The Common Good in the Public Square


Updated: Nov 25, 2020

By Christopher Hunt

“Living Forever”, the Philosophy Behind Transhumanism, Is a Transcendent Not a Materialistic Quest

“All our lives we sweat and save, Building for a shallow grave. Must be something else we say, Somehow to defend this place...” lyrics of The Soft Parade by the Doors. Eternal life on this earth has been a pursuit of some since time immemorial. Today, we have scientists and researchers trying to accomplish this, we have religions such as the Church of Perpetual Life located in Florida that are dedicated to this. Today we have the transhumanist movement.

The longing for eternal life is a God-given, and good desire. The desire to always be with those we love and with the Creator of all is a worthy pursuit; but, like all good desires, these can be twisted toward an evil end. Sadly, this idea of “curing death” is a twisted, disordered desire of the pursuit of the greatest transcendent good, because it seeks to arbitrarily and artificially cure aging and disproportionally extend life span.

The materialist, though not a believer in God or eternity still has an internal longing of the eternal. If the only thing that exists is matter, if there is no such thing as the immaterial, if there is no God and no eternal soul, when our short time on earth is done, we are done. A pure finality. As the materialist 20th century existentialist and feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir explains her contemplation of death after becoming an atheist, “I loved the world, and it was suddenly God whose price was small... one afternoon in Paris I realized that I was condemned to death... I did not attempt to control my despair. I screamed and tore at the red carpet.”

As Beauvoir’s life partner and fellow philosopher of the 20th century Jean-Paul Sartre proclaimed, “Essence does not precede existence. In pure subjectivity the human being is not anything. He is measured by his acts.” - Being Nothingness. With these ideas, will and personal desire is the end all-be all of existence. If this is the entirety of existence, all that we have and are, and after this life we simply no longer are, then this life is the only step of existence. There is no other. This is it. As empty as this might be, if it is all there is, we must cling to it.

For religious people, the meaning of life is to learn who God is and to fall in love with God. To see Him in a special way through His creation of His own image, namely, man. We have need for religion, we have an internal longing for eternal life with God. We see this pursued even by the atheist, the agnostics, the materialists. The only way to have spiritual peace is to practice true religion and hope for rest in the vision of God.

Life garners its value not in longevity, but in the giving of oneself for the other. The greater the love practiced toward our neighbor, the greater the value of the life lived. This holds true in politics and parenting, in working and in leisure. Transhumanism is clinging to creation while rejecting the Creator. This is a movement that must be transcended.

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Updated: Oct 30, 2020

By Christopher Hunt

Language Gymnastics Are Reaching New Heights

Words. Language. What is their purpose? The purpose of words and of language is the communication of truth, ideas, facts and emotions. It is not the purpose of words and language to deceive. Words should convey a clear meaning. There have always been people keen on deception that have misused words and language. We have the beautiful orators known as the Sophists. That is where we get the word “sophistry.”

Words are abused in myriad ways. The simple use of terms like “escort” to refer to a prostitute or “choice” to describe the termination of a biologically different life developing in the mother’s womb are examples of this abuse. The first is to make less shameful the act of procuring a prostitute (which could lead to trafficking underaged girls), the other to frame the debate over a supposedly prevailing right to terminate the life of the most vulnerable in our society, without any respect to the dignity of a developing human.

Lakoff and Dean talk about “framing the debate” in their book, “Don’t Think of an Elephant!” Debate frames can be honest (social justice) or dishonest (an invading army in reference to refugees at the southern border).

As a matter of historical context, Dr. Bella Dodd (Communist agent converted back to Catholicism) speaks about this ‘art’ of doublespeak in her book, “School of Darkness” as does Skousen (Former FBI agent tasked with fighting communist infiltration in the United States) in his book “The Naked Communist.” This technique functioned in such a manner that indoctrinated communists, when hearing a speech from a communist organizer or politician speaking to a crowd would hear a completely opposed message than what the uninitiated heard.

In our day we have such organizations as the New Pro Life Movement (NPLM) using the same method of co-opting and corrupting the language of the real prolife movement. The NPLM downplayed the old pro-life movement as people that do not care about the mothers and only want to force them to have unwanted babies. They have developed a misleading propaganda against the real pro-life movement, at least to the extent it is publicly known, and they are stealing and corrupting the language. The point here is not about religion but to the seeming deviation from the objective, intrinsic value and dignity of life.

As we peer in another direction of this language conundrum, we have the confusing of gender over biological sex. “Male” and “female,” “him” and “her,” these and other words are being made to be meaningless. Marriage no longer means a long-term commitment and bond between husband and wife. Soon it may be used to signify a bond between a gendered “they” with their cat. Indeed, the City Council of Sommerville, Massachusetts recently approved an ordinance with language inclusive of polyamorous domestic partnerships so at least they did not think marriage could be further expanded too, for now.

Death with dignity. Three words that have been corrupted beyond all imagination. These words mean accelerating the death of the aged and the infirm. What is dignified in helping, facilitating and accelerating the death of your parent, grandparent, spouse, child, sibling or patient? Yet, we have an organization with this as its name which has as its goal the legalization of assisted suicide across the entire United States.

The corruption of language subtly or grossly misleads and affects our ability to think clearly and concisely. The abuse of language opens up avenues of thought that are decrepit. Language, its use and abuse dictates much of our thought. The cultural relativism and twisted public discourse have reached heights in our society that are unfathomable.

Do you find yourself at wits’ end? We certainly do. Where do we go from here? A few suggestions to maintain a healthy, independent and critical mind. We must read and study sound philosophy. We must grow our vocabulary and learn to use words for good, for the common good. We must develop the skills of debate and rhetoric. Storytelling is one of the most popular practices in communication and so we must remain vigilant of its ethical and truthful use and certainly to lead by example.

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