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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Politics and the Fundamentals of Sound Religion

Benjamin Franklin and John Locke
by Patrick L Booth, Contributing Author: Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to Yale University his ideas about religion. It was widely circulated and its tenets widely shared by our political founders. “I believe in one GOD, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by his providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render to Him is in doing good to his other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points in all sound religion.”

The fundamental points widely taught in schools until recent times were: 1. There exists a Creator who made all things, and mankind should recognize and worship Him. 2. The Creator has revealed a moral code of behavior for happy living which distinguishes right from wrong. 3. The Creator holds mankind responsible for the way they treat one another. 4. All mankind live beyond this life. 5. In the next life men are judged for their conduct in this one.

These same points are still widely held and taught in many other countries throughout the world whether as specific religions or not. Samuel Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and other founders thought these were the basic tenets on which American Civilization was founded (and upon which English Common Laws were also founded and became the basis for our common laws.) English Common Law was taught as being structured on God’s revealed law constituting a moral code clearly distinguishing right from wrong.

One of the most influential philosophers of our founders was John Locke who wrote a number of essays including, “ Concerning Human Understanding.” Locke said it defies the most elementary aspects of reason and experience to presuppose that everything in existence developed as a result of fortuitous circumstance. No mind can accept the forces of nature could produce such a work as a wristwatch or even basic tools, let alone the marvelous intricacies of life, the simplest organisms found in nature. All appear to be the products of intelligent design and precision engineering. To Locke, an “atheist” confesses merely never having dealt with the Creator’s existence so would be to that extent, “irrational”, out of touch with the most important and fundamental reality.

Everyone can know there is a divine Creator. To begin with, each person knows of his own existence. Further, each knows he is “something”. We all know “something” cannot be brought into existence by “nothing”. Therefore, whatever brought man and everything else into existence, had to be “something”. It follows that “something” doing all this organizing and arranging must be all-knowing to the extent required for such organization and arrangements. This “something” must also be superior to everything resulting form its efforts. This superiority makes the “something” the ultimate good for all of its organization and arrangements. In our language, the word for supreme or ultimate good is simply, “GOD.” Since man is a creation and is capable of “knowing” (cognitive) then the Creator must also be a cognitive or reasoning and thinking entity. Certainly something non-cognitive, like a rock, could not have produced something as cognitive as man. We also know the Creator must have compassion, love, a fine sense of right and wrong and justice, even a sense of humor for mankind has all these sublime qualities. He must be a fine artist with so much beauty of form, color, and contrasts for all to behold for even animals possess some sense satisfaction of sensory perceptions we call beauty.

As Locke said and our founding fathers agreed, there are many things Man can know about God. Because any thoughtful person can gain appreciation and conviction of these many attributes of the Creator, atheists fail to apply their capacity for observation, reason, and understanding. This belief was the fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truths as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and elsewhere in our founding documents. Modern progressives, socialists, and atheists think they are simply smarter and wiser than our founders despite all the evidences against their philosophical failures.
-------------------
Patrick L Booth is conservative writer and retired from the FAA. He blogs at The Blue Eye View. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service.

Tags: Benjamin Franklin, John Locke, politics, Declaration of Independence, religion, Christians, Christianity, Patrick L Booth To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
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