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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Big Picture: Politics & Religion, Part 3

This post is the third in a series, and attempts to tackle the flattering aspect of anti-agent ideology.

You might ask, why aren't we all on that left side of the sphere? Who wouldn't want to be a good, giving person? The Leftist ideology tells us that the Left is kind, compassionate, loving, caring, charitable, and, above all, fair. Who wouldn't want to be associated with such a magnanimous bunch? They are all good-hearted heroes -- they want to "save the world" through the cult of environmentalism, while the evil (and clearly self-defeating) conservatives only want to selfishly and short-sightedly destroy it, right? The Left wants everyone to be equal -- because inequality is bad, right? Take from the evil rich and give to the deserving poor...how can that be wrong?

The left is rife with secular humanistic self-righteousness. Satan flatters the Left into believing they are the good guys. But the policies associated with that brand of thinking all lead directly to the top of that sphere -- to totalitarianism and the ultimate in anti-agency. A perfect example is the canard that forced charity is charity at all. Nope - charity (the pure love of Christ) comes from the heart, and no government can dictate the nature of a citizen's heart.

Meanwhile, the right side of the sphere has its own flattery, in the form of "patriotism" and religious self-righteousness. If you don't recite the pledge of allegiance, you are evil! If you don't believe in my exact brand of religion, then you are going to burn in hell! Yeah, that sure wins a lot of people over. But it sure feels good, right? It's so very flattering to believe that you are better than everyone else because you are truly patriotic and because you have God's stamp of approval.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that I believe my church to be the only true church on the face of the earth. But that doesn't make me self-righteous. For one thing, I know that I am personally very flawed. For another, I know that there are many beliefs from many other people in the world that are worthwhile and valuable and can add to the overall goodness of the world. And I would never use my belief in my own "rightness" to make another person feel inferior. Rather than point out where others are wrong, I prefer to see the ways in which they are right and good. Rather than criticize, I prefer help people. And I know that if they don't want to be helped, I can't and shouldn't force them. I respect agency. I am not an anti-agent (that would go against the core of my faith system).

Thus, humility is a major key to defeating the flattery of Satan. You can't love others and lift them up or effectively help them change for the better if you are proud. If you are listening to Satan's flattery, and placing yourself above others (believing yourself to know what's best for them), you are being an anti-agent. If you are letting yourself be flattered into believing that the "left" or the "right" is the only way to go, then you've bought into the "linear spectrum" paradigm that is designed to obfuscate the true "spherical" paradigm, and you are thus on your way to the top of that sphere.

But as I have said, there are dangers in going too far the other way -- refraining from imposing any kind of moral-behavioral restraints on citizens (such as not punishing crimes like murder, or not acknowledging property rights) results in a different kind of anti-agency.

In the next installment, we'll take a look at why anarchy can be just as anti-agency as totalitarianism, and why it is so deceptively appealing to some.

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