Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Monday, December 12, 2011

 I like america.. or at least the idea of america. I am as smitten as a new immigrant with the depth & wisdom that the early founders of the us displayed. I like the idea of personal freedom, & limited govt. I know it is hard to implement.. especially with statists in every generation wanting to drag us back to Big Brother govts. Maybe it's over. Maybe the days of individual freedom & liberty have fallen. Maybe everyone in the us wants a socialistic system & more state controls. I'll just reminisce & read history of the most amazing experiment man has ever made. I'll sit in my rocking chair & reread the constitution & the declaration of independence. I'll die in peace, knowing my ancestors worked & died to build this nation, & it worked for a while. It may pass, but as long as i live, there will be one free american.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.
Thomas Jefferson

Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.
Thomas Jefferson

"We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts--not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."
Abraham Lincoln

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Edmund Burke

Saturday, December 10, 2011

America divided

Is America divided?  I think most of the 'division' in america is more philosophical.. we are choosing between federalism/statism/socialism on the one side, & states rights/personal responsibility/free markets, on the other. It is my contention that the free market is a better system for a nation such as the us. With our size, diversity, & population, a smaller socialistic state model doesn't work. We cannot just plug the successes of sweden into the us & expect it to work. There are too many variables.

But i am in favor of simple, fair regulations for the free market, otherwise we will have unscrupulous exploiters who will take advantage of people, & use their wealth & power to oppress the common man. These regulations are pretty simple.. child labor laws, truth in lending, full disclosure, insider trading, etc. Most have been around a long time, & arose from necessity. There is a risk of the state overstepping its bounds & using the power of the govt to pick winners, as was done in railroads in previous centuries, and more recently in defense contracts, 'green' industry lending, bank & corporate bailouts, etc. Better oversight & checks & balances can offset those problems. Corruption can never be fully eliminated, but we can try to keep it down, & not let it flourish like it has been doing lately.

Balance is necessary. We cannot thrive in unregulated free markets, where the money people can run roughshod over the common people, but neither can we have excessive regulations where the state is managing to the point of being socialistic. I believe the founders of america came upon a good system of checks & balances, & a balance of power. It maximizes freedom for the individual, while encouraging entrepreneurial ventures. I do not want to see the socialist policies take over in the us, with the left claiming capitalism & open markets have failed. It is not free market & capitalism that has us in $15t debt & rising. It has been socialistic programs & policies. Let us phase those out, since they are bankrupting us, return to a more balanced approach with more power given to the states, & let the federal govt stick to international & interstate affairs, not micromanaging every aspect of the individual's life.

A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government. 
Thomas Jefferson

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. 
Thomas Jefferson 

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
Patrick Henry

“I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such: because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well-administred; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administred for a Course of Years and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.” 
Benjamin Franklin

"If I were asked the difference between Socialism and Communism, I could only reply that the Socialist tries to lead us to disaster by foolish words and the Communist could try to drive us there by violent deeds."
Winston Churchill

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eternity & the existence of God

For me, the existence of God is THE most important question in the universe. If there is no God & life is a cosmic accident, then nothing really matters. You're alive for a few years, then die. Eternity past & eternity future have no meaning. Your short time of existence is a blip on the radar screen. Eternity & the universe take no notice of you.

But if there is a God & an afterlife of sorts, then that seems to me to be the most important factor in our lives.. if what we do & think during this short time affects us for eternity, then the stakes are much higher. IF there is a spiritual realm, then finding out about it would seem to be a fairly important part of our world view, & would affect our plans, lifestyle, interaction with others, & overall outlook.

IF there is a God, then another thing can be deduced: God has shrouded himself in mystery, & has not plainly revealed himself to his creation. He seems to not be bothered by dogmatic assertions from the religious or irreligious alike, & lets us bicker, fight, & kill each other to defend or promote our ideas of what he is like. I cannot deduce what his purpose in that might be.

There is Truth. There is an ultimate Reality. Most (if not all) of us just do not know what it is. We speculate, deduce, & reason with what information we have, but we do not know.

Eccl. 8:14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility. 15 So I commended pleasure, for there is nothing good for a man under the sun except to eat and to drink and to be merry, and this will stand by him in his toils throughout the days of his life which God has given him under the sun.

16 When I gave my heart to know wisdom and to see the task which has been done on the earth (even though one should never sleep day or night), 17 and I saw every work of God, I concluded that man cannot discover the work which has been done under the sun. Even though man should seek laboriously, he will not discover; and though the wise man should say, “I know,” he cannot discover.