Friday, December 16, 2011


“False is the idea of utility that sacrifices a thousand real advantages for one imaginary or trifling inconvenience; that would take fire from men because it burns, and water because one may drown in it; that has no remedy for evils except destruction. The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crime.”

Caesare Beccaria as quoted by Thomas Jefferson

One of the interesting aspects of the test in the Garden of Eden is the conclusion that God appears to honor personal freedom. Think about it. If it was more important that Adam and Eve never sin, God could easily have put enough guard rails and safety nets in place to prevent them from failing. He did not. He gave the first couple the choice, and therefore the opportunity to make the wrong choice.

Funny, our culture does just the opposite. We exalt the state--the nanny state--over individual freedom. We don't trust people to make their own choices, wrong or not. We try with all our laws and regulations to ensure that nobody fails, no one suffers from wrong choices. It dosen't work. The problem with legislating safety is human nature. Modern, secular philosophy denies human nature. It believes that man is simply a clever animal, an advanced ape. Therefore, there is nothing standing in the way of training, or conditioning us to make choices advantageous to society.

And that's the bottom line. For all our pretense of individualism, modern man exalts the society as a whole over personal freedom. Regimentation of the species only works to a certain extent. Human nature--me first--will always take precedence in making choices. Until we approach life with that understanding we will continue to fail in building a better culture.

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