Intelligent Design

Is Justice Kennedy Sartre’s Sock Puppet?

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It occurred to me today that the United States Supreme Court is attempting to establish Jean-Paul Sartre’s existentialist atheism as the official religion of the United States.

Sartre defined his basic project in Existentialism is Humanism:

Existentialism is nothing else than an attempt to draw the full conclusions from a consistently atheistic position . . . Man is nothing else but what he makes of himself.  Such is the first principle of existentialism . . . Thus, existentialism’s first move is to make every man aware of what he is and to make the full responsibility of his existence rest on him.

In Being and Nothingness he added:

Thus the best way to conceive of the fundamental project of human reality is to say that man is the being whose project it to be God . . . God, value and supreme end of transcendence, represents the permanent limit in terms of which man makes known to himself what he is.  To be man means to reach toward being God.  Or if you prefer, man fundamentally is the desire to be God.

John Mullen summarizes Sartre’s project:

The cornerstone of [Sartre’s] philosophy is the sovereignty of human freedom.  He is quite frank about what he means by freedom.  For Sartre, freedom is nothing less than the power to define one’s own being, to determine what one is. Anything outside oneself that exerts any influence over one’s being is by definition an obstacle to freedom.

Compare Sartre’s philosophy to Anthony Kennedy’s famous declaration in Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

That passage could very well have been written by Sartre himself; it is his entire project encapsulated in a single sentence.  And it is the law of the land in the United States.

Think about that.

14 Replies to “Is Justice Kennedy Sartre’s Sock Puppet?

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    bornagain says:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”
    http://www.archives.gov/exhibi.....cript.html

    No God, no freedom. Know God, know freedom!
    https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xaf1/t51.2885-15/s640x640/sh0.08/e35/11259099_447253482112695_1806798324_n.jpg

    John 8:34-36
    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

  3. 3

    Creationism vs evolution as a societal issue is solely about subjectivity. Opinion about what is good, loving and beautiful.

    Subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept, because it only applies in regards to agency (to choose about what it is that chooses, resulting in an opinion).

    Atheism, materialism, physicalism, nazism, communism etc. basically they all only provide room for fact, not for opinion.

    In rejecting creationism science has rejected the fundamental framework for saying the earth is beautiful, or ugly. It also has rejected democracy, and all the other good stuff. Basically science has rejected the fact that freedom is real, and subjectivity went out the window with rejecting that fact.

    It is a commonly human idea to reject subjectivity is valid. Everybody has the inclination to neglect their emotions, and then some people build an idea out of that rejection which is then atheism, or nazism, or many other ideas.

    So that is the underlaying “mechanism” for all these anti-creationist ideas, the rejection of emotions.

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    If so, Justice Kennedy needs to keep up to date with her reading about the authors/philosophers she admires. At the time, Benny Levy, his young, Maoist secretary was rediscovering his own Jewish roots.

    Notice the cavalier way the author dismisses Sartre’s death-bed conversion as an urban myth. Yet very urbanely avows that, really, he would just have preferred it to be better documented !

    Mind you, if only all atheists were as honest and civil, when ‘found out’, it would be nice.

  5. 5
    Axel says:

    I should have provided the link (for some reason, I’m not authorised to edit the above. Hope this is an OK way round it :

    https://bridgesandtangents.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/sartres-death-bed-conversion/

  6. 6
    StephenB says:

    It began with Protagoras:

    “Man is the measure of all things.”

    Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle corrected this wacked out idea over 2,000 years ago, but Descartes and Kant resurrected it and carried on as if they were the first ones to ever think about it. “There is nothing new under the sun.”

    So, there are two ways of perceiving the world:

    Reality

    The individual subordinates his desires to the truth. This is the philosophy of a normal person.

    Subjectivism

    The individual subordinates the truth to his desires. This is the philosophy of an abnormal person.

    The academy, which is supposed to be in the business of training young people to think, has chosen instead to contaminate minds with the insane idea that reality is whatever one wants it to be. Until this problem is addressed, no political or economic intervention can save us.

    It has now come to the point where students at major universities demand “safe zones” as protection against anyone who would dare to disagree with them for any reason. If reality cannot be whatever they want it to be, then they would prefer not to deal with it or even know about it.

    Of course, young no-nothings grow up to be old no-nothings, seeking power for the sake of power so that they can visit their intellectual misery and moral poverty on everyone else. It is the means they use to shut down discussion. That is why they seek power above all things. Anthony Kennedy’s subjectivism, for example, cannot be rationally defended, and he knows it. But that doesn’t matter to him. What matters is that He has the power to forced it down our throats.

    Subjectivism cannot leave well enough alone; it always ends with this demand: “Reality is what I want it to be and it must now become your reality. To that end, I will use my power until I break you or until you agree to conform.” That is always the final battle cry of the subjectivist–Sell your soul or die.

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    Seversky says:

    From what I read, Kennedy is a Catholic. Has that changed?

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    Robert Byers says:

    It is a good point about atheism and the Judges decisions.
    The gay marriage decision actually is based on finding a right to gay marriage and so making gods opposition impossible. If there is a god it would be a option that homosexuality is wrong and gay marriage is wrong. Yet finding its a right means god himself could not say its wrong. Since this is impossuble it could only be that the court has officially ruled god does not exist. Not exist because no opposition to the gay right can be found.
    if god came on earth and said the gay marriage right was not a natural right or to be found in any natural right would he prevail with this Supreme court?
    NO!
    God or the people could never in history say homosexuality is morally wrong and marrying is morally wrong according to this court.
    Since a God would prevail then there must be no God.
    The court is actually saying this by ruling out the option of the people saying its wrong and not a right.

  9. 9
    Barry Arrington says:

    Seversky,

    Yes, he is a nominal Catholic.

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    @stephenb

    It’s not the case, it’s always subjectivity that is the target, objectivity is always accepted as valid.

    Universities presently are indeed heartless, vicious places where emotions are systematically, and ideologically ignored, leading to high rates of depression amongst college students.

  11. 11
    Seversky says:

    StephenB @ 6

    So, there are two ways of perceiving the world:

    Reality

    I would have said reality is what is out there to be perceived not a way of perceiving

    Subjectivism

    The individual subordinates the truth to his desires. This is the philosophy of an abnormal person

    It could also describe religious belief or an unshakeable adherence to a political ideology.

    The academy, which is supposed to be in the business of training young people to think, has chosen instead to contaminate minds with the insane idea that reality is whatever one wants it to be. Until this problem is addressed, no political or economic intervention can save us.

    You have evidence that such a belief is being taught as a standard part of the educational curriculum? The nearest I have seen is bornagain’s infatuation with the notion that consciousness precedes – and presumably creates – physical reality. Perhaps you need to take that up with him

    It has now come to the point where students at major universities demand “safe zones” as protection against anyone who would dare to disagree with them for any reason. If reality cannot be whatever they want it to be, then they would prefer not to deal with it or even know about it.

    On that we agree. Students at university should be confronted – and should expect to be confronted – by views with which they disagree and which they may even find offensive. They should be taught that none of the world’s great declarations or charters or bills of basic human rights enunciates a right not to be offended.

    Anthony Kennedy’s subjectivism, for example, cannot be rationally defended, and he knows it. But that doesn’t matter to him. What matters is that He has the power to forced it down our throats.

    In other words, he holds positions you disagree with.

    Subjectivism cannot leave well enough alone; it always ends with this demand: “Reality is what I want it to be and it must now become your reality. To that end, I will use my power until I break you or until you agree to conform.” That is always the final battle cry of the subjectivist–Sell your soul or die.

    “Convert or die” has also been – and in one case still is – the battle-cry of certain religions.

  12. 12
    StephenB says:

    SB: The academy, which is supposed to be in the business of training young people to think, has chosen instead to contaminate minds with the insane idea that reality is whatever one wants it to be. Until this problem is addressed, no political or economic intervention can save us.

    seversky

    You have evidence that such a belief is being taught as a standard part of the educational curriculum?

    Yes. One good example (out of many) would be social construction theory. Among other things, it teaches that knowledge (and truth) are created in context (as opposed to being apprehended or received), and that knowledge cannot be generalized.

    The nearest I have seen is bornagain’s infatuation with the notion that consciousness precedes – and presumably creates – physical reality. Perhaps you need to take that up with him

    Not the same thing.

    SB: Anthony Kennedy’s subjectivism, for example, cannot be rationally defended, and he knows it. But that doesn’t matter to him. What matters is that He has the power to forced it down our throats.

    In other words, he holds positions you disagree with.

    Its more than that. His position really cannot be defended.

    “Convert or die” has also been – and in one case still is – the battle-cry of certain religions.

    I agree. Religion qua religion is not necessary a good thing. Only what is true in religion is good. Error, especially theological error, is very, very bad.

  13. 13
    bornagain says:

    Are we One Nation under God or One Nation under Darwin? – Phillip Johnson – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDbSNKdTyZs

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    kairosfocus says:

    BA77 (and SB), actually, the pivotal issue is whether it is reasonable –including, responsible — to dismiss God as a culturally stamped, ill-supported commonplace notion. That worldview core issue is driving a lot in policy, institutions, science, education and more. Cf here. KF

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