Monday, December 17, 2007

The Founding Fathers.

“The foundations of this country are based on religion”

I always see this come up when they ask some ignorant theist’s opinion on some topic. I say ignorant because its provably true not to be petulant or insulting. But that debate has been well covered elsewhere. Ultimately it is an argument from authority.
What I’d like to talk about however is the alternate answer. Which could be stated as follows..

“Ok, so let’s assume you’re right and the founding fathers did want this to be a religious nation… so what?”

I mean really, so what?! Sure the constitution is an astonishing document, and despite its problems I do see America as a wonderful nation, since a nation is at its core an idea and I think America is a good idea. But the point here is that just because America was a good idea doesn't mean everything the founders of America thought was a good idea. In fact I think it can easily be argued that they were aware of this distinction and that's why the included provision for the evolution of the document in the first place.

I mean seriously just run down a partial list of things these guys thought were a good idea as well, and you tell me if they need to be defended solely on that basis.

1. Only whites should vote.
2. Only landowners should vote.
3. Slavery is a good plan.
4. Only men should vote.
5. Women need to be smacked around on occasion.
6. ...So do children, prisoners, and soldiers.

The bottom line is obviously that we need to not let dead men make our decisions for us. History is there to remind us what happened when we tried certain things so that we can craft for ourselves a more perfect future, it is not there for us to emulate till the end of time.

So please, if you are or ever were, a minority, a woman, a solider a prisoner, a non-land owner, or a child, try to refrain from using the founding fathers’ intention as an argument.

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I'm a politically and culturally subversive author with obsessive tendencies and a lot of free time. I feel a sense of personal responsibility for the fate of my species. My writing is the result.

My primary blog is at http://underlore.com but this G+ profile is a far more active representation of my viewpoint.

Generally I feel the answer to society's ills are technological in nature not political or cultural.

Having said that, I do have political positions of course and I strongly feel that we need to embrace nuclear power and deploy a universal basic income.