Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Question

George Weigel is beginning to get it:
What's coming won't be this pretty.
If everything in the human condition is plastic and malleable—if there are no givens—then claims to “my truth” on which you cannot legitimately impose “your truth” make sense. If, on the other hand, some things simply are—such as the human dignity of the unborn child or the nature of marriage—then we can learn what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is conducive to human happiness or conducive to human misery, by pondering those givens and trying to discern the deep truths they teach us about ourselves and how we should live: truths that have been illuminated for centuries by biblical religion.

America began with the assertion of deep truths written into the human condition by “Nature, and Nature’s God” (as the Declaration of Independence put it). In an election season likely to be dominated by very practical (and important) questions about the economy, it will be well to keep a deeper, more searching set of questions in mind: Are we still a nation dedicated to certain moral truths? If so, how do we recover an ability to talk about those truths together?

And if not, what have we become?
Weigel doesn't offer an answer.  I would argue that to ask the question is to answer it.  No, we're not still such a nation, and what we've become is something that will quickly devolve into something horrible.  Orwell's character Winston Smith wrote in his diary that "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two is five.  Once that is granted, all else follows."  That freedom is fundamentally at risk.  

(Pretty girl H/T: Stormbringer)