Comments about ‘Letter: Absolute truth’

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Published: Sunday, Dec. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

To quote the noted philosopher Jean Luc Picard, "There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute."

Not having read Obama's autobiography, I don't know the context for the quoted statement. But I agree with it, at least in broad terms. The Declaration of Independence doesn't make claim to absolutes, but articulates universal truths. There's a difference.

Absolutists are responsible for some of the most atrocious acts in history. It doesn't matter their political leanings or their views on God (or lack thereof), they all have an absolutist mindset. Fanatics are capable of anything.

Some of us were recently admonished to "doubt our doubts" and I agree with that in its context. The ones who worry me are the ones who cannot see doubt in the first place.

As to Duck Dynasty - I've never seen it, the man is entitled to his opinion, the network is entitled to respond to it, and the whole thing strikes me as silly when the advertisers are paying people for 'crazy' in the first place.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

So now it's Obama's fault that the ugly hate-speech got the poor Christlike man fired?

Astounding!

ugottabkidn
Sandy, UT

David, this issue is not a free speech issue. You think it is because you agree with the Duck man. It really is an issue of employer and employee behavior. A&E has paid this man too much money for him to disparage A&E's customers, which are also the Duck man's customers. That's all this is about. Nothing else. You can make it seem like something else but a Duck is still a Duck.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

No. Religion has ruled the roost for so long it feels entitled to claim victimhood as more people push back against the tyranny. Duck call Phil was not denied his right to free speech. He said his piece, and crossed the line with his employer. I've said my piece about religion, too, but I know I can't do it here. It's part of the deal.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

It would seem that our "constitutional professor" of a president skipped over the parts of the Declaration of Independence (surely one of the documents he would have been required to study as a precursor to his "professorship") where is says something about the fact that, "We hold these truths to be self-evident...".

Not only did the founding-father authors of that document believe in **truths**, they declared the belief that some, at least, are "self-evident". Meaning, it seems obvious, **absolute** truths.

Though there is little evidence to show it, after almost 5 years of President Obama's reign, I hope he's come to better understand what truth really means. Especially the "self-evident" ones.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Freedom of Religion will never be at stake in this country. You can even worship a Duck if you want.
What is at stake is the Freedom to Not Be Religious in Utah.
BTW....The issue of the ugly hate-speech by Mr. Duck has absolutely nothing, nada, zilch, zero to do with My Awesome President!

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@samhill,

"Not only did the founding-father authors of that document believe in **truths**, they declared the belief that some, at least, are "self-evident". Meaning, it seems obvious, **absolute** truths."

What was the first self-evident truth that the Founders declared? That all men are created equal.

But what about slaves? The person who penned the Declaration owned them, as did many of the other signers. Even a majority of those who abhorred slavery still wouldn't have placed blacks as equal to themselves.

What about Native Americans? Women?

There is nothing "absolute" about the this self-evident truth -- not even to the very men who wrote and signed their names to those words.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

There is no such thing as an "unalienable right". The only rights and freedoms we have are those agreed on by our society and secured to us by the government of the United States of America.

It is illegal and improper to advertise private products in or on the public square. This rule is especially important in the case of religion because of the threat of government controlled by religion. This rule is there to secure the freedom of religion to individuals.

While the output of the media is not yet declared as the public square, covert advertising such as the words of Phil Robinson, will eventually bring it on. It's not that Phil is not entitled to his belief, that he can speak it in the proper place, it is a violation of the equal justice to use a media watched by millions expecting entertainment to be subjected to his private belief.

It is wrong that so many people are fanning the fires of hate and intolerance when we need to come together as the American nation.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Res Novae

local or state laws prohibited them from freeing their "slaves" (workers).

Those founding fathers treated their "slaves" quite well. And freed them when they were legally able ro.

Not like those democrats in the south.
Ever heard of the phrase "sold down the river." It has real meaning.

Law MUST be absolute or law would have no meaning. Application or adjudication of the law is what should not be absolute but situation dependent.

Leave it to the extreme left to get their wisdom from Hollywood fiction writers.

Obama was never a constitutional professor, he was a guest lecturer. His understanding of the constitution has been shown to be left wanting.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

It astounds me time and time again the ability to flip on an issue almost instantly.

It wasn't but days ago this thread was alive with Christians going crazy about the absolute rights of a private business to do anything they wanted with their business. They could serve whom they chose, they could deny service to whom they chose etc. because it was "their business". And the context, oh yea gay's asking for services.

Now a business says ok, Phil you embarrassed us so you're fired and the Christians are all up in arms with you can't do that you are denying him his rights.

So which side is it? Can businesses do what they want or not? Or is it simply religion and religious expression trumps everything else, and I mean everything else.

homebrew
South Jordan, UT

David;; This is NOT a christian nation. Our country was not founded on your bible or book of mormon. It WAS founded on the constitution,where there is a premise of ALL men being created equal. Black, white, red, yellow, gay, straight, It makes No difference. If YOU have the right to marry the person you love, Why on earth wouldnt anyone else have that right? Just because you dont agree with their lifestyle. If you dont like gay people,, dont marry one. Its as simple as that!!

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@the truth,

Um, apologetics for slavery? I don't get your argument. Slavery was hardly benign (Have citations showing otherwise?), and those Founding Fathers who owned slaves had no barriers to manumitting them (Washington did so - on his deathbed).

And what do "Democrats down South" have to do with the Declaration of Independence? There was no such thing in 1776. You realize that what became the Democratic Party was founded by Jefferson himself, right? Author of the Declaration of Independence?

I'm aware of the phrase "sold down the river" but perplexed by the context - the Mississippi River wasn't part of the 13 colonies in 1776.

So your position is that slavery was benign, except where it was done in the South by some of the very founders themselves and in regions that didn't become part of the United States until a generation after the Revolution? Ok. I don't see how that changes my argument that the Founding Fathers did not take "all men created equal" as an absolute.

And FWIW, the Democrats in the ante-bellum South are the ideological predecessors to the modern GOP. Be careful throwing them under the bus to attack modern Democrats.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

To "Res Novae" who commented that, "There is nothing "absolute" about the this [sic] self-evident truth -- not even to the very men who wrote and signed their names to those words.", because of the existence of slavery during and subsequent to the founding fathers declaring the existence of self-evident truths, I ask a simple question, do you believe that your evidence is absolutely true and that it therefore, absolutely, proves the absence of absolute truth?

Should you wonder, I believe your apparent assertion that the clear hypocrisy demonstrated by many of the founding fathers is some evidence that there is not absolute truth is, by its own logic, untrue. That is, if you are stating that it is absolutely true that there is no absolute truth.

In fact, I assert that any postulate which holds as part of its thesis the fact that it, itself, cannot be true, (such as, there is no absolute truth) is inherently and self-evidently, false.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@samhill,

No, a clear reading of my response gives no suggestion that there an absence of absolute truth. I am asserting that the Founding Fathers were not asserting absolute truths, evidence of which is found in their own unequal treatment of other men. To assert that "all men are created equal" is an absolute requires, ipso facto, the abolition of slavery. Since they did not do so (and many of them rejected the notion ab initio), they cannot have held "all men are created equal" to be an absolute truth. Therefore, we should not look to the Declaration of Independence as a source of absolute truth.

But thanks for the epistemological diversion of goalpost shifting.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Res Novaethe

Democrats in the ante-bellum South a were NOT and never were the ideological predecessors to the modern GOP.

The republican party (Lincoln's party) freed the slaves and had nothing to do with southern democrats.

Trying to tie them to the south is simply dishonest.

and yes there were laws that stop people from freeing slaves. Life was not so simple as want to believe it was in those days.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

@the truth,

The Democratic party's origins were Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party, which favored a strong national government. The Democrats' cornerstones were weak federal government, championing states rights, and favoring Jefferson's "yeoman farmer" concept. These are at the GOP's core today.

The GOP started as liberal, even radical, in its opposition to slavery. It also favored strong federal power, high workers' wages and high tariffs. The Democratic Party's core today.

The South remained staunchly Democrat in the pre- and post-Civil War periods. This changed with the splintering of the party in the 1940s as Southern segregationist Democrats ("Dixiecrats") split from the Northern wing, and joined an increasingly conservative GOP. Desegregation exacerbated the split to the point that LBJ lamented losing the South to the GOP when he signed the Civil Rights Act. Within a generation, the GOP found its base in the South and the Democrats in the liberal, urban North and West Coast, the opposite of what it had been for 150 years.

Reagan's GOP was a generation removed from being Democrats.

This history is uncontroversial and you can find it in any PoliSci 101 textbook.

the truth
Holladay, UT

@Res Novae

Nice "progressive" rewriting of history.

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