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The Aquarian Revolution is Over …

18 Dec

The Aquarian Revolution is Over; Time for a People’s Age to Begin

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The Aquarian Revolution is defunct; time for a new, anti-Establishment, People’s Revolution to take on the New World Order.  A Revolution of the 99%, not of the elitists. … And one that actually serves people’s needs, not the desire of oligarchs to use popular movements and activism to serve their own globalist ends.  That’s the real kind of progress we need in the world.  Time for the oligarchy to step aside, and for a new People’s Age to begin that gets us beyond these tired expressions of religionism, elitism, and establishment values.

Totalitarianism isn’t anything new.  It’s the same old Leviathan of Tyranny we faced in the past, just with a new regrown set of heads.  Let’s stop this hydra once and for all, and then maybe a real “new” Age can begin – a new chapter in human history where we’ve set aside the trappings of this so-called ‘godly’ oligarchical order for good.

That’s our real revolution, and the real turning point now in human events.  Will we do it or will we fail?  The future’s in our hands.  It’s just a question now of whether we’re courageous enough to take the next step.

Are we?   You decide! …

Science opens the door …

17 Dec

Science opens the door for Us.  It’s time we came Inside.

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Yes.  “We are the Universe,” and we’re-all-connected-in-it-and-through it.  ‘It’s in us’ and ‘we’re in it.’  Not in any goofy new age way or pantheistic sense, but in a much more tangible, spiritually meaningful way.  A much more profound and deeper way that monist religion could ever offer us as human beings.  This is our inspiration!  The stuff that drives poets, artists, and philosophers to expound on life’s wonders.  Yet what a wonder it is!  Even our arts and humanities don’t compare with it.  Science and mathematics alone has charted this poetry for us.  All we can do now is to journal our experiences of it, and that’s where the rest of human knowledge comes in, especially in the humanities.  Science isn’t shoving these other disciplines aside; it’s inviting us to explore the universe in a whole new way and think about these other fields in a whole new way also.  No, literature, art, and philosophy aren’t debunked in an age of scientific thought.  But they are recast.  It’s our job now to more effectively use them to capture and express the fullness of our experiences.  Science has opened the door for us; it’s time we set about remodeling and redecorating the households of our lives around it.  For there we will find our purposes in life, “purposes we create” with the stylus of ‘living’ and ‘expressing ourselves’ as human beings.

Our purpose, our mission, our inspiration.  That’s what science gives us.

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http://inspirationalfreethought.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/we-are-the-universe/

We are the Universe

Dec 11

Posted by InspirationalFreethought.

What’s better than a bunch of individual videos narrated by Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Carl Sagan? One epic video with all three of them. Check it out:

“We Are the Universe”

New Age Ruins Everything …

17 Dec

New Age Ruins Everything:  The Corrupting Influence of Science Mysticism on Higher Considerations of Science, History, and Philosophy

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New Age is problematic.  No sooner than you give it a pass; it co-opts you and your work.  It’s the perfect Capitalism AND Socialism, I guess. You give it an inch, it appropriates and capitalizes (or should I say expropriates?) a mile.  Lucky us! … Anyway, it’s this tendency of the NAM to do this kind of thing that bothers me. Quantum mechanics is a perfectly good branch of science.  Good enough on its own without having to be meddled with.  And, so is the Penrose-Hameroff model (as far as it goes).  But now that Chopra & Co. have appropriated it, and tailored it to their own brand of quantum-science-mysticism, we’re blown out to sea again and caught in this eddy of “quantum-‘consciousness’” talk [and all the metaphysical fluff that goes with it].  I’d much rather have a more solid discussion of the issue-at-hand (via Complexity theory and Psychological theoretical models) than the whole nine yards of Chopra nonsense on the matter.  But guess what, that doesn’t ‘sell’ in today’s day and age.  So, we’re left with Quantum Mechanics ala Chopra, and mainline scientists rightfully are questioning it and the entire basis of the model itself given its current form as theory/science.

I don’t want to see any more good ideas go out the window because of this New Age nonsense.  That’s why I’m as critical as I am of the current discussion going on over at Darwiniana.  Nothing personal against anyone.  But, where the original version of Landon’s Eonic Effect was more agnostic on all these issues, centering in on the open question of Kantian philosophy, now suddenly metaphysics is fine there [not “bunk”, mind you] and “geist is [no longer] bullshit.”

The original version of the Eonic Effect was great and well worth studying; still is.  But I’m afraid John’s work too has been co-opted by New Age and some of its major interests (that are now a major voice in his audience).  Over and above that, his legitimate points on History and Philosophy can’t get a word in edgewise there it seems to me. It’s a shame.

Where are the complexity theorists there?  Where are the historians and sociologists?  Where are the philosophers?  They’ve pretty much picked up shop and moved on by this point, leaving their space empty and ready to be taken up by others in the discussion.  So, in their place, a new age element has emerged and ingratiated itself there at John’s blog.  It’s overshadowing all the good stuff, supplanting “free action scripts” with ruminations on “free will” in the metaphysical sense; Kantian antimony with quasi-Buddhist considerations of “rebirth doctrine” and “mystical enlightenment.” Discussions, frankly, that cater to this NAM audience/element on the blog.

I’ve no problem with that.  It’s John’s blog after all and he can do whatever he likes on it, and court whomever he wants to there.  But I do have a problem when I see that element co-opting and overshadowing all of John’s other material and making hay off of it for the New Age Movement’s own advantage and at the expense of Landon’s prior consideration of World History as a template for thinking about evolutionary change and the critique of evolutionary systems of theory.

I don’t want to see the Eonic Effect suffer for its being confused with Divine Aeons, and therefore be recast and re-branded as being an Aeonic Effect of metaphysics.  It will only serve to advance the goofiness and perniciousness of New Age, gurus, and the occult while making a mockery of the Eonic Model, and completely gutting anything that was of value there to begin with.  I don’t want to see that happen, and see Landon’s work be completely trashed, dismissed, and shuffled away as a result. … Nobody else wins when that happens; just the Gurdjieff element … Just the occult new agers, whose object I expect is to do exactly that.  Gurdjieff: “1”, Landon’s Eonic Effect: “0” …

I like John for his ideas.  I like his work, and I enjoy and find his material quite useful on historical topics, evolutionary issues, and philosophy. But I don’t trust New Age nor its proponents, some of whom are being given a mouthpiece and a forum on Darwiniana. So for now, I’ll steer clear of it and only occasionally cover its posts from time to time.  They have the floor and they’re on their own there from now on. It’s better that way.  Landon can handle his own audience and its leanings.  I just hope their New Age proclivities and agenda don’t run roughshod over what he’s been attempting to do with his writings on evolution and history.  Maybe I’m wrong about it all, but I have my doubts about all this stuff there lately and where it’s all heading.

New Age ruins everything!  I just pray John’s work here isn’t its latest casualty.

Mission Priority: Defusing the Metaphysics Bomb

12 Dec

Our A-1 Mission Priority:  Defusing the Metaphysics Bomb

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http://darwiniana.com/2012/12/08/could-an-enlightened-buddha-survive-in-the-usa-or-be-recognized-by-american-buddhists/

Don’t get me wrong, I like John Landon’s work ala the Eonic Effect, Darwiniana, and The Gurdjieff Con.  The material’s first rate and John’s done a stupendous job tying in world history to evolution and critiquing the gurus.  My beef: … and it’s my own personal beef about it, it’s ended up giving a pass to the New Age I don’t believe is justified. Exempting some rare breed of ‘enlightened’ buddhas from the guru critique isn’t helping matters when it’s this very metaphysics of buddhahood/guru mysticism that’s created the problem to begin with; and the gurus are making wind off this very phenomenon with their hi jinx.  Enough already.  This fluff is where the gurus are drawing their power in reserve.  Cut it off at the source; admit some other agency for your ‘enlightenment’ or risk exposing your flank to the Chopra-magic nonsense.

Maybe its psychological-noumenal, maybe it’s something else – a metaphorical expression, a philosophical analogy, or pointing to some natural agency we’re not quite familiar with yet (but with a common connection to matter and physics) – but understand – if you say it’s metaphysical or soul-related <in a mystical sense> , this opens you up to fairy tale scenarios about the world (i.e., Santa Claus, elves dancing on the lawn) … Where’s the line drawn?  What’s the criterion for distinguishing the world of fractals from the world of fantasy?  …

The gurus are making mint off this stuff, … and it’s time we defused their metaphysics bomb before it blows up in our faces.  That’s all I want us to do – get clear on what it is we’re talking about here with Buddhism and philosophical considerations of natural phenomena/noumenal principles.  Because, if we don’t – the damage from this is going to be significant.

The Reality:  people aren’t going to know “up” from “down” once this “quantum consciousness/ mysticism” train crashes at the station.  Guru psy-ops has done its dirty work.  The runaway train of magical metaphysics is bearing down on that of an equally questionable instrumentalist science, and the effect on a clear human understanding of the world is going to be catastrophic in terms of legitimate scientific inquiry and philosophical discourse. …  (It’s already in the cross-hairs, and we’re nearing impact!) …

It’s time we cleaned up the mess … What do we mean by “soul” in the buddhist context and “noumena” in philosophy in a world of quarks, gluons, and photons?  That’s what I’m asking here.

Answer that, and we’re halfway there to defusing the Metaphysics Bomb of the gurus and gurudom.

Inspiration is for Everyone

11 Dec

Inspiration is for Everyone (Not Just for the Gifted Few)

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http://inspirationalfreethought.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/inspiration-is-a-privilege/

“What I really want to say is that we should have a sense of humility and an acknowledgment that inspirational freethought is a luxury. It’s an unfortunate fact of the world that optimism and hope isn’t possible for everyone. Rather than trying to impose happiness and hope on others based on some limited perspective, the fact that hope is scarce in the world should drive us to do something about it.”

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Calling “Inspiration” a “Privilege”

This is concerning to me.  Yes, not everyone has the opportunity to truly appreciate a sunrise, listen to beautiful music, or revel in the sights and sounds of nature.  That’s true.  But saying inspiration is a “privilege.”  It just doesn’t set well.

A Privilege.  From Whom?  For What?  And to Whom?

My problem is the word “privilege” and what it connotes.  Inspiration (and its sister idea, appreciation) isn’t something endowed from on high.  It’s something everyone should be able to enjoy (even if they can’t always given their particular circumstances in life).

But to say it’s a privilege indicates some special people are being gifted with it, while the rest of the poor folks in the world aren’t.

I’m not sure I buy that.  It’s not about the endowed betters of humanity getting something the rest of the unwashed masses in society aren’t. It’s more about such individuals having the occasion to partake of something we all (to a greater or lesser extent) have equal access to in life from birth by/through our common humanity and our shared human nature.

And while it is true some have greater means to it than others, this isn’t a reflection on their being a better quality of person than other people.  It’s more a question of whether they’re able to more easily access it than other people of lesser means due to socioeconomic status, physical or metal limitations, or other extenuating circumstances.

That’s all. Nothing to do whatsoever with life doling out its ‘blessings‘ to gifted elites and by unequal means to the so-called privileged few of the world.

Inspiration is for everyone.  But if we want to ensure everyone has equal access to it, we need to make sure the society is structured in a way everyone can adequately avail themselves of that blessing and the opportunity to appreciate the world in all its wonders regardless of whether they’re rich or poor,geniuses or not, etc.

Otherwise, this “privilege” … It’s just hollow and empty.  And if that’s what “inspiration” really entails, who needs it anyway.  The elites of the world are welcome to keep it to themselves.  The rest of us will get by without it.

Haven’t we learned the lesson of Dr. Seuss’s “The Sneetches yet?  … Guess not.  Too bad.   It’s to our own [bad] credit as a society and as human beings in the world that we haven’t.

We can do better. But until we fix the problems in our society, will we?  That’s the question!  Our choice is before us.  Which way will we turn?

(A World of) Uncreated Magnificence

24 Oct

When you live in universe of ‘chaotic’ complexity and ‘self-organization’ as science today understands these principles, you don’t need an intelligent designer to finely-tune creation. Nature and life comes to order on its own without the need for a separate designer and design.  The following two videos express this sentiment nicely.  Hope you enjoy them.

Global Warming is Real. There’s No Turning Back.

16 Oct

VIEWPOINT

Global Warming is Real and There is No Turning Back

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Global Warming is real.  There can be no denying it.  But where we go from there is an open question.

The indisputable fact is that climate change is happening.  What remains up in the air however is how human beings relate to it, what the actual contribution of people to the problem is, and how/if it can be fixed.

It’s happening.  That’s certain.  Average temperatures are increasing and we are beginning to see the effects in terms severe weather extremes, the polar ice caps melting, and the recording setting dry spells and droughts occurring in the United States and elsewhere this past year building up to today.

However, what’s the “cause?”  The “real” “cause” in a precise scientific and epistemological sense.  Not merely the “antecedent” or “conditional” of it, but the real “agency” or “dynamic” that’s actually making global warming and climate change happen.  It can’t be “humanity in the ontological sense” because global warming as we know it today didn’t always exist and we have the oft-mentioned data to prove it. And yet what kind of human activity would “cause” climate change?  The widespread, modern, industrial kind pumping out heat trapping chemicals like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, that’s what.

And, yet, this still doesn’t completely address the “cause” question.  What “causes global warming?” The dynamic of heat-trapping chemicals reacting with the natural processes of our world’s ecosystem and its climatic cycles.  The dynamic itself is the true “cause” of “global warming” and its opposite number is in the effect of a warming atmosphere.

So why say this?  And am I just hairsplitting here?  … I’d say no.

The reason I’d say no is that only by identifying the actual and precise cause of global warming can we truly assess how to deal with the problem and take proper action to remedy it.

Humans/human activity are “precipitants” to modern global warming, but not its “cause” per se.  They are catalysts to an already finely balanced environmental system that doesn’t take too much as it is to be overtaxed.  Contemporary human beings by their activities and modern technology have overloaded the scales and tipped that balance in favor of global warming and the greenhouse effect.

There’s no quick-fix to climate change.  There no easy policy solution to global warming.  And to imagine we can simply “reverse” it and go back to some sort of golden age before contemporary times when we didn’t have this happening and before we industrialized, thereby ushering in a new better future for ourselves without the specter of humanly precipitated climate change/global warming, is far-fetched.

It’s not going to happen.  We’ll have discovered the legendary Fountain of Youth before it does.

In all likelihood, we won’t turn back the clock on global warming. Nor can we reverse course.  We’re stuck with it, and the we best we can do now is learn to live with it.  We’re going to have to learn to manage the consequences of climate change in our daily lives and for our societies and the greater world.  We’ll have to develop technologies for dealing with the fallout of climate change; but at this point the irrevocable damage is done.

Global Warming is real and there’s no turning back.

Resuscitating the “Dream of Tomorrow”

11 Sep

RIP Neil Armstrong.  Our thoughts will always be with you whenever we look out at the moon at night or when we read/hear about Curiosity‘s latest sojourns on Mars.  May we always walk in your footsteps and never lose sight of the “dream” that’s before us.  … That’s our future; that’s our survival.

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Resuscitating the “Dream of Tomorrow”:  Restoring the Mandate of NASA and Rescuing the American Economy

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It’s time to resuscitate the “dream of tomorrow.”

Revamping the manned space program, getting NASA back on track, and renewing our commitment to space-based science and exploration … All these should be core goals of the United States if we’re to have any claim on the future and stake in its outcome.

Space X, whatever its strengths as a function of private enterprise, isn’t enough.  Only a publicly-funded, publicly-mandated space program will be …  If not, we might as well kiss our future goodbye, and give up on any promise of an economic recovery for American society.  For only by emphasizing such an industry-intensive, science-intensive mission as NASA’s original mandate can we hope to rescue our futures and restore the productive economy of the U.S.

Only by resuscitating the “dream of tomorrow” will we return again to the proverbial ‘days of American prosperity‘, and indeed renewed global prosperity.

The “dream” (of the future) is in our hands; but if we turn our backs on it, we’ll only be caught again in a bleak ‘present” and our ‘nightmares of the past.’

It’s time to step into our future instead

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http://inspirationalfreethought.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/nasas-budget/

NASA’s Budget – Apr 26 – Posted by Mike.

NASA’s budget in 2012 is projected to be four-tenths of one single penny for every dollar we spend. The budget as percentage of total spending has not been this low since 1959.  How much would you pay for the Universe?

Neil deGrasse Tyson – We stopped Dreaming

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CbIZU8cQWXc

Rethinking the Language of Evolutionary Discourse

23 Apr

Evolution as a “Contentious Issue”:  Moving beyond the Darwin Debate by rethinking the Terms of Evolutionary Discourse

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Evolution shouldn’t be a “contentious issue” but is I think for people’s talking past each other on a number of topics; the big two being (1)  the science behind natural selection and (2) metaphysical problems making philosophers and religionists think the trouble is in the process of evolution itself and/or in evolutionary biology as a means of explaining evolutionary change rather than in other factors.

My own POV is in trying to refocus the conversation on the substance of the science itself and away from sidetracked discussions over meaning; in fact by adjusting the language of evolution to better fit the science and philosophically strengthening that language to avoid misinterpretation and wrong turns in the course of reasoning about evolutionary change and forming ideas about it.  The science of evolution is not in question, absolutely not in question and shouldn’t be. What is in question perhaps is how Darwin’s theory of natural selection is presented and relayed to the public, and the language in which it’s framed as a system of understanding.

There are two parts to this I think.  (a)  The confusion of the presentation itself (concepts and ideas mistakenly couched in language that conveys other interpretations necessarily), the manner with which its presenters unwittingly embed ideological intonations onto their information and ideas, and worse, (b)  the further confusions of audiences and critics in misinterpreting an already confused scientific message on evolution and its mechanisms in Darwinian natural selection.

I agree “evolution is a fact” [with certain reservations of course].  That evolution exists is a fact; that the dynamic of evolution is real is a fact, and that its driven by the mechanism and processes of natural selection in the organismic adaptation of creatures (within nature) is established; that also is a fact.

But how far are we willing to go in this?  Evolution/natural selection/principle-and-processes in nature … all this is scientifically proven fact … and has been demonstrated to be so for nature.  But are we willing to say Darwinian theory and formulation on this material is absolutely factual beyond a doubt, and without any further need of improvement or enhancement as an epistemological system?  … So Darwin got the mechanism(s) in nature for evolution right.  But did he [and do his students today] really get his theory right in any fundamental or axiomatic sense?  In other words, is Darwin’s “theory” truly “theoria” or “scientia” in the classical epistemological sense of the concept? …  That is the question.

If he did get his “theory” right, then evolution-as-theory is also a fact just as evolution-the-natural-mechanism is a fact.  But if even the slightest bit of uncertainty abounds about the conceptual structure of Darwinian evolution and its exposition, then it’s a stretch to refer to evolution [=theory] as a fact. … In that case, then, its mistaken to be calling evolution-the-theory a “fact” since it mixes up what’s actually factual in evolution with what’s no more than a useful intellectual construction and a transitory working model for describing natural systems and phenomena.

Now maybe this isn’t anything important; however it points to the problem of truth value in Darwinian evolutionary theory.  The truth value in evolution is in the dynamic and how accurately it’s characterized, not in a supposed truth quality of its formulation.  To conflate the two only confuses the model and equates its factual character as science with its nomenclature.

In other words, it ends up confounding the Science of Evolution needlessly by saying what’s essential in it is its present language and format (how evolutionary theory is currently communicated to people as a system of knowledge and understanding about the dynamics of life on earth) rather the methods used to uncover that understanding and most importantly the said findings themselves about how evolutionary change works in its systems, processes, and phenomena.

That’s why there’s so much confusion over evolution and controversy about its position; not ignorance (willful or otherwise), not intellectual (and moral) blindness … just good old fashioned befuddlement over its exposition as a body of knowledge and the ensuing debate that comes when misinterpretation meets epistemological ambiguities.

Let me be clear:  I’m not disagreeing with the science or the idea of “evolution.”  I’m disagreeing with the foolishness of the “debate” and the silliness of its rhetoric.  The bad joke which is ID/Creationism is is matched only by the incompetence of evolution’s champions in trying to effectively refute it and ultimately failing to do that, and dispensing with Designer Creationism once and for all. Worse, now the new agers are in on the act (ala Deepak Chopra), further confusing the concept of evolution with screeds about “evolutionary consciousness”, while critics of the theory regularly undermine any sound aspects of the idea that are left (even well-established ones that there shouldn’t be any argument over, and that have been demonstratively proven time and time again & agreed upon through scientific consensus in the facts)(i.e., common descent, common morphologies, non-random selection, fossil evidence, and adaptive mechanisms in evolutionary change).

The media war/PR fight over evolution is being lost … It’s time for evolutionists to fall back and rethink their strategy in taking on the critics.  Evolution shouldn’t be a contentious issue; that it is bespeaks the problem of its development as a theory.  Time to recast it a new mold, one that separates it firmly from the ideology that is “social darwinism” and that defuses its science as an object of controversy. Newtonian mechanics doesn’t have this problem; Einsteinian Relativity doesn’t have this problem.  The question is “why.” … The answer I think:  as scientific fields, with their own unique brand of knowledge and practitioners who practice it, they’ve largely circumvented the fight making a battle over their models meaningless.

Time for evolutionary theory to do the same.

Science and Principle: Building a Better Society

23 Apr

Science and Principle:  A Vision of Science can help us better form our Values and Concepts in order to Build a Better Society

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The U.S. Presidential election is just six months away and already the campaign politics of Republican ideology versus Democratic has gotten into full swing with Barack Obama pitted against his GOP challengers, most notably Romney, with the Ron Paul movement in close pursuit trying to pull off an upset for their favorite Texas Congressman.

What a time then to look back on the U.S.A’.’s roots and consider the ideas that made it what it is today as a nation.  Thomas Jefferson, one of this country’s most well-known Founders, and major drafter of the Declaration of Independence, was a man of contradictions – slaveholder and advocate for liberty, humanist but unafraid to use the civil theologies of the time in order to advance the causes of freedom and republicanism he believed in.

So it should be no surprise then that we today face the kinds of political frictions we do, when from the very beginning of the nation and before, and indeed right at the advent of the American Revolution itself, the colonies were as rife with these contradictions as they are now, and that such incongruities were cemented into the very core of it from the start through the very people who lived through such times and made them what they were.

Not surprising either that the “big issues” we confront at present – questions of Reason and Truth, Science and Philosophy, Freedom and Equality – were major areas of concern for the peoples of Jefferson’s day too with about as much consensus around them as we have today over atheism, empiricism, and liberal values in society [and whether gov’t has a duty to assist the less fortunate].

Take, for instance, this famous passage of the Declaration:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Nothing all that controversial about these ideas; and, yet, look at them more closely. … They are framed in exactly the same sorts of concepts we’re having such trouble with today viz-a-vis the fight over free will, the science-philosophy debate, religion versus non-belief, and the role of government to provide for its citizens versus the idea of ruling over them as subjects.

The right to pursue happiness, to live, and be free of lordly restraints in society … We can all for the most part agree with these ideas. … But should we accept them on word of authority or even social convention without considering reasons WHY we embrace them and the evidence FOR their being adopted, let alone any idea or value we choose to adopt as thinking human beings?

SELF EVIDENCE:  It is enough to accept things on self-evidence alone (taking something as a given) or, in our day and age, should we even be looking beyond these truisms and philosophical postulates to actually discover the true bases behind why we really believe in human equality, affirm human rights, and so forth?  … At best is the notion of self-evidence a cop-out and at worst, is it in fact, a form of reinforcing a kind of dogmatic, metaphysical thinking about the world? … If that’s the case, then we have to honestly reassess the founding values of Western republicanism and democracy in place like the United States.  We have to scientifically and humanistically probe these ideals for the real merit they bear us and the challenges they present us in carrying them out.

“CREATIVE” DISSONANCE:  We may agree on issues of social equality and championing it, but what if its roots are up for grabs?  What then?  … What of being “created equal” if there is no God-Creator to “create” men [and women] “equally?”  What of the “endowment” with “unalienable rights” if no God-Being is around to “endow” them on humankind? …  Where then do these values and these principles come from if they were not “given” by a “Creator?”  … That question needs to be further explored and strongly weighed as an idea (by secular humanists especially) rather than just taking it for granted they exist and arose up ‘out of the blue.’ … Where did they arise from? …

It’s not enough to say these inalienable rights arise [and arose] from social convention. … Social conventions alone could never have provided the justification for asserting self-rule and breaking away from the authoritarian governance of kings and princes as was done by the American colonists.  Some other factor or set of factors had to be in play here in order to provide the basis on which Independence and Revolution were successfully argued for and won.  … A notion of natural rights, deriving from natural law, is the only instrumentality through which such a justification could have come, and thus be able to carry forth a case for separation w/o immediately being put down by the British imperial force and the idea for “liberty” being squelched as a result. … In other words, if a Creator didn’t endow these rights and establish this principle of human equality, then they must have arose out of a context of historical and evolutionary development … And that’s how these ideas could achieved the impact they did in lieu of a God-Creator bestowing them on humanity.

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I hope I’ve convinced you these founding ideals of the United States/Western democratic-republicanism  aren’t as set in stone as is sometimes it’s assumed they are in public discussion and popular civics … that they were shaped in fact out of the very problems we’re struggling with today as peoples of the modern world in terms of secular values, liberal democratic principles, and palpable reason … and that just as science has something to offer in terms of illuminating contemporary philosophy as a whole, it can also shed light on many of these founding principles of the U.S government and society.

True, maybe it’s not needed … Maybe we can get along without science taking a scalpel to the major concepts of the Constitution, The Federalist Papers, and the Declaration of Independence to plumb them for better knowledge of ourselves and our world while extricating them from the irrationalities of the past … But if the surgery of science is needed on such things as Biblical ethics and Greco-Roman philosophy, gleaning from them their essential and worthwhile parts while cutting out the excess baggage of religionism and metaphysics, then why not on the very precepts that founded American society in the United States? … That’s why we should pay attention to a document like the Declaration of Independence.  Its ideas deserve greater scrutiny.

A vision of science can help us better frame our values and ideas about the world.  Not doing so only condemns us to remain chained to the nonsense of the past.  For the sake of our future, we owe ourselves and our children the understanding that comes from combing these principles for their empirical merits and particulars.

Our future and the future of our society depends on it.