Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Warrior's Dilemma, 7&1/2

You've posted a lot of comments (for this blog) on "Warrior's Dilemma, 7". The comments are good, and I recommend that anyone who has not read them take the time to do so.

Your comments give a true picture from different perspectives. I'd like to add my perspective to them.

I believe that overall, America's religion is the Religion of Man. Americans believe more than anything else in their own goodness, rightness and ingenuity (which can accomplish anything).

There are two major denominations in this religion. Liberals believe that man's powers are best summed up and harnessed by the state. Conservatives believe that man unleashes his creative and productive powers through the free market.

Either denomination may give lip service to some kind of god, but their hopes are fixed on man rather than the transcendent God of Scripture for the blessings of peace and prosperity. Statists look for redemption in politics and programs, while the laissez-faire crowd seek it in the individual's enlightened self interest.

As in the classic philosophical problem of The One and The Many, the Religion of Man must gravitate toward "the one" (absolutist statism) or "the many" (anarchy as an expression of the total & absolute freedom of the individual). In the past, liberals and conservatives occupied spaces that gravitated toward their respective poles, but they did not embrace the extremes.

Over the past two or three generations, however, both denominations have shifted to the left. They are both fundamentally statist, but they argue over how much statism is necessary.

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