Sunday, May 31, 2015

Does pride beget humility? ed 1/17/16

          The weekend of May 24, 2015 had provocative events, articles and columns that inspired this essay. There was Irish comeuppance for their Catholic Church, motivated by gay pride. Proud writers imagine revisionist history by which the media divide this country and other countries into left and right, black and white, rich and poor, elite and meek, for reasons only the writers understand. Somehow media bosses perceive their business plans are served by division and opportunism rather than fidelity to a civic people. Journalists have neglected obligations to write from understanding and integrity and to offer each person comprehension by which a civic people may supervise governance. To be civic, each person must do the noble work to understand both civic and fictional issues as disclosed by the competing, controversial, sometimes lying media--the people’s source of information. Perhaps the people’s apathy destroys the press or perhaps they are mutually destructive. Only a civic people can break the tradition, and new tools are needed. A Civic People of the United States now has physic-based ethics[i], a new expression of an recent idea, and can cultivate fidelity to physics.

Civic morality; also word usages
          The performance of Christianity does not support the claim that a god provides civic morality. Human connectivity is fortunately inescapable, and civic morality refers to the personally beneficial way each person may govern public conduct with other people. Connectivity potentially includes self, family unit, ancestors, posterity, community, nation, and the world. Thus, “civic” is not a preference, such as social circles or professional association. “Civic” has to do with overcoming external falsehoods and self-contradiction and conducting a lifestyle that is authentic through cooperative autonomy. Failure diminishes personal autonomy and prevents cooperative autonomy. Personal autonomy lost or never gained may lead to death. Some examples follow. The murderer is discovered and incarcerated or executed. The proselytizer is shunned by the personally autonomous individual. I promote the culture of a civic people, sometimes annoying other people, but I’m only aiming for 70% participation. However, some people delude themselves that they speak for a god and must convince everyone--100%; fear of failure can lead to conflict, crime, and evil.           Perceiving that your body has the wrong gender for your person and that a civic people must accommodate the perception seems contradictory: perception should be a personal challenge which seeks to conform to reality rather than opinion--personal or public. That is the quest for physics-based ethics. Religious morals sometimes conflict civic morality,[ii] and scholars and others seek other systems to help guide people to reality.[iii]

Christianity has always resisted physics-based ethics
          Michael Gerson[iv] complained about Christianity’s losses but did not suggest reform. He expressed that the recent Pew Report showing a decline in Christian demographic in America to 70% in 2015 (from 100% in 1790, excluding slaves and natives) was pleasing to secularists, which he must hold to be the other 30% in 2015. However, “secularist” commonly refers to non-religious, which would encompass 24% of Americans in 2015. “Secular” alienates the people against the use of the preamble to the Constitution for the USA. “Secular preamble” is a lie: the preamble is a civic sentence that is neutral to religion. The preamble states a civic contract for those people who would use it, so those who use it would appropriately be called “a civic people” rather than a secular people. However, there are three types of thinkers who should label themselves “secular”: people who are anti-religion, anti-faith or anti-doubt. Also, areligious is perhaps secular. I doubt anyone can get a count of how many people hold those four opinions (understand the reasons they prefer "secular" rather than "civic") but don’t think it is a large population. For example, some atheists don’t want to impose on other people’s pursuits of personal liberty and only want civic governance that does not impose religious beliefs. Regardless, it seems just for true secularists to have their factional culture within the culture of a civic people. But it is a travesty to attack the candid civic negotiation required by the preamble by calling it “secular.”
          Respecting the eternal unknowns such as a person's afterdeath, that vast time after their body stops functioning, most people do not want responsibility for other people’s opinions. For example, consider the question: Does humankind know enough about perception to conclude that there is no superior being and that it has no name? In other words, if people perceived--empowered by the dimensions required for communicating with any superior being, e.g., twelve dimensions instead of the customary four (height, width, depth and time) and perceptions above six (the customary five plus imagination)--would most people know a being that controls the unfolding of reality? Would most people know a god like they know their best friend? I speculate that most people who do the work to understand that question would answer, “No.” Conversely, most people who understand would not pay much attention to anyone who claims to possess the necessary perception. On the other hand, there are some people who claim to know a god and their intent is to share that god with everyone, not thinking too much about the consequences. By experience, they know that some listeners will believe the speaker (extant or ancient) knows a god. Merely capitalizing the word helps persuade the media to take god claims seriously, and the media influence many people. What might Gerson be doing, intentionally or not?
Maintaining lies in order to keep the people down
          Some writers make it seem writing a column is license to lie, expecting the reader is not authentic enough to check common sense---to make certain bridges over omissions are factual. Gerson jumps from Tacitus (d. AD 117) and Roman persecution of Christians to the Scopes Trial of 1925 wherein three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryant appeared a fool for his arrogance against the theory of evolution using self-destructive bible thumping. A weak seeming Bryant died soon thereafter, and Gerson calls the trial Bryan’s victory. Gerson must not have read E. L. Mencken’s eulogy for Bryan, which I quote, “Bryan was a vulgar and common man, a cad undiluted. He was ignorant, bigoted, self-seeking, blatant and dishonest.”[v] Is Gerson asserting that the traditional Christian, Bryan, won the day and repressing the theory of evolution was exonerated, because Scopes received a $100 fine? In the passing days of online search (there's better information power coming), Gerson needs to take more care for his reputation, and his bosses need to caution him. It may be too late, because lies, even popular ones, cannot be effectively retracted; apology yes, retraction no.
          Gerson’s and Western apologists’ biggest offense is obscuring discovery doctrines like Dum Diversas, the Catholic document of 1452, whereby the Vatican authorized Portugal to enslave Muslims.[vi] In 1455, Romanus pontifex [vii] was harsh and applied to all Africans:
          . . . invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans                     whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms,           dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable           goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to           
          perpetual slavery.
In 1493 Inter caetera granted Spain monopoly on African-slave trade to South America.[viii] In 1496, Henry VII of England mimicked the papal bulls by ordering John Cabot
          . . . to find, discover and investigate whatsoever islands, countries, regions or           
          provinces of heathens and infidels, in whatsoever part of the world placed, which 
          before this time were unknown to all Christians.[ix]
African slave trade is as old as the pyramids in Egypt. Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas rationalized slavery and thought “that some people are, through an intellectual limitation often influenced by race, natural slaves because it is in their own best interest.[x]
          I do not advocate retribution for past papal error, but do recommend that a civic people confront issues and end errant practices. One of the most shocking travesties in modern US history is the planned papal address to a joint session of Congress in the fall of 2015. Perhaps the papal visit to the UN, President Obama, and a joint session of Congress will either be terminated or be Pope Francis’ opportunity to present an apology for the Doctrine of Discovery and wanton procreation of the doctrine. Gerson seems satisfied to ignore the papal-bull history, but he is not alone in preferentially using history: There’s Louisiana trouble living in Mississippi.

Praising Bobby Jindal’s folly
          Quinn Hillyer seems to either like or neglect the idea that Phil Beaver cannot be considered a citizen, since Phil is deemed an infidel and an enemy of Christ, using words from Thomas Aquinas, above. I say this because, after ending five decades self-indoctrination, persuading myself to believe a god, I spent my last two decades in trust and commitment--fidelity--to the objective truth of which much is undiscovered and some is understood. My personal commitment is to comprehend physics and how to benefit from it, and if I don’t understand, wait for new discovery.           Therefore, about things I don’t know, I don’t know, and it is alright that I don’t know. I cannot brook personal arrogance to claim I know what I do not know. If I don’t need to act, for example, am not being physically attacked, it is alright to do nothing. Psychological attacks come all the time, if a person is more impressed with the other person’s opinion than with his or her hard-earned opinion. Let me say that another way: my opinions about my person are more important to me than anyone's opinion about my person, whether the other is living or deceased. On the other hand, I do not want to impose personal satisfaction with “I don’t know,” on anyone’s beliefs: Personal liberty against the universal unknowns is a private pursuit, and if it takes beliefs for some persons, so be it. People may voluntarily share and debate beliefs, such as the differences in their gods’ characters and their differing religious morals, if they wish. But in addition to privacy, what people inescapably need is civic morality. For example, safe transport, from home whether to worship, to library, or to a bar, requires civic regulations. Anyone who routinely runs red lights doubts green lights. Also, a civic people do not lie to each other, so that their civic needs can be communicated.
          Low as I am, I do not think it is possible for me to comprehend all of physics, so I do the noble work to understand only those civic issues that challenge my personal civic liberty. For example, I know little about extraterrestrial life, beyond statistics’ witness that life is out there somewhere. (Note: if you believe the statistics and would stake your life on the bet that there is extraterrestrial intelligence, you are practicing physics-based religion, not ethics; statistics does not influence reality and is subject to opinion.) Yet I know quite a bit about a proposal for procreation licensing, because I feel a civic people must do all they can to assure a promising life for each child to be born: the equality and dignity of children to be born is the equality and dignity of a person. As it is, apathetic citizens are allowing children to be neglected, subjugated, abused, and murdered. I’m not talking about population control, I’m talking misery limitation. James Madison and Quinn Hillyer agree that Phil Beaver is an unworthy citizen, but I consider them both would-be tyrants, so I rebuke rather than ignore their opinions: I am a citizen and physics-based ethics is a noble pursuit, despite many people’s pursuits of their gods and the dominance of legislative prayer in this country and others. Quoting SC Justice Kennedy, “Legislative prayer, while religious in nature, has long been understood as compatible with the Establishment Clause.” [xi] Now that we understand the court's opinion, a civic people need to put an end to legislative prayer.
          Hillyer extols Governor Bobby Jindal’s slogan, “The United States of America did not create religious liberty; Religious liberty created the United States of America.” He justifies approval based first on the Magna Carta, a Catholic Cardinal’s agreement with a king and nobility that was subsequently annulled by a pope, with war as a consequence.[xii] In other words, contradictory thinking from the “infallible” Vatican caused civil war in the USA.           Jindal rejects the theory of evolution in favor of creationism, and Hillyer fails to recognize that the Magna Carta subjugates the people to a belief in personal gods. Second, Hillyer cites the Declaration of Arbroath, 1320, written by a Catholic Bishop on behalf of the Scottish people who felt at risk when their political leader had been excommunicated.[xiii] These documents address first, liberties within Roman Catholicism, and second, liberties within persons who believe in gods, rather than liberty respecting the human duty to think. Also, the documents benefit the elite government officials in partnership with the clergy rather than helping the people.           Let me emphasize this point: A civic people exercise their duty to themselves to think and consequently require both religions and elected or appointed officials to conform to the civic people’s morality. No-harm personal liberty with domestic goodwill comes from neither religion nor government; neither church nor state; neither officials nor clergy: personal liberty with civic well-being come from a civic people. Thus, Jindal’s slogan uses a catchy, backward civic order to obfuscate a civic people’s responsibilities to themselves. Obfuscating seems customary for Jindal. I think it comes not from diabolical intent but from psychological youth. It seems to me David Vitter offers the people a combination of the two.
          Extolling Jindal’s folly, Hillyer maintains the propaganda of governance under the belief in personal gods as he shifts attention to America’s "founding" thinkers. Thomas Jefferson praised himself for the declaration, “. . . for I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."[xiv] Jefferson might influence me with the simple thought: I oppose tyranny over people’s minds, but calling on altars invokes suspicion of Jefferson's integrity. I, like most people, recognize that “swearing” often diminishes a statement. Perhaps Jefferson knew he was writing to someone who would be empathetic to personal gods in civic roles, but he erred both in the oath and to want his words carved into the stone of his monument. 
          His friend, James Madison delivered a controversial speech, “Memorial & Remonstrance,”[xv] in which he states, “Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” Again, Madison was speaking to people who believed in personal gods and their god’s role in civic governance. However, perhaps both Madison and Jefferson were using the belief in personal gods to establish governance like that described by Machiavelli in Chapter XI[xvi] of the Prince. Its date, 1513, is evidence of their awareness of the idea, which I paraphrase:  Under theism, the politician-priest partnership picks the people's pockets and the people neither leave the country nor rebel. The people who believe in American exceptionalism would do well to comprehend Chapter XI Machiavellianism and form their opinion about the situation they are in.

Is LGBT pride in line for comeuppance?
          Unlike America, with its growing religious diversity, Ireland has been severely tyrannized by the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. Yet only through self-delusion in gay pride did they rebuke the Church with a 62% vote for gay marriage. Can civic reform be based on pride instead of humility? I doubt it. The Irish vote is a controversial event, but the many debates in the comment section under Shawn Pogatchnik’s article[xvii] attest to a long overdue backlash against the Vatican and coercive support for LGBT by the media. One irony is that the US government is set for that historic papal reception this fall, I speculate to restore the fading, Chapter XI Machiavellian hold on the American majority; the Irish vote makes the US visit seem regrettable beforehand. Many US politicians imagine personal divinity when they win election, then declare to uphold the office with the personal excuse, “so help me god.” To restate this charade, elected officials draw on Chapter XI Machiavellian irony to fool the people. I am working for a civic people to stop the tyranny. I have no idea what influences Hillyer’s writing, but it seems neither historical evidence nor journalism for a civic people. I approve of neither Jindal’s slogan nor his “defense of religion” against the LGBT people. Religion has no moral standing in the LGBT debate.

Hillyer does, but America did not fall for Magna Carta
          The American Revolutionary war was fought by English colonists against their homeland under the tacit declaration that a natural god[xviii] would defeat the King’s Protestant god. That the victory demonstrates the theistic claim is muddied, because France, under a Catholic god, supplied military in the ratio 3 to 1 to both their American allies and the English enemy at Yorktown, VA, 1781,[xix] so the combination against England was 4:1. About the France of 1781,
          The French Catholic Church, known as the Gallican Church, recognized the 
          authority of the pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church but had negotiated 
          certain liberties that privileged the authority of the French monarch, giving it a 
          distinct national identity characterized by considerable autonomy. France’s 
          population . . . was almost entirely Catholic, with full membership of the state         
          denied to Protestant and Jewish minorities. Being French effectively meant being 
          Catholic. [xx]
Perhaps Madison’s exclusionary statement in 1785, above, reflects the French civil practice against non-Catholics: more broadly in America, if you are not a theist, your citizenship is suspect. Also, the Gallican church-state cooperation seems like typical Chapter XI Machiavellian control over the people.
          The founders, in 1787, wrote a godless Constitution with a godless preamble. The idea was to end both governance under the states, governance under English common law, and governance under belief in personal gods in favor of governance of by and for a civic people. Some states had gods, mostly sectarian Protestant gods, and some did not, but the USA was not to impose any god on the people in their states. However, the first Congress, seated on March 4, 1789, instituted legislative prayer in late April and early May, 1789,[xxi] and it has held ever since. Also, many state constitutions stated that rule was based on English common law. Reforms were needed and are still underway.
          Competition over Christian gods resumed with the American Civil War, fought under the influence of the South’s god versus the North’s god. The fundamental issue: the Bible's affirmation of the master-slave relationship justifiably overrules physics-based ethics. Physics-based ethics informs that no person can own a person except by arrogant force--brutality--and Africans are persons. Some inhabitants think the result is evidence for a black god, even though the natives of the land had a red god. That is, the fact that the white church did not come to the aid of the slaves, seems to some people as evidence there is a black god and a promise for reckoning through a black Jesus.           Perhaps worse than the civil war is President George W. Bush’s personal god influencing the invasion of Iraq. The believers of America have sufficient reason to keep the private pursuit of everlasting life as well as racial supremacy separate from civic actions to preserve the domestic security. Only secure people can personally pursue beliefs. That's important: A civic people work in integrity to assure civic security in order for factional cultures to conduct their religious pursuits or none.  The era of imposing religious morals on civic morality is over. The media should be leading, but most writers don’t have a clue.
          Gregory Roberts[xxii] may be prescient. Noting that “religious freedom is code for antipathy to homosexuals and the “gay agenda.” Roberts states that Jindal
          . . . has staked a claim as one of the most fervent, if not the most fervent, of the 
          evangelical candidates in the Republican field, in appearances at prayer rallies, in 
          speeches and in interviews on radio and TV
which Roberts thinks may be beneficial in competition for Iowa’s evangelical majority. However, after that, the Christian appeal has diminishing value.If winning the White House is the goal, the risk for any Republican who wraps himself in religious vestments is repudiation by the voters in November 2016.” I think Roberts understands.
Lost without the Christian compass
          Gerson gropes aimlessly for new civic direction, asking about the 19%, 

          . . . how do 62 million evangelical Christians and other theological conservatives — not a           majority, but a significant minority — view themselves and their cultural role?  [Suggestions           include becoming a] joyful minority [and] ’doing truth’ leads back to the personalism at the           heart of Christian faith. ’We must always consider the person,’ says Pope Francis.
I have no idea what Gerson means by “doing truth” and “personalism,” as civic practices. Why doesn’t Gerson look to Jews, Muslims, Amerindians, freethinkers, and others for suggestions? His conclusion seems civically lost:
          A faith characterized by humility and considering the person would be busy enough. The
          broad decline of institutions leaves many people betrayed, lonely and broken — not only 
          unaffiliated with religion, but unaffiliated with family, with community and with all the 
          commitments that give meaning to freedom.
Someone suggested empathy can be the compass, but not everyone wants everyone’s empathy. Some people want other people to appreciate privacy. What can bring the people to integrity—or bring integrity to the people? Physics.

Governance of by and for a civic people
          Our idea is that 70% of persons from all religions and none can be of a civic people, including those who responsibly innovate new moral frontiers. A civic people use the preamble and the ethics of physics to mediate common sense. No more dominance from James Madison, Edmund Burke, and Adam Smith yet no yielding to Marx and the like. A people establish a culture of personal liberty with civic well-being.
          Hillyer sites historical “appeals to liberty on an assertion that their rights came not from men or institutions but from [his god].” Hillyer typically confuses civic liberty and psychological liberty. Liberty is an intellectual construct with at least two aspects. Persons are, out of civic necessity, connected. Thus, persons are civically free only by collaboration; everyone’s civic freedom is happily lessened by the noble work of civic morality yet with the opportunity to responsibly innovate--expand civic morality. A person may hold that a civic moral is unjust, but as long as she/he collaborates to maintain mutual civic freedom. There are two levels of connection of persons: in the world and within a country. We think first of domestic association and national security above global connections. Therefore, we would defend our domestic civic liberty against an attacking, foreign people. The word “social,” which implies choice or preference, is inadequate here, so we use “civic.” Because persons are unavoidably connected, collaboration is essential to civic liberty.
          Beyond civic liberty, there is personal liberty, which denotes a person’s method of dealing with questions no one can answer. For example, is there everlasting life? The response to that question is personal rather than civic. Our responses are independent of all human connections, except by choice; some choose to let someone impose their opinion; they are voluntary slaves, as in yielding James Madison's opinion. Then, it is a social question, but not a civic issue, unless we try to make it so by imposing that opinion on others. In that case, we may face rebuke from the other party for trying to bring private considerations into civic debate. Most civic issues can be settled with common sense, but common sense is often relative to awareness, culture, tradition and understanding, so sometimes differs from person to person. Therefore, persons need a civic mediator, and physics serves that purpose, whether a person understands that physics is serving in that capacity or not. For example, the civic liberty which a person demands must be allowed every other no-harm person, without exception. “No-harm” denotes persons who are acting such that the consequence involves no harm as view from physics, not opinion. This is a simple statement against slavery: Slavery harms the slave and is thus uncivic.
          With the above considerations, we have assessed the quest for civic personal liberty using civic considerations, leaving personal preferences, such as having a god or none beyond the civic debate--a private concern. We use common sense to negotiate civic compromise, and physics is the mediator when common-sense opinion differs. The results of debate of candid statement of perceived civic need is candid negotiation leading to one of three consequences: 1) there is a need and here’s how a civic people fulfill it; 2) the perception is non-valid and no action is needed; or 3) understanding is insufficient and a civic people do not know. In the ladder case, further consideration is needed. Is “We do not know” sufficient until future discovery or viewpoint sheds light, or must a yes/no conclusion be drawn. If there is no harm in waiting, then “We don’t know” is sufficient. With this sort of analysis, a civic people would not invade a country that has not attacked. No god could lead a people to unjust war. But Hillyer extols conscience. Was George W. Bush's invasion of Iraq an act of conscience or of arrogance? I do not know, yet hold an opinion.
Some people want conscience to rebuke physics
          Hillyer turns to M. Stanton Evans and David French to argue that 1) freedom of Judeo-Christian American conscience is paramount to global, civic personal liberty and US government stability and 2) the strength of Judeo-Christian tradition will prevail in 2016 and Bobby Jindal may emerge the victor. I think Hillyer is paying attention to neither current events nor history, so easily reviewed in these times (Hillyer and the Advocate are without excuse in this Internet world).
          First, there is a growing public perception that, quoting Evans, “the intrinsic worth of the individual, the respect that is owing to all human beings, the need to limit the compulsions that can be used by one person against another.” Contrary to Evans’s claims, physics establishes civic morality that is often conflicted by religious morals. Thus, religion cannot be used to negotiate, let alone establish civic morality. This is not a new concept, and my favorite quotation in this respect is from Divinity School Address, 1838: [xxiii]
          Jesus Christ belonged to the true race of prophets. He saw with open eye the mystery of the 
          soul. Drawn by its severe harmony, ravished with its beauty, he lived in it, and had his being 
          there. Alone in all history, he estimated the greatness of man. One man was true to what is in 
          you and me. He saw that God incarnates himself in man, and evermore goes forth anew to take 
          possession of his world. He said, in this jubilee of sublime emotion, "I am divine. Through me, 
          God acts, through me, speaks. Would you see God, see me; or, see thee, when thou also 
          thinkest as I now think." But what a distortion did his doctrine and memory suffer in the same, 
          in the next, and the following ages! There is no doctrine of the Reason which will bear to be 
          taught by the Understanding. The understanding caught this high chant from the poet's lips, 
          and said, in the next age, "This was Jehovah come down out of heaven. I will kill you, if you 
          say he was a man." The idioms of his language, and the figures of his rhetoric, have usurped 
          the place of his truth; and churches are not built on his principles, but on his tropes. 
          Christianity became a Mythus, as the poetic teaching of Greece and of Egypt, before. He spoke 
          of miracles; for he felt that man's life was a miracle, and all that man doth, and he knew that 
          this daily miracle shines, as the man is diviner. But the very word Miracle, as pronounced by 
          Christian churches, gives a false impression, it is Monster. It is not one with the blowing 
          clover and the falling rain.

I wish I could discuss with Emerson my paraphrase:

          Jesus Christ was a classical liberal thinker, uniquely living in harmony and humility. Alone in           history, he perceived the greatness of humankind. Each person, low as infancy may be, is born           to emerge perfect. But Christianity hides Jesus’ message in divinity and denial of each person’s           natural potential for goodness. ("Born in error" is false teaching.)
In other words, defining “outlier” by Steve Jobs[xxiv] and other global-life changers, every person, given personal liberty, has the potential to be an outlier. In time, most of humans could rise to perfection within their lifetimes, and the outliers would become negative. Regardless of my errors, Ralph Waldo Emerson claims Jesus was a man with a message the Church obfuscated by making Jesus a god. That Emerson’s essay became American underground literature is a travesty before the world, and Hillyer is without excuse, as are all the people who, aware or not, act to preserve the American Chapter XI Machiavellianism.
          But Hillyer is in high company. In 1996, Congress passed the Defense of Marriage Act[xxv] based on Judeo-Christian tradition, a clearly unconstitutional basis. The reference was Murphy v Ramsey[xxvi], 1885, from which I quote:
          For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of 
          a free, self-governing commonwealth . . . than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of 
          the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and 
          one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble           in our civilization; the best guarantee of that reverent morality which is the source of all 
          beneficent progress in social and political improvement. And to this end, no means are more 
          directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to 
          withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.
I emphasized two objectionable words in this quote. First, “holy,” and less critically, “reverent,” impose religion into civic affairs. The rest of the paragraph could be noble, if it premise was based on physics rather than religion.
Law under lawyers deviates from common sense and is not bedrock for civic morality
          Daniel Hannan[xxvii] extols the Magna Carta as the document that made possible the rule of law by lawyers, “as the terse inscription on the American Bar Association’s stone [at Runnymede] puts it, ‘freedom under law.’” Quoting Hannan, “The law is not determined by government officials, nor yet by clergymen presuming to interpret a holy book. Rather, it is immanent in the land itself, the common inheritance of the people living there.” It’s lawyer’s freedom. Hannan ends a brilliant expression of British, Burkean delusions with mistaken advice for America: the laws that sprang from Magna Carta worked in the past and must be preserved for the future. I think America is wonderfully diverse and would not want to go back to church impositions added to legislative prayer. Magna Carta’s freedom fits the Chapter XI Machiavellian mold: Lords and the clergy live the way they want to at the expense of the people. However, if these principle start with the premise that physics rather than the land is the bedrock for civic morality, it is noble.
Only a civic people can govern with common sense
          The vote in Ireland, the failures of the press, and Chapter XI Machiavellian thinking about Magna Carta may seem threatening to the American way of life. However, I see these events and the war against terrorism as a pivot point that can lead to civic morality by and for a people, at last. The three major tools are candid discussion among a civic people--collaboration, the preamble as coordinator of goals, and physics-based ethics as mediator of civic morality. With those three tools, Chapter XI Machiavellianism can be put to bed forever.
          When one attempts to discover physics-based ethics respecting the LGBT lifestyle, the sentiment, “We’re in love and want to get married, too,” loses its appeal. The gay pride demands of equality and dignity beg the question, “What happened to humility?” And also, "What happened to fidelity?" When a person thinks about the physics of a child born of its natural mother, their attachment terminated, and the child’s challenge of attaching with one or two men, the adult contracts that sealed the child’s subjugation seem unethical: a child is a person and no person's dignity and equality should be compromised by adult contracts. And how are two men to share a woman’s intrinsic psychology with a daughter? They say the children are OK, but let’s ask the children seventy years from now. If four men are standing around at the bar and two are single while two are partners, how will the conversation fare when the partners start extolling their tax advantages at the expense of singles? And how do things go when one of the husbands in a gay family falls in love with a son? The possibilities for woe are not what I hope for.
          Moreover, considering the DNA of each child and her or his right to inheritance and posterity, one is struck with an obfuscation in the Irish vote: the equality and dignity of children to be born. How can gay pride presume to subjugate children and how can a civic people support it? I don’t think it can.

Copyright©2015 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. Revised January 17, 2016

[i] Phil Beaver, “Physics-Based Ethics: Civic Examples,” May 7, 2015, on blog, “A Civic People of the United States,” .
[ii] Arthur Dobrin, “Society Doesn't Create Morality and Neither Do Individuals,” April 4, 2012.
[iii] For example, see Erik Nygren, “Society of Morality,” May 16, 1996, online at and an alternative called social intuitionism at Also, see the focus on civic morality rather than social morality, Phil Beaver, “The Ethics of Physics,” online at and  For a general review, perhaps start with “The Definition of Morality,” online at .
[iv] Michael Gerson, “Religious conservatives’ shifting role,” column May 22, 2015, online at .
[v] The New York Times, Sunday, July 12, 1925, online at .
[x]Ralph Neill, “Slavery in the Writings of Thomas Aquinas,” April 4, 2011  online at .
[xi] U.S. Supreme Court. Greece v Galloway. See online at .
[xiii] Declaration of Arbroath. See online at . Also see
[xiv] Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Monticello, September 23, 1800. See online at . A second source seems to confirm Jefferson used lower case “g” in the letter: see .
[xv] James Madison, “Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments,” June 20, 1785. Online at .
[xvi] Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 1513. Online at
[xviii] The Declaration of Independence, 1776, authorized by the Continental Congress of thirteen independent eastern seaboard states located between Florida and Nova Scotia. Their commitment into perpetuity proved to be enforceable.
[xix] Siege of Yorktown, VA. See online at . Military lists in the inset mentions 29 warships but omits 22,000 French navy men. Notice John Trunbull’s depiction of the British surrendering to the French and the Americans.
[xx] Gemm Betros, “The French Revolution and the Catholic Church,” History Review, No. 68, December 2010, online at .
[xxii] Gregory Roberts, “Washington Watch: Jindal’s White House bid all but certain,” The Advocate, May 23, 2015. Online at .
[xxiii] Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Divinity School Address,” 1838, online at
[xxv] Rep. Bob Barr et. al., Congress of the United States, “Defense of Marriage Act,” May 7, 1996, online at .
[xxvi] US Supreme Court, Murphy v Ramsey, March 23, 1885, online at .
[xxvii] Daniel Hannan, “Magna Carta: Eight Centuries of Liberty,” Wall Street Journal, Review, May 30, 2015, online at

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