Thursday, February 9, 2017

Not tolerance & unity: Security



This essay is to respond to John P. McCall, “Time to affirm tolerance and unity,” letter-to-the-editor, The Advocate, Feb. 7, 2017, online at theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/opinion/letters/article_c26d0d60-ed5a-11e6-8b44-43f6b7aa87f4.html . In addition, it is to address public reaction to my too brief comments in the online forum.
 
Tolerance and unity are religious concepts that so far do not apply to a civic culture. In other words, religion may collaborate with civic morality, but civic morality does not comport to religion. A civic culture advocates public security with privacy respecting spiritual and mystic pursuits. The civic goal is public-integrity; in other words, broadly-defined-civic-safety-and-security, hereafter Security.[1]
 
We the Civic People---those who willingly comprehend and observe the preamble[2] to the constitution for the USA---discourage harm to others. However, a civic people is too humble to judge other peoples’ motives. There are too many unknowns for one person to judge another’s motives or for one group to judge another's motives. 
 
Furthermore, one person can’t tell when the other is tolerating the first person and his or her opinions. In other words, the person who perceives he is tolerating may discover that he was tolerated. Therefore, a civic culture shuns the antonym of intolerance: tolerance. In other words, “intolerance” is a useful civic word, but its antonym can only create mystery and is therefore not civically useful. Additionally, the human being is too psychologically powerful to conform to civilization. The human can only be urged to iteratively collaborate for Security rather than social norms such as religious morality. When there is overt harm, statutory law and law enforcement are invoked.
 
To restate the above paragraph, persons of differing social cultures may iteratively collaborate for Security. However, persons do not collaborate about their private preferences such as social morality or religious morality. Thus, chosen people, tolerance, and unity are neither civic pursuits nor objects of observed statutory laws.
 
To impose tolerance, a person must assume 1) that he or she understands the other and 2) that the understanding harbored by the tolerant person errs. The tolerant party holds that the other need not collaborate in suffering the tolerance. For example, I may have a two minute talk with any Christian, and the Christian may conclude and “know” that I am an atheist. Maybe I say, “The Jesus in my heart would not compete with my love for my family members.” From that statement forward, civic communication with that Christian may be cut off. One Christian told me he was shaking the dust off his feet[3] with regard to me. I asked if we were still neighbors. He said, “Yes,” but we have never spoken since then and still live nearby. Is he a civic dissident? I think so but don’t know.
 
My question about neighborliness was a nudge. A civic people neither imposes nor brooks force[4] but nudges[5] dissidents to reform for Security and is prepared for self-defense. The object of civic nudging is Security.
 
Among the Holy Bible interpreters, there is unity of thought: There are chosen people. But what constitutes “chosen”? Factions war within the four extant branches: Jews, Arabs, white Christians, and black theists. In other words, some members of the four branches are of a civic people and are thus not of the warring factions. The unity of war over the concept “chosen people“ ruins the world.

A civic culture nudges people towards public-integrity; civic-morality; individual-independence; real-no-harm private-dreams; Security.

As father, I coached three school-children not to try to address the-objective-truth in discussion with their peers. I said: honest as peers may be, many people cannot face integrity. Billy Joel struggled for “integrity” and fidelity when he wrote “Honesty is hardly ever heard,” and “Everyone is so untrue.” [6]
 
In my eighth decade, my people-appreciation reformed. IMO, people are indoctrinated to think they cannot perfect their unique person. I think almost everyone wants Security; thereby, they may enjoy freedom from oppression. Freedom empowers the liberty to pursue private hopes and dreams. Unhappily, people strive for unity and tolerance when humans need individual-independence and collaboration for Security so they may perfect their unique self.
 
In 1787, 2/3 of representatives of the 13 states that established the USA signed the draft constitution for the USA with its purpose stated in the preamble. The 1/3 dissidents had their reasons, just as dissidents today have reasons. It seems to me as time moves on a changing 2/3 of people in the USA wants Security and conforms to the-discovered-objective-truth. In other words, the generations iteratively collaborate to discover and benefit from the-indisputable-facts-of-reality.
 
The remaining 1/3, the dissidents,[7] beg constraint through civic example, statutory law and its enforcement. Dissidents suffer and lose until either they want to reform to the-objective-truth or they cause overt harm that subjugates them to law enforcement. 
 
Tragically, the 2/3 are kept from appreciating one another by the erroneous opinions derived from concepts like chosen people, unity, and tolerance. The human species is so psychologically powerful, and there is so much to discover:  There will always be difference of opinion respecting the-objective-truth. However, the opinion that harm is acceptable is intolerable and divisive.
 
If we can overcome false notions and establish We the Civic People of the United States, the world may improve, and we may begin to approach We the People of the United States as defined by the preamble. By example, a civic people may spread to the world.
  
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.


[1] Capitalizing “Security” is not to suggest deity, but to create a way to remind the reader of the complete expression, broadly-defined-civic-safety-and-security. Explaining “broadly-defined” is beyond the scope of this essay. However, it addresses issues such as a living wage for requested work.
[2] A civic people is not constrained by US citizenship. Also, the preamble does not limit virtue, but serves a manageable set of goals among the willing of, for example, 7 billion people.
[3] Matthew 10:14, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.”
[4] This idea comes from a couple decades reading and writing about Agathon’s speech in Plato’s “Symposium,” 385 B.C.
[5] Meaning “urge into action,” from Merriam-Webster online.
[6] Billy Joel, “Honesty,” lyrics online at http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/billyjoel/honesty.html .
[7] Dissidents against Security include people who are ignorant, criminal, evil, and otherwise alien.