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Dethroning False Europe

[T]he future of Europe rests in renewed loyalty to our best traditions, not a spurious universalism demanding forgetfulness and self-repudiation. Europe did not begin with the Enlightenment. Our beloved home will not be fulfilled with the European Union. The real Europe is, and always will be, a community of nations at once insular, sometimes fiercely so, and yet united by a spiritual legacy that, together, we debate, develop, share—and love.

-The Paris Statement, October 7th, 2017

Europe is “reaching a dead-end,” warn the signatories of the Paris Statement. Entitled “A Europe We Can Believe In” this Statement by prominent academics and writers from across Europe (Roger Scruton, Remi Brague, Ryszard Legutko, Chantal Delsol, among others) says that Europe’s great civilizational inheritance has been dissipated and buried by ideological distortion and deception. Beyond hand-wringing, the Paris Statement evokes the manifold beauty of the European mind and spirit. The reclamation of Europe must engage its full cultural, political, and spiritual dimensions. Europe might be headed to nowhere, but the signatories provide an affirmation of Europe that should serve as a lodestar for efforts to revive its flagging fortunes.

The authors of the Paris Statement argue that the Continent’s problems do not stem necessarily from mass Islamic immigration nor from an emboldened Russia probing borders of European countries. The problem is “false Europe”; its gods must be dethroned. The Statement touches on the standard criticisms of the European Union. The “democratic deficit” is observed by the authors as a “fundamental commitment” of the EU’s rulers, “zealously defended” so that the EU can flex its powers apart from and, at times, in the face of public opinion. More than this, the signatories argue that a grander vision, gnostic at its core, animates the belief of “inevitable progress” for Europe.

The EU Wheel

Disciples and acolytes of false Europe are convinced that they sit atop the transcendental reference point of History, and that from there they espy the inevitable progress of human rights and global community. This “pseudo-religious universalism” and the machinations of the European Union that it justifies culminate in a “haughty and disdainful” repudiation of the glory and the pain of Europe’s past. Proponents of false Europe, the signatories observe, are “orphans by choice” and such homelessness is presumed to be a “noble achievement.” Their ultimate mission is to “confiscate our home” by making that home, in truth, “neither universal nor a community.”

Few things are more politically potent than the threat of homelessness. The judgment that home will be confiscated is stern, but, I think, finds support in the notion of territorial loyalty that undergirds the nation-state. That is, what are the various peoples of Europe actually loyal to and where will they turn when the chips are down? Brussels? The European Parliament? International human rights lawyers? Or do they instead look to the shared possessions, laws, historical experiences, and citizenship they have with those in their own country? It is this loyalty, shaped by habits of consent, that leads citizens to obey laws, even when they disagree with those laws because in due course they can change them through representative government.

The EU project aims to dispense with this loyalty to a democratic nation-state, but what would it put in its place? A determined governing class proposes the abstracted public square of EU governance, replete with endless rights and the rules of unaccountable commissions and bureaucracies. That is, an entity that is a home to no group in particular.

The crucial “work of renewal begins with theological self-knowledge.” This is no call for a Christian crusade to reclaim Europe, say the authors, whose nationalities range from French, English, Polish, German, Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, and Hungary. Rather, the signatories interestingly argue that it is false Europe that is engaged in an “ersatz religious enterprise.” They call for Europe to be re-secularized. The creedal beliefs of false Europe support the effective removal of borders, diminishing the strength of self-governing nation-states, an apolitical and limitless devotion to rights, and thoroughly divesting Europe of its actual religious and cultural histories. The authors scold the reckless faith of Europe’s governing classes that the millions of Islamic migrants to the Continent stand ready in due course to embrace their project of autonomous individualism and multiculturalism.

Endless bromides about diversity, inclusion, and multiculturalism have produced a Europe that can no longer comprehend itself. Unable to know what it is about, a paralyzed Europe is bereft of the resources that it could use to govern itself. In the place of actual history and the stories, myths, and ideals it animates, the grandees of false Europe attempt to shape a European imagination dedicated to a homogenized, utopian future, one that the larger world, they believe, will follow. But the larger world is unlikely to follow—instead it may well subjugate—such a hollowed out Europe or it will dismiss with contempt its apolitical allusions.

Freedom, Not Liberation

European Commission President Donald Tusk epitomized this overconfidence in an August 2016 speech in Vienna, claiming that “borders are the worst invention ever made by politicians.” Read: the political histories of Europe are so many attempts at manipulation and exploitation of human beings. It is we—the EU enlightened caste—who will bring liberation. There is a further tightening of the noose on political freedom, however.

The Statement points to increasing attempts by the governing classes to lessen the “aboriginal European freedom—freedom of conscience.” That is, by controlling political speech, false Europe aims to enforce who will be allowed to speak on issues of political saliency. Thus the politics of Europe will be decisively shaped in one direction, with legal penalties imposed on dissenting voices. Already we see those who have spoken in politically incorrect ways about Islam or on other sensitive issues hauled before courts to be humiliated in the public square. This is not political liberty, and as noted by the signatories, “Recourse to denunciation” means that we lack respect for language and the access to reality that it provides. It’s a sign of intellectual corruption that devalues political accountability. Left with only emancipated wills, many Europeans struggle to discuss the goods they hold in common. Uniformity must be achieved by a bureaucratic or transnational court order, or worse.

How ironic, then, that false Europe understands itself to have an “unprecedented commitment to human liberty.” In reality, this is the liberty of the Generation of 1968, which is endless liberation and expression; this redefinition of liberty refuses to recognize that it needs to be shaped by the nature of the human person. Come to that, there is no nature—only choices grounded in, ultimately, nothing. The result, the Statement notes, is the reduction of freedom to a mindless consumerism of “social media, tourism, and pornography.” In a powerful coda to this section, the Paris signatories declare: “The Generation of ’68 destroyed but did not build.” Amidst this seeming abundance of liberty stands the paradoxical fact of a Europe that is “more and more comprehensively regulated.”

An observer might also note that Europeans are free to live as they choose in only one area of their lives, the sexual domain. This must never be regulated. But human sexuality is fulfilled in reproduction and must be joined to a promise of obligations where the gift of one person to another is bound in love. Yet marriage in Europe continues its decline along with birthrates, which, in almost every European country are below replacement rate despite numerous subsidies and incentives to have children. Europe is dying.

The Need for Statesmen

Statesmen will be needed to return the European Union to its more humble origins, the Paris Statement gets around to noting. Perhaps that begins with the rise of statesmen who re-articulate the common goods of particular nations and are desirous of “the honors bestowed upon them by their people.” One thinks of Churchill and de Gaulle in the not too distant past. Here, I think, the Statement comes up a bit short. Only one paragraph of this 4,400-word document is devoted to the practical political actions that must be taken. Europeans need to recover a classic pagan understanding of politics and then conjugate it with their Christian inheritance. They need a class of men and women in the grip of a spirited but measured desire for political honor. Statesmen are the bridge between Providence and the understandings of human communities. The virtues of political courage and the fame and glory it can achieve must be the light of those who want to slough off “more Union” and restore the political liberty of their native lands.

I am left to wonder if postmodern allurements have forged contemporary European fetters, or if they have led to a passivity incapable of turning back a soft postmodern transnational despotism? Evidence against my gloom is found in the resurgent populism one sees in Poland and Hungary, among other countries. The authors observe that these muscular and rowdy attempts to reclaim self-government could be the beginning of a fruitful alternative course that reconnects Europeans to their cultural, civic, and spiritual roots. But EU subsidies might be withheld from rebellious countries. Various commercial and business pains might be visited on recalcitrant member states. What then? I’m not optimistic. In any case, the Paris Statement points in the direction of a rejuvenated Europe, capable once again of serious and humane thought and action.

Reader Discussion

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on October 11, 2017 at 09:41:09 am

"It is this loyalty, shaped by habits of consent, that leads citizens to obey laws, even when they disagree with those laws because in due course they can change them through representative government. The EU project aims to dispense with this loyalty to a democratic nation-state, but what would it put in its place?"

In these few words Reinsch expresses the contradiction that bemuses the American citizen and its political regimes, retarding yet not stopping progress toward civic morality. The USA is a republic, not a democracy. Justice is pursued by willing citizens---those people who either tacitly or explicitly collaborate to achieve the goals of the preamble to the constitution for the USA.

European Christianity of the 15th through 19th centuries plagued America with the scourge of slavery. Now, American theism maintains the division. Theism is a private practice for the individual who believes. Theism cannot be imposed on a nation, without begging woe.

The 13th Amendment did not happen because erroneous religious beliefs were corrected. The 13th amendment happened because the American people accepted the-objective-truth about slavery: The chains, whips, guns, brutality and rape to slaves; physical and psychological burdens to masters; and guilt to owners. Prayers in the south and prayers in the north were answered neither by interpretation of the Bible nor its gods but by the tribunal of the American people.

The preamble, often disparaged as a secular sentence is neutral to religion---leaves it to the individual to settle personal concerns such as the afterdeath and other mysteries of heartfelt concern to some but not to others. The preamble offers the individual the opportunity to responsibly collaborate for civic justice in order to have the liberty to pursue personal preferences, such as theism or none, and if theism, Christianity or not, and if Christianity Trinity or Unity, and if Trinity Catholic or Protestant, and so on. No civic body may question the religion of a peaceful person, and no person will attend a public debate about their God.

What, then is the quest of people who are willing to use the preamble, under which the rest of the US constitution and its labyrinth of opinion progresses? The preamble guides willing people toward the discovery of and benefits from the-objective-truth. The preamble divides citizens into two groups: the willing and the dissidents to the-objective-truth. The explicit goal is mutual, comprehensive safety and security rather than dominant opinion.

The USA is a republic, and willing American citizens cannot be dissuaded to democracy.

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Phil Beaver
on October 11, 2017 at 11:22:18 am

Goodness gracious! Can you give your "hooby horse" a rest - or at least provide it with some new oats.

The authors of the Paris statement are not, i repeat NOT advocating for a *theistic* revival in the EU but rather for the accompanying traditions, sensibilities, etc that were part of Christian West. There is a difference.

Also recall, that it was not European Christianity that imposed slavery on the US - but rather miscreant, avaricious merchants, traders, etc. Please review the history of the Spanish Jesuits, Christians BTW) who as early as the late 15th century were advocating not only for the end of this barbaric practice but also for more humane treatment of indigenous peoples. Also recall that it was Christian ministers in the North who were in the forefront of the abolitionist movement.
And no, it is not at all clear, as you would suppose, that "theism" is at all a factor in current US discord. On the contrary, theism, such as it may be said to even exist in the US, is under attack on every front in your "civic" USA.

Try a different pony - and I struggle to find *YOUR* Preamble. It appears that you may have "preambulated" right through the actual Preamble.

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gabe
on October 11, 2017 at 11:24:35 am

Richard:

Excellent take on the issue and the Paris authors.

Interesting that there appears to be a growing schism between the East and West sectors of the EU. Let us hope that the "backward" and newly incorporated sectors are the ones that do the "enlightening" in the EU.

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gabe
on October 11, 2017 at 11:40:10 am

Wow this Statement is historic! I am not surprised that outstanding thinkers such as Letgutku and Scruton are among the signatories.

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Lawrence Allen
on October 11, 2017 at 11:49:39 am

Gabe, thanks. And thank you for your great comments on this blog.

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Richard M. Reinsch II
on October 11, 2017 at 11:57:10 am

Read the whole thing:

http://politiek.tpo.nl/2017/10/07/the-paris-statement-a-europe-we-can-believe/

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Image of R Richard Schweitzer
R Richard Schweitzer
on October 11, 2017 at 16:20:48 pm

There you go, strawman gabe, defending Europe, the author of the Bible and its mountains of interpretation when my comment addresses Reinsch’s erroneous implications that the US constitution can be amended by Christian democracy. Willing people in the US (at least 24% of Americans, but perhaps 2/3, are on an ineluctable march toward civic morality rather than religions opinion.

In cheap one-line humor about horse and oats and ponies, you would ridicule my work if not my person, which is a low form of retreat referred to as “ridicule” by Alinsky-Marxist organizations. However, ideas do not yield to ridicule. Yet your comments empower Reinsch to say “thanks” (I think for the distraction from addressing the-objective-truth, whatever it is, your humor provided). That seems to be a systematic, cooperative practice in your comments.

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Phil Beaver
on October 11, 2017 at 17:23:11 pm

Better yet, go here: https://thetrueeurope.eu/

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A. M. F.
on October 11, 2017 at 20:16:32 pm

"The USA is a republic, and willing American citizens cannot be dissuaded to democracy."

Democracy is the label for the processes of demotic authentication of authority, including the authority necessary for the functioning of a Republic, the Res Publica, which is demotic.

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Image of R Richard Schweitzer
R Richard Schweitzer
on October 11, 2017 at 20:54:06 pm

Contrary to the writings of scholars, a willing people conform to the-objective-truth rather than the common language of the people. That's the point of the slavery lessons being played out in the USA. According to the-objective-truth, slavery is evil, no matter what the Bible says.

The willing people as defined by the preamble conform to the-objective-truth and establish civil laws to either guide or constrain dissidents or incarcerate criminals.

The imposition of theism onto civic morality retards the ineluctable march toward civic morality, but cannot stop it. Willing people will establish mutual, comprehensive safety and security.

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Phil Beaver
on October 11, 2017 at 22:01:41 pm

Much of that is utter nonsense. I have never hear of the term Alinsky-Marxism, and believe you made it up. It certainly has no observable ancestor. I see no evidence of 25% or 2/3 of any population moving inexorably toward anything, never mind something as poorly defined as 'civic morality'

Please provide concrete data to support this supposed march of tens of millions.

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Morris
on October 12, 2017 at 09:52:00 am

Well the "imposition" of *Beaverism* would be much worse.

Pop up again on Feb 2nd!

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gabe
on October 12, 2017 at 15:06:07 pm

“Alinsky” refers to Saul Alinsky. “Marxist” refers to Alinsky’s claim that he organized victims to disrupt, even violate oppressors according to the “victims’” opinion, which is a Marxist idea. The topic is well reported by D. L. Adams, 2010: newenglishreview.org/DL_Adams/Saul_Alinsky_and_the_Rise_of_Amorality_in_American_Politics/. Also in several Wikipedia articles.

In 1788, when the USA was established, the free population was 99% factional Protestant and 5% could vote. Today, 100% of non-felon citizens may vote and traditional factional Protestants account for about 14% of inhabitants. The portion of inhabitants who claim no religion is 24%. See pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/ . In the USA, the march toward civic justice is impressive.

Recalling my statement, “. . . progress toward civic morality. Justice is pursued by willing citizens—those people who either tacitly or explicitly collaborate to achieve the goals of the preamble to the constitution for the USA.” I paraphrase the preamble for promotion: “We willing people of the United States commit to and trust in the purpose and goals stated herein --- integrity, justice, collaboration, defense, prosperity, liberty, and perpetuity --- and to cultivate limited services by the USA, beginning on June 21, 1788.” Yet I support the verbatim preamble.

I think Abraham Lincoln had similar regard for the preamble’s promise of civic justice. Consider his March 4, 1861 statement, ““Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.”

The observation ". . . no observable ancestor,” while perhaps true, invites neither free exchange of ideas nor progress beyond the past. I have no desire to preserve the bad of the past, such as erroneous support of slavery. I have every desire to live on the leading edge of civic morality.

Some people are dissident to mutual, comprehensive safety and security for reasons I do not understand. However, we know that some people think crime pays.

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Phil Beaver
on October 12, 2017 at 16:36:02 pm

I reviewed the link, and stand by my assessment: this is nonsense. I don’t need a refresher on the identities of Alinsky or Marx (I wasn’t leaning to Harpo or Zeppo, thankyou). But combining to the two seems to be a meaningless attempt at branding. Marx has been dead for 130 years, and has not played an active part (from a philosophical or economic perspective) in any western culture for decades. Alinksy was even less influential, and has himself been dead for 50 years. Neither exercises any influence of any reasonable kind in the 21st Century west. This is confirmed by the unimpressive link you provided, which constitutes little more than fear mongering, similar to countless red-scare documents I’ve read over the years. It vainly attempts to create a sinister boogeyman of Alinsky (who was more of an avuncular character, and writer of a slim book far more benign than its dark reputation among the right wing suggests). Notable are the grim motivations the author ascribes to even the most inconsequential (and heavily cherry picked) Alinksy quotes. There is nothing scholarly about this hit piece. It’s little more than beating the corpse of a long-dead horse, and trying to turn a long-dead figure into a contemporary threat, because Hillary Clinton (45 years ago) wrote a paper on the man. It’s an absurd contention. I would take it no more seriously than I would a leftist tract reminding me to lock my doors in case the John Birchers visit my 2017 neighborhood and pee in my pool. It really does seem that out-of-date and desperate. The ties between Alinsky and Marx seem to exist only in your mind, which would explain why (with them both being dead a combined 170 years) that I’ve never heard of this sinister connection until now. And why not? There simply aren’t any ties beyond the cosmetic and convenient. It’s made up and baseless. Take the two most obvious ‘boogeymen’ of the left, and tie them together to create some sort of super leftist villain.

If that sounds like comic-book fare, then it isn’t by accident. The notion is comical. The topic wasn’t ‘well reported’ at all. The topic was heavily tilted toward a nativist, alarmist right-wing perspective, and then the strawman easily felled. The internet is full of hollow opinion pieces like that one.

To address your supposition that 24% of Americans were joining some non-defined ‘civic morality’ movement (putting aside the misuse of the word ‘civic’ for a moment), that assertion is even less reliable. There seems to be no definition of ‘civic morality’ (maybe you meant ‘civil?”) or civic justice. You make a very simple error. You ascribe one set of unrelated data to a meaning of your own imagination. You believe that 24% of people claiming no religion automatically means 24% of people subscribe to a ‘movement’ that is ill-defined but which you claim as your own. I would say that’s simply not true. There is no evidence that these 24% have anything in common at all, beyond the fact that they claim no religion. We could, with just as much surety, suggest that this 24% of Americans have bad tailbones, and are unable to sit on pews, and for this reason, no longer observe religion. I have just as much (or little) reason to assume that fact to be true, and take credit for it, as you do with ‘civic morality’. I would expect that, if we were to interview every one of those 24%, very few would accept that they were part of a defined movement as described by Phillip Beaver of the Internet. There reasons are their own, and are as varied as they are numerous. It’s somewhat presumptuous to take credit for any of those reasons, and assume your own efforts describe their decisions. That also leaves us with the 2/3 claim. How do you move from 24% to 66%? I think you simply made up an impressive number that can’t be disproven. In that case, I would like to say that 4/5 of Americans agree with me on a poorly-defined social movement that I lead, but haven’t yet described anywhere outside of an obscure blog comment. Would I be accurate? Prove I’m not!

Alinsky and Marx are long dead, and Alinsky at least was no one to fear. Obama is gone, ACORN is gone, Clinton is gone. It all smacks of red-scare style alarmism really. I don’t know anyone who still fears the specter of Saul Alinsky.

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Morris
on October 12, 2017 at 16:55:28 pm

True that there is no fear of Alinsky, but you demonstrate that many people think they can use Alinsky rules, like No. 5, "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."

People try to ridicule when they fear a dialogue. I won't work with me.

Just as some dissidents think crime pays, some dissidents think Alinsky rules pay.

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Phil Beaver
on October 12, 2017 at 17:27:09 pm

Ridicule? I don’t recall consciously ridiculing, although I did use the word ‘nonsense’ and provided a host of arguments to support that assertion (none of which you addressed). I also addressed your 24% claim and found that to be unfounded. I certainly didn’t open up my copy of Rules for Radicals, skip to chapter 5, and implement. I suspect you are one of the few people left who still has a copy of that tome. I remember years ago realizing that the only people who cared about bible passages were atheists. I expect your fascination with Alinsky is of the same type. I remain unaware of anyone who has even read Alinsky, let alone fears him, as you and your link would suggest we do.
I challenged your assertions, and deemed some of them (specifically the Marx/Alinsky connection) to be nonsense. You also didn’t address my assertion that your 24% figure is completely invalid. Or that 24% and 66.6% are far from the same thing, and there is no reason to divine a natural progression from one to the other.

Lastly, you suggest I am a ‘dissident’. A dissident to what? That has not been defined. Is it ‘civil morality’ or some sort of preamble fetishism? Is it dissidence to the 24% or the 66.6%, or is there another figure of which I am unaware? Am I dissident to Protestantism, or atheism? Or something else? No clarification is forthcoming, so I can only speculate on the nature of the Alinsky dissidence to which I had no idea I was a part, until today. I think you have come up with your own distinctions of positive and negative groups (24% vs 76%? 2/3 vs 1/3?), withheld the definitions for entry into either group, and then declared those who would challenge your preferred (and secret) membership to be 'dissidents'. A Kafkaesque ply, as anyone who has read the sad tale of Joseph K in the Trail will remember. Who wen to this death accused of a crime but not knowing what crime, when, or who the accuser was. All he knew was he was a 'dissident' and that alone secured his execution. I feel quite like him today, I must say. And im amused.

Its not good becoming defensive over a simple challenge to an unfounded assertion. Claiming that everyone who disagrees with you is part of a Marxist Alinsky cabal, and then claiming that I am using specific chapters of Alinsky against you (when I haven’t opened his book in decades) is further nonsense. But 'nonsense' is not ridicule, its assessment. I haven't made any personal attack, no comments on physical appearance, or writing critique. I think 'ridicule' is much more inferred than implied.

Of note afore I go – you wrote at great length initially, but your responses have shrunk considerably to only a few lines, while others continue to discourse without reservation. It would seem that the only one fearing dialog is yourself, and your retreat confirms that. I have no such fears and do not shrink when my assertions are challenged.

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Morris
on October 12, 2017 at 18:15:31 pm

Brevity is due you, Morris, because, first, you questioned the USA's march toward civic morality and I responded: among free inhabitants in 1787 [excluding the African slaves] 5% voted and 99% were factional Protestants. Today, 100% of non-felon citizens may vote and traditional factional protestants account for 14%, citing the source.

Second, you questioned "civic morality," and I clarified using the preamble and Lincoln's reflection on civic morality.

You harped on Alinsky and Marx, both very influential in today's campaign for liberal democracy so as to destroy the American republic. Neither of them is more dead than Constantine, who demanded a Christian Bible, and the foolhardily Church failed to omit books or passages that condone if not promote slavery.

What you don't seem to realize is that people take themselves out of civic morality when they pretend and stonewall.

You have no more demand on my time and good will.

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Phil Beaver
on October 12, 2017 at 18:23:05 pm

BTW, I just started reading Mike Gecan, "Rules for the NFL's Radicals," WSJ, Oct 10, 2017, Page A19, which I quote:
". . . are doing what Saul Alinsky, founder of the Industrial Areas Foundation, often advised."

Do you read newspapers from the USA?

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Phil Beaver
on October 12, 2017 at 19:32:34 pm

Stonewall? I would encourage a little more self awareness. Thus far gabe and I are the only ones to have challenged your assertions. This you clearly didnt expect or welcome (making a mockery of your desire for dialog) and you have chosen to cease communicating with either of us. That I beleve is the definition of stonewalling. Something you, unique among us, are the only one guilty of. Which is ironic you must agree.

You also fall short with your supposed definitions. From the top, you are misusing 'civic' as that applies to cities and municipalities. Nothing in your Lincoln passage speaks to cities or citizens thereof. Which tells me that you simply didnt know the meaning of the word. Do you honestly think Old Abe would agree that your cited passage defines civic morality? I think he would be more likely to say 'you are misuing the word civic'. As he should and as i do.

You then proceed to compound your earlier error, in citing a statistic on religious affiliation and assertjng that it has some connection to your incorrect use of 'civic' in civic morality. That isnt a connection, its a happenstance. Reduction of church affiliation has nothing to do with preamble observance or 'civic morality'. One is an observable fact, one is an unfounded claim for correlation to a 'movement' that appears to have no members and is based on one mans misuse of the word 'civic'. Anyone can take a movement of people over time (say from belief to nonbelief, or maybe cknsumption of meat to vegetarianism) and claim greater significance according to criteria they made up alone in their homes one night. It isnt hard to do. But it is hard to take it as anything but, again, nonsense.

Alinsky and Marx? Who cares. So you found a clever article on the NFL. Does this prove your hollow thesis? That the republic is under constant threat from two wholly unrelated, and irrelevant, philosophies? No. That too is nonsense, only of an alarmist kind, rather than confused. Anyone whonhas read Marx or Alinsky knows how suprisingly benign they are. Just more 'isms' to frighten the easily frightened. It seems hey are seeping into newspaper columns as cute gimmicks. Such is their threat?

I tire of this. I dont believe you are in command of your ideas. They ramble from slavery to preambles, from misusing civic to Abe Lincoln, all the way to Constantine and puritan voters, via Marx and Alinsky in some fiendish partership, all topped off with dissidence (to who knows what) that might ensnare 76% of americans, although it might be as little as 1/3. There is no connective tissue. No discipline. Just randomness and unsupported presumption

A man not in command of his thoughts, or the presentation thereof, would do well to be less haughty. It is unearned.

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Morris
on October 12, 2017 at 20:38:23 pm

Why do you discount Richard? Did you and gabe team up for your brand of humor?

Make no mistake, my use of the word "civic" applies to people behaving for citizens more than for municipalities or governments. You are dissident to such civic citizens, and I promote them.

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Phil Beaver
on October 12, 2017 at 20:52:43 pm

No, no team up. You have managed to alienate two people at the same time, entirely independently of each other. Thats not something I would boast about. As an example of pursuasive writing, it can only be considered a failure.

Make no mistake? Your entire thesis (what little i can decipher of it) is based on a mistake.

The mistake is 'civic' - you are simply applying a definition to a word that doesnt fit. Its almost Orwellian (certainly Kafkaesque). Language is flexible, bit it takes a real chutzpah to simply take an established word, and make up a whole new definition for it. And then, to top off the comedy of errors, then you accuse those who might choose to correct your linguistic error, or at least choose not to partake in your redefinition fun, as dissidents. Am I a dissident to random unilateral misuse and redefinition of common words? I hope so. Taking a word, redefining it yourself, then deeming those that dont meet your new definition as 'dissidents' is, again, utter nonsense. What word is next? Pelican? Lunar? Clock? The? Butter? Your options are endless.

Such actions render language (and thus dissidence from that language) completely meaningless.

That observation, coupled with a rereading of your inital post, tell me all I care to know about you and language. Clearly, you are strangers to each other. Your prior warning to waste no more time on me is a welcome one. Carry on.

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Morris
on October 13, 2017 at 10:22:32 am

Perhaps the dictionary and Aristotle would help focus on words rather than ad hominem attack.

My use of “civic” refers to persons more than municipality or government. See merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civic. “Definition of civic: of or relating to a citizen, a city, citizenship, or community affairs.” Civic citizens willingly observe mutual justice in the woods or out at sea. Thus, my phrase “civic morality” addresses first justice among people.

Interested persons may google “civic morality definition,” and find data. “Examines the definition of civic virtue as morality or a standard of righteous behavior in relationship to a citizen's involvement in society. ... An individual may exhibit civic virtue by voting, volunteering, organizing a book group, or attending a PTA meeting. The Greek word for virtue is arete, which means excellence.”

A person who becomes interested in trust-in and commitment-to the preamble rather than lamely claiming to be of “we, the people,” may eventually take interest and google, “Aristotle's definition of citizen.” We find, for example at sparknotes.com/philosophy/politics/section3.rhtml, “It is not enough to say a citizen is someone who lives in the city or has access to the courts of law, since these rights are open to resident aliens and even slaves. Rather, Aristotle suggests that a citizen is someone who shares in the administration of justice and the holding of public office. Aristotle then broadens this definition, which is limited to individuals in democracies, by stating that a citizen is anyone who is entitled to share in deliberative or judicial office.”

Since the USA was established on June 21, 1788, when only 5% of the 80% free citizens could vote, progress has brought the USA to complete suffrage: 100% of citizens may vote if they avoid felony conviction. Many if not most citizens are willing to vote for justice. But some are dissident. Some are criminal and risk civil law enforcement.

There remains the need to clarify the scope of civic justice. For insight, we can refer again to the dictionary, for example, merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mysticism. There, we find, “Definition of mysticism “2: the belief that direct knowledge of God, spiritual truth, or ultimate reality can be attained through subjective experience (such as intuition or insight).” I doubt anyone would collaborate for mysticism as the means of discovering civic justice, but most people are willing to collaborate to discover the-objective-truth. Yet political regimes commonly coerce or force the public to brook mysticism (see Chapter XI Machiavellianism).

I use two hyphens to suggest that omission of any of the three words in the-objective-truth redirects the reader to some form of subjectivity---a subjective truth. The-objective-truth exists and humankind does the noble work to discover and to understand how to benefit. For example, a civic person does not lie so that the people do not have to discover and perhaps to confront the lie (that example, BTW, comes from Albert Einstein, 1941).

I suggest that you and gabe have no justifiable alienation against Phil Beaver but desperately dissent against the-objective-truth. I work to relieve fear of the-objective-truth.

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Phil Beaver
on October 13, 2017 at 10:59:50 am

I believe your goal, and your satisfaction, is in aggravating others, much like a younger brother takes joy in pestering and flustering his older sisters. No more nonsense for me. 'Gabe' can decide for himself.

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Morris
on October 13, 2017 at 12:28:42 pm

I do not know the-objective-truth and therefore can only express my opinion. It seems to me you retreated from the dictionary, not Phil Beaver.

I doubt gabe's humor will stop: it's hard to reform an habitual trick.

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Phil Beaver
on October 17, 2017 at 12:15:14 pm

This isn't about the land of burgers and fries, or your ego. This is about Europe. Kindly shut up and take your nonsense to a more appropriate article. Might I suggest this one.

http://www.libertylawsite.org/2016/08/03/paradise-lost-2/

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Andrew
on October 17, 2017 at 13:05:50 pm

[…] Read Full Article » […]

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Dethroning False Europe - Big Sky Headlines
on October 17, 2017 at 15:39:23 pm

Civic citizens don't respond to fear.

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Phil Beaver
on October 17, 2017 at 18:49:28 pm

Did I once say that you have managed to alienate two complete strangers with your studied, calculated, irritation? It seems that 'two' has become three.

Thats quite a gift you have. The popular touch? Not quite.

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Morris
on October 17, 2017 at 19:01:29 pm

You fear the-objective-truth.

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Phil Beaver
on October 17, 2017 at 19:25:34 pm

More utter nonsense. You have proven unable to define what 'the-objective-truth' even is, any more than your incoherent paragraphs have offered any insight into 'civic morality' which remains based on a misuse of definition. And your misuse of basic punctuation is, I believe, more evidence of your desire to irritate and aggravate. Like little brother to older sisters.

That is your manifesto, and, while the quality of your writing is woeful, your ability to alienate is beyond question. But again, I tire of your games, and am sorry to have fallen into your trap again. Although i said it before, this time i'll try to stick to it - no more nonsense.

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Morris
on October 17, 2017 at 22:45:09 pm

Humankind works to discover the-objective-truth and use it.

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Phil Beaver
on October 17, 2017 at 23:09:01 pm

Humankind? You speak for only yourself, and I see no evidence of any support for anything you have written from any corner.

No more nonsense.

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Morris
on October 18, 2017 at 03:40:09 am

[…] Source… […]

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False Europe
on October 18, 2017 at 07:26:47 am

The-objective-truth exists. Humankind works to discover it and make best use of it. For example, most people don’t know if there is extraterrestrial life and would not attempt communication with extraterrestrials.

The-objective-truth comes upon rational thought about evidence of discovery plus repetition of the evidence. The process works equally in physics and in psychology.

Civic citizens mutually discover public morality using the-objective-truth rather than submit to mysticism, dominant opinion, emotions, or political power. Humankind progresses not by force or coercion but by personal experience, by observations, and by practicing fidelity. They respond to what-is rather than what may be. Unwilling people are dissidents, whether intentionally or innocently. For example, in a civic culture, if the CDC reports evidence that smoking reduces life-span and secondary smoke kills innocent people, civic citizens stop smoking. But some dissidents do not stop.

The-objective-truth is the reality to which humankind ineluctably answers. In other words, reality can neither be ignored nor avoided. When the-objective-truth is undiscovered, voluntary public integrity requires responses like, “I do not know,” or “I think so and don’t have to know in order to hold responsible hopes.” In public integrity, both the believer and the non-believer collaborate for civic justice yet pursue personal preferences.

In a civic culture, most people iteratively collaborate to discover the-objective-truth. Thereby, people may practice mutual, comprehensive safety and security for themselves, for their children and grandchildren, and for the beyond --- for posterity, including dissidents.

An objective culture records discovered-objective-truth so that future generations may benefit from past discovery and efficiently correct errors upon new understanding or future discovery. The objective journal is observed by a free and responsible press. Thereby, the newborn may acquire knowledge and understanding and make personal choices at the leading edge of moral discovery.

Among first principles of a civic culture is personal, comprehensive fidelity. Both respectively and collectively, the person develops fidelity to these entities: to the-objective-truth, to self, to family, to the people, to the nation, and to the world. I, singly, neither know nor can discover the-objective-truth, yet I can cultivate fidelity.

Regarding civic morality, civil opinion may have two possibly erroneous aspects: social conventions and statutory law. Social convention is based on temporal civilization more than the-objective-truth. Statutory law can be unjust, especially if it is derived by coercion/force, arrogance, or dominant opinion. Some societies think crime pays. Thus, civility, or conformance to society, can be erroneous.

Most civilizations are based on dominant opinion, often that people behave only under force or coercion. It is a self-fulfilling convention. Such civilizations are dissident to the-objective-truth.

With independence from dominant opinion about the-objective-truth, individuals may acquire the liberty to pursue personal preferences: Personal, comprehensive fidelity is made possible.

Humankind’s collective quest for the liberty to live in peace is stifled by failure to promote freedom from arbitrary dominant opinion. In other words, civic citizens promote the liberty to exercise human psychological power. To reach human maturity requires freedom from psychological tyranny. Some societies are reluctant to admit that individuals may achieve comprehensive fidelity.

Personal independence is suppressed by the world’s misdirected quest for a socio-political regime that fosters freedom according to the “common good.” Unfortunately, much of the thought is dominated by theism---mysticism---rather than the-objective-truth---discoverable certainty.

“Self-government” alienates reliability. Humans may, both daily and ultimately, conform to the-objective-truth. In other words, humans either discover-and-conform to the-objective-truth or risk woe. Humans may collaborate for comprehensive safety and security but cannot arbitrarily self-govern.

These statements address civic morality, leaving private concerns and hopes for personal pursuit. In other words, in a civic culture, no one is coerced to negotiate personal, heartfelt concerns. For example, no one can impose concern for a “soul” or spiritualism. Thus, democracy is not a civic culture. A civic culture conforms to the-objective-truth.

A culture with voluntary public integrity coaches the newborn in three principles: 1) ignoring the-objective-truth invites woe, 2) collaboration for comprehensive safety and security is essential to each person, and 3) the human being may, through comprehensive fidelity, conform to the-objective-truth while developing private hopes.

While the newborn child is a person, he or she is indisputably unable to independently transition to psychologically mature adult. He or she may remain in a state of subjugation to the care givers. However, the willing child may, through experience and observations, develop human authenticity. Public connections are essential to personal development.

Because it springs from the-objective-truth, the civic culture seeks neither dominant opinion nor democracy nor mystery. Each willing person is in charge of personal preferences that do not conflict the-objective-truth. Yet each person may privately, responsibly test the universal unknowns. For example, be the first person to fly using aerodynamic principles. The freedom made possible by a culture that conforms to the-objective-truth facilitates the personal liberty to pursue private interests. Thus, the traditional “common good” becomes conformity to the-objective-truth rather than conflict over mysticism. Civic people accept public interference --- force and coercion --- only on the indisputable facts of reality. For example, no one accepts someone’s assertion that they spontaneously contacted extraterrestrial life.

A civic culture may seem impossible, because it has never been attempted. But it has never been expressed as voluntary public integrity by civic citizens using the-objective-truth.

There will always be dissidents, some of whom cause harm. Statutory law may conform to the-objective-truth rather than dominant opinion or mystery. Yet willing people must evaluate a criminal’s motivation for harmful behavior. Justice may be achieved with iterative collaboration to discover the-objective-truth.

With the process based on the-objective-truth, law enforcement by either arbitrary opinion or mystery is lessened, and the rule of law, or republican governance, is continually improved.

Subjects, such as lies, are often, erroneously asserted as the-objective-truth or facts. For example, some people present their theism as the-objective-truth. Yet, no one accepts that their religion must yield to another religion. Mysteries, such as religious beliefs that have not been disproven, should not be disparaged. However, mysticism has no standing in the collaboration for civic justice.

Among civic citizens, liars stand out as dissidents. In a culture that never lies, the liar cannot communicate.
“Faith in reason” seems unwise. Science is a process for study and the student may reason based on false perceptions --- like a mirage.

The object of study is discovery, and the product is the-objective-truth, which does not respond to reason. However, rational thought is essential to the acceptance that repeatable evidence represents a discovery rather than a subject of imagination. I object to “having faith,” in this context, and prefer “trust in and commit to” the-objective-truth, the product of evidentiary discovery.

We propose a new standard for public integrity: collaboration to discover the-objective-truth more than competition for dominant-opinion. How could this concept have improved the history of the USA? How could it be used to improve future living?

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Phil Beaver
on October 18, 2017 at 12:56:34 pm

I didnt say 'more nonsense' I said 'no more nonsense'

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Morris
on October 18, 2017 at 13:24:55 pm

Humankind is constrained to appreciate the perfection of this world. It is well worth the work of willing persons to subdue and enjoy it. The work to discover and understand has motivated humankind in all ages.

Beauty appears when heart and mind open to the intention for fidelity. Then a person is instructed that humanity is without bound. To be good, to cultivate fidelity, the human is born, low as the infant lies in weakness. The potential the infant appreciates is his own, though he has not realized it yet. He ought, he knows, although he fails to entirely comprehend. When coached in innocence, or when by personal autonomy, he realizes, “I appreciate comprehension. The-objective-truth is reliable within and without. Fidelity will I serve, day and night, in great, in small.” Then is the meaning of life answered.

The child amidst the toys of his era, is learning the action of light, motion, gravity, muscular force. In civic connections: appreciation, fear, justice, appetite, and the good interact. We don’t articulate these laws, yet we read them hourly in each other's faces; in each other's actions; in private remorse. Humans must comprehend and articulate the moral traits which maintain every fidelity. Yet, intention is the essence of all inspiration and motivation.

The intuition of moral intention is an insight of the perfect laws of the human person. These laws execute themselves. They are out of time, out of space, and not subject to circumstance. Thus; in the human person there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire. He who does a good deed, is instantly ennobled. He who does a mean deed, is by the action itself contracted. If a man is just, then in so far is he the good. If a man pretends, he deceives himself, and goes out of acquaintance with his own being; the taint of vanity or the least attempt to make a good impression, instantly spoils the outcome.

Fidelity rights wrongs, corrects appearances, and lifts thoughts to harmony with facts. A humble man appreciates fidelity. Speak the-objective-truth, and all nature and listeners help with unexpected extension. Fidelity empowers appreciation, and becomes the law of willing people.

These facts have always suggested that the world is not the product of diverse power, but of one will: to discover the-objective-truth. Of one mind: fidelity. The willing person cultivates fidelity to the-objective-truth, to his person, to immediate family, to extended family and friends, to the people, to the nation, to the world, and to the universe.
Whatever opposes physics or ethics is balked and baffled, because things are made so, and not otherwise. As we are, so we associate. The reliable, by affinity, seek the reliable; the vile, by affinity, the vile; the dissident, by affinity, the dissident. Thus of their own volition, persons proceed into happiness or into misery. Evil is merely lacking, like cold, which is the privation of heat. Evil is so much death or nonentity. When a man strays from fidelity, he lessens his power; his being shrinks; he becomes less and less; a speck, a point, until absolute badness is absolute death.

Fidelity makes our highest happiness. Wonderful is its power to charm and to command. It is a mountain air. It is myrrh and fragrance and stimulant. By fidelity is the universe made safe and habitable more than by research or power.

Taking advantage of another’s fidelity may motivate unkindness and subjugation and find no purpose or integrity. But the return to fidelity gives and is the assurance that the-objective-truth is sovereign over all physics and psychology. And time, space, mass and energy, and motivation seem to celebrate.

Intention to fidelity corrects the capital mistake of the adolescent adult who seeks to be great by following the great, or hopes to derive advantages from another. The reliable person demonstrates the fountain of all good to be in himself, and that he, equally with every man, is an inlet into the-objective-truth. When he says, "I ought." When appreciation and humility warm him. When, using the-objective-truth he chooses the good and great deed; then, deep melodies from wisdom wander through his person. Then he can collaborate, and be enlarged by his listening, which cannot distract his intention to fidelity.

This intention lies at the foundation of civic morality, and successively creates all forms of collaboration. The principle of humility never dies out. If a man falls into superstition, into emotions, nevertheless he does not lose sight of the moral intention. The expressions of fidelity are reliable and permanent in proportion to their purity. The expressions of fidelity affect us more than all other works.

Discovering the-objective-truth ceases never, but it is guarded by one firm condition: It is a response. It is not instruction that I can receive from another person. What he announces, I must either confirm by experience and observation or reject. On his word, be he who he may, I can accept nothing. He may coach and affirm but not instruct.
On the contrary, the absence of authenticity is the presence of degradation. Let autonomy depart, and the things it made possible, become false and hurtful. Then falls hope, the state, art, letters, even life. The doctrine of the-objective-truth, being forgotten, a sickness infects and dwarfs the establishment.

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Phil Beaver
on October 18, 2017 at 13:37:01 pm

My October 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm post is an adaptation from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

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Phil Beaver
on October 18, 2017 at 13:46:18 pm

Unfortunately, its clear where Emerson's contribution ends, and your nonsense begins.

I have enjoyed Emerson's gifts over the years. Not everyone can boast such talent, or even a fraction of it.

No more nonsense!

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Morris
on October 18, 2017 at 15:45:00 pm

Interesting boast.

Could you tell that I stopped mimicking Emerson just before he introduced the claim that Jesus was only a man and that Christianity forever hid Jesus's message by claiming Jesus was deity? Barely three paragraphs beyond my stopping point, Emerson wrote, "But the very word Miracle, as pronounced by Christian churches, gives a false impression, it is Monster." Perhaps Emerson was correct, and if so, reform is appropriate.

I stopped beforehand because I do not want to alienate believers. Not Christians; not Muslims; not Jews; not Hindus; not Buddhists; not atheists; not any religion that helps some believers do no harm and empowers them for civic morality. Every human's no-harm inspiration is precious to me for him and for civic citizens, whether religion is involved or not. Among civic citizens every no-harm religion flourishes.

A civic culture is attainable, and this forum has the intellectual power to start the reform now, making 2017 the low point in American republicanism. You express your nonsense, but we study and write for an attainable, better future.

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Phil Beaver
on October 18, 2017 at 16:55:33 pm

Alienation (and irritation) is clearly your goal. Consider it achieved.

No more nonsense.

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Morris
on October 18, 2017 at 17:36:43 pm

You seem to be overcome with emotions and unable to overcome pedantic "nonsense." Maybe some 1941 Albert Einstein interpretation would help. His only example, perhaps both physical and psychological, is why civic citizens don't lie. Thus, the other examples are mine, yet some are classical considerations.

Humankind employs a process for understanding. This seems to apply equally in physics, mathematics, and psychology. Both humankind and each willing person, who would discover the-objective-truth, seek comprehension of relations which exist independently from the researcher. For example, extraterrestrial life either exists or does not, regardless of humankind’s expectations. In a civic culture, mutual appreciation is more satisfying than hate.

"Civic" here refers to citizens willingly collaborating to live in mutual peace, allowing for difference of opinion when the-objective-truth has not been discovered.

In physics, statements of comprehension may be cosmic discoveries. For example, the universe seems to be expanding, yet may actually be shrinking or static.

Consider the elementary equation of mathematics: 2+2= 4. In physics, 2 apples + 2 oranges= 4 fruit. Now consider the illogical equation, 2+2=5, which can occur in art and in games; for example, the belief that team work can exceed the sum of each member’s contribution. This belief often motivates each team member to contribute more to achieving the common goal. This attitude may alter the physical or actual results. A 6’ basketball forward with a 4’ leap cannot shoot the ball over a 7’ forward with a 4’ leap. A 6’ forward, motivated to play to the fullest by the team’s energy and support and his own natural ability may individually peak and move beyond the usual physical limitations, only to encounter similar peaking by the 7’ forward.

Statements of comprehension, such as integrity, are believed not to apply to the social or cultural sphere of ideas. In the struggle for dominant public opinion, this idea could be expressed by the mathematical equation 1+1=1. For example, my theism plus your theism equals my theism. Restated, the one intending dominance expects the other to acknowledge inferiority. However, if the expression of opinions is an honest communication, respecting the difference of each person’s traditions, chosen associations, and personal hopes, then the equation becomes 1+1=2. This can be restated as my theism plus your theism equals our theisms or, put another way, my theism is valid for me and your theism is valid for you.

The Dalai Lama has said: “The law of action and reaction is not exclusive to physics. If I act with goodness, I will receive goodness back. If I act with evil, I will receive evil back.“ However, in human relations, reciprocity often fails. The Dalai Lama himself is a forced exile.

Furthermore, understandings have a common characteristic: each one is true, false, or undetermined. Because we appreciate each other, despite our differing theisms or other beliefs, we are willing to collaborate to discover the-objective-truth, which may not be knowable to us individually, just as we don’t know if extraterrestrial life exists. Regardless, we each maintain personal hopes about our beliefs. But they are private hopes rather than civic interests.

The process for understanding has another characteristic. The noble work toward comprehension and understanding does not include emotion. For the researcher and the collaborating citizen, there is only being. There is no wishing, no praising, no hidden agenda, no ideology, no pride, no contradiction, no goal beyond mutual, comprehensive safety and security. Each person who seeks understanding rejects coercion from anyone, and likewise behaves so as to not coerce anyone else. When we recognize self- persuasion, gullibility, pride, or self-contradiction, we stop in humility toward the-objective-truth.

Guided by understanding, we need not respond to doctrine like “Thou shalt not lie”. Yet, we do not claim that it is meaningless to ask questions such as: Why do we not lie. The reasoning might be as follows: Lying destroys confidence in the statements of other people. Without confidence, collaboration is made impossible, or at least very difficult. After a lie, the liar may fear future dialogue with the deceived party, who in turn, may sense the liar’s fear. Contemplating his own behavior, the liar may suspect the deceived party is also a liar. Listening may become impossible. The liar may disconnect himself from the communication, never recognizing that collaboration is essential to make human life possible and therefore good.

Our commitment to avoid lying can be traced back to these demands: Human life shall be preserved; pain and suffering shall be decreased as much as possible. The person with a high level of integrity gravitates toward human authenticity and collaborative association. He or she rejects fear and embraces appreciation for other willing persons and themselves. Liars cannot connect with others: they separate themselves, becoming dissidents.

Thus, it seems the process for understanding can apply to psychology as well as to physics. Ethical directives can be made rational and coherent by logical thinking. If we can agree on some fundamental ethical propositions, then secondary propositions can be derived from them, provided the original premises are stated with sufficient precision. For example, people expect appreciation to overcome hatred.

But what is the origin of these ethical axioms? Are they arbitrary? Are they based on mere authority? Or do they stem from humankind’s experience and are they shaped by these experiences?

Using pure logic, all axioms seem arbitrary, including those of ethics. But they are by no means arbitrary from a psychological or genetic point of view. They derive from our inborn tendencies to avoid pain and annihilation, and from the accumulated reactions of individuals to the behavior of their neighbors. Just as physics exists and can only be discovered, likewise ethics exists only to be discovered. Just as physics may be vainly denied, ethics may only be harmfully denied.

Humankind has the psychological power to advance ethical axioms which are so comprehensive and well founded, that most persons will accept them as grounded in the historical mass of individual experience. Humankind’s experience has been accumulated from 100 billion lives over some two million years. For an infant to learn ethics is a daunting quest, because humans are born totally uninformed. Nevertheless each person, on becoming informed, has the potential to enjoy some sixty years to discover and expand the ethical axioms of humankind. The gift of life presents this opportunity and the potential for such joyful meaning.

Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the physical axioms. Understanding is what stands the test of experience and approaches the-objective-truth.

On deck: George Washington addressing the civic citizen about the a culture that may survive.

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Phil Beaver
on October 18, 2017 at 17:39:20 pm

No more nonsense

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Morris
on October 18, 2017 at 17:56:50 pm

loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/peace/circular.html

"With this conviction of the importance of the present Crisis, silence in me would be a crime; I will therefore speak to your Excellency, the language of freedom and of sincerity, without disguise; I am aware, however, that those who differ from me in political sentiment, may perhaps remark, I am stepping out of the proper line of my duty, and they may possibly ascribe to arrogance or ostentation, what I know is alone the result of the purest intention, but the rectitude of my own heart, which disdains such unworthy motives, the part I have hitherto acted in life, the determination I have formed, of not taking any share in public business hereafter, the ardent desire I feel, and shall continue to manifest, of quietly enjoying in private life, after all the toils of War, the benefits of a wise and liberal Government, will, I flatter myself, sooner or later convince my Countrymen, that I could have no sinister views in delivering with so little reserve, the opinions contained in this Address.

There are four things, which I humbly conceive, are essential to the well being, I may even venture to say, to the existence of the United States as an Independent Power:

1st. An indissoluble Union of the States under one Federal Head.

2dly. A Sacred regard to Public Justice.

3dly. The adoption of a proper Peace Establishment, and

4thly. The prevalence of that pacific and friendly Disposition, among the People of the United States, which will induce them to forget their local prejudices and policies, to make those mutual concessions which are requisite to the general prosperity, and in some instances, to sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the Community.

These are the pillars on which the glorious Fabrick of our Independency and National Character must be supported; Liberty is the Basis, and whoever would dare to sap the foundation, or overturn the Structure, under whatever specious pretexts he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest execration, and the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured Country."

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Phil Beaver
on October 18, 2017 at 17:59:23 pm

Mercy! I cede, I cede. I haven't read a word of your last two posts.

I am defeated - drowned in a deluge of nonsense.

Take pity - no more, no more.

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Morris
on October 18, 2017 at 18:13:41 pm

You have my sympathy.

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Phil Beaver
on October 19, 2017 at 14:06:13 pm

“Please review the history of the Spanish Jesuits, Christians BTW) who as early as the late 15th century were advocating not only for the end of this barbaric practice but also for more humane treatment of indigenous peoples. Also recall that it was Christian ministers in the North who were in the forefront of the abolitionist movement. And no, it is not at all clear, as you would suppose, that “theism” is at all a factor in current US discord. On the contrary, theism, such as it may be said to even exist in the US, is under attack on every front in your “civic” USA.”

I would err to dismiss myself from claims from gabe’s honest keyboard---in other words, practice the mendacity of stonewalling. Honesty is insufficient in a forum that needs integrity, and integrity is beyond any contributor’s purview: I express earned, grounded opinion, because I do not know the-objective-truth.

First, the Jesuits. Throughout recorded history there were individuals and groups that asserted that slavery was wrong. Some, e.g., Frederick Douglass, cited personal liberty: none of us want to be a slave. I don’t know the particulars of the Spanish Jesuits. Perhaps gabe is not aware of the Jesuits of Georgetown University: georgetown.edu/news/the-jesuit-mission. Behold their guilt and contrition: georgetownvoice.com/2007/02/08/the-jesuits-slaves/. Have they repented?: americamagazine.org/content/all-things/georgetown-and-slavery-what-owed-today. Will they pay $1 billion to one group?: washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/09/08/descendants-of-slaves-sold-by-georgetown-call-for-a-1-billion-foundation-for-reconciliation/?utm_term=.d900d27a4a7a. I am more impressed with the Jesuit present than with particular arguments from the past, but would be happy to consider gabe's Spanish point if he made one.

Second, the late 15th century. That’s when the Church issued papal bulls to, first Portugal, then Spain, “authorizing” both the doctrine of discovery for the Christian God and monopolies on African slave-trade to aid colonization. See Romanus Pontifex, 1455 and in 1493 both Eximiae devotionis and Inter caetera. The Church ignored all pleas for gabe’s “the end of this barbaric practice but also for more humane treatment of indigenous peoples.”

Third, a few Western pleas for abolition of slavery were expressed worldwide when this land was colonized. The 17th century American abolitionists were then European colonists, who struggled against oppression by the Church and their homeland governments. “Quaker colonists . . . first openly denounced slavery in 1688, when four German Quakers, including Francis Daniel Pastorius, issued a protest . . . in the newly founded American colony of Pennsylvania.” See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers_in_the_abolition_movement. There were Quakers in Georgia, so abolition was not restricted to gabe’s “Christian ministers in the North.”

The Christian advocacy for slavery begins with the religious term “sin,” which I reject from my writing, for the alternative (not synonymous) “error.” Here’s a BBC sentence: “For many of these early European explorers, the Bible was not only regarded as infallible, it was also their primary reference tool and those looking for answers to explain differences in ethnicity, culture, and slavery, found them in Genesis 9: 24-27, which appeared to suggest that it was all a result of 'sin'.” See bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/history/slavery_1.shtml for shockingly plain, erroneous thinking in the New Testament.

Even BBC's phrase "European explorers" is biased against the-objective-truth: European colonists were under the governance of colonizers. This is minor evidence that modern Europeans cannot imagine the-objective-truth of the American Revolution: It was the oppressed at war with the oppressor, and liberating the black slaves placed here by the colonizers was the intention of some European colonists. The 1720-1765 American literature is replete with the arguments, including that once liberated, the colonists must free the slaves. The 1787, draft constitution had wording that anticipated emancipation of the black slaves---is not a slavery document.

Ministers in the South honestly argued “the God of sin” view, and many believers were gullible to the ostensible God’s word. Together, we may weep over the misguided fervor against abolitionists expressed by Robert E. Lee in a letter to his wife. See the following:

“The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, socially & physically. The painful discipline they are undergoing, is necessary for their instruction as a race, & I hope will prepare & lead them to better things. How long their subjugation may be necessary is Known & ordered by a wise & merciful Providence. Their emancipation will sooner result from the mild & melting influence of Christianity, than the storms & tempests of fiery Controversy. This influence though slow is sure. The doctrines & miracles of our Saviour have required nearly two thousand years to Convert but a small part of the human race, & even Christian nations, what gross errors still exist!” See http://leefamilyarchive.org/9-family-papers/339-robert-e-lee-to-mary-anna-randolph-custis-lee-1856-december-27.

However, ministers, with utmost hubris, overlook the insufficiency of honesty. What church members need is integrity. Literature based on mysticism that is disproved by the-objective-truth has no integrity. People who attempt to apply such honesty in daily living lose in the encounter with the integrity of civic citizens, who regard theism or none as a private matter. I have no idea if Lee was involved, but the declaration of secession listed complaints then concluded “Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.” See http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/csa_scarsec.asp. The military facts as well as the evil of slavery suggest that both the CSA was erroneous and the Bible is erroneous. So, gabe’s erroneous claim was shared by the authors of the secession, yet that agreement may not represent the-objective-truth: Perhaps secessionists were victims of Constantine’s order for a Christian Bible.

Fourth, there’s the question of theism’s harm to America. Since 1790, American demographics have changed from 99% of free citizens as factional Protestants and only 5% of them able to vote to 2017, with nearly 25% non-theists, 20% Catholics; 100% of non-felons may vote. See pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/. Racial theism remains a divisive force. Some blacks think the Bible teaches that the Word came from Africa; God is black (instead of the indigenous argument that God is red); and the only way non-blacks can save their souls is to help black Americans reign supreme. I view this thinking as error, not sin. But more importantly, I view the fact that when Constantine ordered the Church to canonize a Bible, the Church erred to include passages that condone slavery. See deism.com/bibleorigins.htm. Civic citizens of the USA may end the burden of theism by assigning it to its proper place: The privacy of each individual's heart and mind and not a consideration in civic morality.

In summary, gabe, whether that be AI a group or a person, seems to be a slave to an honest yet erroneous keyboard. What this forum has the opportunity to seek is integrity in civic collaboration so as to understand the-objective-truth. Albert Einstein’s 1941 example is, in my paraphrase: civic citizens do not lie.

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Phil Beaver
on October 21, 2017 at 22:14:39 pm

Adam Smith (d. 1790) instructed western thought: A person must have propriety if he or she is to influence a field of study. For example, only an economist may advise the people about capitalism or free trade. In other words, in the presence of economists, the people’s propriety about their life can be overlooked! If so, is the civic citizen of no value to the people? Is influence only for scholars? I don't think so.

There exists an overarching propriety that appreciates reality over scholarship, and we assert that a civic people collaborate for justice. During the short time I have contributed to this forum, a privilege for which I am humbly grateful, my focus has evolved to the-objective-truth which is ineluctably pursued by civic citizens---two controversial ideas.

I perceive insight about this dilemma in the wiki sentence: “Various theories and views of truth continue to be debated among scholars, philosophers, and theologians” [online at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth, with footnote to Alexis G. Burgess and John P. Burgess, Truth, Princeton University Press, 2011.] Again, scholarly writers arbitrarily exclude individuals from public deliberation for common-sense discovery: Scholars erroneously stonewall citizens.

I use hyphens to keep readers from ignoring words needed for an idea, especially to distinguish the-objective-truth. Personally trusting in and committing to the-objective-truth requires denying the risk of expressing opinion that could be false, whether ancient or new. For example, a globally dominating opinion is that the God controls the-objective-truth. In private integrity, an individual has three possible responses to theism: yes, no, and I don’t know. By the responses, humans divide themselves as theist, atheist, or innocent. The innocents are too humble to act without evidence, often called “acting on faith”. The innocents trust and commit to the-objective-truth rather than impose ideology, whether by created opinion or by learned doctrine. Some innocents know they don’t have to know to hope. They admit to themselves that they think their God exists yet do not turn their backs on the-objective-truth.

In summary, accepting the-objective-truth entails the personal preference for humility---to not promote a possible falsehood. Adopting this restrained worldview establishes a propriety that may presently be rare yet essential to a future with justice. This forum has the opportunity to develop this worldview: To be the originating proprietor and advocate for the-objective-truth. That is, some individuals in this forum may become the advocates for the assertion “we know we don’t know what we don’t know, responsibly uphold private hopes, and expect other civic citizens to responsibly pursue their private happiness.”

Past word usage shows the need for the definitive phrase “the-objective-truth.” Using books.google.com/ngrams, I studied usages of modifiers of “truth” during 1800 through 2000, producing the following table (sorry for the spacing problems, but the table is important only for record; see the comments below):

Relative use Percent highest use
Phrase____________ 1860 2000 1860 2000

truth _________________0.025 0.01 100 100
the truth______________ 0.007 0.0035 28 35
absolute truth 0.00006 0.000055 0.24 0.55
ultimate truth 0.000005 0.000032 0.02 0.32
objective truth 0.00002 0.000032 0.08 0.32
divine truth_______ 0.0005 0.000022 2 0.22
God's truth____ 0.00008 0.000021 0.32 0.21
the objective truth 0.000003 0.000005 0.012 0.05
pure truth _____0.000018 0.000004 0.072 0.04
subjective truth 0.000003 0.000003 0.012 0.03

Beyond “truth” and “the truth,” relative usage of all modifiers drops below 1% of the usage of “truth,” with the exception 2% for “divine truth” in 1860. For 2000, “objective truth” is among a pack ranging from 0.21% to 0.55%. “Subjective truth” is almost unused, and “the objective truth” is barely used.

Word usage can seem contradictory. For example, Michael J. Petrilli, in “Is School Choice Enough?,” National Affairs, No. 33, wrote, “But there’s [a gap] between the lofty perceptions Americans have of their own children’s schools and the objective truth, at least as measured by results.” The phrase “the objective truth” leaps out as the undeniable reality. But maybe not. Petrilli wanders from the-objective-truth with the limitation “at least as measured by results.” The-objective-truth does not yield to human measurement, evaluation, or judgement.

My recent Google search ignored the article “the” and presented a definition of objective truth: “A proposition is generally considered [to have objective truth] when its truth conditions are met without biases caused by feelings, ideas, opinions, etc., of a sentient subject.” Google writers did not have the propriety to recognize that the-objective-truth may be discovered, but does not yield to perception. That is, the-objective-truth does not respond to feelings.

Quoting Albert Einstein (see essay at samharris.org/blog/item/my-friend-einstein/), “If we can agree on some fundamental ethical propositions, then other theoretical propositions can be derived from them, provided that the original premises are stated with sufficient precision.” Agreement of such importance requires shared word usages. We use "the-objective-truth," to express the reality, which humankind works to discover and utilize to advantage.

Perhaps the world will open to a better future when propriety for the-objective-truth emerges. We are working on it.

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Phillip Beaver

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