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Unread July 2nd, 2006, 11:42 PM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 483
Default Re: The Political Brain - More Evidence of Evolved Psychology

MM: Religion is capable of generating the most ferocious passions as any world history book will show.
MM is much too modest here—the vacuum of atheism, as the atheistic regimes of the 20th Century clearly demonstrate, along with Nazism’s survival of the fittest paganism, facilitated ferocity far more readily than did any religious/spiritual values in the 20th and previous 19 centuries, since religious/spiritual values generally serve as a mitigating factor against the excesses of state power and human behavior (although Islam admittedly has been a disappointment). Consider some 20th Century numbers: USSR, 1917-87—62 million mass murders; China (PRC) 1949-87—35 million mass murders; Germany, 1933-1945—21 million mass murders, etc., etc.
MM: Possibly the greatest advance in the organization of human civilization was the secular US constitution and Bill of Rights that recognized the inherent right of all to happiness and equal treatment under the law - and the all-important notion of separation of the affairs of church and state.
Well, I think that MM misses the art and subtly of the Founding Fathers, all deists and/or theists, certainly no atheists. The Preamble of the Constitution notes that the Constitution was established to, among other things, “secure the Blessings of Liberty.”

Blessings of Liberty? What did the deists/theists Founding Fathers have in mind? Any other documents that might give us a clue? Yep! The Declaration, where the Founders noted that we are “endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And it was with the Constitution that these Rights, endowed by our Creator, were secured.

There’s a new book that some of the more fanatical atheists here may want to consider reading—American Gospel : God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation , by historian and Newsweek editor Jon Meacham. Meacham, as noted in the Amazon Review:
. . . examines over 200 years of American history in its quest to prove the idea of religious tolerance, along with the separation of church and state, is "perhaps the most brilliant American success." Meacham's principal focus is on the founding fathers, and his insights into the religious leanings of Jefferson, Franklin, Adams and Co. present a new way of considering the government they created….

Meacham also argues for the presence of a public religion, as exemplified by the national motto, "In God We Trust," and other religious statements that can be found on currency, in governmental papers and in politicians' speeches.
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