TCS Daily


Forgetting Our Roots

By Andy Hansen - January 17, 2009 12:00 AM

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill and their opponents have been looking for someone to blame for the recent financial crisis. There are plenty of participants, including sub-prime mortgage lenders, Freddie Mac executives, real estate agents, bankers, Wall Street executives, politicians and leaders in the U. S. congress, former Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan, and others world-wide not mentioned. However, there is another approach to finding the culprit: by exploring our forgotten roots and reviewing the thoughts of our Founding Fathers.

Over 200 years ago, the original 13 American colonies faced a crisis worse than the one we are facing today - with ragtag volunteers and no well equipped militia for defense or naval vessels, they were trying to protect their commercial sailing ships on the high seas. In contrast, King George III and other European autocracies possessed trained and well-supplied armies and powerful navy fleets that they used to control the high seas. Those European powers were eager to increase their share of the vast and profitable natural resources of North America.

The colonial leaders realized that in order to survive against the encroachment of European powers, they needed to unite by forming a strong central government. Within the colonies were over a million people, mostly refugees, fleeing oppression of various kinds from dictatorial European rulers. Those groups were strongly motivated to work together in protecting their newly acquired rights, such as freedom of speech, property rights and freedom to choose. This was a far cry from the remnants of feudal systems where they were usually locked into servitude with an assigned role under some hierarchical ruler or aristocrat.

Each colony jealously guarded its rights and was reluctant to give its power away to a central government. However, as separate colonies the chances were great that all would lose their new-found freedoms. Together with more power the colonists could bargain with the relatively strong European nations. For those reasons a federal and representative type of government was created.

Thomas Sowell in "Knowledge and Decisions" writes that leaders of the Founding Fathers during the American Revolution did their homework before creating the constitution. In contrast, he points out, a few years later, the short-lived French revolution occurred with no advanced planning, resulting in mob rule, the execution of millions of citizens, and its collapse, followed by the rise of Napoleon. James Madison received around 200 volumes on ancient history and government from the ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson. They wanted to know the reasons why nations with democratic forms of governments, such as the Greek democracy and the Roman republic, deteriorated into autocracies and ultimately collapsed. They concluded that men and their weaknesses were the cause. Men, and especially the parties they formed, were ambitious, vindictive and rapacious. They tended to follow the well-known adage, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

In order to utilize man's strengths and avoid his weaknesses and destructiveness, checks and balances and separation of powers were created for the new nation. A primary goal was to protect the American democracy from the usurping of power by the government which had been the fate of earlier democracies.

I suspect that the cause of today's financial crisis can also be attributed to man's passion for power, fame and wealth. Man still carries inherited traits that were required for survival thousands of years ago. Stone-age tribes consisted of strong and vicious leaders and docile followers.

Among today's numerous followers are many strong leaders who indulged in today's credit crisis. Man's lust for power led to a monopoly of power in the Roman Empire with dictatorships and ultimate collapse. Likewise man's lust for power in America today created a governmental monopoly of America's credit market. Government's meddling in sub-prime mortgages without adequate controls to provide more affordable housing played a leading role in causing the credit crisis. This snowballed into an estimated and monstrous 70 trillion dollar international credit avalanche. It is far beyond the capability of even the powerful U.S. or any other single nation alone to stop.

Referring to the irresponsible and dangerous actions of past representative governments, George Washington, our first president wrote: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is a force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

The Founding Fathers created a government as a servant to serve its citizens. Today, the American government has become, at least for the immediate future, the master, and the citizens its servants.


Andy Hansen is a freelance writer and former chemist.
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65 Comments

It's SAD that so many people CANNOT even CONCEIVE of a society with neither Servants nor Masters
In their proper role as DEFENDERS of Individual Rights (and thus, PUNISHERS of violators), GOVAGs (GOVernment AGents) are NOT (private citizens') servants.

They are like ANY OTHER (private) citizen, providing a needed service.

It's unfortunate that so many people CANNOT even CONCEIVE of a society with neither Servants nor Masters.

US was NOT a democracy. That word does NOT appear in the US Constitution
The Founding Fathers uniformly distrusted democracy, as it was popularly understood then (and now).

That it degenerated into one is the greatest misfortune to befall human race.

And intellectuals like this author (MY definition of an intellectual is ANYBODY who is in a position to influence anonymous people he/she doesn't come into contact with directly) are the root cause of this tragedy.

Explicitly or implicitly, the Founding Fathers wanted Government to be a reactive punishing agency,
NOT a proactive providing agency.

They knew that the physical, emotional and spiritual needs and wants of people vary vastly and that the same thing may be good for one but bad for another.

They also knew that, for the same person, the same thing may be good at one point in time but may be bad at another point.

Just because they explicitly PROHIBITED ONLY SOME of the more egregious things that a Government can proactively do, such as establishing a State Religion does not mean that they wanted the US Government to be an agency with UNLIMITED MANDATE to proactively do “good” things for its citizens.

The root cause of today's mess is the vitiation of the intellectual environment to the opposite of what the Founding Fathers nurtured.

Yes it is.
"“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

The people of the USA are no longer moral or religious, which is why we now have socialism.

"The dream of a planned society infected both right and left."
"Ernst Jünger, an influential right-wing militarist in Germany, reported his reaction to the Soviet Union: “I told myself: granted, they have no constitution, but they do have a plan. This may be an excellent thing.” As early as 1912, FDR himself praised the Prussian-German model: “They passed beyond the liberty of the individual to do as he pleased with his own property and found it necessary to check this liberty for the benefit of the freedom of the whole people,” he said in an address to the People’s Forum of Troy, New York."

{Sound vaguely like "Ask not what your country and do for you....." or "That is where our collective dream has been deferred." "They are the common dreams that can finally unite a nation around a common purpose. " "But we need to do even more to restore fairness and balance to our economy." http://www.barackobama.net/barack-obama-reclaiming-the-american-dream.html}

{"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Why doesn't BHO reiterate THESE were our 'common dreams'?}}


"In the North American Review in 1934, the progressive writer Roger Shaw described the New Deal as “Fascist means to gain liberal ends.” He wasn’t hallucinating. FDR’s adviser Rexford Tugwell wrote in his diary that Mussolini had done “many of the things which seem to me necessary.” Lorena Hickok, a close confidante of Eleanor Roosevelt who lived in the White House for a spell, wrote approvingly of a local official who had said, “If [President] Roosevelt were actually a dictator, we might get somewhere.” She added that if she were younger, she’d like to lead “the Fascist Movement in the United States.” At the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the cartel-creating agency at the heart of the early New Deal, one report declared forthrightly, “The Fascist Principles are very similar to those we have been evolving here in America.”"

http://www.reason.com/news/show/122026.html

It is fitting that BHO is following in the steps of Lincoln since it was Lincoln that started the USA down the slippery slope to socialist tyranny.

"The early Republican Party, especially as defined by Lincoln’s nomination in 1860, was mainly concerned with the American System of Henry Clay, a plan to use federal subsidies and high protectionist tariffs to establish economic nationalism and give large sums of tax dollars to corporations to build "internal improvements" – railways, waterways and canals.

Of course, Lincoln’s War wasn’t about slavery, except as a dishonest political expedient that came into play halfway through the conflict. Lincoln’s prime goal was instituting a corporatist-mercantilist central state, and he achieved this goal. The Civil War was the largest government program seen in American history, supported by inflation, income taxation, conscription, censorship, corporate welfare, and the killing of hundreds of thousands of Americans."

"The Republicans after Lincoln monopolized the federal government, turning it into a virtual single-party state, massacred the Plains Indians, and instituted Reconstruction. Reconstruction was another big government program, riddled with corruption, cronyism and centralization, implemented by Republicans after Lincoln and only ending with the political compromise of 1876. In 1876, Republican Rutherford Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden ran against each other in a highly contested election. Hayes, who had campaigned on a platform of continued federal domination of the South, ultimately won the presidency; in exchange for the Democrats’ capitulation he ended Reconstruction. "

http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory40.html

Robust capitalism
The only way for socialism can succeed is if ALL participants are volunteers. Any deviation will devolve into state tyranny.

Capitalism acknowledges that "Men, and especially the parties they formed, were ambitious, vindictive and rapacious." When combined with a government that protects the rights of all to be "ambitious, vindictive and rapacious", without violating the rights of others, robust liberty and prosperity results.

Religious need NOT mean Moral; each man is what he IS and it’s QUITE likely that some may be immoral
The US Constitution was NOT made to govern people. It is made to PUNISH people who violate others’ Rights, to the satisfaction of the proverbial materially disinterested honest Third Party.

Since men are fallible, it’s very likely that SOME specific PUNISHMENTS meted out by the GOVAGs may not be correct in your opinion.

But to use that possibility (or any number of actualities) as a reason to jettison the principle and declare that “irrationality” and “subjectivity” (AKA, “Faith”) is the only way to deal with fellow humans is intellectually dishonest and irresponsible.

Show me where is the 'punishment' in the Constitution?
Are you projecting?

If religion is a tool to acheive a moral and vituous society, why reject it?
I acknowledge religion is not the only way to become moral and virtuous.

I forgot to attribute the previous quote to John Adams.

Correct: " US Constitution was NOT made to govern people"
It WAS written to LIMIT the power of government in an attempt to keep it out of the hands of those irrational people who seek the power to punish and control others.

Nothing sad about it, just realism at work
There are servants and masters in the world. This is not artificial in its roots. Or do you really believe that all people are equal in ability,and that all people can be leaders if left to their own devices?

There's an hierarchy on the Earth, at least when it comes to matters of leadership/mastery and servanthood. Here's the problem with our current sad state of affairs: that "artificial aristocracy" that Thoms Jefferson explicity warned about around 1815 is what has arisen into power. This artificial aristocracy bases its claims on money, not on proven merit. It is rooted in the bourgeoisie, the middling sort who, as a group, have enough money and education to lust for power but not enough money or wisdom to be powerful. So, they use their money collectively to allow a few among them to inveigle and intrigue their way into positions of power, and thus inject their virus. They have not leadership capacity, they have not wisdom, and they have not nobility; they have only mediocrity and self-centeredness.

As to our not being a democracy--NearNoad is 100% correct in all he says about that. Also, the Founding Fathers were not men of faith, by and large, but men of Reason. Not having the vocabulary we do today, the would write "religious" where we today would write "spiritual".

The U.S. was meant to be a Republic, not a democracy (the democratic element is supposed to be the free marketplace). And specifically, we were set up to approximate, as much as possible, Plato's Republic.

What proof?
"The root cause of today's mess is the vitiation of the intellectual environment to the opposite of what the Founding Fathers nurtured."


Since you seem not to understand the intent of the Constitution either, you contribute to its vitiation.

Gregory's Commentary
is quite a distortion.

_____________________

~The Republicans and the Civil War~

In keeping with the prevailing tendency toward political realignment, and as a direct result of the Kansas-Nebraska act, a new political party now came into being. Wilmot-proviso sentiment caused various diverse elements here and there to fuse into organizations which sometimes bore the awkward designation of "anti-Nebraska" parties, but which soon came to be known as the "Republican" party. There has been some dispute as to the exact time and place where the party was "born." Coalition movements of a similar sort were afoot in many parts of the country at about the same time, and such a dispute is of little importance. The name Republican was adopted at a mass meeting on July 6, 1854, at Jackson, Michigan; prior to this, however, while the repeal of the Missouri compromise was pending in Congress, a similar mass meeting at Ripon, Wisconsin, had resolved that in the event of such repeal old party organizations would be discarded and a new party would be built "on the sole issue of the non-extension of slavery." Elsewhere in the country local conventions followed suit; and by late summer of 1854 the new party movement was well under way. Made up of old-line Whigs, many of whom, such as Bates of Missouri and Browning of Illinois, preserved the Southern conservative tradition, together with radical anti-slavery men such as Sumner and Julian, Know-Nothings, and Free-Soil Democrats such as Trumbull and Chase, the new party combined many diverse ingredients; the force that cemented them (at the outset) was common opposition to the further extension of slavery in the territories.
The outcome of Douglas's policy had been the opposite of his intentions. So far from allaying sectional conflict and uniting his party, he had reopened the strife which he himself had designated the "fearful struggle of 1850"; he had split the historic Democratic party; he had supplied the occasion for the entrance of a wholly sectional party onto the scene; and he had driven many Northern Democrats into the ranks of this sectional group.
Source: "The Civil War and Reconstruction" by J.G. Randall and David Herbert Donald

~~Black Republicans~~

From 1854, when the Republican Party was founded, Democrats labeled it adherents "black" Republicans to identify them as proponents of black equality. During the 1860 elections Southern Democrats used the term derisively to press their belief that Abraham Lincoln's victory would incite slave rebellions in the South and lead to widespread miscegenation. The image the term conveyed became more hated in the South during Reconstruction as Radical Republicans forced legislation repugnant to Southerners and installed Northern Republicans or Unionists in the governments of the former Confederate states.
Source: "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War"

~~Radical Republicans~~

The Republican party in 1861 was a coalition of disparate elements. Formed only 7 years earlier, it contained men who had been Whigs, Anti-Slavery Democrats, Free-Soilers, Know-Nothings, and Abolitionists. By the outbreak of the war, these fragments had coalesced into 3 basic factions: conservatives, moderates, and radicals. President Abraham Lincoln's task was to mold these factions into a government that could win the war without destroying the South politically and economically.
The most aggressive and, eventually, most influential of the three was the Radical Republican faction. All Republicans were against slavery, but this group was the most "radical", in its opposition to the "peculiar institution." While conservatives favored gradual emancipation combined with colonization of Freedmen, and while moderates favored emancipation but with reservations, Radicals favored immediate eradication of an institution they viewed as iniquitous, and saw the war as a crusade for "Abolition."
Never a majority within the party, the Radicals dominated the other factions because of their commitment to their cause and the talent of their members, some of whom chaired key committees in Congress. In the House, their ranks included the Speaker, Galusha A. Grow, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Thaddeus Stevens, and influential members like Owen Lovejoy, Joshua Giddings, and George W. Julian. In the Senate, Charles Sumner, Henry Wilson, John P. Hale, Zachariah Chandler and Benjamin F. Wade chaired committees. Within Lincoln's cabinet, the secretaries of Treasury and War, Salmon P. Chase and Edwin M. Stanton, respectively, were Radicals. The center of Radical strength in the North was New England.
Men of little patience and less tolerance, the Radicals advocated an implacable, uncompromising prosecution of the war against the Southern rebellion, and were in the forefront of such issues and legislation as the Confiscation Acts, emancipation, the enlistment of blacks, the 13th Amendment, and Reconstruction policies. Though Lincoln, a moderate, eventually sided with the Radicals on a number of key issues, such as emancipation, many Radicals opposed his renomination in 1864 primarily because of their differences regarding Reconstruction. Certain generals also faced Radical opposition, not because of the officers military abilities but because of their political views. Radicals dominated the Committee on the Conduct of the War, which investigated military matters. Gen. George B. McClellan, in particular, was an anathema to Radicals.
The Union victory and the destruction of slavery did not conclude the Radicals program. With Lincoln's assassination and Andrew Johnson's succession, the Radicals domination of the party and Congress increased. These committed politicians would shape the reconstruction of the nation.
Source: "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War

Republican support of violating the Constitution
The comments support the evidence that the Republican party violated the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

The whiskey tax
This is a fruitful approach to analysis.. finding just where it was when our fledgling government went off the tracks. My personal view was that this was back in 1791, when our new government was all of two years old.

"The colonial leaders realized that in order to survive against the encroachment of European powers, they needed to unite by forming a strong central government."

True enough. And five minutes after that, they realized they'd need some way of funding that new federal entity. So they figured they would need some kind of taxation. And came up with an excise tax on the manufacture of whiskey.

IMO this was the wrong way to go. A tax on the sale of any product, fine. A tax on income derived from sale, okay. But mere manufacture, even if it were just for one's personal consumption? That's un-American.

http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/whiskey/

The slippery slope
In theory, with a written Constitution, difficult, but possible to change, the people, who lend their power to the government, would not loose sight of the original intent of the document.

Since the people have discovered they can use mob rule to steal from the others, the pit that has been dug is so deep the original intent is out of sight.

Show us the way
If you think having a federal government is useful to us, do you think it can function merely on the imposition of tariffs, as was our original plan? How should it be funded, if not through some form of taxation?

Yep.
After all the unconstitutional functions are eliminated.

how funded?
A minarchy can easily be funded by voluntary taxes. Don't forget B. Franklin had a private army of about 10k supported by voluntary taxes. But how would I know that if you claim I have never read a book? Did you know it?

Another voluntary tax are the various lotteries, aka a tax on the stupit.

Another voluntary tax is a kind of stamp duty for contracts for deeds of property, etc. There are many such things worked out ages ago for those who believe there is a reason for any government at all. If it's not voluntary, it's immoral because it would rely on force.

Voluntary taxes? Don't think so
Is it not the case that Franklin wrote of such things during the buildup to the Revolution? And would it not be the case that there was no official taxation in the Colonies, other than that imposed by the odious King George and his stamps?

Then how could Franklin's revolutionaries raise an army other than by voluntary subscription and donation?

http://www.historycarper.com/resources/twobf3/letter13.htm

Later, once the nation was won, the founders recognized immediately that a source of funding was necessary.. and embarked on a program to levy duties on all goods entering the country.

A scant two years later they found this was not getting sufficient revenue to even fund a vestigial, part time government. So they went to the taxation of whiskey production.

And that would have been acceptable, according to opinion of the time, had it been levied at the point of sale. But instead, revenue agents went to the farms to fix a sum at the still. That was when our young government went off the reservation.

not sufficient
If what they can get voluntarily is not suffient, then they were trying to do too much.

Why the USA was a republic.
The Constitution was designed for the people in their respective states to address their internal problems.

Federal Power
One of the problems with placing economic regulation in the federal arena is that it ISN'T a guarantee of the best protection to a consumer. A specific example is the ERISA act of 1974, as amended. In my prior life as a pension compliance analyst, I saw many examples of states attempting to remedy some wrong committed by a pension sponsor, trustee or administrator only to have them escape state prosecution due to ERISA "preemption" which places 99.9% of the rulemaking regarding pensions in the hands of the IRS & DOL.

Sure, federalizing the rules makes life easier for lobbyists and the employee benefits bar, but it doesn't allow states to protect their residents when they think federal regulation is inadequate.

Binding us all to federal rules
First, "......", thank you for an answer that's both civil and informative. I can only hope we're on the threshold of a new era in constructive dialog and tolerance of diverse opinion.

I agree.. there's nothing about the idea of federalizing the rules on anything that inherently denotes an improvement. The very best development would be executive education, so that those bosses who possess power but not necessarily understanding would realize that it's often in their best interest to keep relations positive between themselves and their support system: their employees and communities.

Then we'd see enlightened self regulation. Alas, we're very far from that. Although I'm sure isolated examples can be found.

You do make a point I agree with here:

"Sure, federalizing the rules makes life easier for lobbyists and the employee benefits bar, but it doesn't allow states to protect their residents when they think federal regulation is inadequate."

This kind of thing is a terrible precedent.. the sort of tactic you get when the wrong people get into office. Not only do the feds make a rule, they also make sure no one else can have a better rule.

For example, pollution controls. If some "energy" president, let's say, gains office he can purposely write a weak pollution rule (maybe one limiting emissions from coal fired electric plants). And it's a rule the owners of polluting plants can live with. Maybe it's even the case that the lobbyists for those plants even wrote the language themselves.

And then to make absolutely sure this weakened rule is binding on all, they write into their bill that the states are prevented from having any stricter controls in their own rules. Thus North Carolina is bound to choke on the fumes from Tennessee, and can't sue Tennessee for poisoning their air and waters, because all are bound by the limitless indulgence dictated by the federal rule. And NC law in this matter is now void.

So we're both on the same page here. It's a damn shame.

Who are 'the right' people?
"This kind of thing is a terrible precedent.. the sort of tactic you get when the wrong people get into office. Not only do the feds make a rule, they also make sure no one else can have a better rule."

The point of having a Constitution defining limited powers with checks and balances is to ensure that it doesn't matter if the right or the wrong people are in office. All that matters is the system is followed. Unfortunately, the wrong people have been in office too long and the system has been selectively ignored.

LIberty vs. Independence
The two terms get thrown around interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing. Liberty is the result of independence but independence doesn't come from liberty. We have a lot of liberties in the U.S., but we are becoming more and more dependent on government for our individual needs. Independent means "not dependent" and it entails liberty because no one can use your dependencies to dictate to you. Liberty just means freedom to act and it may be the gift of a benign monarch or dictator or be earned through one's self-reliance.

Government is a blunt and unwieldy instrument and thus should be used only where nothing else can do the job. Everything else should be left to the people to work out. War and national defense, arbitration between or among competing state interests, and conducting foreign policy with other nations are some things the federal government is really needed for.

Americans used to understand all this and were jealous of their rights both as states and as individuals. But somewhere along the line, perhaps in the late 1920s and the 1930s it was decided that the central government needed to intervene in the economy to "fix" the business cycle of growth and recession. Americans were hurting and so they welcomed the help offered by Hoover and FDR, without realizing that their liberties were being bought from them with government programs funded by tax proceeds.

FDR built a fourth branch of government not in the Constitution, the bureaucracy of federal agencies run by appointees and civil servants. Although people worried about this addition for a while, it has been with us so long that most of us think that's how it was meant to be. I think that Madison and the other framers of the constitution would be appalled by the size of the federal government and its assumption of power over the states and people.

If Obama really wanted to stimulate the economy, he would do away with corporate income tax and capital gains taxes and taxes on interest from savings. He would remove the moratoria on drilling off shore for oil and gas and allow the vast deposits of oil shale to be mined. America should be an exporter of oil, not merely a consumer. When the technology for clean electric cars becomes economically attractive, people won't have to be forced to buy it. They'd want to.
The same is true of most things. Government fiddling with the economy by trying to make low cost mortgages available to people only succeeded in driving up the prices and size of homes and ultimately created the financial crisis we're in now. Yet the federal government continues to monkey with markets until they are broken.

Until Americans step up and say they're willing to be responsible for their own problems and lives and demand that government shrink itself, we're not going to get our Constitution back. Maybe most of us don't want it back. If that's the case, our founders would probably say, fair enough, but don't blame us when things spiral out of control.

The Constitution was a 2nd revolution that overthrew the Founding Fathers
and gave ultimate authority to the Supreme Court. Was this a screw up or intentional?

Causes of the banking crisis
Let's not forget the role congress played when it ordered the banks to give loans to people who weren't qualified.

See my reply titled "Why drag Religion into Morality discussions ......" above
..

Why drag Religion into Morality discussions when you ACKNOWLEDGE that Moral need not be Religious?
Before you jump all over me saying “why not”, let me remind me you that I acknowledge everybody’s right to make a fool of themselves by posting glaringly obvious contradictory statements. I wouldn’t take away that right, even if I can. I wouldn’t want to deprive myself of my daily dose of chuckle !!!

Are you going to waste bandwidth again, by cutting and pasting lengthy irrelevant extracts in a futile effort to evade answering it in a straightforward manner?

The word “punish” and related words appear MORE number of times in the Constitution than the word “limit” and its related words.

What is this business about “Projecting”? Don’t YOU want to PUNISH people who violate your Rights?

And what is this business of “What proof”? That the US Constitution was NOT intended to punish Rights’ violators?

“To inveigle and intrigue their way into positions of power”; EXCELLENT choice of words, Thank You
And thanks for the vote of approval.

And most importantly, thanks a lot for reminding all that the Founding Fathers were not men of Faith, by and large, but men of Reason.

Cut and paste where 'punish' is in the Constitution.

Gladly; but you EVADE answering WHY you PROMOTE “Irrationality” and “Subjectivity”, AKA, “Faith”
Here they are, at the end of the post; a list of sentences and phrases where the letters P-U-N-I-S-H appear in the US Constitution.

And I am NOT even talking – because the letters won’t appear in it – of Congress’ power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water”, which is the severest punishment that can be imposed.

But all this will be of no use and it will be like blowing the conch before a deaf man.

You will simply feign ignorance and continue to link Religion and Morality, implanting the false idea in impressionable minds that Religious people are automatically Moral.

And, as I keep writing, we may hit the limits of TCS feedback and you may have your last word. Or, being busy otherwise, or because I am NOT getting email notifications when somebody replies to my comments, you may have your last word.

But you know that you have NEVER answered simple straight forward questions exposing the contradictions in the value system you strenuously promote.

Appearance of the letters P-U-N-I-S-H in the US Constitution

(1) Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings

(2) Amendment 8 - Cruel and Unusual Punishment

(3) Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

(4) Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

(5) To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

(6) To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

(7) The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

(8) Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Full faith and credit?
Do you support such a concept?

Marjon continues to EVADE answering a straight forward simple question
Why do you promote Irrationality and Subjectivity, AKA, Faith?

That's what I thought, no answer.

YOU are the one who is not ANSWERING. YOU are the one who dragged Religion into Morality discussions
If you think I will fall for irrelevant diversions, you are fooling yourself.

Since you have acknowledged that Moral people NEED NOT be Religious, WHY do you keep dragging Religion into Morality discussions?

What's your (ulterior) motive? Why do you want to make the world safe for Irrationality?

Morality IS taught with religion.
Morality and virtue need not be based upon religion.

However, for the past several thousand years, the virtue and morality of billions of people ARE the result of religious education.


Still did not answer 'full faith and credit' question.

Why didn't the Indians or Chinese land on the moon 3000 years ago?
The history of Western Civilization has been watered down for quite some time.

If the morality and virtue of the Christian Faith had nothing to do with the history of the West for the past 2000 years, what made the USA so special to create such prosperity?
What made northern Europe so prosperous 500 years ago?

Why didn't the Egyptians or Persians several thousand years ago create a culture that could have taken THEM to the moon?

All that was missing thousands of years ago to land a man on the moon was a culture that promoted innovation and liberty.

Humans have been in Africa for tens of thousands of years yet there is little record of significant technological advancement which would lead to a longer and easier life for their people.

What was so special about the culture of the West?

For thousands of years, self-proclaimed Religious people were caught indulging in Immoral acts
Are you going to argue that that's not the case?

Or, are you going to argue that such people are NOT Religious, even if they have been proclaiming (before their Immoral acts have come to light) themsleves to be so?

You have declared that "Faith" is irrational and subjective
but still prmote it ("Faith") at every step. So, you have
to answer it.

What's wrong with faith?

PS: Still did not answer 'full FAITH and credit' question.

Are you saying it's the Irrationality and Subjectivity of the West that landed them on the Moon?
That’s what you said “Faith” is all about

YOU said Faith is IRRATIONAL and SUBJECTIVE. So, by what STANDARD anybody can say it’s Right?
..

The importance of faith: "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve".
"FAITH is the ‘eternal elixir” which gives life, power and action to the impulse of thought!

FAITH is the starting point of all accumulation of riches!

FAITH is the basis of all ‘miracles.’

FAITH is the only known antidote for FAILURE.

FAITH is the element; the “chemical” which when mixed with prayer gives one direct communication with infinite intelligence.

FAITH is the element which transforms the ordinary ‘vibration of thought,’ created by the finite human mind, into its spiritual equivalent.

FAITH is the only agency through which the cosmic force of infinite intelligence can be harnessed and used by humanity.”
I don’t know about you, but the ability to harness infinite intelligence sounds like a pretty powerful tool to me.
Another profound quote from the book—a quote that changed my life— says,
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” "

http://www.articlesbase.com/entrepreneurship-articles/why-faith-is-so-important-for-success-145477.html

Depends upon what you mean is 'right'.

If you want to be prosperous and successful, empirical evidence collected by Napoleon Hill and others have proven that faith is required.

If you want to be poor and sickly, ignore faith.



The standard: it works.

Yep. "Man can't fly how can he go to the moon?"
Completely irrational!

So, if somebody’s mind can conceive and believe prosperity through “Socialism”, it can achieve it?
You should be ashamed of yourself to feign ignorance that the subject line of my this post is implied in your declaration that

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve”

Marjon declares that West is founded on IRRATIONALITY and SUBJECTIVITY
..

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