Question and define the terms of existence.
The beginning of wisdom is fear of the pat answer.
Are you a democrat or republican?
Conservative or liberal?
Are you able to define Life? Liberty? Happiness?
If we define our state of being by religion, how do we separate this from our politics?
The format of an answer follows this poem:
In an old desk drawer.
I believe in democracy so I am a democrat.
I believe in the Republic, with liberty and justice for all, so I am a Republican.
I believe in conserving all that is essential from the past, making me a conservative; and I accept the notion of progress, making me a liberal.
Discernment means moving beyond either/or thinking. The path of the golden mean runs in the middle of extremes.
A question remains.
How do we choose that which is right? The question is loaded. Is right right and left wrong? We have no concept of leftousness. Right? Wisdom is found in every question.
Are you a libertarian or libertine?
Words, and what they mean, are the building blocks of thinking.
When you advocate liberty you are a libertarian. If your liberty is a license to indulge, you are a libertine.
May we sanction the pursuit of happiness of a libertine?
Is truth self-evident? Are rights inalienable?
Again we ask, what is happiness?
One persons bliss is another’s boredom.
Is the Puritans heaven the libertine’s hell?
If liberty means the freedom to do actions that injure no one else why have prohibitionists prevailed throughout our history, first with alcohol, and now with drugs?
Does the teaching of the greatest commandment that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves mean we have an obligation to love ourselves? The Talmud defines a righteous person as one who does not damage their neighbor in any way. Are we ethically and morally obligated to pass laws that we also not harm ourselves?
Do laws defining suicide a crime prevent suicide? Is “Just say no to suicide” prevention? What substances require control so that we do no harm to ourselves? Is any “war” against drugs winnable? Should we pass laws outlawing restaurants, knowing some will eat too much and harm themselves via obesity, and tax the body politic because of their food addiction.
What are the terms of my moral universe?
Call me democrat. Call me republican.
Call me conservative when I know what laws to conserve
Libertines drink or drug and drive.
Call me libertarian, for I know unwise laws lead to lawlessness, and that the war on drugs is unjust and unwinnable.
Without the right questions answers are not to the point. Wisdom is discovered in questioning.