Category: Foundations

Tocqueville and Haidt: Religion and The Guiding Compass of Mores In Democratic Societies

When analyzing American politics, it is astounding to discover that both Alexis de Tocqueville in the 19thcentury and Jonathan Haidt in the 21stcentury shared parallel perspectives about the utility of religious belief in society as a force for cohesion and group cooperation to achieve advantageous ends.  As Haidt argues, “If the gods evolve culturally to condemn selfish and divisive behaviors, they can be used to promote cooperation and trust within the group.  You don’t need a social scientist to tell you that people behave less ethically when they think nobody can see them.”  This is a direct negation of economic interpretations of the human condition and society that sees “cost/benefit” as the strongest determining force of behavior.  In essence, with no guiding or adapting compass to behavior, man is essentially led to live life on the premise of a wealth accumulation paradigm (Note: I use wealth generically) that scientists see as innate to human nature.  Haidt shuts down this assumption by analyzing that arguing something to be innate for scientists is a risky premise to argue from.  Drawing from research of neuro-scientist Gary Marcus, Haidt agrees with Marcus that “‘Nature bestows upon the newborn a considerably complex brain, but one that is best seen as prewired – flexible and subject to change – rather than hardwired, fixed and immutable.’”

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8 Steps to Become a Republican

Today I’m going to tell you the eight steps to become a republican.  Before I do, I must confess.  This article has nothing to do with the Republican Party.  When I talk about being a ‘republican,’ I’m talking about committing to the philosophy of republicanism.  So, whether you vote republican, democrat, or independent, you can still hold to this philosophy.

Why should you?  Just as plants thrive in different types of soil, so governments thrive in different soils.  Just as a fern thrives in a cool, moist environment, so a republic thrives in republicanism.  Since republicanism is the soil of our government, I sincerely hope that you will follow these eight steps.

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Our Rich Heritage – Part One

Winston Churchill stated, “A nation that forgets its past has no future.”  With that in mind, I’d want to review three important documents that played a part in the march of liberty through the years and consequently, had a major impact on the founding of our nation.

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Anglican Patriotism In The Founding of America

Throughout this “series” of figures within major denominations who fought for colonial freedom, we’ve seen the evidence of deep patriotism through many a person’s actions.  Whether they were Baptist, Quaker, or Presbyterian, all of the colonists examined sacrificed some, if not all, ties or possessions for the cause of independence. But perhaps those patriots of the Anglican Church gave up the most.

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