Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sci Naturalism's Goal of Liberal Humanism

SN's Humanism Part and Parcel
of Incivility Toward Man

Yesterday I wrote, "If the goal of scientific naturalism (SN) is humanism..." I should have written, "Since the goal of SN is humanism..."

Tom Clark, the author of the Guide to Naturalism, once wrote me and said the "Guide" and the Q&A "will be a start in understanding where the progressive, humanistic implications come from in this version of naturalism."

No where that I have been able to discover do any of the websites linked to Clark's "version of naturalism" state explicitly or implicitly that there is any other version of naturalism but the one in his "Guide." When writing about his version, he simply says "naturalism this" and "naturalism that." He conveniently forgets SN was not the norm when naturalism was the dominant doctrine of Greece and western Europe, before Augustine. On the Nature of Things

What Clark's version of "this and that" is, is a scientistic, politically liberal, "father-figure" when it comes to the role of law and the courts.

To quote from a website on the subject of law, punishment, and justice, is to understand this "progressiveness" better:

"I see two assumptions embedded in your question [about what to do with someone who breaks the law]:
1. Punishment is the appropriate response to actions not in agreement with laws
2. Punishment is justice
"My first impression is that those two assumptions are more consistent with a Strict Father view of justice than that of a Nurturant Parent. Progressive justice concerns itself with patiently nurturing responsible behavior towards the community. Laws consistent with that vision can be considered fair. Actions not in accordance with those fair laws should be sanctioned, as long as the sanctions do indeed benefit the whole community, including the sanctioned individuals and their loved ones."

So, progressive justice means turning the courts and the laws into "Nurturant Parents"! The idea of "patiently nurturing responsible behavior towards the community" used to be called "civics class"--before I was born. It is no longer taught. No one any longer understand that "Individual sovereignty was not a peculiar conceit of Thomas Jefferson: It was the common assumption of the day..." Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D. American Sphinx,The Character of Thomas Jefferson

No one remembers that whites are Citizens of the Several States, while blacks did not gain citizenship until the 14th Amendment with its "citizens of the United States Clause," which in effect made them wards of the Federal government. However, we all are now wards of the Federal government.

An important provision was the statement that “'nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.' The right to due process of law and equal protection of the law now applied to both the Federal and state governments."

This was the beginning of the government's power to nationalize legislation to give it undue power over the states, such as the Interstate Commerce Commission, and the FTC, the FCC, and the military draft provisions. It is difficult for people who's individual sovereignty is crafted and manipulated by governments to remain civil under certain conditions; we call such incidents by the name of "civil unrest," and deliberate actions taken to bring attention to such unlawful manipulation is often called "civil disobedience."

But psychologically, it is possible for millions of people who feel deprived of their birth right to fail to care about the birth right of others, and to become unjustly selfish in their actions toward others, thereby forgetting that civility is the best means of accomplishing one's own life, not to mention allowing others to accomplish their own lives.

Look at the state of many individuals' incivility toward others. And when incivility is allowed, as it is today because adults are afraid that opening their mouth might get them shot or beaten, then shootings and beatings occur anyway.

"[U]ndercutting belief in free will has the effect of leading people in a more liberal, compassionate direction, or so I believe," Clark continued. "Of course, naturalism isn’t the only source of humanistic values since there are many humanistic theists."

It is certainly no wonder to me that Christians and other theists decry this form of naturalism. What they fail to understand is that this version, though it is unarguably the prevailing form, is not the only form.

Metaphysical naturalism (MN) does not "undercut belief in free will." MN seeks to provide an understanding of why human will is free will.

What I find incredible is that Clark can openly admit that he welcomes my criticism, "since that can only correct or improve my very likely flawed thinking," he wrote. Yet I have not seen that my criticism has changed one word of his web sites.

Under the sub-heading Social Justice, Clark wrote this: "But there’s another, more fundamental question about poverty [Hurricane Katrina and others] raised: what’s the moral difference between needy victims of a hurricane and those needy to begin with? If the Red Cross funnels millions of dollars to feed, clothe and house those displaced by floods, why not do as much for the homeless already among us? Instead, under cover of deficit reduction, the Bush administration and Republican-controlled Congress are bent on cutting funding for food stamps, school loans, child support, Medicaid and other programs that address the causes and consequences of poverty."

This thinking demonstrates some of the "flaws" Clark in was talking about in his "thinking". The government is not the Red Cross. The Red Cross takes voluntary donations; the government takes "donations" at the point of a gun. Try not paying your taxes, if you think I'm wrong. Without a gun, the IRS has no power at all. Look at what it did to Nat Cole, Willie Nelson, James Brown and others both famous and obscure. The IRS sold Willie Nelson's gold records--after confiscating his house and all its possessions.

Like Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," progressive, humanistic thinking, whether backed by scientism, or by theist or collectivistic thinking, shows a disregard for comparing apples to apples. Before the Supreme Court reversed itself during a more liberal and progressive period in its makeup and gave its stamp of approval to the IRS and its gun, per capita charitable donations were at an all time high, but they dropped to a near record low within two years of the implementation of the IRS.

We now have a religious-humanist incoming President who intends to increase the amount of money that goes into the Bush-implemented policy of giving public money to faith-based organizations. This is obviously not SN, but it isn't MN either, nor is it Objective. It is collectivization for the purpose of redistributing wealth, and Obama is not the only elected official who makes this goal his policy.

But every penny spent for new programs, new bureaus, new agencies costs Americans' more of their sovereignty, and undercuts what little is left of our will to be free. Our free will is limited more by government interference than by any other form of encroachment on our liberty, certainly more than Clark talks about concerning genes, memes, environment, and nurturing.

Actually, redistributing wealth is more than a goal or a policy; it is the doctrine that the common good outweighs the right to individual sovereignty and its exercise of free will. It does not outweigh that sovereignty, not morally, but only in the fact that it has the power of the gun behind it.

Republican democracy, or democratic republicanism, the political system under which America is governed, is specifically charged with the task of writing laws that take as little from common sovereignty as possible, but when it does need to take that sovereignty, it is added to what is called, by Locke and Hobbes, Rousseau and others, as "common sovereignty."

Common sovereignty does not translate into "the common good." Individual sovereignty translates into "the general Welfare" and to securing "the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." Preamble to the Constitution of the United States (which, by the way, did not mean, until the 14th Amendment, a single entity called the United States; but instead means individual States United. That is no longer what it means, and Lincoln proved it by declaring that no states had the right to withdraw from the Union--and then kept them united.)

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