonder.

Pinky said...

.
While I am at it there is a difference between the student who asks the teacher questions because he does not understand and one that asks questions over and over again just to screw with the teacher. I am starting to lean toward Phil wanting to do the latter and hide behind ignorance when called out for it.
.
Wow!
.
What seems more likely is that I am hitting at some basic points at issue for which the self proclaimed scholars are at a loss to handle.
.
Speaking of Trolls, what about Tom as the resident Snark? (Look it up if you're not familiar with the term as used to describe a certain blog role.)
.

King of Ireland said...

Phil,

No answers for what? You have not asked a coherent question yet. I am not scholar and love open discussion but for it to work you have to read and understand what the other guy is saying and respond to it.

Like Tom stated, he and Jon go at it a lot but they both acknowledge each others points, go and research the topic and come back with reasoned responses. I am not seeing that from you lately. I am seeing an attempt to accuse Tom of essentially lying. I see no evidence for it and it really needs to stop.

So if you are for real go read what I have posted the last 10 or so times, attempt to understand what I am saying and not saying, and come up with the relevant questions. I will answer them if it is in good faith.

I honestly have no idea what you are getting at with all this.

Pinky said...

.
I was talking about Cicero and the Founding. You pretend to not know what's being said, that start this ad hom nonsense. Again.

If you can't stay on topic, it's you who needs to give the blog a break, Pinky. Man up or girly-off.

.
Oh? The topic is Cicero? Do you mean Carrol of Carrolton, the Jesuit educated son of America's richest landowner?
.

King of Ireland said...

"Oh? The topic is Cicero? Do you mean Carrol of Carrolton, the Jesuit educated son of America's richest landowner?"

Where does this come from Phil? It has nothing to do with anything that has been said. If you have something to say about Tom come out and say it. Do you think he is a closet Jesuit or something? This is getting weird now.

Pinky said...

KOI! I've counted to ten.

On July 29, 2010 at 2:17 PM Blogger Tom Van Dyke wrote:

I was talking about Cicero and the Founding. You pretend to not know what's being said, that start this ad hom nonsense. Again.

If you can't stay on topic, it's you who needs to give the blog a break, Pinky. Man up or girly-off.

.
I'm beginning to see that Lindsey is correct about you being Tom's lackey.
.
Or am I just so stupid that I think that Tom started out with this post on July 26, 2010 @ 4:33 PM?

Cicero is key.

Jefferson is not. ;-)

.
I am trying to be courteous with you, KOI.
.
To be a blog Snark is to play witty games for the purpose of confusing any issue.
.
I'm getting tired of the games being played here.
.

King of Ireland said...

Phil,

Tom's point about Cicero was to combat some things that Jon was saying at his other blog. If you actually go back and read what he linked it brings a lot of damage to Jon's case that resitance theory is not orthodox. That is the topic.

So how you got off on Carrolton and the Jesuits? Then when confronted on what that has to do with anything do not even address it.


I REPEAT:

IF YOU WANT ME TO TAKE YOU SERIOUS AND DISCUSS THIS STUFF WITH YOU, WHICH I REALLY WANT TO AND EVEN DID SOME POSTS THAT OPENED THE DOOR FOR YOU TO TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS YOU BRING UP A LOT AND YOU DID NOT BOTHER TO COMMENT, GO AND READ ENOUGH OF WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN TO GET MY GIST AND THEM COME OF WITH SOME QUESTIONS.

I am sure I am wrong or out of balance on some or perhaps a lot of what I have stated. Jon, Brad, and other like JRB have challenged me with substance and well thought out responses that I do not always agree with but respect because of the effort put into them and the great discussion that it generates. It is these discussions that help us learn.

Comments about Jesuits and Carrolon out of left field do not. I repeat again as well if you think Tom is hiding something then be out with it. Your esoteric accusations are getting us no where.

As far as being a lackey that is laughable for anyone who knows me and how strong willed and opinionated I am. Lindsey obviously wants to control and blog she once did and does not like Tom. I suggest she either rejoin the discussion or be on her way.

Pinky said...

.
Charles Carrol of Carrollton is known as the American Cicero.
.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I didn't know that, Pinky. Thank you.

Fascinating:

http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2010/bbirzer_ccarroll_june2010.asp

Pinky said...

.
I don't recall if it was here or at Suite 101; but, I did some posts on Carrol a year or so ago. I think David Hackett Fischer reports on him.
.

King of Ireland said...

Phil,

I get the Carrol thing now why not explain it from the beginning? Anyway, I said what I said and I am moving on. I do appreciate you Phil.

Pinky said...

.
Not to be picky; but, to appreciate means to improve in value.
.
I don't think so, KOI. Depreciate would be more like it.
.
But, so what. You've got as much right to be opinionated as the next person.
.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Heh heh. Unless the next person is me. ;-)

"Pinky, quit watching stuff like "National Treasure" as a source for your history.

Who said that? Hint: Not. Me.

Interesting reading:

http://americancreation.blogspot.com/2008/06/masonic-symbolism-in-dollar-bill.html

King of Ireland said...

It was Lindsey. Go figure. Time to move forward.

Pinky said...

.
Having completed all the degree work in the Blue Lodge as well as all of the Scottish and York rites of Free Masonry, I have no clue regarding those claims about the symbols on America's paper currency.
.
By the way, my sources on American history are quite well respected.
.
.

Brad Hart said...

Ugh!

Pinky said...

.
That's what Snarks bring to your blog site.
.
And, Yuk, is a better way of putting it.
.

Brad Hart said...

Yuk...touche, Pinky! =)

Pinky said...

.
Right.
.
But, the thought of the Founding being influenced by an American "Cicero" has serious support.
.
.