Political regimes pretend that the civic preamble to the USA constitution is areligious/secular. Yet regimes use religion to cultivate conflicting, opinion-based laws rather than civic morality.
Both directly and indirectly connected citizens, perhaps 2/3, may iteratively collaborate for comprehensive safety and security by discovering the-objective-truth,* keeping religion private.
*What-is is evident in physics: energy, mass and space-time.
One is constrained to
respect the perfection of this world in which our senses converse. How
wide; how rich; what invitation it gives to every faculty of man! In its
fruitful soils; in its navigable sea; in its mountains of metal and stone; in
its forests of all woods; in its animals; in its chemical ingredients; in
the powers and path of light, heat, attraction, and life. It is well
worth the pith and heart of willing persons to subdue and enjoy it.
The moment the mind
opens and reveals the laws which traverse the universe and make things what
they are, then shrinks the great world at once into questions. What am I? and
What is? asks the willing
human with a curiosity new-kindled, but never to be quenched. Behold these
controlling laws, which our imperfect observations can see tend this way and
that, without explanation. Behold these infinite relations, so like, so unlike;
many, yet one. I would study, I would know, I
would admire forever. The work to understand has been motivated humankind in
A more secret, sweet,
and overpowering beauty appears when heart and mind open to the intention for fidelity. Then a person is
instructed that humanity is without bound. To be good, to grow fidelity, the human is
born, low as he then lies in weakness. The potential he appreciates is
his own, though he has not realized it yet. He ought, he knows, although
he fails to entirely comprehend. When in innocence, or when by intellectual perception,
he attains to say, “I appreciate the Right; The-objective-truth is beautiful
within and without. Fidelity will I serve, day and night, in great, in small. Then
is the meaning of life answered.
The intention for
fidelity is motivating in the presence of discoverable and undeniable laws. This
unpretentious pursuit covers principles that astonish. The child amidst his toys,
is learning the action of light, motion, gravity, muscular force. In civic connections:
fear, justice, appetite, humankind, and the good interact.
These laws evade our
persevering thought. Yet we read them hourly in each other's faces; in each
other's actions; in our own remorse. The moral traits which are incorporated
into every fidelity and thought, we must comprehend and describe in detail.
is the essence of all inspiration and motivation.
The intuition of moral intention is an insight of the perfect laws of the human
person. These laws execute themselves.
They are out of time, out of space, and not subject to circumstance. Thus; in
the human person there is a justice whose retributions are instant and entire.
He who does a good deed, is instantly ennobled. He who does a mean deed, is by
the action itself contracted. He who puts off impurity, thereby puts on purity.
If a man is just, then in so far is he the good. If a man dissemble, he
deceives himself, and goes out of acquaintance with his own being. A man in the
view of absolute goodness, appreciates, with total humility.
Badness ridicules the good. But goodness works
everywhere---righting wrongs, correcting appearances, and lifting thoughts to
harmony with facts. By fidelity, a man becomes the promise to himself,
dispensing good to his goodness, and evil to his error. Character is always
known. Thefts never enrich; alms never impoverish; murder speaks out of stone
walls. Accidental signs of a lie --- for example, the taint of vanity, the least
attempt to make a good impression --- instantly spoils the outcome.
But speak the-objective-truth, and all nature and listeners
help with unexpected extension. Perceive the perfection of fidelity as it
applies itself to appreciation, and becomes the law of willing people. As we
are, so we associate. The reliable, by affinity, seek the reliable; the vile,
by affinity, the vile; the dissident, by affinity, the dissident. Thus of their
own volition, persons proceed into happiness or into misery.
These facts have always
suggested to man the beautiful principle, that the world is not the product of
diverse power, but of one will: to discover the-objective-truth. Of one mind,
fidelity. Fidelity is everywhere active, in each ray of the star, in each
ripple of the pond. Whatever opposes physics or ethics, is everywhere balked
and baffled, because things are made so, and not otherwise. Good is positive.
Evil is merely lacking: it is like cold, which is the privation of heat. Evil
is so much death or nonentity.
Benevolence is absolute and real and life. For
all things proceed out of this same intention, which is differently named appreciation, justice, restraint,
in its various applications. All things proceed out of the same goodwill, and
all things conspire with it. When a man seeks good ends, he is strong by the
whole strength of physics and ethics. In so far as he strays from the good, he lessens
his power; his being shrinks; he becomes less and less; a speck, a point, until
absolute badness is absolute death.
The recognition of this
law of laws awakens behavior which we call fidelity, and which makes our highest happiness. Wonderful is its
power to charm and to command. It is a mountain air. It is the embalmer of the
world. It is myrrh and fragrance, and stimulant. By it, is the universe made
safe and habitable more than by research
or power. Recognition
of the law may motivate unkindness and subjugation and find no purpose or
integrity; but the dawn of the attention to fidelity, gives and is the assurance
that the-objective-truth is sovereign over all physics and psychology. And
time, space, mass and energy, seem to celebrate.
This intention to
fidelity is inspiring. It is the bliss of man. It makes him limitless. Intention
to fidelity corrects the capital mistake of the adolescent adult, who seeks to be great by following the great, and hopes to derive advantages from another. The
reliable person shows the fountain of all good to be in himself, and that he,
equally with every man, is an inlet into the-objective-truth. When he says,
"I ought;" when appreciation warms him; when he chooses, informed by
the-objective-truth, the good and great deed; then, deep melodies from wisdom
wander through his person. Then he can collaborate, and be enlarged by
his listening; for he can never reverse this intention. In the fidelity
of the person, rectitude is never overcome; appreciation is never outgrown.
This intention lies at
the foundation of civic morality, and successively creates all forms of
collaboration. The principle of humility never dies out. Man fallen into
superstition, into emotions, never loses sight of the moral intention. The
expressions of fidelity are reliable and permanent in proportion to their
purity. The expressions of fidelity affect us more than all other works. The
sentences of the oldest time, which voice reliability, are still fresh and
Discovering the-objective-truth never ceases, but it is guarded by one stern condition: Itis a response. It cannot be received at second hand. It is not
instruction that I can receive from another person. What he announces, I must
either confirm by experience or evidence, or wholly reject; and on his word, or
as his second, be he who he may, I can accept nothing. He may coach and affirm
but not instruct. On the contrary, the absence of this primary awareness is the
presence of degradation. Let this awareness depart, and the very words it
spoke, and the things it made, become false and hurtful. Then falls hope, the
state, art, letters, even life. The doctrine of the-objective-truth being
forgotten, a sickness infects and dwarfs the establishment.
Fellow citizens, seven states have erroneously declared secession and organized for war. "Why should there
not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any
better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party
without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His
eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the
South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this
great tribunal of the American people.”
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment
of thought, or prohibiting
the free pursuit of the-objective-truth; or abridging the freedom of
responsible speech; or abridging the freedom of the responsible press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition government for a
redress of grievances.
subject, We the People of the United States:
We willing people of the United States commit to
collaborate to achieve the purpose and goals stated herein ---
integrity, justice, collaboration, defense, prosperity, liberty, and perpetuity
--- and to cultivate limited services by the USA, beginning on June 21, 1788.
Benjamin Franklin, delegate to the constitutional convention,
Philadelphia, late June, 1787, suggesting daily prayer as a
common bond for delegates:
“I have lived, Sir, a long time,
and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth-that God
governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground
without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We
have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord
build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this;
and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this
political building no better than the Builders of Babel....
I therefore beg leave to move-that
henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our
deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to
business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to
officiate in that service.”
Franklin's motion failed * . . . the meeting was adjourned
without [vote on the] motion.”
George Washington, farewell to the Continental Army, June 8, 1783. Addressing
citizens of the thirteen colonies who had recently won independence from England:
“I speak to your Excellency, the language of freedom and of
sincerity, without disguise; I am aware, however, that those who differ from me
in political sentiment, may perhaps remark, I am stepping out of the proper
line of my duty [as general of the Continental Army. But my past performance
instructs] that I could have no sinister views in delivering with so little
reserve the opinions contained in this Address.
There are four things, which I humbly conceive, are
essential to the well being, [even] the existence of the United States as an
1st. An indissoluble Union of the States under one Federal
2dly. A Sacred regard to Public Justice.
3dly. The adoption of a proper Peace Establishment, and
4thly. The prevalence of that pacific and friendly
Disposition, among the People of the United States, which will induce them to
forget their local prejudices and policies, to make those mutual concessions
which are requisite to the general prosperity, and in some instances, to
sacrifice their individual advantages to the interest of the Community.
These are the pillars on which the glorious Fabrick of our
Independency and National Character must be supported; Liberty is the Basis,
and whoever would dare to sap the foundation, or overturn the Structure, under
whatever specious pretexts he may attempt it, will merit the bitterest
execration, and the severest punishment which can be inflicted by his injured
For fidelity to the-objective-truth, willing people never lie*
Humankind employs a process
for understanding, which seems to apply both in physics and in psychology. Both
humankind and each willing person seek comprehension of relations which are
thought to exist independently from the researcher (or student) who would
discover the-objective-truth. For example, extraterrestrial life either exists
or not, regardless of humankind’s expectations. Also, in a civic culture, mutual
appreciation is more satisfying than hate; “civic” refers to willing citizens
collaborating to live in mutual peace more than to compete over an opinion.
In physics, statements of comprehension
may be cosmic discoveries, which respond to neither imagination nor
rationalization. For example, the universe seems expanding yet may actually be
either static or shrinking. There are equations, as in elementary mathematics: 2 + 2 = 4. In physics, 2 apples plus 2
oranges equal 4 fruit. Contrary statements, like a + a = a + (a + 1), in other
words, 2 + 2 = 5, occur in art and games. For example, people express the
illusion that team work exceeds the sum of members’ contributions. The facts of
physics are limiting; yet humans motivate each other to contribute more. In
other words, attitude may alter physical results; yet the effect of attitude
follows physical laws. A 6’ forward with a 4’ leap cannot, in the same
space-time, shoot a basketball over a 7’ forward with 4’ leap. However, both
players may be motivated to their maximums by simultaneous team inspirations.
Thus, given equal natural abilities and equal team motivation, players
performances peak within natural limitations.
Statements of comprehension are
not “supposed to” apply in the intellectual world or cultural world, such as
integrity, but does. For example, consider the conflicting 1+1 = 1 that is
common in competition for dominant opinion, as in my theism plus your theism =
my theism. In other words, I’ll be tolerant while you earn the opinion that my
theism is less errant than yours. Communicating together we may consider: Is your theism our theism? We recall that we each have a unique view of our personal
traditions or associations or private hopes, yet we mutually appreciate our
persons as they are: I prefer my company and also prefer your company. We agree
that 1+1 = 2 or theism = theism. In other words, your theism is valid for you
and my theism is valid for me. On the other hand, the Dali Lama, I think
law of action and reaction is not exclusively for physics. It is also of human
relations.If I act with goodness, I will receive goodness.
If I act with evil, I will get evil.**
However, in human
relations, reciprocity often fails; the Dali Lama himself is a forced exile.
Thus, comprehensions have a
common characteristic: each comprehension is true, false or uncertain;
adequate, inadequate or unknown. In other words, each understanding may be
expressed, either true or false or no one knows. Because we appreciate each
other despite our differing theism or none, we are willing to collaborate to
understand the-objective-truth, which may be that we do not know, just as we
don’t know if there is extraterrestrial life or not. Yet, even as we admit that
some things we do not know, we each maintain personal hopes about our beliefs
or none. They are private hopes rather than civic interests.
The process for understanding
has a further characteristic. The noble work toward comprehension and
understanding does not express emotions. For the researcher and the
collaborating citizen, there is only being, but no wishing; no praising; no agenda;
no ideology; no pride; no contradiction; no goal beyond comprehensive safety
and security. Each individual who seeks understanding perseveringly rejects
coercion from anyone, and likewise behaves so as to not coerce anyone. When we
recognize self-persuasion, we stop in order to consider the-objective-truth. We
strive to discover self-contradiction and gullibility and eliminate them;
humility offers strength. Guided by understanding, we need not respond to doctrine,
like, “’Thou shalt not lie.’”
Yet, we do not feel at all
that it is meaningless to ask such questions as: Why should we not lie? We feel
that such questions are meaningful because in all psychological considerations
some premises are tacitly taken for granted. We may feel satisfied when
we succeed in tracing back to these basic premises the ethical directive in
question. For example, it is good to lessen pain and sorrow.
In the case of lying this
might perhaps be done like this: Lying destroys confidence in the statements of
other people. Without confidence, collaboration is made impossible or at least
difficult. For example, after the lie, the liar may fear future dialogue with
the deceived party, who, in turn, may sense the liar’s apprehension. Or,
contemplating his own behavior, the liar may suspect the deceived party is also
a liar. Thus, the liar disconnects himself or herself from the communication. Collaboration
is essential to make human life possible, even worthy of appreciation. Thus, our
commitment, we shall not lie, has been traced back to these demands: Human life
shall be preserved, and actual pain and sorrow shall be lessened as much as
possible. The just person, with complete integrity, gravitates toward human
authenticity and collaborative association; rejects fear, and embraces empathy
for other persons and self. Liars separate themselves from a willing people ---
are dissidents. Liars cannot even connect with each other.
Thus, it seems the process
for understanding can apply to psychology as well as physics. “Ethical directives
can be made rational and coherent by logical thinking about discovery. If we
can agree on some fundamental ethical propositions, then other propositions can
be derived from them, provided that the original premises are stated with
sufficient precision.” For example, persons
expect appreciation to overcome hatred. “Such ethical premises play a
similar role in [psychology], to that played by axioms in mathematics.”
“But what is the origin of
such ethical axioms? Are they arbitrary? Are they based on mere authority? Do
they stem from [humankind’s experiences], and are they conditioned by such
“For pure logic all axioms seem
arbitrary, including the axioms of ethics. But they are by no means arbitrary
from a psychological and genetic point of view. They are derived from our
inborn tendencies to avoid pain and annihilation and from the accumulated . . .
reaction[s] of individuals to the behavior[s] of their neighbors.” Just as
physics exists and can only be discovered, ethics exists and can only be
discovered. Just as physics may be vainly denied, ethics may be harmfully
Humankind has the
psychological power “to advance ethical axioms which are so comprehensive and
so well founded that [most persons accept] them as grounded in the vast mass of
[individual] experiences.” Humankind’s experience has been accumulated from
more than 100 billion lives over some two million years. For an infant to learn
ethics is a daunting quest, because humans are born totally uniformed.
Nevertheless, each person, on becoming basically informed, has the potential to
enjoy some sixty years to psychologically mature and to help fulfill and expand
the ethical axioms of humankind. The gift of life presents the opportunity and
the potential for such joyful meaning.
“Ethical axioms are found and
tested not very differently from” the physical axioms. [Understanding] is what
stands the test of experience” and approaches the-objective-truth.
* Adapting Albert Einstein’s 1941 speech, “The Laws of Science and The Laws of Ethics.” Starting
at samharris.org/blog/item/my-friend-einstein/, but corrected to the referenced book. I am not
careful with quotation marks, especially in the early part of the essay.
Addendum, perhaps for any further interest
during the discussion or Q&A
Perhaps Einstein’s discussion
was for a cooperative audience, in which case even “white lies” merely prolong
the inevitable submission to the-objective-truth. The cancer patient’s
question, “Am I going to die,” may be answerable, for example, “We’re going to
do everything we can to prevent it,” or, “Eventually, yes, but we are going to
work toward keeping you alive.” Even a child’s innocence can be transitioned
without mendacity. For example, a child wise enough to ask if Santa is real
gains confidence to hear something like, “Yes: Santa is a metaphor --- an
annual reminder for each person to maintain good will toward all people.”
The need to deceive the enemy
is obvious. However, the deceit must be carefully crafted and executed; obvious
deviations from established principles will be accepted by only the most
uninformed or gullible person. The combatant must not expect the opponent to be
gullible. Gullibility is a deadly error left out of the seven deadly sins; a
good shield against gullibility is humility.
According to my theism, by which
I pursue my spiritual hopes, it is the duty of every man to render to the
Creator such homage and such only as he believes to be acceptable to
him rather than to the government. This duty is precedent, both in order of
time and in degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any
man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a
subject of the Governour of the Universe. And if, as a member of Civil
Society, he enters into any subordinate Association, he must always do it with
a reservation of his duty to the General Authority. Moreover,
every man who becomes a memberof any particular Civil Society, must
do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign.
In other words, to me, it seems an undiscovered entity
controls events, and a person ought to pay attention to that mystery. However,
following George Washington’s leadership on June 8, 1783, the four pillars
necessary for a nation to survive omit religion. That is, religion is a private
matter. How any attention to the mystery of religion is practiced is a personal
Thus, the willing citizen who trusts and commits to the-objective-truth
keeping religion a private practice, is equally qualified to collaborate for comprehensive
safety and security and necessary civil law. I join Mr. Washington in this civic
morality and resist civil imposition of a popular theism, presently
factional Protestantism. I advocate separation of church and state.
Basis of the play's debate with Madison: founders.archives.gov/documents/Madison/01-08-02-0163
Robert E. Lee letter* to
Mary Anna Randolph Custis
December 27, 1856, about
anti-abolitionist President Franklin Pierce’s state of the union speech:
was displeased with President Pierce's state of the union message, in
particular, his slant against abolition. His
views of slavery, while faithfully expressed, are erroneous. Kansas should be
able, without bloodshed, to join the USA as a free state.** There are few, I
believe, in this enlightened age, who will not acknowledge that slavery as an
institution is immoral and a political evil.
Virginia minster’s sermon I attend preaches that black slavery is an
institution of God, but I think many in the congregation do not agree with the
ministers. I agree with Frederick Douglass’s four year-old statement: “There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven that
does not know that slavery is wrong for him.”
blacks, if freed, would be immeasurably better off here than in Africa,
morally, physically, and socially. The free states are agitating for reform. Is
it not strange that many descendants of those Pilgrim Fathers who crossed the
Atlantic to preserve their own freedom have always proved the most intolerant
of the spiritual liberty of others? Have ministers no regard for
our state defends slavery despite what I take to be the-objective-truth --- for
our protection --- I plan to sell everything and relocate to a free-state. I
know you will be relieved, and we will serenely encourage our extended family
to do the same.
Note: this is part of a series comprising a historical-fiction play wherein speeches are modified to imagine the speaker's recognition of the-objective-truth as essential to civic morality. Readers may refer to the original text to identify my fiction, which is useful only for the play. An 1852 claim: In 64 years, we free-Americans have
regressed on slavery, inviting woe; I, Frederick Douglass, want us to change that.
Douglass” empowered by the phrase “the-objective-truth”
That I am invited to speak at Corinthian Hall,
Rochester, on the 4th of July, 1852 is, to me, a matter of
astonishment as well as of gratitude. In many ways, I lived 34 years to prepare
for this speech. Therefore, I reviewed major events in our culture’s history.
As you know, I am a former slave, an abolitionist and a free citizen. I speak
for all Americans --- affected by the burden willing people did not want, but
have not yet released: American slavery.
British colonists declared independence from
England. Thomas Paine wrote a scathing letter against African slavery and
American theism. It was the colonies against the empire --- colonists with the slaves against the co-oppressor!
In other words, with colonists’ success, the African slaves could acquire freedom, too. American theism would
overcome English theism. American law would overcome English law. Independence
having been declared, liberty would be inevitable.
France, already at war with England, joined the colonists in
the deciding battle at Yorktown, Virginia. Retiring from the Continental army,
George Washington envisioned a nation predicated on “four essential pillars.” The
fourth was that inhabitants voluntarily collaborate for mutual living. In
Paris, representatives signed the treaty that recognized 13 free and
independent states. British colonists emerged American statesmen. Still, 8
states were slave states, and importation of slaves continued.
During three years, the states failed to strengthen the
confederation. Statesmen, with George Washington presiding, negotiated a
constitution predicated on collaboration by the people. In the constitution the
people provided for congressional representation of slaves, scheduled the end
of slave importation, and counted on future citizens for abolition. In these 64 years since the constitution was ratified, emancipation of the slaves has not happened. Why?
The constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT.[i]
Read its preamble, consider its purposes. Is slavery among them? If the signers
intended the Constitution to be a slavery instrument, why can neither slavery,
slaveholding, nor slave be found in it? The constitution condones neither
theism nor British common law. The signers of the constitution provided for a
future that discovers the-objective-truth in order to reform injustices like
slavery. On June 21, 1788 nine states ratified the constitution, establishing
the USA as a nation under willing people in nine states.
I hold that every American citizen has a right to form an
opinion of the constitution, and to propagate that opinion, and to use all
honorable means to make his opinion the prevailing one. Without this right, the
liberty of an American citizen would be as insecure as that of a Frenchman.
George Washington had inspired citizens with four pillars of civic morality: integrity,
justice, statutory law, and good will. James Madison imposed theism, in
competition with the objective truth. Theism proposes hope for the soul in
death, whereas the people need comprehensive safety and security in life.
However, the representatives in the 1st Congress
arbitrarily, or perhaps on opinion about Article 1 Section 8, interjected
American Theism into civic morality, by hiring legislative ministers at the
people’s expense. American Theism supports slavery: Slave states unjustly
increased from 8 to 15 while free states happily increased from 5 to 14. The
increase in slave states happened on your watch and now mine, but I want no
part of slavery. It is unfathomable that our American Theism supports slavery.
The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act, citing Article IV, Section 2 of
the constitution, converts a slave-states problem into a national disgrace. The
power is parallel with the Star-Spangled Banner and American Theism. The victims
are We the People of the United States---you and me. Not fewer than forty
Americans have, within the past two years, been hunted down and, without a
moment’s warning, hurried away in chains, and consigned to slavery and
excruciating torture. Some of these had wives and children dependent on them
for bread; but no security was offered them. In tyrant-killing, king-hating,
people-loving, democratic, theistic America, the seats of justice are filled
with judges, who hold their offices under an open and noticeable bribe. Judges are bound, in deciding in
the case of a man’s liberty: hear
only his accusers! The Fugitive Slave Law stands alone in the annals of tyrannical
legislation. I doubt if there is another nation on the globe, having the brass
and the baseness to put such a law on the statute-book.
This is the 64th birthday of National
Independence, and of your political freedom. I am glad, fellow-citizens, for in
a nation’s youth there is hope. Hope is much needed, under the dark clouds
which hover above the horizon. My personally acquired freedom is only 13 years
old. But many slaves do not have my determination. If our subjugation to
American slavery --- your subjugation and mine --- was even more mature, our
oppression would be disheartening. Together we have the opportunity to end this
Citizens, the signers of the Declaration of Independence
were brave men. I unite with you to honor their memory. With them, nothing was
“settled” that did not comport with the-objective-truth. With them, justice,
liberty and humanity were “final;” not slavery and oppression. They seized upon
eternal principles, and established them in glory. The same is true for the
brave signers of the constitution. They scheduled the end of slave importation
and expected you to end American slavery. Now, I carry that obligation with
you, but having been a slave am more committed than you are.
I turn my attention to the present administration. It is
past time for citizens to stop tolerating slavery and lucrative enterprise on
internal slave trading --- wasting the hard-earned fame of your fathers to
cover your indolence. George Washington could not die till he had broken the
chains of his slaves.
Yet you began building his monument in 1848 by the price
of human blood. Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called
upon to speak here to-day if you will not listen and reform? What have I, or
those I represent, to do with our national independence if the administration
does not listen and respond to this citizen?
I call on the-objective-truth when I refer to us as fellow
citizens. Who among us would not celebrate when all inhabitants of this land
are free of oppression and have the opportunity to pursue liberty according to
their preferences rather than someone else’s plans for them? You exclude me
from this glorious anniversary! This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may
rejoice, I must mourn. Fellow-citizens; above your national,
tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions. Their chains, heavy and
grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee
shouts that reach them!
I appeal to the-objective-truth when I declare that the
character and conduct of this nation never looked bleaker to me than on this
4th of July! In the name of humanity which is outraged, in the name of liberty,
which is fettered, in the name of the constitution and my Bible, which are
disregarded and trampled upon, I dare to call in question and to denounce, with
all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery —
the great sin and shame of America!
The-objective-truth is plain: There is not a man beneath the
canopy of heaven that does not know that slavery is wrong for
him. The physics and psychology of slavery is chains, whips, guns,
brutality, blood, and rape. People who use the Bible to justify slavery rebuke
the-objective-truth. The Bible should not have such passages! Such arrogance
What remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine;
that most American doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is not a nation on
the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of
these United States, at this very hour. The old nations have reformed from the
slave trade and slave-holding, yet the internal trade continues in America.
Behold the practical operation of this internal slave-trade, the American
slave-trade, sustained by American politics and American theism. Attend the
auction; see men examined like horses; see the forms of women rudely and
brutally exposed to the shocking gaze of American slave-buyers. See this drove
sold and separated forever; and never forget the deep, sad sobs that arose from
that scattered multitude. Tell me citizens, where you can witness a spectacle
more fiendish and shocking, now carried out at midnight to avoid the
I consider the Fugitive Slave Act as one of the grossest
infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our
country were not stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would
so regard it. The fact
that the church of our country, (with a few exceptions), does not esteem “the
Fugitive Slave Law” as a declaration of war against religious liberty, implies
that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, an empty
ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence,
justice, love and good will towards man. But the church of this country is not only
indifferent to the wrongs to the slave, it actually takes sides with the
oppressors. It has made itself the bulwark of American slavery, and the shield
of American slave-hunters. Many of its most eloquent ministers, have
shamelessly given the sanction of religion and the Bible to the whole slave
system. American Theism is a religion which favors the rich against the poor;
which exalts the proud above the humble; which divides mankind into two
classes: tyrants and slaves. It is an abomination against the-objective-truth.
Americans: our republican politics, not less than our republican religion, are
flagrantly inconsistent! We boast of love of liberty, our superior
civilization, and our pure theism, while the whole political power of the
nation (as embodied in the two great political parties), is solemnly pledged to
support and perpetuate the enslavement of three millions of our countrymen. You
are all on fire at the mention of liberty for France or for Ireland; but are as
cold as an iceberg at the thought of liberty for the enslaved of America.
Fellow-citizens! I will not enlarge further on our national
inconsistencies. The existence of slavery in this country brands our
republicanism as a sham, our humanity as a base pretense, and our theism as a
In conclusion, notwithstanding the dark picture I have this
day presented of the state of the nation, I do not despair of our country.
There are forces in operation, foremost, the willing people’s march toward
civic morality, which must inevitably work the downfall of slavery.
The-objective-truth is plain, and the doom of slavery is certain. Let us
collaborate now for reform.
Spooner, William Goodell, Samuel E. Sewall, and Gerritt Smith fully and clearly
vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery.
In the play, “Sincere Liberty,” soon to unfold, it is
essential to the audience to comprehend “the-objective-truth,” so listen up, as
I explain it.
The-objective-truth, of which most is undiscovered and some
is understood, exists. Humankind works to discover it and make best use of it.
For example, most people don’t know if there is extraterrestrial life and would
not attempt communication with extraterrestrials.
The-objective-truth comes upon rational thought about
evidence of discovery and repetition of the evidence. The process works equally
in physics and in psychology.
Willing people mutually discover public morality using
the-objective-truth rather than submit to mystery, dominant opinion, or
political power. Humankind progresses not by force or coercion but by personal experience,
by observations, and by practicing fidelity. Unwilling people are dissidents.
What is vs what may be
The-objective-truth expresses what
is --- the object of discovery, rather than what may be --- the subject of
imagination. Most of the-objective-truth is undiscovered but some is
both understood and beneficially used. For example, in a civic culture, if the
CDC reports evidence that smoking reduces life-span and secondary smoke kills
innocent people, willing citizens stop smoking. But some dissidents do not
The-objective-truth is the reality to which humankind
ineluctably answers. In other words, reality can neither be ignored nor avoided.
When the-objective-truth is undiscovered, voluntary public integrity requires
responses like, “I do not know,” or “I think so and don’t have to know in order
to hold my hopes.” In public integrity, both the believer and the non-believer
collaborate for civic justice.
In a civic culture, most people iteratively collaborate to
discover the-objective-truth. Thereby, people may practice mutual, comprehensive
safety and security for themselves, for their children and
grandchildren, and for the beyond --- for posterity.
By pursuing the-objective-truth the culture corrects errors,
obsolete opinion, or tradition. An objective culture records discovered-objective-truth
so that future generations may benefit from past discovery and efficiently
correct errors upon new understanding or future discovery. Thereby, successive
generations may live at the edge of moral discovery. This journal is maintained
by a fee and responsible press.
Among first principles of a civic culture is personal, comprehensive
fidelity. Both respectively and
collectively, the person grows fidelity to these entities: to
the-objective-truth, to self, to family, to the people, to the nation, and to
the world. I,
singly, neither know nor can discover the-objective-truth, yet I can cultivate
Humankind continually discovers
the-objective-truth. The newborn may become informed, acquire understanding,
and make personal choices at the leading edge of discovery.
Civilization implies force/coercion
Regarding civic morality, civil opinion may have
two aspects: social conventions and
statutory law. Social convention is based on temporal civilization more than
the-objective-truth. Statutory law can be unjust, especially if it is derived
by coercion/force, arrogance, or dominant opinion. Some societies think crime
pays. Thus, civility can be erroneous.
Many civilizations do not admit that things go better with
conformity to the-objective-truth. Whereas humankind cannot rebuke
the-objective-truth without either missing opportunity or inviting woe, most
civilizations are based on dominant opinion, often that people behave only
under force or coercion. Thus, such civilizations are dissident to
Freedom from oppression
With freedom from dominant opinion about
the-objective-truth, individuals may acquire the liberty to pursue personal
preferences. Personal, comprehensive fidelity is made possible.
Humankind’s collective quest for the liberty to live in peace
is stifled by failure to promote freedom from arbitrary dominant opinion.
In other words, the liberty to exercise humankind’s psychological power. To
reach human maturity requires freedom from psychological tyranny. Societies are
reluctant to admit that individuals may achieve comprehensive fidelity.
A common good
Personal independence is suppressed by the world’s
misdirected quest for a socio-political regime that fosters freedom according
to the “common good.” Unfortunately, much of the thought is dominated by
theism, a coercive mystery, rather than the-objective-truth, a discoverable certainty.
“Self-government” is another alienating concept. Humans are,
both daily and ultimately, governed by the-objective-truth. In other words,
humans either discover-and-conform to the-objective-truth or risk woe. Humans
may collaborate for comprehensive safety and security but cannot arbitrarily
These statements address civic morality, leaving private
concerns and hopes for personal pursuit. In other words, in a civic culture, no
one is coerced to negotiate personal, heartfelt concerns. For example, no one
can impose concern for a “soul.” Thus, democracy is not a civic culture.
A culture with voluntary public integrity empowers the
newborn with three principles: 1) ignoring the-objective-truth invites woe, 2)
collaboration for comprehensive safety and security is essential to each person,
and 3) the human being may, through comprehensive fidelity, conform to the-objective-truth
without compromising private hopes.
While the newborn child is a person, he or she is
indisputably unable to independently transition to psychologically mature
adult. The-objective-truth is that he or she may remain in a state of subjugation
to the care givers. However, the willing child may, through experience and
observations, grow human authenticity. Public connections are essential to
The civic culture
Because it springs from the-objective-truth, the civic
culture seeks neither dominant opinion nor democracy nor mystery. Each willing
person is in charge of personal preferences that do not conflict
the-objective-truth. Yet each person may privately, responsibly test the
universal unknowns. For example, be the first person to fly on aerodynamic
principles. The freedom made possible by a culture that conforms to
the-objective-truth facilitates the personal liberty to pursue private
Thus, the traditional “common good” becomes conformity to
the-objective-truth rather than conflict over mystery. Willing people accept
public interference --- force and coercion --- only on the indisputable facts
of reality. For example, no one accepts someone’s assertion that they are
powerful enough to run red traffic lights.
A civic culture may seem impossible, because it has never
been attempted. But it has never been expressed as voluntary public integrity by
willing people using the-objective-truth.
There will always be dissidents, some of whom cause harm. Statutory
law may conform to the-objective-truth rather than dominant opinion or mystery.
Yet willing people must evaluate whether a harmful behavior results from
physical/psychological disability or arrogance or crime. Justice may be
achieved with iterative collaboration to discover the-objective-truth.
With the process based on the-objective-truth, law
enforcement by either arbitrary opinion or mystery is lessened.
Mystery and manners
Objects, such as lies, are often, erroneously asserted as
the-objective-truth or facts. For example, some people present their theism as the-objective truth,
yet, no one accepts that their religion must yield to another religion. Mysteries,
such as religious beliefs that have not been disproven, should not be disparaged.
However, mysteries of hope have no standing in collaboration for civic justice.
Among willing people, liars stand out as dissidents. In a
culture that never lies, the liar cannot communicate.
“Faith in reason”
seems unwise. Science is a process for study and the student may reason based
on false perceptions --- like a mirage.
The object of study is discovery, and the product is
the-objective-truth, which does not respond to reason. However, rational
thought is essential to the acceptance that repeatable evidence represents a
discovery rather than a subject of imagination. I object to “having faith” in
this context and prefer “trust in and commit to” the-objective-truth, the
product of evidentiary discovery.
We propose a new standard for public integrity:
collaboration to discover the-objective-truth more than competition for
dominant-opinion. How could this concept have improved the history of the USA?
How could it be used to improve future living in Baton Rouge?
Commenting on Walter E. Williams’s “Were Confederate
Generals Traitors?,” June 28, 2017, creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/17/were-confederate-generals-traitors.
chose a controversial question: “Did the South have a right to secede from the
Union?” I think it’s as erroneous a question as “Why does anything exist
instead of nothing?” A
reasonable response to the treason question is: If the South had won, they
would have established the right to secede. Perhaps the South was the victim of
1500 years of erroneous religious belief.
answers that King George III would have held George Washington to be a traitor
against England, and similarly might hold R. E. Lee a traitor to the USA, since
both fought for independence.
Williams poses a false comparison. England was an empire that was unjustly
ruling a colony---enslaving the loyal colonists to benefit loyal subjects in
England---whereas the states were in a perpetual confederation. Williams
overlooks this document of perpetual commitment by the colonies turned states:
Agreed to by Congress 15
Articles of Confederation and
perpetual Union between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts-bay Rhode
Island and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and
Every State shall abide by the
determination of the United States in Congress assembled, on all questions
which by this confederation are submitted to them. And the Articles of this
Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the Union shall
be perpetual; nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of
them; unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States,
and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.
phrase is “perpetual Union,”
which would be denied by slave states in 1860. The USA did not accept their
as is typical of Western propriety, overlooks the ancient evil done by the
Catholic Church, which led to the US slavery problem to start with. The evil of
African slaves, that continental commodity, has always been known:
chains, whips, brutality and rape to black slaves with physical burdens to
masters and psychological burdens to owners. The Church is without excuse for
including books that condone slavery. In the 300 AD to 400 AD, the Church
canonized the Christian Bible. The Church is also without excuse for assigning
Portugal a monopoly on African slave trade in the east and Spain in the west and
for the doctrine of discovery in the 15th century.
I’ll return to religion later.
colonists objected to the African slave trade during their decision to become
statesmen. From 1720 to 1765, colonists accumulated the courage to confront
England’s injustices, also debating how they would emancipate the slaves once
they gained states’ independence. The statesmen found themselves in charge of
persons displaced from their homelands and knew not how to either return them
or accommodate them as free citizens in this land. As thirteen independent
states, they soon realized they must establish a nation. They negotiated an
organization with federalism: The people would govern their states and a
limited nation would serve the people in their states. The draft
constitution represented a drastic change from a confederation serving
the states to a nation serving the people in their states.
signers of the draft constitution provided for the end of slave trade and for
representation of slaves in Congress but did not emancipate the slaves---left
that justice for a viable future, perhaps yet to be attained even in 2017. When
nine states ratified the draft constitution on June 21, 1788, the four lagging
states had to decide whether to remain independent yet confederated or join the
USA. The laggards included Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island,
the later two joining many months after the 1st Congress was seated.
Their ratification debates become moot as to effects on the USA, except insofar
as the nine states had agreed to include a bill of rights to be negotiated by the
1st Congress. The 1st Congress neither proposed
nor effected revision of the preamble.
preamble does not break the commitment in perpetuity on which the thirteen
states declared and won independence from England. The perpetual Union
remained, but responsibility had been transferred from the states to the people
in their states. So far, after 229 years, the people have neglected that
responsibility. Many descendants of the slaves and other blacks dismiss the preamble.
Some citizens look to government as surrogate to personal responsibility and
some depend on their personal God, neither of which has proven reliable, as
demonstrated by the Civil War, as explained below. Yet there are some citizens
who willingly trust in the purpose and goals stated in the preamble: They look
to other willing people for civic justice.
to religion’s role in the injustices, America, so far, seems a willing victim
of the canonization of the Bible, the Atlantic Slave trade, and the doctrine of
discovery. It is difficult to separate the historical facts from the outcome: they
are related. However, if most people adopt the preamble to the constitution for
the USA they may establish public integrity for discovering civic morality. The
outcome of a troubled history can be favorable, and the past may be put aside.
Under that possibility, religious doctrine that conforms to civic morality may
flourish. It does the people no harm if someone believes they must save their
soul, as long as they do not ruin other people’s lives in the pursuit of
than candidly rely on the-objective-truth, at each major step, all but two
authors, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, appealed to divinity---however
the authors chose to refer to whatever divinity may be. They started vaguely,
in the Declarations of the first Congress, 1774:
That the inhabitants of the
English colonies in North-America, by the immutable laws of nature, the
principles of the English constitution, and the several charters or compacts,
have the following RIGHTS . . .
with specific divinity in the Declaration of Independence, 1776:
When in the Course of human
events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands
which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the
earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires
that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Articles of Confederation, 1777:
it hath pleased the Great Governor of the World to incline the hearts of the
legislatures we respectively represent in Congress, to approve of, and to
authorize us to ratify the said Articles of Confederation and perpetual Union.
the tradition, George Washington, in June 1783, chose not to impose a divinity
into civic morality. This quote seems a forecast of the subject of the preamble,
We the People of the United States:
There are four things,
which I humbly conceive, are essential to the well being, I may even venture to
say, to the existence of the United States as an Independent Power: An indissoluble Union of the States under one
Federal Head; A Sacred regard to Public Justice; The adoption of a proper Peace
Establishment; and The prevalence of that pacific and friendly Disposition,
among the People of the United States, which will induce them to forget their
local prejudices and policies, to make those mutual concessions which are
requisite to the general prosperity, and in some instances, to sacrifice their
individual advantages to the interest of the Community.
disturbed dissidents during 1787 through 1791 that the preamble did not invoke divinity,
and some dissidents to this day strive to add divine invocation to the preamble.
The preamble states the purpose “to form a more perfect Union,”
which does not signal terminating the perpetuity.
South Carolina Declaration of Secession, 1860, invokes religion as a concluding
. . . the non-slaveholding
States . . have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery. Sectional
interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is
rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a
great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.
Lincoln, on March 4, 1861, responded to the threat of war, returning to
Washington and the preamble’s dependence on the people:
Why should there not be a
patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better
or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without
faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal
truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that
truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great
tribunal of the American people.
last item in the catalog of possible appeals to divinity is Lincoln’s
explicit claim that God, mysterious as God may be, leaves the consequence of
war to the people. Civil War,
like any other war, is determined by military might.
confederate states, at that time 7 CSA states against 27 USA states, believed
God would answer their prayers rather that the USA’s prayers. Having accused
the North of “more erroneous religious belief,” they embarked on a war that
shows that their interpretation of the Christian Bible cannot be trusted. I
count them victims of the Catholic Church and personal rejection of reason more
I don’t want apology or reform from the Catholic Church beyond, in the USA, the
Church adopting the preamble more than church doctrine. To serve We the People
of the United States, all religions must conform to civic morality.
most of the people in their states to adopt the preamble as a tool for
establishing public integrity in the USA. After 229 years, the USA is still in
the drastic change from a confederation serving the states to a nation serving
the people in their states: the people may accept that
responsibility by collaborating for comprehensive safety and security. The meaning of “comprehensive”
in that phrase may be discovered in the-objective-truth.
Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd,
Conference Room B, 7:00 PM
Sponsored by Citizens for A Civic
People of the United States
Please, visit promotethepreamble.blogspot.com
Introduction of ideas for discussion.
A Civic People
A civic people collaborate for comprehensive safety and
security more than for a community’s ideals.
There will always be dissidents to safety and security.
What is or is not the “common good”?
would favor the few in control
believe the good is defined by religion or God
each individual defines his or her God/none
one compromises their God/none, even in church
religion or God cannot serve the common good
people want comprehensive safety and security:
justice, where “civic” refers to people more than city
and security to empower private living rather than to compete for dominant
people provide civic justice using the-objective-truth
Live the leading edge rather than the past
exists: Humankind works to discover it.
man-years experience and observations
exceeds any one person’s capacity
may collaborate to use the-objective-truth
the facts rather than erroneous opinion
lie, so people can communicate (Albert Einstein)
agreement stated in the preamble to the constitution for the USA empowers
collaboration for the-objective-truth
a way for adults to live their 90 years on the leading edge as well as for
their children, grandchildren and beyond.
America began: Americans may be great
the stamp act signaled enslavement by England
loyal colonists changed to statesmen; some dissented
declaration of independence by 13 states
France led the victory at Yorktown, Virginia
the 13 states ratified the 1783 Treaty of Paris
3 years the need for a nation became plain to people
draft constitution. The preamble offers the world’s first government of, by,
and for the people (A. Lincoln).
9 states ratified the constitution: the USA began
we may promote personal independence on June 21.
Collaborate for comprehensive safety and security
Comprehensive safety and security
preamble is a civic contract for willing persons.
the tyranny suffered in homelands
for liberty-to pursue personal preferences
to achieve personal goals
for civic justice
to perfect their unique person (RWE, 1838)
All pages are copyrighted June 22, 2017 by Phillip R. Beaver
to protect his right to express these collaborative ideas again. Ideas may be
shared on permission. The essential theory is: A civic people can live private
lives, candidly using both the preamble to the constitution for the USA
and the-objective-truth; each member collaborates to achieve comprehensive
safety and security. The theory, lived with my wife, Cynthia and family, and
discussed continually with Kishon Seth, Henry Soniat, Hector and Mari Presedo,
Gordon Totty; advanced first with Hugh Finklea and Holly Beaver with the
National Anthem sung by Rebekah Beaver on Ratification Day, 6/21/14; 9/17 with
Dennis Eilers, Joyce Murray, and Mona Sevilla. Mint Marionneaux 10/26; Kelley
Young 12/11. Brij Mohan, Prem Mohan, Gordon, Satish Verma, and Shawn Hanscom
12/15/14; Diana Dorroh 1/29; Jeremiah Wright 2/19; Daniel Liebeskind 3/7; Dona
Bean 3/18; BR Freethinkers Katherine Shurik, Chad Harelson, Doug Johnson, Mark
Logan, Richard Martin, Ron Sammonds, Tom Hannie, Elizabeth Johnson and Roger
Alexander, 4/8; Austin Guidry 4/19; Rich 5/13; Alex Townsend 6/20; Rebekah
Beaver 7/20; Jay Vicknair 7/29; Jacob Irving 8/6; Anna Fogle 9/14; Erick Martin
9/14/2015. Bob Souvestre 2/2/16; Shahed Khan 2/29; David Earle 4/19; Kate
Gladstone 5/17; John Earle 5/18; Joyce Goldner 6/21/16; Lorraine Davidson 6/21/17.
The revised text for each library discussion was sent to participants and Mary
Stein, EBRPL Director. Contributors are gratefully acknowledged.
Citizens for A Civic People of the United States, Baton