Friday, October 17, 2014

Vatican Meetings in October 2014 ed

          Theism hasn't worked. This generation of Americans may effect collaboration of and by a civic people for We the People of the United States. It’s up to a civic people including believers, who have long counted on governance under theism, an obviously ruinous approach. It seems the public reaction to both pedophilia by priests and the Pope’s long-standing cover-up has the Church in such financial straits that it is unabashedly seeking new sources of income—new “gifts.” Bold, bemusing government-church action has worked in the past, but humankind is in a new era of awareness: the new publicity will wear thin quickly.

          Physics-based ethics has long since led the doctrine of religion reluctantly out of darkness and superstition, but heretofore, the people could not grasp Machiavelli’s message (The Prince, Chapter XI, 1513): together state and church may abuse the people however the partnership likes. Believers count on their god to reward them, for example, if they “love fully and hope for a life beyond this current exile.”[1] A civic people has no problem with no-harm believers’ sources of motivation and inspiration, such as everlasting life in heaven, but does not brook imposition of personal doctrine into civic governance. Civic governance serves the people: the people do not serve government. Just laws are written for the people, not for institutions, such as governments, churches and American elitism.

          Consider two examples of the Church resisting benefits from physics. First, the Church’s flat earth with no gravity discouraged exploration of the globe for a millennium ending about 1100 AD. Theretofore, travelers toward the horizon feared falling off, and people who lived in oceans and knew better did not communicate with land inhabitants. Second, it took 400 years for the Church to celebrate Galileo’s observations; he observed that Aristotle (d. 322 BC) was wrong both to claim “the heavens” were perfect and changeless. And Galileo confirmed Copernicus’s sun-centered planetary system. Copernicus had refuted Ptolemy’s earth-centered cosmos (d. 168 AD). Galileo was recognized in 2009, and Copernicus died in 1473. So that’s about 550 years of Church denial of the physics of our solar system. Adjustment of Church doctrine to comport with physics progresses too slowly to assist believers during their lifetimes! Church doctrine opposes the civic morality of physics-based ethics.
 
          In a more current issue, the Church plays both sides of the argument over creationism. Catholic schools teach evolution in biology class, and Catechism explains creationism as a power in the evolution of the earth--a tool of the creator. Believers are left to handle the conflict according to personal opinion, without encouragement to view biological evolution as responses to changing cosmological environments perhaps not limited to the earth. Chances are there is life in other solar systems, perhaps other universes. The imagination that what is was created has not been disproved, but there is nothing proved in the intellectual constructs built on that imagination. Therefore, the imagination remains a private affair--not for civic debate. The values of the constructs are personal. An option is to observe that some people posit that a creator is responsible for everything and leave it at that, since there is really no more to say.

          Physics-based ethics compels humankind to benefit from physics discoveries, both in human physical behavior (physics) and in psychological conduct (ethics). For example, when there is a contagious plague, informed citizens confidently isolate themselves, and would not risk gathering for prayer against the plague. (Yet believers may be gathering now to pray for defeat of the Ebola virus.)

          Life is too short and persons so focused on pursuing the happiness they perceive that they rarely take the time to understand and therefore need no-harm order (the law). When two persons discover they want monogamy, whether platonic or not, fertile or not, heterosexual or not, and apply for civil license to bond, license should be granted and their civic commitment honored. But the license should not be labeled “marriage” except if the partnership can independently beget progeny—the partnership is a couple and can be a couple to a child. Every child has the inalienable right to dignity and equality in the protection of its bond to the couple who conceived the child. Such understanding has been left to “religious morality,” but religious doctrine fails--does not teach the basics of bonding and procreating, and a people must turn to physics-based ethics for civic morality. That's not to say my opinion about children is the objective truth, but merely that it has not been weighed in the forced-scramble to recognize gay love.

          Marriage is the civic license that holds that a couple is obligated to care for their progeny for life and into posterity (their children, grandchildren and beyond), a common yet under-appreciated civic outcome. Following physics-based ethics, progeny cannot be separated from his/her parents. The chromosomes of the mother and the chromosomes of the father randomly combined in a single cell to potentially form a unique person within a unit of three persons--a family. The unit cannot be separated by legal contract, partnerships, or any other human contrivance, especially theism; there's no one to represent the child. By virtue of the y-chromosome, the child is kin to everyone alive--among the survivors in some 140,000 years of evolution. The Church teaches that marriage is for procreation: legal marriage is both 1) for bonding that could lead to procreation and 2) to protect any progeny.  For reasons it knows and may disclose, the Church has failed to educate believers and the public to physics-based human ethics.

          Consequently, marriage is taken lightly and divorce rate is 53%. Also, monogamy is not taught as a matter of intimacy. Therefore, married persons, lacking understanding, often rationalize that being human invites them to intimacy outside their marriage. Many people consider sex a sport and work for sex appeal outside marriage. Nearly 50% of US adults have sexually transmitted disease. Many Americans have sex but never make love. People, for a brief intimacy or less, forgo or diminish the joy and fruits of a lifetime with the person they truly love.

          In this regard, that is, "being human," the Church conflicts with classical literature at least two times. First, in Genesis 1:27 we are told that human beings were created in the image of a god. If so, perhaps being human implies capability for perfection. Second, Ralph Waldo Emerson, in "Divinity School Address," states that Jesus' message was "be perfect," since your existence is expected to reflect a god. Emerson goes on to explain that the Church profaned Jesus' message when it made him a god. Emerson was banned from Harvard for thirty years for his "blasphemy." That's because Emerson labeled church teaching profane. Today, many people subscribe to the culture of faith, failure, and forgiveness, long-since having given up on psychological maturity, perhaps a six-decade quest.

          Louisiana has had its share of legal expenses in defense of religion (against physics-based ethics and collaboration of and by a civic people). A current case involves a report wherein an elder, married parishioner sexually abused a teenager, confessed to a priest, and the priest protected the information under cannon law. Anyone who defends separation of a child from its couple's parental care or otherwise objectifies a child, whether physically or psychologically, whether in secret or under contract such as canon law or surrogate motherhood, has breached physics-based ethics. The life or psychology of one child—its equality and dignity--is more worthy than the career of one priest, or of a priest and a parishioner, or any partnership. The infamy of priestly sexual practices, especially defending known predators, is widely known; normally what is known is the tip of an iceberg of offense. Reform has been needed for millennia, and what I want to see American bishops reporting is not a reform in attitude toward divorcĂ©es and LGBT partnerships, but a declaration that in America, cannon law will immediately conform to a civic people as defined in the preamble to the constitution for the USA. Guilty priests and bishops go to jail. If the Vatican must separate from the American bishops to accomplish that reform, so be it. 

          We earnestly request that the USA reform respecting Church submission to civic governance in the United States, so that physics-based ethics may be more progressive than it has been in the past and that no-harm order seeks the benefits of physics. Maintenance of religious doctrine should be a private, adult believers’ practice, neither a civic nor a legal imposition nor an imposition on children. Regardless of what the Church does with the theory--that a people slowly, deliberately conforms to physics-based ethics--we want to experience 70% of US adult citizens collaborating of and by a civic people by September 17, 2017 and are working toward that goal.

          Believers may at first react to our message as opposition to their faith, but it is not. Faith is a private practice for adults,[2] and the only public responsibility regarding religion is to keep religious doctrine out of civic deliberations. Only by candid assertion of his/her civic needs--not hopes for their afterdeaths and other private pursuits--can a person express what a civic people may negotiate to accommodate those civic needs. Until a believer expresses civic needs without religious doctrine, the believer's civic needs will remain a mystery to his/her neighbors if not to the believer. Civic governance must provide living people best benefits of physics-based ethics. That may be a new concept to the reader, but physics-based ethics has always been forcing humankind's progress. For example, theistic human sacrifice is no longer practiced. Slavery is eradicated in most societies. Church doctrine is useful for maintaining hopes of the ages, but so far, it is too frightened, confused, and greedy about its role. It role is to comfort believers respecting what has not yet been discovered and console believers when they face psychological crises, such as separation from loved ones, rather than to compete in the determination of civic morality.

          The Church should neither prevent nor delay best use of what has been discovered. Believers subconsciously know this, but without guidance to cultivate physics-based ethics, they have not been able to overcome civic governance under theism. The people have been bemused by Chapter XI Machiavellianism. It seems--we hope--the time for both private religious practice by believers and civic governance of by and for a people including believers has arrived.

          To turn this hope and theory into permanent change, from governance under theism to governance under civic morality, individuals who read about the theory must change from resistance against something that seems untenable to the recognition of how possible it really is. It is, after all the collaboration stated in the preamble to the constitution for the USA. Its goal is the achievable civic combination no-harm personal liberty and domestic goodwill--PL&DG.

Copyright©2014 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. Edited on September 29, 2015.




[1] Kathryn Jean Lopez, column October 10, 2014, online at www.uexpress.com/kathryn-jean-lopez/2014/10/10/life-is-valuable-even-when-its .
[2] Peter Berger, column January 23, 2013, online at www.the-american-interest.com/berger/2013/01/23/religion-as-an-activity-engaged-in-by-consenting-adults-in-private/