Tuesday, September 5, 2017

1838 Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 all ages.

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: appreciation, 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. Yet, intention 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 fragrant.


Discovering the-objective-truth never ceases, but it is guarded by one stern condition: It is 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. 

Copyright©2017 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.

1861 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, first inaugural address, 1861:

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.”

avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/lincoln1.asp

Copyright©2017 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. Rev. 9/6/2017.

1791 First Congress

The First Amendment:


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.

Copyright©2017 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.

1788 willing people of the US

The constitution’s 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.

Copyright©2017 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.

1787 Benjamin Franklin

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.”


* scholarship.law.wm.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1045&context=wmborj 

Copyright©2017 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.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

1783 George Washington

"Sincere Liberty"

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 Independent Power:
1st. An indissoluble Union of the States under one Federal Head.
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 Country.”


loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/presentationsandactivities/presentations/timeline/amrev/peace/circular.html

Copyright©2017 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.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

1941 Albert Einstein

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 erroneously, said,
The 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 experiences?”
“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 denied.
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.
**stateofweb.blogspot.com/ page 18 or facebook.com/TempleOfThePeople/posts/365809766825867
 END OF PLAY PART

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.


Copyright©2017 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.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

1785 James Madison

James Madison play part:

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 member of 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 matter.
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

Copyright©2017 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. Rev. 9/13/2017

Thursday, August 24, 2017

1856 R E Lee

Robert E Lee

Robert E. Lee letter* to Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee dated December 27, 1856, about anti-abolitionist President Franklin Pierce’s state of the union speech:
I 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.
Every 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.”
The 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 the-objective-truth?
Because 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.


** history.com/topics/bleeding-kansas

Copyright©2017 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, Rev. 9/3/2017.

1852 Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

Basis: historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/douglassjuly4.html

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.

A “Frederick Douglass” empowered by the phrase “the-objective-truth”

That I am invited to speak at Corinthian Hall[1], 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 woe.

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 begs woe.

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 antislavery agitation.

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 lie.

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.


[1] Lysander Spooner, William Goodell, Samuel E. Sewall, and Gerritt Smith fully and clearly vindicated the Constitution from any design to support slavery.


With widespread attention to the-objective-truth, the nation might have listened to Frederick Douglass, effecting emancipation without civil war: white church vs more erroneous white church.

Copyright©2017 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, August 16, 2017

The-objective-truth

Comprehending "the-objective-truth":

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 stop.

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.

Collaboration
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.

Cultivating fidelity
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 fidelity.

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 the-objective-truth.

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 self-govern.

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.

Coaching children
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 personal development.

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 interests. 

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.

Proposal

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?

Copyright©2017 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. Rev. 9/7/2017.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Traitors or victims?

Commenting on Walter E. Williams’s “Were Confederate Generals Traitors?,” June 28, 2017, creators.com/read/walter-williams/06/17/were-confederate-generals-traitors.

Williams 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.

Williams 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.

However, 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 November 1777

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 Georgia.
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.

A critical phrase is “perpetual Union,” which would be denied by slave states in 1860. The USA did not accept their opinion.

Williams, 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Returning 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 salvation.

Rather 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 . . .

Then 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.

In the Articles of Confederation, 1777:

And Whereas 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.

Breaking 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.

It 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.

The South Carolina Declaration of Secession, 1860, invokes religion as a concluding concern:

. . . 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.

President 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.

This 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.

The 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 than traitors.

However, 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.

I want 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.


Copyright©2017 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.

Monday, June 26, 2017

6/21/2017 Presentation Text

4th Annual Personal Independence Day Celebration
Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Baton Rouge, LA
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”?
  1. Government would favor the few in control
  2. Some believe the good is defined by religion or God
a)    However, each individual defines his or her God/none
b)    No one compromises their God/none, even in church
c)    Thus, religion or God cannot serve the common good
  1. Most people want comprehensive safety and security:
a)    Civic justice, where “civic” refers to people more than city
b)    Safety and security to empower private living rather than to compete for dominant public opinion
  1. The people provide civic justice using the-objective-truth
Live the leading edge rather than the past
  1. The-objective-truth exists: Humankind works to discover it.
  2. 7,000,000,000,000 man-years experience and observations
a)    The-discovered-truth exceeds any one person’s capacity
  1. People may collaborate to use the-objective-truth
a)    Contemplate the facts rather than erroneous opinion
b)    Never lie, so people can communicate (Albert Einstein)
  1. The agreement stated in the preamble to the constitution for the USA empowers collaboration for the-objective-truth
  2. Overall, 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
  1. 1765 the stamp act signaled enslavement by England
  2. 1774: loyal colonists changed to statesmen; some dissented
a)    1776: declaration of independence by 13 states
b)    1781: France led the victory at Yorktown, Virginia
c)    1784: the 13 states ratified the 1783 Treaty of Paris
  1. During 3 years the need for a nation became plain to people
a)    1787: draft constitution. The preamble offers the world’s first government of, by, and for the people (A. Lincoln).
b)    1788: 9 states ratified the constitution: the USA began
  1. 2017: we may promote personal independence on June 21.

Discussion
Collaborate for comprehensive safety and security
Comprehensive safety and security
Discussion starters:
  1. The preamble is a civic contract for willing persons.
  2. The colonists discovered:
a)    Freedom-from the tyranny suffered in homelands
b)    Opportunity for liberty-to pursue personal preferences
  1. Some descendants discovered:
a)    Ability to achieve personal goals
b)    Collaboration for civic justice
c)    Perseverance
d)    Possibility 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 Rouge, LA