Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Veritable Fusillade

A bravura John C. Wright post.

It begins:
A reader, briefly named EdV, hurls down his gauntlet at me. He makes the asseveration that Christianity retards the progess of the arts, sciences, and the cause of liberty.
I humbly submit for your candid consideration that Christianity provides the only rational ethical basis for human liberty, and the only rational metaphysical basis for empiricism.
The ethical basis of liberty is the obviously counter-intuitive principle that all men are created equal in dignity and should be equal under law, and that the law is not make by law-makers but is discovered by them, since it exists in a metaphysical or ideal form, produced by a source beyond human making.

Logically, there are only two possibilities: law are manmade, like poems, or laws are discovered, like geometry proofs.

If laws are manmade, any man with the power to change the law is right to do so, and law is merely the will of the stronger. No liberal or equal laws can be erected on such a basis.
If laws are discovered, then they must pre-exist mankind, and the justice of those laws must be a stubborn fact no human will can change, and ergo their justice must derive from a non-human source.

Justice cannot come from the material universe, from the merely by-play of atoms in motion, because Justice is a non-material and non-temporal thing. Justice is a mental thing: an ideal or an idea. Mental things only exist in minds. Justice is also universal and eternal, or else it is not justice. Ergo the only mind that could have invented or decreed the idea of Justice is an eternal and universal Mind. And this all men know to be God.

Without such a Divine Mind, there can be no justice, merely partisan interest or temporary Hobbesean armistices. Without justice, there can be no liberal or equal laws.
Since men are evidently not equal in every measure except their dignity as human beings, only a mystical belief in the dignity of human beings, that is, the belief that men are made in the image of God, can sustain that dignity.

Any other measure leads to immediate inequalities. If we say the dignity of man is based on his capacity for reason, then logically neither babies nor senile crones nor anyone who can be painted as ignorant or stupid has any right to enjoy the benefits of equal and free laws. Indeed, it cannot have escaped the notice of any observer of the modern world that those political parties and regimes who base their laws on any principle other than the divine equality of man all too soon become elitist: the Soviets were run by the Nomenklatura; the Democrat Party in America is surrounded by an atmosphere of sanctimonious elitism so thick that you could scoop it into bowls and eat is as soup.

(The Political Correctors in the US and Britain are composed of people stupider or wickeder than average whose only claim to moral superiority is their laughably transparent claim to be smarter and purer than average. They are so braindead and morally retarded that they cannot even tell if babies are human or not. They cannot deduce whether or not members of the same sex can mate, and need laws to protect their mating rituals and vows. Even the simplest moral calculation, such as asking whether minorities can be ‘racist’ or such as asking whether it is right to concede civilization, unfought and undebated, meekly to the Jihad, is too complicated for their pea sized brains, and requires moral courage beyond the power of their subpea sized testes. All these things are beyond their allegedly titanic intellectual efforts. ‘A is A’ is something they don’t know what it means, these paragons of the intellect. Fie on them all.)

But, my scorn for the anti-intellectual intellectuals to one side, whether you agree or not of the moral and mental caliber of these Morlocks, let us at the minimum agree that they are elitist: they believe a cadre of experts, learned, or concerned citizens should have the right to order the affairs of the layman, the ignorant, or the unconcerned, based on the superiority of their learning and their compassion. They do not believe in the equality of man (or the privacy of property, which is a corollary thereof).

The modern intellectual does not believe that a stupid man or an evil one has a right to earn his
own money as he would, and spent it as he would, to speak as he would, worship as he pleases, consume as he pleases, dig up or drill as he pleases, and burn what he pleases on his own land. The only liberty that the modern intellectual is eager, nay, is sanctimoniously devout to grant the subjects of his enlightened despotism is the right to sin as they please, especially sexual sins.

In short, the claim that all men are created equal cannot be based on any empirical or scientific claim, because then it can be empirically disproven. It must be based on a mystical claim, a spiritual reality that all enlightened men perceive by spiritual means, because then to dispute or dismiss it is benighted.

Without equal government, a liberal (I mean liberty-protecting) government is not logically possible. Once you grant that the elite moiety has the right to dictate the education and behavior of the benighted majority, the idea of restrictions on the government, the idea of Constitutional prohibitions on that the state may do, the very idea that the state is only authorized to do those things the governed authorize, will be greeted with Pellosian bewilderment and indignation. “Are you serious?”

And that was just the warm up.

1 comment:

IlĂ­on said...

It's kind of ironic. In many ways, Mr Wright is offering a variation of my (for lack of a better name) "Ego Argument for God" ... which, if I recall correctly, he thought unconvincing.