The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
She didn't swear "by God"
Live blogging the installation of the new Governor-General, I noticed that she didn't swear "by God" but gave a solemn affirmation. The ability to give a solemn affirmation in place of swearing by God was first instituted in Upper Canada, I think, in the 1850s for Christians who for religious reasons would not swear "by God" (see here).
But the ability to swear a solemn affirmation also allows those who believe in another god, or who don't believe in God, to avoid having to swear "by God."
Posted by Russ Kuykendall on September 27, 2005 | Permalink
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God is not good for you>>>> Jean swears to it.>>>
September 27, 2005
Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'
By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.
According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems. >>>>
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-09-27 9:44:47 AM
Self-serving Canada at its best. I could gag; I did. This country is a sick joke and the sooner Alberta gets some guts, the sooner we can laugh at this embarrassing display.
Posted by: wharold | 2005-09-27 9:52:52 AM
The TimesOnline piece Mazz draws to our attention is found here: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html.
The tone of the piece and its conclusions are as much an anti-American diabribe as a shot against Christianity. It reads with the tone of someone with an axe to grind.
Let me just observe that the research fails to note that all of the countries except for France the author points to as favourable examples of the blessings of secularity have an "established" religion. The Scandinavian countries and Germany all have official state churches. Japan maintains Shintoism as its official state religion. The United States has no established religion, no state church. Given that, one could just as easily argue in favour of the blessings of established religion.
Another observation has to do with the author's failure to notice the historically high levels of both immigration and racial and cultural plurality in the U.S. These facts bring with them certain benefits, but also certain challenges. In contrast, the Scandinavian countries and Japan that he points favourable toward are among the most racially and culturally homogeneous in the world with relatively low levels of immigration.
Further, let's not forget that the most intentionaly secularist (and atheist) states in the world have been responsible for unparallelled levels of oppression and fatality -- namely, the various "communist," and "Marxist-Leninist" regimes responsibe for 80 million to 100 million fatalities in the 20th century (see "The Black Book of Communism"). Further, the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish Nazi regime that sought to establish a generally secular German state with an official religion of German race mythology was responsible for a genocide of as many as 14 million Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, and Christians.
Finally, the author concedes that over the past twenty to thirty years, crime levels in the U.S. have come down, but he downplays it. However, these crime statistics fell as conservative evangelical Protestants returned to their historical activism in public life after a 50-year absence from it.
That should suffice for a start . . . :-)
Posted by: Russ Kuykendall | 2005-09-27 10:20:28 AM
I await reactions to the music/performers at the ceremony. It crossed my mind that someone was hoping to make us realize how much we are supposed to be missing CBC Radio One.
The new GG's linking, in her speech, of New Orleans with Darfur, Haiti and Niger was outrageous. With luck the Americans won't notice.
"Such images we have seen before – from Darfur, from Haiti, from Niger. And this time they came from New Orleans, from the margins of an affluent society."
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 10:31:30 AM
Yes, I read that part of the speech. I won't watch the installation; I am ethically opposed to her installation because of the unilateral and political partisanship of her choice.
But that part of the speech, linking a natural disaster of a hurricane, to explicit actions of genocide, of racist violence, was outrageous. The anti-Americanism in it sets the tone of her tenure; anti-Americanism and naive environmentalism.
But, she's 'all about Quebec votes' - and it's already working.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-27 10:45:59 AM
"Such images we have seen before – from Darfur, from Haiti, from Niger. And this time they came from New Orleans, from the margins of an affluent society."
Can't even make her inauguration speech without the tired, CBC leftist anti-American crap coming out. What a ninny. My extremely low expectations of this joke appointment to GG has nose-dived in the first 10 minutes of her "reign".
The rumour is veterans will either turn their backs or fall out of the parade on Nov 11th to show their contempt for Martin and his latest talking head. The guy who applauded vets for "storming the beaches of Norway" - I presume he applauded with "both hands"??
Posted by: Irish | 2005-09-27 11:06:49 AM
So is there are problem that the GG did NOT swear 'by God'?
Yes or no?
Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2005-09-27 11:34:06 AM
Johan i Kanada: I'm an atheist and can't complain. Would have done the same thing (and eventually enjoyed the pensiion).
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 11:42:02 AM
I'll be glad to go out on a politically incorrect limb and say emphatically, yes, there is a problem.
She represents the Queen who is also the head of the Church in England. That's a God thing.
Our Constitution starts by saying "Whereas Canada is founded upon the principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law" - that too, is a God thing.
In Canada's last census over 67% of Canadians identified themselves as Christians. That again is a God thing.
The GG is supposed to also represent the majority of Canadians, not just the Liberal led, secular, minority, special interest groups who are extremely noisy and shudder at the very word "God". Obviously CBC's Jean and her husband have been chowing down at the public trough for so long they think the Lib gov is "God". Whatever.
But if she can't accept the position in its entirety - and that includes the swearing of an oath that has served Canada very well for ALL of its previous GG's. Then she shouldn't accept it.
Posted by: Irish | 2005-09-27 11:54:32 AM
Note also from the GG's speech: "...our artists, our scientists, our peacekeepers and our institutions as they work to spread our know-how and our message of hope." Peacekeepers, not troops, or armed forces.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 11:58:01 AM
Isaiah 59:1, 3
Behold, the Lord's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
This would be my answer to the speech of the GG.
And I could add that the GG did not mention all the innocent children that have been killed in the wombs of their mothers. I believe this is more horrific than what she mentioned about those countries.
Besides, by not swearing on the Bible, she neglects the Queen of England who is the head of the English Church, and a large number of Canadians who are Christians. Is she not representing the Queen in Canada?
I'm also skeptical of her allegiance to Canada. I believe her lips have spoken lies and her tongue is still muttering perverseness by attacking our fellow Americans.
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2005-09-27 11:59:00 AM
Mark Collins. CAn you imagine the horrified look on her face if Lewis Mackenzie gave his definition of a peacekeeper?? "Keep the peace or I'll kill you"??? And he would know. He also would have made a great GG. Unfortunately not a third rate CBC hack so that would preclude him. And the fact that is a white Anglo male would cause a good Lib to run screaming....
Posted by: Irish | 2005-09-27 12:08:55 PM
As an atheist myself, I have no problem with her not taking an oath on the bible. After all, not all Canadians accept the bible nor god, but are responsible citizens.
Ms Jean is representing the Queen but is not herself, head of the Church of England; that is the prerogative of the Queen.
My big problem - apart from the basic an unalterable fact that I am completely opposed to her as G-G, because she lacks the qualifications - is her blatant and ignorant anti-Americanism.
It's quite shocking - to equate the victims of a natural disaster with the victims of intentional human-authorized racist murders and genocides.
What she is saying, quite clearly, is that the Hurricane 'dispossessed' and destroyed the lives of the impoverished in New Orleans BECAUSE they are poor, and the reason they are poor BECAUSE of deliberate US racism.
Now- that's quite an accusation.
So, she can slip blithly from images of the disasters caused by deliberate human actions of racist genocide to stating that the results of naturally-caused environmental disasters are IN REALITY exactly the same as deliberate human actions. How does she do this? Because she states that the poor are poor, because of deliberate actions of the racist US government. If they were not poor, she somehow assumes that Hurricane Katrina would have had second thoughts and would have turned back to sea.
It's really an astonishing, racist, ignorant anti-American statement. It's a very typical socialist; Noami Klein would love it.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-27 12:11:38 PM
ET: I also found it truly curious that the only victims the GG mentioned were black (or largely so). What about the brown Tsunami victims?
There certainly seems to be an agenda here, sad to say.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 12:18:40 PM
I'm not questioning in the least that many non-Christian Canadians are lesser citizens. What I am questioning is the fact that she is accepting an office that is representative of a Queen who IS the head of the Church and who, in essence is the Queen in CAnada.
As far as I'm concerned, she is immediately proclaiming herself as a liar by singing God Save the Queen or by repeating the Constitution as written.
On the other hand, I fear a great deal of damage to our relations with the US as she struts around the globe spewing her anti-US garbage. What on earth does her perceived idea of US race relations have to do with the inaugural speech of the GG???
Posted by: Irish | 2005-09-27 12:44:00 PM
What is so telling about The Shotgun and people like Collins, ET, Remi et al is that when some tool (in this case "ebt") makes a blind staement of racism, hate, bigotry, and venom, it is not remarked upon or disagreed, it is tolerated.. Or indded, is it tacit agreement?
Posted by: Don | 2005-09-27 12:56:08 PM
Ms. Jean will probably find that her "vast" CBC experience is NOT worth much out in the wider world.
Her opening remarks will anger our American friends. Equating New Orleans to a third world country was an unneeded anti-American slam that will be heard.
Her website however as of 15:00EDT doesn't have the contact page working, it comes up as an error page. One can't even express to her how foolish she made us look.
It is high time Canada started to stand as a real country and shed the swaddling clothes of babyhood.
Posted by: James Murray | 2005-09-27 1:16:54 PM
At least she didn't swear by Trudeau, which would seem the direction the ruling class are headed for.
Posted by: Scott | 2005-09-27 1:23:06 PM
Don: I quite agree about the offensiveness of ebt's post and thank you for raising it. ebt also betrays consider ignorance in thinking "Johan i Kanada" could be the name of a "wog".
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 1:23:19 PM
Don- I'm not sure what you mean by 'ebt' as a 'tool'. I didn't even read his post until I saw your post. Many times, I just skim posts; I'm busy and slip in and out of The Shotgun in between my own work.
Don't jump to conclusions, Don. You are making a logical error: Because A,B and C didn't comment on what D had said, doesn't mean that they approve of his words. You are assuming that they actually read his post; you can't make that assumption. You are also assuming that IF they read it and didn't say anything then they agreed. You can't make that assumption.
I often read posts online with which I don't agree but the language is so inflammatory that I figure that individual is not amenable to reason, so, I don't bother to say anything.
I have now read his post, and his verbiage against both Johan and the G-G is absolutely unacceptable. 'worthless whore' was really, really obnoxious.
But, I'm not going to get into a debate with him on the validity of his words; I'll just say that they are unacceptable.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-27 1:35:56 PM
Nice to see you're not a completely embittered old man, Collins. There may be a sunrise for you yet. But too often foul, bigoted comments are allowed to pass unchallenged both on here and SDA. They should be jumped on as if you were a fat kid chasing a smartie.
Posted by: Don | 2005-09-27 1:38:02 PM
ET, who is Naomi Klein?
Posted by: kelly | 2005-09-27 2:13:53 PM
Don: "not a completely embittered old man". Ever heard of damning with faint praise? And that is response for agreeing with you. You lefties--or is it just Liberals?--are sadly incorrigible. And, one supposes, ageist too. Tut, tut.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 2:15:49 PM
Don, such comments don't pass "unchallenged", they pass "unengaged". There's a difference. No one should feel duty bound to respond to the most ignorant comment on a thread. Those who choose to are just helping to make someone's ignorance the topic of the thread.
Posted by: EBD | 2005-09-27 2:15:56 PM
Don: "not a completely embittered old man". Ever heard of damning with faint praise? And that is in response for agreeing with you. You lefties--or is it Liberals?--are sadly incorrigible. And, one supposes, ageist too. Tut, tut.
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 2:16:27 PM
Kelly: Naomi Klein is a commie hottie. Married to the commie non-stud Avi Lewis (of the Canadian socialist dynasty--odd how hereditary socialism can be).
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 2:23:14 PM
I'm renting the Little Mermaid this evening.
Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2005-09-27 3:57:19 PM
ebt -just consider your comments and your conclusion that 'there is nothing unfair' in their content' and 'there is nothing racist' in their content. Those are the only two criteria that you consider as unacceptable. I would add that personal insults and unverified accusations are also unacceptable. You state:
1)"I know you are just another stupid ignorant foreigner who doesn't belong in this country just like our beloved G-G"
This statement is most certainly unfair. Provide proof to your claim that both the poster and the G-G are 'stupid'; are 'ignorant'; are 'foreigners (not citizens); and 'don't belong in this country'.
Unless you provide proof of these assertions, you are being, not merely unfair, but personally abusive towards them. Why?
2)"what is it about being a wog".
I have to admit that I don't know which meaning of 'wog' you are using, but it does indeed have a racist implication. You were using it as an insult. That's unfair. Why?
3)'it's the closest thing to integrity we'll ever see from this worthless whore'.
Wow. Now, if that isn't unfair and insulting - what is? Why are you personally insulting someone whom you don't know? Is she a 'whore'? Why are you using this term?
No, the solution isn't to say that people who are bothered by your insults shouldn't read your posts; after all - they don't know they are insulting until they've read them.
The solution is - don't try to discuss issues by using only unfair tactics of personal attacks and name-calling.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-27 4:51:48 PM
ebt: And never, never, be ageist.
Also, "Johan i Kanada" could not possibly be the name of a wog. Do you know what a "wog" is?
Don: Refer again to my post 27-Sep-05 1:23:19 PM. Good night, hope the bed bugs bite. What a zinger, eh?
Posted by: Mark Collins | 2005-09-27 5:55:23 PM
Irish: It is the Charter that starts with "the God thing", which is actually one reason it is inferior to e.g. the US constitution. The GG represents the Queen, not the majority.
ET: Thanks for the clarification regarding "head of Church of England". Btw, without anti-Americanism, what would "Canadianism" actually consist of?
Irish: Your comment re: non-Christian Canadians makes me regret that we didn't crush the papists entirely, incl in Ireland, during the 30 year war!
Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 2005-09-27 7:37:22 PM
The NSDAP took their oaths seriously. Read and shudder with horror at their pact with evil.>>>>
Hitler youth Jungvolk Oath :
In the presence of this blood banner, which represents our Führer, I swear to devote all my energies and my strength to the savior of our country, Adolf Hitler. I am willing and ready to give up my life for him, so help me God.
Posted by: maz2 | 2005-09-27 8:13:04 PM
The CTV is gushing. I would be furious if I'd watched the 'show', I can't even endure the clips. Why can't Canada ever do anything right? Why do we NEVER reward the deserving? There are so many good men and women in this nation who have done so much good for all of the people who live here - why could we not have found it in our hearts to choose a person who all Canadians could look up to because of (their) extraordinary sevice to the country they have long proven they love? Why would we have not chosen someone who had never been questioned about terrorist associations and who the Queeen of England and the President of United States of America could view as a honorable friend? Why do I ask why???
Posted by: jema54 | 2005-09-27 11:19:05 PM
Not swearing by God, and the mainstream media not saying much about it just shows how irreligious and Godless our society is becoming. I'm not suprised, but it is embarassing.
The *only* good thing is that she can't break which she made to God, which make them all the more serious and solemn.
I don't know how many athiests are in this country, but reading this blog sure scares me.
God bless Canada.
Posted by: JPark | 2005-09-27 11:28:44 PM
Well, a country which has legalized gay "marriage", has no laws regarding abortion, doesn't punish the Air India terrorists *at all* and lets brutal murderers get away with a 12 year prison term, is long far from God.
But praise God for the freedom we've got!!!
Posted by: JPark | 2005-09-27 11:30:41 PM
I'm not going to respect what your article says, especially since it *did* come from Britain, located in an athiest powerhouse of the world, Western Europe. And no offense, but what is the percentage of bible-believing Christians in that country?? Obviously they wouldn't see bible-believing Christians as their best friends, as it is quite secular. The people/person who wrote that article *obviously* doesn't read his/her bible, and doesn't know day from night.
Posted by: JPark | 2005-09-27 11:40:56 PM
Regarding the article you posted, how in this world does the author use these observations to conclude that Christianity is a moral evil??? She needs to take some research and methodology courses.
Posted by: JPark | 2005-09-27 11:59:24 PM
* GG-Jean and her husband were left-wing secular activists. They love France but not so much England. Christianity is a major part of Canada's history and tradition plus done much good for Canadian society and is connected with the British Monarchy. Will Canada's appointed royal couple publicly perform the Lords prayer. Liberal PM Martin needs to appoint some conservative minded people for the Lieutenant Governor offices before Canada lose's entirely it's own culture and becomes only Liberal-Land North.
Posted by: Larry | 2005-09-28 2:30:15 AM
Irish: Your comment re: non-Christian Canadians makes me regret that we didn't crush the papists entirely, incl in Ireland, during the 30 year war!
Posted by: Johan i Kanada | 27-Sep-05 9:37:22 PM
And that comment is exactly what is the saddest part of what Canada is becoming, Godless, immoral, and just plain nasty.
Posted by: Irish | 2005-09-28 8:40:05 AM
What Americans are saying?
Over on one of the Hurricane Boards, in New Orleans, this is what was posted about Canada's Government ...Ms. Jean's words on New Orleans were posted...
I will personally vouch for that statement. Majority working class Canadians are really no different than us and harbor the same disgust and disappointments in their government that we do.
On the other hand, the Canadian Government IS VERY MUCH ANTI-AMERICAN!
I know from experience from an incident at the Windsor border while i was carrying out my occupation to deliver what was always my routine industry shipments in a Cargo Van no less, (Road Expedite Service).
Found myself swiftly handcuffed during a vehicle customs inspection and hauled off to a concrete holding area for 3 hours of interrogation, one point made light of as "You American's" (Bahh), then promptly forced into a meat wagon with hands cuffed behind the back, ending up at their jail and then cuffed to the dam wall for another 2 hours before processing and placed into incarceration, complete with the shower down and orange jumpsuit then led away into an overcrowded cell that also house some Al Queida looking grunts that like to wear their garb around their fods.
And for what was the crime you ask?
The customs agents just happen to find a "flea market", legally purchased in Ohio, 9-Volt battery stun gun the size of a transitor radio that had been resting in my door pouch for months that i bought at the time merely for the novelty of the little spark it makes, and simply didn't bother with it again, it was just there.
That was to them considered a "Deadly Weapon" and they proceeded to prosecute in the next couple days as "transportation of illegal weapon into canada". Needless to say, they prodded me for money to buy one of their attorneys to defend the case and i told them to stuff it as i was an American citizen and the only money they could possibly expect out of me was what i was carrying when arrested at the border, which by the way, they STOLE and refused to return after releasing me 3 days later with a BAN order of sorts for 3 years.
Their weird looking woman judge promptly chewed me out for contributing to the chaos and disorder of Canada they claim to suffer from at the hands of crooks from detroit, excuse me, but i am from the Southern states.
Anyway, i at least got set loose, with an empty billfold, (they claim to have fined me and took the fine out of what i had in my billfold) at night of course to the streets, and then had to find my way back walking penniless to the Ambassodor Bridge in the hopes my commercial vehicle was still there and to see if i could reclaim the vehicle keys.
I had to make a point of scolding the idiot in charge at Customs for completely tearing up the inside of the new 2000 GMC Cargo Van that they apparently went on a rampage in looking for whatever, and after the keys were returned of course i complained that i was going to remain one more night to try and recover the money that was supposed to be returned. They had none of that and threatened to have me re-arrested if i didn't skiddadle back across the bridge which i did in a moment of time.
No sense trying to make explainations or attempt any recovery with those fools, they are hell-bent on making an example out of any American they can get their little hooks into.
Bottom line, Canadian Government SUX to high-heaven and is crooked as all get out, and they're own citizens will tell you that.
Posted by: James Murray | 2005-09-28 9:56:31 AM
A further comment on the new G-G, is her role as a key election plank in the Liberal's next election.
I am completely against Ms Jean as G-G for ONE reason; her choice is unethical, because she was not chosen by due process for this position. She was chosen by the Liberals for political partisan purposes. That's unethical.
This position is the senior position in our country; it is paid for by the taxpayer and must be accountable to that taxpayer. The G-G receives a top salary and benefits and a lifelong pension from the taxpayer. As the senior position, this position must represent 'seniority' of values.
The individual chosen must have top/senior qualifications in their work and these qualifications must have made a major contribution to the national interest. Ms Jean lacks both qualifications.
The individual chosen for this taxpayer funded position ought to be chosen by a committee, using those criteria of senior qualifications and a major contribution to the national interest. Instead - how was she chosen? The Liberals have spread the fiction that it was a 'coup de foudre', a chose made at random by and only by, an emotional bonding to a young woman. How dare the senior position in Canada be chosen by such a random tactic!
After all, what specific qualifications does Ms Jean have that are not found in any one of a million other Canadians? She is at early mid-point in her career, she is personable and likes to party and socialize. So- why not, let's see: Ben Mulroney? Jan Wong? Andrew Coyne? And there are lots of others, not in the media, for it is quite wrong to say that 'well-known' or 'of national significance' only means 'being a member of the media' rather than having made a profound national contribution.
But - those qualifications that she has are also found among at least a million and up of other Canadians. Add other qualities such as: female, Quebecois, immigrant...and you'll still end up with a large number. BUT - WHY ARE THESE REQUIRED qualities for the G-G???
Therefore, Ms Jean was not chosen randomly or emotively as the Liberal propaganda is brainwashing us. She was chosen deliberately, for Quebec votes. She is a key tactic in their election strategy - and we saw that in her speech and the scene on Parliament Hill.
Andrew Coyne, of all people, was absolutely gushing over her in his column in today's National Post, stating over and over that her words about 'national unity' would never be uttered by the Liberals -who promote multicultural diversity instead.
I disagree, Andrew. The Liberals wrote that speech and it is a key foundation of their election strategy. The want a majority. I bet they'll get it, because, with the power of patronage, they hold all the power.
What's the Liberal election strategy? It's all about UNITY; the 'freedom of unity'. The Liberals are going to define the Bloc as 'all about disunity' and anti-Canadian. They are using Jean as a kay component of this election campaign. Her emotive dances and talk about 'unity' actually means - We can only unite as Liberals. Don't vote Bloc. So, because she's Quebecois, she'll be appealing to the Quebecers to NOT VOTE Bloc. It will work.
Then, the Liberals will define the CPC as 'an Alberta separatist party'..and will set up the CPC as 'all about separation'. The focus on decentralization, which I maintain is a future MUST in the Canadian structure will be fought by the Liberals as 'all about disunity'.
The Alberta rejection of 'equalization', which really means handing over all their money to the Liberals to use as bribes, will be imagized by the Liberal Propaganda as 'all about disunity'.
I repeat. The Liberals chose this new G-G deliberately, for them and only them, to use within their election strategies. They will now, I bet, have Ms Jean tour Canada, with lots of speeches about 'unity'. This is a tactic to counter any notions of decentralization, any power to the Bloc, any power to the CPC which wants to give more power to the provinces. etc.
It's a corrupt and unethical action by the Liberals. They are, yet again, using taxpayer money to fund their election campaigns, just as they did with Adscam.
The agenda is the same. Power.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-28 10:23:01 AM
Most Americans haven't the faintest idea that Canada even has a position called Governor-General. We don't know who she is, what she does, or why she exists. So from that point of view she has not really altered our relationships.
Since she's simply indulging in what most of us would consider to be mindless, anti-American drivel, her tone is pretty much what we've come to expect from liberal Canada. (A few of us like me have learned that we have a lot of wonderful conservative friends in Canada, and we're better off for it.) To us, her statements might be likened to the way Canadians would feel if some minor official who held a ceremonial post in the Oklahoma legislature made some critical statements about Canada.
As to this God business, I think a lot of cognitive dissonance is being created, because people are confused in respect to an ontological position relative to society.
An ontological position can be a very important thing. Of course down here our Declaration of Independence says that we are created and endowed by a Creator with certain unalienable rights. No other description of the Creator exists in the Declaration, although the rights that are supposed to flow from the Creator really tell us something about the founding fathers' view of this Creator.
This has served us very well, and of course when the founding fathers spoke of the Creator it was not simply some kind of attempt to add an additional measure of utility to their documents. They fully believed in a Creator. Their views were often as Hermetic as they were Judeo-Christian. They really believed that society could be related to the Numinous and that it was possible for human beings to understand the will of Numinosity through a way of looking at Reason that is no longer popular because it was a Reason informed by Intuition.
However when you get to the place were some citizens are hostile to the idea of your society having an ontological position, then you have endless fodder for dissention.
If your society believes and designates absolute reality, then it is true that things can become confused because of multi-cultural inclusions of a lot of religious views. And you can have anti-social zealotry that arises from this.
On the other hand, having no reference to an absolute reality is then a form of "reduction to relativity" and puts aside any ability to view authority outside of the flawed collective machinations of politicians and bureaucrats. ("Religion is the opiate of the masses," and so forth.) Personally I doubt seriously that our societies would have been better off if Moses had not come down the mountain with the Ten Commandments. And anyway, do we want the final arbitration of morality to be in groups like the Librano$?
My view is that the weakness in coming to conclusions relative to an ontological position basically exists in ignorance of fully developed considerations. In other words, really you would do better being able to listen to discussions between Bertrand Russell and Paul Tillich, and perhaps Maurice Eliade, and then people might actually have sufficient grasp of the subject to think about it.
Posted by: Greg outside Dallas | 2005-09-28 4:15:36 PM
Greg Outside Dallas - thanks for your support for those many Canadians who support America and Americans.
The problem with the G-G is that she represents a serious flaw in the Canadian governmental structure, which is that only about 10% of the governing structure is elected; the rest is appointed. From one office. Without vetting, without accountability, without anyone having any power over their actions. If you were describing the Canadian governmental structure to an American, I think you'd have to conclude that Canada is not a democracy. Not with only 10% of the total governance elected. This gives the elected Prime Minister an enormous unaccountable power. Remember, the Canadian people do not elect their PM; they only elect a political party which elects its leader. AND, the political party that becomes The Government just needs to win over the other parties. So, the Liberal party has this enormous power - but - was elected by only 34% of the population. Imagine: 66% of the population rejected the Liberals and yet, they form the government. So, with their huge power to appoint: the senate, the judges, the civil service, the heads of television, the heads of train travel, communication, etc, etc...this office controls the entire country. Without any accountability and entirely in secret.
So, this new G-G is paid by the taxpayer for 5 years and then, receives a large for-life pension. And is being used by the Liberal party as a tool to achieve votes in Quebec and across the country.
How does one get out of such a strangehold on power?
As for your comments on the 'noumena', I agree with you. The Greeks, by the way, were extremely interested in this force-of-order and didn't anthropomorphize it into a 'god'; they kept it as a force of organization. And the best of them did indeed accept an absolute or objective reality --e.g. Aristotle..and never moved into the relativist morass which accepts all views because it rejects any objective reality against which to measure those views.
I'm a fan of an American philosopher, Charles. S. Peirce - who was, in my view, the greatest philosopher of all.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-28 5:42:42 PM
A Charles S. Pierce fan?
Oh happy day.
Have you read this? The American Aristotle
by Edward T Oakes, SJ for First Things in 1997.
Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2005-09-28 6:19:39 PM
In reply to Plato's Stepchild - no, I hadn't read that article. I'm always sceptical of secondary sources of Peirce; I prefer to use only his writings. I have the full Harvard Collection (surreptiously photocopied over a number of years) but unfortunately, not the Indiana Collection. However, when he referred to 'god', my view is that he was talking in reality about the propensity for rational order that is a characteristic of our universe (i.e., the universal Mind). He wasn't talking about the agential God of religious faiths.
I doubt if he was a 'wife abuser'; he seemed, however, quite irrational about his wives; his second wife, in my view, abused him - leaving him quite alone for years while she travelled in Europe, and insisting on his providing full support.
At any rate, he is in my view, the top philosopher of all. Only Aristotle comes close, and frankly, I put Peirce above that great man.
Posted by: ET | 2005-09-28 6:53:19 PM
"At any rate, he is in my view, the top philosopher of all. Only Aristotle comes close, and frankly, I put Peirce above that great man"
What about Elizabeth Anscombe?
Posted by: Plato's Stepchild | 2005-09-28 10:25:06 PM
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