Friday, October 31, 2008

Two Paths

Today's quote comes from Emerson, I came across it in a Red Book case I am preparing to debate later today.

"If a man take a stand upon his instincts, and there abide, the great huge world comes around to him."

When a man abides by what he thinks is right the world takes notice. From great leaders like Regan who stood for Capitalism when it look like the world would fall under the shadow of Communism. To unknowns like the protester in Tiananmen Square who stood before the tanks.

We should all try and stand for something that's right because if we do the world will take notice and come to us and we will have the ability to change the world; hopefully for the better.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Privacy and Civilization

My quote today comes from my favorite philosopher Ayn Rand.

"Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men."

Our country was founded on the idea that man is responsible for his choices, that the government is there to protect a man's life, liberty and property. The government is responsible for making creating an environment where everyone can have those three things.

Man then is responsible for everything else, he is responsible for making his life worthwhile that is not the governments job, they should not provide health care or keep him from hurting himself through use of drugs. Man is responsible for his actions.

He is responsible for making good use of his liberty, he can say what he will, do what he wants, the government should not make sure he is saying the right things or that if he says them on the airwaves that the other side is equally represented. Each man is responsible for what he says and does.

He is responsible and has sole ownership of any property he acquires, government should not ensure that he has of property by taking from one and giving to another they are there just to protect whatever property he owns. If, like is happening now, the government uses tax money to buy banks or bailout the car industry then they are not protecting property they are stealing it and that is legal plunder.

Our society was founded on the idea that each man had privacy and with that privacy came responsibility. Today we are regressing because people no longer have personal responsibility, it is said that it is the responsibility of the rich to provide for those behind them and to give them the same opportunity they had to own property. The government by doing this is intervening in our lives and taking away our privacy, if we want to have a better society we will increase the amount of privacy and return to a time when a person is responsible only for themselves.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Power and Corruption

Today's quote comes for a very promising up and coming author Peter Fendrich from his book Seven Years.

"Power doesn't corrupt, it only shows what was already there..."

Too often the leaders we elect to represent in various government branches prove to be corrupt and immoral. But as this quote says power did not corrupt them they were already carrying around that corruption. Also too often we don't look closely at the leaders we're voting for to see what's there, a lot of people only look closely enough to see if there's an (R) or a (D) next to their name. Some look at the candidates website to see if they're pro-life or for national security but don't look into their character.

In this next election let's take this last week and consider the character of both of the choices. Are either of the the two major candidates truly fit for office? Or is the corruptness already there?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Philosopher King

Today's quote comes from Plato in his book the Republic.

"And so we see that it is the Philosopher who should rule, as of all men only he has no desire to..."

It has been said that those who crave power are unfit to have it and those that are fit do not want it, of course a Philosopher ruling is only one part of Plato's ideal government. His main point is that individuals should do what they do best according to their class in society. By doing this, Plato argued, ones soul would be content as long as they stayed within their class and did what their class does best. I must admit that having ones class decided for them intrigues me, it could be very nice to not have to worry about what I'm going to grow up to do, but at the same time choice in what one will do with ones life is such a cornerstone of our society that I would be somewhat afraid to such drastically change our society as I fear what may come out.

Also there are plenty of Philosophers I wouldn't want as a Philosopher King and how do I know they wouldn't be making the rules?

So I guess while a Philosopher King is something fun to talk about with some more philosophically minded friends and I personally have written a short story about it I think we're doing okay with the government we have now and maybe we should work on fixing it before we start looking for a new one.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Classic

Today's quote is most often attributed to Ronald Regan all though he most likely isn't the creator of this quote. But I thought in today's troubled economic times this classic stand by would be appropriate.

"The nine most feared words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Today the government is helping a lot whether we want it or not. Bank of America, my personal bank, was nationalized by the government even though they were financially sound and were in fact buying up the struggling banks. The $700 billion bail out package passed but already Congress is calling for another bail out bill.

The government is not always the answer in fact in so many situations it's just what we don't need. When our country is suffering economically taking $700 billion from the people and buying up banks is not going to help. When stocks are dropping in value forcing the nine largest banks to create more stock for the government to buy only decreases the value of the stocks even more.

What we need in America today is more personal responsibility; let the banks who made risky loans collapse and let the banks who were smart and didn't give loans to no income families buy the failing banks. Let the people who took risky loans be foreclosed don't take money from me to pay for their homes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Living Life

Today's quote comes from Christopher Morley a writer from the mid 1900s one of his best know accomplishments was editing and expanding Bartlett's Familiar Quotations making him a rather appropriate person to quote here.

"There is only one success - to be able to live your life in your own way."

I'm sure most of you upon reading this quote will instantly agree with then pause consider it for a second more then instantly reject it. Of course we can't live life our own way, we need to live it God's way.

I would agree with you but we also need to be careful that we don't let other tell us what God's path is for us. We can't let others point us down a path and say follow it it's what I think you should do or I think it's what God wants you to do.

You need to be able to stand by yourself and say this is what God wants me to do and so I will do it and in doing that I would argue that I would be living life in my own way.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Liberties and Force

Today's quote comes from Dorthy Thompson a journalist during World War Two.

"When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered."

I'm not sure whether to agree or disagree with this quote, I obviously agree with the first part. If my liberty were taken away by say a bank robber while I was in a bank it would take the use of force by me or the police to gain it back.

However the second part is more complicated; if I choose to give up my right to privacy to the government because of a fear of terrorism how would I get it back? Could I ask them to pass another law giving it back? As shown with the Patriot Act this has proven difficult all though I do hope that one day people will wake up and take back their rights that they have given up during this war on terror. But will that be possible through legitimate channels? And even if on paper we got our Liberties back would the government actually respect them?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Agents against Error

Today's quote comes from one of our Founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson.

"Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error."

As I said in my first post, to blindly follow tradition or to flee tradition into a unsure future are both terrible errors. To combat those errors we must use our reason, to many people I know reason is the enemy because as evangelicals we rely not on reason alone but faith also. Some have taken this to an extreme and said that faith is too secular and we shouldn't be relying on it at all. I think this is a mistake and I decry the trend I see among evangelicals to abandon the study of science and philosophy. Free inquiry of those ideas are what keep us from making the same errors generation after generation.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mistakes and Art

Today's author is the creator of the hit cartoon Dilbert and author of a very though provoking books called God's Debris, but without further ado, Scott Adam's.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

Too often young filmmakers I know expect to hit it big with their first movie and that everything they make will be perfect. But what I and others tell everyone is that your first movie is going to be terrible and most likely the next few after that too. You need to get out there and make mistakes so you can learn from them, and then after you've made a bunch of mistakes decide which one you're going to keep.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Art and Reality

My quote today comes again from Ayn Rand.

"Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments. An artist recreates those aspects of reality which represent his fundamental view of man's nature."

Ayn Rand in her book the Romantic Manifesto says that any art is infused with the world view of the creator and that the viewer can not help but come away with a message.

In the industry I work in, the Christian film industry, we are always striving to present our view of reality in a way that represents our worldview. To this end we try and present a view of man that upholds values and ideals we think are important.

At the same time to represent reality and make it believable we need to show man's true nature and that is that he is fallen. So our characters need to have flaws and struggle with problems just like we all do but hopefully in our films our characters can overcome those struggles. Too often in post-modernism and nihilistic films we see characters who represent nothing but the hopelessness of mankind or films that do nothing but showcase man's inhumanity. We need more films that show flawed characters who gain eventual redemption and overcome their struggles.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Freedom of the Press

My quote today comes from one of our Founding Fathers; George Mason. A Virginian he helped write the Virginia Declaration of Rights; he was also one of the leaders of the anti-federalist and much of the Bill of Rights is based on his writings in the Virginia Declaration of Rights.

"The freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments."

It seems like today that everyone hates the press, Democrats hate talk radio because no one with their opinions can seem to last on radio so they suggest the fairness doctrine to force stations to give equal time to opposing views. Republicans hate the print press because they're all liberal rags and the big TV stations are biased too so they support TV stations like FOX. So while people are saying how much they hate the press remember that they're a bulwark of Liberty and they need to be protected.