Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Freedom Misunderstood Leads to Chaos
“Freedom” has been vital in the West but it has also been seriously misunderstood in regard to real human nature. The Enlightenment, which our Founders were fond of, concentrated on individual freedom or liberty. And the ancient Greeks, who our Founders were also fond of, sought to constrain vice and folly with virtues which were not always connected to real human nature.
The deepest and real constraints on human nature come from the “constraints” of biology. There is a strong biological component to basic human nature which is mainly denied in the modern world, but was also denied in the ancient world. Freedom without external constraints does not change the internal constraints of human nature and biology, even in the free West.
Real human nature is not evil. Human beings are “constrained” by a biologically determined human nature which includes being kin-centered, gender defined, age-graded, heterosexual marriage-making, hierarchical, ethnocentric, even xenophobic, and religious-making, among other things, with group-selection as the primary unit of selection. These are traditional values. Modern liberalism has needed authoritarianism and coercion to implement the increasing number of “rights” which go against real human nature.
Freedom and virtue have to relate to the biological direction of evolving life, which becomes more of an affirmation than a free choice. Individuals are not really free to do anything they want, even before constraints are put on them by social institutions. Civilized laws need to harmonize with or affirm real human nature, not impede human nature---impeding human nature does not work well in any case.
Even rational judgment which the Greeks liked so much cannot really move beyond the constraints of human nature, although it has often been tried. The highest point of ourselves is not “reason” but is the material/supermaterial Spirit-Will within life, which activates life to evolve toward Godhood, and reason may or may not understand this teleological direction or end-goal.
It is through such sciences as sociobiology more than through moral reasoning that we can understand whatever freedom we actually have, which means an understanding of the choices we may have within the constraints of determinism. Freedom and virtue relate to understanding the choices we may have within the constraints of determinism. When we have “self control” what are we really controlling? We don't govern the passions so much as we affirm determined elements of human nature, which really can't be escaped, and why would we want to escape them?
Politics can pay attention not only to freedom within determinism but to the direction of freedom, which is also largely determined. This brings religion forward as a foundation for politics, because the end of politics is conditioned by the goals of evolving life, which is Godhood.
And this is how ethnopluralism enters the philosophy of theological materialism, as the best way to reach the goals of both politics and religion, while living in a crowded world of competing ethnic cultures, who are basically governed by a human nature designed for survival and reproductive success, but more deeply seeking success in evolving toward Godhood.