The Relevance Of Abstract Thought!
By Matthew Clark
In June of 1215 the aristocrats of England gathered together to write a legal document which instructed the king ( John) that he was subject to the laws of the Island Kingdom in the same manner as the rest of Albion's inhabitants. John was forced to put his seal on the Great Charter (as it came to be called) under the threat of further rebellion by his subjects. Among the Magna Charta's more profound applications was the procedure that anyone charged with a crime by the crown must have the right to be judged by a jury of his peers. From such a practice would evolve the principle of innocent till proven guilty.
Eight hundred and seven years later, plus an additional two months, has seen those moderate seeds of liberty expanded into the right to life, property, freedom of speech, consent of the governed, equality before the law for all classes, both genders, all races, nationalities, religions, and regardless of sexual orientation. Basically all citizens of a country who are not incarcerated in jail.
How has this come about from the premise that the king (or government) is not above the law, and one must be judged in a court of law by their peers?
It has come about because human beings think abstractly. We look at ideas in their simplest expression and then expand their principle universally to see how profound, how benevolent, or how malevolent they truly are. Of all the talents the good Lord bequeathed to our species the most wonderous is the ability to reason, and within that context the the skill that is most functional is abstract thought.
Is there a more moral, as well as utilitarian, statement in the secular realm than Voltaire's utterance "I MIGHT DISAGREE WITH WHAT YOU SAY BUT I WILL DEFEND YOUR RIGHT TO THE DEATH TO SAY IT." Unsaid but understood in that pronouncement is that natural consequences are the best indicators of truth in mortal life. Certainly it is not the prerogative of government, or special interests,
To judge statements, and actions, for all individuals and institutions,
on a universal principle, while leaving exceptionalism to personnel relations (which includes business transaction), is a sign of a culture which values morals over convenience. Throughout history civilizations ( such as Republican Netherlands, 18th century Great Britain, frontier America) which practice these characteristics enjoy ironic symptoms such as principles which work out with unforeseen convenience, populations with a deep spiritual belief in God complimented with a high achievement in science, as well as universal moral beliefs in a nation while also enjoying both decentralized government and diffused institutions.
Thinking abstractly causes us, as individuals, to study unintended consequences, which could include physical repercussions as well as malevolent, or immoral situations. Abstract thought is, in short, a war on relativism in every form. Here is a contemporary example.
Some people might have a great distaste for a certain orange haired United States President. Yet when a legal government body, sanctioned with the ability to issue lawful charges on the Presidents actions, fails after a strenuous investigation to find the Man either innocent, or guilty, but rather claims they cannot absolve him of guilt, the abstract thinker knows a dangerous verdict has been issued. The noble, and functionally necessary principle of innocent till proven guilty, has been violated. If this can be done to a president than it will, eventually, be executed on the commoner. If this happens in the United States than it will occur to other countries within her empire (such as Canada), or those jurisdictions which suffer under the United States undue influence. Rather than risk this circumstance transpiring it would seemingly be better to give the Orange haired President due process, essentially proper verdict of law. Yet this simple, easily articulated argument is rejected in favour of relativism. WHY?
Today within Western Civilization jurisdictions, and the allies of those nations, the population at large has turned their back on God. Even many individuals who believe in Gods existence unfathomably see the Creator as being of no consequence. Some of those people believe that the fact they have seemingly suffered no physical ills (till now) is a validation of their choice. It would be wise for those people, indeed all people, to examine what the cost has already been. Rejecting the Lord we have also predictably rejected his invaluable gift of reason, which, as previously stated, significantly includes abstract thought. As a result modern science constantly fails because it does such a poor job of foreseeing unintended consequences. All forms of legacy media seem unconcerned in espousing dishonest, and or disingenuous facts. Public Educators have made functional learning of secondary importance, placing social education in a primary position. Government personnel, both lawmakers, and bureaucrats, are marching furiously to install authoritarian oligarchical rule, with the corporate sector falling in step hoping to be rewarded with largesse.
The evidence permeating today's world suggests that rather than watching the world with disinterest from afar God invalidated the choice to reject him decades ago. A first step back to his grace would be to accept that greatest of skills he gave us. the Ability to Reason, which leads, inevitably to abstract thought, which by the force of logic, causes us to go beyond accepting his existence to that of trying to live his message. In short, a win win for both the spiritual and secular world.