Thursday, June 25, 2009

Means and Ends

Ryan and I had a slight discussion yesterday about what faith the founders did or didn’t have to risk so much with so little chance of success.

Anyway, it was speculation and it was just part of a larger discussion which started as a question about whether a government could or should force fecundity in the event of a population collapse. I said it would depend upon the world-views of the individual men and women who made up that government. I said that if the survival of the species were believed by a controlling interest in that government to be a concrete good that needed to be achieved at any cost—even at the cost of acting against other moral principles—than, yes, a government made up of such individuals would probably utilize any means within their power to encourage the survival of the species including the use of force. That is, they could and probably would resort to forced copulation and/or forced impregnation.

If, on the other hand, a controlling interest in that government believed that the survival of the species should NOT be achieved at any cost and if that same controlling interest believed it a grave moral evil to force a person to copulate or to forcibly impregnate a woman, that government probably WOULDN’T—and would believe they SHOULDN’T—resort to any means to ensure the survival of the species. In particular, they wouldn’t resort to the use of force EVEN IF IT MEANT THE TERMINATION OF THE SPECIES.

I said, in making my point, that in either case, what a government would or what a government should do would depend on the world-view—the beliefs about life, the universe, and everything—that the individuals who made up that government held to.

That spawned a conversation about the beliefs of the founders. I submitted that our founders, almost to a man, had a certain faith in the guiding hand of Providence in the affairs of men.

I did a little research in order to determine what that faith was and what they meant by the word Providence.

Doing a little more research this morning I came across this quote from Alexander Hamilton that I wanted to share:

"I have carefully examined the evidences of the Christian religion, and if I was sitting as a juror upon its authenticity I would unhesitatingly give my verdict in its favor. I can prove its truth as clearly as any proposition ever submitted to the mind of man."

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