This writer just finished a very animated conversation with someone who disagrees whole-heartedly with me. The first question that comes to mind is “How can you expect me to think like you, unless you explain to me how you think?” And, once explaining to me how you think, you must convince me intellectually to think that way – not emotionally as I am not ruled by my emotions or that of other’s. It’s not enough to have an opinion, because all opposing viewpoints include opinion. There must be more. What is the basis of your world view?
We live in a world of angry and even militant dichotomies – the polarization of the American culture and landscape has grown exponentially over the last couple of decades, but it has long simmered since the War Between the States – maybe even longer. Is there a possibility of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence? One must define their term of “peace”. There is peace which is a cessation of hostility, and there is peace which is the quiet of a still night; there is peace with God – a spiritual peace, and there is the peace with the devil where you do not resist his will for you. The first three are attractive to me, and the last is unacceptable under any circumstances.
Whenever a problem exists, it is usually necessary to go back to the point at which the problem arose in order to find out why and how the problem came into existence. As many problems as America has today, that could be a very weighty and lengthy endeavor. As best as possible, let’s see if we can make a concise assessment, and in order to do that, certain words or terms must be defined for clarity sake. You don’t have to agree with the definitions of the words, all you have to do is stick to them for the purpose of understanding this writer’s meaning.
Chance is the absence of any visible or cognitive quality behind an event or product. Design is the result of cognitive and deliberate action to achieve a goal or purpose that affects an event or product. Moral is that acceptable behavior which is observed or engaged in by human beings in society, and is usually rewarded by government authority. Immoral is that unacceptable behavior which is observed or engaged in by human beings in society and usually has legal sanctions against it. Immutable Law is a standard of understanding that cannot be changed Ex. Gravity. Moral law constrains acceptable behavior. Immoral law constrains unacceptable behavior. Civil law governs human interaction with moral or immoral applications. Religion is an organized thought process that guides the behavior (moral/immoral) of a group of people. Religious is the acting out of religion. Government is the collective will of a people through the actions of those chosen to represent them for the purpose of instituting and enforcing the civil and moral laws. Culture is a loose, or tight knit, affiliation of people for the purpose of sharing common laws, morality, music, art, entertainment, food, language, dress, humor, etc. Standard is an unalterable immutable rule of life that if not maintained will inevitably lead to violence and societal decay. Liberty is a bit of an enigma, because there is no absolute liberty.; it is the freedom to walk freely, speak freely, use and dispose of your property freely, but responsibly.
With those definitions established, let’s add that the words moral and immoral must be applied in a context in order to have any real meaning. All actions, words and thoughts have some kind of moral/immoral implications and applications. But before we engage in that, we need to understand our origin and our purpose, or all else is of no significance.
There are those who say that humans are on the face of the earth because of “chance” (defined in paragraph 3). Others say that humans are on the face of the earth because of design (defined in paragraph 3). Let’s examine chance first. If chance is the origin of man, then how did that come about? We are told a “big bang” by those who ascribe to chance. The source or cause of the “Big bang” is not explained; it is just accepted as fact. From the “Big bang” came one cell beings living in some kind of ooze. Again, no explanation is given as to where the being or ooze came from. Out of the ooze came mutations from a one cell being that climbed up unto dry land (no explanation other than the “Big bang” for the land). Once upon the land, the being mutated into a slightly higher life form over millennia, and life forms continued to “evolve” over billions of years until finally, along came beings referred to as man, and man evolved over millennia from cave man to astronaut. No formal purpose for man can possible be within the context of chance. Therefore, there is also no obligation to even acknowledge chance as having any significance in one’s life. Once a functioning being, man creates and guides his own destiny – which essentially is his design. This is a synopsis, of the view of our origin from chance, and not all people agree with this view.
Then, there are those who say humans are on the face of the earth because of design. Those who believe in design acknowledge that the “Designer” is God. Those who acknowledge design have different understandings of God/god. The major groups include Jews, Christians, Muslims and there are other religious groups as well who acknowledge God/god. In the design view, some religions view god as passive and uninvolved. Some view the universe as having many gods although they still believe in some form of design. Then there are those who believe that God is one God and He created all things including human beings, immutable laws, moral laws etc. for His purposes and His glory. They believe He spoke all into existence out of nothing (a “Big bang” if you will). They also believe that He revealed Himself to man through speaking and visions and angels (messengers) for the purpose of instructing and guiding man and holding him accountable (both for temporal and eternal judgment) for his actions. All of which gives man an understanding of his origin, his purpose in life and his destination in life and eternity. This is a synopsis of the design view of our origin, and not all people agree with this view.
If there is another view besides chance and design, this writer is not aware of one.
Reconciling the chance/design contrast has been the cause of wars and misery for thousands of years. Many things have been done in the name of God that ought not to have been done, and have angered those who adhere to both the design and chance positions. Apart from the Bible and the Judeo-Christian perspective, there is no religion in which it is claimed that the source of that religion is directly from God and as such has His imprimatur on their writings and their actions. Only in the Bible is there a Divine instruction to kill and destroy, and it is only applicable in a particular time and place and does not have universal and indefinite application – for example what Israel is doing to Palestine today is not Divinely inspired and as best this writer can tell is contrary to Biblical principles and teaching. It’s this sort of thing that has left peoples of the world at odds with each other for the millennia.
Let’s move on to moral/immoral. Certain African tribal cultural norms allow for stealing the cattle of another tribe. That is moral behavior. The other tribe understands this, and steals them right back which is also moral behavior. So, we can see that moral is a cultural norm in some circumstances, and therefore can contradict other culture’s norms. For example, stealing in western society is considered immoral, although stealing in western society has become very sophisticated for some people such as bankers who control money and manipulate it to their advantage at the expense of those who are forced to use and accept it by the civil law of the land.
Additionally, in western society, the government has become an arbiter of what is moral and immoral. So, there’s two cultural distinctions that either guide or allow for certain moral conduct. One is the government which is the main power, and the other is a sub-culture that often acts outside of the government with their own standard of moral behavior. When the two contradict each other significantly enough, something has to give in the main culture. An example might be that marijuana consumption is immoral and yet the sub-culture says we’re going to do it anyway. As the sub-culture grows in that direction and the punishments and/or sanctions that the main culture inflicts upon the sub-culture becomes intolerable to the sub-culture, or impossible to enforce for the main culture, then something must give, and in the case of many states in America, the main culture gave way to the sub-culture so that consuming marijuana is now a moral act.
In the case of marijuana consumption, there is a mixed opinion as to the benefits and the detriments of its use. For argument sake in this case, let’s say that its use is relatively benign, and nobody is being forced beyond their will to either use it or abstain from it. It has been decriminalized and the government now benefits from it in the form of tax revenues. What happens if there is an issue in which someone suffers due to what society considered an immoral issue and then it becomes a moral issue. Is making something once considered immoral now moral a good thing, a beneficial thing and the right thing to do? There are those who would say “No!” – maybe even “Hell No!”
Now, remembering the distinction between chance and design (¶3). Those who adhere to chance tend to go with the majority viewpoint unless they disagree, and their disagreement tends to reflect their feeling and beliefs which are based upon their emotions that hit them at the time as they do not have clearly stated and immutable moral law guiding them. Those who believe in design have immutable moral law as their belief and guide. When the first camp (chance) won’t accept, or even investigate the second camp’s (design) understanding, then there will never be any peace. The design perspective is backed up with empirical examples throughout history of those who operate on the chance side, or are just downright wicked in their moral behavior.
Let’s look at a very real possible scenario. A 16-year-old boy with raging hormones happens to find himself confronted by a naked woman encouraging him to take full advantage of her. This writer knows what he would have done, and did do, when he was 16; a believer in chance and not in design. This writer also knows that what he did when he was 16 was wrong, and he would not do that today. But, why not? Was it because he might have gotten a sexually transmitted disease? Was it because he might have brought about a pregnancy of the woman? Would it be because the cultural norm forbade it at that time? All three of these things were used in a high school sex education class which offered zero moral perspectives. No, none of the above. It would only have to be rejected and avoided because the God of design said it is wrong and a sin against Him, and my body.
In today’s culture, sex is about as inhibited as breathing air. Why, and how did the change come to pass in the last 50 years? The obvious answer is our culture changed, but remember, according to the ¶3 definition, part of a culture is an agreed upon morality. Now, the agreed upon sexual moral behavior is anything goes except for sexual harassment of women, and that one seems to get pretty dicey and unclear depending upon which side of the fence you’re on. One major technological advancement that this writer believes has led to the current status is “The Pill”. Yes, birth control has freed up women to be sexually liberated, and men to have no responsibility attached to their sexual avarice. The problem comes when birth control is either not adhered to or has somehow failed. Then you have an “unwanted” pregnancy. That is the fruit of the sin of sex outside of marriage which is referred to as fornication. Now, what to do with the “unwanted” inconvenience?
We’re again back to chance and design. The chance people see the “unwanted” fruit as a “piece of tissue” not worthy of notice and to be disposed of under the circumstances. The design people see the “unwanted” fruit as a human being “created in the image of God” at the point of conception. As it is chartered in our law system (the Constitution), the purpose of that document and the government coming from it, is to guarantee the protection of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (often understood as private property). Now we see the polarization coming into play. How do you define life? Those who are fluid in the design camp have different definitions. Those who adhere to the design view ardently have only one definition, and the chance people have numerous definitions from the first trimester to late term abortion and even after the baby is delivered it’s o.k. to abort it because it is not yet “viable”. So, who’s right and who’s wrong. What is the moral imperative here?
Remember ¶3, we have a culture, a government and moral/civil law. Society, like it or not, is bound by those things if it is to exist in any modicum of peace and harmony. Whether you’re in the chance camp, or the design camp, you have a desire for peace – maybe not an inclination for it – who knows? So, how do you reconcile intractable viewpoints on basic and fundamental life issues? Likely, you won’t. It will come down to the force of law, and/or violence to subdue those who disagree. There has been some of that in America over the last 45 years of Roe vs. Wade and the aftermath of 59 million abortions.
Abortion is not the only issue, but it was the first real political litmus test for candidates for office. Now, we have other issues of great magnitude as well. These issues have come forth from what is known as the “Progressive” movement. Progressivism has been adopted by the Democratic Party very heartily, and only nominally by the Republican Party. The Libertarian Party is a mixed bag. Progressivism is closely allied with Socialism and Communism (known as scientific atheism). This shows another clear distinction between the chance and design camp. The chance camp cannot justify, or at least satisfactorily demonstrate that man is born to be free spiritually, morally and economically. Indeed, the collective nature of Progressivism and its attendant political ideologies leads to a tyranny (Godless rule) by the state over those with whom the state disagrees.
It is the goal of those political entities to pursue the destruction of all objective moral behavior that is unacceptable to them and would be immoral behavior to the design camp. We are talking about the basis of people’s world view. It’s so fundamental and ingrained, that there is no room for compromise. It is in fact; war! The Bible speaks of it in the book of Ephesians chapter 6 verse 12, and in that it refers to spiritual warfare, but spiritual warfare can easily spill over into hard-nosed, face to face, mano a mano, toe to toe, fists, guns, bombs and knives warfare in a heartbeat. The design camp wishes to avoid that confrontation, and likely the chance camp does too. But, there are unresolved differences, and as the Progressives bring upon the design camp more and more government changes to the immutable moral behavior, they back the design camp into a corner where they have no room to either move or escape. Some examples would be taxing the design camp to pay for abortion or to provide tax support for other moral issues which are repugnant to either camp. What to do?
Let’s examine another aspect that the chance camp, or Progressives, champion in the area of sexuality. They are very accepting of adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexuality, transgenderism, transexualism, cross dressing, and who knows what else? Recently, the more “advanced” progressives have started to champion very aggressively pederasty which is sex between a man and a boy (boy generally being between the ages of 8 and 16). There is an organization called NAMBLA which is an acronym for North American Man Boy Love Association. At one time, they had an official NGO (non-governmental organization) position in the United Nations, which, under pressure, declassified them. Within that camp is a smaller, but still very vocal group that is championing pedophilia which is sex between an adult and a very young child – usually at least 2 years old and up to the age of 8. Now, if a kid going to a government (taxpayer funded) school cannot get an aspirin without approval from the school nurse, why should society approve of the same kid being a sexual plaything for an adult without the nurse’s permission? That of course is a rhetorical question, because, at least for now, the nurse is not authorized to give that permission, and likely nobody is going to ask for it either.
The libertarian philosophy is that you should be able to do whatever you want as long as you “don’t hurt anyone”. The chance camp comports well with that, but in either case, who defines hurt, and how is hurt determined, and how many years does it take to manifest the hurt before society sees the hurt? Experience and observation over a long period of time reveals many things, and that is why we have the moral and civil laws that we do. To quote George Santayana; “Those who do not remember the past, are doomed to repeat it.” When it comes to evils, tragedies and destructive behavior, how many of you enjoy repeating those things?
Society institutes government for the protection first and foremost of society. As the saying goes, out of chaos comes order. The order can be top down which is the chance camp’s approach, or at least that’s always their ultimate solution, or it can be bottom up which is the design camp’s approach and comports well with the American Constitutional form of government. So, is a trusting 12-year-old boy who is talked into sexual activity with a 30-year-old man “hurt” by the action? You’d need to talk with a lot 12-year-old boys to find out their assessment after the fact, and some who have grown to adults would tell you “yes” they were hurt. Is a 12-year-old so mature, especially in today’s society, that he can handle things like this without consequences emotionally or spiritually – or maybe even intellectually?
What if someone in the design camp, or maybe even in the chance camp, has a young son or daughter who is drawn into one of these relationships? Should they be compelled to accept that? Should they be compelled to endorse and/or embrace that? What if they had spent their child rearing to teach their child that sex before marriage is immoral? Have they abused their child, or has the adult pederast or pedophile abused their child? From the corporate mainstream (lamestream) news media, we are confronted with stories of serial child molesters who had only physical lust for their young victims, and cared not for their spiritual and emotional lives, but merely used them as an object of pleasure. It was even reflected in the “Speaker of the House of Representative; Republican Dennis Hastert, who ended up disgraced. And we hear from time to time stories of people held against their will as sex objects. How many stories never even make the news. Are we to assume that this immoral behavior should be acceptable? Should our culture change to accommodate pederasty and pedophilia? Maybe we should go all the way with bestiality (sex with animals) and necrophilia (sex with dead bodies). That would be pushing the design camp too far into a corner, although the chance camp might not see it that way. These sexual deviates “need our understanding and compassion” would likely be the chance camp’s mantra.
People in high office and in positions of trust are constantly being exposed for their immoral behavior. The “Lolita Express” is well known to law enforcement who arrested and jailed for one-year Jeffrey Epstein who facilitated it. Jeffrey owns an island more than 12 miles off of the territorial waters of the United States, so he is out of U.S. jurisdiction. There he flies high ranking officials to enjoy the sexual favors and pleasures of young children (generally around the age of 12) and lured there by deception, and held there by force. Bill Clinton is thought to have visited there 26 times, and supposedly Donald Trump 3 times. Is it o.k. for that kind of stuff to happen just because society has “progressed”? Is it o.k. just because someone else does it – especially if it is a high ranking official? The parents of those children might disagree, and certainly even if no familial relationship exists, the design camp would disagree vehemently and to the extent of doing physical battle someday if it becomes necessary. In the meantime, the chance camp is either indifferent to, or covering up, this activity in order to protect themselves and/or their icons.
So, we have examples of the chance and design camps and where they stand on some of the more pressing issues of the day, but what about other less pressing but still very important issues? Let’s take for example the second guarantee of the Constitution which is “liberty”. Liberty is a bit of an enigma, because there is no absolute liberty. Liberty is the freedom to walk freely, speak freely, use and dispose of your property freely, although responsibly. But there are constraints and restraints. You can’t walk by a person laying bloody on the sidewalk and ignore their plight – there are laws that will hold you accountable if you fail to act responsibly to help that person in need. You cannot cry “fire” in a crowded theater causing a panic and maybe the death or injury of people in the theater as they flee to the exit doors. The chance camp tends to put a lot more restrictions on liberty by coming up with things the U.S. Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional such as “Hate Speech”. Hate is very subjective, and the chance camp has included in it any criticism of sexual proclivities, abortion choices, gender references racial comments and even in comedy and so on. Indeed, the chance camp more and more favors censorship and the abolition of the First Amendment. The design camp is much more liberal in this arena.
Let’s do a cursory (as much as possible) examination of the third guarantee of “happiness”/property rights. What makes you happy? Maybe it’s a Big Mac, or a Porterhouse steak, or somewhere in between. Maybe it’s a big house in the suburbs or a dinky apartment in the heart of the city. Maybe it’s a flashy Corvette, or a Volkswagen bug? The bottom line, is that it is what is yours to use and dispose of as you wish. Property is something you can obtain, hopefully through hard work, ingenuity or a combination of the two. Once you have it, and you die, you should be able to pass it on to your family. The chance camp would prefer you pass it on to the government through inheritance taxes, and the design camp would encourage and allow you to pass it on. Some in the design camp are inclined to want a little piece for the government, but not a confiscatory amount.
When it comes to property, there are many restrictions and limitations. For instance, if you own a piece of undeveloped land, you have to pay property taxes on it even though you receive no income from it. That is a form of a wealth tax that after time might deplete any value the property had for you. Thankfully, land is not being made any more, so it will always have some value as long as there is no government designation like a toxic waste site, or a wetlands site that would invalidate its use and therefore any value. Of course, the chance people, and even some of the design people have rationalized the need to achieve the “highest use” of the land, and therefore, the property tax forces one to develop the land. That could be debated as to the moral rightness of that approach. But, what about a senior citizen who owns their own home, and it is paid for cash, but they don’t actually own it because they have to rent to the government in the form of property tax, and if they don’t, it can be confiscated from them and sold for the taxes? What if that senior citizen has large medical expenses, or more than likely can no longer earn money? Are they to be subject to homelessness to satisfy the avarice of the state/county taxing authorities? The chance camp, and even some design camp people would support that, although they would not like the wording of my question as presented.
How about the person who works hard and has some money to invest, and they are kind of handy, so they buy a distressed property and fix it up. After that, they rent it to someone. What if that someone is a pig and trashes the property and refuses to pay the rent as well? The chance camp would side with the miscreant tenant because the landlord is a “bourgeois pig” who deserves no consideration for his hard work, thriftiness and saving ability (which usually means sacrifice and deferred gratification). Tenant’s rights in many parts of America far and away exceed landlord’s rights. Indeed, the moral thing would be to have both protected. This writer is aware of a specific situation in Berkeley, California where a couple bought a starter home when first married. They had children and moved to a larger home. They kept the starter home as a rental. The woman was widowed; sold her larger home and gave notice to her tenants that she wanted to move back into her starter home. The tenants had ample notice, but refused to move. With the aid of Marxist lawyers from the lawyer’s guild, they were able to retain their position in the widow’s home for two years before she was able to access it again for herself. Is that a moral right, or wrong?
How about that Corvette you bought? You can’t drive it unless you get a license. A license is not just a flat fee, but it is priced relative to the purchase price of the vehicle, so the Volkswagen bug license might be $200, and the Corvette might be $1500. It’s all part of a philosophy of the chance camp that “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” (a Marxist philosophy). The chance camp with their government top down coercion approach have self-anointed themselves to be the arbiter of what you should or should not have and how much you should or should not have to pay to enjoy that which you have or would like to have. The chance camp fraudulently champions the poor while keeping them down. Often times, the design camp is equally egregious in this way. It’s often referred to as the politics of envy, and envy is a very powerful and ruthless emotion which should never, but in reality, does, have the force of law behind it.
So, we’ve seen aspects of chance and design, and moral and immoral. We’ve had specific examples of both, and how they interplay and some of the results that come out of them. This essay was not designed to tell anyone how to think, or even what to think. There are a lot of question marks at the end of sentences; admittedly some are rhetorical. This writer has a great concern for his nation, his fellow man and ultimately and most importantly the truth. As Pontius Pilate said; “What is truth?” My answer to that question would be a total lack of guile and hypocrisy with absolute forthrightness of the facts without an agenda to conceal anything. Now, if the truth has not been spoken here, please advise this writer, because intellectual honesty is among his highest concerns.
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