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Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • One of Greece's most notable pieces of ancient history concerns the region's repeated battles with barbarians from the East.  The Greeks considered themselves civilized, advanced, cultured people.  Cultural chauvinism had been rampant and in most historical accounts it is generally thought to have been fully justified.  The reason is that despite much dispute about what if anything is universally, objectively true concerning how human beings ought to organize their communities, certain basic principles are not thought to be controversial.
  • Yet another ancient political debate concerns whether public policy needs to be based on certain norms, or ethical principles.

    Classical and a few modern political philosophers — e.g., Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Spinoza, John Locke, et al. — argued that to learn how to govern, one must have certain values for which governing needs to aim. These would be justice, peace, equality, or liberty. The source of these values might be one or another conception of the divine, human nature, intuition, majority sentiment or something like these.

  • The point of having a written constitution to which the administration of a country's legal system is firmly committed is to provide a framework of viable, just social life to all members of society who renounce violations of its principles. The American framers believed, in large measure, that the principles laid out in the Declaration should be fully represented in the country's constitution. These principles are referred to collectively as individual human rights. The Founders declared that these need to be held as self-evident, not something provisional, incidental, temporary or otherwise less than fundamental in a legal system.
  • Katherine Rushton of The Daily Telegraph wrote a column trying to embarrass those in America, like Republican lawmaker Kieran Michael Lalor, who oppose bringing in Al Jazeera television on to the American television news market. Ms. Rushton feels such opposition is a kind of ethnic prejudice, not sound journalism. Dubbing Al Jazeera “Al Jihad,” such efforts may well be over the top but not necessarily.

  • You all may recall that after 9/11 Osama bin Laden explained his orchestration of the terrorist deed that murdered some 3000 innocent human beings as payback for America’s materialism.

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