Thursday, July 23, 2009

nObama Healthcare plan - what's so confusing about it?

People think nobama care is confusing... Au contraire, I think it is very self explanatory. But first a quick review.

We started off with a 'healthcare system' that consisted of

  1. You on one side.

  2. Your Doctor on the other side.

  3. A bill that followed along afterwards.

This was soon followed by the system we have currently, that has been jiggered around by various helpful Govt initiatives to consist at this point of,

  1. You on one side.

  2. Your Doctor on the other side.

  3. Some form of insurance company and assorted regulations in between, for which you pay year around, if you should choose to be involved in it.

Now, nObama is proposing a remarkable solution to that 'problem', and in a show of bi-partisanship, the GOP has even provided a handy-dandy picture of it, which is useful, a picture being worth a thousand words and all... and thousands of words are needed to describe this thing, here it is:

(Blogger's being a pain, won't let me update the pic, full size image here - thanks Alan)

, whereby they propose that,

  1. On one side, there is You, in need of medical attention.

  2. On the other side is your Doct... oh, sorry, 'Health care provider'.

  3. In between you and your Doctor, is the entire bureaucratic structure of the federal government, with all their many, many, many bureaucrats, and their rules, regulations and continuing efforts to either get power, maintain power, or use their power... oh, sorry, I mean 'help you'.
Like I said self explanatory.

Insane... sure... but self explanatory.

Ok, this much I get,
1 - People want more access to medical care, with the same or better quality of care, at a lower cost or even at no cost.

I Got it. Understandable.

It's the second part that I don't get.
2- They want, and expect, the government to be able to accomplish that for them, by replacing the 'private' insurance fiasco they've already mandated for us, with one entirely designed and run by... the Govt?

Has anyone in this entire nation ever repeated those two sentences to themselves, back to back? And still said "Yeah, sounds good to me"?

Baffling, horrifying, and amazing, all at the same time.

And something which The Gunslinger clarified, our true Rights involve being left free to do or say something ourselves, they don't presume a Right TO something of someone else's.

These numerous leftist 'Rights', such as healthcare, involve having a Right TO something, which means that someone else MUST provide it to you, which means that they don't have the Right to choose to offer you some thing or service, but MUST provide it for you.

Didn't we fight a Civil War that revolved around such an issue?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Unknown Conspiracies – You don’t think, therefore, they are

“Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” General George S. Patton
A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will in time produce a people as base as itself." Joseph Pulitzer
So much talk of conspiracies today... quite alarming, the talk, not the conspiracies - if there are any of the back room variety seeking to pull the levers of power, then they are at best feeble and foolish.

The best Conspiracies don't require their conspirators to conspire with each other. I’d go as far as to say that intentional conspiracies are but T-Ball league push over’s in the game of life.

My apologies to the Bilderbergers, 9/11 Truthers, Goldman-Sachs and all the rest, but if you even have to make such wide and far reaching plans, your conspiracy is severely limited and handicapped right off of the bat. If it requires a person, or even a committee, to organize, to exert control, to check up on and to call the shots from above - continuously and flawlessly... anyone who attempts that in any facet or degree of life is going to be condemned to the amateur hour on the world stage, and will likely reap embarrassing screw ups and jail time, or worse, in fairly short order.

Hell, that can’t even be done out in the open, which is one of the reasons why a command economy fails every time.

A successful conspiracy, like a successful free market, relies on no one person or group of people, it relies upon individuals, screwy as they may be, doing what they see as the best thing for them to do to advance their interests, independently and unawares of other peoples similar efforts. This achieves not only efficiency, but also a sort of widely distributed secrecy... everyone is acting upon their own choices... towards a common goal, without the need to consciously direct or coordinate each others efforts.


Through Philosophy... which makes unwitting conspirators of us all.

It is with fundamental ideas, in and of their own motive power, which ensures that those who buy into them, that their thoughts, decisions and actions, will fall into line... and with that in place, no Mr. Big need bother with hiring muscle or offering a better benefits package than does KAOS or CONTROL.
But everywhere we hear people muttering about conspiracies, the FED, the bailouts, Tarp funds, fired CEO's and executive bonuses, glowbull warming and illiterate, mathematically challenged masses as China overtakes us and islambies submerge Europe... surely there are conspiracies afoot! How can there not be?

Well, as I mentioned above, there may be small groups with plots and stratagems, but national and globally saturating conspiracies overpowering all of our fates?

Nope. At least not as most think of them. If you want to think about 'conspiracies' which control every facet of the lives and actions of millions, billions even, if you're looking for people purposefully controlling them... you're looking in the wrong places for them.

The only human power capable of manipulating entire populations, are ideas; and not just any ideas, I'm afraid "Every day is Earth Day!" isn't going to cut it (though I do like my "Exploit the earth, or Die!").

But slogans are not ideas.

If you want to know what fundamental idea has driven the greatest conspiracy in modernity, driven millions, if not billions, of people to act in opposition to what is good, beautiful and true (IOW in service to darkness), I can sum it up in the few words which first summed it up and set it loose.

"Cogito Ergo Sum”, or in English “I think, therefore, I am."

There you go. You don’t come across many sentences capable of destroying an entire civilization. Talk about the Pen being mightier than the sword!

René Descartes - Philosopher and Civilization Slayer31 March 1596 – 11 February 1650

What does it mean? Well, here’s a snippet of what Descartes himself had to say about his little philosophical ditty,
“I thought it necessary that I reject as absolutely false everything in which I could imagine the least doubt, so as to see whether, after this process, anything in my set of beliefs remains that is absolutely indubitable.”
Hmmm… does that sound… bad?
Professor Alan Charles Kors summarized Descartes conclusions this way:
“Cogito, ergo sum: I think, therefore I am. It cannot be doubted. There is no hypothesis whatsoever, not even the evil demon hypothesis, that can overcome the indubitability of I think, therefore I am. Now, I don’t know if anything else is true, but I know that I exist as a thinking being. I may not have a body; that might be all illusion. There might not be a world out there; that might be all illusion. But I exist; because I think, therefore I am.”
What that all means in its core and practice, is that if you can doubt it, for any reason, you cannot confidently say it is true, and if you can’t doubt it, then it must be true! In his Discourse on Method, Descartes says,
"After this I inquired in general into what is essential I to the truth and certainty of a proposition; for since I had discovered one which I knew to be true, I thought that I must likewise be able to discover the ground of this certitude. And as I observed that in the words I think, therefore I am, there is nothing at all which gives me assurance of their truth beyond this, that I see very clearly that in order to think it is necessary to exist, I concluded that I might take, as a general rule, the principle, that all the things which we very clearly and distinctly conceive are true, only observing, however, that there is some difficulty in rightly determining the objects which we distinctly conceive. "
Oh go on, admit it… doesn’t that seem sensible? Enticing even? Doubt what seems doubtful, be certain of what you can’t doubt… you are the judge of what’s what, not taking anything on heresay… seems sensible? Even responsible, right?

No Slippery Slope – You’re Either Standing Or You've Fallen
Be careful though, don't let it fool you, look closer, but beee careful... not too close... the edges are slathered with grease and there is no slippery slope here, take just one step along that path and you are suddenly at the bottom.

I’ve been fretting about, trying to find the best, and briefest, approach to getting a good view of Descartes, without pitching over the edge into him … and believe me, there are many ways we could dig into his philosophy, his “Rules for Thinking”, his Discourses, Meditations, his Objections (against those who objected to those)… any one of which I could churn out 30-40 pages easily. But wanting to spare you and me both from that, I’m going to set in on two core points, what unites his famous dualism, doubt, and Cogito, in thought destructive power.

So, let’s have a look - … here we go,

“I see very clearly that in order to think it is necessary to exist…” eh… well sure… ok… “I concluded that I might take, as a general rule, the principle, that all the things which we very clearly and distinctly conceive are true, ” all things I distinctly conceive… are true? Because I distinctly conceive them? But…didn’t people distinctly conceive that the sun revolved around the earth? That slavery was the natural order? ”… only observing, however, that there is some difficulty in rightly determining the objects which we distinctly conceive.” … something’s out of order here…can’t quite put the finger on it….

Be careful now, because he does not say, that in order to establish truth, you will examine the facts and basis for your ideas, check your ideas against reality, and in looking for contradictions between what is, and what is proposed, that you will examine, test and verify as best as you can whether they are true or not while working towards a clearer and clearer conception of what is True, no no no nooo… what it does say, is that you, within the confines of your own little isolated mind, checking only against your own notions of how things seem to you, those notions are sufficient to decide whether something measures up to your notions… or not.. without reference to reality, and reality is then officially pronounced to be, as you clearly and distinctly imagine it to be.

Now wait, you might say, what about “I see very clearly that in order to think it is necessary to exist” that’s saying reality comes first, isn’t it? Nope. What it says, is that because he can’t imagine thinking without existing, he must exist, which turns the evidentiary tree, and reality itself, on its head. It puts the conclusion first, and spins a plausible story to support it. He rationalizes existence as existing, in order to prop up his conclusion that in order to be thinking, he must exist.

There is much dithering and dissembling on this matter and about what he really meant, but that IS what it means. Pay attention to the rest of what he said, and what is necessarily implied by what he said, and you will see that that is what, what he said, means. Furthermore, if you pay attention to what has developed out of it over the centuries, you’ll see that not only is the Cartesian method of critical doubt in opposition to reality, but it attempts to raise the whims of the doubter over reality and give those doubts and assertions the standing of truth. Examine it for yourself… it is… critical that you do, because these days most of the ideas you are presented with to try on for size, have been cut from that inverted cloth. A deductive thinking process, begun in an area where there is no inferential structure and understanding, is doomed to a trajectory of self-delusion and failure.

It is this aspect of Descartes' method which is what I’m going to flog to death here, because it, more than anything else, is the common factor in all of his philosophy and also because the method most often used by those following in his wake and applying his methods.

If you want to know how a President of the United States of America can swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, while publicly working to destroy it (what makes you think I mean Obama? Hello TR? Wilson? FDR? These would fit just as well), or in a nation of laws, not men, nominates a justice to the SCOTUS who desires its opposite in empathetic women applying laws over men (what makes you think I mean Sotamayor? Could be Ruth “Buzzy” Ginsberg as well, even on off days, O’Connor… ok, I do mean Sotamayor… but still….); to understand all of that you need to understand of what is meant by “Cogito Ergo Sum – I think, therefore, I am” and, more importantly, the patterns of thought operating behind it.

This isn’t mere drawing room banter, it is of life or death importance, it is the weapon being used to destroy us and to destroy you. Today. Right now.

Dualism – A diagnosis that spreads the disease
Dualism is the typical identification and criticism of The Cartesian Method, and although true, it is IMHO, only an effect of it, not a cause or definition of his philosophical method; and in fact, it is a typical result of having bought into the real problem of his Method of Doubt: that reality must prove itself to your satisfaction, not the other way around. That, and that inconsistencies do not need to be discovered from the inside out and bottom up from actual observations which didn’t add up, but are sufficiently declared to exist because it seemed possible for them to be doubtful (not sure how… but… maaayyybbeeee sooo…. mayyybeee the Super Bowl is rigged… mayyybeee JFK was killed by the military/industrial complex… mayyybeee the oil companies are keeping water powered cars from us….), maybe there’s an inaccuracy or maybe something isn’t provable, and since it seems likely, it’s ok to declare it from the top down and outside in, by assertion, fear and doubt.

The Dualism of Descartes centers on the idea that man is divided between an immaterial soul and the separate material meat of the body, separate and distinct entities, and implied is that the mind is more real, and the later is unworthy and a drag upon the first; seeming instances of integration, of ‘happiness’ are unenlightened delusions.

Dualism wipes away all evidence of joy, accomplishment, life, love; wipes away any unity or relation between them, merely on the shallow perception that “I think, my thumb doesn’t, therefore the two are separate and opposed”.

However, body and mind are not opposed, they are one, integrated unit. That doesn’t mean that different portions don’t have different functions, or even that some distillation of the whole might not proceed on, leaving the rest behind (or just as easily, I suppose, perish together), that still doesn’t imply wholly separate and distinct ‘dualism’ of body vs mind. Dualism is a position resulting from the shallow thinking of doubt as the legitimate method of establishing and criticizing all theories. But it’s real toxicity lies in the fact that most people who criticize it, do so only after implicitly using and accepting its methods. They’ve already accepted his starting point as the basis for critical thinking.

This example is typical of people analyzing Descartes’ Discourse on Method, that it

“…establishes two key elements of Descartes' theory of knowledge. The first is his radical separation of the thinking ego, the "I," the soul, from the physical realm of the body and nature. The world, given this metaphor, is fundamentally dualistic, with a spiritual and thinking part within human beings separated from an inert, mechanical world of non-human nature (more about this later). And the second is that a certainty like that provided by mathematic axioms and the deductions of geometry will be the criterion by which we assess what we know. …”
This is taken as a legitimate conclusion, mechanical body vs imprisoned mind, based upon… what exactly?

Now think about what Descartes has stated as a respectable premise and position, that maybe you could have no body, or world, and still think…! Such a thing cannot be said, while retaining the knowledge of what the words mean! If he’d said “Jalepeno’s are hot and burn in the mouth, so chewing Jalepeno’s and then spitting in your gas tank may enable you to run your car, and if that is true, then we can solve the energy crisis through more Mexican food and Salsa”, would you allow him to complete his next sentence? Would you listen to a professor who considered that meaningful?

Thinkers thinking thoughts through Descartes’ Method of Doubt, will be drawn into reducing concepts to the shallowest of statements (such as thinking without a body), and then while supposing that consciousness comes prior to, and that ideas are even primary over, reality, to what IS. “I think, therefore I am”, is a metaphysical distillation of the ultimate foundations of mans reality, and as its starting point from a metaphysical void, it first writes upon the clean slate of the cosmos: “I think…”; it doesn’t start with any form of existence, no light or firmament, or prime mover (though by implication it lets you play God while politely helping you to hide that from yourself… or at least from others) or other first causes, or things thought of, no, it begins with “I”, me me me meee… and ‘think’. Your internal thoughts, unintegrated suppositions, propositions, whims, desires, these shallow thoughts bereft of depth, or any relation to referents in reality, are put forth as being satisfactory starting points, and sufficient proof that you exist, and through your intellectual existence your incarnation follows, first comes thought, then follows reality. It is all nested within this philosophic ditty and there is sooo much more implied in that simple phrase, the Cogito, I assure you, a cautious reading of not only intellectual history from that day to this will prove it so, but even everyday “common sense” attributions (will look at later), will provide abundant evidence of what I am saying.

Take a look at the incidental suppositions Descartes has made, most of which is presented as pure matter of course examples, particularly this from Part IV of his Discourse on Method,

“In the next place, I attentively examined what I was and as I observed that I could suppose that I had no body, and that there was no world nor any place in which I might be; but that I could not therefore suppose that I was not; and that, on the contrary, from the very circumstance that I thought to doubt of the truth of other things, it most clearly and certainly followed that I was; while, on the other hand, if I had only ceased to think, although all the other objects which I had ever imagined had been in reality existent, I would have had no reason to believe that I existed; I thence concluded that I was a substance whose whole essence or nature consists only in thinking, and which, that it may exist, has need of no place, nor is dependent on any material thing; so that "I," that is to say, the mind by which I am what I am [there are very few literate Christians of his time who wouldn’t notice the resemblance to God’s response when Moses asked the burning bush ‘who are you?’], is wholly distinct from the body, and is even more easily known than the latter, and is such, that although the latter were not, it would still continue to be all that it is.
”[emphasis mine]

When he casually says “I observed that I could suppose that I had no body” or even “that there was no world nor any place in which I might be” , you really must think of the enormity of what he dismisses in that supposition, and does so as the basis for imagining that he is thinking! Not the least of which is, without a body, without a life, not only should you wonder how you would possibly think, but WHY would you be thinking?! Of what use or purpose would philosophy be, without a life to be enhanced by it!? The secret answer to this is, that such philosophy has nothing to do with human life, and in all of its fundamentals, is opposed to it; and unless you are very careful, allowing these disintegrated (and disintegrating) suppositions into your mind, imports the whole of this destructive pattern of thinking into your own thoughts.

This is the border crossing coyote with which he smuggles the entirety of his philosophy into your own method of thinking. How can you possibly say these things, except by ejecting all of experience and all of your personal observations and daily interactions with reality, all that you know to be true, all knowledge you have of the world, of life, of reality… with that simple phrase he undermines the very foundations of the human method of understanding, knowledge and of reasoning… just jettisons them out the window as something to be credibly assumed, not even part of his actual argument. You just posit whatever the hell you arbitrarily want to, and continue on from there.

Reasoning to Death – The First anti-human philosophy
The Critical Method of Doubt sets up a reoccurring pattern of thought that has been picked up and run with by those who have followed it, where you propose something flat out impossible, and accept it a ‘plausable’ and then proceed ‘as if’ it could be true, letting all that results from it as being considered worthy of thought (take a look at the standard ‘necessary’ vs. ‘contingent’ propositions routinely offered in college classes). It involves no observations to give support to the suspicion that you ever could have no body, and presupposes the evasion of all knowledge you have to the contrary… no evidence, no support for such an outlandish suspicion, he offers no reasonable basis for the ‘doubt’, and this is key, there is not only no reason for the doubt, but the doubt itself is in every way possible, anti-reasoning. This philosophy is at best a form of philosophical taxidermy; it takes concepts, vivisects them, guts them of their depth of meaning, preserves their appearances and arranges them in ‘lifelike’ scenarios, as if they still had any relation to human life and thought.
It is anti-reason and anti-human, and the resulting affects of it are too abundant to note here, just a glance at modern art, or the painted but empty teens congregating in the halls and lots of a shopping malls on Friday night, will serve up an abundance of evidence for this. That which gives rise to dualism, and the cogito, necessarily is a full and complete rejection of Reason, because it not only admits the arbitrary (a reason killer all itself – see logic 101), but does so as a matter of course, while substituting mere floating calculations in its place, calculations aping reason with logic chopping and disintegrated notions, result in the proverbial Garbage In – Garbage Out.

That which gives rise to Dualism and the Cogito, is necessarily anti-reason because it not only admits the arbitrary (a reason killer all itself), but actually does so as a matter of course. The substitution of mere floating calculations in the place, calculations aping reason with logic chopping and disintegrated.

It is only possible to a mind that has first bought into the notion that there is a possible anti-concept, of analytic and synthetic truths – that form and function can be separate, that theory and practice can exist in contradictory forms – then you are believing that A can be both A and not A, at the same time, and so ultimately unknowable – which brings you into the windowless room of skepticism, and once in, Descartes locks the door behind you, letting you determine what reality should consist of, by virtue of your deformed certainty. Of course, it doesn’t take long to realize that you can’t be certain of anything, you could be just a brain in a vat after all (see his evil demon hypothesis), and so soon you even doubt that you are, and especially that you are thinking. See Dennett and Dawkins for examples of this.

Titanic Folly
Reason works with integrating both the immediate and extended associations of concepts, towards a united, non-contradictory whole. It deals not only with the surface appearances, but with the 2/3+ that floats below the surface, ever mindful that those extended associations and their integrations, are there, not to be ignored. Doubt, on the other hand, discards all of a concepts larger meaning without a glance, it operates on the shallowest two dimensional surface perceptions of thoughts, and presumes to arrange and cram them together wherever they wish, blind to any deeper and more substantial meaning they have. Like a captain who attempts to navigate through icebergs while paying attention only to what he sees floating above the water… his journey is not going to end well. Such a captain is Descartes, and his Critical Method of Doubt is the Titanic of philosophy, and it will suck you down with it when those ignored lower 2/3’s rips its hull open, and cold reality rushes in.

Such a doubt as to whether or not you need a body to think, is just proposed out of arbitrary imagination, and this is used to give support for the substance of a major philosophical premise, and not as part of the premise itself, but worse, as part of the accepted steps for gathering ‘evidence’ for its key premise… steps which are then repeated by nearly everyone in either supporting or refuting it… and in the process they HAVE accepted the core of his philosophy, hook, line and sinker. To say such a thing is to drop, as a matter of course, all depth of meaning, abandon the integrated reality developed through human reason in favor of the flat world of appearances which the animal nature cannot penetrate beyond – it is to abandon Reason in favor of surface fears, and hospitable to any and all assertions, defenseless before them, where you will be ‘free’ to propose new realities in your own image.

That is the true structure of his philosophy - “dualism” and the Cogito itself, are only the front door and knob of his philosophical house of cards. People wind up arguing about the style of the door and knob, but never even stop to quibble over having bought the entire house on a loan they can not ever, ever, pay for. Not only do intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy follow in its wake, but it provides no shelter from the coming storm… which it itself summons!

The true foundation of the Critical Method, is that you just propose whatever seems useful or interesting to you, just assert it… after all you can distinctly and clearly conceive it, and then rationalize an intellectual alibi to support it. But if the better lessons of psychology have taught us anything in its explanations of neurosis and other disorders, your mind is not fooled by what you don’t want to admit, it is aware that there is no intellectual support for such ideas, no connective or integrative substance for such ideas … and that evaded knowledge breeds real doubts, deep seated self doubts, and a distrusting cynicism which corrodes all claims of truth, both within and without you.

The consequences, are far reaching and leveling, and that my friends, is one of the greatest Trojan Horse-like Philosophical Viruses ever engineered, and it HAS damn near destroyed Western Civilization, and it will complete the task, if it is not identified, uprooted, and undone.

If you buy into this alluring philosophical phrase, and you do so simply by using its trappings of arbitrary doubts being given reasonable respect, do this and attempt to mine it for 'sensible' ideas, you will be subtly drawn into an alternate universe, one in which you will imagine yourself invested with absolute power… (and we all know what absolute power does to you.) What “I think therefore I am” means in its being practiced, what the ‘therefore’ signifies and accomplishes, is that your arbitrary thoughts are sufficient to prove existence, to establish a basis for your doubts and fears. If it seems true for you, it must be true.

"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." CS Lewis

The Geometry of Nothingness
As the Stanford review noted above mentions, Descartes uses mathematical analogies, such as values equal to the same must be equal to each other, as with 5-2 is equal to 1 + 2 , we can clearly conceive that so it is true.

But do you see that to arrive at his view of Numbers, he has already first dropped an, now unseen, third from that field of our intellectual context, and left us with only his two?

This missing third context, is one that is typical of mathematicians and rationalists, when they stop to consider that ‘number’ is some distinct and separate entity within and apart from the instances of reality they aid in quantifying.

There is an extraordinarily deep conceptual structure that is cast aside with that assertion of “Number” as existing apart from the human mind, rather than Number being a higher process of human conceptualization with which we intellectually lift ourselves up by the bootstraps of particular instances. This is how we raise perceptual instances of individual things, into quantities of something. and still further up from there into higher concepts of that Quality such as Number where we deal with the quantities of any thing; but then treating Number as a mysterious disembodied instance itself, which exists separate from our minds in a realm of Forms, is a process which soon serves to negate all qualities, and impoverishes our intellectual lives as a result.

Numbers do not exist in the world, apart from our minds which conceptualized them, anymore than a Defensive Line exists apart from a mind in the NFL. Numbers are not “Whats”, they are not physical or even immaterial things, but instead are “How’s” – They don’t exist! They are distinctly human methods of conceptually grasping what exists, and pretending otherwise, treating How’s as if they are What’s, will begin to short-circuit your minds ability to grasp and use them properly. Ask any American student taught into mathematical illiteracy, what such treatment does to your ability to even learn math. Numbers and other higher concepts, are the product of our distinct method of perceiving and understanding reality, and because they are true perceptions and perspectives of what is real, they are applicable and useful in nearly all we experience and conceive… and even though we clearly and distinctly use them, they do not exist separately from our minds using them to grasp what IS real. I’ve gone over this all before,

“So called mysterious Ideas such as those of mathematics, all began directly through our conscious interaction with reality. It began with some Geico caveman’s fuzzy awareness that these (holding up three fingers) rocks, somehow have something in common with these (holding up three fingers) spears... and with focused consideration, and not a little bit of imagination, came a grasping of the abstraction of 'Quantity', that these were the same in some way other than in their own features, they had a commonality grasped through a highly abstract view of two sets of things stripped of all their particulars of size, shape, length, color, texture, all set aside in order to reduce them to only ‘things’, and in so doing, exposing what they had in common – quantity.

… after following on the heels of grasping quantity, came the abstraction of 'Number', that a word could stand for a particular quantity of things, and that these words could apply to the same quantity of any ‘things’ you might have in mind, and following on that would be the idea that particular numbers, could be conveyed across time and place, and could be used to combine or separate ‘amounts’ of things… and these numbers could extend even beyond just matching quantities to the digits of all of your fingers and toes.

… What mathematicians do, or attempt to do with their theories, is a clear example of our ability to directly and accurately perceive and know Reality as it is, lifting us to a position high up in the conceptual ether. By taking a perceptual instance of this thing (holding up a pebble) and then abstracting upwards from that direct experience into the conceptual realm, we quickly advance several layers away from the original perceptual level, with quantities, numbers, theorems and formulas; ideas so far removed from that initial perceptual instance as to make one dizzy, but nevertheless, they all are, unless flawed or invalid, ultimately firmly rooted in reality, and through that power it gives us, has given us, the ability to harness the immense power of the immensely minute atom, and extend the reach of our senses even beyond our solar system.

Rationalism, often associated with mathematics and mathematicians, is an example of letting go of those perceptual roots, and attempting to use baseless theories, as if they had roots, or could develop them if watered well (Keynesianism is an example of this in the economic realm, Descartes, Kant & Hegel in the philosophic, but once severed from reality, they will not lead back to reality, and the persistent attempt to force such theories to take root will usually result in attempting to water such theories with blood, ala the 20th century).

No matter how abstract or impressive the formula, proof, theorem or whathaveyou, it is all traceable back, and utterly dependent upon, the very concrete, perceptual ideas abstracted into ‘things’, abstracted to quantities, and abstracted further up to the concept of 'number' standing for a particular quantity of some entity being quantified, and from there it’s off to the races.”
Numbers are nothing but reusable conceptual patterns for perceiving reality 1, 10, 100, 1000 of anything, but when used those any-things must be filled by some things.… just as a song like ‘On top of old Smokey’ is a reusable pattern of musical notes, and any child can insert any words with the right amount of syllables into it about their friends or someone they’re teasing or disliked teachers, and they can hum it with or without words, but no one makes the mistake of thinking that the tune exists apart from the person humming it, in some strange realm of the universe.

Dropping that conceptual depth while attempting to retain its result as an free standing entity itself, is the same error that criticizes Cartesian thought with “a spiritual and thinking part within human beings separated from an inert, mechanical world” of the accusation of dualism. In stating them, and discussing them as stated, they have bought into their separation and alienation. They will go on discussing these as if they are separate and distinct concepts, which they assume do stand on their own, though they may quibble with particular details of how they got that way.

Using such concepts as if they had substance apart from the mind, whether you are talking about Number, or Mind vs. Body, sucks you into an artificial world, and one reduced from Object/Subject/Unity, into one of merely Object and Subject, and I guarandamntee you, that what follows from that, one whose object will only be Subject, Subjectivism and Relativism, from there on out.

Just look around at where we’ve come to!

There is a reason why the left is authoritarian in nature, it excludes human reasoning from it’s philosophy. Kant did the same and by the same method, with his Noumena, he substituted a “What” for a “How”, a world of apperceptions for the process of perceiving.

In such a tenured world, everything you confront will become but empty strawmen for realities you’ve stopped perceiving and partaking in. (Recall Ray’s square root of -1 foolishness). In Descartes’ world of “if you can’t doubt it, it must be true”, that ‘must’ is a loaded word which ejects the inductive method of dynamically forming concepts based upon perceived instances of reality – that process excludes reasoning which performs the unifying dance of subject and object into a higher unity of both, and leaves you with only a flattened two dimensional world which the human mind has no place and no business being imprisoned within; as philosophies are (and were) built up around the ‘Cogito’, it has not only behaved as an ipxe dixit, it becomes an (un)reality factory… if you think it is real, then reality will be presumed to match… and it will be without any true understanding on your part – you will be excluded from participating in life.

To be fair to Descartes, I don’t think he intended much of what has followed from his thoughts, I think he thought his unnoticed error led him to think that he’d actually hit on a new truth and I think he would have been appalled by Rousseau, let alone Hume, Kant, Fichte, Dewey, Marx, etc, etc, etc; but follow from his thoughts they did – an idea does not lay cold and dead on the table, it grows and develops, and under the influence of the Cogito and Descartes’ Method of Doubt, it couldn’t have done otherwise, given the starting point he established. The soundness of the house is in its foundation – or lack of One.

The Popular Spread of Doubt – Conspiracies Take Root
With that little ditty at the root of all modern 'thought', people unwittingly begin from a position of incompleteness and error, and deepen their blindness with every decision and conclusion made in conformance to it, from there on out.

Kant’s use of it excluded reason from morality, so he had to posit his categorical imperatives “Never Lie”, no matter what, never, the context, etc. He declared his imperatives to be something which could not ever be imagined being wrong, so they must be true and followed always!” … you do hear Descartes doubtful echo in that, right?

More and more what is physically in front of your face, is taken to be the limit of your thoughts, and it is this slipstream through which Descartes ditty penetrates and sways, shapes and misshapes entire populations. Concepts deteriorate to appearances and actions (hello pragmatism) alone, and under this influence Happiness fades to pleasures and they descend into ever more dopamine and adrenaline soaked thrills. Worse, it leads you to seek after positions that appear to work “as if!” they were proper.

In taking the primacy of Doubt seriously, or worse, just assuming it, as has become the default thinking pattern for the West, there is no foolishness or idiocy which people cannot 'honestly' delude them selves into believing. Such positions rest on interpretations, not facts, which necessarily puts them into the position of fearing others doubting your positions... which requires that they hold their beliefs fervently, and loudly; it is after all 'your thought' and assertions, which determines 'what is' because 'I think, therefore I am' then means 'what I say, is what is so!” always accompanied by a surreptitious under the breath muttering of “eh... you say the same thing too... right...?! Ok, good!” ... and this is as it must be.

Don’t Doubt It!
Doubting is not questioning. Properly, doubt is a feeling which alerts you through a largely unconscious wider picture analysis which tells you ‘something isn’t right’ about something which you already know a great deal about, like a sensor alerting you that something doesn’t add up. It is a secondary advisor which tells you to be careful, there’s something here you are missing, but it is not suitable to be used as a primary method of thought – that is the role reserved for questioning.

Using doubt as a method, it necessarily becomes a process of breaking down and discarding that which does not fit your assumptions of what is valid and true, it simply is not a process of apprehending, resolving and building up towards valid conceptions of what is True, that is the province of Reasoning. As a result of doubting instead of reasoning, what is ventured to be opined is put forth without a well reasoned foundation of thought, and so it must be asserted, and done so either with, or over, the thoughts of others, and that requires an assessment of whether or not you can trounce them if they are opposed to you. It is this outlook that continually seeks after ‘consensus’ in thought, desperately and cravenly seeking after more and more people you can link up with who will 'agree with' you. Valid positions are those where you succeed in out posturing others in behaving as if your version of reality is real, and prior to finding a group ‘friendly’ to your position, you are in danger of a fight when venturing your opinions.

The problem with Sonia Sotormayor’s “Latina” comment isn’t that it’s racial, but that in seeing reasoning human beings, as defined by their genes, excludes character and reasoning, to say nothing of Constitutional reasoning (which IS her and their point) from the matter altogether.

Doubt requires assertions, loud ones, and the demand that those assertions be regarded as real, even when that may be… er… doubtful.

Say Hello to in, politics, collectivism, in Spirit, to the 'new atheism', and in Art, an art that is not artistic, idols who are not admirable, philosophies which are unwise and even anti-wise, and people across the world pursuing insane agendas which reflect what they've found themselves not thinking, but calculating, what their crippled view of reality should be.

And here’s the final fruit of Cartesian Doubt and skeptical cynicism, ready?

Conspiracy Theories. The conviction (clearly and distinctly held) that some malevolent power or cabal is responsible when the fact is that we, having bought into the notion that ideas need have no relation to reality, find ourselves unable to be helped by our grand ideologies, and that they, while promising freedom, delivers us into force and slavery.

Archimedes’ world moving lever has nothing on Cogito, he merely imagined that with a lever large enough, he could move the world – Descartes doesn’t bother with moving it, he reduces, reforms and reshapes it with 5 simple words… 3, if you go with the Latin (“Cogito, ergo sum”).

Doubting the Value of Freedom
Ironically for the ‘free thinkers’, those freed from the constraints of mere reality, through the magic of “I think, therefore….”, such as the French Philosophes’, Rousseau, Condorcet, they who first proposed ‘Liberté, égalité, fraternité!’ (which ended in mass death, destruction and tyranny, of course), found freedom and liberty to be the first casualties of their own Deterministic philosophies. They, such as Rousseau, Condorcet and Godwin (and all those who followed in their train), soon concluded that free will, including your own ability to choose to think such thoughts, was illusory at best (for the elites) and non existent 'in fact'(such as for regular Joe's and other plumbers), and as a result of their denial of Free Will, Freedom itself quickly becomes a casualty of their rationalistic 'free thinking'.

I kid you not, the ‘Free Thinking’ of the Philosophes’, promptly eliminates Freedom. Investigate the progression of notions following form those who bought into Descartes.

Those who bought into the first waves of the Cartesian Method, soon found themselves needing to contemplate the remaking of society and mankind too, as befit their own image of how mankind necessarily should be, according to what they conceived as being ‘very clearly and distinctly’ so... as well as ordering the nature of reality to accommodate their fascinating 'new' ideas. One of the reasons such ideas spread so quickly, is that their immediate payoff for those thinking them, is not only a heady sense of metaphysical power, but a get out of jail free card for those who don't want to be bound by real life (Hello again Mr. Rousseau… please… pull your pants up, stop confessing, sit down). Talk to a college kid if you don't believe me... or their less mature counterparts, the professors who teach them.

The Cogito’s godlike power to re-order reality to suit your pet notions and the heady burst of free thinking radicalism it inspires, almost immediately leads to the idea that people and society must respond to the external forces and events set loose by your ideas. This is at the very root of determinism. Rousseau and Godwin put it forth as necessatarianism… that what necessarily must occur will (“I think, therefore….”), and after Kant and Hegel pure Determinism followed suit. Read Wundt. Fichte. Mill. Dewey. James. In their thought, you will see the progressive excising of free will, choice and freedom, from the intellectual vocabulary, and the remnants of the human soul. People to them are pinball cattle and must be directed, influenced, molded, into doing what is best for them, and for society – and lets have none of that damned ‘individualist’ stuff! Please! The collective is responsible for all, and any rogue individuals would alter society and harm the good only unity can bestow (Hello Mr. Dewey, go to the front of the class).

Buy into the Cogito, and you will soon, as did Descartes, consider your 'independent' judgment, to be the first and last word in judging all ideas and propositions... and not just ideas, but the metaphysical structure which gives rise to them. For this is not just an idea, it is a blueprint for your metaphysical relationship to reality, it turns the real reality on its head, and the ‘Free Thinking’ it inspired in its offspring, soon set the world on fire… in many cases, quite literally, as with the fruits of one of his progeny, Rousseau, which were plucked and eaten by one of His progeny, Robespierre, and the fruits of his application of Cartesian/Rousseauian thought, was the first modern rise of Fascism and the bloodbath of the Terror of the French Revolution.

One of the first results of giving doubt primacy in your mind, is that you will soon doubt that your senses are really telling you about reality as it is, or can tell you anything about reality at all… after all… you, your consciousness is the starting point, and can easily be separated from or tricked about what is ‘outside’ you. Hello (Mr. Hume).

If Doubt Leads Your Thoughts, All Is Doubtful
If you can't determine, on your own, whether or not something is valid, then you really must consider it to be either untrue, or as yet unproved, and as such you will find that doubt, not questioning mind you (which is constructive, integrative), but Doubt (which is inherently destructive and disintegrating) will become your soul intellectual system, motivation and compass. Those who doubt all... eventually come to realize (there is some deep humor in that), that they really know, and can know... nothing.

Another problem with doubt is that it isn’t a cognitive tool. When you feel doubt, you feel a vague “ehhh… something doesn’t add up”, but it involves no identification of what, precisely, doesn’t add up. Doubt is a reaction, when you listen to someone’s explanation and say “I suppose it could be, but I doubt it…” it indicates only an unsatisfying, unconscious evaluation, like an emotional response – but for all you know it is based upon the fact that the speaker is wearing the same shoes as someone you don’t like. It tells you something is unsatisfying but nothing more, to find anything substantially amiss, you’ve got to examine what they said, you’ve got to question the premises and facts, you’ve got to make comparisons and evaluations, before you can say that there is a true and rational basis for your doubt. If you don’t ensure that there is a rational basis for your doubt, irrational doubt will lead you around by the nose.

Descartes proposes nothing of the sort is his use of doubt. You could not seriously say “I can imagine thinking without having a body” and claim any allegiance to the facts as you know them about reality. When philosophers use words without basis in reality, doom will follow. There’s the proverb “Without vision, the people will perish” True, but if they have vision, lots of it, but their vision is delusional, the people are royally screwed.

Once you begin the intellectual habit of asserting the arbitrary… on what basis do you claim the validity of anything? You cannot. As stated long ago, by Aristotle I think, the only proper response to the arbitrary is silence.

If you don’t see that “I can imagine thinking without a body” is arbitrary, I can’t help you out.
Such a system of Cartesian Doubt once insinuated into your thinking, not only prevents you from ever taking seriously anything you don't absolutely know to be true (and the fear of being wrong, the embarrassment of being caught believing something which others doubt, ensures that NOTHING can or will ever be accepted as absolutely true by you), but it cuts you off not only from the accumulated knowledge and wisdom of your culture (and reality), and limits your potential understanding to only that which one person can personally grasp and learn first hand... which is doomed to be a pitiful pittance of disintegrated trivia… this is the reality which the primacy of consciousness and the method of doubt will deliver unto you - and do to you. See Theodore Dalrymple’s “In Praise of Prejudice” for an excellent examination of this.

"I think therefore I am", puts you in direct evasion of, and opposition to, reality. Period. It’s very premise discards the depth of what is real, in favor of your representation of it. There’s another problem with doubt as a first principle of philosophy – it isn’t a cognitive tool! It is a mental response, a reaction to an unsatisfying, unconscious evaluation, like an emotional response – but for all you know it is based on the fact that the speaker is wearing the same shoes as someone you don’t like. You don’t know why you doubt something, you only have a feeling that something isn’t right. It tells you something is unsatisfying, but nothing more. If you don’t ensure that there is a rational basis for your doubts, to understand and validate, or invalidate, those doubts will gain more and more power over your rational mind… unintended doubt will break an ambush by the nose. It means that YOU come first, and reality must seek to approach your bench, it must plead its case to you, and if it meets with your approval, then you can declare it to be true (as long as it keeps in mind that it is you who are in charge.)

That little philosophical ditty soon lead towards a skepticism of doubting not only all that you know (remember “I may not have a body; that might be all illusion. There might not be a world out there; that might be all illusion. But I exist; because I think, therefore….” ) - but your ability to know anything at all (Hello Mr. Hume, right this way… hmmm? Oh, yes we can seat you far from Mr. Rousseau’s table, yes, we understand….). This state of mind will soon be followed by a willingness and desire to dictate to all those who will listen, how reality must be (and those in fear of Mr. Hume’s termite holes in their beliefs will listen, in order to avoid falling through their philosophical floor), in conformance to what YOU have determined it should be (Messrs Rousseau, Godwin, Bentham, Mill… take a bow).

Those who walk down its paths will soon discover that their own pet preferences become disarmed before others assertions or doubts, and in defense critical doubt will lead them to spin indecipherable, convoluted assertional shams dressed up in stylish pretenses in order to prevail over the less nimble minds of others (Hello Mr. Kant, will Mr. Hegel be joining you today? Ah. A table for one then), those ‘metaphysicians’ who, as Nietzsche said of them 'muddy the waters in order to make them appear deep'.

Soon after the water of philosophy has become clouded and undrinkable, those seeking its guidance but turning away from its odor, will reject the tools of proper philosophy, principle will be discarded in favor of what seems sensible right now (hello to the pragmatic Mr. Peirce, table for… eh?...yes you can just mingle and eat their food….), as long as you can be enthusiastically certain that they are clearly and distinctly conceived as being true.

For instance, take a look at this from one of Descartes' Replies to questions about his Meditations,"
First of all, as soon as we think we correctly perceive something, we’re spontaneously convinced that it is true. Now if this conviction is so firm that it is impossible for us ever to have any reason for doubting what we are convinced of, then there are no further questions for us to ask: we have everything that we could reasonably want. What is it to us that someone may make out that the perception whose truth we are so firmly convinced of may appear false to God or an angel, i.e. that it is, absolutely speaking, false? What do we care about this ‘absolute falsity’, since we don’t believe in it or have even the smallest suspicion of it? For the sort of case that is in question here is one involving a conviction so firm that it is quite incapable of being destroyed; and such a conviction is clearly the same as the most perfect certainty..."
The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy formulated one view of his thoughts this way,
“It is not inconsistent to hold that we're pursuing the truth, even succeeding in establishing the truth, and yet to construe the conditions of success wholly in terms of certainty; that is, to maintain that to establish a proposition just is to perceive it with certainty. Note again that Descartes says, of the perfect certainty he seeks, that it provides “everything that we could reasonably want,”… [referencing the above passage]:

On one reading of this remark, Descartes is explicitly embracing the consequence of having defined knowledge wholly in terms of unshakable conviction: he's conceding that achieving the brand of knowledge he seeks is compatible with being—“absolutely speaking”—in error. If this is the correct reading, the interesting upshot is that Descartes' ultimate aspiration is not absolute truth, but absolute certainty. Of course, it should not be ignored (on this reading) that these same remarks imply that achieving this perfect certainty entails being unshakably convinced that we're not in error, absolutely speaking. ”[emphasis mine]

Know any truthers who are unshakably convinced they are right, and uninterested in any facts which prove them wrong? Yeah, me too. And as those blinkered enthusiasms lead them into one blind alley and brick wall after another, then cynicism and hedonism will be all that remains for you to live by (hello modernity).

Doubting The Value Of Doubt
Doubt does not expose errors, it is through deeper consideration and questions born of fuller understanding, which will uncover contradictions. A quest for knowledge and understanding which begins with “I can’t even be certain I have a body”, is one which soon finds itself in doubt that its senses are telling it the truth about the world “out there”, and doubting your own senses as a given, as Hume declared for us, it is a very short step to be convinced that ‘others’ are keeping information from you as well. It is in fact the default mode of conviction.

The enshrinement of Doubt as your fundamental source of knowing, engenders a suspicion that there are Conspiracies afoot and controlling your life. Doubt does not breed knowledge, or wise detachment, it breeds uncertainty, and it breeds fear, and it breeds the suspicion that others are in on information that you don’t know and that they are keeping you from knowing. The doubt that you can’t really know anything for certain, fosters’ the suspicion that other’s DO know more than you, and that they are keeping it secret from you… in a mind that doubts knowledge, and so also discredits the existence of virtue, it presupposes that people have malevolent purposes, so logically they must be keeping secrets from you … and you can certainly imagine, clearly and distinctly, all sorts of nasty reasons why they would do so, couldn’t you?

With Doubt in the driver's seat, the purpose of thinking becomes doubting all thoughts.

But the purpose of thought, is to discover your relation to reality. The result of Descartes' thought, is that you wind up seeking to establish realities relation, if any, to you, who are not constrained by it. There be dragons. One thing more, and it is an itty-bitty thing, from the earlier quote by Descartes,
“…And as I observed that in the words I think, therefore I am, there is nothing at all which gives me assurance of their truth beyond thi…”
Do you see it? It is an itty-bitty thing, but it leads to the destruction of all things… once in the habit of doubting, it is necessary that you doubt any and all… before being fooled.

Take another look, “…in the words I think, therefore I am, there is nothing at all which gives me assurance of their truth beyond thi…” nothing at all that gives assurance of their truth, beyond what he can see… for Descartes, for someone who doubts, words no longer properly have meaning, there is no depth to them, if you can’t see it in the same way a dog sees it, it can’t be trusted to exist. In the very formulation of his philosophy, skepticism and cynicism are born into modernity, they needed only the midwifery of Rousseau and Hume to extract them and spank them to draw breath, and my oh my, what monsters they have grown into.

Have you noticed that the left is forever going on about what you cannot, should not, believe in? God? Goodness? Founding Fathers? Hero’s? Parents? Family? Faithfulness? Trust? Seriously, look at common leftie talking points. Higher concepts, and those who represent them, are discredited, even derided. That you must trade such nebulous things as “Rights”(snicker), for guaranteed goodies from Govt. Goodies, things you find desirable (they’ll tell you), things the Govt says are good for you (has anyone ever stopped to consider what a life designed by Govt would look like?), especially things ‘others’ have ‘kept from you’ which some or all of those derided higher stand-ins owe you, pensions, unemployment, minimum wage, healthcare, etc, etc, etc.

What weeds grow in the fertile fields of this philosophy, are self-deluded, grandiose, eccentricsm (hello again Mr. Rousseau), exalted as being truer expressions of their (meaning 'this is MY eccentricity! Go get your own quirks!') truest revealed nature! Do you wish to find the father of the modern epidemic of self-centered, self-important narcissists? Here is a very good starting point.

And here Descartes philosophical ditty achieves its final, very logical, ends. Where the Aristotelian view holds that knowledge will enable you to grasp the Truth which will set you free, the Cartesian Critical Method of Doubt destroys knowledge and ultimately will enslave you to your fears.

Now Descartes himself tried to avoid that by propping up his world with his proofs of God, which, IMHO, were feeble at best, and centered around Descartes not being able to imagine God not only not being, but not being as Descartes imagined him to be… and that his ideal God wouldn’t allow him to make an error, and so as long as he thought correctly, which meant of course, distinctly and clearly, then clearly what he thought must be true, would be true.
"… the first place even the principle which I have already taken as a rule, viz., that all the things which we clearly and distinctly conceive are true, is certain only because God is or exists and because he is a Perfect Being, and because all that we possess is derived from him: whence it follows that our ideas or notions, which to the extent of their clearness and distinctness are real, and proceed from God, must to that extent be true … "
Nothing problematic about that. Especially if you’re looking for an intellectual footing for pushing self-serving (and self-deluding) positions.

And Gods ways, and your ways, conveniently all amounted to the same, as long as you could conceive it clearly and distinctly, without doubt, then – viola! - they must be true! It is important not to confuse this, as he does, with the fact that that which IS True, when correctly perceived, conceived and understood, will be clear and distinct because of its Truth, or that all error is in some sense a misperception of what is True. Clear? No? It is the difference between judging a book by its cover, on the basis of the blurbs, title, jacket picture and author’s photograph; or on the basis of actually reading the book and evaluating its worth against reality. Doubting is observing un-integrated and (perhaps) non-essentials, and deciding on that basis alone, that its value is doubtful. Rather than starting from a position of building up to the Truth, with observations, understandings, the resolution of initial misperceptions (earth or sun centric solar system. Check out Descartes attempts at Physics for how bizarre his universe would be), Descartes seeks to destroy all that which cannot withstand the gaze of his own preconceptions – in a word, Doubt.

And every instance doesn’t have to be, nor is it, profound philosophical constructs, in fact the more evident evidence of it spreading as it has, are ‘trite’ instances such as the following, from popular impressions, to common implementations:

“It may be good in theory, but not in practice”,
“A new untruth is better than an old truth. “ and “Controversy equalizes fools and wise men - and the fools know it. “, from an enemy of old truths, one of our more destructive Supreme Court Justices, Oliver Wendell Holmes .

Or From "The Picture of Dorian Gray", which not only sums up the end result of Descartes cogitations, but how such things become regarded by those unwittingly poisoned by it:
"What nonsense people talk about happy marriages!" exclaimed Lord Henry. "A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her." 
"Ah! what a cynic you are!" cried the old lady, pushing back her chair and nodding to Lady Ruxton. "You must come and dine with me soon again. You are really an admirable tonic, much better than what Sir Andrew prescribes for me. You must tell me what people you would like to meet, though. I want it to be a delightful gathering."
An example of how these notions are put into practice by those under its influence, is in how opinions are attempted to be popularly stated. Have you heard the phrase,
“Perception Is Everything!” or even ‘Perception is reality!”
, or this quote is typical of peoples comments “The more I explore the Law of Attraction the more I come to see that what I call reality is nothing more than my perception of what is happening around me.” , or typical of magazine articles, “Perception Is Reality: A corporate social responsibility plan in place might keep consumer backlashes at bay. ”, or typical of political commentary is this from Bill O’Reilly: “Politics is all about perception. Right now, the Republican Party is perceived to be the domain of rich, white guys. Of course, that's not entirely true, but very often perception trumps reality.”, or from The New Positioning "All politics is perception, posturing, and positioning... Given the endless polling that goes on in politics, no other business spends as much money and time crawling around in people's minds."

Where do you think all that stems from? I can tell you where it doesn’t come from, it doesn’t come from realizing that reality is the only valid basis for your ideas, this becomes possible through the development of “I think, therefore ___” fill in your blank as needed for reality to conform to what you think.

People have long written such drivel off as overblown fears, taking things to seriously or literally, they don’t really mean that (which may be true, and even worse), but if you look at the progression of this view over time, you see something very different. Try doing something like going to, and picking out a few magazines, leaf through the articles from early 1800’s, early 1900’s, and today. What you’ll see, is that somethings which were utterly unthinkable at the start of that progression, are commonplace today.

Such as? Well… Witness this,
"Evan Thomas:'...Obama is ‘we are above that now.’ We're not just parochial, we're not just chauvinistic, we're not just provincial. We stand for something – I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God. He’s-'
Oh. My. God.

The alternative?

First Things First
Reality comes first, it IS.

What exists, exists as something, it is what it is and cannot be something else, in the same context, at the same time.

It is only in perceiving what is, that you become aware that you are, and that there is something to become aware of, ‘It IS, in perceiving what it is, that I at the same time become aware of myself’.
Things are what they are. Existence exists. Our words reflect our minds grasp of reality, and to the extent they do so accurately, they serve us well. From the first direct correlations – hot, cold, up, down, Mommy, Daddy, to the next level composite or higher level concepts which combine lower concepts, motion, temperature, family, hunger on up to the much higher level concepts which guide our actions in the world around us and in relations to other people as well; our perceptions, our words, our concepts and our use of them, enable us to partake in reality, both physically and socially, and help us to determine the sensible, proper, ethical, actions we should take in relation to them.

It is through our experience and understanding of reality, from the ground up – which is how we discover and learn about reality as children, and only after which do we, as young children, first discover ourselves – is accomplished through our perceptions, words and conceptions which are all part of our method of experiencing, living in, and partaking of Life, of Reality, and it is through our choices of how we use them, or abuse them, how well we have sought to ensure that they are honest reflections of the reality they help us to understand, which determines how honest, energetic and alive our lives will be.

We really do have to judge and choose for ourselves, carefully, and no matter how much some of us wish to avoid such choices, or regiment such choices out of our power to reason and choose. Descartes foolishness aside, IT - the world, the cosmos - IS, and in perceiving what it is, we become aware of ourselves, and within our awareness of what is, and our relationship to it, we also must choose how we are to act. That act of choosing, is our central point of activity in our lives, everything flows from it, and from our neglect of it.

The choice is free, and you must will yourself to make it, and there is no avoiding that.
It is really not avoidable… but it sure is funny to watch people pretend they have no free will … or… or… that they aren’t sure whether or not they dooo!

Far from the Legislators being the highest form of man there is (see Rousseau… or any politician in Washington D.C.), to the extent he seeks to force actions, prevent choices, blur, evade or fake reality, he is in fact the lowest, most dehumanizing creature to walk the earth. Witness the Judges who seek to legislate from the bench, invalidating the choices of entire populations, they impose their decisions from on high, overturning the choices, both of the moment, and those developed through a long and sustained purpose over the course of years and even entire lives (Hello Sonia Sotomayor, your bench has been prepared for you).

The idea that Justice, can be imposed from on high, of displacing and overriding an individual's own choices for and in their lives, is...Hideous... it is the attempt to exclude people from their own lives. An examination of such notions of Justice (which will have to wait for a later post), will show that it has very little to do with Justice (which develops only from the antithesis of Doubt), but from applying notions of Fairness, which amounts to being what someone has decided is Fair, meaning that which they distinctly and clearly cannot doubt as being Fair. And having come to that Cartesian, rationalistic, conclusion of what is Fair, and so ‘Just’, it must be imposed on the public, so that they will more clearly and distinctly become what you have determined must be right and true.

The substitution of what is Fair for what is Just – the very same doubtful notions which allows someone to say ‘maybe I don’t need a body to think’ enables them to ignore deeps structures of experience and conceptions of reality in favor of a whim of what they ‘clearly and distinctly imagine to be true’ - requires the extinguishing of free will, and of freedom itself, and by implication, individual judgment.

Collectivism is a requirement for a ‘free thinkers’ society. Individualism cannot exist within it.
The moments where we experience actively living our lives, the point where the soul within makes contact with the world without – these are moments which should help us perceive our Unity, not a cowardly Cartesian duality – these moments where you exercise life, are those moments of making our choices, freely made, right or wrong, wise or foolish, nothing is more sacred and necessary to liberty and freedom... than the right to exercise your free will in your pursuit of happiness.

The exercise of your free will is an issue so critical, not even an all powerful God felt it would be proper for him to make those choices for us, but left it to humanity to choose to abide by his laws... or not.

The materialist’s life, the leftist’s ideal life, would require that we be mindless, fleshbots... preprogrammed and resynched with the central cpu on a regular basis (… and they are trying for it aren't they?), and the hallmark of the statist in general and the leftist in particular, is to exclude you from your own life, regulating you out of the choices that make you, you, truly attempting to shove you out of your own life.

Where you would, in a free country, have exercised your free will, engaged and lived your life, made your choices... you are prevented from doing so... even if you would have made the choice as the state would have preferred you to... they've already made the choice for you... effectively zombifying you in those moments.

And the number of those regulated moments have been multiplying more and more and more every day, till we’ve now reached that point where, as Einstein was startled by compound interest, we are about to enter into compound regulatory tyranny, and our freedoms and rights and the wealth which results only from them, will be extinguished.

Do any of them ever ask why East Germany looked like a living graveyard in comparison to the West? Why is it that a night view satellite image of of North and South Korea, shows the north to be situated beyond a line of utter darkness?

The leftist, the statist does see this, and they do seek this for us as well, that is their dirty little secret, because they are themselves darkness within... even in the light of day. As General Patton said of cynics, “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”, so true, and what they are cynical about, is what is Good, what is Beautiful and what is True.

Zombie movies aren't just for sci-fi anymore, I have it on good authority, I conceive it clearly and distinctly… you should run… fast … but there’s nowhere to run to anymore… better yet, stand and fight, and shoot them right between the eyes, with words of Truth, with resolve, and with integrity. And worse yet, from their point of view - laugh at them. Ridicule them. Oh... it burns-sss!

That is the only way to kill them again. And again, and again. The price of liberty is eternal vigilance against zombies and the undead zombie kings. And speaking of zombie kings… look....

...The Gangs All Here!
So here we’ve got the whole gang together in this shadowy back room, the true scheming figures of modern history, the Mr. Big’s of the mother of all conspiracies, that of modernity. Descartes, Hume, Rousseau, Mill, Godwin, Kant, Hegel, Peirce, Marx, Dewey… few of them knew each other, and few of them liked or agreed with each other, and fewer of us even know of them, but together they have worked down through the centuries, hand in glove, unmaking the civilization that had sheltered them, and shelters us, and which is still our last best hope.

Take a bow guys… and you out there, you too, you may need to take a bow as well. If you are unaware of these old undead white guys, you’ve helped spread their unspoken conspiracies. If you know of them, and have given respect their names and those who instill their ideas without having read and understood their zombifying spells, you too should take a bow, because you’ve all had active hands in bringing about the present destruction of Western Civilization.

You can still redeem yourself however... just don't give these undead liars a place to rest.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Inspiration of the Declaration of Independence - Silent Cal

I'd planned a somewhat gloomy post, reviewing our current situation, popular options, and how we got there... and then thought -Ptooey! It's the Fourth of July, Dammnit! Shortly afterwards I came across this speech - which hits it out of the park on so many levels - from silent Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States of America, and (with apologies to Reagan) arguably the best President of the 20th century, because he was the only one who consistently understood and applied the original founding principles - probably owing to his being the last with a classical education.

Enough of me, here's Cal -

The Inspiration of the Declaration of Independence
July 5, 1926

We meet to celebrate the birthday of America. The coming of a new life always excites our interest. Although we know in the case of the individual that it has been an infinite repetition reaching back beyond our vision, that only makes it the more wonderful. But how our interest and wonder increase when we behold the miracle of the birth of a new nation. It is to pay our tribute of reverence and respect to those who participated in such a mighty event that we annually observe the fourth day of July. Whatever may have been the impression created by the news which went out from this city on that summer day in 1776, there can be no doubt as to the estimate which is now placed upon it. At the end of 150 years the four corners of the earth unite in coming to Philadelphia as to a holy shrine in grateful acknowledgment of a service so great, which a few inspired men here rendered to humanity, that it is still the preeminent support of free government throughout the world.

Although a century and a half measured in comparison with the length of human
experience is but a short time, yet measured in the life of governments and nations it ranks as a very respectable period. Certainly enough time has elapsed to demonstrate with a great deal of thoroughness the value of our institutions and their dependability as rules for the regulation of human conduct and the advancement of civilization. They have been in existence long enough to become very well seasoned. They have met, and met successfully, the test of experience.

It is not so much then for the purpose of undertaking to proclaim new theories and principles that this annual celebration is maintained, but rather to reaffirm and reestablish those old theories and principles which time and the unerring logic of events have demonstrated to be sound. Amid all the clash of conflicting interests, amid all the welter of partisan politics, every American can turn for solace and consolation to the Declaration of independence and the Constitution of the United States with the assurance and confidence that those two great charters of freedom and justice remain firm and unshaken. Whatever perils appear, whatever dangers threaten, the Nation remains secure in the knowledge that the ultimate application of the law of the land will provide an adequate defense and protection.

It is little wonder that people at home and abroad consider Independence Hall as hallowed ground and revere the Liberty Bell as a sacred relic. That pile of bricks and mortar, that mass of metal, might appear to the uninstructed as only the outgrown meeting place and the shattered bell of a former time, useless now because of more modern conveniences, but to those who know they have become consecrated by the use which men have made of them. They have long been identified with a great cause. They are the framework of a spiritual event. The world looks upon them, because of their associations of one hundred and fifty years ago, as it looks upon the Holy Land because of what took place there nineteen hundred years ago. Through use for a righteous purpose they have become sanctified.

It is not here necessary to examine in detail the causes which led to the American Revolution. In their immediate occasion they were largely economic. The colonists objected to the navigation laws which interfered with their trade, they denied the power of Parliament to impose taxes which they were obliged to pay, and they therefore resisted the royal governors and the royal forces which were sent to secure obedience to these laws. But the conviction is inescapable that a new civilization had come, a new spirit had arisen on this side of the Atlantic more advanced and more developed in its regard for the rights of the individual than that which characterized the Old World. Life in a new and open country had aspirations which could not be realized in any subordinate position. A separate establishment was ultimately inevitable. It had been decreed by the very laws of human nature. Man everywhere has an unconquerable desire to be the master of his own destiny.

We are obliged to conclude that the Declaration of Independence represented the movement of a people. It was not, of course, a movement from the top. Revolutions do not come from that direction. It was not without the support of many of the most respectable people in the Colonies, who were entitled to all the consideration that is given to breeding, education, and possessions. It had the support of another element of great significance and importance to which I shall later refer. But the preponderance of all those who occupied a position which took on the aspect of aristocracy did not approve of the Revolution and held toward it an attitude either of neutrality or open hostility. It was in no sense a rising of the oppressed and downtrodden. It brought no scum to the surface, for the reason that colonial society had developed no scum. The great body of the people were accustomed to privations, but they were free from depravity. If they had poverty, it was not of the hopeless kind that afflicts great cities, but the inspiring kind that marks the spirit of the pioneer. The American Revolution represented the informed and mature convictions of a great mass of independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing people who knew their rights, and possessed the courage to dare to maintain them. The Continental Congress was not only composed of great men, but it represented a great people. While its members did not fail to exercise a remarkable leadership, they were equally observant of their representative capacity. They were industrious in encouraging their constituents to instruct them to support independence. But until such instructions were given they were inclined to withhold action.

While North Carolina has the honor of first authorizing its delegates to concur with other Colonies in declaring independence, it was quickly followed by South Carolina and Georgia, which also gave general instructions broad enough to include such action. But the first instructions which unconditionally directed its delegates to declare for independence came from the great Commonwealth of Virginia. These were immediately followed by Rhode Island and Massachusetts, while the other Colonies, with the exception of New York, soon adopted a like course.

This obedience of the delegates to the wishes of their constituents, which in some cases caused them to modify their previous positions, is a matter of great significance. It reveals an orderly process of government in the first place; but more than that, it demonstrates that the Declaration of Independence was the result of the seasoned and deliberate thought of the dominant portion of the people of the Colonies. Adopted after long discussion and as the result of the duly authorized expression of the preponderance of public opinion, it did not partake of dark intrigue or hidden conspiracy. It was well advised. It had about it nothing of the lawless and disordered nature of a riotous insurrection. It was maintained on a plane which rises above the ordinary conception of rebellion. It was in no sense a radical movement but took on the dignity of a resistance to illegal usurpations. It was conservative and represented the action of the colonists to maintain their constitutional rights which from time immemorial had been guaranteed to them under the law of the land.

When we come to examine the action of the Continental Congress in adopting the Declaration of Independence in the light of what was set out in that great document and in the light of succeeding events, we can not escape the conclusion that it had a much broader and deeper significance than a mere secession of territory and the establishment of a new nation. Events of that nature have been taking place since the dawn of history. One empire after another has arisen, only to crumble away as its constituent parts separated from each other and set up independent governments of their own. Such actions long ago became commonplace. They have occurred too often to hold the attention of the world and command the admiration and reverence of humanity. There is something beyond the establishment of a new nation, great as that event would be, in the Declaration of Independence which has ever since caused it to be regarded as one of the great charters that not only was to liberate America but was everywhere to ennoble humanity.

It was not because it was proposed to establish a new nation, but because it was proposed to establish a nation on new principles, that July 4, 1776, has come to be regarded as one of the greatest days in history. Great ideas do not burst upon the world unannounced. They are reached by a gradual development over a length of time usually proportionate to their importance. This is especially true of the principles laid down in the Declaration of Independence. Three very definite propositions were set out in its preamble regarding the nature of mankind and therefore of government. These were the doctrine that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and that therefore the source of the just powers of government must be derived from the consent of the governed.

If no one is to be accounted as born into a superior station, if there is to be no ruling class, and if all possess rights which can neither be bartered away nor taken from them by any earthly power, it follows as a matter of course that the practical authority of the Government has to rest on the consent of the governed. While these principles were not altogether new in political action, and were very far from new in political speculation, they had never been assembled before and declared in such a combination. But remarkable as this may be, it is not the chief distinction of the Declaration of Independence. The importance of political speculation is not to be under-estimated, as I shall presently disclose. Until the idea is developed and the plan made there can be no action.

It was the fact that our Declaration of Independence containing these immortal truths was the political action of a duly authorized and constituted representative public body in its sovereign capacity, supported by the force of general opinion and by the armies of Washington already in the field, which makes it the most important civil document in the world. It was not only the principles declared, but the fact that therewith a new nation was born which was to be founded upon those principles and which from that time forth in its development has actually maintained those principles, that makes this pronouncement an incomparable event in the history of government. It was an assertion that a people had arisen determined to make every necessary sacrifice for the support of these truths and by their practical application bring the War of Independence to a successful conclusion and adopt the Constitution of the United States with all that it has meant to civilization.

The idea that the people have a right to choose their own rulers was not new in political history. It was the foundation of every popular attempt to depose an undesirable king. This right was set out with a good deal of detail by the Dutch when as early as July 26, 1581, they declared their independence of Philip of Spain. In their long struggle with the Stuarts the British people asserted the same principles, which finally culminated in the Bill of Rights deposing the last of that house and placing William and Mary on the throne. In each of these cases sovereignty through divine right was displaced by sovereignty through the consent of the people. Running through the same documents, though expressed in different terms, is the clear inference of inalienable rights. But we should search these charters in vain for an assertion of the doctrine of equality. This principle had not before appeared as an official political declaration of any nation. It was profoundly revolutionary. It is one of the corner stones of American institutions.

But if these truths to which the declaration refers have not before been adopted in their combined entirety by national authority, it is a fact that they had been long pondered and often expressed in political speculation. It is generally assumed that French thought had some effect upon our public mind during Revolutionary days. This may have been true. But the principles of our declaration had been under discussion in the Colonies for nearly two generations before the advent of the French political philosophy that characterized the middle of the eighteenth century. In fact, they come from an earlier date. A very positive echo of what the Dutch had done in 1581, and what the English were preparing to do, appears in the assertion of the Rev. Thomas Hooker of Connecticut as early as 1638, when he said in a sermon before the General Court that:

The foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people
The choice of public magistrates belongs unto the people by God's own allowance.

This doctrine found wide acceptance among the nonconformist clergy who later made up the Congregational Church. The great apostle of this movement was the Rev. John Wise, of Massachusetts. He was one of the leaders of the revolt against the royal governor Andros in 1687, for which he suffered imprisonment. He was a liberal in ecclesiastical controversies. He appears to have been familiar with the writings of the political scientist, Samuel Pufendorf, who was born in Saxony in 1632. Wise published a treatise, entitled "The Church's Quarrel Espoused," in 1710 which was amplified in another publication in 1717. In it he dealt with the principles of civil government. His works were reprinted in 1772 and have been declared to have been nothing less than a textbook of liberty for our Revolutionary fathers.

While the written word was the foundation, it is apparent that the spoken word was the vehicle for convincing the people. This came with great force and wide range from the successors of Hooker and Wise, It was carried on with a missionary spirit which did not fail to reach the Scotch Irish of North Carolina, showing its influence by significantly making that Colony the first to give instructions to its delegates looking to independence. This preaching reached the neighborhood of Thomas Jefferson, who acknowledged that his "best ideas of democracy" had been secured at church meetings.

That these ideas were prevalent in Virginia is further revealed by the Declaration of Rights, which was prepared by George Mason and presented to the general assembly on May 27, 1776. This document asserted popular sovereignty and inherent natural rights, but confined the doctrine of equality to the assertion that "All men are created equally free and independent". It can scarcely be imagined that Jefferson was unacquainted with what had been done in his own Commonwealth of Virginia when he took up the task of drafting the Declaration of Independence. But these thoughts can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was writing in 1710. He said, "Every man must be acknowledged equal to every man". Again, "The end of all good government is to cultivate humanity and promote the happiness of all and the good of every man in all his rights, his life, liberty, estate, honor, and so forth . . . ." And again, "For as they have a power every man in his natural state, so upon combination they can and do bequeath this power to others and settle it according as their united discretion shall determine". And still again, "Democracy is Christ's government in church and state". Here was the doctrine of equality, popular sovereignty, and the substance of the theory of inalienable rights clearly asserted by Wise at the opening of the eighteenth century, just as we have the principle of the consent of the governed stated by Hooker as early as 1638.

When we take all these circumstances into consideration, it is but natural that the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence should open with a reference to Nature's God and should close in the final paragraphs with an appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world and an assertion of a firm reliance on Divine Providence. Coming from these sources, having as it did this background, it is no wonder that Samuel Adams could say "The people seem to recognize this resolution as though it were a decree promulgated from heaven."

No one can examine this record and escape the conclusion that in the great outline of its principles the Declaration was the result of the religious teachings of the preceding period. The profound philosophy which Jonathan Edwards applied to theology, the popular preaching of George Whitefield, had aroused the thought and stirred the people of the Colonies in preparation for this great event. No doubt the speculations which had been going on in England, and especially on the Continent, lent their influence to the general sentiment of the times. Of course, the world is always influenced by all the experience and all the thought of the past. But when we come to a contemplation of the immediate conception of the principles of human relationship which went into the Declaration of Independence we are not required to extend our search beyond our own shores. They are found in the texts, the sermons, and the writings of the early colonial clergy who were earnestly undertaking to instruct their congregations in the great mystery of how to live. They preached equality because they believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. They justified freedom by the text that we are all created in the divine image, all partakers of the divine spirit.

Placing every man on a plane where he acknowledged no superiors, where no one possessed any right to rule over him, he must inevitably choose his own rulers through a system of self-government. This was their theory of democracy. In those days such doctrines would scarcely have been permitted to flourish and spread in any other country. This was the purpose which the fathers cherished. In order that they might have freedom to express these thoughts and opportunity to put them into action, whole congregations with their pastors had migrated to the colonies. These great truths were in the air that our people breathed. Whatever else we may say of it, the Declaration of Independence was profoundly American.

If this apprehension of the facts be correct, and the documentary evidence would appear to verify it, then certain conclusions are bound to follow. A spring will cease to flow if its source be dried up; a tree will wither if its roots be destroyed. In its main features the Declaration of Independence is a great spiritual document. It is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man these are not elements which we can see and touch. They are ideals. They have their source and their roots in the religious convictions. They belong to the unseen world. Unless the faith of the American people in these religious convictions is to endure, the principles of our Declaration will perish. We can not continue to enjoy the result if we neglect and abandon the cause.

We are too prone to overlook another conclusion. Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments. This is both historically and logically true. Of course the government can help to sustain ideals and can create institutions through which they can be the better observed, but their source by their very nature is in the people. The people have to bear their own responsibilities. There is no method by which that burden can be shifted to the government. It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation.

About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.

In the development of its institutions America can fairly claim that it has remained true to the principles which were declared 150 years ago. In all the essentials we have achieved an equality which was never possessed by any other people. Even in the less important matter of material possessions we have secured a wider and wider distribution of wealth. The rights of the individual are held sacred and protected by constitutional guaranties, which even the Government itself is bound not to violate. If there is any one thing among us that is established beyond question, it is self government; the right of the people to rule. If there is any failure in respect to any of these principles, it is because there is a failure on the part of individuals to observe them. We hold that the duly authorized expression of the will of the people has a divine sanction. But even in that we come back to the theory of John Wise that "Democracy is Christ's government". The ultimate sanction of law rests on the righteous authority of the Almighty.

On an occasion like this a great temptation exists to present evidence of the practical success of our form of democratic republic at home and the ever broadening acceptance it is securing abroad. Although these things are well known, their frequent consideration is an encouragement and an inspiration. But it is not results and effects so much as sources and causes that I believe it is even more necessary constantly to contemplate. Ours is a government of the people. It represents their will. Its officers may sometimes go astray, but that is not a reason for criticizing the principles of our institutions. The real heart of the American Government depends upon the heart of the people. It is from that source that we must look for all genuine reform. It is to that cause that we must ascribe all our results.

It was in the contemplation of these truths that the fathers made their declaration and adopted their Constitution. It was to establish a free government, which must not be permitted to degenerate into the unrestrained authority of a mere majority or the unbridled weight of a mere influential few. They undertook the balance these interests against each other and provide the three separate independent branches, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial departments of the Government, with checks against each other in order that neither one might encroach upon the other. These are our guaranties of liberty. As a result of these methods enterprise has been duly protected from confiscation, the people have been free from oppression, and there has been an ever broadening and deepening of the humanities of life.

Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes. We do need a better understanding and comprehension of them and a better knowledge of the foundations of government in general. Our forefathers came to certain conclusions and decided upon certain courses of action which have been a great blessing to the world. Before we can understand their conclusions we must go back and review the course which they followed. We must think the thoughts which they thought. Their intellectual life centered around the meeting-house. They were intent upon religious worship. While there were always among them men of deep learning, and later those who had comparatively large possessions, the mind of the people was not so much engrossed in how much they knew, or how much they had, as in how they were going to live. While scantily provided with other literature, there was a wide acquaintance with the Scriptures. Over a period as great as that which measures the existence of our independence they were subject to this discipline not only in their religious life and educational training, but also in their political thought. They were a people who came under the influence of a great spiritual development and acquired a great moral power.

No other theory is adequate to explain or comprehend the Declaration of Independence. It is the product of the spiritual insight of the people. We live in an age of science and of abounding accumulation of material things. These did not create our Declaration. Our Declaration created them. The things of the spirit come first. Unless we cling to that, all our material prosperity, overwhelming though it may appear, will turn to a barren scepter in our grasp. If we are to maintain the great heritage which has been bequeathed to us, we must be like minded as the fathers who created it. We must not sink into a pagan materialism. We must cultivate the reverence which they had for the things that are holy. We must follow the spiritual and moral leadership which they showed. We must keep replenished, that they may glow with a more compelling flame, the altar fires before which they worshipped.