Saturday, November 26, 2005

Ethics vs Morals

A New Perspective on Ethics

Ethics is all about interaction or conduct between people in a society or a government setting. Interaction and conduct can have adverse affects on people. There are several ways someone can adversely affect another person. It can be as small as unfair treatment, or as big as infringing upon their freedoms or Civil Rights. Morals, on the other hand, might be about conduct as it relates to “mores” or “norms.”

Once again, while Ethics and Morals are closely related, I would like to propose a distinction based upon the affected party. Ethics being about conduct that may affect people, and Morals being about conduct that can affect the given society. For instance, if you are a cannibal and someone from another country crashes into your land, eating the newcomer for dinner would not be immoral, because eating people is part of the “mores” or “norms” for that society. But if you were to apply the Ethics side of the coin, it might be unethical because it would certainly not be fair to the one being eaten and by applying the golden rule it would certainly show improper behavior as if the roles were reversed the cannibal would certainly want to be treated by his societies rules.

Let’s therefore develop two new definitions for Ethics and Morals. A new one for Ethics might be, “people’s correct or proper interaction with each other in a societal or governmental setting as it relates to their freedom or civil rights and to their sense of fairness.” A new Morals definition might be, “peoples correct conduct as it relates to the impact on their societies “mores” or “norms.”

I will attempt to provide the elusive “standard” that can show that every ethical situation can be examined with a factual foundation built on conduct as it relates to freedom and fairness and a standard for Morals based upon the situation’s impact on society. Notice that by having facts as the basis of examining ethics, we can feel more confident about our conclusions. Or in other words, if you say that one plus one is two, does this mean you are biased? No, you are stating facts. This means that by not using subjective things such as faith or feelings as the foundation for ethics, but by using facts based upon freedom and fairness, it allows less chance of having bias in the conclusion.

Here is what I consider the “standard” to apply to any ethical situation:
1. Does the conduct affect someone else? And if it does:
____a. How does it affect the other person’s freedom/Civil Rights?
____b. Do the feelings remain the same if the shoe is on the other foot?

Here is what I consider the “standard” to apply to any moral situation:
1. Does the conduct affect the given society? And if it does:
____a. Does it further degrade the society?

By answering the above questions and their related contingent questions we can logically arrive at a good conclusion to all ethical and moral situations. But not without a complete understanding of freedom, which will be given below.


Humans are creatures that desire to be left alone to do things without interference from others, including government. This natural desire for freedom is at the base of their drive for individualism. This desire is worldwide and is not unique to the U.S.A.
Thomas Hobbes approached ethics from a scientific viewpoint and believed that morals are based upon self-interest. But, the freedom for one person to swing his/her fist ends where the next persons nose begins. While Hobbes believed in the Golden Rule, he realized that it had to be viewed in a world where government was involved.

Thus from above we can see that it is important to discuss freedom, the Golden Rule and the proper role of government in our view of Ethics because it has everything to do with our interaction with others.

People may have a built in desire to do good, but David Hume recognized what Frederick Bastiat observed in his book, The Law, that it is human nature for humans to sometimes do things that are unethical or even unlawful if it makes life easier. Bastiat believed people view work as pain, and while some will steal to get something, (stealing may initially be less painful), by making this conduct unlawful, societies can cause people to reflect upon the way they interact with others or they may suffer consequences.

One of the Dictionary definitions of Ethics is ““A set of principles of right conduct.” Let’s examine two important sources for the definition of the Law. First from Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th Edition we have;
“Law, in its generic sense, is a body of rules of action or conduct prescribed by controlling authority, and having binding legal force.” And next the most important one from “The Law” by Frederick Bastiat; “We must remember that law is force, and that, consequently, the proper functions of the law cannot lawfully extend beyond the proper functions of force. When law and force keep a person within the bounds of justice, they impose nothing but a mere negation. They oblige him only to abstain from harming others. They violate neither his personality, his liberty nor his property. They safeguard all of these. They are defensive; they defend equally the rights of all.

As can be seen from the definition of Ethics and a definition of Law that they both deal with “proper conduct.” The purpose of Law is to prevent injustice and not to promote justice, but never the less, law is force and it must be applied equally and not at the expense of one class over another, because if it isn’t applied equally, it stops being about liberty and becomes oppression.

Before getting too far into my premise, let me begin by giving some additional dictionary definitions of ethics:
1. “The study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person.”
2. “The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession.”

Suppose you were on a Yacht that was packed with all of the necessities of life and you stumbled on an uncharted island. You moved all of those necessities to the island, and began the life of a recluse. Now, ask yourself how any of your actions can be considered unethical? What “conduct” could you do that would be considered unethical? Perhaps the only thing you could do to affect other people while on that island would be to harm the environment, like polluting the ocean. Is it ethical or moral to smoke pot on this uninhabited island? If there were no laws, then why wouldn’t most anything you do be ethical? You can’t affect someone else on this island if you’re the only one on it.

So, again my premise is that you cannot really think of an unethical act, unless there is someone or some organization, (a group of people), that is affected by that act.

Since people can use the government to adversely affect others, then this brings us to the next part of the premise, the proper role of government. Let’s start with a look at the two extremes of governments, Totalitarianism and Anarchy. If you stop and think about it, so many things can be classified as “opposition sets.” By this I mean so many things have opposites. Like cold, and hot, right and left, east and west, logic and emotion, etc. In all of these cases you can draw a line and place one thing on one end of the line and the other on the other end of the line and there will usually be varying amounts in between the two ends. The spectrum of government is no different. On one end of the line would be “total government control” and on the other end of the line would be “no government control.” These opposites are called Totalitarianism and Anarchy. Totalitarianism is on the political left of the line, while Anarchy, is on the political right of the line. Every form of government falls in between these two extremes and almost every adult person in this country has their views on the amount of government control they prefer somewhere on this line.

A “Liberal” person might be for more government control and towards the left end of the line, and a “Conservative” person would be for less government control and towards the right end of the line. You would place Communism and Socialism on the left, Democracy near the middle, and a Republic on the right. And remember, our form of government is all about how much we want to interfere in our neighbors lives, since in affect, we are the government. Also, this means interfering even if it is to prevent them from having the choice to do something wrong. A good example being how we as a majority “force” the use of seat belts, for the good cause of protecting everyone from acting foolishly. (Rules of Conduct.)

If you are a Dictator, then you as both a person and as the government will deal with your fellow citizens a certain way, and this will be the way you write, execute, and judge your laws. Some laws will be ethically and or morally right and some will not be. But, once again, it is the way people are interacting, that can be the foundation of discussing ethics. By the way, a “Right Wing Dictatorship” is an oxymoron because it cannot exist. A Dictatorship is on the Left towards more government not less!

Next let’s take a Democracy, which is approximately in the middle of the political spectrum, and see how its form of government is affected by ethical conduct. In a Democracy, when 51 percent of the people vote for a law that is unethical and or immoral then it is those 51 percent who are affecting the other 49 percent. Let’s say that the 51 percent vote to have all people from a specific country of origin be deported. Would this law be ethical or morally right? Most would think not, but then that is why we don’t live in a Democracy, we live in a Republic instead, or at least we used to. The move of our legislators has been to move us closer and closer to the left with more and more doses of Socialism. With Socialized Medicine and National Health Care being good examples. Ever hear of “and to the Democracy for which it stands”? How about the “Battle Hymn of the Democracy”? In a Republic the rights of the minority are protected from the tyranny of the majority by the Constitution. The Constitution in general, and the Bill of Rights in particular, help insure that the “morals” of the majority are not “forced” on all of us. The following quote by George Washington should never be forgotten, because it forever reminds us that government is “force”. "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

The significance of all this is that when we vote for a law in this country we are forcing our will on others, unless the courts find that the law violates the freedom and rights of the individual as spelled out in the “Bill of Rights”. How many laws go unchallenged that could be considered a violation of our individual rights and since Ethics is about conduct between people, voting has a lot to do with Ethics.

Foundation for proper Choice:
Having the proper foundation is paramount to making good decisions. Let me give an example. Suppose you are asked to solve a Calculus problem. This would be a major problem if you had not had a proper foundation of first “arithmetic”, then “algebra”, and then perhaps “geometry and or trigometery”. But if you have had the foundation of arithmetic and have proof that one plus one is two, and you also have the proof that “the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides”, then the Calculus problem is built on proper foundation and the problem has a better chance of being solved correctly.

The proofs of the lower building blocks are set in a strong foundation that is hard to shake mainly because the foundation is made of facts, not interpretation or opinion. This is why it is so important to have the proper foundation in the “rules” of ethics, before we can make an informed choice because generally if you foundation for ethics is just religion, then you are on shaky ground from the start, since religion is not about fact, it’s about belief.

However, once we have the proper foundation, with facts as the basis, we are in a totally different arena. This way, when we make value judgments, we may be accused of having “bias” if someone asks us to state our opinion and we choose to hold on to our decision, but if we let ourselves question the decision that we made on our ethics choice, then we must first reconsider if our foundation has been shaken. If arithmetic has been proven false, then we must reconsider algebra and all other blocks that are built upon it. But if in your case, your foundations of the components of judging the ethical situation are correct, then the chances that the conclusions you draw will also be in your favor of being correct.

With the above understanding that ethics is really about the way we deal with others, an organization like the government, or a company, we now can add the last component to the equation…. fairness.

Fairness is all about putting yourself in the others shoes, or “walking a mile in someone else’s moccasins”, or “applying the golden rule”. Generally you are a fair person if you can keep the same position, after putting yourself in the other persons place.

We know that many people cannot arrive at consistent choices because they do not want to take a stand; because it is easier to feel good about one’s self if everything is in a gray area. It is easier to believe in “situation” ethics. Some people love the response… “It all depends.” Sometimes this is the correct response, but sometimes it is stated as the answer because people don’t have a good foundation on which to make more difficult choices. They feel uncomfortable and believe that if they don’t take a stand, then they can be perceived as being “open-minded”, which could be a nice cop-out for fence straddling. It may be they just don’t want to offend anyone by taking a stand.

A good example of people who do not have a good foundation on ethics are those that when asked three questions that are separate from each other and can stand on their own, will somehow magically change when they are combined. Here is an example of the three questions.
1. Who believes that it is wrong to prevent someone from earning their living if that living is completely wholesome, such as a Café owner who only sells wholesome food like organic foods?
2. Who believes it is O.K. to protest?
3. Who believes it is O.K. to protest while preventing the Café owner from earning a living by blocking the streets and not allowing his normal customers to buy his food?

A truly compassionate person would feel for the rights and feelings of the storeowners. A logically thinking person armed with facts about how freedom works will be able to see that the situation above is not ethical. By breaking the law to obtain what the protesters want, it is clear that they have no feeling for the Golden Rule as it applies to the storeowners. It is amazing how many people will say a combination of a wrong and a right will be right if it is for the right reason. It is O.K. for a man to rob someone if that is the only way he could get the money to prevent his mother from dying. Or as in the movie, “John Q”, the premise that it was O.K., to kidnap people if it is for a good enough cause. Or, Robin Hood was a “good” thief, because he “stole” from the rich to give to the poor. So, in this case stealing was O.K.

In the case above about the protestors who purposely block traffic, what if there was an Ambulance trying to get a dying person to the hospital but the streets are blocked and the person dies? Would the protestors then claim that it was O.K. to break the law because it was the only way they could get their point across? Or is breaking the law O.K. if it is for a good enough reason? Can a wrong and a right ever make a right?

A Final Example:
And now for the ultimate example that brings all aspects of ethics together at the same time, the proper solution to the situation, (the proper role of government), and the fairness of the solution, (the moral ingredient).

I will paraphrase and tell a similar story to the one that was told by former Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson to a group of college students many years ago. I cannot remember it in its word for word form, but here is the basic premise and the basic story.

The time setting is back in the days of wagon trains from the east going to settle in the West. The people who wanted to make the trip would gather up enough money from their group and hire a wagon master to lead them across the plains. This wagon master could be thought of as their government for all intents and purposes. On this wagon train are two other key participants, first a businessman named Jones who has over 200 horses that he was transporting to sell once he arrived in the West. The other important participant in this journey is the widow Brown, who had put all of her resources into this trip and only had barely enough left to complete the trip.

During the trip, the widow Brown’s horse broke it’s leg and had to be shot. The wagon master circled the wagons and asked the rest of the members of the wagon train, what should be done about helping the widow Brown since she did not have enough money to purchase another horse. Should they proceed without her? Should the wagon master use his power as the “government” to “take” a horse from Mr. Jones, since he had more than he could ever need? Or perhaps the rest of the wagon train should vote whether the wagon master should take a horse from Mr. Jones.

Now, the real ethical question is if any of these actions are ethical. What if you were Mr. Jones? Would you feel the same, if the wagon master took one of your horses? Would your feelings change if you knew that there was a vote that the wagon master takes a horse from you? This is the true test of fairness.

You see, we as a nation choose to have our government, which is really we, to take from the rich and give to the poor, because we do not wish to wait to see if the true solution would ever happen. And what would be the true ethical solution? Well, that would be for the wagon train to wait and see if anyone would give, loan, or contract with the widow Brown for a horse. Perhaps Mr. Jones would let her do his laundry or some other job that would allow the widow Jones to receive true charity, instead or robbing from Mr. Jones his right to do something charitable, and at the same time robbing from the widow Brown the self esteem that comes from not being the recipient of stolen goods, for which she never has to pay back.


It is all about Cause and Effect. Societies have seen in the past that as the “norms” of societies move away from everyone earning their own way and being self-sufficient and not being a parasite on the rest of society, that for the good of the entire civilization, we must not ever become like Rome, where in one of the main reasons it fell was because there were too many people who were living off the fruits of others.

Just as someone can solve a murder by applying the correct background to the crime scene, Motive, Opportunity, and Means, we must apply a consistent set of criteria to all ethics situations, in order to be consistent with our own set of values, and of which, the most important set of values should be the values we place on freedom and fairness. (Politics and Morals)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Death Penalty

Is trying to be moral easy? No. Can a person think with their heart? Maybe, but will it often be wrong? Yes.

We are supposed to think with our brain with minor input from our heart, but sometimes we find that too much blood flows from the brain and can skew the results.

Want examples? O.K., take when a male starts taking notice of a desirable woman. His blood leaves his brain and arrives somewhere else below the belt, and he no longer thinks clearly. In fact otherwise very intelligent men often make fools of themselves.

When we have empathy for a murderer our blood leaves our brain and arrives back at the heart and again we make poor judgments.

It is easy and makes us “feel good” to make judgments from the heart. Heartfelt judgments make many people feel very good about themselves, and to some that is more important than doing the right thing.

They rationalize that “if it feels good, it MUST be right.” Adultry "feels good" but is it right? Joy riding in a stolen car "feels good", but is it right?

That is why so many people allow “a little indiscretion” because they want to have people love them for their “understanding.”

Having compassion should not stop us from insuring that justice is done and so people who need to learn life’s lessons can.

Again, heartfelt judgments are the easy way out. When our children misbehave is it easy to enforce the rules? No, it is very difficult.

Our heart says to let them off the hook. Being Liberal is easy; doing the correct thing is difficult because sometimes it affects people’s lives and who wants to be the bad guy who enforces the rules? Most real bad guys hate the police and judges.

The correct way to make judgments is to do what a judge does in the courtroom. Look at the circumstances, look at the standards from which we are to apply them, and then make a decision.

Let's start with the "The system is flawed" argument.

“Well your honor, I know there are videos of me robbing the bank, but we need to eliminate all of the "robbery" punishments because the system is flawed.”

So, let me get this straight, we should only apply laws when the system is perfect? Does that argument sound ridiculous? Yep, but it certainly makes sense to those who think with their heart.

Well, that is the same logic they apply to the death penalty.

I have gone back and forth on the Death Penalty. Partly because I want to be loved for being compassionate too, but I always come back to the position that it is a correct principal and I will attempt to explain why.

If a man comes over to my house and steals my car, do I have the right to get it back? Of course I do.

Usually I will call the Police and have them do it for me.

This is the basis for having society "make the victim whole.” It is called Retribution and it is moral and just.

Someone kidnaps you, they take away your freedom, again you are justified to require the Police, (government), to take away his freedom.

If someone is stabbing your spouse, would you be justified in killing them? Yes.

Again, notice I said "killing" them and not "Murdering" them. Self Defense of your family's life or your life is justified. And that is all that Society is doing when it takes the murderer's life. It "kills" the murderer, it doesn't "murder" the murderer any more than you would be "murdering" if you were defending your life.

The definition of Murder is the "Purposeful and Unlawful taking of an innocent life." That is why the Bible correctly translated says "Thou Shalt not Murder.”

But where most people miss the point in the Old Testament in the quote "An eye for an eye", the context here is that this was to be the guidelines for a judicial system of "making the punishment fit the crime.”

We do it all the time with our children. If they come home an hour late, we don't give them the same consequences that we do if we find out that they slashed the tires of the neighbor’s car.

"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." (Gen. 9:6)

The purpose of the penal system is not to rehabilitate people; it is to protect the innocent.

If you ask everyone in prison if they are guilty, almost all of them will say no. It is amazing how many people "find Jesus" in prison.

My oldest son told me what happened to him when his wife was mad at him and was kicking and slapping him, so he reached up finally and grabbed her wrist and pushed her down.

The neighbors called the police on her, but the police said both of them had to go to jail because they said my son, should have just left instead of pushing her down.

He agreed that he could and should have just got in the car and left until she cooled down. What were they fighting over? She said they should be “friends” with their children and not give them any consequences, while he said they must have consequences. She lost her cool and got very angry. Why, because he was so calm. She let her emotions, (heart); rule her actions instead of discussing it with her logic and brain.

While in jail, a counselor came into a big room and asked, “How many of you deserve to be here?” My son and only one other person out of about 200 raised their hand. She said, “Well I can see that only two people in here will NOT be back, I will see the rest of you again.”

Do people deserve a second chance? Yes, in every case where the victim can be made whole.

Can the life of the victim be restored? No. Then should the murderer be given a second chance? No.

If we steal money, and then pay it back, we can and should be forgiven. But, in the case of Murder, perhaps the reason in the Bible we find that God requires the murderer give up his life is so when the murderer is standing before God, God can say, well you paid back you deed with your life and now I can forgive you.

I Don't know that to be the case, but it might be. Food for thought.

There is only one unpardonable sin, and that is the sin against the Holy Ghost. Meaning, a person had a sure knowledge that God exists and then he fights against him.

Is the Murderer's life anymore precious than the victum's?

The two most important things to get out of this are the following laws of nature:

1. People must "learn" that their actions have consequences and that consequences are good for their own growth.
2. People must "observe" that actions have consequences that are commensurate with the crime or society will cease to have respect for the law and will not have any safety.

When people get a ticket, why do you think most people get upset? They know that they did something wrong, so why do they get upset?

The reason is that all of us know that the law was not applied equally. Some speeders are not pulled over, so they ask "why me?"

The consequences must be always applied, and with the correct amount, or we loose respect for authority and law.

Should there be an "ultimate" consequence for an "ultimate" crime? The Bible says so, and reality says so.

People will argue that capital punishment is not a deterrent. They will cite all kinds of statistics to prove their point.

I love statistics, but I also think all information we process needs to be filtered with logic and common sense.

Does the following scenario make sense to you: What if you were a criminal and you were told that if you murdered anyone with a blue shirt on you would get the death penalty, but if you murdered anyone else, you wouldn’t?

Would it make a difference to you?

Would it make “any” difference to "some" criminals? Not all murders are “heat of the moment”, that is why we have First Degree Murder because it was “planned.”

Again, using common sense, any intellectually honest person would have to answer that question "YES".

Sunday, November 20, 2005

War and Peace

As Sesame Street would say…”Some things just go together” and this is never so true as with the following snippets.

Freedom, Love, Righteousness, and Peace.

Force, Hate, Unrighteousness, and War.


The above eight words are forever interconnected. In order to have Freedom we must have Love, Righteousness, and Peace and vice-versa.

Peace is something that cannot be legislated. It must come from each individual’s heart. It must be planted, nurtured, and harvested by individuals. It cannot just be plucked from a tree.

It must come first from the old phrase “Live and Let Live." In my discussions with a fellow blogger, I have been unable to show him that his view of force can never be able to coexist with peace and freedom, for freedom is really only possible with the concept of “My neighbor must keep out of my business, and that includes forcing me to care for one of my other neighbors welfare.” I either want to or I don’t. I am morally responsible for his welfare, but if I am “forced” to do it, then there is no real freedom and hence no real peace.

Freedom is more precious than peace or even life. There is no peace in compromising principals. As Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you peace but triumph of principles.” To be makers of peace requires respect for law, the living of law, the willingness to preserve principles, and forthright facing of facts.


In the early history of the world, wars were of extermination or enslavement. But, when the Roman Empire became powerful, it adopted rules that honored it’s enemies, treated them with respect, and in fact on one occasion the Romans declined to recognize one of their generals in a victory that he had won by using bribery, and on another declined a certain victory by use of poison.

After the Dark Ages, along about the 1500’s a man named Hugo Grotius prepared the first great work on international law, and in the preface he said, “I saw prevailing throughout the Christian world a license to making war of which even barbarous nations would have been ashamed; recourse being had to arms for slight reasons or no reasons; and when arms were once taken up, all reverence for divine and human law was thrown away, just as if men were thenceforth authorized to commit all crimes without restraint.”

Because of this condition Grotius wrote his work “De Jure Belli et Pacis”, which was the beginning of the bringing into war of something of humanity, if humanity may be properly spoken of in connection with war.

First an effort was made to draw the distinction between combatants and non-combatants. Wars were to be waged between armies and not civilians.

When our great Nation was formed, we brought forth the concept of neutrality, (again, the old Live and Let Live philosophy),the intent thereof being to confine the war conflagration in as narrow a space as possible. We knew that “global war” and “total war” was a curse.

Then came our own “Civil War.” Many were treated as “traitors.” But then came Francis Lieber, a political refugee from Germany, and he drew up for Lincoln what became known as “General Order 100.” These Orders went to the Federal armies and prescribed how to conduct the war.

The rules forbade the bombardment, without notice, of places where there were civilian peoples, provided protection of museums, libraries, and scientific institutions. Undefended towns were not to be attacked. They provided that poison gases and poison it self should not be used. Pillage, rape and arson along with all like crimes were forbidden.

Then came World War I, and we began to sink back to barbarism. All distinctions between combatants and non-combatants disappeared. This was partly due to the type of weapons used.

Then came World War II and the Atom Bomb. We wiped out hundreds of thousands of civilian populations with this bomb. Few if any of these people were responsible for the war. We lost all that we had gained from Grotius (1625) to 1912. And the worst was that not only did the people of the United States not rise up in protest against this savagery, but it actually drew approval from the nation at large.

We could have done something else to demonstrate our “Walk softly but carry a big stick (atom bomb)” philosophy. We could have at least “warned” the towns first. We could have dropped the bombs on a deserted island, etc.

We were again not thinking with our morals when it came to Nuremberg. As Lincoln said about the opponents of the North in the Civil war, (the Southerners), “no one need expect he would take any part in hanging or killing these men, even the worst of them.”

Men should not be convicted for acts, which, when committed, were not contrary to the law of that nation, but were declared so after they were committed. This is violating one of our fundamental constitutional concepts that “ex post facto” laws are not tolerable. (Dina, you will certainly appreciate this one.)

When we, as a nation, support such un-Christian plans as the “Morgenthau Plan”, (to starve Germans living in the South – See Tobacco Road), we need to reevaluate our national principals.

What are the conditions of Justifying War?

First the reasons that are not justified to begin a war;
1. Territorial Expansion.
2. To impel others to a particular form of worship.
3. To enforce a new order of government.

Reasons to Justify entering a war are as follows:
1. An attempt to dominate and to deprive another of his freedom.
2. Loyalty to his country.
3. Defense of a weak nation that is being unjustly crushed by a strong, ruthless one.

The reasons to justify beginning a war are:
1. When we are attacked.

Now, we were attacked and that part justifies the war. However, having said that, we were not attacked by a nation, but rather a group of people who truly want to destroy us. And we do have the right of self-defense. So, the question remains, do we have the right to use the methods that Bush applied to defend us?

That question is very hard to answer, and I must say that it may be that only the Classified documents that the White House has and only those in power really know the real reasons to justify his actions. In other words, more information is needed to answer this question. There is a right and wrong answer, it is just that I am not sure that I, or we, have enough to decide at this point. I have laid out the moral rules for war, help me decide.

Now for the reality check. Should Saddam be tried for crimes that were not illegal in his country? If they were not illegal, then I don’t think so, because of the “ex post facto” circumstances. However, there was supposedly written laws in his country, and I wonder if rape, and murder by the government were legal because they were written as law. (sts and I are having this discussion now with respect to stealing, (transfer payments), by the government being O.K. because he believes it is in the law.)

In the end, peace efforts are useless without Righteousness. War in our midst is inevitable without people searching for Freedom, Love, and Righteousness. We have too much hate in this country, and often by the very same people crying for peace. They hate the Christian, the Republican, and the Conservative. Now, some of the aforementioned also have hate, so we all need to pull back a little and not be so easily offended and not try to use force to get our way.

Peace can never be legislated. We will never have….”so let it be written, so let it be done” as long as man is running things.

Terrorism and Armageddon

O.K., for those who don’t wish to be “preached to” or those who don’t wish to understand how any “bible thumper” could possibly want Bush to succeed, then you may not want to read further.

The following is a scenario that I believe is possible and one in which I am still trying to understand myself.

It is much more detailed than I am presenting here but I thought it worthwhile to make it available to those who perhaps have not been exposed to it or have not studied it as I have.

Is this scenario written in stone? No.

Is it possible that my understanding could be wrong? Yes.

The Bible is purposefully written with hidden meanings and the reasons for that are too numerous to mention here, but suffice it to say that the mysteries are still yet unfolding.

First we are all here to learn the difference between good and evil.

God allows evil to exist so we may learn from it. We cannot know hot without cold, up without down, and good without evil, ad infinitum. God made everything in the Universe balanced. Ever notice that while we breath in oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide, plants just happen to take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen? Coincidence? Planned, or part of Random Evolution?

The good aligns itself with freedom, while the evil aligns itself with force. While God had his Christ, and because of Balance in the Universe, Satan must therefore have his.

The authors of Force are the ones who are the Totalitarian Government proponents, whether they are Communists/Socialists, Nazis, or Wahabists.

The authors of Freedom are the Founding Fathers of this great Country. No time in the history of the world have we been able to see God’s way of having freedom rule, so as people may worship as they please, as we have had in understanding the principals of this Nation.

In the Bible, Daniel tells us that in the whole history of the world, there will only be 5 world rulers:

Medes and Persia
A Ten Nation Confederacy

We are also told that a powerful man who would allow the Jews to worship at the Temple Mount and will bring peace between the Jews and Muslims would rule this last Ten Nation Confederacy.

Some believe that this Ten Nation Confederacy is the final number of nations who will belong to the EEC and that this leader will be the President of this “European Economic Community”, or Common Market.

Next, he will be wounded in the Head and be miraculously healed. He will rule for 3 ½ years and then this Ten Nation Confederacy and at least one other Confederacy of Nations, perhaps led by China, and/or a Muslim Confederacy will attack Israel and the world’s final great battle will be fought. It will be called The Battle of Armageddon.

It is the opinion of many that the way this ruler will gain power will be to solve the worlds economic problems by presenting a world economic plan that will truly usher in a Global Economy that is ingenious and clever in it’s solution. (“And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” - Rev 13:17)

Did you know it is possible to solve the following problems with one simple plan?

1. Money Laundering.
2. Identity Theft.
3. Counterfeiting.

Yep, just make everyone have a “Banking Number” and eliminate all paper currency, so that everyone must use their bank number in order to make any transaction, and have a chip implanted in their hand or forehead so the number cannot be stolen, and can be easily scanned. (“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand.” – Rev 14:9 )

It will be important to not get this mark in your hand or forehead because you will be giving in to this evil man and his evil plan. Why is it evil? Because it gives him world power, and we all know that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord Acton.

Perhaps it will be after a world recession that is unprecedented in the history of the world. He will be thought of as a Savior of the world’s economic problems, and will usher in what appears to be world peace and economic prosperity. Some reason that this is why he will be a Counterfeit Christ, (a fake Savior), thus the name Anti-Christ.

The President of Iran has just recently said that the Jews should be wiped off the face of the Earth. Many other radical leaders say and feel the same. The reasons are many, but two main reasons cause most of the world’s hatred toward the Jews.

First, are the radical Muslims who believe that their God, Allah, hates the Jews and that the Muslims are the chosen people of this Earth and not the Jews and it is their job to get rid of these Jews.

Their biggest physical desire is to be able to continue to worship at the “Dome of the Rock.” This is the place where they believe that Mohammad ascended to heaven. Since it is also the same spot where the Jews want to worship at the “Temple Mount”, they believe that the Jews are working to take this away from them.

Next, many in this world believe that the Jews are behind some giant conspiracy to dominate the world’s currency and are secretly manipulating all politics behind the scenes. (Many Muslims are taught this Jewish conspiracy and are even being taught that the Jews were behind the attack on the World Trade center.)

It is with the understanding of one or both of these two worldviews that many are supporting President Bush as they perceive that we may be prolonging the start of this deadly battle that they believe will surely happen.

Many believe it will happen before 2021. They reason thusly:

The History of this earth is broken into 7 periods of a thousand years each. God rests every 7th period, (Sunday), or after every six thousand years. And at the end of the 6000 years the faithful will reign with Christ for a thousand years of peace.

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (Gen 2:2)

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8 )

How do we know that the creation was six thousand years? God told Adam "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen 2:17)

Adam lived to be 930 years old. He died in one day.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Rev 20: 4 )

Most biblical scholars believe that Adam was here approximately 6000 years ago and many believe that the following two statements explain why we have yet to see the Battle of Armageddon, which is supposed to usher in the thousand years of peace at the beginning of the 7th thousand years.

Again, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8 )

“AND when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” (Rev 8:1 )

If a day is as a thousand years then a half an hour is approximately 21 of our years, hence the approximate date 2021.

Of course no man knows the exact hour that this will happen, but we have many signs that will tell us of the impending battle.

And one of these signs is the incredible build up of Arms that the Chinese are engaging in. Warships, bombs, etc, sure seem to indicate that they are rushing towards going to war soon.

If the Chinese are preparing for war, whom do you think they are planning to battle? Do you think it might be Taiwan, Israel, the U.S., or a combination of these?

And if China is going to get into a war, could that war be anything other than THE final battle?

The Communists have always believed that Communism will only work if the whole world is practicing communism and therefore they must conquer the entire world.

They plan to conquer by force or by creeping Socialism. They have stated that any society that allows socialism will one day wake up and find that they are conquered and are Communists.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Why Do Many Believe This Country was Founded Upon Christian Principals?

Here is a poll that shows over 85% of the U.S. consider themselves Christian.

My guess as to why so many claim that the principals of Christianity is what this nation was founded upon, (now notice I am not claiming that the founders were mostly Christian, merely that the principals were), is evidenced by:

- a Letter that John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson on June 28, 1813 where he was saying that this was in fact the basis for the system of government in America…

The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite....And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: . . . Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System. - Lester J. Capon, ed., The Adams-Jefferson Letters 2 vols. (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1959), 2:339-40

- And when Adams wrote: “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue equity and humanity…” - John Adams, The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States, Charles Francis Adams, Ed., (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1856) III:421, dairy entry for July 26, 1796.

When most people miss a meeting and want to know what took place, they ask one of the participants who was there for an account. Now, the account may not be 100% accurate, but one would hope that the "tone" or the "concepts" of the meeting would be similar if all were asked.

There may be other quotes that may show that others had other things to say about the founding principals of our nation, but I doubt we will find such an exact quote on the "Underlying Principals" of our founders. We may find that other things were discussed, but I would love to see other quotes about the "Principals" not being Christian, I just can't believe that Adams would have been so specific and yet not be with a consensus.

- And many other early records that show that most of the framers believed in God, (most were Theists), and most believed in Christian principals, even if they weren't Christian, (as evidenced by Adams quote above), and above all they wanted a nation that had no “National Church”, but yet one that recognized God.

Again, no one particular church. Secular does not mean "anti-religious", it means, "not relating to a religion or a religious body." - American Heritage Dictionary

.“Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars…” - George Washington

Some of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, and many of them recognized that they needed to do something about that, and some did. But most saw it for what it was and worked to get rid of such an evil practice. But that is for a different post.

Well there you have it.

Probably will be ignored by the Christian haters out there, but then all you can do is present your facts and let those who are open minded ponder it with real intent to know and not intent to start putting it down as quickly as they can.

Friday, November 11, 2005

How and Why Governments are Created.

This is not new to the political landscape.

I have heard talks by Ronald Reagan and read speeches from former Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson espouse these very eternal principals. (I found a link to his speech by searching "The Proper Role of Government" on Google.)

Both of them have cited Frederic Bastiat as one of the champions of these principals and have said these same principals are the foundation of our great Republic.

Let’s examine how governments get started.

You are back in the primitive days. You live with a tribe.

Your tribe gets attacked and pillaged from time to time. You sometimes have your own people stealing and murdering your neighbors.

So, you therefore logically organize some of your tribe to become your government to provide order out of chaos.

The job of this government is to protect you from criminals from without, (other tribes), and from within, (criminals in your village.).

You gladly give some of your possessions, (taxes), to have some of your tribe to provide full time service to these tasks. (They need money to live on, so taxes are required to provide them with the tools and sustenance to do their job.)

Now the last thing you hired them to do was to pillage your property so they might give some of the loot to their friends, (voters), who are not in the government.

Collecting taxes in order to function is not the same as having the tax collector come by and say, “My wife’s cousin is a voter, and I will take an additional amount from you so I may give it to her.”

The key here is that “fair or just” taxes are used by the government to protect you from people or armies who want to harm you or pillage your property.

Any time the very government you hired to protect you, becomes an instrument to pillage your possessions, then they have perverted the law.

It becomes easy to see the immorality of “unjust” plunders by the very government you hired to protect you.

Immoral acts are not “Far and Just” actions of any government.

Robin Hood may have been a local hero, but he was still a thief.

To quote Bastiat:

If every person has the right to defend -- even by force -- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.

Thus the principle of collective right -- its reason for existing, its lawfulness -- is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute.

Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force -- for the same reason -- cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers?

Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces.

And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all."

In a Democracy the majority gets to rule the minority, but in a Republic as we have, the individual is protected from the majority by way of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

These rights include the 5th and 14th Amendments, which prohibit the government from unjustly removing your property. In the 5th we read “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

And in the 14th Amendment we read: “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Ever hear of “And to the Democracy for which it stands?” How about “Battle Hymn of the Democracy?”

Again in a Democracy 50.1% of the vote can tell the minority to do whatever they wish, but in a Republic, the government is specifically told it can not take away property or rights and the functions of government are the only reasons to take property from the individual.

Initially the framers were so worried about the reach of the Federal Government that they spelled out how to protect us from “taxation without representation.” They essentially said that each state would send an amount to the Federal Government based upon it’s number of citizens, as done by a census.

In other words, California you have “x” number of people, send us “x” amount. Oklahoma you have “x” amount of people, you send us “x” amount. They were fearful of a “direct” tax. But alas the greedy people in D.C. had that changed with the 16th Amendment, and the rest is history.

As Will Rogers Jr. said, “We have the best people in Washington that money can buy."