Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Does Anyone Actually Agree With The Following Statement?

At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.

Really? Think about this for a second. The heart of liberty. A right to define one's own concept of existence. Meaning. The universe. The mystery of human life.

Does it strike anyone else as somewhat unreasonable to think that a person has the right to DEFINE any of these things? Maybe, just maybe, such things are beyond the subjective opinions of a single individual. Of course, if it is beyond the ability of a person to define such things, then it seem absurd to speak of having a "right" to define them. How can one have the right to do something which is impossible for them to do?

Not only does it seem absurd to say that a person can define these things, it seems downright insane to say that such a right is "the heart of liberty." Yes, yes, I know. The Enlightenment completely screwed up the concept of liberty. It is instructive, however, to make a note of this kind of lunacy and how it relegates such petty things as virtue to the level of superfluity. Clearly, the concept has no place in this equation of liberty. In fact, one could argue that from the above perspective virtue doesn't even exist. If everyone is defining these sorts of things for themselves, they sure as hell can't deal with something as objective as virtue or the common good. And people wonder why license is so easily substituted for liberty these days.

Is the author of the quote actually saying that you can't have a free society unless you cede this "right" to the citizenry?

And what of God? Is there any room for the Almighty in this formulation? After all, isn't that whole defining of existence/meaning/mystery of life stuff strictly the province of God? Last I checked, none of us set the foundations of the world or anything. Until you get thinking like the quote above. You know where else that kind of thinking gets you?

Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

Catechism of the Catholic Church #675

That's right, straight into the reign of the AntiChrist. Not that this should surprise anyone given current events.

By the way, the source of the quote above?

The Supreme Court of the United States of America in Planned Parenthood of SE Pennsylvania v. Casey (505 US 833 at 852). Probably didn't expect that, did you?

If they had just stopped at blasphemy, that would have been bad enough. Instead, the plurality added hypocrisy with the very next sentence:

Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

Consider the dumbness of this remark in light of what the Court actually has done. The Court has annihilated the ability of the State to compel beliefs on such matters in the name of personhood. It does this while simultaneously eradicating the ability of anyone to define the unborn as persons, all under the compulsion of the State.

If you have the time, read the whole thing. The plurality opinion is the height of judicial douchery, while Blackmun's hysterics in his dissent nicely flaunt his complete intellectual and moral bankruptcy that spawned the original Roe v. Wade decision. A warning, though. It's a lengthy bit and mind-numbingly stupid at points. The discussion by Rehnquist & Co. is worthwhile. I should probably mention that.

Just some food for thought next time you hear about freedom and liberty for all. As long as you aren't protecting unborn babies or promoting the Kingship of Christ.


Philip said...

I think it might be a good exercise to define what's at the heart of liberty. I don't know that I've ever pondered this issue before.

I admit that I never thought of that definition before. JPII's definition of freedom comes to mind for me.

Throwback said...

I'm willing to bet that we can come up with something better than this, though.