Sunday, September 13, 2015

Restoring safety in the USA ed

            With the Advocate writing about coping but not addressing how to cope (article, 9/7/15, “As anxiety morphs . . . ”, online at ), it is noteworthy that a group in Baton Rouge has developed at EBRP libraries a theory by which inhabitants can restore civic hope--safety in the USA. The theory may at first seem mind boggling, but with a little consideration and perhaps some work with Wikipedia to check things out for yourself, it becomes clear: a civic people need to unhurriedly collaborate for civic morality, leaving private pursuits for privacy. The goal is no-harm personal liberty and domestic goodwill (PL&DG). In other words, increasing threats to civic viability make collaboration for civic safety vital.

          Most people would like civics that is “so well founded that” children and adults enjoy no-harm life in every decade of the life they live. In the last half century, the majority in the USA have either lost that feeling or lost the hope of ever feeling it. Yet some residents shun responsibility by responding to legislative prayer for police safety as though some phantasm will appear and fulfill civic duties. Only a civic people as a majority, transcendent culture can provide the safety that is needed for PL&DG. Neither politicians nor their gods can substitute for a civic people. Black church claiming god is black divide America like never before; white church scoffing at the notion assure the divide for the foreseeable future. A presidential candidate claiming a Muslim cannot be president does not understand the preamble. Christians! You are in trouble and you are sacrificing our safety along with yours. Stop it!

A Personal Quest

            As some lives unfold, confidence in civic coaching lessens. Contradictions become increasingly apparent. With the indicated modifications, I speculate that I understand this 1941  statement by Albert Einstein:

          It is the privilege of man’s moral genius . . . to advance ethical axioms which are so    
          comprehensive and so well founded that men will accept them as grounded in the vast mass of 
          their individual . . . experiences.

I think I have been on a thirty-year quest for a theory that could fulfill those 74 year-old words.

Seeking help

            On meeting someone or visiting a friend, the most precious thing to me is their opinions. Many people will share in close conversation. Others share in civic discussion. Many are uncomfortable sharing heartfelt opinion—don’t want to belabor or even share opinion. No-harm privacy is undeniable.
            Over the last seventeen months, EBRP library meetings and private conversations received collaboration by about thirty-five persons. Discussions began with both 1) a proposal to employ the preamble in civic negotiations rather than merely citing it and 2) Abraham Lincoln’s dream---“governance of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Today, there is a ten-point theory for collaboration by a civic people. Please google the essay, Theory of Collaboration Of By and For a Civic People, to read the theory. The civic improvements that were accomplished in the discussions are striking.
            In the September 20 library discussion, Mona asked, "How can I, an atheist, collaborate with a theist?" I responded, "You state that imagination is the first step in discovery, and imagination of gods occurred tens of thousands of years ago and has never been disproved but has proliferated into thousands of gods and non-god alternatives that billions of people believe in. Therefore, it remains in the file of unproven ideas, with their original emergences." Go on to say, "But this meeting was called to collaborate on a civic issue, so we are going to keep our gods private and focus on physics-based ethics. Safety is our collaborative responsibility." Mona asked, "But why will the theist collaborate with me?" I answered, "In 277 years under theism the USA has arrived at a state of chaos with, for example, four murders on one day last week and close to ten murders in a week. Theists must collaborate with atheists and other civic citizens for safety." Mona said, "You answered my question." I revised the presentation to bring out Mona's point: There must be clear incentive for collaboration or citizens will not collaborate. I hope readers notice that Mona and I collaborated--determined, difficult, emotionless yet expressive drive to understand each of others' candid statements.

Improvements came from candid discussion

Seventeen months ago, the idea was for everyone to consider the preamble’s neglect over 227 years: the sentence is a civic contract not everyone wants to adopt. For example, some people prefer elitism, entitlements, political favor, crime, theism and other alienations rather than civic goals such as “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility,” and the other goals, perhaps nine in total. As discussions progressed, ideas emerged and will be explained in the June 21, 2016 presentation, including the following:
             1. Some people, intentionally or not, reject the civic contract represented in the preamble.
               2. Thus, “We the People,” a totality, is unattainable, whereas “A Civic People” is                              practicable. Based on historical precedents, such as 70% of delegates to Philadelphia
                 signing the 1787 preamble and constitution for the USA, perhaps 70% of the people
                 would like to employ the preamble.
               3. Civic goals would empower benefits of inhabiting the land: street, city, state, and country.
               4. No-harm religion is so vital to a believer’s motivation & inspiration it should be neither                  questioned nor discussed in civic collaboration.
                5. Each believer’s practice is private, so religion cannot determine civic morality.
                6. Physics, rather than a study, is energy, mass, and space-time, from which everything                  emerges, including benefits and safety.
                7. Physics allows no-harm religious morals but is the basis for determining civic morality.
                8. Evolution, the theory of physics, competes with neither no-harm belief systems nor                  religions.
                9. Most persons want neither to govern nor to cooperate but some will collaborate for                  safety and justice.
                10. Civic morality prioritizes no-harm personal liberty and domestic goodwill (PL&DG)                    for posterity.
                11. Civic morality can be settled in blunt, emotion-free, candid talk among a people—a                    civic people.
                12. PL&DG is so attractive a people will continue to cultivate this theory for civic                    collaboration to establish safety.

It seems there is no incentive for Baton Rouge inhabitants to wait for other people to start the practice.

            Collaboration by the people who cultivated the discussions over the past two years, including my family, taught me immensely, and I am glad I did not spend that time exposing egocentricity in a book. A transcending culture—a culture of civic people--can achieve PL&DG, and it can happen rapidly—like the goodwill that existed after 9/11, except permanent for the sake of safety. Some other dualities that came from the discussion, in addition to PL&DG, include posterity and adults; personal privacy and civic collaboration; candid talk and physics-based ethics; emotions versus understanding. No one can accomplish alone the amazing consequences of civic collaboration.

            Newborns do not understand the role of civics. Cultures do not teach civic collaboration for safety. Nations that understand and work for PL&DG do not exist.  PL&DG is achievable, as humankind may learn on this, the first attempt to establish a civic people. It is starting in Baton Rouge; this is to excite you to be involved in A Civic People of Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge inhabitants may become the consultants from fifty-miles away that teach the nation and beyond.

Requesting your consideration and opinions

            To read details of the theory, please google Theory of Collaboration Of By and For a Civic People or use this URL: . If you are on the blog, go to the 7/12/15 post.

            After reluctance to speak candidly about civic issues, perhaps the most controversial part of the theory is physics-from-which-everything-emerges. Read about Albert Einstein’s idea that ethics comes from humankind’s noble work to discover, understand, and cultivate benefits from physics. Google the essay, Physics-based Ethics: Civic Examples. Or use this URL: . On the blog, go to the 8/26/15 post.

            Also, find Einstein’s essay at . Einstein’s only example is that we do not lie to each other so that we can trust our statements. I call his a soft example yet it can lessen hard consequences like death, misery, and loss. A hard analog is: We don’t run red lights so we can huba-huba through green lights. There are more controversial examples in the essay, and they need civic collaboration. However, in every case, provision of safety may mediate the debates.

            My work with Einstein’s essay hides his warmth. He seems so subtle: my interpretations since 2011 could not touch the 74 year-old message. His speech came just two years after he warned President Roosevelt that Hitler was building an atomic bomb. Perhaps that circumstance hid the depth of Einstein’s message. But in other cases, Einstein did not write enough examples to communicate with ordinary people like me. Civic collaboration has powerful goodness: participants in the EBRP library discussions and other talk either unlocked Einstein’s essay or found perhaps higher meaning Einstein did not intend.

            Whereas I attest that collaboration requires blunt, brutal expression of ideas and shameless attention to the other person’s counter-expressions without alienation, Einstein writes: “[physics’] coherent systems are not expressing emotions. . . there is only ‘being,’ but no wishing, no valuing, no good, no evil . . .” As you see, again I modified Einstein’s statement in order to express my understanding. The library discussions have heeded Einstein’s warmth yet developed the goal: PL&DG in safety. The hallmark is patience with each other and appreciation that collaboration will improve both person’s viewpoints. Nevertheless, some people alienate collaboration. Even collaboration is hostile to some people, and they are among We the People of the United States.

            This proposal seems complicated. It is. However, living is difficult. Just as it pays to work hard for your money, it pays to collaborate for civic morality. A person cannot cultivate her/his no-harm religious morality without civic morality. The world is in chaos because no one ever decided to establish a civic people who will collaborate for safety. Our generation can talk to each other rather than sue each other; harm each other; convince each other; govern each other; cooperate with each other: Our generation can collaborate for PL&DG.

            Borrowing Einstein’s warmth, it seems self-evident that most persons would like “to advance ethical axioms which are so comprehensive and so well founded that men will accept them as” their life unfolds.


            Please join the practices of A Civic People of the Unites States. The initial practice will be conducted by email on the Saturday closest to the ninth of each month beginning October 10, 2015, and will consist of education and applications of the theory to current issues for email collaboration by the participants. Future library discussions for collaboration are planned to celebrate each Constitution Day (September 17) and each Ratification Day (June 21). However, a custom discussion can be planned anytime. Write to Phil Beaver at To join or monitor the practice, request to be added to the email list.
            We are especially grateful for co-incorporators Dennis Eilers and Hugh Finklea and support from the many people who are acknowledged in the presentations.

  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 September 21, 2015.