Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Truth Sets You Free, Freedom Sets You On Truth

One of the consolations of secular humanism is that since a human life has no intrinsic -- which is to say, transcendent -- purpose, it isn't possible to waste one's life. Nor, if absolute truth doesn't exist, is it possible to be intrinsically wrong and therefore cosmically stupid. And of course, if virtue is reduced to an arbitrary cultural agreement -- say, about whether or not it is a good idea to leave a woman attached to her clitoris -- then a culture cannot be bad, much less evil, only "different" and probably oppressed and victimized to boot.

If human beings are not free to know truth, then neither freedom nor truth can be said to exist. In other words -- no, the identical words, only italicized for added oomphasis: if human beings are not free to know truth, then neither freedom nor truth can be said to exist.

These two categories -- freedom and truth -- are fundamentally intertwined, and any diminution of one leads to a negation of the other. Therefore, it should be no surprise that a philosophy such as leftism, which does not value liberty, should be permeated with so many lies. And it is not just that these lies represent bad or faulty information, subject to correction. Rather, these are vital lies which one is compelled to believe, often in spite of common sense and hundreds of years of collective experience. In other words, one is not free to believe otherwise.

Perhaps you remember the seemingly mundane but illustrative example of the high school cheerleaders who were compelled by law to root equally for both boys' and girls' teams. As Dennis Prager wrote at the time, "almost no one directly involved wants this -- not the cheerleaders, not the fans, not the boys' teams, and not even the girls' teams. But it doesn't matter: The law coerces cheerleaders to cheer at girls' games."

And it all begins with a vital lie of the left, that men and women are identical. Since no normal person believes this, it must be mandated and pressured into us by force. Put another way, the state -- and this is just one of dozens of examples -- makes it against the law to be normal. (Other examples that come readily to mind: in California it is against the law to "discriminate" against a cross-dressing employee, and in our public school textbooks it is forbidden to depict any culture in a negative light.)

Once a vital lie such as this is accepted, freedom must be constrained in a thousand ways -- not just for men, but obviously for woman as well, since a normal girl has no spontaneous interest in being a cheerleader at a girls' softball game. For that matter, at least back when I was in high school, no boy who wasn't known to be light in the loafers wanted to associated with the words "yell king." Might as well say screaming queen.

I mean, what an intrinsically undignified designation for a young man. Real men don't yell (except when necessary), any more than they whine, quibble, needlessly complain, or pose as victims. If you would be a king among men, you must not only refrain from pettiness -- which is only the absence of a negative -- but possess a genuine center of power. This power may be in the realm of knowing, or doing, or being, but a man, in order to be one, must conquer something in one of these realms.

Furthermore, with respect to knowledge, you can't just know "anything." Rather, you must know truth; and, most importantly, you must defend it, just as you would defend your family. Nor can you do just anything. Rather, you must courageously do what is virtuous in a fallen world.

And you certainly cannot be just anything. Rather, your being must radiate the calm presence of Being itself, which undoubtedly supersedes, or at least infuses, the other two powers. This center of Being is also the center of Power, since it is a terrestrial prolongation of the celestial center of Truth, Virtue, and Freedom.

Prager notes what should be a truism, that "Of all the myths that surround Left-Right differences, one of the greatest is that the Left values liberty more than the Right. Regarding a small handful of behaviors -- abortion is the best example -- this is true. But overwhelmingly, the further left one goes on the political spectrum, the greater the advocacy of more state control of people's lives.... It is astonishing that this obvious fact is not universally acknowledged and that the Left has somehow successfully portrayed itself as preoccupied with personal liberty with regard to anything except sexual behavior and abortion."

Again, since the left does not value liberty, their version of "truth" must be coerced, never arrived at freely. As Prager notes, "Most activists on the Left believe that they, not only their values, are morally superior to their adversaries. Therefore, coercing people to adhere to 'progressive' values is morally acceptable, even demanded. [No bottled water for you! No Christianity for you!] It is thus quite understandable that laws would compel high school cheerleaders to cheer at girls' athletic events as much as at boys'. And true to leftist totalitarian models, not only is behavior is coerced, but emotions as well."

In other words, in compelling one to have certain emotions, the left even tries to shape you "from within," or "beneath" cognition. This is one of the purposes of political correctness, as it compels people to identify with, and express, false emotion -- for example, hysteria over Arizona merely enforcing Federal immigration laws.

Again, consider the pettiness of the left, which leads to an insect-eye-view of the world. Regarding the cheerleaders, leftist activists insist that they should "attend girls' and boys' games 'in the same number, and with equal enthusiasm' as part of its five-year goals.'"

Is it not Orwellian to require "equal enthusiasm" of anyone over anything? Ironic, since "enthusiasm" comes from en theos, or to be in-spired by God. How could enthusiasm be compelled, and still go by the name? Isn't that like "forced spontaneity?"

Besides, for a true leftist, shouldn't genuine en-thusiasm of any kind be against the law on the grounds that it violates the so-called separation of church and state? So too inspiration (spir = spirit) and charisma ("divine gift"). My own field of clinical psychology has many similarly illiberal demands mandating, for example, that I "respect" diversity. Why? Why not the Absolute, or One? Why the pluribus but not the Unum?

Because so-called progressives cannot compete in the marketplace of ideas, it is critical that they hijack the judiciary, so that their policies can be imposed on an unwilling populace, whether it is the redefinition of marriage, or government enforced racial discrimination, or acceptance of illegal Democrats, or compelling citizens to purchase health insurance.

It is simply axiomatic that "The more secular the society, the more laws are needed to keep people in check. When more people feel accountable to God and moral religion, fewer laws need to be passed. But as religion fades, something must step into the moral vacuum it leaves, and laws compelling good behavior result" (Prager).

Natural law is eclipsed by unnatural law, which ends up producing unnatural men -- which is to say, either feminized males or developmentally arrested boys. Or, you could say that the denial of natural law creates merely natural men; which is to say, animals. And for the left, this is "mission accomplished."

The truth is not at your service. Rather, vice versa. Only by virtue of this constraint -- the yoke which is paradoxically easy -- are you free. Not to mention, intelligent. Which is to say, real.

Man is so made that his intelligence has no effective value unless it be combined with a virtuous character. Besides, no virtuous man is altogether deprived of intelligence; while the intellectual capacity of an intelligent man has no value except through truth. Intelligence and virtue are in conformity with their reason for being only through their supernatural contents or archetypes; in a word, man is not fully human unless he transcends himself, hence, in the first place, unless he masters himself. --F. Schuon

19 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

if virtue is reduced to an arbitrary cultural agreement...then a culture cannot be bad, much less evil, only "different" and probably oppressed and victimized to boot.

The irony there being that in the absence of any absolute virtue, whether or not a culture may be described as victimized is also completely arbitrary.

back to reading...

5/05/2010 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bu if you really want to infuriate a leftist, mess with his sacred vacation time. Soon coming to California, where public employee unions have also bankrupted the state.

5/05/2010 09:10:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

If only they were defending their s'lack, instead.

I like that last line: Greece has a choice between "destruction" and survival, and "we have chosen, of course, to save the country," Papaconstantinou said.

That won't mean much if the people choose to destroy it anyway.

5/05/2010 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

these are vital lies which one is compelled to believe

Oy. The stupid, it is just painful.

5/05/2010 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hey, let's put an atheist on the Supreme Court so we can finally get around that nasty "congress shall make no law impeding the free exercise of religion" business.

5/05/2010 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Heh - reminds me of a poster spotted at Vanderleaun's other place this morning.

5/05/2010 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

In other words, in compelling one to have certain emotions, the left even tries to shape you "from within," or "beneath" cognition. This is one of the purposes of political correctness, as it compels people to identify with, and express, false emotion -- for example, hysteria over Arizona merely enforcing Federal immigration laws

Brainwashing by any other name ...

5/05/2010 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Besides, no virtuous man is altogether deprived of intelligence;

Indeed. Virtue is a kind of intelligence. I had a friend who would often claim that he was 15% smarter after he became a Christian. I don't know how he arrived at the number, but it was the case that he was much more capable. He went from being essentially a mediocre laborer to owning and very successfully operating his own business.

5/05/2010 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger black hole said...

I'm glad you brought up cheerleaders. I've analyzed the symbolism of cheerleading and I think it harks back to ancient warfare.

To the winning side would go the spoils, including access to nubile females.

Nubile females would naturally urge their own side on in the hopes they could avoid having to entertain victorious enemy personnel.

So, cheerleading is in essence sexual and built around potential ravishment. The scanty uniforms and seductive movements add to the spice of it all. Competitive males love it.

So, when de-sexualized, as in the case of the female cheerleaders at a woman's game, it all becomes absurd. Males can especially sense the absurdity and waste of it.

They want the cheerleaders to remain focused on men, where they belong as symbolic chattel.

5/05/2010 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Via the Anchoress, a musical interlude. The links in the comments are good, too.

5/05/2010 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

"Furthermore, with respect to knowledge, you can't just know "anything." Rather, you must know truth; and, most importantly, you must defend it, just as you would defend your family. Nor can you do just anything. Rather, you must courageously do what is virtuous in a fallen world."

I believe this concept was summarized by Jesus' last direction to his disciples. Paraphrased: Sell all that you own to possess two swords. One sword is Gods word, the faith, the knowledge of good and evil and the commandment to follow the good (the Bible). The second sword was just that, the means to defend the faith, defend the good from evil.

Somewhere along the way, Jesus got metro sexualized by society. He actually was kind of Butch. He knew men were designed to defend the weak. He was not a complete pacifist as portrayed.

5/05/2010 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

Excellent post and equally excellent links today! The description of real men hewing to the real resonated with me.

wv: mascalun

5/05/2010 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Mikal said...

Tigtog: As someone pointed out, the Apostles were hard-working, tough, practical men. They wouldn't have dropped their fish nets and collection-bags to follow Jesus unless there was something both compelling and challenging about Him and His message.

5/05/2010 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Mikal re:

"They wouldn't have dropped their fish nets and collection-bags to follow Jesus unless there was something both compelling and challenging about Him and His message."

Agree.

5/05/2010 04:01:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

"...it should be no surprise that a philosophy such as leftism, which does not value liberty, should be permeated with so many lies. And it is not just that these lies represent bad or faulty information..."

My attention perks up a bit when you discuss "freedom," as it's been a high value throughout my life. Sometimes I notice that a responsible freedom doesn't make me feel "giddy and happy" like I recall imagining it would when I was younger. I regard it as a serious state, as in, "to be taken seriously; not frivolous."

And the indulgent freedoms promoted by the left must be forced on all in order to guarantee that no one will take away their fun. I used to work with a man who loved his porn, and lived in active fear that Republicans would take away his porn. That's probably just a crude example, but he would say that he, too, was concerned about "freedom."

5/05/2010 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger al said...

True and compelling post. Bob, you do good work.

5/05/2010 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Excellent post. A quick comment before they close th cabin & squelch myPocketPC - BH... you are obsessed with power... sis-boom-bah!

5/05/2010 07:25:00 PM  
Blogger Jules said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5/06/2010 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Jules said...

I read your posts regularly, And Have a large folder on my laptop with saved and higlighted posts..
Thanks mucho for the hard edged philosophy and theology here. It's quite an education and useful as a tonic against psychic attack by lefties.
It's also got me interested in theology, and I'm starting to openly say I am a christian.
Keep up the good work.
Jules - paratrooper in Sydney ,Australia.

5/06/2010 07:51:00 AM  

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