Monday, November 25, 2019

Press pleading to preserve the swamp


Michael Gerson, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-spurs-a-wild-west-of-continuously-worsening-political-rhetoric/2019/11/18/59185e5a-0a3a-11ea-97ac-a7ccc8dd1ebc_story.html


Note: Michael Gerson’s November 18, 2019, column, “Trump and his Fox supporters are no longer content just spewing propaganda,” The Washington Post, motivated this essay. Gerson seems like a writer who does not grasp history’s need to journal humankind’s quest for statutory justice. I write to suggest reform from traditional colonial-English conflict to possible American integrity.



Michael Gerson seems steeped in defense of controversial colonial-English tradition. I’d like to persuade him and other controversial traditionalists to consider the U.S. Preamble.

In my view, the U.S. preamble is a proposition for 5 public disciplines to encourage responsible human liberty. A citizen may order his or her public life by the 5 disciplines so as to privately pursue individual happiness with civic integrity. I express my interpretation almost daily, seeking improvements from fellow citizens.


I both publicly and privately order my actions so as to accept the-literal-truth. I do not know the-literal-truth and must rely on the-objective-truth---the ineluctable evidence which may be better comprehended with new instruments of perception. Under these principles, I speculate neither for nor against the mystery of whatever-God-is. Without objection to anyone’s God, I promote reform from English tradition to the U.S. Preamble’s proposition. So far, I do not think the Trump/Pence administration has considered the opportunity to establish the USA 231 years after it was proposed in the U.S. Preamble.


Consider Gerson five concerns with detail I noticed.


First, in “the president’s long habit of half-witted ad hominems” Gerson overlooks President Trump’s promise to drain the swamp, hard as the task would be. See Trump’s inaugural address. Trump’s fellow citizens may imagine what it is like to know what his administration plans for liars of the swamp. When a liar approaches Trump, how does he protect the information that is vital to us, his fellow citizens? Note that the liars are also fellow citizens, but some are dissident to the U.S. Preamble’s proposition. Perhaps the liar holds the honest opinion that all citizens should attest to the mystery of whatever-God-is. Perhaps Trump intends to distract the liar, accepting any humility of error yet protecting the people’s vital information. It seems the Schiff-impeachment-proposal exposes foreign-service agents in traditional “abuse of power.” The unintended consequence may be financial ruin and professional change for some agents.


Second, “Fox . . . has come up against a variety of honorable, respected professionals, trying to testify honestly about the abuse of power,” seems a misguided indictment of Fox’s Christian community. Some Christians seem so convicted in their spiritual faith that they mistakenly tolerate infidelity to the U.S. Preamble. They erroneously label it “secular” when it is neutral to religion as well as race, gender, and ethnicity. It seems most Christians deny what seems ineluctable: whatever-God-is leaves it to humankind to establish human justice. As a consequence, some Christians imposed “In God We Trust” as a national motto---a motto that represses the march to civic integrity. An unintended consequence of repressing the U.S. Preamble’s proposition is the gradual development of swamp professionals who oppose the rule of the U.S. Constitution, for example, in its assignment of responsibilities to the administrative branch. Gerson seems blind to the swamp, holding honor above integrity, fairness above justice, Gerson-truth above the-literal-truth, and civil respect above civic appreciation. Gerson-values supplant neither the 5 public disciplines of the U.S. Preamble nor Gerson’s duty to responsible human liberty.


Third, Gerson claims “a crisis of missing limiting principles,” without recognizing that the swamp is the crisis. The limiting principles are stated as statutory law according to the U.S. Constitution, which ultimately must conform to the U.S. Preamble. Gerson suggests controversies such as Roe v. Wade override the U.S. Constitution’s rule of law and the U.S. Preamble’s pursuit of statutory justice. Again, Christianity errs by claiming human life begins as a conception when it begins as a viable ovum. Gerson unconstitutionally claims democracy defines the values in this republic.


Fourth, Gerson defends erroneous colonial-English tradition “Self-government requires ethical hierarchy.” The U.S. Preamble replaced self-government with 5 public disciplines so as to encourage responsible human liberty. The U.S. Preamble legally ended the Confederation of States and empowered We the People of the United States, the entity that is comprised of fellow citizens who trust-in and commit-to the U.S. Preamble’s proposition. Thereby, ethics may conform to the-literal-truth. The combination of the U.S. Preamble under the-literal-truth may ultimately determine humankind’s civic civilization. Among We the People of the United States there is no hierarchy---only human equity under developing statutory justice. The elected or appointed official or writer for the press who does not strive to be a member of We the People of the United States is among the swamp. The press’s job is to journal Constitutional progress toward meeting the U.S. Preamble’s proposition. “American freedom” is defined in the U.S. Preamble: freedom-from 5 public oppressions so as to secure each citizen’s opportunity to practice the liberty-to responsibly pursue individual happiness rather than the dictates of someone else.


Lastly, Gerson does not improve on Trump’s erroneous slogan “great again.” I think there’s better likelihood that Trump will reform to “Make America Great” before either Gerson or Fox News does. What’s missing is reform from opposing views of colonial-English Americanism to an achievable better future under the U.S. Preamble’s proposition. The civic citizens of this nation, We the People of the United States, trusts-in and commits-to the ultimate justice of the people.


Members of the swamp who are honestly misled may become civic citizens rapidly by considering, communicating, collaborating, and connecting so as to promote the entity We the People of the United States as defined in the U.S. Preamble. If they know better purpose, they may propose amendment of the U.S. Preamble.

Nine former English colonies, free and independent global states in 1784, established the USA as a global nation as of June 21, 1787. The First Congress erroneously re-established as much colonial-English tradition as they could get away with. Congress has behaved to preserve tradition ever since. President Trump is trying to reform from colonial-English tradition to the U.S. Preamble’s proposition. Some members of the swamp honestly work under tradition and may discover integrity in time to help the administration establish the USA after Congressional and press repression since 1788.


Copyright©2019 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Acceptance


Acceptance study 091919. PRB

Preface


I routinely write that fellow citizens may accept each 1) the U.S. Preamble’s proposition, 2) responsible human liberty and 3) human individual power, energy, and authority (HIPEA) to develop integrity. I plan to create a comprehensive list of acceptances. [Note: on 10/8/19, I discovered ACT, a mindfulness therapy. I plan to read a book or two---perhaps by Stephen Hayes then by Russ Harris to learn thoughts beyond or in parallel with my acceptance that you are human and acceptance of a public agreement to equity under statutory justice.] 

Further, I suggest that the standard for justice is fidelity to the-objective truth, [1] which is the ineluctable evidence by which truth is measured. Preparing this essay, I encountered this MW1 illustration of “literal”: “The story he told was basically true, even if it wasn't the literal truth.” This sentence implies the speaker’s evaluation and claim to know the literal truth. “The-objective-truth” expresses humility to the literal truth. I assert that I do not know much of the-objective-truth, and I rely on it.

In my eighth decade, I realize my quest, to be what I want to be, is a sequence of acceptances, beginning with acceptance that I am a human being. I chose to study the philosophy of “acceptance”. The study enhanced ongoing concern to encourage fellow citizens to voluntarily accept U.S. citizenship and to never invite fellow citizens to leave/emigrate. The U.S. Preamble (the preamble to the U.S. Constitution) offers individuals and collectives (societies) acceptance of responsible human liberty.

Dictionary information


Merriam-Webster (MW) online[2] has “acceptance, noun”:  the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable; the act of accepting something or someone; the fact of being accepted; acceptance of responsibility:  Law, an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound; the act of accepting a time draft or bill of exchange for payment when due according to the specified terms; an accepted draft or bill of exchange.

The MW thesaurus divides words into two categories: 1) “a readiness or willingness to accept or adapt to a given circumstance” and 2) “permission given to do something.” The synonyms in both categories are abundant. Interesting to my purpose is the antonyms for Category 1: resistance, defiance, disobedience, intractability, recalcitrance, animosity, antipathy, enmity, hostility, ill will.

The category most interesting to my purpose is acceptance: “[the discipline] to accept . . . a given circumstance.”

Abstract


Much of philosophy of “acceptance” addresses intellectual constructs intended to avoid or resist actual reality. Reviewing 15 of perhaps thousands of philosophical articles which use the word “acceptance,” my criticisms follow, below.

Rules and codes are no substitute for the-objective-truth. Impartiality is an intention but not an option respecting the-objective-truth. On the other hand, in the absence of statutory justice (the worthy goal of perfection), an agreement to aid equity under law enforcement seems worthy. Some people think crime and other infidelities pay. Therefore, the public funds law enforcement. Research designed to prove a belief has no objectivity and may not yield discovery. Discovery usually affirms related theories and vice versa. Societies create rules that lessen individual encouragement to develop integrity to the-objective-truth. The individual may reserve some power, energy, and authority for the-objective-truth. Much like slavery, few would volunteer to be tolerated. In order to communicate, collaborate, and connect to discover the-objective-truth, the parties must establish mutual semantics; expressions are enhanced by words that suggest something, such as “humankind” rather than “man” when people past present and future is the subject. Acceptance without evidence is voluntary and may be honest yet lack integrity. Pursuing knowledge or probability as surrogates for the-objective-truth is unpromising or begs woe. The-objective-truth responds to neither reason, nor “conventional truths”, nor human awareness, nor intentions, nor assertion of the literal truth. Acceptance of the-objective-truth as standard for justice may asymptotically lead to the literal truth. Scientific research is the study of the-objective-truth, and it demands objectivity. Applying subjective statistics to study human psychology is a dubious practice. People who propose research without objectivity seem to value metaphysics. It is useful to be aware of proprietary abuses of “acceptance,” and awareness need not become a burden.

Study method


I searched the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy using “acceptance” and found 546 articles, considering the first twelve and skipping to a 13th choice. Within each article, I searched “acceptance” and copied the sections using the term. Then I read the information to extract my interpretation. Also, I found one article at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy I felt essential. Their search method does not allow canvasing on one word, but search within a selected article indicates they might also have 546 articles containing “acceptance”.

The following is my analysis of each article I reviewed. I highlight acceptance to help the reader relate to the respective article’s usage. The articles are numbered to aid the summary that follows.

1.     Rule Consequentialism[3]

This article addresses acceptance of rules and codes more than accepting the-objective-truth. “Impartial” opinion seems recommended as the standard for morality. However, opinion is no substitute for the-objective-truth.

Impartiality seeks a margin from 100% to accommodate punishment of dissidents. The author claims, without evidence, that 90% “seems” defensible.

Impartiality seems sufficient to override personal objections, and everyone is expected to adopt “the rules whose universal acceptance will have the best consequences impartially considered” including efficiency among the society. “Such arguments suggest . . .  contractualism and rule-consequentialism,” the latter being questioned as potentially unacceptable respecting unintended consequences and also suitability for public acknowledgement.

The category “contractualism” might include the proposition that is offered to fellow citizens by the U.S. Preamble: communicate, collaborate, and connect for responsible human liberty.

2.     Constructive realism[4]

“Van Fraassen [claims]: Science aims to give us theories which are empirically adequate; and acceptance of a theory involves as belief only that it is empirically adequate.” Wikipedia tells us he argues for “skepticism toward the reality of unseen entities.”

Acceptability of a theory as the-objective-truth may result from its interconnected verification by other researched theories. Empirical research is the work to discover actual reality[5] whether actual reality is observed[6] or not; in other words, the research does not always succeed.

Acceptance involves discovery of factual existence as well as how to benefit from the facts. Benefits accrue not only from application to human endeavors but to order related research. Imagination is useful in assessing, proposing, selling, and gaining acceptance of new areas for research long before there is belief that the research will lead to discovery. Acceptance is not likely if benefits from the evidence cannot be established, so pure research is a difficult sell.

This practice cautions against metaphysics or speculation. Yet, pure research often wins acceptance without elements of belief, for example, on predicted benefits versus estimated research costs if the theory is proved.

If a researcher intends to prove a belief, there is no objectivity to order the work. The consequence of the work may be “observation” of falsehood. For example, someone who believes the earth is flat may “observe” that the sun revolves around the earth each day when in fact the earth rotates on its axis successively hiding then un-hiding the sun each 24 hours. “Thus, beliefs may express . . . perception when discovery is absent.”

I appreciate this affirmation of the role of discovery regarding the-objective-truth.

3.     Social institutions[7]

Human collectives create “social phenomena, including conventions, social norms and social institutions [establishing] institutional structure. Structure entails the specifications and public acceptance. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court has nine justices and its authority is accepted by the people. Some individuals do not hold the Supreme Court as a reliable authority.

Collective acceptance is the summation of individual actions and differs from the individual acceptances. The individuals communicate, collaborate, and connect without absolute consent or explicit contract.

4.     Toleration[8]

“The term ‘toleration’—from the Latin tolerare: to put up with, countenance or suffer—generally refers to the conditional acceptance of or non-interference with beliefs, actions or practices that one considers to be wrong but . . . should [neither] be prohibited or constrained [nor affirmed or accepted].”

“Conditional acceptance” seems an oxymoron. For example, there is no toleration for racism: “an unacceptable prejudice [cannot be] an ethical judgment.” This confusion comes about because there is no standard for tolerance. That is, tolerance is a subjective practice. In other words, tolerance is a matter of opinion. Perhaps “intolerance” is useful whereas “tolerance” only confuses communication, collaboration, and connection.

Writer Rainer Forst assigns four conceptions to explain connections involving tolerance:  permission (authority vs dissent), coexistence (conflict avoidance), respect (public conduct separated from private conduct), and esteem (responsible private behavior revered). In any of these connections, which party is anxious to accept the other’s tolerance?

Forst’s construction derives from the privation of standards for civic behavior. With public acceptance of the-objective-truth, a civic, civil, and legal standard is established without strife over religious beliefs. Individuals may observe manners, civility, and legality without compromising responsible religious beliefs.

In public, there is intolerance to any interjection of the mystery of whatever-God-is, a private pursuit.

5.     Mutual knowledge constraints on conversation[9]


In conversation, the listener often expresses acceptance of the speaker’s claims yet in privacy holds doubt. Therefore, experienced speakers carefully establish plausibility if not reliability in their word choices. The speaker takes the following precautions: uses expressions he knows to represent the experiences and observations that are common to the audience; has a purpose that is shared by the audience; cites reliable evidences for the claims; admits to perception, memory, and induction in forming opinion; avoids burdening the listener with confirmation of the evidences and builds on any prior acceptances they express; admits that not everyone in the audience has already had the experiences or observation to lend reliability to the claims; and is civic if not humble when a listener perceives they have reason not to accept the claims.

The speaker and listener share the burden that while expressions can intend to appeal to experiences and observations common to many individuals, universal commonality does not exist. Knowing this, listeners may clarify expressions before considering acceptance of the claims. During this clarification, the speaker may explore listener’s expressions so as to establish mutual comprehension. And they may exchange roles, listener becoming speaker. This iterative clarification may change the speaker’s words and phrases. If listener merely stonewalls speaker, communication, collaboration, and connection cannot occur.

Proprietary scholars have bemused the speaker-listener with the slogan “know your audience and use their terms.” This is often impossible even in person-to-person conversation. The consequence of placing the burden solely on the speaker is, for example, endless dialogue about God when no two people accept a common God. Consequently, I invite discussion about the mystery of whatever-God-is.

6.     The honesty of belief[10]


Everything derives from physics as E=mC2 or better expression of the origins of actual reality. Humans use imagination and reason to research physics’ unknowns. Researchers use discovery or ineluctable evidence to establish the-objective-truth in an asymptotic elimination of erroneous comprehension. Acceptance of imagination or reason without evidence is metaphysics---beyond objective experience or observation; otherworldly; infidelity. Some people honestly fall into metaphysics and thereby delay integrity.

Some proprietary scholars not only neglect actual reality but also deflate accepted reason by extoling faith, belief, hope, or fideism, bemusing integrity as subordinate to reason. Centuries ago, scholars labeled physics and its offspring “nature,” erroneously ruling reason to be superior. Some scholars still hold mathematics to be abstract or metaphysical. Some erroneously argue that if an idea has a strong construct, ineluctable evidence will eventually be discovered. Supposedly, acceptance of the construct may accelerate the discovery. For example, the benevolence of whatever-God-is may be proven someday.

“A warning is in order here: acceptance is typically a technical notion and characterizations of its nature and ethics differ radically in the literature. The ethicist of belief who wants to soften or supplement her view by appealing to some notion of permissible acceptance would need to say what acceptance is, how the two sorts of attitude differ, what sorts of norms govern each, and how they interact in a single subject.” Usually, acceptance without evidence is voluntary.

7.     A thirteenth century logic[11]


Acceptance of an expression is enhanced by words that suggest something. For example, “humankind” stands for people living in the past, present, and future. However, “man” indicates gender, may refer to the superior bipedal species, or in context may be unrelated to humankind; e.g., an object in a board game.

I appreciate this affirmation of my quest to create a glossary that is devoid of identity politics. For example, I claim that the U.S. Preamble proposes to fellow-citizens individual discipline rather than self-governance. Such discipline is suggested to all people.

8.     Conditional logic[12]


Scholarship in conditional logic considers actual reality, probability, and knowing. The purpose is semantics for “acceptance for conditionals, rather than a theory of truth.”

“[We] need a notion of acceptance capable of characterizing the acceptance of sentences that lack truth values but express important cognitive attitudes. . . focusing on . . . supposition and its corresponding conditional axioms.”

“ . . . [respecting] grammatical matters . . . this type of consensus supposition correlates [imperfectly] with the use of the indicative mood in English.”

In plain terms, the-objective-truth does not respond to scholarly schemes, such as “conditional logic”. This concept seems the most egregious offense against the-objective-truth among all the articles I reviewed.

9.     Skepticism 2300 years ago[13]


An ancient skeptic’s acceptance of “‘reasonable’ or tentative hypotheses [did] not require assenting to them.” In another scholarly analysis, “assent is a matter of reason or thinking, rather than the acceptance of a non-rational ‘impression’.”


Beyond impression, the-objective-truth does not respond to human reason.


10. Eighth century Buddhist thought[14]


Evaluating “competing Buddhist” philosophies: 1) “conventional truths . . . as being of the nature of consciousness,” and 2) “conventional acceptance of self-cognizing consciousness or reflexive awareness.” Either way, the purpose is salvation (perhaps especially as effected by Jesus Christ), and the method is individual consideration of philosophical priorities.

The-objective-truth responds to neither “conventional truths” nor human awareness.

11.  Collective intentionality[15]


“Collective intentionality is the power of minds to be jointly directed at objects, matters of fact, states of affairs, goals, or values and comes in a variety of modes, including shared intention, joint attention, shared belief, collective acceptance, and collective emotion.”

Collective acceptance is a central presupposition for the creation of a language, and of a whole world of symbols, institutions, and social status. Shared evaluative attitudes provide us with a conception of the common good. In virtue of this we can reason from the perspective of our groups, and conceive of ourselves in terms of our social identities and social roles. This again enables us to constitute group agents such as business enterprises, universities, or political parties.”

The only valid “common good” I know of is mutual, comprehensive safety and security, which is the proposition that is offered by the U.S. Preamble. The U.S. Preamble proposes freedom-from oppression so as to secure the individual liberty-to develop integrity. Some develop the liberty-to practice crime and are thus dissidents to freedom-from oppression. Due to the rule of law, dissidents invite woe.

“When an individual reasons or has attitudes in the ‘I-mode,’ she does function as a group member but her commitments relative to the respective attitudes are private, i.e., they regard her goals qua private person. When she reasons or has attitudes in the ‘we-mode,’ she functions as a group member and conceives of herself as being bound by and committed to what is collectively accepted and subject of collective commitment within the group.” Thus, collective acceptance becomes attitudes of collective commitment. Being a group member seems like voluntary subjugation excepting the special case of mutual, comprehensive safety and security.

“Such plural subjects, as a particular sort of social group, can be subjects of intentional states such as intentions, beliefs, and acceptance; this is the point at which the account regards the subject of collective intentionality.” For example, “the existence of money depends at least partly on collective intentional attitudes, or on a shared practice of treating certain pieces of paper, and not others, as money. [It] is not easy to see how an attitude, whether collective or not, can” achieve acceptance of a natural pragmatism.

This seems a case of over philosophizing. The exchange of labor for goods is not feasible in a bartering system. Money serves as the medium of exchange. A more interesting philosophical challenge is to compare money with bitcoin. Is bitcoin an instability of possible reward for commitment to risk? Can bitcoin be considered as a tool for the common good? Can money?

The-objective-truth does not respond to intentions.

12. The cost of cognitive standards[16]


When a people express “attitudes of acceptance of various norms or rules governing conduct and emotion” they invite circularity dictated by either the established norms or the intentions in constructing the norms. Resulting norms can be irrational and unjust.

“If this line of argument works it will allow non-cognitivism to gain the allegiance of those who wish to deny relativism while giving the motivations that lead to both it and non-cognitivism their due.” This dilemma is nullified when the standard is the-objective-truth.

13.  No emotions in the study of physics[17]


Accepting science as research and research’s object physics (expressed by Einstein’s general theory of relativity), I understand E=mC2 as the origin of everything including fiction. Fiction is speculation about what has not been discovered from ineluctable evidence. In other words, fiction is created from human imagination, the second incentive to enter the rigor of scientific research. Science is then the work to discover the origins of everything; everything evolved from physics.

Discovery requires integrity, and infidelity may be introduced into research during each the authorization, the design of experiments, the acceptance of experimental results, and promotion of conclusions.

Most research is authorized on cost versus risk; that is, cost versus the inverse of chance for research-success. Decisions are guided by prior discovery (understanding the-objective-truth) and the hypothesis’ compatibility with connecting theories. Emotions, neither of the research team, the press, nor the public should influence decisions. That is, experimental design is based-on and intended-to-increase discovery of the-objective-truth.

Philosophers challenge the principle that scientific research is objective. The fact that the decision to put a person on the moon can, through objective research, succeed, does not seem like ineluctable evidence to some philosophers. Others concede objectivity in physics research but deny that human psychology is physics even though the brain operates on electro-chemistry. Some assert that statistics can be applied to psychology as science, not admitting that researchers suspect statistics. On subjectivity and statistical studies, a dubious industry called “social sciences” hangs.

In the philosophical debate about scientific objectivity, the-objective-truth exists. In the pursuit of integrity about human psychology, subjective statistics is a dubious tool. I trust objectivity rather than “social science.”

14. Scientific unrealism[18]


As though the-objective-truth responds to opinion, this argument starts with the phrase “we are entitled to” as an arrogant disclaimer to “may”:  “Debates about scientific realism concern the extent to which we are entitled to hope or believe that science will tell us what the world is really like. Realists tend to be optimistic; antirealists do not.”

Scientific researchers trust that they are collaborating on interconnected theories. Newton’s gravity suffered doubt “with the increasing acceptance of Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism” then was affirmed as a special case of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

“[We] conjoin theories we accept. But positivist surrogates for truth, reference, and acceptance cannot underwrite this practice.”

“To accept a theory is to believe it is empirically adequate, but acceptance has further non-epistemic/pragmatic features. Empirical adequacy is logically weaker than truth: T’s truth entails its empirical adequacy but not conversely. But it [what’s ‘it’; truth or adequacy?] is still quite strong: an empirically adequate theory must correctly represent all the phenomena, both observed and unobserved. Epistemic acceptance is belief; beliefs are either true or false. Pragmatic acceptance involves non-epistemic commitments to use the theory in certain ways (basing research, experiments, and explanations on it, for example); commitments are neither true nor false; they are either vindicated or not. [Instrumental] acceptance suffices to account for scientific practice.”

Acceptance when there is no objectivity begs woe. The most egregious reasoning in the above collection of quotes may be the assertion that an “empirically adequate theory” can represent the unobserved by design. Second, instrumental acceptance seems erroneous, because better instruments and ways of using them are often invented.

Summary


Starting from the premise that I would like to encourage fellow citizens to accept the-objective-truth as the measure of truth and route to literal truth, I sought to inform myself about other uses of “acceptance” by reviewing philosophical articles. I found no survey article, but there are perhaps thousands of philosophical articles that use the word “acceptance.”


Here is a tabulation of dominant interpretations from the articles I read, by key words from their titles or my expression of the subject:


1.       Rule-consequences                        cultural constructs


2.       Constructive empiricism               belief: a dangerous practice


3.       Social institutions                             concurrent opinion or collectives


4.       Toleration                                           dominant opinion


5.       Awareness testimony                    closed minds divided by semantics


6.       Ethical belief                                      an oxymoron


7.       Natural semantics                            words that express humankind’s observables


8.       Logical conditionals                         rationalizing potential falsehoods


9.       Ancient skepticism                          reason overrules impression


10.   Egocentric awareness                    spiritual salvation a human hope


11.   The common good                          competition for dominant opinion


12.   Civilization                                           collective bemusement


13.   Research prevents emotions      discover the ineluctable evidence


14.   Antirealism                                         “we are entitled to” change the facts


The key observations from my limited study and comprehension are: Articles 1-4, 6, 8-12, and 14 or 11 of 14 or 79% attempt to justify a human construct so as to neglect the-objective-truth. Articles 5 and 7 address the importance of communicating, collaborating, and connecting in order to establish commonly defined words; for example, “whatever-God-is” is more expressive than “God.” Article 13 stresses that scientific research rejects the emotionalism of metaphysics. Support for research for discovery of ineluctable evidence is evident from negative interpretations or modern progress respecting some of the articles. For example, Article 9 can be expanded to make the point that justice reason overrules impression, ineluctable evidence overrules reason.


I would like to read a philosopher’s essay on “awareness.”


Copyright©2019 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included. Note on 10/6/19.




[1] “The-objective-truth” is my phrase to invite the reader to consider discovered, ineluctable evidence as having the potential to represent actual reality, lessened only by the human frailties of scientific research. When a researcher trusts-in and commits to the discovery of the-objective-truth, he or she remains constrained by the instruments that are available and other factors. He or she remains humble to the literal truth.
[5] “Actual reality” means factual existence or literal truth.
[6] This is my interpretation of a priori knowledge, a proprietary term.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

6th annual Constitution Day celebration at EBRP libraries

A potentially wonderful message for our time emerged after our annual celebration of June 21, Responsible Liberty Day.
In the U.S. preamble’s literal proposition, willing citizens communicate, collaborate, and connect to aid 5 public provisions---Union, Justice, Tranquility, defense, and Welfare---so as to encourage responsible human liberty to living people now and in the future.

For Constitution Day, after briefly reviewing a Louisiana corporation, A Civic People of the United States, we propose to discuss how the above view of the U.S. preamble emerged.

Second, we propose engaged discussion of the U.S. preamble's potential role in shifts from "political correctness" to "identity politics". We perceive the former excludes some fellow citizens and the latter invites civic understanding among fellow citizens. 
The meeting is at 7:30 PM, Tuesday, September 17, 2019, Goodwood Library, Baton Rouge, LA. There are 8 seats. A second meeting can be scheduled on request.

See more details online at https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/entertainment_life/local_events/?_ev_id=489814_6th_annual_constitution_day_celebration. If you cannot attend but want to, we can arrange a second meeting.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Audacity

Motivated by seeming arrogance of 2019’s four freshman Congresswomen of color, I wondered if they were agents, official or not, of President Barack Obama’s negative audacity. I wanted to qualify myself by considering standards of audacity and whether or not it has positive interpretations that are not egocentric or self-judged.

I think scholarly literature in the past used audacity to represent research using ineluctable evidence in its confidence in a world of human constructs based on reason. In customary terms, the competition is science vs religion. The four freshman Congresswomen perhaps negatively act for unintended, positive audacity to challenge “freedom of religion” as an oppressor of civic integrity. 

My concern

First, why do I consider negative Obama’s audacity? He seems to express three hopes[i]: 1) the American dream is freedom and community; 2) elected officials represent their sponsors; and 3) international influence is gained by democracy more than military power. None of these hopes is consistent with the people’s proposition that is offered in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution (the U.S. preamble). It takes negative audacity to live under a people’s proposition you neither trust-in nor commit-to, as Obama seems to do. In other words, Obama seems immoral to demand equity when he does not communicate, collaborate, and connect for human integrity; in other words, responsible human liberty.

My bias

My claim is based on my interpretation of the U.S. preamble’s proposition to fellow citizens:  We the People of the United States (the civic identity) communicate, collaborate, and connect to provide 5 public institutions---Union, Justice, Tranquility, defense, and Welfare---so as to encourage by example responsible human liberty to living citizens. I invite dialogue with every fellow citizen to learn from their interpretations of the U.S. preamble’s proposition.

I don’t know how acceptance of the U.S. preamble’s proposition would accelerate the path toward human integrity. In other words, I don’t know the statutory justice the achievable future under the U.S. preamble promises. I hope Obama and other fellow citizens discover my essay and respond such that I may improve my interpretation.

The standard by which justice and truth are measured

The reason the U.S. preamble’s proposition so far has been lame is the fact that there is no standard for justice beyond inarticulate objections to the church-state-partnership that represses responsible human liberty. The standard by which statutory justice is developed is the-objective-truth or the ineluctable evidence. The-objective-truth is the standard by which ultimate truth, absolute truth, objective truth, Truth, truth, and other human constructs are measured.

Majority use of the U.S. preamble’s proposition under the-objective-truth is sufficient to accelerate developing human integrity.

How often “audacity” is viewed now and usage in books today versus in 1800

Google, for “audacity” has “a willingness to take bold risks” or “rude or disrespectful behavior; impudence.” Merriam-Webster online has “the quality or state of being audacious: such as intrepid boldness [or] bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints.” Synonyms include “brashness, cheekiness, effrontery, nerve, pertness, presumption, sauciness temerity [and related words] arrogance, assurance, confidence, sanguinity, discourteousness, disrespect, impertinence, impoliteness, impudence, incivility, inconsideration, insolence, rudeness, sass, swagger, swash.” Other than “assurance” or “confidence” the modern view of “audacity” seems negative.

Reviewing Google’s book-usage frequency-graph from 1800 to 2008 for the words insolence, impropriety, audacity, disrespect, and incivility, relative rates were 1, 0.52, 0.21, 0.15, and 0.04, respectively, in 1800. In 2008, audacity and disrespect were close to 0.12, lessened versus 1800, and the other relative rates were much less. I rated “biased” and it was negligible in 1800 but 0.38 in 2008. “Political” rated 7 in 1800 and 19 in 2008. The data shows that “audacity” is not often used, either then or now.

My study method

With both high regard for thoroughness and caution about the proprietary quality[ii] of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [iii] I searched on the word “audacity” and found 12 essays then searched within each essay for “audacity.” I paraphrased or quoted the single passage in each essay and list the study results in order. I did further research to date and clarify the entries.

Study results

The emphasis on “audacity” in each entry is mine---to help the reader focus on the respective essay’s usage.

First, there’s “beneficent audacity” ranging from democracy by any means to evil means to good ends, a modern study by C.A.J. Coady springing from English novelist Anthony Trollope (d. 1882).[iv]

Coady, in my interpretation, poses the question of responsible human liberty and which parties are responsible for infidelity to the-objective-truth. I think each individual human is responsible for fidelity to the-objective-truth. Thus, neither government nor whatever-God-is is reliable for human justice. Justice can come only from civic people.

Second, Nietzsche[v] (d. 1900, Weimar, Germany) instructed us that humankind’s evolution to discover and benefit from the-objective-truth elevates him “into refinement and audacity” above the other species.

We agree with Nietzsche and think the human has the individual power, the individual energy, and the individual authority (HIPEA) to develop integrity throughout his or her lifetime. The audacity to accept HIPEA and apply it to develop integrity in a world of conflicting religions seems positive.

Third, “Peter Abelard (d. 1142, Abbey of Saint-Marcel) . . . the first great nominalist philosopher . . . championed the use of reason in matters of faith . . . his systematic treatment of religious doctrines are as remarkable for their philosophical penetration and subtlety as they are for their audacity.”[vi]

In this passage, it seems Abelard is using “faith” as “spirituality, theism, or religion” more than inspiration, motivation, or concern. The equivocation of “faith” and “religion” plays a significant role in public failures to communicate.

Abelard’s thoughts may be a clue as to Western philosophy’s erroneous elevation of reason over the-objective-truth as the standard for human justice. Today, 877 years after Abelard died, it seems there is enough evidence to choose the-objective-truth rather than reason so as to discover human justice, protecting religious hopes as private concerns. Abelard is not at fault if indeed he touted reason in matters of religion but not of statutory justice.

Fourth, from F.R. Tennant (d. 1957, Cambridge, England), scientific knowledge “is the outcome of faith which . . . justifies its audacity and irrationality (in accounting them to be also real) by practical actualization.”[vii] In other words, discovery justifies audacity because discovery is based on ineluctable evidence.

Tennant’s statement is not unlike Albert Einstein’s 1941 statement, “Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience.”[viii]

In my expression, the-objective-truth is discovered through ineluctable evidence. Einstein also asserted that the scientist had to have confidence (faith) that integrity in his or her work would advance human knowledge.

Fifth, Dominic Murphy cites views that a “healthy person [involves] harmony with their social and natural environment, and disease is a disturbance of this harmony. [In other words, viewing] health as flexibility, in the sense that a healthy organism can tolerate environmental impacts, adapts to new situations and possesses a store of energy and audacity.”[ix]

Attributing human resiliency to “energy and audacity” seems positive.

Sixth, “Michael of Cesena [d. 1342 Munich], acting with insolent audacity . . . declared . . . the absolute poverty of Christ and the Apostles.”[x] This “audacity” seems to border on heresy.

Seventh, From Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy “The audacity of Galileo [d. 1642, Tuscany]; the sweat and sacrifice of a science student to learn difficult material; the solidarity in pursuit of the truth about nature’s workings: these are all indispensable to science and enable scientists to share a common pursuit.” “[Reason] is a-historical while our challenges and crises are in history and in time.”[xi]

Does “a-historical” imply that reason can wait an eternity for verification whereas physics addresses actual reality? If so, I do not agree with the first premise: reason can be rejected the moment it is discredit by the absence of evidence.

Galileo’s audacity was in refuting Church teaching that the earth was the center of the universe.

Eighth, Bertrand Russell (d. 1970, Wales) thought that actual reality follows “the laws of physics” and logical constructions can be perceived as reality “complicating the system beyond all recognition.” [xii] “Schlick [d. 1936, Vienna] noted that, because of Russell’s sheer audacity in pushing his account to the limit, the result is not prone to the inconsistencies which plague other accounts [and is of] the immanence philosophy.”[xiii]

It seems to me Schlick strains to discredit Russell’s thoughts as religious. For example, the old philosophical problem of a tree falling[xiv] when there is no one there to perceive it is a case of a material event without immediate, confirming perception. Can a believer use this analog to assert that his or her god is the solution to the mystery of whatever-God-is?

Ninth, Spinoza’s [d. 1677, The Hague] “The Ethics is . . . bold to the point of audacity, as one would expect of a systematic and unforgiving critique of the traditional philosophical conceptions of God, the human being and the universe, and, above all, of the religions and the theological and moral beliefs grounded thereupon.”[xv]

Tenth, Kant (d. 1804, Prussia) “wrestles with the harmony of opposites, Cartesian kinematics and Leibnizian dynamics, trying to marry momentum and energy—while having the audacity to criticize Newton.”

Newton set out to use his understanding to prove the validity of Bible physics.

Eleventh, “The desire for “freedom of the will” in the superlative metaphysical sense, which still holds sway, unfortunately, in the minds of the half-educated; the desire to bear the entire and ultimate responsibility for one’s actions oneself, and to absolve God, the world, ancestors, chance, and society involves nothing less than to be precisely this causa sui [self-generated] and, with more than Baron Munchhausen’s audacity, to pull oneself up into existence by the hair, out of the swamps of nothingness.”[xvi]

Focus on absolute self-generation distracts scholars from encouraging people to accept HIPEA and use it to develop fidelity to the-objective-truth.

Twelfth, From Gödel (d. 1978, Princeton, NJ), “. . . philosophers have the audacity to ‘generalize things without any inhibition.’”[xvii]

It seems to me the appropriate noun is “arrogance” more than audacity.

Views on the philosophy study

While current dictionaries interpret “audacity” as a negative term, philosophical commentary dating from the 17th century and earlier seems to use “audacity” as a positive.

Coady expounded on “beneficent audacity” by many means. Nietzsche thought humankind had developed refinement and audacity. Abelard thought audacity is needed to improve religious doctrine. Tennant thought the ineluctable evidence inspired the scientist’s audacity in the face of public opposition. Murphy found reference to human resilience from energy and audacity. A 13th century reference to “insolent audacity” seems to suggest doctrinal progress. Galileo’s report of the sun’s centricity to our solar system is labeled “audacity.”  Bertrand Russell with audacity insisted that actual reality follows (not “natural law” but) the laws of physics. Spinoza is accused of audacity in critiquing traditional religious thought. Kant had the audacity to critique Newton’s Bible interest. The last two uses critique philosophy and thus are in a different class.

I think there’s a pattern in the first ten essays:  Basing discovery on ineluctable evidence rather than reason is labeled “audacity” in a world with competing religions. It seems self-evident that Western societies thrive on the competition between religious beliefs and discovery. Traditional scholars do all they can to favor reason in competition with ineluctable evidence. Thus, much as the preamble to the U.S. Constitution is falsely labeled “secular,” the scientist’s confidence in his or her work and results are falsely labeled “audacity.”

Returning to the four freshman Congresswomen of color

While I do not approve their psychological violence, I think their collective, unarticulated message is important to the USA’s long-needed reform. It is wonderful that their opportunity to challenge current government the way they want to (free speech) is protected as integral to the existing rule of law.

My articulation: instead of touting this country for freedom of Judeo-Christian religion, We the People of the United States may stake the claim that was offered on June 21, 1788:  The rule of amendable law in the USA intends to secure responsible human liberty to the continuum of living citizens. Therefore, We the People of the United States hold elected officials accountable for the gender-race-age-and-religion-neutral goals stated in the U.S. preamble. (The-objective-truth, discussed above, is another issue for another essay’s conclusion.)

Recommended actions for citizens who want mutual, comprehensive safety and security

I write and speak to learn. Therefore, I request interested fellow citizens to do two things.

Copy the (52 word) preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Study it. Analyze it. Consider whether or not you agree it is a proposed people’s-proposition for individual civic discipline. Paraphrase it. Contemplate the individual life you wish to live and revise your paraphrase to accommodate that life. Discuss your paraphrase with family and friends and encourage them to get involved. Listen for improvements you would like to make in your paraphrase. Then, establish mutual appreciation for the original sentence by reading it in unison with willing fellow citizens. Consider making this a habit.

Second, read the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Consider its provisions, especially the two religion clauses: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Imagine what this country could be without the religion clauses or with “Congress shall encourage the pursuit of integrity.” Encourage Congress to amend the First Amendment so as to encourage integrity, a civic duty, rather than establish religion, an integrated business.

The USA can be great. However, neither government nor whatever-God-is will make it so. Only a nation that is led by a majority who are individually developing integrity can meet the people’s challenge that is offered fellow citizens in the U.S. preamble. The past 231 years’ conflict for dominant opinion demonstrate that it will take positive audacity to reform to civic integrity rather than “religious freedom”.

Epilogue

The irony in Machiavelli’s “The Prince,” Chapter XI[xviii] seems that in a nation with established clergy-politician partnership fellow citizens procrastinate for either government or whatever-God-is to provide mutual, comprehensive safety and security to the people. The authors of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, intentionally or not, proposed that We the People of the United States can develop the discipline to encourage responsible human liberty in the USA.

We are dedicated to promote the U.S. preamble’s proposition among fellow citizens. However, we have no idea how beneficial the achievable better future may be, because we do not know the-objective-truth.

For this reason, we do not operate as a revenue-generating NGO or other organization. Readers who are motivated and inspired by the ideas expressed herein must find the audacity to communicate, collaborate, and connect for individual happiness with civic integrity among fellow citizens. With one person at a time we hope to inspire a collective entity: We the People of the United States.


Copyright©2019 by Phillip R. Beaver. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for the publication of all or portions of this paper as long as this complete copyright notice is included.



[i] Online summary at https://fourminutebooks.com/the-audacity-of-hope-summary/.
[ii] By “proprietary quality” I assert that many scholars write in proprietary language so that academicians in their society may understand but the general public may remain ignorant about what is being considered. For example, “natural law” is the proprietary jargon for the laws of physics. Further, some scholars erroneously write “the laws of physics” “the laws of science” which is the study of physics and its progeny: mathematics, chemistry, biology, psychology, imagination, fiction, everything. Imagination and fiction derive from what has not yet been discovered in the study of physics and its progeny. For example, anyone’s claim about the mystery of whatever-God-is is speculation an idea that has not been disproven by the available ineluctable evidence. I think even Albert Einstein used erroneous or misleading words in his speech titled “The Laws of Science and The Laws of Ethics.” I think he spoke on the laws of physics and the laws of integrity coming from the same source. In essence, he proposed fidelity to physics as the path to ethics.