Relating as persons: psychology, society, politics

Moral and civil law

Everyone should understand the distinction between what is moral and what is not moral. I have written briefly about that here. What is legal is not necessarily moral. What is moral is not necessarily legal. What is the relation between the moral law and the civil law? That is something every society must decide for […]

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Political distinctions

The figure above diagrams several political distinctions. The vertical line distinguishes the political left who are mainly concerned with equality, and the political right who are mainly concerned with liberty. Above the horizontal line distinguishes the religious left and right from the secular left and right below. The circle distinguishes those within who accept limitations

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Abstract and concrete movements

Abstraction in Western culture has increased over time, so much so that Hegel made this the engine of history: his dialectic is a progression from the concrete to the less concrete, the abstract to the more abstract. Certainly, the history of natural science shows this progression. Modern physics is more abstract than classical physics. Every

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We the Society

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution famously begins, “We the People …” The state is based on the will of the people, which is properly discerned by representatives of the people meeting together. “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, …” declares the Declaration of Independence. But what

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Kinds of rights

Human rights are the political rights people have because they are human beings. They apply equally to all because of their common humanity. There are several statements of human, or natural, rights. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued in 1948 is a statement of human rights. Developmental rights are the political rights

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This post is a parallel contrast to the previous post on Old style liberalism. Communitarianism puts major emphasis on the freedom of communities to control their own destinies. Communitarianism is its creed; individualism and alienation its enemy. The state exists to protect communities from coercion by other communities or individuals and to widen the range

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Old style liberalism

The following excerpt is from “Liberalism, Old Style” by Milton Friedman, published in the 1955 Collier’s Year Book, pp. 360-363. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1955. Reprinted in The Indispensable Milton Friedman, Essays on Politics and Economics, edited by Lanny Ebenstein, pp. 11-24. Washington, D. C.: Regnery Publishing, 2012 (see here). Liberalism, as it

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Vital records of society

Vital records are the official documents of the birth, marriage, divorce, and death of members of a society. They are currently kept by an office of state government, but before the 19th or 20th century these documents were under the control of religious institutions, i.e., churches. For example, the state of Nebraska has birth and

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Sex and gender

Let us untangle the words sex and gender, which have become so confused and adulterated. In the past they were almost synonymous but today are quite different. The Online Etymology Dictionary notes: As sex (n.) took on erotic qualities in 20c., gender came to be the usual English word for “sex of a human being,”

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Deception technique

A common method of deception is for the deceiver (or group of deceivers) to strongly accuse someone else of doing what the deceiver is doing. The deceiver is attempting to deflect attention about what they are doing away from them. They want others to think that the deceiver is the last person who would be

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