Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Educate Yourself!

Furnish yourselves with a rich variety of ideas; acquaint yourselves with things ancient and modern; things natural, civil, and religious; things domestic and national; things of your native land, and of foreign countries; things present, past, and future; and above all, be well acquainted with God and yourselves; learn animal nature, and the workings of your own spirits.  Such general acquaintance with things will be of very great advantage.

The first benefit of it is this: it will assist the use of reason in all its following operations; it will teach you to judge of things aright; to argue justly, and methodise your thoughts with accuracy. When you shall find several things akin to each other, and several different from each other, agreeing in some part of their idea, and disagreeing in other parts, you will arrange your ideas in better order, you will be more easily led into a distich knowledge of things, and will obtain a rich store of proper thoughts and arguments upon all occasions.  …

Another benefit is this:  Such a large and general acquaintance with things will secure you from perpetual admirations and surprises, and guard you against that weakness of ignorant persons, who have never seen any thing beyond the confines of their own dwelling, and therefore they wonder at almost ever thing they see; every thing beyond the smoke of their own chimney, and reach of their own windows, is new and strange to them.

A third benefit of such a universal acquaintance with things is this: it will keep you from being too positive and dogmatical, from an excess of credulity and unbelief, that is, a readiness to believe, or to deny, every thing at first hearing; when you shall have often seen, that strange and uncommon things, which often seemed incredible, are found to be true: and things very commonly received have been found false.

Isaac Watts, Logic: The Right Use of Reason in the Inquiry After Truth, pg.69-71

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christianity is Basis for Freedom

Many today who disparage Christianity may not know or believe that, were it not for Christianity, they would not have the freedom that they presently enjoy. The very freedom of speech and expression that ironically permits them to castigate Christian values is largely a by-product of Christianity’s influences that have been incorporated into the social fabric of the Western world.

Alvin J. Schmidt, Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization, pg.13

Monday, December 11, 2017

Religion and Morality are Indispensable

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 of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.

Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ?

And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

George Washington, Farewell Address

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Sexual Revolution Scam

It has often been observed that the victims of scams have a remarkable ability to ignore the obvious fact that, hey, they have fallen for a confidence trick. To accept that one has been conned out of a sum of money and thereby cut one’s losses may be more difficult than to keep giving the con artist more, in the hope that somehow the scheme is not a fraud after all. So it is with the scam known as the sexual revolution. It has institutionalized irresponsibility to such an extent, and demonized its critics so effectively, that even as it falls apart under the weight of its own contradictions, we keep pouring cultural capital into the same old schemes, hoping that all will turn out well in the end.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Sex Education Failure

Modern sex education keeps failing to deliver on its promises—indeed, it keeps plunging society into deeper and deeper problems—and it keeps proposing as the solution more and more of the same. Sexual assault is heinous, and even the clients of prostitutes want something more significant than an anonymous encounter. The notion that sex can be pursued as recreation, isolated from a larger relational and moral context, is an obvious scam. But we keep getting mugged by reality.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Controlling Power of Music

For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate—and who could number all these masters of the human heart, namely, the emotions, inclinations, and affections that impel men to evil or good?—what more effective means than music could you find?

Martin Luther.  Cited by John Makujina in Measuring the Music, pg. 228

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Rock Music

Rock music is cacophony, clashes and discord.  It is perversion, not art.  True art has beauty: at its center is the idea of balance and of congruity.  There is no beauty apart from that.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thoughts on the Power of Music

By the power of music, I mean its power to affect the hearers, to raise various passions in the human mind.  Of this we have very surprising accounts in ancient history.  We are told, the ancient Greek musicians in particular were able to excite whatever passions they pleased: to inspire love or hate, joy or sorrow, hope or fear, courage, fury or despair; yea, to raise these one after another, and to vary the passion just according to the variation of the music.

John Wesley, Thoughts on the Power of Music, 1779, cited by John Makujina in, Measuring the Music, pg. 234

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Truth About Atheism

I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption. The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics. He is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do. For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom. The supporters of this system claimed that it embodied the meaning – the Christian meaning, they insisted – of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and justifying ourselves in our erotic revolt: we would deny that the world had any meaning whatever. 

Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means

Comment: While this citation itself is not from a conservative viewpoint, I think it does indeed provoke thoughts about what atheism is all about.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Minimum Wage Laws are Racist

The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was the nation's first federally mandated minimum wage law. Its explicit intent was to discriminate against black construction workers. During the legislative debate on the Davis-Bacon Act, quite a few congressmen, along with union leaders, expressed their racist intentions. Rep. Miles Allgood, D-Ala., said: "Reference has been made to a contractor from Alabama who went to New York with bootleg labor. This is a fact. That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country." American Federation of Labor President William Green said, "Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates.”

Walter E. Williams, Stalking Horses

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Problem with Some Taxes

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

Thomas Jefferson, 1785, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom