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On good government, justice, origins issues and the alleged right-wing, “Creationist”/ “Christo-fascist” Theocratic threat

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It’s not news that there is a persistent (and widely promoted) perception that Intelligent Design is little more than Creationism in a cheap tuxedo suit, an attempt to dress up a Christo-fascist, right-wing, theocratic agenda as though it were legitimate science, fraudulently stealing the prestige of science. (For people who believe this, science . . . in Richard Lewontin’s tellingly self-refuting phrase . . . is as a rule viewed as “the only begetter of truth.”  [NB: this is a philosophical claim about accessing truth and warranting it, not a scientific one; so, such scientism falsifies itself and tends to cause self-reinforcing confusion and polarisation.])

So pernicious is this insinuation or allegation, that if we are to clear and de-polarise the atmosphere in the public square enough to actually discuss origins science and related issues in a reasonably calm manner, this issue will have to be answered.

Yes, there is a 101 level discussion here on in the UD Weak Argument Correctives, but (given the hot exchange in a current UD thread) we obviously need a bit more than that.

That’s our task today — at least, at a 102 level.

A good place to begin, is with the rise of modern constitutional, limited government democracy and its charter, the US Declaration of Independence (1776) and Constitution (1787 – 9, grand statement overview):

>>US DoI: When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . >>

>>US Constitution: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty [–> a key phrase, reflecting the Reformation era double-covenant view, nationhood and government under the God who blesses righteousness] to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Articles I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS, starting with the bill of rights].>>

Now, obviously, the US founders and framers were aiming for the sweet-spot of limited, constitutional government rooted in justice/rights and in the consent of the governed. They were very aware of the vortex of tyranny, abuse, corruption and oppression that governments (of whatever form) are prone to fall into, and are always needing reforms to address. Yes, governments instituted by finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed and manipulated creatures such as we are, will always have defects and so will always need reformation. (NB: Before racing off on talking points regarding the sins of Christendom, please cf. here on.)

Likewise, the founders understood the chaotic implications of anarchy and how people facing such will usually clamour for strong rule to restore order and safety — even at the risk or cost of tyranny:

U/d b for clarity, nb Nil
U/d b for clarity, nb Nil

A second helpful point — if we wish to discuss in a calmer mood, is an observation by Bernard Lewis in his epochal 1990 essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage:

>>. . . The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty — not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet . . . .

In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.>>

By AD 9, at the hands of Arminius (sometime commander of a Cheruscan detachment of Roman auxiliary forces . . . itself a portent), Rome had already suffered the loss of three critically needed legions at Teutoberg Forest in Germany. This meant that Rome was forever vulnerable from the West through Germany and Gaul.

By the 400’s – 600’s the Western Roman Empire collapsed under waves of invasion and immigration, breakdown of government and epidemics. As a result there was one pan European institution still standing in the West, the organised Christian church. And, since by about the same time, a massive defeat at the hands of barbarian cavalry at Adrianople in 378 showed cavalry ascendant, infantry went into a long-term decline. This meant that under the circumstances, the core of effective military power was heavy, well-trained armoured cavalry (cf. here), which was both expensive and required much devotion to training and practice. An elite, expensive, decisive force.

The result was that Europe faced chaos and further invasion, depredations and epidemics, etc. The fury of the Norsemen is proverbial, as the viking age burst upon the world with the notorious devastating raid on Lindisfarne of 793 being iconic. Nor, should we forget the major invasion of Europe from the South and East, by Muslim forces, commonly known as Moors. Charles Martel, victor at Tours, was grandfather to Charlemagne, first Holy Roman Emperor, so-called.

It is therefore unsurprising that the stabilising centre that emerged was in effect a heavy cavalry warrior class (chain, scale or laminar armour at first, the familiar plate armour was much later) allied with the clerics. Survival and the correlation of forces — a very useful Marxist concept —  drove that, and if the realistic choice is domineering government or chaos and being at the mercy of marauding pirates, people will pick the former every time: give us a king to rule over us and lead us in battle.

Under such circumstances, the rise of the Feudal era and its governance culture characteristics makes a lot of sense; but, it is painful sense, written in blood and tears. At best, one could hope for lawful government, rooted in the corpus of law synthesised under Justinian as Corpus Juris Civilis, or perhaps the growing body of Common Law that emerged in England starting with Alfred the Great (and especially his Book of Dooms [cf. excerpts]).

As the graphic above hints at, sustainable democratisation only became feasible when first there was a re-balancing of the correlation of socio-cultural and military forces, initially through the rise of pike and longbow-armed infantry able to stand the charge of massed heavy cavalry at places like Crecy, Bannockburn and Agincourt. Muskets came later, and multiplied the trend. Their big brothers, cannon, enabled centralisation of power as only well-pursed kings were now able to afford big enough siege trains able to reduce old fashioned fortifications in short order, and ocean-spanning navies manned by ordinary seamen.

But far more important, was the rise of printing and the spreading of a trade in books, broadsheets, tracts and eventually newspapers, joined to the growing development of a literate general public. In this process, it is no accident that the very first book to be printed was the Gutenberg Bible, and it is no surprise that the Reformation spread across Germany and beyond when printers ran off Martin Luther’s 95 points for an intended debate and distributed it all across Germany in the course of scarcely six weeks.

The effect of this cluster of democratising forces was that modern constitutional limited democratic government only became feasible across the 1600’s and 1700’s.

Before that, all forms of government were only able to access the lower left corner of the space for government, and rebellions or breakdowns triggered or threatened a snap to the upper-right, leading to the call for a new strong man or oligarchy. Mix in selfish, ruthless factionalism, corruption, cronyism and ambitions, and the typical pattern of politics as a vicious blood sport of the elites to the cost of the ordinary people is readily explained.

And of course that is exactly when modern constitutional, democratically accountable  — “We the People . . .” — limited government tasked to use the sword of the state in defence of the civil peace of justice emerged, with the United States being a particularly important first demonstration of the success of such modern democracy.

(And yes, the US founders and framers were leery of the dangers of mob rule, so they sought a balanced, mixed system with checks and balances across legislative, executive and judicial arms, with people power not only to petition but to hold accountable through elections.)

However, a very important precursor was the Dutch Republic and its declaration of Independence from Philip II of Spain, 1581:

>> . . . a prince is constituted by God to be ruler of a people, to defend them from oppression and violence as the shepherd his sheep; and whereas God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges . . . then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view . . . This is the only method left for subjects whose humble petitions and remonstrances could never soften their prince or dissuade him from his tyrannical proceedings; and this is what the law of nature dictates for the defense of liberty, which we ought to transmit to posterity, even at the hazard of our lives. . . . . So, having no hope of reconciliation, and finding no other remedy, we have, agreeable to the law of nature in our own defense, and for maintaining the rights, privileges, and liberties of our countrymen, wives, and children, and latest posterity from being enslaved by the Spaniards, been constrained to renounce allegiance to the King of Spain, and pursue such methods as appear to us most likely to secure our ancient liberties and privileges. >>

A mere glance at such documents and underlying thought will at once show them to be deeply rooted in the Judaeo-Christian, Creation-anchored ethical theistic vision of blessed nationhood and just government under God, in accord with the laws of moral government appropriate to our nature. That is, the laws of nature and of nature’s God.

This does not sit well with the preferred secularist narrative of our time: theocracy is the primary threat to freedom, knowledge and progress [to what?]. But, it is historically deeply warranted.

For instance, in his second treatise on civil government, Ch 2, to lay the natural law- rights- equality foundation for what would become modern constitutional, limited democratic government, Locke cites “the judicious [Anglican Canon Richard] Hooker [in his Ecclesiastical Polity, 1594+]” on equality of nature and how our sense of being owed duties of justice leads to understanding and recognition of mutual rights and duties:

>>. . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . [Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]>>

The echoes of the Golden Rule of Moshe, Jesus and “Paulo, Apostolo, Mart,” in the Judaeo-Christian Scriptural Tradition are patent. Let me cite Rom 13:8 – 10 as that addresses citizenship and law:

>>Rom 13:Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong [–> or, harm] to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.>>

Blackstone, in his well-known Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765, adds:

>>Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being . . . consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws . . . These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly [NB: cf. Exod. 20:15 – 16], should hurt nobody [NB: cf. Rom 13:8 – 10], and should render to every one his due [NB: cf. Rom 13:6 – 7 & Exod. 20:15]; to which three general precepts Justinian[1: a Juris praecepta sunt hace, honeste vivere. alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. Inst, 1. 1. 3] has reduced the whole doctrine of law [and, Corpus Juris, Justinian’s Christianised precis and pruning of perhaps 1,000 years of Roman jurisprudence, in turn is the foundation of law for much of Europe].>>

And so, of course, it is quite plain that the Judaeo-Christian tradition has clearly made a major — but now often forgotten or dismissed — contribution to the rise of modern liberty and democratic self-government.

Why, then, do we see the ever so common insinuation, accusation or simple taken-for-fact assumption that Design thought is a fraudulent front for Christo-fascist, right-wing Creationist theocracy designed to overthrow progress, science, equality and freedom, returning us to the dark ages?

First, because there is a grand myth of recent secularist progress, liberation and enlightenment through the triumph of science in the perpetual war with superstition, elitism and fundamentalist ignorance. Where fundies, everybody “knows,” are oh so prone to use violence and terrorism to impose their dubious agenda on us all.

A classic statement of this, is in Lewontin’s notorious 1997 NYRB review of Sagan’s The Demon-haunted World, in which he stated:

demon_haunted>>. . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [–> notice, the context of intended indoctrination, with a hint of being backed up by secularist institutional power to enforce such indoctrination] we [–> who? the Evolutionary Materialist elites, that’s who] must first get an incorrect view out . . .   the problem is to get them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [–> note the ready equation of ethical theism with ignorance and irrationality], the demons [–> notice, equating the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being, to destructive demons] that exist only in their imaginations [–> assumption of atheism, to be duly dressed up in a lab coat], and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists, it is self-evident [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . ] that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> to an evolutionary materialist thinker, all of reality], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test  [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. [–> whose door?] The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. [–> irrationality projection again] To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen [–> again, the irrationality thesis, while actually for miracles to stand out as signs pointing beyond the usual course of the world, there must be a reliable usual course backed by the enabling of a Creator who is Reason Himself, an order that was studied and discerned by the foundational modern scientists “thinking God’s [creative and providential thoughts] after him”] . . . [[From: “Billions and Billions of Demons,” NYRB, January 9, 1997. Bold emphasis and notes added. If you imagine this is “quote-mined” kindly cf here.]>>

This is a case where to simply cite, highlight and comment suffices to expose the ruthless power and dominance of the reigning, radically secularist evolutionary materialist, scientism-driven, progressivist elites.

Modern design theory and thought, by contrast, argues that on empirically tested, commonly seen and reliable signs such as functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information, it is reasonable to infer that the world of cell based life is replete with indicators of design as cause. Indicators that are seen to be credible once the a priori evolutionary materialism straight-jacket and blinkers are removed from science. Similarly, the evidence pointing to a cosmos with its physics fine-tuned in many ways that enable C-chemistry, aqueous medium, cell based life also points to design as best current causal explanation. And no, there is no need to appeal to or smuggle in scriptural texts and teachings to reach such conclusions. After all, that Bible-thumping fundy — NOT — Plato is a precursor to design thought.

But aren’t Intelligent Design Movement Creationists in a conspiracy with other Christo-Fascist, right-wing fundamentalists to impose a tyrannical theocracy in which established churches legislate our laws?

This needs some deconstructing.

First, the modern design theory movement is simply not a form of scripture-quoting Creationism, and if one so broadens “Creationism” that anyone who sees signs of design is deemed a “Creationist,” that term simply becomes a means of smearing people with the taint of “Fundamentalism,” “Theocracy,” “Fascism” etc.

Little more than polarising name-calling and guilt by invidious association.

That needs to stop.

Next, it should be patent that in a constitutional limited-government democracy, it is elected representatives in legislatures who account to the public as a whole who have power to make law, not some established church. Something that a lot of Christians helped to put in place, and something that the overwhelming majority of Christians strongly support.

Further, believing in God as the champion of Justice who endowed people with his image and so also responsible, rational, morally governed freedom and rights is not a sure mark of intent to impose tyrannical theocracy. Instead, it reflects a key insight on the nature and roots of a world in which there are responsibly free, reasoning, morally governed creatures. That is, that in such a world as we inhabit, justice, rights, duties and other moral OUGHTs must be rooted in a world-foundational IS.

For, non-being (the real no-thing) can have no causal powers so if utter nothing ever was, such would forever obtain. Thus — as a world now patently is — there was always a necessary being, one which cannot not be, as the very root of reality in any actual world. Moreover, such will forever obtain, by virtue of that necessity of being and so also, some world shall always be.Our temporal world entails an underlying eternal, necessary being reality as its ground.

In such a context, finding ourselves under moral government, we will find that the only serious candidate necessary being and credible explanation for such a world, is that that necessary being, eternal IS is the root of OUGHT. Namely, a necessary, maximally great inherently good Creator-God worthy of ultimate loyalty and the responsible, freely offered reasonable — not irrational, ignorant or superstitious! — service of doing the good as enlightened in the first instance by our evident nature.

And so, morality is an inextricable part of the core fabric of reality.

So also, the laws of nature and of nature’s God that govern us.

The real question (as is posed in the epochal second para of the US DoI) is whether we are willing to acknowledge and live by such self-evident truths, or will instead insist on clinging to the absurdities attendant on rejecting them, to our detriment and the ruin of our civilisation. Whether this happens by sliding directly into the vortex of tyranny or else via the repelling pole by chaos, crisis and anarchy leading to the cry for order, even at the price of liberty and justice, makes but little difference.

Locke, in the introduction to his essay on human understanding, section 5, counsels us soberingly — even, explicitly citing both the New Testament and the Old Testament — that the candle that is set up in us shines brightly enough for all our purposes:

>>Men Men have reason to be well satisfied with what God hath thought fit for them, since he hath given them (as St. Peter says [NB: i.e. 2 Pet 1:2 – 4]) pana pros zoen kaieusebeian, whatsoever is necessary for the conveniences of life and information of virtue; and has put within the reach of their discovery, the comfortable provision for this life, and the way that leads to a better. How short soever their knowledge may come of an universal or perfect comprehension of whatsoever is, it yet secures their great concernments [Prov 1: 1 – 7], that they have light enough to lead them to the knowledge of their Maker, and the sight of their own duties [cf Rom 1 – 2, Ac 17, etc, etc]. Men may find matter sufficient to busy their heads, and employ their hands with variety, delight, and satisfaction, if they will not boldly quarrel with their own constitution, and throw away the blessings their hands are filled with, because they are not big enough to grasp everything . . . It will be no excuse to an idle and untoward servant [Matt 24:42 – 51], who would not attend his business by candle light, to plead that he had not broad sunshine. The Candle that is set up in us [Prov 20:27, cf. Matt 6:22 – 23 and Eph. 4:17 – 24] shines bright enough for all our purposes . . . If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do muchwhat as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly.>>

What about the dangerous, right-wing fascism?

First, we need to clarify the commonly understood meanings of socialism, capitalism and fascism, per the Collins English Dictionary:

>>socialism
n
1. (Economics) an economic theory or system in which the means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the community collectively, usually through the state. It is characterized by production for use rather than profit, by equality of individual wealth, by the absence of competitive economic activity, and, usually, by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels. Compare capitalism

2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any of various social or political theories or movements in which the common welfare is to be achieved through the establishment of a socialist economic system

3. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (in Leninist theory) a transitional stage after the proletarian revolution in the development of a society from capitalism to communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than need

capitalism
n
1. (Economics) Also called: free enterprise or private enterprise an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange, characterized by the freedom of capitalists to operate or manage their property for profit in competitive conditions. Compare socialism1

Fascism

n

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the political movement, doctrine, system, or regime of Benito Mussolini in Italy, which encouraged militarism and nationalism, organizing the country along hierarchical authoritarian lines

fascism

n (sometimes capital)

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any ideology or movement inspired by Italian Fascism, such as German National Socialism; any right-wing nationalist ideology or movement with an authoritarian and hierarchical structure that is fundamentally opposed to democracy and liberalism

2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any ideology, movement, programme, tendency, etc, that may be characterized as right-wing, chauvinist, authoritarian, etc

3. prejudice in relation to the subject specified: body fascism.

[C20: from Italian fascismo, from fascio political group, from Latin fascis bundle; see fasces]>>

But in fact, it is arguable that the typical political discourse of left vs right wings is outdated once  traditional Monarchy lost the contest to classical liberal, constitutional democratic government and liberal, free-market, free enterprise economics has shown itself so superior that the largest nominally communist state in the world, China, has reverted to market economics, including even a stock exchange. Where also, the second most populous Communist — indeed Stalinist — state, North Korea is evidently now a monarchy in its third generation of de facto kings, the first as “eternal president” having been made a god.

But as of recent decades past, classical liberals have been re-labelled conservative rightists, and have often found themselves deemed suspect due to perceived fascist tendencies, fascism (including the National Socialist German Workers Party . . . i.e. the Nazis — and yes, that is a big clue) being deemed a political disease of the Right. However, much of this becomes deeply questionable once we ponder not only the above definitions and compare what fascists actually did.

Daniel Hannan, late of the UK Telegraph’s blogs, offers some re-balancing perspectives, and I will allow myself to clip just one of the posters decorating his blog post:

nazi_arbeiter_poster_socialist
The socialist face of Fascism/Nazism: “The National Socialist German worker stands against capitalism”

>>Leftists become incandescent when reminded of the socialist roots of Nazism

By Daniel Hannan Politics Last updated: February 25th, 2014

On 16 June 1941, as Hitler readied his forces for Operation Barbarossa, Josef Goebbels looked forward to the new order that the Nazis would impose on a conquered Russia. There would be no come-back, he wrote, for capitalists nor priests nor Tsars. Rather, in the place of debased, Jewish Bolshevism, the Wehrmacht would deliver “der echte Sozialismus”: real socialism.

Goebbels never doubted that he was a socialist. He understood Nazism to be a better and more plausible form of socialism than that propagated by Lenin. Instead of spreading itself across different nations, it would operate within the unit of the Volk.

So total is the cultural victory of the modern Left that the merely to recount this fact is jarring. But few at the time would have found it especially contentious. As George Watson put it in The Lost Literature of Socialism:

It is now clear beyond all reasonable doubt that Hitler and his associates believed they were socialists, and that others, including democratic socialists, thought so too.

The clue is in the name. Subsequent generations of Leftists have tried to explain away the awkward nomenclature of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as either a cynical PR stunt or an embarrassing coincidence. In fact, the name meant what it said.

Hitler told Hermann Rauschning, a Prussian who briefly worked for the Nazis before rejecting them and fleeing the country, that he had admired much of the thinking of the revolutionaries he had known as a young man; but he felt that they had been talkers, not doers. “I have put into practice what these peddlers and pen pushers have timidly begun,” he boasted, adding that “the whole of National Socialism” was “based on Marx”.

Marx’s error, Hitler believed, had been to foster class war instead of national unity – to set workers against industrialists instead of conscripting both groups into a corporatist order. His aim, he told his economic adviser, Otto Wagener, was to “convert the German Volk to socialism without simply killing off the old individualists” – by which he meant the bankers and factory owners who could, he thought, serve socialism better by generating revenue for the state. “What Marxism, Leninism and Stalinism failed to accomplish,” he told Wagener, “we shall be in a position to achieve.” . . . . >>

Sheldon Richman in Concise Enc of Econ and Liberty adds:

>>Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically. In doing all this, fascism denatured the marketplace. Entrepreneurship was abolished. State ministries, rather than consumers, determined what was produced and under what conditions.

Fascism is to be distinguished from interventionism, or the mixed economy. Interventionism seeks to guide the market process, not eliminate it, as fascism did. Minimum-wage and antitrust laws, though they regulate the free market, are a far cry from multiyear plans from the Ministry of Economics.

Under fascism, the state, through official cartels, controlled all aspects of manufacturing, commerce, finance, and agriculture. Planning boards set product lines, production levels, prices, wages, working conditions, and the size of firms. Licensing was ubiquitous; no economic activity could be undertaken without government permission. Levels of consumption were dictated by the state, and “excess” incomes had to be surrendered as taxes or “loans.” The consequent burdening of manufacturers gave advantages to foreign firms wishing to export. But since government policy aimed at autarky, or national self-sufficiency, protectionism was necessary: imports were barred or strictly controlled, leaving foreign conquest as the only avenue for access to resources unavailable domestically. Fascism was thus incompatible with peace and the international division of labor—hallmarks of liberalism.

Fascism embodied corporatism, in which political representation was based on trade and industry rather than on geography. In this, fascism revealed its roots in syndicalism, a form of socialism originating on the left. The government cartelized firms of the same industry, with representatives of labor and management serving on myriad local, regional, and national boards—subject always to the final authority of the dictator’s economic plan. Corporatism was intended to avert unsettling divisions within the nation, such as lockouts and union strikes. The price of such forced “harmony” was the loss of the ability to bargain and move about freely.

To maintain high employment and minimize popular discontent, fascist governments also undertook massive public-works projects financed by steep taxes, borrowing, and fiat money creation. While many of these projects were domestic—roads, buildings, stadiums—the largest project of all was militarism, with huge armies and arms production . . . >>

Richman also cites Mussolini and Hitler:

MUSSOLINI, 1928 Autobiography:

>>The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill. (Mussolini, Benito. My Autobiography. New York: Scribner’s, 1928., p. 280)>>

HITLER, per citation:

>>The state should retain supervision and each property owner should consider himself appointed by the state. It is his duty not to use his property against the interests of others among his own people. This is the crucial matter. The Third Reich will always retain its right to control the owners of property. (Barkai, Avraham. Nazi Economics: Ideology, Theory, and Policy. Trans. Ruth Hadass-Vashitz. Oxford: Berg Publishers Ltd., 1990., pp. 26–27)>>

The burning Reichstag
The burning Reichstag

So, it is quite reasonable to argue that there is strong evidence that Fascism and National Socialism were in fact socialistic.  At heart, fascism is the notion that in a day of “unprecedented” crisis that targets a large — locally dominant or pivotally influential — perceived victim group or class or religious or racial/national body, a super-man figure emerges to rescue the victims; one who is beyond ordinary human powers and limits (including those of morality and just law). A political messiah who stands as champion for the identity group to save it, defending it from the various scapegoated out-groups who are held to be to blame for the victimisation of the in-group. That super-man political messiah then seizes power and is widely recognised as a man of “destiny.”

In an atmosphere of hysteria, slander and propagandistic deception that is usually multiplied by chaos and violence or at least riotous assemblies in the streets baying for blood, the power blocs, political, legal, military, corporate, religious, etc then panic and align with him, hoping to at least influence him while giving him effectively unlimited dictatorial power in the face of a crisis [nothing like a burning Reichstag to get people into a panic!] — which becomes tantamount to ownership by the state concentrated in a politically messianistic autocrat or at most a new oligarchy in alliance with older centres of power too panicked to see the implications of the secret police 4:00 am knock on the door.

That is, we have now reached the threshold of tyranny.

And because of the perceived unprecedented crisis, that super-man “people’s champion” figure is cheered on and supported in taking extraordinary measures; measures that sacrifice liberty and justice for the sake of the promised utopian order. And so reigns of terror and aggressive wars naturally emerge. (Cf. here on the last couple of times around, with particular reference to arms races and where they often lead.)

Crisis — too often, manipulated — and perceived chaos, triggering reversion to the tyrannical vortex as shown above.

From this, we can see that the dynamics of state power, law and leadership are a more potentially fruitful pattern of thinking than trying to attach labels such as left or right wing, especially for the rhetorical purpose of tainting in order to polarise beyond what is justified by actual facts and reasonable consideration of same. And, particularly we can see that the limited government constitutional democracy in defence of the civil peace of justice is inherently vulnerable to chaos and/or tyranny, but with insightful principled support is sustainable.

It is sad that the debates over design theory have been so tainted, but with goodwill such can be removed.

Likewise — given the great and costly contribution of people living, thinking and working within the Judaeo-Christian frame to the growth and success of modern liberty and limited democratic self government in defence of the civil peace of justice — and, never mind the ever present issue of the sins and challenges of Christendom — we should refrain from one-sided litanies of projection and accusation against people who stand within that tradition, as though they are necessarily a peculiar threat to responsible freedom.

I trust we may now be able to proceed in a more even-tempered frame of mind. END

187 Replies to “On good government, justice, origins issues and the alleged right-wing, “Creationist”/ “Christo-fascist” Theocratic threat

  1. 1
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Modern design theory and thought, by contrast, argues that on empirically tested, commonly seen and reliable signs such as functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information, it is reasonable to infer that the world of cell based life is replete with indicators of design as cause.

    The “designer” however, is the environment.

    The evidence points to the conclusion that no intelligent conscious entity was responsible for “designing” life.

    On the other hand, just how does a conscious designer know what to build?

    How does he know when to introduce it?

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, kindly provide an actually observed example in which functionally specific, complex organisation and information [FSCO/I] at or beyond 500 – 1,000 bits has been seen to be created without active, rational intelligently directed configuration, i.e. intelligent design. I suggest that all around us, trillions of cases stand of FSCO/I being routinely seen to originate by such intelligent design. KF

    PS: Can Carpathian kindly also inform us of the relevance or irrelevance of knowledge, skill, creative insight, planning and implementation to design?

  3. 3
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    PS: Can Carpathian kindly also inform us of the relevance or irrelevance of knowledge, skill, creative insight, planning and implementation to design?

    Can kairosfocus kindly explain why a spec may or may not be required by engineers?

    Also, kairosfocus has missed these two questions:

    1) Just how does a conscious designer know what kind of biological design to build?

    2) How does he know when to introduce it?

    And if kairosfocus actually answers questions, could he tell everyone how a conscious designer would roll out his design and recall it in the event of errors as we see human designers constantly do.

  4. 4
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    your sudden shift to raising talking points on design is interesting when juxtaposed to the above which in the main responds to the atmosphere of hostility to Christians in the public square as citizens and participants in the marketplace of ideas etc.

    It seems you refuse to acknowledge that designers tend to have knowledge, skills, creative insights and plans, where specifications are a part of the planning process.

    In any case this is a red herring.

    For, the point is that per tested reliable sign we may credibly infer that the best current explanation of an item rich in FSCO/I is design, just on the hallmarks of such design.

    It is also noteworthy that you have been obviously unable to provide cases of FSCO/I per direct observation coming about by blind chance and mechanical necessity. In short reversion to an unproved cause because of a priori materialism and its imposition on science.

    KF

  5. 5
    JDH says:

    Carpathian said,

    The evidence points to the conclusion that no intelligent conscious entity was responsible for “designing” life

    When someone is able to confidently make a statement which is:

    1. Unknowable at best—
    We have exactly a sample space of one so far. We do not have an ensemble of universes to examine. There is no yardstick that Carpathian can muster up that goes to his conclusion. There is no set of known “designed” universes and known “undesigned” universes for benchmarks. He cannot know enough information therefore to make his conclusion.

    2. Self-refuting—
    In order to generate and communicate such an abstract statement (whether truthful or not), intelligence must exist. There is no reason to believe that an intelligent conscious entity can be generated from anything but the input of an intelligence. Thus the only reasonable way for intelligence to come about is being generated by an always existent intelligence. Anything short of this can only produce the illusion of intelligence.

    3. And has a self-consistent alternative —
    God claims in his word to be exactly the type of intelligence ( eternal, all powerful, all knowing) needed to beget other beings of intelligence. The fact that we can’t comprehend a being that can create something that will disobey him, does not make it impossible. The story of the intelligent creator who granted his creations free will is the only self-consistent story I know which accounts for the current set of affairs.

    he shows that he is not really interested in debate or knowledge – only in his assertion. Please Carpathian either present said evidence or express your opinions for what they are, but please don’t confidently state things that are so clearly based on nothing but individual feeling. It does not make for good metaphysical argument and only leads to shouting matches.

  6. 6
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: State Power vs Anarchy, Lawfulness vs Arbitrariness, Leadership vs Autocratic

    You draw your diagram as a cube, which implies that the three axis are independent variables, but they all have anarchy at the extreme. Hence, it shouldn’t be a cube.

    Your State Power axis is sensible. Your Lawfulness axis is not sensible. Perhaps it should go from arbitrary to rigidity. Your Leadership axis seems to be distribution of power, but that means it substantially overlaps with State Power.

    There are eight corners. Perhaps you could provide an example that would fit into each of the corners.

  7. 7
    Carpathian says:

    JDH:

    There is no reason to believe that an intelligent conscious entity can be generated from anything but the input of an intelligence.

    That is a circular argument.

    If a being as powerful as God has always existed then other beings as powerful as God can also have existed.

    he shows that he is not really interested in debate or knowledge – only in his assertion.

    It is the assertions of all religions that creates problems in the world.

    You assert that your God is the one true one and so do all the other religions.

    I am open to debate, but are you?

    Tell me that it is possible you might be wrong and your God might not exist.

  8. 8
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian,

    your sudden shift to raising talking points on design is interesting when juxtaposed to the above which in the main responds to the atmosphere of hostility to Christians in the public square as citizens and participants in the marketplace of ideas etc.

    Did you not write the following?

    Modern design theory and thought, by contrast, argues that on empirically tested, commonly seen and reliable signs such as functionally specific, complex organisation and associated information, it is reasonable to infer that the world of cell based life is replete with indicators of design as cause.

    I am responding to what you wrote, something you don’t seem to be able to do.

    –> Cheap shot and false statement, as much evidence can substantiate [indeed this thread responds to a major set of implications from things you have raised in recent weeks], but loaded questions require addressing the agendas not the verbal trap. You are now on warning. KF

  9. 9
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    It seems you refuse to acknowledge that designers tend to have knowledge, skills, creative insights and plans, where specifications are a part of the planning process.

    I acknowledge all of it which is why I ask these questions:

    1) Just how does a conscious designer know what kind of biological design to build?

    2) How does he know when to introduce it?

    3)How would a conscious biological designer roll out his design and recall it in the event of errors as we see human designers constantly do?

    4) Where would a conscious designer of biological designs get the required information to write a spec?

    The questions I am asking would require answering before any biological design could be started.

    If ID has no scientific answer to them, then ID can be ruled out as the cause of life on Earth or anywhere.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel:

    In anarchy or the state of raw nature, there is no state, no law or oral law aka custom, no leadership.

    I am sure you realise states can move from absolute to zero power. Similarly, laws can be by arbitrary decree through to corpus of traditions and rulings or accumulated decrees etc to the limited govt frame under an explicit constitution, and can go onwards to the state of no law. Third, leaders can be sole tyrants, oligarchies, limited democratic or simply not there.

    And further each is necessary for an actually functioning state.

    Yes, there is a tendency for there o be a concentration of arbitrary rulings, autocratic or oligarchic rulers and a domineering state as a recognisable cluster, that is why it is so hard to break out of it, hence the term vortex of tyranny.

    The vortex we escaped increasingly since the enabling conditions allowed constitutional democracy to emerge, which is sustainable but unstable, tending to fall back into the vortex or else to catapult through chaos and crisis to the vortex.

    Yes, anarchy is real too, and it serves as exactly a repeller, indeed a certain Reichstag fire was a capital example of opportunistic manipulation to get an enabling act passed by the Reichstag, now meeting in an opera house IIRC. Which increasingly became all too fitting.

    And every several years thereafter they extended Hitler’s enabling act.

    Hence BTW, why I am very suspicious of those who seem to wish to profit by crisis and chaos.

    Under current circumstances, we seem to debate within the cloud of existing more or less democratic constitutional states, e.g. libertarians want minimal govt.

    Were we not in such or near to such, debate would not be possible, it would either be censored or the chaos would make it futile.

    So, pardon, your objections fail.

    KF

    PS: Ever heard of a sparse matrix?

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    JDH: There is no reason to believe that an intelligent conscious entity can be generated from anything but the input of an intelligence.

    C: That is a circular argument.

    Nope, a necessary being at th root of reality is not a circular argument, it would be the ultimate intelligence.

    That applied to cosmological origins and fine tuning.

    World of life, as design thinkers openly say, life on earth could in principle come from an advanced molecular nanotech lab.

    KF

  12. 12
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: In anarchy or the state of raw nature, there is no state, no law or oral law aka custom, no leadership.

    You don’t need to explain anarchy. You need to explain why three supposedly independent variables all have anarchy at one extreme. You might also try reading our comment and responding.

    There are eight corners. Perhaps you could provide an example that would fit into each of the corners.

  13. 13
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    That applied to cosmological origins and fine tuning.

    World of life, as design thinkers openly say, life on earth could in principle come from an advanced molecular nanotech lab.

    In principle but not in reality.

    At some point the “first intelligence” made the decision to design something intelligent to do whatever.

    That first design is a result of Creationism.

    Any subsequent design would not have been possible without that first design of intelligence.

    That means that in order for the ID theory to be true, Creationism had to happen.

    ID is therefore Creationism.

    Secondly, ID is not possible by anything less than an entity with the power of God.

    No other entity can fine-tune the universe and no other entity can see into the future to see upcoming design requirements.

    The logistics of ID are also outside of the logistics capability of non-god like beings.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    You full well know the main focal issues you have raised in recent weeks and that his thread is in the main responsive.

    You have chosen not to address those, but to pick up on a point that you have raised questions that you and any other reasonable person full well know the answers to. Hence my previous drawing out of the issues of what are known characteristics and capacities of designers.

    Just for completeness, I will respond on points:

    >>1) Just how does a conscious designer know what kind of biological design to build?>>

    Based on their skill and knowledge, intent and the circumstances of the planet earth.

    >>2) How does he know when to introduce it?>>

    There is no necessity of a single designer, or that it be a he, in principle it needs not even be personal, it could be extension of what is personal.

    The timing of creation of a biosphere would lock to terraforming, and the transformations of the atmosphere especially to protect C-chemistry cell based life from UV etc.

    Developing gas balances would allow for innovations, such as land based forms and forms on land that require high oxygen levels.

    >>3)How would a conscious biological designer roll out his design and recall it in the event of errors as we see human designers constantly do?>>

    A designer of life, I assume you intend.

    The obvious answer is that such a designer builds a robust system and plans based on simulation before implementation, also building in negative feedbacks that pull things into balance if they trend out of hand.

    >>4) Where would a conscious designer of biological designs get the required information to write a spec?>>

    The same place you got the information to write objecting and distractove comments in this thread. That is, intelligence, knowledge, skill and purpose.

    In short, your very posts demonstrate that you knew the answer before you ask it, strongly indicating motivation to side track and distract rather than sober addressing of a serious matter on the table in the face of your already declared agenda of censorship, scapegoating and ghettoising Christians and others who fit into your obviously hated category, “religion.”

    It is time for you to accept correction to some very serious things you have taken occasion of UD having threads open for comment to advocate.

    Onlookers, cf the three recent threads:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....stitution/

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....f-justice/

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ubjective/

    Let me clip Carpathian from the first, then an annotated version that brings out the implications of his remarks:

    Religious activities should all be private.

    Any prospects for religious conversion should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair.

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings and that barrier to religion should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths

    Annotating — something he explosively reacted to, in effect how dare you markup what I say . . . as in reply to his agenda and he crows that you cannot answer to issues, answer point by point and he explodes in rage at how dare you markup:

    >>Religious activities should all be private.

    [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Any prospects for religious conversion

    [–> A specifically Christian emphasis, especially for evangelicals] should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair. [–> as in, once labelled religion or faith by the secularist elites, to be then silenced and censored in public backed up presumably by the radically secularised state, bye bye to freedom of expression in the public square]

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    and that barrier to religion

    [–> ghettoising and silencing again]

    should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths.

    [–> as opposed to “Science” which presumes to be “knowledge”]>>

    KF

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, are you familiar with the work of Venter et al, who are already doing intelligent design of life forms at molecular levels? Do you understand that intelligence does not blindly search a space of possibilities on trial and error but creatively on insight and imagination, actively configures, first in the mind then on the ground or bench? Do you know the story of Nikola Tesla who was capable of designing, assembling a new electrical machine, running it in his head for several weeks, then disassembling it and inspecting parts for wear, Which, is why so many of his first designs look so finished? Are you aware of modern engineering software tools that allow us to to some level imitate that? As a dimly related case the graphic in the OP was first visualised and modded in my head (being run against a wide scan of historical cases that lurk in my background memory plus some in effect rough-cut war games in my head), then sketched on paper then put together with a drawing package — and I want a better shape warp facility, Document Foundation. For that matter, are you so unaware of how you wrote your objecting posts, which are FSCO/I rich? Please, think again. KF

    PS: Cosmological finetuning is a major result of astrophysical investigations and cosmological studies. It has been an increasing shocker over decades and indeed it points to extracosmic design by awesome intelligence and skilled precise power. But from philosophical considerations on ontology that is not a grand surprise. Which, is outlined in the above. Not a great surprise points to how Plato saw powerful insights 2350 years ago.

  16. 16
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian: >>Religious activities should all be private.

    kairosfocus: [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Your statement claiming to explain mine is nowhere close to what I said, meant, expressed, etc.

    It’s all made up by you so you have something you can attack, i.e. a strawman.

    And then you continue with more strawmen….

    Carpathian: There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    kairosfocus: [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    ..because you don’t have a valid message and thus need to destroy the messenger.

  17. 17
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian: I am responding to what you wrote, something you don’t seem to be able to do.

    kairosfocus: –> Cheap shot and false statement, as much evidence can substantiate [indeed this thread responds to a major set of implications from things you have raised in recent weeks], but loaded questions require addressing the agendas not the verbal trap. You are now on warning. KF

    On warning?

    What do you plan on doing, censoring me?

  18. 18
    Carpathian says:

    Do you know the story of Nikola Tesla who was capable of designing, assembling a new electrical machine, running it in his head for several weeks, then disassembling it and inspecting parts for wear, Which, is why so many of his first designs look so finished? Are you aware of modern engineering software tools that allow us to to some level imitate that?

    And yet ID dismisses the modelling of evolution.

    When engineering software suggests that evolution is possible, IDists reject it but you want us to accept that simulation is an aid for forecasting when performing ID.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    Computer simulation either works or it doesn’t.

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: On the other hand, just how does a conscious designer know what to build?

    How did you know what to build when you wrote your WEASEL++ program?

  20. 20
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: I am open to debate, but are you?

    That’s a howler. The fact is you declined to open your WEASEL++ program to scrutiny. Is that what you mean by “open”?

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    the denial is obvious.

    Why do you think I immediately highlighted the contrast of your attitude with the US First Amendment in context?

    I clip:

    >>Article the third… Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;>>

    1 –> Congress resolves and submits to the people for their ratification.

    2 –> There shall be no grand federal landeskirk of the united states, building on the principle of Westphalia 1648 of locality in religion, adjusted to republican circumstances and with better protection of dissenters.

    3 –> at this time of course something like nine of the thirteen states had established local state churches, the free exercise clause specifically protected freikirke.

    4 –> Thus the letter by Jefferson to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut, is properly to be understood as affirming that Jefferson respected this as setting up a wall of protection for freedom of conscience, worship and religion from interference by the state, especially the state in alliance with a grand landeskirk or some unholy cartel of such at state level.

    5 –> In our time, where evolutionary materialist, scientism based secular humanism and its fellow travellers constitute a de facto anti-church cartel, American Dissenting Christians face precisely that kind of interference that this clause was intended to be a bulwark against.

    >>or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;>>

    6 –> Notice, freedom to speak and to publish through media are protected in exactly the context of freedom of faith and its expression.

    7 –> Yes, the primary sort of speech and publication being protected is just what Carpathian and others of like ilk would trammel, stigmatise, ghettoise and censor in the name of protecting their ears and eyes from being reminded of Him who they are fain to forget and dismiss.

    8 –> The irony of this is itself a rebuke to such a radical secularism.

    >> or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,>>

    9 –> This is of course, again in the direct context of religious expression with application to general expression.

    10 –> Peaceful assembly implies in homes, in houses of worship, in public spaces, on the streets so long as the assembly be not riotous or a mob seeking to threaten.

    11 –> And, again, Carpathian and ilk are found in the lists as enemies of freedom. A sad but not unexpected irony.

    >> and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances>>

    12 –> As in, it was a grievance that the Constitution did not sufficiently and explicitly protect Dissenters from encroachment by potentially hostile establishments that led these to champion a bill of amendments culminating in this one as first in the list.

    13 –> So, again, we find the despised evangelicals helping to build liberty.

    14 –> And, the power to petition challenges the Laodicean, self-satisfied mentality of power elites that tend to lock out unwelcome voices and views. (As in, Jesus at the church door, knocking and asking to be let in . . . instead of simply forcing his way in while posing on his authority as Lord of the church; as strong a statement of Divine respect for human freedom as one can ever find, even freedom to follow a march of folly.)

    The implications tell the tale, senor.

    And locking away classic freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and the like is censorship and ghettoising, with implications of slander, hostility, stereotyping in a context of thinly veiled bigotry or worse, and onward scapegoating.

    Finally, don’t forget the second linked shows how you reacted hysterically and accusingly to Christians expressing support for the state wielding the sword in defence of the civil peace of justice.

    Which starts with the policemen standing on the street corners — precisely who are now plainly under media assault.

    KF

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, engineering software is intelligently designed. Evolutionary algorithms are intelligently designed and fine tuned to traverse a relevant part of a config space. What happens in a pond in a pre-biotic planet has nothing to do with that. Likewise, what happens to create 500 – 1,000 bits of functionally specific complex organisation and associated information [config spaces of 3 * 10^150 – 10^301b possibilities) will drastically overwhelm the atomic and time resources of the sol system or the observed cosmos. searching such a space by blind chance and mechanical necessity is simply not computationally feasible on relevant resources, due to the needles in a haystack-want of resources to search challenge. But, that combinatorial, search challenge does not fit your narrative so it is shut out. KF

  23. 23
    SteRusJon says:

    Carpathian,

    Regarding computer simulations of engineering software vs. evolution you say “You can’t have it both ways. Computer simulation either works or it doesn’t.”

    Well, ID can have it both ways. Engineering software can be and is validated. Its results can be and are compared to the real thing and adjusted to correspond to reality where the program failed to, making the simulation trustworthy. Evolution simulations, where they simulate the unobserved and unobservable, are not validated, even unvalidatable, and therefore not trustworthy.

    Stephen

  24. 24
    Virgil Cain says:

    Great, Carpathian is back to humping strawmen.

  25. 25
    cornucopian says:

    Some of the greatest scientists in history were “creationists”. They thought that this world was rationally designed and the laws of science are the product of a rational law giver. These men were geniuses and were more important to modern science than the modern atheist missionaries. What exactly has atheism contributed to this world? A Large body count?

    Almost everything we take for granted today is the product of Christianity. You are arguing with religious fanatics who think a series of accidents over time produces rational thoughts. Their metaphysical worldview destroys science and reason itself.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel

    I thought a note on corners and mid points of faces would help.

    Remember, the model space in the OP is based on real world political possibilities.

    And it turns out that the six remaining corners just happen to be cases of autocratic leadership at the floor and none at the top. That is a clue that the corners will be circumstances in which sudden, likely to be adverse changes are in process. Likewise for face mid points which put stress on a democratic, limited government situation.

    I will pick just one, midpoint below the centre blob. Autocratic leader just took over a democracy. No prizes for guessing that real world, the next event was a burning Reichstag, followed by a panicked legislature meeting in IIRC the Kroll Opera House and voting in a seven-year enabling act for rule by decree. That put law to rule by decree. With the aid of a certain Secret State Police, the Storm Troopers and a little work, the rest was history.

    Straight into the vortex of tyranny, and world war.

    Other cases are just as “interesting.”

    KF

  27. 27
    JDH says:

    Carpathian –

    I am more than willing to have an honest an open debate with you on these pages.

    1. I volunteer a little information about me.

    I am above 50 and have a Ph.D in physics from UCLA. Just wanted you to know the extent of my life experience and level of education.

    2. To be a believer is to always have doubts.

    3. Would you give similar stats about yourself. I want to know somewhat of where you are coming from.

    Sincerely,
    JDH

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Cleaned up some link oddities. KF

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr JDH: That passed my mind when I saw the comment exchange. Care to give a few thoughts on setting up a cosmos for C-Chem, Aqueous medium life and setting up life on info rich biomolecules and linked tightly regulated processes? KF

  30. 30
    Robert Byers says:

    WOW. Anyways.
    I do think opponents of creationism, some, have motivations against Christiandom. They fight Christian society presumptions and so a rise in modern creationism is a threat to their world order.
    They are the censorship types of history and false accusers and opposed to justice and freedom as it tends to support Gods laws and the common man.
    For some, many maybe, fighting creationism is fighting Christianity. They don’t really care about God9s) and can live withy religious India.
    its the Christian world, maybe the protestant nations mostly, that they seek domination over.
    In reality North America is entirely protestant in its soul and this missed by them. Nothing would be this way without protestantism.
    There is a bigger cause but creationism is hardly related to these things.
    i like the bad guys being nasty. Its like every bonanza episode I ever saw.
    The bad guys are always nasty in every way they deal with you.
    We tend to be the nice guys and its a sign of our being right.
    They fear us and they are right.
    Time for a change in many things.

  31. 31
    kairosfocus says:

    cornucopian, yup, many great scientists and contributors to the modern constitutional democracies we live in, worked in the Judaeo-Christian, scripturally based worldview. Unfortunately that is too often not taught in our day. Blend that with an emphasis on the sins of Christendom, and a very skewed, hostile perception tends to result. Hence the sorts of points I replied to in the OP in interests of balance. I amhighlighting that many simply cannot bring themselves to face Bernard Lewis’ point. When we can do so, that would open up a much more fruitful discussion. KF

  32. 32
    kairosfocus says:

    RB,

    it is time to cite the last of the great Calvinist statesmen, the dutch prime minister, university founder and much more, Abraham Kuyper. Note, of his life it has been said the history of the Netherlands for 40 years was in large part his biography.

    He wrote/spoke about the great North Atlantic Revolutions (and contrasting the French Revolution), in IIRC the 1897 L P Stone Lectures:

    The three great revolutions in the Calvinistic world left untouched the glory of God, nay, they even proceeded from the acknowledgement of His majesty. Every one will admit this of our [Dutch] rebellion against Spain, under William the Silent. Nor has it even been doubted of the “glorious Revolution,” which was crowned by the arrival of William III of Orange and the overthrow of the Stuarts. But it is equally true of your own Revolution. It is expressed in so many words in the Declaration of Independence, by John Hancock, that the Americans asserted themselves by virtue –“of the law of nature and of nature’s God”; that they acted –“as endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights”; that they appealed to “the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intention”;3 and that they sent forth their “declaration of Independence” –“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”4 in the “Articles of Confederation” it is confessed in the preamble, –“that it hath pleased the great Governor of the world to incline the hearts of the legislators.”5 It is also declared in the preamble of the Constitution of many of the States: –“Grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty, which He has so long permitted us to enjoy and looking unto Him, for a blessing upon our endeavors.”6 God is there honored as “the Sovereign Ruler,”7 and the “Legislator of the Universe”8 and it is there specifically admitted, that from God alone the people received “the right to choose their own form of government.”9 In one of the meetings of the Convention, Franklin proposed, in a moment of supreme anxiety, that they should ask wisdom from God in prayer. And if any one should still doubt whether or not the American revolution was homogeneous with that of Paris, this doubt is fully set at rest by the bitter fight in 1793 between Jefferson and Hamilton. Therefore it remains as the German historian Von Holtz stated it: “Es ware Thorheit zu sagen dass die Rousseauschen Schriften einen Einfluss auf die Entwicklung in America ausgeubt haben.”10 (“Mere madness would it be to say that the American revolution borrowed its impelling energy from Rousseau and his writings.”) Or as Hamilton himself expressed it, that he considered “the French Revolution to be no more akin to the American Revolution than the faithless wife in a French novel is like the Puritan matron in New England.”11

    The French Revolution is in principle distinct from all these national revolutions, which were undertaken with praying lips and with trust in the help of God. The French Revolution ignores God. It opposes God. It refuses to recognize a deeper ground of political life than that which is found in nature, that is, in this instance, in man himself. Here the first article of the confession of the most absolute infidelity is “ni Dieu ni maitre.” The sovereign God is dethroned and man with his free will is placed on the vacant seat. It is the will of man which determines all things. All power, all authority proceeds from man. Thus one comes from the individual man to the many men; and in those many men conceived as the people, there is thus hidden the deepest fountain of all sovereignty . . . It is a sovereignty of the people therefore, which is perfectly identical with atheism. And herein lies its self-abasement. In the sphere of Calvinism, as also in your Declaration, the knee is bowed to God, while over against man the head is proudly lifted up. But here, from the standpoint of the sovereignty of the people, the fist is defiantly clenched against God, while man grovels before his fellowmen, tinseling over this self-abasement by the ludicrous fiction that, thousands of years ago, men, of whom no one has any remembrance, concluded a political contract, or, as they called it, “Contrat Social.” Now, do you ask for the result? Then, let History tell you how the rebellion of the Netherlands, the “glorious Revolution” of England and your own rebellion against the British Crown have brought liberty to honor; and answer for yourself the question: Has the French Revolution resulted in anything else but the shackling of liberty in the irons of State-omnipotence? Indeed, no country in our 19th century has had a sadder State history than France.

    Food for thought.

    KF

  33. 33
    cornucopian says:

    Newton, Galileo, Boyle, Kepler, Maxwell, Bacon, Pasteur, Faraday, Jenner and many others were devout Christians and creationists. If someone in lumping me with these men, I have no problems at all.

    Jenner probably saved more lives than anyone on this earth by inventing vaccines. What exactly has Darwinism contributed to this world other than racism and the holocaust? It is a theory that makes grand claims but has very little to show for it.

    Darwinism vs ID is a metaphysical war. The science is clear that evolution is a fact free theory. There are no benefits that come from teaching evolution. It has no practical purpose. Any evidence that contradicts their fairy tale will not be accepted.

    It is a religion for post Christian white folks who believe in silly fairy tales like spontaneous generation of the universe and life.

    ID does not depend on Christianity for it to be true. If Christianity was falsified tomorrow, the design arguments would still be valid.

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    cornucopian,

    In all fairness, all or nearly all people in C19 [and far into C20] were what we would call racist today. And indeed, had Darwinism not fitted in with that, likely it would have been thought false.

    Darwin’s writings in Descent of Man can be faulted for failing to adequately tackle the implicit moral hazards of his views and theories, but it is certain he would have objected very plainly to Hitler and would have been horrified at the shoah.

    We can fault his family for association with eugenics, and wish the world listened to H G Wells’ warnings in his early Sci Fi novels [you don’t get more blatantly preachy than the opening pages of War of the Worlds . . .], but too often we are locked into a stubborn march of folly.

    For that matter, Heinrich Heine tried to warn Germany on the fire it was playing with by 1831.

    They did not listen.

    After the slaughters in Namibia, they still did not listen.

    After the rape of Belgium from 1914 on, they still did not listen.

    It is only after Bomber Command flattened their cities, and after defeat, occupation and deliberate de-Nazificatuion complete with rankings of degree of enabling that the message got through. And, some German acquaintances have suggested that a part of what happened was, let’s just go quiet about our feelings and go make some money.

    They made Heine a prophet, and yet I doubt the lesson has been truly learned. BTW, a true prophet primarily speaks in often tear-filled warnin, in the prayer and hope that such will lead his audience to turn back from the march of sinful folly before it is too late.

    In that sense the diagram in the OP is intentionally small-p prophetic. If it captures enough of reality back-of envelope style, it encourages us to think hard about the dynamics at work in a polity, institution, movement or civilisation.

    For instance, an army is necessarily oligarchic, and will have a sprinkling of autocratic leaders who imagine themselves lone geniuses.

    What happens when a weak[ened] democracy has to privilege and support a strong military in the face of threats and chaos?

    Clutching the asp to the breast territory.

    Hence the US Founders’ concerns about standing armies and preference for a citizen-militia. (But, maybe they did not go far enough: Switzerland.)

    Multiply, by the need for a much more technically competent military today. (That is, the military is again trending warrior elite, including now, Infantry.)

    See the dangers?

    Mix in a press and wider media gone manipulative, Frankfurt Critical Theory School and immersed in Alinsky’s tactics.

    Multiply further by an education system in ideological captivity to an ideology that undermines responsible freedom and rationality, evolutionary materialist scientism and linked views that in the name of progress want bigger govt control.

    If you smell trouble, so do I.

    And I don’t know if that includes the equivalent of a Reichstag burning. (And remember the Nazis likely did not set the fire, a half-mad Dutch youth did; they just knew how to exploit a crisis and a threat of chaos to the max.)

    We need to think hard about what lurks in our hearts, and in our civilisation.

    KF

  35. 35
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I thought a note on corners and mid points of faces would help.

    You forgot the requested examples. For instance, if we have a dimension left-right as egalitarian-hierarchical, and a second dimension libertarian-authoritarian, we might have this:

    left-authoritarian; Stalin
    left-libertarian; hippie commune
    right-authoritarian; Pinochet
    right-libertarian; the American Wild West

    While no simple dichotomy can capture all the subtleties and exceptions, this spectrum still provides a reasonable and coherent general classification. Note that the two dimensions are largely independent.

  36. 36
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    all societies exhibit leadership or at least rule, with uneven distribution of power. That is how urgent decisions are made and it is how things work.

    So, talk of “egalitarian” too often and too soon soon becomes rhetoric not reality — Cf Stalin and the No Ko de facto monarchy or the nomenclatura or the rule of bureaucrats currently emerging in the EU zone.

    Where, the pivot of modern democracy the US DoI of 1776, turns on the equality of men by nature under moral government, being endowed with core unalienable rights. So to project to constitutional democracy supporting people the notion that they support inequity and domination by a superior elite smacks of a slanderous ad hominem laced strawman ignited to cloud, confuse, poison and polarise the atmosphere.

    Rhetorical fail.

    Next, hippie communes are not states with governments and insofar as they are organised seem to be on minimal governance with probably largely intuitive or oral traditions serving in the place of rules, contrast the rule of St Benedict that has endured for a milennium and a half.

    Pinochet fits into the f/w above as an oligarch who ruled in a state that had at least a corpus of law tracing to Corpus Juris and was authoritarian. Allende was oligarchic — ideologically he sought a dictatorship of the proletariat, and faced much the same corpus juris legal culture.

    I understand Pinochet tried to gradually move free market and hand over to a democratised state.

    The left/right game is dead, shattered on trying to impose that fascism — demonstrably socialist — was right wing.

    Game over the rhetoric is rejected as factually ill-founded never mind institutionalised among progressivist intellectual elites who for instance are caught out trying to categorise the Socialist International member the Institutional Revolutionary Party of Mexico as right wing. Hannan nails it.

    Time to think afresh, and that is why I put on the table something that looks at state power, frame of laws/decrees, and leadership.

    As another map exercise, try anarchy on laws and leadership in an absolute power state. Breakdown due to massive disaster or civil conflict, likely post decapitation. Some new Nimrod is about to pick up the fallen crown and take over rule by decree and absolute state power.

    KF

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: And yet ID dismisses the modelling of evolution.

    ID dismisses people who claim their model demonstrates something to be the case and then refuse to make the source code of their model available for scrutiny.

    You know, people who claim to be doing science but aren’t really. People like Carpathian.

    ID also dismisses people who claim they can create a software program in which the environment favors reaching targets without any information about the targets being programmed by an intelligent designer, and that this tells us something meaningful about evolution. People like Carpathian.

  39. 39
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: all societies exhibit leadership or at least rule, with uneven distribution of power. That is how urgent decisions are made and it is how things work.

    Sure. Power is always distributed, and never distributed perfectly evenly.

    You never responded to our comment. Perhaps you missed it, so we will repeat it for your convenience.

    Your three dimensions do not seem independent, especially as each has anarchy at the extreme, yet not in the same corners of your cube.

    There are eight corners in your analysis. Perhaps you could provide an example that would fit into each of the corners. If you can’t, then it’s clear your analysis is lacking consistency and relevance.

  40. 40
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian: On the other hand, just how does a conscious designer know what to build?

    Mung: How did you know what to build when you wrote your WEASEL++ program?

    I knew what to build because I had enough information to create a specification.

    Show me how an ID designer who does not have the powers of God, gets the information to create a specification for an organism he has to design for the future.

  41. 41
    Carpathian says:

    Virgil Cain:

    Great, Carpathian is back to humping strawmen.

    And Joe is simply back….

  42. 42
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Finally, don’t forget the second linked shows how you reacted hysterically and accusingly to Christians expressing support for the state wielding the sword in defence of the civil peace of justice.

    Hysterics?

    You have a way of trying to get emotions into debates.

    Why?

    As for as support for the state wielding the sword I can point you to Germany and Italy during WWII when Christians supported the state sword.

    What the Christians should have done then is remove their support to be governed and replace their governments.

    We know that’s possible since the Soviet Union fell in just that way.

    No armed revolt, just people saying no.

  43. 43
    Carpathian says:

    Carpathian: I am open to debate, but are you?

    Mung: That’s a howler. The fact is you declined to open your WEASEL++ program to scrutiny. Is that what you mean by “open”?

    Why would you need to scrutinize a Weasel program?

    It works like a Weasel program.

    Anyone could write one but what is amazing to me is that programmers like yourself insisted that the program knew what the target was, which is clearly wrong.

  44. 44
    Carpathian says:

    JDH:

    I am more than willing to have an honest an open debate with you on these pages.

    1. I volunteer a little information about me.

    I am above 50 and have a Ph.D in physics from UCLA. Just wanted you to know the extent of my life experience and level of education.

    2. To be a believer is to always have doubts.

    I am 61 and was kicked out of high school in the middle of grade 11.

    I am self-taught when it comes to programming and my career has been mainly real-time embedded programming though I would get drawn into applications also.

    I don’t hate religious people despite what kairosfocus says.

    In my eyes, no organized religion is better than any other.

    Finally, if there is a God, there is no religion on Earth that could stop him from talking to me.

    Of course that also means that God doesn’t need the help of any religion to talk to me.

  45. 45
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    ID also dismisses people who claim they can create a software program in which the environment favors reaching targets without any information about the targets being programmed by an intelligent designer, and that this tells us something meaningful about evolution. People like Carpathian.

    1) The program does not know the target.

    2) It’s not supposed to.

    3) Feedback from the environment is the selective pressure that guides “Darwinian” evolution.

    This concept of a distinction between code and data is only a problem for people who can’t program.

    People like Mung.

  46. 46
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, think, three axes with a limited range and you will see the upper, right rear is the point where anarchy or state of nature implies no state power, no recognised law, and no recognised leadership. Likewise the bottom front left is the opposite: absolute state power, arbitrary rule by decree, and autocratic rule. Further to this, state power, legal framework and leadership seem to me key factors worth isolating and examining, which hold sufficiently distinct status that it is worth treating them as distinct though often correlated along a main diagonal. An oligarchy that is in the context of say corpus juris or its antecedent body of rulings, and in a state that asserts unlimited power is very possible and even recognisable. Indeed, that sounds like late Roman Republic or early Empire with the emerging full autocracy veiled. KF

  47. 47
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    It looks like time for more of your words, from the second linked, in reaction to Christians supporting the policing power of the state, which sparked the exchanges:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....f-justice/

    [KF] . . . this becomes highly relevant when we see how Carpathian reacted to Anthropic commenting on Rom 12 – 13 in a recent thread:

    >>A, 17: I’d also point out that Romans 12 states that we are to leave revenge up to God, which is usually taken to mean in the afterlife. However, Romans 13 goes on to say that the government has been given the sword to act as God’s servant in punishing evil and rewarding good. Thus, leaving it up to God does not mean doing nothing. Rather, it means leaving the punishment on this Earth to those who have God given authority to punish on this Earth, plus God in the life to come.

    C, 23:

    [Citing A:] Rather, it means leaving the punishment on this Earth to those who have God given authority to punish on this Earth, plus God in the life to come.

    [C comments:] This is a very frightening statement.

    This is the type of thinking that leads fundamentalist groups to believe they have a right to kill infidels.

    No one has a right from God to punish anyone.

    No one has a right from God to tell anyone else what to do.

    [KF:] This instant leap to an invidious comparison of the Rom 13:4 principle that :

    . . . [the civil authority] is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.

    . . . to the depredations of Islamist terrorists and the like reflects an unfortunately common secularist indoctrination in our day that instantly associates religious views with utter irrationality, inclination to violent oppression and worse.

    Such fear-mongering blind prejudice, hostile (or in some cases even bigoted . . . ) contempt and projection, already need to be corrected. (Cf here, earlier at UD in reply to AS.)

    But the matter gets deeper, as C kept on going in reaction to remonstrance:

    [C] >>No one has a right from God to punish anyone.

    No one has a right from God to tell anyone else what to do.

    This includes Christians, Muslims [–> note the in-context invidious comparison that patently jumps to images of IslamIST terrorism] and anyone who believes God chooses sides in the affairs of humans [–> yes, the side of justice, and the side of those tasked to defend the civil peace of justice] . . . .

    It is simply not acceptable to take any teachings from any specific holy book and claim that they are applicable to those who do not hold that specific holy book as being a true representation of God’s intent. [–> But in fact the natural moral law is evident to all and is directly connected to the just role of good government]

    I do not bow to the authority of any religion and no one should be expected to . . . .

    Religion should stay in churches and in the minds of men and women. [–> in context, he calls for public silencing, blocking right of freedom of peaceful assembly and general ghettoising] It has no business in the laws of man. [–> law is a matter of justice and once one inquires into what justice is, he will soon see that justice is a matter of OUGHT, of the right and of grounding the right, i.e, of morality, Thus, the issue of the IS that grounds ought becomes pivotal, and there is but one serious answer, as the US Founders so clearly wrote into the US DoI, 1776]

    Freedom of religion allows people to believe anything they want, not to act on those beliefs. [–> If one is only free to think but not to act in light of justice undergirded by the rights God has endowed us with, one is in fact a slave, indeed one has a right to suspect that the conceded freedom to think is only there as no-one can control what people actually think inside their heads]>>

    And, on and on.

    For telling instance (and the reason this post is titled as above):

    >>Do you not understand what the term “might makes right” means?

    It means if that if I don’t agree with the wielder of that sword, it is completely irrelevant what I think or whether or not I am right.

    If a Christian in a land where the laws are derived from a non-Christian holy book has problems with a law, and the Christians do not wield the sword, then that law is going to apply, regardless of whether it flies in the face of Christian teachings.

    The same applies to non-Christians here.

    Religion has no business in law-making.>>

    Of course, in the relevant constitutional democracy, the laws are made in legislatures — save where judges run amok and try to legislate from the bench, often in the interests of secularist progressivist social engineering.

    Likewise, when a Christian supports the powers of the policeman on the corner, that is not a reasonable occasion to fly off to a strawman caricature about supporting IslamIST terrorists or the like.

    It is time to face just how dangerously ill-thought through radical secularist notions often are, and to realise just how hostile they are to liberty; especially liberty of conscience.

    But then, that is increasingly coming out, raw and ugly.

    It is time for fresh thinking.

    KF

  48. 48
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    kairofocus: Rather, it means leaving the punishment on this Earth to those who have God given authority to punish on this Earth, plus God in the life to come.

    Carpathian: This is a very frightening statement.

    This is the type of thinking that leads fundamentalist groups to believe they have a right to kill infidels.

    No one has a right from God to punish anyone.

    No one has a right from God to tell anyone else what to do.

    No one on this planet has been given the authority by any god to mete out punishment.

    There are fundamentalist Islamic groups who believe that and they are wrong.

    Any Christian who believes that God has given them the power to “punish” is just as wrong.

    kairosfocus, if you truly believe that God has given anyone the authority to “punish” others, please show me evidence of that authority.

    If you point me to Biblical authority then you have not made any stronger of a case than a fundamentalist Muslim would by citing the Koran.

  49. 49
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian: It is simply not acceptable to take any teachings from any specific holy book and claim that they are applicable to those who do not hold that specific holy book as being a true representation of God’s intent.

    kairosfocus: [–> But in fact the natural moral law is evident to all and is directly connected to the just role of good government]

    Of course it is evident.

    It is evident to a fundamentalist Muslim that Christians are wrong and it is just as evident to a fundamentalist Christian that Muslims are wrong.

    In conclusion, it is evident to both of them that the other is wrong.

  50. 50
    mike1962 says:

    Carpathian,

    Is that evident in the same way that murdering your neighbor is wrong is evident?

  51. 51
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    It is time for fresh thinking.

    On that I agree 100%.

    If every religion would accept that their holy books are not literally true, we would see a change in the type of legislation written by our politicians.

    The problem is when stories like the Noah Flood are taken as being literally true that we have a problem.

    A few years ago, your own Bill Dembski was hauled onto the carpet because he suggested the Noah Flood was not literally true.

    He was forced to go against his scientific beliefs and agree to accept the Bible’s literal view of the flood.

  52. 52
    Carpathian says:

    mike1962:

    Carpathian,
    Is that evident in the same way that murdering your neighbor is wrong is evident?

    Good question.

    A good answer would come from the Sunni and Shiite neighbors killing each other in Iraq or the Roman Catholic and Protestant neighbors killing each other in Northern Ireland.

  53. 53
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    Did you take time to read what Anthropic was pondering in Rom 13:3-4:

    3 For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation.

    4 For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer. [amp]

    Here Paul is seeing civil authorities as commissioned by God as his servants responsible to defend the civil peace of justice and in that context to bear the sword. As was pointed out to you already but apparently ignored, the chief civil authority in Rome and in the Roman Empire c 57 AD was Nero Caesar. Admittedly, in the days when he was still under tutelage of Seneca and Burrus, who in fact led an admirable government. It was later that things fell apart as Nero went demonically mad and utterly depraved.

    The principle is clear, that the civil authority — starting with the policeman on the corner — has the right, responsibility and duty under God of upholding the civil peace of justice. And, of defending it, hence he bears the sword.

    Even, Nero Caesar.

    And of course, that opens up the whole world of the doctrine of the dual covenant of blessed nationhood and good government under God that leads onwards to remonstrance and petition for reform, also of interposition of lower magistrates, and of the right of the people acting on the collective duty to reject tyranny and “a long train of abuses and usurpations” that underlies the words of the US DoI, 1776. Thankfully in our day, the consent [or withdrawal for cause of such consent] of the governed is readily expressed by ballot box.

    And yes, all of this fits so neatly with the US DoI because that is a material part of what shapes the DoI.

    Echoing, the Dutch DoI of 1581 in re Philip II of Spain, informed by Vindiciae 1579:

    . . . a prince is constituted by God to be ruler of a people, to defend them from oppression and violence as the shepherd his sheep; and whereas God did not create the people slaves to their prince, to obey his commands, whether right or wrong, but rather the prince for the sake of the subjects (without which he could be no prince), to govern them according to equity, to love and support them as a father his children or a shepherd his flock, and even at the hazard of life to defend and preserve them. And when he does not behave thus, but, on the contrary, oppresses them, seeking opportunities to infringe their ancient customs and privileges . . . then he is no longer a prince, but a tyrant, and the subjects are to consider him in no other view . . . This is the only method left for subjects whose humble petitions and remonstrances could never soften their prince or dissuade him from his tyrannical proceedings; and this is what the law of nature dictates for the defense of liberty, which we ought to transmit to posterity, even at the hazard of our lives. . . . . So, having no hope of reconciliation, and finding no other remedy, we have, agreeable to the law of nature in our own defense, and for maintaining the rights, privileges, and liberties of our countrymen, wives, and children, and latest posterity from being enslaved by the Spaniards, been constrained to renounce allegiance to the King of Spain, and pursue such methods as appear to us most likely to secure our ancient liberties and privileges.

    . . . we read, the Americans of 1776 in re George III and Parliament (a partnership underscored through the revolution of 1688 that overthrew King James II on grounds of tyrannical behaviour), to the effect:

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .

    So, the time has come for fresh, better informed thinking, and a better attitude to the rich heritage of liberty that has been passed down to us at fearful cost through the Judaeo-Christian heritage of our civilisation.

    You have clearly been given such a one sided litany on the sins of Christendom, and on the threat “Religion” poses to liberty such that it must be silenced and shut up in a narrow ghetto lest freedom be overturned that you did us a serious injustice by leaping straight from someone expressing support for the policing power of civil authority to trying to taint us with IslamIST terrorism, tyranny and the like.

    That is a grave wrong, and unfortunately this is not a matter of a crank off on a soapbox out in the wilderness.

    Unfortunately, the sentiments, notions and agendas of abuse and usurpation your words inadvertently reveal, are running rampant riot all across our civilisation.

    It is time they be exposed and firmly corrected.

    KF

  54. 54
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    Did you take time to ponder the self-evident truths of justice — thus, moral truths — highlighted in the US DoI before rushing off to strawmen on debates over Islamic doctrine or trying to project Islamic extremism as a yardstick?

    Or, have you pondered, despite the many times it has been drawn to your attention, the underlying argument in Locke, Hooker and Aristotle?

    Let me remind you of this last, the 2nd para of the US DoI having just been cited to you so there is no need to repeat it:

    . . . if I cannot but wish to receive good, even as much at every man’s hands, as any man can wish unto his own soul, how should I look to have any part of my desire herein satisfied, unless myself be careful to satisfy the like desire which is undoubtedly in other men . . . my desire, therefore, to be loved of my equals in Nature, as much as possible may be, imposeth upon me a natural duty of bearing to themward fully the like affection. From which relation of equality between ourselves and them that are as ourselves, what several rules and canons natural reason hath drawn for direction of life no man is ignorant . . . [Hooker then continues, citing Aristotle in The Nicomachean Ethics, Bk 8:] as namely, That because we would take no harm, we must therefore do none; That since we would not be in any thing extremely dealt with, we must ourselves avoid all extremity in our dealings; That from all violence and wrong we are utterly to abstain, with such-like . . . [Eccl. Polity, preface, Bk I, “ch.” 8, p.80, cf. here. Emphasis added.]

    Again, you have succeeded in showing the deep, dangerous problems with your thinking — problems underlying agendas now running riot all over our civilisation.

    It is time for fresh thinking

    KF

  55. 55
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    You have clearly been given such a one sided litany on the sins of Christendom, and on the threat “Religion” poses to liberty such that it must be silenced and shut up in a narrow ghetto lest freedom be overturned that you did us a serious injustice by leaping straight from someone expressing support for the policing power of civil authority to trying to taint us with IslamIST terrorism, tyranny and the like.

    I get the feeling that you don’t actually read what I write.

    Let’s make sure we understand each other.

    Here’s something I wrote in #44:

    I don’t hate religious people despite what kairosfocus says.

    In my eyes, no organized religion is better than any other.

    Finally, if there is a God, there is no religion on Earth that could stop him from talking to me.

    Of course that also means that God doesn’t need the help of any religion to talk to me.

    Please look at the statement, “In my eyes, no organized religion is better than any other.”

    Where in that statement where I say that, “In my eyes, no organized religion is better than any other” , do I say that there are some religions that are better than others?

  56. 56
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    It is time for fresh thinking

    Yes it is.

    Do you believe the Bible is literally true?

  57. 57
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Just for contrast, Alfred the Great’s Book of Dooms, the beginnings of the common law on which jurisprudence among the English speaking world in the main comes. At the root of our liberties and system of justice. And yes, he literally begins from the Decalogue of “Moyse”:

    ______________

    >>Dooms.

    The Lord was speaking these words to Moyse, and thus quoth; I am the Lord thine God. I led thse out of the Egyptians’ lands, and of their bondage.

    1. Love thou not other strange gods ever me.
    2. Call not thou mine name in idleness, for that thou art not guiltless with me, if thou in idleness callest mine name.
    3. Mind that thou hallow the rest-day. Work you six days, and on the seventh rest you. For that in six days Christ wrought heavens and earth, seas, and all shapen things that in them are, and rested him on the seventh day: and for that the^Lord_hallowed it.
    4. Honour thine father and thine mother that the Lord gave thee : that thou be the longer living on earth.
    5. Slay thou not.
    6′. Commit thou not adultery.
    7. Steal thou not .
    8. Say thou not leasing1 witness.
    9. Wish not thou thy neighbour’s goods with untight.
    10. Work thou not to thyself golden gods or silvern.
    11. These are the dooms that thou shalt set them. If any one
    »
    buy a Christian theow [bondsman], be he theow to him six years: the seventh be he free unbought. With such clothes as he went in with such go he’out. If he himself have a wife, go she out with him. If, however, the lord gave him a wife, go she and her bairn the lord’s. If then the theow say, ” I will not [go] from mine lord, nor from mine wife, nor from mine bairn, nor from mine goods: bring him then his lord to the temple’s door, and drill through his ear with an awl, to token that he be ever since a theow . . . .

    49. These are dooms that the Almighty God himself was speaking to Moses, and bade him to hold, and, since the Lord’s onebegotten son, our God, that is, healing Christ, on middle earth came, he quoth that he came not these biddings to break nor to forbid, but with all good to eke them, and mild-heartedness and lowly-mindedness to learn. Then after his throes [sufferings], ere that his apostles were gone through all the earth to learn [teach], and then yet that they were together, many heathen nations they turned tq God. While they all together were, they send erranddoers to Antioch and to Syria, Christ’s law to learn [teach]. When they understood that it speeded them not, then sent they an errand-writing to them. This is then that errand-writing that the lipostles sent to Antioch, and to Syria, and to Cilicia, that are now from heathen nations turned to Christ.
    The apostles and the elder brethren wish. you health. And we make known to you, that we have heard that some of our fellows with our words to you have come, and bade you a heavier wise [way or law] to hold, than we bade them, and have too much misled you with manifold biddings, and your souls more perverted than they have righted. Then we assembled us about that, and
    to us all it seemed good, that we should send Paul andBarnabas, men that will their souls sell [give] for the Lord’s name. With them we sent Judas and Silas, that they to you the ilk [same] may say. To the Holy Ghost it was thought and to us, that we none burden on you should not set, over that to you was needful to hold, that is then, that ye forbear that ye devil-gilds [idols] worship, and taste blood and things strangled, and from fornication, iand that ye will that other men do not to you, do ye not that to other men.i;..’ •- .\i} •„? Ml: •

    From this one doom a man may think that he should doom [judge] every one rightly : he need keep no other doom-book. Let him thmk [take care] that he doom to no man that he would not that he doom to him, if he sought doom over him.
    Since that, it happened that many nations took to Christ’s faith; there were many synods through all the middle earth gathered, and eke throughout the English race, they took to Christ’s faith, of holy bishops’, and eke of other exalted witan [wise men]. They then set forth, for their mild-heartedness, that Christ learned [taught], at almost every misdeed, that the worldly lords might, with their leave, without sin, at the first guilt, take their fee-boot that they then appointed ; except in treason against a lord, to which they durst not declare no mild-hearted ness, for that the God Almighty doomed none to them that slighted him, nor Christ God’s son doomed none to him that sold him to death, and he bade to love a lord as himself. They then in many synods set a boot for many misdeeds of men ; and in many synod books they wrote, here, one doom, there, another.
    I then, Alfred king, gathered these together, and bade to write many of those that our foregoers held,—those that to me seemed good: and many of those that seemed not good, I set aside with mine witan’s counsel, and in other wise bade to hold them: for that I durst not venture much of mine own to set in writing, for that it was unknown to me what of this would be liking to those that were after us. But those that I met with either in Ine’s days mine kinsman, or in Offa’s, king of Mercia, or in iEthelbryte’s that first took baptism in the English race,—they that seemed to me the lightest, I gathered them herein and let alone the others.
    I then, Alfred, king of the West Saxons, shewed these to all

    mine witan, and they then said that that all seemed good to them to hold.
    Of Oaths And Of Weds.
    1. At first we learn [teach] that it is most needful that every man warily hold his oath and his wed. If any one is forced to whether [either] of these in wrong, either to lord treachery [treachery against a lord], or to any unright help, that is then lighter to belie than to fulfil. If he however pledge that that to him is right to fulfil, and bene that, give he with lowly-mindedness his weapon and his goods to his friends to hold, and be forty nights in carcern [prison] in a king’s town; suffer there as the bishop assigns him; and his kinsmen feed him, if he himself have no meat. If he have no kinsmen, or have no food, let the king’s reeve feed him. If one should compel him, and he else will not, if they bind him, forfeit he his weapons and his inheritance. If one slay him, let him lie without amends. If he outflee ere the time and one take him, let him he forty nights in prison, as he ere should [should at first]. If however he escape, let him be looked on as a runaway and be excommunicated of all Christ’s churches. If, however, there be another man’s suretyship, let him make boot for the breach of suretyship, as the right [law] may direct him; and for the pledge-breaking as his shriever [confessor] may shrive [appoint] him . . .>>
    _______________

    Let us understand just how warped our understanding of our roots on the state, law and political leadership has become.

    And let us think afresh.

    KF

  58. 58
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    3. Mind that thou hallow the rest-day. Work you six days, and on the seventh rest you. For that in six days Christ wrought heavens and earth, seas, and all shapen things that in them are, and rested him on the seventh day: and for that the^Lord_hallowed it.

    This is exactly why the Bible or any religion should not be involved in law-making.

    The fact that a church demands its followers not work on a given day is not binding on anyone who does not belong to the church.

    Having a specific church’s teachings bleed into law is something that shouldn’t have to be tolerated by those who do not belong to that church or even those who do.

    Faith is one thing and law another.

  59. 59
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Interesting. A direct link from Christian teaching to the English common law there.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 2: From the other end nigh on a thousand years later, let us notice again (it is in the OP and has been repeatedly pointed out in recent days) how in 1765, Blackstone sums up the heart of that Common Law heritage in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, giving the capstone to the work that began with Alfred the Great:

    Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his creator, for he is entirely a dependent being . . . consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his maker’s will. This will of his maker is called the law of nature. For as God, when he created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with freewill to conduct himself in all parts of life, he laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that freewill is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purport of those laws . . . These are the eternal, immutable laws of good and evil, to which the creator himself in all his dispensations conforms; and which he has enabled human reason to discover, so far as they are necessary for the conduct of human actions. Such among others are these principles: that we should live honestly [NB: cf. Exod. 20:15 – 16], should hurt nobody [NB: cf. Rom 13:8 – 10], and should render to every one his due [NB: cf. Rom 13:6 – 7 & Exod. 20:15]; to which three general precepts Justinian[1: a Juris praecepta sunt hace, honeste vivere. alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. Inst, 1. 1. 3] has reduced the whole doctrine of law [and, Corpus Juris, Justinian’s Christianised precis and pruning of perhaps 1,000 years of Roman jurisprudence, in turn is the foundation of law for much of Europe].

    How anyone, but from the pent up indoctrination against that Judaeo-Christian heritage, can leap from such to imagining that we are suggesting the mentality of IslamIST terrorists and the like, escapes me.

    That is why I think it is high time to put the matters on the table and call for a fresh, more reasonable approach.

    For, the hostility being projected can only be a mirror of the heart and so what is going on must be faced for what it is and turned from, now.

    For, the lessons of history were bought hard with blood and tears. If we dismiss, disregard or disrespect them, we doom ourselves to pay the same price over and over again.

    KF

  61. 61
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carp

    The fact that a church demands its followers not work on a given day is not binding on anyone who does not belong to the church.

    If the teaching is understood as universal, then it is binding on everyone.

    Having a specific church’s teachings bleed into law is something that shouldn’t have to be tolerated by those who do not belong to that church or even those who do.

    It depends on how the government is structured. But many moral teachings find their origin in religious laws, so those end up being secular laws.

    Without religion or a coherent philosophy of life, there is no basis for laws at all.

  62. 62
    kairosfocus says:

    SA,

    not just a direct link, Alfred makes plain that this is the literal beginning of law and justice in what would become the common law, so let me clip Paul a few vv down from Rom 13:3 – 4:

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Alfred likely had this in mind, too.

    So, when we see the sort of frothing at the mouth inquisitorial attitude and projections that C has been making himself a posterboy of, we can understand all the more the rot that has gone deep into our civilisation.

    We had better realise that the difference here is that he was ill advised enough to blurt, letting us see into the heart of what is going on.

    And we had better believe this is letting us see the agenda that is out there.

    That is why I am not going to shrug and let it pass, the time has come to sound a loud trumpet blast of warning.

    KF

  63. 63
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    How anyone, but from the pent up indoctrination against that Judaeo-Christian heritage, can leap from such to imagining that we are suggesting the mentality of IslamIST terrorists and the like, escapes me.

    You just go on and on with your made-up statements.

    Let’s take this a step at a time.

    Here is set A {……….}.

    It consists of statements from a holy book.

    Here is set B {……..}.

    It consists of statements from a different holy book.

    Anyone who believes either set of statements is literally true is a fundamentalist, regardless of which set he chooses.

    Anyone who does this is a possible danger to himself or others.

    Now, which set do you agree with, A or B?

  64. 64
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    It seems Alfred was more explicit about the Christian foundation of the law than Blackstone later in the 18th century, where he seems to point to natural law and God in a more general theist sense.

    It’s interesting because Alfred looks at Christian revelation as the true basis to build upon. And that’s how Christian civilization emerged in Europe.

  65. 65
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Without religion or a coherent philosophy of life, there is no basis for laws at all.

    Why is religion necessary?

    Why is philosophy necessary?

    There is no need for a religious or philosophical component to the Golden Rule.

    The government should treat its citizens as it wants to be treated otherwise the consent to being governed can be removed.

    There is no need for religion or philosophy at all when making laws.

  66. 66
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    So, when we see the sort of frothing at the mouth inquisitorial attitude and projections that C has been making himself a posterboy of, we can understand all the more the rot that has gone deep into our civilisation.

    Frothing at the mouth?

    Pure propaganda.

  67. 67
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: the upper, right rear is the point where anarchy or state of nature implies no state power, no recognised law, and no recognised leadership. Likewise the bottom front left is the opposite: absolute state power, arbitrary rule by decree, and autocratic rule.

    You’ve named two of the eight corners. You’re also still using anarchy on all three dimensions, which makes three edges, not a single corner anarchic. This renders two of your three dimensions inconsistent. You need to work on it some more.

    Of course, none of this negates the usual left-right dichotomy, or prevents others from using the left-right dichotomy in a coherent fashion.

  68. 68
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    Why is religion necessary?

    Why is philosophy necessary?

    Religion and philosophy are necessary in giving meaning and purpose to human life, and therefore to the laws that govern human life.

    There is no need for a religious or philosophical component to the Golden Rule.

    The Golden Rule is a philosophical proposal. It requires some answers to the question: “Why shouldn’t I treat others the way I want to treat them”?

    The government should treat its citizens as it wants to be treated otherwise the consent to being governed can be removed.

    That’s a view that must be supported philosophically. Why shouldn’t the government enslave people or remove their freedoms like is done in North Korea? You say what you think the government should do, but without religion or philosophy, you’re just giving an unsupported opinion.

    There is no need for religion or philosophy at all when making laws.

    Why does there need to be laws or government? Why should people be forced to obey laws they don’t like? Why does the government have authority to make and enforce laws?

    These all require philosophical foundations. Without that, any opinion and its opposite is valid.

  69. 69
    mike1962 says:

    Carpathian: A good answer would come from the Sunni and Shiite neighbors killing each other in Iraq or the Roman Catholic and Protestant neighbors killing each other in Northern Ireland.

    No. I’m asking you.

  70. 70
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    sometimes I wonder about your collective.

    I have pointed out that there are two polar opposite state conditions, defined here by the variables on state power in the community, framework of law and type of leadership.

    Each of these is distinct but we can see how the traditional state of nature anarchy with no state [cf. for instance Locke . . . what I am doing isn’t even original on using this as a foil] and autocratic, rule by decree absolute states can be contrasted. We can see then that anarchy has zero state power as a state must exist to hold power. Similarly, it has no state-laws as there is no civil society in a state of nature. Third, no state, no leadership.

    Such can actually exist in a wilderness with sparse population, or in the Robinson Crusoe situation.

    Locke applies it to international relations, holding the king in a SON wrt other kings and their kingdom, c 1690. Probably not far out.

    That gives you three cartesian axes with the autocratic tyrannical state as the origin, the cube follows with SON/anarchy on the opposite end of the principal diagonal.

    I am sure you recognise that the three variables given are sufficiently distinct that they can materially vary separately. And I suspect based on my underlying reflections that these three variables do specify a state-space that is sufficiently realistic to use in a wargame type sim model/map. That is, it is an incipient policy analysis tool.

    One that captures a lot of what I have learned about government over the years, BTW.

    And, no I am not going to step you through scenarios for each vertex, having given a realistic example and pointed out to you that the top side is no leadership and the bottom, autocratic leadership. That alone will tell a lot on why I suggested based on my own reflection that such states are likely to be transitional, with a strong tendency if adequate countervailing forces are not present, to head for the tyranny vortex.

    The mid points of the sides also tend to be transitional.

    The sweet spot is constitutional, limited democratic government, unstable but sustainable with a critical mass of informed vigilant committed support.

    But frankly, that is where I have big, big, big doubts about our civilisation at large over recent decades, and on trends that look very much like marches of folly.

    (Think as one example, Iran + US$ 150 bn _ nuke reactors + terrorist cats paws all abouts, and you will see why I find it astonishing that the general publics have not risen up to demand a solid accounting for patent folly. Do you know what Iran does to virgin girls on the night before their execution, to assure themselves that they are to go to hell on their theology? I just say that when I read the confessions of one of the rapists [as that is what such forced “marriages” are about], he said after the screams the girls were often left in a state of effective catatonia. Then bags of sweets are sent to the parents as gifts to dig the knife of pain into them too. For they know what the gift means happened on the night before their daughter was hanged. That is what our leaders are playing footsie with.)

    I could go on and on, but that should be enough on what a real oligarchic totalitarian theocracy looks like.

    Chalk to cheese.

    KF

  71. 71
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, you need to look again at what you have been putting on the table. KF

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 3: Justinian’s Institutes, in effect the built in textbook for Corpus Juris Civilis:

    ____________

    http://legacy.fordham.edu/hals.....0and%20Law

    >> Book I. Of Persons

    I. Justice and Law.

    JUSTICE is the constant and perpetual wish to render every one his due.

    [–> thus in the civil peace of justice ideally rights, freedoms and responsibilities or duties stand in perfect balance and harmony. It is the civil peace of justice the state defends and draws its legitimacy in law from.]

    1. Jurisprudence is the knowledge of things divine and human; the science of the just and the unjust.

    [–> This implies that justice is an issue of what ought to be thus the grounds of ought require addressing. The only serious candidate is to ground ought is the inherently good Creator God, a necessary and maximally great being worthy of ultimate loyalty and the reasonable service of doing the good as is evident from our nature.]

    2. Having explained these general terms, we think we shall commence our exposition of the law of the Roman people most advantageously, if we pursue at first a plain and easy path, and then proceed to explain particular details with the utmost care and exactness. For, if at the outset we overload the mind of the student, while yet new to the subject and unable to bear much, with a multitude and variety of topics, one of two things will happen—we shall either cause him wholly to abandon his studies, or, after great toil, and often after great distrust to himself (the most frequent stumbling block in the way of youth), we shall at last conduct him to the point, to which, if he had been led by an easier road, he might, without great labor, and without any distrust of his own powers, have been sooner conducted.

    3. The maxims of law are these: to live honesty, to hurt no one, to give every one his due.

    [–> Cf Rom 13:8 – 10 which states the Pauline form of the Golden Rule, in the context of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and also this draws out how such core morality is evident to the man of reasonable mind who reflects as Hooker said, on the duty of others to him then reciprocates to those who are his equals in nature also being made in the image of God. So it is first evident that murder is to steal another’s life and prevents them from enjoying life and its fulfillment. Slander steals their reputation, theft of property their material basis legitimately acquired, and so forth. All of these do harm and so lie at the core of morality and justice, thence the state’s duty under God to uphold and defend the civil peace of justice.]

    4. The study of law is divided into two branches; that of public and that of private law. Public law regards the government of the Roman empire; private law, the interest of the individuals. We are now to treat of the latter, which is composed of three elements, and consists of precepts belonging to the natural law, to the law of nations, and to the civil law.

    II. Natural, Common, and Civil Law.

    The law of nature is that law which nature teaches to all animals. For this law does not belong exclusively to the human race, but belongs to all animals, whether of the earth, the air, or the water. Hence comes the union of the male and female, which we term matrimony; hence the procreation and bringing up of children. We see, indeed, that all the other animals besides men are considered as having knowledge of this law.

    1. Civil law is thus distinguished from the law of nations. Every community governed by laws and customs uses partly its own law, partly laws common to all mankind. The law which a people makes for its own government belongs exclusively to that state and is called the civil law, as being the law of the particular state. But the law which natural reason appoints for all mankind obtains equally among all nations, because all nations make use of it. The people of Rome, then, are governed partly by their own laws, and partly by the laws which are common to all mankind. We will take notice of this distinction as occasion may arise.

    2. Civil law takes its name from the state which it governs, as, for instance, from Athens; for it would be very proper to speak of the laws of Solon or Draco as the civil law of Athens. And thus the law which the Roman people make use of is called the civil law of the Romans, or that of the Quirites; for the Romans are called Quirites from Quirinum. But whenever we speak of civil law, without adding the name of any state, we mean our own law; just as the Greeks, when “the poet” is spoken of without any name being expressed, mean the great Homer, and we Romans mean Virgil.

    The law of the nations is common to all mankind, for nations have established certain laws, as occasion and the necessities of human life required. Wars arose, and in their train followed captivity and then slavery, which is contrary to the law of nature; for by that law all men are originally born free. Further, by the law of nations almost all contracts were at first introduced, as, for instance, buying and selling, letting and hiring, partnership, deposits, loans returnable in kind, and very many others.

    3. Our law is written and unwritten, just as among the Greeks some of their laws were written and others were not written. The written part consists of leges (lex), plebiscita, senatusconsulta, constitutiones of emperors, edicta of magistrates, and responsa of jurisprudents [i.e., jurists] . . . >>
    ____________

    This was a C6 synthesis and pruning of nigh on 1,000 years of Roman jurisprudence, and what is cited are the opening words of in effect the built in textbook.

    The same, that Blackstone cited the maxims from, above.

    The thoughts on core maxims, law of nature and law of nations is particularly instructive.

    KF

  73. 73
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I have pointed out that there are two polar opposite state conditions, defined here by the variables on state power in the community, framework of law and type of leadership.

    You say there are two polar opposites, which is a one dimensional analysis, but define three dimensions.

    kairosfocus: I am sure you recognise that the three variables given are sufficiently distinct that they can materially vary separately.

    No. As they all have anarchy at one end, they are clearly not independent. We provided an example of a two dimensional spectrum, including examples to show how the two dimensions are independent. We also suggested a revision that might make your analysis more sensible.

    There are many ways to gauge political philosophy, but yours is problematic. Nor does having your own idiosyncratic analysis mean that the standard left-right dichotomy is no longer applicable. The terms are used in everyday language, and in scholarly discourse. Suggesting a different analysis doesn’t make the standard dichotomy go away, or change what people mean when they use the terms.

  74. 74
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N 4: Paul on naturally evident moral law:

    Rom 2:13 . . . it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus . . .

    This is of course the background context for Paul’s expression of the GR i/l/o the no harm neighbour love principle in the context of citizenship — the same passage that seems to lurk behind Alfred’s remarks in his Book of Dooms:

    Rom 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    In short, at the heart of the Judaeo-Christian moral-legal-citizenship tradition, is the concept that there is a naturally evident intelligible moral code in our hearts that is underscored by the witness of conscience.

    So, the Christian expects that core morality and justice can be sufficiently elucidated by the reasonable and well-thinking person so that in cultures and communities there will be a strong witness to the right. Even, when the right is not consistently done.

    And from that, there is room for calling the community to reformation as a reasonable and evidently right thing to do in the light of our nature as morally governed creatures.

    However, wrong can become entrenched in the community and it can be difficult indeed to reform it. Especially when men become warped in their thinking, hearts and consciences. Especially, when money and worldly advance or passionate lusts and addictive or habituating pleasures are involved. That is, we must beware of the ways wrong warps our thoughts and benumbs our consciences.

    So, we see Jesus warning in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount — the lodestar of Judaeo-Christian moral thought:

    Matt 6:19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust[e] destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

    24 “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.[f]

    And Paul likewise counsels:

    Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

    John is plain on one of our favourite indulgences, hate:

    1 Jn 3:11 For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12 We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, brothers,[c] that the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

    So, when it is snidely suggested that someone who takes the Bible seriously is a menace to the community, we can instantly see how warped such thinking is.

    Yes, professing Christians struggle with the warping and entangling effects like sin and it is always hard to walk in the way of virtue, but the truth is that the Christian Faith is a staunch friend of natural justice.

    No wonder, the Judaeo-Christian tradition made major and costly contributions to the rise of limited, just, constitutional democratic government rooted in the dual covenant view of blessed nationhood and good government under God.

    It is time for fresh thinking.

    KF

  75. 75
    Mung says:

    Carpathian: Anyone who believes either set of statements is literally true is a fundamentalist, regardless of which set he chooses.

    Anyone who does this is a possible danger to himself or others.

    Which of your holy books did you get that from? Yes, you’re a danger. Mostly to yourself, but that could change at any moment.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, is the earth a linear 1-D entity or a 3-d one? Does or does it not have opposite N and S poles separated by its orbital axis, a diameter? Patently, it does. Likewise a simple glance at the cubical graphic element in the OP will suffice to show why the vortex of tyranny and the SON anarchy are polar opposites. (Go take up a common die or the like and hold it and spin it on an axis through opposite corners.) Likewise it was already pointed out to you that absence of state power, absence of law in a community and absence of leadership are distinct characteristics that when met together in a state of nature or disintegration and chaos etc are properly and jointly characteristic of anarchy. But we can also have two but not the third, or one and not the other two. KF

  77. 77
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Likewise it was already pointed out to you

    So it’s a sphere, not a cube? It only takes two coordinates to specify any point on the Earth’s surface.

    kairosfocus: Likewise it was already pointed out to you …

    You claimed they were independent variables, but because they all have anarchy at one end, they clearly are not.

    kairosfocus: Likewise it was already pointed out to you that absence of state power, absence of law in a community and absence of leadership are distinct characteristics that when met together in a state of nature or disintegration and chaos etc are properly and jointly characteristic of anarchy.

    But according to the diagram, any of the three dimensions can be set to anarchy, regardless of the settings of the other two dimensions; hence, they are not independent variables. We suggested a way to make it coherent, but you don’t have your listening ears on.

  78. 78
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, the first response just now shows you are likely not serious. I simply suggest you read Locke on the state of nature. KF

  79. 79
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I simply suggest you read Locke on the state of nature.

    Locke doesn’t salvage your cubic analysis, or support your claim about the left-right dichotomy.
    Zachriel @6

  80. 80
    Robert Byers says:

    Kairofocus
    That was a great, unknown to me, statement by the Dutch leader.
    Its so great true. The French rev was only about nature unrelated to God. the other revolutions were based on God and then nature from that.
    today our supreme courts reject the law of God but , illegally, insert only the law of nature and then make decisions about right and wrong that excludes the peoples will.
    The american constitution was made under gods laws. not under a nature with vague laws.
    This must be the claim of free men acting onbehalf of settled government and contracts.
    That we have rights because of God/creator giving it to humans. Then the rest is our contracts between ourselves.
    The modrern courts do not include the option that god said no to this or that or didn’t say yes.
    The gay marriage decisions are case in point.
    Is america, Canada, under the creators laws , called natural laws, or are we under natural laws from nature without a creator??
    thats the final contention in our government these days. Not mere errors in interpretation.
    Who is the final boss?

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    ED Note: I have updated the image in the OP, to incorporate a degree of state power, fair-minded Govt meant to capture things like a monarchy that seeks to follow a corpus of law that guides (as opposed to constitutionally limits on a bill of rights etc) state power in interests of justice. Also present is an explicit reference to state of nature in the anarchic cases, and a clip from Magna Carta has been added. KF

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, your collective has patently never sought to understand, only to find a hook for pre-determined dismissal. If you cannot understand that statepower degree, lawfulness and leadership are distinct and help us understand state processes and influence factors, or that a state of nature/anarchy is a polar opposite to an autocratic or ologarchic, rule by decree might makes right absolute state, I cannot help you. Perhaps phrasing can be different but surely a leadership vacuum, or absence/disappearance of law in an area or absence of a state –including its extinction, can be conceived and each is distinct from the other two. KF

    PS: It takes two co-ords to specify points on earth’s surface because it is implicitly understood to be in the surface of a 3-d entity. And in any case the point for fairly simple state models is that one tries to capture essential features in 1, 2 or 3 spatial dimensions and to identify change influences and impacts across time. Multidimensional vector-matrix models are beyond simple spatial representation and the algebra is notoriously abstruse. Complex block diagrams, again, are just that.

  83. 83
    kairosfocus says:

    RB, you raise sobering issues, and Kuyper was a great statesman and thinker, well worth studying. The 1898 L P Stone Lectures on Calvinism [and the state] will repay reading to this day. Even, if you are not a Calvinist — and, this I know as I am not. KF

  84. 84
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: The counsel of King Lemuel’s mother:

    Prov 31:1 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

    2
    What are you doing, my son?[a] What are you doing, son of my womb?
    What are you doing, son of my vows?
    3
    Do not give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who destroy kings.
    4
    It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
    5
    lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
    and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
    6
    Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
    and wine to those in bitter distress;[b]
    7
    let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.
    8
    Open your mouth for the mute,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.[c]
    9
    Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

    The fair-minded, God-fearing ruler, idealised.

    KF

  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    ED/N: Further u/d of image to use anarchic. KF

  86. 86
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: It is worth reminding ourselves of Plato’s warning on one way to bad gov’t in The Laws Bk X, 2350 years ago:

    Ath. . . .[The avant garde philosophers and poets, c. 360 BC] say that fire and water, and earth and air [i.e the classical “material” elements of the cosmos], all exist by nature and chance, and none of them by art . . . [such that] all that is in the heaven, as well as animals and all plants, and all the seasons come from these elements, not by the action of mind, as they say, or of any God, or from art, but as I was saying, by nature and chance only [ –> that is, evolutionary materialism is ancient and would trace all things to blind chance and mechanical necessity] . . . .

    [Thus, they hold] that the principles of justice have no existence at all in nature, but that mankind are always disputing about them and altering them; and that the alterations which are made by art and by law have no basis in nature, but are of authority for the moment and at the time at which they are made.-

    [ –> Relativism, too, is not new; complete with its radical amorality rooted in a worldview that has no foundational IS that can ground OUGHT, leading to an effectively arbitrary foundation only for morality, ethics and law: accident of personal preference, the ebbs and flows of power politics, accidents of history and and the shifting sands of manipulated community opinion driven by “winds and waves of doctrine and the cunning craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming . . . ” cf a video on Plato’s parable of the cave; from the perspective of pondering who set up the manipulative shadow-shows, why.]

    These, my friends, are the sayings of wise men, poets and prose writers, which find a way into the minds of youth. They are told by them that the highest right is might,

    [ –> Evolutionary materialism — having no IS that can properly ground OUGHT — leads to the promotion of amorality on which the only basis for “OUGHT” is seen to be might (and manipulation: might in “spin”) . . . ]

    and in this way the young fall into impieties, under the idea that the Gods are not such as the law bids them imagine; and hence arise factions [ –> Evolutionary materialism-motivated amorality “naturally” leads to continual contentions and power struggles influenced by that amorality at the hands of ruthless power hungry nihilistic agendas], these philosophers inviting them to lead a true life according to nature, that is,to live in real dominion over others [ –> such amoral and/or nihilistic factions, if they gain power, “naturally” tend towards ruthless abuse and arbitrariness . . . they have not learned the habits nor accepted the principles of mutual respect, justice, fairness and keeping the civil peace of justice, so they will want to deceive, manipulate and crush — as the consistent history of radical revolutions over the past 250 years so plainly shows again and again], and not in legal subjection to them.

    Food for thought. KF

  87. 87
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: If you cannot understand that statepower degree, lawfulness and leadership are distinct

    We understand they can be possibly defined as so, but your own formulation apparently doesn’t. We’ve asked specific questions about your cubic analysis, but you have yet to answer those questions; such as, provide an example for each of the eight corners of the cube. Nor have you answered simple objections, such as, your own analysis doesn’t preclude the standard left-right dichotomy.

  88. 88
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: If you cannot understand that statepower degree, lawfulness and leadership are distinct

    We understand they can be possibly defined as so, but your own formulation apparently doesn’t. We’ve asked specific questions about your cubic analysis, but you have yet to answer those questions; such as, provide an example for each of the eight corners of the cube. Nor have you answered simple objections, such as, your own analysis doesn’t preclude the standard egalitarian-hierarchical, left-right dichotomy.


    edited for clarity

  89. 89
    Zachriel says:

    Odd bug. Edit created a duplicate. Sorry.

  90. 90
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, Orthogonal spatial axes in a coordinate system are a well known commonly used way to differentiate distinct dimensions/variables in a state space. And, to try to clarify any reasonable puzzlement that the three SMALL CAPPED characterising model variables are being addressed on ordinal scales, as opposed to the repeller pole, wording has been amended to read “anarchic/SoN” for each distinct variable: no state, no prevailing law, no prevailing recognised leadership de jure or de facto respectively. In any case, the intent in context should long since have been reasonably clear. KF

    PS: The widespread and usually unacknowledged failure of the “standard” left wing right wing rhetoric and linked discourse . . . leading to the inability — over several decades — of the process to recognise the true nature of fascism as a form of socialism, and to refusal to appropriately assign such to the left . . . utterly discredits the discourse as a whole. Worse, that is in the teeth of the inconvenient fact that one of the major cases, Nazism, was a party bearing the name: National SOCIALIST German WORKERS Party, as in, big clue. That process is therefore at an end, and it is time to begin to look in a more fundamentally dynamic way at states, governance, stability and liberty under just law.

    PPS: It is reasonable to expect that a major critical commenter in a thread will at minimum actually read and specifically respond to the OP and evidence it presents.

  91. 91
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Orthogonal spatial axes in a coordinate system are a well known commonly used way to differentiate distinct dimensions/variables in a state space.

    That doesn’t answer the objections; nor have you provided examples for each corner, as requested; nor have you successfully defended your claim that the standard egalitarian-hierarchical left-right is “busted”.

    kairosfocus: to try to clarify any reasonable puzzlement that the three SMALL CAPPED characterising model variables are being addressed on ordinal scales, as opposed to the repeller pole, wording has been amended to read “anarchic/SoN” for each distinct variable

    If the dimensions were reasonably independent, then we can have absolute state power while also having the lawfulness scale at either end, but the lawfulness scale goes from arbitrary to anarchy/state-of-nature. If the scale went from arbitrary to rigidly legalistic, then it would sort of make sense. We could then have an autocrat who is arbitrary, or an autocrat who presides over a rigid legal code; but even that doesn’t quite work, because in a system with a rigid legal code, the autocrat doesn’t have power, the law does.

    Not sure if your cubic analysis can be salvaged.

  92. 92
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel,

    you are simply trying to give the impression of a successful objection by repeating an adequately answered objection.

    The issues of state power, law and leadership are distinct and capture a good part of government, enough to strongly distinguish, describe, watch transitions and explore driving forces. I thought that having orthogonal axes and labels would be enough to set a focal context for ordinal scales on state for the three dimensions, but it seems it should be helpful to specify anarchic as outlined: no state, no prevailing frame of law, no prevailing leadership. When all three are present full anarchic chaos or state of nature obtains. It repels communities to find order, too often at the cost of freedom, hence the opposite pole, the vortex of tyranny. And vortex it is as it draws communities in and is then very hard to break out of.

    I suggest, it is for instance possible to have absolute state power and a no law situation, temporarily, as part of chaos. Soon, rule by decree will take over as the autocrat imposes an apparatus of intimidation and control.

    Similarly, an autocrat may see an existing legal code, whether cumulative corpus or a dying democratic constitution and frame of laws. Pull a Reichstag fire and get an enabling act — dictatorship for a time of emergency has been recognised in Roman Law. Organise your Gestapo and set up a few show trials before “People’s tribunals” for alleged traitors and hidden criminals, leading to “work makes free” camps in your friendly local gulag archipelago or firing squads or guillotines i.e. a reign of terror. Presto, the legal system is undermined and rule by decree established.

    Remember, some situations will be extremely unstable and dynamic with a strong tendency to head to the vortex of tyranny.

    KF

  93. 93
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: you are simply trying to give the impression of a successful objection by repeating an adequately answered objection.

    If you had answered the objections, then that might be true, but you haven’t. The three dimensions aren’t independent as they all include anarchy; you can’t provide examples of the eight corners; and you can’t explain what this has to do with the standard left-right dichotomy being “broken”.

    kairosfocus: I suggest, it is for instance possible to have absolute state power and a no law situation, temporarily, as part of chaos.

    You can have absolute state power with no law if you have an absolute state which rules by whim. This is your lawfulness dimension, which should move from rigid to arbitrary, not arbitrary to anarchy.

    kairosfocus: When all three are present full anarchic chaos or state of nature obtains.

    But your cubic analysis indicates anarchy whenever any of the three dimensions is on one pole.

  94. 94
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, I adjusted the previous answer to take up suggestive cases. I must ask if you know the history of the French, Russian, Nazi or Cuban power takeovers? Why is it commonly said that the revolution eats its children? Why do revolutions commonly end in dictatorship? KF

    PS: I have taken time to clarify exactly what the states on each axis at the anarchic end relate to, and pointed out that anarchy overall has no state so no state power, no prevailing law and no prevailing leadership. I thought maybe using anarch-IC would help and — as notified — adjusted the diagram above in the OP. Please look.

  95. 95
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: Why is it commonly said that the revolution eats its children? Why do revolutions commonly end in dictatorship?

    Because once you break the complex of relationships that make up a stable society, it leads to an unstable situation. If you add extremism (ends justify the means) to the mix, then it almost inevitably ends in disaster. The American colonies were fortunate as they maintained working governments during their revolution. Even then, they eventually ended up in civil war.

    Now, try to respond to the objections.

  96. 96
    kairosfocus says:

    Z, I showed exactly how the revolution eats its children, and how you can temporarily have breakdown of law, and the presence of an autocrat. He will predictably impose rule by decree and the apparatus of terror to put “order” in place. And BTW that is one way warlordism emerges and creates a network of mini tyrannies. Some years ago Jamaica had a brief civil war with a druggie funded warlord established in W Kingston, though it was not stated in those terms in the newspapers. KF

  97. 97
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I showed exactly how the revolution eats its children, and how you can temporarily have breakdown of law, and the presence of an autocrat.

    That doesn’t justify your cubic analysis, or answer the objections raised. For instance, if we have a dimension left-right as egalitarian-hierarchical, and a second dimension libertarian-authoritarian, we might have this:

    left-authoritarian; Stalin
    left-libertarian; hippie commune
    right-authoritarian; Pinochet
    right-libertarian; the American Wild West

    While no simple dichotomy can capture all the subtleties and exceptions, this spectrum still provides a reasonable and coherent general classification. Note that the two dimensions are largely independent.

  98. 98
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, I gave an example or two, sufficient to show the realism, not only of corner but mid point. Two corners are already major features of the framework as discussed. I also took time to note that the top face is no leadership (which may happen by crisis or decapitation/assassination etc) and the bottom, autocratic leadership — which can worm its way into any situation and pull towards tyranny. I think that sufficient for a reasonable person with some historical familiarity — familiarity with reasonable novels may even be enough. KF

  99. 99
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, I repeat, the decades long failure to properly address fascism utterly discredits the usual L/R f/w. If you lack the historical awareness to see what lies behind what I have done — or are unwilling to use it, I cannot help you. KF

  100. 100
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I gave an example or two, sufficient to show the realism, not only of corner but mid point.

    Two examples doesn’t chart a three-dimensional matrix. It doesn’t even illustrate a two-dimensional matrix. And you ignored the other objections, as well.

    kairosfocus: the decades long failure to properly address fascism utterly discredits the usual L/R

    If we define left-right conventionally as egalitarian-hierarchical, then fascism is clearly on the right, “an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization”.
    http://www.oxforddictionaries......sh/fascism

    That you prefer some other type of analysis doesn’t change what others mean by the terms.

  101. 101
    Carpathian says:

    mike1962:

    mike1962: Carpathian,
    Is that evident in the same way that murdering your neighbor is wrong is evident?

    Carpathian: Good question.

    A good answer would come from the Sunni and Shiite neighbors killing each other in Iraq or the Roman Catholic and Protestant neighbors killing each other in Northern Ireland.

    mike1962: No. I’m asking you.

    It is not evident to me, or to the Shiites and Sunnis, or to the Christians on both sides of the American Civil War, or to the Christians, Muslims and Buddhists on all sides of WWII, that murdering your neighbor is wrong.

    If my neighbor tries to kill me and I defend myself I might find myself charged with murder or not charged with any crime, depending on whether it happened in New York State or Texas, or whether a state has a stand your ground law, or whether the DA decides not to prosecute, etc.

    You might want to rephrase your question because as it stands, it has less to do with morality than it does with reality and legality.

  102. 102
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Which of your holy books did you get that from? Yes, you’re a danger. Mostly to yourself, but that could change at any moment.

    Anyone who believes their holy book is literal is no longer thinking for themselves.

    A world-wide flood as described in the Noah’s Flood story, never happened.

    Anyone who believes it did should not be in government making laws.

  103. 103
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian, you need to look again at what you have been putting on the table. KF

    You need to read what I write before you respond.

  104. 104
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Carpathian: There is no need for religion or philosophy at all when making laws.

    Silver Asiatic: Why does there need to be laws or government? Why should people be forced to obey laws they don’t like? Why does the government have authority to make and enforce laws?

    The government gets its authority from the governed.

    There is no need for a religious or philosophical basis to government when its sole purpose is ensure peace and fairness.

    While your need for peace may be religiously based, mine isn’t and that’s okay if we can both agree that laws are necessary in a practical sense.

    In my case, I would like to see a law that ensures all religions the right to practice their own faith without government intrusion due to the beliefs of a politician whose legislation is based on one specific religion.

    This is not a philosophical idea but rather a practical one in order to avoid religious wars.

  105. 105
    Virgil Cain says:

    Anyone who accepts evolutionism is not thinking.

    Evolutionism’s tales of life never happened.

    Anyone who believes in it should not be in any position that affects other people.

  106. 106
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    You seem to be fixated on dismissing biblical literalism on little more than dismissive stereotypical quips, but don’t come across as having seriously grappled with the core warrant behind the gospel and that for the broader Judaeo-Christian ethical theistic worldview on a comparative difficulties basis. I think you would be well advised to address the truth and life issues here on, starting with the video: http://vimeo.com/17960119 . I think the worldview warrant issues here on may help you also.

    KF

  107. 107
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, I gave enough for a reasonable person with some background or willing to do a bit of reading and reflection, to see the force of what I had to say. The Reichstag fire incident and its aftermath would go a long way for that. That is all I need to do here. The key utility of the framework lies elsewhere in any case, and I am confident the framework is good for purpose, having already checked it against a fair cross section of history. All I will say on the common portrayal of fascism as right wing, sustained for decades in the teeth of clear evidence, it discredits the l/r framework that seems to depend so much on it and on the rhetoric of “equality,” in a context where the real equality is long since addressed in say the US DoI 1776: all men are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights . . .” As for socialism, the verdict on reasonably free markets [as opposed to crony kleptocracies extracting rents through political connexions] vs central planning and de facto state ownership by control is long since in. Markets work, central planning fails, and von Mises saw why back in the 1930’s and 30’s: inability to solve the vastly distributed, dyanamic and hard to quantify planing challenge to do the equivalent of what a loosely coped network of planers in households and firms interacting through markets demonstrably readily do. Even the Communists in China know that. Socialism, too, is dead. The real issue is to deal with market limitations and failures [including those of the environment], and to find ways to solve key welfare problems without crippling the market and innovation based on government getting out of hand. KF

  108. 108
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    There is no need for a religious or philosophical basis to government when its sole purpose is ensure peace and fairness.

    But that is not the sole purpose of many governments on earth today. The reason we have different governments is because they start with different philosophical and religious convictions.

    While your need for peace may be religiously based, mine isn’t and that’s okay if we can both agree that laws are necessary in a practical sense.

    It’s not ok if the reason you make laws has nothing to do with philosophy and religion. You could make up any law you want for any reason you want. With a philosophical and religious basis, we can know the purpose for human life and therefore the purpose for the laws.

    In my case, I would like to see a law that ensures all religions the right to practice their own faith without government intrusion due to the beliefs of a politician whose legislation is based on one specific religion.

    That’s fine as it is, but without philosophy, we don’t have any way to understand what you’re saying. Why should all religions have a right? What if one religion is false and the other is true? Why should false religions have a right to be spread through society, causing harm to people (even only by getting them to believe something that is false)? Shouldn’t a good government protect the truth and not allow falsehood?

    This is not a philosophical idea but rather a practical one in order to avoid religious wars.

    The difficult thing about practical ideas that don’t have philosophical reasons to support them, is that conditions can change. In this case, you want to prevent religious wars. Are all religious wars bad? Should we take every means possible to prevent them? What should we do to people who try to create religious wars, or who are actually waging religious war now? Should we stop the war, or just let it keep going?

    These all require some philosophical ideas to deal with the issues.

  109. 109
    Zachriel says:

    kairosfocus: I gave enough for a reasonable person with some background or willing to do a bit of reading and reflection, to see the force of what I had to say.

    None of your latest comment comes close to forming a response to the points that were raised. We could repeat them again, but you would surely ignore them again.

  110. 110
    kairosfocus says:

    Zachriel, I simply repeat that enough has long since been said for the reasonable person. I simply repeat that the upper plane is one of no leadership and the lower, autocratic leadership and just above oligarchy. Once there is no leadership in a populated region, there will be natural forces to move away from an anarchic condition, and absent strong controls, that will tend to the strong man to restore order. Autocratic leadership, unless checked has a notorious tendency, with the Reichstag bearing the words, the German People a-burning being only the most notorious recent case. And, that patently implies the corners immediately. The top rear right one is just where the repelling tendency is strongest and the bottom left front where the tendency to go downhill so to speak reaches the lowest point. As for the left-right spectrum if the supporters have a sustained problem with identifying the proper locus of the national socialist german workers party, then that discredits it, rhetoric about standing for equality notwithstanding. On the performance of state dominated and controlled economies, the verdict has been in for decades — markets are far superior; if you doubt ask why Communist ruled China has a stock exchange. The big message is that good govt, though sustainable, has to be actively supported in adequate ways . . . something that has been undermined for decades if not generations, often in the name of progress. Well, there is a natural trend of progress . . . downhill to tyranny. And that is a key message of the model, implying that at all times the people need to be well aware of the grounds of limited government accountable before the public, sustaining justice as a balance of rights, freedoms and responsibilities and with judicious leadership. In turn raising the issue of the grounding of moral government and the only serious answer to the IS-OUGHT gap. An answer that, notoriously progressivists in our time despise, loathe and fear to the point of systematically distorting the history of the rise of modern liberty and democracy. KF

  111. 111
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Food for thought on balancing issues/questions re history: https://www.nas.org/articles/2015_apush_misses_the_reasons_america_is_exceptional (I do not need to endorse a slate of points to note that significant concerns are raised relevant to the focus of this thread.) KF

  112. 112
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I have added a link on the pivotal battle of Tours:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/.....nd-ibrahim

    _______________

    >>on October 10, in the year 732, one of history’s most decisive battles took place, demarcating the extent of Islam’s western conquests and ensuring the survival of the West. Prior to this, the Islamic conquerors had for a full century been subjugating all the peoples and territories standing in their western march — including Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco. In 711, the Muslims made their fateful crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar, landing on European soil. Upon disembarking, the leader of the Muslims, Tariq bin Ziyad, ordered their fleet burned, explaining, “We have not come here to return. Either we conquer and establish ourselves here, or we perish.” This famous Tariq anecdote — often recalled by modern jihadis — highlights the jihadi nature of the Umayyad caliphate (661–750), the superpower of its day. Indeed, as most historians have acknowledged, the Umayyad caliphate was the jihadi state par excellence. Its very existence was coterminous with its conquests. Its legitimacy as “viceroy” of Allah was based on subjugating lands in his name. Once the Muslims were on European soil, the depredations continued unabated. Writes one Arab chronicler regarding the Muslims’ northern advance past the Pyrenees: “Full of wrath and pride,” the Muslims “went through all places like a desolating storm. Prosperity made those warriors insatiable. . . . Everything gave way to their scimitars, the robbers of lives.” Even in far-off England, a contemporary, the anchorite known as the Venerable Bede, wrote, “A plague of Saracens wrought wretched devastation and slaughter upon Gaul.” . . . .

    “Alas,” exclaimed the Franks, “what a misfortune! What an indignity! We have long heard of the name and conquests of the Arabs; we were apprehensive of their attack from the East [the Siege of Byzantium, 717-718]: they have now conquered Spain, and invade our country on the side of the West.” Conversely, the Muslims, flush with a century’s worth of victories, seem to have had an ambivalent view, at best, regarding Frankish mettle. When asked about the Franks some years before the Battle of Tours, the then-emir of Spain, Musa, replied: “They are a folk right numerous, and full of might: brave and impetuous in the attack, but cowardly and craven in the event of defeat. Never has a company from my army been beaten.” If this view betrayed overconfidence, Musa’s successor, Abd al-Rahman (“Slave to the Merciful”), exhibited even greater haughtiness regarding those whom he was about to engage in battle. At the head of some 80,000 Muslims, primarily mounted Moors, Rahman was greatly motivated in his destructive northward march into the heart of France by rumors of more riches for the taking, particularly at the Basilica of St. Martin of Tours. Rahman initially separated his army into several divisions to better ensure the plunder of Gaul. Writes Isidore, author of the Chronicle of 754: “[Rahman] destroyed palaces, burned churches, and imagined he could pillage the basilica of St. Martin of Tours. It is then that he found himself face to face with the lord of Austrasia, Charles, a mighty warrior from his youth, and trained in all the occasions of arms.” Indeed, unbeknownst to the Muslims, the battle-hardened Frankish ruler, Charles, aware of their intentions, had begun rallying his liegemen to his standard. Having risen to power in France in 717 — the same year a mammoth Muslim army was laying siege to Byzantium — Charles appreciated the significance of the Islamic threat. Accordingly, he intercepted the invaders somewhere between Poitiers and Tours . . . .

    Writes an anonymous Arab chronicler: “Near the river Owar [Loire], the two great hosts of the two languages and the two creeds [Islam and Christianity] were set in array against each other. The hearts of Abd al-Rahman, his captains, and his men were filled with wrath and pride, and they were the first to begin to fight. The Muslim horsemen dashed fierce and frequent forward against the battalions of the Franks, who resisted manfully, and many fell dead on either side, until the going down of the sun.” According to the Chronicle of 754, much of which was composed from eyewitness accounts, “The men of the north stood as motionless as a wall, they were like a belt of ice frozen together, and not to be dissolved, as they slew the Arab with the sword. The Austrasians [Franks], vast of limb, and iron of hand, hewed on bravely in the thick of the fight; it was they who found and cut down the Saracens’ king [Rahman].” Military historian Victor Davis Hanson writes: “When the sources speak of ‘a wall,’ ‘a mass of ice,’ and ‘immovable lines’ of infantrymen, we should imagine a literal human rampart, nearly invulnerable, with locked shields in front of armored bodies, weapons extended to catch the underbellies of any Islamic horsemen foolish enough to hit the Franks at a gallop.” As night fell, the Muslims and Christians disengaged and withdrew to their tents. With the coming of dawn, the Franks discovered that the Muslims, perhaps seized with panic because their emir was dead, had fled south during the night — still looting, burning, and plundering all and sundry as they went. Hanson offers a realistic picture of the aftermath: “Poitiers [or Tours] was, as all cavalry battles, a gory mess, strewn with thousands of wounded or dying horses, abandoned plunder, and dead and wounded Arabs . . . >>
    ______________

    One of the turning points of history.

    KF

  113. 113
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Carpathian: In my case, I would like to see a law that ensures all religions the right to practice their own faith without government intrusion due to the beliefs of a politician whose legislation is based on one specific religion.

    Silver Asiatic: That’s fine as it is, but without philosophy, we don’t have any way to understand what you’re saying. Why should all religions have a right? What if one religion is false and the other is true? Why should false religions have a right to be spread through society, causing harm to people (even only by getting them to believe something that is false)? Shouldn’t a good government protect the truth and not allow falsehood?

    The reason they must all have a right is because humans are fallible creatures.

    To say that we suddenly become infallible when it comes to religion doesn’t sound plausible.

    This also means that all religions may have gotten something right.

    It follows from this that since we are not infallible and all religions get at least something right then it is by looking at all religions that will get us closer to the answers people are looking for.

    Silver Asiatic: Why should false religions have a right to be spread through society, causing harm to people (even only by getting them to believe something that is false)?

    You have to understand that for millions of people, it is your religion that may be false, whatever that religion may be.

    That is why every religion should have equal rights to speak but none of them should have a right to govern.

    As far as laws go, there is no need for example, to look at the philosophical position in deciding whether a traffic light is required at an intersection.

    If you start looking at all laws, you will find that none that apply to everyone require a philosophical component.

    This is why I rule out philosophy as a basis for law-making since the the type of laws government should be restricted to don’t require it.

  114. 114
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Impact of the battle of Tours:

    http://www.history.com/this-da.....e-of-tours

    >>At the Battle of Tours near Poitiers, France, Frankish leader Charles Martel, a Christian, defeats a large army of Spanish Moors, halting the Muslim advance into Western Europe. Abd-ar-Rahman, the Muslim governor of Cordoba, was killed in the fighting, and the Moors retreated from Gaul, never to return in such force.

    Charles was the illegitimate son of Pepin, the powerful mayor of the palace of Austrasia and effective ruler of the Frankish kingdom. After Pepin died in 714 (with no surviving legitimate sons), Charles beat out Pepin’s three grandsons in a power struggle and became mayor of the Franks. He expanded the Frankish territory under his control and in 732 repulsed an onslaught by the Muslims.

    Victory at Tours ensured the ruling dynasty of Martel’s family, the Carolingians. His son Pepin became the first Carolingian king of the Franks, and his grandson Charlemagne carved out a vast empire that stretched across Europe.>>

    Still felt today.

    KF

  115. 115
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    You seem to be fixated on dismissing biblical literalism on little more than dismissive stereotypical quips, but don’t come across as having seriously grappled with the core warrant behind the gospel and that for the broader Judaeo-Christian ethical theistic worldview on a comparative difficulties basis.

    My problem is with fundamentalism in government.

    If a politician believes in a literal Bible he will be biased against a literal Koran.

    That will become a big problem when the situations reverse.

    We in the West will end up in the same sort of problems as we see in the Shiite/Sunni power struggle.

    Governments should make sure the lights stay turned on, the roads are paved and no one gets treated differently because of his skin color, gender or religious beliefs.

    We wouldn’t allow leaders to make legislation with a racial bias so why would we allow a religious bias in government?

  116. 116
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    To say that we suddenly become infallible when it comes to religion doesn’t sound plausible.

    Strawman, linked to major question begging about the nature of reality.

    No one in the Judaeo-Christian tradition claims humans are ever infallible in themselves.

    But once God is there, God both will be good, true and able to communicate, which is a very different proposition.

    So the real issue is, is God there and how can we confidently know that, which is philosophical [we here speak of truth, knowledge, warrant, logic and knowledge and grounds of same] before it is ever theological.

    A general discussion of the foundational issues at 101 level is here on, as you have been pointed to but have doubtless dismissed: http://nicenesystheol.blogspot.....u2_bld_wvu

    Next, on the credible reality of God, a useful point is the slice that appears in the OP above, which just happens to set the matter in the context of justice:

    . . . believing in God as the champion of Justice who endowed people with his image and so also responsible, rational, morally governed freedom and rights is not a sure mark of intent to impose tyrannical theocracy. Instead, it reflects a key insight on the nature and roots of a world in which there are responsibly free, reasoning, morally governed creatures. That is, that in such a world as we inhabit, justice, rights, duties and other moral OUGHTs must be rooted in a world-foundational IS.

    For, non-being (the real no-thing) can have no causal powers so if utter nothing ever was, such would forever obtain. Thus — as a world now patently is — there was always a necessary being, one which cannot not be, as the very root of reality in any actual world. Moreover, such will forever obtain, by virtue of that necessity of being and so also, some world shall always be.Our temporal world entails an underlying eternal, necessary being reality as its ground.

    In such a context, finding ourselves under moral government, we will find that the only serious candidate necessary being and credible explanation for such a world, is that that necessary being, eternal IS is the root of OUGHT. Namely, a necessary, maximally great inherently good Creator-God worthy of ultimate loyalty and the responsible, freely offered reasonable — not irrational, ignorant or superstitious! — service of doing the good as enlightened in the first instance by our evident nature.

    And so, morality is an inextricable part of the core fabric of reality.

    So also, the laws of nature and of nature’s God that govern us.

    The real question (as is posed in the epochal second para of the US DoI) is whether we are willing to acknowledge and live by such self-evident truths, or will instead insist on clinging to the absurdities attendant on rejecting them, to our detriment and the ruin of our civilisation.

    In short, it is credible to acknowledge that our world points to its being a creation by the inherently good creator God.

    Then, we have not been left to the challenges of abstract speculation to learn something of that God.

    There is a prophetic tradition where men spoke of messiah to come, who would fulfill some hundreds of signs altogether, men who showed by their own lives that hey had been touched by God.

    They spoke not in their own name or claimed personal infallibility but as witnesses of the truth spoken by God.

    And, at the right time frame, someone came who fulfilled those signs, and gave the greatest sign of all, rising from the dead in accord with prophecies then 700 years old and now almost 2700 years old.

    On this, you are again invited to look here:

    http://vimeo.com/17960119

    And here is the apostle Paul, in Athens, speaking to its intellectual and cultural leadership, 50 AD:

    Ac 17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
    Paul Addresses the Areopagus

    22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]

    as even some of your own poets have said,

    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]

    29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” [–> with over 500 witnesses, not one of whom could be turned, not in the face of dungeon, fire, sword and worse]

    Those who, having learned of these things have believed and have encountered God through Christ, and having been transformed thereby stand in witness tot he power and truth of the scriptures that bear witness to him.

    And that is nothing like the strawman you set up and knocked over, ever so confident that God just is not to be taken as a serious possibility.

    I think you need to think again about your own assumptions and their foundations in light of the challenges of comparative difficulties and the challenges of the sort of history and living experience of millions across thousands of years and around the world I speak of in brief.

    And having done so, I think you need to look again at the attitude you have so often expressed regarding those you dismiss as “religious” or “fundamentalist.” Including, when you express assertions that would censor, silence, lock out of freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and ghettoise.

    Indeed, it is quite evident that those you dismiss as “fundamentalist” you imagine to be inevitably ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked.

    The evidence of this and other threads should suffice to show you that many Christians have been and are deeply educated, thoughtful, serious people. many of us are deeply committed to just, limited, democratic government, many of us over the centuries paid a heavy and sometimes terrible price to bring that heritage to us. Indeed, some of that history is literally written into my name, a part of the history of my homeland.

    That is why I am again going to speak in warning to you: the lessons of sound history were paid for in blood and tears, if we dismiss, despise or neglect them, we doom ourselves to pay the same price over and over again.

    KF

  117. 117
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    My problem is with fundamentalism in government

    Do you mean this kind of fundamentalism?

    John Adams– “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams is a signer of the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and our second President.

    Benjamin Rush–“[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be aid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments. Without religion, I believe that learning does real mischief to the morals and principles of mankind.”

    Noah Webster– “[T]he Christian religion, in its purity, is the basis, or rather the source of all genuine freedom in government. . . . and I am persuaded that no civil government of a republican form can exist and be durable in which the principles of that religion have not a controlling influence.”

    Gouverneur Morris–“For avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. The herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”

    Fisher Ames–“[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”

    John Jay–“The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”

    James Wilson–“Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is divine. . . . Far from being rivals or enemies, religion and law are twin sisters, friends, and mutual assistants. Indeed, these two sciences run into each other.”

    Robert Winthrop– “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

    George Washington–“Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”

    Benjamin Franklin– “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

    “Whereas true religion and good morals are the only solid foundations of public liberty and happiness . . . it is hereby earnestly recommended to the several States to take the most effectual measures for the encouragement thereof.”

    Thomas Jefferson–“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever; That a revolution of the wheel of fortune, a change of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by Supernatural influence! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in that event.”

    John Hancock–“Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual. … Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”

    If a politician believes in a literal Bible he will be biased against a literal Koran.

    That is an irrational statement. The Bible is not “literal.” It is the interpretation which is either literal, literalist, or subjective. (I am sure that you do not know the difference).

    That will become a big problem when the situations reverse.

    We in the West will end up in the same sort of problems as we see in the Shiite/Sunni power struggle.

    Total nonsense. The principles of slavery found in the Koran have absolutely nothing to do with the principles of freedom found in the bible.

  118. 118
    kairosfocus says:

    Steve

    This from Morris is astonishing to me, as I did not know of it:

    Gouverneur Morris–“For avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. Therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”

    To see how hard that hits the nail’s head, look at the OP esp the cube graphic.

    KF

    PS: Please email me at the usual, I am unable to reach you by email as there is something odd with Yahoo and Bell. At least that is what I see.

  119. 119
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Total nonsense. The principles of slavery found in the Koran have absolutely nothing to do with the principles of freedom found in the bible.

    Bad example.

    The Christians in the southern states could have given the slaves their freedom but didn’t.

    They could have treated them with the same respect that all human beings, such as white people in the South enjoyed, but didn’t do it.

    Christians could have led the way by example but they didn’t.

    Thomas Jefferson–“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God?

    Your quotes meant nothing to those Christians that held slaves.

    From what I have seen, every holy book has great passages when taken metaphorically and yet they all fail when they are taken literally.

    The one common denominator of all these religions is people.

    If you are a “good” person, it doesn’t seem to matter what your religion is.

    If you are a “bad” person, you will interpret your religion in a way to justify your actions as being “good”.

    History shows that religions function as political powers.

  120. 120
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Carpathian: If a politician believes in a literal Bible he will be biased against a literal Koran.

    StephenB: That is an irrational statement. The Bible is not “literal.” It is the interpretation which is either literal, literalist, or subjective. (I am sure that you do not know the difference).

    Of course it is the interpretation I am talking about.

    I don’t believe anyone could not grasp this so why would I have to spell it out?

    Attacking me doesn’t help your position.

    Religion has no business in government since people, those entities that interpret the Bible and other holy books, make mistakes, i.e. errors .

  121. 121
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    The reason they must all have a right is because humans are fallible creatures.

    That’s your philosophical view. Another philosophical view could be that all humans are infallible. Another view could be that some humans are infallible and others are not.

    All of those views can be proven correct.

    To say that we suddenly become infallible when it comes to religion doesn’t sound plausible.

    You’re judging everything based on your own philosophy. A different philosophy will judge things differently.

    This also means that all religions may have gotten something right.

    If you believe this, then it’s important to find out what they got right – especially if it is necessary for the success of your own life.

    However, the key point is — who judges whether the religion got things right or not? Do you? You would have to have the authority to judge if religious teachings are right — therefore, you would have more authority than any of the prophets or teachers you are judging.

    You have to understand that for millions of people, it is your religion that may be false, whatever that religion may be.

    You’re right and I understand that. And that’s why religious dialogue is so important. Eventually, we arrive at the truth about things.

    That is why every religion should have equal rights to speak but none of them should have a right to govern.

    That doesn’t follow. Every human is infallible. But humans govern things. Just because a religion may not have all the truth, why shouldn’t it govern things also?

    As far as laws go, there is no need for example, to look at the philosophical position in deciding whether a traffic light is required at an intersection.

    A traffic light does no good if nobody needs to obey it. So, it’s the reason why they should obey that requires philosophy. How serious is the crime of running a red light? Our philosophy tells us that. It tells us how serious the crime is, what good works are, what is our purpose in life, how we should punish people, can they be corrected, and what are the most important things in life and society. Without that, we don’t know. We could execute someone for running a red light.

    If you start looking at all laws, you will find that none that apply to everyone require a philosophical component.

    You can see different laws based on different philosophies. We see that in Islamic societies, for example.

    This is why I rule out philosophy as a basis for law-making since the the type of laws government should be restricted to don’t require it.

    Government makes laws based on moral teachings. That’s why religion and a belief in God is so important.

  122. 122
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian

    Justinian’s institutes of law (the built-in textbook for Corpus Juris Civilis — a major synthesis of Roman jurisprudence that is still the background to most western law, even influencing Common Law . . . esp through the Norman contribution):

    TITLE III. OF THE LAW OF PERSONS

    In the law of persons, then, the first division is into free men and slaves.

    1 Freedom, from which men are called free, is a man’s natural power of doing what he pleases, so far as he is not prevented by force or law:

    2 slavery is an institution of the law of nations, against nature subjecting one man to the dominion of another.

    3 The name ‘slave’ is derived from the practice of generals to order the preservation and sale of captives, instead of killing them; hence they are also called mancipia, because they are taken from the enemy by the strong hand.

    4 Slaves are either born so, their mothers being slaves themselves; or they become so, and this either by the law of nations, that is to say by capture in war, or by the civil law, as when a free man, over twenty years of age, collusively allows himself to be sold in order that he may share the purchase money.

    5 The condition of all slaves is one and the same: in the conditions of free men there are many distinctions; to begin with, they are either free born, or made free . . .

    That is a picture of the law Paul faced, where to aid an escapee was to court sentence of court. And even that law from the outset immediately recognises that slavery is not a normal or desirable state.

    So, Paul faces a going concern despotism, and he acts in the only reasonable way open to him. He shows a better, heart softening, eye opening way through the gospel. A way that told decisively as the FIRST civil rights movement once a critical mass of circumstances allowed emergence of an increasingly democratic polity in the world in a civilisation.

    Now, look at how Paul acts in the face of just such an escapee, in Philemon (previously brought to your attention but ignored):

    Philemon 1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

    To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister [–> fundamental equality, bringing to bear the GR, ground of the second motto of the antislavery society: Am I not a woman and a sister?] and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

    3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Philemon’s Love and Faith

    4 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, 6 and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.[a] 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
    Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

    8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love’s sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— 10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,[b] whose father I became in my imprisonment. [–> fundamental equality, here with an escaped slave and apparently a thief also, now penitent and equal in Christ] 11 (Formerly he was useless to you [–> word play on the name, useful] , but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. [–> have a heart] 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant[c] but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. [–> Antislavery society motto: am I not a man and a brother]

    17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. [–> a direct appeal for manumission and an offer to make good losses; btw this directly contributed to the abolition of slavery]

    21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.
    Final Greetings

    23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, 24 and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.

    25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

    Nor is this all, observe 1 Cor 7:

    1 Cor 7:21 Were you a bondservant[d] when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) 22 For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. 23 You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants[e] of men.

    In short, live with what you have to but seek a better way if open to you. And freedom is so much the better that you are to avoid becoming enslaved at all possible cost.

    Yes, some tried to make the Bible teach racism, slavery etc. They did so by ignoring or distorting the whole counsel and trajectory of scripture.

    Which brings us back to the pivotal Judaeo-Christian, scroptural ethical principle as has been repeatedly pointed out to you: we are equal by nature and neighbours. Neighbour love does no harm but instead good, and fulfills justice as a result.

    The problem is, you seem locked into finding talking points to reject, dismiss, excuse hostility, censorship, locking out from freedom of expression and general ghettoising.

    That is hostile, embittered heart and closed mind.

    Please, think again.

    KF

  123. 123
    Axel says:

    KF, I’m a scion of the Carolingian dynasty (hat-tip to CM), but leaving the army as a gunner II class, I feel I might have let the side down a little. The fact of Duane Doberman having the same rank as me (private II class) and also working in the motor pool, wouldn’t, I suspect, have added much lustre to the family escutcheon.

    But anyway it’s been very plausibly stated that there was never a slave who did not have a king among his forefathers, not any king, who did not have a slave among his forefathers. You go, Charles! as the Americans say. Or, you rock, man!

  124. 124
    Carpathian says:

    Silver Asiatic:

    Carpathian: This is why I rule out philosophy as a basis for law-making since the the type of laws government should be restricted to don’t require it.

    Siver Asiatic: Government makes laws based on moral teachings. That’s why religion and a belief in God is so important.

    If government didn’t make laws based on their particular belief in God we wouldn’t have problems with those who have a different belief in God.

    History has shown us what happens when religions clash, so why would we knowingly put ourselves in that very position that we have seen fail?

    When it comes to traffic lights, what is the philosophical component to deciding to put one in?

    While you might come up with one you can also justify that law without any philosophy at all by simply modelling that intersection with and then without a light.

    A belief in God is irrelevant when justifying a traffic light.

  125. 125
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Yes, some tried to make the Bible teach racism, slavery etc. They did so by ignoring or distorting the whole counsel and trajectory of scripture.

    True.

    An even bigger problem however were the followers in the Southern States who didn’t take matters into their own hands and free the slaves.

    All the Christian references in the constitution were meaningless to these people.

    The religious component in government failed as did the religious component in those governed.

    At any point in time, the Christians who held slaves could have said no to slavery and yes to freedom and equality, but they didn’t.

    Nothing in the constitution or the Bible helped the slaves despite the fact that the vast majority of the citizens saw themselves as patriotic Christians.

  126. 126
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, lawless rebellion and anarchy lead straight to tyranny. The case of John Brown gives a plain example. Even in Haiti where uprising was successful, forces were let loose that still haunt that country, never mind that the agreement at cannon-mouth by which the people of Haiti were forced into generations of debt to buy out their value “Ayti ave to pay” did not help. In our rage we too often favour rebellion, the evidence favours the slower path of reform, and resorting to force only under circumstances where remonstrance is only met with hard hearted despotism, and where the correlation of forces shows that there is reasonable prospect. Otherwise, all is for naught. KF

  127. 127
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian, lawless rebellion and anarchy lead straight to tyranny.

    But there is no need for anarchy as we have seen in the Soviet Union rebellion.

    People simply said no, a lot of people.

    If a majority of people had said no, slavery would have stopped immediately.

  128. 128
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    Your quotes meant nothing to those Christians that held slaves.

    You need to stay on topic. It is your claim that the religious philosophy of founding fathers is “bad for government.” That claim has been refuted.

  129. 129
    bb says:

    “Nothing in the constitution or the Bible helped the slaves despite the fact that the vast majority of the citizens saw themselves as patriotic Christians.” – Wrong. The abolitionist movement was based on the Bible, and they eventually succeeded against those that would twist scripture to justify their atrocity. Wilberforce, and others in his movement, appealed to Christian morality and won freedom for slaves in Britain without a civil war.

    KF deals with this very well in the OP. As Shakespeare said: “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” That’s why we need as thorough an understanding as we can manage.

  130. 130
    StephenB says:

    Carpatian

    Religion has no business in government since people, those entities that interpret the Bible and other holy books, make mistakes, i.e. errors .

    Bad logic. You are saying,

    [a] People can misinterpret holy books,

    [b] therefore, religion has no place in government.

    ————————————–
    [b] does not follow from [a].

  131. 131
    Mung says:

    It’s virtually impossible, and also physically impossible, to take Carpathian seriously.

    Carpathian confuses governance with government.

    Further, Carpathian reveals to us that he is a sociopath.

    Carpathian doesn’t care for the society he lives in, and declares he can live by his own rules, and that we all ought to accept that. We should all make a special case just for the Carpathians of the world. The sociopaths.

  132. 132
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Carpathian

    If government didn’t make laws based on their particular belief in God we wouldn’t have problems with those who have a different belief in God.

    Very simply put, philosophy is the process of asking and answering “Why?” about things. It also is concerned with the meaning of human life. Religion gives us more on the meaning of life and therefore the meaning of death.

    In this case, your philosophy formed the basis of your concern. You say there are “problems with those who have different beliefs’. Philosophy says: Why do you think there are problems?

    History has shown us what happens when religions clash, so why would we knowingly put ourselves in that very position that we have seen fail?

    What has failed?

    While you might come up with one you can also justify that law without any philosophy at all by simply modelling that intersection with and then without a light.

    No you can’t justify anything without philosophy. The act of justifying — showing why something is right or wrong, or why it works or doesn’t, requires philosophy.

    To have no philosophy means that there is no reason for doing anything. But that’s just totally random and mindless.

    A belief in God is irrelevant when justifying a traffic light.

    Traffic lights are about:
    The meaning of death – what happens after death?
    Where does the responsibility for someone’s death go? Will a person go to hell for not putting a traffic light in an intersection?
    Is driving a car a morally good or bad action? What are the moral consequences?
    If one person’s life is at risk does that justify not having a traffic light?
    What is the value of a human life – who decides that?
    What is the punishment that should be given for someone who runs a red light — why? If you risk a life by running a red light, should you be given the death penalty for attempted murder?

    A belief in God is essential in answering these questions.

  133. 133
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    First, there was an antislavery movement, including in the South of the US. But by the turn of the 1830’s, it was driven out by force backed by entrenched oligarchic interests.

    The issue went on on the national agenda (including outbreaks of violence in border regions and the John Brown rebellion), and in 1860 a majority did say no.

    Secession and civil war, 600,000+ dead.

    Note 6th US Pres John Quincy Adams, 1837:

    The inconsistency of the institution of domestic slavery with the principles of the Declaration of Independence was seen and lamented by all the southern patriots of the Revolution; by no one with deeper and more unalterable conviction than by the author of the Declaration himself. No charge of insincerity or hypocrisy can be fairly laid to their charge. Never from their lips was heard one syllable of attempt to justify the institution of slavery. They universally considered it as a reproach fastened upon them by the unnatural step-mother country and they saw that before the principles of the Declaration of Independence, slavery, in common with every other mode of oppression, was destined sooner or later to be banished from the earth. Such was the undoubting conviction of Jefferson to his dying day. In the Memoir of His Life, written at the age of seventy-seven, he gave to his countrymen the solemn and emphatic warning that the day was not distant when they must hear and adopt the general emancipation of their slaves. “Nothing is more certainly written,” said he, “in the book of fate, than that these people are to be free.”

    Further note, John Jay [future 1st Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court) and president of the New York Society for the Manumission of Slaves to the president of the similar English Society for Promoting Manumission of Slaves, 1788:

    That they who know the value of liberty, and are blessed with the enjoyment of it, ought not to subject others to slavery, is, like most other moral precepts, more generally admitted in theory than observed in practice. This will continue to be too much the case while men are impelled to action by their passions rather than their reason, and while they are more solicitous to acquire wealth than to do as they would be done by . . . . The United States are far from being irreproachable in this respect. It undoubtedly is very inconsistent with their declarations on the subject of human rights to permit a single slave to be found within their jurisdiction, and we confess the justice of your strictures on that head.

    Permit us, however, to observe, that although consequences ought not to deter us from doing what is right, yet that it is not easy to persuade men in general to act on that magnanimous and disinterested principle. It is well known that errors, either in opinion or practice, long entertained or indulged, are difficult to eradicate, and particularly so when they have become, as it were, incorporated in the civil institutions and domestic economy of a whole people.

    Prior to the great revolution, the great majority or rather the great body of our people had been so long accustomed to the practice and convenience of having slaves, that very few among them even doubted the propriety and rectitude of it. Some liberal and conscientious men had, indeed, by their conduct and writings, drawn the lawfulness of slavery into question, and they made converts to that opinion; but the number of those converts compared with the people at large was then very inconsiderable. Their doctrines prevailed by almost insensible degrees, and was like the little lump of leaven which was put into three measures of meal: even at this day, the whole mass is far from being leavened, though we have good reason to hope and to believe that if the natural operations of truth are constantly watched and assisted, but not forced and precipitated, that end we all aim at will finally be attained in this country.

    The Convention which formed and recommended the new Constitution had an arduous task to perform, especially as local interests, and in some measure local prejudices, were to be accommodated. Several of the States conceived that restraints on slavery [that is, the abolition of the slave trade] might be too rapid to consist with their particular circumstances; and the importance of union rendered it necessary that their wishes on that head should, in some degree, be gratified.

    It gives us pleasure to inform you, that a disposition favourable to our views and wishes prevails more and more, and that it has already had an influence on our laws. When it is considered how many of the legislators in the different States are proprietors of slaves, and what opinions and prejudices they have imbibed on the subject from their infancy, a sudden and total stop to this species of oppression is not to be expected . . . [From Philip B. Kurland and Ralph Lerner, ed., The Founders’ Constitution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), 1:550. {It is worth noting from this brief biography, that in his retirement from 1801, among other interests, Jay was president of the American Bible Society.}]

    When evils are entrenched and backed by financial and passionate interests, they can be difficult to root out short of imposition by overwhelming force. Which precisely opens the doorway to despotism.

    The road of persuasion prevailed in Britain, but it took 50 years and was hastened in the end by the lawless burning of fifteen dissenter chapels in Jamaica by the Anglican connected colonial church union in retaliation (so imagined) for the 1831/2 slave uprising, which started as a sit-down strike for pay. The authorities attempted to try and hang dissenter missionaries as instigators, but the slaves themselves testified on their behalf. A representative, William Knibb [who should be a national hero of Jamaica in my view] went to Britain and went through the land publicly testifying irrefutably to “the Christian people of England” what “their bretheren” were suffering in Jamaica.

    He was irresistible in debate [knowing the facts, laws and cases in Jamaica intimately, starting from an unjust beating of a member of his congregation], and ended up testifying to Parliament Committees. By May 1832 the Governor’s report backed him up. There was crisis in the UK Government in a context where dissenter-heavy electoral districts were pivotal [there having been major revivals under Wesley, Whitefield et al and successors] and they were not going to revisit the wars over religion.

    Abolition passed in 1833, and was effected 1834 – 38.

    Peacefully.

    Wilberforce having retired, the Act was shepherded through by Buxton, a Christian legislator.

    In all of this, the impact of Christians — black and white, in the Caribbean and in the UK — acting together and participating in the public square was pivotal to the slow, steady work of reform. And I should mention in this Olaudah Equiano, who by his testimony in his An Interesting Narrative had been kidnapped in Africa and sold to traders, ending up in Montserrat where he paid for his freedom.

    Your proposed censorship, lockout and ghettoisation driven by prejudice and one sided litanies of talking points, would have completely blocked that process.

    Just as those who would entrench perversities, evils and follies more broadly in our time sow dragon’s teeth.

    Never forget what it can cost to remove entrenched evil.

    And, it is time for fresh, better informed thinking.

    KF

    PS: The grounding of justice as a pillar of civil society and of linked moral government and responsible rational freedom are profoundly philosophical issues with direct implications for the state and for the basis of just law.

    PPS: Collins Dict on Philosophy:

    >>philosophy (f??l?s?f?)
    n, pl -phies
    1. (Philosophy) the academic discipline concerned with making explicit the nature and significance of ordinary and scientific beliefs and investigating the intelligibility of concepts by means of rational argument concerning their presuppositions, implications, and interrelationships; in particular, the rational investigation of the nature and structure of reality (metaphysics), the resources and limits of knowledge (epistemology), the principles and import of moral judgment (ethics), and the relationship between language and reality (semantics)
    2. (Philosophy) the particular doctrines relating to these issues of some specific individual or school: the philosophy of Descartes.
    3. (Philosophy) the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a discipline: the philosophy of law.
    4. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the investigation of natural phenomena, esp alchemy, astrology, and astronomy
    5. any system of belief, values, or tenets
    6. a personal outlook or viewpoint
    7. serenity of temper
    [C13: from Old French filosofie, from Latin philosophia, from Greek, from philosophos lover of wisdom]>>

  134. 134
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    [a] People can misinterpret holy books,

    [b] therefore, religion has no place in government.

    ————————————–
    [b] does not follow from [a].

    Of course it follows.

    If as a leader, my interpretation of a holy book says slavery is okay as opposed to the someone else’s interpretation of the same or a different holy book that says it’s not, I might just find my country in the midst of a civil war.

    Not everyone believes in the same holy book and even those that do interpret them differently.

    You can’t have the ideals of one religion being forced on the followers of different religions.

    Either all religions and their views are represented by government or none are.

    I vote for none since there is no need for religion in deciding safety standards for aviation, putting traffic lights on street corners, etc.

    Social laws also require no religious input.

    Treat everyone with equal respect and society will balance itself.

  135. 135
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Your proposed censorship, lockout and ghettoisation driven by prejudice and one sided litanies of talking points, would have completely blocked that process.

    Again you misrepresent what I have said.

    Read the following carefully.

    1) Every religion has the same rights as any other.

    2) No religion has the right to use government to promote its own religious message or teachings above that of others.

    Please show me the censorship and “ghettoisation driven by prejudice” in those statements.

  136. 136
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    what you actually said, annotated to bring out implications:

    >>Religious activities should all be private.

    [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

    Any prospects for religious conversion

    [–> A specifically Christian emphasis, especially for evangelicals]

    should be invited to listen to the message from that faith but the message itself should be a private affair.

    [–> as in, once labelled religion or faith by the secularist elites, to be then silenced and censored in public backed up presumably by the radically secularised state, bye bye to freedom of expression in the public square for the new dhimmis under the secularist version of the pact of Umar]

    There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    and that barrier to religion

    [–> ghettoising and silencing again]

    should be considered a fundamental right and honored by all faiths.

    [–> as opposed to “Science” which presumes to be “knowledge”]>>

    KF

  137. 137
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Further, Carpathian reveals to us that he is a sociopath.

    Carpathian doesn’t care for the society he lives in, and declares he can live by his own rules, and that we all ought to accept that. We should all make a special case just for the Carpathians of the world. The sociopaths.

    I see that when you lose arguments you don’t handle the loss well.

    I care for the society I live in and don’t want to see fundamentalism of any type ruin it.

    People, myself and the rest of society you claim I don’t care for, have the right to be free of the rules of a religion we don’t belong to.

    If you disagree with my statement about freedom above, then you should have no problem accepting Sharia law if the government tells you so.

    Of course if you do not accept Sharia law as the government wants you to, be prepared to be called what you would then be according to you, and that’s a sociopath.

  138. 138
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus,

    Please explain how you can parse this sentence:

    >>Religious activities should all be private.

    To get this meaning:

    [–> locked away in a ghetto labelled religion, in a context where the main forms of religious expression are Christian]

  139. 139
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian, you just committed the fallacy of rhetorically declaring victory, in a context where the track record above and in previous threads — cf the annotated clip just above — leads to a very different conclusion. It is time for you to do some re-thinking. And btw the context for the points you make, drawn out i/l/o some ugly history of radical secularists over the past century . . . also cf Lewontin’s notorious 1997 book review as clipped and annotated in the OP. And BTW, that you would equally put all “religions” into ghettos equally does not answer to the problem of censorship and lockout. KF

    PS: I am not picking on you in particular. You have waltzed in and opened up with a string of talking points that are inadvertently revealing on the implications of the radical secularist agenda. It is that agenda that we have to reassess from its fatally cracked foundations up, and expose where it is liable to take us if we are passive or gullible in the face of abuses, usurpations and marches of folly.

  140. 140
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus,

    Carpathian: There are parents who may not want their children exposed to certain religions or religious teachings

    Where do you see Christian in my above statement?

    You have simply made up a position for me that I don’t hold so you can attack it.

    The reason you have made this strawman is because you don’t have a good argument to make against my actual position.

    kairosfocus: [–> in short we radical secularists don’t want to see, hear or deal with especially the Christian gospel (as in, code words and dog whistles and newspeak that informs the in group but is deniable to the outgroups . . . ), so for instance Christian TV channels or radio would be blocked from the public airwaves or from cable save for barriers similar to those designed to protect children from hard core porn, with implications for the Internet, newspapers etc also, never mind censoring out the Judaeo-Christian heritage from education, already largely done]

    Read with greater care than you did last time.

    All [meaning all ], religions, have the same rights [meaning rights ] and freedoms [meaning freedoms ] as any other religions.

  141. 141
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Carpathian, you just committed the fallacy of rhetorically declaring victory, in a context where the track record above and in previous threads — cf the annotated clip just above — leads to a very different conclusion.

    It’s your annotated clip that is the problem since it is in no way my position.

    You have made a strawman and then attacked it.

    When you have an argument that addresses my position, post it.

  142. 142
    Mung says:

    Carpathian you live in a religious society. Get used to it.

  143. 143
    Carpathian says:

    Mung:

    Carpathian you live in a religious society. Get used to it.

    Why should I if I don’t want to be ruled by religious teachings?

    Your response indicates you should have no problem with Sharia law if it was imposed on you.

  144. 144
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian,

    I know what a secularist pact of Umar reduction to a new dhimmitude under our atheist masters and their enforcers would require.

    Religious people — in a Judaeo-Christian based culture, with Christians the major specifically religious population — are to be silenced in public save for invitations given to prospects (how will such know who to go to?), public presentation or communication that radical secularist parents cannot block are to be removed. Meet only in private to discuss opinions, arguments and views — ghettoisation in violation of freedom of expression, association, lawful peaceful assembly and the press. Censorship to enforce the public silencing.

    Multiply by, ensuring the designated religious — the fact that radical secularism is an anti-church seeking de facto establishment and state enforcement is of course neatly side-stepped — are silenced from contributing a voice to the public square where policy and laws are deliberated and passed, on pain of accusation of theocracy.

    Indeed, it seems that in your eyes, simply being a serious Christian [that is the bulk of the “religious” you would censor) would be to be disqualified from elective office, being a judge or the like. Being a professor too as it is notorious that professors strongly influence public policy, even from the grave. And so forth.

    That is undermining of basic freedoms of citizenship in a democratic polity, multiplied by the implicitly assumed slander that the religious are automatically suspect, enemies of liberty.

    Evidence to the contrary, you have consistently ignored or dismissed.

    We were not born yesterday, C.

    We can add up 3 + 2 = 5.

    The 5 is a 5 that is heading straight into the vortex of tyranny as illustrated in the OP.

    As was said, it is high time for you to rethink and change.

    And, after weeks of repeated warning it is clear that you have no such intention or willingness to acknowledge the corrections that are so patently necessary in defence of freedom.

    In the teeth of Magna Carta, you would deny us right and justice, were you to hold power.

    So, in defence of the sustainable but inherently unstable civil peace of justice in a constitutional, limited government democracy, we must act in light of what is in front of us. (Unstable, as standing on two legs is, and requires continual subtle balancing.)

    Thank you for the inadvertent service of blurting out the implications of the clever slogans, talking points, demands for “equality” and protection from “theocracy” etc really imply and where they trend to.

    The vortex of tyranny.

    It is time to stand and fight for freedom, and here we stand.

    KF

  145. 145
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Indeed, it seems that in your eyes, simply being a serious Christian [that is the bulk of the “religious” you would censor) would be to be disqualified from elective office, being a judge or the like. Being a professor too as it is notorious that professors strongly influence public policy, even from the grave. And so forth.

    Not at all, but what I would expect are laws that are not based on any religion.

    For instance, closing stores on the Sabbath is not a law that treats non-religious people fairly.

  146. 146
    StephenB says:

    SB: This is your argument:

    [a] People can misinterpret holy books,

    [b] therefore, religion has no place in government.

    ————————————–
    [b] does not follow from [a].

    Carpathian

    Of course it follows.

    No, it does not follow at all. You do not understand logic. People can misinterpret the law, that doesn’t mean that law has not place in government. People can misinterpret language, that doesn’t mean that language has no place in government.

    If as a leader, my interpretation of a holy book says slavery is okay as opposed to the someone else’s interpretation of the same or a different holy book that says it’s not, I might just find my country in the midst of a civil war.

    If, as a leader, you falsely interpret the Bible to support slavery, then it is your misinterpretation of its teachings that is bad for government, not the teachings themselves.

    Similarly, if, as a leader, you falsely interpret the Constitution to support slavery, it is your interpretation that is bad for government, not the constitution–unless the constitution really does support slavery.

    In fact, the only arguments against slavery and for freedom are religious in nature. There are no non-religious arguments against slavery and for freedom.

    Not everyone believes in the same holy book and even those that do interpret them differently.

    Irrelevant.

    You can’t have the ideals of one religion being forced on the followers of different religions.

    Only the Judeo/Christian world view explains why no one’s religion should be forced on another. Atheism has no argument for freedom and Islam argues against it. That is the problem. You don’t know why tyranny is a bad thing. You just don’t happen to like it. It doesn’t feel right to you. That is no argument.

    Either all religions and their views are represented by government or none are.

    Absolutely false. More bad logic. To say that a certain religion is given free expression in a government is not the same as saying that it represents the government.

    Treat everyone with equal respect and society will balance itself.

    You haven’t explained why humans deserve respect or why society should be ordered around that principle. There is no such thing as a government without a guiding principle. That only question is whether it will be a good principle or a bad principle and how it is arrived at. That raises the question about how to differentiate between a good principle and a bad principle, an issue that you have not even begun to consider.

  147. 147
    kairosfocus says:

    Carpathian:

    I am glad to see that you do not think that merely being Christian or the like is a disqualification.

    One wonders however about the 800 lb gorilla in the room: taking one’s faith and its ethical commitments say as seriously as a William Wilberforce or a Thomas Foxwell Buxton, or a Lord Shaftesbury, or a Gen Booth, or even an Abraham Kuyper or the like.

    For specific instance the USA has for a full generation steeped in the mounting bloodguilt of now ~ 57+ mn unborn children, and the US Govt year by year uses what US$ 500 mn IIRC to fund Planned Parenthood which is not only involved in abortions but in trading body parts of the victims for purposes of ethically challenged medical research.

    I am sorry, but in all truth and concern I must cry out: echoes of Dr Mengele et al cry out even as the blood of these innocents cries up from the ground.

    Nor is the US the sole guilty nation in this.

    I have seen some numbers from around the world that are so appalling that I confess to my mind being boggled.

    I cannot bring myself to type these numbers, they are that horrible.

    I can only cry out dear God, let them be a gross error.

    In Asia, we know that many of these are sex selection abortions that target girls, leading to gross population imbalances with horrible potential implications. Including, war, war on a scale we cannot imagine.

    I stress the stain of bloodguilt, as it is so patent and as if one becomes hardened to bloodguilt it corrupts heart, conscience and mind, a gateway to every species of evil and utter perversity. Worse, the warping that demands that killing of the inconvenient unborn be viewed as a right would decouple right from justice and moral government, destroying the civil peace of justice and endarkening and closing minds to Him who is the Champion of Justice.

    The blood cries up from the ground against us, yes, the nations of the world.

    Now, you do not speak to that but to stores being shut on the Sabbath.

    I ask you to consider the plight of those who work in the stores, the impact on the community, and the linked undermining of collectively taking time to rest, reflect and refresh. Including, by taking time to go seek and listen to the voice of God.

    Which is like salt and light in the community.

    I could understand the implications of a community becoming so opined that they vote to abolish a weekly day of rest inherited from over a thousand years past.

    Indeed, above we see where it is instituted by Alfred the Great in the opening words of his Book of Dooms; the beginning of the Common Law Tradition.

    Christians have lived with oppressive empires that took no day of rest, as in days of old. The faith will survive the loss of this blessing of liberty.

    But, when under the false colours of law and justice such a day of agreed community rest is slandered as a theocratic abusive imposition and is forcibly done away with, let us know that this is the anti-church of radical secularism speaking and demanding its way by seizing institutional power; often in the teeth of the wishes of the people at large.

    A now familiar pattern of oligarchic manipulation.

    So, it is time to face the truth about a civilisation steeped in bloodguilt and resistant to correction and reform.

    We are on a march of folly to ruin.

    (And the Mullahs of Iran, imposers of a real, utterly unjust and destructive theocratic tyranny by all appearances, are now being aided by leading nations in obtaining the means to carry out their long expressed threat, Death to Israel, death to America.)

    In truth, I don’t know whether it is too late, whether we have gone past a point of no return, but we need to at least wake up in the face of what is upon us.

    Samson, the Philistines are upon you!

    KF

  148. 148
    StephenB says:

    kairosfocus

    This from Morris is astonishing to me, as I did not know of it:

    Gouverneur Morris–“For avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. Therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”

    Yes, indeed. As always, we are seeking the “golden mean” between two extremes.

  149. 149
    kairosfocus says:

    Ah, Steve, I see you caught that side of it too. In this case a mid point that is inherently unstable but sustainable through active effort, much like standing up on two feet. KF

    PS: Note on contact issues.

  150. 150
    Barry Arrington says:

    StephenB,

    Here’s the problem with arguing with such as Carpathian. (1) He is a free rider on the Judeo-Christian worldview; and (2) that worldview was (unconsciously to him) inculcated in him merely by virtue of the fact that he was brought up in a society that was infused with it to its very core (until it recently started coming apart). The second part is what makes arguing with him so difficult. His basic assumptions remain unexamined. And because they are unexamined, he argues against Judeo-Christian precepts without realizing that the very arguments he makes depend on them for their legitimacy.

    Astounding, I know, but there you go.

  151. 151
    kairosfocus says:

    BA,

    why are we collectively either sawing off the branch on which we are sitting, or allowing such to happen?

    Why are we so unable or unwilling to look at what justice is, and what the underlying issue that we are under moral government requires in terms of a world-root IS that grounds OUGHT?

    Even, as a tree branch requires a trunk, and a trunk, roots?

    KF

    PS: The posting test is telling me things like 9 – 2 = 7 is false.

  152. 152
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    If, as a leader, you falsely interpret the Bible to support slavery, then it is your misinterpretation of its teachings that is bad for government, not the teachings themselves.

    I agree 100% with you here.

    That is why no religion should be used as a basis for law since all all interpretations are by fallible humans.

    There is also no need for a religious basis for law-makers.

    You have many times stated self-evident truths, so I’ll ask you if it is self-evident that one human being cannot own another.

    If that is true, any law which claimed that such ownership was legal, should be invalid, regardless of any religious claims that it was.

    i.e. If your holy book, whatever your religion, explicitly claimed that slavery was permissible, that view should be held as being false no matter what any leaders of that religion said to the contrary.

  153. 153
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    The second part is what makes arguing with him so difficult. His basic assumptions remain unexamined.

    I don’t know what you mean by “unexamined”.

    Do you mean by me or by others?

    I have certainly been examining my own assumptions and I believe they hold up.

    There is no need for a religious basis in law-making since I believe it would be unethical for any religion to have a legislative ability that other religions don’t.

    The resulting laws should also not promote the teachings of one religion over another.

    I don’t think any Christian would be comfortable with a government that enacts legislation that conforms with Sharia law while enacting laws that hinder Christians.

    I don’t understand why being fair would be undesirable.

  154. 154
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    Now, you do not speak to that but to stores being shut on the Sabbath.

    I chose that example because I didn’t want an emotional component to my argument.

    My question is this then, should a government be allowed to enact legislation based on religion X that is binding on non-followers of that religion?

  155. 155
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    You haven’t explained why humans deserve respect or why society should be ordered around that principle.

    If you build a society around the notion that people have to “earn” respect, you’re already in trouble with the system you are trying to build.

    In my view, your right to respect is not based on some test you have to pass.

    While you could lose my respect, I would never treat a stranger with disrespect.

    That is the way government should work, but I have never seen a real-life example of it.

  156. 156
    Barry Arrington says:

    Carpathian

    My question is this then, should a government be allowed to enact legislation based on religion X that is binding on non-followers of that religion?

    What do you mean by “based on religion X”? If you mean, should the government be allowed to enact laws that establish official religious practices or beliefs? The answer is of course not, and the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses prohibit such laws.

    If you mean, should religious people be allowed to hold office and vote for or against laws of general applicability based on moral choices informed by their religious beliefs? The answer is, of course they should. For to do otherwise would also be a violation of the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses.

  157. 157
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Carpathian: You can’t have the ideals of one religion being forced on the followers of different religions.

    StephenB: Only the Judeo/Christian world view explains why no one’s religion should be forced on another.

    If that is the case, then they shouldn’t do it in practice.

    Why were the Ten Commandments allowed in front of courthouses?

    It was Christian law-makers that did this.

    Atheism has no argument for freedom and Islam argues against it. That is the problem. You don’t know why tyranny is a bad thing. You just don’t happen to like it. It doesn’t feel right to you. That is no argument.

    I don’t need to know why tyranny is a bad thing anymore that I need to know the medical make-up of bruises to conclude I don’t like to be hit.

    As far atheism having no argument for freedom, that too is not relevant when granting it.

    What would you do, take away someone’s freedom simply because they couldn’t answer to your satisfaction why they should have it?

  158. 158
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    If you mean, should religious people be allowed to hold office and vote for or against laws of general applicability based on moral choices informed by their religious beliefs? The answer is, of course they should. For to do otherwise would also be a violation of the Establishment and Free Exercise clauses.

    I have no problem with religious politicians being guided by their religious beliefs but in practice, politicians seem to be bound by their faith and that is where I think the line should be drawn.

    This is obviously not as easy to do as it is to assert.

    Whether it’s observing the Sabbath in Israel, where orthodox Rabbis were trying to make driving illegal on that day, to banning gay marriage by Christian legislators, we have legislators making laws that make church teachings law.

    If a holy book says gay marriage is sinful, politicians of that faith have a responsibility to ignore those religious teachings when addressing that problem in society at large, since not everyone in society belongs to their faith.

  159. 159
    Barry Arrington says:

    Carpathian,

    You assume there is a bright line between Biblical teachings, which are illegitimate grounds for law because they are “religious,” and purely secular grounds for law. This is nonsense as is easily shown. The Bible bans murder, rape, kidnapping and theft. Should we repeal our murder, rape, kidnapping and theft laws because bans against them are “religious”? Of course not.

    You might respond that those are examples where we all agree the practices are immoral. That is just the point. Who appointed you God so that you can divide for us the “good” Biblical provisions that we can base our laws on and the “bad” Biblical provisions that cannot serve as the basis of laws?

    Whether it’s observing the Sabbath in Israel, where orthodox Rabbis were trying to make driving illegal on that day

    Your first example highlights the error in your reasoning. You don’t have to go to Israel to find examples of holy day closing laws. At one time 46 states had Sunday closing laws. Vestiges of these laws remain today. For example, I cannot buy a car here in Colorado on Sunday.

    The Supreme Court has rejected Establishment Clause challenges to these laws in four separate cases. In McGowan v. Maryland, the court even acknowledged that the original purpose of Sunday-closing laws was religious in nature: “There is no dispute that the original laws which dealt with Sunday labor were motivated by religious forces.” But the court upheld the laws nevertheless because they serve secular purpose, including establishing a day of rest “when people may recover from the labors of the week just passed and may physically and mentally prepare for the week’s work to come.” The Court further said that “the present purpose … is to provide a uniform day of rest for all citizens; the fact that this day is Sunday, a day of particular significance for the dominant Christian sects, does not bar the State from achieving its secular goals.”

    You might be surprised to learn that it is NOT religious people who continue to support blue laws. It is the very businesses that are regulated, as this article shows:

    http://www.star-telegram.com/n.....22340.html

    Big car dealers like Sunday closing laws because they reduce their costs without risk of reducing their sales. I guaranty you that when blue law repeal laws are before legislatures, it is not pastors and religious people leading the charge to beat the bill back; it is business interests.

    What about the gay marriage issue you raise. Again, you err. Of course, there is a secular purpose to limit marriage to a man and a woman. That purpose is to encourage child rearing by biological mothers and fathers, because the natural family unit is the best place for child rearing. Before you spout off about how you disagree with that reasoning, for purposes of our discussion now, it does not matter if you disagree. The fact remains that a secular purposes can be asserted completely independent of the Biblical prohibition.

    In summary, your argument fails because it is based on the naïve assumption that there is some bright line between Biblical teachings and secular purposes. No such line exists.

  160. 160
    Mung says:

    Barry Arrington:

    Carpathian,

    You assume there is a bright line between Biblical teachings, which are illegitimate grounds for law because they are “religious,” and purely secular grounds for law.

    Does Carpathian tell us what the purely secular grounds for law consist of?

    Does Carpathian offer an objective means by which we can identify and remove the laws that are “religious” in nature?

  161. 161
    Barry Arrington says:

    Both good points Mung. Yet another example of how the smug certitudes of secularists like Carp fall apart after a minute of thought. But thinking is hard. And a minute is a long time.

  162. 162
    Eugen says:

    Pro abortionist told me once: if you don’t like abortion don’t have it. Brilliant.

    Carpathian, when you walk by the courthouse which has a stone with Ten Commandments, don’t look at it.

    If we start saying prayers in public school, don’t say it.

  163. 163
    mike1962 says:

    Barry: You might be surprised to learn that it is NOT religious people who continue to support blue laws. It is the very businesses that are regulated, as this article shows:

    Same for package alcohol sales on Sunday in Indiana. In Indiana you cannot purchase package liquor on Sundays. Bars and restaurants may serve alcohol on Sunday, but you cannot go down to your local liquor store and buy a six-pack or a bottle of wine or spirits. There has been a movement afoot for several years to allow Sunday sales. The majority of liquor store owners are against changing the law because opening on Sunday will not be worth the cost, and they and the restaurant/pub owners want to keep the playing field as-is.

  164. 164
    kairosfocus says:

    Barry (attn Carpathian):

    SNIP: I think I have become overly specific to C, apologise for that and have opened up a more generic thread: http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-of-dooms/

  165. 165
    Carpathian says:

    Eugen:

    Carpathian, when you walk by the courthouse which has a stone with Ten Commandments, don’t look at it.

    If we start saying prayers in public school, don’t say it.

    I can suggest the same to you when Islam gains the right to put up statues based on readings from the Koran.

    These will of course be followed by Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, etc. statues

    These statues will not affect your life as much as these competitive religions effect on law-makers will have.

  166. 166
    Carpathian says:

    kairosfocus:

    SNIP: I think I have become overly specific to C, apologise for that and have opened up a more generic thread: http://www.uncommondescent.com…..-of-dooms/

    No problem.

    Thanks.

  167. 167
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    You have many times stated self-evident truths, so I’ll ask you if it is self-evident that one human being cannot own another.

    Now that is a very intelligent question. Thank you. Yes, given our knowledge of history, it should be immediately self evident.

    If that is true, any law which claimed that such ownership was legal, should be invalid, regardless of any religious claims that it was.

    Correct. Very good. Still, our ability to comprehend the law without religion does not, in any way, negate the fact that religion is required to explain how and why it came to be.

    If your holy book, whatever your religion, explicitly claimed that slavery was permissible, that view should be held as being false no matter what any leaders of that religion said to the contrary.

    Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! You are making huge strides. I could not be more proud of you. Only after a religion passes the test of reason should we allow it to illuminate our reason—or the principles of our government.

    SB: You haven’t explained why humans deserve respect or why society should be ordered around that principle.

    If you build a society around the notion that people have to “earn” respect, you’re already in trouble with the system you are trying to build.

    You didn’t answer the question.

    In my view, your right to respect is not based on some test you have to pass.

    Of course. No one here is arguing against that point. Humans are entitled to respect from the moment they are conceived. Do you know why this is the case?

  168. 168
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    SB: You haven’t explained why humans deserve respect or why society should be ordered around that principle.

    My answer is that respect is not something that is “deserved” or that is “earned” on a personal level.

    Respect is essential for the “system” of society to work fairly for all.

    Please understand what I am trying to say here.

    Respect is essential for the workings of society and so I look at respect from a global poin-of-view, not a personal one.

    In that sense, it is not individual people who deserve respect as much as it is necessary for society to not withhold it.

  169. 169
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    “There is no dispute that the original laws which dealt with Sunday labor were motivated by religious forces.” But the court upheld the laws nevertheless because they serve secular purpose, including establishing a day of rest “when people may recover from the labors of the week just passed and may physically and mentally prepare for the week’s work to come.”

    But that clearly affects religions that have other “days of rest”.

    What the government has done is forced other religions to stop work on two different days, one as mandated by government and secondly, their own religions “sabbath” day.

    On a side note, the government has no right to prevent work regardless of how it justifies its legislation and it would not have done so in the first place , (see below), if it had not been because of religious teachings.

    “There is no dispute that the original laws which dealt with Sunday labor were motivated by religious forces.”

  170. 170
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    You assume there is a bright line between Biblical teachings, which are illegitimate grounds for law because they are “religious,” and purely secular grounds for law. This is nonsense as is easily shown.

    Seriously?

    Read the below.

    Carpathian: I have no problem with religious politicians being guided by their religious beliefs but in practice, politicians seem to be bound by their faith and that is where I think the line should be drawn .

    This is obviously not as easy to do as it is to assert .

  171. 171
    Barry Arrington says:

    Carpathian,

    You simply ignore the basic thrust of my argument — that there is no bright line between the “religious” morality your deplore and “secular” morality you admire. Should we check with you each time we pass a law to make sure it is on the proper side of the Carpathian deplore/admire line? I will take your silence as an admission that you have no answer.

  172. 172
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    Both good points Mung. Yet another example of how the smug certitudes of secularists like Carp fall apart after a minute of thought. But thinking is hard. And a minute is a long time.

    I might be ultimately wrong in every single position I have taken, which is why I try to show some respect to the people I debate with.

    Form your comment above however, I see that you have taken the opposite position.

  173. 173
    Barry Arrington says:

    Carpathian, if you think your smug certitude is respectful, we will have to disagree.

  174. 174
    Barry Arrington says:

    “This is obviously not as easy to do as it is to assert.”

    Actually, it is impossible to do, and that is why the assertion is an error.

  175. 175
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    Carpathian,

    You simply ignore the basic thrust of my argument — that there is no bright line between the “religious” morality your deplore and “secular” morality you admire. Should we check with you each time we pass a law to make sure it is on the proper side of the Carpathian deplore/admire line? I will take your silence as an admission that you have no answer.

    Do you actually read what I write?

    This is obviously not as easy to do as it is to assert .

    Carpathian: Does that sound like a metaphor for “bright line” ?

    Barry Arrington: “..Carpathian deplore/admire line..”

    Yet more disrespect.

    Do you have any good arguments or are you going to focus on character assassination?

    I actually think “shooting the messenger” is a better strategy for you since you have failed to do a good job at addressing the “message”.

  176. 176
    Barry Arrington says:

    Carpathian:

    Do you actually read what I write?

    Yes, and it is clear you are unable to respond other than by whining. I point that out and you whine some more. I expect more whining in response to this post.

  177. 177
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    Respect is essential for the “system” of society to work fairly for all.

    I agree. Inasmuch as the Christian religion also agrees with you, by virtue of its objective understanding of justice and ordered liberty, and inasmuch as secularism disagrees with you, by virtue of its claim that justice and ordered liberty do not exist, why would you think that the former world view is bad for government and the latter world view is good for government.

  178. 178
    tintinnid says:

    I agree that there is no “bright line” between religiously driven morals, and societally driven morals. The obvious ones (murder, stealing, false witness, and others) would occur whether or not there was religion. But I have to agree with Carpathian on things like Sunday closing. I have no problem with government requiring every business to be closed one day per week. Actually, I am in favour of it. But by naming Sunday, and the courts agreeing with it, they are being prejudicial against Jewish people.

    But blasphemy laws are still on the books (seldom enforced) in many western countries. I assume that Barry agrees that all blasphemy laws should be repealed. But I would like to hear it from his lips.

  179. 179
    kairosfocus says:

    TT: Weekly closing laws reflect community consensus, accumulated over time — in this case at least 1200 years in anglophone, common law cultures. [I notice how King Alfred’s Book of Dooms is the 800 lb gorilla in the middle of the room being talked past.] On the same principle that minorities accept majority votes otherwise than they wish, such should not be represented as if it were on its face prejudice. Similarly, on the same grounds that we have public restrictions on obscenity, laws on public morality, and laws also on slander and on disrespect or on railing at high officials or even your policeman on the street corner, or against harassing women on the street, or rules against disrespecting superiors or teachers or umpires etc, etc, it is a social good to promote that, in the [family-/ child-friendly . . . there is a general interest issue here] public space, expression will be generally civil and not unduly hostile or polarising in tone. If one objects to the reality of God, there is no good reason why one should not be willing to express oneself in a civil fashion in public, just as in addressing others. I suggest thinking again on where yet another radical secularist agenda-point would take civil society given obvious deep rooted hostility. KF

  180. 180
    Carpathian says:

    Barry Arrington:

    Yes, and it is clear you are unable to respond other than by whining. I point that out and you whine some more. I expect more whining in response to this post.

    I point out that you are focusing on the messenger instead of the message and predictably, you do it again.

    I expect more issue-dodging from you in response to this response.

  181. 181
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    I agree. Inasmuch as the Christian religion also agrees with you, by virtue of its objective understanding of justice and ordered liberty, and inasmuch as secularism disagrees with you, by virtue of its claim that justice and ordered liberty do not exist, why would you think that the former world view is bad for government and the latter world view is good for government.

    Secularism does not say that “justice and ordered liberty do not exist”.

    From the viewpoint of secularism, “justice and ordered liberty” is something that originated with humans.

    The religious view is that there is an absolute moral code that exists separate from us.

    So the difference here is one of order.

    In a secularist timeline, “justice and ordered liberty” appear after us, while the religious timeline shows an “absolute moral code” appearing before us.

  182. 182
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    Secularism does not say that “justice and ordered liberty do not exist”.

    On the contrary, that is exactly what secularism says. It says that there is no such thing as an unchanging standard of justice that is independent of human opinion.

    From the viewpoint of secularism, “justice and ordered liberty” is something that originated with humans

    Secularism is irrational. Justice and ordered liberty cannot originate with humans. Both must precede humans because both are defined by an objective moral code, which also precedes humans.

    The religious view is that there is an absolute moral code that exists separate from us.

    The religious view reflects an objective moral code; the secular view reflects a subjective moral code. Subjective morality reduces all morality, justice, and, fairness to personal opinion.

    That means, then, that as a secularist, you are committed to saying that the concepts of justice and ordered liberty are subjective, they can vary from person to person. Not only that, you are committed to saying that each variation is equally legitimate. So, if a tyrant thinks it is just and fair to make you a slave, you have no argument against him. According to secularism, his subjective notion of fairness is merely different from yours, no better, no worse.

  183. 183
    StephenB says:

    In a secularist timeline, “justice and ordered liberty” appear after us, while the religious timeline shows an “absolute moral code” appearing before us.

    That is correct.

  184. 184
    tintinnid says:

    Carp—-“Secularism does not say that “justice and ordered liberty do not exist”.

    SB—“On the contrary, that is exactly what secularism says. It says that there is no such thing as an unchanging standard of justice that is independent of human opinion.”

    How is what Carpathian said incompatible with what you said. History shows that society’s standard of justice changes (I would say that it evolves, but that is a bad word here) over time. And, of course, it is definitely not independent of human opinion. In some states the majority ate in favour of capital punishment, in others the majority is opposed.

    Justice and ordered liberty exist in most western countries, but they are not identical in every country, or even in every state/province within a country. This sounds very much like the influence by human opinion

  185. 185
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Carpathian: Secularism does not say that “justice and ordered liberty do not exist”.

    StephenB: On the contrary, that is exactly what secularism says. It says that there is no such thing as an unchanging standard of justice that is independent of human opinion.

    You are comparing a statement that for the most part, asserts existence, i.e. “justice and ordered liberty do not exist”, with a statement that for the most part, defines a term, “unchanging standard of justice that is independent of human opinion”.

    “Justice and ordered liberty” could exist in many forms, from a purely objective one to one that is purely subjective.

    Neither look like they would work well.

    At some point a compromise must be reached.

    This would rule out an objective moral code but would also mean no one would have the freedom to “do whatever they want”.

    I highlight that because of how often I’ve heard those words on this site when describing atheism or secularism.

    As far as an “unchanging standard of justice that is independent of human opinion”, without taking in to account human opinion, how could any justice system work?

    Take adultery for example.

    If a couple decide to stay together for family reasons but agree with each other that it would be acceptable to see other people, whose business is it other than theirs?

    Legislation based on Bible interpretation might lead law-makers to outlaw adultery, but do they have a right to impose a law like that on non-believers in the Bible?

  186. 186
    StephenB says:

    Carpathian

    “Justice and ordered liberty” could exist in many forms, from a purely objective one to one that is purely subjective.

    That would be logically impossible. There can only be one standard of morality or justice. If standard A differs from standard B, then one of them cannot be the true standard. Adultery is either always wrong or it is not always wrong.

    This would rule out an objective moral code but would also mean no one would have the freedom to “do whatever they want”.

    If there is no objective moral code, then freedom means the right to do anything you please. If there is an objective code, then freedom means the right to pursue what is good. the freedom from political constraint is meaningless unless there is also a freedom for becoming something or attaining something. I, for example, I do not practice, I am not free to play the piano–even if government passes no laws against playing the piano. Secularists do not understand the difference between freedom “from” and freedom “for.”

    As far as an “unchanging standard of justice that is independent of human opinion”, without taking in to account human opinion, how could any justice system work?

    The purpose of the justice system is to promote justice. If it does that, it is working. If it doesn’t do that, then it is not working.

    Human opinion can be true or it can be false. Human opinion is true it if corresponds to the objective standard of justice. Human opinion is false if it does not.

    Take adultery for example.

    If a couple decide to stay together for family reasons but agree with each other that it would be acceptable to see other people, whose business is it other than theirs?

    Among other things, it is the business of society, which thrives only when families are strong, the other spouses, who are betrayed, and the other children, who would be irreparably harmed. Indeed, the adulterers themselves are adversely affected inasmuch as adultery compromises their own marital relationship, breaking the loving bond between husband and wife.

    Legislation based on Bible interpretation might lead law-makers to outlaw adultery, but do they have a right to impose a law like that on non-believers in the Bible?

    Biblical based morality is supposed to provide a general guide for moral government, not a specific set of rules. The civil law cannot be as rigorous as the moral law, but it’s legitimacy is found in it.

    Objective morality, for example, forbids all lying, the civil law does not. Nevertheless, the moral law against lying guides the civil law against lying to a federal agent.

  187. 187
    Carpathian says:

    StephenB:

    Carpathian: “Justice and ordered liberty” could exist in many forms, from a purely objective one to one that is purely subjective.

    That would be logically impossible. There can only be one standard of morality or justice. If standard A differs from standard B, then one of them cannot be the true standard. Adultery is either always wrong or it is not always wrong.

    In practice , we see that “justice and ordered liberty” as it exists, is not in any way consistent and it couldn’t be, since it is an interpreted ideal of human beings who make mistakes.

    The idea that there is only one standard appeals to the majority of the religious people on this planet, but that “actual” standard takes as many forms as there are religions.

    Which religion gets to decide which one is right?

    In the case of adultery, a lot of damage could be caused by trying to formulate laws based on “objective” ideals and applying them to “subjective” cases.

    Imagine a couple where one party is gay, but due to family, social and religious pressures, married a straight person.

    Ten years later, the gay person comes out and declares the marriage can no longer continue as is.

    Should religious based laws force the couple to divorce if they want to find love with someone else, or could that couple work out their differences in a way that addresses their unique situations?

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