I just received my copy of Noah Feldman’s book, Divided by God: America’s church – State Problem – and What We Should Do About It, 2005, recommended to me in the Supreme Court’s decision regarding prayers in Greece, NY; don’t expect more than what I think.
Complaints are everywhere heard from our most considerate and virtuous citizens, equally the friends of public and private faith, and of public and personal liberty, that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflicts of rival parties, and that measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.
Nowhere does Madison juxtapose “personal liberty” and slavery. People compete to gain preeminence and power for their own interests. Those with common interests naturally associate into minorities, and there can be a majority group. Democracies favor the majority at the expense of the other citizens. However, the Constitution proposes a republic, wherein patriotic, highly moral representatives consider their constituents yet maintain the long-term good for everyone.
To mimic Ermann I say the god is the-objective-truth much of which is unknown, and I want to conform to it. If facing an unknown, utilize hard-earned opinion, and otherwise accept the actual reality. At fifty-five I had comprehended that I could not, would not choose a god instead of the-objective-truth; even though I had not yet discovered the definitive phrase “the-objective-truth.” Since then, I realized I am not impressed with Aristotle’s opinions about ancient thinkers’ intellectual constructs called “soul.” I don’t know; but it seems to me there are no phantasms and spirits and other worlds. I am at peace with my person: the entity that is supported by my body and mind. I placed my faith in the-objective-truth of which most is undiscovered and some is understood and trust my afterdeath, that vast time after my body and mind stop, as certainly as I knew not my conception.