To Hell With Values

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Nov 28, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    One of the best editorial zingers I've read in quite a while...,1,7117164.column
  2. 3rdpath macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2002
    2nd star on the right and straight till morning
    how one party could hijack values, religion and patriotism is beyond me.

    how a majority of americans could goose-step behind this near fascism is even further beyond me.

    thankfully, living in california, much of this mindset is beyond me...
  3. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003
    Interesting read...thanks IJ.

    I have long been of the same opinion, especially the last two paragraphs.

    At the risk of going OT a little, all this talk about "values" by the Right, is really talking about "Judeo-Christian Values". While it is true that much of the character and heritage of the United States derives from these values, they are certainly not the only ones. Morality is hardly a Judeo-Christian invention.

    It is also a Pagan one. Plutarch, Seneca, Cicero, Livy (to name a few of many) were concerned deeply with human morality and came to positions that were as wise as they were just (in comparison to their JC counterparts also.).

    Livy, like Toqueville much later, understood the concept that a healthy Republic grows out of strong Civic and family ties, which is a concept that many Christians can relate to, as can the GOP in catering to that realization. There is something of an Irony,however, in attempting a Judeo-Christian solution.

    The Founding Fathers were heavily influenced by by Pagan morality and virtue as it was a product of History, rather than that of Faith, and much more tragic and realistic. Much of the structure of our Government reflected the Wisdom of Hobbes and Machiavelli, in understanding the primal impulse that drive man and the more tragic side of his nature.

    The drive to implement Judeo-Christian Values as our de-facto morality misses (or ignores) these contributions and presents a problem that Pagan morality does not. Pagan morality, derived from history and man, is both pluralistic and realistic. Judeo-Christianity has neither of these features.

    There has been a separation of Church and State for good reason. While a Policy without moral intent will be cynical, a Policy that seeks to guide, justify and glorify it's every action with moral imperatives risks being extremist. This is also the problem with Faith and Religion. It is not that Religion is bad, but that Religion leads to extremism when it's "otherworldliness" impinges too much on World affairs. The separation of the Political and Religious sphere allows for a Diplomacy free of Otherworldly absolutism of the Church.

    So when you talk about "values" (if you must), remember that Judeo-Christian ones are not the only, nor necessarily the most appropriate, to govern the affairs of men.


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