Over our history most ideas have been described as adversarial. Growing up as a Christian Republican, I was raised by society to believe that Atheism and the Democratic Party were always in the wrong, and an enemy to be fought. It was not simply that this group’s ideas were different or contradictory, but that anyone associated with these positions were to be considered the enemy to fight. On the news today there is much talk of partisan battles for the heart of America. The question that I want to ask you to consider is whether we are spending our efforts fighting the right battles? Are we the defenders of truth, or is truth big enough to defend itself?
The most fiercely fought political debates have a root in public policy, but when traced to their real origin it turns out they are philosophical. The philosophy of what reality we live in, and if reality can be overcome by intention and emotion. Many politicians, media pundits, and main street citizens (including myself) are guilty of taking on the mantle of defending truth and reality. However, truth doesn’t need defending. It’s we who need defending from the truth if our action does not work within the framework of our reality. Reality is objective and does not change for the whims of any society or person. There is an absolute truth and a law of nature. If there wasn’t then we would have nothing to argue about. All actions would be equally valid. These cannot be avoided despite how desperately we all want to avoid them at times. (I would love to have a diet strictly consisting of Tex-Mex, pizza, and coffee, however I also want to live past 50). The only natural conclusion is that we get the reality that we seek, although it rarely resembles the vision we have for it at the outset.
My job, and everyone else’s despite their viewpoint, is to examine the logical conclusion of our philosophy’s interaction with reality. Do we want to raise people out of poverty? Do we want to reward virtue? Do we want to have equality of outcome or equality of opportunity? Do we want a race to the bottom, or a race to the top? Do we honor the best of ourselves or the worst? Do we allow wealth to determine merit and virtue, or virtue and action to determine wealth? Reality is indifferent on the matter, but it will not contradict itself. We reap what we sow. The real enemy is not the other party. The real enemy is the idea or person that believes reality is not absolute, and that reality can be overcome by intention and emotion. We can’t have a society of equal outcome and moral action. So which will it be?