Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Americanism is Getting to David Barton

Not that I have a personal problem with Barton's seemingly more ecumenical shift. And I must say that it does accord with what the American Founding is all about. Now if only Barton would say Muslims worship the same God and he'd be almost entirely with America's Founders. Check it out here.

Brannon Howse: Aired August 23, 2011

Glenn Beck and David Barton are in Israel for the “Restoring Courage” rally. Topic One: Brannon plays an audio of Barton saying Beck is a Christian even though Beck admits he is a Mormon. Topic Two: In Israel, Beck introduces Barton as a Christian that has accepted him and his chosen path of Mormonism. Topic Three: In Israel Beck speaks of the need to know God and see His face. Beck says we are entering the age of miracles of God. What god; the Mormon god? Topic Four: Barton speaks at the rally in Israel and speaks of the God they are worshipping at the event. Would that be the Mormon god or the God of the Bible? The problem is that Barton and Beck both are talking about God but Mormons and Christians do not worship the same God. Barton also speaks about the Jews giving birth to a monotheistic religion which is a bit odd to bring up since his friend Beck is a Mormon and Mormons are polytheistic and believe in millions of gods. ...

179 comments:

Phil Johnson said...

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I'd like to make an observation here regarding such spokespersons as Barton and Beck.
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These guys--and others like them--are breaking down the barriers between church and state for all practical purposes. It matters not what our court systems have adjudged, the barriers are down. And, it is quite obvious that--for all practical purposes--the church has entered into the government of our republic. The issue is headed for the docket.
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That's what the Christian Nation people have wanted and they now have it.
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So, now what?!?
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High time their craziness be put on the table!!!
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Too bad as secularism is such a great thing and serves the best purposes of all religions.
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Brad Hart said...

Sorry, Phil but I don't agree. Your appraisal of this issue is simply WAAAAAY too over the top. You give Barton, Beck, etc. far too much credit than they deserve. Beck is, for the most part, irrelevant and Barton, though influential in the Evangelical circle, is no big fish. I'm no fan of the "Christian Nation" either, but your claim that the "church has entered into the government of our republic" is just silly. For example:

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=1417668

Looks like the church isn't entering this part of the government!

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Jon:

As you know, I am not a fan of either Beck or Barton. Frankly, they both disgust me. With that said, I think Mr. Howse's take is pretty baseless, or as Shakespeare would put it, "Much Ado About Nothing."

Sure, when we get right down to the "nitty gritty", Mormons, Muslims, Evangelicals, Scientologists, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster all worship a different God. I don't think Beck or Barton would debate this. But what they are trying to do here is build bridges of understanding between different faiths. Of course Barton isn't stupid enough (though he is stupid in other ways) to think that Beck's Mormonism is the same thing as his Evangelical faith and visa versa. They're simply trying to promote some sort of religious cooperation.

But looking at this from another angle, I think you could actually make a case that Mormons, Evangelicals, heck, all Christians, worship the same God...just in a different way. As a Mormon, I believe in God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost. So does David Barton. Now, of course, I believe they are separate, individual people (I do not believe in the Holy Trinity) wheras Barton believes they are one in the same.

But this is splitting hairs. Sure, every flavor of Christianity is unique but they can and do unite when it comes to general matters of faith. That's all Barton and Beck are doing here.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Brad,

I agree on the ecumenical bridge point. Though, one word on the Holy Trinity. I used to describe it as you do, but now I'm a little more careful. The Holy Trinity distinguishes from Modalism. Modalism -- a heresy -- teaches the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God; but they are three different forms of One God. The Trinity, on the other hand teaches, the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God and that there is One God. BUT...that the three Persons are eternally distinct. The Father is not the Son is not the Holy Spirit. Modalism teaches the Father is the Son is the Holy Spirit.

Phil Johnson said...

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You need not be sorry and that's for sure.
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But, if you think the barrier has not been taken down, please explain the Republican Party to me. I'm not being mean spirited here; but, it is easy to see how much religion has come to be an aggressive part of our government.
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I have made it plain that I believe it is true for all practical purposes.
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Phil Johnson said...

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When candidates for elective offices in government are chosen based on their adherence to religious doctrine and principles--when they sign pledges--the result--when they are elected--is that the barriers have been removed.
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Brad Hart said...

Good point of clarification, Jon.

@ Phil:

You are right that religion is a growing force for segments of the GOP. I, however, simply do not see it as an overpowering force taking control of the halls of government.

Phil Johnson said...

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The controlling force in our type of democracy rests with that group we call the Swing Vote.
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In past times, the Swing Vote was generally disorganized. It was and is always a minority faction of society. Punditry was that women, Blacks, union members, and what have you made up the group that could Swing any election. I think credit has to be given to intellectuals like Karl Rove for recognizing what a powerful force was so readily available.
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When the understanding came that sociology held the key to controll of the mass of society, it was just a matter of time before an organized Swing Vote was brought into play.
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The religious right is the extreme basis of America's Swing Vote and it is taking control of our government.
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Hands down.
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The controlling force in our type of democracy rests with that group we call the Swing Vote.
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In past times, the Swing Vote was generally disorganized. It was and is always a minority faction of society. Punditry was that women, Blacks, union members, and what have you made up the group that could Swing any election. I think credit has to be given to intellectuals like Karl Rove for recognizing what a powerful force was so readily available.
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When the understanding came that sociology held the key to controll of the mass of society, it was just a matter of time before an organized Swing Vote was brought into play.
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The religious right is the extreme basis of America's Swing Vote and it is taking control of our government.
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That the religious right has come to be so highly organized (think Tea Party), it's controllers have the power to demand our elected officials be responsive to their demands--or else!
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I think it is a house of cards that will eventually fall. And, the sooner the better.
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Jason Pappas said...

Modelism? I can barely keep straight Arianism, Adoptionism, Sabellianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism, Eutychianism, Apollinarism, Monothelitism, and Miaphysitism. Did I miss any?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Jason,
;-)!!! GREAT point!

But, as any great point, whether sarcastic or not, what, how and who will determine what America will look like in the future depends on which "type" of candidate we put in office of the legislative and executive brances, which will inevitably affect the judicial branch!

Do we want a conservative agenda, or a progressive one? or something that picks and chooses a little of each?! Unfortunately, our two party system doesn't leave us that many "options", does it? and I believe this is what has kept America (among other things) ignorant and disengaged as to what their leaders are grappling with....there sometimes are no "black and white" solutions 'under the sun', because contingences/variables will always deter any "ideal", as to government. This is why the "libertarian" beleves that an "open and free" society, is the best, as the checks and balances will naturally play out! (liberals are too concerned about the equality here, while conservatives are too concerned about "social order"...)....

Angie Van De Merwe said...

AND, our culture wars are over just That! EQUALITY (minorities) and SOCIAL ORDER (structuring of society)!!!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The minorities or disadvantaged, i.e. economic, racial and religious is in the forefront of the debate, I believe!

Phil Johnson said...

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Angie, you are correct so often.
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We need to discuss a great many points of issue.
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The problem with either conservative or liberal ideologies is that they tend to close off all consideration that doesn't line up. For example, "No tax cuts no matter what!" It is counterproductive to learning. I see some of it here at this site.
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Not very well advised.
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Again, whether we cut taxes has many implications, which affect humans and the nation state! Liberals (or all politicians?) don't want to cut entitlements because of political power, and maintaining control over "tax burdens" on Americans, while the conservative believes that free markets, allows for a social liberty which protects from a dominating or elite political class, as individuals seek their own self-interest.

Government was never intended to be "the end all", as society was to be an important aspect of protecting the "order" in society. The family is the major foundation for our nation's prosperity in social terms!!!! But, the free market was to be the "end" of flousihing in economic terms!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

AND this begs the question about corporations being "persons" and lobbyists having political access!

Corporations are the life-blood of American society, as business is economc viability. The question is, when do corporations inhibit liberty, now that they are deemed equal to individuals?

Lobbyists are those that have access to political power beause we believe in liberty of access to our government. But, when does this liberty undermine our citizen's and their right?

Obviously, the first question is a queston about business contracts. but, the latter is about our political system itself....

But, what do I know, as I know so little concerning such things. I am just beginning to be "awakened"! So, to make a value judgment for myself, I must educate myself....seeking out those that could "lend a hand".

Phil Johnson said...

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The questions needing discussion can not be settled by the stand taken by ideologues on either side.
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What needs to be decided has to do with what kind of an America we want to live in for ourselves and what we want for our descendants generations yet to come. I know what I want and it doesn't take a lot of talk to express it.
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If we're going to decide on the basis of what we can afford, then the question of how that will be decided needs to be on the table. What can YOU afford? What can I afford? What can the Koch brothers afford? We need to discuss the ethics of those questions and how they are applied in our democratic society. Ideological opinions cannot be on the table.

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Phil Johnson said...

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Even so, when youngsters are ready to leave port and to go out on the sea to their future--if they have been well brought up--they sit down with each other and discuss the things they want to have and, so, they set goals for their independent careers. And, they associate with others of like mind with whom they work to satisfy their interests and desires.
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As the size of the groups to which they belong grow, the repeat the process with their fellow members.
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This is America and we claim to be an exceptional people. I believe we are. Then, we need to develop a conversation about what we want our society to be like as far into the future as we can imagine.
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We can have no room for the ideologies of the selfish among us.
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If that is socialism, then we need to make the most of it.
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As Steve Jobs puts it, we need to be able to live our own life--not some one else's. That takes courage and it means indepence. People that are kept down as a result of the chance of their birth cannot be independent. That will take a great deal of planning. And, there ya go, central planning is the main characteristic of socialism. So, the ideologues on the right will all be against it.
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Agreed that governing isn't about "right and wrong" but what is best for the country at a particular moment in time, without compromising 'first principles".

Is the deadlock in D.C. due to political investment in the ideology of materialism (science), or Transcendentalism (religion)? One is focused on particular views about nature, while the other is focused on "God"! One is focused on systems approach to our government, and the others with "moral values" of a "Christian" society...the problem is that there will never be equal justice under the law in a systematic understanding of nature....and moral values as absolutes aren't practical in reality!! Both seek an absolute standard that ignores and limits liberty to another position in ideology or life experience!

So we have cultural fragmentations...and stalemate in our government, where our elected officials can't move for getting burned! Doesn't this lend itself to temptations of compromising the principles of good government for epediency?

Phil Johnson said...

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My opinion, Angie, is that we need to open our minds to discussion. And, that means we must learn to consider ideas we have heretofore discounted for any number of reasons.
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Phil Johnson said...

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Consideration for ideas we have heretofore not allowed is going to be tough for conservative minds. In fact, it seems as though that is almost a basic definition of conservatism that its adherents won't consider ideas outside the box in which they live and breathe.
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Tom Van Dyke said...

Pls, Phil, these vague ideological and ad hom attacks on conservatives just make you look empty-headed, certainly not open-minded.

Phil Johnson said...

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In your dreams, Tom.
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Did I touch a nerve there, Tom"?
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Name the "├Ąd hom".
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

This is what I tried to write on the "Debunking Christianity" blog...

"Someone on another entry stated the definitions between Agnositicism and Atheism.

Agnosticism is against knowledge, meaning that character is all important to value, as knowledge is limited within disciplines, understanding in experiences; so both revelation (experience) and reason (the disciplines) are limited. The question then becomes what is "character" that is to be a "universal standard"? That is a character that is geared toward whatever endeavor that is chosen by individuals within free societies. Some characters fit certain jobs better than others, etc. But a "one size fits all" virtue ethic is mis-guided because it isn't universal, except for the Academy's study....


Atheism is against Theistic belief or authoritarian governance. What one chooses to do is a matter of liberty as a value in a free and open society and universe!" This is the universal for/to me!

Tom Van Dyke said...

Then piss off, Angie. Go start your own Ayn Rand Going Galt thing. Find an island somewhere.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/238581/paypal_founder_envisions_libertarian_utopia_la_bioshock.html

And when the savages invade your ass, when the barbarians are at your gates, you're on your own, girl.

Or if your children turn out to be worthless or crippled or retarded, you feed and care for them and don't ask any of the rest of the John Galts on your libertarian island to help you or them.

You got some shit to get straight with yr fellow man, Angie. And as much as you hate yr fundie past, for all their failings and ignorances, they'll feed and clothe and care for yr children much sooner than your Ayn Rand "freedom" friends.

I'll take my chances on the fundies and their Christianity any day. And this has nothing to do with who or what God is, or if He even exists atall.

Get yr head straight, girl. You're talking shit.

Brad Hart said...

Well, nice to see everyone is getting along so well.

And to think that I was actually getting mad at myself for not keeping up on all the pearls of wisdom that are to be found in the comments section of this blog.

Now I don't feel so bad.

Phil Johnson said...

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Well, nice to see everyone is getting along so well.
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Great day in the morning!!
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Angie is reading a new book and Tom forgot to take his meds. It happens ever so often.
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No big deal.
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Jonathan Rowe said...

Tom,

I don't think either Patri (Milton's grandson) Friedman or Peter Thiel are Randroids.

I would imagine if the idea for the ship took off and really worked it would be a nice place to live but probably not as free as libertarian purists would like it to be.

There is a lot of interesting thought experimenting to do about libertarianism and contract law, and about how governments originate via the social contract.

I'll give you a little hint, the private tyranny of a Manhattan co-op is completely compatible with libertarianism based on principles of freedom of contract.

Phil Johnson said...

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Friedman's idea will make for a great experiment. All the Philip Nolans could board and all ties with civilization at every port could be cut loose. That would be like the Rapture.
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And, the rest of us would be Left Behind.
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I wonder what we could accomplish without their interference.
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A good experiment, Jonathon.
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(If you don't know Philip Nolan, google his name.)

Angie Van De Merwe said...

THANKS, Jon! Is that "community-building"?

Tom, I respect and honor those that serve our country, BUT, the difference in a military STATE and a voluntary military is vast, isn't it? So, I will pay my dues (taxes) to support such endeavors, as I am no purist! But, I don't believe that those governing should not be accountable with how they choose to spend that money, as if it dropped down from heaven!

Libertarians aren't all purists. I believe they are the "free-lancers" if you will. There must be a space for them in our country. But, obviously, there is much anger over "not being heard", over healthcare.

Tom, I think better of you than how you appeared on the last post. You don't have to use demeaning talk to get your point across.

As to fundies, I think "God" is the problem, as such as these believe that there is something to fear when certain things are done. These do not believe in liberty.

Liberal Christians are multi culturalists, which just doesn't work, if one lives in the real world and not some transcendental mind trap, as least, when it comes to incorporating nasty, intolerant ideologies....

Liberty means that people respect another's right to life, liberty and their own pursuit of happiness (property). Contracts also respect that right. There is no presumptions upon others. There is transparency, because such contracts are mutual negotiations, not corporate sleights of hand.

Our country was founded on ideas that were hammered out in our documents that protect our liberties. And possibly because there were so many ideas behind those men who drove our nation's revolution, there was the ulitmate value of "liberty" in mind, because they needed a united nation to survive the revolution!

Ideas are what drive any creatve endeavor and the average person on the street. These ideas can be about "God", but they don't have to be, as science is driven also by ideas!

Jonathan Rowe said...

Here is something further in the thought experiment to ponder.

I'm a libertarian who tends sympathize the federal government, in particular federal courts, protecting libertarian individual rights even against state and local governments.

A common refrain of state and local governments is, "if you don't like our laws you can leave." That has a little more rhetorical power than "if you don't like American laws, leave."

Still something strikes me as "not right" about that refrain. Yet, as a libertarian, I do sympathize with the Manhattan co-op's using that refrain. AND the Freidman/Thiel freedom boat.

Yet, what if the boat really works, and grows into a libertarian community of boats. The interesting thing about corporations in the modern age is, they are allowed to grow to the size of nations.

Google around and check out annual GDP levels v. stock value/annual income of large multinationals and see that the largest multinationals are as large as medium size, rich nations. The data here is a little old, but still apt.

http://www.corporations.org/system/top100.html

And to tie this back to the idea of government originating via "social contract," that tends to be how liberal democratic governments get their legitimacy. And private contract is how corporations get their legitimacy.

It could get to the point where via principles of "freedom of contract" the freedom boat turns into a new sovereign government that is liberty constrained and bureaucratized via "private agreement," such that you really can't tell the difference between IT and the liberty constraining bureaucracy and regulations of a mid sized nation state or, a state or local government in the United States.

Jason Pappas said...

It’s interesting to note that the libertarian willingness to embrace almost any contract isn’t the same “social contract” of Locke and the Founders.

In the Lockean “social contract” only the police functions of defending rights is given to the government. A commune is never created as that abrogates the property rights, which is government’s purpose for existing. Lockean political theory is driven by an ethical-politico ultimate end. As the founders note: rights are unalienable. A jurisdiction never becomes a corporation or commune.

Phil Johnson said...

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Of course, you are joking, Jonathon.
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The model bears a striking similarity to the Raptured/Left Behind view of reality. Would all the grunt tasks be performed by Libertarian workers? Or would some upper level of technology be "thought" into being?
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The disappearance of the public sphere in all this Randian and Libertarian thinking is one of the obvious characteristics. Similar to Tom telling Angie to "piss off". That's as though there is some sanctified sum of knowledge that objects like the uninitiated--like Angie--must learn to accept without knowing why. Since when are some able to set themselves so high above others?
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Whatever happened to communicative action in our American democracy. Or do we not have a democracy?
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Phil Johnson said...

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Libertarianism isn't all that different from David Barton's ideas of America as a Christian Nation.
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
True enough, when it comes to the Protestant work ethic, which is based on economic theory. And there has been discussion about that...

But, when it come to social issues, then these are strict conservatives, as to the "standards" they judge by! They like such order as it keeps their "houses" in check under "God". And it qualifies (or dis-qualifies) one for leadership!!! Such thinking isn't realistic.

I was part of a Bible study movement when I first moved to Indiana that didn't allow one person to lead adult women because they had been divorced! I won't tell you what I think about that!!!

So, what areas is one a liberal and which ones a conservative? those are questions that create one's political/social worldview. It has little to do with "God"!!!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Jason,
You make some GREAT points!! Private Property is one of the main premises of our free society. And "property" is also the right to earn one's living thorough exchanging something of value for something else of value (money or perks,etc.). These are personal "stip-ends" not corporate "pools", where government (leadership) reaches in and takes out at whim! This is one of the main differences in civil government and a commune...someone is keeping the books...

Phil, society is made of individual units that form communities of free associaton. These fill the local boards of the community schools, county councils, etc.

And I agree that if one doesn't value the community they are in, then, they can find another one!

Phil Johnson said...

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So, what areas is one a liberal and which ones a conservative?
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Seems to me that's part of the class wars that're taking place here in our society. Democracy is getting the fast shuffle.
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People belonging to the American majority have not figured out what serves our best interests. Even so, some are waking up.
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Phil Johnson said...

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... society is made of individual units that form communities of free associaton. These fill the local boards of the community schools, county councils, etc.

And I agree that if one doesn't value the community they are in, then, they can find another one!

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The way things are in reality, your comments are naive. First, when ideas are formed incubator style in some private setting, then pushed througfh the local councils, they are not created democratically. Second, to tell a person to leave if they don't like it is dumb. Think about it! The American Revolution itself was formed by protest as in the DOI. Now, you're saying the Colonists should have left these American shores and gone where?
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Look up communicative action. It's what democracy is all about.
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Phil Johnson said...

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Circumventing the public sphere is not democratic.
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We need education!!!
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
The way things are in reality, your comments are naive. First, when ideas are formed incubator style in some private setting, then pushed througfh the local councils, they are not created democratically. Second, to tell a person to leave if they don't like it is dumb. Think about it! The American Revolution itself was formed by protest as in the DOI. Now, you're saying the Colonists should have left these American shores and gone where?"

Your comment means that
1.) consent of the governed is not valued, authoritarian structuring IS! This leaves NO room for individual life that is valued in its own right!
2.) Negotiation is the right to petition those in authority for a "contract". Otherwise, those that have presumed or designed a position without consent would also be "doomed" without those that are useful for those certain purposes...
3.) but, in a free society, we do not have to fill a particular job title or position....the right of property...intellectual and otherwise....

Phil Johnson said...

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Angie:
Your comment means that
1.) consent of the governed is not valued, authoritarian structuring IS!
This leaves NO room for individual life that is valued in its own right!

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Phil:
You misunderstand my statement. In our society, individuals have every right to meet in secret and to cook up any ideas they see as fit to their desires--whatever. The recent Supreme Court finding that equates corporations to individuals is a prime example of that right. My point was not that it was illegal; but, that it is undemocratic as it shuts out the public sector. And, the public is a requirement in any true democracy.
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Angie:
2.) Negotiation is the right to petition those in authority for a "contract". Otherwise, those that have presumed or designed a position without consent would also be "doomed" without those that are useful for those certain purposes...
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Phil:
Again, I'm not in denial here. My complaint is entirely about the idea that deals are made in private and that the public sphere is shut down.
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Angie:
3.) but, in a free society, we do not have to fill a particular job title or position....the right of property...intellectual and otherwise....
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Phil:
I don't understand what you are getting at here. But, it sounds like you are saying that in a consumer society people do not have to carry out the role of citizen.
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And, that is a problem. We've been sold a bill of goods that we are a consumer society. Whatever happened to the citizen society?
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Granted there are political appointees. These are special envoys of government interests. That is of value.

Corporations are profit making organizations. Therefore, those that work for these corporations also have rights to property in salary, contracts, etc. That is to value the employed....

But, when government and corporations combine their interests, government looses at taxpayer expense! This is when monopolies and "good ole boy systems" rule over the public interests. That is abuse of power. And if these government and corporate invest in certain endeavors, then, are we to suppose that those that are pawns to such government interests won't buck at being used as a pawn?

We had a fellowhip at the State Department which we enjoyed...so I'm not resistant to government service, but government service s a chosen value. We've thought about another avenue of government service, but we'll wait and see, as my husband just retired.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Jason and Phil opened a big can of worms: Legitimacy. Why is our constitutional order legitimate? Most folks liberal, conservative or libertarian -- good liberal democrats they -- answer some form of social contract basis.

There are more Lockean libertarian social contract ideas of legitimacy that question whether government is morally permitted to do more than just protect individual rights. And this covers everything from whether a state government can limit the maximum hours in an employment contract to whether government can outlaw voluntary, consensual homosexual acts between adults.

I think the idea how can the "consent" of a bunch of dead white males "BIND" in a social contract sense, people living today who didn't agree to the constitution? This is something Randy Barnett raises in his book on unenumerated rights. No state, via social contract principles, has moral legitimacy to use its police powers beyond protecting individual rights.

Though this is something non-libertarians don't agree with. An answer they might give to the baker who wants to employment contracts that go beyond 60 hours a week in contravention to state laws or to the homosexual adult who wants to practice sodomy with another adult: They can leave the jurisdiction. The locality, the state, or even the country.

As a thought experiment. Imagine this freedom boat really takes off and an extensive network of contracts emerges. Maybe one of those crazy rules that everyone on the boat agrees to is "no religion." Now imagine a kid raised on that boat by atheist parents -- grown quite accustomed to living there -- becomes an adult and wants to be religious in violation of the "contract" agreed to by his parents, or grandparents, or great-grandparents. What is he to do? Leave the boat. If the boat(s) are big enough, how is that different than "leaving the state of Alabama" if you don't like our state laws that violate your individual rights?

Jonathan Rowe said...

One other thing Jason: You've opened a big can of worms. Locke's rhetoric and the rhetoric of various founders re "unalienable" and "inalienable" rights is quite generous. But in debating non and anti-libertarian, types. I've debated more right wing Burkean, Thomist, and other types (not meaning to pick on TVD, he is by no means the only one I'm referring to); but left wing non-libertarians certainly "fit" this description, they are quite stingy on what those "unalienable" rights to liberty are. And anything that doesn't quality as an "unalienable" natural liberty right is regulatable by government. Property is not, I've heard most of them argue, an unalienable natural liberty right. Conscience is.

But on philosophical grounds, that still raises a lot of legitimacy issues. If I am doing something in the privacy of my own home that doesn't hurt anyone else, I never "consented" to give government the power to even in principle let this be illegal.

We could raise issues with voting -- and that raises another can of worms.

Perhaps I could join that boat. But I may "consent" to an association that has voluntary updating of rules via committees. And they may vote to make that behavior illegal, like a government would. Or again, a kid raised on that boat who becomes an adult and then finds himself disagreeing with all of those "rules" the older generation enacted.

I guess the point of all this is, if that boat gets big enough, it's going to look and function like a government. Folks may be subject to liberty impinging laws by contract that look like government laws that restrict our liberty.

If Ayn Rand really could have her own boat where she "presided" over its laws, it would have all sorts of non-liberty like rules and regulations. Her boat would probably make it illegal via contract to believe in "religion." She used to ex-communicate folks from her "circle" if they believed in religion.

Jason Pappas said...

Of course, Jonathan, I realize that you, I, and Tom (and others here) are knowledgable of libertarian, conservative, classical liberal, Whig, and perhaps Randian thought. I thought it might be useful to contrast the thought of the Founders generation and Locke with more modern rights-respecting traditions.

Your thought experiment is interesting because it describes the Puritans of New England (or Saudi Arabia) if you switch atheism for religion. It’s the problem I raised in distinguishing a jurisdiction from other associations (including clubs, fraternal groups, unions, corporations, parishes, communes, etc.) Conservatives might call these “middle institutions.”

You’re presenting the differences on a continuum. Unlike libertarians, who conflate all contractual relationships, most would see government as different in kind. As Aristotle would say it isn’t just the family writ large. Nor is it anything else writ large. I think that’s a difference between modern thinkers and the Founders.

For Locke, all property is in common until there is cause for private property. His criteria is the application of labor. More generally it is really the cultivation of land or any other settled productive activity. His analysis is anthropologically correct in that it explains the emergence of agrarian settled civilization--a civilization that needs laws to protect the long-term nature of production. Implicitly it denies the notion of property of hunter-gathers ... which in those days means the American Indians.

I’m not sure anyone notices this.

Libertarianism requires nothing but an implicit or explicit deed that attaches a name with an object. Thus, Indians can point to a vast land that they use for hunting and say “that’s ours” and it satisfies libertarians. I say that because Andrew Jackson, echoing Lockean notions, mocks the idea that Indians have property merely because “they pass through it while on a hunt.” Incidentally, Rand is closer to Locke than libertarianism.

It’s an interesting difference. Of course, the Founders are pure Locke but there's an overlap.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Jason: Very well said.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Locke is one of the heavies in our considerations. But, since that time others have weighed in on the questions. Parsons and Habermas to name two others.
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The idea of government is kicked around; but, there are other institutions. And, not only are there individual persons; but, there is the private and the public sector and we, as individuals, are located in those secotrs. So, when we think of government, and we all know how important money has come to be as speech, we have to take into consideration who and what the government represents. Presently, the public sector has very little input regarding how we shall be governed.
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That's my point. I guess everyone knows that.
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Jason Pappas said...

Thanks, Jonathan.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Jason, this returns to the "real" Locke and the Locke the Founders gleaned from Trenchard & Gordon, etc.

I haven't found any Founding literature endorsing Locke's "Labor Theory of Value."

There might be something using Locke's LTV to dispossess the Native Americans: such is the accusation against Locke, anyway.

_______________

To Brad: Yes, I was trying to shock our guest after repeated attempts and requests to cut the irrelevant BS. Were the comments sections monitored and policed, instead of being dropped in on every month or two, that stunt wouldn't have been necessary.

As it stands, the comments sections are often eaten up by irrelevant nonsense. It would be good if you could lend a firm or gentle hand in keeping them straight, since you control the edit power. I just work here.

Jason Pappas said...

In the Labor Theory of Value, Marx’s dictates value not ownership; and it is a crude quantitative theory relating physical labor to valuation. Remember that Locke is concerned with justifying the origin of private property that is removed from the commons, not its valuation.

The superiority of the settled life is evident in colonial thought. Even Franklin portrays the cultivation of the land as the backbone of the economy and social order. Through out the colonies there is the republican ideal of the yeoman farmer who puts aside his plow and picking up his rifle to join the militia.

Washington expresses the view that the Indians need to learn to cultivate the land if they hope to be part of the future of this nation. The founders see the hunter-warrior way of life as unsustainable in the face of the advance of civilization and ultimately doomed by the laws of history.

Over all, Locke’s justification of property is based on the virtue of industry and frugality, which are core virtues in the American ethos. I see some differences between the Founders and Locke. Locke is more individualistic while the Founders organize the social order around the family (or estate) as was traditional. Prior to “Wealth of Nations” there is greater moral skepticism of commercial institutions. Some of the old republican notions aren’t found in Locke’s republicanism.

Correction to a type in my last post: Of course, the Founders aren’t pure Locke but there's an overlap.

Phil Johnson said...

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As it stands, the comments sections are often eaten up by irrelevant nonsense.
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An excellent example of an elitist attempt to shut down communicative action.
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And, that's too bad as the site just might have many more participants without it. Speaking of what is unnecessary.
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Communiicative action? communicative reason? elitism?

If the Founders used Locke mostly to form our society, shouldn't he and his works be what we read, and discuss?

We had talked about Leo Strauss at one time. If he is the mover and shaker of the "elite" conservative movement, then shouldn't we discuss him more in depth?

I've been thinking more about Barton and your comment that he was close to some of my comments. The Protestant work ethic had a "cause and effect" or "reaping what you sow" mentality toward work. Simililarly, sin has its consequences, thus, the focus on sin and being "holy". "God"'s Word is the standard whereby men are judged.

The Catholic is not oriented toward the Protestant work ethic, but is about sin, penance, etc. Their is a more communal view, but so are the more "liberal" or "natural" Protestant traditions. Communal thinking is understood to be "love", while individualist thinking tends toward self-responsible thinking. Actions result from what one believes about their actions. And what they believe the result will be.

Since the Catholic view s a more communal view, "good works" toward the community is understood as "toward God". But, I've observed that those countries that are Catholic aren't as prosporous as Protestant nations. Why would that be, unless one's work is considered by the Protestant as "work unto God" and taking personal responsibility, and reaping what one has sown?

Southern climates and countries also tend to be more Catholic. And southern climates also tend to be more violent (at least the research I've read). Tribal mentalities tend toward violence, too. Would there be a correlaton? Or is such action due to the heat alone? Is violence due to the economic situation? ETC.

Therefore, our country was impacted much by the Protestant work ethic. It is the basis of Private Property.

Phil Johnson said...

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Phil,
Communiicative action? communicative reason? elitism?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Theory_of_Communicative_Action
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(I'll deal with it in another place.)
.

Phil Johnson said...

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Then piss off, Angie. Go start your own Ayn Rand Going Galt thing. Find an island somewhere.
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and
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Pls, Phil, these vague ideological and ad hom attacks on conservatives just make you look empty-headed, certainly not open-minded.
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Two good examples of elitism.
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bpabbott said...

For those interested in Rand's philosophy, there's an interesting comment and interview at nakedcapitalism.

Yves Smith: "Rand’s philosophy was rooted in the counterfactual belief that people are rational."

Jason Pappas said...

Smith is completely incorrect. Rand’s view is that reason is man’s essential tool of survival but man has to be rational by choice if he is to function on the human level and succeed in the task of surviving. Rand would define man as a "rational animal" just as the Greeks did. Neither, however, believed that it was guaranteed or easy.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Jason,
AGREED! I was just thnking about this very thing this morning! How people need a reason to act, or choose. Humans rationalize about things. This is how they cope or set goals, or choose particular course of action. And one of the reasona people believe in "God". Rand, thought that one's choce about work/production, was because of one's personal right to reward ( not a spiritual reward, but a material one...)

Theology was created to support a reason to hope for those that were disadvantaged materially or in a place of exclusion politcally. "God" (Providence) was "in control".

Today, one's actions follow one's course of understanding the world, or interests in the world. These are values and choices about life commitments in a free society.

It seems to me with the little I skimmed last night that communicative action" and communicative reason' is like organzational rationale for committing to certain agendas, which bring results in the real world.

Of course one's action has an impact upon those that are within the realm of influence, but what one chooses to do is not the community's business, (within the bounds of law) but the individual's! and individual's have reasons for their choices. not to be pre-determined by others.

I think of so many who have committed suicide because of loosing hope or a "way out". These have lost a "reason to live", as they have lost their own "rationale" for living!

bpabbott said...

I don't see how Smith is "completely wrong".

I think the question is; Is Rand naive, or is Smith (myself) cynical?

An individual can be rational in a specific context, but I think it erroneous to assume any individual is always rational in all contexts, or that all are rational in any specific context.

While choice can have a marginal impact, I don't think any one chooses to be irrational.

Jason Pappas said...

If I say calculus is a tool to do physics, you can’t ask me if I’m naive! It’s not a question of whether everyone can do calculus or what shall we do with those who can’t do calculus. It’s a very simple description of what’s needed to do well in physics.

Rand is saying something similar about human survival. Reason is an essential tool for survive on the human level. Without reason (yours or others) men do not survive well. Without taking cognizance of reality, you suffer. And, by the way, people do suffer. Now, where she goes with this is another matter.

I repeat, Rand never says that human beings are always rational. If that were true there would be no need for the subject of epistemology -- you’d know without fail. There would be no need for ethics -- you’d make optimal decisions without fail. And, that means there would be no need of philosophy. Show me where Rand says this?

Smith is completely wrong.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Let me see if I am following;

1)People act upon reason to survive. Are you talking about physical, or pscyhological?

2)People don't always act rationally.

3) epistomology is the crux of the problem?

my thoughts;

1)People have to survive both physically and pscyhologically. This s done through using one's mind to create, explore and find ways to survive, bother physically and psychologically.

2)People alwasy act with reason, within context of their epitologicaly frame.

3)How do we know? The Wesleyan Quadralateral (used to be Tri-lateral) scriptures/tradition, reason and experience.

If experience is interpreted within a particular tradition or scirptural paradigm/theological framing, then reason will be conditioned by such ratonalzation.

If experience is interepreted within an understanding of the sciences/disciplines, then ther are other conclusions that will be made!

Therefore, one's actions can be skewed by one's bias concerning "scripture/tradition, that would cause different actions that seem reasonable, but could seem irrational or unreasonable to people with other ways of comeing to their conclusions about reality.

Jason Pappas said...

Where do you get #2? Who says “people always act with reason?” I’ve never heard anyone say this. It’s absurd. In this world there’s no shortage of foolishness, stupidity, ignorance, and just pain error.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Jason,
I think I answered that in my answer #2...people act by the epistomological frame....meaning that someone that believes in a "Holy Book" will let that guide their actions. This is not reasonable to those who use other means of making their decisions!

Phil Johnson said...

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You are getting close to characteristics psychiatrists use for testing sanity.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
LOL, do you mean based in reality?!!!!

bpabbott said...

Jason,

Regarding Smith's position, I can only give you my understanding of her thought. Which is that most humans are not rational in a manner consistent with Rand's Objectivism.

Smith isn't objecting to Rand's philosophy (she many have objections, but I don't see them in her post). She is objecting to the assumption that sufficient numbers are able to follow Rand's Objectivism. The key point (I think) is whether or not sufficient numbers are able to pursue their rational self-interest.

In my opinion, too many see economics as a zero sum game. Hence, my opinion is that most individuals are economically irrational. This is (in part) the point I think Smith is making.

Regarding the metaphor that "Calculus" == "Objectivism" and "Physics" == "A Happy Life", I'll point out that this suffers the same false assumption. Most are simply not competent in Calculus, and hence unable to grasp physics.

Jason Pappas said...

bpabbott, I’m not clear what you mean. Obviously sufficient numbers don’t follow Rand’s philosophy ... it’s a tiny minority that even know it exists. I don’t know any O’ist who believes that sufficient numbers pursue “rational self-interest.”

Rand is usually criticized for being too pessimistic. She sees the world filled with irrationality and going to hell in a hand basket. The culture is “bankrupt” and filled with “whim-worshipers” and “mystics”. She’s overly critical of libertarians and conservatives--who share with her some notions of America’s core greatness. I think she doesn’t appreciate some of the other traditions on the right and consequently sees the world dominated by irrationality. But that was her problem.

Phil Johnson said...

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Based on what is accepted as reality.
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Some forms of insanity are based on far out fantasy the person using reason in their decision making.
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Reason is no test of sanity.
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Phil Johnson said...

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Reason is no test of sanity.
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Rand was a nut case as are most people who base their choices on such fantasies.
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bpabbott said...

Re: "Obviously sufficient numbers don’t follow Rand’s philosophy."

I think the point is that the evidence is consistent with the position that sufficient numbers can't follow Rand's philosophy.

Personally, I don't think it is a question of desire or effort. Too many are either incapable of Objectivism, or are incapable of finding happiness and fulfillment in such a philosophy.

bpabbott said...

Re: "Rand was a nut case as are most people who base their choices on such fantasies."

I think the problem with Rand's position is that too many *do* base their choices on "fantasies".

While I think Rand's Objectivism is an excellent approach to a happy life for many, I don't think it is sufficient for most. There's a tragic irony in that.

Phil Johnson said...

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I think the problem with Rand's position is that too many *do* base their choices on "fantasies".
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And a LOT of people in la-la land are very happy. Like those people will be out in the Friedman boat.
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There are any number of instances where people live in pretend realities using this or that philosophy/theosophy as a basis for their reasoning. Very novel.
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Boo-Hoo, people suffer! We ALL suffer something, sometime, somewhere! I am not a paternalist.

Ayn Rand had a complete "system", as to "world-view".

I don't understand why you would say that it stands in opposition to libertarianism, or conservative thought! It seems that she holds to principles of liberty and self-responsibility!

The following is a short description of Objectivism given by Ayn Rand in 1962.

by Ayn Rand
At a sales conference at Random House, preceding the publication of Atlas Shrugged, one of the book salesmen asked me whether I could present the essence of my philosophy while standing on one foot. I did as follows:

Metaphysics Objective Reality
Epistemology Reason
Ethics Self-interest
Politics Capitalism
If you want this translated into simple language, it would read: 1. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” or “Wishing won’t make it so.” 2. “You can’t eat your cake and have it, too.” 3. “Man is an end in himself.” 4. “Give me liberty or give me death.”

If you held these concepts with total consistency, as the base of your convictions, you would have a full philosophical system to guide the course of your life. But to hold them with total consistency—to understand, to define, to prove and to apply them—requires volumes of thought. Which is why philosophy cannot be discussed while standing on one foot—nor while standing on two feet on both sides of every fence. This last is the predominant philosophical position today, particularly in the field of politics.

My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that:

Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses) is man’s only means of perceiving reality, his only source of knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.
Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit. It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.
Copyright © 1962 by Times-Mirror Co.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Maybe you are talking about slavery, as to others across the world. Capitaliism takes advantage of such as these. Laborers are required to have their salaries negotiated by Union bosses, that sometimes doesn't really benefit a specific worker, as solidarity is what "counts".

I think the "Right to Work" was a good response to Unionization. People should be grateful for jobs and not demanding of right ALL the time! Right do have their place, but rights have gotten where those that should be penalized cannot be penalize for fear of denying rights. Or fear of offendng...etc.!

Jon shard a post on FB about a buglar's family who won a settlement because the owners were trying to protect their property!!! The debate about how a person protects his property has gotten to be craziness, as property owners try to not shoot, or talk about for fear that the law will protect the rights of the criminal! Don't get me wrong. i believe in innocence until proof beyond a reasonable doubt...but!

Phil Johnson said...

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I wouldn't pretend to speak for TVD; but, I think the Rand philosophy is what he had in mind when he told you to find an island.
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"There are more things in heaven and earth, [Angie],
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

Phil Johnson said...

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So,what did Rand have to say about this man's words?

John Donne
Meditation XVII:

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Rand's philosophy requires all individuals to respect other individuals. Respecting indivduals does not mean one has to agree or co-operate with a given "vision" or purpose. This is mutuality, and reciprocity. And since individuals make up society, then how is that not caring for society?

Just today, someone de-friended me on FB. Though I will miss her greatly, as I enjoyed her creativity, spunk and heart, she did not feel I made her life "happy". I can appreciate that and respect her decision. That is going our own way, in peace. People are ends in themselves. She had no context to put me in as we were friends only through our mutual friend. We had no history. I am serious. Should I change that because it doesn't make her happy? No. Or should she change her opinon about me? No, because who I am, is not who she needs at this time in her life.

I think that manipulating some behavior out of another is destructive and immoral in itself.

Self interest is how we are made. Therefore to admit and work within nature is of value for peace, not destructive to peace.

bpabbott said...

For practical reasons, I don't think Objectivism suits most people.

For historical reasons, we should be skeptical of the promises of a society whose "ethos" is Objectivism. Meaning there are no historic examples which implies the promises must be taken on faith.

For democratic reasons, I don't think we'll ever see a society attempt the experiment.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I think the Church is the last place that true change can take place. And even if I thought that the Church was a place to "change the world", I am not out to change the world or to change others. They are who they are....Those that want to be the "fixers" of society can do so....more power to them. Others can be and do other things that are also needed....everyone should use their power in the way they see fit without manipulation or co-ercion!

Phil Johnson said...

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Just a shot in the dark, but, Angie, what do ou know of persectivalism?
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Do I always sound like "I'm in the dark" that you have to throw some information into my "darkness"? :-)!

Did you mean Perspecitivism? like people having different perspectives? Yes, I am familiar with it.

As to Objectivism, only those in the "elite circles" are allowed to practice Objectivism? That is what makes it impractical, as to ends, because only those in leadership set the agenda?

"Self interest" is not held in a vacumn! Self interest is valued in a society that values law, that protects the interests of all individuals within it borders...Nepotism, ethical standards, all affirm such a statement! Jon brought up the issue of legitimacy, I brought up the consent of the governed, and aren't there others laws that protect such rights?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The Cato Institute
‎"In a sense there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power. Either people should be free to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they respect the equal rights of others, or some people should be able to use force to make other people act in ways they wouldn't choose. It's no surprise…philosophy of power has always been more appealing to those in power."
–David Boaz

Phil Johnson said...

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(perspectivalism) The view that all truth is truth from or within a particular perspective. The perspective may be a general human point of view, set by such things as the nature of our sensory apparatus, or it may be thought to be bound by culture, history, language, class, or gender. Since there may be many perspectives, there are also different families of truths. The term is frequently applied to Nietzsche's philosophy.

.
(from the Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy)

Phil Johnson said...

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Don't mis/underestimate the effect of communicative action right here in this blog.
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The thinking process of the mind coordinates what information is being presented in such a way so that our mind is expanded--we see reality with more comprehension.
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Most of that which has gone before us at this site has been information. Thanks to those who provide the articles about which we blog. But, to rise up where you can take a look at the entire picture in light of the postmodern perspective gives meaning to all the things that relate to the Enlightenment, Modernity, and Post History thinking.
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It is interesting to me that this site is an microcosm of where our American society--maybe civilization itself--exists during these strange times.
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

All people have personal history, and cultural histories. What makes America unique is that we don't intrude upon the personal. We have laws that help define and protect the individual. Therefore, there can be "individuality" or "personhood".

Tribal or communal societies do not allow for the personal, because thier culture IS guided by "the law". These kinds of societies aren't based upon reason, that is facts, of science, but are based on tradition, or revelation (superstitution/myth).

The nation-state is a modern paradigm of culture, not a tribal one. Therefore, diplomacy has to take into consideration such foundational "paradigms".

But, even in the modern nation-state, indivduals choose how, what and where their alliegences will be. This is considered personal liberty, or conscience.

Phil Johnson said...

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"All people have personal history, and cultural histories. ..." etc.
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I suppose; but, we are in a New Age now, Angie. Things are different than they were during history.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Then, how do you suppose that change is going to happen to those that are in the "herd" (as Neitzche would say?)...

Confirmaton bias doesn't lend itself to education, at least frontal attacks, as in apologetic debates...for science or "god". All such debates do is to re-confirm the bias....

Phil Johnson said...

.
Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to sit in a lecture given by one of Marsh McLuhan's associates. He talked about how social evolution had come to an end and that change just pops up here and there with no connection to any swinging pendulum.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

as if education is going to change the religious in their views of "self", which they project upon God!!!!

or change their views of 'God", which is their "social" understanding of their culture.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

The ONLY way one could see something wrong with Rand's philosophy is "FACTS are FACTS", when it comes to the individual, AND the different disciplines...
Each aspect of "context" makes a difference in "the FACTS"....

Social development has ended in Constitutional government! But, personal and scientific development continues, as people mature in their differences, and as the different disciplines develop their expertise...as to the human, and the natural world!

Phil Johnson said...

.
I don't know enough about that, Angie.
.

Phil Johnson said...

Why do you put facts in quotation marks?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
The different developmental theories that have research backing support that moral development is highest in our Constitutional government, where liberty of conscience is of value. Individuals can develop their full potential in such environments, at least theorhetically.

Education develops the human being as to intellectual stages, where faith/God is understood as myth (symbol) and the political is understood as "choice", as to value in how soceity "should function" best. That means that there are no "right and wrong" answers, necessarily, but that what one prioritizes is what will be committed to...and what one commits to will depende on intellectual development/potential...

All areas of education are needed for socety to function effectively. But, those that are gifted need the opportunity to develop fully n their expertise.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Humans build their understanding of reality within cultural contexts, both political/social/familial, but also, intellectual/faith. The dimensions of such development are many layered and multi-demensional. Therefore, what is considered a FACT is not necessarily real (as to universializing the pragmatic) or the universal (as to particularity/ theoretical) except to the person that is functioning at that level (of intellectual/ faith) and in that framing (discipline/understanding). So, there is the practical and the potential level of different aspects of human development.

This is the story of intellectual/ faith development, which can only be affirmed in a free and open socety, such as our Constitutional government!

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I don't know what to do with those that deny the Holocost, or such nonsense. These are considered "insane" by our psychiatric standards! And such standards are measured against real world happenngs, not theorhetcal speculative argument..

Phil Johnson said...

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The different developmental theories that ...
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Are these things you're posting all part of your Objectivism beliefs?
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Yes, if I understand what you're asking.

Humans are different as to their priorities of value. Idealists and realists use reason to come to their conclusions about what is to be valued, and why. But, their conclusions have different purposes or goals in mind. And such goals or purposes cannot be uniformly defined, as these are choices made about ultimate values or outcomes (goals). These differences are about political liberty and personal choice.

So, yes, men are self-interested rational animals, that pursue goals for their own purposes and good, knowing that as they pursue these purposes, they will be rewarded accordingly.

Phil Johnson said...

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It seems like such a total disconnect from actuality.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Well, I don't know what you begin with, but I begin with liberty. You might begin with equality, another might begin with compassion, while another with justice, or another "ideal". These are differences of value and how that is understood will be how one lives...

The realist are those that begin with practical problems seekng a solution. These aren't interested in ideas, unless they can be convinced that they work in the real world.

The former is where think tanks form politcal opinions and create possible solutons to problems.

The latter are the politicians themselves, that have to make the politcal choices about how government will run/work!

Phil Johnson said...

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Guess we're getting off topic?
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I begin with life.
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We all have our individual rights to make our own choices about whatever it is that confronts us.
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Jesus had a lot to say about those things. And, most everything he said makes sense to me. I think our best self interests are served doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.
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I've been had and know what it's like. I cannot treat others unfairly. Life is not a game for winners and losers.
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I know there's a lot of selfish people out there. But, thankfully, we aren't all so.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Still, Phil, the Golden Rule cannot be prescribed, otherwise, you limit life as to it definition, which should only be defined by liberty of conscience!!

Those that want me to do some "good work" that they deem necessary or significant, then, must come and offer me a contract, which respects my individuality and honors my right also to deny their request! Otherwise, one's own definitions and convictons must remain "at their own front door" where they need to stay". Is it anyone else's business to make themselve obnoxious about their "convictions"?

Some seem to think so, thus we have those that throw bombs or shoot guns during their political protests, that can range the gambut from "pro life" to "animal rights"!!!

Phil Johnson said...

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Maybe you should start your own country, Angie?
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Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
I don't know why you would say this, as I love what my country stands for; liberty.

Liberty means that within the boundaries of law, one is free to do as they please with their life, doesn't it?

I have been politically engaged, so much so that FB friends have asked me to respect their right to request I refrain from "political speech" on FB. I believe refraining from ALL political speech is limiting, but I have respected their request and limited my postings. I even requested another person to begin a separate FB discussion page for political purposes....but no response.

But, others have stated that when they try to engage at the town hall meetings n their local area, decisions have already been made. This is disheartening to those that prepared to be informed and to make a difference or change n their community!

So, if this is how politics works, then, isn't one still at liberty to choose whether one will be associated with certain endeavors? Or is the "commoner" (except for the elite) be doomed to be determined by such leadership? without any input from those it will impact? Where is Represnetaton, then?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Doesn't our society work through contracts, so if there is a job that needs filling, then there is advertisement. This is the way of marketing a job, unless the job is something that no one would want! Then, why would anyone manipulate another to do a job that was undesired? Would THAT be acting in the frame of "The Golden Rule"? No an elite that is exempt from such standards would determine that this was "the good" that was to be done, irregardless of another's life, or liberty. Slavery isn't the right to life or liberty, is it?

Phil Johnson said...

.
Slavery isn't the right to life or liberty, is it?
.
It all depends on who you ask. So, ask a slave owner. His answers will include bull roar about property rights as well.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil, in light of your comment and in light of the education I have gotten on this site, I thought it pertinent to copy a comment I made to a friend on FB about the Tea Party n light of our history..here it is....as the Christian nationalists would like to use the Bible to enslave the nation under rules that aren't compliant to everyone's conscience....

"(Her Name), I think the Tea Party is a resistance movement, just like the Boston Tea Party was during British colonization. Really, it was the Loyalist (were they Whigs) that wanted to support British policy and use the government "in place" n England to persuade change.

The Revolutionaries were those that believed that they needed to start a new government/country altogether. This was the Decloaration of Indeddpendence's strength in affirming dissolution of the Monarchy's rule over men's consciences....this was liberty of relgion as well as liberty of monetary pursuits.... (Hope I didn't bore you or offend you with info you already know....then just pander to my new found fondness of how our country go statrted....)

The "progressive" label is multi-demsional, ust as conservatism is. The Christian Nation story, is offensive to those that have degress in history, as they understnd the complex strands that went into the Revolution! And many of these things aren't even agreed upon within scholarship!

The conservative scholars are esp. offended as they see that the Tea Party is affirming what they fear; revolution! AND these conservatives also believe that our country was a Republc and not a democracy...many not knowing the differences. Therefore, when Edmund Burke argued for supporting the colonists, he is considered by the conservative as valueing their values, which is 'ordered liberty"!

I hope that I made some statement that is helpful. ....

Phil Johnson said...

.
Seems a little combobulating to me.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
But, I think the Tea Party compares more with the KKK than any other movement in American history.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Do a search on these words:
"Indiana, Stevenson, Jackson, Madge, Republican, Christian, Catholic, Jew, Protestant, Klu Klux Klan".
.
You will learn some amazing truths about American history during the 1920s.
.
The start up of the present day Tea Party is quite similar to the way the Klan developed in Indiana where it reached its peak.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
i am aware of the Maron lynching that happened right down the street from us in Matter Park! I know that the KKK started in Elwood. I know all of that.

But, I am against the suggestion that the Tea Party is racially biased! All groups will be biased in some way, and this is what is SO dangerous in minority group status, as it affirms a racial identity, instead of a national identity. And when we have groups warring with one another, esp. when there has been injustice in the past, we tear our nation apart.

The Tea Party is a revolution of the status quo in D.C. These are regular citizens that want their voices heard, and they should be. Groups gain political power, so indivduals that want individual rights and voice bands with those like minded!

I will look up those names later tonight, as 'duty' calls.,,,

Tom Van Dyke said...

the Christian nationalists would like to use the Bible to enslave the nation under rules that aren't compliant to everyone's conscience....


That's crap.

I think the Tea Party compares more with the KKK than any other movement in American history.

Utter crap.

And to think that I was actually getting mad at myself for not keeping up on all the pearls of wisdom that are to be found in the comments section of this blog.

Uh huh. This is what happens, Brad.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Phil, in response to Angie's post:

I think the Tea Party compares more with the KKK than any other movement in American history.


TVD, in response to the above:

Utter crap.

Here are some of the most obvious comparisons:

1. Both movements provide critical support to the Republican Party;
2. Both movements opposed to the Federal Government’s intervention in state and local issues;
3. Both movements claim strong beliefs for Protestant Christianity;
4. Both movements claim super patriotism;
5. Both movements require pledges from candidates running for office in trade of campaign support.

And, that's just for starters.

You might not like it.
.

Brad Hart said...

Just take a Mitol, Tom. Your heart will go on.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Brad,
I hope you didn't mean Mydol! ;-)!

Brad Hart said...

But he is right, Phil. That is some SERIOUS fecal matter.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

OK,
Will someone tell me the Real issues, then!!!!

Tom Van Dyke said...

Thx, Brad. This is what happens when, etc.

Brad Hart said...

Just don't whine...that goes for everyone. I think this blog would benefit from the words of Will Rogers:

"Never miss a great moment to shut up."

Phil Johnson said...

.
This thread has long since gone off topic.
.
Angie has some real concerns that are related to "Americanism". And even though they may not be connected to David Barton, they are pertinent. So, I decided to stay engaged. Others who don't feel obligated to communicative action to the contrary.
.
As far as just coming out and claiming "crap" or "fecal matter" is concerned, such comments are disrespectful of critical inquiry. If you want tro say something about what is posted, put your facts on the table.
.
My thoughts that the Tea Party and the KKK are similar stand in spite of the thunder. It seems when our position is challenged, some of us use obnoxious insults to shut others down.
.
Piss off, Tom!
.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
Tom also deserves respect! And I've learned much from him! Thank you Tom. (though I have been resistant to Church power, as this is how I understand theological framing).

But, you Phil, could be correct IF you are argeeing to the culture wars, as they have revealed themselves. Radical "Black Power" is what the Left suggest will bring justice to the poor, destitute, etc. The Tea Party, on the other hand, are for the "provincial class", but also disempowered.

There is nothing won by labelling either side by race. And I don't believe that the Tea Party Labels the other side as "Black". I have seen and experienced what enabling and entitlement can do. And those that think that throwing money at anything with solve it is deluded. Why would the government think that the average citizen is not deserving of being heard, while those that resent America and what she stands for SHOULD get a hearing. AND the Tea Partiers, the average citizen, should PAY for it with their taxes! That sure sounds like justice to me! NOT!

Phil Johnson said...

.
What Tom deserves is what Tom puts out. His attitude of superiority gets to be a little overbearing at times. My response to him was appropriate.
.
Who does he think he is? And, what does he think this is--his classroom?
.
No one would ever bother him if he weren't so condescending when things get over his head.
.
Enough time has been wasted on his conceit. I'm not going to pay homage to his crude behavior.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
...the Tea Partiers, the average citizen...
.
That's another comparison with the KKK. The idea that the members of either organization have anything to do with core purposes. These two separate organizations represent an undercurrent in American politics both of which rely on the innocence of those who are taken in by their rhetoric. My grandparents joined the KKK thinking it was a Christian organization with the purpose of protecting the American Constitution with the Holy Bible in one hand and the American flag in the other. The last time that undercurrent raised its ugly head, we had serious problems in the South. Think Civil Rights and federal intervention.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
The last time that undercurrent raised its ugly head, we had serious problems in the South. Think Civil Rights and federal intervention.
.
That helps you get a handle on the strategic reasons Tea Party leadership wants to weaken the federal government. It was the federal government that put an end to the KKK--with no help from local or state governments. States Rights and Tenth Amendment rhetoric was all over the place. I remember the hell of it all very well. It was no small thing.= with those bumper stickers claiming that the "South Will Rise Again!".
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
All of which brings up the issue of this site which is A group blog to promote discussion, debate and insight into the history, particularly religious, of America's founding. Any observations, questions, or comments relating to the blog's theme are welcomed.
.
Attention should be paid to the division that existed at the time of America's creation--the division that was grounded in the economics of slavery. That division is at the roots of America's present problems. Communicative Action is the result of free and open inquiry--critical thinking!
.
Piss off? Utter crap? Fecal Matter? Give me a break!
.

Anonymous said...

I think there is irrefutable evidence that the founding fathers intended for America to be a Christian nation. Freedom to express religion, not secularization of the government. The Bible and prayer guided their every step in America's formation. Good resources at godaboveall.org, a starting point. The evidence is clear.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Anonymous writes, "I think there is irrefutable evidence that the founding fathers intended for America to be a Christian nation. "
.
Then, you are saying that the Founders had their feet firmly planted ion antiquity.
.
Right?
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Annonymous,

It is NOT a matter of the nation's status of being "Christian or secular"! The issue is the individual's right to free associate and freely assemble! These are rights in our Constitution that protect liberty of conscience concerning one's convictions (which happen to be religious or political!)

The Church can never determine our government's laws, because of the value of "the Human" and "the Humane"!

Life is MORE than physical/material reality, but liberty of thought (conscience), word (speech) and deed (political action)! We must treasure our liberty, otherwise, in fightng for our own personal convictions, we limit liberty to others and this is what the Founders rejected in the mix of Church and State. This is why we are considered predominantly a Protestant Christian Nation.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Anon:

I went to your website -- godaboveall.org -- and checked it out. It has David Barton's phony quotations. Your website is worthless.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Anon,
I went to your site. You obviously believe that America's heritage is Christian, which it is.

But, the Founders were not evangelical. These men varied in their personal commitments of faith, but they did believe in a "moral order" of the universe, as science had 'proved" that there were causal effects.

Today, science understands that humans are "programmed" by their genes, how consciousness "works" and what impact the brain has upon choice. Though they do not understand everything, they do understand that humans respond to stimuli and have and are studying how brains are affected by stimuli. Instead of laws/government "controlling men", the interest now is how brains, genes, and medicine can control man.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I guess the questions is, then, WHO will make the determination about what will be ethical or unethical in the use of such "mind experimentation". And what will be done with the information after it is attained? These are issues of Bio-ethics, which is how we go about understanding princples of good governing of that information.

Phil Johnson said...

.
You obviously believe that America's heritage is Christian, which it is.
.
I doubt that anonymous will be back.
.
I think it is fair to say that the American heritage includes a heavy influence of Christianity--just about everyone and every civilized society during the first centuries of the New Age was heavily influenced by religious teachings and authority. But, by no means is Christianity our sole heritage.
.
I think the better case can be made that American society was and still is the first great expression of modernity in Western Civilization.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
So, the Human History SHOULD teach us something about why modernity cannot "live" on its own! This is the conservative part for me, not Christianity.

Libertarianism, as to choices and values, but conservative as to government and progress. Conservatives know that humans are falliable and limited, progress is to be suspected and slow, and Utopian dreams do not happen. I believe that most of the Founders were in line with such thought.

Though these men were conservative by radical modern standards, they were also divided as to Independence, how to view Christianity, and had their feet firmly planted in antiquity.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I think the better case can be made that American society was and still is the first great expression of modernity in Western Civilization.

I give that honor to the French Revolution. The American Founding was the fruition of classical and medieval thought as filtered by Christianity. [And in no small part, by Protestantism, which accounts for the anti-authoritarian streak of politics and philosophy per the Roman church.]

;-)

Jonathan Rowe said...

"The foundation of our Empire was not laid in the gloomy age of Ignorance and Superstition, but at an Epocha when the rights of mankind were better understood and more clearly defined, than at any former period, the researches of the human mind, after social happiness, have been carried to a great extent, the Treasures of knowledge, acquired by the labours of Philosophers, Sages and Legislatures, through a long succession of years, are laid open for our use, and their collected wisdom may be happily applied in the Establishment of our forms of Government; the free cultivation of Letters, the unbounded extension of Commerce, the progressive refinement of Manners, the growing liberality of sentiment, and above all, the pure and benign light of Revelation, have had a meliorating influence on mankind and increased the blessings of Society. At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a Nation, and if their Citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be intirely their own."

GW

Phil Johnson said...

.
I give that honor to the French Revolution.

I tend to agree with you on that one, Tom. I guess I was thinking more of what seems most evident to the average thinker here in America.

The American Founding was the fruition of classical and medieval thought as filtered by Christianity. [And in no small part, by Protestantism, which accounts for the anti-authoritarian streak of politics and philosophy per the Roman church.]

I haven't check my original post; but, I think I probably admitted that those things were influential in the America's Founding.

;-)

Phil Johnson said...

.
So, Johathon, how do you take what GW had to say in the quotation you posted?
.
Would you expand on that?
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Wait a minute!

Didn't the French Revolution begin three years after the Declaration of Independence?
.
Would it be better to say the two were concurrent?
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
So, the Human History SHOULD teach us something about why modernity cannot "live" on its own!
.
So, Angie, are you claiming that Modernity is a product on Antiquity?

How's that?
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

"So, Angie, are you claiming that Modernity is a product on Antiquity?

How's that?"

The Greeks were the first to try to understand or describe the universe. This was not just through philosophy, but math and crude science..."God" was Fate, the God of the Philosophers not the "God of Religion". Philosophy asks questions, it is the scientific method, while religion describes "God" as to rituals, lifestyle and faith, i.e. commitment..

Phil Johnson said...

.
The Greeks were the first to try to understand or describe the universe.
.
So, are you saying that the Founders used Greek models to create America?
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,

The Greek city-state is sort of a model, as to citizens belonging to the local (community, State, within the nation/state).

The wideness of education also prepared Greece for Hellinism, which influenced the myths that were used in religious traditions, that impacted Judiasm.

But, at the same time, many of the Greek philosophers were interested in ethics, and how one was to live. These were the foundatons of our government.

Others suggest that Roman law, was useful n the development of our society. So, there were many strands as we've often stated.

But, why is Jason or another not answering this question rather than me? They would be much more informed.

Phil Johnson said...

.
But, why is Jason or another not answering this question rather than me? They would be much more informed.
.
Of course, you know we are being boycotted.
.
:>)
.
But, so what?
.

Jonathan Rowe said...

"So, are you saying that the Founders used Greek models to create America?"

"All its authority rests then on the harmonizing sentiments of the day, whether expressed in conversation, in letters, printed essays, or in the elementary books of public right, as Aristotle, Cicero, Locke, Sidney, &c. ..."

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=3

Angie Van De Merwe said...

"Of course, you know we are being boycotted."

??I don't understand???

Lindsey Shuman said...

This thread (which I read completely) is a perfect illustration of why I left AC. On one end you have Mr./Mrs. Anonymous. It's probably a good thing that you didn't reveal your true self because you are obviously retarded.

On the other hand you have the LEGENDARY (in his own mind) Tom Van Dyke, whose arrogance knows no limits.

And then Mr. Phil, who I barely know but can tell is a special kind of stupid.

So, from all I can see, Jon is still brilliant, Brad is right behind him (basically Jon's apprentice...don't worry, that's a good thing), Angie, who I don't know, who seems to be on her game, and a bunch of other "contributors" who don't write a thing from what I can see.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Lindsey Shuman said...

And this Mr. Jasan Pappas. If you guys were smart you would make him a contributor. He seems every bit as sharp as Jon.

Phil Johnson said...

.
And then Mr. Phil, who I barely know but can tell is a special kind of stupid.
.
That was great, Lindsey. It gave me a burst of laughter. And, I needed that.
.
You remember me as Pinky.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Putting http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/index.asp?document=3 in context:

"This was the object of the Declaration of Independence. Not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before; but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent, and to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take. Neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, it was intended to be an expression of the American mind, and to give to that expression the proper tone and spirit called for by the occasion."
.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Rowe, you visited the site and said the quotations are all David Barton fabrications. However, in our research we did not find these quotes through him or his sites/books/podcasts/etc.

I am not saying everyone needs to be a Christian in America. But I do think (and the evidence I've seen points me to this) that many of our founders believed they were serving God in the formation of our government. Not every founder rejected the mix of church and state.

I could be misguided, and I am more than open to facts.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Sir, the Ten Commandments quote from Madison is a fake one. [Even Barton notes it on his website.] It would behoove you to remove it. I think the others are OK, but they prove not a lot.

just finding a quote on the internet isn't enough. If you're serious about being taken seriously, you need to double-check for yrself and trace every bit of info to the original source, not just another website.

A lot of quotes were fabricated even going back to the 1800s and boounce around the internet to this day, so there's no substitute for confirming them yrself.

Jonathan Rowe said...

There is more than just the Madison quote. There are a great deal of Barton's other "unconfirmed quotations."

Jonathan Rowe said...

And perhaps I'm being unfair to Barton by saying they are his. As the commenter noted, you need not get them from him. If you went to the Wallbuilders site and looked for the article entitled "Unconfirmed Quotations" he admits they are ... "unconfirmed."

Angie Van De Merwe said...

I re-read the above article and it seems that the word "Americanism" is the "morality" of the nation.

David Barton thinks that Glenn Beck is a Christian because he defines Christianity by one's lifestyle, as moral.

Moral in this sense has a social connotation, which is conservative as to family values. It is the absolutizing Paul in scriptures, where evangelicals have made their "Tradition"! This is where scriptural standards are the moral code for "who's considered in" and "who's considered out"!

Such thinking is not concerned with orthodoxy, except atonement theory or one's opinion of inspiration. These are what drive these sorts to claim their right above all rights, n the name of God!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Jonathan & Tom. I checked out that article on Wallbuilders. Believe it or not, if something is false I want to know it. I want to find truth, not opinion, so thank you for pointing out an inaccuracy. I don't want to pass on something that isn't right. Not into that...

Phil Johnson said...

.
The truth will set you free from your bondage, Anon.
.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Phil, but I don't feel enslaved or bitter, nor do I think my opinion is better than everyone else's. That's not for me, either. I leave that to you.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Right after I sent it, I thought that I should have written that the truth will set us all free. I didn't mean it personally.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,'
But isn't the real problem and disagreement over whether certan biblical standards change, and when, how and who makes these determinations are the question!

Every sect of any religion has ways to distnguishing themselves from the rest. This is because there is disagreement about what faith means.

It seems that the Academy also has its splits in the different discipliines, as people use or understand their discipline in certain ways, using certain theories.

I was thinking today that those that recieve their Ph.D.s in the humanities are expressing themselves through their "art form", within certain disciplines, Scientists understand the natural world differently too, depending on their discipline! So there are various theories and way of using them that make for human knowledge.

The West values such discovery and exploration! Everything is not to be confined to a text/tradition!

Anonymous said...

No problem, Phil.

Phil Johnson said...

.
You're right, Angie.
.
The church I spent my childhood, adolescence and young adulthood until I was 28 taught it was the Holy Spirit's purpose for all those different denominations to exist.
.
The differnt interpretations is the cause that splits congregations in two all of which goes to create additional congregations. Thus the Church is expanded and grows. The more splits, the more churches. It's like divorce--it's good for the economy.
.
:^)
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
I never heard that particular "bent" about the splits! I have heard that everyone thought that their way of understanding was the correct one, some tolerating more than others1

As to splits, as I have understood them, that is "cell growth", as in Church plantings, and exportation of "Their Gospel", which isn't in accordance with the real facts, of the case...

The HOLY Spirit is the SOLE way that such as these understand "truth", which is totally subjective feeling...intuitive. It is not based in the facts of the matter, or the needs of the real world or the real person. (this is an extreme stereotyping, as some do like to do "charitable service"...

Jason Pappas said...

Thanks for the compliments. I’ve been busy. The real world has a way of reminding me of its existence. I’ll catch everyone on another thread. The themes will no doubt return.

Jon, where did you get that GW quote?

Tom Van Dyke said...

I see Mr. Anonymous has withdrawn the Ten Commandments quote on his site. The others seem to have held up to his satisfaction. Good on him.

Jonathan Rowe said...

I don't have time to go over Anon's website in detail. But here is some feedback on GW:

The Isaac Potts story is not confirmed in the primary sources.

In addition to the story not being confirmed in the primary sources (I need to repeat that lest you think what follows is the basis for that assertion, it is not) those who witnessed GW's behavior at churched testified he didn't kneel when praying, something the Isaac Potts story has him doing.

You repeat the "It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible" quotation which is one of the "unconfirmed" quotations.

The "You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ" is accurate but not typical of GW's words. The address was not written by him (but was signed by him) and is the only time GW was EVER recorded mentioning the words "Jesus Christ." Likewise the context shows he wasn't proselytizing; those Indians had already became Christians and GW was politely approving of that move.

The site also features this:

"Almighty God: We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection: Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government: and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.”" [Washington’'s Prayer for the United States]

That is not accurate.

Jonathan Rowe said...

Jason,

The GW wrote was from his 1783 Circular to the States. You can find in among other places here:

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch7s5.html

And here:

http://www.pbs.org/georgewashington/multimedia/heston/circular_letter.html

BTW: GW didn't talk much about Jesus by "Person" either. But the Circular (also not written by GW but signed by him) does refer to the "divine author of our blessed religion," and is the only other time GW was recorded as speaking about Jesus by name or person. Both times in public addresses not written in his hand but signed by him. In NONE of GW's private writings does he speak about Jesus by name OR person; but there is lot of generic philosophical God talk.

GW unquestionably believed in an active Providence and probably thought of himself as a Christian in some sense. But the evidence that he believed in the Trinity, Atonement, had a personal relationship with Jesus and put his faith in Jesus finished work on the cross utterly lacks.

I've written on this at great length before, but am repeating for anon.'s sake. Whether GW was a "Christian" really depends on how that term defines.

Phil Johnson said...

.
Aside from other knowledge, the Free Mason gets the sense, from the quotations cited here, that George Washington was deeply involved in Blue Lodge Masonry. The gist of his comments seems very much in line with Masonic vocabulary.
.
.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Jon, Thanks for the info. We know that George Washington was a Free Mason. Therefore, nation building was one of his goals. And the Indians were civilized through Christianity. This was George Washington's desire to bring civility to the nation and to build the infrastructure of government.

Phil, Many of the Founders were Masons, who understood the symbolism or use of religion for building a nation. Their own symbols represent engineering science and geometty symbolizing architeture...

The symbols useful for our nation's involvement in building foreign nations via the diplomatic corps via Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson.

Therefore, is America a Christian nation? As Tom often has said, well, sorta.....

Phil Johnson said...

.
What I meant to convey, Angie, was that any Free Mason can understand why George Washington used such vocabulary to speak to the public. His ideals were based on Masonic teaching and not, particularly, on Christianity.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
As the Worshipful Master of his lodge, George Washington was deeply into teaching his lodge brothers the ideals of Masonry. Everything in Masonry being about the development of the individual. Little, if anything, about some future perfect.

.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Phil,
I didn't mean to insinuate that religion was the motivating force behind Free Masonry. No the Enlightenment, or scientific investigation WAS! These were "free thinkers", not "traditionalists" as to religious framing or terminology. Their understanding was as "Spinoza's God". Free Masonry is free from religion in that sense.

Is the Neo-conservative movement/Leo Strauss rooted in Free Masonry? How did the term neo-conservative begin, and how did they use Leo Strauss?

BTW, since you stated that Free Masonry was interested in the indidivudal the, are they committed to the educatonal project?

Are there Free Masons that are in the upper escalons of our military?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Sorry, Phil, the Master Mason comes to the point of over-coming tragedy and surrendering to "God", so that living life above evil or in the perpendicular is the goal of Master Masons. Treason calls for the guild to kill, because the Craft otherwise would be in disarray! At least that is what "WiKi" says...

bpabbott said...

Regarding the God of Freemasonry, is a Spinoza's God (Spinozism) a proper perspective, or is the God of Early Deism more proper?

Angie Van De Merwe said...

bpabbott,
I tend to believe that Deism is the "established view" because of Freemasonry's hierarchal structuring. Unless, the Enlightenment did not "end" with hierarchal structuring, as an absolute "social order", then, that would continue to be their understanding.

Equality, fraternity and brotherhood, would lend itself to Marxist ideology where class conflicts lead to a "classless society". Would this be Spinoza's god, as it would view wholism as an ultimate value.

But, Free Masonry probably understands "power relations", and character s the only defense against abuses of power when it comes to a society that is truely free, as individuals are bound by their consicence to do what is honorable.

bpabbott said...

I suppose a better wording for my question would be; Is freemasonry aligned with Modern Deism (Spinoza) or Early Deism?

Phil Johnson said...

.
The "God" of Masonry is a master designer with a desire for the betterment of human beings. It can be seen as the God of the Old Testament.
.

bpabbott said...

Phil,

With or without the accompanying doctrine? ... I had the impression that Church doctrine was verboten in freemasonry?

Phil Johnson said...

.
I do not believe any Blue Lodge Masonry involves any church doctrine whatsoever.
.
However, Magpie is the one to explain such details. He is the most knowledgeable expert on Masonry that I know of.
.

Phil Johnson said...

.
I think this is Magpie Mason's main blog site: http://themagpiemason.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

So, other than the unconfirmed quotes Barton admits to, is he known to be a fabricator? I don't know much about him, but I happened upon his podcast a few weeks ago and assumed he was telling the truth. I guess it is hard to define "truth" when filtered through so many generations of opinion. Ideally, I'd be able to travel back in time to ask the questions directly! All I am sure of is that what I don't know far outweighs what I do know.

Angie Van De Merwe said...

Anon,

There is truth out there and there is "truth for me". One is factual scientific, while the other is personal and has to do with self image, which is intersubjectivity, and found within group identificatons.

Our country was founded on rational principles, not faith based ideologies, though it allowed for them. This is why our nation is the best environment for human flourishing. It allows political liberty of relationships, and it allows for personal values of conscience. Such a country allows for diverse views about most everything. This doesn't mean that all of these beliefs are scientific facts.

I believe this is where Barton comes into the mix of what is believed to be "right". He believes in a biblical Christianity that primarily oriented to a particular view of lifestyle. It is absolutist, so the family standards are absolute. And the country is to protect such standards because of God's Word, otherwise the country is doomed under God's judgment. Leaders are to be principled as to their convictions about these issues. Otherwise they are disqualified for service.

Most people do not live based on scientific facts, but on personal myths, stories, etc. in religious contexts. Even when chldren grow up in a non religous environment parent share family stories, or fairy tales that create a personal narrative. These can also build a moral standard as to behavior, so religon is unnecessary to promote moral values and moral judgments.

Anonymous said...

That was helpful. Thanks, Angie.

jimmiraybob said...

"Never miss a great moment to shut up."

Finally, recognition.