Amok Time

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What possible connection could there be between today’s society and a Star Trek episode? Amok was a period during the Vulcan mating process where all their logic was cast aside. Raw emotion ruled their actions to such an extent they were willing to do anything to achieve their goal—because the end had to be achieved whatever the cost. Is our society any different today? We see actions performed simply to achieve a stated end, whether the means are moral or not. Russian collusion, the green energy proposal, and recent infanticide bill vote are current examples. The previous article stated we would look at education. This article sets up that discussion by looking at three political rising stars; Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ilhan Omar

Ms. Omar’s anti-Semitic comments have been news, along with new comments slamming former president Obama as another “pretty face” who “got away with murder.” However, she is just voicing her values, and if she adheres to Islam’s ideas she can have no other voice. Islam’s ideas are contrary to and incompatible with America’s. Islam sees our founding ideas as man-made and transitory, to be replaced by its sunna and sharia. (Islam series can be found here.)

What is arguably more disgusting is her party’s failure to even pass a resolution denouncing her anti-Semitic statements. Justice is the virtue whereby we each receive what we are due, accountability for our actions. We select our actions from the ideas we hold. Ideas shape our character and determine who we choose to become. But congress could not even bring itself to denounce her for her statements, and by failing to do so has brought more shame upon itself.

Rashida Tlaib

Ms. Tlaib is little different. One of her first acts was claiming she represents Palestinians. Through her profanity laced diatribes she has shown where her true loyalties lie. They lie with her Palestinian people, and her state of Michigan as a “Palestinian community.” So much for the oath of office she took when sworn in.

But in following Islam, she can hold no other view. Palestinians follow Islam, and Islam requires allegiance first and foremost to Islam.[1] All other promises and vows are secondary, and made only to advance Islam—for “war is deceit.[2] Neither Jews nor Christians are believers according to Islam’s tenets.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ms. Cortez is currently her party’s darling. Charismatic, she has done a brilliant job of branding herself. She claims being a “democratic-socialist” is different from a run of the mill socialist, making a distinction where no difference exists. All today’s “isms” of communism, fascism, progressivism, and socialism come from the same root—that is, pagan thought.

The best definition I’ve heard of a capitalist goes as follows, it is someone who lies awake at night thinking of ways to better another person’s life to such an extent they are willing to pay for it. The idea worked because it is based on the Christian notion that God’s gift of free will creates an obligation to use that freedom to promote the common good. A thought that by first serving others society benefits, and we in turn may also individually benefit. This notion underlay the Middle Age innovations that set the stage for the Industrial Revolution.

Capitalism within America declined this past century with the rise of progressive/socialist thought. Socialism is someone lying awake at night thinking of how to get you to do the things they think you ought, but don’t, and how you will pay for it. What could be more different? At socialism’s core is the notion an elite through government should bring order to society rather than individuals bringing order through their decision making. A belief system where people exist to serve the state, and by serving the state serve society. A false idol.

This approach always fails because man isn’t inherently good, only God is. Government exists to serve its people and thereby serve God, not to rule them. But self-governance requires a moral people to effectively exercise their God-given right of free will—freedom.

The Problem

That is where education enters. Our founders could not agree on who God is, but they agreed on many things He provides supporting society’s success. These include recognizing; our negative natural rights, liberty, justice, morality, and virtue. We are all born with the same nature and therefore the same natural rights—negative rights intended to repel us from doing evil. By accepting those rights, we also bear the same moral obligations inherent in those rights.[3] God as creator is the source of all good, and therefore the source of all morality.

While we are born with the things just presented, we are not born with knowledge about them. That must be learned. It requires an education in both reason and faith. Reason because God’s image we each possess is an inward image, one that allows us to discern good from evil. Faith forms the framework for identifying and accepting the good that comes from God. Religion and education are essential in instilling morality.

We are not to judge people, but we are called to discern good from evil. Further we are to cling to what is good and abhor what is evil. But just like France after their revolution, we today have a civic education that excludes faith, and often excludes reason from its teachings. Our education system no longer teaches discerning good from evil, only to feel. It is a failure.

Whose Values?

When man turns from God’s values, he turns away from His image we each possess—that is, our ability to reason. God’s values are timeless, objective, and moral. They have substance because they have their basis in God’s nature and authority. Man’s values are based upon his finite nature; they are subjective. As man is not inherently good, his values are not inherently moral. Look at all today’s confusion about life, marriage, and gender.

Take marriage. According to Judeo-Christian beliefs marriage is between one man and one woman. Society wishes marriage to be between any two people, but why that value? Why does it matter the number of persons? Should it matter their age or mental capabilities? Must they all be human? When man turns from God, there is no longer any separation between creation and creator. Man is no different from the rest of creation. The truth is, once man separates himself from God’s values, there is no difference between any of the choices just presented. It simply comes down to what is law, and man determines law through government.

The Consequences

By creating his own values, man loses the benefit of God’s image—reason. Man’s appetite rules his reason, he becomes driven by what he wants, his emotions. Just like a Vulcan during Amok. But this state is contrary to our nature. We don’t all want the same things, to the same degree, at the same time, in the same way over a given period of time. Further, when man creates his own values, someone must make them and others obey. Our inherent equality is no longer recognized. It is replaced by a ruling elite. If man conquers nature by creating his own values, he will be master of all, only to lose everything. Including his humanity.

Consider the intolerance in our schools and on our campuses today. All supported by academics and administrators. All with the blessings of government controlled curricula. These are the fruit of bad ideas. Ideas that fail because they focus on ends alone, and not the means used to achieve them. Both ends and means matter. History is littered with failed societies who sought to obtain ‘legitimate’ ends by illegitimate means. Consider Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or Venezuela. Hmmm. Fascists. Communists. Socialists. Some difference.

The Only Solution

So what is the answer? First, public funding of a government controlled education system is a pagan idea. Thought that is contrary to Judeo-Christian ideas and values. From a biblical view parents are responsible for educating their children. This doesn’t mean they have to be the ones doing the educating, but they are responsible for whatever education their children receive.

A proper education incorporating reason and faith is too important to allow government involvement, if you believe in the separation of church and state. This doesn’t mean teaching religion, but rather the principles derived from religion essential to society’s success cited above; morality, virtue, discerning good from evil, justice, our obligations inherent in our natural rights.

There are thousands of reasons we can come up with for why this isn’t practical, but we must focus on the few making it feasible. In the Midwest where I grew up, one room school houses were the norm until the late nineteenth or early twentieth centuries—not all that long ago, their disappearance a progressive change. Townships oversaw these schools, and schools which provided an education sufficient to help make America the world’s envy in terms of freedom, opportunity, and prosperity. Why should we throw that away?

These early schools succeeded because their curricula were grounded in reason and morality instead of progressive ideas. They taught models of virtue and vice so their students could learn to discern between them, and by applying those lessons build virtue. Justice is a virtue, and when man turns to his own values we end up only mimicking what justice is intended to be. Finally, this approach worked because the parents and community were involved. It’s time for a restoration of those basic ideas.

One Final Note

The three ladies mentioned at the beginning of this article are now claiming to be victims, because of their gender and minority status. It’s true they are victims, but not in the way they believe. They are not being judged, but the ideas they hold are. They are victims of their ideas, because those ideas are not grounded in morality, they are not grounded in God.

Footnotes:

[1] Guillaume, A., p. 232, The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Raul Allah, Oxford University Press, 2006.

[2] Ibid, p. 458.

[3] Wolf, Dan, A Handbook of Natural Rights, Living Rightly Publications, 2018.

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Dan Wolf

About Dan Wolf

Dan Wolf is a researcher and analyst; examining complex, abstract topics. His writing’s premise is based on one simple idea. We do not receive the benefits of God’s gifts unless we are turned toward Him. Each generation needs to learn this lesson to pass on what’s important. What are those gifts? Freedom, faith, and grace among others. Our Founders considered education, religion, morality, and virtue to be the cornerstones for any successful society. Success requires an education in both the languages of reason and faith, reason alone is not enough. Unfortunately, our education system today no longer teaches what we need to be successful, so we risk losing our way. But it is not too late. In the end we each have the freedom to choose, and the ability to learn. There are many who have already blazed a trail for us; we only need the will to embrace the challenge and make the effort. Together we will restore the societal foundation that our Founder’s, and many after them, fought and died for. The choice is ours. My goal is to assist you on your way. His site is at:  http://www.livingrightly.net/