Sunday, July 25, 2010

Social Theory and Unproven (and Unprovable) Assumptions

I talk about this a lot, so I may as well write something about it too. Actually, I've already written about it, in my book . . . on the first page: that all thinking
is based upon unproven and unprovable assumptions.

Because this is the case, all social thinking—or social theory construction—is based upon unproven and unprovable assumptions too; therefore a good social theory simply needs to be the best, or the most workable, social theory possible.

Think of it like this, mathematics, which is nothing if not rational and logical, is based upon the unproven and unprovable assumption that the invisible laws of logic (somehow) prevent 2 + 2 from visibly equaling 5. The law of non-contradiction seems, somehow, to exist, but it's not provable as to how or why it exists, it's just assumed to be true, because it works. Likewise, the assumption of an invisible divine being—God—is not provable, but we cannot escape the visible phenomenal world in which we exist, and this world testifies to the existence of a divine being who is greater than the world, through whom the world came to be, and who sustains the very existence of the world.

As I've said elsewhere, we have only two social theories from which to choose today: natural law or the will to power.

While I'm on this subject, let me say this: social theories premised upon atheism, humanism, or agnosticism begin and end with the will to power; and with people (i.e., humankind) as the highest (ultimate) authority. There is no higher standard to which a person can be held (legally) than to a human standard and to positive law alone, which reigns supreme (i.e., the decrees of human legislatures and the decisions of human courts).

Social theories which are premised upon God and the natural law (i.e., divine, eternal, moral laws of the universe) provide a standard above that which is human, which transcends humankind and positive law; positive law must live up to the natural law standard.

When I discuss this with people I try to get at the heart of the matter by asking: What are the unproven and unprovable assumptions that you're basing your social theory upon, and do they work, for a society, better than mine work? Would a society based upon your assumptions be more or less just? If the person is an atheist, antitheist, humanist, or agnostic I will always point out the fact that neither of our assumptions, which we base our social theories upon, are provable, but that one of our social theories works, as a social theory, better than the other: mine (i.e., natural law). So, since mine works better than yours does—because mine better conceptualizes justice, as justice applies to society—mine wins.

People may not like to hear this, but it's true. And, when it comes to constructing social theories, I'm nothing if not pragmatic.

This makes natural law somewhat of a "right makes might" position; rather the opposite of the "might makes right" position, which, ultimately, is the only logical conclusion of the will to power philosophy.

I have total confidence that, in any debate concerning social theory, natural law will beat the will to power as the better philosophical foundation for social theory construction; hands down. Natural law was good enough for 2,000 years of Western Civilization, for the author of the Declaration of Independence, for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and natural law is certainly good enough for us, today; because it beats the will to power, any day.

So, when it comes to social theory . . . may the best (i.e., most just and workable) unproven and unprovable assumption—natural law—win

The Arizona Law and Justice

The Arizona Law and Justice

As I've said before, there are two solutions to the illegal Central American/Mexican immigration issue: 1) legalize marijuana; thereby defunding the Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations, which would help to end the violence; and 2) grant those illegal immigrants already here amnesty or asylum and refugee status, and then secure the borders.

Recently, some young people, who are living in the US illegally, were arrested in Washington, D. C. for protesting the illegal immigration issue; meaning the lack of an immigration reform policy, such as amnesty. These young people are illegal immigrants, but they have lived in the US virtually their entire lives, having been brought to the US at a very young age by their parents, who entered the US illegally. And no one, with any sense of justice, would send these young people back to wherever it is that their parents had emigrated from, such as Mexico, would they? These young people are, for all practical purposes, Americans; people who would feel like foreigners in any other nation other than this one. Yes, they are here illegally, but who would wish to see them returned to the nation of their births, now?

I've heard stories, over the years, about families of illegal immigrants being returned to Mexico, or wherever, and of their children, who had lived in the US virtually their entire lives, who didn't even speak Spanish. How do these kids feel being sent to Mexico and they can't even speak Spanish? The young protesters in Washington are trying to point out the injustice of their situation. These young people's situation poses a very real moral dilemma concerning immigration reform, which needs to be resolved . . . before this group of young protesters is prosecuted and deported.

The value of this sort of protest is that it forces people to recognize the reality of the illegal immigration from a real person's all-to-real perspective: that of the young person who has grown up in the US as the child of an illegal immigrant. Anyone should be able to see the injustice in sending someone who is, in every way, an American except for their immigration status. And then we should grant their parents amnesty.

We should also applaud the courage of these young people: to risk being sent to a foreign land in order to force us to fix the problem, which we said we'd fix years ago. Regan, during the 1980's, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. I remember; because I lived in El Paso, Texas at the time. I saw hundreds of people waiting in line at the Texas Department of Public Safety office in order to file for immigration amnesty. If Regan could do it, why couldn't Bush, and why can't Obama? After all, what's the big deal?

I know this: there's no way the government's prosecuting and deporting those young protesters, because to do so would be a grave injustice.

It's time, now, to deal with this issue: legalize marijuana and grant amnesty.

The philosopher Plato believed that, in order for someone to be a ruler, the person had to know "the good", or what justice is. That's what we need with this illegal immigration issue too: leaders who know what justice is.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

America’s New Declaration of Subservience

America's New Declaration of Subservience

Have you looked through the philosophy section of your favorite large bookstore lately (e.g., Barnes and Noble, Borders)? This section is usually not very big, in most of these stores, but, no matter how small they may be, there are always plenty of books by two of the worst, but (today's) most popular philosophers: Frederick Nietzsche and Michel Foucault.

I've written about these two philosophers before, as well as how their philosophies are antithetical to the formation of a sound or workable sociopolitical theory and to social harmony in general, yet their selfish, greedy, exploitive, power-based philosophy is the de facto sociopolitical philosophy behind America's federal governmental regime, and has been for (at least) the past fifty years.

And, since America seems to be so enamored with the will to power philosophy proclaimed by these two "philosophers", I thought I would present, here, a brief document that can replace the now defunct Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights:

America's New Declaration of Subservience

"American citizens have no rights, per se; citizens are allowed to have and to do only those things the federal government wills for them to have and to do."

I told you it would be brief. That one sentence really explains it all, but, because some citizens may not understand it, I will now expound upon this New Declaration.

You, the American citizen, are not allowed to do anything which the federal government forbids and you are to do everything which the federal government demands of you. This includes obeying whatever laws, rules, and regulations that the federal government may, at anytime, decide to institute and you must adhere to them all. Those who fail to do so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The federal government will maintain at all times a large (standing) military force in order to prosecute any war(s) at the times and in the places of its own choosing. All citizens are hereby warned not to act or speak against the federal governments war-actions, as any such un-American activity will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The federal government will maintain its own militarized police forces as well as support and augment all state and local police forces in order to maintain the presence of military force both at home and abroad. Those who resist any federal, state, or local police agents will be dealt with severely and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

You, the American citizen, are to maintain at all times appropriate identification documents on your person, to maintain full or partial employment, to pay all federal, state, local (and other) taxes to the proper authorities, to purchase health care or to obtain assistance for such care from the federal government, to apply for and receive assistance from the federal or state government(s) for any and all other necessities that you may require (e.g., food, housing, disability, unemployment), you are to maintain a smoke, drug, and alcohol-free lifestyle as per all federal health care regulations and you are required to be tested at a federal testing site at least once a month for substance use/abuse (unless you are required to do so more than once a month by legal/judicial authorities).

Although we are currently experiencing difficult economic times, dissent of any kind will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thankfully, the military, police, security, and correctional fields are open for employment to all personnel who are qualified for the many jobs that are now available in these fields (and this will likely remain the case for quite some time to come).

Make no mistake, the federal government, along with its state and local governmental agencies, will tolerate no law-breaking of any sort whatsoever. There is no shortage of prison space and, if you chose to defy any authority, you can rest assured that we have a cell waiting just for you.

So don't make trouble, work hard, pay your taxes, and do whatever we say, because we have our eye (and ears) on you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

America in Crisis

America and Natural Law

The Declaration of Independence presupposes natural law: “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.” The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held America’s feet to the fires of its natural law-based legal documents: The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In his “I Have a Dream” speech, Dr. King told Americans that: “When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’"

Crisis: America

America is in crisis. Having rejected natural law in favor of posiitive law alone (i.e., the decrees of the legislature and the judiciary divorced from natural law standards, which positive law is supposed to live-up to) our nation is now floundering upon the (Nietzchean) seas of the will to power, seas wherein greed and power trumps compassion and justice. War, fear, torture, oppression, colonial occupation.These are but a few of the issues we face. There are three (3) top priorities which the American People must take responsibility to correct if our nation is to become what it is supposed to be: a just and compassionate nation. And if the American People abdicate their responsibity to rise up and put an end to the injustices we perceive. America—as we know it—will cease to exist:

1) End the wars, end the torture, end the eavesdropping, and end the colonial occupations; 2) End—completely—America’s support of Israel; 3) Begin a restoration of America’s founding legal and philosophical basis for creating a just society: natural law.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Wrong ANSWER to the Arizona Question

The Wrong ANSWER to the Arizona Question

From an email, which I received from ANSWER, regarding its (recent) protest of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer at the National Governor’s Association Meeting in Boston, today:

“At the rally opening, Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition, said ‘Today, our message will be heard: Legal Rights for Immigrant Workers! And this is not only a message to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, but to all of the state governors. We will not let the racist Arizona law SB 1070—or any racist bills being considered across the country—go unchallenged.’”

Okay, well, I’ve written on this subject before . . . and I suppose I’ll have to keep writing about it, because so many people are just plain getting it wrong.

Please consider what Jennifer Zaldana, representing the ANSWER Coalition, said: “Legal Rights for Immigrant Workers!”

Okay . . . who, I ask, has a problem with that? That being what she said.

America is a nation made up of immigrants. We’re all immigrants. So who, in their right mind, would oppose immigrants?

Perhaps it’s the workers aspect of what she said that some people oppose? No, we know it’s not that.

We know what she means, and what she supports, yet what she also refused, honestly, to say: “Legal Rights for Illegal Immigrant Workers!”

But this doesn’t sound quite right, does it? It doesn’t quite ring true.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love Mexico, the Mexican people, and their culture; that I’ve been to Mexico many times; and that my heart is broken over the violence in Mexico, which is caused by America’s failed war on drugs. Heck, I even have a large image of La Virgen de Guadalupe on the back of my pick-up truck’s rear window!

But I am not in favor of open borders. Immigrants ought to immigrate legally, not illegally, and I cannot support illegal immigration . . . from anywhere, not just Mexico and Central America.

I am not a racist. And for anyone to say that I am a racist, simply because I believe that people ought to immigrate to this—or any other—country legally, would be wrong . . . or worse: it would be a lie.

Please people: get over yourselves.

Consider this: a nation is like a home. And who among you would allow anyone and everyone who wished to do so to enter and live in your home?

Right: none of you.