Al will be taking over the guest editor spot Monday, I am told, and like the devil, I know I have a little time left. Now I get to shoot and snipe!
James, the PT editor, has suggested a post that I find rather attractive for this last one. James sent me two quotes:
"America is like a healthy body, and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within"
"To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogma"
__Brock Chisholm, Former Director, World health Organization
And James concludes with a statement of his own:
"It seems this is a fence i wish not to climb over and escape from. Loyalty is the undermining concept of these(above) two quotes. They are reinforced by religion; religion that demands just that: traditional values".
My basic thrust in the past humongous number of essays is to point out that all forms of human government ultimately breaks down to algorithms, or decision procedures by which we function.
The US Constitution was not designed as a system of algorithms by which people would be governed, but was actually designed as a limitation of the federal government, so that people could be reasonably free to live by their own decisions. James Madison well understood the difficulty in relating any set of laws to "God":
"When the Almighty himself condescends to address mankind in their own language, his meaning, luminous as it must be, is rendered dim and doubtful by the cloudy medium through which it is communicated".
Madison hit on an interesting concept here, because a man named Claude Shannon would develop a mathematical process known as information theory. The basic idea of information theory is that the more probable a message is, the less information it contains. We could state it another way: the more a message is repeated, the less information it contains.
Based on Madison's observation, if God actually DID speak to men, his message would have a high information content, so much so that it could never be reduced to a fixed set of principles recognized as law. If God did speak to men, "His" language would have to be translated into the medium of their language, and that, said Madison, would render it dim and doubtful. We "see through a glass darkly".
I presented a parallel to that earlier, by pointing out that we cannot program a computer such that it represents God. If it could, it would have to also represent the various differences we would perceive between a physical "brain" like a computer, and what we recognize as God.
If we have over 38,000 versions of God within Christianity alone, and another uncountable number of versions outside Christianity, it is most likely we will never have a computer that can even come close to representation of God, and therefore we can have no human government that will come any closer, either church or state, and that is summed up convincingly in Godel's theorem.
So what is religion for, in terms of James' assessment, above? It can obviously have only one purpose, and that is to block the efforts described by both Stalin and Chisholm, in the above quotes. In short, humans cannot ever find the "answers" within themselves. Does that prove God's existence? No, but it does show that there is always "something" that will forever lie just outside of and representing a completeness just beyond human understanding.
How do I know this? Godel's theorem: In any consistent axiomatic formulation of number theory(or any formal theory of sufficient complexity) there exists an infinity of undecidable propositions.
How does this break down to Constitutional theory? The founders, especially the "Anti-Federalists", argued repeatedly that no system of laws could ever be answerable only to itself. If the Supreme Court was the final arbiter of all law, the natural tendency would be for the Supreme Court to decide all cases in a light that extended the power of its own decisions, or as one Supreme Court Justice put it, "We do not have the last word because we are infallible. We are infallible because we have the last word".
In fact, that is one aspect of Godel's theorem. There exists no such system that prove its own consistency from within itself. It must look "outside" itself to determine truth and justice. That, basically, is why the founders decided on a confederacy of states.
Karl Marx, in his earlier writings, however, realized that if you can change the economic system of any government, you can change the government itself. It is not necessary to attack the content of people's beliefs, but to by-pass those beliefs by establishing a decision procedure or algorithm that rendered their beliefs and traditions unenforceable.
Marx, conclusions were basically simple: If you can establish a form of currency that is a "universal equivalent" of all value, then everyone is ultimately forced to operate completely within the power of that "universal equivalent" no matter what their beliefs or opinions.
If money becomes the universal equivalent, said Marx, then everything is ultimately exchangeable for money. But a thing can only be exchanged for money, said Marx, if the owner has divested himself of its intrinsic worth, or if the owner has been "alienated" from that thing.
The so-called inalienable rights, and the fixed property relationships corresponding to them, said Marx, break down before money.
As the first Baron Rothschild is alleged to have said, "Give me control of the issuance of money, and I care not who makes the laws".
The decision procedures, the algorithms once driven by the de-centralist values of human traditions, are now completely subject to the algorithms controlled by the ones who control money issuance, or to put it in more ancient terms, "The love of money is the root of all evil".
Not money itself, but the love of money, that is, the use and control of issuance of money, to determine how a society must live. Money itself becomes the centralized "information" that completely controls a society, regardless of what they believe!
In contradiction to that idea, people will seek for a truth that allows them personal freedom, but in seeking that personal freedom, they will likely seek also to establish a "higher" authority which they will refer to as God.
One problem: you can't prove the existence of God. There is no way that God can ever be represented in any single human system of government or religion.
That is what our founding fathers referred to as "inalienable human rights". There exists NO collective human system, by any name, that can ever rise above the rights of a single human being!
How can a central government ever recognize and define the rights belonging to humans? It can't! That's why we have this little thing in the US Constitution called the Ninth Amendment.
The rights enumerated in the Constitution cannot be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.
First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
In fact, congress cannot authoritatively make such a law, since it has no ability to define "God".
The fact that there is no proof of a defined God is the best insurance of freedom that we can ever know. If there were such proof, imagine one world government, one neck ready for one leash. The freedom of a single mind reduced to a collective. Shades of Ayn Rand!
Just as Chaos science seems to show that chaos is necessary for order, it seems that an uncontrollable power called "God" is supremely necessary to offset the absolute power of law.
The "inalienable rights of man" demands always that there exists something beyond the range of human thought, human conceptions, and collective human power.
I choose to call that "something" God.